Blog Tour – Claw of Exile by J.K. Jones

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Book Title: Claw of Exile

Author: J.K. Jones 

Publisher: Self-published

Release Date: February 20, 2021 

Genre/s: MM werewolf romance, interracial romance, MM paranormal romance, Action and adventure, 

Tropes: Enemies to lovers 

Heat Rating:  4 flames  

Length:  68 995 words

It is the first book in the series. Book 2 due to be released in December. 

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He kills to survive 

Blurb 

Exiled.

Cursed. Abandoned. Ryu Suzuki is no stranger to these things.

For years he wandered the Outlands with nothing but his Katana to keep him safe. Kuroi kage—Black Shadow is what they call him. A phantom Omega. He belongs nowhere. He is no-one. Until a vicious disease spreading like wildfire threatens everyone he loves. 

After a series of unfortunate events, the game changes. Now he’s forced to go back to his long-forgotten pack, the Silvercrest Howlers. Suddenly, he’s staring at the man who ruined everything in the first place.

The Alpha that betrayed him. The White Lotus. 

Micah McCorbyn.

He also happens to be his mate.

Claw of Exile is a dark MM romance series. Each book is a whirlwind experience, high octane and will have you at the edge of your seat. Enemies to lovers, friends to lovers, hurt comfort, gay paranormal romance, gay betrayal romance and so much more. Follow Ryu into the Exiled series and strap yourself in for a wild ride.

Excerpt 

Chapter 1

The Outlands

Yokohama Japan 21’

 Ryu Suzuki is rotten.

Like all forbidden fruit, they say, he appears lush with deliciousness, but his insides are the color brown, sodden with the foul stench of bacteria. They are black and blue they say, slimy green, covered with rot and deterioration. It’s disgusting to look at. 

The fruit is shriveled up, with pus oozing through the thick skin. On the outside he looks perfectly normal, shining—shimmering in the light, deceiving everyone.

Ryu is the picture of ripening fruit, ample with flavor, ready to be tasted and explored by anyone who dared. Conversely, among other fruits, he would never let on his infectious disease until it was too late, and it spread.

They say Ryu Suzuki is indeed rotten to the core.

His bitter hands grip the headboard as the man above moves forcefully. The durable bend and twists of his hips make him choke violently, back arching off the bed, pale skin shining in the moonlight.

His hair sprawls like a black curtain, long and silky in the sheets. Earlier that day, it had been upon him, the slick and fever of desire, so ripe and deep it made him wrench in anguish.

Ryu found the closest Alpha, decent size, large and empowering, and released his intoxicating scent. No Alpha could ever resist. Ryu lured him into his tiny apartment, no more the size of a small box, with the bathroom and kitchen all being in one spot.

The Alpha didn’t ask questions, he tossed Ryu onto the bed, tearing off his clothes in a deep rage that would later consume him in his rut.

No kisses. No words of any kind.

Just lips, teeth, and skin.

Fuck—the man licks down the pale column of his neck, lapping at the skin, tonguing his glans, causing passion to tear through him.

He comes again for the fifth time that evening, soaking the Alpha and the sheets. This goes on for several more hours. When it’s over, they are both covered in sweat, the stench of sex and freesia filling the room.

The Alphas knot dies down.

And Ryu knows what’s coming next. The Alpha stands, barely letting the air cool around them, throwing on his tight white t-shirt and jeans, his physique muscular, arms rippling and straining against the fabric.

He isn’t bad looking.

Just not at all Ryu’s type.

“You got a mate?” The Alpha asks.

They all did. Ryu ignores the question, lazily stroking his flat stomach, noting the sharp arch of his hip bones. He hasn’t eaten in days.

“Silent type eh?” The Alpha probes. “Look…. I only did this because you seemed desperate.”

That’s what they all say. Ryu wants to crackle in maniacal laughter. He doesn’t though, his eyes watch coolly, like a feline.

“You have a mate,” he continues. “I can tell. Your Māku is strong, very strong. He must be a powerful Alpha. You shouldn’t be wandering around here without him. Whatever happened between you two… it doesn’t matter…the stench of another Alpha on his Omega is enough to drive one mad…”

Isn’t that what Ryu wants? To drive his Alpha mad? He turns his head away dismissively. This conversation is over.

About the Author 

Heaven and hell, demons and angels. J.K Jones has always had an affinity for otherworldly things. From her debut novel, it’s easy to see she loves all things crawling in the shadows. As it so happens, J.K Jones is the author of a gritty, fun, action-packed, soul-rending novel. Her characters are so dark and twisted they defy the dimensions of this world. She does not believe in HEA, she does believe in writing a suitable ending for her characters. Never will you read any of her works where the characters ride off into the sunset together. Not going to happen. There is nothing J.K. Jones loves more than a tragic ending. She is an avid reader, poet, and LGBTQ activist. She is a University graduate with a BA in Sociology, also has a TESOL certificate for teaching English as a Second Language.

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New Release – The Good Ship Lollipop by Patrick Benjamin #KindleUnlimited

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Book Title: The Good Ship Lollipop

Author: Patrick Benjamin

Publisher:  KDP Publishing

Cover Artist: Rebecca Covers

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance, Comedy

Trope/s: Love triangles, Frenemies

Themes:  Moving on, learning to love again

Heat Rating:  3 flames    

Length:  140 000 words/430 pages

It is a standalone book.

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Kyle must choose between the love of his past and the man he could love in the future

Blurb 

For fifteen years, Kyle and Dustin seemed like the perfect couple. That was until Kyle came home to discover Dustin in bed with a yoga instructor half his age and twice his flexibility. Two years and countless therapy hours later, Kyle has almost put the incident behind him. Being nearly forty and single makes a man bitter, but he’s making do.

Yet, when Kyle’s best friend asks him to be her Man of Honor, on her ten-day Caribbean wedding cruise, Kyle finds himself in a most uncomfortable situation. He ends up trapped on a seafaring vessel for ten days with the man who practically destroyed him.

Face to face with Dustin for the first time since the breakup, unresolved feelings float to the surface, and Kyle and Dustin both begin to wonder if their story is as over as it seems.

While navigating unchartered waters with Dustin, Kyle also meets Jax, a sexy Australian who likes to cruise in more ways than one. Kyle is more than happy to let Jax distract him for ten days. Still, when Jax suggests that he might want more than just a few days of fun, Kyle must choose between the love of his past or the man he could love in the future.

Excerpt 

No, absolutely not!” I nearly choked on a spinach leaf.

“You have to come,” Sapphire insisted. “I want you to be my Man of Honor.”

“A) That’s not a thing. B) The answer is still no.”

“I can’t get married without you.”

“Sure, you can. There’s no law against it. People do it all the time.”

When Sapphire offered to take me to lunch, I should have suspected something treacherous was afoot. Sapphire and I were like sisters. Sisters of different races and one of them with a penis, but sisters, nonetheless. Our relationship was something enormous and incomprehensible to most people. On paper, we had nothing in common. We had completely different backgrounds and cultural experiences that cultivated entirely different perspectives of the world around us. Despite those differences, we had found each other.

As close as we were, the girl had never offered to buy lunch. She seldom volunteered to pay for anything. That should have been warning number one. When she suggested my favorite Italian restaurant, Armando’s, that should have been warning number two. When she volunteered to foot the bill to attend her destination wedding cruise, I should have known to prepare myself for the Armageddon of bad news.

“You spent fifteen years with the man. What are ten more days?” She spoke with her hands. A piece of chicken flung off her fork and onto the table beside us. The senior couple, who were trying to enjoy their eighteen-dollar salads, glared at us like we each had two heads.

“I’m so sorry,” I mouthed to them.

“I can’t believe you would miss your best friend’s wedding over a tiny, little, uncomfortable inconvenience like this.”

“A cockroach infestation is a tiny inconvenience. Gonorrhea is uncomfortable. What you’re asking me to do is far worse.”

“Don’t be dramatic,” Sapphire said, waving her hand. “Dustin is not that bad.”

“Isn’t he?” He was too tall, too fit, too classically pretty, and all too aware of the fact. He was narcissistic and untrustworthy, but he was also charming and exceptionally good at putting on an innocent act. He could flash his white teeth and his dimples and get people to believe anything he wanted. Still, if you looked into his eyes, you could tell he was soulless.

“Why would you want everyone to join you on your honeymoon, anyway?” I shifted focus. “I hate to tell you this, but if you can’t stand to be alone with Justin for ten days, you probably shouldn’t marry him.”

“Very funny,” she said dryly. “I want everyone there because I want my wedding to be an experience. An amazing memory we can all look back on together.” 

 “I am not spending ten days, on a tiny boat, in the middle of the Caribbean, with him.”

“It’s a cruise ship,” she corrected. “Besides, you won’t be with Dustin. You’ll be with me.”

“Lies!” I wasn’t buying any of it. “I know exactly what will happen. You and Justin will be too busy enjoying your Caribbean honeymoon to spend any time with me. Then I’ll be trapped, in the middle of the ocean, with no one to talk to except Beelzebub’s concubine.”

“He’s not going to be the only other person there, you know. Several other people will be in our group. You can make one of them your wingman. My father loves you. You can hang-out with him.”

“Honey, don’t take this the wrong way. If I’m on an exotic vacation, and the only man who wants to spend time with me is your sixty-five-year-old arthritic father, I might drown myself in a bathtub.”

“Don’t be silly,” Sapphire dismissed. “You’ll be surrounded by water. There’d be no need to draw a bath.”

I did not look amused.

“I can’t believe you’re still so angry. It’s been over a year.” It had been eighteen months since the breakup, and yes, I was still harboring, hurting, and hating. 

I hadn’t seen or spoken to Dustin since the incident. As instructed, he had been gone when I returned to the apartment. With Sapphire’s help and some very strategic planning, I had avoided him throughout the entire decoupling process.

I left yellow Post-it Notes on everything he could take and was extremely vindictive about it. He could have the Blu-ray player, but not the discs or the TV. He could take the kitchen table, but not the chairs. I even kept the Keurig, though I permitted him to take his pods. What kind of monster drank decaf anyway? I also instructed Sapphire to guard the jazz record collection with her life. I detested jazz music, and we both knew it. I planned to pawn or destroy the albums later.

The first few weeks after the breakup, Dustin tried tirelessly to communicate with me. He sent me text messages that I didn’t answer and left voice mails that I refused to listen to. Dustin tried everything short of smoke signals. He even sent me an old-fashioned letter, which I didn’t open and burned immediately. I had nothing to say to him and had no desire to hear what he had to say to me. I had never been an incredibly trusting person, and his betrayal had reinforced all those walls that I had been trying, for years, to dismantle.

Being the forgiving person she was, Sapphire tried to convince me to give Dustin a second chance. Still, I refused, steadfast in my determination that he’d had his chance. Since then, she had been careful not to mention him. Even though I knew full well that she saw him regularly. He was her fiancé’s twin brother. She had to remain cordial. I did not and had no intention of ever being so.

“You simply have to come. We’re going to so many beautiful islands: Turks and Caicos, Bonaire, St. Thomas, and Aruba. You’ve always wanted to go to Aruba.”

That was true, but still, “If you put us on a ship together, I promise you, I will throw him overboard.”

She smiled wide, her teeth gleaming white against the contrast of her chocolate skin. “That’s fine! Just promise you’ll make it look like an accident.”

“Duh,” was the most mature response I could muster. “I don’t want to end up someone’s bitch in a Caribbean prison.” 

“Don’t you, though?”

Dirty, prison sex would have been the most action I’d seen in a while. Thirty-nine may have been young by hetero standards, but in the queer world, I was practically a spinster. Being classified as an elder gay meant that my dating pool had been reduced to a few categories. First, those men who were so weird or creepy that nobody wanted them, or second, those who were so bitter and jaded by relationships past that dating them was like trying to build a house out of straw. I was a card-carrying member of category two.

Of course, there was always a third group. Younger men. They were excellent in theory, with their zero percent body fat and their permanent erections. However, too often, their perfect bodies and sexual appetites only camouflaged the fact that they lacked any real substance. If brains were dynamite, most of them couldn’t blow their nose. There were always exceptions. Old souls that knew how to converse about more than just Rhi-Rhi’s new album or T-Swizzle’s latest boyfriend. Those younger men wanted more than sugar daddies. Though, I still couldn’t imagine having enough in common with someone who hadn’t even been alive during the original run of Friends.

It wasn’t that I couldn’t get a date. Even close to forty, I was still cute. Not as attractive as I was at twenty, but I wasn’t a hunchback or anything. My deep green eyes matched my red hair, which I kept cropped short to avoid the bozo-clown-realness it would become if left to grow-out. I was tall and still decently shaped, a little thicker in some places than I’d prefer, but that came with age. At least, that’s what I told myself. I had a good understanding of where that put me in the queer hierarchy. Guys would still bang me; they just wouldn’t brag about it anymore. 

Admittedly, the realization that I was no longer prime real estate took some getting used to. Before Dustin, I had been a penthouse in Manhattan, but after fifteen years in couple-town, I was shocked to discover I was now a brownstone in Queens. Next stop? Condemned building in Jersey!

That being said, I was optimistic about my life, even if it meant spending it alone.

“The ship is huge,” Sapphire was still talking. “You won’t even really have to see each other. There are also excursions at every port: zip-lining, snorkeling, hikes, surfing. Come on. You can orbit around each other for ten days without committing a violent felony.”

“Great, so I can spend the entire time by myself?”

“There’s going to be thousands of people on this ship. It’s a floating city. If you’re so worried about being by yourself, you could always try making friends.”

“You’ve known me for twenty years. Am I the type of person who makes friends?”

I was about to find out.

About the Author  

This is Patrick Benjamin’s second novel. He was excited to try his hand at something lighter and more humorous than his debut novel (The Road Between). Patrick can most often be found spending quiet evenings at home with his husband, Jarrett and his puppy, Dax. When he’s not writing, Patrick can often be seen performing on stage as his glamorous drag persona Tequila Mockingbird. He also volunteers on the Board of Directors of a non-profit organization that has proudly served the LGBTQ2S+ community for 45 years.

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New Release – Dark Flame (Flame-Born 1) by Kat Silver #giveaway

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Book Title: Dark Flame (Flame-Born 1)

Author: Kat Silver

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Bookfly

Release Date: February 6, 2021

Genre/s: MM paranormal/urban fantasy

Trope/s: Enemies to Lovers

Themes: Finding home and self. Self-discovery. Self-acceptance. Learning to trust.

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length:  82 000 words/310 pages

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Hunted by a vampire prince. Caged by his rescuer. Can Michael escape the dark destiny written in his blood, or will his own heart be his undoing?

Blurb 

“I know who you are because you belong to me. You were born to be mine.” ~ Alexei Vasiliev, the vampire prince.

Haunted by the death of his parents, Michael Blakeley wants answers. The twenty-six-year-old martial artist seeks their killer, but he also wants to know why electronics short out at his touch, and why his libido is a raging fire.

When a group of soldiers calling themselves Guardians rescue him from a back alley ambush and claim to have the answers he needs, he agrees to go with them. Especially when they tell him the attackers were vampires. But nothing in this supernatural underworld is as it seems, and when the silver-eyed commander cages him instead, Michael’s answers slip further away.

Can Michael find safety from the vampires who claim him? Can he escape the dark destiny he discovers is written into his blood? And will he break the chains of the commander who keeps him captive? The one man he has no desire to leave?

Dark Flame is the first pulse-pounding book in the Flame Born LGBT urban fantasy series. If you like enemies to lovers, shifters, sexy vampire princes, and scorching heat, you’ll love this smoldering tale of bloodlust and magic. 

Warning: Dark Flame is a gay erotic love story. It contains explicit language and sexual scenes between men, and is meant for adult readers only. There is content some readers may find distressing. See inside for potential triggers. 

Excerpt 

I kneel and hang my head and wait. I have to. I want to. There’s an elation in my chest, as though I’m about to meet a secret beloved I’m only now remembering. My attention draws upward, compelled to the stunning creature. I couldn’t look away if my life depended on it, but I avoid meeting his dark gaze. 

With unearthly grace, the vampire saunters toward me, his eyes riveted to my face. The closer he comes, the more the battle slips into the background. It could be only the two of us here in the steelworks. Weapons fly around him—bolts and swords whistle through the air, heading for his chest, but stop midflight before they can meet their target and clatter to the concrete. He doesn’t spare them a glance.

The nearer he stalks, the harder my heart pounds. My breath comes in shallow puffs. Cold sweat soaks my T-shirt. My nails puncture the soft flesh of my palms. I feel defenseless. 

The prince stands in front of me, close enough to touch, a towering demigod, his immense wings creating a shadowed cavern.

I force my eyes down, fixing them on a patch of crimson blood painted across the concrete. I resist a baffling urge to lean and rest my head against his hip.

Strong, elegant fingers cup my chin to lift my face. I tense, my stomach twisting with panic. I’m certain that once I meet those black eyes, it’s over. His fingers burn hot against my chin. The touch tingles my skin like champagne. I melt into his hand and look up, finding two pools of darkest night. My resistance vanishes.

Master. The word hangs in my mind. 

I will never let it leave my lips.

About the Author 

I’m a simple northern English lass with an addiction to writing, as well as all things romance. Also addicted to cats, cat videos, and anything with, you know, cats in it. And there’s chocolate, and tea, coffee too, and rainy Sundays. Okay, I have many addictions. But my first love has always been story in all its forms, from movies to books to anecdotes told over a beer at the local pub. If we’re sharing a story, I’m all ears. And if it’s fantasy with sexy heroes and vampires and lots of angsty luuurve, I’m probably drooling. Come in, pour yourself a tea, and kick your shoes off. Let me tell you a story.

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New Release – Blood Winter by S.J. Coles

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Book Title: Blood Winter

Author: S.J. Coles

Publisher:  Pride Publishing

Release Date: December 29, 2020

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Paranormal/Vampire Romance

Trope/s: Forbidden love, enemies to lovers, stuck together, rural romance

Themes:  Healing, belonging, finding acceptance, alternate reality

Heat Rating:  4 flames  

Length: 71 797 words/ 266 pages

There is a sequel planned.

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Pride Publishing  |   Amazon US  |   Amazon UK  

Vampires are attempting to integrate into human society. 

When Alec MacCarthy first meets a ‘haemophile’ in the flesh, it’s not the obvious dangers that frighten him.

Blurb

Alec MacCarthy, Lord of Aviemore and largely-forgotten descendent of a once-proud family line, keeps the wolf from the door of the crumbling family mansion by restoring classic cars.

He leaves the real world alone and wishes nothing more than for it to return the favor. But in a reality where haemophiles—still colloquially known as vampires, despite the publicity campaigns—have come out of hiding and are attempting to integrate into human society, the real world is rapidly becoming a disrupted and conflicted mess that threatens to trouble even Alec in his remote Scottish hideaway.

When he unwittingly attends a Blood Party to please a friend, he has his first meeting with one of these mysterious and dangerous beings. Terje is like nothing he has ever encountered before…literally. His reactions are as troublesome as they are undeniable.

Alec’s snap decision to help the haemophile rather than sample his sense-heightening and addictive blood sets them both on a path that will lead them into a tangled web of intrigue with consequences that will change their lives—and the world—forever.

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of violence, murder, kidnapping, blood stealing, drug use, addiction and blood drinking.

Excerpt 

“You have questions.” He sat and uncorked the bottle. The electric lantern made his pale skin glow. It shone off his high cheekbones and the lines of his neck. His mouth was soft, his lips slightly curved, even at rest. I remembered it open, redder than blood, the teeth shockingly white and sharp. I remembered his hands, strong enough to crack the wood of the basement door, strong enough to break Brody’s bones. But now he sat easily in my kitchen chair, regarding me steadily with calm, entrancing eyes. He was terrifying, but he was beautiful, like a freezing winter morning in the very heart of the mountains. I bridled at the thought and dropped my gaze to the tabletop. 

“How old are you?” I heard myself ask.

“Not old enough to have known Jacob More,” he said, with something like amusement in his voice.

“That’s not an answer.”

He still didn’t smile but something like humor flickered in the dark depths of his eyes. “I don’t know exactly. Over eighty, less than a hundred.”

“How do you not know how old you are?”

He lifted a shoulder in a half-shrug. “You stop counting after a while.” I narrowed my eyes and his mouth twitched. “And, well…at the time, it wasn’t considered important where I’m from.” His brow creased slightly, his eyes far away. “I remember the Second World War but not the first. Do I get to ask a question now?”

I chewed on the inside of my cheek, regarding him closely and trying not to think about the fluttering in my belly. “What question?”

“Is this really your home?”

“Why?”

He tilted his chin slightly. “I knew you must live here when we arrived. I could smell it. But the place looks like it belongs to someone else.”

Something prickled over the skin of my back. “Again, why do you care?”

“Just curious, like you.”

“I’m not curious about you,” I said in tight voice. “That’s not what this is.”

He inclined his head. “Very well. You don’t have to answer. Next question?”

I picked at a splinter on the table, not looking at him. “Daylight…”

“What about it?”

“Does it kill you?”

“No.”

“Then why—?”

“The cellar?” He sipped his wine. His mouth was stained slightly pink. I hurriedly lifted my gaze. “We have to sleep, just like you do.”

“During the day?”

“We’re sensitive to sunlight,” he said slowly, factually. “We don’t produce melanin in the same way, so we burn easily. And it’s hard to see.”

“So you just…sleep?”

He frowned at his glass. “Not the way you sleep. The Blood requires us to…offline. Recharge.”

“Could you stay awake if you wanted? During the day?”

“Yes, though it’s hard. But the Blood wakes us if there’s a threat. Is it my turn now?”

I hesitated and reached for the other glass. “I thought you said you were supposed to answer my questions.”

“Polite conversation normally goes both ways.”

I fought a scowl. “We’re not exactly meeting at a dinner party here.”

“No,” he said softly, looking into the fire. “But that’s not my fault, is it?”

About the Author

S.J. Coles is a Romance writer originally from Shropshire, UK. She has been writing stories for as long as she has been able to read them. Her biggest passion is exploring narratives through character relationships.

She finds writing LGBT/paranormal romance provides many unique and fulfilling opportunities to explore many (often neglected or under-represented) aspects of human experience, expectation, emotion and sexuality.

Among her biggest influences are LGBT Romance authors K J Charles and Josh Lanyon and Vampire Chronicles author Anne Rice.

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New Release – Honorable Convictions (D’Vaire, Book 20) by Jessamyn Kingley #KindleUnlimited

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Book Title: Honorable Convictions (D’Vaire, Book 20)

Author: Jessamyn Kingley

Cover Artist: LJ Anderson of Mayhem Cover Creations

Release Date: December 10, 2020

Genre/s: M/M Urban Fantasy Romance 

Trope/s: Fated mates, enemies to lovers

Themes: Fate, love, second chances 

Heat Rating:  3 flames

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To find love, two bitter rivals must start over or end their matebond forever.

Blurb 

From the moment he is resurrected, Mitchell Brooks is full of ambition and determined to win at all costs. The fresh recruit pushes himself to the limit and earns the title of Juris Knight, a highly respected position within the Order of the Fallen Knights. Mitchell wants to be the best of his graduating class, but the task is impossible because there is someone in his way—the man who happens to be his mate.

Pierson Murphy is brought to life with the gift of a perfect memory and miserable resurrection sickness. After three days of suffering, he begins his journey toward Juris Knight and excels, achieving perfect scores on every aptitude test. However, Pierson struggles with an inability to relate to everyone—including the man supposedly destined to be his other half. 

They keep their matebond a secret and after weeks of discord, they are sent to different cities and go their separate ways with bitter confrontations their only memory. A century later, Pierson has a spotless reputation and zero friends. Horribly burned out and aching for something more, he transfers to another office. 

His reassignment is the impetus Mitchell needs to end the fierce competition with the man he should have treasured, and he shows up on Pierson’s doorstep, prepared to start over. However, Pierson is ready to move on and wants anyone other than Mitchell. With so many barriers standing between them, is it possible to find love and honor Fate?

Excerpt 

“Brooks, are you awake over there?” VK Ruarc called out. Mitchell snapped to attention, and his gaze automatically went to the blond standing on the mat. Sheepishly, Mitchell got to his feet. Unaware that anyone was waiting for him, he’d zoned out. 

“I apologize, Venerable Knight. I was daydreaming.”

“Save that for after class,” VK Ruarc ordered. “Murphy needs a partner.”

“Right,” Mitchell said and stood in front of Pierson, who was staring at a point somewhere past his right shoulder. “You ready, Murphy?”

“I’m not the one who was delving into fantasy in the middle of class,” Pierson stated tightly. VK Ruarc left them, no doubt to give Wade some helpful advice since Trista had knocked him on his ass.

“Maybe I didn’t want to hurt you again, Blondie.”

Whether it was the words or his tone, Pierson’s eyes met his and there was nothing to read in his flat expression. “Let’s just do this shit.”

“Whatever you want.”

Letting out a huff, Pierson raised his hands and tried to hit Mitchell. It was easy to smack his arm out of the way and though Pierson was his mate, he refused to give him any quarter. Mitchell swung his foot out, then struck Pierson with a blow to his midsection. Staggering a few steps, Pierson barely managed to stay on the mat. 

“Come at me, Blondie. Stop holding back.”

His mouth tightening into a line, Pierson charged forward but nothing about his attack was coordinated, and seconds later he landed on his butt. Mitchell reached to help him up, but Pierson slapped the proffered limb out of his face and bounded to the balls of his feet. 

“Fight me,” Pierson demanded.

“Relax, this is supposed to be friendly competition.”

Pierson tried to get in a punch, but Mitchell moved deftly out of reach. “Everyone knows I’m terrible at this. I don’t need you to make it worse.”

“Make it worse? What the hell are you talking about?”

“Stop patronizing me by trying to help me up,” Pierson ordered when Mitchell landed a blow south of his collarbone.

“I do that for everyone, not because we’re—”

“Don’t you dare say it,” Pierson said through gritted teeth, finally moving quickly enough to shove Mitchell.

“Why not?”

“You know why not. We’re supposed to be focused on training, not that other stuff.”

“That other stuff is supposed to be the foundation of our lives.”

“You don’t need to talk so loud; someone’s going to hear you.”

Mitchell’s boot connected with Pierson’s hip hard enough that he once again slammed into the mat. For once, he had no remorse about taking him down. There was nothing wrong with announcing their matebond, and it pissed him off that they had to keep quiet for no good reason other than Pierson’s hard head.

“You getting up, Blondie?”

With a glare, Pierson rose. “I hate this shit,” he muttered.

“Well, I hate your stupid high test scores.”

Pierson nailed him in the shin, and Mitchell’s wince made him smile. “I’m sorry that you don’t apply yourself to our written stuff the way that I do. You apparently prefer to practice fighting.”

Mitchell was stunned speechless for a moment, and it allowed Pierson to sneak in another blow he should’ve blocked. Since the first day Pierson had achieved a perfect grade, Mitchell spent every available hour reading and studying their assignments. There was still some energy devoted to the gym, but the bulk of his focus was trying to get anywhere near Pierson’s results. “I am trying, Blondie.”

“Really? Because it seems like you care more about hanging out with your friends than worrying about what kind of assignment you’re going to wind up with.”

“There’s nothing wrong with building relationships with the other recruits,” Mitchell retorted, shoving Pierson to the edge of the mat. Mitchell was slightly impressed that he didn’t land on his ass again.

“It’s a waste of time.”

“You’ve memorized the damn manual. You should know that teamwork and camaraderie is an important part of being a fallen knight.”

“Except that it says that while on the job you need to be cordial and make overtures toward your coworkers. This is training. Not one of those people is going to be in your life after the next seven weeks are complete.”

“It doesn’t hurt to have contacts in other cities, Blondie.”

“It’s too late for that.”

Mitchell’s brows drew together, and he circled around the perimeter of the pad as he tried to keep Pierson at bay while using his obviously feebler gray matter to discern his words. “Huh?”

“Never mind.”

Charging forward, Mitchell purposely swept Pierson’s hands aside and hit his shoulder with enough force that he hit the ground. “We already have enough shit you refuse to discuss, Blondie. You need to stop hiding under your little mask and talk to me.”

With a ferocious glare, Pierson slapped his palms down and dragged himself up. “Why are you always ordering me around?”

“Me? You’re the one with all the crazy demands.”

“Crazy demands?”

“Yes, but I can’t get into specifics because apparently there are some words in the English language our mighty Blondie is refusing to allow me to utter,” Mitchell retorted in a mocking voice meant to resemble Pierson’s slightly higher octave.

“Stop calling me that.”

About the Author 

Jessamyn Kingley lives in Nevada where she begs the men in her head to tell her their amazing stories which she dutifully writes it all down in what has become a small mountain of notebooks. She falls in love with each couple and swears whatever book she wrote last is her absolute favorite.

Jessamyn is married and working toward remembering to start the dishwasher without being distracted by the scent of the magical detergent. For personal enjoyment, she aids in cat rescue while slashing and gashing her way through mobs in various MMORPGs. Caffeine is her very best friend and is only cast aside briefly for the sin better known as BBQ potato chips.

Visit her website 

Join her Facebook group, Jessamyn’s Ruffian’s

Social Media Links

Blog/Website  |   Facebook |   Twitter  |   Pinterest  |  Facebook Group

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Cover Reveal – Honorable Convictions (D’Vaire, Book 20) by Jessamyn Kingley

COVER REVEAL

Book Title: Honorable Convictions (D’Vaire, Book 20)

Author: Jessamyn Kingley

Cover Artist: LJ Anderson of Mayhem Cover Creations

Release Date: December 10, 2020

Genre/s: M/M Urban Fantasy Romance 

Trope/s: Fated mates, enemies to lovers

Themes: Fate, love, second chances 

Heat Rating:  3 flames

To find love, two bitter rivals must start over or end their matebond forever.

Blurb 

From the moment he is resurrected, Mitchell Brooks is full of ambition and determined to win at all costs. The fresh recruit pushes himself to the limit and earns the title of Juris Knight, a highly respected position within the Order of the Fallen Knights. Mitchell wants to be the best of his graduating class, but the task is impossible because there is someone in his way—the man who happens to be his mate.

Pierson Murphy is brought to life with the gift of a perfect memory and miserable resurrection sickness. After three days of suffering, he begins his journey toward Juris Knight and excels, achieving perfect scores on every aptitude test. However, Pierson struggles with an inability to relate to everyone—including the man supposedly destined to be his other half. 

They keep their matebond a secret and after weeks of discord, they are sent to different cities and go their separate ways with bitter confrontations their only memory. A century later, Pierson has a spotless reputation and zero friends. Horribly burned out and aching for something more, he transfers to another office. 

His reassignment is the impetus Mitchell needs to end the fierce competition with the man he should have treasured, and he shows up on Pierson’s doorstep, prepared to start over. However, Pierson is ready to move on and wants anyone other than Mitchell. With so many barriers standing between them, is it possible to find love and honor Fate?

About the Author 

Jessamyn Kingley lives in Nevada where she begs the men in her head to tell her their amazing stories which she dutifully writes it all down in what has become a small mountain of notebooks. She falls in love with each couple and swears whatever book she wrote last is her absolute favorite.

Jessamyn is married and working toward remembering to start the dishwasher without being distracted by the scent of the magical detergent. For personal enjoyment, she aids in cat rescue while slashing and gashing her way through mobs in various MMORPGs. Caffeine is her very best friend and is only cast aside briefly for the sin better known as BBQ potato chips.

Visit her website 

Join her Facebook group, Jessamyn’s Ruffian’s

Social Media Links

Blog/Website  |   Facebook |   Twitter  |   Pinterest  |  Facebook Group

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

BLOG TOUR

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.

Author Links

Website  |  Facebook group  |  Facebook page  |  Facebook

Newsletter  |  Instagram  |  BookBub  |  Twitter  

Pinterest  |  Goodreads  |  QueeRomance Ink

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a signed paperback of Gingerbread Mistletoe

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New Release – All Screwed Up by Beth Bolden & Brittany Cournoyer #KindleUnlimited #giveaway

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: All Screwed Up

Author: Beth Bolden & Brittany Cournoyer

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Cate Ashwood Designs

Release Date: November 6, 2020

Genre/s: Contemporary m/m romantic comedy

Trope: Enemies to lovers

Themes: Starting over, learning to work together

Heat Rating:  3 flames  

Length: 55 000 words

It is a standalone story.

Goodreads


Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

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All’s fair in love and remodeling.


Blurb

Griffin Caldwell can’t wait to make a fresh start: new job, new town, new house. He’s even realized the lifelong dream of owning his own home. Except when he arrives, nothing is what he expected, and Griffin’s celebration turns from triumphant to terrible.

Not only is his “cute bungalow” a derelict heap, it needs major remodeling work to be livable. And it turns out there’s only one person in town who’s even willing to commit to the project.

The first time David Webber talks to Griffin about his disaster zone of a house, he’d like nothing better than to hang up the phone. But he’s stuck. All his grumpy behavior has gotten him is a whole stack of bad reviews online and no clients.

From the moment they collide over a busted toilet, sparks and snark fly. The only thing that might be hotter than their mutual animosity is their intense chemistry.

Neither of them wants to admit it at first but as the project evolves and their lives intertwine, maybe what they’re working on isn’t just a house. It might even be proof that a caring partnership can build a strong, long-lasting foundation–and an even fiercer love. 


Excerpt 

“What are you doing?” he asked when he stepped inside and spotted David ripping into a wall.

“Baking a cake,” he responded dryly before muttering to himself, “what does it freaking look like I’m doing? Knitting a damn sweater?”

“What flavor?” Griffin asked, choosing not to respond to the rest.

“The best flavor—chocolate.”

“I beg to differ. Chocolate is good, but nothing beats a super moist red-velvet cake with delicious cream cheese frosting.”

David stared at him, crowbar in one hand, sledgehammer in the other. “Are you saying chocolate cake can’t be moist? Because if so, you’re having the wrong cake.”

“No, not at all. I’ve had some decent chocolate cake. It’s just more dense than other flavors.”

David snorted. “Was there anything else you needed? Or did you just stop by to tell me my choice in cake is dense?”

Griffin crossed his arms over his chest. “You brought up the cake conversation, not me. All I did was ask what you were doing.”

David sighed and looked toward the sagging ceiling, as if searching for a way to respond to Griffin. The ceiling was another thing that had given up in that house. The entire thing looked like it’d just had enough standing up in the battle against the elements, animals, and trespassers. And had definitely gotten tired of doing so alone—since it’d sat empty for so long. It’d given up, finally waving the white flag as tree roots took over and the crushing weight of snow had caused certain parts to cave in. The thought of seeing the house in such despair and feeling the sadness among the walls hurt Griffin’s heart, and he hoped all the time, money, and arguments with David were worth breathing new life into the house. It deserved a chance to shine in all its glory, and even though it didn’t look like much now, the bones were still solid. It just needed some love.

“When I get asked a question where the answer is obvious, I can’t help but respond with sarcasm.”

“What was that?” Griffin asked, startled by David’s voice. He’d been so lost in thought about his depressing home that he’d forgotten he was in the middle of a conversation with David.

David sighed loudly and muttered under his breath again. “Did you need something? I’m a bit busy here.”

He waved his arm around the room, the one Griffin intended to be his master bedroom, to indicate the piles of drywall he’d ripped down.

“Just wondering if you need any help.”

“We’ve already had this conversation more than once, Griffin. Right now, it’s best if you stay out of the way until I have the basic demolition finished.”

Griffin pursed his lips as he tried not to stare at the way Griffin’s sweaty T-shirt clung to him like a second skin and his jeans hugged his thick thighs like they were drawn on him. Jesus. He could crack walnuts with those thighs.

Even though it was still fairly early in the morning, the sun was already high in the sky and the humidity was even higher. And just walking outside to collect the morning paper would cause sweat to bead on your upper lip and temples. And while Griffin hated it, he had to give his thanks to the weather gods since David had taken his shirt off more than once while doing work. And Griffin couldn’t help but accept the gifts in the form of his bulging, sweating muscles, eagerly. It’d be rude not to, after all.


About the Authors

Beth Bolden

A lifelong Oregonian, Beth has just recently moved to North Carolina with her supportive husband and their sweet kitten, Earl Grey. Beth still believes in Keeping Portland Weird, and intends to be just as weird in Raleigh.

Beth has been writing practically since she learned the alphabet. Unfortunately, her first foray into novel writing, titled Big Bear with Sparkly Earrings, wasn’t a bestseller, but hope springs eternal. She’s published twenty novels and six novellas.

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |   BookBub

Facebook group |  Instagram  |  Newsletter Sign-up


Brittany Cournoyer

Brittany was born in Enterprise, Alabama and moved to a small town in Indiana when she was thirteen. And, even though the town is named Kokomo, it’s nothing like the Beach Boys song. During her free time, she loves to read amazing books, watch mindless television, and spend time with family and loved ones. Oh, and squeeze in writing some time throughout the day as well. She is also the mom to an adorable, yet precocious, Border Collie named Delilah. When not doing any of those fun-filled activities, she works at a hospital as a switchboard operator. 

Author Links

Blog/Website  |   Facebook  |  Twitter

Instagram  |  Newsletter Sign-up  |  Facebook group


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a $15 Amazon gift card

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New Release – Hide to Seek (London Lies 2) by CF White #KindleUnlimited #giveaway

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Hide to Seek (London Lies 2)

Author and Publisher: CF White

Cover Artist: Ethereal Designs 

Release Date: September 30, 2020 

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romantic Suspense 

Trope/s: Enemies to lovers, slow burn 

Themes: Hurt/Comfort 

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length:  76 000 words/ 318 pages

It is not a standalone story.

Goodreads 


Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link  |  Amazon US  |   Amazon UK 


Lust fuelled attraction is easy to ignore.

An emotional connection is harder to deny. 

Blurb

Jackson Young has gone into hiding. Fighting to get his name cleared and his truth heard, he’s followed Fletcher Doherty to Ireland for a safe haven from those who want to silence his story.

As they work on Jackson’s biography, their growing attraction gets harder resist. Fletcher’s made it clear though—their professional boundary isn’t to be crossed, especially with so many loose threads from each of their pasts left hanging.

But as he learns more about the once coveted celebrity’s rise to fame, and the manipulation and control that came with it, Fletcher finds it increasingly difficult to distance himself from their intimate moments. Lust fuelled attraction is easy to ignore, but an emotional connection is harder to deny.

Surrounded by Fletcher’s meddling family, and ex boyfriends who still harbour feelings of being jilted, Jackson has to play the part of his lifetime. Can he prove that he does have talent and win Fletcher’s heart as well as his trust?

And can he do it all before their idyllic hideaway is compromised?

Hide to Seek is the second book in the London Lies trilogy and is a slow burn, hurt/comfort, romantic suspense series.


Excerpt 

Jackson joined him at the edge of the boat as the land disappeared into the murky water that sloshed up against the stern. He didn’t say anything. Neither did Fletcher. Their silence wasn’t awkward. It wasn’t comfortable either. It was a shared moment of reflection. Of knowing this could be the only peace they might have in a long while. A three-hour ferry ride from Holyhead to Dublin on international waters meant they couldn’t be found yet. They’d managed to get through ID control without any real problems. For how many times Fletcher had done this journey, he knew the ferry border control wasn’t as meticulous in checking details as the airlines would be. It was why across water was the only way. And they needed to breathe in this sanctuary while they still could. Fletcher wasn’t sure what awaited them in Ireland. He had apprehensions about going home, about bringing Jackson Young and all that came with him, to his family. But where else could they go?

So they shared a silent agreement to just stand, stare and be.

Until Jackson broke it with an intrepid inhale and a twist of his body to face him. “We should talk,” he said through the gust of howling wind.

“Should we?” Fletcher kept his gaze forward. Or backward as it were. 

“This thing.” Jackson flapped a hand between them, his fingertips brushing Fletcher’s arm. “Us. We should probably acknowledge it.”

Fletcher breathed in, his chest rising, and slapped the railing to stand straighter. He closed his eyes, then opened them but kept his gaze on the distant horizon and not on the man beside him who was conjuring up feelings he didn’t want to concede to. Not then. Not when there was so much else left to learn between them.

“I know what you’re thinking.” Jackson slid his hand onto Fletcher’s cheek, demanding he look at him. A hand that stayed there a moment too long, with blue eyes delving into his soul and a soft thumb brushing along his yearning lips.

“You do, do ye?” 

Jackson removed his hand and Fletcher’s cheek tinged with the heat left behind, but the flecks of ice cold seawater carried up by fierce winds slapped his skin and soon wiped the warmth away. 

“You think this is too complicated to deal with now. That we need to focus on the book. On ourselves. On hiding. That’s why you left me down there, isn’t it? You can’t face me.”

“What did you think? This would be a romantic mini break?”  

“I think we need to acknowledge there’s something going on. We can’t ignore it. I spent my life ignoring what was in front of me and look what happened.” Jackson threw his hands in the air, indicating their current situation.

“I’m not ignoring you, Jax. There’s no time for us. You want this truth out, then we’re gonna have to prioritise.”

Jackson hung his head, the disappointment and hurt seeping off his deflating body. But Fletcher couldn’t do this. He couldn’t rebound so quickly again. Time after time he’d done that, and each time had hurt worse than before to the point he couldn’t trust his feelings anymore. Nor could he trust that Jackson wasn’t clinging onto anything that would save him. How could this be real? How could either of them think that this could be something? 

“I can be friends.” Fletcher made a concerted effort to keep his voice low, neutral, soothing. “Neither of us are ready for romance.”

Jackson breathed through a smile. “Are you an old romantic, Mr Doherty?” 

“Aye. I am.” Fletcher wrapped his jacket around him, arms folding. It was to stave off the blustering wind chill but also, maybe, to act as the physical barrier to coincide with the one he built up with every wretched word he spoke. “I don’t jump into bed at the first sign of attraction. So when I said, let’s see what happens, I meant it.” He sniffed as the ferry dipped and swayed, aiming for the open arms of Dublin port. “But first things first, we have to get you off this ferry as Cameron Dale.”


About the Author 

Brought up in a relatively small town in Hertfordshire, C F White managed to do what most other residents try to do and fail—leave.

Studying at a West London university, she realised there was a whole city out there waiting to be discovered, so, much like Dick Whittington before her, she never made it back home and still endlessly search for the streets paved with gold, slowly coming to the realisation they’re mostly paved with chewing gum. And the odd bit of graffiti. And those little circles of yellow spray paint where the council point out the pot holes to someone who is supposedly meant to fix them instead of staring at them vacantly whilst holding a polystyrene cup of watered-down coffee.

She eventually moved West to East along that vast District Line and settled for pie and mash, cockles and winkles and a bit of Knees Up Mother Brown to live in the East End of London; securing a job and creating a life, a home and a family.

After her second son was born with a rare disability, C F White’s life changed and brought pen back to paper having written stories as a child but never the confidence to show them to the world. Now, having embarked on this writing journey, she can’t stop. So strap in, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.  


Follow C F White 

Twitter @CFWhiteUK  |  Facebook  |  Blog

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New Release – The Honeymoon Gambit (Catalina Dreams Book 2) by I.M. Flippy #KindleUnlimited #giveaway

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: The Honeymoon Gambit (Catalina Dreams Book 2)

Author: I.M. Flippy

Publisher: I.M. Flippy

Cover Artist: Janna Urbanski

Release Date: August 14, 2020

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope/s: Fake dating, workplace romance, enemies to lovers

Themes: Self-acceptance

Heat Rating:  4 flames

Length:  Approx. 45 000 words/ 200 pages

It is a standalone story.

Goodreads 

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |   Amazon UK 

   

Sell the fake relationship and they might sell the client. If they don’t kill each other first.

 

Blurb

Todd Ellis and Eric Yoo cannot stand each other. 

Todd is too chaotic. Eric is too serious. But they’re both rising stars at Jackson & Larabee Associates.

Pretending to be a couple in order to impress a new client is not going to be easy.

All Eric has to do is not kill Todd and keep smiling.

If he could avoid falling in love with him, that would be good too.

Welcome to Catalina Island.

 

 Excerpt 

Todd turned his head toward the window outside, scratching his bristly chin, and just as quickly looked back at Eric with wide eyes. He stalked towards him and whispered, “Eric, do not look at the window, but Stackler is out on the balcony looking at us.”

“What—”

“Shhh!” Todd took his hands and looked up at him with a sweet smile that belied everything coming out of his mouth. “He must have climbed over from his room. Dumbass is lucky he didn’t fall, for Christ’s sake. He’s spying on us.” Todd brought Eric’s hand to his lips, softly kissing his knuckles. “He’s obviously trying to catch us. So be convincing. We’ll give him a show.”

Eric summed up a smile he hoped didn’t look too fake. He stopped in closer to Todd and a heat crawled up his neck and into his face as Todd continued to kiss his fingers. He kept his head still and shifted his gaze towards the window. 

There was Stackler, peering through the curtains like some skulking prowler. He clung to the window, and every time the curtain moved slightly from the faint breeze of the ceiling fan, Eric could see his cheek pressed to the glass. His mouth was slightly agape as he stared at them.

It was both creepy and hilarious.

A laugh bubbled up in Eric’s throat, and he swallowed it. He was skilled in containing laughs, after all. But Stackler looked ridiculous, his breath steaming up the window, and it was difficult to contain. He looked at Todd instead. Todd’s face was red, and he bit down on his lip. He was covering his laugh badly.

“Don’t laugh!” Eric hissed.

“I… can’t… oh my God, he looks so…” Todd stuttered; a helpless whine. His eyes were watery, and he snorted and shut his eyes. “I’m gonna die—”

“Shhh.” Eric brought his hand up, ostensibly to cradle Todd’s cheek, though it was really to block Stackler’s view in case he could read Todd’s expression. “Don’t let him see.”

“What is he doing out there?” Todd whispered. “That idiot.” Todd took a deep breath and calmed down. He looked up at Eric and breathed in sharply. “Um…” He blinked at Eric and watched a sunbeam glint off Todd’s eyelashes, making them look like rose gold.

“This is good, right?” Eric whispered. He ducked his head, and just for effect, nuzzled Todd’s nose and allowed his lips to brush the stubble along his cheek. 

It felt fucking good. It made him want to move just a little and meet his lips maybe—

“Yeah,” Todd said, his voice cracking comically. “Good. We don’t have to um… I know you’re not comfortable with…”

It would look good, Eric wanted to say. It would be so convincing if they kissed just now when Stackler didn’t know they were aware of him. He wanted to say so, but he couldn’t quite get a handle on his thoughts. Everything had scrambled suddenly, his mental frequency turned to white noise.

Todd smelled good this close. Soap, skin, some coconut sunscreen scent—

“He’s gone,” Todd said, and stepped away so quickly that Eric stumbled forward.

“Uh… whatever,” Eric mumbled. He pushed his hair back, clearing his throat.

“Anyway, excellent job. With that. Very convincing.” Todd nodded to himself. “You know what, I think I will head down to the lounge after all.” He practically ran for the door, though just minutes ago he was settling down to relax.

Eric watched him go. 

His skin was tingling again.

 

About the Author 

I.M. Flippy lives in Hollywood, California with her two judgmental cats, Guthrie and Colbert.

Flippy has been writing her whole life and a few of you may have read her fanfiction.

Flippy enjoys margaritas, good movies, reading just about anything, getting political, and obsessing a little too much about Stranger Things.

 

 

Social Media Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook  |   Twitter   

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one of 10 ecopies of Moored Heart (Catalina Dreams Book 1)

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