Audio Blog Tour: The Rainbow Clause by Beth Bolden

Author Beth Bolden and Vibrant Promotions visit today to promote the Wyatt Baker narrated audio romance, The Rainbow Clause! Check out today's stop!

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The Rainbow Clause
Beth Bolden
M/M Romance
Audio Release: 09.07.18
The Rainbow Clause Audio Cover
Narrator: Wyatt Baker
Listening Length: 7 hours and 45 minutes
Don't like the athletes. Don't sleep with the athletes. Don't fall for the athletes. It had never been particularly difficult to follow the rules, but Nick had a feeling he was about to be tested.
Heisman winner. Member of the national championship team. NFL rookie of the year. Quarterback Colin O'Connor knows he's become the ultimate romance novel cliché: all the success he's ever dreamed of but nobody with whom to share it. Too bad it's not as simple as asking out the next girl who intrigues him - because the next girl to intrigue him probably won't be a girl at all.
Unexpectedly, the solution comes in one neat package: Nick Wheeler, lead journalist for a leading sports and pop culture blog. Hired by Colin's team, Nick comes to Miami to shine a spotlight on the NFL's most private quarterback.
The heat in Miami rises when Nick discovers Colin is nothing like the hollow personality he pretends to be in interviews and he's even hotter in person than on his Sports Illustrated cover. Nick knows this is the story of his career, and it also hits close to home. What he needs is to help Colin share his story while keeping their growing relationship from boiling over in the press, but what he wants is to tell the world.
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“Wow,” Colin breathed out, the sheet shifting down his torso as he propped himself up with an elbow. “What a view.”

Even though the ocean and sky and sand were hazy with the golden light of the rising sun, Nick still had trouble taking his eyes off the man next to him.

“Yeah,” Nick said, still staring at Colin. “Fucking fabulous view.”

Colin glanced over and flushed. He rolled over and slid out of bed, bare feet padding on the tile floor as he headed towards the bathroom. “When you look at me that way,” he said, his voice carrying back into the bedroom, “it’s easy to believe I really look as good as you say.”

“You should believe it,” Nick said as Colin returned to bed. Nick knew he needed to use the bathroom, too, at least to brush away his surely horrible morning breath so he could kiss this beautiful man next to him.

Just one problem. Nick glanced at the tile floor with dismay. “Is that as cold as it looks?”

Colin shot him a playful smile and gave him a little shove to the edge of the bed. “Your turn to find out,” he said, and Nick gave a half-hearted smile, expecting to freeze his balls off as he tiptoed to the bathroom. Instead, he found the floor to be shockingly warm against his bare feet.

“Teddy, that rich bastard,” Nick exclaimed as he walked to the bathroom. “Heated floors.”

Nick brushed his teeth and took a piss, returning to bed with warm feet and cold hands, which he proceeded to place right on Colin’s ribcage. But Colin didn’t flinch, only tugged Nick closer, until their limbs were tangled together. Nick shifted up a fraction and hesitated, their eyes locked together and their lips only an inch apart.

“You keep talking about me,” Colin murmured dreamily, his hand smoothing down a wayward tuft of Nick’s hair. “But you’re gorgeous. I stare at you all the damn time.”

It was hard not to notice and impossible not to feel smug that Colin O’Connor spent at least half his waking hours staring at his ass.

A large hand slid around his hip and cupped that ass – but not with the sort of tacky possession that sometimes gave Nick a bad taste in his mouth, but with reverence and a playful affection that made his heart ache.

“I know you notice,” Colin continued, the edge of his lips quirking into a smile. “You’re too nice to call me out on it.”

“What, and make you stop?” Nick asked.

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Beth Bolden lives in Portland, Oregon with her supportive husband. She wholly believes in Keeping Portland Weird, but wishes she didn’t have to make the yearly pilgrimage up to Seattle to watch her Boston Red Sox play baseball. She’s a fan of fandoms, and spends too much of her free time on tumblr.
Beth has been writing practically since she learned the alphabet. Unfortunately, her first foray into novel writing, titled Big Bear with Sparkly Earrings, wasn’t a bestseller, but hope springs eternal. She’s published eight novels and two novellas, with Catch Me, the next novel in the Kitchen Gods series, releasing in May 2018.

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Group Review: Band Sinister by K.J. Charles

Sir Philip Rookwood is the disgrace of the county. He’s a rake and an atheist, and the rumours about his hellfire club, the Murder, can only be spoken in whispers. (Orgies. It’s orgies.)

Guy Frisby and his sister Amanda live in rural seclusion after a family scandal. But when Amanda breaks her leg in a riding accident, she’s forced to recuperate at Rookwood Hall, where Sir Philip is hosting the Murder.

Guy rushes to protect her, but the Murder aren’t what he expects. They’re educated, fascinating people, and the notorious Sir Philip turns out to be charming, kind—and dangerously attractive.

In this private space where anything goes, the longings Guy has stifled all his life are impossible to resist...and so is Philip. But all too soon the rural rumour mill threatens both Guy and Amanda. The innocent country gentleman has lost his heart to the bastard baronet—but does he dare lose his reputation too?

4.333 average!

Chelsea - 5 Hearts

Magical. Charles can do no wrong, seriously! Sweet, sexy, and beautifully romantic, this book had me doing nothing for a whole day until I'd completely devoured it.

I've never read a book by Georgette Heyer, but from what I hear people will be very excited to hear Band Sinister was inspired by Heyer’s writing. I obviously can't compare but all I know is every single character in this book was wonderfully crafted and that was KJ Charles and her alone (with the help of editors of course :-P). Once again the Charles writes amazing female characters and Amanda is one of my most favourite female characters ever! I would loooove to see a short story revolving around her love story.

Guy has not admitted his attraction to other men, therefore when Phillip starts revealing truths and demanding honesty, Guy finds his virginity in a somewhat shaky state.

“But, well. Would I like sodomy?”
“That is without a doubt the best question that has ever been asked . English was invented purely so that you could ask that.”

Let's just say I love a good deflowering and the build-up between Philip and Guy was superb. Slowly getting to know Phillip and his Murder was engaging and so much damn fun as well!!

The tension, ridiculously sexy climax and heart melting happily ever after has this book being an all time favourite and will definitely be reread many times in the future.

Adam - 4 Hearts

KJ Charles knocks it out of the park with another fun, sexy, and sweet MM historical romance.

Though they’re neighbours, Frisby siblings and Sir Philip Rookwood don’t mingle. A family scandal, and Sir Philip’s reputation, make any friendship impossible.

That is until Amanda Frisby ends up at recuperating at Rookwood Hall with a broken leg. Her brother, Guy, doesn’t leave Amanda’s side, intent on keeping her safe from Philip and his notorious friends.

But despite their mutual reservations, Guy and Philip can’t help but find each other captivating. In the midst of fields and trees, the country gentleman and the rake fall for each other.


Both have family histories that have made their interactions with society difficult. Philip’s response is a middle-finger to high society and all its expectations.

Guy, on the other hand, struggles between being the upstanding gentleman he’s expected to be, and the freer man he really wants to be. The kind of men Philip and his friends are.

The friends, by the way, were highly entertaining and added to the story.

Slowly, Philip brings Guy out of his uptight shell. What starts off as an uneasy truce becomes a tentative friendship, and then spills into something more.

I loved the progression of their relationship, and how both insisted on mutual respect and agreement before taking things further.

And they definitely set the sheets on fire once they got down to it!


The two actually communicate, which earned them bonus points from me.

And it was sweet to see how Guy and Philip filled the holes in each others’ lives. Both had people who meant to the world to them, Philip’s two childhood friends John and Corvin and Guy’s sister, but for each other they became the one that was just his own.

Overall, I really enjoyed ‘Band Sinister’. The MCs were well-rounded, the romance was sweet, the cast of characters was entertaining, and the HEA was beautiful. I’d love to read Corvin and John’s stories too!

Lost in a Book - 4ish Stars

Whoa! Anyone else have to reread the title page on this one just to make sure it was a KJC book? No murder? No angsty relational and/or time period peril? This is insanely lighthearted compared to her previous writes. It’s practically fit for teenage consumption if you throw a chastity belt on it. (Is that still a thing?) I couldn’t help comparing the feel of Band Sinister to her others and I think the Grinch KJ Charles’ heart has increased in size.

help me.gif

Ok, so I’m a huge fan of KJC whether we are chasing antacids with alcohol just to get through the angst/death or this spoon full of sugar featuring Sir Phillip Rookwood and Guy Frisby. The blurb does a great job setting the stage for this story so let's get this party started.

Rookwood and Frisby dislike each other greatly. It’s more of a my family has had awful interactions with yours and your family has ruined my family type dislike and not really between the two men. Unfortunately during that time period, past family shame is enough to cloud the rest of the generations. Much to Rookwood’s dismay, Frisby’s sister (Amanda) is injured on his property and will be recovering there for at least a fortnight. Guy is devastated about his sister’s injury and beside himself with the idea of staying in the same location as the Murder. Well, he is until the men of the house begin to seem actually human; kind, compassionate, sociable, and spirited.

Frisby becomes aware of Sir Phillip’s preferences and that sets off a sexual awakening long suppressed. Phillip is like a blood hound and is on the trail as soon as Frisby begins to question what he desires. The men get to know each other as Amanda heals and Phillip volunteers to teach Guy in all things pleasure.


There's some heat along the way with the MCs and the added spice of the other men in the house having the propensity to share. Throw in some family drama, town drama, a very lively Amanda, KJC’s trademark humor laced with snark, a HEA, and Band Sinister is an entertaining, low angst read. I have to mention that Amanda is a kick ass female character and I highly enjoyed when she was on page.

It took a bit of a time getting in the groove. Due to the slow start, I liked the second half more than the first. It was another enjoyable read by one of my favorite authors. I think I prefer the Tums and alcohol compared to the low angst sweetness but I can’t wait to read Corvin’s story and see him brought to his knees. I’ll definitely continue on if this is a series. Recommended.

Review: Strays by A.J. Thomas

Orphaned at a young age and raised in the foster system, Jory Smith has no idea he’s half incubus. He only knows he has the power to heal people, making himself sick in the process. Exploited by a crooked faith healer who sells his abilities and his life to the highest bidder and then left for dead, Jory flees, falling into a job at a small-town café where he can put his lifelong obsession with baking to good use.

But the minister who exploited him wants him back.

Exiled hellhound-turned–bounty hunter Malpheus Pelle has no idea why his human client wants him to track down an incubus. Jory is traumatized and afraid to touch anyone, an emotional handicap that could prove fatal for a demon who requires physical contact. Needing answers, Mal concocts a disastrous plan: pretend to date Jory to uncover the truth. Unfortunately, his plan never included dealing with an ancient demon assassin, Jory’s orgasmic pumpkin cookies, or losing his heart to the incubus he’s supposed to be hunting….

I debated with myself a bit between three and four stars for Strays. I give the characters themselves four stars at a minimum, but I struggled with the world building. I loved the idea of it all, but had trouble with the flow of information.

I want to start with everything I loved first and there was a lot to be enamored with. Both Jory and Mal had pretty rough lives and neither were proud of everything in their pasts, but they weren’t bad dudes and they made for the kind of flawed characters you root for, faults and all.

Jory never had a real home growing up so never became too attached to much of anything or anyone. He ended up with a bible-thumping, con-artist of a minister and his natural abilities to heal were a boon to Adam, the false faither healer. When one of the scams nearly breaks him, Joey makes a run for it and finally is able to start a life of his own. I loved the bakery where he finally was able to make a home, even if he knew it was probably only going to be temporary. It gave his life a bittersweet edge, knowing how happy he was but also knowing he was always going to be living his life on the run.

Mal and his “pug” Louise were the best. Mal is an exiled Hellhound turned bounty hunter and while he is originally hired to track down Jory and return him to Adam (allegedly), once he actually met Jory and felt their connection we ALL knew that wasn’t going to be a thing. Louise is a Hellhound as well but sees herself as more of a pug and since Hellhounds can apparently shapeshift, that is her chosen form. The connection Mal and Louise had was a sweet little bonus of a side story that gave a lot of insight into Mal’s character.

Focusing on the relationship between the two is easy. Setting the supernatural aside, the connection between Mal and Jory is really very sweet and obvious to the reader. I liked that while they may have had their moments, at points in which shit got real, ghoul and demon-wise I mean, I never doubted that they would have each others backs and I think they both knew that as well. It kept me invested in them regardless of all the shenanigans going on around them.

And there were a lot of shenanigans. I loved the idea of the fantasy intermingling with mythology in a contemporary setting. By the end, when the whole story came together it made sense and I really liked many of the elements. My problem was that it felt like I had stepped into the middle and missed the beginning that was a foundation for the world building. The backstory to the paranormal aspect was doled out in little pieces to Jory (and the reader) throughout, but the bulk of the the book and the explanation of it all didn’t come until the end.

There were levels of backstory and I think it might have been just one level too much to explain in a book of this length. It was hard to appreciate all of them with any real depth so they felt tied together organically. There was the backstory of the inhabitants of the human world and then what I referred to in my head as the way-back backstory of the characters still living in Hel that we knew through storytelling, but not directly. There’s politics and scandal and treachery and all manner of Hel type intrigue to be had. The way the story was told, they were all dependent on one another, so they were necessary, but I could have done without the way-back backstory to give more focus to what was affecting the MC’s and secondary characters directly. That would have given me way better perspective on their motivations much sooner and I would have felt more focused with the paranormal elements of the story. The “too much” of it all felt like a scatter shot of plot points versus a tight world building narrative.

I have to give major kudos for the book cover! The MC’s description was represented beautifully and that doesn’t always happen. I love when the cover actually feels like a depiction of who, or what is “inside”. A book dedicated to the way-back backstory would be amazing and a follow up with Keygan and Neal would definitely be interesting. I think if I had a prequel set in Hel I could reread Strays with much more understanding and appreciation.

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

Series Release Blitz + Giveaway: An Erie Collection by V.L. Locey

Celebrate the release of An Erie Collection with author V.L. Locey and Signal Boost Promotions! Learn more about the paranormal romance and enter in the back list Ebook giveaway!

Buy Links:

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:


Kobo –


Cover Design: Meredith Russell


You can now have all four of the MM Lake Erie pack novellas in this one reasonably priced collection! Included in the set are the previously released novellas An Erie Halloween, An Erie Operetta, and An Erie Garden Party. To round off this whimsical and romantic shifter set is a brand-new novella, An Erie Uprising!

It’s been one wonderfully romantic year since skunk shifter Templeton Reed met Mikel Lupei, the alpha wolf of the Lake Erie pack. During that year, the two men fell in love and worked side-by-side to solve some tricky murder mysteries. They also opened up Lupei Manor, Mikel’s familial home, to other LGBTQ mystical beings in the Erie area. Sadly, being gay in the supernatural world Templeton and Mikel live in can be a death sentence.

During the past year, the magical world has slowly been coming unraveled. Civil unrest now runs rampant through the community as the lesser breeds revolt against the hateful dictates of the Elder Counsel. The uprising will surely touch every person residing in the magical world beside Lady Erie. Will the flames of unrest and war consume everything and everyone Templeton and Mikel hold dear as well?

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, Dr. Who, Torchwood, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, two Jersey steers and a flock of assorted domestic fowl.

When not writing lusty tales, she can be found enjoying her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand.

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Audiobook Review: My Fair Captain (Sci-Regency #1) by J.L. Langley

Second Edition

When Intergalactic Navy Captain Nathaniel Hawkins goes undercover to investigate the theft of an IN weapons stash, the mission raises painful memories from his past. Using a title he fled nearly two decades earlier, Nate once again becomes the earl of Deverell, heir to the duke of Hawthorne, in order to navigate the ins and outs of a Regency world. But planet Regelence - where young lords are supposed to remain pure until marriage - has a few surprises for Nate, not the least of which is his attraction to Prince Aiden.

A talented artist, Prince Aiden Townsend isn't interested in politics and the machinations of society gentlemen, and he adamantly rejects the idea of marriage and a consort. Aiden wants the freedom to pursue his art and determine his own future. But the arrival of the dashing and mysterious Deverell awakens feelings of passion and longing the young prince can't deny.

As Nate uncovers a conspiracy reaching far beyond the stolen weapons, his future is irrevocably altered by the temptations of a life he never thought he could have. Drawn into the web of intrigue, Aiden is in danger of losing his life...and his heart.

First Edition published by Samhain Publishing Ltd., June 2007

Narrator: Joseph Morton
Listening Length: 8 hours and 21 minutes

Well if that wasn’t a tasty morsel, I don’t know what is!

I’m not sure if I would’ve necessarily immediately picked this up to read, but given the opportunity to listen to the audio of the newly released revised edition, this was quite the best way to get my feet wet because I ended up really really liking this futuristic sci-fi novel with quasi-historic undertones. Confused yet? Don't be. This world is in a galaxy far far away and branches of societies have deemed over many generations as to how they want their culture to be. Here in this realm, it’s Regency values.

As per the blurb, military man Nathaniel Hawkins, is tasked to go undercover to find a missing stash of weapons. Nate’s forced to resume his former identity of heir to a dukedom so he can re-enter society on the planet Regelence. There, Nate is the honored guest of king Steven, his consort Raleigh, and their 5 sons. One son in particular distractingly catches Nate’s eye, and he can hardly contain himself as he quickly falls for the young spirited Aiden, in and amongst trying to solve a crime.

For audio enthusiasts, be forwarded that if you want a production, you're not going to get it here. Joseph Morton does a straightforward narration with no character distinction, and though I felt his overall performance was decent, I had to pay really really close attention where multiple rewinds slowed me down, so much so I bought the book to supplement my listen. I think these days as audios are gaining more and more popular momentum, one with varied voices is what’s mostly desired and expected, and unfortunately this did not have that. As always, my motto is to sample hard before buying to minimize those pesky surprises and disappointments.

So obviously, this was a win for me. I love sci-fi, I love space operas, I love military and espionage. This too, had all the historical elements of propriety and subverting the rules that I like but none of the anxiety of being in the closet because on Regelence, society is paternalistic and genetically manipulated for all the MM goodness. I just went with this interesting fantastical setup and enjoyed myself immensely. Throw in some fun funny mostly involving Nate’s adopted son Trouble, plus the prospect of the other princes’ potential love connections, and it also doesn’t hurt one bit at all that this had an abundance of hot sexual tension as well as some very very nice smexy! Uh huh.

Granted, this didn't conclude with a definitive wrap up to the main mystery so that may irk some readers. However, because of the above reasons, no doubt I’ll be delving into book 2 soon!!

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

Author Visit + Giveaway: Gateway To Love by Sarah Hadley Brook

Author Sarah Hadley Brook, along with Signal Boost Promotions, visits Boy Meets Boy today to chat about her new Dreamspinner Press Release, Gateway to Love from the States of Love collection! The author chats today about romance tropes and hosts a $10 Amazon gift card giveaway too!

Romance Tropes

Hi! My name is Sarah Hadley Brook and I’m happy to be here to talk about my new release, Gateway to Love, part of the Dreamspinner Press’s States of Love series.

Gateway to Love is a contemporary, friends-to-lovers romance. I tend to love friends-to-lovers, but I’m a fan of all romance subgenres: historical, May/December, enemies-to-lovers, first love, new adult, western—if it involves falling in love, I’m in.

To me, romance stories are not just about romance. They’re about the journey to love, the unexpected stops along the way that change the characters course, leading them to love. They’re also about escaping the negativity that often swirls around our lives, giving us an opportunity to block everything out and root for true love—because who doesn’t want to find true love?

Over the years, I’ve found that the definition of love widely varies. Love and romance are very personal to everyone and I am excited that so many authors’ visions span the genre. There really is something out there for everyone. But, as Toni Morrison said, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”

I was interested to find out what subgenre readers liked the most, so I ran a survey in my newsletter. The winner—by a long shot—was enemies-to-lovers. This may not surprise you, but I admit it did me. Second place was May/December.

I’ve never written either of those, but you never know. I might try my hand at one of them some day.

I have tried writing a few historical stories, but the only one I ever submitted for publishing is a short story that takes place in the 1950s. The Great Pretender came out in 2016 and was my first published story. It’s possible I’ll work on the other unfinished stories I have saved, but right now I find contemporary is more my style.

I hope you check out Gateway to Love and learn about the state of Missouri while you’re at it! I’ve listed all the ways you can follow or contact me below. And if you sign up for my newsletter on my website, you receive a free ebook!

You can follow me on social media:

Twitter: @SarahHBrook
Instagram: Sarah_Hadley_Brook_Author

Length: 32,793 words

Cover Design: Brooke Albrecht

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press


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?

October 19 - Two Chicks Obsessed, Xtreme Delusions, October 20 - Bayou Book Junkie, October 22 - SSLY, Bookaholic & Kindle, October 23 - Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, October 24 - Cupcakes & Bookshelves, Love Unchained Book Review, Amy's MM Romance Reviews, MM Midnight Cafe, Mikku-chan, October 25 - Boy Meets Boy Reviews, October 26 - Making It Happen, October 27 - Mirrigold, October 29 - Drops Of Ink, Bayou Book Junkie, Wicked Faerie's Tales & Reviews, Nerdy Dirty & Flirty, Book Review By Virginia Lee, October 30 - MM Good Book Reviews

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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Review: Three Months to Forever (World of Love) by Hudson Lin

Ben is looking for an adventure when he accepts a temporary assignment in Hong Kong, but he never anticipates how his life might change when he meets a sophisticated, intriguing man named Sai. Their initial attraction is sizzling and soon grows into more as Sai takes Ben on a tour of the city’s famous landmarks and introduces him to the local cuisine. Sai stimulates Ben’s intellect and curiosity, and for jaded corporate lawyer Sai, Ben’s innocent eagerness is a breath of fresh air. It would be so easy to fall in love….

But nothing is that simple. Sai’s job forces him to do things that violate his morals, and the difficult dynamics with his family is a major obstacle to any lasting relationship with Ben. Back in Toronto, Ben’s father is ill, and can he really leave behind his home for a man he’s only known a short time? With the clock ticking, they must decide whether to risk it all and turn three months into forever.

I love a nice simple read. No fuss, no complicated roadblocks, just an easy flow romance that shows relationship growth and warmth.

I am definitely on an easy romance kick at the moment. Life is so complicated right now and I just need the satisfaction of knowing that it isn’t always hard for people to be together. This delivered on low angst, which is exactly what I needed.

Getting to know Sai was a little slower than Ben but most of the story is told from Ben’s POV and Sai was a little guarded at first, because of the issues he had with his job and family. Ben was lovely and open. He didn’t hide how he felt, and was willing to be there for Sai when external job drama got in the way of their short time together. He made his feelings about what Sai was putting himself through known, but respected him enough to accept Sai as he was and just be with him any time they could steal away.

The light kink was a really nice surprise. By light, I do mean light, sweet and enjoyable. This would be great for people who haven’t read any kink and want a small taste. Or those who like a little bossiness in the bedroom.

Overall this was nice. It wasn’t quite fluff but a really gentle read. I would read more from this new to me author. I really enjoy her point of view.

Recommended for all romance readers.

A review copy was provided for an honest opinion

Release Blitz + Giveaway: One Step Back by Edie Danford

Celebrate the release One Step Back with author Edie Danford and IndiGo Marketing! Learn more about the contemporary romance and enter in the $10 Amazon gift card giveaway!

Title: One Step Back
Author: Edie Danford
Publisher: Edie Danford
Release Date: October 23, 2018
Heat Level: 4 - Lots of Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 85,000 words
Genre: Romance, Enemies-to-lovers, coworkers, workplace, stepbrothers

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When you fall for a guy who’s about to become your stepbrother—do you listen to
your heart and risk everything? Or listen to your head…and take one step back?

In high school I had a hundred reasons to steer clear of my soon-to-be-
stepbrother, Joe Beneventi. He was a hothead, and I was reserved. His life was football,
mine was academics. He wanted to be out and proud, and I desperately needed to keep
my orientation secret.

But when we fell in love, my heart took the wheel, and I took every risk to be with
Joe. Then one horrible night our secrets shattered. Joe disappeared—wrecking our
families and breaking my heart.

Eleven years later, I landed a challenging job at a premier PR firm. And the hotshot
publicist who’s been assigned to my first big account? Yep. It’s Joe.

Fate truly hates me because now Joe and I have three days to hole up in a
Chicago hotel room and nail down a deal that could make or break our careers. He
keeps distracting me, but I’m too jaded to fall for sexy smiles, bedroom eyes, and his
impossible-to-ignore body. Except…

I like being close to him again. A little too much. Working together 24/7 is showing
me sides of Joe I’ve never seen before.

And when we touch, being together seems like the only step worth taking.


I take a deep breath. Gotta prepare myself for being up-close and personal with the force of nature that is Joseph Vincent Beneventi.

“Hey, Joe,” I say, my voice cracking. Not how I’d wanted to sound.

His sexy mouth curves, and I get hit with the full impact of his attention-sucking energy. It zaps across the entryway. Through the guesthouse and the five-acre yard. All of Chicagoland. The state of Illinois, the entire Midwest…

Yeah, you get the picture. Joe has it. Chemical hoodoo-voodoo oozes from his pores and makes you forget whatever it is you’re doing, whatever happened to be on your mind. And all you can do is stand there and stare at him. And listen to the ridiculous shit that comes out of his gorgeous mouth.

I’ve had to cope with this Joe-phenomenon for three years now, as long as his mom and my dad have been dating. Weekends and vacations together at first, and then mostly full time as of last year, after Kim and Bernie got engaged and bought this monstrosity of a property together.

Wedding-planning and “a home where we can be a family” was supposed to bring us stability. Wishful thinking, because things between my dad and Joe’s mom—between all of us, really—seem rockier than ever.

“Hey, you.” Joe leans against the door jamb, killer smile flashing.

He’s a big, glossy beast, and he lights up the night that I’ve tried to darken. I look away from his shining eyes, but his jacked chest and abs, his maybe-too-tight board shorts, his legs, his feet, aren’t any easier to ignore.

“Why didn’t you tell me you’d be home tonight?” he asks. His deep voice has a slight throb, like he’s actually hurt. “You didn’t answer my message. Any of my messages. I get why you didn’t want to show for my amazingly fucking boring graduation, but… I was hoping to hear about your plans. For the summer.”

He reaches up to brush damp hair from his face, the movement popping every muscle from shoulder to wrist. Matty actually sighs from behind me. I try not to notice how the longer hair and the scruff on his chin make Joe look hotter than his usual smoking hellfire.

He spent his senior year at a therapeutic high school here in the Chicago area and the place didn’t demand buzz-cuts the way the military school did. The longer black waves do amazing things for his cheekbones, his squared-off chin, his sin-dark eyes.

I’m supposed to be saying something. So I open my mouth and a lame excuse comes out. “I wasn’t sure about flight times. Until the last minute. Storms in New York.”

He nods, head tilting as he scrutinizes my features. He wants to believe me even though it’s obvious I’m lying. The sky had been clear when I’d jetted away from LaGuardia, my freshman year of college complete.

I’d been avoiding all contact with Joe since Christmas break. I’d figured he’d understand why I didn’t respond to any of his messages today. Or at least take the hint. Hey, Joey, after I don’t answer your two-hundredth-and-seventieth voicemail, maybe that means I don’t want to communicate with you. But Joe is thick in more ways than one.

His dark eyes get warmer as they take me in, the dimple in his right cheek popping. His thumb traces the sand-dollar tattoo under his left nipple, a move I’m sure he’s making unconsciously. I do the same thing sometimes. I have a matching tattoo; we’d gotten them in Mexico during Christmas vacation two years ago. The ’rents had been very confused when both of us suddenly wore rash guards 24/7 for the rest of the break. Joe had come up with a BS-but-brilliant excuse about stingray sightings and the angle of the sun and the chemicals in sunscreen lotion killing off coral reefs.

And, okay. I’m not being fair. Joe isn’t thick. He’s probably smarter than me. He just doesn’t know how to rein in a lot of the bad shit that constantly roams his head. I’ve actually tried to help him figure out some stuff, given him some pointers about how to focus and prioritize—

There’s a crashing noise from the pool area. More shit breaking.

“Fuck,” he mutters, looking over his shoulder.

“You better get back there. Broken glass. Blood. Nastiness. It’s all gonna happen.”

He sighs—a shudder wracking his six-five frame. “Should’ve never invited anyone over.” His smile is crooked. “Your fault. I wouldn’t have had to get up to shenanigans with Bran and Troy if I’d known you’d be here tonight.”

And, there it is.

The reason why he always, always manages to piss me off. I’m not responsible for him. Not responsible for his feelings, for his actions. I refuse to be.

“Not my fault,” I say, my voice cracking again, damn it. I take a step backward, my hand pulling the door closed.

“Asher, come on. You know I didn’t mean it like that—”

I shut the door in his face. Then I pull the blinds closed, blocking out his beauty, blocking out his hurt expression. Maturity can go fuck itself, because literally closing off Joe from my senses will be the only way I can survive the summer.

“Wow,” Matty says.

“Yeah,” I agree.


It’s probably a few hours later when something jolts me awake. It’s Joe looming over me. I must’ve passed out after Matty left. I’m sprawled on the big chaise in the guesthouse’s living room, Joe standing so close his knees are touching the cushion’s edge.

There’s only one light on, a yellow glow coming from the glass-fronted cabinet that displays Joe’s shell collection. It creates weird, streaky shadows across his super-defined chest and abs.

His shorts are dry now, not as tight on his thighs or his package, but I can see he’s erect, a righteous bulge that’s impossible to miss. And, when I look up into his face, my gaze snags on his parted lips, his heavy-lidded eyes .

The house is quiet. No more party outside. When Joe inhales suddenly, I can feel the sharpness of his breath in my own lungs.

I sit, swinging my legs to the side of the chaise, planting my feet on either side of his. He takes my face in his hands. His fingers are warm, familiar, his touch so tender it makes me want to cry.

And, God, when our gazes connect, and I immediately fall into that dark brown and gold I dream about, tears clog my throat, for real.

“Ash,” he whispers, his voice so hoarse I can barely hear it. The pad of his thumb passes over my lower lip. I lick away the taste of him and he sighs. “Damn, I missed you.”

I nod. I can’t speak. It hurts.

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Meet the Author

Edie lives in Vermont with her husband, two sons, and random creatures that might or might not be pets. She loves libraries (where she's found play, work, and love since she was a kid), long walks (unless ice is involved), lewd language (in the right context), luscious romance (of any variety), and alliteration.

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Review: In the Pines (A Charlie Schiffer Mystery #1) by Laura Lascarso

A Charlie Schiffer Mystery

When your high school crush is also your number one suspect, what’s a boy to do?

After the disappearance of Eastview High’s homecoming king, seventeen-year-old Charlie Schiffer must put his detective skills to work to help class heartthrob Dare Chalmers find his missing twin brother. From the gator-filled swamps of Paynes Prairie to the truck-stop strip club Café Risqué, there’s no situation too dicey for this amateur sleuth when he’s on the prowl for clues to this mystery.

Meanwhile, Dare is everything Charlie could want in a boyfriend—charismatic, handsome, polite—but as Charlie’s mother always says, the unlikeliest people can turn out to be criminals. When evidence surfaces revealing his suspects’ hidden motives, Charlie must dig deep to suss out who among them is innocent and who is guilty, even if it means betraying the man he cares for most.

Great start to a series.

Don't worry I'm not going to give anything away as far as the plot goes but I will talk about my experience with this book.

This being my first experience with Lascarso after her books filling up my GR feed I maybe had some lofty expectations, some of which were met. Where I think she sets herself apart is creating an atmosphere from the high school cliques to Boots (AWWWW!!! GET INTO MY POCKET!) to his relationship with his mother. She brought this small Florida town and its inhabitants to life by making the details of life in this community part of the narrative without weighing it down with info dumps.

This is a mystery first and foremost with Charlie Schiffer at the center of it, without him and Lascarso's deft touch in making him likable and relateable, the whole thing would've fallen apart. I connected with Charlie quickly-kind of an outcast after an kerfuffle with some classmates, a bit on the nerdy side, extremely intelligent, has some familial baggage and is the son of a police officer. Naturally inclined to be investigative and inquisitive leads him to the heart of this mystery.

The high school backdrop and all the inherent intricacies of navigating adolescence along with trying to solve this mystery I found fun; it added some levity to the story. Charlie comes across as genuine as do the rest of his classmates and even though he is highly intelligent he still reads as a teen who takes some stupid risks and makes ill-conceived choices.

I'm not sold on Dare just yet, though. There were times when I felt sympathetic towards him but others when I side-eyed the bejesus out of him. So I'm reserving judgment on him until later. Tameka, though, I like her muchly! She was big fun and I hope she'll continue to make appearances as the series progresses.

Dare and Charlie's relationship fits into the narrative well and I actually liked the 'what if' factor, but In the Pines isn't heavy on the romance, if that's what you're after. They do have a sexy rendez-vous but it's by no means explicit.

My only real complaint per se is that the mystery wasn't more convoluted. I was expecting something far more sinister and far-reaching than what it turned out to be which disappointed me, but that's a me thing and I would in no way dissuade others from reading it. I also found the ending sequence a bit over the top.

But Charlie and the general atmosphere created won me over and I'm looking forward to the next one in this series. I would caution anyone who doesn't like procedurals, this is probably not the book for you, but if you enjoy YA and mystery then give In the Pines a go.

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