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 •
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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
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Happy Book Birthday to Sailor Proof by Annabeth Albert! I’m so happy and honored to be a part of the Carina Adores Blog Tour celebrating this sweet, light-hearted, low angst, fake-dating M/M romance!
Sailor Proof by Annabeth Albert is available in trade paperback, eBook and audiobook on September 28th!
The sexy Navy chief and his best friend’s adorkable little brother…
It’s petty, but Naval Chief Derrick Fox wishes he could exact a little revenge on his ex by showing off a rebound fling. His submarine is due to return to its Bremerton, Washington, home base soon and Derrick knows all too well there won't be anyone waiting with a big, showy welcome.
Enter one ill-advised plan…
Arthur Euler is the guy you go to in a pinch—he's excellent at out-of-the-box solutions. It's what the genius music-slash-computer nerd is known for. So when he finds out Derrick needs a favor, he’s happy to help. He can muster the sort of welcome a Naval Chief deserves, no problem at all.
Except it is a problem. A very big problem.
When Arthur’s homecoming welcome is a little too convincing, when a video of their gangplank smooch goes enormously viral, they're caught between a dock and a hard place. Neither of them ever expected a temporary fake relationship to look—or feel—so real. And Arthur certainly never considered he'd be fighting for a very much not-fake forever with a military man.
Arthur turned out hot. That was my first thought when I spotted him after I heard my name called. Derrick. My actual name, not Fox, not Chief, and outside of Calder a couple of times, I hadn’t heard that name in months. And definitely not like that, all eager and excited and happy. On the sub, hearing my name inevitably meant that someone needed something right that minute, but the way Arthur said it didn’t inspire dread at all.
I’d already been caught up in the energy of the day. Homecoming day was always exciting, even if I didn’t usually have someone waiting. The whole crew was jostling about, getting into our dress whites, making sure everything from our cover to the chest candy of ribbons and medals to the gig line was perfectly straight. Getting chosen to be on deck as we came into port was an honor, one that I usually let others, especially those with kids, fight over, since there was still plenty to do belowdecks in preparation and support. As the chief sonar tech, I was responsible for working with the A-gangers from engineering and the operations department to help navigate us in. Adrenaline was contagious, and by the time my department was cleared to disembark, I had enough energy to rival the reactor that powered the sub.
And then I heard my name.
I recognized Arthur’s red hair right away. But the rest…
Wow. Arthur had grown hot. Still shorter than me and skinnier, but wiry now, each lean muscle defined under a thin white shirt and tight jeans. No signs of his ever-present too-big nerd-humor tees. Same startling green eyes as before, though, and a new, more chiseled jaw sporting the perfect amount of fuzz. He’d grown into his long regal nose, and the hair that had seemed to have a life of its own when he’d been a teen was sculpted now, this perfectly styled wave that made me want to mess it up. His hands, which had always seemed too big for the rest of him, were clutching a giant sign.
And for a second—a literal instant when our eyes met and time stopped—I forgot it wasn’t real. And in that moment, I wanted it to be. Someone smiling that broadly for me. Had Steve ever been so happy to see me? Hell, I wasn’t even sure the poodle my grandmother had let me keep had been that happy. Arthur just radiated pure joy. The kid was one hell of an actor.
“Welcome home.” Even his voice was different. Deeper. Sexier.
“Hey,” I said because I was simply that brilliant at conversation. I reached an arm out, instinctively going for a handshake, but Arthur shifted his sign and met me partway, coming in for a hug.
A really tight hug.
Damn, he felt good. Amazing really. Solid muscle against me, hair tickling my nose, exactly as silky as it looked, strong arms able to haul me in and hold me tight. He smelled like mint and green tea, two things in short supply on a boat that tended to smell like old socks on a good day. Sweet. I inhaled deeply as his lips brushed my ear.
“Calder said to kiss you,” he whispered. “And I want to. But you gotta tell me you’re good with that first.”
Was I good with that? Hot guy who smelled like a concoction I wanted to drink every day for a month wanted to kiss me. And ordinarily, the friendship code would put Arthur far, far off-limits, but here was Calder telling us to kiss. It was a free pass, the sort I’d be a fool to turn down.
I wasn’t a fool.
And what harm could a peck do?
“Yeah.” My voice was a rough whisper, and I didn’t have a chance to brace myself before Arthur was sliding his mouth over from my ear to mouth. A double shot of tequila would have had less punch than the first brush of contact.
And okay, not a peck.
We were kissing. Arthur and I, which should have been weird but somehow wasn’t. At all. Someone whooped behind us, but almost all of my attention was riveted on Arthur, like I was on watch and every sense was heightened lest I miss something vital.
Like how soft his lips were. Full too. Or the bristle of his scruff against my cheek. I’d done a submarine shave that morning, not my best job, but close enough that the rasp of beard felt electric. Our chests were pressed so tightly that I could feel his heart pounding. Or maybe that was mine, blood zooming to places that had been in deep freeze for months.
“Wow.” Arthur pulled back, leaving me dazed and still clinging to him.
“Damn.” The statuesque purple-haired woman he’d been standing with laughed loudly and thumped Arthur’s shoulder. “Is that the best you can do? Your man has been at sea how many months?”
Your man. If only. If he were actually mine, we’d be racing across base, a mad dash to find a room with a door. But he wasn’t and all we’d ever have was this moment. A potent mix of want and resolve raced through me as suddenly I was determined to make this count.
I pulled him back to me, and this time when our mouths collided, I was ready. Ready to taste. Ready to absorb every single detail. Ready to seize control and kiss like the world might be ending.
And it could have. Not sure I would have noticed. Everything faded away. The crowd. The docks. The balloons Arthur had been clutching and his sign both as his strong hands clung to my shoulders as we kissed in earnest. He tasted like he smelled, sweet and minty, and his tongue against mine was like floodlights coming on.
“Welcome home,” Arthur breathed against my mouth as the sound of applause gradually pulled me back into awareness of our surroundings. Applause. Whoops of laughter. Clicking cameras. But still I couldn’t seem to look away from him.
This first book in the Shore Leaves was such a sweet, light-hearted, low angst, fake-dating mm romance between a submarine chief and an adorkable musician, with some of my favorite tropes; fake-dating, opposites attract and falling for best friend’s younger sibling.
Read my full review here: Sailor Proof
Sailor Proof by Annabeth Albert is available in trade paperback, eBook and audiobook on September 28th!
About the Author
Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a Pacific Northwest romance writer of many critically acclaimed and fan-favorite LGBTQ romance series. To find out more, check out: www.annabethalbert.com. The fan group, Annabeth’s Angels, on Facebook is also a great place for bonus content.
Connect with Annabeth Albert
Website • Facebook Fan Group • Twitter • Instagram • Goodreads • Amazon
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Happy release day to By the Blood of Rowans by Xan Van Rooyen! Today is my stop on the MCMT Tours celebrating this lush, queer YA fantasy for fans of Anna-Marie McLemore and Maggie Stiefvater. Enter the Bookstagram Giveaway to win an ebook copy of By the Blood of Rowans and I Heart Robot by Xan van Rooyen!
The Sheehy witches are the most feared and detested family on the island of Inisliath, and none more so than Rowan.
As a deathwalker, Rowan ferries island souls to the Otherworld, experiencing their deaths and carrying their memories like ghosts within him. It’s a fated role he accepts even as it inexorably destroys him.
When the magic on the island starts to seep away from the other founding families, everyone blames the Sheehys—especially when islanders start dying.
Ash is sick of their father’s fists and constantly having to apologize for who they are. Life on Inisliath might be the fresh start Ash and their mum need, and meeting soft-spoken, curly-haired Rowan feels like the ray of sunshine Ash has desperately needed—but everything goes sideways when Ash’s mum becomes lead detective on a series of ritualistic murders allegedly tied to island magic, and Ash’s family history.
The islanders are convinced Rowan is guilty, but Ash refuses to believe it. When Ash does some investigating of their own, they discover Rowan is far more likely to be the next victim. With time running out to save Rowan, Ash will have to choose between a life free of their father or the boy they’re starting to love. Meanwhile Rowan will have to decide just how much he’s willing to sacrifice to save his family from the darkness about to be unleashed on the island.
In this lush, queer YA fantasy the Sheehy witches are the most feared and detested family on the island of Inisliath, and none more so than Rowan. As a deathwalker, Rowan ferries island souls to the Otherworld, but when the magic on the island starts to seep away from the other founding families, everyone blames the Sheehys—especially when islanders start dying.
Full review to come!
Enter the Bookstagram Giveaway to win an ebook copy of By the Blood of Rowans and I Heart Robot by Xan van Rooyen!
Today is my stop on the Xpresso Book Tours Book Blitz for On Board by Jay Hogan. Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card!
Leroy Madden is in trouble. Big, handsome, Fox Carmody trouble.
Leroy has buried his attraction to the enigmatic fisherman in irritation and pointless bickering, keeping Fox at a safe distance. But with the troublesome man now living in Leroy’s house, it’s becoming impossible for Leroy to keep his true feelings hidden, or the fact that Leroy isn’t so straight, after all.
Leroy hungers for something different between them. He wants more. But Leroy’s business is struggling, his newly mended relationship with his brother is at risk, Fox doesn’t plan to stay, and their mothers are lovers.
Regardless of what Leroy’s heart so desperately wants, his entire world is at stake, and nothing about a relationship with Fox Carmody was ever going to be easy.
I stole a sideways glance to where Fox lounged in the passenger seat of my Hilux, his interested gaze soaking up the countryside. The worst of the Monday morning traffic was behind us and the driving was easy, not that you’d know it by my white-knuckled grip on the steering wheel.
Sister Sledge streamed through the speakers, Fox’s fingers tapping away on one thickly muscled thigh wrapped in tight stonewashed denim. A fashionable rip mocked me from just above the knee, revealing the faintest glimpse of tanned skin and short dark hair, not that I was looking.
Yeah, right. I was soaking that shit up like sugar in hot coffee.
The universe was definitely fucking with me. Well, that and my mother who’d arrived for Sunday lunch with a surprisingly edible peach cobbler and what she called the ‘best idea ever’ for me to give Fox a lift into Whangarei the next day since I was already going. He wanted to check out some boats, but his car was still waiting on parts.
Fucking wonderful. Why he couldn’t wait for his own vehicle to be fixed wasn’t a question I was prepared to ask based on my mother’s I-dare-you look. I’d caved and agreed.
I could’ve killed her. And by the constipated look on Fox’s face at her suggestion, I was pretty sure he felt the same. It had been a long, long weekend and entirely my own damn fault. Other than forced interaction at work, rugby training, and Sunday lunch, I’d avoided Fox at all costs, and he’d been good enough to play along and pretend he hadn’t noticed, other than a notable drop in temperature whenever he looked my way. I could hardly blame him for that. If only he knew that my epic arseholery stemmed from lust and not disgust.
And the Academy Award for epically fucking yourself goes to . . . yeah. Enough said.
Note to self: don’t get tipsy around the guy. Without the benefit of way too many beers, we wouldn’t have talked and got all chummy on the deck, and I wouldn’t have realised that I maybe, actually liked the bastard, not just wanted to kiss him, or touch him, or have him touch me, or . . . goddammit, wait for the drum roll—fuck me.
I swallowed hard. Me fucking him would, of course, be marginally more acceptable to my brain, but who was I kidding? I’d spent the entire weekend thinking, fantasising, googling, watching, and yep, definitely him fucking me. Good God, the sooner he was out of my house the better. Still, it sounded like it wouldn’t take much to get him to shift back down south, so I could only hope.
“You okay, Leroy?”
My gaze jerked his way. “Fine. I’m absolutely fine,” I lied, because no, I didn’t want to go there, or talk about it, or think about it, or do anything other than bury it as unsuccessfully as I’d done for the last five days, make that a year—my, doesn’t time fly—because I’m chickenshit as all hell and my life is a fucking shitshow of irony.
Why . . . this?
Bisexual. I’d even practised saying it in front of the mirror, barely able to spit the word out as it sat huge and sour on my tongue. It wasn’t that I hated the man-on-man part, because I was clearly on board with that in so very many, many Fox-shaped, lickable ways. It was more that the admission held an extremely unflattering mirror up to the jerk hypocrite that I’d been, and very likely still was, my entire life.
Whoever said sexuality was a choice, I needed that fucker’s address and a suitably sized cactus to shove where the sun don’t shine.
My head had been buried so far in the sand for so long that I had grit coming out my arse, and that shit had to stop. After my appalling behaviour in the kitchen, I’d sulked and pondered long and hard over the weekend and gotten more than my money’s worth from my broadband provider. It all came with an uncomfortable realisation. The infatuation I had with Fox wasn’t going anywhere, and that meant either making myself and everyone around me miserable or pulling it into the light and stop running. How had I completely missed this rather critical aspect of my nature?
And then it occurred to me, maybe I hadn’t. I had the pieces, but nothing or no one had caused them to fall into place, until Fox.
About the author
Heart, humour and keeping it real.
Jay is a 2020 Lambda Literary Award Finalist in Gay Romance and her book Off Balance was the 2021 New Zealand Romance Book of the Year.
She is a New Zealand author writing mm romance and romantic suspense, primarily set in New Zealand. She writes character driven romances with lots of humour, a good dose of reality and a splash of angst. She's travelled extensively, lived in many countries, and in a past life she was a critical care nurse, nurse educator and counsellor. Jay is owned by a huge Maine Coon cat and a gorgeous Cocker Spaniel
Connect with her here: Find Jay in all the places
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Gay Book Promotions is hosting a LGBT Romance Giveaway of 41 separate stories from 30 authors. Claim your free books from some of the registered authors of the GRL 2021 Retreat here!
The giveaway runs from September 1 - October 31 with stories that are written by authors attending the GRL Retreat, the must-attend event for people who create and celebrate LGBTQ romance. If you love gay romance, you’ve come to the right place! This is an amazing opportunity to discover new authors, new books, and new series—and find new favorites!
The stories have various themes, tropes and heat ratings, including contemporary, paranormal, mystery, fantasy, shifter, historical, sports...
While all of the authors with stories in the giveaway will be attending the GRL Retreat 2021, there may also be additional authors who were unable to participate. Here is a list of the participating authors:
AJ Sherwood • Andrea Hughes • Anna Kensing • Beth Bolden (already one of my favorite authors) • BL Maxwell • Charity Parkerson • Charlene Newcomb • Debra Sutton • Drea Roman • Eden Winters • Eliot Grayson • Gail Z. Martin • Hank Edwards • Jacqueline Gray • Jamie Lynn Miller • Jenny FitzGerald • Kaje Harper • Kris Jacen • LA Bryce • Luna David • Merry Farmer • Miski Harris • Morgan Brice • Neil Plakcy • Nicole Dennis • Patricia Logan • Rain Carrington • Riley Long • Shane Morton • Shea Balik
Claim your free books from some of the registered authors of the GRL 2021 Retreat here!
I’m so happy and honored to be a part of Xpresso Book Tours Cover Reveal for Golden Crown by Kathleen Mare’e. I absolutely loved the first book in this series, Broken Wing, and cant wait for the chance to continue the wonderful Arthur Academy series with this beautiful book!
“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.
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Golden Crown will be released on November 25th!
Today is my stop on the Xpresso Book Tours Book Blitz for Combustible by Al Riske. Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card!
It’s that summer between the end of high school and the start of something else. Dean Stockton and Curt Hutton are best friends, and more often than not you can find them rowing on the Rogue River at dawn.
Together they experience something they will never be able to describe adequately. But then they won’t really need to. Not to each other. It’s that moment of swing when rowers find the rhythm and everything falls into place. The shell seems to lift right out of the water.
Enter Isabelle Smiley. She’s beautiful yet insecure, knowing yet innocent, and crazy about Curt in a way that no girl has ever been crazy about Dean. She wants Curt to choose a college closer to home than the one he and Dean have selected—and she can be persuasive.
“I’d never be able to hold out against a girl like Smiley,” Dean admits.
“Don’t say that,” Curt replies. “I told her she’d have to convince you, too.”
Everyone is conflicted in this story of friendship, lust, and life-changing choices. Only one thing seems certain to all of them: If Smiley strikes a match, Dean will catch fire.
All the Way to France
The Sandpiper Bar & Grill overlooks the mouth of the Rogue River, and right now the parking lot is jammed with cars. A red Mustang convertible—the top down, for this is a starlit night in June—circles slowly to the back door.
In the kitchen, the scene is a whirl of cooks, busers, and dish washers. Wearing an apron and a floppy chef’s hat, Dean cuts into a fresh cheesecake and passes a slice to the server waiting in the pantry window. Above the din, a line cook hollers--
“Stockton, you’ve got visitors out back.”
Fellow pantry cook Victor Lee is shucking littleneck clams next to Dean, who says--
“Cover for me, will you?”
Backed into a loading zone behind the restaurant, Curt’s freshly waxed convertible couldn’t be shinier. The girl from Brookings is still seated on the passenger side; Curt opens the door for her.
Dean takes off his hat as he pushes through the screen door. He runs one hand through his hair, sweaty from the heat of the kitchen, while his eyes stay glued to the girl’s legs as she climbs out of the low-slung car. Her dress—white with tiny black polka dots—rides up and he can see all the way to France. She blushes but there’s reason to believe she is more pleased than embarrassed.
“Dean, I’d like you to meet Isabelle—oof!”
Curt’s date removes her elbow from his rib cage. “You know I don’t like that name," she says.
“Well, how am I supposed to introduce you?”
She turns to Dean—“Just call me Smiley,” she says. “That’s my last name but it’s what everybody uses.”
They shake hands. Hers are soft and smooth—so much so that it’s unsettling.
“What’s wrong with...?”
Smiley cringes, so he doesn’t say her first name. “It reminds me of my grandmother,” she says. “I was named after her, actually, but I can’t stand her. The feeling’s mutual, I’m sure.”
“You don’t look like an Isabelle anyway.”
Only two words, but they say Dean is exactly right—and Curt is just… mean.
“Busy tonight?” Curt asks.
“A madhouse. But I think we’ve got it under control now. How was the show?”
Curt holds his hand out flat, palm down, and tips it from side to side. Smiley looks appalled at his lack of enthusiasm.
“She cried the whole time,” Curt says.
“Well, it was sad... but I liked it,” Smiley replies. “You should see it, Dean.”
Since Dean doesn’t have a girlfriend and has never been to a movie alone, he’s not sure what to say.
Connect with Al Riske
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Today is my stop on the Gay Book Promotions Tour celebrating the release of the intriguing coming-of-age and gay awakening story Land On Me by Matthew R. Corr. Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win your own signed hardcover copy!
His secret could cost him everything.
Landon Griffin has everything going for him. He’s a high school senior on the brink of receiving a football scholarship, his dad is running for mayor of Madison, Texas, and his future with his girlfriend looks bright. But his simple life shatters when feelings spark for a guy he’s never met. Giving the stranger the codename Mystery Boy, Landon hesitates to step out of his comfort zone to solve the mystery.
Living in a conservative town, he struggles to hide his new obsession while trying to figure out where he fits within the spectrum of sexuality. Can he dodge the constant questions from his friends and find answers before the escalating anxiety becomes too much to handle?
Land On Me is Matthew R. Corr’s debut novel akin to the drama of Christopher Rice and the coming-of-age brilliance of Alex Sanchez.
My ears rang. I’d heard gunshots in movies, but in real life, they are louder than you’d expect. My elbows locked and my arms shook. I wanted to drop the gun, but my entire body was frozen in place. All I could smell was the scent of hot metal emanating from the barrel of the weapon. My mouth was too dry to speak, and I could hardly swallow. I desperately wanted to reach out to make sure he was okay, but there was so much blood. It was so red, and it was coming out so quickly. I didn’t want to shoot him but he wouldn’t have stopped otherwise. Tears welled in my eyes. His blood was on my hands now.
This was an intriguing coming-of-age story and a gay awakening triggered by a mysterious bad boy. It was also a story dealing with heavy topics such as the loss of a parent, bullying and homophobia, as well as the struggle to find yourself, which was powerful and gripping. And I certainly do have a thing for bad boys with a good heart…
Read my full review here: Land On Me
After countless performances on stages across the country, his passion for writing finally stepped into the spotlight. Matthew is a huge nerd for film and everything Marvel-related. He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. Land On Me is his debut novel.
Connect with Matthew R. Corr
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