Saturday, 16 December 2017

Unexpected Christmas by Nell Irish - Release Blitz with Review



Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | JMS

Length: 13,527 words

Publisher: JMS Books

Blurb

Daniel Erickson stormed out of his family celebration after choking on turkey served with a side of bigotry. Utterly miserable, he reluctantly lets himself be charmed by the hulk of a man and gets into the stranger’s car ... hoping he won’t be axed before the night is through.

Axel Wilson -- Ax for short, unfortunately -- is a sweetheart. Really. He may be badass-looking but his heart melts into goo at the mere mention of his four-year-old niece. Surely he isn’t dangerous?


Thrown together by family drama, the two men spend the evening getting to know each other. Axel is nothing like Daniel expected. But it doesn’t matter that he loves poetry, is gentle and patient -- and hot! -- Daniel is absolutely not falling in love at first sight. There’s no such thing.


Right?



Excerpt

A few minutes later, a vehicle approached from behind. Reacting instinctively, I turned around and waved my arms, hoping the big truck would stop and have mercy on my freezing ass.

I let out a giddy yelp as it slowed down, but it got stuck in my throat when the driver rolled down the window.


He was huge and couldn't hold his head upright without banging it on the ceiling. Big steel gauges adorned both his ears -- at least an inch and a half wide -- and his hair was black and so closely cropped it resembled a five o'clock shadow more than an actual haircut.


"You need a ride?" he asked and his voice was deeper than the Mariana Trench, perfectly matching his frightening appearance. Black tattoos crept up his neck and snaked down his hands below his sleeves. His shoulders were wide, his muscles strained the sleeves of his thick black jacket, and his cheeks were hollow. I was one second from shitting myself.


"I'm not riding with a serial killer!" The words slipped out of my mouth and I groaned. I couldn't have kept my mouth shut for five fucking seconds to avoid being chopped up and thrown to the wolves?


He threw his head back and let out a thunderous laugh.


"What's so goddamned funny?" I glared at him, but he didn't seem to care.


"I'm no serial killer."


"And I'm just supposed to take your fucking word for it?" I raised an eyebrow. I knew I was being combative and taking out my frustration on this stranger, but I couldn't stop myself.


"You could call my ma for references."


"Ha ha. Very funny." With a deep sigh, I resigned to my fate and started walking again. No way was I getting into a car with that mammoth of a man.


"Where you goin'?" he called after me. When I didn't bother to answer, he eased off the break and let his truck crawl after me.


I swirled around. "Stop following me, you creep," I hissed.


He let go of the steering wheel with one hand and held it up as if he surrendered. "Look, man. It's freezin'. You're wet and miserable. Get in the truck and lemme take you wherever you're goin'." His deep voice was surprisingly gentle. Non-threatening, as if he'd come to expect reactions like mine.


"I'm really not a bad guy." He stuck out his lower lip in a pout that would have made a five-year-old girl green with envy and I had to bite my lip to stop a smile from erupting.


"Really?" I tried to hang on to my mistrust, but he made it hard. His appearance screamed RUN AND HIDE, but there was something soft in his eyes that told a different story.


He shot me a crooked smile. "It was worth a try. It works on my niece every time."


The fucker knew all the right words to say to disarm me. "And how old is she?"

"Four."


I huffed out a reluctant chuckle. "Well, you know how it is. Everyone always says how they couldn't believe their neighbor was a serial killer because he seemed like such a nice guy."


His eyes grew big and round. "You're sayin' you don't trust my niece as a character witness?" He sounded as I'd just delivered the biggest insult of his life, but the amused glint in his eyes told me it was all for show.


"Can you blame me?"


"I guess not." He sighed and grew serious. "Please. I couldn't live with myself if I left you here to freeze to death."


My body screamed at me to take him up on his offer. The ice pellets were relentless and I was soaked and gloomy and was starting to feel like maybe being ax murdered wouldn't be the worst thing that could happen to me right now.


The openness in his posture and honesty in his eyes had me on the verge of caving. "You promise you won't kill me?" I sounded like a scared little kid even to my own ears.


Review

First impressions can be so treacherous, not to mention wrong J And boy does Daniel jump to all the wrong conclusions when he first sets eyes on Axel.

Axel looks like danger; huge, covered in black tattoos his appearance seems to scream ‘stay away from me’. And yet, he’s pulled over to help Daniel who is in serious danger of freezing to death unless he finds shelter. And while he might look brutish, he sounds nothing except kind and friendly.

When Daniel accepts Ax’s offer of a lift he doesn’t know that not only are all his preconceptions about to be turned on their head, he’s also taking the first steps towards a future he didn’t expect and couldn’t have seen coming.

My main impression after reading this book can be best described in one word: Cute. Really, characters and stories don’t come much cuter than Axel and the Unexpected Christmas he creates for Daniel.


I really don’t want to say a whole lot more about this story. It’s sweet. It’s cute. It doesn’t shirk away from issues but doesn’t allow them to ruin the overall festive mood of the book. If you’re in the mood for a feel good story that will leave you smiling and sighing, you probably want to read Unexpected Christmas.

Author Bio

Nell Iris is a romantic at heart who believes everyone deserves a happy ending. She’s a bona fide bookworm (learned to read long before she started school), wouldn’t dream of going anywhere without something to read (not even the ladies room), loves music (and singing along but let’s face it, she’s not Celine Dion), and is a real Star Trek nerd (Make it so). She loves words, poetry, wine, and Sudoku, and absolutely adores elephants!

Nell believes passionately in equality for all regardless of race, gender or sexuality, and wants to make the world a better, less hateful, place.


Nell is a 40-something bisexual Swedish woman, married to the love of her life, and a proud mama of a grown daughter. She left the Scandinavian cold and darkness for warmer and sunnier Malaysia a few years ago, where she spends her days writing, surfing the Internet, enjoying the heat, and eating good food. One day she decided to chase her life long dream of being a writer, sat down in front of her laptop, and wrote a story about two men falling in love.


Nell Iris writes gay romance, prefers sweet over angsty, and wants to write diverse and different characters.




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Secret Santa by Jay Northcote - Review Tour



Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 38,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design

Blurb

Keeping secrets is never a good way to start a relationship

Theo hardly has time to date. Between work and caring for his four-year-old son there aren’t many hours left over. He’s lonely though, so he joins a hook-up app and starts chatting to a guy called Luke. Luke seems friendly and they arrange to meet. Theo doesn’t mention that he has a child. It’s early days and he’s worried about putting Luke off before they get to know each other.

Luke is currently working as Santa at the local shopping mall. He figures Theo never has to know. Christmas will be over soon and Luke will move on to a new, less embarrassing job. He’s surprised when Theo and a little boy visit Santa one afternoon. Theo doesn’t recognise Luke, and Luke realises he’s not the only one with a secret.

Despite misgivings on both sides, they start dating, and the chemistry is amazing. But as Christmas approaches their secrets pile up like colourful packages under the tree. If they’re not careful, they’ll lose the best gift of all—each other.


Review

Secret Santa — and it’s not just Santa who is (keeping) secret(s). Boy, if ever two men made dating, and therefore life, complicated for themselves, it has to be Luke and Theo.

I had to smile that while they manage to deal with the somewhat treacherous intricacies of Grindr without any real problems, despite Theo being new to the app; it is the rest of their lives, and what they don’t tell each other that almost trips them up. I mean, we all know that we need to be careful about what we diverge and what we believe while chatting online but, as this story shows, it is advisable to also pay attention when dealing in a more direct fashion. Or, novel idea, try to not keep secrets from each other.

I have to be honest and admit that the secrets both Luke and Theo were keeping didn’t really work for me. After all, there’s nothing shameful about a temporary job as a store Santa and keeping the fact that you are co-parenting a child secret when you’re looking for something more meaningful than a hook-up seems somewhat nonsensical. Then again, characters not communicating has never been my favourite trope, so this one is probably on me rather than on the author. And, I would like to add at this point that while I had no complaints when it came to Luke and Theo, I think Archie, Theo’s four year old son, was the male who stole my heart in this book.


As for the book in general, it’s a Jay Northcote special, which means Secret Santa is a well written story, featuring two cute men, amazing sexy times, and plenty of moments to make you grin from ear to ear. But then again, I wouldn’t have expected anything else. Jay, for me, is a safe bet when I’m looking for a comfort read. This Christmas, he once again delivered on that promise.




December 4 - BooksLaidBareBoys
December 8 - My Fiction Nook


Author Bio

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.

One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story—just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.

Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. He has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are now available as audiobooks.

Jay is transgender and was formerly known as she/her.



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Wednesday, 13 December 2017

The Peppermint Schnapps Predicament by Clare London



39 pages
2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Blurb

Frankie Faraday is a promising young salesperson at Mason’s Emporium. Bill Mason is his boss, the son of the store’s founder, and the object of Frankie’s long-suffering, deeply devoted crush. Bill is steady and sober; Frankie is frivolous and flaky. Or so they seem to each other, until the night of the annual inventory, when they’re trapped together in the Seasonal Gifts storeroom, with nothing but candy and peppermint schnapps to sustain them until they’re rescued. And then the real truths—and something definitely more intimate—emerge!

Review

This here, The Peppermint Schnapps Predicament, is thirty-nine pages worth of seasonal fun that had me either laughing out loud or smiling from start to finish. Frankie and Bill are the ultimate and most joyous proof that opposites do indeed attract.

Frankie is totally over the top, which becomes very clear as soon as the story kicks off.

“I guess you might say my current predicament is punishment for my sins.

What sins? you may ask, amazed that a cute twink like me with such angelic features and a sweet sunny disposition could be so debauched.”

Bill on the other hand is adorably gruff and totally in denial when it comes to how he sees himself, his life and especially Frankie. He tries very hard to convince both himself and the reader that Frankie is something of a walking and talking disaster but can’t deny the attraction he feels, no matter how hard he tries.

In fact, neither man is exactly how they at first appear. Frankie has a lot more going for him than his flamboyant style and lighthearted approach to life and his job seem to indicate, whereas Bill isn’t really the bullish business man he portrays while at work.

Trapped together in the tiny and locked store room is the perfect situation for these two men, who may or may not have been admiring each other from a safe distance for some time, to get closer to each other and discover that sometimes there’s more to a person than what we see at first glance.

Lighthearted, fun, sexy, and totally heartwarming, The Peppermint Schnapps Predicament is a wonderful little treat and a very worthy addition to my collection of holiday reads.


Thursday, 7 December 2017

Eight Nights in December by Keira Andrews



Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 25,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Dar Albert @ Wicked Smart Designs

Blurb

A geek. A virgin. One sexy holiday.

Orphaned Lucas figures spending the holidays with his obnoxious roommate’s family in New York City is better than staying alone on campus upstate. He ends up sharing a room again, this time with his roommate’s brother, Nate. Geeky photographer Nate isn’t at all what Lucas expects. In fact, he’s incredibly sexy—especially when he invites Lucas into his darkroom...


They hide their attraction during Hanukkah celebrations, but behind closed doors, Lucas and Nate can’t keep their hands (or mouths) off each other. Nate’s only looking for a bit of holiday fun, and amazing sex with a hot virgin definitely fits the bill. Yet as the candles burn, Nate and Lucas begin to realize eight nights will never be enough.


This gay holiday romance from Keira Andrews features secret trysts, new adult angst, spinning the dreidel, and of course a happy ending.



Review

Ah, romance… This is one of those sweet, low angst, sexy and totally charming stories you’ll read with a huge smile on your face more or less from start to finish. That’s not to say there aren’t one or two moments that will pull on your heart-strings, but even those moments feel good.

These two young men sure came with a lot of ‘baggage’. There’s Lucas, who has recently been orphaned and is a more or less friendless virgin. Nate on the other hand is a typical geek, not out, and somewhat of a commitment-phobe when he first meets Lucas. Despite, or maybe because of, this combination the two men hit if off from the start and have a wonderful and very sexy time getting to know each other intimately.

What should have been eight days of fun, as well as a sexual awakening for Lucas, all too soon turns into more and, into a very happy ending.

I thoroughly enjoyed this light-hearted read. And I truly appreciate that it managed to give me an insight into Hanukkah, a holiday I know little to nothing about, without taking me out of the story. In fact, the celebration fitted perfectly into Lucas and Nate’s tale.


If you’re in the mood for a holiday story that will leave you filled with seasonal cheer and satisfied, Eight Nights in December will not let you down.

Author Bio

After writing for years yet never really finding the right inspiration, Keira discovered her voice in gay romance, which has become a passion. She writes contemporary, historical, fantasy, and paranormal fiction and — although she loves delicious angst along the way — Keira firmly believes in happy endings. For as Oscar Wilde once said:


“The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.”





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Jesus Kid by Kayleigh Sky



Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 114,000 words

Blurb

Thirty years ago, an asteroid stuck the Earth. Now killer plants hunt the last surviving humans.

Ori Scott is a young junkie running from his mother’s prophecy that he’d one day save the world from the killer plants. Her preaching made him a laughingstock and now he hides in his drugs. But he can’t hide the change in his veins. They are turning green, and the prophecy is dragging him into a dark struggle between invisible forces. Set up on bogus drug charges, Ori is taken to a secret facility where he becomes a test subject in experiments to discover an antidote to the alien plant’s sting.


Jack Doll is a cop with a vendetta against the plants that killed his best friend. All he has in the world now is his old friend’s lover, Rive. Together they form an unbreakable bond—or so he thought. Jack has never liked Rive’s friend, Ori, but he believes in Ori’s innocence and doesn’t understand Rive’s strange indifference to Ori’s conviction. Struggling with his suspicions, Jack can’t help digging into a mystery that draws him closer to Ori than ever before—and closer to somebody who has secrets to hide.


Alone and scared, Ori is grateful for Jack Doll’s friendship, and his longtime crush soon blossoms into love. But Ori has no plans to accept his fate. He wants to escape, and he doesn’t care if he takes the cure with him.


Author Bio

Kayleigh Sky is a m/m erotic romance writer.

Kayleigh’s stories are tales of struggle and pain, loss and despair. Love is won in the battle to rise out of the depths of darkness. Victory is in the sweet bliss of happily ever after.


Once upon a time Kayleigh hid out in a cold dark garage reading a book her parents forbid her to read. She was nine years old. The book? Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin, a story of love between two men–well, actually the story was a little more complicated than that, but hey, she was nine.


In the dark of the garage, a light, a passion, a sheer joy for love in all its manifestations awoke.


And love between two men–Hot!


Kayleigh’s men are often broken, always brave, and always memorable.





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Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Love Happens Anyway by R.J.Scott - Review Tour



Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 42,500 words approx.

Blurb

Hiring a boyfriend for Christmas; what could possibly go wrong?

Derek is facing yet another Christmas where his life feels out of control. He has a new career that doesn’t feel like his, and parents who would just love to see him settled down. All he needs is a temporary buffer for the parties he has to attend, and for his parents to leave him alone. Enter, Luke.

Luke is twenty-thousand dollars short for the renovations on Halligans; his family’s bar in New York’s Financial District. A favor for a buddy has him agreeing to play the part of boyfriend to a guy with more money than sense.

But when the spirit of Christmas works its magic on the two men, and they begin to fall for each other, Derek runs scared, and Luke needs space.

It doesn’t matter what obstacles you throw in the way of love, or how much you run in the other direction, because, when you’re least expecting it, whether you want it or not, love happens anyway.




December 6 - Xtreme Delusions, Valerie Ullmer, The Way She Reads, Gay Media Reviews

December 8 - Lelyana's Book Blog
December 11 - Hearts On Fire Reviews, Millsy Loves Books, My Fiction Nook
December 13 - Mirrigold:Mutterings & Musings, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, BFD Book Blog, Nicole's Book Musings, MM Good Book Reviews
December 15 - Jim's Reading Room, Making It Happen, Padme's Library, Sexy Erotic Xciting, Wicked Faerie's Tales & Reviews
December 20 - Dog-Eared Daydreams, Book Lovers 4Ever, Au Boudoir Ecarlate, Wicked Reads
December 22 - A Book Lover's Dream, Bayou Book Junkie



Excerpt

I knew Marcus was six-two, just a little taller than me. I knew he had blue eyes, and dark hair with red tones in certain light. He had a brother, but they didn’t see each other much, being that his brother was in the Navy. His parents were retired in Florida, but they’d had Marcus and his brother Adam late in life. Marcus was twenty-nine, same as me with only a few months separating our birthdays, and he was a firefighter. Oh, and he was a good, kind man who was thoughtful all the time and treated me like a prince.

“That’s such a shame. Anyway, how are Marcus’ kittens?” Mom asked. I pulled myself back to what she was saying. It was never good to not pay full attention to anything Mom said, otherwise you’d end up agreeing to all kinds of things she’d throw at you when your defenses are down. I loved her dearly but she was sneaky like that.

Which is how I got myself into this mess with Marcus in the first place.

“They’re fine.”

“Did he find good homes for them?”

“Absolutely, the last of them went to a widowed grandmother in his apartment block.”

“Socks? The dark one?”

I glanced at my notes. “No, you remember Socks went to his uncle; Spider went to the old lady.”

“Oh yes, of course, although why someone would name a kitten Spider I don’t know.”

“There were spiders in the house where Marcus found the kittens.”

“I still don’t understand how there could be spiders in a burned-out house.”

Shit. “Spiders are hardy.”

“You said the house was razed to the ground, dear.”

Now I was losing the will to live. “Well, maybe the spider was outside. Mom, I need to go, Moira is at the door and she needs me to sign off on the new AbbaLister raisins account.”

“Of course dear, just, please tell Marcus he is welcome at any time. We so want to meet him and thought it’d be better at the house.”

“I will, I know he’s keen to meet you.”

“Oh good,” she said, and I knew I’d fucked up and somehow given her an opening. I’d never mentioned once that Marcus wanted to meet them, because that would just give them the impetus to take matters into their own hands. My worst fears were confirmed. “Oh, I’ve had the most wonderful idea.”

Oh God, what?

“Your dad and I are coming into the city on Monday; book us dinner on any night, or lunch, breakfast, anything. I want to meet this young man of yours and if it has to be in a restaurant then so be it.”

“I’m not sure—”

“Derek, he can’t be busy every night next week, and every lunchtime, goodness me, we’ll even take a quick coffee if that is all he can manage.”

Shit. Shit. And double shit.

“I’ll see what I can organize.” I kept my tone regretful, to at least give the impression I would try to organize them meeting Marcus, but that it would be unlikely.

We finished the call, and I replaced the handset in the cradle, fighting the urge to throw it against the wall, sit and cry at my desk, or maybe, less drastically, move to Montana and become a cowboy.

So many lies.

There was no Moira standing at my door. It was still closed and I’d lied to my mom.

There were no kittens, I made those up, and the spider story. The word spider came about because when I’d been talking to my mom about Marcus and the kittens, a tiny spider had crawled over my notes.

I closed the notebook in which I had the names of five kittens with their various characteristics listed.

Mom wanted to meet Marcus, any night, any lunch, anytime.

Which sucked big hairy balls.

Because that was another thing I had made up.

There was no Marcus either.


Review

Love Happens Anyway is a delightful and cute Christmas story that will fill you up with feelings of magic and wonder, while still having enough depth to make you connect with the characters and root for them.

Poor Derek. Socially awkward and insecure doesn’t begin to describe him when the story starts. On the surface he has it all — a career, money, status — but in reality none of it is exactly what he wants and he doesn’t feel in control of any aspect of his life.

Luke on the other hand, appears to be at ease with his life at first glance. But he’s facing the aftermath of a nightmare he hasn’t quite come to terms with. Pretending to be Derek’s boyfriend for a few weeks leaves him with a nasty taste in his mouth but it does provide the solution to a conundrum he couldn’t see his way out of, so he swallows his pride and plays the game.

It’s supposed to be a game of make believe – pretend, except that from the start there’s something pulling the two men toward each other, despite both of them insisting, mostly to themselves, that it is only a contract, a job and that it they will go their separate ways again before the start of the New Year.

LOL…Best laid plans and such J

Derek’s, ill-advised, not to mention rather desperate plan not only makes it possible for Luke to finish building for his future, it also makes him long for something he hadn’t even considered for himself.

Luke, with his, on the surface at least, easy-going approach toward life and his new perspective on Derek’s circumstances, provides the opening Derek needed to grow and get out of his own way.

This is a wonderful, funny, touching, and uplifting story you won’t be able to read without either smiling or laughing. Luke and Derek were perfect together. In fact, you might say, Luke was exactly what Derek had been dreaming about.

A happy story, with a happy (and very appropriate) cover, perfect for very happy Christmas reading.



RJ Scott is the bestselling romance author of over 100 romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men and women who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn't with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn't like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.

mailto:rj@rjscott.co.uk




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Tuesday, 5 December 2017

A Warfield Christmas (The Warfield Hotel Mysteries) by C.J. Baty - Release Blitz



Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 20,000 words approx.

The Warfield Hotel Mysteries Series


Drifting Sands (Book #1) - Amazon US | Amazon UK

Crashing Waves (Book #2) - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Roaring Waters (Book #3) - Amazon US | Amazon UK

Blurb

Peter Warfield wanted a Christmas like none before. A celebration of putting the past behind them. Leaving Bradley Warfield and Moses Lee buried in the past. A new tradition of love and happiness for future generations.
But, no one was cooperating.

You are invited to celebrate the holidays with Peter, Sally and their daughter, Lily, at the Warfield Manor. There’s no murder to solve or a criminal to catch, but there are secrets to be revealed.


Justin Warfield and Marcus Drummond aren’t speaking or telling anyone else what is going on. Damien Fitzgerald and Robert Wyler have been out of the country but is that really the truth. Sally’s been trying to tell Peter something important for weeks but he’s so wrapped up in Christmas, she can’t get through to him.


Catch up with the rest of the Warfield extended family: Richard Brooks, Daisy Lee and their son Alexander, Krystal Smith, Winnie, Michaels and all the rest. One thing’s for sure, it will be a Christmas the Warfield’s will never forget.


This book will be more enjoyable if you have read any of the other Warfield Hotel books. Like a beautiful package wrapped up with a shining bow on top, there's a happy ending for all.


Author Bio


C. J. Baty lives in southwest Ohio. Her heart, however, lives in the mountains of Tennessee where she hopes to retire some day. The mountains have always provided her with inspiration and a soothing balm to the stresses of everyday life.


The dream of writing her own stories started in high school but was left on the back burner of life until her son introduced her to fan fiction and encouraged her to give it a try. She found that her passion for telling a story was still there and writing them down to share with others was much more thrilling than she had ever expected.


She has a loving and supportive family who don't mind fixing their own meals when she is in the middle of a story, and a network of friends who have encouraged and cheered her on in her quest of being an author.


One thing she has learned from life and she is often heard to say is: “You are never too old to follow your dream!”





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