Release Blitz + Giveaway: Lost Boy, Found Boy by Jenn Polish

Celebrate the release of Lost Boy, Found Boy with author Jenn Polish and IndiGo Marketing! Learn more about the sci-fi young adult QUILTBAG fiction! Enter in the $10 NineStar Press credit giveaway!

Title:  Lost Boy, Found Boy
Author: Jenn Polish
Publisher:  NineStar Press
Release Date: March 19, 2018
Heat Level: 1 - No Sex
Pairing: No Romance
Length: 21,200
Genre: Science Fiction, LGBT, nonbinary, trans, young adult

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In a futuristic world, Neverland is a holomatrix, Hook is a cyborg, and Tinker Bell is an automated computer interface.

Peter is desperate to save his lover from a military draft that, unbeknownst to him, Mir volunteered for because they are desperate to be able to fly. So, naturally, Peter programs an entire island—Neverland—as a refuge where Mir can fly without having to fight in a war.

But he doesn't locate Mir right away; instead, he fights for control of the island with automated interface Tinker Bell, and in his attempts to find Mir, others arrive on the island. But Peter’s single-minded focus on Mir generates repercussions for everyone.


Lost Boy, Found Boy
Jenn Polish © 2018
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
The boys knew they slept in pods because it was cheaper than having the oxygen on all night throughout the home.

But there was a rumor, too.

A rumor the pods were programmed to choose them. One at a time.

The younger boys believed it with wide-eyed fear and obedience.

The older boys believed it with solemn remembrance and, sometimes, defiant irreverence.

The middling boys fell, often, somewhere between utter panic and steadfast denial. It was the middling boys who were chosen.

Peter was a middling boy. Mir was middling, too, and placed with the boys.

The morning after Central glitched and only projected one sunset into the sky, Mir—who used to cradle their right forearm while they slept, to protect it from the pod; to protect it from the choosing—found their former protection was too feeble, their old desires long since changed.

The ship’s emblem was burned into the tender flesh of their forearm. They’d been chosen.

They grimaced and closed their eyes, allowing a solitary tear to drop, to sizzle on the still too-hot burgundy disruption in their otherwise-smooth golden-brown skin.

“Peter.” They frowned. Their oldest friend was a light sleeper. They pressed the comm button inside their pod again, making sure it glowed its signature azure, letting them know their voice was, in fact, being transmitted from their pod to Peter’s.

“Peter.” Louder this time, more insistent. Their attention didn’t move from Peter’s face. They wanted to see, just one last time, what the boy looked like when he woke, free of the worry lines that already plagued his face during his more alert moments. Mir wanted to, needed to memorize the way Peter’s crisp green eyes opened sleepily, the way they blinked out of a dreamland and into life. The way they flashed with all the magic of the stars of old the moment his gaze landed on Mir’s face; the way they only sparkled like that for them, the way Mir always made Peter’s mouth tug up into a sleepy, a happy, a blissful smile.

Mir wanted, needed, to record all this, make sure they never, ever forgot the uninhibited joy they and they alone could pull from the boy’s eyes.

Because once Peter saw the bloodied emblem on their forearm—and worse, when he found out why it was there—Mir knew his eyes would never light up like that again. Not for them, anyway.

Sure enough, Mir’s whisper-shout roused the boy this time. He jumped, the artery in his neck leaping with him, pulsing like it was trying to pull his body into flight.

Peter turned on his pillow toward Mir, peering out at them through the untinted glass of his pod. Finding Mir’s eyes waiting, watching him intently, Peter smiled. First in his eyes, with that sparkle that made Mir’s eyes water, that made Mir’s core swoop and their heart bellyflop; then in his lips, the left side first, then the right. He fumbled with sleepy fingers for his comm button.

“What’re you awake for, beautiful? Don’t you know there’s a war on? Sleeping in conserves oxygen reserves,” he quoted blearily, mockingly. Lovingly. He was whispering, even though Mir knew none of the boys could hear them—their comm signals only routed to each other’s pods. Peter had programmed them just for that purpose himself. Still Mir glanced around furtively at the other six pods in the windowless room. They were all tinted to near full darkness, but they imagined the other children’s sleeping forms tucked inside them nonetheless. Oblivious to them, and oblivious to Peter.

Mir didn’t answer, their throat one massive, painful lump. They just stared at Peter, stared at the boy who’d held their hand when they took their first step outside, the boy whose never-ending determination to make play out of even the most mundane tasks made him quite desired amongst all of their friends. They tried to open their mouth, but they nearly choked on their own saliva. Their forearm had long-since stopped burning—they hadn’t even felt the pod marking them, choosing them as they slept, but it stung now—and as they took in Peter’s eyes, they became acutely aware of each new striation in their skin, of the slight swelling surrounding the ship’s emblem that would take them away from Peter forever.

Peter squinted at Mir’s silence.

“What is it?”

Mir’s eyes just got wider, and Peter squinted across the room at them, watching them swallow. Wishing there were no pods—no air at all, for that matter—between them.

“Mir. Tell me.”

Wordless and shaking, Mir lifted their forearm, rotating their palm so Peter could see the tender underflesh where the choosing had left its mark.

A combination of disbelief and terror settled into Peter’s features, his rounded cheeks and angled chin, his wide eyes and his very, very pink lips. His head shook back and forth like he had a hinge loose in his neck, and his hands haltingly lifted to the glass of his pod, his palms pressing, pressing, trying to traverse the spaces between them.

Peter’s horror somehow settled Mir’s resolve, and they gulped, readying themself.

“I’ve been called to the war, Peter. The Hub needs pilots.” They paused. Peter was still shaking his head in shock, tears steadily streaking down his otherwise still, unblinking face.

No point in beating around the subject now. Best do it while he can’t say anything, anyway, Mir figured. They took a deep breath.

“The Hub needs pilots, and Peter…Peter, this isn’t a random choosing. This wasn’t the draft. I submitted my number for priority consideration last rotation. Right after my sixteenth birthday. I don’t want to fight in any war, Peter, but I need to fly. I need to fly, and the only way I can is if I serve the Hub for a few rotations. I need you to understand.” Mir’s voice broke, and they curled down into their blankets. “I need you to not hate me.”

Neither child knew how long the silence stretched between them, but neither child moved and neither child dared to even breathe too loudly, though Mir shuddered a couple of times.

Even through their shudders, Mir didn’t look up, not once in all their silence; they didn’t shift from their almost bowed position, like one of those ancient carvings of servants before royalty.

When Peter finally spoke, his voice was flat, distant, hollow. He sounded like someone else, someone else entirely. He sounded like a shadow would sound, if a shadow could sound.

“If that’s what you want, then good for you, Mir. You’re sharp. You’ll be a good pilot. A good fighter pilot. A good fighter. You fought to get them to let me into the boys’ podrooms when they said I didn’t have the proper documents, not to mention getting yourself in here. You’re already…you’re a good fighter.”

“Peter.” The sound was ragged, full of gravel and full of grief. Mir lifted their gaze to look into Peter’s, now, but Peter was staring down at his interior pod controls. He punched in a few numbers before looking up and smiling, the forcedness, the fakeness sending shivers down Mir’s spine. But at least his voice sounded more like his own, with that musical quality, that earthy ebullience underneath it, holding it up.

“And then when you’re done, you can come back and I can program you the fanciest ship to ever enter Hub space.” Mir tried not to flinch away from the vacant flicker in Peter’s eyes, even as he just kept smiling that fake, twisted smile, punching away at his pod’s keypad.


But Peter was gone, the communications cut. Peter had overridden his pod’s safety protocols and popped open the top, despite the surrounding air being devoid of oxygen.

Peter didn’t offer so much as a backward glance to Mir, who just stared, helpless. Who just pounded lightly, open-palmed, on their own pod door, unable to override the safety protocols without help from Peter. Trapped and mandated to sleep until the podroom was oxygenated again at artificial sunrise.

“Dammit,” Mir whispered. “Dammit.”


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Meet the Author

Jenn Polish is the author of two young adult books, Lunav and Lost Boy, Found Boy. Their debut novella, Lost Boy, Found Boy, is a scifi re-telling of Peter Pan in which Neverland is a holomatrix, Hook is a bisexual cyborg, and Tink is an asexual lesbian computer interface. Their debut novel, Lunav, a lesbian faerie tale, features dragons that grow on trees and friendship amongst rebellion. They teach Theater and English in the CUNY system, where they are also a doctoral candidate in English. They live in New York with their fiancée and their fantasies of having multiple puppies.

Website | Twitter | Instagram


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Audiobook Review: Tender Mercies (Men of Lancaster County #2) by Eli Easton

Eddie Graber's dream of a sanctuary for rescued farm animals was about to come true when his partner backed out at the last minute. Now Eddie risks losing the 25-acre property in Lancaster County - and all the hopes he held for it - before the project even gets off the ground. He needs help, he needs money, but most importantly, he needs to rediscover the belief in a higher purpose that brought him here in the first place.

Samuel Miller worked hard to fit into his Amish community despite his clubfoot. But when his father learns Samuel is gay, he is whipped and shunned. With just a few hundred dollars to his name, Samuel responds to an ad for a farmhand and finds himself employed by a city guy who has strange ideas about animals, no clue how to run his small farm, and a gentle heart.

Samuel isn't the only lost soul to serendipitously find his way to Meadow Lake Farm. There's Fred and Ginger, two cows who'd been living in a garage, a gang of sheep, and a little black pig named Benny who might be the key to life, love, money - and even a happily ever after for two castoffs.

Listening Length: 8 hours and 28 minutes
Narrator: Will Tulin

I enjoyed the audiobook narration by Will Tulin. This is the first time I’m listening to his work, and I’d definitely do so again without any worries.

The way readers are introduced to Samuel broke my heart. The abuse by his father made my blood boil. But even sadder was how Samuel knew nothing could be done to change his family’s minds.

But despite those awful circumstances, Samuel has an inner core of strength and resiliency. He doesn’t let his family’s rejection, or his club foot, keep him down for long.

I was rooting for Samuel from the first page!

Eddie has his own struggles with the farm. But he’s determined to make his sanctuary work, even if it costs him both financially and personally.

The two men are brought together in less-than-perfect circumstances, but it’s clear from the beginning that they’re a strong match for each other.

The romance in ‘Tender Mercies’ is a slow-burn. While Eddie and Samuel are attracted to each other from the beginning, it takes a while for them to do anything about it.

Instead, they gradually become friends. Over shared meals and farmwork, the two get to know each other. And eventually, they start leaning on one another for comfort and support.

But underneath that friendship, there’s a lingering sexual tension. When Samuel and Eddie finally give in, it’s a natural extension of the emotional relationship they’ve already built.

I thought it was really sweet how the two filled a whole in each other’s life. For Samuel, Eddie becomes the home he was so desperately looking for. And for Eddie, Samuel becomes his driving force when he thinks about giving up.


Most of the conflict in this book is driven by the struggle to keep the farm sanctuary running. I could have done with less of it, because it overshadowed the romance and unnecessarily slowed the book down.

Even so, I enjoyed ‘Tender Mercies,’ and I was glad to see Samuel and Eddie get their HEA. If you’re looking for a slow read with a sweet and gradual romance, I’d give this book a try!

Blog Tour: Livingston (Trenton Security #1) by J.M. Dabney

J.M. Dabney and Vibrant Promotions visit the blog on the Livingston (Trenton Security #1) Blog Tour! Learn more about the bodyguard/charge romance today!

RELEASE DATE: 03.06.18
Cover Design: RESSE DANTE
He was the Beast without the escape clause.
Francis “Liv” Livingston was a beast. No matter if he wore a perfectly tailored suit or if he was in his tactical gear, people avoided looking at him. He was always first to volunteer for the jobs only a person with a death wish wanted. Tomorrows weren’t guaranteed. His boss had come to him and told him he needed him for a job. Linus knew the jobs he liked, but when he opened the file, it all went to hell.
Beauty was only skin deep.
Fielding Haskell made his way in the world on his looks. He’d earned his first film role before he could read a script. He didn’t want the fame. He wanted to go to college. He wanted a man who didn’t look at him and see how pretty he was. Unfortunately, a so-called fan only cared how attractive he was, and it earned him a personal bodyguard and a vacation. He looked forward to the break until he met the man in charge of his safety and wondered if the danger he left was worth dealing with a sudden attraction to a man who was colder than ice.

He disconnected the call and slipped his phone back into his pocket. “That for me?”

“Yes, sir, I didn't mean—” Fielding swallowed hard. “I wasn't listening.”

The boy closed the distance between them quickly and thrust the mug at him. He caught it before it made a trip to the ground.

“Black. I noticed you didn't, um, put anything in your coffee. Is it strong enough?”

He hesitated with the mug at his lips. He swore the boy was holding his breath waiting for his approval. Taking a sip, it was perfect, but he took his time to see how long Fielding would keep himself from breathing. Nothing much amused him anymore, but that was doing it for him.

During the time the boy was in his home he'd picked up on little things about him. Fielding's need for approval. The boy's natural submissiveness. Fielding was also downright domestic.

“Not bad.”

“I'll do better. Are you going somewhere?”

“No, not for a few more days. We’ll head to the office for a check-in, and see what Linus’ boy, Hunter, found out about your stalker.” Interesting, the stalker comment hadn’t earned a flinch, but the moment he said boy, the kid’s perfectly arched brows rose. “Make a list of anything you need. We’ll hit the store before we come back.”

“Can I get candy and chips?”

The question took him by surprise. Fielding didn’t look like anything fattening ever passed his pretty lips.

“Do you want candy and chips?”

“So much.”

He hid his smile behind his mug at the boy’s longing sigh. He’d noticed the boy didn’t eat very much, not enough in his opinion, but Fielding wasn’t big. Tiny compared to him, probably not for normal sized men.

“We’ll see then.”

“Yes, sir.”

One more submissive little yes, sir with averted eyes and the boy was going to find himself on his knees worshiping his cock. He was too old for the boy, but his dick didn’t seem to have a problem with it. What made it harder to resist Fielding was a natural submissive born to be someone's boy. He was inclined to dominate and to have the perfect boy in front of him was more temptation than he'd ever experienced.

He needed to get Fielding as far away from him as possible and soon.

JM Dabney Logo

J.M. Dabney is a multi-genre author who writes mainly LGBT romance and fiction. She lives with a constant diverse cast of characters in her head. No matter their size, shape, race, etc. she lives for one purpose alone, and that’s to make sure she does them justice and give them the happily ever after they deserve. J.M. is dysfunction at its finest and she makes sure her characters are a beautiful kaleidoscope of crazy. There is nothing more she wants from telling her stories than to show that no matter the package the characters come in or the damage their pasts have done, that love is love. That normal is never normal and sometimes the so-called broken can still be amazing.

Audiobook Review: Smitty's Sheriff (Hope #3) by Cardeno C.

Todd is too flakey. Richard is too stubborn. Together, they're perfect. A May-December couple get a second chance at love.

Retired soldier Richard Davis wants a stable life in a quiet town with a forever man. Becoming the sheriff of Hope, Arizona, accomplishes two of his three goals, but instead of finding a serious partner, he falls for too-young-to-be-committed and too-flakey-to-be-serious Todd Smitty. Richard won’t find the right man if he’s obsessed with the wrong one, so he walks away from Todd.

It’s lust at first sight when Todd meets his sister’s army friend. He sets his sights on the worldly, strong, stable older man, and the more time he spends with Richard, the harder he falls. But after three years together, Richard cuts off all contact with no explanation.

When a mutual obligation requires Todd to move into Richard’s house, he’s thrilled at the opportunity to earn a second chance. Ignoring Todd from across town was hard enough. Can Richard resist temptation under his own roof?

Narrated by: Ezekiel Robison
Listening Length: 3 hrs 19 mins

Smitty's Sheriff is a simple opposites attract story that features former hookups to lovers. Smitty's Sheriff works well as a standalone (as I haven't read the previous books) for anyone interested. It's set in an Arizona town and features older hero, town sheriff, Richard Davis. Richard has been hooking up with his best friend's little brother for sometime but took a break when he wanted more...a steady relationship.

The little brother, Todd Smitty? He's in his early twenties and "flakey". Other than having a good time, Richard never thought to ask for more. So he cooled it off for a few months. But his feelings, as much as Richard would like to deny, were still there. And needing release.

An unexpected job (Todd's sister is still in the service) makes her have to leave her baby with responsible Richard and her youngest brother who doesn't have a full time job to occupy his time. [Don't worry the baby is just used as a plot device to bring the men together in a living space--she is not prominent at all. In fact, it was a little weird for me to see a book with a baby barely getting any mention other than in passing] It's all about these two men.

Hmm...former lovers who never quite got over each other having to care for one small child in a shared space?

I wonder what could happen?

Richard is a dominant without the title or formalities. He enjoys being in control. He's organized and prefers things under his thumb (it's the impression he gave me). Todd enjoys being "deferential". And Todd also craves Richard's body. So add sexual tension and miscommunication and you get the gist of the conflict for this novella.

I liked the simplicity of the story. It wasn't burdened with a lot of sex. Instead, we get two adults who are obviously made for each other thrown into a domestic situation. Do they get it right after day one? No.

Todd proves himself to be more mature by some of his actions. It seems to satisfy Richard's controlling nature.  I wished they would have talked more openly from the start especially before Todd moving in to stay with the baby. The story itself was 3.5 Hearts. It used tropes I like: brother's best friend finally gets the protagonist, second chances, opposites attract, large age gap, miscommunication/non-communication. Nothing went too wild. Contemporary brain candy...

But...there was something that gave me pause. I want to preface that both main characters were happy with their roles. Richard was dominant and liked to control, Todd enjoyed being "deferential" to Richard's needs and moods. Listening and reading Smitty's Sheriff, their relationship read like domestic discipline or a 24/7 type of deal without BDSM. I like reading D/s. But Richard seemed just a tad too much in the controlling department. If Todd ended up calling Richard master or sir at any point, I wouldn't have thought twice.

There was nothing that Richard did that would make me think he'd turn abusive at any point. But he's one who was just at the border of being too much. He would fly off the handle when it came to other men just as so much as talking to Todd. It was unjustified and unnecessary...if he talked and explained himself, he wouldn't need to waste so much energy and inner angst.

You like boundaries, pal? Then set them up from the start. (Mind you, I like reading about possessive guys, so in a way Richard definitely checks off the possessive category)

This was my first time listening to Ezekiel Robison and I would definitely listen to books narrated by him again. He gave good emotion to the text, I liked the way he characterized each character. I'd rate the narration 4 Hearts. I haven't listened to a bad Cardeno C. contemporary yet. (*knocks on wood*) And I'm glad to have extended my list of narrators to try out.

Recommended for fans of age differences, some miscommunication, opposites attract and possessive heroes. If you enjoy that, you can't go wrong in the audio or eBook direction.

Release Blitz + Giveaway: Expedition 63 :: Book 1 - Dusk by T.A. Creech

It's release day for Expedition 63 :: Book 1 - Dusk from JMS Books! Celebrate with author T.A. Creech and Signal Boost Promotions! Learn more about the sci-fi romance today! Enter in the backlist eBook giveaway!

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Length: 42,700 words approx.

Publisher: JMS Books


When contact is lost with Mission Control, Commander John Dennington isn’t overly concerned. Such hiccups in communication are common. The first inkling of the larger problem occurs when he sees the very shape of the world change before his eyes.

John must ease his crew into a new mission and keep the Station together by any means necessary. The crew jeopardizes their chances by fighting his orders, but Jason Weiss, his mission specialist and the light of his life, makes John’s situation more bearable.

The smallest malfunction to Station or crew would spell the end for six astronauts trapped high above a ruined Earth. It’s their mission to carry on. Random chance of the universe hasn’t operated in their favor so far, but John is determined to see them all safely home.


"Nobody's going to be angry if you literally can't get a hold of them," John tried to placate him. The wrinkled nose on his cool bronze face didn't reassure him that Yakecen would let it go, but he had to try. His prickly friend was going to blow a gasket one day and John hated the thought.

Yakecen confirmed his fear with a shake of his head, simple crow black braid swishing against the interior panels like an agitated cat's tail. "I don't want to get dressed down again. The last time, the asshole on the other end of the line said she'd put a reprimand in my file if I couldn't stay on schedule."

That was news to him. "Who told you this?"

"Some drone in Control. I don't remember," he told John, the discomfort in his whole body clear as day. Yakecen wasn't a people person on his good days and when someone had a problem with his work, it just made him dig his heels in.

John sighed and ran his index finger down the bridge of his nose. It didn't help the headache that brewed right behind his eyes. "I'll get it straightened out. People can't expect everything to go perfectly all the time and they shouldn't take it out on you."

"Thanks, John." Yakecen meant it, John saw it in the earnest way he thanked him. John was happy to be the buffer for his crew, especially for Yakecen, but fuck, he hoped someone would take up the duty once they back on the ground. John had plans and he couldn't do that job full time.

John nodded and started to back out of the capsule. "So, yeah, comms are down. Just sit tight, okay?"

"Sure thing." Yakecen ducked out of sight between the seats. "And tell whoever has the camera to knock off with the flash. It's so bright, going off in here, that it almost gave me a headache."

John paused. A camera flash wasn't anywhere near that strong and the interior wasn't that dark. And someone would've made a lot of racket getting past the garbage container over his head. "You see who it was?"

"No," was the muffled answer, but his crewmember popped up again and gave John a strange look. "I didn't see anyone when I checked. Although, how any of our guys avoided me seeing them, I'll never know. Saito even has a problem getting in here."

Saito was the smallest of them all, barely five feet in his socks.

"Huh." That was peculiar. "You know, Turlach was saying the same thing. Maybe Saito knows something about it. He's been in Destiny for a few hours now."

"It was annoying as fuck." Yakecen popped back out of his spot and pointed a finger at John. He hated that finger, because Yakecen always managed to have a disapproving look that matched John's mother's so perfectly, he thought they were clones for a second. "I don't have a problem with the candid shots, but not while I'm working in here. It's too dark for it."

"Understood," John promised.

About the Author

I am a house-parent to a rambunctious small child and happily mated to an equally rambunctious military spouse. My adventures in writing began with fanfiction, and once I was hooked I never looked back.

While I've always tried to make my fanfiction unique, what I enjoy most about creating original work is the ability to delve into my stranger ideas without worrying about how I might apply them to someone else's world and characters. With my own creations, I take pride in twisting familiar tropes into something new and unexpected.

When I write, it is with the intention that my stories will leave a lasting impression. I hope you enjoy the characters and the worlds I create, and that they help you to find a place to exist, for a while, outside of your own.

--T.A. Creech

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Release Blitz + Giveaway: Out of the Ocean by Lynn Michaels

Celebrate the release of Out of the Ocean with author Lynn Michaels and Signal Boost Promotions! Learn more about the age difference romance and enter in the $10 Amazon gift card giveaway!

Length: 26,500 words approx.

Cover Design: Decorous Anarchy Studios


Cal Bigsby spent his life working the fishing boats and ignoring who he really is and what he needs to be happy.

Prescott ‘Scott’ Vandenburton is being primed to take over Daddy’s company, but he craves a life of his own. His only escape is sailing his yacht.

When a freak storm hits, both are forced to think about life from a whole new perspective.

Shipwrecked, fighting for their lives, and finding unexpected love.


“Well, we do have some food here,” Scott said, as Cal sorted the nets.


“I have some crackers and a can of smoked oysters. Want that for breakfast?”


“Aren’t you hungry, Cal?”

Cal grunted. “You need to ration that food. Who knows how long we’ll be out here.” There was no way Cal was going to take food from Scott. He couldn’t.

“Uh…you mean we.”

“Huh? No.”

“Don’t grunt at me. This is serious. You’re sharing this food with me. Now what do you want to eat?”

Cal ignored him. Scott meant well, but his own instincts wouldn’t let him compromise. No matter what happened, Cal had to do everything he could to protect Scott, make sure he survived. Nothing else mattered. “Have some crackers, Scott. I’m busy.”

Author Bio

Lynn Michaels lives and writes in Tampa, Florida where the sun is hot and the Sangria is cold. Lynn is the newest addition to Rubicon Fiction, and she loves reading and writing about hot men in love. She writes paranormal and contemporary MM Romance

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Review: And the Next Thing You Know . . . (Why You? #2) by Chase Taylor Hackett

Not the one you’re waiting for . . .

Jeffrey Bornic is getting over his ex. Really. So what if the rising-star attorney is angrily sleeping his way through most of Manhattan’s male population? When the time is right, the perfect partner will show up. And Jeffrey knows exactly what he’ll be like: an ambitious, polished professional who’ll make the ideal other half of a fabulous power couple.

Theo McPherson is definitely not that guy. He’s a short, fiery red-head who works in the arts and wears sneakers held together with duct tape. If it weren’t for the fact that Theo is his best friend’s little (literally) brother, Jeff would be crossing the street to avoid him. Theo, meanwhile, has nothing but contempt for guys in suits, and seems to have deliberately set out to make Jeff’s life miserable, all while grinning at him in that exasperating way that he has.

At least it’s hard for Jeff to keep moping over his ex when he’s butting heads with Theo—and suddenly wondering if the last guy he’d ever fall for might be exactly that . . .

Um, don’t mind me over here. In the corner. Hiding. In my box of shame.

I so wanted to love this. I really did.

Hackett wowed me with Where Do I Start in how he made fall for Fletch, and I was all ready to be bowled over to do the same with douchecanoe Jeffrey. In a way I did. The guy actually grows a heart, moves beyond his self involved inclinations, all because he falls for someone who he wants to be better for. Luckily, Jeffrey finds that in Theo.

Oh Theo. Overall, I can see and understand where this guy is coming from, but there were just too many instances where his thought processes made me cringe uncomfortably, and to me, bordered on pure spite and childishness. If one ever ran hot and cold in extreme, Theo is that epitome, and I actually felt sorry for Jeffrey despite the many instances where he deserved Theo’s wrath.

This goes above and beyond enemies to lovers, as Jeffrey and Theo go all out to push each other’s buttons again and again and again. Now, while highly entertaining, this just did not appeal to what I want and need in a romance. So I can see why all the readers out there loved this hard, but in comparison to the first book this lacked the sweet sweet charm that I reveled in and so wanted from this. I just couldn’t ever relax as I waited for the other shoe to drop on the next crazy drama that was going to come, and come it did. These two truly deserved each other.

Many many points to Hackett for great writing, humor, and eschewing typical romance tropes and expectations. This has all the smart snarky banter with the ultimate in one upmanship that any avid reader could want. I just needed a more solid reason to root for these two, wanting way more lovey dovey (not to mention some smexy smexy) and less hateful mean animosity. Perhaps bff-to-all Tommy, will find his HEA and be the icing on the cake!

Thank you to the author/publisher for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Guest Review: Winter Cowboy (Whisper Ridge, Wyoming #1) by R.J. Scott

Micah Lennox left Whisper Ridge after promising the man he loved that he would never return. But as his sister begged for help when her life was in danger, the only way he knows to keep her and his nephew safe is to go home. Spending winter in Wyoming, when he'd promised never to return, opens too many old wounds, but he's on the run from justice which can't be far behind, and this is his last chance at redemption.

After a hostage situation leaves Doctor Daniel Sheridan struggling with PTSD, he returns to Whisper Ridge. Joining his dad in family practice is a balm to soothe his exhausted soul, and somehow, he finds a peace he can live with. That is until he meets Micah in a frozen graveyard, and the years of anger and feelings of betrayal boiling inside him, erupt.

Two broken men fight and scratch for their lives and that of their families, and somehow, in the middle of it all, they find each other.

Is it possible that love can be rekindled and become a forever to believe in?

Reviewer: Annika

While I enjoyed reading this book it missed the mark for me just a bit. The first part of the book had be engrossed, but by the second half I was a bit bored of it all. It never really went anywhere new, and then out of the blue there was an epilogue and I was left trying to catch up.

Christmas Eve nine years ago changed Micah’s life forever, it changed the whole town. But Micah lost everything and everyone he loved. Promising never to return he left – or more accurately was driven out of town. My heart broke for Micah and everything he’d gone through, for the loneliness and heartbreak, believing he didn’t deserve anything better.

Daniel had always had a plan. Go to medical school, find a job in a city for a few years and then return back home to work with his dad. Only life happened and he’s taken hostage at the hospital he worked. Suffering from PTSD he returns back home to lick his wounds in piece – or as much as a loving and meddling family will allow him. I will admit I never warmed to Daniel, I never felt for him as I did Micah. I mostly wanted to give him a kick in the butt and tell him to get his head out of his ass. (And I’m not talking about his PTSD, just everything else).

There was a lot of hurt and guilt going around, in truckloads in fact, and from so many angles and people. Some wounds more fresh than others, but bleeding nonetheless. Daniel and Micah dance around each other for most of the book and I don’t really feel any connection between them. There was just too much hurt, for that. Too many issues, issues that were never really resolved for my liking. Their getting together didn’t feel natural to me, it was more out of the blue and all the hurts and past swept under the rug, and miraculously forgotten. It didn’t sit right with me.

This book had an intense start, there were a lot going on and with many hints to people and past events. I will admit that it got confusing at times, but it got better as the story developed a bit more. I was invested in the story and wanted to know more. I’m a huge fan of building tension, getting to know characters and their pasts, so I have an aversion to books with huge info dumps in the beginning. I want to be left a bit in suspense, to wonder about the people and their pasts. That’s what Scott delivered in this book, only not as much as I would’ve liked. After finishing the book I’m still left with a lot of unanswered questions. And what’s even worse, after all the buildup and tension, the angst, it all just fizzled out, it was anticlimactic to say the least and I wanted something more. It felt unfinished and incomplete.

Winter Cowboy is not a light or fluffy read. It’s packed with angst and past hurts and slights. But it’s also a story of starting over, about forgiveness and moving forward. I am probably going to pick up the next book in the series, as I’m interested to see where the story takes us next, perhaps we’ll get more of a closure. One can only hope.

A copy of this book was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

Review: Dreams and Expectations (Before... and After, #4) by Susan Laine

At what point are differences irreparable?

Tom McAllister and Nick Corwin have always had a comfortable friendship, even though Nick is a Native American webcomic artist and Tom’s father is a rigid Christian. But they’re about to discover growing up means more challenges than choosing a college major. It might mean making decisions that change pivotal relationships—or sever them.

When a bully confronts Tom and Nick and a dark, unsettling aspect of Tom emerges, Nick is shaken enough to end their friendship. As both young men struggle to balance their own dreams with the expectations of their families—both in terms of career and faith—they recognize the emptiness that parting ways has left in their lives. But when reconciliation leads to confessions that might mean something more than friendship between them, will it make their path easier to navigate or more difficult?

This series certainly has its ups and downs. I love the idea of it, best friends going from friends before to lovers after. The trope of friends to lovers has always been a favorite of mine but this installment had something missing.

For me, I didn’t feel Nick and Tom as a couple. I liked how close they were as friends and really wish the whole Bill incident didn’t happen as it did. I think had Tom not been physical and used homophobic slurs and maybe just defended Nick and then came to realize his feelings were more than platonic, the story could have been believable.

The first two stories in this series were more on the exploratory side of bisexuality or ones sexuality being fluid and I liked that. I am not sure why the author decided to throw violence into these last two but it has been a disservice to the romance of these young men. Though the violence was not aimed at either main character, Nick has a visceral reaction to how Tom dealt with the situation and it made this reader take a step back.

The friendship Nick and Tom has was enough to build upon with an “OMG I am butt crazy in love with my best friend” sort of story. They’ve been friends so long and really affectionate that the next step to exploring how they feel would have been organic had the violence not been there. But as it was, the story felt rushed and I can’t downshift that fast to get my head around Tom suddenly realizing he is in love with Nick.

The sex was completely unbelievable for me. It was over the top and borderline cheesy where again, keeping it simple and sweet while still being sexy is doable with a story like this because the author has given it to us with the first two books.

I don’t know. I am just disappointed with the road this series is taking and that makes me sad. This story had such promise to be sticky sweet with a true friends to lovers story and instead, I am left with a bad taste in my mouth.

Release Blitz + Giveaway: The Ballerino and The Biker (The Hedonist #1) by Rebecca James

Celebrate The Ballerino and The Biker (The Hedonist #1) with author Rebecca James and Vibrant Promotions! Learn more about the opposites attract romance today! Enter in the eBook back list giveaway!

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The Ballerino and The Biker
Rebecca James
M/M Romance
Release Date: 03.10.18
Cover Design: Reese Dante
Most of his young life, Morgan Wentworth has dreamed of becoming a principal dancer in a prestigious corps de ballet. After years studying the art in Milan, Morgan comes home to New York City to apprentice with the Manhattan Ballet Company only to be hit by the unexpected death of his older brother, Jake. The grieving dancer learns his life is threatened by a dangerous rival motorcycle gang and that pierced, tattooed, HOT biker Zeke Ivers has been assigned by Jake’s MC to guard him. Saddled with the constant presence of the infuriating man, Morgan juggles the demands of an exhausting dance schedule as well as his new responsibilities as CEO of his family’s multi-million-dollar company. He never expects to develop an attraction for the straight, obnoxious biker, but that’s exactly what happens.
Estranged from an abusive family, Zeke Ivers has lived at the Sentinel’s club house and worked on cars since he was a teen. When fellow club member Jake Wentworth and a rival club president’s girl are killed on Jake’s bike, the Sentinel’s president delegates the protection of Jake’s little brother, Morgan, to Zeke. Zeke would do anything for the club that pulled him off the streets, but Morgan’s a ballet dancer, for Christ’s sake, as well as annoying as hell. Still, Zeke finds himself inexplicably drawn to the young man. The more attracted Zeke becomes to Morgan, the more the biker is forced to examine his sexuality and decide whether two people from opposite sides of the tracks could possibly have a future together, or if Zeke should do what is fast becoming too painful to consider: let Morgan go.
The Ballerino and The Biker Teaser 2

The Ballerino and The Biker Teaser 3

For another week after the shooting, I continued escorting Morgan to his long-ass rehearsals where he didn’t rehearse, just watched intensely, and his classes where he danced until he was slick with sweat and breathing hard. And I continued studying him, memorizing every expression that crossed his face. His high cheekbones, full lips, and expressive eyes captivated me, and I’d quit asking myself why. Scared I was letting him distract me too much, I renewed my efforts to watch the exits. I’d learned the face of every person who was supposed to be around and kept a watch for those who weren’t.

The list of people wanting me to fix their cars was growing, but I never had any time. Several of the guys offered to take a day or two watching Morgan for me, but I didn’t trust the kid in anyone else's care, and besides, there was my cover to consider. I was supposed to be a reporter doing a story on Morgan. Why would someone else show up in my place? Anyway, I knew the layout of the building, knew the corps de ballet’s schedule, and I knew Morgan. I would take care of him.

Saturday came around, and I once again thanked God the fucking masochist ballet company let the dancers have Sunday off. I planned to spend mine sleeping, unless Morgan got other ideas. The kid looked exhausted, so I doubted it. Halfway through the day, the big guy, chief of the ballet or something, announced some chick named Katie had had to leave and called Morgan in to dance her part during rehearsal. My gut twisted. How was the kid supposed to dance a part he’d only watched a few times, and a female part, at that?

But Morgan did it. He filled in for the girl like he’d been dancing the part himself every day since he got there, and I was in awe. I could tell the chief guy was impressed, too, or at least satisfied. I got the feeling he’d been testing Morgan, otherwise why the fuck hadn’t he asked one of the female apprentices to fill in? At the end of the night, like a proud daddy, I tossed Morgan a candy bar from the machine in the hall.

Morgan looked at the Hershey bar like he didn’t know what to do with it.

“For doing so great at the spur of the moment,” I told him. A smile lit up his tired face that made the embarrassing moment worth it, and he unwrapped the candy bar. He broke it down the middle and handed half to me.

“For putting up with all this,” Morgan said. Our eyes met. The whole thing felt so goddamn cheesy, I grumbled and didn’t speak again until we were pulling out of the Arts Center.

I hated the scared look Morgan had every time we walked outside the building since the shooting. I wanted to rip Spoons’s face off for putting it there, and I would if I got a chance.

“If it makes you feel any better, he ain’t gonna try the same thing twice,” I said to Morgan as he inched closer to me on the walk to the car.

He looked at me. “You mean he’ll devise another way to kill me?”

“Well, yeah.” We climbed in, and I headed for the Midtown Tunnel. I’d been changing up our route, even if it took longer to get home going a different way.

Morgan sank down in the seat and fiddled with the edge of his sweatshirt. “I can’t go on like this. I’m so fucking stressed out.”

“The way I see it, you ain’t got much choice,” I said. “You wanna be a dancer, so you gotta go to school. You wanna stay alive, so you gotta have me with you. Thing is, you gotta trust I’ll take care of you and relax.”

Morgan brought up his knees to his chin. He was like a fucking bendable toy. I bet he could put both feet behind his head. His face was broody.

“It’s gonna be okay, kid,” I said. “I got you. Concentrate on spinning around and looking pretty.”

Morgan groaned. “Shut up.”

I laughed, feeling suddenly light.

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I've always loved to write and have written since I was a child, usually to entertain my family. I enjoy writing m/m romance because there's nothing hotter than two men in a loving relationship. I write contemporary romance but am not limited to that. I enjoy writing alpha/omega and vampire stories, and I wouldn't rule other things out. I'm very prolific, so look for a lot of things to come!