Release Blitz & Giveaway: Romancing the Ugly Duckling by Clare London

 

 
Length: 63,000 words
 
 
 
Blurb



Is this the makeover of a lifetime?


Ambitious fashionista Perry Goodwood lands the project of his dreams—track down a celebrity family’s missing brother in the Scottish Highlands and bring him back to London for a TV reality show. But first he must transform the rugged loner into a glamorous sophisticate.


Greg Ventura has no use for high fashion. He lives on the isolated island of North Uist to escape the reminder that he’s nowhere near as handsome as his gorgeous brothers and avoid the painful childhood memories of being bullied.


Greg wants nothing to do with city life, and Perry’s never been outside London. When Perry is stranded on North Uist, this conflict seems insurmountable. But Greg is captivated by the vivacious Perry, and Perry by both the island and his host. However, Perry’s one heartfelt wish remains: that ugly duckling Greg fulfill his potential as a swan.

Excerpt



After the meal, they settled in the living room again. Greg poured himself a glass of what he introduced as his homemade wine, but Perry politely declined a glass for himself. He couldn’t recall any decent wine he’d ever drunk being that particular shade of purple. He was definitely making a mental shopping list for when he could find somewhere civilized, and gin and tonic would come several steps above couscous on that.


Greg picked up a book and started reading. Perry waited a while—after deciding against asking what they could watch on the miniscule TV in the corner of the living room, with obvious dust settling on the controls—then coughed to get Greg’s attention. “Where do you need me tomorrow?”


Greg peered at him over the book. “What are you talking about?”


“Working together, remember? Um. What exactly do you do, apart from painting?”


Greg’s look was possibly sly, but that could have been due to the waning light outside the cottage.


“Sometimes I work in the Sea Bird restaurant.”


Perry thought he remembered seeing a sign to that place on his journey here in Dougie’s car. The building itself had been very small, more like a tea room, with a single light on in the front porch, and it didn’t look very open for business. But he’d go with the flow. “Are you a chef?”


Greg laughed. He seemed more relaxed tonight. “No, I think you’ve realized my cooking skills aren’t the best. And it’s not really big enough for a chef and full kitchen staff. I mean, it wouldn’t meet your London standards.”


“That has nothing to do with anything.”


“What?”


“My London… standards, experience, whatever you want to call it. I’m in Uist now, and I want to know what you do here.”


Greg was looking at him oddly. Was he, Perry, coming across as too bossy? God, this man was impossible to gauge properly.


“It’s more of a large dining room where friends can hang out.” Greg still sounded reasonably relaxed. “It’s owned by a couple of elderly sisters who are marvelous cooks, and we sometimes hire it out for a celebration. We’re not big on dinner parties here, you can imagine. I help out with serving when it’s busy. But mainly I provide the fish dishes, especially scallops.”


“You’re a fisherman?”


Greg nodded slowly, his gaze still on Perry. “Yes, you could say that. I’m a diver. I dive for scallops.”


“Can’t you just… I don’t know.” Buy them in a shop? “Don’t they have official suppliers?”


Greg frowned. “Hand-collected scallops are better. The sweeter ones are chosen, and the dish is more precious. Haven’t you ever tasted the difference?”


It pained Perry to admit weakness, but he did. “I’ve never had scallops in my life.”


Greg’s eyes narrowed. “I thought you lived in the center of the sophisticated city?”


“We can’t all afford posh restaurants,” Perry snapped back, then blushed at—yet again—having to admit shortcoming.


“Oh.” Greg blinked. “Well, you’ll see them in the raw when you come out in the boat tomorrow with me.”


“When I…? Tomorrow…? Boat?”


Greg smiled slowly. “Yes. The weather should be fine, so I’m driving west past Lochmaddy to one of my favorite coastal seawater lochs. I’ll pack some provisions so we can eat lunch there. You can help carry the equipment, then collect the scallops into boxes and keep watch for me.”


“We… I….” Perry was struggling for words. Worse, Greg seemed to realize it and find it highly amusing. “I’ve never been in one.”


“One what?”


“Boat. I’ve never been in a boat. Well, until the ferry two days ago.”


Greg nodded, also slowly. “That’s fine. You can stay here if you want.”


“No!” Perry’s cry was instinctive. Did this brute of a bloke think he, Perry, was a lightweight? “I will not! We made a deal.”


“Okay. Well, I hope Bridie brought a selection of decent waterproofs as well as your day clothes, because you’ll need them.”


“You said the weather should be fine….”


“Just in case,” Greg said ominously. He concentrated back on his book.


Perry sat silently for a long moment. In fact, everything was silent, inside the cottage and out, apart from the occasional call from a bird, and Greg turning a page. Perry wasn’t used to such quiet. Nor was he used to living in close quarters with a man who barely tolerated him, and actually wanted him to get lost. There was a small pile of paperbacks on the table beside Greg’s armchair, and Perry picked one up. He also wasn’t used to reading anthologies of horror stories, his preference being for romantic comedies and the occasional biography—but he supposed there was always a first time. Opening it to the first chapter, he bit back a sigh. At least he’d won this stage of the battle with Greg Ventura, and he had more time to convince him about the TV project.


But thinking about the trip out onto a likely freezing Scottish loch tomorrow, he wasn’t sure whether the price would be too much to pay.


Author Bio

Clare London took her pen name from the city where she lives, loves, and writes. A lone, brave female in a frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home, she juggles her writing with her other day job as an accountant.

She’s written in many genres and across many settings, with award-winning novels and short stories published both online and in print. She says she likes variety in her writing while friends say she’s just fickle, but as long as both theories spawn good fiction, she’s happy. Most of her work features male/male romance and drama with a healthy serving of physical passion, as she enjoys both reading and writing about strong, sympathetic, and sexy characters.

Clare currently has several novels sulking at that tricky chapter three stage and plenty of other projects in mind… she just has to find out where she left them in that frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home.  Come find me at:

Website
E-mail: clarelondon11@yahoo.co.uk
Blog
Facebook
Twitter 
Goodreads
Amazon
Google+

 
 Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

 

A Guest Review:Arrows Through Archer by Nash Summers

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Arrows Through Archer: by Nash Summers
Release Date: June 14th, 2017
Pages: 224 • Format: eARC
Published By:Self-Published
Purchase Links: Amazon

After the loss of his parents, Archer Hart is consumed by grief. Each day, he struggles his way through classes, parties, and trying to put on a good front for the sake of his best friend. But at night, he falls asleep to the sound of gunshots ringing in his ears.

Mallory is a man fighting a war of emotions all his own. When his son invites his best friend back home to Banff over a college break, he’s happy for the company.

Some time during the late-night talks, subtle smiles, and long, long silences, the two men begin to find solace in one another.

But love isn’t always easy, especially when it strikes you straight through the heart.

 

five-stars

 

I read a lot of books. Sometimes I can go months before a book really jumps out and catches my attention. This is that book. I was looking forward to this because I’m already a big fan of this author’s other works. I’m excited to say that this was everything I was hoping it would be.

Archer is a college student who is really struggling. He’s had some major losses in his life and has some internal issues that he struggles with. He goes to classes and parties and tries to pretend everything is alright but inside he’s drowning in grief. His best friend Danny though, is aware of everything and keeps a constant eye on him.

Over a holiday, Danny takes Archer home with him and there he meets Danny’s father Mallory. Despite their age gap, the two men find they have a lot in common. They’re both quiet and reserved and they’re both stuck on losses in their lives they can’t seem to move past.

A series of incidents bring the two men together for an extended amount of time and they begin to find solace and healing in each other. There are a lot of extenuating factors though and things aren’t easy.

I don’t want to say much else about the plot (& I know I have been super vague about everything so far) because I really think this is a book you should go into not knowing much about. You need to experience how the story unfolds. I think the author set the format up in a unique manner. The way she handles the point of views and the time periods was brilliant and had a powerful impact on the reader. (I believe my reading update accused her of being an “evil genius”)

The writing style really drew me in. It had a lyrical quality to it and it set the atmosphere so well. I could feel Archer’s grief and sadness from the very first page. And later, when he’s in the mountains with Mallory, you feel like you’re right there with them as they stare into the fire or gaze into the night sky.

I think this is the most believable age gap story I’ve read. These two feel so right for each other from the very beginning. The growth of their relationship was quiet and slow and I think even more beautiful as a result. It all felt realistic and was something I could really see happening.

The story is interesting in the fact that there are very few other characters in the book. The ones that are there are only seen in short glimpses but they have important roles. Most of the story though is just Archer and Mallory. At one point Mallory asks what’s happening and Archer thinks “We’re falling in love”, and really that’s what this is about. This is a story about two men falling in love and working through their own issues so they can love themselves and be the best they can be for the other one.

I really can’t fan girl enough about this book. I would love to see everyone read this. Realistically though, you should note the triggers in regards to grief, depression etc. This is not a light read and may not work for some. I personally didn’t think it was too bad but I’m a big fan of angst and realism in my books. For the rest of you though, run get this right now. The author’s going to tear your heart out, but she’s also going to put it back together and it’s going to be beautiful when you get there.

signature-fonts

About Nash Summers

Nash Summers rarely has any idea what she’s doing. But when she likes to pretend, she pretends by writing stories at the pace of drying paint. As if that wasn’t exhilarating enough, Nash also enjoys absolute silence, general politeness, and waiting her turn in line.
Needless to say, she’s a bona fide hell raiser.

A Guest Review:Back to You by Chris Sully

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Back to You: by Chris Sully
Release Date: June 12th, 2017
Pages: 266 • Format: eARC
Published By: Riptide Publishling
Purchase Links:
Riptide

Journalist Alex Buchanan has come home to the remote British Columbia town he grew up in, but only because his estranged father is dying. For Alex, the homecoming holds a mix of memories, mostly bad. The only bright spot is reconnecting with Benji Morning, the childhood friend he never truly forgot. As boys, the strength of their bond had frightened Alex. But now that he’s confident in his bisexuality, he’s drawn back to quiet, soft-spoken Ben.

Ben isn’t the same boy Alex left behind, though. His life has been overshadowed by the disappearance of his sister two decades earlier, and now a new break in the case threatens to undo the peace he’s worked so hard to attain.

As Alex struggles to repair the relationship with his father before it’s too late, he finds himself caught up in a twenty-year-old mystery, a story he never expected, and a shocking truth that could affect his and Ben’s future together.

 

four-half-stars

 

I loved everything about this book. The story itself is fiction but the back drop is set in a real life story. Since the 1970’s a series of young women have gone missing along an isolated stretch of highway in British Columbia, Canada. This is referred to as the Highway of Tears and as of this time they still do not know who is responsible for the disappearances.

Alex Buchanan and Ben Morning had been best friends since they were little boys. When they were teens a crisis had hit both of their families at the same time. Ben’s sister turns up missing and Alex’s parents get divorced and move away. The boys promise to keep in touch but they don’t.

Twenty years later, Alex goes back to see his dying father. He has a bunch of unresolved issues with the man and he’s writing a series of articles about their tumultuous relationship. Also, Alex has never forgotten Ben. In retrospect he knows Ben was his first love but his lack of acceptance about being bisexual prevented him from every admitting that.

Ben still lives in town and is weighted down caring for a mother who never accepted her daughter’s disappearance. She’s spent the last twenty years being obsessed with what happened. The police find the girl’s car right as Alex is getting to town and breaks the case open and causes Ben and Alex to get caught up in it all over again.

The writing was so good. It was atmospheric and had an almost dreamlike feel to it. The world building was so well done that I felt like I was right there with them in this isolated, gloomy, little town.

I really enjoyed the mystery part even though I figured out who did it early on. I think the real life facts weaved into the fiction story added a unique level to the storytelling. I also enjoyed the romance. It was very romantic in parts and I found myself rooting for these two from their first one page together scene.

I enjoyed every aspect of this story and I highly recommend it. I have only read one other book by this author (which I also enjoyed) but after this I am a big fan. I can’t wait to go back and read her back catalogue.

 

signature-fonts

About Chris Scully

CHRIS SCULLY lives in Toronto, Canada where she grew up spinning romantic stories in her head. When the tedium of a corporate day job grew too much, she took a chance and found her creative escape in writing. Always searching for something different, she has discovered a home in M/M romance and strives to give her characters the happy endings they deserve.

Chris would love to hear from readers at: cscully@bell.net.

A Guest Review: My Highland Cowboy by Alexa Milne

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

My Highland Cowboy: by Alexa Milne
Release Date: June 6th, 2017
Pages: 196 • Format: eARC
Published By: Pride Publishing
Purchase Links:
Pride PublishingAmazon

How long do you need before you know?

Duncan McLeish owns a ranch. Unlike most ranches, this one is in the Scottish Highlands. Having inherited a failing farm from his grandfather, he turns it into a successful business. He has friends, he loves his home, but he’s lonely, and not even infrequent trips to Glasgow and Edinburgh slake that thirst to find someone. Then Drew Sinclair walks into his life.

Drew Sinclair is tantalizingly close to getting his clothes brand noticed in the industry. He and his business partner, Joy, design individual dresses, while on the side, Drew designs and produces a line of men’s lingerie. He visits Scotland to design dresses for his sister, Jenna, who is marrying Duncan’s best friend at Christmas.

Duncan and Drew have nothing except their Highland upbringing in common, but they say opposites attract, and the attraction is immediate. Is this simply a summer fling, or can two men who live such opposite lives, miles away from each other, find a way to love?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

two-stars

 

This is a story about two very different men who are thrown together when one’s sister marries the other’s best friend. Alex is a fashion designer who lives in London and Duncan runs the family ranch in the Highlands. Alex comes to stay with Duncan for a bit while he’s working with bride on the outfits for the wedding. The two men are instantly attracted to each other but are total opposites.

I didn’t care for this book for a couple of reason. The first one being that both Alex and Duncan were stereotypical in a way I didn’t appreciate. Alex was the very flamboyant and campy fashion designer who doesn’t care what anyone thinks and Duncan is the gruff, closeted, alpha type guy. If their characters had been looked at in more depth maybe it would have worked but they weren’t. Both characters were shallowly done in my opinion and I never connected with either. By the end of the story I didn’t see what they saw in each other and I didn’t really care if they ended up together or not. There was also all kinds of talk about gender roles but it was done in a way that felt preachy to me. I need it to be expressed through the character’s feelings, not in a lecture.

Another issue was that while a lot of things happen, nothing happens. There are all kinds of random scenes, ie them taking a walk and helping a calf be born. It added nothing to the plot and didn’t help develop their relationship. There was a bunch of this kind of stuff, but little time of them growing into friends or romance. It was also insta-love which I hate. They’d know each other two days and there was crying during sex due to their strong feelings. I just couldn’t get on board with it. I found myself rolling my eyes and feeling zero connection between the two.

There was not anything wrong with the writing technically (grammar, editing etc was all fine) but I just couldn’t connect with the author’s style. I never became interested in the plot and I found myself skimming the last 25% or so just to get done. Unfortunately this is not one I would recommend.

 

 

signature-fonts

About Alexa Milne

Originally from South Wales, Alexa has lived for over thirty years in the North West of England. Now retired, after a long career in teaching, she devotes her time to her obsessions.
Alexa began writing when her favourite character was killed in her favourite show. After producing a lot of fanfiction she ventured into original writing.
She is currently owned by a mad cat and spends her time writing about the men in her head, watching her favourite television programmes and usually crying over her favourite football team.

P.S. I Spook You by S.E. Harmon

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

P.S. I Spook You: by S.E. Harmon
Release Date: June 12th, 2017
Pages: 256 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
Dreamspinner • Amazon

SSA Rain Christiansen used to be the agency’s golden boy. It just takes one moment of weakness, one slight, tiny, itty-bitty paranormal sighting, and all of a sudden he’s the agency’s embarrassment. His boss gives him one last chance to redeem himself—go down to Brickell Bay, play nice with the local police, and leave the ghost sightings behind. Rain is determined to do exactly that, even if it kills him.

Cold-case detective Daniel McKenna’s latest investigation is going nowhere fast. Five years earlier, high school student Amy Greene went missing after leaving her part-time job and was never seen again. Daniel is glad to finally have the FBI help that his department requested, even if it does come in the form of his ex.

It doesn’t help that Rain is pretty sure he’s falling in love with Danny all over again—if he ever stopped. Add to that the frustration of seeing ghosts at every turn while he works a case that’s stalled in its tracks, and Rain is starting to wonder if second chances and happy endings are just for fairy tales.

four-half-stars

 

 

Dude. I’m so blown away by this story! It was really good from beginning to end. Why not 5 stars? Because its not a series. Why the f*** not? I feel like Rain & Danny’s story isn’t done. Harmon, you have to give us more.

I was really hesitant reading this book, seeing all the high rating and reviews. I put it off to this weekend when I can have time to read sink my teeth into it. I get the high rating, reviews and best of list. I couldn’t tell you the last great book I’ve read this year. This book is definitely going on my Best of 2017 list!

Not only did it feature amazing ghost parts, and the humor was on point. I loved the energy between Rain & Danny. They had some smutty and lovely moments together. It was filthy and I enjoyed every single detail. I loved Rain’s quirky family, but I’m upset we didn’t get to meet the dad. Its why we need a book 2. I need to see what the S.U.C unit is up too. LOL.

Rain sees ghost. He doesn’t want to, but he can’t help it. Coming from a medical sabbatical the only thing he wants to do is jump right back into work as a B.A.U profiler for the F.B.I., instead his boss has him working on cold cases and a case of his choosing. He never had a chance seeing as he chooses a case that puts him back at home where his family is at and his lost love. Danny is everything I love in my broody men. The Alpha dude who is possessive, protective, passionate and a damn sweetheart behind closed doors. They mesh so well together. I loved the arguments, the laughter, the steamy smutty times, and I wanted more. Why did you have to end?

 

I have to figure out a way to get more of these guys into another story. The writing was really solid, the case was good, the criminals were creepy. I laughed alot and found myself re-reading scenes. That’s how amazed I was. I won’t talk about the dirty, filthy, steamy scenes, but yeah read with caution or a partner next to you.

I really liked Harmon’s work. She’s a strong story teller and writer. I look forward to more work by her, and this is highly recommended! Go get the book people!

 

signature-fonts

About S.E. Harmon

S.E. Harmon has had a lifelong love affair with writing. It’s been both wonderful and rocky (they’ve divorced several times), but they always manage to come back together. She’s a native Floridian with a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters in Fine Arts, and now splits her days between voraciously reading romance novels and squirreling away someplace to write them. Her current beta reader is a nosy American Eskimo who begrudgingly accepts payment in the form of dog biscuits.

On Point by Annabeth Albert

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

On Point: by Annabeth Albert
Series: Out of Uniform, #3
Release Date: June 5th, 2017
Pages:320 • Format: eARC
Published By: Carina Press
Purchase Links:
Carina Press BooksAmazonKobo

Never fall for your best friend…

Pushing thirty, with his reenlistment looming, decorated navy sniper Maddox Horvat is taking a long look at what he really wants in life. And what he wants is Ben Tovey. It isn’t smart, falling for his best friend and fellow SEAL, but ten years with Ben has forged a bond so intimate Maddox can’t ignore it. He needs Ben by his side forever—heart and soul.

Ben admits he likes what he’s seen—his friend’s full lower lip and the perfect muscles of his ass have proved distracting more than once. But Ben’s still reeling from a relationship gone to hell, and he’s not about to screw up his friendship with Maddox, too.

Until their next mission throws Ben and Maddox closer together than ever before, with only each other to depend on.

Now, in the lonely, desperate hours awaiting rescue, the real challenge—confronting themselves, their future and their desires—begins. Man to man, friend to friend, lover to lover.

 

 

four-stars

Definitely one of my favorite of the series! With all the whiplash and back and forth between the two, I’m super happy it worked out well. Ben & Maddox are everything to each other. They’ve been best friends for over 10 years, have witnessed important things in one another life, the good, bad and super ugly. The one constant is neither can seem to be without each other. Maddox is deeply in love with Ben. Ben is comfortable and doesn’t want to rock the boat. Well, you cannot control everything and reality slaps both guys clean in the face.

The book begins with the guys out on a mission. Things go downhill on this mission, and both of their worst fears come forward. Not knowing if they will make it out alive yet another hour with seeing each other. I really liked how Albert worked these scenes into the present day story. Told from dual pov’s we can see each other’s feelings and reservations about them becoming a unit in more ways then others. Their romance is sweet, and I loved all the transition parts from the friends to lovers aspect of the guys.

My favorite thing about this story was Maddox. He was the sweetest person ever!! I loved how he carried himself, and his softer nature. He made my heart gush so much. Ben was a good guy, and I understand all his reservations about falling in love again and going all in when he’s been burnt multiple times by people he loved. Really enjoyed seeing them come together to work things out. Loved seeing all the guys from the other books and can’t wait for more!
signature-fonts

About Annabeth Albert

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two children.

A Guest Review:Summer Heat by Jay Northcote

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Summer Heat: by Jay Northcote
Release Date: June 9th, 2017
Pages: • Format: eARC
Published By: Jaybird Press
Purchase Links: Amazon

A summer fling is an ideal cure for a broken heart. But when it’s with your best friend, things get complicated.

When Adam is dumped by his boyfriend, a week away at a beach resort seems like a great opportunity to get over his ex. Sun, sea, and no-strings sex will be just the boost he needs to move on with his life.

Adam’s best friend, Finn, agrees to accompany him at short notice. Finn’s had a crush on Adam for years, but is determined to put his feelings aside and be the perfect wingman in Adam’s time of crisis.

A spontaneous threesome with another guy forces Adam and Finn to confront their attraction to each other. Having a holiday fling together wasn’t part of the plan, and as their trip heats up, they soon realise that one night of fun won’t be enough for either of them.

The passion might be scorching, but their hearts and friendship are on the line. If their romance is going to survive the flight home, they have to be honest about what they want.

 

 

four-stars

 

This was a fun book and perfect for a summer read. It contains one of my favorite tropes, friends to lovers. Adam and Finn have been best friends for years. Unbeknownst to Adam, Finn has always cared about him. Adam though has been in a 5 year long relationship. At the beginning of the story Adam’s relationship ends and he comes to Finn looking for a place to stay for awhile. The two men end up going on a vacation together as a way of getting Adam back in the dating game.

Finn really doesn’t want Adam dating anyone but him, but he’s scared that if he expresses his feelings he’ll ruin their relationship. A variety of things end up happening that lead to the two men having a threesome with a guy they’ve met at the resort. Sparks fly between them and it spirals into something that neither of them saw coming.

The story is told from both Adam and Finn’s points of view and I felt like that was done well. It flips chapter by chapter and the storytelling flows seamlessly. This technique shows us both of their internal struggles, as they worry about what sex will do to their friendship, but it’s realistically done. Despite their struggles, it’s a very low angst book.

These two are great together. We see two sides to their relationship. The sweet way they care for each other, interspersed with romantic moments and the smoking hot physical connection they have. This book is really quite steamy.

I don’t have any complaints about this book. It was everything I was hoping it would be. It was an easy and fun read and it was one I would definitely recommend.

 

signature-fonts

About Jay Northcote

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with his husband, two children, and two cats. He comes from a family of writers, but he always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.

One day, he decided to try and write a short story—just to see if she could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.

Jay writes contemporary gay romance about men who fall in love with other men, usually set in or near her home town of Bristol. He enjoys the challenge of bringing the men in his head to life through his words. Jay has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and he also publishes his own titles under the imprint Jaybird Press. Some of his books are now available as audiobooks.

Jay is a transgender man and was formerly known as she/her.

Release Day Blitz & Giveaway: On Point by Annabeth Albert

Title:  ON POINT

Series: Out of Uniform, Book 3, but each book is a stand-alone HEA w/ a new couple in each book

Author: Annabeth Albert

Publisher: Carina Press

Release Date: June 5, 2017

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 78,000 words

Genre: Romance, contemporary romance, military romance, SEALS

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Never fall for your best friend…

Pushing thirty, with his reenlistment looming, decorated navy sniper Maddox Horvat is taking a long look at what he really wants in life. And what he wants is Ben Tovey. It isn’t smart, falling for his best friend and fellow SEAL, but ten years with Ben has forged a bond so intimate Maddox can’t ignore it. He needs Ben by his side forever—heart and soul.

Ben admits he likes what he’s seen—his friend’s full lower lip and the perfect muscles of his ass have proved distracting more than once. But Ben’s still reeling from a relationship gone to hell, and he’s not about to screw up his friendship with Maddox, too.

Until their next mission throws Ben and Maddox closer together than ever before, with only each other to depend on.

Now, in the lonely, desperate hours awaiting rescue, the real challenge—confronting themselves, their future and their desires—begins. Man to man, friend to friend, lover to lover.

Excerpt

The rain pelted down as he made his way up the ridge, thick sheets that obscured his vision and made the terrain slippery and treacherous. Overhead, a large black bird with a colorful beak swooped in, almost sending Ben skidding into a ravine.

He whistled low, a deliberate pattern, one of the team’s signals. He repeated the sound as he approached where Maddox was supposed to be. An answering signal came from a dense thicket of green vegetation.

“It’s me. Hold your fire,” Ben called as he slipped into the mass of trees and roots. The plants here were nothing like the ones back home—giant heart-shaped leaves and bright rubbery flowers that almost looked bird- or insect-like. The trees had massive, visible roots covered with moss, and were connected by thick vines that could easily be mistaken for a deadly snake.

Below him, he could see the encampment, SEALs scurrying around. The injured hostage and Issacson, their wounded radio man, were carried out, which had to mean the chopper was close. Time to haul ass. “Maddox?”

“Here.” Maddox slid out of the shadows, rifle at the ready, just as Ben had expected. “Com’s down for you guys too?”

“Yup. Chopper’s coming in. LT sent me to bring you in. No time to waste. Issacson took a bullet, but he’s stable, and one of the hostages is in bad shape. Possible hostiles escaped, but Rogers and company are hunting them down.”

“Got it. Lead the way.” Maddox let Ben take point as they made their way down the ridge. They had to skirt the edge of a steep drop, every muddy step cautious even as they needed to make haste.

Crack.

Whoosh.

Two things happened at the same instant—gunfire broke out above them and a chopper approached, engine noise making it hard to track the source of the shots. But Maddox was already on it, crouching low, rifle ready. Another shot whistled over their heads and Maddox returned fire. They both left the trail and headed into the brush, intent on finding the hostiles.

The chopper circled low, then went back up. Fuck. The chopper was struggling to land in the encampment clearing, which meant the next pass was critical. Still staying low and gun ready, he inched forward. No more gunfire had followed Maddox’s, but that didn’t mean he could let his guard down for a second.

The chopper circled again, but the terrain had shifted and Ben could no longer see the encampment beneath them.

Fuck.” Maddox never cursed, so Ben whipped his head around just in time to see Maddox slipping off the poor excuse for a trail.

Ben scrambled on his stomach, stretching out an arm, trying to catch Maddox. “Grab on.”

“No. Don’t—” Maddox didn’t get the sentence out before they were both tumbling down the muddy incline, heading straight for the ravine that lay between them and the encampment. Ben tried to slow their descent but his attempt to grab at some vines only resulted in the foliage following them down.

Maddox screamed, a legitimate yell that chilled Ben to his boots because Maddox never lost composure. Ever. Ben had once watched Wizard put sutures in Maddox’s scalp while Maddox hummed, never dropping his tune.

Ben grabbed for him again and— Pop. Ben’s arm pulled at an unnatural angle, caught up in a tree root and not Maddox’s strong grip as he’d intended. He wrenched loose but the damage was already done, and still he slid, mud carrying him faster, rocks and vegetation raining down after them.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.” Ben’s arm and shoulder were on fire and he was still moving, sliding, nothing working—

Boom. The bottom of the ravine arrived without warning, a muddy bog that sucked him down, but it was hardly a soft landing, rocks and plants poking at him. His arm had him cursing, eyes watering. He’d seen Rogers dislocate a shoulder last year in the grinder obstacle course, and at the time he’d rolled his eyes at how Rogers had carried on. He had a sick feeling that he’d done the same or worse to his shoulder, and he got the urge to cry and howl.

“Oh fuck.” His stomach heaved and he barely made it to his side before he threw up from the pain. He turned his head and almost lost his guts again. Maddox lay a few feet from him, leg at an unnatural angle, blood dripping from his head, helmet nowhere to be seen. Not talking or cursing.

Clawing at the rocks with his good arm, Ben pulled himself closer, looking for the telltale rise and fall of Maddox’s chest—and not seeing it.

“You are not fucking with me,” Ben growled. “Mad? Come on, man.”

Still nothing, not even a ghost of movement across Maddox’s pale lips. Terror, nothing Ben had ever known before, froze his veins, made him lightheaded from more than just the fall. He refused, utterly refused to live in a world where Maddox wasn’t okay.

“Maddox. Horvat.” He shook his shoulder, cursing under his breath. No, no, no.

Whoosh. A chopper—the chopper—flew overhead, much too far to spot them down this ravine, and heading away from them.

Sputter. Maddox let out a mighty cough. It might have been the most beautiful sound Ben had ever heard, because it meant Maddox was here, that he was fighting, and Ben started to laugh with relief until Maddox spoke. “Heck. They’re leaving us.”

Purchase

Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

Meet the Author

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two children.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Annabeth’s Angels Facebook Group

Sign Up for Annabeth’s Newsletter!

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Button 2

Save

Save

Save

Blue by B.G. Thomas

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Blue: by B.G. Thomas
May 15th, 2017:
Pages: 240 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner
Purchase Links:
Dreamspinner

Blue McCoy has lived on the streets for a long time, surviving by his wits and doing what he must, and he’s not above using his youthful appearance and air of innocence to his advantage. It’s not an easy life, but he’s happy. He has everything he really needs: the clothes on his back, a house to squat in, a sweet dog. Everything except that special someone to love him.

Six months ago, John Williams’s wife left him because she was bored. “Even your *name* is boring” were her last words to him before she walked out. Now he’s by himself in a big house, trying to figure out what direction his life should take. He’s never been so alone.

A chance encounter sets John on a new path, a path that becomes clearer when loneliness sends him to a local animal shelter to get a dog—and he finds an angel instead. An angel named Blue. A crisis brings them together, but it is something else that keeps them there. Could it be love? A love that can forever end two men’s deep loneliness and bring them the support and sense of belonging they’ve searched for all their lives?

three-stars

This book should be read with caution. I didn’t know what I expected when I started it, but it definitely wasn’t this. I liked the idea & trope of the story a lot, but I felt like I should be reading this with a tiara on my head and tripping on acid. That’s the easiest thing I can come up with. I believe I’ve read one other book by this author, but can’t recall it at all. I didn’t like the breaks in pov. It was to constant and I found myself going back to see who said what. That was annoying. It had alot of internal dialogue. It is a job to be in Blue’s mind. I didn’t like how we don’t have an absolute knowledge on why Blue is homeless. I know there could have been tons of reasons on why he is, but it wasn’t even alluded to. It was more of Blue happily telling a tale of all the wonderful things going on in his life. I get John, and I liked him but his story wasn’t completed at all. He had a lot of personal triumphs to go through that were discussed in this book, but we don’t see an outcome either. Maybe it wasn’t the author’s intentions of seeing it play out at the end, but I think it would have given the story a little bit more substance.

I did enjoy Blue’s outlook on life. After everything he has been through and continuously going through nothing seems to bring him down. He’s young and squatting at an abandoned house with other guys. John is newly single, and kinda numb to everything. He’s recently separated from his wife of 20 something years.  He’s finally able to think about the think that has stopped him from all of his life. Told through dual pov’s we see what each other means to one another, what they go through on a daily basis and the warped speed of them insta-loving all of the pages. Yes they moved incredibly fast, and I definitely suspended copious amounts of beliefs based on the author’s prose of writing. It was disgustingly sweet. I mean, I almost turned into the Grinch. We all know how I like over the top cheesy, but at times this was a bit much. I felt like we should have had an extended epilogue. Certain things were brought up but no closure what so ever. I hate filler information. I know it played on shaping the characters on who they are, but it was completely selfish of the author to do that to us.

This wasn’t the worst book, and I was gracious with the 3 stars because man you need some protective gear on with all the things going on in this book. I think people who like sweet romances featuring age-gaps, cheesy goodness, out for you tropes then this is right up your alley.

 

signature-fonts

Boy’s Don’t Cry by J.K. Hogan

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Boy’s Don’t Cry: by J.K. Hogan
Release Date: May 25th, 2017
Pages: 230 • Format: eARC
Published By: J.K. Hogan
Purchase Links:
J.K. HoganAmazon

Mackenzie Pratt is having the worst luck of his life. His apartment building is being torn down, and since he’s jobless and just weeks away from graduating college, he can’t find anywhere else he can afford to live that isn’t a critter-infested dump. As he’s lamenting the very real possibility of job hunting while couch-surfing, he gets an offer from the coworker of his best friend.

An in-demand mobile app developer and heir to his parents’ fortune, Laurent Beaudry is literally an eccentric billionaire. Even though Mackenzie realizes he’s basically living the plot of a cheesy romance novel, he takes the proffered room in Laurent’s Baltimore mansion. He finds his new housemate to be grumpy, brooding, and, at times, incredibly kind and endearing.

Raised by his brother after their father’s death, Mackenzie spent his formative years plowing headlong through school, focusing on little else beyond earning his teaching certification. He’s never taken the time to explore love and relationships, much less sexuality, so when he finds himself being courted by another man, he has no idea what to do. And when he realizes he might actually return those feelings, his life takes a whole new direction.

four-stars

I had mixed feelings for this throughout my reading journey. I mean it gave me the FSOG vibes at times. Sure that made me want to gag really hard. Other times, it was a fast paced insta-love story. I mean Mackenzie is a little over the place the entire story. Laurie is kinda boring.

Let me explain, we don’t get to see much of Laurie’s eccentricities. He’s suppose to be this broody billionaire, but besides the billionaire. He does not do much. I wanted to see his quirks or a little of his past. Yeah he’s closed off at times, and a down right asshole but other then that I don’t take much from him.

Mackenzie had so much going on with him, I don’t think he knew anything at all. He’s about to graduate college, his future career, his eviction, his family situation. Why not just throw his sexuality on top of it? From what I’ve read his sexuality never came into play. I didn’t really see the attraction between the two, but I did like what I saw by the end of the story.

It had its quirky parts, and even by the end I enjoyed it. Some parts moved fast, and I wish it was some expansion on certain topics, but overall I enjoyed it. I am looking forward to a potential River & Taylor book. That much UST needs to be written down. I like Hogan’s writing and look forward to more from her.

signature-fonts

About J.K. Hogan

J.K. Hogan has been telling stories for as long as she can remember, beginning with writing cast lists and storylines for her toys growing up. When she finally decided to put pen to paper, magic happened. She is greatly inspired by all kinds of music and often creates a “soundtrack” for her stories as she writes them. J.K. is hoping to one day have a little something for everyone, so she’s branched out from m/f paranormal romance and added m/m contemporary romance. Who knows what’s next?

J.K. resides in North Carolina, where she was born and raised. A true southern girl at heart, she lives in the country with her husband and young son, a cat, and two champion agility dogs. If she isn’t on the agility field, J.K. can often be found chasing waterfalls in the mountains with her husband, or down in front at a blues concert. In addition to writing, she enjoys training and competing in dog sports, spending time with her large southern family, camping, boating and, of course, reading! For more information, please visit the contact page.