Blog Tour: Screwed (Four Bear Construction #4) by K.M. Neuhold


Author K.M. Neuhold and Vibrant Promotions host today's blog tour stop for Screwed (Four Bear Construction #4) by K.M. Neuhold! Learn more today!

 


 


Blurb

I’ve had my fair share of less than proud relationship moments, but waking up married to my brother-in-law’s best friend is a new low. 


A drunken wedding to a man who already rejected me once? Check. A hefty bet about how long it will last? Check. My feisty new husband, determined to make our friends pay up? Double check. 

I’ve never managed to make a real relationship last nearly a year, there’s no way Daniel will stick around long enough to win this bet. The only problem is the longer he stays, the more the lines blur between what’s real and what’s for show. Does he feel it too, or am I totally screwed?


***Screwed is a woke up married, faking it to their friends but also totally hooking up, sweet, STEAMY love story that happens to be the fourth book in the Four Bears Construction series. There are no bear shifters in this series, only the OTHER kind of bears.


Universal Link: https://books2read.com/Screwed

 



Excerpt


I lift my left hand closer to my face, sure I’m having some kind of hangover induced hallucination. I mean, why the hell would I have a silver band around my left ring finger? Running my thumb over the band, it feels very much real, the metal smooth and warm from my skin. 

“What the actual fuck?” I mutter, finally leaning over and filling my mouth with water so I can rinse and spit. Obviously, I got drunk and decided to put on Ren’s wedding band for some reason that I’m sure made sense when I was ten shots of tequila deep. 

I shuffle back out of the bathroom, slipping the ring off as I go. Ollie is still passed the fuck out on the bed, the sheets tangled around one leg while the other hangs off the side of the bed, his ass looking entirely biteable in his tight boxer briefs. I glance down at myself, realizing for the first time that I have no clue what I fell asleep in. A pair of loose fitting boxers hang on my hips. Ollie’s underwear, awesome.

Oh no, did we fuck? I look around helplessly for any clue to what might’ve happened. There aren’t any condom wrappers or lube packets in sight, but that doesn’t necessarily prove anything. I slip one hand into my underwear and between my ass cheeks. No traces of lube, and my hole doesn’t feel sore, so whatever we might’ve done, it wasn’t that. Thank fuck, because I would’ve been pissed if I blacked out a dicking from a man like that. 

I don’t want to rummage through Ollie’s stuff, so I set the ring on the nightstand on his side of the bed where he’ll be able to see it and put it away when he wakes up. Good thing I didn’t lose it. Ren would’ve had my ass, and not in the fun way. 

I climb back into bed, propping my pillow up against the headboard and grabbing my phone so I can check for any missed calls. My heart jolts when I see dozens of missed calls and texts from Ren. 

“Oh fuck, please don’t be anything bad,” I mutter, opening the text thread. 



Ren: I can’t decide if I’m pissed or amused right now. I can’t believe you did this and with Ollie of all people



That’s not a good sign. I scroll up to get more context, and I find a video I apparently sent to Ren at three in the morning. I swear to god if Ollie and I made a porn and sent it to Ren… I shake my head at myself and hit the play button on the video.

“I should call Ren and tell him to come down here. Shit, I think this thing is recording. Oh, I can send it to Ren!” I giggle and hiccup. “Rennnnnnnn, I know you’re probably balls deep in your man, or vice versa, but Ollie and I are at the Little White Wedding Chapel and you should totally come down here and watch us get married. Oh my god, bring Cole too. He should see his brother get married. Can you bring rice to throw? Fuck, do we have rice to throw at their wedding?”

The camera jostles and Ollie comes into view looking just as fucking hammered as I did. 

“You’re not supposed to throw rice. We’re going to get bubbles.” 

“Bubbles! Ren, bring bubbles!” I start laughing again, and Ollie joins in. “Dang, they’re calling our name, I have to go. Hey, this means you and me are going to be brother-in-laws. Brothers-in-law? Brother-ins-laws?” I start laughing again, and the video ends. 

“Nooooooo,” I gasp, staring at my phone in horror. After the video is a dozen texts from Ren telling me not to marry Ollie and then a few more where he seems pretty resigned to the fact that it probably happened and mildly pissed at me. “No, no, no.”

 


About the Author


Author K.M.Neuhold is a complete romance junkie, a total sap in every way. She started her journey as an author in new adult, MF romance, but after a chance reading of an MM book she was completely hooked on everything about lovely- and sometimes damaged- men finding their Happily Ever After together. She has a strong passion for writing characters with a lot of heart and soul, and a bit of humor as well. And she fully admits that her OCD tendencies of making sure every side character has a full backstory will likely always lead to every book having a spin-off or series. When she's not writing she's a lion tamer, an astronaut, and a superhero...just kidding, she's likely watching Netflix and snuggling with her husky while her amazing husband brings her coffee.



 linktr.ee/KMNeuhold

 

 

 

Release Blitz + Giveaway: Skins Box Set (Vol 1-4) by Garrett Leigh

 

Garrett Leigh and Signal Boost Promotions host today's release blitz for Skins Box Set (Vol 1-4)! The author shares more info about the series! And also hosts a giveaway where you can win your own eBook copy of the box set!





Cover Design: Black Jazz Design

The bestselling SKINS series.

“I can’t get enough of this gorgeous series. Heartfelt and beautiful, I’m totally addicted."


Dream

When unrequited love leaves Dylan Hart sleepless and nursing his wounds, instinct draws him to the one place he's found mindless respite in the past—Lovato’s. It’s a place for every fantasy—where a night of insane NSA fun with former ballet dancer Angelo brings relief to Dylan’s fragile feelings.


Friends to lovers, hurt comfort, angst.

Whisper

Lonely physiotherapist Harry Foster has the world at his feet. A full client list, a six figure Instagram following, and a publishing deal for a book he doesn’t have time to write until his agent offers him a break—a retreat to the wild south west coast.

Cornish horseman Joe Carter is lonely too. On paper, they have nothing in common, but Joe is beautiful…glorious, and when an accident puts his life in Harry’s healing hands, the whisper of true love is inevitable. If the trouble that put the farm on its knees in the first place doesn’t get in the way.

Friends to lovers, hurt comfort, horses, forced proximity.


Believe

Flight paramedic Rhys Foster is hooked on adrenaline. By day it’s blood and guts, by night it’s the thrill of the club. Entertainer Jevon Campbell is a play therapist like no other—dancer, magician, acrobat. Their connection is instant. As the days slip by, Rhys must learn to believe he’s worth the happiness Jevon is offering.

Friends to lovers, first times, men in uniform.

Crossroads

Angelo Giordano and Dylan Hart are more in love than ever. As the end of a tough year approaches, they reach a crossroads. Dylan returns to Cornwall for Christmas and Angelo can’t imagine watching him leave again. Can the love that surrounds them on Whisper Farm show them the way home?

Christmas novella, favourite characters, found family.


Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer.

Garrett's debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.

When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.

Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock site moonstockphotography.com with renowned LGBTQA+ photographer Dan Burgess.

Website: http://www.garrettleigh.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/garrettleighauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Garrett_Leigh


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Release Blitz: Bad Apple: A modern mpreg fairytale by Colbie Dunbar & Trisha Linde


Authors Colbie Dunbar & Trisha Linde, along with Gay Book Promotions, host the release blitz for Bad Apple (Once Upon an M/M Romance #1), a modern mpreg fairytale! Check it out!

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Bad Apple: A modern mpreg fairytale
Author: Colbie Dunbar & Trisha Linde
Cover Artist: Fantasia Frog Designs
Release Date: September 17, 2020
Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance, mpreg, reimagined fairy tale
Trope/s: Forbidden love, bad boy romance. Fated love.
Themes: Starting over. Second chances.
Heat Rating: 4 flames
Length: 36 000 words
It’s the first book in the Once Upon an M/M Romance series, but each is a standalone.

Buy Links - Available in Kindle Unlimited

There’s no such thing as fairytales—until there’s a happily ever after.


Blurb

There’s no such thing as fairytales—until there’s a happily ever after.

When mob boss Nico Drakos dies, his son, omega Zane, knows the time is ripe for change. Just because all the mob’s business dealings have always been illegal, that doesn’t mean they need to stay that way. Zane is well-loved by everyone, and the council is ready to follow him wherever he might lead them. Time to put his business degree to work! The only person that stands in his way is his father’s second-in-command, Donovan Morelli.

Alpha Blaze was practically raised by the mob, groomed and trained to follow orders, no matter how dark. But, seething with jealousy, Donovan gives Blaze a command. One he can’t refuse. While Blaze keeps a wary eye on Zane, he falls under the omega’s spell. Then the alpha does the unthinkable. He defies his order.

Zane needs a safe place to hole up, but he doesn’t give a damn about his surroundings because the alpha everyone considers a bad apple lights a fire in his heart, one Zane is powerless to extinguish. With a memorable cast of supporting characters, this classic fairytale gets a modern mpreg twist.

For fans of alphas and omegas who give everything to be with the one who they love, this first book in Colbie Dunbar and Trisha Linde’s Once Upon An M/M Romance series checks all the boxes. It includes an alpha and omega who refuse to be defined by their past; seven men and women with whimsical quirks whose fierce loyalty to Zane earns them a place in his heart; plus a baby who arrives safely, despite the odds.

And while there is no once upon a time, they do live happily ever after.


Trailer Video






Excerpt

Chapter 3

Zane

I studied the man on my doorstep. He seemed kinda familiar and his scent washed over me, reminding me of coffee and something else I couldn’t pinpoint. Why? He smelt nothing like a good brew. One of Sam’s co-workers, I guessed.

I was disappointed and hoped my favorite delivery man hadn’t been fired or taken another job because I didn’t fancy this creep on my doorstep every time I craved a taco or quesadilla.

I made to grab the bag and hand over the tip, but the guy held on tight to the food. That’s my dinner! My right hand crept to my pocket as I asked, “Is there a problem?”

He nodded and his muffled voice said, “Payment didn’t go through.” He shrugged. “Gremlins in the app.”

Seriously? Gremlins? No hit man I’d ever met—and I hated that I’d made the acquaintance of more than one— ever talked like that. Tension released from my body as the guy held up his phone showing what I owed. “Okay. I’ll get the money.”

I was searching for my wallet, tossing cushions across the room and swearing, when an aroma that commanded attention struck me in the face and had the hair on the back of my neck standing up.

A pair of boots appeared in my line of vision, and I reared away. “Fuck me sideways with a broomstick!” The words exploded from my lips. I’d never seriously considered having someone order a hit on me, but faced with potential death, my pulse sped up and my mouth became dry.

Seconds passed, but time stretched out and it seemed like hours. It was as though everything was moving in slow motion. The grandfather clock ticked in the corner and dust particles floated past my head as my trembling fingers reached for the gun.

The intruder cocked his head. “Wouldn’t a broomstick be painful? Not a place you want to get a splinter. Ouch!” He put his hands on his hips.

I froze. Who is this guy? Air whooshed out of my mouth and I took a moment to compose myself. “You scared me. What in the hell are you doing barging into my house?”

“You said you’d get the money.” His voice was echoing in that stupid helmet.

“You must be new. Or been raised by wolves.” Come to think of it, wolves would have taught him better manners.

“Hey! What’s that supposed to mean?”

I rubbed my forehead, convinced I’d aged ten years in the last few minutes. “Nothing. But next time, wait at the door.” I shoved a fistful of bills in his palm and curled his fingers around them. And that was my first mistake. One of many.

Skin to skin. My breath fogging his visor. The warmth of his hand seeped into mine and a tingling sensation spread over my body.

I should have let go.

I should have taken a step back.

I should have shoved him out the door and complained to the restaurant owner about the lousy service.

But I did none of those things. I didn’t move and neither did he. If this was his first day on the job, he might think all his customers held his hand. Poor guy. I pulled away and he made a strangled sound. It was hard to tell with that stupid helmet. “You okay?” If he was choking, I could give him mouth-to-mouth.

He bobbed his head.

“I’m Zane.”

He mumbled something.

“Hayes?”

More gibberish.

“Rays?” Were there two of them? Ray One and Ray Two?

“No.”

Okay, I heard that loud and clear. “Take off that thing, please. If you’re going to be bringing my dinner a couple of times a week, we should introduce ourselves.”


About the Authors
Colbie Dunbar
My characters are sexy, hot, adorable—and often filthy—alphas and omegas. Feudal lords with dark secrets, lonely omegas running away from their past, and alphas who refuse to commit.
Lurking in the background are kings, mafia dons, undercover agents and highwaymen with a naughty gleam in their eye.
As for me? I dictate my steamy stories with a glass of champagne in one hand. Because why not?

Social Media Links

Trisha Linde
Trisha Linde spends all her time immersed in books, both reading and writing, mainly because she lives where it's too cold to do anything else, and what better way to keep warm than a hot book. The first time she read mpreg, it was love at first sight, and there's no turning back now.



Review: Master of Restless Shadows (Master of Restless Shadows #1) by Ginn Hale

Freshly graduated Master Physician Narsi Lif-Tahm has left his home in Anacleto and journeyed to the imposing royal capital of Cieloalta intent upon keeping the youthful oath he made to a troubled writer. But in the decade since Narsi gave his pledge, Atreau Vediya has grown from an anonymous delinquent to a man renowned for penning bawdy operas and engaging in scandalous affairs.

What Narsi―and most of the larger world―cannot know is the secret role Atreau plays as spymaster for the Duke of Rauma.

After the Cadeleonian royal bishop launches an unprovoked attack against the witches in neighboring Labara, Atreau will require every resource he can lay his hands upon to avert a war. A physician is exactly what he needs. But with a relentless assassin hunting the city and ancient magic waking, Atreau fears that his actions could cost more than his own honor. The price of peace could be his friends’ lives.




I'm blaming this on 2020. Many things have been challenging for me this year. Reading has been hit or miss but this is Ginn Hale.

GINN-EFFING-HALE! 

Author of the greatest series to ever series: The Rifter.

But try as I might I could not get into this. I loved the White Hell books and even the Wolf books and with this new series being set in the same world I figured this would be a slam dunk.

Surely, it's me I thought. So I put it down and tried again later.

Rinse and repeat.

I halfway blame myself for not having the wherewithal to soldier on and push through but... nay. I'm blaming 2020.

My apologies to the great Ginn Hale. I won't let this diminish my fangirling of her other books nor will it give me pause whenever she releases something else.

Obviously, YMMV. I sincerely hope it does, actually.



A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.



Release Blitz + Giveaway: Draw (Overtime #3) by V.L. Locey


Author V.L. Locey and Signal Boost Promotions host today's release blitz for Draw (Overtime #3)! Learn more about the latest romance in the series and enter in the giveaway of Point Shot Trilogy eBook!





All Buy Links

Length: 62,000 approx.

Cover Design: Meredith Russell

Vic & Dan Books

Point Shot Trilogy
Coach's Challenge (Cayuga Cougars #3)

Overtime Trilogy

Book #1 - Rebound
Book #2 - Final Shot

Blurb

They say first loves never last. Jackie Blue Kalinski was about to show them—whoever they are—that the word never is not in his vocabulary.

From the time Jack Kalinski was a preschooler he had a good sense of who he was and where he wanted to go in life. His childhood was spent drawing beautiful dresses for pretty people, male and female alike. Growing up with two dads who played hockey wasn’t exactly conducive to late night talks about tulle or tailor’s chalk, but he never let that stop his dreams of becoming a fashion designer or expressing the genderqueer heart that beat in his chest. His family’s love and support helped him through some painful losses that shaped him into the strong, vivacious, and charismatic college student he is today. Life hasn’t been a smooth ride, but Jack has persevered and is about to take the fashion world by storm.

Little does he suspect that his tidy life is about to be scorched by a chance meeting with one of the men playing hockey on the gay team his father coaches. Martin McKittrick not only catches Jack’s eye, but the much older man wins his heart. The passionate affair with the captain of the Marine Unit of the BFD burns red hot until the new couple run into a few snags that might dampen the inferno: Jack’s ascent into the fashion world, Martin’s job and the inherent dangers that come with it, and the fact that the well-kept secret romance has just been exposed to the world in a rather big way.



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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Release Blitz + Giveaway: You. Always You by M.E.


You. Always You. by author M.E. is out now! Find out more about this Daddy kink romance, read an excerpt & enter in the giveaway to win your own e-copy PLUS the entire back catalogue of Quin & Perin too! Good luck!


RELEASE BLITZ 


Book Title: You. Always you. 

Author: M.E. 

Publisher: Perin 

Cover Artist: M.E. 

Release Date: September 15, 2020 

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance 

Trope/s: Mild age play, Daddy Kink, Power play, hurt/comfort 

Themes: Toxic relationship, manipulation, humor, 

erotic, heartache, Open (Happy) End 

Heat Rating: 4 flames 

Length: 44 000 words/ 180 pages 

It is a standalone story. 



Buy Links - Available in Kindle Unlimited
Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 




A seductively toxic gay romance




Blurb



Whatever happened in your past, did not happen. And I am your only future.

I am obsessed with you; you’re obsessed with me.





You hurt me to comfort me.



You break me to put me back together.



And I do the same to you.





I am addicted to you; you’re addicted to me.





You told me this would be a bad idea.



You warned me of the heartache.



And I did it anyway.





I like you; you like me.





When I see you, my sun rises.



When I see you, it is summer in Berlin.



When I see you, I can still hear us laugh.



But I wasn’t gonna go, and you weren’t gonna stay.



I wonder if your heart aches when you see me.



I wonder if your sun rises when you see me.



I wonder if you smile …



And if you do, will you stay?



Or will I go?





You. Always You. is a steamy 44k vignette about a toxic love story between two men. It features elements of romance, humor, hurt/comfort, a dash of violence, mild age play, and Daddy play. Approach with caution. You’ve been warned.







Excerpt

My little puppy




I frown down at you while you stare up at me with your big, dark puppy eyes. “What are you still doing up? It’s past eleven.”



“I was waiting for you, Daddy.”



I smirk, like I’d fall for that. “You know the rules.”



“No, really!” Suddenly, your voice sounds almost childish. You’ve turned little right in front of me. You push your laptop carelessly off to the side and blink up at me. “I was waiting for you, Daddy.” You jump up to stand, hands going for my shirt.



I shake my head, “Uh-uh.” I know your games, your excuses. You’ve been watching something on your laptop and lost track of time. It’s always the same … the longer you stay up, the longer you’ll sleep in. Or not sleep at all. It’s not good for you, which is why we have the 10 p.m. bedtime rule.



“Daddy,” you whine, fingers curling in my shirt to pull at me. You can tell that I’m disappointed, yet you lie once more, “I was waiting for you. I cannot sleep without my Daddy …”



I stand still, watch your well-practiced innocent act play across your face and then reach down to unclasp your fingers from my shirt. “Take off my sweater.” Your eyes grow wide as I say that. I usually love seeing my clothes on you. Especially when we’re around other people. “Take it off.”



“But—”



“Now,” I growl, snapping my fingers as if that would make you move faster. It doesn’t.



Instead, you keep arguing. “I’ll be cold!”



“I said … Take. It. Off.”



“Why …?” you mumble as you finger the seam of the long sweater; it’s black and warm.



“You don’t deserve it.” I can hear the whine emanate from your throat, spilling past your lips. I could spank you. I could forbid you to watch any movies next weekend, but instead, I choose this. It’s a greater punishment for you to shed something that so clearly marks you as mine. “I’m taking it back.”



“No, no, you cannot do that!” You lunge forward again, tugging at my shirt while I stand above you like a statue. Tall and imposing. “You gave it to me, Daddy. It was a gift.”



“I take it back.” A pained sound escapes your lips, unlike anything I’ve ever heard before. Your bottom lip quivers and your eyes turn glossy. It pains you, deeply. But it also angers you, I can feel it simmer below the surface.



“Fine,” you snap.



“Fine what?” I probe as you take a step back, still not taking off my sweater. In fact, you cross your arms like a petulant child.



“I watched something on Netflix because I didn’t want to go to sleep,” you admit, mumbling every word; it’s almost adorable. But mostly amusing.



“There you go,” I say and sit down on the couch while you still stand beside it. You turn back to look at me over your shoulder, arms still crossed.



“I am keeping the sweater,” you announce; it makes me chuckle. I am already thinking about how I can punish you. This is always the best part. Punishing my little puppy.



“You lied to me. Liars must be punished.” Shuffling on your feet, you move to face me completely, the sleeves of my sweater covering your hands because you pulled them all the way down.



“But-but I confessed ...”



I arch an eyebrow and shake my head at you, “Not good enough.” A few moments tick by before I tell you to kneel. You kneel. I order you to take off my shoes, you do that too.



I always enjoy watching you down there, between my feet, placing my shoes neatly below the coffee table. Like I’ve trained you to do. The first time you’d just tossed them aside. Bad little puppy. No more sloppiness.









About the Author 

M.E. are the initials of the two men who’ve created this story. One being the writer, the other being the muse. 

Their story is brought to you by Perin from Quin & Perin 








Social Media Links 




Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win 

the entire Quin & Perin catalogue plus You. Always you. in ebook format 












Tag Team Review: The Sugared Game (The Will Darling Adventures #2) by K.J. Charles

It's been two months since Will Darling saw Kim Secretan, and he doesn't expect to see him again. What do a rough and ready soldier-turned-bookseller and a disgraced shady aristocrat have to do with each other anyway? But when Will encounters a face from the past in a disreputable nightclub, Kim turns up, as shifty, unreliable, and irresistible as ever. And before Will knows it, he's been dragged back into Kim's shadowy world of secrets, criminal conspiracies, and underhand dealings. This time, though, things are underhanded even by Kim standards. This time, the danger is too close to home. And if Will and Kim can't find common ground against unseen enemies, they risk losing everything.











Adam - 4 Hearts

Picking up a few months after the end of ‘Slipper Creatures’, the sequel starts with Will and Kim... at odds to put it lightly.

It isn’t Will’s fault of course. Kim, being up to his regular Kim-self, dropped all contact without even a simple goodbye.

When the two reconnect, Will’s suspicious there’s something afoot. And he’s absolutely right!

Kim drags Will right back into his cloak-and-dagger world, and Will finds himself unable to resist the pull - of neither the man, nor the intrigue.

In book 1, I was a bit put off by Will’s sense of entitlement to Kim’s total honesty. In the sequel, there’s no expectation of Kim being completely upfront about what was going on. Will fully expects secrets and half-truths.

And oddly enough, that made the relationship between the two so much more believable. Kim’s approach to the world is messy, but it’s simply who he is. And Will finally understanding, if not necessarily accepting, that was a big step forward.

It also seemed to give Kim the sense of reassurance he needed to begin letting Will in. Kim might be too comfortable always trying to manipulate those around him, but his actions become more understandable once his backstory is explained.

Will and Kim are complete opposites and have a lot of baggage, but their connection is so very obvious and sweet in the rare quiet moments they have together.

It wasn’t difficult at all to root for them, and to believe that they could make a go of it if they’d only get their heads out of their asses!

But that does take a while. Building a relationship takes time and effort regardless, but being in the middle of a conspiracy just makes things even more complicated.

The mystery/plot was thoroughly entertaining and kept me hooked. Many of the questions from the preceding book are answered in a delightfully shocking fashion.

Even better - this time around Will is an active participant. He and Kim make a good team!

Overall, I really enjoyed this follow-up to Will and Kim’s story. Book #2 delivered both the action and the romance that I was looking for. There’s still a fragility to their relationship, so I’m really looking forward to seeing how it all ends in book #3!

R *A Reader Obsessed* - 4 Hearts

This is not a standalone, so please check out Slippery Creatures first.

Although I liked the first installment, this second entry brings more of everything - suspense, action, mystery and intrigue, and thankfully, romance!

Last we saw Will and Kim, they had thwarted the secretive society The Zodiac, and both think they’ve mainly come to an unsaid agreement with the nefarious group to avoid the other and move on. Will and Kim have also moved on by enjoying each other, so much so that Will thinks it’s the start to something very good, but Kim suddenly off and disappears with basically no promises or reassurances.

Two long months pass with nary a word, and Will shouldn’t be bothered. He shouldn't be hurt but nonetheless, he is. Just when Will thinks his life has gone back to the normal tedium of being a bookshop owner, Kim shows up at his door with not much explanation but instead, with a plea for help with his next undercover mission. Not surprisingly, Will’s the sort to never say no to a good cause, and it doesn’t particularly help that he’s bored out of his skull. Pair it with possibly putting a stick in Zodiac again, and Will’s all for watching Kim’s back as Kim tries to get evidence on Zodiac’s mysterious leader. Plus, it’s always a good thing when these two can spend some more quality time together, and it’s quickly understood that despite the separation, their attraction to each other has only intensified.

Assuredly, this was faster paced than the first book. Once the primary dilemma is set in motion, the story pulls the reader along, especially when Kim is still keeping secrets, and Will is damn tired of him doing so. However, what Kim suspects is quite the shocking reveal and again, how the problem unravels and spirals out of control, forcing these two to work in sync was fabulous to witness.

So, if you’re looking for a continued evolution of romance between opposites Will and Kim, with plenty of cultural shoutouts to the roaring 20’s, this MM historical will work a treat. There‘s definitely some complexity here as Will knows there’s a social divide between himself and Kim, and he wonders how he’ll fit, if ever, into Kim’s glamorous life. Will also feels he’s making all the concessions (because he is), and he’s angry and resentful that he’s the only one with his heart on his sleeve with no reciprocity to be seen. One finally gets to see beyond Kim’s indifferent mask that hides a man weighed down by guilt and obligation, his personal demons compelling him to play his cards close to the vest. Kim plays the martyr well, often feeling undeserving of any love or affections, especially from Will. The deeper depths explored between these two was much appreciated, and additional props to the fabulous female cast who hold their own against their male counterparts!

This ends again with the main conflict resolved, making me even more curious as to how Charles will wrap up this trilogy. Will and Kim have made the first few tentative steps towards a commitment, and I look forward to them foiling the bad guys as par for the course, all the while ultimately getting their well deserved and long awaited happy ending!!

A copy provided for an honest review.

Release Blitz + Giveaway: The Couple Next Door by Rick R. Reed


Author Rick R. Reed and IndiGo Marketing host the re-release blitz for The Couple Next Door! Discover more about the tale and enter in the $10 NineStar Press credit giveaway!

Title: The Couple Next Door
Author: Rick R. Reed
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: September 14, 2020
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 66500
Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, MM romance, author, multiple personality disorder, brothers, murder

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Synopsis

Jeremy Booth leads a simple life, scraping by in the gay neighborhood of Seattle, never letting his lack of material things get him down. But the one thing he really wants—someone to love—seems elusive. Until the couple next door moves in and Jeremy sees the man of his dreams, Shane McCallister, pushed down the stairs by a brute named Cole.

Jeremy would never go after another man’s boyfriend, so he reaches out to Shane in friendship while suppressing his feelings of attraction. But the feeling of something being off only begins with Cole being a hard-fisted bully—it ends with him seeming to be different people at different times. Some days, Cole is the mild-mannered John and then, one night in a bar, he’s the sassy and vivacious drag queen Vera.

So how can Jeremy rescue the man of his dreams from a situation that seems to get crazier and more dangerous by the day? By getting close to the couple next door, Jeremy not only puts a potential love in jeopardy, but eventually his very life.

Excerpt

The Couple Next Door
Rick R. Reed © 2020
All Rights Reserved

How many disappointing dates will I endure before I just give up?

I mean, here I am, a perfectly attractive, fit, self-sufficient thirty-year-old, and I’m still waiting to meet the man of my dreams. Mr. Right. Hell, tonight I’d even settle for that character who seems to come along on dates for most of us, the all-too-common Mr. Right Now. But even he isn’t on the seat beside me. In fact, I strongly doubt he’s anywhere in the vicinity of the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle where I live.

Believe me, I’ve looked.

Mr. First Date pulls his Ford Fusion up to the curb in front of my apartment building on Aloha Avenue. We sit in awkward silence for several long moments, listening as the engine ticks down as it cools. I can feel him looking at me. As he’s done most of the evening, he waits for me to speak. I turn my head and, in the dark, give him a weak smile. The date, dinner at a little sushi place on Broadway, had not gone well, full of uncomfortable silences, awkward pauses, and desperate looks around for avenues of escape—on both our parts.

Do I need to say we just didn’t click?

I didn’t think so.

So what he says now surprises me.

“Do you want me to come up?”

Really? We’ve just spent an hour and a half of agony together, trying to find a snippet of common ground that doesn’t exist, and he’s wondering if I want him to come up, which we all know is code for “Shall we make the beast with two backs?”

Seriously? The most irksome thing is, I’m considering it. I mean, he’s cute in spite of our lack of social connection. He’s a games developer for a software company here in town and looks it, with a sort of hipster/geek vibe going on. He has red hair, which I love. He has a beard, which I love. He wears retro glasses, which make him look paradoxically goofy and sexy—which I love.

Would it be so terrible to sleep with him? I mean, it’s been at least two weeks since I’ve enjoyed the charms of anyone other than Mr. Thumb and his four sons, so at least in terms of a release, maybe I should just say “Sure” and open the car door. If things go like some of my dates in the past, he’d follow me upstairs to my apartment and be back in his car in, like, fifteen minutes.

No, I tell myself. And then I tell him, shaking my head, looking sad, and saying the words countless heartbreakers have used over the years to stop ardent passion in its errant tracks.

“I’m sorry, Neil. But I have to get up early.” Lamely, I pat his hand. “Maybe another time.”

I don’t need to be psychic to know that we both know another time ain’t gonna happen.

Neil seems relieved as he restarts his car. He shrugs. “It’s okay. Club Z’s just a couple minutes away, right? Down Broadway and a right on Pike—easy.”

He grins at me, and I wonder if he expects me to laugh. Club Z is one of Seattle’s filthiest bathhouses, and yes, it’s only a few minutes away. He doesn’t seem to need directions.

It’s my turn to be relieved that I didn’t actually succumb to the temptation of inviting this jerk upstairs. Wordlessly, I get out of the car and slam the door behind me.

Neil roars off into the damp and still night.

I pause and sigh, staring up at the building in which I’ve lived for the past five years. It’s an okay place, an old redbrick three story with none of the modern amenities—no stainless steel, granite countertops, or gas fireplaces. My apartment is homey. It even has the original tile, sink, and claw-foot tub in its single bathroom. The living room is large, with three big windows that look out on Aloha and let in lots of light—on the days when we have sun in Seattle (that means usually summer days). The floors are scuffed original hardwood. The kitchen actually has a pantry and built-in china hutch. I’ve painted the place a cheery, soft yellow.

Upstairs, the TV, with its DVRed episodes of at-odds Sons of Anarchy and Downton Abbey, awaits. Upstairs, there’s the gelato I love from Whole Foods in the freezer—hazelnut dark chocolate.

Such is my life. Comfortable and a little lonely.

Sometimes I wonder, like Peggy Lee, if that’s all there is.

I head toward the glass-paned front door. I grope in my jeans for my keys. The mail had not yet arrived before I left for my date, and I wonder if there will be any surprises in the vestibule mailbox. You know, like an actual letter from someone, standing out from the usual assortment of bills and solicitations by the cursive spelling out of my name—Jeremy Booth.

My problem is I always have hope, even when there’s little reason.

I open the front door, and that’s when everything changes. My life turns upside down. I go from bored discontent to panic in a split second.

The first thing I hear is someone shouting “No!” in an anguished voice. I look up from the lobby to see two figures on the staircase above, on the second-floor landing. One is a guy who looks menacing and so butch he could pose for a Tom of Finland poster. An aura of danger radiates from him. Aside from his imposing and muscular frame, he’s even wearing the right clothes—tight, rolled jeans and a black leather biker jacket with a chain snaking out from beneath one of the epaulets. His high- and tight-buzzed hair gives him a military—and mean—air. He has his hands on the shoulders of a guy who looks a bit younger and much slighter, making me want to call up the stairs, “Why don’t you pick on someone your own size?” The smaller guy, blond and clad only in a pair of pajama bottoms, struggles with his attacker, looking terrified. Their movements, clumsy and rough, would be comical if they weren’t so scary. The smaller guy is panting and batting ineffectually at the bigger one.

“Please! No! Don’t!” the smaller guy manages to get out, his voice close to hysteria.

I have never seen either of these men before. In fact, the whole scene has the quality of the surreal, a dream. The danger and conflict pulsing down the stairs makes my own heart rate and respiration accelerate, causing feelings of panic to rise within me.

And then the worst happens. The big butch guy shoves the smaller one hard, and all at once he’s tumbling heavily down the stairs toward me.

The fall is graceless, and it looks like it hurts. It’s over so fast that I’m left gasping.

I look up to see the leather-jacket guy sneer down at his mate, lying crumpled and crying at my feet, and then turn sharply on his heel to go back into a second-floor apartment that had been vacant yesterday. He slams the door. The sound of the deadbolt sliding into place is like the report of a shotgun. Both slam and lock resound like thunderclaps, echoing in the tile lobby, punctuation to the drama and trauma of this short scene.

I switch into Good Samaritan mode and drop to my knees at the sniveling, crumpled mess of a man lying practically at my feet.

“Are you okay?” I ask and reach out to lightly touch his shoulder.

He jerks away and, wincing, pulls himself up into an awkward sitting position. He stares at me with clear blue eyes for a moment, almost as though he’s trying to place me. He finally looks away.

“My ankle is throbbing. It hurts like hell. Maybe I twisted it.”

I don’t know what to say, other than to ask, “Would you like to try and stand? Test it out?”

He nods.

I lean over to grip him under the arms—it’s damp there, and I can smell the ripe aroma of body odor, probably inspired by fear or panic—and pull. He comes up with me and then stumbles, wincing and crying out.

“Damn. I might have sprained it when I fell.” His eyes are so appealing, in both senses of the word, as he stares at me, as though seeking direction for what to do next. He leans on me, taking his weight off the injured ankle.

I keep my arm around him, and together we limp over to a bench set beneath the bank of common mailboxes. We sit.

“What do you want to do?” I ask.

“I don’t know. I think Cole may have locked me out for the night.”

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NineStar Press | Amazon

Meet the Author

Real Men. True Love.

Rick R. Reed is an award-winning and bestselling author of more than fifty works of published fiction. He is a Lambda Literary Award finalist. Entertainment Weekly has described his work as “heartrending and sensitive.” Lambda Literary has called him: “A writer that doesn’t disappoint…” Find him at www.rickrreedreality.blogspot.com. Rick lives in Palm Springs, CA, with his husband, Bruce, and their fierce Chihuahua/Shiba Inu mix, Kodi.

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Release Blitz + Giveaway: Cassadaga Nights by Jana Denardo


Join author Jana Denardo and IndiGo Marketing as they celebrate the release of paranormal mystery, Cassadaga Nights! Learn more today and enter in the $10 NineStar Press credit giveaway!


Title: Cassadaga Nights
Author: Jana Denardo
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: September 14, 2020
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 30100
Genre: Paranormal, LGBTQIA+, gay, fantasy, paranormal, fae, psychic ability, magic, magic users, shifter, mystery, small Southern town

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Synopsis

Santino Bellomi and his coworker, Cam, are sent to Cassadaga, Florida by the Aspida Pneuma, a group of psychics and mages. Their job is to rescue a nixie from a polluted lake and to check out the town, which is known for its psychics. New recruits to the Aspida are always welcome and where better than a spiritualist camp to hunt for them? What Santino wants most, however, is to finish the assignment quickly. He isn’t a fan of heat and humidity, and he’d looking forward to a well-earned vacation once the mission is over.

Ryan Doyle grew up in Cassadaga, where being psychic runs in the family. Ryan has never roamed far from home, though it’s hard being a geeky gay, wannabe urban fantasy author living in a small town. His job as one of the town psychics is fairly routine until he meets someone new. Ryan has never encountered anyone with a psychic shield so strong until Santino sits down for a reading. Intrigued, he asks Santino out even though Santino is as secretive as he is fun.

Santino hopes to win Ryan over both for himself and for the Aspida. And he’s hoping his skills in the kitchen will swing the balance in his favor. Ryan has almost given up on finding love, living in rural Florida. Can a seductive tourist be the answer to his dreams?

Things never run smoothly for those in the Aspida. What should have been a simple rescue mission is plagued by mosquitoes, enraged ghosts, and someone or something draining residents of their life force. Ryan’s first foray into adventure may be his last.

Excerpt

Cassadaga Nights
Jana Denardo © 2020
All Rights Reserved

Ryan drew his shield over himself, letting his psychic senses dampen down. All day, most days, he dropped his armor, walking around exposed, vulnerable on all sides to the flood of stimuli. Such was the life of a professional psychic. He was unable to cut himself off when he was on the job. His clients depended on his abilities. While he could cold read a person to give Houdini a run for his money, Ryan was the real deal when it came to being psychic. Houdini would have had a helluva time debunking his abilities.

Here at home, safe in his fortress of solitude, Ryan armored up, drawing upon his psychic shields. He could rest, letting his senses recharge. Elsie—one of the original inhabitants of the town in the 1890s—had been the only thing able to penetrate his shields. The books on his bookcase rattled alerting him that Elsie, his boisterous ghost, had noted his return.

Ryan double-checked the setting on the air conditioning in his tiny Harmony Hall apartment. He might have been born and raised in Cassadaga, but it didn’t mean he loved Florida summers. That said, the air conditioner sat at an acceptable temperature, but inside, the heat stifled him. He turned on the old fan from the 1930s, the kind with barely a whisper of a guard surrounding it, and aimed it at his computer. Only the force of the wind coming out of the fan kept Kuro from jamming his paws into it to catch the blades. His cat didn’t like his fur mussed.

Ryan drew the curtains where his apartment overlooked the Cassadaga Hotel before stripping off his shorts. There, he was as naked as he could get without removing skin, and he was still too hot. He crammed into the cramped shower and ducked his head under the faucet, wetting his hair. Afterward, he strolled into the kitchen, poured himself an iced tea, and rubbed the cool glass across his nipples a few times in a vain attempt to lower his body temperature.

Finally, giving up, Ryan returned to his computer and let the ancient fan and his wet hair act as a swamp cooler. Acclimatize my ass. In quiet moments like this, Ryan was sure he heard the mildew growing on his skin in the humidity. He streamed some indie music and opened up a story file. After a day of work, he enjoyed doing what he’d actually gone to school for: writing.

Unfortunately, his career as an urban fantasy writer hadn’t taken off yet, so he was still in the family business. Much to the endless and completely irrational irritation of his sister, Mary. Ryan didn’t quite get it. She’d been vicious in claiming their mother’s house as her own to do readings in, following their mother’s path. Their whole family possessed psychic abilities, as did many others in Cassadaga, a Spiritualist commune.

Ryan didn’t understand why he couldn’t share the house with Mary, but she was having none of it. She’d been pissed off he’d been accepted into Harmony Hall after proving his abilities worthy of the honor. One had to be psychic to rent there. It bemused him that his only living relative didn’t want much to do with him, and it wasn’t because he was gay. Mary didn’t give a crap about his sexuality. No, she didn’t like the fact that his psychic abilities equaled hers.

Shoving Mary from his mind, Ryan tried to get into his story, but the day’s worries bled into his consciousness. Tomorrow, a big open house would have trainees doing half-price readings at the Davis Center, and he’d have to oversee Lisa, his trainee. It was fun, in a way, interacting with the public, and many turned out for the half-price offering. But surely there was more he could be doing with his ability.

A vague disappointment dogged Ryan because he hadn’t thought to do the psychic TV thing. He assumed they started out legit, but ratings and pressure from the shows’ money men probably quickly led to faking results. Sure, some of them did fake stuff. He’d been on more ghost hunts than he could count. No one got so many results every time, and demons didn’t really lurk around every corner. Oh, he didn’t discount demons—but to have house after house filled with them? He had his doubts. He didn’t want to contribute to all the charlatan acts out there. He was the real deal.

Sighing, he gave up for a moment and tried to clear his head with a little internet therapy. Of course the internet was as big a bane to his writing as it was an asset to his research. He checked out a tarot card Kickstarter using some truly gorgeous art and sighed again. The goal hadn’t quite been reached yet, but hopefully soon. He planned to add them to his collection. His last acquisition had been a steampunk deck almost too pretty to use. Tarot cards were the one thing he collected outside of manga. Ryan had reluctantly put his books into storage because his apartment was too small, and he’d moved to e-books, which didn’t have the same appeal. Still, his hating on the e-book afforded him nothing. He planned to sell some one day.

Elsie fluttered in the corner of his eye like black butterflies dancing in and out of the ceiling fan blades. When he turned his attention to her, she smiled, waved, and faded away, content she’d gotten his attention. Rolling his eyes, Ryan turned to his computer. He goofed off on the internet for a little while longer before getting back to his fantasy world. He’d left his warrior witch in a rough spot. He probably ought to have her save herself.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon

Meet the Author

Jana is Queen of the Geeks (her students voted her in), and her home and office are shrines to any number of comic book and manga heroes along with SF shows and movies too numerous to count. It’s no coincidence that the love of all things geeky has made its way into many of her stories. To this day, she’s disappointed she hasn’t found a wardrobe to another realm, a superhero to take her flying among the clouds, or a roguish starship captain to run off to the stars with her.

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