Audiobook Tour – Tainted Life by Mel Gough

A big welcome to Mel Gough as part of her audiobook tour with Gay Book Promotions for Tainted Life.

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW TOUR

Book Title: Tainted Life

Author: Mel Gough

Publisher: Self-Published

Narrator: Brian Meslar

Release Date: September 6, 2019

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Tropes: One-night-stand turns into more

Themes: Angst, injuries, some violence

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 3 hours and 33 minutes

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A one-night-stand turns into a love story full of dark secrets.

Blurb

Metropolitan Police detective Pete Tucker’s world comes crashing down when his wife sues for divorce and sole custody of their only son.

Desperate to forget his sorrows for a while, Pete seeks refuge in a Soho bar where he is approached by a sexy, funny, and clearly interested stranger. Photographer Liam Jackson is just the ticket for one oblivious night of perfect passion.

However, their attraction proves too intense for a one-night-stand. To his surprise, Pete finds that he’s game for something more – but his baggage soon gets in the way. Then Liam’s own dangerous secrets claw their way to the surface, and threaten to derail the budding romance.

Is their growing bond strong enough to weather the violent storms ahead?

 

Buy Links – Listen to a sample here

Audible US | Audible UK

Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

About the Author

Mel Gough loves writing about love – but with a twist. Nominated for the 2019 Selfies Awards, her bisexual romantic suspense novel He is Mine is a typical Mel Gough story. She needs her HEA fix, but on the way there will be thorns and fire, and sometimes brimstone. All right, that might be over the top, especially since her stories are firmly based in the real world – though not always in the here and now.

Born in Germany, exploring other realities has been Mel’s siren call since she was young. Books opened up a plethora of worlds, and soon gave her a strong love of the English language. After an MA in Anthropology, field work in the middle of nowhere seemed like one adventure too far, so Mel settled in London, which, to misquote Dr. Johnson, she will never tire of.

Mel loves to bend genres – her romances are gritty and dark, and sometimes there’s a dead body. She’s been told that her prose is beautiful yet disturbingly real. She’s curious about bygone times, and hopes to speculate about the future in one of her next books.

She was once asked “How to tell you’re in a Mel Gough novel”

  • You were either sick or in an accident, or you’re caring for someone who was
  • You’re bisexual (or your partner is)
  • Your partner has unusual eyes (probably grey)
  • Life sucks a lot, but then you meet someone, and things get better

 

Social Media Links

Blog/Website | Facebook | Twitter

Instagram | Newsletter Sign-up

 

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

 

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

 

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Release Blitz – Fated Heart by Garrett Leigh

A big welcome to Garrett Leigh as part of her release blitz with Signal Boost Promotions for Fated Heart.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal LinkExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited.

Length: 60,000 words approx.


Cover Design: Black Jazz Design


Blurb


“He’s not a wolf.”


Devastated by the death of his best friend, Zio is a soldier with one thing on his mind: revenge. Consumed by a conflict that’s raged as long as he’s been alive, he’s had little time or inclination to learn the legends of the shifter world he was raised in. And he certainly doesn’t have time to deal with a shifter of a different kind, even if it’s for the good of the war effort. For the good of his pack. The fact that he’s already crossed paths with the new face in his unit is almost irrelevant.


Almost.


Do no harm. Give life not death: it’s the oath Devan was reborn to live by, so when he’s sent abroad to embed with a wolf pack as their resident healer, he doesn’t hesitate. In the supernatural world, some bonds are instant–soldiers become brothers, pack become family. But others run deeper and before long, Devan’s at the mercy of instincts he can’t control. Zio’s inner wolf is desperate to be with Devan, while Devan struggles to keep the pack safe. But as the war escalates, and new love is tainted by anguish and pain, the battles within might prove the toughest of them all.


“I won’t let him die.”

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 site moonstockphotography.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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Blog Tour & Book Review – Art of Death by Bob Appavu

A big welcome to Bob Appavu as part of her blog tour with Other Worlds Ink for Art of Death from DSP Publications.

I thought this story was an interesting mix of supernatural and mystery, with both aspects of the plot leaving me guessing what would happen next. I loved the world building. It’s quite different from anything I’ve read about the undead before.

Although he’s not the main character, Porter was my favourite by far. I loved his take on life, and his personality. I liked that Riley is working through issues. His reaction to events, past and present, felt very real, and during parts of the story I wondered if he would be able to work through his trauma. His relationship with Nick felt very much like an inbalance of power so I was very happy about how that was resolved. I had guessed some of what was going on, but there were enough red herrings to make me not quite sure if I was on the right track. I enjoy stories that sprinkle clues then make the reader doubt their conclusions. It’s very cleverly done.

Westwood comes across as very mysterious. I found it difficult to get a grip on his personality despite some of the story being from his POV. However, instead of that detracting from my reading, I thought it added layers and suited his character.

I enjoyed the role art and artists play in the story, and it’s obvious the author knows their stuff and has done their research. I could visualise the art easily, and I loved the reference to Bosch. I thought the story had a bit of a Dorian Gray vibe, and Coliaro is a formidable opponent. The ‘heroes’ had a definitely ant-hero vibe about them, which I liked.

The action scenes were very gripping, and I kept turning pages, especially towards the end as I needed to know what happened next. The ending gives a satisfying conclusion, yet sets up for more.

I’d recommend Art of Death to readers who enjoy supernatural stories that keep you guessing, great world building, and flawed heroes. 4 out of 5 stars.

Art of Death

Bob Appavu has a new gay urban fantasy out: “Art of Death.”

Starving artist Riley Burke refuses to be dependent on his rich older boyfriend—hence his second job as a nude model at the local art school. When the famous artist Coliaro requests him for a private modeling session, he jumps at the chance to earn some real cash.

But then Westwood, a mysterious stranger, warns him to steer clear—it’s said Coliaro is undead. That his worshippers perform rituals to fill him with life energy. That every time he paints a male nude, the painting transforms to depict a gruesome murder. And that shortly after, a young man turns up dead.

Riley dismisses the rumors—until they start to play out before his eyes. When he becomes a target, Westwood comes to his aid. But Westwood is secretive and dangerous himself… which just makes him more attractive to Riley. Riley is in over his head, and even his tenuous alliance with Westwood might not save him.

Note: This title was originally published under an alternate pen name. This second edition has been re-edited and significantly updated.

Series Blurb:

A young artist’s life changes forever when he stumbles upon the secret society of the undead… and those who defend humanity from the depravity of their brethren. Lychgate protects the innocent from the monsters stalking the shadows, and Riley and his undead lover, Westwood, must fight together or lose each other.

DSP Publications | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Amazon CAN | Barnes & Noble | Kobo


Giveaway

Bob is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card with this tour. Enter via Rafflecopter:

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Excerpt

Art of Death meme

Upon reaching Nick’s house, Riley turned off his headlights, eased into the driveway, and parked outside the garage. He’d been racked with guilt throughout the drive, unable to think about anything but the future murder he’d failed to prevent. He tried to tell himself that maybe he’d at least saved Levi from a trip to Coliaro’s bedroom, but it was no consolation.

He wasn’t doing any good for anyone. When had he everdone good for anyone besides himself?

You’re wallowing, he told himself as he sat, stalling, with his hands on the wheel. He gave his head a brisk shake to break the string of invasive thoughts.

But shutting down his thoughts didn’t mean he’d ceased to believe them. As he climbed out of his car, he felt crushed by the weight of the guilt he couldn’t ignore.

He’d leave his car in the driveway. He didn’t want to wake Nick with the squealing of the garage door. After sliding out of the car, he gently pushed the driver’s side door shut and turned toward the house.

Westwood stood at the hood of the Corolla, his face hidden in shadow. Riley cried out and stumbled back against the side of the car. “Shit, Westwood!”

Westwood didn’t speak. Riley waited for his heartbeat to return to a normal pace, and Westwood continued to stand without offering any explanation.

“What are you doing here?” Riley asked at last, his voice hushed. “My boyfriend is inside.”

Westwood hesitated. Then, softly, he whispered, “I had to make sure.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Coliaro told me he was going to… do things to you. Did he?”

“He didn’t do anything.” Riley crossed his arms over his chest. “Why do you care? After our phone conversation, I was under the impression you were pissed at me.”

“I am. You were an idiot going after Coliaro like that. But that doesn’t mean I want you maimed or tortured. I’ve known Coliaro for a long time, and he doesn’t make empty threats.”

Riley looked past Westwood toward the house. The curtains were drawn over all the windows, and he couldn’t tell if Nick had waited up for him. “Listen, I just want to go to sleep.”

Westwood reached out without warning, tilting Riley’s chin back. His eyes appeared oddly reflective in the dark as he examined Riley’s neck. His gaze traveled down, pausing on Riley’s wrists. Riley pulled back, bracing himself against his car. “It’s only a couple rope burns on my wrists and a few scratches from falling into the bushes. No big deal.”

Riley had a feeling he would have been more convincing if his voice hadn’t cracked on the last few words. Westwood narrowed his eyes, and Riley felt himself begin to tremble. He’d been so trapped in his guilt that he hadn’t realized how shaken he was. Now, in front of Westwood, was not the time he’d wanted to make that discovery. Swiftly he turned away, cursing under his breath as his tremors intensified.

He could feel Westwood’s gaze on him, scrutinizing him. “I’m tired,” Riley told him, his voice choked. “That’s all.”

A warm hand on his back snapped him into awareness. His muscles went rigid and he turned, meeting Westwood’s eyes. Westwood ran his hand slowly up and down Riley’s spine, easing his tremors. Riley shuddered, alarmed at the potency of Westwood’s touch and dismayed by how badly he wanted more.

He reveled in the warmth of Westwood’s soft caress, closing his eyes and breathing in deep. This was exactly what he needed—a calm, reassuring hand.

###

Westwood could barely stand to keep his hand on Riley. Riley’s tormented energy crackled under his fingers like static electricity, shooting through his veins and jolting him to his core.

Riley had fooled him. He’d stepped out of his car wearing a shell so stoic and emotionless he could have passed for undead. But the moment Westwood had touched him, his ruse collapsed. Riley had been concealing a hurricane of emotion just below the surface, and with a single touch, it flooded the dams.

Riley’s emotion poured into Westwood. It filled his heart, shooting upward and tightening his throat, sparking wetness behind his eyes. He blinked, and a tear fell from his eye. Not his own tear—the tear Riley refused to shed.

Shit, this was painful. He couldn’t bear it. But if he let go….

If he let go, then Riley would have to face the hurricane alone again. Right now, Westwood’s touch seemed to be the only thing calming the storm. He couldn’t withdraw.

Bracing himself, he blinked out another of Riley’s tears and tightened his grip.

###

Riley didn’t want Westwood to let go—ever. Westwood’s touch calmed his heart in a way he hadn’t felt in years.

Why? How? This was Westwood, the same man who barely had a grasp on empathy or emotion. Yet he was somehow capable of freeing Riley from the prison of his stress and panic. Riley wanted to say something to him, but he had no idea what to say.

After a long, shaky pause, he opened his mouth to speak, and Westwood immediately withdrew, as if assuming Riley was about to protest. Westwood took a couple of steps back, giving Riley space, and Riley almost groaned with disappointment. More than anything, he wanted that hand on him again. He wanted that surprisingly gentle touch.

Westwood lingered. If Riley didn’t know better, he would have thought Westwood didn’t want to leave him alone. When Westwood finally spoke, it seemed to take him considerable effort. “I only came to make sure you made it home alive,” he said gruffly. “Go inside and sleep.”

Riley considered calling back to him, asking him to stay awhile. But by the time he managed to find his voice, Westwood had already disappeared into the shadows.


Author Bio

Bob Appavu is an author, illustrator, and creator of the long-running LGBTQ+ webcomic Demon of the Underground. Born and raised in a conservative Chicago suburb to South Indian parents, Bob turned to reading at an early age to find the inclusive, illuminating worlds that couldn’t always be accessed in real life. Bob recalls spending most of the 90s at the local bookstore feigning interest in the poetry anthologies that were conveniently shelved next to the LGBT fiction.

As a queer writer who enjoys challenging conventions and pushes creative boundaries, Bob has a passion for crafting the types of stories she can’t readily find on the shelf and the types of characters who are often denied the spotlight. Bob is a lover of suspense, speculative fiction, and deep world building, but her greatest joy is portraying the full scope of her queer characters’ humanity.

Bob is an incurable workaholic whose preferred fuel is tea. When not at work, she enjoys caring for rescued ferrets.

Author Website: https://www.bobappavu.com

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/bobappavu

Author Tumbler: https://bob-artist.tumblr.com/

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Release Blitz – Breathe Out Slow by A.D. Lawless

A big welcome to A.D. Lawless as part of her release blitz with IndiGo Marketing and Design for Breathe Out Slow.

Title: Breathe Out Slow

Author: A.D. Lawless

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: September 9, 2019

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 44700

Genre: Contemporary, LGBT, New Adult, college, depression,hurt-comfort, friends to lovers

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Synopsis

When unexpected tragedy strikes, shattering eighteen-year-old Ryan’s idyllic life, he does the only thing he can to stay sane… he slaps on a mask, pretends he’s fine, and takes off for college. Week after week, he drifts through school in a bleak half-life. He doesn’t care about anything, or anyone—least of all himself.

Then Liam Doyle hurtles into his life with easy smiles, effortless caring, and those kind hazel eyes that see straight through him. Liam sees him and wants to stick around anyway.

And that… well, that’s terrifying.

Intensely unforgettable, Breathe Out Slow is a heart-rending journey of loss, bittersweet memories, and two incredible love stories.

Excerpt

Breathe Out Slow
A.D. Lawless © 2019
All Rights Reserved

Eighteen

August

Ryan woke up and his eyelids were heavy, dark. There was light on the other side, but he couldn’t force them open. It was so much work and if he did…if he opened his eyes then it was real. There was nothing he wanted more than for all of this to be some kinda sick nightmare that was caught in a loop, like if he just smacked the side of his life hard enough, it’d stop skipping.

“Ry, honey, I know you’re awake. You need to open your eyes for me, okay? I just…” Her voice cracked, and he knew his mom was crying. She gently brushed his bangs away from his forehead with her fingertips. “I just need to see those green eyes. Please? I need to know you’re okay.”

Ryan’s breath caught painfully in his throat. It hurt so damn bad to hear his mom cry, but it’d hurt worse if he knew it was real. If…if he opened his eyes, then Chris was gone. And Chris was everything. How was Ryan supposed to face that?

Tears leaked from the corners of his closed eyes, and his mom squeezed his hand.

“All right. Okay, sweetheart,” she choked out. “We’ll try again later.”

Not a single sound passed his lips, but inside he was screaming a litany of no, over and over and over.

Flashes of last weekend burst bright behind his eyelids and he wanted to push them away, wanted to ignore them, but he couldn’t. He deserved the pain they brought with them.

The party on Friday night had been loud—bass-heavy music and the sound of drunken laughter permeated the air. The beer in Ryan’s hand was his fourth, and it was mostly gone. He shoved his hair away from his overheated face, a grin tugging at the corners of his mouth as he listened to his friend, Josh, talk about the girl he’d had a crush on for most of their senior year. It was funny how Josh could look as good as he did and still be a nervous wreck when it came to interacting with girls.

Ryan thought he was lucky he’d never had to go through that. Chris had always been meant for him, and he’d always been meant for Chris. Even if no one else knew. Chris’s mom was extremely religious, and he’d always been terrified she’d find out. Too scared of losing Chris, Ryan had never made an issue of it. Besides, soon they’d be away at college and they wouldn’t have to worry about it anymore.

Not being able to say they were together had its downsides; people often questioned why Chris didn’t date. It was hard not to wonder when half the student population was in love with him at any given time, and it didn’t help that he flirted like he breathed—mostly unconsciously. Ryan tried not to let it bother him. Charismatic and friendly with a wide smile and an infectious laugh, Chris drew people to him in a way Ryan often envied. Getting along with people was so easy for him, the complete opposite of Ryan’s general dislike for other human beings, especially before he’d been sufficiently caffeinated.

Josh and Chris were pretty much the only exceptions to his social apathy, or at least, they put up with his shit the best, and for unknown reasons, they actually liked to be around his cranky ass. Not that they didn’t hang out with other people, but all three of them had been best friends since daycare.

Thick and thin and ups and downs, they’d gone through it all together. Which was why Josh’d known almost instantly when Chris and Ryan’s relationship had shifted into something deeper.

“Hey, by the way, where’d Chris wander off to?” Josh asked suddenly, blue eyes drunk-bright with a slight squint. His head tilted a little curiously as his light brown hair fell over one eye. “Been like fifteen minutes. How long’s it take to hit the can? Think he fell in? His drunk ass totally fell in.”

Josh chuckled loud at himself in order to be heard over the music. Ryan grinned and rolled his eyes. “He probably got sidetracked by Lexie’s cats. You know his cat-person persona only shows up when he’s sloppy drunk. Total dog-person the rest of the time. Who even knew alcohol could change your pet preferences?”

A wide grin flashed across Josh’s lips. “I mean, there’s a lotta things drunk-me would do that sober-me’d say ‘What the fuck man?’ over so I got no room to judge.”

“Drunk-you is just sober-you with even less of a filter,” Ryan said as he scanned the living room for some sign of Chris. Seriously, what the fuck is taking him so long?

“I have a filter?” Josh asked, lifting his brows with great exaggeration. “I should really work harder on saying whatever the fuck’s on my mind.” His eyes narrowed. “Like right fucking now, for instance. You’re not even listening to me, asshole, just go find your—um, best friend.”

Josh looked at him apologetically for his almost slip-up. He was usually so good about it, and Ryan felt a twinge of guilt that Josh needed to keep such a big secret for them.

Ryan smirked, and Josh’s shoulders relaxed. “Fine, but if he fell in, he’s your best friend for the rest of the night.”

Laughing, Josh waved Ryan’s comment off. “Whatever, Nash. Like you wouldn’t walk his ass home.”

Slight dizziness made Ryan’s head swim when he pushed off from where he was leaned against the wall and he realized maybe he was a little tipsier than he thought. “Yeah, yeah, I’m fucking prince charming.”

Josh’s laughter followed him as Ryan wandered across the room, dropping his beer can off on a table he passed, weaving his way through bodies packed tight in the small space. Jesus, is everyone we graduated with here?

The staircase was barely better, but at least he didn’t have to touch anyone as he walked up the steps. His skin was crawling with too many people around him, and anxiety ate through a bit of his buzz.

At the top of the stairs, people dotted the hallway, and the bathroom door was shut. Just in case, Ryan turned the handle and opened the door to check inside.

Wrapped all around Chris, her hands tangled up in the back of his hair and her lips on his, was Allie from their English class. Shock and confusion stabbed into Ryan’s chest at breakneck speed and his stomach turned revoltingly. He blinked hard because he couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Chris wouldn’t—why would he…?

They broke apart, and Ryan realized he must’ve made some kind of startled noise, because Allie was grinning smugly at him and Chris looked guilty, upset.

Abruptly, Chris pushed Allie back a few steps and walked toward Ryan with his arms outstretched, palms facing out as if he was approaching a spooked animal. He was almost within touching distance when Ryan finally focused enough through his shock to notice Chris was saying something.

Ryan shook his head, eyes wide and wet as he backed away. His pulse pounded in his ears, and he just couldn’t. Betrayal and anguish tangled up hotly in his chest as he kept backing away, his throat aching, thoughts racing.

With no memory of having turned around and leaving, Ryan found himself outside, cool summer night air against his burning face, and all he could think was why. Why would Chris do that? What did I do to deserve that?

His heart was tearing agonizingly apart and all he could do was put one clumsy foot in front of the other. He didn’t want to break down right then. He just—he needed to get home. He needed to think, and his mind was too fuzzy with alcohol to make sense of this.

The person he trusted most in the whole world—the person he loved with every single part of him—had cheated on him. It wasn’t fair, and it hurt, and Ryan’s chest constricted as he struggled to breathe properly. His mind wouldn’t stop replaying the way Allie’d been all over Chris.

No one…no one except Ryan had kissed Chris before. Or he’d thought he was the only one. That Chris would’ve mentioned anyone else. Maybe Ryan didn’t know him as intimately as he’d thought. Not if…if he was making out with Allie at a fucking party where his boyfriend was just downstairs. Who the hell knew what else Chris had lied about. Did he even love him? Did he even care about him? Bile burned the back of Ryan’s throat and he choked down a sob. If he started crying now, he wouldn’t stop, and he hated that he felt so weak because of it.

And the part that sucked the most was that Ryan still loved Chris. Furious and utterly gutted and he still ached for those strong arms to wrap around him and tell him everything was okay. That was—so, so, fucked up, wasn’t it? God, what was wrong with him?

A hand wrapped around his bicep and spun him backward. Face to face with Chris, his brown eyes shadowed in the dark and so achingly sad.

“Ryan—”

Yanking his arm out of Chris’s grasp, all that betrayal and anger and hurt that’d been simmering in Ryan’s gut boiled over, “Don’t! Don’t touch me.”

Surprise and anguish flickered across Chris’s features, and irrationally, Ryan had the impulse to make it better, because that hurt too. But he couldn’t, wouldn’t let himself. There was no excuse for what Chris did and no matter what he wanted to say, Ryan wouldn’t listen to empty words and apologies.

“Ry, I’m so sorry you saw that. It’s not what you—”

Ryan shook his head again and voice thick with pain, cut him off. “I need to go home. I—Chris I can’t right now.”

Chris nodded frantically, eyes desperate. “Okay, I’ll come with you. We can talk at your place, okay?”

“I’m going alone. I don’t think I can—I need to be alone,” Ryan whispered roughly, defeated.

Pleading, Chris stepped closer to him and tried again, “I just—Ryan if you just listen, I can explain—”

Ryan’s eyes widened and then narrowed down into angry slits of emotion. “Yeah, sure! I’m sure you know exactly how to rationalize it. Probably thought up all kinds of reasons. I can’t believe you’d do this to me.” Misery and disbelief leaked into his voice, thick like molasses.

He should’ve stopped there. He should’ve just listened to what Chris had to say or told him to go home—anything but what came out next. He couldn’t though; righteous indignation burned way too hotly in his stomach and words he didn’t really mean came out instead, “Just…go back to the party, Chris. Get drunk and make out with whoever the hell you want. I don’t fucking care what you do. I’m done. Just—God, just leave me the fuck alone!”

Chris recoiled like he’d been slapped and then anger replaced the grief on his face. “Fine, you know what? Fuck this. You wanna leave? Then go.”

“Fine.”

Tears stung at the corners of Ryan’s eyes and he scrubbed a hand beneath his eyes to wipe them away as his lips trembled. Chris blinked and the outrage on his face melted away as he stepped closer again, but Ryan moved back.

“Ryan…”

“No, don’t.” His world was breaking apart bit by bit. Crumbling into a messy, bloody heap around his feet. His chest was hollow and heavy, and he had to go. Despair made his voice weak as he walked away and said, “I need space. Just go back to the party.”

Somehow, Ryan made it home that night. The twenty-minute walk took twice as long, thanks to the fact he’d been staggering drunkenly under the crushing weight of Chris’s unfaithfulness. He’d known Chris was bi, known how much easier his life would be if he’d fallen in love with a girl instead of him, and oh, look—he fucking might’ve.

No, that wasn’t fair, Ryan couldn’t believe it. Chris wasn’t that kind of person. Under his covers, curled up on his side in his bed, he could hardly believe what he’d seen with his own eyes, let alone that it was more than that. Whatever had happened with Allie it wasn’t that. It can’t be, right? He wouldn’t do that to me. Would he?

All he wanted was for his thoughts to shut the hell up. He wanted to stop thinking about it. He didn’t have any extra insight, and asking himself repeatedly wasn’t going to produce magical answers. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t turn his mind off. His thoughts churned and his throat scratched as tears he’d held back finally spilled over his cheeks in salty, humiliating streams.

And he’d thought…that night he’d thought it was the worst thing he’d ever felt. Nothing could’ve hurt worse than that.

He’d been wrong.

A repetitive vibration had woken him from his restless exhausted sleep and sirens that couldn’t be all that far away were wailing noisily. It would forever be burned into his memory—3:24 a.m. He saw it on his eyelids whenever he closed them after that. Because 3:24 a.m. was the exact time his life ended.

The details of the phone call were stuck in his brain too—Chris’s mom’s voice, shocked and furious, but he tried not to think about it. Little snippets crept through anyway; Chris had gotten even drunker. He’d left the party. Told people he needed to talk to Ryan. Gotten in his car, stupid, why the fuck did he do something so fucking stupid? Crashed it into a telephone pole just a few blocks from Ryan’s. And then her voice broke and she told him—she said… Chris died on the scene. It was all Ryan’s fault.

And she was right. She was right, it was.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the Author

AD Lawless is a bisexual tattoo-junkie with bright red hair and a passion for telling stories. She’s a mid-thirties married mom, a photographer, and a fandom enthusiast. Her philosophy is that happy endings need to be earned, and she loves writing multiple different genres—she’s never been good at sticking to one sandbox.

Through her writing AD Lawless hopes to tell stories that connect with readers, that feature characters reflecting their identities, and to give her readers a temporary escape into worlds that are just a little better, and sometimes a little more fantastical, than ours.

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Tour & Book Review – Wolf Lost by Sam Burns

A big welcome to Sam Burns as part of her review tour with Signal Boost Promotions for Wolf Lost.

Review

I loved the world building in this story, and that way it twists the alpha/omega werewolf/shifter tropes. I got hooked on the story, and the characters, less than a couple of pages in, and am very happy that Ash and Gavin will be getting their own books.

I liked that Dez is a newly turned werewolf and therefore has no idea about how werewolf society works. That, and the fact he’s an alpha who has injuries, really appealed to me, as I love flawed MCs. It’s a refreshing and very cool take on the usual alpha trope.

I loved Sawyer, and the way he grows in this story, especially once he realises this new pack accepts him for who he is, rather than treating him differently because he’s an omega. He’s sassy and capable and I thought he and Dez are a perfect match. Their relationship is very equal too, which made me happy. I also liked how, although their attraction is mutual and strong, they grow friendship and romance as they get to know each other.

The alpha after Sawyer is a total piece of work. I found the conclusion of that part of the storyline very satisfying. These guys are a force to be reckoned with in human form wth their backgrounds and strong personalities. I’m looking forward to them coming into their own as wolves. I love how the guys all have each others’ backs, and work as a team. The pack dynamic is there, but they’re all on an equal footing.

The scenes where Ash and Sawyer explain about some of the more interesting parts of werewolf society—and sex—are hilarious. I enjoyed those scenes a lot.

I liked the supporting characters too. Kareni rocks. I also want to see more of the Shane pack too. Their pack dynamics are interesting and a bit different, and I loved their role in this story.

I’d recommend Wolf Lost to readers who enjoy stories with engaging characters, fabulous world building that flips tropes, and a pack that feels like family. 5 out of 5 stars.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal LinkExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow With Kindle Unlimited

Length: 50,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Natasha Snow

Blurb



An omega on the run.


An alpha fractured.


Sawyer Holt can’t go home. The Alpha who has replaced his father wants to use him as a tool to cement his political power, and Sawyer isn’t interested in marrying his father’s murderer.


Dez Sullivan’s leg may never heal from his last mission in Afghanistan, but he’s getting used to that. What he can’t adapt to are the nightmares and the tremor in his hand that the doctors insist is all in his head. Next to that, being a brand new werewolf seems easy, until Sawyer Holt blows into his life. The omega activates his burgeoning wolf instincts in a new way, and they threaten to overwhelm his common sense.


Both men are in Colorado searching for a new start, a new pack, and the safety they’ve lost. Their meeting is pure Kismet.


Sam Burns wrote her first fantasy epic with her best friend when she was ten. Like almost any epic fiction written by a ten year old, it was awful. She likes to think she’s improved since then, if only because she has better handwriting now.
If she’s not writing, she’s almost certainly either reading or lost down a Wikipedia rabbit hole while pretending to research for a novel.




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LGBT Romance Giveaway

Authors attending the Gay Lit Romance Retreat have put together a LGBT Romance Giveaway. A huge thanks to Gay Book Promotions for the opportunity to post about it.

LGBTQ ROMANCE GIVEAWAY

Hot free LGBTQ romance from top authors!

Explore new stories, discover new favorites, try new authors.

 

40+ Top LGBTQ Romance Authors in new Prolific Works Giveaway

If you love gay romance, you’ve come to the right place!

What kind of stories? All the good stuff! Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal, Sizzling, Sweet, Comedy, Kink, Shifter, MPREG, Suspense, Action/Adventure and more—it’s all in the “LGBT Romance—From Some of the Registered GRL Retreat 2019 Authors” Prolific Works giveaway FREE during September and October. Over 50 scrumptious short stories, novellas, books, and previews/excerpts, from some of the bestselling authors in the genre.

Authors who are part of the Prolific Works giveaway include: Arshad Ahsanuddin, Amy Aislin, May Archer, Kasia Bacon, Beth Bolden, Morgan Brice, Sam Burns, J. Scott Coatsworth, K. Evan Coles, Luna David, Hank Edwards, Jen FitzGerald, Michelle Frost, Kaje Harper, Lorelei M. Hart, Susie Hawke, Andi James, Jacki James, D.J. Jamison, Elle Keaton, K-lee Klein, Trina Lane, Josh Lanyon, Lucy Lennox, Sharita Lira, Patricia Logan, Maz Maddox, B.L. Maxwell, Erin McLellan, Lynn Michaels, K.M. Neuhold, Jackie North, Jodi Payne, Pandora Pine, Liv Rancourt, Drea Roman, E.J. Russell, Taylor Ryan, Piper Scott, Kayleigh Sky, Spencer Spears, Felice Stevens, Victoria Sue, Allison Temple, Brigham Vaughn, Silvia Violet, Lila Wilde, Alice Winters, Ashe Winters, S.C. Wynne, S.J. York.

These stories are written by some of the Featured and Registered authors attending the Gay Romantic Lit. (GRL) Retreat, the must-attend event for people who create and celebrate LGBTQ romance.

The giveaway runs from September 1 to October 31. And it’s all FREE!

CHECK OUT THE GIVEAWAY HERE

 

“Prolific Works has a big romance audience, so this is a great giveaway for readers who won’t be at the GRL Retreat to find new favorites and new authors,” says MM romance author Morgan Brice, who coordinated the Prolific Works giveaway. “We also wanted people who are coming to GRL to have the chance to enjoy stories by favorite authors and maybe discover new authors prior to the retreat, so they could have fun meeting the authors and talking about the books at the event.”

 

 

While all of the authors with stories in the giveaway will be attending the GRL Retreat 2019 as Featured or Registered Authors, there are additional authors who were unable to participate. For a full list of GRL 2019 authors, please check www.gayromlit.com The author list above was compiled on 8/27. Unforeseen events may cause changes. See the Prolific Works giveaway for the final list of giveaway authors.

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Last Call In Wonderland by Rob Browatzke

A big welcome to Rob Browatzke as part of his blog tour with Gay Book Promotions for Last Call In Wonderland.

BLOG TOUR

Book Title: Last Call in Wonderland

Author: Rob Browatzke

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza

Release Date: August 4, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary gay fiction

Length: 62000 words/330 pages

It is a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Paperback | Amazon UK

 

Last Call Is Coming

Blurb

Wonderland is the hottest club in River City, but it’s time to close. It’s a different world now, and club owner Chester doesn’t see Wonderland having a place in it. What will that mean for resident bartender and hotty bottom Brandon Sweet? Or for headliner, the Queen of Hearts? Or customers like Jesse and Colton, whose open relationship and threeways are the stuff of legend? This group of friends navigate the changes in their lives until one night when everything changes for good.

 

 

Excerpt

Brandon Sweet’s first thought on waking up was this isn’t my room.

His second thought was oh god, who is this?

He rolled over, facing away from the stranger next to him, in this strange bed in a strange room. He hadn’t even had that much to drink really. At least, not compared to a weekend night.

It’s the tequila, he thought. I need to stop with the tequila.

“Morning,” the twink next to him said with a moan.

Brandon rolled back over and took him in: brown curls and blue eyes and a smooth slender torso with a whisp of hair on abs that disappeared into the white sheets tangled around his waist. Whoever he was, he was certainly Brandon’s type.

“Morning,” Brandon said, sitting up in bed, letting the sheet drop to his lap. He looked down at his own body, comparing it to the twink beside him. Not bad, for thirty-one, but oh, to be twenty-one again! When he was twenty-one, he could’ve handled twice the tequila he’d had last night, and woken with half the headache. He knew he could have, because he had done just that. Week in, week out, for a decade.

Too early for that train of thought, he told himself.

“I had a really good time last night,” Twink said.

“Me too, me too. Hey, where’s my phone?” He looked on the floor for his clothes.

“Other room. You stripped off as soon as we got here,” Twink said with a smile. “So hot.”

“Hey, what can I say? I know what I want.” Don’t know your name, mind you, but I do remember how badly I wanted to get laid.

He did love a good Thursday night fuck.

“I can’t believe I finally got to fuck THE Brandon Sweet.”

Brandon smiled at him as he stood up. “Hope it was everything you expected.”

Twink reached across the bed to run his hand over Brandon’s abs. “And more!”

Brandon smiled again. “I’m going to get dressed then. Work night.”

“I’ll walk you out.” The twink stood up and yes, Brandon remembered that impressive appendage. Young, hung, and hard – check, check, check.

Had they gone to Brandon’s last night, if he’d woken up with home turf comfort, he’d be pushing Twink back into the bed and climbing aboard to go again. Here though, in a room he didn’t know, with a guy he didn’t know, he suddenly felt vulnerable.

Once he’d slid back into underwear and jeans, it was a bit better. But his phone had 3% power, 32 notifications and it was halfway through the afternoon. He had to get home.

“Hey, my phone’s dead. Can you call an Uber for me?” He hated to ask but…

“Really?” Twink asked. “You said last night you only live a couple blocks away.”

That rang no bells, but Brandon was professional. “Oh yeah, I remember now,” he said, pulling his shirt over his head. “Will you be out later?”

“It’s Friday,” Twink said. “Of course.”

As Twink walked him to the door, Brandon took in the apartment, trying to find something to jog his memory. It was simple, sparse, and wholly unfamiliar. Luckily, as he bent down to tie his Converse, he happened to glance at the fridge, where a photo radar ticket was held by a magnet. With his name in black and white.

“Ok, well, I’ll see you later then, Billy,” he said.

Twink laughed. “You don’t know my name, do you?” he asked. “Billy’s my roommate.”

Fuck. Brandon swallowed and smiled. “Sorry. Tequila. What was it again?”

“Derek.” Twink grabbed Brandon by the belt and pulled him closer, taking his hand and guiding it down. “You’ll remember this at least,” he said.

Brandon smiled again, kissed Derek’s cheek, and bolted out the door.

 

About the Author

Rob Browatzke has been writing for as long as he can remember, and is pretty darn excited for someone else to be reading his stuff finally! When it comes to gay bars and booze and drugs and drama, he knows what he’s talking about. He came out in the mid-90s, and liquor and drama went hand in hand. He has 20+ years of experience working in gay clubs in Edmonton, Alberta, and his current Wonderlounge is every bit as amazing as Alex’s Wonderland. Rob is now 8+ years clean and sober, although there’s still a bit of drama once in a while, for old times’ sake.

 

Social Media Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Twitter: @robbrowatzke

Instagram: robbrowatzke

 

 

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Would It Be Okay To Love You? Year Three by Amy Tasukada

A big welcome to Amy Tasukada as part of her blog tour with Signal Boost Promotions for Would It Be Okay To Love You? Year Three.


Length: 118 pages

Would It Be Okay To Love You Series

Book #1 – Would It Be Okay To Love You – Universal Link
Book #2 – Year One – Universal Link
Book #3 – Happy Merry Christmas – Universal Link
Book #4 – Year Two – Universal Link

Blurb

A voice actor out of the closet. A boyfriend in the tabloids. Can their love survive the trappings of fame?


Aoi is more comfortable in the recording studio than in the limelight. But when his boyfriend persuades him to come out on national TV, he skyrockets from D-list adult voice actor to gay icon. Caught in a whirlwind of fame, Aoi worries the wear and tear will be too much for his vocal cords—and his heartstrings—to handle.


Sato is a diehard fan of geek culture and his dreamy boyfriend. So when Aoi’s newfound star power gives him a chance to voice a favorite anime character, Sato’s over the moon. But after doctors diagnose Aoi with a career-threatening throat condition, Sato doesn’t know which is worse—the relentless rumor mill or his crushing guilt for pushing the man he loves to the brink of ruin.


In the midst of a media frenzy and medical emergencies, can Aoi and Sato’s love survive, or will it be silenced forever?


Year Three is a heartwarming gay romance with a unique Japanese setting. If you like steamy chemistry, Japanese anime culture, and emotional journeys of overcoming the odds, then you’ll adore Amy Tasukada’s pitch-perfect slice-of-life anthology collection.

Amy Tasukada lives in North Texas with a calico cat called O’Hara. As an only child her day dreams kept her entertained, and at age ten she started to put them to paper. Since then her love of writing hasn’t cease. She can be found drinking hot tea and filming Japanese street fashion hauls on her Youtube channel.


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Hurricane Dreams by Julia McBryant

A big welcome to Julia McBryant as part of her blog tour with Other Worlds Ink for Hurricane Dreams.

Things You Didn’t Know About Calhoun Chatterton
1. Despite his long hair and going to the party school of College of Charleston, he has never smoked pot or done any other drug. He doesn’t strenuously disapprove, it’s just not his thing. Audie thinks he is vehemently against them and hides his vape pen (decriminalized in the city of Savannah, GA).

2. He likes licorice because his mother hated black jelly beans, and used to give them all to him.

3. He hasn’t seen his mother since his parents divorced when he was six years old, and he was raised exclusively by his father and his grandmother (a force of nature), who coddles him to death. They live in one of the biggest houses on Forsyth Park, the prettiest public park in Savannah, Georgia.

4. His cook, Miss Amelia, actually does make the best biscuits out of all the characters’ mothers/cooks/grandmothers in the Southern Seduction universe, despite the ongoing arguments about it.

5. He loves to fix up old cars, and drives a vintage silver Jaguar most of the time. It has two doors and a maroon leather interior; he also owns a vintage baby-blue Ford pick-up. When he bought it, it had the bumper sticker “I may be fat, but you’re ugly, and I can diet.” He refused to remove it. Audie ridicules him mercilessly for this.

6. Henry Culliver was his first kiss; Quinn Rutledge was his high school hookup buddy who taught him, um, everything else short of sex. They only stopped at sex because neither one wanted to be on top, end of discussion.

7. He still has all his childhood toys carefully stored in the attic, thanks to his Gran. This includes vintage He-Man and Star Wars figures probably worth a fortune, which he remains totally oblivious to, and which Audie would go crazy for. They’ve unfortunately never discussed it.

8. He’s been best friends with Quinn Rutledge since they were in kindergarten. They sat at the same table and had cubbies next to one another, and he helped Quinn learn to read.

9. He can beat Audie at chess and scrabble every single time. Audie refuses to play with him anymore, even though he’s sweet about winning.

10. No, Calhoun really is that nice. Seriously. He and Crispin always traded kindness awards back and forth in school.

11. He is related to former Confederate president John C. Calhoun, but as a distaff cousin, not as a direct descendent.

12. His initials are CCC; he refuses to reveal what the middle initial stands for. That’s because it’s Cox.

13. He only uses the word “fuck” in the bedroom. Ever.

14. He’s won prizes for his journalism at College of Charleston, his news photography — he’s already had photos picked up by the Associated Press, notably of the marches after the Emmanuel Church shooting — and his art photography. He doesn’t tell people about any of these things.

15. Despite his intelligence and ability to keep up with Audie (who was valedictorian), Calhoun didn’t make the cut with the highest grades in the class — his dreaminess is actually undiagnosed inattentive ADHD, and he hovered around fifth in the class, behind both Henry and Wills. Instead, Wills Culliver served as the class valedictorian. He said “damn” in his speech, and Calhoun’s grandmother whacked him with her purse afterwards, because she said it was inappropriate. Calhoun secretly agrees with her.

16. Audie once convinced him that “Redneck Party Sounds” was actually an unknown Beck album. They weren’t even drunk at the time. Calhoun is also that trusting.

17. His favorite author is Pat Conroy, and he sort of envies Audie for going to USC, where the novel The Prince of Tides takes place and the events described in Beach Music were inspired by. He’s known tattoo he wanted (a quote from Beach Music — “No story is a straight line”) since he was sixteen but never had the guts to do it.

18. His grandmother was good friends with Jim Williams, the protagonist (and alleged murderer) described in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. It’s one of the reasons that she doesn’t mind Calhoun being gay, though Calhoun has no idea that she even suspects it, let alone accepts it. Calhoun attended one of his last Christmas parties.

19. He once convinced Audie to sneak into a donor-only party after Pat Conroy spoke at USC, an event he had specially driven up to Columbia for. Audie was mortified, but Calhoun spent a good deal of time talking to Conroy, who was delighted to jaw about literature to two intelligent college students, thus pissing off all the donors who’d paid a good bit of money for facetime with Conroy.

20. He’s already planned a good bit of his and Audie’s wedding in his head. He wants it to happen in the summer in Forsyth Park with Quinn as his best man, and everyone in seersucker.

Hurricane Dreams - Julia McBryant

Julia McBryant has a new MM contemporary book out: “Hurricane Dreams.”

Audie Currell, the only son of one of the richest families in Charleston, runs off from his parent’s wine tasting with his father’s business associate’s son, Calhoun Chatterton, another well-off teenager from Savannah. They start dating in secret. But Audie’s abusive childhood stands in the way of an authentic relationship — as does their family’s homophobia. They have to hide their relationship while coping with Audie’s trauma. Can two naive teenagers manage such a difficult task?

Series Blurb:

The Southern Seduction series chronicles the interconnected lives of a group of well-off, high society young adults in Savannah, Georgia, most of whom have known each other since kindergarten. Their complicated relationships (and unconventional sexcapades) form the meat of the series, along with a careful attention to chronology, character, and prose. More than romantic erotica, the Southern Seduction series details a fully realized world of drama, theme, and most of all, memorable characters.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CAN | QueeRomance Ink | Goodreads


Giveaway

Julia is giving away a $20 Amazon gift certificate with this tour, as well as eBook copies of It’s Enough, Like Sunshine, and Slow Dance. Enter via Rafflecopter:

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Excerpt

Hurricane Dreams - meme

“God, I fucking love your car. You’re super hot and you come with a Porsche Carrerra. Jesus, Audie. Are you seriously real?”

“Are you?” Audie laughs and tucks Calhoun’s hair behind his ears. He still can’t believe the things he says to Calhoun every goddamn day. Audie never imagined using words like these with another person. You don’t hand your heart to someone else. As soon as you do, you know it’s going to shatter one day. It reminds him of a hurricane slamming down the Carolina low country, Hugo or another big one: you can’t stop the storm from coming. You can only close the shutters and pray the seawall holds.

Audie tries to catch Calhoun’s hand when they get to the restaurant, but his boyfriend shakes his head. “We can’t.”

“Not at all?” Audie asks.

“No. But we can go out to Tybee.”

Calhoun seems to relax with the change of scenery. Audie thinks some alcohol helps too. It helps Audie. Always has, since he was fifteen years old. He doesn’t share that with Calhoun. Some things you just don’t tell anyone. Like, my daddy belted me bloody. Or, his business partner’s daughter Easter stood there terrified while it happened. And that’s why I bought bourbon the first time.

You don’t say it. The same way you don’t talk about high school.

The Savannah heat slams them when they come out of the restaurant. “Been hitting like, a hundred this week,” Calhoun says. “At least Tybee has the sea breeze. You really don’t swim at all?”

“No,” Audie says. “But I’ll wade.” Another thing you don’t say: why you don’t swim. My daddy marooned me in a pontoon boat when I was eleven because he said I had to get over my fear of bull sharks. Told me to swim over to his boat and we could go home. It took me four goddamn hours to get the courage to do it and it was the worst thing in the world and I will never get in the ocean again ever. You say: I have this shark phobia. Can’t shake it, sorry. You can tell the truth without telling it. You can come close to a thing without touching it at all.

Calhoun directs him down East Bay Street onto the highway. They leave the windows down and let the wind whip their hair, Audie’s into a curly froth, Calhoun’s into mermaid tangles. Audie blasts the Charleston band Jump, Little Children, who Calhoun’s never heard and Audie’s seen a million times. “They’re really good,” Calhoun yells over the wind and the music, between bites of the black licorice he dug out of his bag. Audie had laughed when he unearthed it. “We should go see them sometime.”

Audie snorts. “Maybe if they play Columbia,” he shouts. “Not seeing you in Charleston again. Stupid. Just have to act like friends.”

“Same in Savannah.”

“Should say we chartered a boat in Pauley’s Island or Georgetown next time with some friends. Maybe the Outer Banks. I could even summon up some friends if we needed.”

“Me too.”

“Say we went fishing and picked up girls. Send pictures of fish and girls to our daddies.” Audie laughs even though it’s not funny and he’s not joking and Calhoun nods.

Calhoun’s Tybee house sits on the water, huge and modern, all sleek lines. “I love this house,” Calhoun says as they park underneath it.

“Hate that hurricanes’ll always take a beach house,” Audie says. “Hate it for our Folly house.”

Calhoun looks at him kind of strange. “I guess.”

They walk hand-in-hand, bags slung over their shoulders, up the stairs. Calhoun shuts the door behind them and Audie has him against the wall. “This okay now that we’re at the beach?” he says, intentionally talking right into Calhoun’s ear.

“Yeah,” Calhoun breathes. “Doesn’t matter in this house.”

Audie moves his leg between his boyfriend’s thighs. “Because I want you real bad.” He knows Calhoun likes it when he talks to him.

“Want you too.” Audie feels him stiffening.

Audie kisses him hard, like before, but his time braces himself against the wall and pins Calhoun against it completely. His boyfriend thrusts against him. God, Audie loves this. He loves that Calhoun loves this. He moves slightly so their cocks rub against each other through their thin shorts. Their belts clink and it’s somehow one of the hottest sounds Audie’s ever heard. He breaks off the kiss and moves to Calhoun’s ear again. “Go into the bedroom,” he says, “And get your fucking clothes off. I missed you and I want you.” Audie’s pretty sure Calhoun wants him to talk like this, and he wants to talk to Calhoun like this, and he thinks he can get away with it.

He knows he can when Calhoun sort of sucks in a breath and moves on him. “Okay,” he says. “Okay, Audie.”

Calhoun leads him into a big room with a king-sized bed. He strips. Audie rummages in his bag and takes out what they need, then takes his own clothes off. Calhoun watches. Audie knows his boyfriend’s watching, but when he looks up, Calhoun drops his eyes. Audie hopes he doesn’t fuck this up. They’ve only done it twice, once the afternoon in his beach house and once the next morning, which makes a total of two times Audie’s ever had sex in his entire life. Calhoun doesn’t know that and Audie isn’t telling.

“Get on the bed,” Audie orders. God, he’s wanted to say things like this his whole life. Every time, he gets bossier and bossier and Calhoun loves it more and more. Obediently, his boyfriend pulls down the bedspread and sheets, climbs into bed and waits for Audie. Who takes his goddamn time getting over there. Calhoun looks too good lying on his side, watching Audie with those big eyes and a hard cock. He messes with it a little, which makes everything better.


Author Bio

Julia McBryant - Hurricane Dreams

Julia McBryant is, as the saying goes, Southern born, Southern bred, and when she dies, she’ll be Southern dead. When she’s not riding her horse or writing, Julia likes to play with her German Shepherds and rescued greyhounds, make all the crafts (especially those involving glitter), and hike, especially in the North Carolina mountains. She is grateful her husband tolerates both the dogs and the glitter.

However, she spends most of her time writing like tomorrow won’t arrive, like she needs it to survive, every second she’s alive, etc. (see Hamilton for details). She also lives to sing in the car, especially David Bowie.

Author Website: https://www.juliamcbryant.com

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/juliamcbryant

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/authorJuliaMcBryant/

Author Twitter: http://www.twitter/juliamcbryant/

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/julia_mcbryant/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19186436.Julia_McBryant

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/julia-mcbryant/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Julia-McBryant/e/B07S838TFX

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Book Review – Reign of Ash by Gail Z. Martin


Ascendent Kingdoms #2
Publisher: Orbit Books
Pages: 619
Characters: Blaine, Connor, Kestel, Verran, Piran, Dawe, Penhallow, Geir
POV: 3rd
Genre: High Fantasy, Series

Blurb:
Survival is just the beginning.

Blaine McFadden endured six long years in the brutal Velant prison colony, exiled for murder. War devastated his homeland of Donderath and destroyed the magic on which the Ascendant Kingdoms relied. Now Blaine and a small group of fellow exiles have returned to a lawless wasteland, where unrestrained magic storms wreak havoc and monsters roam free.

Yet, amidst the chaos, rumors persist of a new magic that could restore the kingdoms. But the key lies with a dangerous, ancient ritual and a group of vanished survivors. Now McFadden’s only hope is a small, desperate, quickly rallied army. Together they must make one last stand knowing that if they fail, the civilization of the Ascendant Kingdoms dies with them.

Buy Link

Review

Although this is a long book, it didn’t feel like a long read as I found myself turning pages to find out what happened next. I enjoyed reading more about the characters and world introduced in the first book. The world building is fabulous, and I particularly enjoyed the magic system, and reading about how a world that has magic intrinsic in everyday life copes when that magic is gone.

I liked that the characters made mistakes and that their quest wasn’t straightforward. I also liked the addition of the new characters introduced in this story and very happy that some of them are staying to help Blaine and his friends. Connor is one of my favourite characters. I enjoyed reading his character arc and growth, and the introduction of the Wraith Lord and his connection to Connor.

I also liked that characters have their own motivations that aren’t always what they first appear to be, and the surprises in store within that group of vanished survivors. I’m looking forward to learning more about the Knights of Esthrane.

I’m very happy that there is more of this series to read, including a prequel.

I’d recommend Reign of Ash to readers who enjoy high fantasy with fabulous world building, interesting characters who make mistakes, and a plot that spans a series. 5 out of 5 stars.

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