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BLOG TOUR! Out of Bounds by A.R. Barley

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When the weather outside starts cooling down, inside the dorm things are heating up. Can these college roommates fall in love without going out of bounds?

 Beaten and heartbroken, Jesse Cole is placed in a new dorm room after his last roommate attacked him. Just wanting to be left alone to heal in peace, he’s shocked when tall, dark and dangerous-looking Nick Moretti walks in.

 Nick doesn’t have time to tiptoe around his new roommate—he’s too busy working in order to pay for school. But something about Jesse brings out his protective instincts. As their cautious friendship grows and becomes loaded with sexual tension, he wants to make Jesse comfortable.

 Enter the perfect plan: a line of tape down the center of the room. Boundaries established.

 But as innocent movie nights become hours-long temptation marathons, and whispered chats from across the room delve into straight-up dirty territory, crossing the line has never been so satisfying.

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Buy Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01767FSHO

Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/out-of-bounds/id1052692576

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/out-of-bounds-ar…/1122856810

KOBO: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/out-of-bounds-36

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/search?q=9781459293533

 

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Blog Tour, Excerpt and Giveaway! A New Man by P.D. Singer

P.D Singer is visiting as part of a book blast. She’s sharing a couple of bits of information with us but make sure you check the other blogs taking part in the tour to get more information. Plus there’s a competition. 

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A New Man

by

P.D. Singer

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Reese Dante

Blurb

Senior year of college is for studying, partying, and having fun before getting serious about life. Instead, Chad’s days are filled with headaches and exhaustion, and his fencing skills are getting worse with practice, not better. Then there’s his nonexistent love life, full of girls he’s shunted to the friend zone. Is he asexual? Gay?

Grad student Warren Douglas could be out clubbing, but his roommate is better company, even without kisses. He’s torn up watching Chad suffer, gobbling ibuprofen and coming home early on Friday nights. If Chad weren’t straight, Warren would keep him up past midnight. They’re great as friends. Benefits might answer Chad’s questions.

A brief encounter with lab rats reveals Chad’s illness—he needs surgery, STAT, and can’t rely on his dysfunctional parents for medical decisions. Warren’s both trustworthy and likely to get overruled—unless they’re married. “You can throw me back later,” Warren says, and he may throw himself back after his husband turns out moody and hard to get along with, no matter how much fun his new sex drive is. Surgery turns Chad into a new man, all right…

…but Warren fell in love with the old one.

NewMan[A]FS

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Excerpt

On his feet now, Chad looked a little shaky. For a silent moment he stood, though it wasn’t clear whether he was forcing his body to behave or thinking.

“Uh. You’re a scientist…” Why did Chad make that sound like a question? Unless it was part of his medicine head. “I need some data.”

Oh. Oh!

Warren didn’t flinch or pull away when Chad leaned in. Both his hands rested on Warren’s upper arms, which didn’t keep him from lurching forward so fast Warren thought he’d get hit in the face. But no, he stopped short and came in slow for the last inch. Eyes open and questioning, he met Warren’s mouth in a smooth, gentle kiss. Lips not quite parted, he brushed against Warren, searching, not demanding.

What had gotten into him? Warren kissed back, not too startled to respond in kind, adding nothing that might frighten Chad away. He wouldn’t lift his arms, he wouldn’t offer tongue, but he would meet Chad’s mouth for as long as he was offered it. He had to tip his face up slightly and fight to stay in place when he wanted nothing more than to step forward into Chad’s arms, to plaster himself against that inviting chest, and thrust his tongue into the depths of Chad’s mouth.

Chad’s eyes were blue drowning to black, his pupils dilated widely. Questions, but not fear, dwelled behind his irises, questions that Warren wanted to answer for him. Yes, you like this, yes, you want more, yes, you want it with me. Yes.

Quick Facts

P.D. Singer was asked a number of questions. Here’s what we found out. Check the other blogs on the tour to find out more about the author.

Coke or Pepsi? (Or something else.)

I’m not that picky. Is it cold? Is it wet? Is it (preferably not) loaded with sugar?

Sweet or Salty?

Yes. Think chocolate with caramel, lightly salted.

Giveaway

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Click here or the image to enter the Rafflecopter

Prize – 1 copy of ‘A New Man’ plus one copy from P.D. Singer’s backlist

Sales Links

Dreamspinner Press

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Author Bio

P.D. Singer lives in Colorado with her slightly bemused husband, two rowdy teenage boys, and thirty pounds of cats. She’s a big believer in research, first-hand if possible, so the reader can be quite certain Pam has skied down a mountain face-first, been stepped on by rodeo horses, acquired a potato burn or two, and will never, ever, write a novel that includes sky-diving.

When not writing, playing her fiddle, or skiing, she can be found with a book in hand.

Author Contact:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pd.singer.9

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/PDSingerbooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PD_Singer

Blog: http://PDSinger.com

Tour Stops

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February 9th

Parker Williams, Bike Book Reviews, My Fiction Nook, Kimi-Chan, Inked Rainbow Reads, Prism Book Alliance, Molly Lolly, Bayou Book Junkie, BFD Book Blog, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Kristy’s Brain Food, Cate Ashwood, Fallen Angel Reviews, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Queer Town Abbey, MM Good Book Reviews, Wicked Wolves and Dreaming Dragons, Inked Rainbow Reads, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Kristy’s Brain Food, Because Two Men Are Better Than One, Nic Starr, Velvet Panic, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Nephylim, Multitasking Mommas, Elin Gregory

 

 

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INTERVIEW: Artistic Endeavor by Whitley Gray

Today we are delighted to be joined by Whitley Gray to talk about Artistic Endeavor. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

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Author Interview

Thanks for joining us today, Whitley. We are excited to have you here as you celebrate the upcoming release of your new book, Artistic Endeavor.

I love the sound of the characters in this book, particularly Michael. Can you tell us exactly what being a ‘one-night stand connoisseur’ means and why Michael lives a life of lust over a life of love?

Whitley: Michael believes in single encounters—that way there’s virtually no chance of any emotional attachments forming. As far as living a life of lust…Michael has loved and lost—lost big—before. Being left at the altar does that to a guy.

Can you tell us a little about Cobey and his past problems meeting men?

Whitley: Cobey was raised in a strict Catholic family. He was dependent on his family to help pay for his education—which had to be at a conservative Catholic university. Cobey finished a Master’s degree, and finally got away from that influence. He wants to embrace being gay, but at age twenty-five is not having any luck. The patrons of the local gay bars seem like wolves—aggressive and carnivorous. He wants—needs—a gentler approach.

Can you share any secrets about Michael and Cobey? Anything you’d like to tease your readers with? 🙂

Whitley: Michael and Cobey are planning a summer vacation. It’ll involve a beach, with hot days spent in the sun and hot nights beneath cool sheets. Could there be “I do?” Tune in… 🙂

What inspired the story and the characters?

Whitley: The story started as part of an anthology—nine stories revolving around the fictional Cathia University. I wanted to explore a character whose circumstances had caused him to miss the usual adolescent introduction to intimacy. Pairing him with a character who was opposite—promiscuous—made for a nice contrast.

The fine art aspect allowed me to have some fun. There is this scene with a parrot in the art room… 🙂

When I got the story back from the anthology, I added bonus scenes before self-publishing it. This is my first go at self-publishing.

We’ve just started a new year and I’ve seen lots of posts about new years’ resolutions. Do you have anything special that you’ll be focusing on this year?

Whitley: Exercise. Finishing writing projects.

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Blurb

When friends ask one-night stand connoisseur Michael Esteban to introduce college professor and virgin Cobey Miller to the joys of sex, Michael balks. Lust is his thing, not leading a twenty-five year old novice. But shy Cobey has problems meeting men, and their introduction fuels Michael’s decision to help Cobey become a gay-sex-loving guy. It’ll all be fun and games—unless someone falls in love.

Excerpt

In the dimly lit bar, Michael drummed his fingers on the table. “Maybe you should have let me meet him somewhere without you two along as chaperones.”

Eli chuckled. “It took me a week to convince him to meet you. He’d never go for the blind date thing.”

“Well, he’s late. Sure he’ll show?”

“Relax.” Burke massaged Eli’s neck. “He’ll be here.”

Ordinarily Michael looked forward to sizing up a new man. In fact, he’d already taken stock of every guy in the room. If Cobey didn’t show, the bartender looked like a good prospect. Prolonged eye contact, a big grin, and a wink when serving Michael’s beer. Yep, good prospect. Someone new.

Of course, Cobey would be new. Too new. Michael sighed. How was he supposed to introduce himself? Hello. I’m the guy our mutual friends have asked to be your sex instructor. How’s it hangin’?  Yippee.

“There.” Eli nodded at the entrance. “Just coming in.”

For a moment it was too crowded to see much, but the herd of patrons parted. Michael licked his lips. Well, well, well. The picture hadn’t done Cobey justice. Nicely wide shoulders, narrow hips, hair a man could get a grip on. Dark eyes. A perfect mouth—full but not too full. How was it possible this gorgeous male specimen had never been intimate with another guy? And Michael had the opportunity to be the first one.

I can certainly sacrifice myself for the greater good by teaching him.

What did I think?

I enjoyed this book. What I liked most about this story was the pairing of Cobey and Michael. I had preconceived ideas of what the characters would be like, based on reading the blurb but they surprised me. I loved the journey both men took, the slow sexual exploration and of course, the emotional entanglement that followed.

I actually read the whole anthology – Campus Cravings – but didn’t read Artistic Endeavor until the end (I waited and read this version with the additional scene). Obviously Artistic Endeavor can be read very much stand-alone but it was sort of nice to read the story in the context of the familiar setting of Cathia University.

Giveaway

A Rafflecopter giveaway has been set up through which four lucky winners will be chosen-

  • 1 Winner will take away a $20 Amazon Gift Card.
  • 3 Winners will get a free e-copy of “Artistic Endeavor”

Click here or on the image to enter the Rafflecopter.

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About the Author

Once upon a misspent youth, Whitley read and wrote stories under the covers at night. At some point, real life intervened, bringing with it responsibilities and a career in the medical field. After years of technical writing, Whitley became enamored of romance and took on the challenge of giving it a try. Inventing characters and putting them through paces in interesting ways turned out to be addictive, and along the way, Whitley discovered having two heroes is twice as nice. A pot of coffee, quiet, and a storyline featuring a couple of guys makes for a perfect day.

Author Links

Website: Stop by www.whitleygray.com and feed your fix for heat between the sheets with erotica and M/M romance.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/whitley.gray

Blog: www.whitleygray.blogspot.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/whitleygray

Buy Links

Amazon

ARE: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-artisticendeavor-1718070-149.html

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/new-artistic-endeavor-whitley-gray-bonus-added-whitley-gray/1121024072?ean=2940150179554

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Tara Lain visits with a GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY

We are thrilled to have Tara Lain visit Two Men. She has a new release, Canning the Center, book #2 in the Long Pass Chronicles. Welcome, Tara.

 

Guest Post

When Secondary Characters Pounce on You and Demand Their Own Book

I love writing secondary characters. Lots of authors do. Unlike your main characters, secondaries can have tons of quirks with less regard for likability or heroism. They only have to appear in a limited number of scenes, so they can be wise quickly without having to grow into their wisdom as much as primary characters must. They don’t have to demonstrate a huge arc of growth or overcome enormous obstacles. Consequently, writing them tends to be kind of breezy and relaxed for the author. Guess what? That often makes them hugely memorable and the readers’ favorite characters in a story. And that’s when they start whining about having their own book! LOL.

I find that a lot of my most loved books developed out of favorite secondary characters who appeared in the first book in a series. One of my most popular books is Fire Balls. The hero of that story, Rodney, was a secondary character in Volley Balls, my first book in the Balls to the Wall series. Rodney was a relatively small character who wasn’t well developed. Plus, he was short, flamboyant, and not at all the usual hero type, but he had lots of feistiness and great promise. Bam! In his own book, he became a reader favorite. The same thing with Lindsey Vanessen, an important secondary character in The Pack or the Panther. When that guy got his own story in Wolf in Gucci Loafers, he not only captured readers’ hearts, he won second place for Best Paranormal Romance in the Rainbow Awards.

That’s exactly what happened with my new novel, CANNING THE CENTER. The hero of this book, Jamal Jones, was the “best friend sidekick” in Outing the Quarterback. Everyone who read the book remarked on Jamal and what a fun character this gentle giant who loves root beer and pretty men is. When both my agent and publisher asked if he was going to have his own book, I knew he’d been whining to them behind my back. But I must confess, Jamal and his unexpected love for the beautiful drag queen, Trixie Larue, is one of my favorite stories. I hope it’s also one of yours.

Canning The Center
(Long Pass Chronicles, #2)
By Tara Lain
 
Blurb:
Six foot seven inch, 300 pound Jamal Jones loves football, so when he finds out the ultra-conservative owner of his new pro football team fired their current center because he’s gay, bisexual Jamal decides to stay in the closet and hang with the females. Then, at a small drag show, he comes face-to-face with his sexual fantasy in the form of Trixie LaRue, a drag queen so exquisitely convincing she scrambles Jamal’s hormones — and his resolve to nurse his straight side.
Trevor Landry, aka Trixie LaRue, hides more than his genitals. A mathematician so brilliant he can’t be measured, Trevor disguises his astronomical IQ and his quirk for women’s clothes behind his act as a gay activist undergrad at Southern California University.
To Trevor, Jamal is the answer to a dream — a man who can love and accept both his personas. When he discovers Jamal’s future is threatened if he’s seen with a guy, Trevor becomes Trixie to let Jamal pass as straight. But Trevor risks his position every time he puts on a dress. Is there a closet big enough to hold a football pro and a drag queen?
Available for purchase at
   ARe
Excerpt

 

Trevor stuck out a
hand. “My name’s Trevor. Pleased to meet you.”
Jamal reached out to
take the offered handshake and—whoops! In one gentle pull on Trevor’s arm that
clearly required no effort on Jamal’s part, Trevor was up against that huge
chest. “I’m Jamal. I don’t mean to be presumptuous. Just tell me to stop. But
if I don’t kiss you again soon, I’m a dead man.”
Trevor smiled up
into those dark brown eyes. “I would never want to be accused of murder.”
Such full, full
lips. They moved slowly down, down to Trevor’s. The first touch sent a flash
like lightning through every nerve, and he shivered.
Jamal pulled back.
“Cold?”
“Quite the
contrary.” He wrapped his arms tightly around the bunny’s neck.
Invitation
delivered. Jamal’s mouth closed over Trevor’s. Those lips were just as soft as
they looked, but not as silky as the tongue that slipped into his mouth. Oh my,
a girl could get drunk on this sweetness. Trevor opened and received, allowing
exploration—and sharing it. His poor abused cock, which had spent a couple of
hours locked between his asscheeks, wanted to stretch in a whole new direction.
Sweet God, he hadn’t throbbed like this in ages. One leg crawled up Jamal’s ass
all by itself—and it was a long way up. Too far to get his bulge anywhere near
its rightful companion. His eyes popped open. “Well, damn. Not much chance of
sexing you up unless we’re lying down.”
Jamal chuckled. “Oh
no, sweet thing, there are advantages to all these muscles.”
He picked Trevor up
under the butt. Yes! Contact.
Trevor looked into
those melted chocolate eyes. “I am estimating your equipment fully matches in
size the other proportions of your body?” He wrapped his legs around Jamal’s
surprisingly narrow waist.
Instead of getting
all peacocky like he had the right to, Jamal kind of blushed. “Yeah. Sorry.”
“Surely you jest.”
He grinned, but he
was breathing hard. “So you don’t mind big all over?”
“Not one little
bit.”
Jamal rode Trev up
and down against his cock. Oh God, that felt so good. Trevor never had decent
sex because he had this reputation to uphold, and Trixie never had sex at all.
Jesus, that added up to one crappy sex life. But the bunny was like a world in
the middle. With Jamal, for the first time, he got to be both Trevor and Trixie
and that was whole and perfect and hot! “You might want to stop unless you
would enjoy watching me wash these jeans.”
“Better yet, how
about I take you out and we get to know each other before I quit football and
take up fucking you full time?”
Who could laugh at a
time like this? But he still did. He hugged that big, muscular frame tight and
rubbed his cock against Jamal’s huge bulge until they were both gasping. “No.
No, I think you better write the resignation letter.”
“Deal. But I could
take us out for root beer floats first.”
Trevor stopped. “I
love root beer.”
Jamal held him
still, their cocks still squashed in bliss. “You’re kidding. No one likes root
beer but me.”
“I do. It’s my
favorite.”
“There’s this
diner—”

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“Okay, fuck sex. I
need a root beer float and a hamburger.”

 



About the Author
Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 23. Her best­selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. She lives with her soul­mate husband and her soul­mate dog in Laguna Beach, California, a pretty seaside town where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!

You can find Tara at

               
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Fever Pitch Book Tour: Excerpt and Giveaway!

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INFORMATION ABOUT THE SERIES

The Love Lessons series are new adult LGBT contemporary romance novels set at various colleges within the American Midwest. While Love Lessons and Fever Pitch feature gay protagonists, subsequent novels will include lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and heterosexual heroes and heroines.

The heat level for these stories is significantly sweeter than some of Heidi’s erotic romances, which has a tendency to make the sexual tension ratchet off the charts.

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FEVER PITCH

Coming September 30 from Samhain Publishing

Book Two of the Love Lessons Series

The Blurb….

Sometimes you have to play love by ear.
Aaron Seavers is a pathetic mess, and he knows it. He lives in terror of incurring his father’s wrath and disappointing his mother, and he can’t stop dithering about where to go to college—with fall term only weeks away. Ditched by a friend at a miserable summer farewell party, all he can do is get drunk in the laundry room and regret he was ever born. Until a geeky-cute classmate lifts his spirits, leaving him confident of two things: his sexual orientation, and where he’s headed to school.

Giles Mulder can’t wait to get the hell out of Oak Grove, Minnesota, and off to college, where he plans to play his violin and figure out what he wants to be when he grows up. But when Aaron appears on campus, memories of hometown hazing threaten what he’d hoped would be his haven. As the semester wears on, their attraction crescendos from double-cautious to a rich, swelling chord. But if more than one set of controlling parents have their way, the music of their love could come to a shattering end.

Warning: Contains showmances, bad parenting, Walter Lucas, and a cappella.

Excerpt

At the door, Giles remained frozen in terror and indecision, but Aaron didn’t so much as look up. Hunched, dark hair over his eyes and arms crossed on his knees, Aaron stared at the floor and spoke in a tight, tired voice. “Go away.”

Giles wasn’t sure how to play this. While Aaron had never engaged in gay-baiting, Giles wasn’t sure he was ready to bet his front teeth Aaron wouldn’t turn him over to the wolves first chance he had.

From the second Aaron showed up at Alvis-Henning, Giles had seriously crushed on him. Hot as fuck, all dark hair, blue eyes and fuzzy scruff on his jaw—his quiet reserve left way too much space for Giles’s imagination. This infatuation, combined with Aaron’s popularity, meant Giles hadn’t ever figured out how to behave around him. Which right now was a real problem.

He decided to hedge. “If you can wait five minutes to kick me out, I’d appreciate it.”

Aaron’s head snapped up, and in the low light of the room his bright blue eyes shone. “Oh. Sorry. I thought you were Colton.”

“God no. He’s dancing on a table in the living room.” Giles let himself relax somewhat. “Why would you tell Colton off? I thought you two were tight.”

To this Aaron’s response was a snort as he lifted a beer bottle to his lips. “Whatever.”

Giles was more confused by the second. “Why are you in here, anyway?”

Aaron toasted the air with his bottle and a black smile. “Because it’s my birthday.”

“Oh—happy birthday.” Giles frowned. “Sorry, I don’t get it.”

“Me either.” Aaron tipped his head against the wall and shut his eyes, allowing Giles an ogle of that gorgeous throat, the tiny tuft of hair at the front of his T-shirt, the line of beard shadow and the beautiful bulge of an Adam’s apple. Blue eyes opened, fixing in soft squints at Giles. “I know you. You were in my…calculus class?”

“And physics.” Giles waved. “Giles Mulder.”

Aaron gestured drunkenly back. “Aaron Seavers.”

“I know.” Jesus fuck, but Aaron was hot. Hot and slightly aloof. Giles wanted to put the guy on his knees and make him moan. Stop. Get out of this with all your teeth and bones in place. “So…you spend all your birthdays in the laundry room, or is this one special?”

“I’m having a better time in here than I was out there. Or anywhere. I’m having a particularly miserable life at the moment.” Wincing, Aaron took another drink. “Shit, that’s pathetic. You should probably go.”

“I think if I leave right now, I’ll go home in a body bag, or at least on a stretcher.”

Now it was Aaron’s face screwed up in confusion. “Why?”

“Eric Campf and his buddies are playing hunt the fag. Plenty of other people would be happy to join in if they heard about the party game.” Please don’t say you want to be one of them.

Aaron shut his eyes. “I hate this town. I should be glad I’m leaving it tomorrow.”

Aaron was leaving? Giles snuffed out the waft of disappointment. Like it matters. We’re all leaving in another month and a half. Also, just because hottie is talking to you instead of hitting you doesn’t mean you have a new bestie. “Where are you going tomorrow?”

“To hell.” Aaron drained the last of his beer. “Eden Prairie, with my dad. He’ll nag at me all summer, plus I have to avoid—” His whole face shuttered, and he didn’t say anything more.

Okay, touchy subject. New topic. “Where are you going to school in the fall?”

Swearing under his breath, Aaron tossed the beer bottle across the room. “I need another drink.”

“Unless you want fabric softener, I think you’re out of luck in here. Seriously, where are you going in the fall?”

“I don’t know.”

Giles stared at him, not quite sure what to do with this. “Dude, it’s June. June twenty-first.”

“Yes, I know. Birthday, remember?” Aaron covered his face with his hands. “I don’t know where I’m going. I can’t decide. My dad’s going to rag my ass about whatever I choose, and they all look the same. It’s my goddamned eighteenth birthday, I never got dinner, and I don’t know where I’m going to college. I’m drinking in a laundry room at the most boring party in the world, my ride home is smashed and dancing on tables—and I’m out of alcohol.”

“Well, I can’t help you with the alcohol or college, but I could give you a ride to a drive-through on the way to your house.”

Giles expected to be laughed at, but Aaron took him seriously. “For real?” He seemed briefly hopeful, then looked away. “I don’t want you to bug out of the party because I’m being a loser.”

“Did you forget the part where I’m hiding out because beating me up is about to be the evening’s entertainment?”

“Oh. Right. Um…yeah, if you’re offering and don’t mind, a ride would be great. I don’t live too far, so it shouldn’t put you out.”

“But I’m taking you to dinner first, right?” Giles stepped closer and held out a hand. “Need help?”

“You don’t have to take me out.” Aaron sounded like he wished someone would.

“Hey, it’s your birthday. The least I can do is buy you a Frosty.”

Aaron frowned as he accepted Giles’s hand and rose gracelessly to his feet. “Wendy’s is in Anoka.”

“Whatever, it’s only fifteen minutes. Besides, I could use an order of fries.” When Aaron only grinned at him stupidly, as if Giles had offered to scale a mountain for him, Giles added, “I think you could use more water and less beer.”

“Yeah.” Aaron listed on his feet. “No dinner, four beers in three hours. Dumb.”

“It’s your birthday. You’re allowed.”

Aaron laughed, leaning into Giles. “What, do I get a free pass on everything because it’s my birthday?”

Letting the comment soak in, Giles tried to decide if Aaron Seavers was hitting on him or not.

Aaron nodded to a shadow in the corner of the room. “Hey, is that a door?”

By God, it was. A side door with a clear, straight view of the street, and if he squinted, Giles could see his car. “Aaron Seavers, I fucking love you.”

Giggling, Aaron nudged him. “Come on, we haven’t even had a first date yet.”

Giles’s jaw dropped, but before he could wrap his head around Aaron Seavers—Colton’s best friend—hitting on him, Aaron grabbed his hand and tugged him toward the exit.

“Let’s go. If you love me, you can buy me a Frosty and fries.”

What the hell was he supposed to say to that? In the end Giles said nothing, only let Aaron lead him out of the party into the night.

 

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Click the image or here to enter the grand prize Rafflecopter.

Buy Links

Samhain (not yet up for preorder), Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, iTunes

About the author

Heidi Cullinan head shot

 

Heidi Cullinan has always loved a good love story, provided it has a happy ending. She enjoys writing across many genres but loves above all to write happy, romantic endings for LGBT characters because there just aren’t enough of those stories out there. When Heidi isn’t writing, she enjoys cooking, reading, knitting, listening to music, and watching television with her husband and ten-year-old daughter. Heidi is a vocal advocate for LGBT rights and is proud to be from the first Midwestern state with full marriage equality. Find out more about Heidi, including her social networks, at www.heidicullinan.com.

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DSP Daily Dose MENDED Anthology – Part 1

These books are part of the DSP Daily Dose Mended Anthology which is a themed story released every day in June.

Mended

This year it is all about…..”Each story Life comes with a bit of hurt, but luckily for these men, it also comes with the right amount of comfort to mend their breaks, both of the body and the heart. From facing deranged exes to economic trials, the men in these tales have faced trial by fire–or in some cases water–for the right to love and live. Step into their shoes as they rebuild their family after a gutting betrayal or traverse the stars with an unexpected partner. The Mended Daily Dose package delivers stories about all kinds of second chances built on love.”

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Cleary Palit

Cleary Palit

by Zahra Owens

The blurb…

Edward “Ted” Cleary and Cazimir Palit have shared everything for eight years. Well, almost everything. They own a successful business together, share a house in West Hollywood, and never travel anywhere without each other, but they’ve never slept in the same bed.

There’s one more thing Ted hasn’t shared with Caz. Ted has a mother, sister, and brother in Atlanta Caz has never met. With good reason. They threw Ted out when he wouldn’t “change his ways,” and he’s never looked back. When Ted is rejected all over again, Caz steps up and proves he isn’t the superficial man Ted always took him for, and Ted’s long-hidden feelings might finally be returned.

So what did I think?

Cleary Palit is the first story of the package and made a nice start to the collection. I enjoyed the story of long-time business partners Ted and Caz. The men have worked and lived together for years and Ted has pinned for the unattainable Caz. He doesn’t think he’s in Caz’s league or Caz’s type. It takes a family situation where Ted needs support for both men to finally start facing their feelings.

This story provided a bitch of a sister (award winning on the bitch-stakes really), lots of family confrontation and an all-the-way happy ending. It was an interesting romance– not hugely hearts-and-flowers– it’s more about showing feeling with actions. Our hero Ted isn’t totally gorgeous, his body isn’t fabulous, he’s a nerd and can’t see a thing without his glasses. I wanted to shake him to stand up for himself at the beginning of the story but he’d endeared himself by the end.

3.5 stars

The Way Things Turn Out

The Way Things Turn Out

by MA Ford

The blurb…

After a serious crash during testing, sports car driver Alan accompanies his injured teammate, Nathan, to the hospital, promising his boss he’ll stay until Nathan’s next of kin can be reached.

Former F1 test driver Nathan was a recent addition to the team, and he and Alan were not on the best of terms. Waiting for Nathan to regain consciousness gives Alan time to think back over the recent races and the ups and downs of their relationship.

Even when Nathan wakes up, Alan remains by his side at the hospital. Nathan is still keeping secrets and needs help more than he’s willing to admit. If they can trust each other, it might open the door to an attraction both assumed was one-sided.

So what did I think?

I’ve got a real soft spot for the books by this author. I think I must be a closet motor sports fan!

It took a little while to settle into reading this comfortably– getting into the flow of the first person present narration, the flashbacks and Alan providing his back story– but once things got going, I really liked it.

It is not surprising that the author has a background in the racing scene due to the level of detail provided. She provides a sense of the lifestyle and does provide information on how the sport works, mentions various tracks and famous drivers but this serves to give the book a realistic setting.

This is a coming-out combined with sort-to-enemies-to-lovers theme – there’s nothing like an accident to bring true feelings to the surface.

3.5 stars

Branded

Branded

by Bru Baker

The Blurb…

When a would-be assassin sneaks into the citadel disguised as a servant, the king requires that all servants who work in the castle be branded with the royal crest for easy identification. Prince Coren is powerless to fight the edict, but he refuses to allow his personal advisor and secret lover Brannir to suffer alone. Coren shows his devotion by wielding the brand to mark Brannir himself, even though he fears it will change their relationship. He’s prepared for resentment, hurt, and anger–every outcome but the one he receives: unconditional love.

So what did I think?

This is the third story in the DSP Daily Dose Mended anthology. It was short but surprisingly enjoyable. I say ‘surprisingly’ because I’m not usually a big fan of fantasy/historical worlds but this one really worked for me.

The story takes place over one night as Corin needs to brand his servant/lover. I could feel Corin’s pain at having to perform the task and admired Bran’s courage due to his love for the other man. I also liked Finnick, the guard, who was so understanding of their situation and amusing.

4 stars

Deep Water

Deep Water

by Coral Moore

The blurb…

Mario Guzman is trying out for the swim team, his ticket to paying his way through college. When he meets Jordan Lewis, an outspoken writer for the school’s paper, he considers coming out even though he’s been very private about his sexuality all his life.

Violence intended for Jordan takes Mario out of consideration for the team and threatens his best hope for an education. He lashes out when Jordan tries to help him in his time of need. Eventually Mario regrets driving Jordan away, and his need to apologize takes him to the scene of the attack, where he confronts his pain and terror. This time Jordan is there to help him face the biggest obstacle in his path.

So what did I think?

I liked this story despite not being entirely sold on the attraction between Mario and Jordan which result pretty much in insta-love. But it was still a nice short and sweet story.

3 stars

Total Immersion

Total Immersion

by Ellis Carrington

The blurb…

Evan Stanton is in over his head. Injured from a fall on campus, he’s let his boyfriend talk him into a senior year total immersion trip—two weeks abroad—only his boyfriend ends up dumping him shortly before takeoff. Evan gets on the plane anyway, but he’s lost his hope and added to his pain.

Chris Bale decided to spend his senior year of college clearing his head after breaking up with the girl he’s dated since high school. He finds himself on a flight to Istanbul next to a surly kid with piercings and guyliner who couldn’t be more his opposite. They strike up a friendship anyway, and as they make their way across a foreign land, Bale realizes he’s too immersed in Evan to let go.

So what did I think?

This short story was lots of fun. I think it might be the first romance I’ve read set in Istanbul so a plus there for originality!

This is the story of poor Evan who starts a tour to Turkey feeling pretty down. He’s just been dumped by his boyfriend plus he has chronic pain from an injury months before. Enter, Bale, the perfect guy to befriend him and become is room-mate. Bale has broken up with is girlfriend and takes Evan under his wing.

It was a sweet story with moments of humour and some little surprises from straight-boy Bale who’s not afraid to jump into a sexual relationship with Evan.

3.5 stars

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Buy from Dreamspinner Press

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Triangle: The Complete Series by Susann Julieva & Rommel Engel

Triangle: The Complete Series (Triangle, #1-4)Triangle: The Complete Series by Susann Julieva

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The blurb…

When James falls in love with Casey, he knows he is in for trouble. Not only is Casey his best friend, he is also straight – or so James thinks, until notorious heartbreaker Danny Rizzo completely shakes things up. With troubled Nick adding his very own demons to the mix, nothing is set, and no-one is safe from surprises. Soon James finds himself faced with the question: Who does he really want to be with? For only one of them will stand by him as he struggles to face a chilling secret buried in his past…

Unique and unconventional, Triangle was first published chapter by chapter on the internet, growing novel-length without being a novel in the classical sense. It is a love story told in fragments, granting glimpses into the complex relationships between James, Danny, Casey, and Nick while always leaving room for imagination.

So what did I think?

James and Casey. James and Rizzo. Casey and Rizzo. Rizzo and Nick. Lovers. Friends. Enemies.

Triangle wasn’t what I expected. It was more a tangled and complex web of relationships that weave in and out and around, firstly three main characters who are eventually joined by a fourth.

James has a traumatic past and is secretly in love with his best friend but attracted to another. Casey is a surprise, his feelings taking an unexpected turn. Rizzo is a mystery, manipulative and initially hard to like. Nick faces his own demons.

I don’t want to spoil the story by expanding on how the characters are involved with each other but suffice it to say, you will be kept guessing throughout the story as they alternate from wild attraction, deep love, potential hate.

This is quite an emotional journey, focused on the internal thoughts and feelings of the characters which are shared through alternating POVs. It has a darker feel and a slightly uncomfortable undercurrent due to the continued anguish felt by the characters, the playing off against one another and the troubled pasts.

A few quotes to give a sense of the style of the book…

“Friend. Right. I’m inwardly screaming: For god’s sake, turn your head, look at me! I’m right here, right beside you. Mere inches away. I’m someone, too. I see you. I don’t want to be your friend. I want to be everything to you.”

“Because when Casey looks at me like that, like I’m his every fantasy come true, I know I don’t deserve to be held up so high. I don’t get how I can be so incredibly happy, and at the same time…almost sad.”

“I don’t think that night ever ended, because I can always feel him now, underneath my skin. I try not to think about it, but I’m hooked, that’s the way it is. I want more. Wow, and I think that’s kinda pathetic.”

“I bite down hard on my lower lip to keep the agony I’m feeling from spilling out of me. I’m such a creep. I’m worthless. I’m nothing. I’m less than nothing. I’m not even here. There’s only blackness ahead, and the familiar mist if coming over me…”

“The realization comes as a surprise, but I have faith, I do. Faith in myself, faith in us, and for this one moment, even faith in this planets’ sad population. Oh, this is gonna be good. Brace yourself, world, here we come.”

I found myself quite drawn in, despite the sense of melancholy and was intrigued to find out how the story ended. The main downside was the sex. The build up regarding the sexual attraction was pretty intense and the characters come together in a way that is passionate and hot and hard and I wanted to get the full experience so felt slight let down as the scenes faded….maybe all the detailed action wasn’t required for the story but I felt a little like I’d been left hanging.

All in all, a well told emotional story.

A copy of this book was provided by the author in return for my honest review.

❅❅❅❅❅❅❅

To find out more about Susann Julieva and her books visit her website.

Buy Triangle from Amazon.

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❄ Christmas Kitsch by Amy Lane ❄

★★★★★ I found it – my 5 star Christmas story! ★★★★★

20% of all proceeds from this title are donated to the Ali Forney Center in New York, whose mission “is to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ) youth from the harm of homelessness, and to support them in becoming safe and independent as they move from adolescence to adulthood.” To learn more about this charity or to donate directly, please visit the website.

★★★★★

Christmas KitschChristmas Kitsch by Amy Lane

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Blurb...

Sometimes the best thing you can get for Christmas is knowing what you really want.

Rusty Baker is a blond, rich, entitled football player in a high school full of them—just the type of oblivious jock all the bullied kids hate. And he might have stayed that way, except he develops a friendship with out-and-proud Oliver Campbell from the wrong side of the tracks. Rusty thinks the friendship is just pity—Oliver is very bright, and Rusty is very not—but then Oliver kisses him goodbye when Rusty leaves for college, and Rusty is forced to rethink everything he knows about himself.

But even Rusty’s newfound awareness can’t help him survive a semester at Berkeley. He returns home for Thanksgiving break clinging to the one thing he knows to be true: Oliver Campbell is the best thing that’s ever happened to him.

Rusty’s parents disagree, and Rusty finds himself homeless for the holidays. Oliver may not have much money, but he’s got something Rusty has never known: true family. With their help and Oliver’s love, Rusty comes to realize that he may have failed college, but he’ll pass real life with flying rainbow colors.

So what did I think?

It was perfect! A wonderful emotional story that shows what love is really about.

Rusty comes from a well-to-do family. He has good looks and is in with the ‘right’ crowd. He may not be the brightest kid but he seems to have it all. That is until he meets Oliver and things take on a different perspective. “It’s kind of sad when I think about it now. At the time, I thought I hung out with a bunch of okay kids. I figured we were spoiled and sheltered, but that wasn’t our fault, really. I mean, I was proud because we sat down with someone new and different, and didn’t beat him into the ground, Pathetic, really – that’s what I had to be proud of, right? that my peer group didn’t bully people too badly?”

Oliver is the new kid, with an ethnic background and a quick wit. He is also gay and from the moment they meet and Rusty defends Oliver, they are destined to be friends.

It’s a gorgeous story as Rusty and Oliver build a deep bond. Told from Rusty’s POV, he shares his thoughts on his family and his future, his worries and his doubts and his hopes. Rusty may not be overly smart but he is so focused and dedicated and with a heart of gold, should be the son that any parent would be only too proud to have.

Rusty’s parents have his future mapped out. That future doesn’t include Rusty working as a contractor and most definitely doesn’t include him being gay. Not that Rusty thinks he’s gay – he’s ‘undeclared’. Being parted from Oliver, after a single kiss, and now hours away at college, Rusty finds it really hard. He’s adjusting to life at college, struggling with classes, trying to cope with his sexually active room mate.

It was so wonderful to see Oliver looking out for Rusty from afar but it is once Rusty returns home for Thanksgiving that his love really shines. Oliver and his family – father, aunts, uncles, cousins, the whole lot! – are totally wonderful, taking Rusty in when his own parent’s reject him. They may not have a lot of money or material possessions but they open their homes and their hearts.

The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is a real journey for Rusty as he learns what’s really important and takes a stand for what he wants. And what he wants is to make Oliver proud, to give him the home he deserves. He appreciated the love of his sister, the acceptance from his old housekeeper, the assistance of his new surrogate family, the support of his college friend and the unfailing love of Oliver.

There was heartache and emotion and sadness but there was also love and hope and happiness. The story is wonderfully written with great depth to the characters and a lovely injection of humour. And of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas without a happy ending! “He was my family. He was my home. But you could never have too much home. It was good to live in a world where we were loved.”

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 And today’s Christmas song….All I Want For Christmas by The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus

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To find out more about Amy Lane and her books visit her website.

Buy the Home For The Holidays books from Riptide.

  • How I Met Your Father (L.B. Gregg) – click here for review
  • Long the Mile (Ally Blue)
  • Lost and Found (Z.A. Maxfield)
  • Christmas Kitsch (Amy Lane) – in this review
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❄ Blame It One The Mistletoe by Eli Easton ❄

This is a totally wonderful and highly recommended Christmas novella!

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Blame It On The MistletoeBlame It On The Mistletoe by Eli Easton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

When physics grad student Fielding Monroe and skirt-chaser and football player Mick Colman become college housemates, they’re both in for a whole new education. Mick looks out for the absent-minded genius, and he helps Fielding clean up his appearance and discover all the silly pleasures his strict upbringing as a child prodigy denied him. They become best friends.

It’s all well and good until they run into a cheerleader who calls Mick the ‘best kisser on campus.’ Fielding has never been kissed, and he decides Mick and only Mick can teach him how it’s done. After all, the physics department’s Christmas party is coming up with its dreaded mistletoe. Fielding wants to impress his peers and look cool for once in his life. The thing about Fielding is, once he locks onto an idea, it’s almost impossible to get him to change his mind. And he just doesn’t understand why his straight best friend would have a problem providing a little demonstration.

Mick knows kissing is a dangerous game. If he gives in, it would take a miracle for the thing not to turn into a disaster. Then again, if the kissing lessons get out of hand they can always blame it on the mistletoe.

So what did I think?

Blame It On The Mistletoe was a totally wonderful story! This is one of those stories where the characters are just so gorgeous you want nothing more than for them to get together. In this case it is Mick and his roommate Fielding who are jut meant to be together.

Mick has given up football and endless meaningless sex with girls who don’t mean anything to him, to focus on his study and this has meant moving from the dorm with all it’s distractions.

Fielding is his flatmate. Fielding is a genius with a sheltered upbringing, dorky but cute and very naive. But it is Fielding and his strange request “I’m not asking you to kiss me because you want to. I’m talking about a simple transference of skills. The way you taught me running.” that ignites feelings in Mick that he has never felt before.

Mick tries to resist, he’s not gay after all, but can’t get the thought of kissing Fielding out of his mind. And oh, what a kiss! I loved the description of Mick and Fielding together – it just seems so right! Of course, kissing Fielding doesn’t allow Mick to now put it out of his mind. Once h’s had a taste he just wants more.

Mick struggles with his feelings for Fielding and I adored his friend Samantha’s response and advice.
“But, Sam, I don’t want to be gay. I mean, obviously I must be bisexual, but that doesn’t mean I have to choose to be with a guy. Seriously, think about it. If you had a choice would you choose to love your life as a gay person and put up with a bunch of bullshit from people?”
“If I loved someone, and that made me gay, then yes!”

Sweet characters, gorgeous gay-for-you, hot first kisses, public displays of affection, coming out….it all adds up to a great story!

❅❅❅❅❅❅❅

To find out more about Eli Easton and her books visit her website.

Buy Blame It On The Mistletoe from Amazon.

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Today’s Christmas Song…..Meet Me Under The Mistletoe!

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❄ Christmas Delights continued…. and don’t forget it’s a freebie! ❄

Today’s Christmas reviews are for some more of the short stories in the Christmas Delights anthology. It’s a wonderful collection of stories and is available for free from Love Lane Books (Love Lane Books Christmas Anthology 2013).

Christmas Delights

As promised, I’ve accompanied each review with a matching carol. The stories in this review are:

  • Mistletoe and YouTube by Francis Gideon
  • A Jaguar for Christmas by Caitlin Ricci
  • Christmas Reunion by AJ Henderson

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Mistletoe and YouTube by Francis Gideon

Accompanied by: I’m Yours Under the Mistletoe Mash up

 

The Blurb: After exams finish for Matt and Aiden, there isn’t a lot left to do but watch Christmas YouTube videos and find new ways to kiss under the mistletoe.

So what did I think?  This was a cute light read. Just one quick scene. Very with the times as two college guys, Matt and Aiden, watch a YouTube clip of kissing under the mistletoe. Wanting to experience a kiss of their own, and with a bit of creativity involving the laptop and climbing under an IKEA desk, they manage to do so. 3 cute stars.

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A Jaguar for Christmas by Caitlin Ricci

Accompanied by: Jingle Cats (sorry, not Jaguars!)

The Blurb: Jackson doesn’t really understand why everyone is so excited about Christmas. The holiday hasn’t meant anything but loneliness to him for years. But when a new model comes in for a photo shoot, will it be the chance he needs to break out of his old routine and try something different?

So what did I think? This was  a really interesting premise but to be honest, the shifter element seemed pretty irrelevant to the story. It didn’t feel very Christmassy but it was  a nice story about a guy who finds a bit of happiness. It felt a little like the start of something so I wanted to read more to see where the story would take Peter and Jackson. 3 stars

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Christmas Reunion by AJ Henderson

Accompanied by: I’ll be Home For Christmas (Rascal Flatts)

 

The Blurb: Eric hasn’t looked forward to Christmas so much in a long time. After living away from his family for several years, he was excited to be moving back home in time to spend the holidays with them. A surprise from his past turns an already amazing Christmas into one that he’ll never forget.

So what did I think? I love a story of first love, separated in youth and then meeting up again later in life. Eric loved his friend Dillon. Dillon had been his best friend and was so accepting when Eric came out. But they only shared one very brief kiss on the day Dillon’s family moved away. And then life got in the way of their friendship  and their long distance correspondence stopped. Eric had spent years away from his family, first studying and now working, and is finally returning home to his family. The main problem with this story was that it was too short! I was really getting into it when it ended quite abruptly. I liked the style and I loved Eric’s wonderful family. I think it demands a sequel! 3.5 stars