Release Day Blitz & Giveaway: Saved by A.M. Arthur

Title:  Saved

Series: Breaking Free #1

Author: A.M. Arthur

Publisher: Briggs-King Books

Release Date: September 12, 2017

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 67,000 words

Genre: Romance, non-shifter Omegaverse, alternate universe, mpreg

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Synopsis

He didn’t want an alpha to save him, but fate had other ideas…

Braun Etting was raised to know his place as an omega by his alpha father’s cruel words and fast fists, and he expects nothing but violence from the alpha who may one day mate him. His older brother Kell mated a cruel alpha who abuses him daily, and Braun is terrified of that seemingly inevitable future. When Braun’s father dies in a car crash, leaving Braun an orphan, he’s sent to a halfway house for omegas. But on his fourth night there, he witnesses a horrifying crime that sends him fleeing to the streets alone—and edging into his first heat.

Tarek Bloom is settled in his workaholic, single lifestyle, even if it is somewhat embarrassing to be a twenty-eight year-old unmated alpha. He enjoys his job as a constable, helping people and solving problems, so he isn’t prepared for his life to flip upside-down when he walks into his beta friend Dex’s apartment to help with “a problem.”

The problem turns out to be an unmated, nearly in-heat omega orphan who Dex and his husband rescued off the street last night. The even bigger problem is that Tarek feels the mating bond for this terrified omega immediately—and he’s pretty sure the omega feels it, too. But Braun hates alphas as a general rule, and no way is he giving in to the bond. All mating leads to is violence and suffering, so no thank you. But Tarek’s gentle kindness slips under Braun’s emotional shields, and Braun begins to want. To dream. All Braun has ever known is violent alphas, but Tarek is determined to make Braun trust him—and to trust in the idea of their happily ever after.

NOTE: This is a non-shifter Omegaverse story with alpha/omega/beta dynamics, heats, knotting, and mpreg. In this world, omegas are second-class citizens with few civil rights and almost no protections under the law. Trigger warnings for physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. 67,000 words.

Excerpt

“Would you be able to describe exactly what you saw that night in detail?” Tarek pulled a notepad and pen out of his front pocket.

Braun’s entire body went rigid. “Why? Who are you really?”

“I really am Tarek Bloom.” For a moment, he actually seemed contrite. “What I didn’t tell you is that I’m also a constable.”

“Shit.” Braun bolted out of his chair and toward the front door, fork still in his hand.

In a flurry of movement, Tarek was in front of him, blocking his path to the door, and Braun lashed out with the fork. Dex grabbed his wrist and plucked the fork out of his hand, but that didn’t stop Braun from swinging. He punched Tarek in the chest. Twice. Panic settled in, overriding his common sense, and he tried to push past the brick wall of a man.

“Let me go! I won’t go back, I won’t!”

Arms wrapped around his torso from behind, pinning his arms to his sides. Serge’s comforting scent settled his racing mind a bit, but it was Tarek’s hand on the back of his neck that settled Braun completely.

“Calm down, firecracker,” Tarek said. His deep voice soothed Braun’s frazzled nerves, and his touch sent his pulse racing with delight. “You’re still safe, I promise. No one here wants to hurt you.”

“Why do you care?” Braun snarled. “I’m just some useless omega you’ve known for twenty minutes.”

“You’re far from useless, little one.”

Tarek’s other hand rose, nearing Braun’s face. Braun snapped at his fingers. “I’m only a womb to you.”

“Far from it, my firecracker.” The hand on his neck squeezed. “Far from it.”

The grounding touch made Braun want to roll over and show his belly, but he was done being passed around. Done letting other people control his life. He didn’t want to feel this mating bond to Tarek, but he also couldn’t turn it off. Even with the heat block, Tarek was under his skin, doing funny things to his insides.

Angry and confused, Braun dared look an alpha in the eye.

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Meet the Author

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

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

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | eMail | A.M.’s Pot O Gold | Newsletter

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Release Blitz & Giveaway: Circle by Garrett Leigh

 

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 50,000 words approx
 
Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design
 
Roads Series
 
Slide (Book #1) Amazon US | Amazon UK
Rare (Book #2) Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb
 

I love him…but he’s forgotten why.


A lot can happen in six years, and Ash and Pete have seen their world flipped upside down more times than most. Being parents to Pete’s young nephew wasn’t in their plan, but life happens to them and they roll with the punches. Or at least they did, until new heartache rocks their hard-won happily-ever-after.


Ash loves Pete as much as ever—more, in fact—but Pete battles alone with a burden that weighs heavily on his heart. Ash is no stranger to dark clouds, but the secret Pete keeps from him is a storm that could break them.


Despite the fierce love that once buoyed them, they’re both drowning until a new friend throws them a lifeline. His wisdom offers insight—for better or worse, real love is rarely a smooth journey. For Ash and Pete to come full circle once more, they’ll have to hit the road and chase it.

Excerpt



Okay, so feline-themed clubs were definitely not my bag, but I couldn’t deny that it felt amazing to be out and proud with Ash. I sank into a couple of beers, and the dark cloud that had become my constant companion lifted a touch, chased away by neon lights, glitter, and the swathes of naked man skin all around us.


Not that I took much notice of any man but Ash. He was never going to take his shirt off in public, but he didn’t need to. The fucker turned heads wherever he went, and the fact that he had no idea made me love him even more.


Made me want him even more.


We didn’t dance. Ever. But clubs had always made us horny in the past, and this one was no exception. The music ramped up and the heat seeped into us. The crowds thickened, pushing us ever closer. I pressed myself tight against Ash, so absorbed in him that I forgot to glare at anyone who dared look his way, and backed him into a nearby wall. “I like this club.”


“Yeah?” Ash hadn’t touched any booze, but his face was as flushed as mine felt, his eyes as hooded, and his skin jumped when I slid my hands beneath his T-shirt and over his chest. He licked his lips. “Do you think we’re gonna be here long?”


I doubted it, and it wouldn’t be the first time we’d cut loose early to run home and bang. But we weren’t at home now, and as I kissed Ash, it occurred to me that we’d never fucked anywhere that wasn’t our home. If tonight went the way most of our club adventures had before, where would it end? Would Ash fuck me in a hotel? I honestly had no idea. And whose fault is that? If I’d come with him when he’d first started traveling two years ago, I’d know, and perhaps would have even persuaded him that we could fuck anywhere we damn well pleased.


We kissed for hours in the club. The fact that Ash made no move to hustle me out clued me in to how he felt about banging in our hotel room, but I didn’t let that stop me enjoying him. Because, fuck, I’d missed him, even though he’d been right there from the moment I’d met him. Ash was my home, my family, my everything. We didn’t need to screw for me to know that.

 
 

Author Bio

Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press.

Garrett’s debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.

When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.

Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock sitemoonstockphotography.com with renowned LGBTQA+ photographer Dan Burgess.

Website: http://www.garrettleigh.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/garrettleighauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Garrett_Leigh

 

 

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Release Day Blitz & Giveaway: Scorpio Hates Virgo by Anyta Sunday

Scorpio Hates Virgo: by Anyta Sunday
Series: Signs of Love #2
Release Date: September 1st, 2017
Pages: 245 • Format:eARC
Published By:Self-Published
Purchase Links:
Anyta Sunday

Blurb

This year is all about healing the heart, Scorpio. It’s time to leave negative attitudes and stoic facades at the door and let others see the real, more vulnerable you.

Percy Freedman is not grieving. Absolutely not, take that back at once. No, he’s entirely sure that selling his dead aunt’s home and leaving the neighbors he’s known for years is the sane thing to do. Who in their right mind would keep the house that smells like all the hugs he’ll never have again?

Nobody, that’s who.

Well, except his cul-de-sac neighbors. They all seem to think some paint and new furniture will clean the emotional slate. They all want him to stay.

Even his old nemesis, Callaghan Glover.

Especially his old nemesis, Callaghan Glover.

Lured into a game of Sherlock Gnomes, Percy finds himself hanging out with his neighbors more than might be considered healthy. Along with juggling new and surprising verbal grenades from Cal, and his burgeoning friendship with Gnomber9, Percy is starting to wonder if selling might have been the grief talking after all . . .

That’s right, Scorpio. With a little patience, heartbreak might be a thing of the past . . .

“Scorpio Hates Virgo” contains sarcasm, sexual content, a slightly sappy HEA, and an unhealthy obsession with dinosaurs.
It can be read as a standalone.

Excerpt

The image of Cal in his shower stuck in his head like a nasty thorn, following him back to his place an hour later. It took a concentrated effort and a ton of porn to knock it from behind his retinas.

It really didn’t help when, on the edge of coming a second time, he realized he was sliding the soles of his feet over the sheets Cal had given him.

It knocked the generic porn-dude out of his head and he found himself imagining Cal’s form through lightly fogged glass.

Cal stroked himself, his thick cock sliding through a slickened hand. He choked on a groan, his head rolling back. His eyes widened when he glimpsed Percy on the other side of the door watching but his hand didn’t stop. He stroked faster. His voice was mellow and dripped of sarcasm. Sarcasm and curiosity. “Perseus.”

“Callaghan.” Percy entered the shower, straining and naked. He walked through the mist spraying off Cal’s gently coiled muscles and pushed him against the wall. “You’re not meant to star in my sex-fantasies.”

Cal set those measuring eyes on his, bottom lip parting, the slick sound of his working hand growing louder. On every upward stroke, his hand grazed Percy’s stomach. “Sex in the shower is one of your fantasies? How highly imaginative of you.”

“Since your favorite weapon is your mouth, I think that’s what you should use.”

“To what?”

“Ruin me for any other man.”

Cal dropped to his knees, looking up smugly. “Like my mouth doesn’t do that already.”

Percy’s toes curled and pinched the sheets, and his cock unloaded hot and heavy, the orgasm wringing through every damn inch of his body.

Well. Wasn’t this peachy?

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To win 2 grand prizes – 1 set of ecopy of 5 of Anyta Sunday’s favorite NA romances and 1 set of signed paperbacks of Leo Loves Aries and Scorpio Hates Virgo (open internationally):

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Author Bio

Slow burn romance that quickens the heart.

Anyta is a big, BIG fan of slow-burn romances. She loves to read and write stories with characters who slowly fall in love.

Some of her favorite tropes to read and write are: Enemies to Lovers, Friends to Lovers, Clueless Guys, Bisexual, Pansexual, Demisexual, Oblivious MCs, Everyone (Else) Can See It, Slow Burn, Love Has No Boundaries.

Anyta writes a variety of stories, Contemporary MM Romances with a good dollop of angst, Contemporary lighthearted MM Romances, and even a splash of fantasy. Her books have been translated into German, Italian and French. Member of Romance Writers of America. You can find me at these places:

Website ¦ Twitter ¦ Facebook

To receive a free e-book, sign up for Anyta’s newsletter here!

Review Tour & Giveaway: How To Save A Life by Eli Easton

 

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK 
 
Length: 80,000 words
 
Cover Design: Reese Dante
 
Howl At The Moon Series
 
How To Howl At The Moon (Book #1) Amazon US | Amazon UK
How To Walk Like A Man (Book #2) Amazon US | Amazon UK
How To Wish Upon A Star (Book #3) Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb

Rav Miller looked into the terrified, intelligent eyes of the chocolate Labrador on death row, and knew he’d do anything to save him. When the dog, Sammy, escapes and heads to Mad Creek, Rav follows. Mad Creek. The town had become legendary in Rav’s mind after he’d met that bizarre group last year. Rav dismissed his crazy suspicions back then, but when he arrives in Mad Creek, he knows it’s true. Dog shifters exist, and apparently they all live in the California mountains. It’s enough to blow a bad boy’s mind.


Sammy has something in common with Rav—neither one of them trusts people. After Sammy’s abuse as a dog, he particularly dislikes tough-looking men like Rav. But when Sammy gets a chance to work with rescued dogs at the new Mad Creek shelter, his deep compulsion to help others overcomes his fear. Rav and Sammy bond over saving strays. If they can each find the courage to let someone else in, they might find their way to love.


Sheriff Lance Beaufort doesn’t like humans moving into Mad Creek, especially not the tattooed and defiant Rav. When Rav starts a rescue shelter, the town thinks he’s wonderful! But Lance isn’t fooled. He doesn’t buy Rav’s innocent act for one second. How much does Rav know about the quickened? What is his game? And why did he have to show up now, when Lance and the other town leaders are overwhelmed by all the new quickened pouring in?


Rav knows how to save a life. But can he save an entire town? Can he rescue Mad Creek?

Author Bio

Eli Easton has been at various times and under different names a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, a game designer, the author of paranormal mysteries, a fan fiction writer, an organic farmer, and a long-distance walker. She began writing m/m romance in 2013 and has published 27 books since then. She hopes to write many more.


As an avid reader of such, she is tickled pink when an author manages to combine literary merit, vast stores of humor, melting hotness, and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, two bulldogs, several cows, and a cat. All of them (except for the husband) are female, hence explaining the naked men that have taken up residence in her latest fiction writing.


Website: www.elieaston.com
Twitter: @EliEaston
Email: eli@elieaston.com

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Release Blitz & Giveaway: Getting Through by JS Finley

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 Title: Getting Through (Only You #3)

Author: J.S. Finley

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Sara York

Release Date: August 17, 2017

Genre: Contemporary MM

Length: 51K

GettingThroughJSFinley

Blurb

What if it’s too difficult to get through the rough patches?

Lane:

Being a nurse is Lane’s life, that is until Mike pushes him up against that damn door and kisses him like nobody’s business.

Now he’s left wondering how he can live without Mike at his side. But beneath the sweet, calm exterior Mike portrays to the world is something dark and dangerous. Will Lane be able to deal with the monster within, or will it consume both of them?

Mike:

He can’t unsee the damage that bomb wrought or bring back his friend, but he can find solace in Lane’s arms…or he thinks he can.

One night together is too much, and his memories overwhelm him, opening him up to the trauma he witnessed. Memories are hard to conquer because they don’t have to fight back, they just twist their way deep into the mind, making life too hard to tolerate.

Can Lane save him, or will he push them both too far when the past threatens to overwhelm them?

Buy Links:

Series Link on Amazon

Excerpt:

Chapter One

Emptiness filled Lane as he watched the blue ocean appear then disappear as condos and other buildings slipped by. Mike made a left, heading away from the slice of heaven they’d all enjoyed for the last few days. Maybe it was just the trip ending, but he thought it was more.

He watched Mike, noticing the stubble on his jaw and how it covered his chin and went down his neck. They stopped for a light, and Mike glanced at him, his lips curved up in a smile that made Lane’s stomach twist. Why it made him feel funny, he had no clue.

“So what do you really think about Thomas and Clay?”

Mike’s question threw him. “What am I supposed to say?”

Mike shrugged then went back to looking at the road as the light changed to green. “I don’t know; tell me what you really think.”

He stared out the front windshield for a moment, wondering how to answer the question. “Well, I like Clay. I guess I just…”

Another light stopped them, and Mike turned to look at him with his brows raised. “Are you jealous?”

“What?” Lane couldn’t believe Mike had asked him if he was jealous. “Why would I be jealous?”

“Just, you know, you thought you would get with Thomas if he was going to get with anyone?”

Lane shook his head. “No. Not at all. I’m not jealous. It’s not like that.”

“Talk. We don’t have long before we get to the airport.”

The light changed again, and Mike took off. Lane turned to stare out the window, unsure how to voice what he felt. “I don’t like being alone.”

“Then get out there and date someone.”

He shook his head and turned to stare at Mike. The scene out the window wasn’t as interesting since they’d turned down a street away from the water. He missed the water, but what he missed more was the guys and being with them. “I can’t find anyone.”

Mike chuckled. “Tell me about it. I’m surrounded by sexy women while I’m at work, but I can’t connect with them.”

Depression made his head ache. Or maybe he was depressed, because in addition to having no clue what to do, his head hurt. What if he never figured life out? He would be one of those old men at the bars looking to pick up young women who had no interest in a rotten old fart. He shivered at the mental image.

Mike’s words interrupted his thoughts. “I’ll be in New York next week.”

“You should stop by.” The words were out before he even could think what that would mean. He worked nights and slept during the day.

Mike was silent for a while, and they were close to the airport before he spoke again. “If I came up on Tuesday, could I stay at your place?”

His earlier trepidation was gone. Screw sleeping, he’d have Mike with him. He nodded, excitement filling him. “I’d like that. I have to work on Tuesday night, but I’m off on Wednesday and Thursday nights.”

Mike shot him a sweet grin. He pushed the tingly feelings away and rolled his eyes when Mike looked away.

“Works for me. I’m working a little on Thursday and most of the afternoon and night on Friday. I’ll stay until Sunday.”

“Awesome. It’ll be good seeing you again.” He meant it too. He could sleep after Mike went home.

They pulled into the parking lot for the rental return, and his chest squeezed. If he thought he’d been melancholy before, this was way worse. He didn’t want to head home. He’d been alive when he was with the guys. The vacation had been great, but it reminded him of how much he missed his brothers—and they were his brothers. Seeing Mike next week would be good. Heck, he wished they lived closer. He wanted to see everyone more often, but for now, Skype would have to do.

They got their bags out of the trunk and headed into the terminal after they handed over the keys to the car. Heat was building, and he was happy to be heading back to cooler temperatures. At least he told himself he was happy to leave. Actually, he wanted them all to stay here and live together. Maybe not together, but dammit, they should be closer to each other.

Once inside, they headed upstairs to security. They both passed through without any issues. Mike’s flight was leaving soon, so he had to go. Mike pulled him into a hug and Lane held on, not wanting to let Mike leave. It had been an amazing vacation and he didn’t want it to end.

“Hey, I’ll see you on Tuesday. I’ll call when I’m close.” He squeezed Lane again then backed away.

“Sure, have a safe trip home.” He hated saying those words. Their home should be together.

“You bet.”

Mike gave a quick wave and was gone. Lane felt like his heart had been torn out. He missed Thomas and Clay, and Brent and Jake, but he missed Mike most of all.

Meet the Author

Thank you for reading my stories. I wasn’t sure when I sat down to write if I had it in me to finish this. It has been a journey. I love reading. It’s my greatest pleasure to sit down with a good book and live inside the pages. My perfect day would be a book, good music, and unlimited cocktails.

I’m going to try to keep on writing and reading, playing with my dogs and cats, and living life.

Social Media Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Twitter

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Release Blitz Schedule

GETTING THROUGH SCHEDULE

August 18  – Love Unchained Book Reviews, Tangents and Tissues, BFD Book Blog, The Way She Reads, Oh My Shelves, Louise Lyons

August 19 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words, Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author   

August 20 – Bayou Book Junkie, Making it Happen,  Up Against a Wall

 

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Absolutely, Almost Perfect by Lissa Reed

Oh My Shelves welcomes Lissa Reed to the blog today! Asked her some questions and she is nice enough to chat with Oh My Shelves. She comes baring excerpts, giveaways, and a sequel to two wonderful guys! Absolutely Almost Perfect released on August 3rd, 2017 is a 4 star read from our Mika! Please give a big shout out to Lissa, and make sure you follow along the blog tour so you won’t miss out a really good giveaway and a chance to win the e-book! Check it out!

Q&A with Lissa Reed, author of Absolutely, Almost, Perfect.

Hi Lissa, thanks for stopping by! Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

Hi there! I am a writer, knitter, baker, and cat fancier living in Dallas. I do tech work by day, but my free time is spent engaged in the art of making up entertaining lies, a pastime that’s been close to my heart since I was a small child. Absolutely, Almost, Perfect is my third book.

How do you feel about e-books vs print books?

Honestly, I love both. Owning a Kindle means I can carry dozens of books in my purse and not break the straps. It means I can easily get books in different languages and not have to pay horrible shipping charges. I love the search within a book option.

But you know, there’s something about a print book, about the smell of paper and ink. About the heft of it in your hand, and the way it sounds to ruffle the pages. There are some books I just want in print form, too, like the Harry Potter books or cookbooks or old books from my childhood. Ultimately, the important thing is that I have books of some kind around me at all times.

What process did you go through to get your first book published?

Interlude Press found me through my friend Mimsy Hale, who is also published with them. Up until then, I had only written fanfiction. It was quite an adjustment, mostly in the editing stages – I had some stringent betas in the fanfic world, but our editing team at Interlude is, as you would expect, a whole new level. I had to – am still having to – get a better handle on the grammar things I mostly ignored in school. I was a big coaster in English class, I got through on the strength of my written essays and term papers, and boy, am I feeling it now!

How do you find or make time to write?

I work during the day, so I have to, by default, write at night and on weekends. Right now I am only writing on Sundays, because I am working on a new project that’s pretty intense and I need to just have the one day a week to fully sit down and concentrate on it.

That said, I do constantly take notes on my phone. I have been known to write entire chapters in the Notes app or in the Google Docs app. I saw a thread on Twitter the other day about a writer who was taking a flight and he watched a fellow passenger – a teenage girl – whip out her phone and fly through typing what he estimated to be about four thousand words of solid fiction. And he was just in awe of her, and it was awesome, because so frequently that’s how I work! Not to the tune of 4k in a few hours, I only wish, but yeah, on my phone. People have kind of given me grief sometimes for being on my phone a lot, but honestly, apart from being a lifeline to friends around the world, it is also my main writing tool next to my laptop. Frankly, it’s easier on my wrists, too.

Name one person who you feel supported you outside of your family members?

So many! But I am going to shout out my friend Alana here. She’s been cheering me on with the Sucre Coeur series from day one, from the earliest drafts. I named a restaurant after her in book two and just flat out dedicated this third book to her. She’s been a friend since my fandom days and I am so lucky to have had someone so upbeat and encouraging with me on this little journey.

Tell us about a book you’re reading now.

Oh, man. I am reading The Cartographer by Tamsen Parker. Her Compass series was recommended to me last year, and when I found out she was writing a book focused on the character of Reyes Walter, I flipped. Could not wait for it! Rey is sort of the driving force behind the Compass books, a real BDSM puppet master pulling strings in the name of helping people, so I’ve been very, very eager to see who Tamsen finds for him. I love a good story about a lone wolf meeting their match. I am making this one last, let me tell you. I don’t want it to end!

Absolutely Almost Perfect: by Lissa Reed
Series: Sucre Coeur #3
Release Date: August 3rd, 2017
Pages: • Format: e-book
Published By: Interlude Press
Purchase Links:
Interlude PressAmazonSmashwords

Craig Oliver and Alex Scheff lead a charmed life. Craig is part owner of Sucre Coeur, the bakery he’s loved and managed for years. Alex is an up-and-coming Seattle photographer. Their relationship has been going strong for a year, and everything is absolutely perfect—right up until Craig receives a wedding invitation from his long-estranged brother.

As Craig grows tense over seeing his brother for the first time in years, Alex can’t control his anxiety over meeting Craig’s family. At the wedding in an English hamlet, boisterous Scottish mothers, smirking teenage sisters, and awkward ex-boyfriends complicate the sweet life they lead.

 

Excerpt

Deftly, she ducks out of his arms with a sly grin that doesn’t exactly fill Craig with joy. “Right. Avoiding that topic in the interests of maintaining peace?”
Uh-oh.

“Let’s talk about your wedding plans!” She takes back her towel and tucks it into place, smiling at him all the while. “Hmm?”
No. No, there’s not one thing about that question that he likes, not even a little. “Don’t quite get what you mean,” he lies. Of course, he knows exactly what she means. He’s been tense while waiting for her to find an opportunity to bring it up again and damn if he didn’t just hand it to her himself. Still. Four days, one almost had to admire her restraint.
But he doesn’t want to think about it. The ring has been a pulsing beacon from its new hiding place, fraying his nerves with its very presence as everything goes pear-shaped.

“You do too,” Chloe retorts, her eyes narrowed. “Assuming you find a good time to propose and Alex accepts, you’ll have your own wedding to plan. Any luck figuring out when you’ll pop The Big Question?”
“Ah, well, I had in mind perhaps the thirty-fifth of Septembruary, at the High Noon of Absolutely Never.” This is a conversation Craig wants to have even less than any with or about Duncan. Proposing to Alex seemed like such a no-brainer when he first picked up the ring. Even when he was making sure it was still securely hidden in his bag, he had nothing but confidence in his decision.

Then they came here. And everything went madder than Craig could have expected. He winces. How can he even consider proposing after this?

Craig crosses back to his bowls of ingredients. He rests his full weight on the counter, and the sigh that comes out of him could send a paper boat across a pond. The guilt that propels it could sink the boat. “Chloe.”

“No, no, no,” she says as she scampers over to stand next him. With pursed lips, she sticks a finger in front of his face and waves it around. “No second thoughts. You bought the ring, he’s lovely, no second thoughts.”

Craig laughs in disbelief. “I’m not having second thoughts about him, Cee.” Not even remotely. Almost two years they’ve been inseparable now and Craig loves Alex so much it could steal his breath and he’d count the loss as negligible. “Never about him.”

Chloe manages an entire ten seconds of staring before she raises her hands and asks, “So, what then?”

He snorts and gives her a sidelong glance. “You spent Tuesday night combing buttercream out of your hair and you have to ask?”

Giveaway
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About the Author

Lissa Reed is a writer of fiction, blogs, and bawdy Renaissance song parodies. She traces her early interest in writing back to elementary school, when a teacher gifted her with her first composition book and told her to fill it with words. After experimenting with print journalism, Reed shifted her writing focus to romance and literary fiction and never looked back. She lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Absolutely, Almost, Perfect is the third book in her Sucre Coeur Series.
Get to know Lissa Reed at lissareed.com; on Twitter @lissareedbooks; and on on Instagram at lissa_angeline.

 

Blog Tour: Bone to Pick by T.A. Moore

Oh My Shelves welcomes author T.A. Moore to the blog today for her newest release Bone to Pick out next week, August 14th, 2017. She comes baring gifts, and her inspiration for her latest book. Please welcome Moore to the blog! Don’t forget to comment below for your chance at $20 gift-card to Dreamspinner!

 

Title: Bone to Pick
Author: TA Moore
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: August 14th, 2017

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Thank you for having me over today to talk about my new novel Bone to Pick by TA Moore, which will be available from Dreamspinner Press on August 14.

This blog tour is a bit of a departure for me. Usually I do a short story split between the blogs. However, that didn’t really work with Bone to Pick (the characters had met, briefly, before the start of this story but it didn’t go well. Someone might have got punched; someone might have deserved it!). So instead I thought I would give you a spoiler-free introduction to the cast of characters you’ll be meeting in Bone to Pick and tell you a little bit about how I came up with them — and maybe a bit about what I have planned for the future. I hope you enjoy meeting them! I love them all, even the terrible ones.

First of all, though, you’ll want to know what Bone to Pick is about.

 

Blurb

Cloister Witte is a man with a dark past and a cute dog. He’s happy to talk about the dog all day, but after growing up in the shadow of a missing brother, a deadbeat dad, and a criminal stepfather, he’d rather leave the past back in Montana. These days he’s a K-9 officer in the San Diego County’s Sheriff’s Department and pays a tithe to his ghosts by doing what no one was able to do for his brother—find the missing and bring them home

He’s good at solving difficult mysteries. The dog is even better.

This time the missing person is a ten-year-old boy who walked into the woods in the middle of the night and didn’t come back. With the antagonistic help of distractingly handsome FBI agent Javi Merlo, it quickly becomes clear that Drew Hartley didn’t run away. He was taken, and the evidence implies he’s not the kidnapper’s first victim. As the search intensifies, old grudges and tragedies are pulled into the light of the day. But with each clue they uncover, it looks more and more unlikely that Drew will be found alive.

 

 

 

Ok, I talked in a previous blog post about how Bone to Pick started its life as a Christmas short story. What I didn’t go into was that in that iteration Javi was mentioned in passing as an ex of Cloister’s. He was a civilian who couldn’t handle the dangers of Cloister’s job, and after a rescue went wrong he broke up with him.

‘I got the dog. Javi got the friends, the apartment, and the vacation.’

The problem was Cloister immediately informed me that he was still massively hung up on his ex, and if I ever turned this short into a novel he wanted to get back together with him. So when I started to write Bone to Pick, Javi made his first on-screen appearance. As a food critic and TV chef. The whole plot was sketched out. He was going to be…well, the plot is actually quite good, so let’s just say he would have been the dude in distress.

Except apparently he wasn’t down with that. I couldn’t get past the first chapter without everything falling over and lying on the ground making whining noises. Nor did Javi want to be a forensics specialist OR the local pathologist, a role that was instead eventually filled by Dr Amanda Galloway. No, Javi had to be an uptight FBI agent whose outward respectability masks nearly as many issues as Cloister has.

The only character note that continued throughout is that he still doesn’t like dogs as much as Cloister does (but then, no one likes dogs as much as Cloister does), but he kind of likes Cloister a lot.

Of course, all that makes me sound a bit batty. However, personifying the characters is, for me, the easiest way to track down whatever flaw my brain is sticking on in the narrative. Some authors talk about ‘just making the characters do what you want’, but that’s never worked for me. If the story isn’t flowing then there’s a reason for it, and if I don’t identify that and course correct then it is going to be a problem.

Javi the food critic was fun to write. He was snarky, defensive, and totally in lust with the sexy deputy the minute that Cloister turned up. However, the minute that this book was over he’d be relegated to either just the love interest or would have to become the most unlikely food critic in the world.

‘Why?’ he would wonder, as another corpse rolled out from a dumb water, ‘Why do I keep finding corpses? I need better friends, alive ones!’ Sometimes that can work, but not in this world.

As FBI Special Agent Javi Merlo he is much more of an equal partner to Cloister in the structuring of the novels, an essential player in whatever plot is going on instead of just an attractive hanger on. Besides, he technically outranks Cloister and he does like that.


Five Facts (that are not spoilers but are interesting) about Javier Merlo

1: He loves his family, but the only one he is really close to his grandmother. Both his parents are successful professionals in demanding careers, and neither of them are that good with children (although they only realised that after they had two). His grandmother is a wicked old besom.

2: Javi has a younger sister, who gets to make all the stupid, destructive decisions that he never got to make.

3: The last time Javi was in love it ended very, very badly and it was, in his opinion, mostly Javi’s fault. He doesn’t intend to repeat the experience.

4: He is a little bit jealous of how much Bourneville loves Cloister too. Not enough to ever consider getting a dog, but still…nothing and no-one has ever looked at him with that much adoration.

5: His family know that he is gay and they are fine with it. Absolutely fine. Of course, if they ever met Cloister they’re going to be relieved that they dislike him on grounds of class…instead of any other reason.


Who is TA Moore?

TA Moore genuinely believed that she was a Cabbage Patch Kid when she was a small child. This was the start of a lifelong attachment to the weird and fantastic. These days she lives in a market town on the Northern Irish coast and her friends have a rule that she can only send them three weird and disturbing links a month (although she still holds that a DIY penis bifurcation guide is interesting, not disturbing). She believes that adding ‘in space!’ to anything makes it at least 40% cooler, will try to pet pretty much any animal she meets (this includes snakes, excludes bugs), and once lied to her friend that she had climbed all the way up to Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, when actually she’d only gotten to the beach, realized it was really high, and chickened out.

She aspires to being a cynical misanthrope, but is unfortunately held back by a sunny disposition and an inability to be mean to strangers. If TA Moore is mean to you, that means you’re friends now.

 

Website: www.nevertobetold.co.uk

Facebook: www.facebook.com/TA.Moores

Twitter: @tammy_moore

 

Release Day Blitz & Giveaway: Trust with a Chaser by Annabeth Albert

Title:  Trust with a Chaser

Series: Rainbow Cove, Book 1

Author: Annabeth Albert

Publisher:  Annabeth Albert

Release Date: 08-01-2017

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 75,000

Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Law Enforcement, Small Town, May/December

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Synopsis

One hot cop. One bar owner out for redemption. One smoking-hot summer fling destined to leave scorch marks…

Mason Hanks has returned to Rainbow Cove, Oregon with one goal in mind: turn the struggling coastal community into a thriving LGBTQ tourism destination. Step one is transforming an old bar and grill into a gay-friendly eatery. Step two? Don’t piss off Nash Flint, the very hot, very stern chief of police who’s not so sure he’s on board with Mason’s big plans.

Nash Flint just wants to keep his community safe and enjoy the occasional burger in peace. He’s not big on change nor is he a fan of Mason’s troublemaking family, especially his rowdy older brothers. But Mason slowly wins him over with fantastic cooking and the sort of friendship Nash has been starving for.

When their unlikely friendship takes a turn for the sexy, both men try to steer clear of trouble. Nash believes he’s too set in his ways for Mason, and Mason worries that his family’s reputation will ruin any future with Nash. Burning up the sheets in secret is a surefire way to crash and burn, and discovery forces a heart-wrenching decision—is love worth the risk of losing everything?

Trust with a Chaser is a 75,000 word stand-alone gay romance with a May/December theme, a hot law-enforcement hero, opposites attract, plenty of sexy times, and one hard-fought, guaranteed happy ending with no cliffhangers.

Excerpt

Chapter One

Mason

When Adam stepped inside the glorified closet I was using as an office, eyes all twitchy and hands wringing a bar towel, I knew I wasn’t going to like what came out of his mouth.

“Sheriff Sexy just walked in. He’s your problem.”

Fuck. I squeezed my eyes shut and took a deep breath. “Please don’t call Police Chief Flint that. He might hear, and I’m pretty sure he’d find a citation for you. And I am not bailing your ass out.”

“You’re just worried that one of these days you’re going to slip up and call him that.” Adam grinned at me. This was an old argument—he’d been calling Flint that stupid nickname since we were in high school. The hard-nosed cop wasn’t one to cut teen drivers any slack—especially if they were in any way associated with the name “Hanks.” “Anyway, you know he freaks me out. I’ve got no idea what he wants—all our permits are in order, right?”

“Of course.” Standing, I grabbed the folder with the permitting paperwork. I prided myself in the organization I was bringing to the bar and grill that I co-owned with Adam and our friend, Logan. Flint wouldn’t find anything to complain about, not with me in charge. “I’ll go deal with him. You go back to the bar in case we get a rush.”

Adam snorted. Despite it being opening weekend, traffic had been embarrassingly light. We’d worked for weeks transforming the old tavern—a Rainbow Cove institution for decades—into the newly renamed Rainbow Tavern. The gay-friendly bar and grill was our vision for pulling our sleepy little coastal town into the twenty-first century. Logan had crafted a new menu of upscale bar food ready to go, and Adam had innovative drinks specials at the ready. All we needed were customers. And to not run afoul of Nash Flint on our first day of operation.

Flint was a Rainbow Cove institution himself—born and raised here, same as Adam and me, but unlike me, he’d never left, sliding into his father’s shoes as police chief and apparently fitting the role as easily as a pair of broken-in jeans. He’d been Officer Flint last time I’d seen him, almost ten years prior.

Guess I could have seen him had I come down for Freddy’s trial, something I still felt niggles of guilt over, and I told myself that was why my stomach fluttered on my way out to the tavern’s dining room. Unlike Adam, I’d never found Flint particularly…

Sexy. All my thoughts fled as I took in the man sitting in front of the plate-glass window. He dwarfed the small wooden chair, one of dozens that Adam and I had painted bright colors. Broad shoulders stretched the confines of his uniform shirt, biceps bulging under the short sleeves. His cut-glass jaw was firm as ever, as were those hard hazel eyes. But what had been frankly terrifying to my teenaged self made my twenty-seven-year-old libido sit up and take serious notice.

Flint blinked as I approached, head tilting to one side. I’d been getting a lot of that since I’d been back in town. “Mason…Hanks?”

“The one and only.” I stuck out my hand. “What can I do for you, Chief Flint?”

He returned my handshake with a sure grip, only a moment’s hesitation. I guessed he wasn’t all that used to shaking hands with a Hanks. Oh well. I was out to prove to the whole damn town that I wasn’t like my father and brothers, and if I had to start with Flint, so be it.

“Nice place you’ve got here.” His eyes swept around the renovated room—restored antique bar on the far wall where Adam wasn’t bothering to conceal his nosiness, dance floor beyond that, colorful tables and chairs in the front of the bar, only a handful occupied despite the dinner hour.

“Thanks. Our permits are all in order.” I held out my folder. “Liquor license is on top.”

He waved the folder off. “Not worried about that.”

No? Then why the heck was Flint in my establishment? “Good. We’re on the up-and-up. You won’t have trouble from us—”

“Glad to hear it,” he said levelly, eyes skeptical, reminding me that I was, after all, nothing more than a Hanks. “Cheeseburger?”

“Pardon?”

“That Ringer kid didn’t see fit to give me a menu, but I’m trusting you all offer something approximating a burger? Salad, no fries, and an iced tea.”

“You want to order?” I was still struggling to keep up with him.

“This is a food establishment, right?” He shook his head as if he hadn’t expected more from me, and that rankled.

“Of course.” I crossed the room in long strides, grabbed an order pad from the bar, ignoring Adam’s gaping. As soon as I returned to Flint’s table, I added, “Anything you want. On the house.”

“None of that.” He sighed like my very existence was tiring. “Got my meals from the old tavern for years. They kept a tab open for me.”

“We can do the same—”

“Let’s see if you can cook first,” he said, voice drier than yesterday’s toast. “I thought I’d come by, check the place out.”

“Appreciated,” I said and meant it. Business, any business, was good, but people in Rainbow Cove trusted Flint. If he gave us the seal of approval, more locals might give us a try, make us less dependent on the tourist trade that we were going after. Tourism took a while to build, and our grand plans of making Rainbow Cove an LGBTQ travel destination weren’t going to happen overnight. We needed every customer we could get, Flint included, even if he was the unlikeliest of allies.

“You still haven’t brought me a menu.” He shook his head. “But whatever you’ve got passing for a burger is fine. Nothing vegan though.”

“We’ve got local grass-fed beef, third-pound patty on a brioche bun with a pesto mayo and local gouda. Or—”

“I reckon that will do fine.” Flint always had a bit more country than coastal in his voice. Not Southern, but you could tell he was rural Oregon through and through, and I liked the slow, deep rumble of his words. What I didn’t like, however, was the implication in his tone that he wasn’t expecting much from us.

“Sure you don’t want fries? We have hand-cut sweet potato as an option with a chipotle dipping sauce. As far as salads, I’ve got side, Caesar, spring berry and pecan—”

“I’m on duty here. Kind of pressed for time. The burger and a side salad are fine. I don’t need anything fancy.”

Yeah, well, maybe I want to give it to you. I quashed that thought, same as I had the one about how hot he looked in his uniform. Wanting to impress Nash Flint wasn’t going to get me anywhere.

“I’ll put a rush on it.” I made a note on the order pad, not that it was really needed since Logan hardly had a packed house to worry about.

As I walked over to the window to put in Flint’s order, I noticed more than one table giving him curious glances. Hell, maybe I was wrong about any business being good business. Last thing I needed was Flint scaring away what few customers we had. Not that he was known as a gossip or anything like that, but he was awfully…old school. Traditional. The last kind of guy you’d expect to find at a gay bar, that was for sure, and even though we were attempting to attract a mixed clientele, he stood out.

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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 | Annabeth’s Mailing List

 

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Release Blitz & Giveaway: Lying Eyes by Robert Winter

Title:  Lying Eyes

Author: Robert Winter

Publisher:  Robert Winter Books (self-published)

Release Date: July 7, 2017

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 84300

Genre: Romance, Mystery, BDSM

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Synopsis

This bartender’s art lies in more than mixing drinks …

Randy Vaughan is a six-foot-three mass of mysteries to his customers and his friends. Why does a former Secret Service agent now own Mata Hari, a successful piano bar? Where did a muscle daddy get his passion for collecting fine art? If he’s as much a loner as his friends believe, why does he crave weekly sessions at an exclusive leather club?

Randy’s carefully private life unravels when Jack Fraser, a handsome art historian from England, walks into his bar, anxious to get his hands on a painting Randy owns. The desperation Randy glimpses in whiskey-colored eyes draws him in, as does the desire to submit that he senses beneath Jack’s elegant, driven exterior.

While wrestling with his attraction to Jack, Randy has to deal with a homeless teenager, a break-in at Mata Hari, and Jack’s relentless pursuit of the painting called Sunrise. It becomes clear someone’s lying to Randy. Unless he can figure out who and why, he may miss his chance at the love he’s dreamed about in the hidden places of his heart.

Note: Lying Eyes is a standalone gay romance novel with consensual bondage and a strong happy ending. It contains potential spoilers for Robert Winter’s prior novel, Every Breath You Take.

Purchase

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA

 

Excerpt

Saturday rolled around, and Randy headed to town early to make sure everything was ready for Mata Hari’s busiest evening of the week. Although the bar officially opened at five-thirty, it was rare for anyone to wander in much before seven o’clock. Randy was surprised when the front door opened at six to admit a good-looking man.

The stranger was probably about five foot nine or ten, and wore a three-piece suit that seemed tailored to accentuate a lean build. His dark hair was cut stylishly short on the sides but thick and swept back on the top, and his mustache and full beard were closely trimmed. A brightly colored necktie contrasted with the somber gray of his suit. Randy had trouble assessing the man’s age, but he would go with thirty. European, though—Randy would stake the bar on that guess.

The newcomer contemplated the walls of Mata Hari, passing almost dismissively over the art on display. He studied each piece for no more than a second before moving to the next, but Randy had a distinct impression the man sought something in particular. As he completed his survey, he kept turning and eventually met Randy’s eyes across the bar.

Immediately desire flared in the man’s face as his hungry gaze drifted over Randy’s tight white shirt and up to his face, lingering on his mouth. Shoulders tightened almost imperceptibly as he drew himself to his full height, yet Randy recognized a softening of hard edges. He lazily ran his own eyes to the stranger’s luxurious beard, and he imagined stroking the softness there. He sensed something accommodating. Something potentially submissive, yet more subtle than the wanton displays of obedience and posing he was used to on Mondays at his private club.

Something he would enjoy channeling and rewarding, in the right circumstance.

The man started toward the bar. As he moved, Randy had the odd sense that the suit he wore was ill-fitting, even though it seemed perfectly tailored. A step away from the bar, his face just—closed. That was the only word for it. One instant he was cruising Randy; the next he was stone.

Randy sighed to himself. The guy was probably a closet case on his first night at a gay bar. That usually meant an unsatisfying encounter, even if the newbie didn’t rabbit. In any case, it wasn’t Randy’s thing. He’d had plenty of virgin ass over the years, and preferred his men experienced.

Fine. Nothing for me here. He waited at the bar, vaguely disappointed.

“Sir, good evening.” The man’s accent was English, his words precise and elegant like his hair and his clothes and his beard. Probably from London. Up close, Randy could see his eyes were a deep shade of brown graced with streaks of gold around the pupils that caught the lights over the bar. “I’m looking for a Mr. Randall Vaughan.”

Despite forswearing his immediate attraction to the stranger, that honeyed voice caused Randy to smile slowly and show his teeth. He registered the slight widening of the eyes behind the stranger’s mask as he focused on Randy’s mouth.

“I’m Randy Vaughan. And you are…?”

The man blinked in surprise. “Oh. The Mr. Vaughan I was seeking is an art collector.”

Shit. Just another jerkwad, making assumptions right away. Randy was a big man so he couldn’t possibly be knowledgeable about art, could he? Well, fuck that noise. One more chance.

“I wouldn’t use the term collector, but…” Randy gestured at the walls.

“Quite so,” the man said distantly, and turned to sweep his gaze over the works on the nearest wall. “Neither would I.”

Randy’s back stiffened immediately. The stranger—no, the asshole—turned his attention back to Randy and held out a hand. He seemed oblivious to the fact that he’d just royally pissed Randy off. “My name is Jack Fraser. I’m from the Kensington Museum in London.” Fraser paused as if waiting for Randy to be impressed. “I sent you a letter recently.”

Randy willed himself not to think further about Fraser’s whiskey-colored eyes or the luxuriousness of his beard, and he didn’t take the offered hand. Instead, he wiped a small spill on the counter before him. “You did,” he agreed in a bored tone.

Fraser dropped his hand. “Ah, yes.” A pause. “My secretary didn’t hear from you to set up an appointment.”

“Which was my answer to your request,” Randy said, letting some snarl appear as he met Fraser’s eyes. They were still guarded and closed off, but Randy could see embers burning deep inside. In the right setting, and with proper motivation, he could imagine making those embers flare and ignite in the slender man before him. For the moment, though, the eyes just narrowed in calculation.

Before Fraser could say anything, Randy turned away. “If you’ll excuse me, I have work to do.”

“May I buy a pint?” Fraser asked, desperation shading his smooth accent.

Randy considered calling Malcolm over to deal with it, but stopped in front of the beer taps. He was annoyed at his lingering attraction, and he decided to push back on this prick a bit. “Fine. What’s your pleasure?”

“Guinness. If you have it.”

“Of course you’d drink Guinness.” A little scorn curled Randy’s lip. “Well, the closest beer I have is a stout from Flying Dog.” He let his sneer turn feral. “It’s called Pearl Necklace.” He dropped his eyes to Fraser’s necktie, as if he could picture that very thing replacing the colorful silk.

Fraser blinked nervously. Probably he could picture it too. Maybe he even imagined Randy’s hot jizz splattering his chest and neck as his reward. Well, he shouldn’t have been a condescending shit out of the gate then. Randy waited, one hand on the tap, the other idly scratching his ear to make his bicep flex under his white shirt. Fraser focused on his arm and swallowed audibly.

“That’ll be fine,” he said. “A, uh, Flying Dog then.” Randy drew the pint to set before Fraser on a coaster. He didn’t wait for the man to take a sip or comment, but headed to the other end of the bar to check inventory.

He stayed busy but somehow noticed that Fraser lingered at the bar for several minutes, apparently hoping Randy would come back and let him ask again about the piece Randy had purchased from the Gates Gallery. When Randy deliberately kept his distance, Fraser took his beer (which, Randy was pleased to note, was more than half gone) and wandered around the room to examine more carefully each painting displayed. Sometimes he moved on quickly to the next piece of art. Other times, he gave a slight shake of his head.

Randy’s ears burned, and he considered throwing the guy out. Since he’d opened Mata Hari no one had given him grief about his collection. To be honest, no one had studied it the way Fraser did, but still. Each piece had been acquired because Randy connected to something in it. To have this handsome English stuffed shirt look down his nose offended Randy in a way he couldn’t even articulate. He seethed inside the longer Fraser spent on his dismissive tour of the room.

When Fraser reached a landscape that was hung over a small settee, he gave a distinct snort. He set his empty beer glass on a nearby table and Randy swooped over to pick it up, ostentatiously swiping the wood as if it had left a ring. “Another Pearl Necklace?” he snarled.

“Ah, no. Thank you.” Fraser seemed surprised to find Randy standing so close, though his eyes remained closed off and stony. “But it was a quite nice stout after all. Thank you for the recommendation.”

Randy gestured at the landscape with his chin. “Is that painting offensive to you for some reason? You’re practically laughing at it.”

“What? Oh no, it’s…fine. Competent. It’s the presentation, the arrangement of the art, that I find amusing.”

Randy ran his gaze over the pieces arranged on that wall of the bar. He’d decided where to hang each and every work over a long stretch of time as he’d readied Mata Hari for opening. He revisited the collection frequently and rotated different pieces in and out of prominent positions. Most of his customers were oblivious but Randy took great satisfaction in presenting something unique in the atmosphere of his bar.

“What’s amusing about it?”

“Well, there’s no story, is there?” Fraser answered him.

“What do you mean?”

“Individually each piece is presentable. A few are even intriguing. But see here,” he gestured at the landscape, “this is a nicely executed pastoral, yet it’s positioned between a Japanese scroll and a watercolor of a monarch butterfly. The pieces say nothing about each other, and have no intrinsic relationship.

“But over there,” he indicated the wall opposite, “is a modern landscape. Change the frames to something complementary, place them side by side, and the two landscapes together suggest a conversation in, oh, quite a lot actually. Painting techniques, the subject and tonal changes in works separated by two artistic traditions. You see?”

Randy did see, but he’d be damned if he’d admit it. “Two landscapes here wouldn’t fit,” he said stubbornly.

“Ah. Art as furniture. Of course,” Fraser said with a smirk, and that did it.

“No charge for the Pearl Necklace,” Randy barked. “Since you made the trip for nothing.”

 

Meet the Author

Robert Winter lives and writes in Provincetown. He is a recovering lawyer who prefers writing about hot men in love much more than drafting a legal brief. He left behind the (allegedly) glamorous world of an international law firm to sit in his home office and dream up ways to torment his characters until they realize they are perfect for each other. When he isn’t writing, Robert likes to cook Indian food and explore new restaurants. He splits his attention between Andy, his partner of sixteen years, and Ling the Adventure Cat, who likes to fly in airplanes and explore the backyard jungle as long as the temperature and humidity are just right.

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | eMail

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Enter for a chance to win a paperpack copy of Lying Eyes.

Three winners will be chosen, one lucky winner will receive a signed copy!

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Ruin of a Rake by Cat Sebastian

Together, they must decide what they’re willing to risk for love. 

THE RUIN OF A RAKE
Cat Sebastian
Releasing July 4, 2017
Avon Impulse

 Blurb

Rogue.


Libertine. Rake. Lord Courtenay has been called many things and has never much cared. But after the publication of a salacious novel supposedly based on his exploits, he finds himself shunned from society. Unable to see his nephew, he
is willing to do anything to improve his reputation, even if that means spending time with the most proper man in London.

Julian Medlock has spent years becoming the epitome of correct behavior. As far as he cares, if Courtenay finds himself in hot water, it’s his own fault for behaving so badly—and being so blasted irresistible. But when Julian’s sister asks him to rehabilitate Courtenay’s image, Julian is forced to spend time with the man he loathes—and lusts after—most.

As Courtenay begins to yearn for a love he fears he doesn’t deserve, Julian starts to understand how desire can drive a man to abandon all sense of propriety. But he has secrets he’s determined to keep, because if the truth came out, it would ruin everyone he loves. Together, they must decide what they’re willing to risk for love. 

 

Excerpt

London, 1817

Julian pursed his lips as he gazed at the symmetrical brick façade of his sister’s house. It was every bit as bad as he had feared. He could hear the racket from the street, for God’s sake. He pulled the brim of his hat lower on his forehead, as if concealing his face would go any distance toward mitigating the damage done by his sister having turned her house into a veritable brothel. Right in the middle of Mayfair, and at eleven in the morning, when the entire ton was on hand to bear witness to her degradation, no less. Say what one wanted about Eleanor—and at this moment Julian could only imagine what was being said—but she did not do things by halves.

As he climbed the steps to her door, the low rumble of masculine voices drifted from an open second story window. Somebody was playing a pianoforte—badly—and a lady was singing out of key.

No, not a lady. Julian suppressed a sigh. Whoever these women were in his sister’s house, they were not ladies. No lady in her right mind would consort with the sort of men Eleanor had been entertaining lately. Every young buck with a taste for vice had made his way to her house over these last weeks, along with their mistresses or courtesans or whatever one was meant to call them. And the worst of them, the blackguard who had started Eleanor on her path to becoming a byword for scandal, was Lord Courtenay.

A shiver trickled down Julian’s spine at the thought of encountering the man, and he could not decide whether it was from simple, honest loathing or something much, much worse.

The door swung open before Julian had raised his hand to the knocker.

“Mr. Medlock, thank goodness.” The look of abject relief on the face of Eleanor’s butler might have struck Julian as vaguely inappropriate under any other circumstance. But considering the tableau that presented itself in Eleanor’s vestibule, the butler’s informality hardly registered.

Propped against the elegantly papered wall, a man in full evening dress snored peacefully, a bottle of brandy cradled in his arms and a swath of bright crimson silk draped across his leg. A lady’s gown, Julian gathered. The original wearer of the garment was, mercifully, not present.

“I came as soon as I received your message.” Julian had not been best pleased to receive a letter from his sister’s butler, of all people, begging that he return to London ahead of schedule. Having secured a coveted invitation to a very promising house party, he was loath to leave early in order to evict a set of bohemians and reprobates from his sister’s house.

“The cook is threatening to quit, sir,” said the butler. Tilbury, a man of over fifty who had been with Eleanor since she and Julian had arrived in England, had gray circles under his eyes. No doubt the revels had interrupted his sleep. “And I’ve already sent all but the—ah—hardiest of the housemaids to the country. It wouldn’t do for them to be imposed upon. I’d never forgive myself.”

Julian nodded. “You were quite right to send for me. Where is my sister?” Several unmatched slippers were scattered along the stairs that led toward the drawing room and bedchambers. He gritted his teeth.

“Lady Standish is in her study, sir.”

Julian’s eyebrows shot up. “Her study,” he repeated. Eleanor was hosting an orgy—really, there was no use in pretending it was anything else—but ducked out to conduct an experiment. Truly, the experiments were bad enough, but Julian had always managed to conceal their existence. But to combine scientific pursuits with actual orgies struck Julian as excessive in all directions.

“You,” he said, nudging the sleeping man with the toe of his boot. He was not climbing over drunken bodies, not today, not any day. “Wake up.” The man opened his eyes with what seemed a great deal of effort. “Who are you? No, never mind, I can’t be bothered to care.” The man wasn’t any older than Julian himself, certainly not yet five and twenty, but Julian felt as old as time and as irritable as a school mistress compared to this specimen of self-indulgence. “Get up, restore that gown to its owner, and be gone before I decide to let your father know what you’ve been up to.” As so often happened when Julian ordered people about, this fellow complied.

Julian made his way to Eleanor’s study, and found her furiously scribbling at her writing table, a mass of wires and tubes arranged before her. She didn’t look up at the sound of the door opening, nor when he pointedly closed it behind him. Eleanor, once she was busy working, was utterly unreachable. She had been like this since they were children. He felt a rush of affection for her despite how much trouble she was causing him.

“Eleanor?” Nothing. He stooped to gather an empty wine bottle and a few abandoned goblets, letting them clink noisily together as he deposited them onto a table. Still no response. “Nora?” It almost physically hurt to say his childhood name for her when things felt so awkward and strained between them.

“It won’t work,” came a low drawl. “I’ve been sitting here these past two hours and I haven’t gotten a response.”

Banishing any evidence of surprise from his countenance, Julian turned to see Lord Courtenay himself sprawled in a low chair in a shadowy corner. There oughtn’t to have been any shadows in the middle of the day in a bright room, but trust Lord Courtenay to find one to lurk in.

Julian quickly schooled his face into some semblance of indifference. No, that was a reach; his face was simply not going to let him pretend indifference to Courtenay. He doubted whether anyone had ever shared space with Lord Courtenay without being very much aware of that fact. And it wasn’t only his preposterous good looks that made him so . . . noticeable. The man served as a sort of magnet for other people’s attention, and Julian hated himself for being one of those people. As far as he could tell, the man’s entire problem was that people paid a good deal too much attention to him. But one could hardly help it, not when he looked like that.

 
Tasty Author

Cat Sebastian lives in a swampy part of the South with her husband, three kids, and two dogs. Before her kids were born, she practiced law and taught high school and college writing. When she isn’t reading or writing, she’s doing crossword puzzles, bird watching, and wondering where she put her coffee cup.