I’m so happy to be a part of Xpresso Book Tours blog tour for the magical and engaging YA fantasy Stolen City by Elisa A. Bonnin! Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for chance to win a print copy!
Twin thieves attempt to pull off a daring heist in Stolen City, the sophomore fantasy novel from Dauntless author Elisa A. Bonnin.
The city of Leithon is under Imperial occupation and Arian Athensor has made it her playground.
In stealing magical artifacts for the Resistance, bounding over rooftops to evade Imperial soldiers, and establishing herself as the darling thief of the underground, Arian lives a life wrapped in danger and trained towards survival. She’ll steal anything for the right price, and if she runs fast enough, she can almost escape the fact that her mother is dead, her father is missing, and her brother, Liam, is tamping down a wealth of power in a city that has outlawed magic.
But then the mysterious Cavar comes to town with a job for the twins: to steal an artifact capable of ripping the souls from the living–the same artifact that used to hang around the neck of Arian’s mother. Suddenly, her past is no longer buried under adrenaline but intimately tied to the mission at hand, and Arian must face her guilt and pain head-on in order to pull off the heist.
As Arian and Cavar infiltrate the strongest fortress in Leithon and Liam joins the Resistance as their resident mage, the twins find themselves embroiled in court politics and family secrets, and the mission becomes more than just another artifact theft. The target is now the Imperial rule, and Arian will go to any length necessary to steal her city back.
The Legend trilogy is one of my favorite dystopian/fantasy series and this book gave me such wonderful Legend vibes! It had the same kind of strong, fleshed out and morally grey characters and the same kind of creative and unique world building, plus a thrilling magical heist plot. I’m definitely hoping for a sequel to this magical and engaging story!
Read my full review here: Stolen City by Elisa A. Bonnin
A lifelong learner, Elisa is always convinced that she should “maybe take a class in something” and as a result, has amassed an eclectic collection of hobbies. But writing will always be her true love. Publishing a book has been her dream since she was eight years old, and she is thrilled to finally be able to share her stories. Dauntless is her first novel.
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I’m so happy to be a part of Gay Book Promotions book blast for the empowering and highly enjoyable Unexpected Departure by Shannon O’Connor! Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of five ebook copies of Shannon O’Connor’s FF fake dating romance Only for the Summer!
Will she be able to confront her past, learn to move on, and learn to love herself?
Riley is stuck —in a job she hates, a toxic relationship, and in life. She knows the relationship is bad for her, but she also can’t seem to let her go. After catching her girlfriend cheating, again, she finds comfort at her favorite bar, with her best friend by her side.
After punching someone in the face and meeting a mysteriously gorgeous bartender, Riley thinks things may be changing. Sawyer is adventurous, sexy, and confident— all the things Riley yearns to be. And a sunrise motorcycle ride starts to give her hope that things can change.
When she suddenly gets a phone call from her brother, she discovers her estranged mother is dying. After almost a decade of silence, she’s forced to return to her small homophobic hometown, say goodbye, and confront her demons.
“Wanna dance?” We both turn and see a greasy guy at least twice our age. I bask in the audacity of men.
“NO THANKS!” I shout back over the loud music.
He ignores me and starts grinding on Luna’s ass and her eyes almost pop out of her head. She politely tries to move away but he follows her, keeping his body pinned to hers. Luna mouths ‘help’ so I try to pull her away.
“WE DON’T WANNA DANCE!” I yell at the guy. What the hell is wrong with men?
He either doesn’t hear me or he doesn’t seem to care because he grabs Luna’s other arm. She tries to get out of his grasp and he just laughs, enjoying her squirming. I turn to face this guy now. He’s barely an inch taller than me, with sweat stains under his armpits and oily black hair.
“We said NO! Now let go of my friend.” I am nose to nose with this guy and he still doesn’t let go.
“What are you going to do about it?” He laughs, and I can smell the onions he had for dinner on his breath.
Without hesitating, I take a step back as if I’m going to walk away before turning around at the last second and punching him square in the jaw. He stumbles backward, surprised by my strength and action. He falls to the ground, the crowd backing up to avoid catching him. He looks stunned for a moment before he looks angry.
I grab Luna’s hand and try to maneuver out of the crowd. We need to get out of here as fast as we can. Let me just say trying to run through a crowd of people, wearing heels, while half-drunk, and pulling your fully drunk best friend on your arm is not an easy feat.
I turn back to see if he’s still following us, giving me a second to catch my breath. He’s still halfway across the club but he seems to be looking for us, so I hold on tighter to Luna and pull her toward the exit. Only when I feel the cool breeze on my bare legs do I feel safe. We walk to get out of the way of people to where we can take a second to breathe.
“Dude, are you okay?” Luna’s eyes are wide and that’s when I finally realize the impact of my punch. My fist is starting to swell and my knuckles are quickly turning purple; only now do I feel how bad that hurt.
“Jeez, I wouldn’t wanna be on the other end of that hand.” The voice comes from next to us and I look up curiously.
A woman about our age is leaning against the brick wall smoking a cigarette, looking like something out of a magazine. She’s wearing tight dark jeans and a low cut opened floral button-down. Her blonde hair is slicked back like Danny Zuko from Grease. She’s gorgeous. Where did she come from?
“They had it coming,” I mumbled instantly, losing my confidence.
“They did,” Luna confirms. I try to flex my fist and wince in pain. Shit, did I break something?
“Want some ice?” The mystery woman puts out her cigarette and motions for us to follow her.
I look at Luna and we both shrug, following the woman into the side entrance of Puzzles.
Unexpected Departure was a quick and enjoyable story about confronting your past, and learning to love and stand up for yourself. There was a wonderful friendship and a promising sapphic romance around the corner, but also a lot of homophobia and a toxic relationship, so please check the trigger warnings before reading.
Read my full review here: Unexpected Departure by Shannon O’Connor
About the author
Shannon O’Connor is a twenty-something, bisexual, self-published poet of several books and counting. She released her first novel, Electric Love in 2021 and is currently working on several sapphic romance novels. She believes there is a lack of positive Female/Female romances in the world, and wants to make them more accessible. She is often found in coffee shops, probably writing about someone she shouldn’t be.
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Cover reveal! Today I’m excited to be part of Gay Book Promotions tour to help reveal not one but seven covers for the Model Love shared world collection!
Welcome to the Model Love world, home of McKay’s Models–an inclusive, international modelling agency where everyone is free to be themselves. From exclusive headshots to couture catwalks, these beautiful models will turn heads wherever they go, and now it’s time for them to find their happily-ever-afters.
This shared world features seven brand new contemporary MM romances, by eight amazing authors, and launches on the 23rd September 2022.
The beautiful covers are made by Sleepy Fox Studio, check them all out here:
The Model Love shared world features these seven stories:
Couture Crush by Charlie Novak
Beau Barrett is about to become Alt. Bride’s first male cover model, but what about his own fairy-tale ending?
Childhood best friends to lovers, second chance, low/no angst, instalove. Release date 23rd September.
Exclusive by Ki Brightly and Meg Bawden
Getting signed as an exclusive model for a new fashion line is a dream come true for Asa, but is there more to the rich Ruslan than meets the eye?
Mafia, age gap, instalove. Release date 27th September.
Headshot by JP Sayle
Can Jack save his home and win the man who's claimed his heart?
Friends to lovers, age gap, hurt/comfort, saviour, make-up lover. Release date 30th september.
Pulling Focus by HJ Welch
From this side of the lens, everything’s fake. Especially the love.
Fake boyfriend, age gap, secret debt. Release date 4th October.
Getting Signed by Colette Davison
Can a chance at making a dream come true give Jae something more—Xander?
best friend’s brother, friends to lovers, size difference, opposites attract, make-up lover, low angst. Release date 7th October.
Strike a Pose by Jackie North
Make a wish on a shooting star. Cry to the moon like the coyotes do.
Found families, hurt/comfort, opposites attract, cowboy/city boy, mutual rescue. Release date 11th October.
Denim by Design by Megs Pritchard
Can Stan and Milo find love, or is mixing business and pleasure too much too handle?
Age gap, opposites attract, low angst, hot loving. Release date 14th October.
I’m so happy to be a part of Xpresso Book Tours blitz for the gripping and wonderful Saving Sophie by Debbie Schrack! Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card or one of five Kindle copies of Saving Sophie!
Seventeen-year-old Gabe Hunter knows he has a purpose in life. He has always strived to be the “best of the best,” but lately nothing has gone his way. Gabe was devastated six months earlier when his half-brother Josh had a drunk driving accident that killed four members of a family and left a sixteen-year-old girl named Sophie an orphan. Josh went to prison and Gabe struggles to forgive him because how can he forgive the unforgivable? When Gabe reluctantly agrees to do math tutoring for his senior service project, he discovers that the girl he will be tutoring is also named Sophie. But in a town of eighty thousand people, what are the odds it will be the same person? Astronomical, Gabe figures.
Gabe soon discovers, though, that it is the same Sophie. A former National Merit Scholar finalist, Sophie had a severe brain injury in the accident. She has seizures, amnesia, and can barely read or write. When he meets her, Gabe realizes what his purpose in life must be—to help Sophie and make amends for his brother. His plan is to spend the rest of the school year tutoring Sophie, then say goodbye and go quietly off to college without ever telling her that his brother was the one who killed her family. What Gabe doesn’t count on is falling in love.
The door to the bakery opens and Sophie and Joe come in on a blast of cold air. I shiver. Cold has penetrated every cell in my body; not from the air, but from what Sophie’s uncle just told me.
“Sophie set up a spot in the back where you guys can work,” Jim says, getting up from the table. “I’m going to make the dough for tomorrow. If you need anything just give a holler.”
I stand up and take a deep breath. Now’s the time, I think. Now’s the time to tell Sophie and her uncle the truth about me. My brother killed her family. He’s the reason she has seizures and amnesia and has to learn how to read and write again. But they’re looking at me like I’m one of the superheroes from The Avengers. My mouth opens and this is what I say: “I’ll do my best, sir.” You chickenshit.
Jim claps me on the back. “I know you will. And call me Jim.”
Sophie waves to me. “Come on, Gabe.”
I follow her to a table in the corner. She takes off her hoodie and drops it over a chair. She’s wearing a green long-sleeved shirt with Edgewater emblazoned across the front in white. It’s like a slap in the face.
“I’m impressed you went to Edgewater,” I say. “I heard it’s harder to get in there than Harvard.” I have the sense that this is all an illusion, that I’m watching us play ourselves in a movie or a Netflix series.
“Edison’s a good—school, too,” she says. “Uncle Jim talks about it—all the time.” She speaks with a slight hesitation—not a stutter, exactly, but more like her words can’t keep up with what her brain is trying to say.
We sit down at the table. Joe parks himself on the floor next to Sophie. There’s nothing on the table except a folder and some pencils. I don’t see any books anywhere, although a backpack is sitting on one of the chairs.
There’s an awkward silence as we stare at the folder. Then Sophie looks at me.
There were so many times I wondered if her eyes were blue or gray. But I never imagined they were this shade of blue—like the sky on a June day. And I never would have guessed there were pinpoints of violet inside the blue.
“I’m so sorry about what happened to you,” I blurt. As soon as the words are out, I want to take them back.
She looks down at her hands in her lap. Her hair falls like a curtain around her face. When she looks up at me, her eyes have tears in them.
My heart cracks open. I didn’t know anything could hurt this much. My face burns like I have a fever, while the rest of my body is frozen, like it’s encased in ice. I’d give anything right now to go back in time and talk to Josh about his drinking. Insist he get help. Maybe if Mom and I had paid more attention, I wouldn’t be sitting here with the innocent victim of this nightmare. Of everyone affected by the accident, Sophie’s the one who bears the heaviest burden. Her family is dead. Josh will be out of prison at some point. But Sophie—she’ll have to deal with this for the rest of her life.
This teen romance was such a vulnerable, gripping and realistic story about finding forgiveness and your purpose in life.
You can find my full review here: Saving Sophie by Debbie Schrack
Although the character Sophie in her debut novel SAVING SOPHIE is fictional, she is a composite of many of the struggling learners Debbie has taught over the years.
Debbie lives with her family in Fairfax, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C. Debbie finds personal fulfillment in creating new things, whether it be a novel, a painting, or a batch of croissants. She loves animals, and horses are her special passion. When she’s not writing or horseback riding, Debbie is a sucker for musicals, enjoys visiting art galleries, and desperately wants to travel more. She also loves hanging out with her three children, who she will always consider her most amazing creations.
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Cover reveal! Today I’m excited to help reveal the cover of A Lust For Blood by K.C. Smith! Enter the Bookstagram Giveaway hosted by MTMC Tours to win a signed paperback! Furthermore, all ebook preorders of A Lust For Blood are eligible to receive an exclusive art print of Oriana and Garren, please see more info below!
A gender bent reimagining of the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde meets the Witcher in K.C. Smith’s debut novel. A Lust For Blood is the first in an Adult Fantasy series and it will be published on November 1st, 2022 from Phantom House Press.
See the stunning cover designed by TS95 Studios here:
There is no escape when the monster is you.
When Oriana awakens in a field of blood and bodies, she is devastated to realize the patchwork of death was caused by her own hand. A curse lingers in the air, and there is only one option to save herself from further bloodshed. Oriana uses her magic to create an enchanted forest imprisoning the monster responsible for the massacre–herself.
Garren has built a career around slaying demons. When he learns of a centuries old creature locked away in the strange Phantom Wood, the opportunity is too great. He will stop at nothing to destroy the demon filth that lurks in those shadows if only to satisfy his own haunting memories.
Oriana soon finds herself caught in a cat and mouse game, fighting to keep her identity secret. As the two grow closer, secrets unravel. But could they each be the answer the other has been searching for?
All ebook preorders of A Lust For Blood are eligible to receive an exclusive art print of Oriana and Garren. Email proof of purchase to email@example.com to claim it!
Buy A Lust For Blood
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I’m so happy to be a part of Gay Book Promotions blog tour celebrating the release of the adorable summer romance Spanish Siesta by C.F. White!
Can a Spanish siesta make Matt see his best friend the way Kieran's been hoping he would for years?
Matt Robinson just got dumped. Again. With his sister’s wedding on the horizon, he needs a plus one.
Kieran Barker has been in love with his straight best friend for far too long. It’ll never happen. Having already been left behind when Matt went to university, Kieran can’t take more heartbreak.
So when Matt invites Kieran to spend a whole week with him on the island of Majorca, Kieran can’t let himself think there’s more to it than lads on tour. All he can do is play the field to take his mind of the hot, rugby honed body of his oldest mate. Sexy men are in abundance in Magaluf, right? Matt only wants to cop off with the bridesmaid anyway.
But when Matt’s overprotectiveness about Kieran’s late-night escapades borders on jealousy, can he even dare to think that there’s more to their years of flirtations than simple bromance?
And can Matt really acknowledge his feelings when they’ll soon be returning to England, with him back to the university rugby team and two hundred miles away from Kieran.
Spanish Siesta (Flying into Love #2) is a Contemporary, Friends to Lovers, Bisexual Awakening, Forced Proximity MM Romance featuring a hot-headed rugby Fly-Half struggling with his emotions and an out-and-proud wannabe dancer suffering from unrequited love.
“Shit.” Matt grabbed Kieran by the arm, and shoved him back into the elevator, slamming his hand on any old button.
“What the fuck, Matt?”
The elevator shunted and they both had to grab the handrail running along the lift.
“It’s going down!” Kieran widened his eyes. “How is it going down?”
Matt didn’t say anything. His heart thumped and the foggy wooziness from the alcohol he thought hadn’t affected him crept up to make his head spin. The doors opened into a dark space. A basement, maybe? A cleaning closet. He’d hit the sodding service call button.
Kieran reached out to hit the G but Matt grabbed his arm, preventing him then yanked them both out and into darkness.
Matt slapped a hand over Kieran’s mouth, “Shhh!”
The elevator doors closed, the lift moving up, surrounding them in silence. Kieran stared at him, eyes widening. Matt drifted his hand from Kieran’s mouth but held a finger to his lips.
“What the fuck?” Kieran mouthed.
Matt stepped farther into the dark space, checking the surroundings. He breathed a sigh of relief when he discovered they were alone then turned back to face Kieran.
“Why have you shoved me in a fucking broom cupboard?”
Matt’s chest rose with the force of his inhalation. He tried to calm his thrashing heart. His invasive thoughts. His fear. His nerves. He couldn’t find any words. How could he explain? What would he say when he didn’t understand any of this himself? Rationality drowned by his thumping pulse, he closed his eyes to try to steady his breathing.
“Matt?” Kieran’s voice was distant but calming. “Matt, you okay?” He placed his palm to his forehead. “Is it sunstroke?”
Matt opened his eyes at the gentle touch, at the warm breath trickling onto his skin, at the unwavering concern in shaking lips.
Matt shook his head.
Kieran lowered his hand but Matt grabbed his wrist.
“Matt? You’re scaring the fuck out of me.”
“You think I ain’t scaring myself right now?”
“Why?” Kieran’s question was shrouded by his sharp swallow.
“Because I don’t know, Kier. I don’t know what’s happening.” He squeezed desperate fingers around Kieran’s wrist, glancing down to the swirls of his tribal tattoo and his breath hitched. “What’s happening to me?”
“Too much sangria?”
Matt pursed his lip, shaking his head.
“Too much sun?”
Matt shook his head.
“You drank the tap water?”
Matt hefted out an exasperated sigh.
“Then, you’re gonna have to tell me.” Kieran licked his lips. “Because I’m all out of ideas.”
Matt rubbed his thumb along the underside of Kieran’s wrist, eyes down, not able to look at Kieran as he contemplated what he should do. What he needed to do. What he was so desperate to do that it consumed his every breath.
Matt cut off Kieran’s words with a kiss.
Kieran didn’t respond. He stood there, eyes wide as if he couldn’t believe what was happening. Frozen. Stunned. Accepting Matt’s lips on his. Shit. It was wrong. This was wrong. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. Fears confirmed, Matt pulled away, sinking back against the wall, telling his thumping heart he was sorry.
Kieran didn’t move. He didn’t breathe either.
Then, he closed his eyes to exhale the words, “You better not be fucking with me.”
Matt met his gaze through the shadowy darkness. “Give me half a chance.” It had meant to be a light-hearted joke. Something to lift the mood. It came out wrong though and Kieran reached for the lift call button.
Matt held out his hand. “Don’t.” He hung his head. “Please don’t. I got this far. I might need help for the next step.”
Kieran dropped his hand away. Then, after several awkward moments of silence, he said, “You kissed me.”
“You put your lips on mine.”
“You…were going to put your tongue in my mouth.”
“Are you a fucking snog pundit? Do you commentate all your kisses in the dark?”
“No, Matt!” Kieran raked a hand through his hair. “Just the ones that come from my best fucking mate.” He slapped Matt’s chest. “My straight best mate.”
“I don’t recall ever saying I was straight.”
“You don’t have to, Matt. It’s implied in your heterosexual relationships.”
Matt cocked his head. “Bit last season, there, Kier.”
“I’m going to choke you with bog roll in a minute.”
“We’re in a fucking closet!” Kieran flapped his hands at shelves and shelves of toilet paper and cleaning products. “Which is so damn ironic, I can’t deal.”
This was such an adorable summer romance with one of my favorite tropes, friends to lovers, as well as some great bisexual awakening, between an alfa rugby player and his childhood friend.
Read my full review here: Spanish Siesta by C.F. White
About the Author
Brought up in a relatively small town in Hertfordshire, C.F. White managed to do what most other residents try to do and fail—leave.
Studying at a West London university, she realised there was a whole city out there waiting to be discovered, so, much like Dick Whittington before her, she never made it back home and still endlessly search for the streets paved with gold, slowly coming to the realisation they’re mostly paved with chewing gum. And the odd bit of graffiti. And those little circles of yellow spray paint where the council point out the pot holes to someone who is supposedly meant to fix them instead of staring at them vacantly whilst holding a polystyrene cup of watered-down coffee.
Eventually she moved West to East along that vast District Line and settled for pie and mash, cockles and winkles and a bit of Knees Up Mother Brown to live in the East End of London; securing a job and creating a life, a home and a family.
After her second son was born with a rare disability, C.F. White’s life changed and it brought pen back to and paper after having written stories as a child but never had the confidence to show them to the world. Now, having embarked on this writing journey, C.F. White can’t stop.
So strap in, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
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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.
Connect with Colette Davison
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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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Cover reveal! I’m so happy to be a part of Xpresso Book Tours cover reveal blitz for Strut by Jay Hogan. Enter the Bookstagram Giveaway to win an ecopy of the first book in the series, Flare!
A dream within reach. A chance at love. A man who threatens everything.
New Zealand farm boy turns New York fashion model.
Fairy tale? Maybe. But it hasn’t been easy. A year in this crazy city, working my tail off just to survive in a ruthless industry where sex sells and boundaries are too readily crossed.
A year and a reassuring ocean away from Hunter Donovan—a sexy, humiliating mistake that I’m not about to repeat. Distance is good. Distance is safe.
But now Hunter is back. In New York. In my life. In all those treacherous feelings that haven’t gone anywhere. But when my world suddenly crashes and I have to piece myself back together and fight for my career, will Hunter be there when I need him? Will we have what it takes to make it through this, together?
Note: This book contains themes of sexual harassment and sexual assault.
Strut will be released on July 14th 2022!
About Jay Hogan
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 Jay Hogan
Get your own copy of Strut
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Enter the Bookstagram Giveaway for a chance to win an ecopy of the first book in the series, Flare!