New Release – The Harder We Fall by Rebecca Raine #giveaway

BLOG TOUR

Book Title: The Harder We Fall

Author: Rebecca Raine

Cover Artist: Bec Rivers

Release Date:  March 29,  2021

Genre: MM Romance

Trope: Hurt/Comfort

Themes: Grief, Penance, Personal Growth

Heat Rating: 4 flames

 Length: 70,000 words

It is a standalone book.

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Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon USAmazon UK 

For years, I’ve been bound by sleeplessness and sorrow. His voice threatens to set me free.

Blurb 

Insomnia. It’s part of the penance I pay for my greatest mistake. But when an ill-timed doze behind the wheel of my car nearly introduces me to a pole, I know something has to change.

Sleep with Me, a locally-made meditation app, promises a cure. I don’t expect it to work. Nor do I expect to become enthralled by the voice of its creator, Sam Stephenson. His ability to coax forth my nightly surrender is unnerving. I have to meet this man and learn the secret behind his techniques, so I can evict him from my head—and still get a good night’s sleep.

In person, the quiet and reclusive Sam is his own kind of complicated. He needs my business skills as much as I need his meditation skills and we forge an unlikely partnership. But the attraction between us soon flares into passion and, as we grow closer, I start to long for more than my guilty conscience will allow.

I have no right to love, not after the damage I’ve done. How can I give Sam all he deserves, when our chance at a happy ending was ruined before we even met?

Excerpt

“We’re running out of time.”

“So, we are,” I say with a false show of surprise. “It’s my fault, of course.” I pause, trying to figure out how to word the next part without making it obvious this was part of my plan all along. “I could always email you the questions. Then you can take as long as you like to answer them. After you send them back, I’ll write up a plan and we can meet again to discuss it.”

He looks aghast at the idea. “That’s a lot of work. I don’t want to take up too much of your time.”

“Actually, Sam, I’m the one asking for more of your time.” I brandish my most charming smile. It’s worked on men in the past, though I’m not usually trying this hard for the win. Desperation may have knocked the polish off.

Sam’s mouth drops open and somehow he manages to look panicked and thrilled at the same time. “You want to see me again?” he asks. “For the quid pro quo, I mean.”

“If you don’t mind.” I try to look calm, but my pulse is roaring like an express train. If he says no, I’m screwed. “I know this is all a bit odd, me coming to you the way I have. I suppose I hoped, once we met, you might be willing to give this whole process some more time.”

He shifts in his chair again, his gaze dropping. There’s no sign of his earlier trepidation, though, only a subtle wariness. “This was never going to be one hour, was it?”

“Not really, no,” I say, surprised at my honesty. “Not if we’re both going to get what we want from this.”

I can feel his attention all over me, even with his gaze glued to the table. “What exactly do you want from me, Tristan?”

It’s the voice. Right there in front of me. Coming from his mouth. Holy fuck.

Hearing that voice say my name, after all the ways I’ve used and abused his—in curses and moans and whispered pleas—is a goddamned fantasy come to life. Lust surges through my veins and I want to growl in frustration. This infatuation has to end. “I need to stop sleeping with you.”

His head snaps upright and we both gasp.

My right hand slaps over my mouth. “Fuck, I didn’t mean it like that.”

Looking away again, he releases a shaky breath. “It’s all right.” He runs absent hands along his arms, soothing a severe case of goosebumps. Sam is responding to my voice, my words, the same way I inevitably respond to his.

How would we respond to each other’s touch? Stifling a groan, I shift clenched fists into my lap. That’s not what this is about. I’m obsessed enough without learning the texture of his skin and the taste of his—

Sam starts to laugh, really laugh. “That stupid name,” he manages to say between breaths. “Sleep with Me. It wasn’t even my idea, but it certainly does get a reaction.” There’s another peel of laughter, as if he’s releasing all the tension from his body, and I find myself joining in. Every time we look at each other it gets worse and before I know it my stomach is sore from laughing. It feels good to laugh at myself. Weird, but good.

“Let me rephrase,” I say as we start to regain our composure. “What I mean is, now you’ve succeeded in getting me to sleep, I want to figure out how to do it on my own.”

“Should be easy enough. It’s probably something in the phrasing.”

Reality seeps back in, killing off the last of my amusement. “No, it’s something else.” Sam isn’t the first person to tell me to let go of my guilt. My mother used to say it constantly. It wasn’t your fault, Tristan. You shouldn’t blame yourself.She didn’t believe her words any more than I did, but she tried. “I don’t know what it is about you that’s different. I don’t think it’s necessarily something you can teach me, but whatever it is, I need to figure it out.”

“So, what’s the plan?” he asks with a baffled expression. “Are you going to hang around me until you get your answer through osmosis or something?”

“Maybe? I don’t know.” I drop my head into my hands. “Honestly, I’m making this up as I go along.”

“You and me both,” he says with a snort. “I don’t know if I can give you the answer you’re looking for, Tristan. But I’ll try.”

Slumping back in my chair, I release a sigh. “Thank you, Sam.”

He smiles that tiny smile and I try not to drool when his cheeks turn pink. “It’s my pleasure.”

About the Author 

Rebecca is a long-time lover of all things romance. Whether it’s a book, movie, or real life, she will always have more fun if there’s a love interest thrown into the mix. She lives in Queensland, Australia with her very own hero husband, two quirky kids and one big, black dog. Other than reading and writing books, her favourite things include loud music, enjoying a glass of wine on the patio, organising everything in existence, and spending too much time on the Internet.

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Social Media Links

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Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win

one of five ebook copies of The Harder We Fall

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Blog Tour – Life Support (Crush #6) by Elouise East @EastElouise #giveaway #KindleUnlimited

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Book Title: Life Support (Crush #6)

Author: Elouise East

Publisher: Elouise East

Cover Artist: Maria Vickers

Release Date: March 11, 2021

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Tropes: Friends to lovers, Hurt/comfort

Themes: Sexual harassment in the workplace

Heat Rating: 4 flames   

Length: 75 000 words

It is a standalone story, although characters from other books in the series do appear throughout

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Universal link  |   Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

Secrets give others more power. Now is the time to fight back.

Blurb

What can they do when their safety and self-worth are compromised?

Casey’s usually bubbly, cheeky demeanour is diminished by sexual harassment from a colleague. When Casey becomes scared for his safety, he seeks out a trainer to teach him how to escape. Withholding the secret is stifling, but he sees no other option if he wants to keep his job. Spilling those secrets to an almost stranger changes his life in a way he never thought possible.

Luke spends his time training people in evasive tactics. He loves his job, but feels inferior to his more successful siblings. How can he compete with lawyers, police officers and teachers? When Casey comes to him for training, Luke knows he’s hiding a secret and wants to get to the source. Finally, Casey confides in him, and Luke sets his sights on helping. 

Can they win the fight against people who bring them down? 

Excerpt 

Chapter 1 

Casey

“How are things going with Marcus?” Chloe asked as they packed up the equipment, ready to drive back to the hospital. “Still in the lovey-dovey stage?” She grinned, nudging his shoulder.

He shoved her back, good-naturedly. “Yes, as a matter of fact. Everything is going great.”

Casey had met Marcus four months ago and had persuaded him to bring a friend along for a double date with Casey’s best friend, Alex. So far, as he’d told Chloe, everything was working out well despite his shift patterns. Or maybe because of his shift patterns. Twelve-hour stints, two days, two nights, four days on, four days off. The hours were crap, but it was part of his job, so he couldn’t complain about it. He’d known the times before he agreed to the role.

They climbed into the ambulance, Chloe in the driver’s seat. Casey didn’t mind driving, but most of his colleagues preferred being in control of the ambulance, so he let them have it. He was happy to navigate instead. The engine’s loud rumble reverberated beneath his feet and ass while he clicked his seat belt into place.

“Who was the guy I saw you with earlier today?” Chloe asked, pulling out onto the road.

Casey frowned, then smiled. “Oh, outside the deli? That was Craig.” His heart felt heavy when he thought of the guy. “He’s been through a lot, and I’ve spoken with him a few times at the hospital.” He wasn’t about to divulge Craig’s personal details despite Chloe being bound by the same confidentiality rules. “He knows Alex, too. I was inviting him to meet some friends. I thought it might help him to socialise a bit more, rather than exist in his own little bubble.”

“That’s nice of you. Everyone needs friends. I’m not sure where I’d be without mine.”

Chloe had also been through a difficult time. Eight months ago, her husband had left her with two young children. It had taken a lot of organising for her to be able to come back to work. Casey glanced at her, seeing her blonde hair tied back in a ponytail; pale, blemish-free skin; dainty nose and rosebud lips. Her blue eyes sparkled all the time—except for the first few months after her husband took off—and she thoroughly enjoyed her job. If Casey had been heterosexual, he would’ve flirted with her. He did flirt with her, but they both knew that was the extent of it.

“How are the munchkins?” Casey asked with a grin, turning the subject to something he knew raised her spirits.

Chloe blew a hair out of her face. “Growing up too quickly. I know I have to give them time because of what’s happened, but Gemma is a nightmare.” Chloe shook her head and sighed. “She refuses to sleep in her own bed, which means I rarely get a good night’s sleep—not that I’m complaining, I’d prefer her to be happy and settled. It’s difficult. As for Jerome, he’s carrying on as if nothing happened.” A frown crossed her face.

“They’ll process it in different ways, you know that. Just be there for them and ask for help when you need it. Don’t do this alone, Chloe.” He reached over and squeezed her leg gently, hoping to convey how much she meant to him.

“I know, and I do ask. I hate having to rely on so many people.”

“I understand that. It’s nice to be independent, but sometimes, it’s just not possible.” He looked at his watch. “Almost dinner time. I’m starving.” As if his words reminded his body, his stomach growled.

Chloe snorted and flicked her gaze to him briefly. “You’re always starving. If I remember right, you were starving half an hour after the deli.”

“What can I say? I have a fast metabolism.”

They both laughed, the sound echoing around the small cab. Their Terrafix Responder chimed with a new incident, and Casey checked the details, relaying the information to Chloe, who sped up as Casey flicked on the sirens and lights. He brought up the route they’d need and directed Chloe to the house.

Two hours later, at the end of their shift, they finally managed to grab some food from the hospital restaurant. It was one of the downsides to the job, but if he didn’t eat while he had a spare minute, he might not get to eat

for hours. A paramedic’s schedule is based around people’s bumps and bruises, not around when it’s lunchtime or dinnertime.

Slumping at the table, his body and mind felt drained, and they sat in silence. Once he’d devoured his shepherd’s pie, he clapped Chloe on the shoulder and said goodnight, heading straight for the staff locker room. He’d checked his phone as he was eating and had seen a message from Marcus, asking if Casey could visit him that night. Normally, Casey would have agreed, but he was exhausted. He hadn’t replied yet because he’d wanted to see whether he felt better after eating. He didn’t.

The staff locker room was a large space with individual lockers for each member of staff. They weren’t particularly big lockers, but with the amount of staff at the hospital, they’d need a whole floor just for them if they made them any larger. The room also housed several showers, toilets and a couple of changing rooms. As it was a gender-neutral zone, all people used it.

Casey moved to his locker, quickly opening it and grabbing his bag, the need for sleep dragging at his movements. Usually, he’d have a shower, but tonight he wanted to get home.

“Have you had a good shift, Casey?” Dr Simon Acker’s voice made him flinch, and goosebumps rose on his arms as his muscles tensed.

Casey glanced out of the corner of his eye and hurried his movements, his heart rate increasing. “Yes, thanks.”

“Word on the grapevine is you’ve managed to keep hold of your boy toy.” Acker’s voice practically growled the last two words despite the smile on his face that didn’t seem to reach his eyes.

“Yep, still with him.” His voice was strained, each word pushing out with the effort and the hope of dispelling any other comments but to no avail. His whole body stiffened when Acker stepped closer.

“Looking good, Casey,” the doctor whispered, and he squeezed Casey’s shoulder, sliding his hand across his upper back too slowly for Casey’s liking. Acker left the locker room, and Casey leaned against the metal boxes, blowing out a breath, his muscles relaxing enough to send him to the floor if he allowed it.

“That guy gives me the creeps. If he hadn’t got a wife, I’d say he was gay.”

Casey spun around, piercing the other paramedic with his gaze, annoyance flowing out of him. “Really, Kinton? And there’s no way he

could be bisexual, is there?” Casey glared at him and slammed his locker shut, the sound loud in the narrow space.

“I didn’t mean… He could… Shit. I didn’t think, Casey,” Kinton stammered, his face flushing, and his eyes widening.

Casey deflated, sighing and shaking his head. “Nah, it’s okay. I’m feeling shitty. Sorry, man.” Casey gave a half-hearted smile and exited, keeping his eyes peeled for the doctor who gave him some seriously weird vibes. Acker had made similar comments to Casey since Acker had started working there about a year ago. To begin with, it had been nothing more than nice words about how well he did his job, which Casey had appreciated, but they had become steadily more personal as time went on. There was nothing he could do about it, so he carried on with his job and tried to avoid the man where possible.

About the Author 

I am a bestselling author of contemporary MM romance. I write a variety of themes: sweet and fluffy to high angst to taboo, but friendships are integral to each character’s experience. I write books that are emotionally realistic, even if liberties are taken with other aspects of my stories.

Reading and writing have always been a part of my life, although my debut book wasn’t published until July 2019. My experience has come from reading thousands of books over the years and being a perfectionist when it comes to trying to make things right. I live in the centre of the UK with my two children, who make life worth living, keep me (in)sane and make me laugh every single day. 

Author Links

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Enter the King Sumo Giveaway

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a $10 Amazon gift card

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

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Blog Tour – Three Historical Novels by Jeffrey Buchanan

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for

Three historical novels by Jeffrey Buchanan

💜Sucking Feijoas 💜The Smile of the Dispossessed 💜Pansies’ Revenge 

💜Sucking Feijoas 💜The Smile of the Dispossessed 💜Pansies’ Revenge 

BOOK 1

Book Title: Sucking Feijoas

Author: Jeffrey Buchanan    

Length: 283 pages

Release Date: June 24, 2020

Genre: Gay Historical novel,  LGBTQI Literary / Historical Fiction

Themes: gay liberation, coming out

It is a standalone story.

Goodreads

Buy links

Universal Link  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

Blurb

George thinks he’s a real man…until he is seduced by an American serviceman on duty in New Zealand during WW2.

Neddy, the son of Lebanese migrants, marries a peasant girl in an attempt to overcome his attraction to men.

Garth, an intellectual, working-class Catholic boy, escapes to Mexico but eventually returns to reveal a painful secret.

Set in New Zealand, Lebanon and Mexico between 1942 and 1986, SUCKING FEIJOAS follows the lives of gay men and how, with ingenuity, courage and love, they managed their lives – despite the odds. Now in its third edition, this deeply engaging story about sexuality, class, race and the culture wars that surrounded them, is as relevant as ever. SUCKING FEIJOAS is riveting storytelling, gay history, empowering.

Excerpt

George was ecstatic that the party was going to be held in what he now referred to as his apartment. ‘Flat’ was definitely out as a term of reference to his abode now that he had such wonderful and sophisticated friends as Garth Griffin and Neddy Berdawni. He looked around his living room, a haven of peace and loveliness, which would soon be the scene of the wild party he’d planned in honour of the passing of the Homosexual Law Reform Bill. 

All’erta! All’erta!Abb’etta zingara! he sang in a falsetto accompaniment to the opera blasting from his stereo. ‘All’erta.’ He lifted the needle from the record and put it back a few grooves so that he could again hear the soprano rejoicing in his favourite refrain from Il Trovatore‘All’erta! All’ertd! Abb’etta zingara!’

Food was displayed on the Formica table in his kitchen. It looked glorious, the madeira cake and the stuffed mushrooms. But best of all was that fabulous Arabic concoction with the name he had the same difficulty in pronouncing as the frantic refrains from the opera.

All’erta!’ he sang as he sniffed Neddy’s hummus. ‘Amazing,’ he said, ‘it feels so good to be able to sing opera without thinking it might get me arrested. Us poor, poor queens, for so many centuries denied our pleasures!’

On the wall in front of him was a picture of Mount Taranaki, which he stared at as he reached into a cupboard for the bottle of sherry. The huge, handsome flanks of that monstrous mountain. So many decades of admiring it. So many tortures endured in its presence, each like the ice axes that climbers stuck in the flanks of that wily old mountain.

‘And there you still are.’ He saluted the mountain. ‘And me too,’ he said as he downed a mouthful of the deliciously sickly sherry. ‘Still alert, still surviving.’

He bent over the table and stuck his finger in the delicious dip he’d come to adore since Neddy had first made it for him. ‘Hmmmm, hmmiss, homos, oh something or other,’ he said in a pickled hiss. He licked his finger with the creamy substance smeared over it and closed his eyes in satisfaction.

BOOK 2

Book Title: The Smile of the Dispossessed

Author: Jeffrey Buchanan

Length: 313 pages

Release Date: March 19, 2020

Genre/s: Gay historical romance

Themes: LGBTQ refugees

It is a standalone story.

Goodreads

Buy Links

Universal link  |  Website  |  Book Depository

Blurb 

“The Smile of the Dispossessed” is a love story and a political thriller set in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia and Indonesia. The novel tells the story of Fadhi and Adam who flee Baghad in the final days of the Saddam Hussien regime when they are ‘outed’ as being gay and accused of being enemies of the state. Despite having been lovers for many years, under the pressures of being refugees, they separate and go their own ways, both men hoping to find freedom in a country that will accept them for who they are. “The Smile of the Dispossessed” demonstrates the enduring requirement to maintain faith in humanity and the power of love.

Excerpt 

The music had changed again from disco to house and that beat was what Adam wanted, the newness of it, the complete modernity, the throb of what was the latest from Ibiza and Paris.

“You will not defeat me,” he said. He took the last swig from his bottle and went by himself to the dance floor. In his tight white tee shirt and blue jeans and white sneakers with his hair cut short and three days of beard, he knew he was the centre of attraction as he moved his body to the steady beat.

“I’m the handsome Arab,” he thought. “I’m the male they all want.” In the soap opera the music would now be reaching a crescendo as the main character found himself powerful and showed the world that when you are strong you get what you want and not what you de-serve. For a while in Baghdad there had been a fabulous Brazilian soap played on national television but the dancing and the partying had been too much for the authorities and it was eventually banned. Adam felt as if he had reached Sao Paulo now and that he was in it at last, that thing he wanted so much, that space he deserved. It was the vacuum left by the Brazilians, it was the magazine where the Paris models looked glamorous and led a life of luxury and fun. And at that moment on the dance floor he knew what his life was: he was a handsome and slightly crazy Palestinian and people desired him for that. Dancing there he saw his persona and was satisfied. The soaps were life and life was the soaps. He was in the midst of this felicitous conundrum when the blond squeezed amongst the dancers and started moving rhythmically next to him.

The blond had powder blue eyes, the colour of tropical oceans. His smile was as easy as his movements on the dance floor. They didn’t speak. There was no need to as they danced through two sets of the music. It was just like the soaps had ordered. A new sequel had begun and the audience was being led into it willingly and with abandon. The first thing the blond said to Adam sounded as if it had been scripted in a studio, the writers working in participation for the exact line of introduction: “I thought about you all day and all night.”

BOOK 3

Book Title: Pansies’ Revenge

Author: Jeffrey Buchanan

 Length:  305 pages

Release Date: April 22, 2020

Genre/s: LGBTQI Historical / Literary fiction

Literary novel about the LGBTQI community set in Wellington, New Zealand in 1918 during the Spanish Flu.

It is a standalone story.

Goodreads

Buy Links

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK   |  Book Depository

Blurb 

A vibrant, entertaining, often darkly Gothic story is filled with passion, love, pathos, farce and humour. Pansies’ Revenge lays bare the political, social and cultural fabric of New Zealand society at a pivotal time in the nation’s history. Set in 1918 the novel explores what it was like to resist political oppression and at the same time, face a global pandemic. 

It is late 1918 and in Wellington, New Zealand, four years of world war and the ravages of the Spanish flu are taking their toll on the inhabitants.

All are not for King and Country. The members of the Te Aro book club: queer, feminist, bohemian, disgruntled, are accused of sedition for reading Crime and Punishment and drawing from it the roots of the problems facing the world. The more intently they read, the more the crazed characters of the book appear to manifest themselves in Wellington.

Intrigues deepen: Cecil and Sybil Meatyard, who work the crowds to a frenzy of patriotism in the streets of Wellington for the New Zealand Women’s Anti-German League, disappear. Their diatribes about war shirkers, spies and Pansies have upset a lot of people. The sinister Crawford Denton, detective and sensualist, follows the case. A 1918 MeToo Movement begins as the influenza pandemic takes hold.

This vibrant, entertaining, often darkly Gothic story is filled with passion, love, pathos, farce and humour. Pansies’ Revenge lays bare the political, social and cultural fabric of New Zealand society at a pivotal time in the nation’s history.

Excerpt

Chapter One

Alexander Powderham, fortyish, handsome, bohemian, limped his way up Cuba Street. His left leg, having been crippled from infantile paralysis, was supported by a steel brace. He was dependent also on canes, of which he had an impressive collection, and on this occasion, he was using one intricately carved by Aroha Raharuhi, his longtime lover.

The air was unseasonably warm for mid-September Wellington, which heightened the smell rising from the mounds of horse ordure left from the morning’s military parade. Outside the Duchess Tea Rooms, Alexander paused and rested on his good leg while he adjusted his recently tailored jacket, smoothing down the Irish linen with his hands, delighting in its texture and colour of golden flax. Then he adjusted his silk tie, cream coloured with charcoal flecks, loosening the knot a little at the undone top button to ensure that rakish look, which was one of casual elegance. The white, Egyptian cotton shirt had also been crafted especially for him by the clothiers Munster & Munster who, through four years of war, had survived patriotic vandalism by hanging a large sign across their shop windows, WE ARE NOT HUNS: WE SUPPORT KING AND COUNTRY. Alexander’s chocolate brown, wide-brimmed hat with a duck’s feather poking from the green woven band was also avant-garde, of a high-quality felt and based on a design he had seen in a fashion weekly from London.

About the Author 

Jeffrey Buchanan was born in Wellington, New Zealand, to a Lebanese – New Zealand family. For thirty years, including a decade with the United Nations, he worked in multiple countries in education, the promotion of human rights, gender equality and the empowerment of women. He was based for several years in the Middle East. For his Doctorate, he researched the structural, cultural and ideological components of Islamic education. Now he follows the warm weather with his husband Stuart, reads and writes fiction, and daydreams.

Read more on the author’s website 

Visit his Facebook page 

Follow the tour and check out the other blog posts and reviews here

Blog Tour – Handled: A Dark Gay Romance by Romilly King #KindleUnlimited

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Book Title: Handled: A dark gay romance

Author: Romilly King

Publisher: Self-Published

Release Date: October 29, 2020

Genre: Dark M/M Romance

Themes: justice, retribution, and unsuitable love

Heat Rating:  4 flames

Length:  175 pages

Trigger warning:  violence, mentions of suicide, and torture. 

It’s also a happy for now not a happy ever after 

as there are two further books in the series.

Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  

Blurb

Serial killers think if it all goes south and they finally get caught that their swan song is a day in court, making the families relive the agony while they get off on that delicious pain, all over again. 

Not happening.  Not anymore.  We’re not making celebrities out of monsters.  We’re not giving them a stage to strut on.

Now they get an audience of two.

One to Handle the problem, one to Witness it.

I’m a Witness. I trained for six years to do my duty, to manage my contracted killer, and to watch justice be done.

I knew it would be hard, the first time, to watch the eye for an eye moment.

I expected to feel a lot of things – fear, disgust, guilt.

I didn’t expect to feel turned on.

And I didn’t expect my contracted killer to look quite so pretty with blood on his hands.

HANDLED is a dark gay romance with themes of justice, retribution, and unsuitable love. It is not for the faint of heart and contains graphic scenes intended for an adult audience.  

Excerpt 

Chapter One

Gray

I wake no less irritated than when I went to sleep. Frustration and arousal are rolling at a low level simmer in my brain and my body. I should have sought a release but I couldn’t make my mind up if I needed to hurt, or be hurt.

Normally I know exactly what I want.

Watching the kill turned me on, it always does, there was pain involved, and although I was fifteen feet away I could feel it, smell it, almost taste it as the wire of the garotte carved through the dirty skin of the neck.

It was the laziness of the killer that confused my arousal though. He was sloppy, his victim was random, there was no finesse anywhere, no evolution in technique, no learning or adapting.

The pain on the victim’s face had caused a jerk in my limbic system, my cock going half hard, my blood sluggishly stirring, but the lacklustre carry through from the killer snuffed my rising hormones.

I know I will be a lot harder when I kill him.

The pleasure will last a lot longer.

The best I can say about last night’s kill was that it was quick. Which was a blessing for the victim.

It was the second time I had seen this killer perform, and the previous operation had been no more inspiring than this one.

I roll out of bed, I have time for a shower before watching the congressional committee do their annual rehashing of old issues before failing to find a way out of their ethical conundrum.

It is essential viewing, it gives me insight into which way the wind is blowing on Capitol Hill with regard to my employment and more than that, my existence.

Chances are the wind will still be gusting in my direction. The public remains fascinated and frequently aroused by people like me, but reluctant to face the unpalatable truth that the human genome throws us up for a reason, and that reason is survival.

Apart from that it’s always amusing to watch the Director deliver this year’s version of his you can’t handle the truth monologue.

Under the warm water of the shower I feel again the urge to give into the sexual side of my issues but it’s not worth it. It won’t assuage the itch, and I still can’t decide, hurt me or hurt someone else.

Sometimes, when the disconnect is bad, I look down at my body and I am surprised, because it isn’t what I expect to see. I see smooth lean muscle and length when what I expect to see is skinny and short and dirty, with old blood on the backs of my legs, grime ground into too pale skin, and my ribs like a toast rack.

The curling arousal makes it worse. I need to kill or this vision of me becomes the more prevalent one, and that isn’t helpful, it takes the confidence away.

I don’t have bad memories per se, I just had my evolution forced, and so the real me, the me now, it sometimes regresses, and if I look in the mirror I see both of us, one standing inside the other. The grown Handler and the tortured child.

Once I get my new Witness and handle this killer it will be so much clearer, and then I can take my release with clarity and passion.

Rubbing my hair dry I walk naked into the bedroom and flick on the tv. The committee is coming to order, the Director adjusting his microphone smoothly on the desk in front of him – I honestly don’t know how he has the patience for this, but then we have different mentalities. His various assistants

are congregated behind him looking like a row of funeral directors, which is essentially what they are – all dark shiny graduates of the Witness program.

It would be nice if one of them was assigned to me, preferably one that I won’t want to kill within the first half hour, and then we can get the show back on the road and I can finally let the curling, aching need in me find its path to completion.

About the Author

Romilly is queer.  Romilly wakes up every morning and decides which (witch) to be.  Some days Romilly is an Imp, some days a Fairy, some days a Stoic, and some days a Gladiator.   Romilly has a classical education, a filthy mouth and loves OTK spankings and strong Sirs who give love and punishment in equal measure.  

Romilly is also very shy but makes every effort to engage with people from all walks of life and likes making friends and meeting fans on social media.

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Twitter

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New Release – Gingerbread Mistletoe by Amy Aislin #KindleUnlimited #giveaway

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Book Title: Gingerbread Mistletoe

Author: Amy Aislin

Publisher: Self-published

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Series: Lighthouse Bay #2

Genre/s: Contemporary m/m holiday romance

Trope/s: Enemies to lovers, small town, forced proximity

Heat Rating: 2 flames 

Length: 62,000 words 

It’s book two in the Lighthouse Bay series, but can be read as a standalone. 

Goodreads

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Universal Amazon Link  |  Amazon US  |   Amazon UK 

Blurb 

The last thing Jeff wants is to spend time with the man who totaled his car—the one he spent years restoring with his late father. But if he wants to resurrect his childhood town’s annual outdoor hockey tournament, he’s got no choice.

The last thing Mika wants is to work with the guy who took off right after the accident, without ensuring he was okay. And working together on organizing Jeff’s proposed tournament sounds like a complete nightmare. He’s got enough on his plate after surviving cancer.

Sparks fly as they’re forced to work together, but is that enough for them to set their differences aside and pull off the tournament in only two weeks? Or will they prove to be immune to the magic of Christmas?

Excerpt

Standing, he held a hand out to the man who was so much his type it was almost laughable. Three or four inches taller than Mika’s own five-ten height, dark brown hair that shone red under the warehouse’s lights, like the deepest shade of mahogany, with charcoal-gray at the temples and above his ears, and lines that fanned out from narrow eyes a dark shade of blue. A high forehead in a heart-shaped face and the physique of a footballer completed the package.

All of that wouldn’t have been a big deal on its own, but the way he held himself with the cool confidence of someone who knew his place in the world?

Yowza. Talk about Mika’s type wrapped in a black wool coat and a stubbled jaw more gray than brown. He’d have been giving Jeff his number if the guy wasn’t scowling at him.

Wait, that scowl . . .

Jeff stared at his outstretched hand. “No.”

“Uh.” Rearing back, Mika dropped his arm back to his side. “Excuse me?”

Zach crept up behind him, gaze swinging from Mika to Jeff. “What’s wrong?”

Jeff waved a hand at Mika. “This is the guy you want me to work with?” He put special emphasis on this, as though Mika were a criminal who’d steal his wallet when he wasn’t looking. Straightening his spine, Mika planted his hands on his hips.

Zach blinked once. “Yes?”

Holland Stone—Zach’s boyfriend and Mika’s ex—approached from where he’d been working on his float for the parade, clad in a dusty T-shirt and even dustier jeans. He squinted at Jeff before turning to Zach and Mika. “You two okay?” He held a hammer in one hand like he meant to wield it. Not that he ever would, but the image would’ve made Mika chuckle had he not been so confused.

And frankly? Kind of hurt. What the hell had he ever done to this guy?

“I can’t work with him.” There was no give in Jeff’s tone.

“Why not?” Zach stepped in close to Mika, butting in against his left side. “Mika’s the best.”

Aw. The ire in Mika’s chest faded a little at Zach’s words. It was nice of him to say, especially since Mika had made the worst of first impressions on him last Christmas.

The amount of disgust in Jeff’s scoff would’ve been impressive had it not been directed at Mika. “I’m not working with the guy who totaled my dad’s car.”

Mika’s head jerked back. “What?”

Zach and Holland swung their gazes his way.

“I didn’t!” Taking a step back, he raised both hands. “I’ve never totaled anybody’s car in my life.”

“Oh no?” Jeff argued, raising both eyebrows, and god, the sarcasm. “Not even a turquoise 1956 Chevy Nomad near the Bluffs in Pacific Palisades? About this time last year? Ring any bells?”

That was where Mika knew this guy from! Jesus, he was still holding a grudge? “Okay, first of all, I apologized, like, seven times. Second, I gave you my number. It’s not my problem that you didn’t call. Like I said—I would’ve paid to get it fixed. And third.” Leaning over the desk, he narrowed his eyes on a squinty-eyed Jeff Bellmoor. “Totaled?”

Jeff winced. “Fine. That’s maybe the wrong word.” Uttered so begrudgingly, it was a miracle he managed to say the words at all. “But like I said—it’s not about the damage.”

A huff of exasperation escaped Mika and he threw his hands up. “I don’t know what that means.” He hadn’t known then either.

“Never mind.” Rubbing his forehead, Jeff turned away. “You wouldn’t understand.”

About the Author  

Amy’s lived with her head in the clouds since she first picked up a book as a child, and being fluent in two languages means she’s read a lot of books! She first picked up a pen on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class had to stay inside for recess. Tales of treasure hunts with her classmates eventually morphed into love stories between men, and she’s been writing ever since. She writes evenings and weekends—or whenever she isn’t at her full-time day job saving the planet at Canada’s largest environmental non-profit.

An unapologetic introvert, Amy reads too much and socializes too little, with no regrets. She loves connecting with readers. Join her Facebook Group, Amy Aislin’s Readers, to stay up-to-date on upcoming releases and for access to early teasers, find her on Instagram and Twitter, or sign up for her infrequent newsletter.

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Blog Tour – The Offering by Rosary Deville  #KindleUnlimited #giveaway

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Book Title: The Offering 

Author: Rosary Deville

Publisher: Self Published

Cover Artist: Zoe Perdita

Release Date: November 13, 2020

Genre/s: M/M dark erotica, taboo, mpreg, paranormal/urban romance,

shifter fantasy, werewolves

Trope/s: alphas and betas, strong/unruly protagonist

Themes: dubious/non consent. forced marriage, societal inequality,

abuse, violence, dom/sub, BDSM 

Heat Rating:  5 flames    

Length:  approx. 65 000 words/ 250 pages

It is Book 1 out of 2. Book 2 will be released later in 2021.

Buy Links

Smashwords

Currently unavailable on Amazon

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

A beta in an oppressive werewolf society must participate in a mating ceremony where alphas hunt their future mates.

Blurb 

As a beta in Wereduin society, Fern has no choice but to be mated when he comes of age. The ideal beta wereduin was subservient to their alpha, bears young, and knows their place in society.

Fern isn’t like that.

Rather than become an extension of his alpha, Fern wants to play in his band, hang out with his friends, and stay himself.

Now of age, Fern is to be placed in the Offering—an annual ceremony where alphas hunt and claim their beta mates. And whose attention does Fern attract? None other than Donovan Blackfang, a Highborne alpha who will stop at nothing but to claim Fern’s heart, body, and soul.

Excerpt

Someone grabbed the nape of my neck. Shit, no! Why hadn’t I paid more attention to my surroundings?

This alpha male was stout and gray. His jagged claws dug into my shoulder, and it ripped a cry from my throat. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw another beta. This alpha must have been cornering her before I showed up. She didn’t look back at me as she made her escape. The alpha who had me could have come from my worst nightmares. He had a large scar across his eye. His thick, weather-worn hide told me he’d been at this game for a while. He could be my papa’s age, not that age mattered for werewolves, but his face was truly menacing. The glee I found in his glowing red eyes terrified me. Veins riddled his muscular physique. One of his ears had been chewed off. He gripped my shoulder, tearing my skin. I clawed at his hands, face, biting wherever I could as he forced me onto the ground.

I felt sure I was a goner when he was knocked off of me. Growling surrounded us. It was the large, black alpha that had taken on the slaver. He snarled at the alpha who had been about to rape me. Slowly, I crawled away on my hands and knees. That was when he turned his fangs on me, growling. He didn’t want me to leave, as if he already felt some ownership of me. Something in his eyes halted me and trapped my breath in my throat. I shook my head rapidly.

No!

There was no way I would be claimed tonight. And certainly not by a male. I took off running, leaving them to their fight.

It was over shockingly quick. The dark alpha won. My alpha. It confused me when I momentarily thought of him as mine. My body wanted to submit. Arousal grew heavy in my groin, heating up my body.

Hell, no!

Instincts be damned, I was not born so I could have some male alpha’s pups.

The black alpha picked up speed.

Just then, two alpha males sprang from either side of the woods. I ducked low, and they collided into each other. I dodged around them. The left one snatched me back before the alpha on the right knocked him to the ground.

Both alphas were beautiful—if I allowed myself to think something like that about the same sex. One was a scarlet red, while the other a golden bronze. Hopefully, the two would also stop the black alpha who still followed me, and I could make a getaway.

Both tried, not wanting to let a challenger slip by.

I dragged out a relieved sigh. Part of me was disappointed, and that part scared me. The rest of me was thankful. I didn’t want any of them to win—especially the strong dark alpha.

It was apparent by their beauty that all three alphas fighting over me were from the upper-class. But my eye was drawn to the dark one—jet black with those piercing neon-blue eyes and riddled, muscular physique. Of the three, he was the most handsome. Shaking my head and trying to remove those unwanted thoughts about the beautiful alphas fighting for me, I left them to battle.

 When I heard them following me, I stole a glance over my shoulder. My heart stopped. Both the scarlet and golden-bronze alphas chased behind me. The dark werewolf must have been beaten. My heart sank. I wanted to slap myself. Why did I feel so let down?

I ran blindly through the forest and over the rocks until I backed myself against a cliff. Both werewolves approached me, snarling. I retreated as far as I could go before I drew my fangs. There was no way I was going down without a fight.

Perhaps they formed an alliance because they no longer fought each other. Instead, they homed in on me.  Was I about to be claimed by two males?

How would they take me? I only had one opening. Would they both try to fit? My body trembled, but my beta brain started to submit. It craved having the alphas’ cocks inside me.

Backing away, I shook my head and crouched low. They sprang at me, but before they could touch me, a black shadow leaped from the cliff over my head. He landed in front of me.

There he is again!

The black alpha.

Gratitude overwhelmed me, and I could do nothing but stare at him. I wanted this alpha. I ached inside. Precum dripped from my hard cock. I wanted him inside of me.

Violently, I shook my head. No. I did not want to be claimed by anyone tonight. I found a small opening created by their fighting and snuck out. The black alpha growled at me, and I couldn’t stop my shiver. He wanted me to wait for him. He wanted me to let him claim me. Already, it felt like he had his claws around my heart.

About the Author  

Rosary is an author of erotica ranging from sweet and fluffy, to dark and taboo. She aims to foster a sex-positive experience for readers to indulge their fantasies in a fun and safe space. Sometimes she uses her writing to journey into the often hidden and taboo depths of human sexuality, and hopes readers will take away from her stories, not an acceptance of violence and sexual abuse, but rather a way to embrace their inner desires often shamed by society.

Author Links

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New Release – Their Dark Reflections by Amanda Meuwissen #giveaway

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Book Title: Their Dark Reflections

Author: Amanda Meuwissen

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Tiferet Design

Genre: Dark Paranormal M/M Romance

Trope/s: Friends to lovers, vampire/victim, boss/employee, 

thief with a heart of gold, hidden agenda, kind but vicious vampire

Themes: Self-discovery, finding light in the darkness, 

embracing one’s darkness, love against all odds

Heat Rating:  4 flames     

Length: 70 096 words/204 pages

It is a standalone book.

Goodreads


Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 



Everyone has a second face. 


Blurb 

Personal assistant Sam Coleman can do it all: housekeeping, groundskeeping, bookkeeping. The catch? It’s a con.

Ed Simon, his newest millionaire boss, doesn’t know Sam Goldman is a Robin Hood for hire who targets rich jerks. Sure, Sam keeps the money for himself, his crew, and his real employers, but at least they only steal from bad people.

Until sweet, fumbling Ed, who doesn’t seem to have a single vice. Too bad the people who hired Sam won’t let him back out. They want Ed’s money, and they’ll hurt Sam and his friends to get it.

For years Ed has kept people at arm’s length, but Sam’s charms wear down his defenses—just as he learns their budding relationship was an act. Sam isn’t who Ed thought he was, but Ed has a dark secret too: he’s a vampire. And someone is framing him for a series of bloody murders.

When the real villains force their hand, Sam and Ed must choose: work together, trust each other, and give in to the feelings growing between them… or let what might have been bleed out like the victims piling at their feet.



Excerpt 

Sam was exhausted, probably because he hadn’t slept well in the past two days, but when he was ready to call it a night and looked around for Ed, he was surprised to find him outside, already in the pool. Sam was usually gone before Ed took his swims.

The tricked-out radio by the patio doors was blasting loud enough to carry outside, playing Blue Oyster Cult and making Sam smile. He didn’t fear the reaper so much himself anymore either.

Ed wasn’t doing any complicated strokes, just floating serenely on his back, arms gently moving to keep him up while he gazed at the stars beginning to glitter above him. He’d left the doors open as if to invite Sam to watch, so it was easy to do so without calling much attention to himself.

Ed didn’t look like a predator while swimming, his trunks clinging to him, chest bare. Sometimes it was hard for Sam to accept that dissonance—this version of Ed compared to the swift, brutal one—but then, wasn’t a lion capable of seeming like a housecat even if it was always dangerous?

“Would you like to join me?” Ed called without turning to look at him. “I have an extra suit upstairs.”

Sam wondered if that made him the lion tamer.

Enjoying the way Ed’s eyes fixed to his mostly bare body when he descended from upstairs in the spare trunks, Sam took his time walking to the edge of the pool, set his clothes on one of the lounge chairs, and stepped off for a simple, smooth drop into the water. He shook the excess from his hair and face when he resurfaced, seeking out Ed at the other end.

“Tell me,” Sam said, lifting up to float lazily on his back, “even without your telescope, how many of those can you name?”

“The stars? Or constellations?” Ed lifted as well, both watching the sky as they orbited each other.

“Does it matter?”

“No. I can name most of them.”

“Then where am I?”

Ed navigated to drift up beside Sam, tracing over invisible lines in the sky. “Gemini. Sort of like two stick figures holdings hands.”

Sam chuckled. “And you?”

“Pisces is there.” Ed dragged his finger the other direction. “See the way the ends connect and then it makes a sort of tilted V?”

“Doesn’t really look like a fish.”

“We had to be more creative back then.”

Blinking as what Ed was implying sunk in, Sam righted himself, not sure if he could ask, “You mean…?”

“I’m not that old.” Ed grinned. He didn’t clarify how old he was, however.

“You know, one of these days, I’m going to get you up on that roof to use your telescope properly.”

Ed scrunched his nose. “I wasn’t lying about not caring for heights.”

“I figured. Any particular reason?”

“I don’t know. Maybe because there weren’t as many tall buildings in my time.”

“Which was…?” Sam tried again, but Ed glanced away.

“Is this our first date?”

“If it was, would you tell me?”

“I said my age wasn’t a first date reveal, so….”

Sam read Ed’s hesitancy and didn’t want to push. “I don’t think this counts.” He smirked when Ed looked at him with a start. “We need to leave the house for a real date.”

“We’ll have to start thinking about our rain check, then.” Ed smiled back at him.

Drifting closer, Sam slid his hands around Ed’s waist to finally connect and pull him in. Even in the heated pool, Ed’s skin felt bracing. “I guess we will,” he said and started to lean forward.

“Sam.” Ed wrapped his arms around Sam’s neck, but his hands fidgeted, and he held back from letting Sam reach his lips. “You’re not only pretending because you think this is the only way to be safe from me, are you?”

“What?”

The idea that Ed still expected treachery surprised him, but then, Sam almost had betrayed him again, scared as he’d been. Ed was the most powerful and deadly creature he’d ever met, but he was still vulnerable, still so human.

“According to you,” Sam said, “I’m putting myself in more danger by being with you. You gave me an out, Eddie, and I chose to stay.”


About the Author  

Amanda Meuwissen is a bisexual author, with a primary focus on M/M romance, and works in marketing for the software company Outsell. She has a Bachelor of Arts in a personally designed Creative Writing major from St. Olaf College, and is an avid consumer of fiction through film, prose, and video games. As author of the paranormal romance trilogy The Incubus Saga and several other titles through various publishers, Amanda regularly attends local comic conventions for fun and to meet with fans, where she will often be seen in costume as one of her favorite fictional characters. She lives in Minnesota with her husband, John, and their cat, Helga, and can be found at http://www.amandameuwissen.com.



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New Release – Full Balance (The Peachtree Series, Book 3) by Brigham Vaughn #KindleUnlimited #giveaway

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Book Title: Full Balance (The Peachtree Series, Book 3)

Author: Brigham Vaughn

Publisher: Two Peninsulas Press

Cover Artist: Brigham Vaughn

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope/s: May/December, age gap, hurt comfort, workplace romance

Themes: Marriage equality, family acceptance/homophobia,

exploring light kink, friends and chosen family

Heat Rating:  4 flames    

Length: 108 000 words

Goodreads


Buy LinksAvailable on Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link  |   Amazon US  |   Amazon UK  


Love doesn’t always look like you expect. 


Blurb 

Russ Bishop and Stephen Parker have settled into wedded bliss. 

They’ve moved into a spacious new condo, found professional success, and their connection in the bedroom is as sizzling as ever.

Neither of them ever expected to become parents but when their volunteer work at the Open Doors Shelter makes them realize how many LGBTQ youth are in desperate need of a home, they begin to reconsider. 

After a snarky teenager named Austin comes into their lives, their future together will never be the same.


Excerpt 

Russ let out a contented sigh. 

“I swear it just gets better with time,” Stephen said. 

Russ kissed him. “Me too. I had no idea married sex would be so good. If I did, I might have been more eager to get married when I was younger.”

Stephen chuckled. 

“This is going to change, won’t it?”

Stephen slipped an arm around his waist, pulling him even closer as he studied his face. Russ’s expression was soft but there was a little edge of worry in his gaze.

“It will,” Stephen said, knowing he was talking about how becoming parents would change their sex life. He ran his thumb across Russ’s cheek. “We’ll have additional responsibilities and stressors. Much less privacy. But it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It’ll be tougher but that doesn’t mean we can’t find some benefits along the way.”

“Like what?” Russ gave him a curious, inquisitive look. 

“Like … it may bring us even closer.” He took Russ’s hand and brought his palm to his lips. “It may deepen our relationship further.”

“I like that.” Russ pulled him closer.

“I think going into this with our eyes wide open is our best chance of success. We need our relationship to stay solid so we can give whoever we bring into our lives the best, most stable home we can. Which means working together to solve problems.”

“Agreed,” Russ said.

“No running away.”

Russ gave him a wry grin. “Got it.”

“Hey that’s not just a reminder for you,” Stephen said gently. “I’ve pushed you away at times too. And I think this will probably bring up a lot of baggage we both have about the ways we were raised.”

“True.” Russ’s expression turned serious.

“So we can’t let that overwhelm us. Or come between us.”

“Absolutely.” Russ hesitated. “Are you excited about this at all though?”

“About the idea of becoming parents? Yeah, I am,” Stephen said. “I remember how satisfying it was to see Evan grow into himself and he was an adult and only with us for a month and a half. The idea of being able to watch that growth over years in someone who needs it even more … well that’s a challenge I never expected to take on. But I am excited about it.”

“Me too.” Russ grinned. “I am really looking forward to calling my sister and telling her she’ll be Aunt Addie.”

Stephen chuckled. “I look forward to that as well. Jeremy is going to be shocked. That should be fun.”

“We have a lot to look forward to, don’t we?”

“We do.” Russ pulled him in for a kiss and Stephen went willingly. “Thank you for making this a very happy Valentine’s Day.”

“You know, if someone had asked me five years ago how I’d feel about making the person I’m married to a father, I would have kindly assured them they were very, very confused,” Stephen said drily.

Russ’s laugh was loud and genuine. “I would imagine.”

“And yet …” Stephen couldn’t quite finish the thought. His heart was too full.

Russ smiled as if he understood. So Stephen leaned in to kiss him again. They had the whole night ahead of them to celebrate this happiness. Why not take the time while they had it?

Their lives were about to change in a very big way.


About the Author

Brigham Vaughn is on the adventure of a lifetime as a full-time author. She devours books at an alarming rate and hasn’t let her short arms and long torso stop her from doing yoga. She makes a killer key lime pie, hates green peppers, and loves wine tasting tours. A collector of vintage Nancy Drew books and green glassware, she enjoys poking around in antique shops and refinishing thrift store furniture. An avid photographer, she dreams of traveling the world and she can’t wait to discover everything else life has to offer her.

Her books range from short stories to novellas to novels. They explore gay, bisexual, lesbian, and polyamorous romance in contemporary settings.


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Blog Tour – In Strange Woods by Claire Cray #KindleUnlimited #giveaway

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Book Title: In Strange Woods

Author: Claire Cray

Publisher: Self-Published

Release Date: August 28, 2020

Cover Artist: Sneaky T 

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romantic Mystery, M/M Gothic Romance

Trope/s: Instant attraction, Hurt comfort, Tortured protagonist, 

Family secret, Long lost relative, Country boy/City boy,

Rural romance, Fish out of water 

Themes: Healing, Found family, Redemption,

Heritage, Belonging, Homecoming

Heat Rating:  3 – 4 flames 

Length: 71 370 words /204 pages

It is a standalone book.

Goodreads


Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

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In the stormy coastal woods of the Pacific Northwest, roots run deep and passions run wild.


Blurb 

Reeling with grief after the mysterious massacre of his wealthy family, moody New York photographer James Worthington Crane decides to take his downward spiral somewhere far away: to the rural Oregon Coast, where he’s just inherited a random piece of property hidden somewhere in the woods upriver.

But when James pulls into the decaying seaside town of Brooks, everyone thinks he’s someone else—an elusive local outlaw named Beau. Now James must fight through his grief to unravel a tangled web of family secrets and forgotten history…with help from a soft-spoken local hunk named Hunter Quaid.

Hunter’s been on his own since he left his fundamentalist family at the age of fifteen. It’s taken years of hard work to build the steady life he has now, fixing up seaside houses while living alone in a trailer by the river. Then James blows in like a winter storm, disturbing the peace and stirring up a hunger like nothing he’s ever felt.

As Hunter helps James search for the truth, their lives intertwine in unexpected ways—and they begin to discover what it means to find out where you really belong.


Excerpt 

Hunter pulled his truck into one of the slanted parking spaces along the Brooks sea wall and turned off the ignition, cutting off Bobbie Gentry in the middle of ‘Ode to Billie Joe’ to let the roar of the waves take over. It was windy out, and he took a second to rake his dark-blond hair into a stubby ponytail at the nape of his neck before getting out of the truck. 

His work boots hit the asphalt with a heavy thud, and he strolled over to the rustic stone barricade to look out at the dark ocean. A wave immediately exploded up in front of him, white foam fanning out and dissolving like a burst of fireworks, and he filled his lungs with the sharp, salty air. It never got old, no matter how many times he came here. None of it did, though. Not the trees, the rivers, the sunsets, the storms. This rugged little chunk of the coast had been his most consistent, and sometimes his only, source of joy since the first summer his parents dropped him off at his grandma’s place upriver, where he now lived alone.   

Today had been long as hell, but satisfying. He was in the middle of renovating a beautiful midcentury house on Cedar Crest, a wooded cliffside high up on the north edge of town. It was the biggest project he’d ever landed since striking out on his own as a contractor, and it was turning out to be a dream come true. The owner was some Portland banker who didn’t give a shit what he did as long as he stayed within budget, and Hunter relished the freedom to make actual design choices.   

Matter of fact, life was pretty good these days, wasn’t it? Business was good, anyway, and that was a lot. Yeah. Steady work with nobody telling him what to do, a place to sleep by the river, all the ocean air he wanted every day…what more could he ask for? There was a time when he wouldn’t have dared to dream so—

A car alarm went off suddenly, jarring him from his thoughts, and he turned his head. Several seagulls were scattering noisily from the sea wall near a black hatchback several spaces away, its horn blasting and lights flashing. He couldn’t see what had set it off. A nosy gull, maybe, or the splash of a wave. At any rate, that wrapped up his relaxing after-work sit by the ocean. 

But just as he was about to turn back to his truck, the driver’s side door of the hatchback clunked open and slowly creaked ajar. 

Hunter watched, intrigued, as a hand slipped out through the crack, followed by an arm, and then a mop of wavy dark hair. Then, to his amazement, an entire tall, slim man slid out onto the pavement, pooling there in a tangle of long limbs and dark clothing. 

The alarm was still making a ruckus. The man groaned low and rolled to his side, wrestling with himself for a moment before yanking a key fob out of his back pocket. He jabbed it toward the car several times until the alarm stopped, then fell on his back with an unintelligible mutter. Just then, a big wave spouted over the wall and showered him with seawater.

Hunter winced sympathetically. Hell of a place to be drunk off your ass. Dude definitely wasn’t from around here. He looked about Hunter’s age, stylish in a cool, classic kind of way. Black jeans, black boots, battered brown leather jacket. Nothing flashy, but obviously outside the local dress code of Carhartts, hooded sweatshirts, and rain gear. Hunter couldn’t help admiring the long lines of the stranger’s body, his carelessly tousled hair. 

With a shake of his head and a soft sigh, he turned his gaze back toward the ocean again. Life was good, and all. He loved it here. So what if it wasn’t overflowing with romantic options for a quiet gay man with a taste for tall, slim guys dressed like drifters from the 1960s? No one got to have it all.

Life is good, he told himself stubbornly. Life is fine. Life’s going just great. 

The sound of an approaching engine made him glance back over his shoulder, and suddenly he sprang into motion before he could think. 

The drunk man was staggering onto the highway, his dark silhouette backlit by the high beams of a log truck that was roaring around the bend. 

Another half-second would have been too late. The driver didn’t even seem to see them. The air from the passing truck threw him off balance as he yanked the drunken dumbass out of the road, and they both fell back on the pavement. 

“You okay?” Hunter asked breathlessly.



About the Author  

Claire Cray writes gay romance featuring hot, complicated men in weird situations. Offbeat and character-driven with a gothic bent, her work has been described as deeply atmospheric and a little bit strange.

Born and raised in the rural Pacific Northwest, Claire takes inspiration from its rich, moody vibes: the ancient forests, rugged coastlines, eccentric characters, and whispers of dark mystery in even the tiniest little towns. Combine all that with steamy sensuality and psychological drama, and you’ve got a story by Claire Cray.


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Blog Tour – The Experiment by Rebecca Raine #giveaway #KindleUnlimited

BLOG TOUR

Book Title: The Experiment

Author: Rebecca Raine

Cover Artist: Bec Rivers

Release Date: Tuesday, 18 August (AEST)

Genre/s: Contemporary MM Romance

Trope/s: Friends-to-Lovers, Gay for You, First-time Gay

Themes: Friendship, Self-discovery, Self-experimentation

Heat Rating: 4 flames   

Length: 85 000 words/ approx. 210 pages

It is a standalone book.

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Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

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When a single kiss calls your sexuality into question,

there’s only one sure path to a reliable answer: further research.

 

Blurb 

When a single kiss calls your sexuality into question, there’s only one sure path to a reliable answer: further research.

Patrick

I like to think I know myself outside and in. As a developmental psychologist, I’ve spent years exploring the true foundations of my identity. So, when losing a bet means kissing my best friend, Logan, I already know I’m going to hate every second of it. All the relevant questions regarding my sexuality were asked and answered years ago. The results were conclusive: despite the odd same-sex attraction, I dislike being touched by men.

That is, it seems, until Logan is the man doing the touching. The intense desire aroused by his kiss contradicts all my expectations and I have no idea how to integrate the new information. Thankfully, I know exactly how to uncover the truth about myself—once and for all.

Logan

I’ve put a lot of effort into keeping Patrick out of my fantasies and in the friend-zone. Our recent lip-lock may have unleashed my feelings for him temporarily, but I’ll get them back on their platonic track in no time. Falling for a friend, especially a sexually ambivalent friend, is a one-way ticket to heartache.

But, when the unforeseen impact of our kiss inspires Patrick to conduct an experiment into the extent of his bisexuality, I can’t resist volunteering to help. If any man is going to join Patrick on his journey of self-discovery, it’s sure as hell going to be me.

  

 

Excerpt 

“You can do your experiment with me.”

My heart pounds, as I wait for him to respond to my offer. The part of me that’s sure he’ll say yes is already weak with relief that he won’t go out looking for anyone else. I don’t want other men touching Patrick. If he’s only ever going to do this experiment with one man, I want that man to be me.

“I thought you wanted to go back to the way things were.” His gaze is wary, and he has yet to move a muscle. “We’re friends, nothing more. That’s what you said.”

“Yes, and it’s still true,” I assure him. “I do want to go back to being friends. But we can do it after the experiment.”

His breath has quickened and, when he speaks again, his voice is rough. “Are you sure you want to do this?”

“It’s the best viable solution,” I tell him, as if coating my possessiveness with a thick layer of pragmatism will make it less obvious. “Don’t forget, it was my kiss that breathed life into your queerness.” My body reacts to the idea of doing it again… and again… and again. However many times he needs to be satisfied. I make a show of licking my lips, enjoying the way he watches with rapt attention. “How much do you want to bet I can get more than a boner out of you?”

With a start, his eyes narrow and he points a finger at me. “No more bets.”

Laughing out loud, I nod. “That’s right. How could I forget?”

He runs a hand over the back of his neck as he looks around the bar, before returning his gaze to me. “I’ll admit, when I decided to do this, my first instinct was to come to you.” He gestures at me with an impatient hand. “You’re the only guy I’ve ever enjoyed kissing and it totally blew my mind. Why do you think I’m doing this in the first place?” he growls, his frustration coming through. “It’s not just because of what happened when we kissed. It’s the fact I can’t stop thinking about it.”

He’s not the only one. I’ve rubbed my cock raw in remembrance. The urge to shove him back against the nearby wall washes over me. I want to give him something new to think about. Ignoring the impulse, I swallow hard and speak in a low voice. “When you’re thinking about it, are these analytical thoughts about what it all means? Or are they wanking thoughts?”

He glances away, trying to appear nonchalant. “Both.”

My muscles tighten at the thought of him with his hand wrapped around his throbbing dick, fantasising about kissing me while he pants and moans his way to orgasm. I want to know what he looks like when he comes. What he sounds like. How he feels.

“But,” he says, with emphasis, interrupting the lustfest going on in my head, “I decided against it because I know you don’t—” The words cut off and his eyes close briefly. “I don’t want us to stop being friends.”

“I don’t want that either but, Patrick, you’re playing with fire here and assuming no one will steal the matches. I’m the only one I trust to do this right.”

He’s still reluctant. I can feel the force of his doubts. But he hasn’t said no.

“Patrick, listen to me.” I slide a hand around the back of his neck, urging him to meet my gaze. “You need someone you can trust to stop when you say stop, no matter what’s happening when you say it. Someone who won’t get pissed at you and accuse you of being a tease when you leave them with blue balls.” Releasing him, I grin. “Besides, you tried looking for someone else to kiss. It didn’t work. You chose me and now you’re stuck with me for the duration.”

He huffs out an indignant sound. “I could find someone else to kiss,” he blusters, “if I looked really hard… for about ten years.”

I laugh out loud, knowing I almost have him convinced. “Yeah, but even if you did, it wouldn’t matter.”

“Why is that?” He leans closer, as if he’s looking forward to my response.

In that instant, I realise how badly I want this—him. I want to tug on every thread of his sexuality, freeing each strand for thorough inspection. I want to tie him in knots, before making him unravel for me. And I want him to know, every second along the way, I’m the one who is doing this to him. That I’m the only man to ever make him feel this way.

Licking my lips, I take a step closer and bring my face in next to his. “Because even if you did hit your limit with someone else, you’d always wonder how much further I could have taken you.” I lower my head, so he can feel my breath against his neck as I go in for the kill. “Patrick, my friend, I’m going to drag your arse so far down my end of the spectrum, you’ll have to claw your way straight.”

 

 

About the Author 

Rebecca is a long-time lover of all things romance. Whether it’s a book, movie, or real life, she will always have more fun if there’s a love interest thrown into the mix. She lives in Queensland, Australia with her very own hero husband, two quirky kids and one big, black dog. Other than reading and writing books, her favourite things include loud music, enjoying a glass of wine on the patio, organising everything in existence, and spending too much time on the Internet.

 

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