Saturday, 16 September 2017

Dish of the Day by Clare London


55 pages
Buy links: Amazon US | Amazon UK


Blurb

Three men together. Diverse tastes … one common love.

Richie Morton’s sunk all his hopes and savings into a new restaurant in South London promoting British ingredients and recipes. Yet on opening night, it all seems to be heading for disaster. Lost ingredients, manic chefs, no sign of customers … he’s in despair. And where are his best friends Craig and Ben, who’ve been helping him set up the new Venture? The least they could offer is moral support.

When they do eventually step in, though, they offer support of a very different kind. They tell Richie some home truths —— that he pushed himself too much, and must learn to share and trust his life with others. With them, specifically. And then, when Richie’s still unconvinced, the decide to let actions speak for their love instead. They’ll help him relax and dish up a caring, sexy, and far more intimate menu.

Review

Now here is a tasty (pun totally intended) tale. I’m not sure I’ll ever look at hors d’oeuvres, red wine and chocolate dessert in the same way again.

This is the story of Richie who has convinced himself he is nowhere near as accomplished or sophisticated as his two best friends, Craig and Ben. When what is supposed to be the grand opening of his restaurant turns into a disaster, Richie is ‘this’ close to admitting defeat. Before he has the opportunity to surrender to his attack of despair, his friends step in.

All is not quite what it seems; not with the opening night and not with the friendship. Richie has a few lessons to learn and Ben and Craig are all too happy to show him that he is more than good enough, that he doesn’t have to do it all alone, and that together, the three of them can create magic — both professionally and on a far more intimate level. 

And that’s really all I want to say about this story except that I have to add that it is a delightful read, a very steamy story, and that you probably shouldn’t read it while hungry. Clare London writes with a wonderful touch that pulls you into the story and drops you right in the middle of the unfolding tale. If you’re looking for about an hour worth of hot, funny, charming, and tasty you ought to read Dish of the Day.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Exposure by Aly Hayden (Drawn Together #1) - Release Blitz

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Title: Exposure

Author: Aly Hayden

Publisher: Self-published

Cover Artist: Aria from Resplendent Media

Genres: Contemporary M/M Romance

Length: 61,000 words/150 pages approx.

It is the first book in the Drawn Together series.
Each book follows a different couple, so there's a HEA and no cliffhanger.

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Blurb

Sam Hayward's parents think he has a boyfriend. And he does... in his dreams. But when they insist Sam bring his partner to the annual Labor Day family reunion, his options are to either admit it was all a lie or find a stand-in in a hurry. The trouble is that his lies have all been based on one very real man. 

Ben Matheny has been hurt before. When he's bribed into playing a part by his friends, he fleshes out Sam's dreams, but it's like flying too close to the sun. He's always had a crush on Sam, and now they're going to the Hamptons to spend a week pretending they're lovers, everything is getting harder. 

When Ben uncovers another lie Sam has told - that Ben is every bit as rich as Sam is - things begin to unravel. If Sam isn't happy with who Ben is, Ben can't stick around to get burned again. 

With their hearts on the line, the two must fight for their dreams as the pressure mounts. It would be so easy to admit that it was all a sham, but some dreams are worth the risk.

EXPOSURE BLURB

Excerpt 

“Guess we have the hot tub all to ourselves,” Ben said with a smile. 

He didn’t know whether he meant the words to be flirtatious or not. It was one thing to flirt when there were other people present. That was just what he did, how he interacted with people. Deliberately flirting with Sam was different. Dangerous. 

“Guess we do.” 

Sam’s voice was lower than usual. Almost seductive. There was no one around that would make Sam feel like he had to play the part of the boyfriend, which meant only one thing: Sam was actually into him. The signs were all there, if Ben was reading them correctly—the way Sam had taken to holding his hand, the morning wood after cuddling all night long, the look Sam had given him when he’d seen Ben in the shorts. And then there was that thing he had started to say right before they had gotten on the boat. 

Much as Ben wanted to believe that Sam might have feelings for him too, there was still a part of him that wasn’t sure. There was certainly one way for him to find out, though. The hot tub was big enough for about six people, so naturally they had taken corners along the same wall. Slowly, Ben moved closer and closer to Sam, until they were sitting side by side. He took a deep breath, steeling his nerves, and let his leg brush against Sam’s. 

“What are you doing?” Sam’s voice was low and husky, and when Ben looked up, he found Sam’s pupils so large that only a sliver of hazel showed around the edges. 

He swallowed hard. “Getting closer to you.” 

His heart beat so fast that his chest ached as he waited for Sam to do something. Say something. Have any reaction at all. It had been so easy when it was just flirting, but this…this was terrifying. 

Seconds passed, though, and Sam didn’t move away. Instead, he leaned back against the side of the hot tub and slid his hand into Ben’s, underneath the water. 

“I’m glad you’re here,” he said softly. 

Encouraged by the reaction, Ben shifted down a bit and let his head rest on Sam’s shoulder. “Me too.” They sat in silence for a few seconds. Ben didn’t want to ruin the moment, but he knew that if he didn’t say anything, he would regret it. “Before, when we were about to get on the boat. What were you going to say?” “I um…” 

Sam scratched at the back of his neck. “I was going to say, what if—” 

“Sammy, Benny!” 

Ben whipped around to see Karrigan. Someone had escaped from nap time. He fought to suppress a groan. Looked like this conversation would have to wait. 

Buy Links 

Amazon USA | Amazon UK 

Goodreads Link 

Meet the Author 

Aly Hayden has loved writing ever since she learned to pick up a pencil. As a child, she used to write short stories, then progressed to novels of various genres, none of which were ever published – for good reason. She started writing fanfiction in 2011, publishing on Archive of Our Own. After finding M/M romance in 2012, she fell in love and made it her mission to write one of her own one day. When Aly isn’t writing, she can be found playing with her lovable Yorkie and watching old reruns of House Hunters. 

Social Media Links 

Blog/Website Facebook Author Page

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Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway: WIN ONE OF THREE e-copies of Exposure 


Release Blitz Schedule

EXPOSURE SCHEDULE 2 

SEPTEMBER 14 Millsy Loves Books The Way She Reads Tangents and Tissues Geekymama's Reviews 
SEPTEMBER 15 Books Laid Bare Boys The Reading Addict Reviews by Crystal 
SEPTEMBER 16 Diverse Reader Bayou Book Junkie Top 2 Bottom Reviews and More Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Making it Happen My Fiction Nook Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author Megan's Media Melange A Book Lover's Dream Book Blog 
SEPTEMBER 19 Drops of Ink

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Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Tidal Series by K. Evan Coles & Brigham Vaughn - Review Tour



Buy Links: 

Wake (Book #1) - PrideAmazon US | Amazon UK 
Calm (Book #2) - Pride| Amazon US | Amazon UK 

Cover: Emmy Ellis

Wake

Carter Hamilton and Riley Porter-Wright room together as Harvard undergraduates. An immediate friendship forms, but as the years pass it deepens into something neither man understands. As attraction simmers under the surface, lines begin to blur. When they move back to Manhattan, they gradually slip into the lives their families have envisioned for them.

Both men marry, but in time, Riley realizes he’s ended up in a passionless relationship like his parents’ while his career takes center stage. Although he loves his wife, Carter misses the emotional and physical connection he shared with Riley.

The weight of Riley’s feelings and his growing discontentment with his life eventually push him to tell Carter the truth about how he feels. Shocked and unable to face his own feelings, Carter rejects Riley.

As each man comes to terms with the lies they’ve told themselves, each other and the people around them, they find their lives changing in ways they never imagined. They soon discover that the truths they’ve been longing to tell shake the foundations of their friendship.


Calm


A love worth the wait.


When Riley Porter-Wright comes out as bisexual and confesses his feelings for Carter Hamilton, it severs their friendship. Carter’s rejection forces Riley to move on and he’s shocked to learn Carter’s marriage has fallen apart.


Overwhelmed by his failure as a husband and father, Carter misses Riley, but feels guilty for disappearing after Riley's coming out. After Riley extends an olive branch, the former friends agree to repair their relationship.


Slowly, Carter pieces together a new life. He admits his attraction to men, and confesses his feelings for Riley. Leery of Carter's initial rejection, Riley turns his focus on a new man, Will Martin.


Riley and Carter’s renewed rapport intensifies, and Will becomes insecure. Will's resentment increases until he issues an ultimatum, forcing Riley to refocus his energies away from Carter.


Disappointed, Carter fosters new friendships with men like Jesse Murtagh. Aware of the changes in Carter’s life, Riley is uncomfortable knowing Carter has moved on.


Carter and his ex-wife, Kate, navigate new waters as their children learn their parents are dating other people. Will can’t deal with his jealousy and ends his relationship with Riley.


Unattached for the first time in years, Riley and Carter slowly transition their friendship into a relationship. Carter comes out and leaves his job, accepting the reality of being disowned.


Riley and Carter go public with their relationship, but worry the fallout will affect their families. Drawing strength from each other, they meet the challenges of being an out couple head on.



Reviews

Calm:



About a week ago this tweet showed up on my timeline and Twitter feed quite a lot. Today, while reading Calm I was reminded of the tweet again. Not because Riley and Carter act like teenagers so much — they’re actually very grown up and sensible about how they’re dealing with their lives and their relationships — but because of all the things they have to figure out all over again, and for certain developments that closely resemble growing up and moving on to lead your own life.

I apologize, I was horribly vague in that previous paragraph but that is very much on purpose. While I am perfectly comfortable revealing that this book centres around Riley and Carter figuring out who they really are, both as individuals and together, I much prefer not to go into details. Trust me when I say that the journey these two men undertake is beautiful, realistic, and unputdownable.

I’ve said it before and I’m not afraid to say it again: I love books that take me away from the tried and trusted and give me a new (to me) sorta story. Calm, like Wake before it, is such a story and it managed to totally take me by surprise. For example, I had prepared myself for high levels of angst (which, as regular readers will know, I’m not very good with), only to discover that while the story is bursting with emotion it’s not angst-driven at all.

There was so much in this book I absolutely adored I could easily write a novella length review without sharing all the details. I’ll spare you that and will try to limit myself to one or two things that really stood out for me.

First and foremost, the story-lines in these books can all be caught under the same label: realism. All too often in romance novels there are one or two moments when the reader has to suspense disbelieve and just go with the flow. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it was wonderful to read a book in which the story and the character development felt so real that I could almost believe I was reading an (auto) biography or memoir rather than a novel. And, for me, this was most obvious in the way the various relationships played out. Carter building a new relationship with Kate, his ex-wife and the mother of his two children, felt real, not to mention that it closely resembles how I feel divorces should play out, especially when there are kids involved.

Furthermore, I loved that there are no perfect characters or easy solutions in this story. This is a slice of life and while the happily ever after was definitely there when I reached the end of the book, even that was coloured by realism rather than fairytales. And that is what made this book so very special; I not only believed that Carter and Riley would be happy ever after, I’m also convinced theirs is the sort of happy ending all of us can aspire to.

The secondary characters in this book were wonderful and I can’t begin to tell you how delighted I am that the authors are working on a spin-off series in which we’ll get to see more of Jesse, Kyle, and hopefully Will. And the fact that I can’t imagine Riley and Carter not making regular appearances in those new books too only heightens my delight.

Long story short, Calm and Wake are well written, captivating, and truly unique stories featuring characters I came to care for deeply and a story that will stick with me for a very long time. Well done ladies, you created an absolutely stunning two book series! I’m looking forward to any future co-writing you may end up doing. 

Related Review: Wake


September 14 - MM Good Book Blog Tours 


Author Bios


K. Evan Coles is a mother and tech pirate by day and a writer by night. She is a dreamer who, with a little hard work and a lot of good coffee, coaxes words out of her head and onto paper.

K. lives in the northeast United States, where she complains bitterly about the winters, but truly loves the region and its diverse, tenacious and deceptively compassionate people. You’ll usually find K. nerding out over books, movies and television with friends and family. She’s especially proud to be raising her son as part of a new generation of unabashed geeks. 





Brigham Vaughn is starting the adventure of a lifetime as a full-time writer. She devours books at an alarming rate and hasn’t let her short arms and long torso stop her from doing yoga. She makes a killer key lime pie, hates green peppers, and loves wine tasting tours. A collector of vintage Nancy Drew books and green glassware, she enjoys poking around in antique shops and refinishing thrift store furniture. An avid photographer, she dreams of traveling the world and she can’t wait to discover everything else life has to offer her.




Monday, 11 September 2017

When Cougar Dates Manwhore (The Cougar Journals #4) by Jewel Quinlan



Publisher: Evernight Publishing

Blurb

Ava’s nemesis, John, made his feelings known by suddenly kissing her while they happened to be on the same cruise. Not just any kiss, but one that triggered a mind-blowing heat that made her want to learn more about him.

They’ve now been home for over a week where … nothing happens, making Ava doubt the signals she thought she’d received. Had the kiss not been as mind-blowing for him as it was for her? And then, suddenly, he asks her out on a date where she gets to see the intimate, sexy sides of him, which she really likes.

Maybe they are a good match for each other after all … or not. She can’t tell. His actions are so unpredictable that she can’t intuit his motives. Should she continue to leave the door open or write him off as the manwhore she thinks he is?


Where You Can Buy It

Or add it to your shelf on Goodreads



Excerpt

“Thanks for dinner. I had a great time,” I said. It was trite, but they were the only words that came to mind.

“Me, too. You’re welcome.” He stood with his hands in his pockets and his head tilted, that knowing look in his eyes. The same one that, at the office, had always driven me the nuts. But, here in the semi-darkness and privacy of the corridor, it made me blush. There was something in the intensity of his gaze that made my body prickle in response. Did he know how many confusing signals were firing inside me right now? One side of me was greatly tempted to run my hands through his silver-fox hair, while another waved a red flag and tried to hit the brakes.

“Oh! Thanks for the coat,” I said. I’d almost forgotten about it. I took it off and handed it to him. “Um, well goodnight. See you at the office.”

I started to close the door, then stopped because he continued to stand there with the side of his mouth quirked up in a grin. It would be awkward to just shut the door in his face. “What?” I said. Our gazes locked, and my heartbeat sped up as static filled the air between us.

“You’re not just going to leave me like this,” John said.

“Like what?”

He stepped forward to lean against the doorframe, forearm up above his head, his face inches from mine. “Don’t I even get a goodnight kiss?” he said in a low voice. “I hate to brag, but I think I behaved pretty well tonight.”

I laughed. “Oh please, you love to brag. And, yes, you totally surprised me with your unexpectedly chivalrous behavior. This, however, is more along the lines of what I expected.” I gestured at him from head to toe. It was as if a tiger stood at my doorstep, powerful muscles lithe yet still ready to pounce. I had to admit, it was deliciously arousing to feel his forthright desire. I had a brief flashback of him by the pool on the cruise. I’d seen what the muscles of his torso were like, and now I couldn’t help wondering what they would feel like through the fabric of his shirt.

“So … no kiss?” he said. “Are you sure? Because I thought there was something between us on the ship. And, even tonight, I could swear it’s still there. Aren’t you just a little bit curious?”

I shrugged. “Maybe.” I am. I really, really am. But I wasn’t about to tell him that. Giving a manwhore leverage was just plain dangerous. “I’m just not sure we should go there right now.” I remained where I was, refusing to budge. Kissing John would be the wrong move right now. Something in my gut made me certain of it. It was just one of those instincts that grew more honed with experience. Like a gazelle sensing a cheetah.

He continued to gaze at me with interest. Then he straightened, but didn’t move back. “How about a handshake then? That’s something you do with everyone, so it’s harmless, right?”

I laughed. “True.” I held out my hand and he grasped it. I did my best to ignore how good his palm felt on mine. As we shook, I said again, “John, I had a very nice time. Thank you.”

That’s all he would be getting from me tonight. I stopped shaking his hand, but he didn’t release my fingers. Instead, he raised my hand to his lips and kissed my knuckles, then skimmed his lips in light nibbles down over my skin toward my wrist. The short stubble on his jaw gently scraped as he went. And that, combined with the sensation of his firm, soft lips, made my stomach curl with heat. It was so easy to imagine him trailing kisses like that all the way along my arm to my breasts. Not just there, but even lower to the most private part of me… His gaze flicked to my face and whatever he saw there made his eyes light up with satisfaction. I didn’t want to give anything away, but I was helpless to control whatever I was revealing.



About the Author

Restless by nature, Jewel Quinlan is an avid traveler and has visited sixteen countries so far. Lover of ice cream, beer, and red wine she tries to stay fit when she’s not typing madly on her computer concocting another tale. In her spare time, she likes to do yoga, hike, learn German and play with her spoiled Chihuahua, Penny.

For more information about Jewel Quinlan

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Sunday, 10 September 2017

Manic Pixie Dream Boy by K.A. Merikan - Release Blitz



Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 52,000 words approx

Cover Design: Natasha Snow

Blurb

You can’t hide the cracks under the spotlight

Dusk. Leader of The Underdogs. Destined for greatness. Lives in the now.


Abe. AKA Lolly. Iridescent. Unicorn.


All Dusk wants out of life is for his band to become world famous. He also wants to have a lot of fun along the way. And to get his rocks off. When he wants something, he goes for it, consequences be damned.


So when he sees a gorgeous pink-haired guy who is the human equivalent of tattooed cotton candy, he can’t help but have a taste. But it’s when Lolly ends up on their tour bus that Dusk knows their meeting was destiny.


Abe is the kind of guy who goes with the flow. He was hitchhiking anyway, so why not spend the week with a hot piece of rocker beefcake, getting smothered by his sexy long hair? And why not play the part of the supportive cutie while he’s at it? It’s not like he’d be sticking around for long anyway.


All plans hit a wall when photos of Abe and Dusk emerge online, suddenly pushing the band into the spotlight. To take advantage of the sudden popularity, the band offers Abe money for staying.


Which means money for being in a fake relationship with Dusk.


Which isn’t even fake.


Or is it?




Excerpt

The sun hit him like a red-hot hammer, and he squinted, rushing through the courtyard and into the shadow of the roof. His mouth was already smiling when he saw the logo of an ice cream manufacturer in the window. Since they’d already stopped, he might as well have something sweet to go with the savory. Or, possibly-maybe get peanut butter ice cream and win at breakfast?


The store greeted him with fresh, cool air that he inhaled with pleasure, delving between the shelves to find his prize. He could already see it from afar, next to a few jams, and coffee, and—who the fuck was that?


Dusk stopped breathing and just watched the dreamy, pink-haired creature move along the aisle, headbanging gently to music he was listening to through his mint-colored headphones. There was a lightness to his step, and Dusk followed the guy as if he were a rabbit leading Dusk to Wonderland.


The guy’s hair was styled into two thick, messy boxer braids tied with glittery bands. A pair of rollerblades swung from the guy’s large backpack. With each hypnotizing movement of slim hips clad in well-fitting denim shorts that ended just above the knees, Dusk was beckoned closer to the creature who was so at odds with the coarse surroundings, he must had stepped out of a fairytale and gotten lost in the New Mexican desert. His bare calves were nicely toned and dusted with blond hair, twitching slightly as the angel of a guy danced his way through the aisles.


He only stopped once he approached a newspaper stand and pulled out a music magazine. Leaning slightly against the wall, he finally allowed Dusk a good look on the profile of his boyish yet angular face. Working his way through the pages, he seemed completely immersed in his own little world.


One arm, tattooed in pastel-colored shapes that Dusk could not discern from afar, rose, and the guy pulled on a little white stick that peeked out of his mouth, revealing a shocking pink lollipop that he must have been sucking on all along.


Dusk licked his lips, wishing he could be that lollipop. He checked himself out in a mirror next to a stand with hats, just to make sure he didn’t have anything stuck to his face, and he moved closer to the pastel-hued poisonous butterfly. The guy was cute, colorful, but there was an edge to his look. His neck was inked, and his septum pierced. Oh, how Dusk craved to put his hand against the guy’s Adam’s apple.


He couldn’t recall the last time he was rendered speechless, since he was anything but shy. This guy though, casually sucking on a pink lollipop at this gas station in the middle of nowhere, was making Dusk’s throat dry, his palms sweat, and his dick beg for action.


Lolly blinked and gave a short laugh, staring at something in the magazine. Still gently moving his body to the music coming from his headphones, he rhythmically tapped the lollipop against his lips, only to greedily suck it back in. Every time he smiled, a little black star under his eye moved. At first Dusk had assumed it was painted-on, but as he stared more intently, he recognized it as a tattoo.


That was it. Dusk needed to get himself a piece of that.


He took a few steps closer and reached for a magazine off a shelf above Lolly’s head to get an opportunity to stretch in front of the guy, and when their eyes met, he smiled.


Lolly’s eyes were big and so blue they fit right in with his image. He leaned his head back to look at Dusk more comfortably and pushed the headphones to rest around his neck, revealing flesh plugs of the same minty color. Score.


He moved the lollipop in his mouth with his tongue so that the stick was at the side and wouldn’t prevent him from speaking. “What’s up?”


“What’s the flavor?” Dusk pointed to Lolly’s mouth. He bet it now tasted of wet hot sin.


Lolly pulled on the lollipop so that it slid halfway out of his mouth, only to suck it back in, loudly and without shame. “What flavor do you like?”


“I like fruity. And my manager only allows me one sweet thing a day, so I gotta choose wisely.” It was utter bullshit, but did it matter when their gazes met so intensely neither of them blinked? “Can I try yours to see if I wanna buy it?”


Lolly pulled on the stick, so tantalizingly slow, teasing Dusk with his blue eyes and long lashes, with his perfect tanned skin, with his toned arms that were tattooed into various landmarks and animals. Lolly was not only hot. He wasdesire.


“What do I get in return?”


Sink or swim. Dusk would either get a kick in the nuts or a laugh. He leaned down to whisper into Lolly’s ear. Worst case scenario, he could play it down into a joke and continue from there. “You give me something sweet, I give you something salty.”


Dusk’s skin tingled where they almost touched, and he closed his eyes when the soft, frizzy hair brushed against his cheek. Lolly smelled of something sweet, and yet a bit bitter, in a delicious masculine way that made Dusk want to savor him all the more. Cotton candy made of seaweed? No. That made no sense.


Lolly gave a short laugh, and his fingers briefly rubbed Dusk’s chest. “I’m intrigued.”


Dusk pulled back just enough to look into Lolly’s eyes, and the spot on Dusk’s chest where he’d been touched seemed to tingle as if invisible unicorns galloped along his pecs. How far could he push his luck? The guy wasn’t offended by the dirty joke. Sparks of attraction shone between them as if they’d been glitter bombed, and Dusk found it hard to focus on anything but the pretty lips and blue eyes.


“Intrigued enough to follow me outside and risk that I’m a total psycho serial killer?”


Lolly pulled the candy out of his mouth and slowly moved it along the pink line of his tempting lips, leaving behind a sticky sheen. “Maybe you could taste my lollipop in the restrooms?”


“Fuck yes…” Dusk thought it, but then realized he’d also said it out loud. Oh, who cared? His dick was already filling at the thought of all the things Dusk wanted to do with the sweet lips of this heavenly creature. Was the restroom here actually big enough to fuck in? It better be, because one way or another, he would be scoring soon.



About K.A. Merikan

K. A. Merikan is the pen name for Kat and Agnes Merikan, a team of writers, who are taken for sisters with surprising regularity. Kat’s the mean sergeant and survival specialist of the duo, never hesitating to kick Agnes’s ass when she’s slacking off. Her memory works like an easy-access catalogue, which allows her to keep up with both book details and social media. Also works as the emergency GPS. Agnes is the Merikan nitpicker, usually found busy with formatting and research. Her attention tends to be scattered, and despite pushing thirty, she needs to apply makeup to buy alcohol. Self-proclaimed queen of the roads.

They love the weird and wonderful, stepping out of the box, and bending stereotypes both in life and books. When you pick up a Merikan book, there’s one thing you can be sure of – it will be full of surprises.




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