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EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: One Plus One by P.A. Friday @penelopefriday @GoIndiMarketing

Title:  One Plus One

Series: Maths, Book Two

Author: P.A. Friday

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: 7/31/17

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 40400

Genre: Contemporary, gay, bi, age gap, friends to lovers, grief, slow burn

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Synopsis

James Cape has been in love with his mother’s best friend Laurie since James was sixteen and Laurie an inaccessible twenty-six. When he’s turned down flat by the older man just after his nineteenth birthday, James’s best friend Al encourages him to forget Laurie and find someone else. And James tries, he really does. But can he cope with his feelings for Laurie, his best friend’s home-life problems, and the deteriorating health of his father, all at the same time? And will Laurie ever notice the young man who’s right in front of him?

Excerpt

One Plus One
P.A. Friday © 2017
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One

James Cape was fourteen years old when he realised he was gay, fifteen when he came out to his best friend, and sixteen when he realised how he’d recognised he was gay in the first place. He’d thought he’d ‘just known’ until his mother’s friend Laurie came over one day with his new boyfriend, Kieran—the first boyfriend he’d ever bothered bringing round—and James had felt his heart explode with jealousy and rage. Kieran couldn’t have Laurie. Laurie belonged with him.

The longed-for relationship wasn’t—quite—as inappropriate as it might have sounded. Laurie was his mother’s friend, yes, but he wasn’t his mother’s age. Gillie, James’s mum, was thirty-nine; Laurie, twenty-six. They’d met online when James was about nine and had made friends over the next year, despite the age gap. When Gillie had discovered that Laurie was a student at the university she herself taught at, she’d invited him over, and he’d become a regular visitor. To start with, James hadn’t been much interested—the gap between ten years old and twenty was a big one, and James had been more interested in playing with Al, his best friend both then and now. Between them, the pair had teased and hassled and joked around with Laurie, treating him as something between a friend and an older brother; but as the years had passed, James’s feelings towards Laurie had changed. He just hadn’t realised quite how much they had changed until Laurie turned up with Kieran by his side.

It wasn’t as if Laurie had never had boyfriends in the past. He had. But he’d never brought them over to James’s house before, and that made all the difference. When Laurie had been at James’s house, he hadn’t belonged to anyone else. He’d been theirs. With Kieran there, the dynamic was different—spoilt. Al, also over for the weekend—as usual—cocked a knowing eyebrow at James’s moodiness and dragged him out for a long walk.

“You don’t like the boyfriend,” Al said when they were in the woods and miles from anywhere. Trust Al to get straight to the point.

James shrugged. “Bit of a wanker, that’s all. Laurie could do better.”

“Mm.” Al didn’t sound convinced. “D’you remember telling me that you weren’t interested in Laura Fielding because Mary MacDonald had bigger tits?”

“What?” James looked at his best mate in bewilderment. “That was nearly two years ago. Why are you bringing that up again?”

“You weren’t interested in Laura Fielding because she was a girl, and you weren’t interested in girls,” Al said bluntly. “By the way, I’m still pissed off it took you nearly a year to tell me you were gay. You can’t have thought I’d give a toss.”

“You’re still the only person who knows,” James pointed out.

James and Al’s school was not the sort of place where it was safe to be ‘out’. James had no intention of telling anyone else about his sexuality until he’d left. Telling Al was different—Al was Al. And he was quite right; James knew he could tell Al anything and Al wouldn’t care. You could say what you liked about Al—and most people did—but he was intensely loyal. To James, at any rate. When it came to relationships, it was a different matter. Unlike James, Al liked girls and had a steady stream of girlfriends, but none of them lasted longer than a month before he got itchy. Usually it was considerably shorter.

“They get so clingy,” Al had complained. “They want stuff.”

“That’s called dating,” James had told him unsympathetically.

He was amazed anyone still agreed to go out with Al, but there was something about his best friend. He had a strange sort of manic charm, and his very unpredictability seemed to draw people in. However, that was a different matter. Why Al had gone back to harping about old news, James couldn’t imagine.

“Thing is,” Al said, scuffing the last of the autumn leaves with his shoe—the woods didn’t seem to have cottoned on to the fact that it was March, “it didn’t have anything to do with Mary MacDonald.”

“Al, you’ve lost me.”

Al—so very like James to look at in some ways: dark-haired, regular features, similar body shape, albeit several inches shorter—looked seriously at his friend.

“It’s not Kieran you don’t like,” he said. “It’s Laurie having a boyfriend.”

“He’s had boyfriends before,” James said defensively.

“Ah. Hasn’t brought them home, though, has he? Different thing altogether.”

James shrugged petulantly. “I just think Kieran’s an idiot, that’s all.”

Al knew when to stop—usually. “Whatever you say, mate. Just…don’t piss Laurie off by being too rude to his guy, you know? Probably a bad plan.”

Which, as James admitted and worked by, was a sensible idea. But when Laurie turned up a fortnight later alone, James couldn’t help his heart lifting.

“No Kieran?” he asked, hoping Laurie would say that they’d broken up.

Laurie gave him a lazy smile. “No, not this time. I wanted you lot to myself. Any objections?”

“Nope.”

The weather was nice, and they were all sitting out in the garden, drinking beer. James and Al—who spent considerably more weekends at James’s house than at his own, to the point that Gillie and Terry, James’s dad, had assigned the spare bedroom as belonging to him—had been told that one was their limit, to Al’s laughing protest. James had his guitar out and was strumming it from time to time. He had a passion for music and already knew that he wanted to study it at university; it was just a case of getting through GCSEs (now only a few months away) and A levels first. Al was more interested in drama and films, which gave him something in common with Laurie, who was currently working on a PhD in Film Studies, focusing on bringing books to life as films, with particular emphasis on the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The trilogy was special in another way—Gillie and Laurie had met via an online discussion board about the films and had found they got on well, moving from there to talking about everything under the sun. “And some things not under it,” Gillie usually added at this point, as science fiction and astrophysics had also been discussed. James joked that his mum was a science geek on the quiet.

“Just surprised you could bear to be parted from him,” Al added cheekily.

Laurie took a gulp of beer and shook his head sadly at Al. “We’re twenty-six, not sixteen, Al. We can manage to be parted for an entire afternoon without dying of angst. You might be like that, but we’re not.”

James snorted. “Al? Seriously? God knows why he has girlfriends because he seems to spend all his time hiding from them once he’s dating them.”

“An interesting approach.”

“I like snogging them and suchlike,” Al said cheerfully. “It’s just the rest of it which is a bother. Is it like that with you, Laurie, then? You’ve only got your bloke for the snogging? And the suchlike,” he added thoughtfully.

James tried not to blush at the thought of Laurie doing ‘the suchlike’ with Kieran. It seemed Laurie was having a similar problem as he choked back a laugh.

“I can’t say I object to that side of things, but no, there’s a little more to it than that, thanks.”

“Al, are you teasing Laurie again?” Gillie called from where she was chatting animatedly with James’s dad. Terry was having a good day today; the wheelchair was at the side of the garden, and he was managing to potter round to check on his vegetables with just the aid of a stick. James was pleased—his dad had had too few good days recently. Multiple Sclerosis was a bugger. “I’ll have to get you a muzzle.”

“Just showing a friendly interest,” Al said, blinking would-be innocent green eyes at his friend’s mother, who unfortunately for him knew quite how much to trust that particular look.

“That’s what they’re calling it nowadays, is it?” Laurie riposted, and James and Gillie both laughed. Laurie smiled at James. “So, what are you up to, James? Apart from studying for GCSEs, that is.”

James rolled his eyes dramatically, though he was secretly pleased that Laurie cared enough to ask. “Nothing, really. Study, study, study.”

“Liar,” Al said mildly. “You spend all your time with that guitar. I reckon I’m losing my place as your best mate to that thing.” He looked across at Laurie. “I think he goes to bed with it, you know. A love affair like no other.”

“Oh, shut it, you,” James said, taking one hand off the precious guitar to give his friend a shove. “Anyway, I’m working on my composition, so it’s not like it’s not work.”

“The best sort of work is work you actually enjoy,” Laurie commented. “Al’s clearly just jealous. But you’re still loving the guitar as much as ever then.”

“God, yeah,” James said fervently. “It’s like… I dunno. It feels right, somehow—do you know what I mean? When I’m playing, it’s like my fingers know what they should be doing. Bit like Dad and the garden, I guess. He just seems to know what to plant where and what to do to make things grow, and I’m hopeless. But my teacher shows me things on the guitar, and it makes sense.” He flushed, embarrassed. Trying to explain how he felt about his instrument made him self-conscious. Al hadn’t laughed at him, as he’d feared, when he’d said a bit about it to him—but then Al was his best mate. Laurie was…well, something different. And if Laurie laughed or teased, James didn’t think he’d cope.

“That’s brilliant,” Laurie said, though, his expression genuinely delighted. “It sounds like you’ve found what’s right for you, and there’s nothing like that feeling. Trust me, I know.”

Al ruffled James’s hair. “See, it turns out you’re not a weirdo. You’re talented. Bastard,” he added, laughing.

James was grateful for Al’s interjection. It stopped the conversation getting too heavy. Talking with Laurie like this, after realising just how he felt about him…it was almost too much, in some ways.

“I wish,” he said instead. “Just obsessed.”

“Obsession got me a long way,” Laurie assured him, looking around the garden with an expression of affection on his face. “My obsession with Lord of the Rings, for example, found me my best friend—and her family,” he added, smiling at James, “and now my PhD. Don’t knock obsession.”

“I’ll bear it in mind,” James said, smiling back. “Speaking of which, how’s the thesis going?”

Laurie sighed. “Well, it’s going. I just had my last chapter ripped to shreds by my supervisor, but that’s pretty much always the way. Apparently, this time, I’ve put in too many examples. Last chapter, it wasn’t enough.”

“Still searching for the pleased psychic?” James teased.

It was a long-time joke between them: at twelve, hearing the phrase “happy medium” for the first time, James had been merely bewildered, his mind quite seriously running on the idea of the paranormal. Laurie had patiently explained and had the courtesy not even to crack a smile as he did so, though they’d all laughed about it since—and the alternative term had become a standing gag.

Laurie laughed. “Apparently so. The annoying thing is my supervisor is always right. I went away and looked back through what I’d written, and every third line was an example. But still. On the plus side, I’ve had an article accepted by a journal this week.”

“Really?” Gillie, who had wandered back to the table whilst James and Laurie chatted, settled herself comfortably in a chair and leaned across. “Which one? That’s fabulous!”

Gillie was an academic herself, lecturing in English Literature, with a special interest in fantasy and science fiction, hence the shared love of the Lord of the Rings in both book and film version. The conversation got a bit technical for a while; James tuned out as phrases such as ‘peer reviewed’ and ‘on the e-library catalogue’ got thrown about. He concentrated instead on his guitar. He was writing a piece for his GCSE composition, and there were a few bars he wasn’t happy about.

Once he settled down to music, he was lost to the world and barely noticed as Al wandered off, only registering when Al shouted, “Oh, hey, there’s a bird stuck in the netting here.”

“What?” demanded Terry, fired to interest as James put down his guitar to look over towards where Al was standing. “Are they after my brassicas again? I knew I was right to put those nets up.”

“Its wing’s all caught up, poor thing,” Al said, trying to get closer to it and making the bird flap more wildly.

“Serve it right,” said Terry firmly. Easy-going about most things, James’s dad was undeniably overprotective when it came to his vegetables.

Laurie got to his feet and cast a laughing glance at Terry. “Probably so, but we can’t just leave it there. Here, Al, move back a bit. I’ll have a go.”

“You?” Al looked at him doubtfully. “Aren’t you a bit…big?”

Laurie stood a couple of inches over six feet and was broad-shouldered with it. Compared to Al, who was a skinny five foot six and impatiently hoping for a growth spurt which showed no sign of coming, he was definitely sizeable. And, James thought wistfully, bloody gorgeous, with his muscular physique and lazy, lopsided smile.

“Oh ye of little faith,” Laurie said genially.

James watched as Laurie went carefully and quietly over to the bird, murmuring to it in an undertone. It still flapped and tried to escape, but not as manically as it had done for Al. Laurie caught it up in big gentle hands, stilling its movements with ease with one hand as he untangled the netting with the other one. It was less than a minute until he had freed the bird, which looked dazed and scurried into the undergrowth, leaving a couple of fawn-coloured feathers behind it.

“Collared dove,” Terry said. “They’re the worst. Still, I suppose you’re right. Couldn’t have left the little bugger there. Thanks, Laurie.”

Gillie went over and gave Laurie a kiss. “My hero,” she said. “Well done.”

Laurie turned to Al. “Too big?” he asked, raising an eyebrow.

Al threw his arms up in a dramatic display of defeat. “I admit it. I was wrong. Apparently not too big at all. Having enormous hands is a great thing for rescuing small fragile creatures. Who’d have thought?”

Only James said nothing. He hated the way it had made him feel, watching Laurie concentrate so carefully on the bird. All fluttery inside, like a girl or something. Wondering what it might feel like if Laurie put those hands against him. He blinked and looked away, back at his guitar, back at anything else, and the moment passed. It didn’t help him get over his crush on Laurie, though—anything but.

Still, in retrospect, that had been the best afternoon of the entire year when it came to Laurie. Most of the other occasions on which he visited, he did indeed bring Kieran. James reluctantly had to admit to himself that there was nothing intrinsically wrong with the other man except the sin that he was Laurie’s boyfriend, and James was insanely jealous.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the Author

P.A. Friday fails dismally to write one sort of thing and, when not writing erotica and erotic romance of all sexualities, may be found writing articles on the Regency period, pagan poetry, or science fiction. She loves wine and red peppers, and loathes coffee and mushrooms.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

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COVER REVEAL! Hipster Brothel by K.A. Merikan

Title:  Hipster Brothel

Author: K.A. Merikan

Publisher:  Acerbi&Villani ltd.

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Release Date:  24th of January 2017

Heat Level: 3

Pairing: M/M

Length: 50,000 words

Genre/Tags: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, M/M Romance, Hipsters, sex work, friends to lovers, bisexuality, post-break up issues, coming out, first time, alternative lifestyles, lumbersexual bear, commitment

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Synopsis

— The lumberjack of his dreams is now available for rent. —

Mr. B has always been a safe guy for Jo to crush on. He’s the cutest bearded lumber-god to salivate over. Add to that his friendly, outgoing personality, and Mr. B might just be the first guy Jo would be willing to kiss. Fortunately, Mr. B has been in a relationship for years, and Jo is no home-wrecker.

But when Mr. B breaks up with his partner and all of a sudden is single, available, and talks about his plans to be sexually adventurous, Jo isn’t so sure anymore if he has the guts to come out as bisexual.

After a sour breakup, Mr. B wants to show his ex that he’s independent, exciting, and can do very well without him. His best friend Jo is there to the rescue, and they come up with a great new business venture. One thing they lack to start their own line of artisanal boozy jams – money for the investment.

After a drunken brainstorming session, Mr. B finds a way to both gather the cash and show the middle finger to his ex. He will create a one of a kind Hipster Brothel – The Lumbersexual Experience – offering wood chopping lessons, pipe smoking, and a reclaimed wood bed where the magic would happen. It’s bound to be a success… if only Mr. B can go through with it, because the mixed signals from Jo are making him wonder if his best friend is as straight as he always seemed.

WARNING: Explicit content, strong language. A shameless amount of buzzwords. May cause second-hand embarrassment.

Meet the Author

K.A. Merikan is the pen name for Kat and Agnes Merikan, a team of writers, who are mistaken for sisters with surprising regularity. Kat’s the mean sergeant and survival specialist of the duo, never hesitating to kick Agnes’s ass when she’s slacking off. Her memory works like an easy-access catalogue, which allows her to keep up with both book details and social media. Also works as the emergency GPS. Agnes is the Merikan nitpicker, usually found busy with formatting and research. Her attention tends to be scattered, and despite being over thirty, she needs to apply makeup to buy alcohol. Self-proclaimed queen of the roads.

They love the weird and wonderful, stepping out of the box, and bending stereotypes both in life and books. When you pick up a Merikan book, there’s one thing you can be sure of – it will be full of surprises.

e-mail: kamerikan@gmail.com

More information about ongoing projects, works in progress and publishing at:

K.A. Merikan’s author page: http://kamerikan.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KAMerikan

Twitter (run by Kat): https://twitter.com/KA_Merikan

Agnes Merikan’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/AgnesMerikan

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6150530.K_A_Merikan

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/KAMerikan/

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Christmas Reading #mmromance #gayromance

Are you looking for a holiday story?

Get into the festive spirit with my Christmas story from last year. Experience an Aussie Christmas in the bush as a group of friends go away to enjoy the Christmas break together.

Blurb:  The Proof is in the Pudding

TheProofIsInthePudding_432Steve never expected making a Christmas pudding would bring him the man of his dreams.

Steve Hayes is away with a group of friends who are spending the Christmas break together. He’s determined to put his two-timing ex-boyfriend in the past, and enjoy his week away. Steve is happily surprised to find that Corey Oh, the guy he’s been admiring from afar, has been invited along too. But Steve knows there’s no way someone as wonderful as Corey, who could have any man he wanted, would be interested in him.

However, thanks to a misadventure with a Christmas pudding, Steve will find that dreams can come true.

Buy Links

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon AU

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“I thoroughly enjoyed this short sweet Christmas tale of finding love at Christmas! If you want a quick feel good holiday story, then this is the book for you.” 5 stars from Kylee at Bike Book Reviews

“I found The Proof Is In The Pudding, a totally engaging, heart warming Christmas story. Oh, and as for the heat factor – it wasn’t just the Aussie sun that made me break out my fan.” 4.5 stars from Freya at Sinfully Gay Romance Book Reviews

Happy reading,

Nic ❤

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NIC STARR: More Than a Friend

Tomorrow, 7th October is the release day for More Than A Friend. This is the second book in the More Than series, and follows More Than a Superstar.

More Than series (1)

I loved writing this story. There was something special about these guys that called to me when Tim and Scott appeared in the first book.  There was no question that they’d be the next couple in the series to get their happy ending. 🙂

The story focuses on Scott and Tim, building a relationship together, with the added challenge of the impact on their friend/family dynamic with Paul.

Here’s the blurb…

Tim Walker is a free man. He’s broken up with his girlfriend and is ready to move on to a new relationship. But the relationship he wants to pursue is fraught with challenges. Firstly, Scott Richardson is a man, and only Tim’s closest friends know Tim’s bisexual. Secondly, everyone knows Scott relishes the single life. And then there’s the big one: Scott is the younger brother of Tim’s best friend, Paul.

Scott can’t deny an attraction to his brother’s friend Tim. Lean, dark blond, and blue-eyed, Tim is hot and hard not to notice—especially since Scott and Tim work together. Too bad the man is straight, and too bad Scott worries how Paul will react if Scott hooks up with his best friend.

Tim and Scott want to see if there’s a chance for more than friendship between them, but neither of them wants to lose Paul. Together, they must find the courage to follow their hearts and find a way to have it all.

More Than a Friend touches on a couple of areas. Firstly, Tim is bisexual, but few people know of this because his most recent relationship has been with a women. Secondly, Scott hasn’t been interested in a relationship so his desire to date is a surprise. And finally, Tim is best friends with Scott’s brother, Paul. These guys have a bit to contend with on their road to happiness. Renae Kaye interviewed me for her blog, and asked a lot of questions about the book’s themes. Click here to see the interview if you’re interested.

I do hope you enjoy the story.

Happy reading,

Nic xx

Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon AU

All Romance eBooks

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★★★★ Never The Perfect Moment by K-Lee Klein ★★★★

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Never The Perfect Moment

by

K-Lee Klein

Publisher: Amber Allure

 

The blurb

Bryan Monroe has always catalogued his life in terms of moments—right moments, wrong moments, perfect moments. But when his best friend and partner on the police force, Chrys Delos, is shot in a raid gone bad, it’s one of the worst moments of Bryan’s life.

Bryan’s been secretly in love with Chrys for years, and the shooting is a wake-up call that it might be time to tell Chrys the truth. The problem is, Bryan’s never been with a man before, so in addition to worrying about Chrys’ injuries, he’s an indecisive wreck over the future.

But with the help of two unlikely matchmakers, Bryan knows it’s time to find the courage, and the perfect moment, to tell Chrys exactly how he feels…

Our thoughts

4 stars

This is a great little short to get you out of a book slump.  Two cops. Best friends. One gay.  One straight.  As a ‘gay for you’ read it felt quite real.  We start the book where Bryan admits he has feelings for his best friend and cop partner Chrys, so we don’t go through the whole ‘coming to terms’ with it drama.  I loved the angle of this story – when is the perfect moment for Bryan to tell Chrys he loves him?  He desperately needs to tell Chrys how he feels but it’s never the right time.  When Chrys is shot in the shoulder and is recuperating at home, Bryan doesn’t tell him.  He kisses him instead.  Perfect moment.

“I’d have a lot of regrets.  Just because I haven’t been with a man before doesn’t mean I can’t be.  Do you want to know what I was thinking about earlier, you know, when you kissed me?”

“Hopefully kissing me again?”

Bryan moaned as he remembered.  “Throwing you against the wall.  Kissing you until you couldn’t breathe.”

 

Grab a cuppa and enjoy a lovely, full of emotion short read.

Robyn x 

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BLOG TOUR with Guest Post and Excerpt: Better Than Friends by Lane Hayes

 

Today we are pleased to welcome Lane Hayes, to share with us about her new book, Better Than Friends.  Book 3 in the ‘Better Than’ series.

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Better Than Friends

by Lane Hayes

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press

Friends to lovers. Opposites attract. Or good old fashioned sexual tension fueled by inexplicable attraction and a game of baseball in the background. Take your pick. Better Than Friends is a bit of all three. Curt is an uptight lawyer with a penchant for timeliness. When he meets Jack at a mutual friends’ wedding, he knows instinctively the man is way out of his league. Jack is simply too…cool. First of all, he drop dead gorgeous, he’s older than Curt and he’s a successful owner of two businesses. When he finds out the man also rides a Harley and has more than a couple tattoos, Curt knows he was correct to assume they’d have zero in common. Until they find out they share a passion for baseball. Armed with this unexpected common interest, a tentative friendship forms and so does the realization their mutual attraction isn’t going away anytime soon.

I’m a huge fan of friends to lovers books. If the chemistry is right, the story strikes a chord and makes complete sense to me as a reader. After all, true friends have the ability to set aside differences and appreciate a viewpoint they don’t always understand. In my opinion, it’s a perfect foundation for a pair of unlikely lovers. However, Curt and Jack’s story isn’t just about falling for a friend. It’s about what the bond of friendship brings out in each man. Compassion and a shoulder to lean on when times get tough. Neither man can deny respect, affection and esteem go very well with sizzling physical attraction.

Better Than Friends is the third in the Better Than Stories series. Those who’ve read Better Than Good will recognize Curt and those who’ve read Better Than Chance may remember Jack’s brief appearance. However, don’t be alarmed if you haven’t gotten to the others yet. You won’t be confused in the slightest. Each book is a true standalone. Hopefully your curiosity will be peaked and you’ll want to meet the guys from the other books too! J

Thank you for having me here today, Nic!

Happy Reading!

Lane Hayes xo

 

The Blurb…

When Curt Townsend, a successful young DC lawyer, attends his first gay wedding, he doesn’t expect anything more than a great evening out spent celebrating two lucky guys willing to commit to one another. He certainly doesn’t anticipate meeting someone like Jack Farinelli. Fourteen years Curt’s senior, Jack owns two businesses: a gay bar and a motorcycle shop. He’s gorgeous and self-assured, but Curt is positive they have nothing in common.

Jack is comfortable in his own skin. He’s attracted to Curt’s quick wit and easy manner but most of all, to their unexpected mutual love of baseball. As they forge a friendship based on their shared enthusiasm for the sport, they begin a journey which reveals how their differences might be the catalyst behind a growing attraction. Both men have experienced their share of pain, but they realize they need to set aside the past and learn to trust in a future if they are to have one together.

 

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Excerpt…

“You have to be kidding. You’re telling me you can take one look at someone and based on what they’re wearing, you know how they like it in the bedroom?” His expression now was incredulous.

“Didn’t you suggest the same thing when you made fun of my khakis?” I countered. The lawyer in me loved the chagrined expression on his face. Score one for the defense.

“Fine. You’re right. I did and I apologize. For all I know you might have a sex swing in your bedroom and a hankering for getting tied up. With or without your khakis on.”

“Ha fucking ha.”

Jack chuckled and nudged me playfully in the side. “I’m just messin’ with you. I’m sorry I laughed.” He choked and muttered “not really” loud enough for me to know he was still teasing me but I let it slide.

“Enlighten me. I don’t understand why anyone would want to wear leather. It’s sweaty and uncomfortable.”

“To each his own. This isn’t a sex club or sex bar though and if you look closely, you’ll see that not everyone is wearing leather nor are they all gym rats. See…” Jack pointed to a group of skinny guys dressed in jeans standing around a pool table. “…and not that I paid too much attention, but the guys behind us with their tongues down each other’s throats aren’t wearing leather either. I think, my friend, it is safe to suggest you walked in here with pre-conceived notions. What else do you think you know?”

I studied Jack’s strong handsome profile for a moment deciding to ignore his question, though his observation about my pre-conceived notions was astute.

“How did you come to own a “leather bar” anyway?”

“That was cute.”

“What?”

“That little air quote thing you just did.”

“Cute? Whatever. Answer my question. Or is it personal?” It occurred to me that I felt oddly comfortable in Jack’s company and was probably guilty of being a touch overly familiar.

“No, it’s not personal. I worked as a bartender fresh out of high school. I was green as could be but I looked a mite older than I was. Either that or they were desperate, come to think of it. One week I was moppin’ the floor and the next I was mixin’ cocktails. They were pure shit at first so I studied up till I was decent at it and became the best damn barman around. That first bar I worked at was a true hole in the wall catering to motorcycle men. Gay ones. It was my eighteen year old self’s personal idea of heaven. I was hooked.”

“When did you buy this place?”

“I guess it was about four years ago now. I was co-owner at another club before this one and when everyone wanted to sell, I took my part of the profit and bought this place. That last place was called the Level. You heard of it?”

Who hadn’t? It had been a very hip club in the Dupont area. One of those uber bars where there was so much stimuli between the bar, restaurant and club that you never felt the need to move on. I nodded briefly and Jack smiled slightly. “Huh, I wonder if I ever saw you there.”

“Could have. I liked that place. Why did your partners want to sell? That place was popular.”

“Yeah. I was bummed about it at first. I thought about just trying to buy Peter out but…”

“Peter? Like Jay and Peter? That Peter?”

“Yeah, that Peter.” Jack raised his eyebrows at my tone. I sounded a little too inquisitive but I couldn’t help it. I was strangely interested about what type of relationship he and the equally god-like beautiful Peter had had. They were both stunning masculine specimen. No doubt they had made a gorgeous couple when they were together.

“You were together for a while, right?” I prodded.

“You mean like… “we dated”?” Jack teased using air quotes for good measure.

“Well…”

“Yeah, Curt. We dated. But basically the truth of the matter is that we really didn’t do much of the dinner sort of dating you and the accountant did earlier. We mostly just fucked.”

I knew Jack was being purposefully provocative, and it was working. I should have been disgusted or maybe irritated by his manner, instead I was really fucking turned on. His use of the word “fuck” sounded like the deed itself. I could feel my cock swell again and I glad I wasn’t wearing tight jeans like I normally would at a bar. I swallowed hard and turned to face Jack straight on. The wicked look was back, his blue eyes blazing with decadent challenge. I felt a very strong pull. This man was all kinds of trouble.

 

Keep an eye out for our review to come soon!

 

BTF

 

Author Bio…

Lane Hayes is a designer by trade, but is spending more time these days doing what she loves best. Writing! An avid reader from an early age, Lane has always been drawn to romance novels. She truly believes there is nothing more inspiring than a well-told love story with beautifully written characters. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her first novel was a finalist in the 2013 Rainbow Awards. She loves travel, chocolate, and wine (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband, three teenage kids, and Rex, the coolest yellow lab ever.

Contact Lane Hayes via these links:

Blog:  www.lanehayes.wordpress.com

Twitter:  LaneHayes3

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/Lane_Hayes

Email: lanehayes@ymail.com

 

Buy Links…

Amazon

 

 

 

Dreamspinner Press

 

 

 

add-to-goodreads-button

 

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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

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Windfall by Amanda Young

WindfallWindfall by Amanda Young

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Landon and Daniel have been best friends since grade school. Through thick and thin, they’ve always been able to rely on each other. So it only seems natural for Landon to step in and offer assistance when Daniel has a run of bad luck.

Moving in together and splitting the bills seems like a simple solution to Daniel’s financial problems. However, sharing close quarters makes it difficult to keep less than platonic feelings on the down low.

The line between friends and lovers blurs during a late night moment of weakness fueled by alcohol, leaving both men on uneven ground. Just when they think they have things worked out and might have a shot at something more than friendship, a sudden, shared windfall provokes all new complications that could end more than the new physical side of their relationship.

So what did I think?

“I have been happier in the past week than I ever imagined possible and it doesn’t have a damn thing to do with the money. You’re the real prize, The lottery was just a bonus.”

Windfall is a feel-good story, a pleasant escape into a world where it is possible to win the lottery and also get the man of your dreams at the same time!

I got this book as a freebie from All Romance eBooks but at the time of writing this review it is no longer on sale. However at only a couple of dollars, it’s still not bad value for a sweet friends-to-lovers story. Daniel and Landon have been friends for a long time and Landon secretly loves Daniel. When circumstances bring them together, Landon moving in to help Daniel get through a rough patch, Daniel starts to realise he has feelings too. These guys are pretty hot together and there’s a little bit of drama thrown in too.

I really enjoy a friends-to-lovers story so a nice way to spend an hour or so!

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To find out more about Amanda Young and her books visit her website.

Buy Windfall from Amazon.

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★★★★★ Shock & Awe by Abigail Roux

The Sidewinder series:

  • Shock & Awe (book #1)
  • Bait & Switch (included with book #1)

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Shock & Awe (Sidewinder, #1)Shock & Awe by Abigail Roux

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

After barely surviving a shootout in New Orleans, Sidewinder medic Kelly Abbott has to suffer through a month of recovery before he can return home to Colorado. He’s not surprised when fellow Sidewinder Nick O’Flaherty stays with him in New Orleans. Nor is he surprised when Nick travels home with him to help him get back on his feet—after all, years on the same Marine Force Recon team bonded the men in ways that only bleeding for a brother can. He’s very surprised, though, when Nick humors his moment of curiosity and kisses him.

Nick knows all of Kelly’s quirks and caprices, so the kiss was a low-risk move on his part . . . or so he thought. But what should’ve been a simple moment unleashes a flood of confusing emotions and urges that neither man is prepared to address.

Now, Kelly and Nick must figure out what they mean to each other—friends and brothers in arms, or something even deeper?—before the past can come back to ruin their tenuous future.

So what did I think?

“We know each other better already than we could ever hope to know anyone else. Our pasts, our hopes and fears, all our secrets. We’ve already shared all of that. We know we’re compatible…”

Why should you read this book?

1. It has Nick

2. It has Kelly

3. It has Nick AND Kelly – together!

4. The sex is sizzling – “Come for me,” Nick whispered. “Scream my fucking name.”

5. We get a little glimpse of Ty & Zane and Ty’s mission

The downside? It’s too short! Book #2 now please Abi!

Note: The eBook copy I read contains Shock & Awe plus the short story, Bait & Switch which kicks in around the 75% mark.

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To find out more about Abigail Roux and her books visit her website.

Buy Shock & Awe from Riptide Publishing.

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The Oasis by A.J. Llewellyn

The Palm Springs Diaries series:

  • The Oasis (book #1) – in this review
  • The Haven (book #2)

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The Oasis (Palm Springs Diaries, #1)The Oasis by A.J. Llewellyn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Elias and his best friend/roommate Josh take the plunge and head to Palm Springs for one of the notorious gay circuit parties that take place in the lavish desert resort called The Oasis on holiday weekends. After a disastrous start, they find all the sex with all the hot bodies they could want. However, they find to their surprise that the real oasis… was right under their noses all along. Elias and Josh realize there is something else between them. Could their real oasis be… each other?

So what did I think?

This is one of those books where I’ve had a hard time actually deciding how much I really liked it. Yes I did enjoy it, yes I would recommend it as a quick enjoyable read, but I don’t think I’d rave about it.

There were some elements that were great – some humour and a light-hearted touch plus the inclusion of Elias’ son Julio (I love stories of men who love their children and place their happiness above all else).

But the story felt a bit disjointed. Elias and Josh are best friends and roommates and this is a friends-to-lovers story with a lot of other stuff happening. The story jumps from the men planning a weekend away, discussion about Elias’ struggles with work and pleasing his father, long scenes at Josh’s work where he films gay porn, a trip to a resort for basically a huge sex party, worry about Elias’ weight and his obsession with pie, bumping into Elias’ ex, the leather scene, custody issues regarding Elias’ son, Josh and Elias falling in love, work troubles and run ins with the police for Josh……it’s almost too much to cram in to a book of this length!

And did I mention the sex? Sex at the porn studio, sex at the resort, sex in their apartment – sex with so many people it was a little like watching porn – and most of them were porn stars! I enjoyed the sex between Elias and Josh but not so much the sex with the others, except for when jealousy started to rear its head giving some indication of the feelings between the men.

However, overall I did enjoy the story and read it in one sitting and will read the sequel The Haven.

On a final note, I did find the cover slightly misleading. It shows three gorgeous men and I fully expected a story between the lead characters and a significant third. This was more like sex with a lot of other men although I believe that one of these will make an appearance in the next book. I should have paid more attention to the blurb so as to not have been influenced by the cover!

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To find about more about A.J. Llewellyn and his books visit his website.

Buy The Oasis from Amazon.