Happy Book Birthday to The Life Revamp by Kris Ripper! I’m so happy and honored to be a part of the Carina Adores Blog Tour celebrating this adorable story about finding your happy ever after even though it looks nothing like you’d expected!
The Life Revamp by Kris Ripper is available in trade paperback and eBook on November 30th!
All Mason wants to do is fall in love, get married and live happily ever after.
The hunt is beginning to wear him down…until he meets (slightly) famous fashion designer Diego. Everything sparks between them—the banter, the sex, the fiery eye contact across a crowded room.
There’s just one thing: Diego is already married and living his happily-ever-after, which luckily (or not) for Mason includes outside courtships.
But not quite in the way he’d always imagined.
Mason thought he knew what would make him happy, but it turns out the traditional life he'd expected has some surprises in store.
“This is cozy,” Claris said, stepping up beside Diego.
I suddenly realized we were basically two grown men playing make-believe and felt myself flush.
But Diego, without changing his tone, said, “I’ve had to bring Mason in on the secret nature of my intelligence work, but you did say he was trustworthy.”
“Ah. Yes. Your…intelligence work.” She nodded. “I am comfortable vouching for Mason in this capacity.”
“You don’t believe he’ll be a liability to my work investigating art and its use by spies to buy and sell vital intelligence data?”
She bit her lip as if trying to control a rogue smile. “Oh, no, in fact I think Mason could be an, er, asset. To your important work. He’s very observant.” She winked at me. “I’ll leave you two gentlemen to it. I have some contacts of my own to develop.” And away she whisked.
I let out a breath I didn’t realize I’d been holding.
“You okay?” he asked.
“Sure. I just had a meta moment of thinking that playing pretend wasn’t exactly normal behavior for a blind date.”
Diego reached for my hand, clasping it between both of his. “Mason. If you can’t play pretend with your date, then why are you dating them?”
The question, teasing as it was, knocked me back a moment. I would never have talked like this with Tim. It wasn’t that he didn’t have a sense of humor, just that he wouldn’t have understood art gallery as an appropriate venue for pretending to be spies. I didn’t allow myself to be bothered by the fact that I couldn’t think of any venue Tim would find appropriate for playing spies.
I brought myself back to the moment. “According to my friends I’m usually fixing them more than dating them, so maybe that’s your answer.”
“Oh no, that’s not good. Fixing never works out well in the long run, though I suppose it does form the basis of a lot of marriages. Let’s go find some other possible security exploits.” And then, as natural as anything, we were holding hands. Walking through the gallery, looking at the next display, fingers loosely intertwined.
It didn’t last long. Maybe two minutes. Four or five at the most. But since most of the people I’d dated expected me to initiate all the contact, it stood out to me as A Thing. Not forced, not entirely casual.
Since we weren’t on a serious date, I wasn’t exactly running my usual program of balancing my outgoing appearance with an internal checklist of ways Diego did and didn’t meet up with the kind of person I saw myself with. Still, without The Usual First Date Questions, we ended up just…talking. A little about our jobs, but since Claris had told him that I worked in marketing and sales at the bank, and she’d told me that he designed clothes, we were robbed of/saved from the general chitchat.
And honestly? It was fun. If I didn’t have a well-established friend group already, or if we’d been younger when we met, Claris and I would have probably had a non-work friendship from the beginning. But something about being in our thirties made that kind of thing more complicated than it used to be, so it had never exactly shaken out until now, and if this semi-sham of a blind date was the thing that made it happen, I wasn’t complaining.
It might have been easier if I liked them just a little bit less. They were obviously so into each other, so delightful together, so damn #relationshipgoals. It was almost intimidating to watch, except each time I started feeling slightly alienated, one or the other of them would find a way to pull me in again. And Diego didn’t take my hand after the first time, but he did find other ways to touch me, brush against me, stand close beside me to study the crooked beak on a painted parrot and quietly debate whether the hooked end of it might in fact be a disguised arrow, and if so, was it pointing to the location of a hidden microchip lower in the painting?
I left them outside the gallery at the end of the night, exchanging cheek kisses. Claris teased Diego about how she’d really just set us up to encourage him to finally separate his business and personal finances, adding to me that creatives were notoriously bad at doing so. Diego promised to come by the bank where I worked to set up a business account. Claris promised he would have all the necessary information to do so, with the kind of sidelong couple-look that should have made me feel excluded, and would have, except she followed it by saying, “We don’t want Mason thinking you keep poor records, darling, so we’ll try to hide that from him as long as possible.”
“I don’t keep poor records,” he told me in his defense. “I just don’t keep a picture of every single receipt in a database cross-referenced by purchase, company, tax year—”
“That’s hot,” I interrupted.
He groaned. “Oh no, not another one.”
Claris laughed. We said goodnight.
I sent my post-date recap to Dec, as usual. This time it took me longer than ten seconds to figure out how to summarize. NGL, I really liked him. Too bad he’s super married and I’m sorta taken. True statements. I added, Also we pretended to be conducting a counter-espionage investigation. So FYI, you’re covered if you need any help with that.
He sent back a toothy emoji—the happy one, not the eek one—and That sounds amazeballs. You liked him?
Me: Yeah. Like I said. But I’m in the market for a serious boo and he’s already got one.
Declan: I’m just glad you liked him! At least it sounds like you had way more fun than you usually do!
Me: I’ve definitely never gone out on a date and had my date’s wife along for the ride before. Look at me, trying new things. :P
He replied with an entire rainbow of hearts. I sent the same back and put my phone away, trying not to take it too personally that Dec didn’t think I sounded happy after dates with the guy I was actually dating. I couldn’t worry about that, not tonight, not while I was still thinking of things Diego had said and smiling. And the way he’d held my hand, just for a minute or two, the warmth of his palm in mine.
I’d been right, by the way. He had a great laugh.
The Life Revamp is the third book in the wonderful Love Study series following a college group of friends calling themselves ‘The Motherfuckers’, who is one of my absolute favorite literary found families. This time the focus is on Mason, who is recovering from being left at the altar and who only wants to fall in love again, get married and live a traditional happily ever after life.
Read my full review here: The Life Revamp
About the Author
Kris Ripper lives in the great state of California and zir pronouns are ze/zir. Kris shares a converted garage with a kid, can do two pull-ups in a row, and can write backwards. (No, really.) Ze has been writing fiction since ze learned how to write, and boring zir stuffed animals with stories long before that.
Connect with Kris Ripper
Website • Twitter • Facebook • Instagram • Goodreads
Buy The Life Revamp
Add on Goodreads
I’m so happy and honored to be a part of the Xpresso Book Tours blitz celebrating the release of Golden Crown, the second book in Kathleen Mareé’s intriguing and addictive Arthur Academy series! I absolutely loved the first book in this series, Broken Wing, have been eagerly awaiting this sequel ever since! Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for chance to win your own copy of Broken Wing!
“If the world is full of monsters, how do we know who wears the crown…”
In the dark of the night he bared his soul, delivering a shocking event that should’ve changed everything.
So why in the light of day, does everything appear the same…?
The further I’m immersed in this world he calls the ‘elite’, the more I don’t understand. And it’s not only his world I’m afraid I’m falling for, but the Golden Crown himself as well.
But Pax still has secrets.
And I want him to trust me, like a flame wanting fire.
Because despite his world being nothing as it seems, I’m not sure I could walk away even if I wanted to.
Because the truth be told, I don’t want to.
I want him.
In the dark of the night I revealed a truth, delivering the brutal reality of what the elite really means.
So why in the light of day, does everything appear the same…?
It’s the same cat and mouse games, and the same political, power tricks where the Golden Crown is all they see. It’s all they want to see.
Except for her.
But there are things I can’t tell her. Things I don’t think she’ll understand yet.
And I need her to trust me, like a fire needing flame.
Because despite me knowing what this world does to those who fall victim to it, I’m not sure I could walk away from Hendrix, even if I wanted to.
Because the truth be told, I don’t want to.
I want her.
I took my lip beneath my teeth before opening my soul up as much as I was capable of. The words I were about to ask, meant more to me than she would ever know.
“I need you to trust me.”
I held my breath. Ready to wait for her reply but was surprised at how fast it actually flew from her mouth.
I stilled. “What? You trust me?”
I didn’t believe it. I was almost angry at Hendrix’s answer.
How could she trust me after everything I’ve put her through?
Everything I’ve hidden. It didn’t make any sense.
What also made no sense was her reaction either because she shook her head before taking a seat on the edge of her bed (which was too far away from me) where she played with the hem of her tee that was resting on her lap.
“Crazy huh? That I trust you. But… I can’t explain why I do. I’ve just always….”
“You’ve always what?”
She glances up, piercing my heart with her hazel eyes honing in on me with so much raw emotion. “I’ve always…” she starts, before seemingly coming to some realisation within herself. “When I was younger… I always sensed when things were wrong you know? Like that sixth sense that something bad was about to happen, or when danger was nearby. Even when I was too young to really understand my situation, I always knew deep down the kind of dangerous situation I was in. That it wasn’t normal. Well, it wasn’t everyones normal at least. I don’t expect you to understand, but I’m sure from those photos you saw that you have some idea of what I grew up in.” She pauses and my fists ball at the reminder instantly. I don’t have time to let that anger consume me though before she continues. “But I’ve just always trusted my instincts. They’ve never let me down and I guess in a lot of ways I’ve relied on it since I had no actual family to have my back. And…” she pauses again, nervously this time, when she notices me taking slow, measured steps toward her.
“And….?” I whisper, until I’m standing over her causing her head to tilt back to look up at me.
“And my gut? For some reason it trusts you Paxton. Despite you making me nervous, despite the things you say and the things you do. I feel safe around you. Protected. Like the only person capable of hurting me when you’re near – is no one else. Only…. you.”
My hand finds her cheek, letting her warmth seep into my palm. A palm, that was capable of so much destruction. So much hurt. But everything she just said was true. Because I’d always had this sense to protect her, like somehow our souls recognised the pain and destruction we both endured in our lives and wanted to somehow heal together. In most of our time together though, I wanted to protect her from me too. But this girl….
I held her as delicately as a guy like I could, when she gave me something of hers that was beyond precious. Her trust. I almost couldn’t believe she was giving it to me but it was something I was determined to keep. No matter the cost.
“You never asked me you know.”
“I never asked you what?”
“If I had something to do with... You never asked me.”
Her small fingers wrap around my wrist that’s still cupping her cheek and her eyes never sway from mine. “I may not know everything about you Pax, but I know you aren’t capable of something like that. I’ve been around monsters my entire life and you aren’t one. You’re not.”
I suck in a breath, wanting so much more in this moment when I breathe, “You called me Pax.”
She tilts her head, a knowing smirk crossing her delicate face. “It’s your name isn’t it?”
“I guess I like how it sounds coming from you.”
Then for the first time in a long time, I let myself feel…
I was so hooked by the first book, Broken Wing, and the amazing and complex characters who stole my heart, and have been eagerly awaiting this sequel ever since. And it sure did not disappoint! On the contrary, if anything this second book was even more intense and addictive than the first one. I read it all in one sitting with a beating heart, too nervous about all scheming and the potential hurt for my beloved Hendrix and Paxton.
Read my full reviews of both books here:
About the author
Throughout her schooling, writing was a hobby, along with sketching and various sports. But fast forward to her adult years when she moved to Europe to follow her husbands field hockey dream, and her love for writing surged to the surface.
Her debut story, Cut, was penned over two years where her hobby seemed to lead to the completion of Pennys' world. The rest of the series came the following year.
Kathleen enjoys writing stories full of self-discovery, emotional journeys and of course, love.
Something else she loves is hearing from her readers, so feel free to follow her blog or drop her an email.
For signed copies of her novels, more information about upcoming stories, or to follow her blog, please visit her website www.kathleenmaree.weebly.com
Dream often. Believe always.
Connect with Kathleen Mareé
Website • Facebook • Instagram • Twitter • Goodreads
Buy Golden Crown
Amazon • Add on Goodreads
Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for chance to win your own copy of the first book in this series, Broken Wing!
Today is my stop on the Xpresso Book Tours Book Blitz for Night Prince by Felice Stevens. Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card!
From Lambda Literary Award winning author Felice Stevens comes a sexy paranormal stand-alone romance.
A vampire who’s lost everything meets a man who has nothing to lose.
For centuries, Massimo D’Alba, banished prince of the Fold, has wandered through life frozen in darkness and pain. Betrayed by his younger, power-hungry brother, he’s existed for centuries but not lived. A rain-soaked night brings smart-mouthed New Yorker, Damion Avery, to his doorstep and suddenly he’s riding spin bikes, shopping for yoga pants, eating ice cream…and falling in love.
Damion Avery can’t figure out why Prince Tall, Dark, and Incredibly Sexy wants him as his personal assistant, but he’s not going to second-guess his good luck. Even though he has to work all night and sleep during the day, the job is too good to be true. But where does Massimo sneak off to in the dead of night? Is he a spy, an assassin, or something else? And what’s with those glowing purple eyes? Damion knows he shouldn’t fall for his boss. But Damion was never one to follow the rules.
When duty calls him home, Massimo must return to save his kingdom, forcing a life-changing decision: leave Damion behind forever, or reveal his deepest, darkest secret to the man who has become his everything, who owns a part of Massimo he’d thought gone forever…his heart.
For the past century, Massimo had occasionally allowed humans into his home if he found it necessary for his business. He’d hired several—pale, thin creatures who were good with numbers, something Massimo had trouble with even as a child. They assisted him with the Internet when the need arose and kept his books and finances in order because he simply couldn’t. If DaVinci and Galileo, who remained his favorites, had been unable to help him, he would’ve admitted defeat.
This human, however, was proving to be a danger to his physical needs, something he’d kept locked up tight for centuries. He hadn’t lain with a man since the last time with Riice, but Massimo recognized lust. It bubbled inside him the longer he stared at this man.
And he was even prettier awake than in sleep, sweet and innocent-looking. But Massimo had been duped once—his brother had played him well for years, lulling him into a false sense of security before turning on him and stealing his birthright and his life.
He wouldn’t be fooled again. Was he sent as a spy? Had someone from the Fold discovered where he was and sent this morsel to test him? Massimo eyed the man, distrust warring with unexpected desire.
The poor thing jumped and stared at him with wide blue eyes. Thick waves of honey-colored hair fell over his brow, and he carded his fingers through the mess.
Massimo advanced upon the man. He possessed a lovely rich scent, but Massimo wasn’t interested in his blood. His shocking hunger was of a different kind.
“May I ask who you are and what you are doing in my home?”
“Are you the prince?”
“I believe I asked you a question first. Who are you, and what are you doing here?”
Before the human could answer, Claudio skidded into the room. “Your Highness, I’m sorry I wasn’t there to greet you. I was washing Damion’s shoelaces.”
“Damion. With an o. I know it’s usually with an e, but I guess someone made a mistake on my birth certificate, and…well, yeah. Damion.”
The human’s face had turned a rather adorable shade of pink. “Damion with an o. Understood.”
“And you’re Massimo? The prince?”
He arched a brow at Claudio, who shrugged. “He asked.”
“He…asked.” Massimo shook his head. “Indeed. What else did you tell him that he asked?” He folded his arms and trained his hard gaze upon Claudio, who shifted uneasily under the intense scrutiny. “How did you end up bringing this…stranger here?”
“Don’t be a hard-ass to Claudio. I literally ran into him during the rainstorm earlier. My phone cracked, and he felt guilty as all hell and said he could fix it and brought me here. I must’ve fallen asleep waiting for him. You have a really comfortable couch, by the way.”
“Is that so?” Massimo glided closer to Damion, smiling to himself when Damion’s breath hitched.
“Uh, yeah. Well, I’d better get going. It’s getting late, and you probably want to have dinner.”
“Your sneakers are in the dryer, Damion,” Claudio said. “They shouldn’t take too long.”
“What a help you’ve been to our guest, Claudio.” Massimo leaned against the arched doorway. “As for you, Damion with an o, I insist you stay.” He bared his teeth in a grin.
“I don’t think—”
“You have somewhere else to be?” Massimo put a hand on Damion’s arm and felt him flinch.
A curious electric current shot up his arm.
About the Author
Felice Stevens has always been a romantic at heart. She believes that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending around the corner. Her characters have to work for it, because just like life in NYC, nothing comes easy and that includes love.
Felice is the 2020 Lambda Literary Award winning author in best Gay Romance. She lives in New York City and has way too much black in her wardrobe. If she’s not writing, you’ll probably find her watching reality TV or procrastinating on FB in her reader group, Felice’s Breakfast Club.
Connect with Felice Stevens
Webpage • Facebook • Twitter • Instagram • Pinterest • BookBub
Get your own copy of Night Prince
Amazon • Add on Goodreads
Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card!
Today is my stop on the Gay Book Promotions book blast for the heartwrenching F/F romance story Finding Sarah by Aprille Canniff. Read on for an excslusive excerpt!
The past has left her scarred and broken, but does she have the strength to risk her heart on the future?
When Sarah steps off the plane in Provincetown, she has only one goal—to leave the past behind her. As she begins her journey of rediscovering herself, she meets one of the town’s deputies under less-than-ideal circumstances but soon finds herself drawn to her in ways she knows she can't allow.
Deputy Catrina Diaz loves her job, her family, and her friends, which is why she became a deputy to begin with, to keep her town and those she loves safe. When she crosses paths with Sarah, a newcomer to town, she finds herself wanting more than Sarah is wanting to give.
Sarah fights hard to find herself as the past keeps finding new ways to haunt her. As their relationship grows, will the secrets Sarah is hiding, secrets that Cat realizes everyone knows but her, finally pull them apart? Can Sarah trust Cat enough to overcome her past and the insecurities it has caused and take a chance on the one thing she thought she could never have again-love?
Grateful for the privacy, Sarah sat down, facing Cat on the couch. “Cat, I don’t want you to think…” Sarah paused, struggling to find the words to explain.
“What? That you’re avoiding me?” Cat reached over and took Sarah’s hand, their fingers automatically intertwining. “Sarah, I like you. I like spending time with you.”
Sarah was overcome with sadness. “Cat, we can’t.”
“Give me one good reason why.”
A tear slid down her cheek as she spoke the simple truth that had consumed her since she had met Cat. “Because I’m broken, and you deserve better.”
Cat reached over and gently wiped the errant tear away from Sarah’s cheek. “We are all broken in some way, but that doesn’t mean we can’t help each other to heal.”
Sarah shook her head, frustrated for what she wanted and for what she could never have. “Cat, you don’t understand.”
“No, I don’t, but I’m willing to wait until you are ready to tell me. Until then…” Cat leaned forward and gently, almost shyly, placed a soft kiss on Sarah’s lips. The feel of Sarah’s lips flooded her senses and filled her with a warmth so intense she finally understood what all the romance novels were talking about. She understood what it meant to fall with one simple kiss. “I want to spend time getting to know the Sarah you are wanting to become.”
Sarah did her best to fight back and hide the feelings she had for Cat, but that kiss, how could she hold back now? That one simple kiss tore down the walls she had built to protect herself and others. She had to do what was right and stop this before it got out of control, but what her mind wanted was overridden by her heart, surprising even herself. “Cat, I don’t know if I could handle you walking away if you find out what happened to me. I’m telling you, it’s horrible, and it’s not something you can unsee.”
It broke Cat’s heart to see the tears that were now flowing freely down Sarah’s cheeks. She wanted to erase the past and the hurt it had caused her. Instead, she pulled Sarah into her arms and held her as she cried. “I see you for who you are, and that’s all that matters. Just give me a chance to prove it to you.”
Sarah wanted to say no because she couldn’t take anymore hurt or disappointment in her life, but the longer Cat held her, the harder it was to fight. Finally, she dried her eyes and sat up. “Maybe…”
About the Author