Release Blitz: A Gift-Wrapped Holiday by Amy Aislin

A Gift-Wrapped Holiday | Amy Aislin

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Release Date: November 22nd, 2022

Cover Artist: LC Chase

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 69,000 words / 272 pages

Buy Links

Amazon | Apple | B&N | Kobo

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Blurb

Mal’s first priority is giving his six-year-old son the best Christmas ever, a goal made trickier by a recent move to New England after losing his job. As a single dad, he’s not looking for romance—especially not with a blond California boy ten years his junior.

After being ridiculed at the family business, Luca sets out to prove himself by opening an eco-friendly gift-wrapping store in a small town with a hard-on for Christmas that’s about as far from LA as he can get. Out of his comfort zone in snowy Maine, love is the last thing on his mind.

But the magic of the season has other ideas. As Mal and Luca collide on wintery streets, will they let their first Christmas in Lighthouse Bay lead to happily ever after?

Content warning: stillbirth. Although it took place off-page and in the past, it is discussed on-page.

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Excerpt

Mal slowed at the bottom of a driveway and nodded at the house. “This is me.”

“I was wondering who lived here,” Luca said, taking in the house’s boxy structure.

“Why? Because it’s hideous?”

That startled a laugh out of Luca. “Well . . . yes. It doesn’t match the rest of the houses.” The area just west of Christmas Lane housed Lighthouse Bay’s historic homes, but this modern construction was decidedly not historic. Luca had passed it a couple of times on his evening gift deliveries and wondered what the owner had been thinking. “Why’d you buy it if you don’t like it?”

“I’m not. I’m leasing.”

Even so, Mal had gone all out with the decorations. Icicle lights hanging from the roof, flashing multicolored lights framed around each window, static white lights around a nine-foot-tall pine tree, and a lit-up reindeer family. He even had some sort of spotlights buried somewhere in the yard that swirled red and green snowflakes on the house in an unidentifiable pattern.

“Which is probably another reason I haven’t unpacked,” Mal continued. “I hate this place.”

“Why lease it, then?”

Mal blew out a breath that ghosted the air in front of him. “The short version is that I was in a rush.”

“And the long version?”

“The long version is something I’ll have to give you another time.”

Luca glanced at Otis. “I think he’s asleep.”

“Bet he gets a second wind as soon as I walk in the door.” Mal’s voice was a disgruntled grumble that Luca shouldn’t have found as charming as he did. “Thanks for walking us home.”

“Thanks for letting me. I like talking to you.”

Mal’s smile went lopsided. “I like talking to you too. Still want to do it again sometime? I promise not to feed you ice cream while it’s below freezing outside. Real food only. Scout’s honor.”

Luca’s armpits went damp despite the winter weather, and butterflies took flight in his belly. He dug his toe into the sidewalk. “You must really want to date me if you’ve asked me out twice in one week.”

“Or I just want an adult to talk to for once,” Mal said, a teasing tilt to his smile.

Luca stuck his tongue in his cheek and backed down the driveway, keeping his gaze on Mal’s. “Or maybe you like me.”

“Damn. And here I thought I wasn’t being obvious at all.”

The butterflies floated into Luca’s throat. “Text me?”

“I will.” The darkness enveloped Mal as he moved away from the sidewalk and into the shadow of the house, but Luca could still see the quirk to his lips. “Good night, Luca.”

“Night, Mal.”

Luca watched Mal and Otis head inside, waved at Mal through the glass-fronted door, then turned toward his own home only a couple blocks away, an extra bounce to his steps.

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About the Author

Amy’s lived with her head in the clouds since she first picked up a book as a child, and being fluent in two languages means she’s read a lot of books! She first picked up a pen on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class had to stay inside for recess.

Tales of treasure hunts with her classmates eventually morphed into love stories between men, and she’s been writing ever since. She writes evenings and weekends—or whenever she isn’t at her full-time day job saving the planet at Canada’s largest environmental non-profit.

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

Social Media

Blog/Website | Facebook | InstagramNewsletter Sign-up | Facebook Group

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Coach’s romance is everything I wanted and more!

62830560._SY475_Winning the Season by Beth Bolden

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hands down, no debate necessary, my favourite book in this series and my second favourite couple from Beth, only being beaten by Colin & Nick (The Rainbow Clause).

I’ve been dying (and bugging Beth) to get Asa’s story since the beginning. There’s always been a hint of sadness and hidden heartbreak that wasn’t related to his ex wife and here we find out why and who.

The opening part of the book sets the scene, seven years previously and we get to see Asa falling in love with his best friend and fellow coach Scott as, over a period of months, he starts to see him in a new light.

This part is done so well by Beth, you live it along with Asa as he goes through the complicated and confusing process.

When he declares his love, you’re cheering alongside him, and your heart breaks when Scott admits he loves him too but he’s taken a coaching job at the other end of the country because he won’t let Asa give up his career, which is what he fears will happen.

We then get a seven year time jump during which Asa’s pushed away his feelings and turned all his focus on being the best coach and winning games.

You know something has to break though, and it does, when he has a mild heart attack and his son Beau brings in his godfather – yup, guess who! – to help out.

We also get to be inside Scott’s head and he’s filled with weighty regrets but also a determination to not let Asa down again.

As they hesitantly learn how to be around each other again, it becomes very clear those feelings haven’t gone away.

What follows is a masterclass in tension raising, UST-filled, emotionally charged narrative as both men are thrown in at the deep end with all that delicious attraction still bubbling right on the surface.

I’m not going to be spoiling anything here, let’s just say you won’t be disappointed by all the fratching, smouldering eyes and heated debates which push them closer to the expected blow up.

And this happens to have one of the most perfectly written first kisses in the history of first kisses imho because it’s utterly unexpected.

There wasn’t a bit of this story I’d have changed, in fact, for the first time ever since I’ve been Beta Reading for Beth, I had no notes 😁

Also this cover is brilliant and so much Asa!

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Cover Reveal: Lich Reaper’s Lament by Jessamyn Kingley

Lich Reaper’s Lament | Jessamyn Kingley

D’Vaire #33

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Release Date: December 8th, 2022

Cover Artist: LJ Anderson of Mayhem Cover Creations

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 122,568 words

Amazon Series Link

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Goodreads Series Link

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Blurb

A sorrowful reaper with a heart encased in ice. A lonely rock star who walked away from everything. What chance do they have at love?

Ripped apart by life, Lich Reaper Grymington Daray is drowning in sorrow. Each day, he strives to find the people responsible for killing his best friend, and he wishes his own existence had more meaning. The last thing on Grymington’s mind is finding the other half of his soul. While a loving family surrounds him, the coldness growing in his heart keeps him separated from joy.

Decades ago, Devlin Nero ran away from the world. Being a rock star was everything Devlin wanted, but it turned into a nightmare. Now, the enchanter-human hybrid is living alone and surrounded by nothing but fading memories. Desperate for happiness, Devlin makes his way to the Council of Sorcery and Shifters and winds up at a sanctuary designed for freaks like him.

On a fateful day, Grymington and Devlin discover they are mates. Sparks fly, and the two men venture forth to honor Fate’s choice for them. However, Grymington is too lost and much too fearful to allow Devlin near his tattered soul. Devlin wants love, but the Lich Reaper may not be able to offer it. If their confusing relationship isn’t enough, they have pasts to reconcile, and the future will not wait. It will be up to Grymington and Devlin to discover if they have a matebond worth saving.

NOTE: This is not a standalone story but does not end on a cliffhanger.

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Excerpt

Strange feelings fluttered through Grymington that made little sense as he strode toward the great room, but the erection that tented his jeans the moment he put a sneaker into the space took him by surprise.

A rush of pumpkin spice filled his senses, and Grymington nearly smiled; he loved fall. But he was unnerved by the stiff dick in his pants and the knowledge of what a newly found sexuality meant for him. His gaze went unerringly to a stranger staring at Grymington with his mouth slightly ajar. The shocked expression didn’t mar the man’s masculine beauty. Nothing could disguise the sensuality in his pink lips or rob his electric blue eyes of their intensity.

Although there was a messiness to his hair, something in Grymington told him it was purposeful and nothing like the typically tousled mops of sentinels who refused to bother with grooming products or even running a comb through their tresses after training. The black strands hung in thick layers accented by the same blue of his magnificent irises.

Somehow, this man was Grymington’s mate. What the hell could Grymington offer anyone? How could he be responsible for a relationship? Then again, what kind of person would it make Grymington if he walked away from him?

“…and this is Lich Reaper Grymington Daray, though everyone calls him Grymmie,” Dra’Kaedan said. “Grymmie, this is Devlin D’Vaire.”

The rock star who’d mysteriously disappeared was Grymington’s mate, and the reaper could barely get his feet in motion again to move toward him.

The man was about five inches taller than Grymington and wearing faded jeans torn in several spots. Paired with the denim, the newest member of the D’Vaires wore a collarless button down which was half tucked into his pants.

The thin material hung loosely and nearly hid the thick dragonskin belt. His sleeves were rolled up, exposing tattoos over both forearms, but Grymington could not appreciate the art from such a distance. Grymington sidled fractionally closer and wondered what the fuck he was doing.

Devlin chuckled, and the throaty sound punched Grymington in the gut.

“Unreal,” the hybrid breathed out.

He was new to the Council and likely didn’t know that it was traditional to announce to loved ones the moment two mates met, so Grymington lifted his chin. The Lich Reaper wanted to run and had absolutely no clue how to handle this latest development in his life, but he would not be a coward.

“Dra’Kaedan, thanks for introducing me to my mate,” Grymington said.

The Grand Warlock blinked and whooped loudly.

“Fate’s sake, did everyone hear that?” he yelled.

Brogan slapped his hands over his ears. “Sensitive shifter hearing, Baby. I’m standing right fucking next to you, you don’t have to scream.”

Across from Grymington, Devlin licked his top lip in a way that made the reaper’s belly flop, then smirked. “A pleasure to meet you, Grymmie.”

“Yeah, great to meet you too,” Grymington murmured, his rush of bravery long gone.

With the left corner of his mouth still lifted wryly, Devlin bent down onto one knee and carefully lifted his hand toward Hekate, who padded close to sniff him.

“And who is this lovely lady?”

“That’s Hekate,” Daemon Lord Baxter Daray stated as he stalked into the room with his mate, Benton. “Grymmie’s dog.”

“I think he figured out that Hekate is a dog,” Benton muttered.

“You’ll never guess what,” Dra’Kaedan remarked and clenched his fists with excitement.

“Squirt, let Devlin and Grymmie get a chance to tell people things,” High King Aleksander said to the Grand Warlock.

For as long as Grymington had known the pair, they’d teased each other. While Dra’Kaedan had a plethora of nicknames for Aleksander, the warlock was always Squirt to the High King.

“The excitement might kill me, Tallosaur, but okay,” Dra’Kaedan replied and grabbed Grymington. He’d snagged Grymington so swiftly, the reaper nearly fell into the warlock who was holding him so tightly it was hard to suck in a breath. “Congratulations.”

“Why are we congratulating Grymmie?” Lich Sentinel Alaric Daray asked as he walked into the room.

“They haven’t told us yet,” Baxter complained.

Since Devlin was still on the floor with Hekate, who’d allowed the singer to smother her with pets, Grymington supposed it fell to him to make the announcement. Excitement was undoubtedly expected of him, but he couldn’t feel anything other than fear.

“Devlin is my mate,” Grymington stated as Dra’Kaedan released him.

Whether it was the fact that Grymington’s voice lacked any inflection or the surprise of his family gathering in the D’Vaire great room, silence reigned for several tense moments.

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About the Author

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

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

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