I’m so happy and honored to be a part of the Gay Book Promotions blog tour celebrating the release of The Schoolmaster’s Spy, the third book in Ruby Moone’s wonderful Winsford Green series!
Mark Dexter was the one boy that schoolmaster, Felix Brook, never forgot. Ten years later, he’s back…
With Bonaparte defeated, King’s spy, Captain Mark Dexter is furious at being sent to investigate the latest headmaster of his old school, rather than a smuggling ring on the south coast. Things look up considerably when he realises that the schoolmaster he admired above all others, Felix Brook, is still there. The man who listened to him, the man who cared about him, the man who is still out of bounds.
With only half an eye on the job, Dexter puts Felix in a compromising position. The mission goes catastrophically wrong, leaving Felix to bear the brunt of the repercussions. With his commanding officer after his blood, and Felix running from him, Dexter is desperate to put things right.
Felix Brook, schoolmaster, is devoted to Hestingley’s school and its pupils. His life is quiet and unremarkable, but When Mark Dexter turns up at an Old Boys’ dinner, he turns Felix’s life inside out. In the decade since he last saw him, the wild, unpredictable schoolboy has become a devastatingly handsome man. Felix can scarcely believe it when Dexter makes his attraction clear, it’s like a dream come true. Until it all goes wrong.
Reluctantly thrown together at the Winsford Green annual Summer Fete, Felix and Dexter attempt to piece together what happened, rebuild trust, and deal with the searing passion that still burns between them. When the truth is finally revealed, Felix must not only prove his innocence, but hold tightly to love as Dexter’s world crumbles beneath him.
Felix yelled aloud at the shock of running into someone in the dark corridor. A firm hand clamped over his mouth and Felix clutched the strong arm that held him. When the hand eased a little, he was wondering frantically what to say by way of explanation for his presence, when a wave of sandalwood mingled with leather hit him. There was only one person in the world who smelled like that. Only one person with that underlying scent of manliness. He swallowed and stared at the floor, gathering his composure. Why would Dexter be here? Why? The conclusion he drew both terrified and exhilarated him.
The hand over his mouth lifted and Felix had to make himself not lick his lips.
“Brook?” It was him. Mark Dexter was standing in front of him, one arm holding him tight. Felix had regretted not taking up the earlier, blatant invitation with every fibre of his being. Castigated himself as an abject looby for not responding with at least a smidgeon of sophistication and behaving like the insular, lonely schoolmaster he was.
“You followed me.” He hadn’t a clue what else to say.
“Is that what you think?”
Felix had to look up at that. “Well, why else are you here?”
Moonlight shone through the window beside them, casting a ghostly glow over Dexter’s head, making his hair look darker and his eyes gleam.
“Why else indeed,” Dexter whispered and stepped closer. Felix’s instinct was to run, but he held his ground. This was probably the last chance he would get to spend time with him. Who was he fooling? Spend time? He didn’t want to spend time, he wanted to… Well, he didn’t know what in God’s name he wanted but it involved Captain Mark Dexter in his rooms. In his bed, leaning over him, kissing him, feeling the weight of him. Christ, he wanted him naked.
“Do you want me to leave?” Dexter was so close he could feel the warmth from his body.
This was it. All he had to do was say ‘yes’ and he was sure that Dexter would leave. He had done so last time.
“My name is Felix,” he said, surprised at how deep and rough his voice was.
A smile spread across Dexter’s sculpted features. “Felix,” he whispered as though tasting the word on his tongue.
“You can’t be calling me Mr. Brook. That man was your teacher.”
“And this man, Felix?”
Felix shivered as Dexter moved closer. He touched his nose to Felix’s ear and the breath left Felix’s chest. His eyes fluttered closed, his mouth opened on a soundless word, and he leaned into the contact.
Dexter’s hand slid around Felix’s waist, and he pulled him a tiny bit nearer. He pushed his nose against Felix’s cheek and nuzzled. Felix felt the soft warmth of his breath, the scent of his skin, and the latent strength in the body that stood so, so close.
“Might this man, Felix, be my lover for tonight?”
Ruby Moone’s Winsford Green series are such sweet and heartwarming m/m romances set in the Regency time. I really adore all of her books, but The Schoolmaster’s Spy was my absolute favorite so far! You can find my gushing reviews for The Schoolmaster’s Spy and the previous books in the Winsford Green series here:
Dances Long Forgotten
People Like Us
The Schoolmaster’s Spy
About the author
Ruby Moone lives in the wilds of Lancashire with her husband and writes historical and contemporary romance. At school, her teachers said that she lived with her head in the clouds and if she didn’t stop daydreaming she would never get anywhere. She never did stop daydreaming, and after years of happily living in the clouds, decided to write the stories down.
Connect with Ruby Moone
Facebook • Facebook Group - Ruby’s Room • Twitter • Instagram • Tumblr •
Webpage and Newsletter sign up
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Today is my stop on the Gay Book Promotions blog tour for the second chance sports MM romance Dual Threat Love by Lola Noire. Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for chance to win a copy of the ebook on Kindle!
Will Patrick, now a Superstar NFL Quarterback, be willing to give Ace a second chance? Or will old pain and Patrick’s high-profile personality stand in the way?
Ace, the Billionaire Heir and Patrick, the Help’s son, met when they were sixteen and thirteen years old, respectively. What started as childhood friendship forever altered their lives for better and for worse. Faced with misunderstanding and miscommunication, they went their separate ways hurt and heartbroken.
Years later, they met again. This time, the Billionaire CEO is determined to win his best friend and the love of his life, Patrick, back.
While Ace is determined to rekindle this love, will Patrick, now a Superstar NFL Quarterback, be willing to give Ace a second chance? Or will old pain and Patrick’s high-profile personality stand in the way?
Whether together or apart, both men will fight to the bitter end for their version of happily ever after.
Excerpt from the Prologue
Patrick and I met years ago during a summer vacation at my family’s villa on Highland Beach in Boca Raton. Patrick was 13 years old and I was 16 at the time. As usual, my parents had been fighting. My mother was miserable in our home on Long Island, so she decided to take a trip to Florida to get away from my father and his latest mistress. I could have stayed in New York and hung out with my friends or I could have traveled to any place in the world of my choosing. However, I decided to accompany my mother. Blame it on the soft spot I had for that frail-looking, pill-popping, pale lady.
A few days into our vacation, the grand villa felt more like a four-by-four shoebox. I was bored out of my mind and on the verge of losing my shit. Taking pity on me, Ms. June, the housekeeper and Patrick’s mother, told my mother that her second son, Patrick, her baby boy, as she fondly called him, who was around my age, was also home doing nothing for that summer.
“If that’s okay with you, Mrs. De’Rochard, I can bring him with me to work so that Ace can have someone around his age to talk to,” she suggested.
“That would be lovely if you could, Ms. June,” Mother replied without any hesitation.
“Pat is a good boy, so they should get along.”
“I hope they do. Again, thank you for your thoughtfulness.”
While Mother and Ms. June readily made plans for Patrick and me, I was a bit apprehensive. It wasn’t that I was scared or did not want to meet Ms. June’s son. The truth was I’d had limited contact with Black kids in my young life and I had no idea what to expect. It wasn’t like I didn’t know anything about Black people. I lived in New York City, for crying out loud. However, my inner circle had consisted of only a few selected friends from similar social, economic, and racial backgrounds as me, strategically handpicked by my parents since I was very young.
As the sole heir to the multi-billion-dollar De’Rochard Empire, I had learned early on to be cautious of the constant danger that lurked around me. The risks of being approached by individuals with ulterior motives, being kidnapped, or worse yet, being murdered by someone who had a vendetta against my family were ever-present.”
I was only five years old when my nanny of three years had conspired to kidnap me in exchange for $10 million in ransom. It took the FBI and my parents’ private security team less than 2 hours to locate us in Buffalo, New York and whisk me to safety. Leonora and her boyfriend, the apparent mastermind of the scheme, were arrested. Unfortunately, they did not live long enough to face a judge. My father had made sure to make an example of them just in case someone else might have had a similar idea. Father had been the only judge and jury of that case. The Crusader Disciples had acted as the executioners. My own personal security team was assigned to me soon after, which consisted of no less than three guards and they’d been with me ever since.
To say the least, I was anxious about meeting Patrick. All day I kept thinking that I should lay off the news as the media often portrayed young Black men living in the inner cities as less than favorable. My father’s views on Black men were also not the prettiest, to put it lightly. So, sue me if I had never dealt with any Black people except for some of the help. The night before Ms. June brought Patrick with her, I got really edgy as endless “what-ifs” ran through my mind. I finally fell asleep in the early morning hours only to be plagued by dreams of different adverse outcomes of meeting Patrick.
“Hi, I’m Patrick,” said the small boy standing next to Ms. June by the theater room’s door in a soft and sultry timbre.
I looked up to the most beautiful brownish-hazel eyes that I had ever seen that were covered with unbelievable long lashes.
“Ace… I’m Ace,” I replied a few seconds too late, not realizing that I was staring. I quickly reached for his extended hand that felt so small in mine as I held it a bit longer than I should have.
“You boys, have fun!” Ms. June shouted as she went about her business.
Pat did not pull his hand from mine. Instead, he glanced at our hands with a raised brow. I quickly let go and said the first damn thing that came to mind.
“So, you and me the whole summer, hmm?”
“Looks like it.”
Our eyes met. He smiled, and all of my nervousness was forgotten. What a smile he had! His plump, pink lips covered a mouth with perfect white teeth. His eyes were full of mischief that was made more noticeable by his smile. I marveled at his beauty. His dark chocolate complexion seemed to radiate under the hot Floridian sun. I found myself staring at him too many times during that summer. I didn’t know why, but I could not wait to see him walk back through the door the next day each time he would go home.
Soon, I felt comfortable enough around him to be myself and talk about anything. We would talk for hours and never get bored. We talked about our respective lives. Unlike other people, Pat, the short name I soon began to call him, never asked me about my fortune. He only asked about New York City since he had never been there before; and he expressed a desire to see Central Park. I told him about my friends, school, and some of the countries I’d visited. Like typical teenage boys, we talked about girls and celebrity crushes.
I taught him how to play chess, poker, and countless games on my PlayStation3. He was a quick learner, and it did not take him long to start beating me at the games I had taught him. He eagerly reciprocated my lessons by showing me how to play dominos and lidos. Unlike me, Patrick was into sports. He played both basketball and football. He’d managed to get me play a few games even though that wasn’t my thing. It didn’t matter what we were playing because for that summer, as long as I was playing with Pat, I was happy. Also, we both were excellent swimmers so we spent countless hours at the beach or the heated indoor pool trying to outdo each other. I liked our swimming sessions the most because I could steal glances at his body without any restriction. I particularly liked the tingling sensation in my stomach whenever our bodies touched while we wrestled around.
Patrick was obsessed with the X-Men series. I quickly learned that Wolverine was his absolute favorite character. He could not wait for X-Men Origins: Wolverine to come out the following summer. He shared that his older brother, Lamar, whom he seemed to idolize, had gotten mixed up with a gang and was now serving a three-year prison sentence for possession of narcotics with the intent to sell in a school zone. I noticed the sadness in his eyes when he talked about his brother, and it broke my heart to see how much he was hurting.
About the Author
Born in Haiti and bred in Brooklyn, NY, Lola Noire is a passionate fan of all things sports and has a love-hate relationship with traveling. Lola is an alumna of Niagara University, John Jay College, and National University of Ireland, Galway.
Lola Noire is the author of the debut novel, Dual Threat Love, an interracial M/M sports story.
Connect with Lola Noire on Facebook.
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I’m so happy and honored to be a part of the Gay Book Promotions blog tour celebrating the release of Wheels Down, the fifth book in Beth Bolden’s wonderful Food Truck Warriors series! Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card!
Shaw isn’t his friend—until Ross discovers he’s so much more.
Ross Stanton is having a bad week—a bad month—really, a bad year. But the last thing he wants, after the betrayal of his friend and business partner, is for anyone else to know just how much he’s fighting for survival.
He’s struggling to keep his food truck and to maintain appearances, but what Ross doesn’t realize is that Shaw Finley, the bartender from the Funky Cup, has seen right through his charade.
Shaw offers the couch in his apartment over the bar, suggesting that saving money on rent might help salvage Ross’ failing prospects.
Even though he doesn’t really consider them friends, Ross discovers that Shaw is great to talk to, easy to look at, and he likes him. Late nights and lazy mornings and evenings with only the polished wood of the bar between them lead to an attraction that Ross can’t deny—and that Shaw doesn’t even try to.
But falling in love isn’t as easy as falling into bed together, and Ross isn’t even sure what he feels is love, until he figures out that it couldn’t possibly be anything else.
Shaw removed his glass, replaced it with a full cup of water and ice, and then a moment later he was back, with a plate full of delicious-smelling food.
“Steak and mushroom hoagie, with horseradish aioli,” Shaw said, depositing it in front of him, “and our famous sweet potato fries.”
“They’re famous?” Ross wondered, even as he realized he had heard people talking about them.
“According to our Yelp reviews,” Shaw said. “Can I grab you anything else?”
Ross was about to ask for napkins, because the sandwich looked absolutely delicious but also messy, but then one appeared next to him, like Shaw had known he’d need it.
“I think I’m good, thanks,” Ross said, and picked up the sandwich. It had a surprising heft to it, and he had to give Jackson and Shaw credit—they’d revamped the kitchen and the work they’d put in showed. When he took a bite, he was even more impressed, half a dozen flavors exploding across his tongue as he chewed spiced sliced steak working in perfect complement to the earthiness of the mushrooms.
“You’re nodding over there,” Shaw said, his voice teasing. “Is that a good or a bad thing?”
Ross finished chewing and swallowed. “Really good,” he said. “I’m impressed.”
“Wow,” Shaw said, looking surprised. Too surprised.
“Am I really that notorious?” Ross asked, before he thought better of it. He ate a handful of sweet potato fries and they were really good too. “That picky?”
He didn’t really want to hear the answer; he really didn’t want to hear Shaw’s answer.
“Not exactly notorious,” Shaw said, returning to slicing his lemons.
“Then what exactly?”
Shaw sighed and put down the knife.
“You’re gonna get me in trouble,” he said with resignation.
Ross almost told him to forget it. After all, hearing the truth was probably not going to be all that enlightening and might actually make the next few months of living together uncomfortable.
Shaw smiled then, and it wasn’t the same smile he gave to all the random guys at the bar. It was softer, sweeter, more genuine somehow. Ross had never seen it before, and it hit him somewhere deep, a place where he hadn’t felt much of anything in years.
Maybe the last time had been when his grandmother had smiled at him, over pots and pans and pie dishes.
“You gotta know that you’ve got the best food at that whole lot,” Shaw said. “Objectively. The other food there is good, don’t get me wrong, but those guys? You know why they keep you at arm’s length? They’re all terrified of you, though they’d rather die than admit it. You’re brilliant. You should be working in the best, the fanciest, the most expensive restaurants, and instead you’ve got this food truck and it’s just amazing. Every time I go to Basket, I’m blown away.”
“And,” Shaw continued, leaning over, his blue eyes twinkling again, and Ross’ breath caught in his throat, “you’re gonna get me in trouble, because Jackson would have my ass for not thinking Alexis serves the best food on the lot.”
I love Beth Bolden’s m/m foodie romances, and Wheels Down was another adorable, sweet and heartwarming story about learning to trust, being brave to share your deepest secrets and the empowering love of found families. You can find my gushing reviews for Wheels Down and the previous books in the Food Truck Warriors series here:
Drive Me Crazy
Hit The Brakes
On A Roll
Full Speed Ahead
About the author
A lifelong Pacific Northwester, Beth Bolden has just recently moved to North Carolina with her supportive husband. Beth still believes in Keeping Portland Weird, and intends to be just as weird in Raleigh.
Beth has been writing practically since she learned the alphabet. Unfortunately, her first foray into novel writing, titled Big Bear with Sparkly Earrings, wasn’t a bestseller, but hope springs eternal. She’s published twenty-three novels and seven novellas.
Connect with Beth Bolden
Website • Facebook • Twitter • Instagram • BookBub • Newsletter Sign-up
Buy Wheels Down
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