Release Blitz + Giveaway: Siege Weapons (The Galactic Captains #1) by Harry F. Rey


Help author Harry F. Rey and IndiGo Marketing celebrate the release of Siege Weapons (The Galactic Captains #1)! Learn more about the sci-fi and enter in the $10 NineStar Press credit giveaway!

Title: Siege Weapons
Series: The Galactic Captains, Book One
Author: Harry F. Rey
Publisher: NineStar Press, LLC
Release Date: September 24, 2018
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 41300
Genre: Science Fiction, sci-fi, futuristic, war, space, multiple partners, BDSM

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Synopsis

Captain Ales is a lonely smuggler at the galaxy’s Outer Verge, and the last of his people. He’s been trying to move on from a life of drugs and meaningless sex, but finding love in this forgotten corner of the galaxy is difficult.

When he’s sent on a mysterious smuggling mission to a world under siege, he’s enticed by promises of the domination he craves. But soon Ales finds himself entwined in a galactic power struggle that could cost him everything.

Excerpt

Siege Weapons
Harry F. Rey © 2018
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
Alone at the space station bar, I checked the screen on my wrist-tech for the hundredth time. The smooth silvery material as thin and flexible as a flower petal contoured perfectly to my bumps and scars. The device came alive, but still no message from him.

He wasn’t late anymore; he wasn’t coming. I sighed and pushed away the plate of imported meat I’d picked through for the last three hours. I didn’t know why I’d even wasted the money on it. When I’d arrived at Baldomar, this crummy little flank-yard station orbiting a dead star, I’d been horny, not hungry. As the hours went by, my anticipation had turned to anxiety, then nervousness, and finally, a dejected state of knowing I’d been right all along. He never was going to come, and I was stuck footing the bill for an expensive dinner I didn’t want and a shitty room I wouldn’t sleep in. Plus, I was at least eight hours away from where I needed to be.

The bar curved around the station’s front edge, the long window displaying a view of a black starless nothing. It was busy, but I happened to be the only homosapien here. Finding someone else to keep me occupied in this array of tentacles and translucent eyeballs was out of the question. Call me a racist, but I was only into humans. Besides, I doubted there would be any humans at all out here, let alone male ones interested in me. This was heterosapien space. They didn’t like that term, but with hundreds of thousands of sentient, space-faring, nonhuman species in the galaxy, there was no way anyone could remember, let alone pronounce most of their native names. So since forever they’d been lumped together as heterosapiens, hetero meaning different, as opposed to us homosapiens.

The dark expanse of the Outer Verge was the most isolated and sparsely populated place in the galaxy. But to be sure, I checked my wrist again. No messages. Again, I conducted a pointless scan of who might be around. As the wrist-tech searched for any homosapien male who’d registered at least a passing interest in the same sex, alerts flashed and danced around the screen. The more annoying ones swerved around the screen to the back of my wrist before I could swipe them away.

Free ship repairs with a room booking on Rastel Station. I saved that; my own one-person transport ship was older than me and held together with little more than hope.

Mineral ore prices continue to plummet. That would hurt those bastards over at Galactic Shipping Co., my ex-employer.

Trades Council rules against Jansen in galinium mining dispute. Jansen was a planet at the edge of the Verge, beyond the slipstream, and a place I couldn’t even pretend to be interested in.

There are no users matching your requirements on this station.

Same as five minutes ago. I dragged my fingers across the screen and expanded the search.

There are no users matching your requirements in this system.

Shit; not one dick in the whole damn system. I sighed again, harder, waving my wrist at the infra-ceptor for another drink of something strong and orange that burned my throat. I turned on my stool away from the crowd of ever-rowdier heteros. I’d entertained their squealing for hours and was beyond sick of it.

“Eat enough of that stuff and you’ll lose your hot body, mister.”

I immediately recognized the fake, sickly sweet voice of an AI. Rent a bot for one night and they’ll follow you around forever.

“Heard that line before,” I said without even turning.

“Well, with an ass like that you can have anything you want. Feel like buying me a drink, mister?”

It slid itself across the bar to get right in my face, flexing fake muscles under a poly casing and fluttering cheap plastic eyelashes over its visual receptors. It disguised itself as a hot young blond guy, pecs poking through a black mesh shirt, thick legs encased in tight shorts showing off a butt big enough to dock a ship in. All this happened to be pretty much my type—well, my conventional type at least. The other things I liked could only be provided by a select few, with Ukko being the only one in the whole damn Outer Verge I knew of right now.

“It’ll fry your circuits. Now buzz off before I shove an EMP up your ass.”

Its elbow lifted off the bar with a faint electronic snap and it slinked away. The bot scanned the rest of the place, no doubt after some leaky data to go code itself into the next unsuspecting soul’s metallic fantasy. Although there’s fat chance with this crowd of heteros. I didn’t even want to imagine what sick sexual thoughts went through their minds.

With a beep, a new message displayed on my wrist. Finally.

Hey Ales, couldn’t make it, had to jump. Something came up, you know how it is. I should be on Targuline next week; maybe we can get a room there instead? See you. Ukko

I waved for another drink and slammed my fist on the bar. Why did I believe him? We’d met once, totally random, in a system I couldn’t remember. We’d fucked in his ship, a security patrol vessel. It’d been everything I’d fantasized about, and the best thing to happen to me in a long, long time. I could get what I needed in any pleasure palace in any major world or even a decent-sized station. But, like renting a bot, it only gave the illusion of gratification. Ukko had given me what I wanted, what I craved.

We’d met, chatted. He’d made me laugh, bought me a drink. His job made it more exciting, more dangerous. We’ve got to use your ship, not mine, I’d told him, as he might’ve arrested me if he’d seen what I had stored in my hold. Of course, I hadn’t been joking. Ukko worked in security, or what passed for it here in the Outer Verge; the loose band of a few hundred self-ruled systems occupying the spiral “arm” that juts out from the rest of the galaxy. We were too insignificant and too isolated to attract the machinations of galactic power. Out here, we operated under our own rules.

Prospering meant being the smartest, quickest, or strongest, and I was none of those. Across the vast distances of the Outer Verge, to venture beyond the atmosphere of your own world was to wrestle with smugglers, gangs, and astronomical phenomenon that wasn’t found in any training manual or weather forecast.

The danger also gave rise to opportunity; no tolls, no tariffs, no taxes. Only Ukko flying around collecting bribe money in between his busy schedule of fucking everyone who wasn’t me, apparently.

I downed my drink, not caring about its cost anymore. As soon as my boss got his tentacles on me, I’d be in major shit. Enough time and fuel had been wasted to end up nowhere near the last delivery or the depot, so there was no reason for me not to get drunk.

All because what seemed to me a solid promise wasn’t even a second thought to Ukko. I meant nothing to him. Was nothing to him. And the worst part was I couldn’t even blame him. It was my fault, trying to turn a sly encounter into a lasting relationship. I considered my response. Sending a snarky message or even showing him what he’d missed, but what would be the point? Stuck somewhere between unrequited and unfulfilled, Ukko was the story of my love life over and over again. Never fulfilling enough to gain any real satisfaction, but never unrequited enough to be able to let it go.

My scalp suddenly itched, probably from this cup of orange engine fuel, which on second thought maybe wasn’t fit for homo consumption. My fingers dug through thick black curls, cursing the fact I kept any hair at all. The thought of shaving it all off frightened me. Perhaps the fear that someone from my distant past wouldn’t recognize me if I did. I shook my head at how ridiculous that was, and I caught the itch. Finally came the soothing sensation of nail on skin.

Where was he, my rescuer? The one who would fight through life with me, make the pain of past dissipate to mere atoms.

Out of the din of unfamiliar languages came a shriek at the other end of the bar. Followed by the sound of a wet and heavy thing hitting the floor. I tried to ignore it. Normally I’d love to watch a good hetero fight. Or even join in. But I couldn’t enjoy the spectacle in this depressed state.

I cracked my neck, the closest thing to satisfaction I’d get now, and it shot through me like a syringe full of Kri. Maybe there would be some of the bright blue drug on the station. I brought my wrist halfway up, thinking about searching for a vial, and ordered another drink by accident from the infra-ceptor. On second thought, Kri on my own was no fun. Without an orgy to go to, all that nano-induced energy went to waste. The bar-bot refilled my glass, and I knocked back the extra drink. I tried to stand. Drunk again. This time, I pushed myself against the bar and made it all the way up.

Shit. Guess I’d be using the room after all.

I stumbled along to the exit, almost holding it together. It was so much easier to fly drunk than walk. I glanced over to check out the fight’s aftermath. A gaggle of blobby and tentacled heteros were huddled around whichever one had gotten injured. I couldn’t figure out if it had lost a vital appendage, but it seemed like they were trying to scoop a blob off the floor and reattach it. Seriously, what was the big deal with losing one glutinous blob if your entire body was literally glutinous blobs? I didn’t know if they were crying or laughing. Damn heterosapiens.

Something beeped, another message. In the hazy moment before my eyes adjusted, a spark twitched in my trousers. Perhaps this trip wouldn’t go to waste.

Ales – get your scrawny black ass back to the depot nows. I gots a jobs for you.

Javer still hadn’t learned plurals. My boss, the dumb-fuck tentacle dick. How did he even know my skin was black if his globby-ass species had sniffers for eyes? There were certain places his type couldn’t even set a blob in, let alone order around a homo. Us skin bags might dominate most of the galaxy, but out here was cold, hard equality. Part of me so wanted to hit back at Javer. I reminded myself I’d come to the Outer Verge to get far away from that sort of oppression, any sort of oppression. Plus, I wasn’t exactly captain of the week. The last job dropped my punctuality rating to less than 50 percent, well below the firing threshold.

The truth was I didn’t want to go back. I was done, beyond done. I couldn’t take another yelling from him, or another job basically smuggling contraband. Javer didn’t even pretend the planetary import licenses had anything to do with the cargo anymore. He didn’t care about the moments of terror I faced while bribing or blagging my way through another delivery. The free-trading worlds of the Verge were his opportunity to sell anything and everything that would bring a profit.

A sudden stab of pain hit my lower back, the muscle memory of my last delivery gone wrong; twenty-four hours chained to a wall in a customs prison on Kerjan. All for what? Another planet; another lonely bar, another fruitless search for satisfaction at the lost edge of sentience. Another message.

Get backs nows.

The elevator took me to the right corridor, and my hands ran along either side of the fluorescent-lit wall, steadying myself while avoiding condensation drips from the ceiling. I tried to figure out how long I might reasonably expect to live if I ever decided to fuck it and run.

The room had a chill, the kind you only get in deep space. I stumbled, still couldn’t figure out how to get the lights on. Ukko wouldn’t have been impressed anyway. Probably a good thing he’d never showed after all. The promise of sex was usually better than the real thing, I’d come to learn. I pushed off my boots and, seconds before collapsing, carried out my nightly ritual.

“I believe in the continuity of existence, in the eternity of our people. That the glory of our past will never be forgotten and the greatness of our future will always be remembered. Oh victorious one, conqueror of the universe, restore us, your faithful army. Oh merciful one, mother of all, deliver us from exile. May your people grow strong and numerous, as in the days before. May we sweep across the stars, and may tomorrow herald the coming of your dominion over all worlds.”

I fell onto the bed, my mind full with the heavy despair of many years and the memory of many deaths, and I was the only one left alive in the galaxy who knew these words.

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Meet the Author

Harry F. Rey is an author and lover of gay themed stories with a powerful punch with influences ranging from Alan Hollinghurst to Isaac Asimov to George R.R. Martin. He loves all things sci-fi and supernatural, and always with a gay twist. Harry is originally from the UK but lives in Jerusalem, Israel with his husband.

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Review: Home Skillet (Culinary Kings #1) by Cate Ashwood & Sandra Damien

Sometimes the only way to move forward… is to go back.

JAMES

I don't know what's more shocking—the sudden end to my marriage, or the fact that I'd married a woman at all. But now I'm broke and homeless, kicked out of my Upper West Side apartment while my ex-wife walks away with everything we've ever worked for. So what's an executive chef stripped of his dignity gonna do? Go back to Jersey with his tail between his legs, that's what.

BEN

I can’t say that spending a decade pining after my best friend was the best use of my time. While I'd pretty much become an expert at the whole unrequited love thing, I'd resigned myself to the fact that Jimmy and I were never gonna happen. But when Jimmy turned up on my doorstep in his hour of need, I jumped at the chance to offer him my bed—er, couch. I mean, what are friends for, right? Now that he's released from the shackles of matrimony, I can't wait to show him exactly what he's been missing out on all these years. What I didn't anticipate was him showing me that maybe I'd been missing out too.


I love second chance romances and Home Skillet ticked all the boxes there. James and Ben have been best friends for, well, pretty much ever and I could easily feel their connection in the writing. The story is told in alternating POV’s, which is good because the two of them have very different styles of communication and I don’t think they would have been as well fleshed out as they were with just one side of the story. Especially with James. If I hadn’t had his perspective I would have been way fussier with him than I kind of already was.

Both Ben and James work in the culinary world and while it could be said that James works in the culinary arts it could also be said that Ben has a job in a kitchen. James is passionate about his career and sacrificed Ben for that passion. I didn’t like that. I understood it, but that didn’t mean I had to be on board with it. James and Ben were bone buddies from way back and James ended that so he could marry a woman and further his career. He and his wife had a business transaction, nothing more and frankly, I just can’t wrap my romance-loving-brain around it.

Ben was in love with James since forever and it was just plain sad to read his perspective a lot of the times. Dude had it bad and James was all about James. Right up until he lost it all and had to get his proverbial house in order. I think that’s where my issue was. James changed because he had to, not because of some innate desire to connect with another human outside of a kitchen, and that too made me sad.

Ben was snarky, funny and charming. I liked him even if his self deprecation was a little much at times. When James (Jimmy, to Ben) left, Ben put his life on hiatus and lived from paycheck to paycheck, hating his boss and one-night-standing his way through the gay clubs in town. So, on his side it made me wonder, what would have happened to him if Jimmy wouldn’t have come home to him because he needed a place to crash? Would he have still been a miserable job zombie or would he have finally grown up and become something better for himself?

I loved the premise for this story and the characters were flawed but had hope. Part of what I love about second chance stories is the inevitability of the relationship and that was the one thing that was missing in Home Skillet for me. Ben and Jimmy were back together because of the life path Jimmy’s wife chose, not because the two of them finally got their shit together. Good on her, but shame and damn on the two of them (mostly Jimmy TBH).

I wanted to tell Ben to get off his ass and get himself some happy for his own well being and to slap some sense into Jimmy for being a selfish prick for so many years. BUT, all that ranting being said, the two of them do belong together and while I may be bitter and bitchy about Jimmy’s early life choices, I was pretty happy that they ended up together with a solid HEA.



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

Release Blitz + Giveaway: Ignition (Commitment #4) by Karen Botha


Help author Karen Botha and IndiGo Marketing celebrate the release of Ignition (Commitment #4) today! Learn more about the MM Romance and enter in the $25 Amazon gift card giveaway!

Title: Ignition
Series: Commitment #4
Author: Karen Botha
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: 24th Sept
Heat Level: 4 - Lots of Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: +-240
Genre: MM Romance

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Synopsis

Is this the beginning of the end?

With the biggest court case the racing world has ever seen coming to an end Elliott and Kyle can start rebuilding their lives.

Kyle stood by his new husband in sickness and in health, for better, for worse and did not expect to get left behind as Elliott buys a struggling racing team and devotes all his time and attention to turning it into a success. Their marriage is put to the test as the two men both live and work away from each other, causing tensions to rise and tempers to flare.

Will absence make the heart grow fonder or is this a case of out of sight, out of mind? Join Kyle and Elliott for their newest adventures in racing, trust, and passion.

Excerpt

But then the window frame rattles and my heart explodes, piercing the expanding bubble that has contained my tears. The noise of Kyle’s engine doesn’t disappear into the distance straight away; instead, it reverberates through the room for longer than it should. I still have time to dash to the door and call him back. I implore myself, but I’m rooted to the spot, too fragile to risk further shattering my heart.

It’s only when the roar of the engine begins to fade that I crumple in a ball. I draw my knees up to my chin, struggling to dull the searing agony in my chest as the unhappiness, which has been building over the last few months, finally spills free. I give way as the barriers I protected myself with before Kyle and I met won’t rebuild fast enough. My flimsy protection comes crashing down, and I howl in a voice that is not mine because he took me at my word and left when all I wanted was for him to tell me I was wrong and hold me.

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Meet the Author

Karen Botha was born in Lincolnshire England where her father was in the royal air force. As a young girl she always had a passion for reading and writing. Working most of her adult life in digital marketing didn't leave her much time to pursue her passion for stories. at the age of 36 She retrained for a reflexologist and started working for herself. This helped her free up more than enough time to enjoy a re-found passion for writing.
Her first novel was inspired by true life experiences and tales from clients. But don't believe everything you read.
She enjoys traveling rugby and motor sport, this gives her inspiration and ideas for her books.
The first in the new lgbt series is a mm romance novel about a racecar driver and his mechanic.
She currently lives in London with her Husband and rescue dog called Shadow.

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Review: Dragonslayer (Twitterlight #1) by Matthew Lang

Kill the dragon, marry the princess, and rule the kingdom. It’s a fantasy come true… if you’re straight.

Adam is a chemistry student and martial artist, active in his local chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism. But none of that prepares him to be the savior of a faraway land locked in perpetual dusk.

In a world of shape-shifters, necromancy, and religious politics, Adam is fated to slay the golden dragon, Khalivibra, and defeat its mind-controlling sorcery to help Princess Esmeralda of Aergon retake her city. Tradition dictates he’ll rule by her side—but Adam is much more interested in Duin, a warrior who changes to beast form in the light of the sun… or fire.

Adam hopes he and Duin might end up together when their ordeal ends. But first, the reluctant hero, the spell-casting heir to the throne, the beast-shifting object of Adam’s desire, a six-legged cave lizard, and any allies they can gather must do the impossible… and live to celebrate their victory.


Bear with me here. I had trouble writing this review because this story is complicated and intricate and a lot happens, so I was wracking my brain as to how to entice a reader as to what they needed to know to make an informed decision.


First, pretty much all the points go toward the very detailed, rich world building steeped in legend and lore, that never once felt contrived or felt like being lectured at.


This starts off with Adam, a young man living his life in present day Australia, who suddenly finds himself somehow transported to an unknown realm of hostile danger. Adam soon meets up with a princess traveling with her small entourage. She’s on a quest to find a lost mythological weapon needed to slay an evil dragon who’s perpetuated a longstanding curse forcing the world into “twitterlight” - a time where neither the sun nor the moon are present, a constant state that’s not light nor dark.


Here, humanity has been starkly divided. On one side is where the princess is from, whose people were forced underground to avoid the terrible rule of the dragon. The others are “cursed” shapeshifters and banished to live above amongst the uncompromising wild of the surface. Both groups wish to live in harmony but can old prejudices and current cultural roadblocks be overcome in order to defeat a common foe??


For a chance at returning back to Earth, Adam agrees to help the princess find this powerful weapon. Along for the ride is also Duin, a shapeshifter who’s grudgingly brought on board for his knowledge of the aboveground dangers that lurk in every corner.


One can imagine the many trials and fearsome creatures that these characters face, all of which were tense and action filled. In and amongst trying to accomplish the impossible while desperately trying to stay alive, Adam slowly falls for the endearing resourceful Duin.


Overall, I was entertained and impressed with the smart writing. I admit, stories about contemporary reality colliding with fantastical realms in other dimensions aren't typically my thing, but I was continuously pleasantly surprised with the plot and the sweet (with some steam) romance that was delivered here. This ends with a good conclusion but obviously sets up some other threads. I look forward to more stories to come!


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



Blog Tour: Hiding In Plain Sight (Camp H.O.W.L. #3) by Bru Baker


Welcome Bru Baker and Dreamspinner Press who are here today to promote the latest in the author's popular Camp H.O.W.L. series, Hiding In Plain Sight. Find out more about this paranormal romance and read and exclusive excerpt below!


See our review here.



Thanks for joining me on Boy Meets Boy today to talk about the third book in the Camp H.O.W.L. series, Hiding in Plain Sight. This is the book I’ve been waiting for, because we finally get to see Harris get his happy ending. He’s had years to come to terms with the fact that Jackson is his mate, and he resigned himself to it being an unrequited mate bond long ago.
Jackson has been attracted to Harris since the day they met, back when Harris’s parents joined Jackson’s Pack while Harris was in college. But he’s not the settling down type, so he put aside that attraction because he cared too much about Harris to lose his friendship for a casual dalliance.
I’m sharing an exclusive excerpt here today so you can have a front-row seat to the beginning of Jackson’s internal crisis as he realizes that his feelings for Harris go far deeper than simple attraction. Unfortunately, this realization couldn’t have come at a worse time, since Jackson is a on the cusp of taking a job with the Werewolf Tribunal that precludes all bonds--both mate bonds and Pack bonds.

Hiding in Plain Sight
                                   
Jackson knew Harris was in the apartment the moment he woke up. For starters, he felt more relaxed than he had in days. He could also smell Harris’s scent over the spicy aroma of the chili he was cooking.
He groaned and pulled his quilt over his face. Harris was in his kitchen cooking. Life was so unfair. He’d hoped a few days apart would dull the need he felt, but it had only intensified it. He was going to have to come clean and tell Harris what was going on. Continuing to avoid him wasn’t fair to Harris, and being a dick to him physically hurt. His wolf was going nuts.
He’d always been attracted to Harris, and he loved spending time with him. They were close, and he could see how that could morph into more. Not right now, though. Why couldn’t this drive to mate have popped up later? Maybe in a few years when Jackson was secure in a Tribunal job and ready to look for a Pack where he could be Second.
He rolled onto his stomach and buried his head under the pillows. The thought of making a home with Harris had him hard in an instant. For a second he let himself pretend he lived in that future—that he was napping in their bed while Harris pulled together dinner in their kitchen.
Jackson rutted against the mattress, caught up in a fantasy amplified by having Harris so close. He’d given up trying to pretend that Harris wasn’t his mate. It hadn’t made the decision to ignore the mate bond any easier.
The shrill ring of the oven timer brought Jackson’s hips to a sudden halt, reality streaming back in. He was hiding in his room while Harris cooked dinner. This wasn’t their bedroom, and while he might acknowledge Harris was his mate, he wasn’t his.
Jackson sighed and hauled himself out of bed. He’d grab a shower and get ready for work. With any luck, he could procrastinate until it was almost time to leave for his shift and then dash through the kitchen with the excuse of being late on his tongue.
Guilt seeped in while he was showering, and he sped up, steeling himself to man the fuck up and have dinner with Harris. The man was one of his best friends, and he deserved an explanation. God knew if the tables were turned, Jackson would be out of his mind with worry that something was seriously wrong.
Harris had the chili simmering on the stove and cornbread in the oven by the time Jackson wandered into the kitchen. Jackson had given himself the creepiest pep talk ever while he was dressing. He wasn’t going to let his feelings get in the way of his friendship with Harris, and he would pretend the mate bond didn’t exist. Couldn’t be that hard, right?
Jackson’s heart lurched at the hesitant smile Harris shot him when he walked into the kitchen. He’d been a terrible friend over the last week, and he needed to make it up to him. None of this was Harris’s fault. Hell, none of it was Jackson’s either, but he was the one acting like an ass.
Jackson perched on the counter, trying to summon a lightness he didn’t feel.
Harris had unearthed a frilly apron Jordan bought as a joke and was wearing it over his jeans and T-shirt to save his clothes from chili spatter. He looked edible with his long sleeves pushed up to his elbows and a light flush across his cheeks.
“You didn’t have to cook,” Jackson said, picking up a handful of the cheese Harris had shredded and tossing it into his mouth to give his hands something to do. They itched to reach out and touch. “You’re a guest.”
Harris smacked his hand when he reached for more. “Leave some for the chili. And I’m hardly a guest. I invited myself over. Cooking for you was the least I could do.”
Jackson nearly choked on his cheese. God, Harris was pushing all his buttons, and he didn’t even know it.
He coughed a few times to cover the choking. “You’re always welcome here.”
Harris bent over to check the cornbread in the oven and Jackson thought his heart might burst out of his chest. He tried to look calm when Harris turned around, but from the way his eyes had widened in alarm, he knew he’d failed.
“These are done. Is Jordan going to be back soon?”
Jackson reached over him and opened the cabinet to grab two bowls. “He texted a bit ago. He’s held up with a client and said not to wait for him.”
Bastard. No doubt he’d texted rather than called because he knew Jackson would be able to hear the lie in his voice. Jordan was probably going through an Arby’s drive-through right now and sitting in a parking lot until Jackson left for work. He’d also told Jackson to grow a pair and talk to Harris about what was happening, but Jackson wasn’t planning to share that part of the message.
It was hard not to lean into Harris’s warmth as the two of them moved around putting the finishing touches on dinner. It was painfully domestic, like a taste of what they could have if their bond was complete. Jackson didn’t know whether to stockpile memories like this one to help get him through the bad times when his wolf cried for his mate or to do his best to forget them.



Blurb:
Hiding in Plain Sight: A Camp H.O.W.L. Novel

Happily ever after is right under their noses.
Harris has been keeping a big secret for years—his unrequited mate bond with his best friend, Jackson. He’s convinced himself that having Jackson in his life is enough. That, and his work at Camp H.O.W.L., keeps him going.

Things get complicated when Jackson applies for a high-ranking Tribunal job in New York City—far from Camp H.O.W.L. The position requires he relinquish all Pack bonds… and that’s when his wolf decides to choose a mate. Suddenly Jackson sees his best friend in a sizzling new light.

Their chemistry is through the roof, but they're setting themselves up for broken hearts—and broken bonds—if Jackson can't figure out a way to balance his career and the love that’s just been waiting for him to take notice.

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Bio and social media:

Bru Baker writes sophisticated gay romantic fiction with strong characters, real-world problems, and plenty of humor.

Bru spent fifteen years writing for newspapers before making the jump to fiction. She now balances her time between writing and working at a Midwestern library in the reference department. Whether it’s creating her own characters or getting caught up in someone else’s, there’s no denying that Bru is happiest when she’s engrossed in a story. She and her husband have two children, which means a lot of her books get written from the sidelines of various sports practices.

Visit Bru online at www.bru-baker.com or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Review: Any Given Lifetime by Leta Blake

He'll love him in any lifetime.

Neil isn’t a ghost, but he feels like one. Reincarnated with all his memories from his prior life, he spent twenty years trapped in a child’s body, wanting nothing more than to grow up and reclaim the love of his life.

As an adult, Neil finds there's more than lost time separating them. Joshua has built a beautiful life since Neil’s death, and how exactly is Neil supposed to introduce himself? As Joshua's long-dead lover in a new body? Heartbroken and hopeless, Neil takes refuge in his work, developing microscopic robots called nanites that can produce medical miracles.

When Joshua meets a young scientist working on a medical project, his soul senses something his rational mind can't believe. Has Neil truly come back to him after twenty years? And if the impossible is real, can they be together at long last?

Any Given Lifetime is a gay romance by Leta Blake featuring reincarnation and true love. This story includes some angst, some steam, and, of course, a happy ending.



This book and I started off on shaky ground. I'll get to my quibble but I just want to say up front that if you're in the Squishy Marshmallow club, chances are you'll like Any Given Lifetime.


I recycle. I like antiques. I believe things can be restored and that other people's trash is another's treasure so it follows that I'd believe in reincarnation. I'm also a romantic and there's nothing, NOTHING more romantic than someone traversing time and space to return to their beloved.

When Neil and Joshua first met Joshua was deeply closeted and though he loved Neil completely, they never consummated their relationship. I liked the romanticism of their chasteness and I liked that it through the tragedy of Neil's death it was an awakening for Joshua. He realized that he had let happiness slip through his fingers because of fear and resolved to never again squander an opportunity to embrace life and love fully if it ever returned.

It does in the form of one of Neil's organ donor recipients, Lee. Lee is a remarkably generous person who makes room in the life he makes with Joshua for Neil. There were moments where I thought Lee was a mirage but his altruism is something everyone should aspire to.

The first part of Any Given Lifetime is non-linear and shifts between Neil growing up, flashbacks of Neil and Joshua's time together and Joshua building a new life with Lee. If books that time jump are problematic for you, exercise caution.

Neil is cantankerous, difficult, cerebral, arrogant and bristly. Outspoken and aggressively blunt; there is nothing easy about Neil. Admittedly, I struggled with the way he treated Joshua when they met for the second time but as the narrative unfolded he started to make more sense to me. He has a generous soul, but he is exceedingly bad at showing it, aside from his complete and utter devotion to his work extending and bettering the quality of human life through nanite technology.


The last part finds reincarnated Neil back in Joshua's life in the future. There is some angst but mostly it's scorching. I think I drooled a little on myself. There's something about the reverse age difference top/bottom thing that is grunt worthy to me. Even though technically it's not really a reverse age difference. I think I just confused myself.

What Any Given Lifetime did in spades was squeeze my squishy marshmallow heart because it's so unbelievably romantic that these two could find their way back to each other after twenty years. It's unbearably touching that they have their own precious secret, something remarkable, a miracle really, that only a handful of people know.

They're soulmates. Death, space, time, two lifetimes... nothing can keep them apart.


My quibble, when I really examined and distilled it down came to this: my conception of reincarnation doesn't align with this one. This version seems cruel to me but that's very subjective on my part.

Lastly, LOVED Neil's mother and his roommate Derek! I loved that they became so close and I would be most pleased were Derek to get his own book.

Recommend to timeless romance fans.



A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.


Blog Tour: Risking It All by Morningstar Ashley


The Risking It All blog tour drops by the clubhouse today! Celebrate with author Morningstar Ashley and Vibrant Promotions and learn more about the romance today!

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RISKING IT ALL
MORNINGSTAR ASHLEY
M/M ROMANCE
RELEASE DATE: 09.07.18
Risking It Cover
Cover Artist: Designs by Morningstar
Cover Photo: David Velez Fotografia
Blurb
Jaden King was raised in Boston to a wealthy family that taught him what love and hard work is. He has a challenging and rewarding career until everything was turned upside down. What was once a promising future has quickly become a frightening and unknown reality. After months of dealing with the fall out on his own, he decided getting away--or more realistically, running away--to White Acre and his best friend sounded like the perfect plan.
Danny Keegan is a laid-back man with simple tastes and an even simpler life. He adores the little town of White Acre where he grew up, he loves his parents, and he enjoys his uncomplicated life. He’s always told himself the fact that he’s a closeted gay man in a conservative, parochial town wasn’t an issue and coming out of the closet wasn’t necessary. But with the addition of Jaden in his life he realizes as happy as he is, he could be happier and the future of a love of his own doesn't seem so out of grasp as it always had.
When Jaden and Danny meet, their chemistry is undeniable but playful flirting doesn't mean anything. They start spending all their free time together, and what started as a simple friendship quickly turns into something much more than either saw coming. But, Jaden carries a secret that could end it all before it even begins. And though Jaden is scared to tell the truth and risk everything that has come to mean so much to him, he knows that he can’t go on without laying himself bare, leaving Danny with an important, life changing choice to make. His content little life or what could be the love of his life.
Will Jaden’s truth be too much for Danny, or will Danny decide a life out in the open, full of love, laughter, and passion is worth risking it all?

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Excerpt
The doorbell chiming through the house interrupted his thoughts. Good, he was tired of thinking about it. Hence why he hated lying around doing nothing. Too much thinking happened. Sigh. Maybe he should just go back to Boston.

The chill that ran down his spine halted all thoughts of that. Not yet. He wasn’t ready.

He got up off the lounge. His body immediately protested the move, wanting nothing more than to crawl back onto it, but finding out who arrived at Mac’s humble abode was too intriguing to pass up. Plus, he was bored and nosy.

“Jaden!” Mac’s voice yelled out deep and loud as he stepped into the foyer behind Mac. Jaden swore the man had no manners.

“Mac, you do not need to bellow. Didn’t your parents teach you how to use your indoor voice?” Jaden asked as haughty as he could.

Mac startled, probably not expecting him to be so close, then his near-constant smirk appeared as he replied, “Forgive my rudeness, my King.” Then the man bowed. Snarky bastard was making fun of his last name.

Jaden was really enjoying getting to know Mac. “Clearly, the art of sarcasm runs strong in you. But I love the title. Do continue to use it,” Jaden replied with a wave and a wink. It was then he turned his focus on Danny—yummy, bearded, gorgeous Danny—standing at the front door. Danny was the epitome of tall, dark, and handsome but with a boyish next-door charm. Dark brown hair, tanned skin from his work outside, and hazel eyes—more gold than brown with little flecks of green around the iris—made Danny one yum yummy package Jaden wouldn’t mind unwrapping.

"Oh, wishes do come true. It looks like my handsome knight in shining armor has shown up to rescue me," Jaden purred.

"I don’t know about the knight in shining armor bit, but I'm here to take you to Allie. She said you have plans to hang out tonight." Danny's voice was deep and smooth, sounding like silk would feel as it slid over Jaden’s skin.

Jaden didn’t know what he was talking about because he was sure he had no such plans. Something in Danny’s eyes told him to just go along with it. Maybe this had to do with the broken voicemail Bennett left him earlier. It had been so bad, he had no way of understanding what was said.

“Oh yes, my knight, how could I forget plans with my dear Allie? Let me just grab my things from my room then we can go.” Jaden walked upstairs to his room, torn between wanting to hang out with Allie and wanting to spend time with Danny flirting.

Five minutes later, Jaden was climbing into Danny’s truck—climbing being the keyword since the truck was so tall he felt like a child, small and clumsy, trying to get into it. It was the least graceful he’d ever been in his life.

The beast of a machine was over six feet tall and dark blue with silver running boards which did nothing to help him get into the vehicle without using all his muscle. His muscles weren’t much since he hated working out and figured all his walking in the city was the equivalent to going to the gym.

As soon as he settled into his seat—buckling up, of course—Jaden turned to face Danny. “Where is it we’re going exactly? Because I don’t remember making plans with Allie. Or are you kidnapping me? I could absolutely get on board with that,” Jaden said playfully. “I bet you’re the type with a secret sex dungeon in your basement where you torture poor innocent boys like me.” Jaden fluttered his eye lashes, holding his hands to his chest in mock innocence. “Not that I’m opposed to a little torture of the sexual kind.”

“You’re trouble, aren’t you, Jaden?” Danny glanced over at him, smirking before looking back at the road.

“With a capital T,” Jaden replied, biting his lip. “

All I know is Bennett needed you out of the house for something to do with Mac, and I owed Allie a favor, so I came to get you to take you to her.”



MORNINGSTAR ASHLEY LOGO - Long
Morningstar Ashley is a transplant from the Yankee-controlled territory of New York, and now finds herself in the heartland of cowboys and longhorns—Texas. Armed with her imagination, wit, and trusty sidekicks in the form of her two crazy kids, devoted dorky husband, big lap dog, and rambunctious cats, Morningstar spends her time reading the books she loves, crafting her own characters, and arguing the merits of hot chocolate over the bitter brew known as coffee. (Hot chocolate wins, FYI.)
After a lifetime of trying to get people to realize her first name wasn’t Ashley, Morningstar decided the best way to settle the debate was to put her name on a book cover. Now she find the accomplishment of publishing so satisfying her mind won’t stop creating stories of love across the spectrum of LGBTQA+.
Links:
Instagram: morningstarashleywrites
Twitter: @StarZehAshley
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Guest Review: You, Me & Her by Tanya Chris

Nate wasn’t made to be monogamous, a fact he never fails to disclose to his partners. No matter how much he loves the women he’s with, he sees potential in others. Does that make him a horrible person? His on-again, off-again lover and current co-star, Deb, certainly thinks so.

But his other co-star, Joshua, understands. Joshua, who’s fast becoming the best friend Nate ever had, doesn’t even mind when Nate hooks up with his wife, Sherry. Well, he does mind a little, but only because he has the hots for Nate himself.

Nate’s always known he’s polyamorous, but is he also bi? He loves being with Joshua. He loves being with Sherry. He definitely loves being with Joshua and Sherry together. Can he make the transition from loves-being-with to just-plain-loves? And even if he can, how does he fit into another couple’s relationship?

Meanwhile, the situation with Deb is growing ever more toxic, the future of their show is at stake, and not all of Nate’s friends are on board with the whole poly/bi thing. It’s a minefield Nate can only navigate with the help of one very special man.

Content warning for alcoholism. This book describes an open relationship that remains open after a romantic bond is formed. It’s not suitable for readers who consider open relationships to be cheating. This book includes both M/F and M/M loving.


Reviewer: Annery

Nate is a happy-go-lucky kind of guy who just wants to love and be loved in return. To belong without ownership. No monogamy or jealousy in his game. At 26 he’s like a great big puppy, without an ounce of guile or a mean bone in his body. I loved him. The problem is how society at large perceives people who are into open relationships: “unfaithful, disloyal, unloving, sex fiends” who at best can’t make up their minds or at worst are manipulators. In Nate’s case nothing can be further from the truth.

I really enjoyed this honest and somewhat hopeful portrayal of what an open & poly relationship can be like when the parties are coming from a place of honesty, respect, and love. It’s like a glimpse of Utopia for those who like to share and share alike.

Apparently Nate and some of the other characters have appeared in previous books, which I’ll probably check out, but I can’t say it’s necessary to have read them to enjoy this one. So what’s the story?

Nate lives somewhere not-NYC, I want to say Connecticut or NJ?, works construction for his uncle’s company, and is a cast member at CENTRAL PLAYHOUSE, a local community theater. He’s also considered something of a local Lothario, except he’s not. He just has room in his affections for more than one person at a time. Nate believes in and practices free love. He cares deeply for the well being and satisfaction of his partners, who until now have all been female. He has never thought of himself as other than heterosexual but things are about to change.

During the audition and rehearsals for a local production of Othello he meets and befriends Joshua, who pretty much immediately becomes a protector and a source of comfort when Nate is feeling unsure or low. There’s a spark. Even though at first Nate only recognizes it as friendship we, the readers, see the undercurrents pulling him in further. The initial lure is Joshua’s wife Sherry, a singer, a free spirit, and all around fun person. Nate starts coming around mostly to “sleep” with Sherry, with Joshua’ approval, but he stays because he feels at home. Joshua cares for him by cooking breakfast or just listening to him. Joshua makes no secret of wanting Nate but respects his assertions of being heterosexual.

Nate’s journey from being exclusively heterosexual to becoming curious to falling for Sherry AND Joshua is done in such an organic and seamless way that I believed every word. Nate is bisexual. He’d just never thought about it. He’d settled for the standard assumption of heterosexuality. This doesn’t mean that he no longer likes women. He does. [If you don’t like vaginas this may not be a book for you.] I liked that the author shows how each partner in this triad satisfies a different need for the others: Sherry is the bubbly fun, Nate is the endlessly curious, affectionate, and attention loving puppy dog, and Joshua is the caretaker and glue that keeps them all afloat. Did I mention that I love Joshua? I do. Big time. Nothing could be better than being sheltered by his loving care. Also he’s a poet.

The rest of the book is populated by Nate’s family, friends, and colleagues from the theater. At first not all of them are supportive or understand. In fact quite a few of his previous sexual partners acted like he’d cheated on them or deceived them. It’s a bit disingenuous on their part given that Nate practically has a brand on himself saying no-monogamy. One of them is Deb. Nate’s been having an on/off sexual relationship with her for four years! Why? Deb insist on keeping it a secret. She barely acknowledges him in public. It turns out Deb belongs to the monogamy club, which is fine. However she insists that Nate just hasn’t found the “right person”, which of course is her. She refuses to be public with their relationship unless Nate promises exclusivity, which he won’t. She’s pretty horrid to Nate, Joshua, and her friends in general. Her behaviour is somewhat excused & pinned on bad family history and alcoholism, but in vino veritas. To me she was just part of the ubiquitous moral police who will always look with suspicion on those who opt for another road. Ugh!

Thankfully I can say that Nate, Joshua, and Sherry reach a “work-in-progress” HEA that works for them and worked for me as reader.

I’d recommend this to anyone. Even if you’re not a sharer Tanya Chris beautifully shows how a relationship like this can work for those who do want to go with “more is more”. How it’s not cheating if you’re all in agreement about what you want. How the fact of sleeping or having sex with others doesn’t negate your love, loyalty, and faithfulness to your partner(s). Maybe it’s not for you but you can certainly root and be happy for those choose it.



Blog Tour + Giveaway: Flash Me (Heathens Ink #7) by K.M. Neuhold


Author K.M. Neuhold and Vibrant Promotions make the final stop on the Flash Me (Heathens Ink #7) blog tour today! Learn more about the poly romance and enter in the giveaway to win a $10 Amazon gift card!

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FLASH ME
A Heathens Ink Novel
K.M. NEUHOLD
M/M ROMANCE
RELEASE DATE: 09.03.18
Flash Me Final


Blurb
Liam
I was kicked out at sixteen for being transgender, but it turned out to be one of the best things to ever happen to me. At twenty-one, I have a fantastic new family made up of my brother and a handful of wonderful friends, I own my own photography business, and I’m happier than I imagined possible. There’s just one thing missing… Okay, maybe two…
Wyatt
When I took the position volunteering as a therapist at Rainbow House, I knew I’d found my place in the world: helping teens who had been rejected by their families. What I didn’t expect was the friendship I formed with Liam or how it would grow over the years into a crush I just couldn’t shake. I’m happy to see him finally opening himself up to dating with someone he trusts like Owen. But when he comes to me and asks if I can help his boyfriend, I feel like there’s more to the request than just a few therapy sessions. The more I get to know Owen, the more I like him, too.
Owen
I’m not sure why I believe so much in fate when she’s dealt me nothing but crappy hands—a stint in prison and enough childhood horrors to fuel all my adult nightmares. But I still hold on to the idea that everything happens for a reason. What I can’t figure out is why fate would plop me naked into Liam’s bed under the pretext of helping him with a photo series for a gallery showing. Or why my stomach goes funny every time he smiles at me. Liam is too sweet to be exposed to my demons, but I don’t know how to protect him…Maybe that’s why fate gave us Wyatt.
***This is the seventh book in the Heathens Ink series. Each book in the series CAN be read as a stand-alone, but characters do re-occur so it’s more fun to read them all!




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Excerpt
Holy fuck.

My eyes greedily memorize the way Owen's soaked shirt clings to his muscles. The colorful skin of his arms glisten under the fluorescent lights of the coffee shop, and the scent of his sweat tickles my nose. I can’t say I’ve ever found anything particularly sexy about a sweaty man. Sex sweat is fine, but not something that revved my engine. Consider me a convert, because it’s taking all my willpower to keep myself from flattening my body against Owen’s and drenching myself in his sweat, licking it off his neck, and rubbing against his slick body until sweat isn’t the only thing he’s drenched in.

Fuck, I’m such a bad person. His date with Liam was last night and here I am imagining humping him like an unneutered dog.

“Out for an early run?” I guess, looking down at his running shoes.

“Yeah,” he answers without any further elaboration.

I’ve known all the guys from Heathens Ink for years now but Owen is the only one I’ve hardly talked to, and I’m not sure why. Maybe because he’s always come off as more standoffish than the other guys? That doesn’t usually stop me with people, but I don’t have any other explanation. It feels like an oversight I should rectify. If Liam’s going to be dating him, I should get to know him better.

My stomach clenches, hot with jealousy knowing I was too late. Not that I was even too late, that I never had a shot with Liam to begin with. How can it hurt this much to know I can’t have him, when I only just realized I wanted him?

“How was your date with Liam?” I ask conversationally as the line inches slowly forward. Owen looks surprised by my question. “Liam and I are close,” I explain.

“Oh, yeah, I guess I should’ve realized. I’ve seen you two together a lot. It was great, Liam is…” Owen trails off, seeming to try to think of an adjective to describe Liam. I could help him out with that— Smart, funny, adorably shy at times, flirty and playful others, sexy, perfect.

“Yeah, he is,” I agree with his unfinished sentence, knowing he must be thinking the same things I am based on the smile tilting the corners of his lips.



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I'm an author of m/m and new adult romance. I have a strong passion for writing characters with a lot of heart and soul, and a bit of humor as well.
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Audiobook Review: Bad Company (Bad in Baltimore #1) by K.A. Mitchell

Second Edition

Some things are sweeter than revenge.

“I need a boyfriend.”

Hearing those words from his very straight, very ex-best friend doesn’t put Nate in a helpful mood. Not only did Kellan Brooks’s father destroy Nate’s family in his quest for power, but Kellan broke Nate’s heart back in high school. Nate thought he could trust his best friend with the revelation that he might be gay, only to find out he was horribly wrong and become the laughingstock of the whole school. Kellan must be truly desperate if he’s turning to Nate now.

Kellan’s through letting his father run his life, and he wants to make the man pay for cutting him off. What better way to stick it to the bigot than to come out as gay himself—especially with the son of the very man his father crushed on his quest for money and power. Kellan can’t blame Nate for wanting nothing to do with him, though. Kellan will have to convince him to play along, but it’s even harder to convince himself that the heat between them is only an act....

First Edition published by Samhain Publishing Inc. June 2011.

Narrated by: Chet Daniel
Listening Length: 5 hours and 50 minutes



Where have I been that I have not read this before? I don’t know why I never grabbed it when it was first published but I just didn’t. When the audio came out, I decided to take a listen and knew I had to know what Nate would decide when his prodigal BFF comes back begging for a boyfriend, when Kellan isn’t gay.

Hmm.

Gah! This is exactly a SARA kind of book. I love unrequited love and I love the journey of sexual exploration. This book has been out for a good number of years so I won’t rehash what everyone already knows and just tell you what I loved about it.

Kellan is desperate and in need of revenge against his asshat of a father. What better way to flip the old man the bird than shove it in his homophobic face that his only living son is now living a HEA with is best friend from childhood, a man. I get why Kellan is doing what he is doing and I totally get why he chose Nate. Though it’s told to us over and over again that Kellan isn’t gay, I tend to think you don’t really know what turns your crank if you’ve never gripped the handle. Am I right? You know I am.

So. Kellan proposes this scheme to his BFF Nate and begs Nate to be his boyfriend. Nate’s first reaction is hell to the fuck no, but Nate has always had a soft spot for Kellan so he drags his feet all the way to his apartment to make a decision. He can’t stand seeing Kellan as desperate as he is even though he wants to like it. Nate is too good of a guy to let Kellan suffer but he’s not too good of a guy to make Kellan prove that he can pull of being gay.


“You pretend to be my boyfriend. Wait—you help me pretend that we’re madly in love.”

“How long are we talking?”

“I don’t think it should be longer than a month or two—hell, maybe Geoffrey will be kissing my ass in a week.”

“What if he doesn’t give a shit? Then what are you going to do?”

“Well, that’ll be my problem again, won’t it?”

“Two months.”

“Deal.”

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the fake boyfriend trope. It’s one of my favorites because you know that being that close to someone, having to fake feelings usually turns into more. It’s a special kind of slow burn that gives the good kind of angst wondering if and when they will admit to it all being more than fake. It’s so good and this book, it delivers on the UST and angst deliciously.

Now. Some may say Kellan is selfish and some may say Nate is selfish when the truth is; both men are pretty fucked up. They come with baggage but they also come with a history that goes back to them being friends since the 2nd grade. Sure, this fake relationship set-up is a bit out there on the believable scale but Nate and Kellan have been friends for a long time, it's not unthinkable that boys who learned how to masturbate together would have feelings for each other.

Both of these men are broken but so very real that I couldn’t stop listening to this.

Getting both POV's was so damn needed in this book. With this trope you need to know what each party is thinking and when they realize they crossed the line from fake to real. We know Kellan is pretty selfish but when people's jobs are threatened because of his father, he does the right thing by them. Kellan is lost. He's a rich boy who only knows one way of life, the easy one but when his father throws down the gauntlet on his lifestyle, Kellan fights back. He may be selfish but he's not a doormat.

Nate is amazing but Nate is also lost. These two are such grounding forces for the other and have been since they were boys. It makes sense that when they parted, when they weren't in one another's lives they would lose part of their way until the road led them back together. Nate is happy Kellan is back in his life, even if under the lie they are presenting and he is scared to screw things up and lose his best friend again.

I only want him to be happy. It was still the truth. No matter what, Nate was glad of the chance to have fixed up their friendship.

Chet Daniel did an awesome job narrating this romance. It was his narration that made me sit up and take notice of the book and finally get Nate and Kellan’s story. I loved how he brought the men to life and the side characters as well. Giving each character their own voice to blend into the story seamlessly with precision was so much fun to listen to. He made me blush during a few scenes, laugh and even tear up when the emotions got heavy. Daniel is a new to me narrator but will now be a go to for more audio books to come.

I really loved this story, if you couldn’t tell. I am happy with it from the first page to the last and all the others in between. Kellan broke my heart with his camp story and Nate had me emotional with what happened to him in high school. These two haven’t had it easy but I am so happy they found one another and were able to move from friends to lovers.

Last but certainly not least, I ADORED Eli. OMG. I can’t wait for him to get a man for himself and get his own HEA.


A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.