Tag Team Review: Tight Quarters (Out of Uniform #6) by Annabeth Albert

Petty Officer Bacon, a navy SEAL and ace sharpshooter, has been on the front lines of more than his fair share of dangerous ops. Yet when a minor injury relegates him to the beta team, he’s tasked with what may be his riskiest assignment yet: the silver fox journalist he’s babysitting is the hottest, most charismatic man he’s ever encountered.

Award-winning journalist Spencer Bryant may have been named one of Pride magazine’s most eligible bachelors of the year, but he’s not looking to change his relationship status. He’s a consummate professional who won’t risk his ethics or impeccable reputation by getting involved with a source. Even a sexy-as-hell military man. But while Spencer can resist his physical attraction to Bacon, he has less control over his emotions—especially when the mission goes sideways and the two men are trapped alone.

Getting out of the jungle alive turns out to be easy compared to facing the truth about their feelings for one another back in the real world. And whether or not they can build a future is a different story altogether.

Adam - 4 Hearts

Bacon’s a dedicated SEAL. He doesn’t let anything get in the way of his job, and he’s highly loyal to his team. But he also has a secret that few people know - Bacon is pansexual. He doesn’t expect to come out to his team, unless he falls for a man.

I’ve wanted to read Bacon’s story for a while now. It didn’t take me long to develop a major crush on Bacon. He’s the total package - strong, driven, and he’s got heart in spades. Plus, the killer bod doesn’t hurt either.

Spencer Bryant is an award-winning journalist who’s shadowing Bacon’s team. Spencer’s married to his career and has a rigid sense of ethics. But from the moment he meets Bacon, Spencer can’t help but be drawn to the man.

The two men don’t get off to a great start. Bacon ends up on babysitting duty, keeping Spencer out of harm’s way. Bacon would rather be in the midst of the action, and Spencer doesn’t like being treated like a burden.

However, underneath the snark there’s an undeniable simmering tension. Spencer and Bacon manage to keep their hands to themselves, but it’s only a matter of time before they give in.

When the mission goes awry, Bacon finds himself turning to Spencer for comfort. The two men go at each other with no holds barred. This is one sexy read!

And it’s not just the physical chemistry that’s obvious to the two men. At some point during the mission, their rocky start turned to mutual respect.

Bacon finds himself opening up to Spencer about his past in a way he’s never done before, and Spencer begins thinking about a life that includes more than just his pen and laptop.

I loved seeing the two men let their guard down. It doesn’t take long for their weekends together to become the most important parts of their lives.

The big stumbling block on Spencer and Bacon’s road to a happy ever after is a book that Spencer wants to write about the military, which Bacon isn’t on board with. I’ve got mixed feelings about the whole thing, and neither man handled the situation that well.

But I was really happy with how everything was resolved, and that Bacon and Spencer get the perfect happy ever ending!

Overall, this was a really good addition to the Out of Uniforms series!

SheReadsALot - 4 Hearts

Tight Quarters is another solid addition to the Out of Uniform series.

This certainly can be read as a standalone, but it features couples (briefly) from Wheels Up and Squared Away.  Pansexual Petty Officer Bacon (Bacon's first name finally revealed inside) has been a solid side character. I was a little unsure how I'd feel about Bacon getting a starring role. But I shouldn't be surprised, this author gave him an interesting enough back story and a solid romance to boot.

Ginger haired Bacon is 28 years old and enjoys being a 'lifer'. Granted, everyone around seems to be coupled up. He hasn't even come out to his team other than a trusted friend. But he's satisfied...enough. He's dedicated to his SEAL career. And to his dismay, he's assigned to watch over a journalist embedded with his SEAL team. And it's the last thing he needs. Especially since he's a fan of the handsome silver haired out 43 year old author, Spencer Bryant. Bacon isn't sure Spencer will make any new fans with his team since there are a few homophobes on his team.

Spencer and Bacon do start off a little rough. Bacon just thinks the out and proud journalist is going to dig into everyone's business. It takes a mission for the two to form a bond and mutual understanding after sharing their pasts. The sexual chemistry was palpable.

Bacon and Spencer try to deny themselves, especially since Spencer would never start a personal relationship with a source. Once Spencer is off from being embedded with the SEAL team, the two start something that became bigger than they ever expected.

I like Spencer for Bacon a lot. He knew how to read his desires and was just about perfect as his match. The way how they dived into feelings...I'm mostly on board with it. The further I read along, the more favorable I became to the two being a couple.

The author added tidbits of daily life to help move the plot along. It was an easy read. There was a good amount of sex as well: big guy bottoming, rimming and dirty talk.

The two struggle with career choices as Spencer plans on writing book that focuses on the military. But as per usual with this author, the two figure it out with a satisfying HEA.

The last chapter was my favorite.

Sexy, sweet story with a some mission action and solid leads. It's not my favorite from the series but I'd recommend to readers who enjoy age gaps, sexual tension that goes somewhere and a couple that learns the importance of communication.

Blog Tour + Giveaway: Wanted - Bad Boyfriend

Welcome author T.A. Moore as she hosts the Wanted - Bad Boyfriend blog tour! Today's stop features not only an exclusive excerpt but a $20 Dreamspinner Press gift card giveaway!

Title: Wanted-Bad Boyfriend by TA Moore
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release: August 21, 2018
Cover Artist: Reece Notley

Blurb: Wanted - Bad Boyfriend
His mother. His best friend. The barmaid at the local pub. Everyone is determined to find Nathan Moffatt a boyfriend. It’s the last thing Nathan wants. After spending every day making sure his clients experience nothing but romantic magic, the Granshire Hotel’s wedding organizer just wants to go home, binge watch crime dramas, and eat pizza in his underwear.

Unfortunately, no one believes him, and he’s stuck with lectures about dying alone. Then inspiration strikes. He needs the people in his life to want him to stay single as much as he does.

He needs a bad boyfriend.

There’s only one man for the job.

Flynn Delaney is used to people on the island of Ceremony thinking the worst of him. But he isn’t sure he wants the dubious honor of worst boyfriend on the entire island. On the other hand, if he plays along, he gets to hang out with the gorgeous Nathan and piss off the owners of the Granshire Hotel. It’s a win-win.

There’s only one problem—Flynn’s actually quite a good boyfriend, and now Nathan’s wondering if getting off the sofa occasionally is really the worst thing in the world.


Post Content:

Thanks so much for having me! Wanted-Bad Boyfriend is a contemporary M/M romance set on Ceremony, a small, English island that’s made romance into a cottage industry. Of course, the other thing that small island communities excel at is gossip...and Ceremony is no different. Especially when they have such fertile fodder as Nate and Flynn, the main characters of Wanted-Bad Boyfriend.

The Hotel

It was nearly dusk by the time Terry Carroll reached the Granshire Hotel in his rattly old pick-up. He’d made this trip once a fortnight for the last five years, but he still held his breath as he coasted under the low arch of stonework. The worn, grey slabs just cleared the top of his cab -- just like it always did -- and he rolled into the small, cobbled courtyard.
He parked in front of the old servant’s entrance -- the flagstones worn shiny and dipped from years of use -- and honked the horn once. While he waited for the bar staff to come out he scribbled the date and time on the delivery invoice.
The crack of a hand on the side of the car made Terry jump and look up. He squinted through the grubby windshield into the wide, white grin of Nat, the young assistant bar tended. And Terry’s nephew.
“You won’t believe who was here the other night,” Nat chattered as Terry hopped out of the driver’s seat. “Flynn Delaney.”
“Someone’s car break down?” Terry held out the clipboard, and groaned when Nat scribbled his name without reading it. “Don’t sign anything until you’ve checked the delivery, Nat.”
Nat scratched the red piercing in his eyebrow and Terry tried to pretend he’d not noticed that.
“I trust you, Uncle Terry,” he said cheerfully. “No, looked like a date or something. The boss was in a foul mood all night.”
“Yeah,” Terry said. “He would be.”
He went around the back of the pick-up and unloaded a crate of freshly bottled and labelled beer. The glass rattled and clinked as he shoved it towards Nat, who took it but didn’t go anywhere.
“So what’s the story there?” Nat asked as he propped the crate on his hip. “You were mates with Delaney right, before he left the island.”
“I knew him. We weren’t friends,” Terry said. He grabbed the second crate and gave Nate’s foot a kick to make him move. “Your Grandad would have tanned my hide if he found out I was hanging out with Flynn Delaney.”
“Grandad?” Nat said sceptically.
Nat’d met the old man after he’d mellowed, found sobriety, and lost the angry God he used to believe in. It had been easier to like Terry’s Dad then.
“He was trouble. Flynn, not your grandad,” Terry said as they picked their way over the damp cobbles. “Always in hot water over something or the other. Never did the right thing when he could do the wrong ‘un.”
Nat gave a low, wicked chuckle. “Sounds like fun.” He turned to put his shoulders to the heavy door back into the bar. “So what is between him and Max?”
Maybe, these days, Terry had more sympathy for his Dad than he used to. He remembered when he’d thought Flynn was someone to follow, when the bruised knuckles and hangovers had looked cool. Part of him still did. Not the part that was a doting uncle, though.
“Rumour has it that him and Max had a thing back then,” he said. Guilt pricked him for giving weight to that old gossip, but… “Max was 15. Then Flynn pissed off on the ferry, never gave back.”

Author Bio:
TA Moore -
TA Moore is a Northern Irish writer of romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and contemporary romance novels. A childhood in a rural, seaside town fostered in her a suspicious nature, a love of mystery, and a streak of black humour a mile wide. As her grandmother always said, ‘she’d laugh at a bad thing that one’, mind you, that was the pot calling the kettle black. TA Moore studied History, Irish mythology, English at University, mostly because she has always loved a good story. She has worked as a journalist, a finance manager, and in the arts sectors before she finally gave in to a lifelong desire to write.

Coffee, Doc Marten boots, and good friends are the essential things in life. Spiders, mayo, and heels are to be avoided.

Twitter: @tammy_moore

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Review: The Perfect Whore (Storm and Lightning #1) by Josephine Myles

Being the object of everyone’s sexual fantasies ain’t all it’s cracked up to be…

On a mining colony planet a long way from Earth, bandit Jedd Lightning dreams of making enough money to get his ship spaceworthy again. During a robbery at a high-class brothel, he meets gorgeous alien rentboy Storm and is instantly smitten—but the heist goes south and Jedd has to high-tail it out of there with only half the loot.

Enslaved by a fierce Madam, Storm’s shapeshifting talents make him the most sought after whore on Talmak. He literally can’t stop himself becoming his client’s fantasy lover. Sick of enforced transformations, he wants to escape, but he’s closely guarded and has no experience of the unfamiliar city outside the brothel.

Storm is willing—and eager—to do anything to persuade Jedd to break him out of his gilded prison. Lucky for him the arrogant outlaw needs Storm’s help to free his crewmate, held as hostage by a vicious mob boss who wants Jedd to complete the theft he was hired for. Storm keeps blowing away Jedd’s expectations—but with both the law and the mob against them, they could end up with nowhere left to run.

Well, this was a super fun, slightly campy, space jam of action-y goodness! I had a great time getting lost in the adventure and the world the author built. It’s an interesting premise that has a lot of room for growth and I’m hoping the niggles I have about the depth of a few plot points in The Perfect Whore will be expanded upon in future books in the series.

I’ve been a huge fan of Josephine Myles since I read First Impressions many moons ago and I’ve gotten so much more out of every book of hers than I expected. There’s generally a lot more to unpack in her stories than just the romance between the two (or three) MC’s. There’s a lot of self discovery that happens that makes her characters so fully fleshed out and satisfying to read.

The Perfect Whore is very different from past books of hers that I’ve read and I enjoyed the departure very much. And here comes my but, but, I did feel like I was missing the depth that I’ve gotten used to with the author’s other characters and while that may not be fair to The Perfect Whore to compare that way, I couldn’t help myself now and again. That’s why I say I hope that the depth will come in future installments.

What I do know of Jedd and Storm I like very much. There is so much more I want to know about them both and at by the end I felt like I had just scratched the surface.

Jedd is more loyal and upstanding than he wants to let on and his bad boy smuggler/thief persona fits well with the genre. I felt like he was a character sketched out rather than fully fleshed out and that there is more to be had from him. I know I feel that way because of the comparing thing and I’m possibly being unfair to what this story is meant to be, but I can’t help but want more from him and if following stories give me that I will be thrilled!

 Storm is an amazing character. He’s a shape shifter that conforms to his client’s fantasies and the transformations are mostly out of his control. It makes him, literally, the perfect whore and an incredibly sympathetic being. He’s sexually empathic so he has just about as much fun as his clients do, but in the end it’s a lonely and sad life he leads at the brothel. It’s dangerous for him to be out in public and he’s way too valuable for the brothel to ever consider letting him go.

Jedd and Storm have an unexplainable connection. The shape shifting is there and the undeniable attraction is the same as with anyone else for Storm, but there is definitely something more. The shape Storm takes with Jedd is the closest to what he remembers his true self to be. He’s intrigued (as was I) as to what that might mean. Storm’s gotten a hint that some of his people may be out there, as in the “out there” of space, and I can’t wait to see where this goes and what it means for Jedd and Storm.

The story ends with an optimistic HFN, which is great, but there is soooooo much more to learn and this can continue on as a sexy and sassy fun space adventure or it can go a little further into the dynamics of Jedd and Storm. What is Jedd’s story, what’s he all about, how did he get here? I don’t even know where to start with Storm. Who is he, where are the rest of his people, can he ever be himself and exactly what does that mean? Regardless of which way the story progresses, I’m going to be reading it.

**a copy of this story was provided for an honest review**

Review: Under the Midnight Sun by Lore Graham

The eldest son of Thunderhill's warrior-kings, Otto Johanson lives for battle but has forsaken love since the death of his partner three years ago. Still when the Midsummer festivities bring nomadic reindeer herders back to town, Otto can't help but notice the handsome, if sullen, Lukas.

Tension rises between them during the annual tournament, but when a terrible attack devastates Thunderhill, Otto and Lukas must put aside their burgeoning rivalry to embark on a dangerous quest that may be the town's only hope of survival.

Truly a well thought out novella bridging history, fantasy, and magic!

If you like the show Vikings, then I don’t think there will be any problem gobbling this up. Who can say no to a Ragnar-like character who’s a heartbroken warrior prince that doesn’t want to write off love but is still grieving? Not me!

Otto is well respected and next in line to the throne of his clan, and for every Midsummer, their nomad allies join them in celebration and friendly competition to show off their prowess and various skills for bragging rights. When Otto spots newcomer Lukas, he doesn’t quite know what to think of the surly warrior, and these two clash immediately. However, the festivities are cut short when they’re attacked by the fierce magical fiend Ursa Magnus (yes, it’s basically a giant blood thirsty bear) and Otto knows he must hunt it down and kill it instead of waiting for the beast to return to wreck even greater havoc.

Thus the mission begins as Otto, along with clan sorcerers and volunteer warriors (including Lukas), set off in search of the terrible creature. Slowly, Otto and Lukas get to know each other better and a burgeoning respect starts to grow between them as they face difficult challenges and sad sacrifices. These men are hardened, they know loss and death and pain, yet bravely forge on to live only to fight another day. Survival of the fittest is the ultimate at play here so it would also behoove them to act on their feelings and grab what little happiness and warmth they can glean from a world hell bent on testing their mortality from every angle.

Why this garners such a high rating is because my interest never flagged, and I loved this story’s setting of harsh survival in a Nordic context. This was fast paced blending an impossible quest and how two men, who definitely got off on the wrong foot, slowly open their hearts up to each other - all the while bringing the action, hurt comfort, and the sexy with a very satisfying conclusion. Well done Lore Graham. This was a wonderful win!

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

Release Blitz + Giveaway: Boyfriend or Bust by Claire Castle

Help author Claire Castle and Signal Boost Promotions celebrate the release of Boyfriend or Bust! Learn more about the contemporary romance and enter in $10 Amazon gift card giveaway!

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 73,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Cate Ashwood Designs


When Carson Turner’s ex-boyfriend unexpectedly invites him to his destination wedding and presumes he’ll be there alone, Carson panics and invents a fake boyfriend to accompany him. That’s what happens when your greatest flaw seems to be to talk first and think later.

How can Sam Bixton say no to his little sister’s request for him to go to Greece with her best friend, who he’s only admired from afar? Who would turn down fun in the sun with the one guy that’s always been off-limits?

Carson and Sam have a lot to learn about each other, and very little time to do it. Will they succeed in convincing Carson’s ex that they’re devoted boyfriends, or is it all about to go bust…

Claire Castle grew up surrounded by books. She has loved reading for her whole life. Her true love is romance and HEAs. When she’s not reading or writing, she can be found wearing comfortable leggings, drinking mocha and petting her west highland terrier. She loves collecting awesome mugs and paperbacks of her favorite stories.


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Release Blitz + Giveaway: Sky Full Of Mysteries by Rick R. Reed

Sky Full of Mysteries is out from Dreamspinner Press! Celebrate with author Rick R. Reed and Signal Boost Promotions! Learn more about the contemporary romance and enter in the Dinner series eBooks giveaway!

Length: 76,456 words

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Design: Reese Dante


What if your first love was abducted and presumed dead—but returned twenty years later?

That’s the dilemma Cole Weston faces. Now happily married to Tommy D’Amico, he’s suddenly thrown into a surreal world when his first love, Rory Schneidmiller, unexpectedly reappears.

Where has Rory been all this time? What happened to him two decades ago, when a strange mass appeared in the night sky and lifted him into the heavens? Rory has no memory of those years. For him, it’s as though only a day or two has passed.

Rory still loves Cole with the passion unique to young first love. Cole has never forgotten Rory, yet Tommy has been his rock, by his side since Rory disappeared.

Cole is forced to choose between an idealized and passionate first love and the comfort of a long-term marriage. How can he decide? Who faces this kind of quandary, anyway? The answers might lie among the stars….


Cole patted his back pocket, making sure his wallet was still there. He hoisted himself up from his seat and left the train’s air-conditioning for the humid night. There were several trains in the station, all huffing and puffing as they idled, reminding Cole of dragons. Even this late, there were still people hurrying to and fro on the platform.

Cole headed for the stairs and hurried down. Home was only a ten- minute walk from the station, and Cole was now actually grateful for the nap. If that boy’s not up when I get home, he thought with a grin, I’ll just have to poke him awake.

Cole was certain Rory wouldn’t mind.

When he reached the courtyard of their building, the exhaustion Cole had felt on leaving work entirely vanished. He was ready to howl at the moon. He wished only he’d thought to stop off at a convenience store or something so he could have brought Rory a little surprise, maybe a box of Swedish Fish or a roll of SweeTarts. He’d have to find other ways, he supposed, to thrill his sugar-loving man. He’d give him some sugar, all right.

Cole unlocked the front vestibule door and headed into the cool tile lobby of their building. He loved the 1920s vibe of the lobby and the building in general, glad no one in all the ensuing decades since it had been built had decided the gem of a vintage building needed updating. He loved the mica-colored wall sconces and the Mediterranean floor tile. He even loved the battered brass mailboxes along one wall.

He stopped to check the mail, found the box empty, and headed for the elevator.

Out front, Cole hoped Rory had left the door unlocked for him. No such luck. He fished his keys from his pocket and quelled his first impulse, which was to shout, “Honey, I’m home!” at the top of his lungs. If the poor guy was asleep, Cole reasoned, let him sleep. There were subtler and much more pleasurable ways to wake him.

As he made his way through the living room and toward the bedroom, he dropped clothing as he went. He also shut off the lights Rory had thoughtfully left on for him. By the time he reached the closed bedroom door, he was smiling and sporting an erection.

He opened the door slowly. It took his eyes a moment to adjust. They had, in fact, thumb-tacked a sheet over the sole window, so the room stayed pretty dark.

Cole groped his way to the bed, suppressing a giggle.

But when he got there, the giggle died on his lips. He felt around the surface, up, down, left, right, as though his own hands deceived him. He frowned and then turned to the light switch on the wall and flicked it. The room filled with warm yellow light. No Rory. Cole hadn’t expected that, and he cocked his head. Absurdly, he looked around the room, thinking maybe he’d find Rory sitting on the chair they used to pile their clothes on before hopping into bed for the night. Maybe he’d rolled out and was fast asleep on the braided rug they’d positioned beneath it.

But the room was empty. Unusually neat—the bed made and no clothes lying on the chair in the corner. Cole crossed the room and opened the door to the single closet. Maybe Rory was hiding from him? One of the things they both loved about the apartment was the size of the bedroom closet. It was walk-in, with rods on either side, shelving above, and even a window that looked outside. Rory could be weird. Maybe he lay within, naked and waiting, ready to pull out all the stops on yet another fantasy.

But the empty closet mocked him. Where was he?

Cole retreated from the bedroom. “Rory? Babe?” Cole made a quick tour of the small apartment, knowing as he did it that the search would be wasted effort. And it was. Rory wasn’t in the living room, the dining room, kitchen, or bathroom.

Cole returned to the bedroom and ran his hands along the top of the dresser. Rory usually left his wallet and keys on top of it. But just like the rest of his search, this maneuver was only an empty gesture. Rory’s keys and wallet were gone, indicating he was still out there somewhere.

That was odd. Cole glanced at the alarm clock on the nightstand and saw it was approaching twelve thirty. Cole knew Rory had to be up early for work in the morning—he had flex hours at his job and liked to work the earlier spectrum—usually seven thirty to four. And Rory loved his sleep! Sometimes he dragged Cole to bed as early as nine o’clock. Cole never complained.

So what was he doing out so late on a school night?

Cole plopped down on the bed, head in his hands. Don’t panic. Don’t even worry. It’s most likely nothing at all. Maybe he got over his aversion to gay bars and is down on Halsted Street, living it up, downing shots backed up by beers. The thought made him chuckle, as that scenario was about as likely as Cole being on a jet bound for Paris, France. Still, in spite of its improbability, the notion did cause a stab of jealousy to jab at Cole—right in his solar plexus. Sure, Rory might be one of the few gay men their age Cole knew who actually didn’t like to go out to bars, but he still could have. It was possible, as he might say if queried on a witness stand in some court of law. Cole felt sick to his stomach as he allowed himself to think what was lurking at the back of his mind, like some black shadow. It was also possible that Rory had gone out and hooked up with someone and lost track of time.

Cole licked his lips, mouth suddenly dry. He had a lot of gay male friends and acquaintances and knew fidelity was a fairly rare thing, even among the ones who claimed to be in committed, monogamous relationships. Why, some of those fellas had even come on to Cole when the boyfriend was out of town or just out of the picture.

Maybe their relationship wasn’t as solid as Cole thought? Rory could have been tempted. It was possible. He was a cute guy who didn’t know it, which made him even cuter. He could see him being hit on— and maybe if he was lonely or bored, he might have given in? Are any of us truly immune to temptation?

No. Not Rory. Cole knew in his heart of hearts that Rory would never cheat. He just didn’t have it in him, literally or figuratively.

So where are you? Cole stood and began pacing. He pulled aside the sheet tacked up over the window to look outside, hoping against hope he’d see Rory down there on the beach. He did see someone, a guy, sitting on the sand at the edge of the beach, his feet pushed into the waves. But even from up there, Cole could tell the guy had at least fifty pounds on Rory, if not more. And he was smoking....

A woman walked by. A big dog, maybe a pit bull, dashed ahead of her, splashing at the edge of the surf. Cole could see the leash in her hand. She called the dog back, and it sounded to Cole like its name was Pashmina.

There was no one else on the beach this late.

Real Men. True Love.

Rick R. Reed draws inspiration from the lives of gay men to craft stories that quicken the heartbeat, engage emotions, and keep the pages turning. Although he dabbles in horror, dark suspense, and comedy, his attention always returns to the power of love. He’s the award-winning and bestselling author of more than fifty works of published fiction and is forever at work on yet another book. Lambda Literary has called him: “A writer that doesn’t disappoint…” You can find him at www.rickrreed.com or www.rickrreedreality.blogspot.com. Rick lives in Palm Springs, CA with his beloved husband.

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/rickrreedbooks
Twitter: www.twitter.com/rickrreed
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+RickReedWRITER
Blog: http://rickrreedreality.blogspot.com/
Website: www.rickrreed.com
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/rick-r-reed
Email: rickrreedbooks@gmail.com

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Release Blitz + Giveaway: In Vino Veritas by Sydney Blackburn

Help author Sydney Blackburn and IndiGo Marketing celebrate the release of In Vino Veritas! Learn about the contemporary romance today and enter in the $10 NineStar Press credit giveaway!

Title: In Vino Veritas
Author: Sydney Blackburn
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: August 13, 2018
Heat Level: 2 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 33200
Genre: Contemporary, contemporary, family drama, gay

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Anthony Beretta inherited the family winery at the tender age of twenty-four. It’s a struggle to keep it up, but he loves it and is determined to make it work even if it kills him. That is, if a motorcyclist doesn’t kill him first. He initially judges the man, attractive as he may be, on the basis of his appearance and apparently limited vocabulary. He soon discovers he’s wrong, but by then Oscar Kennett has already judged Anthony on his appearance.

Oscar thinks Tony Beretta is uptight and snobbish, and Tony’s speech for the charity they’re working on together reinforces that, even when he finds out Tony did it just to push his buttons. His adorable curls and sexy glasses might not be enough to change his mind, but maybe there’s more to Tony than meets the eye.


In Vino Veritas
Sydney Blackburn © 2018
All Rights Reserved

One: Beretta Estate Winery
Anthony Beretta hovered in his office, listening to his cousin Katie extol the virtues of their Concord wine.

“It’s a heritage grape,” she was saying, “the kind they make grape juice from.”

Because wine that tasted like commercial grape juice was so popular. Still, there were customers to extol its dubious virtues to, and that was something. Didn’t mean he wanted to meet them, not over the Concord.

“It makes a great spritzer and is the perfect base for a sangria,” she continued. “Not too sweet, but with a full fruity flavour.”

He had to hand it to her. She knew how to sell it. Then again, Katie loved the winery almost as much as he did.

He moved away from his office door and sat behind his desk, looking once more at the open agenda. The winery hosted events, mostly weddings, and provincial regulations had recently changed. He had an appointment with his insurance broker in Bayham in little more than an hour. Which was why he was wearing his suit, instead of the jeans, T-shirt, and heavy cotton button-down he normally wore when he worked at the tasting room. He tugged at the lavender tie that felt like it was strangling him.

After checking the time on his phone once more, Anthony cleared his desk and locked the files away. No one else needed to know how shaky the winery’s finances were. He got to his feet and patted his jacket pocket for his car keys.

There was a mirror beside the door, so one could double-check one’s appearance before going to talk to customers. Anthony gave himself a critical look, pushing his glasses up his nose automatically. The mirror showed him what he was—a rail-thin man just shy of six feet tall, with hair that would never look anything other than dishevelled and dark-framed glasses. At least the glasses went some way towards disguising the shadows under his eyes. He looked like an upended mop, albeit a well-dressed mop.

He scowled. He’d much rather be in his jeans and work boots, out with his stubborn Foch vines. Three years ago, he’d put those bastards in, after his father had the gall to die of a heart attack.

His mouth tightened. He couldn’t think of his father without a sour mix of anger, grief, and guilt.

A discordant jangling let him know the customers had left, and he pushed his door open wider just as Katie rounded the corner. “Ant,” she said, “so glad I caught you. Could you pick up some of that jalapeño sauce from the Mexican store? It really shows off the Viognier. It’s a hard sell on its own.”

He refrained from scowling. Ant was a childhood nickname he’d long outgrown. His name was Anthony. She was right about the Viognier, though.

“Jalapeño sauce. Yes.”

“I don’t suppose you’ve thought about giving me Friday off,” she said, her tone rising at the end of the sentence, but not quite enough to make it a question.

He stifled a sigh. “And you’re not asking Leigh to switch with you because…?”

“Because it’s her wedding shower. Jesus, Ant, pull your head out of your ass once in a while.”

He ground his teeth as he bit back a sharp reply. “Fine. You have Friday off.” It wasn’t like he had anything better to do on a Friday. The tasting room closed at seven. He could catch up on the paperwork while he ate, and on Saturday, he could spend the day in the vineyard, trying to discover why the Foch vines were underproducing.

“You’re a prince,” Katie replied, but her snark had hardly any bite.

Happy employees were long-term employees, his father had always said. Katie really did care about the winery. She just had a social life. He shouldn’t be so hard on her.

And what about my happiness?

As the owner of the winery, there was no one around to see to his happiness. He didn’t even know what would make him happy anymore.

“Sorry, Katie.” He forced a smile. “Do you mind picking out a gift the estate can give her?”

“Yeah, give me a hundred dollars. It can be from the winery, you, Aunt Rosie, and me.”

“Take it from petty cash.”

“There’s no petty cash left, remember?”

He turned to hide his wince. “I’ll take some money from the account while I’m out.”

She hesitated. “The Wine and Song event will go on this year, right?”

“That’s why I’m going to town.”

“I know. It’s just… Is there anything I can do?”

His answering smile was forced. “Be careful what you volunteer for, cuz. Keep your fingers crossed the insurance hasn’t gone up too much.”


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Meet the Author

Sydney Blackburn is a binary star system. Always a voracious reader, she began to write when she couldn’t find the stories she wanted to read. She likes candlelit dinners and long walks on the beach… Oh wait, wrong profile. She’s a snarky introvert and admits to having a past full of casual sex and dubious hookups, which she uses for her stories.

She likes word play and puns and science-y things. And green curry.

Her dislikes include talking on the phone, people trying to talk to her before she’s had coffee, and filling out the “about me” fields in social media.

Besides writing, she also designs book covers for poor people.

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Guest Review: The Gentle Dom (Iron Eagle Gym #7) by Sean Michael

When one of their own is threatened, the men of the Iron Eagle Gym will stand together and prove they are stronger as a family.

Stuntman Barclay Drambor suspects his fall from a roof was no accident. He believes his abusive ex was responsible, but he can’t prove it. Fortunately, a year has gone by with no word from Duncan, letting Barclay move on with his life—and that means dealing with the aftermath of his injuries. He finds personal trainer Reece “Rec” Gordon through a member of the gym, and it’s not long before their workouts together become much more intimate. Rec is gentle and goes out of his way to make Barclay comfortable, and in no time there’s talk of moving in together….

But just as Barclay is healing and finding a place to belong, Duncan returns to destroy his happiness. Though Duncan will learn he’s messing with the wrong group of men, in the end, Barclay must face him. Will Rec’s love and the friendship of the others at the gym give him the confidence to stand up for himself?

Reviewer: Shee Reader

Reece is a personal trainer and Dominant who works and plays at the Iron Eagle Gym. His latest client is a lovely quiet man trying to recover from a stunt gone wrong. What Rec doesn’t know is that Barclay feels his tragic fall was no accident, and fears for his life.

Rec is single and looking for a boy of his own. Barclay has little knowledge of the lifestyle, and really little awareness of his own needs. The pair connect from the start as we have come to expect from Sean Michael, and their developing relationship is fast and rather kinky in an understated way. Rec knows what Barclay needs but doesn’t want to come on too strong. He is, as the title suggests a gentle Dom. Not for him the really hardcore stuff, but his affection for Barclay, and the desire to take good care of B in every way is totally adorable.

The looming spectre of the crazy stalker ex is mainly off page, so the angst is there but relatively low calibre. This book has all the Hallmarks we expect and adore from Sean Michael, a touch of insta-love, definite insta-lust, a tooth-achingly sweet HEA and some nice little asides to reference the characters from previous books.

I loved it!