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BLOG TOUR, EXCERPT AND GIVEAWAY! Knave of Broken Hearts by Tara Lain

Knave of Broken Hearts
(Love in Laguna Series, Bk #2)
by Tara Lain
Blurb:

Jim Carney has a full time job—running from himself. Since he walked out on his wealthy family at sixteen because he’d wrecked his best friend’s life over some yaoi graphic novels, Jim has lived a macho, blue-collar existence of too much booze and too little responsibility. Then Billy Ballew, the man Jim most admires, gives Jim a chance to come through as his construction supervisor. For once, Jim is determined to make someone proud. Then Jim goes in for a physical for his new job and his yaoi dream comes to life in the form of cardiologist Ken Tanaka. Jim discovers he has two heart problems—a wonky mitral valve and a serious attraction to his doctor. But Ken is a major player, and Jim might be just a notch on the doc’s stethoscope. To Ken, Jim is unforgettable—but the living embodiment of his traditional family’s worst nightmares.

How come the minute Jim decides to be responsible, he finds himself taking care of his kid brother, getting a proposal from a wealthy woman, making a deal with the devil, and winding up in the hospital—when all he really wants is the Knave of Broken Hearts?

Available for purchase at 
 
             

 

Paperback from Dreamspinner
Excerpt

 

“Jim?”
He looked up at
Ken Tanaka standing in the door to the inner office. The doc came to get Jim
himself.
“Are you okay?
You look upset?”
“Oh no, not
exactly.”
“Want to come
in?”
“Sure.”
He stood and
walked through the door, inhaling Tanaka’s spicy/sweet scent that filled his
head like smoke. God, he felt disoriented, like he didn’t know which world he
lived in—one where he went out on dates with a rich woman, or one in which he
gazed into the beautiful eyes of Yaoi Man and got a hard-on. Hell, both of them
had to be fantasyland.
Ken motioned him
into a private office that wasn’t an examining room. “Please, take a seat.”
Jim sat in a
guest chair in front of Ken’s desk, and the doc walked all the way around to
sit in his big leather chair. Very professional. Very distant. Very not a good
sign. “So I got back the results of your echocardiogram.”
“Yeah?” Shit,
they should take another test right now. The way his heart hammered in his
ears, he’d sure as fuck fail.
“Your mitral
valve prolapse is what I would call moderate to severe. It’s difficult to tell
exactly without doing surgery.”
“Surgery?” Close your mouth, idiot.
“Yes, that’s how
a severely, shall we say, floppy valve is corrected.” He smiled tightly.
“Floppy?” It came
out like a squeak.
“I’m not
recommending surgery now. We’re going to observe over the next few months. I
want you to let me know any problems, arrhythmic heartbeats, racing heart,
chest pains, anything irregular that might occur, okay?”
Shit, all of that
was so regular for him, and he was so not going to tell Tanaka that. He nodded.
“Don’t worry.
Mitral valve prolapse is quite common. Most people never have any real
difficulty. Just follow my directions. Don’t drink excessively, eat healthy
food, even organic would be advisable, and avoid stress.”
Jim’s mouth
opened, then closed. He was okay on the drinking thing so far, although this
news made him want to down a bottle of Jack. Still, on the other stuff, the doc
might as well say fly to the moon and bring back some green cheese. Hell, even
being around Tanaka could give him a fucking heart attack. Sitting here
thinking he might die any moment, and his cock still wanted to escape his jeans
just from looking at the doctor’s lips. Maybe that’s how he’d go out. Lean over
and kiss Ken Tanaka. Bye-bye, Charlie.
“Does that all
seem doable?”
Jim nodded.
“Does, uh, that mean I don’t get the insurance?” Jesus, that would be bad.
“No. As I told
you, mitral valve prolapse is common. I’ve signed the papers and turned them
in. You should get the approval with no problem. You’re officially no longer a
patient.”
That felt both
good and bad. “Thanks, man.”
“My pleasure. As
I say, it’s not an inherently worrisome diagnosis.” Ken sat back in his chair.
“So you’re hooking up with our sexy landlord, huh?” He smiled, but something
seemed phony about it.
“Uh, no. She was
just talking to me about how to build out her suites. And she, uh, has some
more work for us.”
Ken stood and
walked toward the door of his office. “I don’t know, buddy. I’d look out for
her. You could find yourself hooked.”
Buddy? Seriously? “I won’t worry too
much. You told me to avoid stress.” He walked over to the door, looked at Ken,
then glanced away. “You seem to have a new boyfriend. Cute guy.”
He frowned. “My
mother fixed us up.”
“Seriously?” Jim
snorted a laugh.
“You, my friend,
are not Japanese, or you’d understand.”
“You were born in
Japan?” Ken had no accent at all.
“No, I was born
in Costa Mesa, but—well, it’s complicated. So don’t worry about your heart. My
office manager is gone, but she’ll call you to make an appointment in about two
months. Meanwhile, I’m serious about contacting me if anything unusual occurs.”
“Anything?”
“With your
health, crazy man.” He smiled, and this time it reached his eyes.
Two months. He
had no excuse to see Ken Tanaka for two months. Hell, that was good news. Maybe
he’d get his feet back under him, if he didn’t die of a heart attack first.
“Thanks again for
helping me with the architect thing.”
Ken raised an
eyebrow. “Is it working out with Willings?”
“Yeah. He
assigned one of the young guys in his office to handle the drawings, and he’s
great. He’s really saved my ass.”
“Good. See, I
helped relieve your stress.” He sounded sad.
“Yeah.” He stuck
out his hand. Ken took it, and heat traveled up Jim’s arm all the way to his
heart. “Guess I’ll see you in two months.”
“Yes.”
“Don’t marry any
guys you don’t want to marry.” He tried to grin.

 

Ken didn’t grin.
“I’ll try.”

 

 











KenCharacter Bio

Ken – The Knave of Broken Hearts

Name: Kenji “Ken” Tanaka

Age: 27

Hair: Black

Eyes: Very dark brown

Body: Tall and slender

Occupation: Cardiologist

Family: Only child of a close-knit Japanese family; he had a brother who died in childhood

Vices: Because his family doesn’t approve of his being gay, he uses that as an excuse to be a “player” and sleep with too many men, never settling down

Virtues: A devoted son (maybe too devoted) and a brilliant, caring doctor

Problems: A mother who won’t admit he’s gay

Issues: Inability to commit

Loves: His family, his work, his patients, and after many trials, Jim Carney


About the Author

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

Knight Of Ocean Avenue
By Tara Lain



Blurb: 

How can you be twenty-five and not know you’re gay? Billy Ballew runs from that question. A high school dropout, barely able to read until he taught himself, Billy’s life is driven by his need to help support his parents as a construction worker, put his sisters through college, coach his Little League team, and not think about being a three-time loser in the engagement department. Being terrified of taking tests keeps Billy from getting the contractor’s license he so desires, and fear of his mother’s judgement blinds Billy to what could make him truly happy.

Then, in preparation for his sister’s big wedding, Billy meets Shaz—Chase Phillips—a rising star, celebrity stylist who defines the word gay. To Shaz, Billy embodies everything he’s ever wanted—stalwart, honest, brave—but even if Billy turns out to be gay, he could never endure the censure he’d get for being with a queen like Shaz. How can two men with so little in common find a way to be together? Can the Stylist of the Year end up with the Knight of Ocean Avenue?

 

Available for purchase at
Paperback from Dreamspinner 
 add-to-goodreads-button
Excerpt

 

GAGA’S “EDGE of
Glory” played in his ear. Damn. Quit.He reached out and pawed at the edge
of the coffee table until he finally felt the phone. His fingers found the mute
button and he clicked it. Peace. He tried to roll over. Heavy.
“Merwaorwr.”
“Mewr.”
Claws dug into his
chest as the weight lifted, then disappeared. “Go back to sleep.” He rolled
over until his face and body were pressed against the back of the couch. Ouch.
His dick hurt. Sleep. Ouch.
Well, damn. Slowly
he rolled onto his back and stared at the ceiling. He glanced to the side.
Clancy and Yerby gazed at him like they could command him with will force alone
to open the tuna. “Hang in there, guys.”
Oh man. Not hung
over. He’d had half a beer. But here he lay fully clothed on his couch, aching
in his bones and feeling like someone had kicked him in the nuts. That would be
him. He’d done it to himself.
He swung his legs
over the side, sat up on the edge of the couch, and dropped his head. Four eyes
stared up at him. “Go open it yourself.”
Three times. He’d
wanked himself into oblivion three times while rewinding that frigging porno.
Was there one line he didn’t engrave in his brain? Every “unh, unh, unh. Fuck
me harder” was emblazoned in his memory. Jesus, Ballew. Yeah, Jesus was the
operative word. But if he was going to hell for jerking off, he’d be taking
every male in the world with him.
Of course, he didn’t
just masturbate; he wanked to gay porn. What the hell is that about? Truth?
He’d been kicked in the teeth so many times by so many women, the idea of
fucking a nice uncomplicated man kind of did it for him. Well, not seriously,
but the theory was attractive. And no, he would not be sharing this revelation
with the guys on the job site.
The bang on his door
about sent him into outer space. Who the hell? Nobody came here. He didn’t
share his address much. No poker with the boys or make-out sessions with the
girls. His place. His. Who was it?
The knocking came
again.
Shit!
He jumped up.
“Yeah?” The cats looked up at his loud voice.
“Billy, it’s Jim.”
The voice came through the door.
Jim. Billy looked
around, grabbed the laptop, closed it tight, and slid it onto the end table.
Lube. Shit. He shoved the open tube into the drawer, then staggered over to the
front door. How much did he smell like sex? Damn, his sweats were halfway to
his knees. He dragged them back up, then opened the door.
“Hi. Sorry,
overslept.” He ran a hand through his hair.
Jim Carney was a
little older than him and a good guy, if a bit of a hound dog. He grinned.
“Sorry. My truck broke down. I was kind of close to here and remembered your
address. Thought I’d see if I could get a ride.”
“Uh, sure.” He
glanced over his shoulder. It felt strange having somebody here. “Come on in. I
need to feed my cats and take a quick shower, if you want to wait.”
“Sure. Too far to
walk and all uphill.” He stepped in. “You have cats?”
Billy looked at Jim.
The guy had a tough face with a broken nose that some women liked. “Yeah, I got
two. You like cats?”
“No. Just think it’s
kind of funny that you do.” He smacked Billy’s shoulder. “You crazy cat lady,
you.”
Well, hell. “Make
yourself at home.” Kind of. He walked into the kitchen, the boys behind him,
and scooped out some cat food into both dishes. “Here ya go, guys.” He raised
his voice. “Don’t let feline haters make you feel bad.”
Jim laughed from the
living room. “This is quite a place you have. Jesus, man, what are you, some
closet decorator?”
Billy frowned and
walked into the living room. “No, I just like having a nice place of my own.”
“But you’re so
damned neat.” He was holding a glass globe Billy had found in a yard sale.
“So?” He took the
globe and put it back on the shelf.
“Nothing. No wonder
women like you so much.”
“I’m taking a quick
shower.” He started for the bedroom, stopped and grabbed the laptop, then went
into his room—small with a big bed.
He glanced at his
watch, still ticking on his wrist. Double shit. If he didn’t hurry, they’d both
be late for work. Saturday shifts were good for making extra cash, but not if
he didn’t get there.
He stepped under the
water. Too cold. Shaved so fast he nicked himself and finally got some clothes
on and hurried back into the living room. Jim sat on the couch holding a book,
the two cats staring at him from across the room. He stared back. Billy laughed.
“Have they got you cornered?”
“Shit, man, those
two are scary. What are they, ninja attack cats?”
Billy sat and pulled
on his work boots. He nodded at the book. “What you got?”
Jim held out the
book. “This is heavy shit, my man.” The copy of Jane Eyre kind of weighed down
his hand.
Billy tried to keep
his brows from scrunching together. “I just like to read. I didn’t get to go to
school too long, so I read, okay?” He didn’t say he read because it was like a
fucking gift to finally be able to do it.
Jim set down the
book and stood up. “You really are different, you know?”
“Thanks a shitload.”
“I don’t mean it
bad. You’re just—not like most of the guys.”

 

Man, was he tired of
hearing that.

 

 

About the Author

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

Today we are thrilled to host Tara Lain’s Blog Tour for Winter’s Wolf and share with you a character bio. So read below to meet Matthew Partridge, who’s sure to become one of your favourite ‘human with a twist‘.

 

Winter’s Wolf 
(Tales of the Harker Pack #3)
By Tara Lain
Blurb:
Winter Thane was raised on the two cardinal rules of werewolf existence: don’t reveal yourself to humans under penalty of death, and there’s no such thing as a gay werewolf. It’s no surprise when his father drags him from his wild life in remote Canada back to Connecticut to meet his old pack in hopes it will persuade Winter to abandon his love of sex with human males. Of course Dad’s hopes are dashed when they come face-to-face with the gay werewolves in the Harker pack.
Winter takes one look at FBI agent, Matt Partridge, and decides bird is his favorite food. Partridge is embroiled in an investigation into drug dealing and the death of a fellow agent. He can’t let himself get distracted by the young, platinum-haired beast, but then Winter proves invaluable in the search for clues, a move that winds them both up in chains and facing imminent death. Winter quickly learns his father’s motives are questionable, the pack alphas are a bunch of pussies, humans aren’t quite what they seem, and nothing in the forests of Connecticut is pure except love.

Available for purchase at

      

 

Paperback from Dreamspinner Press

Character Bio – Meet Matthew Partridge

Winter's Wolf Teaser 4

Name: Matthew (Matt) Partridge

Species: Human, with a twist

Age:  27

Height:  6’1”

Weight: About 180 pounds, lean and toned

Hair color: Brown, cut short

Eye color:  Green and inquisitive

Education: college degree in law enforcement

Occupation: FBI agent rapidly promoted up the ranks

Born: In Connecticut

Family: Son of Jason Partridge, former police officer, now bedridden with a bad heart and schizophrenia

Special Skills: Analytical and intuitive, so is able to ferret out criminals

Sexual orientation: Gay

Personality: inquisitive, fiercely intelligent, devoted to his father, loves his job

Weaknesses – Believes he’s inherited his father’s mental illness, therefore tends to not trust some of his own decisions

Loves – Completely devoted to his father; falls in love with Winter Thane

Excerpt

 

Walk slowly. Look casual. Matt left the way he’d come—out the back door. When his feet hit dirt, he jogged away from the club and ducked behind the shed that had been built on the edge of the forest.
Going to die. Heart can’t beat this hard and survive.
He leaned against the shed and gasped for breath, but his cock had grown to the size of a monster, stealing all his oxygen. Think. What the fuck are you doing? No reasonable human being could believe that Winter Thane wanted Matt Partridge, so there had to be an ulterior motive. The dude had asked the marshal about him. For all Matt knew, Winter could be involved in the disappearance of the agent. Maybe he wanted to discredit Matt or—maybe he had something to do with the weird wolf stories. Jesus, the only man he’d ever seen who looked more like a wolf than Cole Harker had to be Winter Thane. Those eyes. Even his teeth were sharp. All the better to eat you with. He closed his eyes and banged his head against the metal siding. Those teeth scraping his cock—
“Dreaming of me?”
Matt’s eyes flew open. “Shit! How did you get here?”
He looked over his shoulder. “Like you said. Out the front, around the side.”
“But I didn’t hear you.”
He grinned. Oh yes, those teeth glistened. “I’m sneaky.”
Matt took a breath, pushed away from the shed, and walked a couple of steps toward the trees. Need distance. “Look. I don’t mean to lead you on, but I’m with the FBI and this isn’t a good idea—”
The hand that gripped his shoulder must have been iron. In one move, Winter grabbed him, pulled him against a body so hard and hot it penetrated Matt’s jacket on contact, hauled Matt’s head back, and covered his mouth in a devouring kiss.
Tongue. Teeth. Perfection.
Winter held Matt’s head both hard and gentle, like he wanted to control him but didn’t want to hurt him. Oh God, so nice. He tasted like beer and smelled like—what? Musky and clean at the same time, like Matt’s dog Buster when he was freshly washed. Man, he wanted to bury his nose in Winter’s neck like he did with Buster.

 

Winter reduced the speed and intensity of the kiss from fast food to a gourmet meal. He licked and nibbled, tasted and savored, his tongue a finely tuned instrument exploring every cranny of Matt’s mouth. He’d never been so completely kissed. So much so that even the screaming pressure of his cock couldn’t make him want Winter to move on. Matt twined his arms around Winter’s neck. Standing only six feet, he couldn’t get his cock to meet Winter’s, but the prod of that big rod against his belly made him want to beg. He pulled his mouth away an inch. “I should arrest you for carrying a lethal weapon.”

 

 

Tales of the Harker Pack Series

 

        

 

About the Author

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

You can find Tara at

               
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Tara Lain visits with a GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY

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

 

Guest Post

When Secondary Characters Pounce on You and Demand Their Own Book

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 



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

You can find Tara at

               
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Blog Tour with Giveaway: The Pack or the Panther on audiobook!

 

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The Pack or the Panther

☊☊ audiobook ☊☊

 Tara Lain

Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson

Narrator: Max Lehnen

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

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The Blurb…

Cole Harker, son of an alpha werewolf, is bigger and more powerful than most wolves, tongue-tied in groups, and gay. For twenty-four years, he’s lived to please his family and pack—even letting them promise him in marriage to female werewolf Analiese to secure a pack alliance and help save them from a powerful gangster who wants their land. Then Cole meets Analiese’s half-brother, panther shifter Paris Marketo, and for the first time, Cole wants something for himself.

When Analiese runs off to marry a human, Cole finally has a chance with Paris, but the solitary cat rejects him, the pack, and everything it represents. Then Cole discovers the gangster wants Paris too and won’t rest until he has him. What started as a land dispute turns into World War Wolf! But the bigger fight is the battle between cats and dogs.

Excerpt:

Cole took hold of a branch a few feet from Paris. “Do you think the alliance will stand?” He shrugged. “Hard to say. I know everyone hopes so, so I hope so too.” Cole pulled his eyebrows together. “But you don’t really care.”

Paris looked up sharply. “Yes, I care. I care about my parents. They’ve been good to me and I owe them a lot. I’m a freak by wolf standards, and my father has never abjured me. I honestly believe he kept me separate for my well-being more than his own. He acknowledges me as his son even though I remind him of his greatest sorrow.”

“Your panther mother.” He nodded. “And Trixie isn’t a brave female. My existence is difficult for her, but she’s been nothing but good to me. She had to stand against the combined disapproval of a lot of other females for me. They didn’t know what I was, but they knew I was Merced’s first wife’s son. They weren’t kind. She was. I value her and want the best.”

Cole nodded. If there was one thing he understood, it was loyalty.

“And then there’s you.”

Cole glanced up. Look at that mischievous face. He’d switched from deeply serious to court jester in one second flat. “What about me?” He grinned.

The cat danced around his tree, unfastening buttons on his shirt with intricate skill. “You want the alliance and I want you. Isn’t that an Aristotelian principle? If A equals B and B equals C, then Paris wants Cole to have his alliance so Paris can have Cole’s big yummy cock in his ass. An ass, I might add, that’s been throbbing like a voodoo drum since I first looked in your silver eyes, wolfman.” He whipped off the shirt, leaving his upper body bare.

Wow. Even knowing what was coming, that sight was hard to believe. The cat’s skin glowed in the moonlight like so much alabaster formed into a work of art. If you liked bulky, you wouldn’t like Paris. But if the look of a black leopard stealing along a branch stilled your heart, this sight would do it for you down to the ground. Not really slim. More like lean, with muscles just where they should be, but as if they were made of silk rather than stone. Fluid.

Paris reached and grabbed a branch, then pulled himself up one-armed until he leaned over the wood on his belly. Flip. He circled and came up to sitting, his upper body glowing and long legs dangling. He spread his arms out for a second as if balancing on a tightrope. Then he reached in and started to unfasten his belt. Slowly, he slipped it from his trousers, then swung it over his head until it caught on an upper branch.

He pulled himself to standing and used one hand to slowly lower his fly. White showed in the gap. Oh my. Not white underwear.  White skin. Cole shuddered. He wasn’t used to this kind of sexy. Hell, who was? This cat was one of a kind.

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About the author

Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 21. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft.  She lives with her soul-mate husband and her soul-mate dog in Laguna Beach, California, a pretty seaside town where she sets a lot of her books.  Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!

Author Links:

Website:              http://www.taralain.com

Blog:                      http://www.taralain.com/blog

Goodreads:        http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4541791.Tara_Lain

Twitter:               http://twitter.com/taralain

FB Page:                http://www.facebook.com/taralain

Newsletter:          Newsletter

Tour Dates: July 15th, 2014

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Tour Stops: Parker Williams, Havan Fellows, Because Two Men Are Better Than One, My Fiction Nook, Wake Up Your Wild Side, Prism Book Alliance, Amanda C. Stone, Romance the Night, Redz World, Emotion in Motion, Cate Ashwood, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Hearts on Fire, Velvet Panic, Kimber Vale, MM Good Book Reviews, Iyana Jenna, Night Owl Reviews, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Kimi-Chan, Buffy’s Ramblings,  Michael Mandrake

 

 

Giveaway

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Enter the giveaway by clicking the image or the link here.

Rafflecopter Prize: One audio copy, 2 e-copies

Buy Links

E-copies: Available  Dreamspinner Press  AMAZON  ARe And other resellers

Audiobook

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F.A.S.T. Balls by Tara Lain

The Balls to the Wall Series by Tara Lain

  • Volley Balls (book #1)
  • Fire Balls (book #2)
  • Beach Balls (book #3)
  • Snow Balls (book #4)
  • F.A.S.T. Balls (book #5) – in this review

See the link below for review of the first four books in the series.

F.A.S.T. Balls (Balls To The Wall, #5)F.A.S.T. Balls by Tara Lain

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Firefighter and surfing champion, Jerry Wallender, looks like a hero to the world, but he can’t see it. He keeps falling for these intellectual guys who end up making him feel dumb and unneeded. On top of that, Mick Cassidy, super-gorgeous firefighter and total homophobe, makes Jerry’s life miserable with his slurs. Then one day Mick’s nice to Jerry and, at the Firefighter’s Ball, Jerry offers a helping hand and ends up with a hand-job. What the hell is going on?

Mick Cassidy is great with fighting fires and solving math problems but rotten with people. Raised by a gay-hating preacher, Mick’s carefully constructed world of gay bashing starts to crumble when he meets Jerry, the nicest, kindest man he’s ever known. Mick’s never wanted a woman and can’t stop thinking about sex with Jerry. In fact, he can’t stop doing it. Does that make him gay? And if he’s gay, what happens to his whole life? A hook-up between sweet Jerry and mean Mick might be total disaster — or the smartest idea Jerry ever had.

So what did I think?

A little bit of mixed feelings about this one. While I enjoyed the continuation of the series I did find there were a couple of things that slightly dampened my enthusiasm.

The plot seemed slightly familiar, centreing around around a guy (Mick) who has been raised with an extreme preacher for a father. His father is leading his ‘community’ in the ways of hate, encouraging intolerance to the point of violence. “And they’re armed, Jerry. They’ve got guns in trucks and closets and under beds.” Due to his upbringing, Mick needs to overcome his own prejudices and gain a better understanding of what being gay means before he can accept his own nature.

My issue with this story line was the resolution – there was strong conflict with Mick’s father but nothing like I would have expected given his beliefs and Mick seemed to deal with it a bit too easily. After a life-time of listening to his father’s sermons and rantings, I would have thought some heavy counselling would have been needed before he could accept his own sexuality.

I also found some of Mick’s dialogue uncomfortable. The words he used when talking about sex and body parts just seemed too childlike…“Then there was the thing. Turns out it was pretty big. He smiled. He knew from the shower at the station. That was supposed to be a good thing. Guys always bragged about how big their things were.” I know he was virginal but this just seemed too extreme, particularly for someone living in a world surrounded by masculine firemen!

What I did like was Jerry, who had been unlucky in love, getting his happy ending! I thought he accepted Mick and gave him another chance way too readily but it all worked out in the end.

This makes a nice addition to the series.

3 Stars

To find out more about Tara Lain and her books visit her website.

Buy the Balls to the Wall series from Amazon.

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Balls to the Wall series by Tara Lain

The Balls to the Wall Series by Tara Lain

  • Volley Balls (book #1)
  • Fire Balls (book #2)
  • Beach Balls (book #3)
  • Snow Balls (book #4)

Volley Balls  (Balls to the Wall, #1)Volley Balls by Tara Lain

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

David Underwood needs to go to AA – Alpha-lovers Anonymous. His last attraction to an alpha male got him into an abusive relationship, and now ogling two hot members of the Australian volleyball team on Laguna Beach gets him harassed yet again.

Australian Gareth Marshall needs to come out. A lifetime of hiding his orientation from his best friend and volleyball partner, Edge, as well as everyone else around him, has left him hurt and frustrated. When Gareth gets a load of David posing nude as the Michelangelo statue in the famous Laguna Pageant, he knows his days in the closet are numbered. And David is more than willing to help him take the first step out of the dark.

But Gareth’s teammate, Edge, has secrets of his own, and David’s ex-lover will never be happy without David under his thumb. With everything stacked against him, can a gay Laguna man find happiness with an alpha male – or two?

So what did I think?

I love a story with alpha males and athletes and you can’t go past a combination that includes an Aussie volleyball player!

This was a nice story with a few things really going for it: Gareth is gorgeous, Gareth’s mum is fabulous, David is wonderful, it has a public coming out, there’s humour, there’s hot sex…

There were a couple of things that I found mildly annoying (that’s probably not even the right word, they were more just things that stood out). Firstly Gareth’s Australian accent – it seemed more New Zealand than Aussie (eg. ‘Understend’ for ‘understand’ and ‘yis’ for ‘yes’). Plus it seemed he overused ‘mate’. Yes, some Australian’s say mate but not all the time and it sure didn’t sound right in the middle of a sex scene! And the description of David just seemed too stereotypical of the effeminate gay man – hand gestures, swaying walk, high voice, tight clothes, bright clothes – I loved his nature and this is how the author portrayed him but for some reason wanted him to be a bit more unique.

The ending was a bit of surprise and it’s a shame the story ended there. I wanted to read more of David, Gareth and Edge’s story!
3 Stars

Fire Balls  (Balls to the Wall, #2)Fire Balls by Tara Lain

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Rodney Mansfield is tiny, flamboyant and, oh yeah, a black belt in karate. He is also one of southern California’s greatest artists. Too bad the work of art he really wants is firefighter, Hunter Fallon. But the gorgeous “straight gay” guy could never want the Runtback of Notre Dame, so when Rodney’s handsome, surfer friend, Jerry, develops an unexpected passion for the beautiful firefighter, Rodney breaks his own heart by helping Jerry land his man. And then Rod makes it worse by embarrassing Hunter when he protects him from a firehouse bully. Hunter hates gay guys like Rodney – doesn’t he? Then why can’t he get the powerful pipsqueak’s face out of his mind… and cock out of his ass? And why does he risk his job and his life to rescue Rod from a burning building? Isn’t it time for him to admit he’s not an alpha male after all and that he is the property of the artist?

So what did I think?

Another great combination of characters with the flamboyant artist Rodney and the gorgeous firefighter Hunter.

Interestingly, I didn’t really like Hunter when first introduced. His attitude to Rodney, the out and proud ‘queen’ was unsettling. It was clear that he didn’t want people to ‘get the wrong’ idea about him if he was seen with Rodney but it wasn’t until much later in the book that the true reasons become clear and his behaviour seems better justified.

The story is interesting as both Rodney and Hunter pursue relationships with other people. But they can’t resist the pull of each other. There’s an event that occurs here, due to their attraction to one another, that was slightly disappointing – luckily Jerry is a good and understanding friend!

The sexual relationship between the two men was full of surprises as were both men. Rodney was tough and able to stand up for himself and other’s when required. The ‘flaming queen’ definitely had some tricks up his sleeve!

This was a really enjoyable story.

4 Stars

Beach Balls  (Balls to the Wall,  #3)Beach Balls by Tara Lain

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Adam James is so far in the closet he could find Narnia. But coming out would threaten all he’s built as the lead attorney for WMA Development, and the million dollars he can get when he finishes pushing a big land remediation project through the City Council. Then on an early morning scuba dive, Adam meets a tall, lean rebreather diver named Sky who makes him want to live a different life. But Adam’s dreams are shattered when he walks into the council meeting and finds the fire-breathing environmentalist who’s screwing up his chances of winning is none other than that same beautiful man. Sky Sea Mickeljohn doesn’t compromise, so how could he find himself lusting after a damned developer? And what happens when somebody open’s Adam’s closet door? These two better start telling the truth if they’re ever going to find world peace.

So what did I think?

This story is very different to the first two in the series and is really not about sport at all – unless you count the bit of scuba diving that occurs – so I had to reclassify on my bookshelves! It also has a very different feel to the others in the series without really crossing over with any of the characters we have met so far (apart from a brief mention of Roman’s paintings).

Not that this is a bad thing because I totally enjoyed the story.

This story brings together a very much in the closet attorney/developer and an out and proud environmentalist. Adam just happens to be going incognito when he first meets Sky (cute name!) so they don’t realise they are involved in very opposing careers.

I liked the characters, I liked the story, I liked the resolution. Yes, I missed the original characters, but actually couldn’t imagine how they would have fit into this story and think this one works more as a standalone.

4 Stars

Snow Balls (Balls to the Wall, #4)Snow Balls by Tara Lain

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Big, handsome and hunky, JJ LaRousse looks like an alpha male but acts like an interior decorator. And he’s trying to be happy about it — until a robbery at the famous Laguna Winter Fantasy brings JJ face-to-face with tough cop, Ryan Star. JJ hears Ryan likes guys who are manly men, so he drops his voice an octave, colors over his pink hair, and tries to pass as a football fan.

Ryan Star may be tough but he hides in the closet at work since he learned in New York that being a gay cop can cost you your life. His attraction to that big, handsome kid threatens his anonymity, but he can’t seem to resist. JJ is just his type. But then JJ goes skiing and comes face to face with his greatest nemesis– and all the secrets come out of the closet. Can Ryan love JJ for who he really is? More important, can JJ?

So what did I think?

Such a cute and lovely story!

It was interesting to read about ‘big, handsome, hunky’ JJ LaRousse whose appearance just doesn’t fit with how he sees himself “It just happened that JJ was a pansy. All pink and purple and multipetaled.” He wants to be an interior decorator, he’s scared of spiders and he doesn’t do sports.

Ryan is a closeted cop, with very good reason for not wanting to come out at work. He and JJ embark on a relationship but it is based on lies as JJ tries to be what he thinks Ryan wants – a sports keen, beer drinking male. But eventually it all comes out!

Lots of humour, lots of loving and some surprising heroic actions!

4 Stars

To find out more about Tara Lain and her books visit her website.

Buy the Balls to the Wall series from Amazon.