Release Blitz + Giveaway: Single (Single Dads #1) by R.J. Scott

Celebrate the release of Single with author RJ Scott and Signal Boost Promotions! Learn more about the single parent romance and enter in the $10 Amazon gift card giveaway!

Length: 54,000 words approx.

Cover Design: RJ Scott


Reeling from the painful rejection of a man he thought he loved, Asher is left holding the baby.

Ash wants a family, and is determined to continue with a surrogacy he’d begun with his ex. Bringing baby Mia home, he vows that he will be the best father he can be. Nothing in this world matters more to him than caring for his daughter, not even accidentally falling in lust with the doctor next door. Challenged by his growing attraction to Sean, and confronted by painful memories of his family, Ash has to learn that love is all that matters.

When ER doctor Sean moves in with his friends next door to sexy single father Ash, he falls so quickly it takes his breath away. The sex they have is hot, but Ash is adamant

his heart is too full with love for his daughter to let anyone else in. Why is Sean the only one who sees how scared Ash is, and how can he prove to his new lover that he desperately wants the three of them to become a family?

USA Today bestselling author RJ Scott writes stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, a happily ever after.

RJ Scott is the author of over one hundred romance books, writing emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.

She’s always thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers. Please contact via the links below:

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Blog Tour: Puzzle Pieces (La trattoria di amore) by J.P. Sayle

Author J.P. Sayle and Vibrant Promotions visit on the Puzzle Pieces blog tour today! Learn more about the contemporary kinky romance!

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Puzzle Pieces
La Trattoria Di Amore Series, Book 1
JP Sayle
M/M Romance
Release Date: 05.17.19
kindle-cover (1)
Sebastian Smythe is an accomplished chef and restaurateur with several businesses and has the perfect life. That is until his long-term partner decides he no longer wants to be with him.
Suffering the devastation and loss of his “boy,” Sebastian struggles to let go of the past and move on and find someone new with his ex’s shadow still hanging over him.
Richie Bellinger has his life mapped out for him by his girlfriend. A career in management once he’s completed his masters at university. Then marriage, followed with a house and two point four kids, and they’d all live happily ever after.
Only the universe seems to have other plans for him. With his mother diagnosed with breast cancer and his father having done a runner, Richie finds himself dropping out of uni and applying for the position of office assistant at the restaurant, La Trattoria Di Amore, to earn money to pay the mounting bills.
Richie’s well-organised life is turned on its head when he meets the enigmatic Sebastian. All the things Richie thought he knew about himself and what he wanted are challenged at every turn.
Will these two learn that there is more to life if they just let go? Can they both accept each other, slot the puzzle pieces of their lives together, and reform their future?
Daddy Kink/Age Gap/Gay For You/Angst/Slow burn


His head shot up, and he twisted his body, his pulse racing. He stared at Daddy, his mind in a complete fuddle as to what had just happened. As Richie glanced down his body at his limp cock, his cheeks heated. He was positive they now matched his flaming arse.

He groaned and buried his head back in the pillow.

“We’ll have less of that, boy. There will be no hiding from me. Not now, not ever. I won’t tolerate it. Do you understand?”

Richie looked up, meeting Daddy’s heated stare, grateful he lay belly down so Daddy couldn’t see how his body reacted to his “Daddy voice.” You are so fucked.

He ignored the voice in his head stating the obvious and answered, “Yes, Daddy.”

“Good boy. Now lie back down so I can rub in the coconut oil cream I found in the bathroom. You’ll feel a little tender for a few days.”

Richie heard the humour and smug satisfaction in Daddy’s voice as he did as he was told. He squirmed at the cold of the silky cream on the warmth of Daddy’s hand when it touched his overheated skin. Sensations spread down the crack of his arse. He spread apart his legs in an invitation. He wondered where the boldness came from, but Richie didn’t question it.

Jayne-main-logo2 (1)
Let me introduce myself, my name is Jayne, I’m a lady of a certain age (50, bites fingernails). I am an identical twin, the younger one of course by 7 minutes. I am married to a wonderfully complicated man, or as he puts it, off his rocker Rob. We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary recently. I have one daughter and two grandbabies one boy and one girl.
I was born in the Isle of Man; this makes me Manx (not British or English). I moved to the UK for several years, and as a child, I lived in Italy for a while. But, the island calls to me so I returned home in 1998. I love the sea and now it’s only a stone’s throw from my home.
I have worked in the caring profession for 34 years and have been a hospital nurse manager, out of hours, for the past couple of years. I made the decision to work part time nights in 2016 so that I could pursue my lifelong dream of becoming a writer.
I have always believed that I could and would write a book, but life just seemed to get in the way. Until someone asked me the question, “What do I want?” The answer was easy, the hard part was making it happen. Well, it did and it has and it was life-changing for me.
So over two years later, my career path has changed and so has my life. I found my happiness again in something that just brightens my day. Now I won’t say it’s been a breeze because those who write know it’s not a total blast all the time, but it has been fun and exciting.
I am asked a lot why did I choose to write a gay romance. I went to a creative writing group (couldn’t recommend this enough for new writers); anyway, the course leader gave me these words of advice. “Put your inner critic aside, put pen to paper and just write, don’t worry about what comes out, just write.” I was a bit, really that works, but I decided to give it a go with it. Ignored all the research I did, which said to write about what you know because that just wasn’t working for me for many reasons. The answer it seemed was to try something different and I found it flowed out and 6 weeks later I had the bones of my first book (113,000 words). Writing something so different to what I was doing in my life, freed me.
My island is steeped in folklore and I have used some of this in my writing, particularly Where it all Began: Manx Cat Guardians Origins. The book, I have to say I love the most, if I had to choose right now, but that might change ☺
Writing has unleashed a beast in my mind and now I can’t switch it off. I follow a lot of authors and I listen to them talking about their characters talking to them. I so get this now, I find myself muttering and talking at odd times. I wake up at 3 am in the morning, with bits of story wanting a voice.
I have six books written currently with two more in the pipeline and a couple of ideas for future series, so you never know what will come next. I have lots of places you can stalker me if you’re interested in finding out more. Website address
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Guest Review: Trusting Him (The Retreat #2) by L.M. Somerton

Trust is hard earned and all too easy to lose.

Luke Redding’s military background is an asset when it comes to managing The Retreat, but it hasn’t helped him find the submissive he longs for. A secluded life in the New Forest, witnessing a stream of happy couples playing out their fantasies, doesn’t provide much opportunity to develop a relationship either. When a friend’s manipulations lead to him taking on silver-haired Skye as a trainee sub, Luke finds it hard to trust in his own ability to provide the guidance Skye needs.

Skye Ingham wants to explore his submissive nature but the noise and crowds at The Underground are overwhelming. He can’t believe his luck to be taken under Luke’s wing and offered a job at The Retreat. As Luke tests his boundaries, Skye trusts him implicitly, but how can he convince his new Dominant to have faith in himself?

Amid the bustle and excitement of a big house party at The Retreat, Luke and Skye edge their way towards a deeper understanding of each other’s needs and desires. But it will take a final leap of faith to secure their future and open a path to love.

Reviewer: Shee Reader

I had not read book 1 in the series, this book works well as a stand alone.

We meet Skye working as a server in The Underground where he finds the hustle and bustle hard to cope with. Luke hits every one of Skye’s hot buttons, and if reciprocated, this could be a match made in heaven. Luke is a strong man doing his job well, and finding being in a secluded forest location where people come to celebrate their love makes it pretty hard to meet a love of his own.

Skye is intriguing though, and interesting with his silver hair, and he wants Luke to be his Dom and maybe master…

Luke is a very busy, efficient man who is enthralled by Skye from the outset. I loved reading their relationship flourish as they both learn to trust and to love. I also adored the setting in the Retreat, there are so many interesting characters working there, and I enjoyed seeing the visitors enjoying their stays at the kinky retreat. It was a thoroughly enjoyable read and I’ve subsequently been back to read the first book, and look forward to many more in the series.

Highly recommended.

I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Giveaway + Release Blitz: Nine Small Sips (A Tales of Bryant Wedding) by V.L. Locey

Celebrate the release of Nine Small Sips with author V.L. Locey & Signal Boost Promotions. Find out more about this contemporary romance & enter in the giveaway to win a backlist ebook from the author too!

Cover Design: Sloan J Designs

Tales of Bryant - Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link


Life for Isamu Taylor is now a Cinderella story that includes a Manhattan loft, a new position in the hottest LGBT film production company in New York City, and an upcoming wedding in Bryant Park to his very own handsome prince.

He’s come a long way from that struggling film student with ratty sneakers and shaggy hair. Isamu is now living an urbanite’s fairy tale with that happily ever after just around a bustling city street corner.

But as all wedding planners know, even the best laid plans seem to go awry, and Isamu and Brian’s wedding is no exception. But love – both old and new – is in the air, so nothing can go too badly, right?

USA Today Bestselling Author V.L. Locey – Penning LGBT hockey romance that skates into sinful pleasures.

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, Torchwood and Dr. Who, 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, a pair of geese, far too many chickens, and two steers.

When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in one hand and a steamy romance novel in the other.

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Blog Tour + Giveaway: Melting For You (Neighborhood Shindig #1) by A.M. Arthur

The Melting For You (Neighborhood Shindig #1) blog tour visits the unicorns today! Don't miss author A.M. Arthur and Vibrant Promotions visit nor the $5 Amazon gift card giveaway attached! Learn more about the new contemporary series!

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Melting For You
Neighborhood Shindig Series, Book #1
A.M. Arthur
Contemporary MM Romance
Release Date: 06.13.19

melting for you copy

Cover Designer: Sloan J Designs/

After his father’s heart attack, Isaiah Morrell gave up cooking in his own high-end Atlanta restaurant to return home to Reynolds, North Carolina, in order to help his father Thomas heal and to keep an eye on his business Neighborhood Shindig. A collection of food trucks and other small businesses, Shindig is a popular destination in this college town, but Isaiah longs for the fast pace of a big-city kitchen. Until he meets Joel…
Joel Fisher has been out of commission from a serious illness for the better part of a year, but now he’s ready to reclaim his life—except his apartment has been sublet, his partner is missing, and their shared food truck is stripped of everything not attached. In short, Joel has nothing. After an uncomfortable night sleeping on the food truck floor, Isaiah and Thomas Morrell give Joel an offer he can’t refuse: a rented room in their house, as well as their help creating a new food truck concept. Joel hates accepting charity, but he’s hit rock bottom and has nowhere to go but up.
Working with seemingly uptight Isaiah is actually pretty fun, and the pair bonds over a challenge to create a unique grilled cheese sandwich. Light flirting melts into a deeper connection neither man expects, but Isaiah isn’t in Reynolds for much longer, and Joel can’t get attached to the gorgeous professional chef. As Isaiah’s feelings for Joel strengthen and grow, he entertains the idea of staying in Neighborhood Shindig for good—but Joel hasn’t asked him to…
Welcome to Neighborhood Shindig, a friendly place where you can snack on a lamb kebab while getting your hair done, pick up your favorite herbal tea blend, and then go listen to live music under the pavilion. We’re happy to have you.
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Joel found a parking spot near his building and got out, grateful to stretch sore, aching limbs. Long car rides were more difficult for him now, and he’d tried to stop as infrequently as possible, so eager to surprise Steve. Joel scanned the lot for Steve’s hatchback. It was midday on Tuesday, so the Shindig lot was closed—it gave not only the small business owners who rented pods, but also the owner/manager one full day off a week. Didn’t mean Steve had to be home, though.

Their unit was on the fourth floor, no elevator, and Joel hated that he was panting a bit by the time he got there. Definitely needed to start working out more, get back into shape. He was already tall and lean, but he’d lost about fifteen pounds of muscle this past year.

Excitement rolled through his belly as he put his key into their unit’s lock and turned—except it didn’t unlock. He double-checked, but yeah, right door and right key.

That’s weird.

Maybe Steve had needed to change the locks for some reason? He pushed the doorbell and waited, trying to fight back a big smile. The knob rattled and a chain slid back. The door opened about a foot and a dark-haired woman stared at him. “Can I help you?” she asked.

Joel blinked hard. “Um, does Steve Winslow live here?”

Don’t I live here?

“Not since the first of the month,” the woman replied. “He had to move suddenly, so I’m sub-leasing it through the end of the month, until my place is ready downstairs. Who are you?”

“Joel. I live here.”

“Oh, right, you’re the ex he mentioned.”

“Ex?” Ex what? He’d texted Steve yesterday about frivolous things, and Steve hadn’t said a damned thing about sub-leasing their place. A place Joel had paid this month’s rent on. “What do you mean ex?”

“He said you guys broke up, so you moved back to live with your parents in Virginia, and he’s moving…somewhere, I don’t think he said where. But your stuff is still here. He packed it up and left it in the hall closet.”

Joel did not understand what was happening right now. “We didn’t break up. We have a business together for God’s sake. I don’t understand.”

“Listen, do you want to come inside and sit? You look pale.”

“Um, yeah, thanks.”

The apartment was small, one-bedroom and only about six hundred square feet. It had come furnished, so none of the big stuff was his, and he’d taken clothing and his electronics with him to Virginia. Those personal things were in his car right now, waiting to be unpacked.

He sat on the familiar sofa, legs suddenly trembling, and tried to wrap his brain around what was happening.

The woman appeared with a bottle of water. “Here. I’m Emily, by the way.”

“Joel.” Had he already said that? “Steve never told me he moved out.”

“Oh, wow, that’s harsh. He ditched your place without telling you?”

“At least the lease isn’t up until August.” It gave him time to plan, even if it meant a strange female roommate for a few weeks. He couldn’t really afford the place on his own, and he still had no clue what was going on with the food truck.

“Um…” Emily chewed on her bottom lip. “The lease is month-to-month. It’s over in, like ten days, and I have a document with the landlord stating I’m the tenant.”

Joel gaped. “But…this is my place.”

“My place, dude, and no offense, but I do not know you, and I make it a point not to live with strange men.”

“How the hell can he change the lease without me…signing…? Fuck.” Because he dealt with college students, the building’s manager had multiple lease options. Year-long, which is what Joel always signed, but also college-term leases that lasted the length of the college’s school year, and then month-to-month options for the summer, or for temporary tenants. When Steve said he’d renewed the lease last summer while Joel was sick, Joel had assumed he’d done another full-year contract.

Joke’s on me.

“If you don’t believe me, I can get a copy of the lease,” Emily said.

“I believe you. I just don’t understand why he’d do this. Why he wouldn’t at least call and tell me he was leaving, or that if I came back I’d be homeless.”

AM Arthur Avi Logo
A.M. Arthur was born and raised in the same kind of small town that she likes to write about, a stone's throw from both beach resorts and generational farmland. She's been creating stories in her head since she was a child and scribbling them down nearly as long, in a losing battle to make the fictional voices stop. She credits an early fascination with male friendships (bromance hadn't been coined yet back then) with her later discovery of and subsequent love affair with m/m romance stories. A.M. Arthur's work is available from Carina Press, SMP Swerve, and Briggs-King Books.
When not exorcising the voices in her head, she toils away in a retail job that tests her patience and gives her lots of story fodder. She can also be found in her kitchen, pretending she's an amateur chef and trying to not poison herself or others with her cuisine experiments.


Guest Review: Chess (Boxed Sets 1 & 2) by Sean Michael

Chess Boxed Set: Part One


Before there were four, there were three. Learn how Rook, Knight and Bishop came together.

When Rook and Knight meet at a live drawing class Rook is modeling for, it’s lust at first sight. Open and eager with his sexuality, Rook immediately draws Knight’s attention. Lust soon turns to love for the two men. The question, though, is what happens when a third man feels like he belongs with them?

Dive into this story of how Rook, Knight and Bishop met to become the threesome who invited Jason to join them in the Chess series.

Opening Moves
Threesome Rook, Knight and Bishop make Jason an offer he can’t refuse. Can the four of them be exactly what they each need? Find out in this Opening Move…

Rook, Knight and Bishop have been searching for a fourth man to join their threesome for quite a while when Knight meets Jason, the life model in the art class he’s auditing. He thinks that Jason is the perfect man for them and his lovers Rook and Bishop quickly agree. The trick will be convincing Jason…

Join these sexy men as they make their Opening Moves.

Middle Game
Can Jason be with three amazing men and not lose his heart in the process?

Living with and being the playtoy of three men is more rewarding than Jason could have imagined. Bishop, Knight and Rook each have their own way of loving on him. In Bishop he finds a workout partner, friendship, and good solid lovemaking. He isn’t sure what to make of Knight, but the man is a brilliant artist and there are worse things than being Knight’s subject for his latest series of paintings. And the kinky things Knight does to him blow his mind on a regular basis.

It’s Rook who Jason is falling in love with, though. The bright, loving, sexy man has him head over heels and Jason’s beginning to worry that he’s getting himself in way over his head. Can he continue to be with these men without losing his heart?

En Prise
Just when things seem to be at their best, disaster strikes. Will all the men of Chess survive?

It's the holiday season and Jason is having the best Christmas he can remember in a long time. He's in love with Rook and settling in with Bishop and Knight, figuring out where he fits and learning to love their appetites. He might even be feeling like he belongs.

Holiday bliss is followed by disaster, though, when Knight is involved in an accident and is hospitalized. Will Jason, Bishop and Rook be able to rally around their lover and each other? Or will the strain put on their relationship tear them all apart?

Follow the moves made by the men of Chess and find out…

Chess: Part Two Box Set


Knight is home from the hospital, so everything should be back to normal, right? Things are never that easy, though, and the men of Chess must fight to get their lives back.

Knight has returned home from the hospital, but is far from recovered. Things seem to be going well, but depression slowly winds its way around Knight, and he spends all his time in bed sleeping, slipping farther and farther away from his lovers and life.

Rook just wants everything to go back to normal now that their lover is home and Bishop is out of his depth when it comes to Knight's depression. Can Jason figure out what's wrong and take the steps needed to help Knight find himself again?

The struggle has just begun in Knight's recovery—are the men of Chess up to the task? Find out in this fourth instalment of the Chess series.

End Game

Things are changing again for the foursome. Can they weather these changes as they do everything else—together?

Things are changing again for Bishop, Knight, Rook and Jason. Not only is Jason going back to school, but Knight has bought a cottage on a lake several hours away, and none of them are quite sure what it all means for their family of four.

As Knight loses himself in his art at the cottage and Jason begins the hard work needed to keep up with school, Rook and Bishop call each other often to stay in touch, but it isn’t the same thing as all four of them being together.

Could this be the beginning of two couples and the end of their foursome just when Jason was settling into being a part of this weird but wonderful family? Or will they find a way to make it work just like they have everything else?

The Piercer's Game

Luke sees a lot in his job as a piercer, but for all that, he’s shy and lonely. Can live-in-the-moment Temple open his eyes to life’s pleasures?

Luke’s a piercer and owns a successful business with his tattooing partner. Despite his job and his inked and pierced appearance, Luke is actually quite shy and lonely, not to mention inexperienced. An event from his past has left him unable to open up completely to anyone and it’s easier for him to just keep to himself.

Temple is a cancer survivor, coming up on five years cancer free. He’s traveling across North America on the back of his motorcycle, just going where the wind blows him. Ever since first being diagnosed, he turned into a true believer of living in the moment.

When Temple first turns up at Luke’s shop, Temple is immediately drawn to the quiet piercer. First he’s going to have to convince Luke that there’s something between them…then he’s going to have to work his way past Luke’s defenses.

Reader Advisory: These books contain the use of urethral sounds.

Reviewer: Shee Reader

This is the complete set of Chess stories, from volume 1 to 7.

The story follows one of my favourite ever menage relationships. Knight is an artist with some self destructive habits who meets Rook and they fall into a sexy relationship with a smattering of kink. Then enter Bishop. The Dom who will engage Knight and get him off the drugs and under his hand. Rook is the sweetheart who loves everyone, but Knight *NEEDS* Bishop and the feeling is mutual. The three men are living happily together (with oodles of money from inheritance and such) until Knight spots Jason at an art class and decides Jason is the missing piece to their quartet. Jason is sitting as a life model, and Knight attends the classes to freshen up his art and have fun. Up until he meets Bishop, Knight and Rook, Jason thinks himself to be straight and not at all kinky. Fortunately Rook is the sweetest honey trap and signs Jason up to be their boy toy and move in with the threesome. This proves heaven sent when Jason and Rook fall sweetly in love with each other, plus Jason can cook!

As you might expect from Sean Michael, there is a lot of kinky sex in this book. A lot. But there is also story, character development and such a visceral warmth between the men that they can weather just about any storm together. Which is just as well as Knight is hit by a snow plough whilst out running and was lucky to survive. The story in part two follows his homecoming, rehabilitation and finding his place once again. Fortunately, Jason is a personal trainer and this proves invaluable in Knight’s recovery.

The interplay between the four men is fascinating and the reader is drawn in from the outset. The huge set of stories are thoroughly engaging, having many twists and turns, and if you like a lot of graphic sex on the page, this could very well be the box set for you. One of my favourite bits what when Bishop books a piercer to come and decorate his boys. Knight is the wilful and bratty sub that is made to submit to the piercing, and it’s lovely how Rook explains to Jason, Knight’s need to fight and say no whilst being completely happy to consent to the process. Plus, Knight wasn’t the only one to get pierced…

Highly recommended.

I was given free copies of the books in exchange for an honest review.

Cover Reveal: Love, Trust & Secrets by L.A. Bryce

Check out today's cover reveal for JMS Books' Love, Trust and Secrets from author L.A. Bryce and Signal Boost Promotions! Learn more about the romance and enter in the back list eBook giveaway!

Release Date: June 29 2019

Publisher: JMS Books

Length: 91,000 words


For a man on the run, is finding love a good enough reason to stay? And for a man who doesn’t want to leave, is a secret enough reason to walk away?

Even though a bad situation brings Tyler and Jarod together, they quickly find the good in their relationship. But when Tyler falls in love and finds the feelings returned, he’s forced to question if his and Jarod’s relationship is worth risking his freedom, his life, and their hearts.

Jarod knows Tyler is hiding something, but his fear of scaring Tyler away has him accepting Tyler’s silence. But instead of keeping Tyler close, Jarod’s avoidance ultimately leads to Tyler being taken away, leaving Jarod clueless and unable to help the man he loves.

Love, Trust, and Secrets is a story whose main focus is the love between two men and all the trial and tribulations that come with that love.

About The Author

I've been telling stories for as long as I can remember; my parents tell me it's been going on even further back than that and not always at the appropriate times. Now I choose to use my gift for good.

I enjoy meeting new people, even if they're only in my head.

I believe love comes in all different packages and each should be wrapped in a ribbon and cherished.

I'm currently working on a contemporary romance with a splash of suspense. I get a thrill coming up with unexpected and usually dangerous situations for my characters to be in and then thinking of extraordinary ways for them to escape with outcomes that deviate from the expected.

I live with my family in the Northeast where we enjoy white winters, balmy summers, a spring flurried with fragrant flowers, and a fall filled with piles of leaves to dive in to. Our small town offers the old world charm of knowing your neighbor and its location enables us to take off for dinner in a city known for its beautiful skyline or to an afternoon playing in the sand of some of the best beaches found in the United States.

For me, writing is relaxation for the soul and reading is its nourishment.

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Release Blitz + Giveaway: Northwest of Normal by Blue Jones

Author Blue Jones and IndiGo Marketing promote the release of Northwest of Normal! Learn more about the contemporary romance in today's blitz and enter in the $10 NineStar Press credit giveaway!

Title: Northwest of Normal
Author: Blue Jones
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: June 10, 2019
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 62700
Genre: Contemporary, NineStar Press, LGBT, road trip, kidnapping, enemies to lovers, slow burn, gay, romance

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When Ben wakes up from a nap in his Jeep, he is horrified to find two strangers driving it. His car’s been stolen, with him in the back seat. Ben overhears just enough to discover they are brothers on the run for murder. Randall is a thug, delighting in showing off his gun and vowing to use it if Ben tries to escape.

Ben just wants to get out of this alive but soon finds himself fighting a dangerous attraction to Randall’s younger brother Murphy. His tough exterior hides someone sweet, vulnerable, and completely gorgeous. The sexual tension between Ben and Murphy becomes impossible to ignore as they are kept in forced proximity. Bound together, made to share a room and even a bed night after night in increasingly weird motels, they slowly turn from enemies to secret lovers. When Murphy discovers Randall’s true plans for Ben, he must choose between the brother who has always been his everything, and Ben—the man it might be worth losing everything for.


Northwest of Normal
Blue Jones © 2019
All Rights Reserved

Ben woke up facedown in the backseat of his car, one cheek pressed hard against the warm leather seat and a hand hanging down to the bristled mat on the floor. He yawned into his sleeve. He’d driven for hours yesterday and was still exhausted. The last thing he remembered was parking up at the roadside late last night and pulling a blanket and coat over himself for warmth. He’d only intended to take a quick nap, but judging from the bright light, he must have slept until late morning. His groggy mind started to clear, and he turned over onto his back, pushed his coat away from his face, and stretched out.

He gazed up lazily at the roof of the car as a shadow passed over it. Then another. He pushed the coat down farther and squinted at the opposite window. Trees rushed by. It was only then that he noticed the steady purr of the engine and the vibration of the car beneath him. The car was moving. Someone had stolen his Jeep. With him in it.

He was suddenly very awake. He smelled cigarette smoke and stale beer and heard someone breathing in the driver’s seat by his head. As he edged slightly to his right, he saw a stocky man with short hair and a dirty, green shirt sitting on the passenger’s side. Ben slowly lay back down and kept his breathing quiet, even though he felt like his heart was beating out of his chest. For one surreal moment, he wasn’t quite sure what to do. They were the ones who had stolen his car, but it felt somehow impolite to interrupt them.

What was he supposed to say? Should he shout at them to get the hell out? Or should he tell them they could keep the car and politely ask them to let him go? He breathed in through his nose and out through his mouth and listened as the man in the passenger seat spoke.

“You chose a decent car, kid. Full tank of gas.”

Ben jolted. For a second, Ben thought the man was talking to him. The guy looked about forty and had a southern accent, local to where they were in Georgia. He leaned forward in his seat as he spoke, like he had a surfeit of energy coiled up.


Ben only had that one word to go on, but the man driving sounded younger and calmer, with a softer voice.

There was a long moment of silence before the younger man driving spoke again. “Why’d you have to do it?”

“I did it for you, and you know it,” said the older man sharply.

“Don’t give me that,” said the driver, sounding defensive.

“I told you one day I’d end up killin’ him. Just a matter of time.”

“Never thought you meant it.”

Jesus Christ. Forget confronting them. Ben would curl back up under the blanket and hide. Perhaps he could slip out unseen next time they stopped for gas or food or to kill their next victim. He was about to duck down under his coat when the passenger looked in the rearview mirror—his shocked gaze meeting Ben’s.

“What the hell?”

The driver followed his partner’s gaze and whipped around, shouting in surprise. The passenger reached out one meaty hand to grab the blanket off Ben and grip his wrist tight. His ruddy cheeks contrasted sharply with his pale, wrinkled forehead and the puffy bags under his eyes.

“Nice work, little brother,” the older one mocked loudly. “The one time I let you drive, you pick an occupied car.”

“Shut up, Randall,” said the younger guy.

“If this isn’t the dumbest shit you’ve ever pulled.” Randall threw his hands up in exasperation.

“I said shut up. You didn’t notice him either.”

“Weren’t my job to look.”

The car slowed and pulled to the right.

“What’re you doing?” Randall let go of Ben and reached out, jerking the steering wheel back toward his brother so the car stayed on course.

“Pullin’ over to get rid of this guy.”

“No way, Murphy. I’m not havin’ him run off to the cops. He’s seen my face. Anyway”—Randall turned in his seat and winked at Ben but continued to talk about him as though he weren’t there—“never look a gift horse in the mouth. We can use him.”

“What the hell for?” Murphy gave Ben a worried glance in the mirror before turning his attention back to the road.

“I’ll think of somethin’.”


“Why do I always go along with your stupid, dumbass plans?” Murphy muttered.

“Because you love me.” Randall stared at Ben. “What’s your name, kid?”

Ben licked his lips and sat up, pushing the coat off himself and freeing his legs from the blanket. “Benedict…Ben.” He tried hard not to let his voice tremble.

“Why’d you leave your car unlocked, Benedict Ben?” Randall asked.

“I didn’t know I had.”

Had he really done that? If the man was lying and they’d broken into the car, he surely would have been woken by the noise. Maybe he was just that stupid and had left the car unlocked all night. Ben slid to the middle of the backseat where he could see them both—the driver in profile and Randall, who was still staring at Ben. A male voice with an English accent spoke, and all three men jumped.

“Make a left turn at your earliest convenience.”

“Shit, sorry. That’s my GPS. It’s sort of temperamental. Never makes any sense. I don’t even use it,” Ben rambled.

“Switch the fucker off, brother.”

Murphy scrabbled with the buttons with one hand, and it spoke again.

“Please make a U-turn.”

Murphy gave up on the buttons and yanked out a wire. The device bleeped, and its red light went out.

Randall turned sideways in his seat and stared at Ben once more, a smile transforming half his face into deep crow’s feet. He scratched at the light gray stubble covering his chin and jaw.

“Gimme your phone.”

Ben pulled it from his jeans pocket and handed it over.

“Where’s your money at?”

“Uh.” Ben couldn’t think straight. He patted all his pockets and then remembered. “Oh, my wallet’s in the glove compartment.”

Randall yanked it open and went through everything. He rifled through Ben’s collection of napkins and ketchup packets from fast-food restaurants, his bug spray, and mini bottles of hand sanitizer and finally found Ben’s black leather wallet. Ben sighed as he remembered he’d taken out five hundred dollars in cash before he’d set off. More than enough for food, gas, and motel rooms all along his route.

Randall opened the wallet and whistled. “We hit the payload.”


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Meet the Author

Blue Jones is a British author who writes sweet and sexy romance, full of offbeat characters and happy endings.

Her books have been published by Dreamspinner Press, NineStar Press, and various UK & US literary journals. When she’s not writing or painting, she loves Twin Peaks, Daniel Clowes comics, and watching Call Me By Your Name on repeat.

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