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Blog Tour, Excerpt and Giveaway! Foundation of Trust and Stand By You by A.M. Arthur

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Foundation of Trust

and

Stand By You

by

A.M. Arthur

Foundation of Trust: Samhain Publishing

Stand by You: Carina Press

Cover Artist: Foundation of Trust: Lyn Taylor

Blurb:

Foundation of Trust:

David Weller thought he had it all—a loving partner who gave him a ring, a steady job he didn’t hate, and so much hope for the future. But in the wake of a devastating diagnosis, everything he thought was solid and real lay in pieces at his feet.

Four years later, he’s still sifting through the rubble of his life. His catering partnership occupies his days, while his nights are filled with dangerous sexual hookups and very bad decisions. Then the last person he ever expected to see again walks back into his life.

Owen Hart’s single biggest regret is the way he was forced to leave David behind—no explanations, no chance to make it right. Until now. Finally free of eight years of lies, Owen’s back for the only man he’s ever loved.

An incendiary encounter in a club proves that time hasn’t weakened their physical connection, but David’s wounds run deeper than Owen’s deception. And if David can’t first forgive, Owen doesn’t have a second chance in hell.

Warning: This book contains an Australian transplant with a head full of secrets, a party planner with enough baggage to sink a battleship, and a surly teenager who just wants them both to get over themselves.

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Stand by You:

Three months after his rescue from an abusive boyfriend, twenty-two-year-old Romy Myers has landed his first legitimate job—bussing tables at his friend’s new coffee shop. The job has brought him some stability after years of abuse have left him feeling damaged and broken. He’s working hard on his panic and social anxiety, and those things are often tempered by the big, burly presence of Brendan Walker.

 

From the moment ex-football player Brendan helped rescue Romy from his ex’s abuse, he’s wanted to protect him. And he does, from a distance, with joking text messages, a new gym routine to toughen him up and a genuine friendship. So far it’s been easy—but Brendan’s feelings aren’t just friendly anymore…

 

When an argument spirals out of control, a hot and heavy make-out session causes Romy’s friendship with supposedly straight Brendan to reach a new level. The last thing Romy wants is to fall for another guy who could potentially shatter him, but Brendan also wakes up a part of him he thought had been destroyed by violence—his heart.

 

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Excerpt:

Foundation of Trust:
A shadow drifted across Owen’s face—the same shadow that had been there almost constantly that first year. An angry shadow that had diminished under the brilliance of their love for each other. “We had to, me and my son both. Michael was born Benjamin Hadley Swenson.”

“But why?” David needed to know why he’d been lied to for so long. Why he’d fallen in love with a man whose name he never really knew.

“To protect us from the man who killed Michael’s mother and grandfather.”

“You told me his mother was killed during a home invasion.”

“I used parts of the truth to fashion the lie. Makes it easier to remember. She was killed by a man who had no business in that house, but he wasn’t there to rob anyone. He was a dangerous man, and I did what I had to do to protect my son.”

 

 Stand By You:

“So make a plan for yourself.” Romy was getting excited over the idea of Brendan going back to college—maybe because Romy had never gone and probably never would. He didn’t even have his GED. And here he was giving Brendan career advice when the longest job he’d ever held in his life was as a hooker. “Figure out what it will cost to go back and finish. Figure out how you’ll save the money. Nothing is impossible, Bren, not if you want it bad enough.”

Brendan looked at him, chocolate brown eyes catching his, and something in that moment changed. Like a snap or a zing, Romy couldn’t describe it. Only that his words had touched something in Brendan, and that something leapt across the space between them and right into Romy. His pulse raced.

Oh crap.

Romy broke eye contact first, using the untwisting of his bottle cap as an excuse to kill the odd charge between them. Not happening. Not again, and not with Brendan. Brendan wasn’t even gay!

Was he?

Giveaway:

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Click here or the image to enter the Rafflecopter

Rafflecopter Prize: PDF copy of Foundation of Trust

 

Sales Links:

Foundation of Trust:

Samhain

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

Stand by You:

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

Author Bio:

A.M. Arthur was born and raised in the same kind of small town that she likes to write about, a stone’s throw from both beach resorts and generational farmland. She’s been creating stories in her head since she was a child and scribbling them down nearly as long, in a losing battle to make the fictional voices stop. She credits an early fascination with male friendships (bromance hadn’t been coined yet back then) and “The Young Riders” with her later discovery of and subsequent love affair with m/m romance stories.

When not exorcising the voices in her head, she toils away in a retail job that tests her patience and gives her lots of story fodder. She can also be found in her kitchen, pretending she’s an amateur chef and trying to not poison herself or others with her cuisine experiments.

 

Author Contact:

Contact her at am_arthur@yahoo.com with your cooking tips (or book comments).

You can also find her online (http://amarthur.blogspot.com/),

as well as on Twitter (http://twitter.com/am_arthur),

Tumblr (http://www.tumblr.com/blog/am-arthur),

and Facebook (A.m. Arthur).

A.M. Arthur’s work is available from Samhain Publishing, Carina Press, Dreamspinner Press, and Musa Publishing.

 

Tour Stops:

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Tour Dates/Stops:

10/20: Emotion in Motion, Multitasking Mommas
10/21: Amanda C. Stone, MM Good Book Reviews
10/22: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Velvet Panic
10/23: Wake Up Your Wild Side, Smoocher’s Voice
10/24: The Novel Approach
10/27: Hearts on Fire, Because Two Men Are Better Than One, The Blogger Girls
10/28: Iyana Jenna, Foxylutely Book Reviews
10/29: Love Bytes, My Fiction Nook
10/30: Prism Book Alliance, Cathy Brockman Romances
10/31: Parker Williams
11/3: Book Reviews and More by Kathy, All I Want and More Books
11/4: LeAnn’s Book Reviews
11/5: Havan Fellows
11/6: Romance the Night, Queer Town Abbey
11/7: Crystal’s Many Reviewers

 

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Fever Pitch Book Tour: Excerpt and Giveaway!

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INFORMATION ABOUT THE SERIES

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

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

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FEVER PITCH

Coming September 30 from Samhain Publishing

Book Two of the Love Lessons Series

The Blurb….

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

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

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

Excerpt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aaron gestured drunkenly back. “Aaron Seavers.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I don’t know.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“It’s your birthday. You’re allowed.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Giveaway

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

Buy Links

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

About the author

Heidi Cullinan head shot

 

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

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★★★★★ With or Without Him by Barbara Elsborg ★★★★★

With or Without HimWith or Without Him by Barbara Elsborg

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

“The most dangerous refuge could be his lover’s arms. ”

Everyone has at least one deep-seated fear. For Tyler, it’s being in debt. He’s so desperate to get out and stay out of it, he’ll do almost anything-including selling his body at Saturday night sex parties.

But he refuses to open his mind to anyone, especially the men paying to use him however they want. The only time he’s truly happy is during the week at college, when he can escape into his music.

The moment Haris sees Tyler playing piano at a concert, he falls hard, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to make the guy his. Even if it means-for the first time in his life-opening his wallet as wide and desperate as his heart.

20,000 to live with a good-looking guy for four months? How can Tyler resist the chance to ditch the sex party scene for good? But neither man realizes how much they’re risking. And when outside forces close in, ready to destroy them, the trickiest part about the next four months could be just surviving.

Warning: Contains a “for hire” bad boy with a filthy mouth, an awkward guy with a penchant for BDSM, a hypochondriac butler who won’t shut up, a dog called Alcide, and a lot of hot and dirty M/M sex.

So what did I think?

LOVE the cover!

Wonderfully brilliant! I totally fell in love with both Haris and Tyler, and was spellbound by their story.

So different, and yet so similar, both men have painful pasts that have left them emotionally scarred. This is a story of learning to trust and opening hearts but is also so much more. The story line is complex as the pasts of both Haris and Tyler challenge their relationship.

Tyler is twenty-one. A music student with a huge fear of owing money. This fear drives him to sell his body to pay his school fees. He is a talented musician and a passionate young man but he is haunted by events from his childhood.

Haris is an exotic businessman with his own secrets. He has been through events that no man should have to suffer and is unable to trust. However he finds Tyler irresistible and offers him a deal that Tyler is unable to turn away from.

The heat and passion between Tyler and Haris is magnificent and slowly, their hearts come to feel what their bodies already know – they are made for each other, body and soul.

However the road to happiness is paved with challenges as Tyler’s previous ’employer’ refuses to let him go and Haris’ past finally catches up with him. Both men face evil and danger.

I found this book to be totally compelling read, a true page turner that was hard to put down. Luckily I didn’t have any other pressing things to do during the early hours of the morning!

I can’t end this review without a word about the fabulous Wilson, Haris’ chauffeur/butler. He is a character to adore – loyal and cheeky, with his witty one-liners had me chuckling quietly.

Combining lots of emotional turmoil, huge amounts of drama, passionate sexual encounters and true romanticism this is a highly recommended read.

❅❅❅❅❅❅❅

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

Buy With Or Without Him from Amazon.

Buy With Or Without Him from Samhain.

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Sibling Rivals by Summer Devon

Sibling RivalsSibling Rivals by Summer Devon

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Meeting the family shouldn’t be this complicated.

As the designated slacker of the family, Peter Stevens was accustomed to being eclipsed by his “perfect” older brother, Mark. But when Mark came out to their parents one Christmas vacation, it was his turn to be the black sheep.

Even more surreal was Peter’s brief encounter with his brother’s boyfriend, Colin. The unmistakable sparks between them shook the foundations of his confirmed heterosexuality. Years later, when they meet again as graduate student and professor, that bone-deep attraction is still there.

Thanks to the emotional scars Mark left behind, Colin has had his fill of Stevens men. Having Peter at his university shouldn’t be a problem though, as he knows the younger man is straight. But when Colin realizes the electricity sizzles both ways, he can’t resist indulging in a passionate affair.

Yet some old flames stubbornly refuse to die. This time, Peter refuses to step aside—and when an emergency brings the family together again, Colin must decide if it’s worth the risk to trust another Stevens brother with his heart.

So what did I think?

This is an interesting story that explores a sibling relationship in the context of two men and their relationship with the same man. Colin and Mark have a relationship which ends, however Mark’s younger brother, the ‘straight’ Peter, continues corresponding with Colin over a number of years. Eventually Colin offers Peter a place to stay when he moves to Boston.

Mark and Peter are very different and have grown up in a family where initially, Mark was the prefect ‘good’ son (I struggled with this as I never really warmed to Mark. Eventually Mark’s sexuality had made him an outcast with his mother. Mark is moody and sullen, the opposite of the outgoing and honest Peter.

Peter starts to realise he has an attraction to Colin and doesn’t hesitate to act on this. He is honest and funny and the perfect partner for the older, more serious Colin. Peter’s sexual exploration is very natural.

When Mark and Peter’s mother becomes ill and they need to return home, Mark decides it’s time to make a play to win Colin back. It takes separation and a lot of introspection, for all men to come to terms with what they really want.

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To find out more about Summer Devon and her books visit her website.

Buy Sibling Rivals from Amazon.

Buy Sibling Rivals from Samhain.

 

 

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❄ Let It Snow by Heidi Cullinan ❄

I love the holiday season (not so unusual there I guess!) and reading all the wonderful books that are filled with stories of love and sharing the Christmas spirit. In the lead up to Christmas I will post reviews for Xmas themed m/m romances and in case you are a fan of carols, a link so that you can listen while you read.

The first story is Let It Snow by Heidi Cullinan which has a wonderful Christmas Eve happy ending! And of course the first carol is Let It Snow by Boyz II Men!

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The Minnesota Snow Series:

  • Let It Snow (book #1) – in this review
  • I’m actually not sure about the rest of the series! 🙂

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Let It SnowLet It Snow by Heidi Cullinan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

The weather outside is frightful, but this Minnesota northwoods cabin is getting pretty hot.

Stylist Frankie Blackburn never meant to get lost in Logan, Minnesota, but his malfunctioning GPS felt otherwise, and a record-breaking snowfall ensures he won’t be heading back to Minneapolis anytime soon. Being rescued by three sexy lumberjacks is fine as a fantasy, but in reality the biggest of the bears is awfully cranky and seems ready to gobble Frankie right up.

Marcus Gardner wasn’t always a lumberjack—once a high-powered Minneapolis lawyer, he’s come home to Logan to lick his wounds, not play with a sassy city twink who might as well have stepped directly out of his past. But as the northwinds blow and guards come down, Frankie and Marcus find they have a lot more in common than they don’t. Could the man who won’t live in the country and the man who won’t go back to the city truly find a home together? Because the longer it snows, the deeper they fall in love, and all they want for Christmas is each other.

Warning: Contains power outages, excessive snowfall, and incredibly sexy bears.

So what did I think?

A fairy tale with lots of Christmas spirit! Let It Snow was a cute and sweet take on Goldilocks and the Three Bears as Frankie finds the bear that is just right for him!

Frankie’s car runs off the road in a snowstorm, and he finds shelter in a cottage in the woods which comes complete with oatmeal and three lumberjacks. It’s big, grumpy Papa Bear that grabs Frankie’s attention.

Frankie and Marcus couldn’t be more different in outward appearance. Big, strong, hairy Marcus and the much slighter and effeminate Frankie. There are other differences too. Marcus wants to live in his small town near his ailing mother and Frankie likes the safety of his large city existence.

My only small niggle with the story was Frankie’s continued mentioning that he was ‘swishy’ and not manly. It continued a bit too much for me. Although I loved the little twist when Marcus was in touch with his own feelings and wanted to be the one who was treated like a princess!

Being stuck in a blizzard, in close proximity with each other, ensures they give in to the temptation for some passionate sex but it the emotional barriers that they need to overcome. Marcus has been hurt in the past and Frankie is afraid of living in a small and potentially prejudiced community. But this is a fairy tale and it’s Christmas so of course all works out in the end for a wonderful…..and they lived happily ever after!

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To find out more about Heidi Cullinan and her books visit her website.

Buy Let It Snow from Amazon.

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Meet Me In The Middle by L.A. Witt

The Distance Between Us series

Meet Me in the Middle (Distance Between Us, #3)Meet Me in the Middle by L.A. Witt

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The blurb…

Fool me three times…

Dale Ramsey is looking forward to his twenty-year high school reunion except for one small problem. Adam O’Connor, his old friend—and old flame.

Twice before, Adam has disappeared from Dale’s life. Once after a graduation night fling, and again after a hot reunion years later. When Adam resurfaces this time, single and on the verge of retiring from the Navy, Dale wonders if he’ll want to mend fences…and maybe tear up some sheets.

The spark between them is alive and well, but Dale resists. After all, Adam only seems to come around when his life is in flux, and Dale is through being a placeholder until something better comes along. He wants his friend back, but not if he’ll be deserted a third time.

Inevitably, though, their attempts to rekindle their friendship wind up igniting something much hotter, and stirring up emotions too strong to ignore. Making Dale wonder if he should put his heart on the line…or if this time he should be the one to walk away.

Warning: Let’s face it, Dale’s been sitting quietly (well, kind of) on the sidelines since The Distance Between Us, and he waited patiently through The Closer You Get. Dude is seriously ready for some scorching-hot action, so keep a fire extinguisher and some ice handy. These boys are gonna need it…

So what did I think?

“For God’s sake, Dale, do you think I just wanted to use you?” “I don’t know if that’s what you wanted or not,” I said. “But it’s what you did. Twice.”

Dale and Adam were best friends in school but parted immediately after their first sexual encounter which happened at graduation. They met again at their 10 year school reunion but once again, Adam leaves Dale after making him promises which he doesn’t keep. Finally 20 years after their first encounter, they meet again at the school reunion.

I enjoyed this book but not the level of the previous two in the series. I found it difficult to warm to Adam, or to forgive his treatment of Dale. I found it difficult to accept his reasons for leaving Dale each time and I found it really difficult to understand how Dale maintained his desire for Adam after so many years and so much heartache.

All that aside, it is a nicely told tale with some sizzling sex and some romantic moments, definitely redeemed by the grand romantic gesture – I LOVE big, public romantic gestures!

3.5 stars

To find out more about L.A. Witt and her books visit her website or check out my other reviews.

Buy The Distance Between Us from Amazon.

View all my reviews

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From the Ashes by Daisy Harris

Fire and Rain

  • From the Ashes (book #1) – in this review
  • After the Rain (book #2) – expected release February 2014

From the AshesFrom the Ashes by Daisy Harris

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

He wanted a boyfriend. What he got was a hero.

When an accident burns down Jesse’s apartment, he’s left broke and homeless, with a giant dog and a college schedule he can’t afford to maintain. And no family who’s willing to take him in.

Lucky for him, a sexy fireman offers him a place to stay. The drawback? The fireman’s big Latino family lives next door, and they don’t know their son is gay.

Tomas’s parents made their way in America with hard work and by accepting help when it was offered, so he won’t let Jesse drop out of school just so he can afford a place to live. Besides, Jesse’s the perfect roommate—funny, sweet and breathtakingly cute. He climbs into Tomas’s bed and tugs at his heart. Until Jesse starts pushing for more.

Their passion enflames their bodies but threatens to crush Tomas’s family. Tomas is willing to fight for Jesse, but after losing everything, Jesse isn’t sure he can bear to risk his one remaining possession—his heart.

Warning: Contains an angry older brother, judgmental best friends, a slobbering bull mastiff, and enough red-hot gay loving to make a porn star blush.

So what did I think?

This wasn’t the book I was expecting – I was hoping for more action and more heroics of the physical kind – instead it was a journey with heroics of a more emotional kind.

I quite liked the combination of Jesse and Tomas – in the beginning it wasn’t all fireworks but there was something special about each of them and they somehow worked together. I didn’t quite understand their immediate attraction and why Tomas would put himself out there to bring Jesse into his home, so near his family, particularly his brother with his homophobic attitude.

Tomas was a puzzle. I struggled to understand the way he thought about sex and what he deemed was acceptable behaviour. I loved that he was respectful of Jesse and didn’t want his actions to demean him, but his ideas seemed a bit odd. Plus he seemed to resolve, what were seemingly deep rooted ideas, pretty quickly. Once they started having sex it was pretty passionate!

Other than those minor points, it was an enjoyable story and provided an interesting take on how one man accepts his sexuality with the love of another. I also loved seeing Jesse blossom under Tomas care, become part of the family and bond with his dog. After rejection by his family and losing his home and all his possessions, he definitely deserved his happy ending!

3.5 stars

To find out more about Daisy Harris and her books visit her website.

Buy From the Ashes from Amazon.

View all my reviews

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★★★★★ Guarded Desires by Lexxie Couper

This is the third book in the Heart of Fame series and is the first m/m romance. I loved the book, even more so than the first book in the series, but I think I am probably a bit impartial as I have a definite preference for m/m! 🙂

Guarded Desires (Heart of Fame, #3)Guarded Desires by Lexxie Couper

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

“Desire like this wasn’t in the script…”

Small-screen sex symbol Chris Huntley is on the fast track to becoming the next big action-blockbuster movie star. When his latest movie takes him to Australia for a red-carpet premiere, he thinks he’s ready for anything.

But nothing could have prepared him for his raw, carnal response to his Aussie bodyguard. Sexual attraction to a man is a first for Chris. Now he realizes why his relationships with women have never felt quite…complete.

Liev Reynolds is comfortable with his bisexuality, but his attraction to Chris is an inconvenience he must ignore. For starters, there’s his professional ethics. Then there’s the long trail of female broken hearts in Chris’s wake.

Hard as they both try to keep their minds on their jobs, desire and a little matchmaking tip them over the edge. But Hollywood endings aren’t real life. And when the truth leaks out, their careers aren’t the only collateral damage.

Warning: A hunky Hollywood sex symbol. A smoldering, stubborn Australian. A desire so powerful it cannot be denied. A kiss. And a photograph. This “isn’t” your normal boy-meets-boy story.

So what did I think?

“A desire and need and hunger that changed everything. Everything.”

I absolutely loved this book – it pressed all the right buttons and was just what I was in the mood for!

For some reason (probably wanting to believe in fairytales), I adore stories where a famous person falls for an ordinary guy. Ok, so Liev wasn’t exactly your run-of-the-mill guy, at least not where I hang out “…a six foot three bi-sexual firefighting bodyguard…” but I’m sure you get the gist.

Chris is an actor with a high rating TV show and a new blockbuster action movie about to be released. He is in Australia for the premiere. Chris has a reputation as a real ladies man and has never been attracted to another man. That all changes when he meets Liev, the bodyguard assigned to watch over him for the week in Sydney.

Liev was a gorgeous character – sexy, protective, caring. He wanted to do the right thing by Chris and I just wanted him to get his so well deserved happy ending.

What I most liked about this story was Chris’ reaction to his attraction to Liev. He is wildly turned on but it isn’t purely a physical attraction. “It had little to do with Liev’s sexy Australian accent and everything to do with the way Chris felt…complete when the man was near him. Not just safe, complete. Which only confused Chris more. He hadn’t realised he wasn’t whole until then.”
But there is no doubting their chemistry and the sex is hot – it is raw, hard and passionate – and there is no holding Chris back, even if he’s never had this type of sex before.

The direction the story took was pleasantly surprising, NOT falling into the standard plot line of the celebrity running from being found out to be gay. Of course things don’t go smoothly. Firstly there are all the problems associated with the men acknowledging they should be together and finally the problems trying to sort out the future.

My only concern with the story was the role Chris’ PA Bethany played in bringing the men together. I really liked her character but never fully understood her true motivation for bringing Chris and Liev together. I’m glad she did but the tactics she used just didn’t seem to fit with the professional assistant she appeared as – she didn’t even call Chris by his first name so her actions were very surprising.

Actor, bodyguard, action, drama, sexual chemistry….4.5 stars!

5 Stars

To find out more about Lexxie Couper and her books visit her website.

Buy Guarded Desires from Amazon.

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★★★★ The Closer You Get by L.A. Witt

The Distance Between Us series

  • The Distance Between Us (book #1) – previously reviewed
  • The Closer You Get (book #2)  – in this review
  • Meet Me In The Middle (book #3) – Expected: 20 August 2013 by Samhain Publishing

The Closer You Get (Distance Between Us, #2)The Closer You Get by L.A. Witt

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

“The virgin isn’t the only one with something to lose… ”

Self-described manwhore Kieran Frost is loving the single life. Two years after moving to Seattle, he still has his friends with benefits, Rhett and Ethan, plus a never-ending supply of gorgeous, available men wandering through the bar where he works. A relationship? Spare him the drama and heartbreak. He’s got no complaints about his unattached lifestyle.

When Rhett’s daughter introduces him to newly-out-of-the-closet Alex Corbin, Kieran’s interest perks up. After all, the quiet ones are always the freaks in bed. But Alex isn’t just shy and reserved. He’s a virgin in every sense of the word, having never even kissed anyone else.

Kieran is no one’s teacher, and his first instinct is to run like hell in the other direction. But his conscience won’t let him throw the na ve kid to the wolves for someone else to take advantage of. The plan is to introduce Alex to his own sexuality, pull him out of his shell, then go their separate ways.

It’s the perfect, foolproof plan…assuming no one falls in love.

Warning: This sequel to “The Distance Between Us” contains a curious virgin, a shameless slut, a trip to a sex shop, and one stubborn heart. Oh, and a dildo.

So what did I think?

When I finished the first book in this series The Distance Between Us, I was left feeling slightly disappointed because I wanted to see Kieran get his happy ever after. Obviously this was a common feeling amongst readers according to the author dedication: “To everyone who said Kieran deserved his own story: I agree. This one’s for you.” Thank you L.A. Witt!

I didn’t fully understand Kieran’s actions in The Distance Between us and exactly what he was getting out of the relationship with Rhett and Ethan. It was good to get insight into Kieran and greater understanding of his feelings about the relationship. I was reassured to find out that he didn’t feel used!

The premise of this story is fairly simple – Kieran, self-declared slut “Some people said that made me a slut. Hey, if the shoe fits… finally meets the man who breaks down his barriers, the man worth risking a relationship. Alex is a virgin in every sense of the word – he hasn’t kissed a girl or a boy and really has led a very sheltered existence.

“The manwhore and the virgin. Wow, this is crazy.”

Told from Kieran’s point of view, we see how Kieran educates Alex, taking him under his wing. I could appreciate how slowly Kieran moved, how considerate he was for Alex’s feelings, not wanting to rush him and wanting to make sure all his experiences were good ones. It was so obvious that Kieran had developed deep feelings for Alex, even if he couldn’t acknowledge it himself.

Some of Alex’s ‘education’ was quite amusing as Kieran explains the workings of dating and sex, taking him to sex shops and experimenting together. “I guess I always thought…um…toys were more for women.” “Depending on who you ask, the same could be said for cocks,” I said. “but as far as I’m concerned, what’s good for the goose…”. At other times it was just sweet and gentle.

The shift from sex to love is gradual. Kieran needs to address his fear of long-term relationships and the hurt that can be caused. He is also mindful that Alex hasn’t had a chance to experience more of the world, to date other people but luckily Alex is wiser “Maybe that’s why fate made me wait so long. So my first could be my only.”

There is definitely an extra star given for the totally romantic epilogue!

4 Stars

For more information on L.A. Witt and her books, visit her website.

Buy The Closer You Get from Amazon.

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