Welcome to the Gay Book Promotions release blitz for Don’t Hold Back by Colette Davison, celebrating this sweet and adorable M/M sports romance with a grumpy gymnast who falls for his sunshiny rival. Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card!
Can rivals gain Olympic glory and love?
Garret has spent years training in gymnastics, but the pressure has taken its toll. Despite qualifying for the Olympics, failing to medal at the World Championships is all he can think about.
Anger is taking control and strangling his ability to focus on training, when his main rival, Team USA gymnast, Ryder Anderson, arrives at the gym to train alongside him.
Garrett wants to hate Ryder, but he can’t ignore his rival’s sunshine personality and handsome looks. Discovering Ryder is fighting a battle against himself, Garrett’s anger turns to admiration and then love.
Dating his rival isn’t against the rules, but that doesn’t make it a good idea. Can they make a relationship work despite the pressure of the Olympics, or will they crack under the strain?
Don’t Hold Back is an M/M sports romance with a grumpy gymnast who falls for his sunshiny rival. It has a slow-burn relationship and some hurt/comfort.
Trigger warnings: Don’t Hold Back features a character who has anorexia.
“Ryder.” Lennie waved him across. “Good work. I’ve got two options for you.”
Ryder raised his eyebrows as he waited. From the look on Lennie’s face, he wasn’t sure he’d like either of them.
“You could go to Boulder and train alongside David Marshall.”
David was a two-time Olympian.
“Isn’t he trained by Isaiah Hobbs these days?” Ryder asked, trying hard not to scowl.
“That’s not really an option, then is it?”
“Hobbs said he’d have you.”
Ryder shook his head and half turned away. “I don’t particularly care.”
“I didn’t think you’d go for it. But Boulder’s closer to home than my next suggestion.”
“There’s not much farther away than that.”
“The other option is to come with me.”
Lennie nodded. “I’ve called in a favour at my old gym in Leeds. They’d be happy to have us. We could train around visiting hours. They’re pretty prescriptive. You’d get more training hours in if you went to Boulder.”
“I’d rather take the week off than train under Isaiah again.” He folded his arms and dipped his chin. “England, huh? I’ve always wanted to see Buckingham Palace.”
Lennie laughed. “Leeds and London aren’t exactly next door.”
“Seriously, what do you think?”
Ryder drew in a breath. “Travelling’s always harder than being home, but I’d rather train with you in England than with Isaiah. But only if you’re sure.”
“I am. We can stay at my parents’ house. Dad won’t mind if you take over the kitchen. Or if you prefer, we can rent somewhere.”
“Sounds good.” It was easy to say, less easy to feel.
Ryder always felt anxious about travelling, especially when it meant staying somewhere else for any length of time. But travelling was unavoidable at his level of gymnastics, so he dealt with it.
Ryder smiled and nodded. He wouldn’t train under Isaiah again. He couldn’t.
“You won’t be the only Olympian training at the gym we’ll be using,” Lennie said.
“Two members of the British team train there. Reece Matthews and Garrett Kidd.”
“They’re great gymnasts.”
Ryder laughed. “Garrett’s the handsome scowling one, right?”
Lennie gave him a stern look.
“What? He is handsome, and he was very scowly at Worlds when I went to congratulate him.”
“You beat him.”
Lennie rolled his eyes. “He probably thought you were rubbing your win in his face.”
“Me? Nah. Why would I do that?”
Lennie raised an eyebrow.
“I barely beat him in the all-around final. It was by point four or something.”
“Oh. Even closer than I thought.” Ryder shrugged. “Either one of us could have won on the day. I was just luckier. See? Now I’m looking forward to a trip to England.”
Lennie shook his head and sighed. “Let’s see your floor routine again.”
Ryder grinned. “On it.”
Don’t Hold Back was such a sweet grumpy/sunshine, M/M sports romance, but also a story about dealing with mental health issues and the constant fight that is required to find your way back after severe anorexia.
Read my full review here: Don’t Hold Back by Colette Davison
About the author
Colette’s personal love story began at university, where she met her future husband. An evening of flirting, in the shadow of Lancaster castle, eventually led to a fairytale wedding. She’s enjoying her own ‘happy ever after’ in the north of England with her husband, two beautiful children and her writing.
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I’m so happy to be a part of the Xpresso Book Tours blog tour celebrating the release of A Little Wilder by Serena Bell! Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card!
What happened in Vegas? Definitely didn’t stay in Vegas.
Gabe’s the oldest. Brody’s the bad boy. Clark’s the strong, silent warrior. Amanda’s the girl. And Easton—well, Easton’s the panty melter.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not a bad job. But usually, I’m not the one people are talking about.
That’s about to change. Because the woman I had a smoking hot one-night stand with in Vegas? The one I should have stayed far, far away from, since women like her are my kryptonite?
She’s the same woman my brother just hired to redesign his fancy new glamping RVs.
I haven’t seen her since Vegas, but the instant I lay eyes on her, I can tell my quiet role as the boy-next-door brother is about to change.
And it’s mine.
There’s a knock on Bernadette’s door.
It pulls me out of deep concentration on the trailer project and sends a small thrill of anticipation up my spine.
It’s gotta be Kane. It’s not like I get visitors.
I haul myself off the couch—an increasingly challenging undertaking. Even though I know it has to be him, I peep out. One of the awesome mods on Bernadette, courtesy of her previous owner, is a peephole, which is super useful when you’re a single woman on the road alone.
And even though I know it has to be him, I still feel a surge of pleased surprise when I see his face.
“Delivery,” he says, holding out a big, round Tupperware… cake holder? “Boston cream pie.”
Holy shit, he found it.
I yank open the door and have to stop myself from snatching the cake out of his hands. Or throwing my arms around him and hugging the crap out of him. “Where did you find it?”
He stops, appearing to think better of whatever he was about to say, but it’s too late. I know where that sentence was going.
“You made it?”
“Amanda helped,” he says, like that’s going to take anything away from a six-foot-something built-like-a-God man who bakes Boston cream pies.
“Aaaaahhhh!” I cry, overcome. “You are a saint and a genius.”
He tries to bite back a smile. “I think you’re overstating things a little.”
“No,” I say, shaking my head. I have been fantasizing about yellow custard, soft yellow cake, and chocolate ganache nonstop since before I knew Kane had planted this baby in me. “Come in. You have to have some, too.”
“It’s all for you,” he says. “I wouldn’t take any of your special treat. Your presentation was fantastic. You deserve all the cake.”
This guy. I swear. He was too much in Vegas, when all I knew about him was that he asked real questions and knew how to use his body for both good and evil. Now…
“Well, come in anyway.”
He hesitates again, then follows me in, setting the cake on the counter. I wash my hands and take two small plates down from the cabinets. I grab two forks from the utensil drawer and two mugs from the overhead hooks. “I don’t have coffee—” I gesture at my belly, “—but I have tea, milk, or water.”
“Water would be great,” he says. “And no cake. I’m serious. It’s yours.”
I wrestle the cake carrier open and cut into my prize. My mouth waters as I do. It’s so--
Not gonna say moist, but holy shit, it soooo is.
We sit at Bernadette’s little pink dinette table. I’d forgotten how small this table is with two people at it. Or maybe it’s how big Kane is; his knees touch mine, and his arms cover so much territory, even with his hands folded. I force myself to look away because staring at close range is both rude and dangerous.
His eyes are very, very blue.
I dig in. “Oh, wow,” I say. “Wow.”
It’s soft. Moist (again, sorry!). Tender, springy. The custard is cool and smooth on my tongue, the ganache dark and flavorful.
“Mmm. Just. Thank you.”
Kane grins at me, like he’s pleased, though there’s something else in his expression I can’t quite read. “I did good?”
“You did amazing. So good I could kiss you.”
One eyebrow goes up, but he only says, “How does it rate among the Boston cream pies of the world?”
“It’s up there. Although pregnancy might be biasing me.” I lick a bite that’s mostly custard from my fork, and catch a glimpse of Kane’s face. His eyes are… interested. I lick again, for good measure, and notice the muscle in his jaw tense.
A ripple of tension slides down the lower slope of my belly and lodges itself in my internal muscles. In their constantly primed state, they… quiver dangerously.
The next time I look at him, Kane’s eyes are on my chest. I’m wearing a flowy green maternity dress with a low scoop neck, and, why, yes, it does show off my newly ridiculously huge boobs to excellent advan--
He reaches out. “Some cake—”
His finger almost touches the upper curve of my breast, and, oh, whoops, yes, that is cake on my boob. I use my own finger to scoop it up, then lick it clean.
I hear the moment the breath leaves Kane’s lungs.
I see the moment his gaze travels from my chest to my mouth, when it fixes on my finger, sliding between my lips. The moment it sticks, and stays, right there on my mouth, even as my hand drops away.
His voice is hoarse.
“Do it. Just—do it,” I order him.
Then he’s leaning over the table, setting his mouth over mine, hot and unhesitating and so, so good.
This was such a fun, sweet and heartwarming romcom with complex and relatable characters, hilarious banter, and just the right amount of spice and heartbreak! And so bingeable – I read it in just a couple of hours!
Read my full review here: A Little Wilder by Serena Bell
A former journalist, Serena has always believed that everyone has an amazing story to tell if you listen carefully, and you can often find her scribbling in her tiny garret office, mainlining chocolate and bringing to life the tales in her head.
Serena’s books have earned many honors, including an RT Reviewers’ Choice Award, Apple Books Best Book of the Month, and Amazon Best Book of the Year for Romance.
When not writing, Serena loves to spend time with her college-sweetheart husband and two hilarious kiddos—all of whom are incredibly tolerant not just of Serena’s imaginary friends but also of how often she changes her hobbies and how passionately she embraces the new ones. These days, it’s stand-up paddle boarding, board-gaming, meditation, and long walks with good friends.
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I’m so happy to be a part of Xpresso Book Tours blitz for the all-new fantasy novel Orb and Arrow by V.L. Stuart! Don’t miss the readers review contest and a chance to win a paperback copy of the second book in this series, Duty, see further information below!
Brillar was expected to follow in her mother’s footsteps and become a healer but she was headstrong and impetuous and took the Way of the Bow. Now a highly skilled hunter, she has been forced to kill to release a mage, bound in enchanted chains. It was self-defense, but that is no excuse for a healer.
Releasing a Master War Mage from bondage could get you killed . . . or apprenticed. When Master Elden insists on the latter, Brillar finds herself on a journey not of her making. When it doesn’t end well, she insists on directing a new journey where her healing skills will find newer and greater challenges.
Settled lands are one thing, but in the Wild, she will have to rely on her Master’s knowledge of the terrain and the people. And the Rovers are not always friendly.
Before dawn the following day, Brillar was shaken awake. “Up and quickly,” urged Elden, shoving her pack and bow at her, “and move. Something’s happening.”
When the pair stood, they were confronted by Rovers.
“You are to leave, now,” came Sarl’s stern, angry voice.
“We’re ready.” Elden’s reply was calm, but she could feel his tension.
“Without the woman,” came another voice.
“She has brought disorder here. She will be punished for everyone to see,” Sarl stated with finality.
Reaching out, finding only anger around them, Elden made the only answer he could, unleashing a ring spell that caught the men by surprise. The spell was dark, smoky, mixed with dancing lights, and men around them dropped like stones. He drew in more mana. A spear whizzed past them, thrown from some distance.
“Run,” he shouted, and they sprinted downslope toward open land. There were five miles or more between them and the Rovers when Elden brought them to a halt. He had revitalized them several times during their flight; now he grabbed her arm, spinning her around.
“What, by all that is Good, have you been up to?” he shouted; there was fire in his voice.
“Healing,” she shouted back, “I have been up to healing.”
“And something more, I think, you little fool,” he continued to shout.
That brought her up short. Elden had never spoken to her that way before. Taking a deep breath to calm herself, she answered, “Widowanlis and Norrel asked questions, and I answered.” She was still defiant. “Norrel’s daughter, Ralla, is only seven, and already promised to a bully of a boy twice her age. She asked if it was so everywhere, and I answered. Others asked and were answered as well.”
Elden could only turn in a circle. “So you just answered? By all that stands in the Light… just answered?” He stalked away, leaving her to follow.
He set a hard pace, putting distance between them and any who might try to follow them. It was nearly dark when he stopped. She pulled up behind him, holding her side. He had offered her no help during the day and no time for comfort. She was tired, dusty, hungry, and thirsty. He gave her nothing, not even the ease of a fire. Brillar dumped her pack, which had been hastily stuffed, relieved to find everything there. She took a long pull of her water flask, finding it close to empty. Opening the foldbox, she added water to the flask then took out rations and a blanket; her other blanket had been left behind.
There had been no words between them since Elden’s outburst, and for some reason, she felt lost. Neither slept well, despite the Ward.
It was the same in the morning, just silence as they sat and ate where they had slept, then Elden said, “I should never have brought you.” His voice was so low, that she could hardly hear it.
“Then I would be dead already, torn apart by dire wolves.” Her voice was just as quiet. “You know I would have come anyway.”
“Then we are, both of us, fools.”
They sat silently for a time; Elden stood and adjusted his pack. “We need to move. The spell will have held them and left them too weak to follow, but there were others.
This was such a light and enjoyable YA fantasy, with a strong main character to root for and an interesting world building and adventures.
Read my full review here: Orb and Arrow Exploration by V.L. Stuart
Readers Giveaway Contest
Win a free copy of Orb and Arrow: Duty (Book II)!
If you’ve enjoyed reading about Brillar and Elden’s adventure in Orb and Arrow: Exploration (Book I), you can win a free paperback copy of Book II in the series, which will be published in September 2022.
Here’s how to enter:
Her first genres were poetry and essays, and she won awards in both. Her Orb and Arrow trilogy has been well-reviewed and is available on Amazon. Her work in progress, Warriors of the Kalahn, is in progress and she recently completed Master of Magic, another book set in the world of Orb and Arrow. As for her writing process, she is a pantser - “May all the gods bless grammarly.com. Even with an English degree, my errors are legion.”
At present, she lives between two volcanoes, “But no worries, only one of them is active.”
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