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BLOG TOUR, EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT AND GIVEAWAY! Operation Better Tomorrow by Brandi Evans

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Title: Operation Better Tomorrow
Author: Brandi Evans
Release Date: November 29th 2016
Publisher: Loose ID
Genre: MM Romance

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BLURB

The interview of a lifetime.

When Aaron Strickland’s assigned to write a feature article on Caleb Douglas, the first openly gay soldier to receive the Medal of Honor, he’s over-the-moon. Meet a sexy, real-life hero? Yes, please. And in the weeks leading up to their interview, the former soldier becomes a recurring player in Aaron’s fantasies.

A man Caleb can’t forget.

Years earlier, lost in the throes of depression and PTSD after an ambush left his body and soul scarred, Caleb was on the brink of giving up when a magazine article changed his life forever—an article written by Aaron. Emerging from the depths of his pain, Operation Better Tomorrow—part homestead, part halfway house for those down on their luck—was born.

Tragedy lurking on the horizon.

As the days pass, Caleb and Aaron’s tragic pasts bind them in ways they aren’t prepared for, but it also leaves them vulnerable. Pushing forward means breaking down walls they’ve built to protect themselves, and just as they’re poised on the precipice of happiness, a darkness descends on the homestead, a hatred that will leave one man clinging to life and the other willing to risk everything to save him.

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EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT

“Have you ever given head in a public place?” Aaron asked as he relaxed back into Caleb’s arms.

After the party had wrapped up, Aaron had invited Tyler and Dean back to the cabin, and Caleb had graciously agreed to the impromptu visit. Aaron should’ve asked his lover first. This wasn’t his cabin, after all, no matter how at-home he felt, but he’d thought having an old friend here would be good for Caleb, especially after the emotional bombshell Brian and Bethany had dropped on him. A night of emotional oblivion with good friends and good wine was exactly what his lover needed. Besides, Dean and Tyler were a hoot.

Tyler reminded Aaron a bit of Leo. Insanely handsome and suave. Not that he compared to Caleb. No one did.

Aaron waited for Dean to answer. They’d started their evening inside, but after Dean and Tyler had put their daughter to bed, the quartet had ventured to God’s Ice Cream Scoop and a civil conversation about adopting their daughter had somehow devolved into a sexually-charged game of “Have You Ever…?”

Dean glanced at his husband, a baby monitor blinking red between them, and his lips trembled as if trying to fight a smile. “No, never given head.”

Caleb chuckled, shaking Aaron as he did. “I guess we know what Tyler’s answer will be.”

“Guilty as charged,” Tyler said, lips curling upward. “But in my defense, Dean had just returned home from his first deployment—well, his first deployment since we’d gotten back together—and I’d missed the holy fuck outta him. When he got off that plane dressed in his ACUs, I lost my mind. I hadn’t seen him in a year, at least in the flesh, and I had to have him right then, right there.”

“Luckily,” Dean said, “we found an unlocked janitorial closet and—”

“And I had my way with him.”

Dean draped an arm around his husband. “He was an animal. To this day, I still get hard every time I smell any pine-scented cleaner.”

“Why do you think I keep the house so clean, babe?”

Oh yeah, Aaron liked the hell out of these guys. Seeing them together gave him hope that happily-ever-afters actually existed.

He laced his fingers with Caleb’s and tugged his lover’s arms in a manner that tightened his embrace. Aaron wanted what Dean and Tyler had. Since Stephen had died, he’d never considered himself a forever kind of guy. He was thirty-one years old, and he’d never had anything even remotely resembling a long-term relationship. Even with Leo. But with Caleb, he’d never wanted forever more.

“Okay, okay, it’s my turn,” Dean said. They’d taken turns asking questions, each round getting increasingly more inappropriate, which made the game so damn fun. “Have you ever—”

The walkie at Caleb’s hip squeaked, and Mama’s frantic voice boomed through the speaker. “Caleb, get up here now. The House’s on fire.”

What!

All four men jumped to their feet, Caleb grabbing the walkie, and they ran toward the cabin. “What happened?” Caleb snapped.

“Someone threw a fucking Molotov cocktail through the goddamn window.” Aubrey was usually so laid-back, so hearing the fear in her voice underscored just how bad this was.

Caleb and Aaron exchanged glances. “Gary,” they said in unison.

 

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Samples of the book can be downloaded here:

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*****GIVEAWAY: Win an Amazon Kindle!!!!*****

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About the Author

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Brandi Evans was raised by a caravan of traveling Gypsies. She spent her days learning the ways of her people and her nights lost in legends as old as time. Okay, not really, but that’s way more interesting than the truth!

In reality, Brandi grew up the oldest child of an ordinary family. Grade school, middle school, high school. Nothing extraordinary happened until she left the nest. She joined the military, went to college, got married, and became a mom. And somewhere along the way, she discovered she liked to read—and write!—stories hot enough to melt eReaders.

These days, she calls The Natural State home where she lives with her hubby, two beautiful daughters, two dogs and a cat who has yet to realize she doesn’t own the place. Soldier. Wife. Mom. Multi-published smut writer. Brandi’s life might not be “traveling Gypsy” interesting, but she’s had fun. And in the end, isn’t that all that really matters?

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

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EXCERPT: Save Me by Penny Brandon

Our lovely friend Penny Brandon has a new book out. From the blurb and the excerpt, the story sounds really interesting and something just a little bit different. Voodoo dolls!

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Blurb

From the first moment Steve sees Nathan, he knows he’s in trouble. First, Nathan looked just like the doll he’d found on his bed, and second, Steve couldn’t stop thinking how it would feel having Nathan in his arms and under his body. He’s never desired anyone so strongly before, and he’s reluctant to show it, but then Nathan gives him something he hadn’t been conscious of wanting. Stunned, he craves more, but starts to worry what he feels might not be real.

Alone and vulnerable after being dumped by his ex, Nathan longs for the security of being in a relationship. With no money, no job, and now a Voodoo Doll out to kill him, Nathan doesn’t think things could get any worse, but then he starts falling for Steve. Problem is, it doesn’t look like Steve feels the same way. Even after Steve finally lets Nathan in, Steve unexpectedly withdraws, refusing to explain why.

Unable to cope with another rejection, Nathan succumbs to the evil of the doll. Steve realizes he needs to own up to his feelings, but are they enough to save Nathan?

Excerpt

Nathan wondered if he’d made a mistake coming around. The guy who’d opened the door looked like some lunatic. His eyes were wide and feverish, his hands were covered in blood, and the way he stared at Nathan like he was some vision of the dead was not really how Nathan had expected to be greeted when he’d rushed over to help.

As soon as he heard the banging and screaming, Nathan thought the guy was being murdered or something. Nathan had been about to call the cops when the banging and screaming had stopped. Not sure if he should still call them, Nathan had decided to find out what was going on first. He wasn’t really fond of the cops, not since they’d failed to help him when he’d been robbed a few weeks ago. Granted, this was different, but calling triple zero when it wasn’t an emergency could get him fined, and Nathan couldn’t afford a fine. He also couldn’t ignore the fact his neighbor was in some sort of trouble. Mercifully, being murdered wasn’t it, but the man was definitely injured.

“Are you all right?” Nathan asked again, eyeing the blood covering both the guy’s hands and face, and trying to figure out where it originated.

“Something’s wrong.” The slightly wild look in his next-door neighbor’s dark brown eyes told Nathan as much, but he still wasn’t sure what.

“Are you hurt?” He took another step over the threshold. This time the guy didn’t try to stop him. From where Nathan now stood, he could see the blood was coming from cuts in the guy’s hands, and the blood on his face was from secondary contact. “How did you cut yourself?”

“I didn’t. I mean… Did you put the doll on my bed?”

Confused and a little wary, Nathan shook his head. He had no idea what the crazy man was going on about, but it was obvious he needed some help.

“It looked just like you.”

“Pardon?” Totally confused now, Nathan thought about scarpering back to his own place. Maybe trying to be the Good Samaritan hadn’t been the right move.

“The doll. It…”

Nathan worried his neighbor was going to have a breakdown. The man looked really scared, terrified actually, but then he frowned.

“Who are you?” he asked.

For a few moments, Nathan didn’t know if he should answer—if it was actually safe to do so—but then decided he couldn’t be rude. “Nathan Davis. I live next door.”

“Of course you do. My day just couldn’t get any better, could it?” Though the words sounded sarcastic, the tone his neighbor used wasn’t. He sounded tired, resigned, beaten. He stared at Nathan, his face showing all the signs of fatigue. “You honestly don’t know anything about the doll?”

“No, I don’t. I heard you pounding on the wall, and I thought you might be calling for help or something.”

“I didn’t imagine it. There was a doll.” Every word the guy muttered sounded like he was talking to himself. He stopped staring at Nathan and started glancing around his apartment as if he was searching for something.

Nathan surreptitiously took a look around the apartment as well. It was nicely furnished, which had Nathan quirking up his lips a little. Then again, any furniture would have seemed nice to him, considering he didn’t have any. The large couch was a sectional, which looked comfortable. There was a low timber coffee table, a couple of lamp tables, but what impressed Nathan the most was the entertainment center that fully covered one wall. It held books and DVDs, CDs, and a few pictures, but best of all was the large flat-screen television. Eyeing it with more than a little envy, Nathan sighed. The sound brought a dark brown gaze arrowing back on him again.

Nathan hadn’t really taken a proper look at his neighbor when he’d opened the door, but he did so now. He’d never spotted the guy around the building but knew he’d moved in about six months ago. He was around the same height as Nathan, maybe an inch taller, but he was a lot heavier. Nathan wouldn’t have called his neighbor fat or even overweight because his broad shoulders did taper to narrow hips, but there was just a little extra meat around his middle. His hair was a dark chestnut-brown, cut short, and not really all that stylish, but it looked soft, and his face was, well…pleasant. His best feature though was his mouth, luscious and full and perfectly kissable. Nathan also would have said his neighbor had nice eyes, except for the way he was looking at him.

“Do you need any help? Because if you’re okay…?” Nathan took a step back toward the door, finally deciding it might be prudent to not get involved.

“Why did it look like you?”

Definitely time to go. Nathan smiled, though it was all for show. “If you’re okay then,” he said, taking another step backward.

“No. Don’t go. I should say sorry. My name’s Steve. Steve Forbes. I live here.”

Nathan knew he’d never had such a stilted or baffling conversation before. He’d never felt so uncomfortable before either. He generally got on well with people, even strangers. Everyone said he made them feel at ease. This guy, however, looked anything but. He was still strung-out tighter than—well, every cliché Nathan could think of—and it actually made him start to worry about his own safety.

“Well, nice to meet you, Steve, but you don’t have to say sorry. I was just being neighborly. So…” Nathan pointed over his shoulder, indicating the open door, basically telling the guy he was leaving.

“The banging. It was wrong of me. I promise I won’t do it again. It was the music. It was driving me nuts, but it wasn’t just that. When I heard the voice I just snapped.” Steve’s eyes suddenly narrowed. “It said, ‘stop him.’”

“Stop who?”

“I assume you.”

Okay, this was getting more than weird. Ignoring the part where Steve had said he’d heard a voice because, well, how did you react to that? Nathan tipped his head to the side. “Stop me from doing what?”

“Playing the music.”

Music? “You mean the tape?”

“It blares through the walls, and you play it over and over again. Every night.” Steve didn’t sound like he was complaining, more like he was justifying his actions.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t realize you’d be able to hear it.” Nathan frowned, really surprised the song he’d been playing could be heard by Steve in his apartment. It wasn’t like he played it loud or anything, and he thought the walls had good insulation. “I won’t play it anymore if it annoyed you that much. But why didn’t you say anything? You could have asked me to turn it down or turn it off.”

Steve suddenly looked abashed as if it never occurred for him to do so, or maybe he’d been afraid to confront Nathan about it.

“I really wish you’d said something. I feel pretty bad about disturbing you.” Nathan felt a need to apologize again, just in case Steve decided banging on the wall hadn’t been enough.

Steve nodded. “I shouldn’t have lost my temper like that. I honestly don’t know what came over me. It just seemed like I…” He ran his fingers through his hair, grimacing as he noticed the blood still covering his hand.

“It’s okay. Really.” Nathan gripped the frame of the door as he backed into the hallway. “Sorry,” he said again but decided that was the last time. If Steve didn’t have the guts to tell him to stop before now… Well, that was Steve’s fault.

Nathan left the door open and headed back to his apartment. As he did, he thought he saw a shadow dart across the wall. He stopped and searched the floor. A few months back, the building had suffered problems with rats, but he’d been told they’d all been eradicated. Wondering if one or two of them had survived or if there was a new infestation, Nathan checked along the baseboard to see if there had been recent signs of activity. Seeing none, he nevertheless decided to notify the building caretaker, just in case. He shivered. He hated rats.

Once safely ensconced within his own place, Nathan thought back to Steve. The man had obviously been very stressed, and Nathan truly regretted causing Steve’s breakdown or whatever it was, but a doll? What was that about?

Nathan wouldn’t have said Steve was a recluse, because he heard his door close occasionally, but Steve never used any of the building’s facilities like the gym or the pool. If he did, Nathan had never seen him, and none of the other tenants had mentioned seeing him either. It could mean Steve was simply antisocial, but what about the doll he claimed looked like Nathan? There was something wrong with that. Seriously wrong.

He checked his door again to make sure it was locked. He never usually bothered because it wasn’t as if there was anything in his apartment to steal. All he had was a mattress, his sleeping bag, a few clothes, and the tape player. Right now the little handheld machine was sitting on the floor in his living room. It was where Rob had left it, and that was where it had stayed.

Ignoring the living room, Nathan continued to his bedroom. That was where he spent most of his time, since that was where all his possessions lay. Rob leaving had been a shock, but on reflection his stripping the apartment down to the bare walls was something Nathan should have expected. He wouldn’t have said Rob was vindictive, but recently there had been times when Rob had shown levels of being overassertive. Even so, Nathan had no idea Rob had been unhappy or that he’d wanted to break up. That loss, however, was tempered by Rob taking everything with him, even the things belonging to Nathan. So instead of Nathan being devastated when he’d come home, he’d been pissed.

The cops had done nothing, and Nathan had suspected it was because he’d told them Rob had been his boyfriend and not just a flatmate, but Nathan had never hidden he was gay, and he certainly wasn’t going to start. So he’d been left with nothing and was forced to buy a mattress, a sleeping bag, and essential clothing, since that was all he could afford. The rest of his money he used for rent and food. He didn’t even have electricity, relying on a battery-powered torch for light.

Throwing himself onto his “bed,” Nathan sighed. The past month his life had been a struggle—still was—but he’d managed to keep himself afloat. Next week he was supposed to start a new job, and he’d have a little more cash. Not enough to go crazy, but he’d be able to get the electricity turned back on and pay the couple of weeks’ back rent he owed. He’d only needed to work part-time when Rob had been there, and he’d found it difficult to find a full-time job after Rob left. The restaurant Nathan had sometimes worked for had offered him a position, but he’d had to wait until one had become available, and no one else had anything, making every effort at finding work frustrating and depressing.

He lay there for a moment, thinking of Rob and the life he thought they were building together, but then decided there was no point dwelling on what wasn’t to be. He’d eventually find someone who would love him for who he was; he just hoped it wouldn’t take too long. Being alone unnerved him. It made him feel edgy and vulnerable, and Nathan hated feeling vulnerable.

* * * *

A sharp, stabbing pain woke Nathan from what had been a restless sleep. He slapped his hand over his neck and almost fell off the mattress in shock. Sweat covered his body, and his sleeping bag lay in a mess at his feet where he must have kicked free of it. His torch sat beside him, and on instinct, Nathan grabbed it and turned it on, illuminating his room. He pushed up into a sitting position and then tentatively checked his neck. His fingers came away smeared with blood.

“What the fuck?” His first thought was he’d been bitten, but when he probed at the site again, he found a long, shallow gash and not something that felt like puncture wounds. Looking around to see what could have caused the damage, Nathan saw spatters of blood making a ragged path across the carpet, but nothing else.

Shaken, he climbed to his feet, and with torch in hand made his way to the bathroom. The mirror showed what he’d felt—a one-inch cut. It looked sliced and was most definitely not a bite, but he had no idea what could have caused it. It wasn’t deep enough to need stitches, though the red drops that still oozed from the cut slithered down Nathan’s neck and soaked into his gray T-shirt.

Grimacing, he pulled his T-shirt off over his head and dumped it onto the floor with the rest of his dirty clothes. He didn’t own a laundry basket, but as he was due to wash his things tomorrow, he wasn’t too worried about leaving it there. What he was worried about was taking care of the cut.

His supplies were limited, but he had antiseptic cream, which he smeared on liberally, wincing as it stung. Then he checked out the rest of his body, but there were no other marks or cuts, no scratches or bruises, nothing to indicate what had happened to him. Though more confused than ever, Nathan decided it had to have been a rat that attacked him, despite it being unlikely, because what was the alternative?

Before heading back to bed, he took a quick look around his apartment, even pulling open the doors of the kitchen cupboards though there was nothing stored in there. There was nowhere else for rats to hide, but to make sure, he inspected the skirting board and architrave. Nothing. No evidence of the little fuckers whatsoever.

Creeping back into his sleeping bag, Nathan decided he couldn’t sleep. His brain was too wired, his body too galvanized, so he picked up the book he’d borrowed from the local library, and tried to read. For some odd reason though, his mind kept wandering back to his next-door neighbor.

Steve had clearly been suffering from anxiety or something. Nathan had never seen anyone act so strangely. Most of what Steve said hadn’t made sense, and the thing he’d spouted about the doll had seemed almost maniacal. Even Steve’s complaint about the music being loud hadn’t really added up. Granted, the tape held the same track—their song, which Nathan played over and over in a masochistic, macabre way—but he barely heard it from his bedroom, and he always left the door open, so how could Steve hear it through an insulated wall? And if itwas that loud, why hadn’t the other neighbors complained?

Giving up on reading, Nathan put the book down beside him. He clicked off the torch, but the idea of rats sneaking up on him in the dark forced him to turn it back on again. Agitated and unable to ignore the uneasy feeling that something wasn’t quite right, Nathan got up and paced his small bedroom. His pile of washing beckoned, and though it wasn’t the ideal time, Nathan decided to do his laundry. Anything to keep from thinking a rodent had tried to make a meal of him.

He pulled on a pair of shorts and the slightly cleaner T-shirt he’d been wearing earlier, gathered up everything he needed, then set off for the basement where the washing and drying machines were situated. Some of the apartments had their own machines in situ, but for the tenants who didn’t, the building’s facilities were perfect. It was usually there that Nathan got to know most of his neighbors.

The building was made up of three sides that formed a U shape. The center held the pool and a courtyard for those who wanted to sit outdoors. The space under the one-bedroom apartments, which was north facing, had the gym and the laundry; and the two and three-bedroom apartments, which were south and east facing, had underground parking. All the apartments had balconies, both on the outside and looking over the inner courtyard and pool, so the tenants had a choice of which to use. It was a great place, and Nathan liked living there. The only problem was the rent, which was pretty high for the neighborhood, but the building was always clean and well maintained. So it was with surprise that Nathan noticed all the lights to the basement stairs were out.

It took him more than a few seconds to decide whether to go down into the depths. Not that he was afraid of the dark, but if there were rats in his apartment, they could be in the basement, and Nathan wasn’t afraid to admit he was scared of them. He fingered his neck, revolted at the idea that some rodent had been gnawing on it.

He could do his washing later; it wasn’t as if he had anything else to do with his day. However, thinking about it, he decided he wasn’t going to let a few rats stop him from doing what he’d set out to do, and anyway, maybe the lights were on in the laundry proper. With that in mind, Nathan grasped the handrail on his right and started down the stairs. He’d barely taken two steps when hot pain pierced his ankle. Shocked, he dropped his washing and let go of the handrail, but before he had a chance to regain his grip, another stabbing pain hit him. His scream echoed off the painted brick walls, becoming louder as he fell.

Trying vainly to stop the plummet to the bottom, Nathan reached out, but that was when he felt his face smash into the edge of a step. Stunned, he could do nothing more until he finally landed on a solid concrete floor in a bruised, bloody, and agonized heap.

Fighting back unwanted tears, Nathan lay where he was, trying to take deep, fortifying breaths. A trickle of blood oozed from his cut lip into his open mouth, the metallic taste against his tongue almost making him gag. He moaned, cautiously shifting to assess the damage, but stopping when that small movement caused his body to convulse as if he was being tortured.

Frozen in place, in time, his pulse thundering in his ears, Nathan barely registered the scamper of little feet approaching until they were so close they sounded right next to his head. He flinched, fearing a rat, but quickly realized it wasn’t the scrape of claws on concrete he heard, but the shuffle of soft cloth. For some reason, the sound was distinctive, as if it had been magnified by the cramped space between the bottom of the steps and the wall behind him.

Terror, irrational but unmistakable, swept through Nathan. He blinked in an attempt to clear his eyes of the white spots dancing before them. Something was ready to pounce on him; he could feel its presence, watching, waiting. As his limbs tightened in panicked trepidation, he tried to tell himself there was nothing there, that it was all in his imagination, but the minute puffs of air he could feel on the back of his neck told him otherwise.

“Get away from me. Get the fuck away from me!”

Unmindful of his injuries, Nathan lashed out, but it made no difference. Little hands tugged at his hair, and just before he blacked out—the crack to his head finally taking its toll—a tiny, manic laugh cackled in his ear.

Copyright © Penny Brandon

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About Penny

Penny has been a lover of books since before she could read and a maker of stories before she knew how to talk properly, so it was only natural that she started writing when she could hold a pen. From fairytales to teenage romances to the hot, erotic stories she writes now, she’s always held the same belief; to love what she puts down on paper. Which means she doesn’t love cooking, cleaning or weeding the garden. She does, however, love to travel and has lived in England and Ireland and now resides in Australia, where she intends to stay and discover all that she can of this beautiful country.
Save Me
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RELEASE DAY! Lost in the Fire by Draven St James

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Lost In The Fire

 by Draven St. James

#5 in the Firehouse Six series

Blurb

Aaron Evans embodies every complication Wren Tucker knows he doesn’t need. The tempting go-go dancer refuses to leave him alone and his attempts to get into Wren’s bunker pants don’t stop at the club, even the walls of the Firehouse aren’t safe. Wren’s control is only so strong, and his desire for Aaron is turning into a clawing need that’s digging through the many reasons keeping Aaron at bay.

Aaron is two cold showers away from hypothermia if the hot fireman of his dreams won’t give in to the lust Aaron sees blazing in Wren’s eyes. The only issue is, Wren is a forever man, and Aaron doesn’t have that in him to give, not with so many secrets locked behind the glitter and gold of his beautiful world.

As Wren begins to cave to Aaron’s delicious demands, he gets a deeper view of the tarnished landscape Aaron exists in. A murky pit of drug addiction that’s slowly dragging Aaron under, and Wren is going to have to fight like hell to save Aaron from it, to even have a chance at a new beginning with the man who has brought him out of the shadows.

Excerpt

      “One of these days, Wren Tucker…” Aaron turned to his side, pillowing his head with his bent arm. His eyes slid closed, and he murmured, “I’m going to get to you.”

      You already do. Wren crouched beside the bed. The first time Wren had seen him, Aaron had been dancing. The light from the club had touched on every toned dip and groove of Aaron’s body as it swiveled on the raised stage, his tight ass shaking with the beat of the music. All of that had been amazing, but it had been Aaron’s face that had captivated him—the free expression, like he was in another world. His full lips mouthing the lyrics, his head thrown back, and the locks of his black hair waving around his flushed face.

In that moment of abandon, Aaron had met Wren’s gaze, a smile tugging at the corner of his sensual mouth. Aaron had continued the dance, but he hadn’t stopped focusing on Wren.

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Buy the book

Loose Id: http://www.loose-id.com/firehouse-six-5-lost-in-the-fire.html

ARe:  https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-lostinthefire-1893946-149.html

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1KtMkUU

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Rafflecopter Prize: Book from Draven’s backlist

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About the Author

Draven St. James is a born and raised Oregonian. She has traveled extensively in search of mischief and mayhem to fill her books.  Her ventures have been quite successful in inspiring a wealth of stories.  Of course at the end of the day, coffee within reach, laptop at the ready is where she finds her peace.

Where to find Draven St. James:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/draven.stjames

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DravenStJames

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/dravenstjames/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7155623.Draven_St_James

 


Tour Dates & Stops

Parker Williams, Havan Fellows, Bike Book Reviews, Full Moon Dreaming, Carly’s Book Reviews. Kimi-Chan, Bayou Book Junkie, Molly Lolly, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My, Nephylim, Jessie G. Books, Rainbow Gold Reviews, 3 Chicks After Dark, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Happily Ever Chapter, My Fiction Nook, Up All Night, Read All Day, Because Two Men Are Better Than One, Bookaholic Confessions, BFD Book Blog, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Divine Magazine, Three Books Over The Rainbow, MM Good Book Reviews, Foxylutely Book Reviews, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Dawn’s Reading Nook, Amanda C. Stone, Inked Rainbow Reads, Ogitchida Book Blog, Mikky’s World of Books, Velvet Panic

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BLOG TOUR, EXCERPT AND GIVEAWAY! I Am Hope by Evelyn Shepherd

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AboutTheBook

ES_IAmHopeTitle: I Am Hope

Series: The Meteora Trilogy

Author: Evelyn Shepherd

Publisher: Loose Id Publication

Cover Artist: Valerie Tibbs

Length: 70,000 words

Release Date: September 8, 2015

Blurb: The undead were only the beginning.

Topher, Jesse, and Sawyer thought their greatest threat were the Infected and Mutated that roam the world. As they struggle to reach the camp in Kill Devil Hills in North Carolina, they soon discover that the monstrous mutations of the undead are the least of their problems. Something else, something far more intelligent and lethal, is hunting them.

Topher knows that the only way humanity will survive is to find a cure for the strange infection that’s ravaged the world. He’s on the brink of discovering it; but the further his research goes, the more he realizes that curing the world of the infection may mean losing Sawyer.

The three will fight to stay together, and Topher will have to make the ultimate choice: cure the world or save his lover?

TheExcerpt

 

“Throw your guns down.”

Rio clutched her shotgun close, and for a second, I didn’t think she’d hand it over. With a frustrated growl, she tossed the gun down. Nash and Jesse mimicked Rio’s action.

“Now what?” I asked. I had to focus on something other than my rising fear. I never knew fear could have a flavor, but it did—it tasted of steel and copper, of bullets and blood. “Herd us over to the others, where you wipe us out all at once?”

“No. I will give you a chance to repent. Renounce your ways, pledge allegiance to the Lord, and I’ll spare you.”

“Don’t you get tired of the taste of crap?” Nash asked.

Moonlight broke through the clouds, briefly casting the world in silver. Jane stared at us, her eyes lost and filled with so much desperation. When I had been kidnapped by the family of cannibals, they had shared the same look: the inability to cope with the downfall of man. They’d wanted so badly to explain the unexplainable that they’d clung on by the smallest of threads.

Starvation means killing.

Salvation means killing.

Living means killing.

There’s no other way around it—not for the cannibals who had killed General Faust, and not for Jane, who massacred her flock.

“Richey, get the boy,” Jane ordered. “He’s innocent.”

Richey went for Jaden. Chloe dragged her brother behind her and flew at Richey. He raised his gun at her, but Chloe ducked and slammed into him at the waist, knocking him to the ground. The gun flew into the darkness. Over her shoulder she screamed, “Run, Jaden!”

BuyLinks

Loose Id Publication

Amazon

All Romance eBooks

AboutTheAuthor

Evelyn Shepherd lives in Columbus, Ohio with two fat cats. Her time is split between writing and running a book/writing blog. She’s the author of the Theo Bourne Series, the best-selling Last Canticle, and the award-winning Meteora Trilogy.

|| Blog & Website || Facebook Page || Twitter || Tumblr || Email ||

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Winner’s Prize: Complete Set of The Meteora Trilogy books

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TourSchedule

September 14: Queer Sci-Fi

September 15: Sue Brown

September 16: Because Two Men Are Better Than One

September 17: Hearts on Fire

September 18: Diverse Reader

September 21: Joyfully Jay

September 22: Love Bytes Reviews

September 23: Divine Magazine

September 24: Cia’s Stories

September 25: Tempeste O’Riley

September 28: Sid Love Writes

September 29: Prism Book Alliance

September 30: Bayou Book Junkie
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GUEST POST & Giveaway: In Memory of Us by Ana J. Phoenix

Check out a great new book, a giveaway and a recipe!

Thanks for having me on your blog today! I’d like to share with you all one of my favorite Japanese recipes–nikujaga. It’s a hearty meat-potato stew that I fell in love with when my Japanese host mother made this for me a few years ago.

In my latest release, my main character tries cooking this for his best friend and love interest by way of apology. Well, all I can say is it would definitely work on me. And the best thing about this dish is that it’s super simple even I can make it!

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Easy nikujaga recipe

Good for about three servings.

Ingredients:

250gr. (a little more than half a pound) of beef  or whatever meat you like, though it should be cut thinly.

4 potatoes

2 carrots

1 onion

250ml (~8 oz) water

100ml (~ 3.4 oz) sake or white wine

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp salt

Some oil for frying.

 

Peel and dice potatoes into bite-sized chunks. Peel carrots, slice in half along the length and cut each half into thirds. Peel and quarter onion.

Heat oil in pan and cook meat. Add vegetables and cook for another three minutes. Add water. Next add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to boil, then lower the heat and let simmer for about an hour.

Serve with rice or noodles. Enjoy. 🙂

Giveaway

Tell me your favorite dish for a chance to win a $5 gift certificate for Loose Id’s store.

Write your comment and visit the Rafflecopter to enter. You have until 16th April to enter.

Click here or on the Rafflecopter to enter.

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Blurb

Kite’s had a crush on Shin since middle school, but never acted on it until the eve of his yearly trip to the States, when he slipped up and kissed his best friend. Shortly after, a tsunami wrecked the country and his hometown, and put all his plans on hold. Now, two years later, he’s back in Japan and he wants to set things right.

When he finds Shin, though, his former best friend isn’t who he used to be. Losing his parents changed Shin and now, instead of following his heart, he’s dedicated his life to studying for university entrance exams and ignoring everything else. He won’t let Kite get close, denying his obvious attraction and all their good memories.

Kite doesn’t want to give up on Shin, but he can’t shake the feeling that there’s something his friend isn’t telling him. Something else that happened two years ago on the day of the tsunami. He doesn’t know what it is, just that it’s destroying his friend—and possibly their shot at love.

Excerpt

“I’m staying with Shin right now.”

“With Shin, really? I thought you guys had fallen out or something.”

“It’s my fault. I acted on impulse.”

“Have you tried apologizing?”

Kite blinked. He actually hadn’t. His silence seemed to be all the answer his sister needed.

“Of course you haven’t. Guys.” She sighed. “Listen, I gotta go. Tons of things left to do before the weekend. Call me when you get on the train here, okay? And good luck.”

“Thank you.”

Risa hung up, and Kite put his phone back into his pocket. Apologize to Shin, huh? Maybe try to explain himself. He could start there. His gaze fell on the kitchen and all the cup-noodle cartons, and his stomach growled. He needed to grab something to eat, but not this crap. It was time to go shopping.

Kite took the key and headed for the door. Seeing this, the dog jumped off the futon and limped toward him with an expectant look.

“I’m not walking you, dog.”

She continued to stare at him.

“You can’t hypnotize me.”

But damn if she wasn’t trying anyway.

“I don’t like dogs, you know?”

If she understood, she didn’t care.

“Fine.” Kite reached for the leash. “But we’re only going around the block.”

She barked once, as if to agree.

Kite shook his head at himself as he fastened the leash on the dog’s collar. “I know now how you got Shin to take you in.” Maybe he should try if that same strategy would work for him too. Just look Shin in the eyes and refuse to budge until he got what he wanted.

Yeah, right.

Buy Links

Buy links: Loose Id: http://www.loose-id.com/in-memory-of-us.html

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-inmemoryofus-1773340-149.html

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Memory-Us-Ana-J-Phoenix-ebook/dp/B00VGW1FLO/

About the Author

Ana is a writer of m/m romance and erotica. Her interest in hot guy-on-guy action was first sparked by reading scandalous Japanese mangas. A dirty secret she couldn’t resist. In a long bout of insanity – also known as her life — she decided to learn the language and escape to the land of sushi, sumo, and yaoi.

She’s since moved back to Europe to be with the love of her life – delicious European chocolate.

Now she resides in the sunny part of Germany where she fills her days chasing her dreams and writing about men in complicated relationships. Her family believes she’s writing “erotic manga stories.” She’s pleased they got the erotic part right, at least.

Website: http://anajphoenix.com

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8334506.Ana_J_Phoenix

Twitter: https://twitter.com/anajphoenix

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100006860593164

 

 

 

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GIVEAWAY! Smoke and Mirrors by Lillian T. MacGowan


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Book Name: Smoke and Mirrors

Author Name: Lillian T. MacGowan

Cover Artist: Kalen O’Donnell

Publisher: Loose-Id

 

 

 

 

The blurb…

Firefighter Frank “Deck” Dekker was just doing his job when he saved Dr. Naim Moreau’s life, the last thing he expected was to lose his heart! But he can’t resist his quiet, mysterious doctor, nor does he want to. He wants to make a life with Naim—preferably locked away in his apartment worshipping each other like they were meant to be. Because they are.

Things aren’t as clear for Naim. His past haunts him to his soul, and he would rather die than let Deck seem him the way he sees himself. Being honest with Deck and showing his true face could cause him to lose Deck forever. But is it possible that just maybe Deck will see another man? A beautiful man? And what price is Naim willing to pay to take that chance?

Excerpt

 Naim’s cheeks flushed, and his eyes darted away from Deck’s as he turned toward the wall for gloves, only to find an empty box. He turned back to Deck and frowned.

“Right. We uh…” Naim looked at Deck, one eyebrow up, while Deck cringed. “We kinda used them all up making glove balloons,” he muttered. The corners of the doctor’s mo uth quivered and it seemed like he was struggling to look severe. “The nurse brought more. They’re”—Deck scanned the room—“they’re over there.” He pointed to the counter next to the sink. See? He was helping.

Sighing, Naim walked over to grab the box of gloves.

Fuck. Those scrubs were clingy. And thin. And clingy. And fuck, he was beautiful. Deck stared as Naim walked back to him and silently removed the empty box from the dispenser, replacing it with the new one. What were scrubs made of anyway? Fucking butterfly wings? Spider webs? God he looked so good in them. Argh. Brain then mouth, dude, brain then mouth…

“I like your scrubs.” FUUUUCK.

 About the Author

You can usually find Lily MacGowan reading, knitting herself into the sofa, or writing. Lily has been a carpenter, a circus aerialist, a Sunset Strip club kid and a corporate mogul, but she gave all that up to teach middle school on the east coast and is happier than ever. Lily’s hobbies include food, household renovations and avoiding laundry. She’s a huge fan of comfy jammies and happily ever after.


Tour Dates: 8/5/14

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Tour Stops: Parker Williams, LeAnn’s Book Reviews, MM Good Book Reviews, My Fiction Nook, Love Bytes, Cate Ashwood, Tara Lain, Prism Book Alliance, Full Moon Dreaming, Because Two Men Are Better Than One, GGR-Reviews, Jade Crystal, Fallen Angel Reviews, Boy Meets Boy Reviews, Hearts on Fire, Sinfully Sexy, Havan Fellows, The Hat PartyScattered Thoughts & Rogue WordsAmanda C. StoneWake Up Your Wild Side

 

Giveaway

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Click the image or here to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway

Rafflecopter Prize: E-Copy of the book

Buy Links

Sales Links: http://www.loose-id.com/smoke-and-mirrors.html

 

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BLOG TOUR, EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY: Fused By Fire by Draven St James

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Fused By Fire

by Draven St James

Publisher:  Loose ID

The Blurb…

Michael prides himself on being the man that everyone can depend on until one of his firefighters is severely wounded on the job. Will he be allowed to process the situation alone? Not when a loud and persistent Simon Winters shows up on his doorstep. The man hasn’t met a boundary he didn’t skip across.

Simon has had the biggest crush on Lieutenant Firefighter Michael Donovan since the first day he saw him. Which just happened to be at an interview for a job to work as a firefighter. Before his desire to lick the gruff older man from head to toe affects his work, Simon transfers over to being a paramedic. Just when he’s begun to build a life that doesn’t include hot shower fantasies of Michael, the object of his angst is thrust into his path.

All too quickly, Simon begins to barrel through Michael’s defenses and dig up the desires Michael has fought so hard to hide. As passions flare out of control, tragedies collide from every side. Michael’s struggle to keep Simon at a distance starts to crumble beneath the weight of the secrets that Simon is hiding. Will Michael be able to protect Simon when he needs it the most or will he lose Simon forever?

Author Bio…

I’m a born and raised Oregonian. I’ve traveled extensively in search of mischief and mayhem to fill my books.  My ventures have been quite successful in inspiring a wealth of stories both sexy and humorous.  It gives me a great excuse to do some crazy stuff in the name of research. Of course at the end of the day, coffee within reach, laptop at the ready is where I find my peace.

Author Links:

http://www.pinterest.com/dravenstjames/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/DravensWickedReaders/

https://www.facebook.com/draven.stjames

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DravenStJames

Cover Artist: Dar Albert

 

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Excerpt…

Michael stepped forward and grabbed Simon by his shoulders. “Why are you really here?” he snarled.

“Because you’ve locked yourself away?” Simon whispered and gazed at him with eyes filled with concern.

That look stabbed into Michael. “And you care why?”

“Because…” Simon shrugged, dislodging Michael’s hold, and then cupped Michael’s face with a trembling hand. “What happened wasn’t your fault, and you needed someone to come and shove that truth into your face.”

“You picked the short straw?” Michael hated that Simon’s hand on his cheek brought him more comfort than anything else had. Just like at the hospital.

Simon shook his head, and his gaze fell to Michael’s lips. His hand came down to brush against the edge of Michael’s bottom lip. A pink flush rose along Simon’s cheeks.

Michael felt that innocent touch like a jolt through his body. He tilted Simon’s face up, and the sensual invitation in his eyes shocked and inflamed him.

He didn’t have the energy to fight against what he wanted, and right now that was Simon. With a groan of defeat, he smashed his lips to Simon’s and took the sweet oblivion that Simon offered.

Giveaway!

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Click here or on the image to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway! 

Rafflecopter Prize:  E-copy of any book from Draven’s backlist: Grey’s Hidden Fire, Fire and Mistletoe, Scent of a Wolf, or Covert Delivery

Tour Dates:  June 27

 

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Tour Stops: Rainbow Gold Reviews, Love Bytes, Amanda C. Stone, MM Good Book Reviews, Havan Fellows, Velvet Panic, Parker Williams, Fallen Angel Reviews, Reviews and Ramblings, Emotion in Motion, Tara Lain, My Fiction Nook, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Wicked Wolves and Dreaming Dragons, Sinfully Sexy, Top2Bottom, Iyana Jenna, Because Two Men Are Better Than One, Lee Brazil, LeAnn’s Book Reviews

 

 

Buy Links:

Fused By Fire from  Amazon, All Romance, Loose ID

 

 

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Bloodline by Barbara Elsborg

BloodlineBloodline by Barbara Elsborg

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

No one can tattoo better than Inigo, a two hundred year old vampire, who works on human and supernatural skins. But he’s never tattooed a faerie and when a bunch of them insist he comes with them to tattoo one of their kind, saying no proves not to be an option. His skin is Oberon, the faerie king, and Inigo fears this will be the last tattoo he’ll ever do.

The moment Micah lands in the faerie king’s bed chamber, he knows the guy is trouble. But if he’s to save his sister and his family, let alone the job he’s paid to do, he has to stay in Faerieland and endure Oberon’s sadism. When he’s thrown into a vampire’s cell, covered in blood, he fears this day will be his last.

This book follows on from Jumping in Puddles – though there is no need to read that one first.

So what did I think?

This was the ultimate fantasy tale combining vampires, faeries and shifters, as Inigo and Micah race to save the faerie kingdom from the threat of the new king.

This was an unexpected journey that starts with Inigo, a vampire and renowned tattoo artist, being forced to accompany some fae to the palace of Oberon the King of the faeries. Oberon needs a tattoo placed on his back as part of the ceremony to become king. However he harbours a secret which prevents Inigo from completing his work.

Oberon is also under threat from Micah, a faerie who knows too much, his family having been banished from the kingdom. When Micah returns to faerieland, he is captured by Oberon and placed under a magic spell.

This is the journey of Inigo and Micah as they band together to defeat the evil Oberon. There is action and adventure. There is abuse by the evil Oberon. There are complicated back stories and a cast of characters that I sometime struggled a little to keep up with. This is fast moving and packs a lot in.

I’m not a huge connoisseur of paranormal and fantasy, however I found this story to be imaginative and engaging. But what I most liked was the writing style – it was such an interesting blend of world building, dark moments and humour. I loved the dialogue, accompanied by the internal thoughts of the characters.

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

To find out more about Barbara Elsborg and her books visit her website.

Buy Bloodline from Amazon.

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A Rookie Move by Sam B. Morgan

A Rookie MoveA Rookie Move by Sam B. Morgan

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Fifteen years with the Los Angeles Police Department, Mike Graham is a seasoned cop and a damn good training officer. On the brutal streets of LA, he’s witnessed every type of crime and taught countless rookies how to survive while they protect and serve. Nothing surprises him anymore. That is, until he meets Nathan York.

Nathan York shouldn’t be a cop. With his Beverly Hills background and pretty boy good looks, he’s fit for the land of movie stars and nose jobs. Too bad being LAPD is all he’s ever wanted. No longer a rookie, he thinks he’s ready for anything, even if the next challenge is working with his hard-assed yet magnetic ex-training officer.

Partners on the job, Mike and Nate both struggle with an attraction that has no place in their world. Their explosive chemistry reaches a point it cannot be ignored, but the same chemistry that consumes them could destroy the very thing that binds them together.

So what did I think?

I was sucked straight into the story of Nate and Mike, right from the first action scene, through their emotional turmoil (not that it was really that angsty) and to the happy ending.

I love a story that is able to blend the romance with ‘real life’ action so I really enjoyed the scenes where the guys were responding to calls and performing their jobs as police officers.

Mike is the older of the two men and he is partnered with Nate to act as his mentor. He is good at what he does with a tough reputation, putting his rookies through their paces but turning out good cops. Mike is in the closet with an immediate attraction to Nate. He resists but ultimately he breaks all his rules with Nate.

Nate is only in his mid-twenties and still learning the ropes. His love life has always been lacking and he is in a dead-end relationship with his girlfriend. When that relationship ends and he starts to look at Mike in a way he has never looked at another man before, he starts to get an inkling as to why the sparks were never flying in the past.

These guys are hot together! I love the combination of slightly older and more experienced partner, I liked Nate just waking up to his sexuality, I liked the internal conflict as each man tried to work through their issues.

Mike’s doubts seemed so real as he questioned whether Nate would stay with him, sure that Nate’s feelings would run their course and he would want to broaden his experience. But Nate knows exactly what he wants – he may be new at this but he isn’t shy!

❅❅❅❅❅❅❅

To find out more about Sam B. Morgan and books visit the website.

Buy A Rookie Move from Amazon.

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Fancy a cowboy story or two?

 

  • New York Cowboy by Lisa Worrall
  • Cowboy Waltz by Cameron Dane

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New York CowboyNew York Cowboy by Lisa Worrall

My rating: 3.5  of 5 stars

The blurb…

NB: 20% of each copy sold will be donated to the Friends of Roxburghe House hospice in memory of my friend Keith Donald who lost his brave fight with cancer on the 7 September 2013.

It’s been six months since Vance Wolf buried his father. Driven to an early grave by the constant harassment of the new owner of the neighboring property, Andrew Blackwell. Now Vance’s cattle are disappearing faster than he can replace them and their cash flow has been wiped out by the new barn they had to build after the other one mysteriously caught fire. The local sheriff’s pockets are being lined by Blackwell, so Vance knows they’re on their own and is at his wits end. Then his mother suggests they open up the ranch to business types as a cowboy camp.

Adam Prentiss arrives at Wolf Creek Ranch on a team-building exercise with the four colleagues in his department. He is not the cowboy type, but has no choice as his boss, and father, has sent him to Wolf Creek with instructions to delve into the financial status of the ranch and report back to him. Falling for Vance Wolf had not been part of the plan, but the connection between them had been instant. But what was he more afraid of? Disobeying his boss or Vance finding out Adam’s father was in fact Andrew Blackwell and he’d been sent to help him appropriate Vance’s land by any means necessary?

So what did I think?

“Who are you, City-boy?”
“I’m the Lone Ranger to your Tonto,” Adam replied, kissing him again. “The Rawhide to your Bonanza. The Curly to your Mo. The _”

Vance and Adam are beautiful together and they hit it off from the very beginning. Adam is part of a corporate client group attending a program on Vance’s ranch. But all is not as it seems and Adam’s father is the arch enemy.

This is a story of gorgeous cowboys, insta-love, miscommunication, corporate foul-play and ultimate happy endings!

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Cowboy WaltzCowboy Waltz by Cameron Dane

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The blurb…

A horse stock manager on the rodeo tour, gruff cowboy Jed Hastings is in a bind. He needs a new assistant yesterday. Enter green-as-hell Booker West. Booker spent his childhood dreaming about being a part of the rodeo. He doesn’t have any experience working with horses, but Jed doesn’t have options, and gives the newbie a chance.

Innocent about the world and secretly gay, Booker works like the devil to hide his attraction to Jed. He doesn’t just want to be a wannabe-cowboy with a crush; he wants to learn from Jed. Booker craves Jed’s respect, friendship, and trust. For Jed, he knows an eager young colt like Booker should work his last nerve, yet he finds he has endless patience with the guy. He’s possessive about Booker too. And while bunking together does create intimacy, that doesn’t explain away straight Jed’s explicit sexual fantasies and growing desire for another man.

When a life altering event sends Jed and Booker reeling, a night of raw passion between the men finally explodes. But in the light of day, can Booker help Jed accept their love? Or will this unearthed attraction send Jed to a dark place from which he can’t recover?

So what did I think?

I needed a dose of cowboy and this book delivered in spades – two hot, but very different men, on the rodeo circuit. Oh, but the tension, too much and too drawn out! I enjoyed the story, I just wanted them to work things out and maybe talk and get things moving. But once they did – smoking!

Poor Booker, whom Jed calls “Colt”, started working for Jed when he was nineteen, both of them looking after horses for their boss on the rodeo circuit. Booker knows he is gay and falls immediately in love/lust with Jed. Jed shows Booker the ropes and they build a strong friendship over the years but eventually living together in a small trailer becomes too much. Booker with his longing for Jed and Jed because he comes to have feelings for Booker that he didn’t expect and can’t deal with.

There is drama and tension and bad decisions and it took these guys a long time to work things out. But when they did, they did it properly with lots of emotion and romance.

The title is correct – this is a waltz – slowly, round-and-round – I liked it but think I would have loved it if it had been more of a jig!

3.5 stars

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To find out more about Lisa Worrall and her books visit her website.

To find out more about Cameron Dane and her books visit her website.

Buy New York Cowboy and Cowboy Waltz from Amazon.