Review Tour: Bitter Heat by Leta Blake

Bitter Heat | Leta Blake

Heat of Love #3

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Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK

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Length: 110,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Dar Albert @ Wicked Strange Designs

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Blurb

A pregnant omega trapped in a desperate situation, an unattached alpha with a lot to prove, and an unexpected fall into love that could save them both.

Kerry Monkburn is contracted to a violent alpha in prison for brutal crimes. Now pregnant with the alpha’s child, he lives high in the mountains, far above the city that once lured him in with promises of a better life. Enduring bitterness and fear, Kerry flirts with putting an end to his life of darkness, but fate intervenes.

Janus Heelies has made mistakes in the past. In an effort to redeem himself, integrity has become the watchword for his future. Training as a nurse under the only doctor willing to take him on, Janus is resolute in his intentions: he will live cleanly in the mountains and avoid all inappropriate affairs. But he doesn’t anticipate the pull that Kerry exercises on his heart and mind.

As the question of Kerry’s future health and safety comes to an explosive head, only the intervention of fate will see these desperate men through to a happy ending.

This gay romance novel by Leta Blake is the third in the Heat of Love universe which began with Slow Heat. It’s 111,000 words, with a strong happy ending and a critically-acclaimed, non-shifter Omegaverse. It features alphas, betas, omegas, male pregnancy, mpreg, heat, and knotting. Content warning for a violent and oppressive society regarding reproductive rights.

Heat Of Love Series

Book #1 – Slow Heat – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link

Book #2 – Alpha Heat – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link

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About The Author

Author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan favorite Training Season, Leta Blake’s educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively.

However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.

Patreon | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Release Blitz: The Secrets We Keep by Rick R. Reed

The Secrets We Keep | Rick R. Reed

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Buy Links:

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Length: 195 pages

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Design: Reese Dante

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Blurb

Jasper Warren is a happy-go-lucky young man in spite of the tragedy that’s marred his life. He’s on a road to nowhere with his roommate, Lacy, whom he adores, and a dead-end retail job in Chicago.

And then everything changes in a single night. Though Jasper doesn’t know it, his road is going somewhere after all. This time when tragedy strikes, it brings with it Lacy’s older, wealthy, sexy uncle Rob. Despite the heart-wrenching circumstances, an immediate connection forms between the two men.

But the secrets between them test their attraction. Will their revelations destroy the bloom of new love… or encourage it to grow?

Rick says: “It’s always exciting for me, both as a writer and as a reader, when the two main lovers in a book first meet.

“In THE SECRETS WE KEEP, that first meeting is at a funeral home wake, for someone both men loved deeply (and for whom many of the secrets in the book are kept).”

Excerpt

When he stepped out of the bathroom, someone was waiting for him. An older man.

Jasper tried to thread his way around the guy. “Did you want to go in?” Jasper gestured toward the open bathroom.

“No. I was waiting for you.” The guy eyed him. He was probably a good twenty years older than Jasper, but as inappropriate as it was at a time like this, Jasper couldn’t help noticing how sexy he was. Trim, a little on the short side, it was obvious, even in his impeccably tailored black suit, he was in very good, and very powerful, shape. Jasper was certain those weren’t shoulder pads testing the seams at the tops of his arms.

He had kind eyes. And they were the most amazing shade of pale gray. Jasper had seen a husky once with eyes like that; he couldn’t say he’d ever seen anything like it on a human being. Those eyes were mesmerizing, arresting, and chilling, framed in long, black lashes.

His hair was silver, shorn close on the sides with a bit more on top, spiked with some gel.

He wore a fashionable five-o’clock shadow that Jasper couldn’t deny he wanted to feel—either with his fingers or against his own smooth cheeks.

“For me?” Jasper smiled. “I’m sorry. Do I know you?”

He simply smiled enigmatically. “Probably not. But I bet I know you. You’re Jasper, Heather’s roommate, right?”

“Yeah. And you are?”

“I’m Robert. Robert Burroughs.” He extended his hand.

Jasper gripped the warm hand, slightly soft and a little damp. He didn’t take his eyes off Robert the whole time, and the “whole time” was much longer than the duration of a handshake for most guys. It sent a shiver through Jasper.

“Burroughs?” Jasper had a terrifying thought. What if this is her dad? Good Lord, I’m flirting with Lacy’s dad! At her funeral! The very thought caused beads of sweat to pop out on Jasper’s forehead. He held in a giddy burst of laughter. “Are you, um, related to Lacy? Er, Heather?”

Please don’t say you’re her father.

“I’m her uncle Rob. Did she never mention me?”

Jasper wracked his brain. One thing neither of them did much of was talk about their respective families. They liked to believe they were each other’s family now, “chosen family” was the term they used. The idea, the memory of this, brought a lump to Jasper’s throat, bringing home for real that his best friend was gone. “I’m not sure.”

“It’s okay if she didn’t. I hadn’t seen her in quite some time. My schedule doesn’t afford me much opportunity to see family, as much as I might want to.” He smiled, and Jasper noticed the sadness around his eyes despite it. Robert went on softly, “I wish I’d had one more chance to talk to her, to tell her how I loved her. I’m afraid she didn’t know.”

Jasper nodded. “Me too. If I could just talk to her one more time, maybe we wouldn’t be here.”

Robert cocked his head. “No?”

Jasper didn’t want to disabuse him of the notion that Lacy had not killed herself, if that was what he was choosing to believe. So he simply said, “Who knows?”

“Heather used to write sometimes, a long time ago. She’d shoot me a text, you know, a birthday emoji or a holiday one. We were close when she was a kid. I used to take her places with me whenever I could. Her parents never really got her, you know?”

“Oh, I know.”

“They were always trying to change her. Like, she was left-handed naturally, and they worked and worked and worked on getting her to use her right. They tried to get her to hang out with what they deemed the popular girls. They bought her American Girl dolls when all she wanted was a set of paints and a good book, preferably horror. I could stand here all day and tell you how little my brother and sister-in-law knew their girl. But I won’t.

“I just wish I’d stayed in better touch with her. Once my career took off, back when she was just becoming a teenybopper, I kind of got preoccupied and we lost touch.” He paused and Jasper noticed the tears standing in his incredible eyes. Unexpectedly, he laughed. “When she was a little girl, and I mean like three or four, she would sigh and say, ‘Woe is me.’ What little girl says that?”

“Lacy. It so figures.”

“You call her Lacy. Why?”

“That’s how she referred to herself. She was even thinking of legally changing her name. She hated Heather.”

Robert nodded. “I get that. I never thought of her as a Heather. I’m glad she found something else.” He glanced over his shoulder into the viewing room. “I wish they’d respected that.”

I do too. Jasper felt, suddenly, even sadder. For his own loss, sure, but more for Lacy’s loss. The rest of her life. She could have done so much. She could have been happy. He just knew it.

He placed his hand on Robert’s shoulder. “Look, I intended to stay longer, but I need to get out of here. This place is too oppressive. And it honestly feels like someone else is being waked, not the girl I know. So I’m gonna book. But it was nice to talk to you.”

Robert nodded. “Will you be at the funeral tomorrow morning?”

The funeral was set for one of Rogers Park’s Catholic churches. Then they’d fly the body back to California for burial in the family plot.

It was all wrong. All not what Lacy would have chosen.

Jasper shook his head. “No. I don’t think so. This isn’t her. I think I’ll just remember her as I knew her.”

Jasper turned away, feeling on the verge of tears. He didn’t want to cry in front of Lacy’s uncle—or anyone else gathered at the funeral home, for that matter.

As he reached the door, Robert’s voice stopped him.

“Jasper?”

He turned.

“Would you mind if I came with you? I need to get out of here too.”

About The Author

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Real Men. True Love.

Rick R. Reed draws inspiration from the lives of gay men to craft stories that quicken the heartbeat, engage emotions, and keep the pages turning. Although he dabbles in horror, dark suspense, and comedy, his attention always returns to the power of love.

He’s the award-winning and bestselling author of more than fifty works of published fiction and is forever at work on yet another book. Lambda Literary has called him: “A writer that doesn’t disappoint…”

You can find him at www.rickrreed.com or www.rickrreedreality.blogspot.com. Rick lives in Palm Springs, CA with his beloved husband and their fierce Chihuahua/Shiba Inu mix.

Social Media

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/rickrreedbooks

Twitter: www.twitter.com/rickrreed

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+RickReedWRITER

Blog: http://rickrreedreality.blogspot.com/

Website: www.rickrreed.com

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/rick-r-reed

Email: rickrreedbooks@gmail.com

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Release Blitz: Flame And Ash by Morgan Brice

Flame And Ash | Morgan Brice

Witchbane #3

Cover Artist: Lou Harper

Release Date: September 5, 2019

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK

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Blurb

This time, the hunters become the hunted when the witch knows they’re coming to get him, and has deadly plans of his own. When their lives are on the line, will love be enough?

One hundred years ago, a sheriff’s posse killed dark warlock Rhyfel Gremory, but his witch-disciples escaped, and their magic made them nearly immortal. To keep their power, each year one of the witch-disciples kills a descendant of one of the men in the posse, a twelve-year cycle that has cost dozens of lives, including that of Seth Tanner’s brother, Jesse

Seth rescued Evan Malone from one of the witches, and they’ve fallen in love despite the danger and chaos, going on the road to complete the quest and bring an end to the ritual murders. Their relationship is new, their emotions are raw, and the danger is real. It’s a challenge to find their way as a couple while they’re on the road together in the close quarters of Seth’s RV, training in magic and combat skills to fight off a supernatural killer.

In pursuit of the next witch-disciple, Seth and Evan team up with older hunters Milo and Toby as their quest to stop a century-long killing spree takes them to a small town in the Blue Ridge Mountains. They’re ahead of the sacrifice cycle, with plans to stop the murders and kill the dark witch. Only this time, the hunters become the hunted when the witch knows they’re coming to get him, and has deadly plans of his own. When their lives are on the line, will love be enough?

Flame and Ash is the third novel in the Witchbane series. It is a MM romance intended for readers 18 years of age and older.

Excerpt

“I’m excited about getting to spend time with them,” Evan said. His expression sobered. “I hope they like me.”

Seth gave his hand a squeeze. “You’re hardly a stranger. You’ve spoken with them on the phone and on video calls. Trust me, they will love you. They know I’ll be more careful, now that you’re in the picture.” Careful for Evan and for himself. Hunting didn’t usually make for a long life, but Toby and Milo proved that a happy ending was possible. Now that Seth had found Evan, he wanted that same future desperately, enough to make him both fearless and more cautious.

“I know. But it’s like meeting the family,” Evan replied, dropping his voice.

“My mom and dad would have loved you,” Seth said. “They were very chill about everything except when I went into the army. They were worried about me, and they had reason to be.” He smiled, remembering. “Mom taught me to catch a football—she had five brothers—and how to ride a motorcycle. Dad helped me with my homework and taught me how to cook.”

“Most of the things we did as a family centered around the church,” Evan said quietly. He rarely spoke of his family. “Picnics and retreats and music festivals, that kind of thing. But one year, we did a road trip to Mount Rushmore. Mom had always wanted to see it. I guess she figured it wasn’t frivolous because it was about history. It was nice. That was the year before they found out about me, and after that…” Evan turned and looked out the window. Seth kept a grip on Evan’s hand, trying to curb his anger. He doubted he would ever meet the Malones, but if he did, Seth intended to give them a piece of his mind.

“I was going to come out to my parents when Jesse died, and everything went off the rails,” Seth said. “Jesse had already figured it out. Hell, I think he knew before I did.”

He struggled not to let self-recrimination color his tone, but that internal battle waxed and waned on a daily basis. After all, Seth had gone along with Jesse’s idea to do a bit of amateur ghost hunting at a haunted bridge that rumor claimed was a hell gate. It was supposed to be a fun night spent drinking beers and making a hoax video to prank some of Jesse’s friends.

Then one of the immortal disciples of a long-dead dark warlock grabbed Jesse as the next victim in a century-old cycle of ritual slaughter, wounding Seth in the process. By the time Seth regained consciousness, it was too late. His wild story placed him under suspicion and briefly in a psych ward, until Seth learned to tell the doctors what they wanted to hear. By that time, his parents were dead, and his home had been destroyed in a fire. All he had left was the RV, the truck, his motorcycle, memories, and vengeance.

Until Evan.

“I wish I could have met them,” Evan replied wistfully. “And I wish I could say the same about my folks, but…you know…”

“Yeah. Fuck them.”

Evan nodded. “Right. Because we’ve got our own weird little hunter family now, and I like it that way.”

About the Author

Morgan Brice is the romance pen name of bestselling author Gail Z. Martin. Morgan writes urban fantasy male/male paranormal romance, with plenty of action, adventure and supernatural thrills to go with the happily ever after. Gail writes epic fantasy and urban fantasy, and together with co-author hubby Larry N. Martin, steampunk and comedic horror, all of which have less romance, more explosions. Characters from her Gail books make frequent appearances in secondary roles in her Morgan books, and vice versa.

Other books include Witchbane, Burn, Dark Rivers, and Badlands, Lucky Town, and The Rising, plus Treasure Trail. Watch for more in these series, plus new series coming soon!

I’ll be a Featured Author at GRL in October and also at Coastal Magic in February!

Join my Worlds of Morgan Brice Facebook Group! Get the early scoop on upcoming books and new series, see new covers first, enjoy insider news and special contests and giveaways! Plus it’s where I get my beta readers and launch team!

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Twitter: @MorganBriceBook

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Review Tour: Fated Hearts by Garrett Leigh

Fated Hearts | Garrett Leigh

Shadow Bound #1

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Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK

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Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited.

Length: 60,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Black Jazz Design

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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.”

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About The Author

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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.

Social Media

Website: http://www.garrettleigh.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/garrettleighauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Garrett_Leigh

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Release Blitz: Ride The Whirlwind by Jackie North

Ride the Whirlwind | Jackie North

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MM, Romance, Time Travel, Historical

Release Date: 17.09.19

Cover Designer – Jay Aheer

Buy Link: http://mybook.to/RideTheWhirlwind

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Blurb

Soulmates across time. Two hearts, stronger together.

In present day, Maxton is good at finding trouble and bad at everything else. Then he receives a letter from his friend Laurie, who went missing. The letter is dated over one hundred years in the past.

In 1892, Trent Harrington, sheriff of Trinidad, Colorado, cast off by his family, lives a respectable but lonely life, devoid of any closeness. He knows he will be alone forever.

Trying to escape a past that keeps chasing him, Maxton drives south to Mexico. When his car spins off the road, he is swept up in a desert whirlwind, which takes him back in time to the year 1892. There, unused to the laws of the wild west, Maxton gets arrested, and is subject to the terrifying whims of two deputies who can do whatever they want to him.

Sheriff Trent Harrington of Trinidad is tasked with escorting Maxton to Trinidad. The request isn’t unusual, but the young miscreant is. Maxton draws Trent’s heart out of its shell with his flashing green eyes and lush head of hair. It isn’t right. It isn’t natural. It’s illegal. Yet Trent cannot resist the impetuous young man.

As the two men travel through the dry, lonely desert to their destination, will they find in each other the love and companionship they never thought they’d have?

An MM time travel romance, complete with the scent of desert roses, brilliantly colored sunsets, starlit nights, roast rabbit over an open fire, growing honesty and trust, and true love across time.

Contains references to Honey From the Lion and Wild as the West Texas Wind but can be read on its own.

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Excerpt

Though he very well knew that pride went before a fall, Trent felt quite pleased with himself. He’d managed to purchase two sturdy mounts: Old Sue, a calm-eyed mare who looked pleased to be saddled up and given something to do, and Lathalad, a pinto with remarkable blue eyes, an even more remarkable mostly white coat with a narrow black streak running down the center of his long tail.

He was a beauty for sure, but carried a scar across his breast, which might be the reason he was a tad skittish when he was brought out and trotted around. Trent worried until the man at the stables convinced him the horse could carry a man and supplies easily, that he was built for long rides. As well, Trent caught Maxton looking at the horses, and thought that the gelding was of the appropriate size.

They’d bought supplies of beans, packets of jerky, and, of course, ground coffee. He purchased a coffee pot, two tin cups and bowls, two tin spoons, and a used cutting knife, which he strapped to his right thigh below his gun belt. Whatever meat they needed Trent would shoot along the way.

Trent packed the saddlebags on each horse, showing Maxton how it was done, how to tighten the girth on a saddle, how to adjust the stirrups. How to fasten a pair of canteens across the cantle and tie them tight so they wouldn’t knock about and startle the horse. Then he tied his carpetbag behind the saddle on Old Sue, and the two bedrolls behind the saddle on Lathalad.

Maxton followed along with only half of his attention, as his other half seemed to be scanning the horizon on the edge of town where the stable was located. As well, he was making an expression that Trent couldn’t quite define, but he thought Maxton felt he was being treated like a fool who didn’t know any better. Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t, but it was better safe than sorry.

“It’s just past noon,” said Trent. He took his hat off, wiped his forehead with the back of his sleeve, then settled his hat on his head again. “But we can head out now and make our way out into the wild.”

Trent smiled, and wondered if he should actually share what he was thinking, but why not? He and Maxton would be together for several days, what harm would it to do admit this one little thing.

“I do love sleeping beneath the stars,” he said, now, looking at Maxton as he said it. Testing the waters. “Which is a little foolish, seeing as how if we waited a few days and taken the stage, we’d sleep in a hotel every night.”

“I don’t mind sleeping under the stars,” said Maxton. “Took a class on the constellations once, so I know a lot of them.”

Maxton stopped himself from saying more, and shrugged as if it was of no consequence to him. It was the same devil-may-care attitude that he’d carried with him from the moment Trent had laid eyes on him in the cell in Dilia.

Someone had taught Maxton not to care or, if he did, not to let on. Someone had taught him to hide every thought, whether foolish or wise. Someone had taught him to carry himself as though he might be under attack at any given moment.

Trent knew the feeling. Knew what it was like to hide what you were and what you thought. Knew what it was like to be wary and to dance beneath the surface of your own life until you forgot what it was like to breathe fresh air, to hold your head high and be exactly who you were.

Though, as to what Maxton was hiding, Trent didn’t know. He wanted to know, though, because there was a fire in that young man’s eyes. A soft shy tenderness, which Trent saw as Maxton looked out at the horizon and chewed his lower lip, like he was expecting something to come blasting at him from out of the desert.

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About The Author

Jackie North has been writing stories since grade school and spent years absorbing the mainstream romances that she found at her local grocery store. Her dream was to someday leave her corporate day job behind and travel the world. She also wanted to put her English degree to good use and write romance novels, because for years she’s had a never-ending movie of made-up love stories in her head that simply wouldn’t leave her alone.

As fate would have it, she discovered MM romance and decided that men falling in love with other men was exactly what she wanted to write books about. In this dazzling new world, she turned her grocery-store romance ideas around and is now putting them to paper as fast as her fingers can type. She creates characters who are a bit flawed and broken, who find themselves on the edge of society, and maybe a few who are a little bit lost, but who all deserve a happily ever after. (And she makes sure they get it!)

She likes long walks on the beach, the smell of lavender and rainstorms, and enjoys sleeping in on snowy mornings. She is especially fond of pizza and beer and, when time allows, long road trips with soda fountain drinks and rock and roll music. In her heart, there is peace to be found everywhere, but since in the real world this isn’t always true, Jackie writes for love.

Social Media

Website – http://www.jackienorth.com/

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Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18128460.Jackie_North

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Release Blitz: Hot Potato by Allison Temple

Hot Potato | Allison Temple

Seacroft #3

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Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Universal Link

Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow With Kindle Unlimited

Length: 80,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Cate Ashwood Designs

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Blurb

As Seacroft’s resident weirdo, Avery proudly flies a lot of freak flags. It’s a constant battle to be taken seriously when everything, from his red hair to his sexuality, makes him stand out in this small town.

Small towns are also a terrible place to keep secrets, and Lincoln has a bunch of them. But his demons aren’t going to hold him back from his dream job at the Seacroft Fire Department. His life is finally coming together, until the red-haired twink with the big smile and fast mouth calls in an emergency.

Pining for the hot firefighter is Avery’s newest flag, even if he agrees to be “just friends.” For Linc, every minute with Avery is a temptation. He needs to let go of his fear and admit the truth. Linc doesn’t want to be Avery’s friend; he wants to be his everything. But just as Linc is ready to risk it all, Avery gets an unexpected offer to spread his colorful wings and fly away.

Hot Potato is an 80k slow burn friends-to-lovers contemporary MM romance. It features a fast-talking accountant who’s cooler than he thinks, the closeted firefighter who loves him more than he should, and a great big happy-sigh HEA.

Seacroft Series

Book #1 – Top Shelf – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link

Book #2 – Cold Pressed – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link

About The Author

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Allison Temple has been a writer since the second grade, when she wrote a short story about a girl and her horse. Her grandmother typed it out for her and said she’s never seen so many quotation marks from a seven-year-old before. Allison took that as a challenge and has gone on to try to break her previous record in all her subsequent works.

Allison lives in Toronto with her very patient husband and the world’s neediest cat. She splits her free time between writing, community theater stage management, and traveling anywhere that has good wine. Tragically, this leaves no time to clean her house.

Social Media

Newsletter (get two free shorts right now): https://allisontemplebooks.com/newsletter

Facebook Reader group: https://facebook.com/groups/allisonsalist

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Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/allison-temple

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17490635.Allison_Temple

Twitter: https://twitter.com/allitemplebooks

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/allisontemplebooks/

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Blog Tour: Kel’s Keeper by K.C. Wells

Kel’s Keeper | K.C. Wells

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MM, Romance, Daddy/boy, age gap

Release Date: 01.09.19

Cover by Meredith Russell

Photographer by Ben Fink

Models: Adam Keith and Joe Ryan

Buy Links:

Amazon US

Barnes and Noble

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Blurb

When Kel Taylor’s life changes irrevocably, he finds himself alone in the world. He might have rebelled a little against his parents, but that didn’t mean he was ready to lose them. Unable to cope with his grief and feelings of guilt, he turns to booze, but before he hits rock bottom, someone dives into the murky waters to save him.

Luc Bryant watched Kel grow from the little kid whose football broke a pane in his greenhouse, into the sexy young man who sent heat racing through him. That was when Luc stopped watching and distanced himself, because he didn’t want to be that kind of a man. And that’s how things continued, until he saw to what depths the boy had sunk. Luc will be damned if he’ll let Kel kill himself. What Kel needs is a friend, and Luc’s shoulders are plenty big enough to bear his burdens.

Kel doesn’t need a friend. He needs a pair of strong arms to hold him, a broad chest to curl up against, someone to listen to him, someone who cares for him… and a whole lot more.
What he needs is a Daddy.
He just doesn’t know it yet.

A stand-alone book that contains an age gap relationship between a sexy daddy and a virgin.

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Excerpt

The time for worrying about Kel had long past. Luc had to do something.

After the funeral, he’d kept his promise and checked in on the boy regularly, and at first it had looked like Kel was coming through this. At least, Luc assumed he was. He didn’t get to see Kel all that much, but their brief conversations over the property boundary were proof that Kel was alive and well, if looking a little thin.

Then the conversations dwindled, as did the phone calls. Kel politely refused Luc’s invitations to eat with him. He refused Luc’s offers of assistance. And lately there had been far too many occasions when Kel didn’t answer his phone. No reply to texts. When Luc had ventured across to knock at the door, there had been no answer. Of course, he could have been out, but somehow Luc doubted that. When April gave way to May, Luc’s disquiet increased.

There were signs of life at the house next door, however. Walmart trucks came and went, and more than once, Luc dashed out to catch Kel before he closed the front door, but he was never fast enough.

Almost as though the boy was avoiding him, which if it were true, would be extremely ironic.

The day arrived when Luc wasn’t content to sit back anymore and wait for something to happen. It was time for the last resort—and that meant Christine’s spare key, the one he’d never gotten around to giving back to Kel. Thank God.

Luc grabbed it from the hook in the kitchen where he kept his keys, and went out of the house. Kel’s car was in the driveway, and judging by the state of the ground beneath it, Kel hadn’t moved it for a while. That only added to Luc’s sense of foreboding.

He went around to the front door, not bothering to ring the bell. After weeks of his knocks going unanswered, there seemed little point. Luc inserted the key into the lock, praying there wasn’t a chain attached on the other side. Thankfully, the door opened, and Luc stepped quietly into the silent interior. He peered into the sitting room, then the dining room, but there was no sign of Kel. When he entered the kitchen, the sight was enough to stop him in his tracks.

Dishes were piled high on every countertop. The dishwasher door was open, and Luc peeked inside. It was full of dirty dishes. The sink was full too, and the trash looked like it hadn’t been taken out for weeks.

Luc noted the pizza boxes and take-out cartons. At least he’s eating something. It was only when he took a closer look at one corner of the kitchen that the full extent of the situation hit him.

Bottles. Lots and lots of empty bottles. And most of it was the hard stuff, Luc was dismayed to see. There were empty cans and bottles of hard cider, and bottles of wine too. It appeared as if Kel had drunk his way through the contents of a bar.

Dear God, what state is he in, if he’s drunk all that?

Luc checked the rest of the first floor, but there was still no sign. He paused at the foot of the stairs, his nostrils flaring. The smell of stale alcohol was very noticeable. Luc mounted the stairs, his heart pounding. This is not good. This is way worse than I thought.Already he was kicking himself for not charging in sooner.

When he reached the door to Kel’s room, Luc paused, steeling himself for whatever lay beyond it, and praying fervently that the boy hadn’t choked to death on his own vomit. He pushed open the door and heaved an internal sigh of relief at the sight that awaited him.

Kel was in his bed, only the top of his head visible above the comforter, but he was clearly breathing. The room was in semidarkness, and the reek of alcohol was at its strongest, accompanied by the smell of stale sweat. Luc crossed the floor, put his hand to the lump beneath the covers, and gave Kel a light shake.

Nothing.

Luc gave him a stronger shake, and Kel’s groggy voice shattered the quiet. “Wha?”

“Kel,” Luc said urgently. “It’s Luc.”

“Go ’way.”

Like Luc was going to do that. “No, I’m not going anywhere. Remember?” He slowly drew back the comforter, only to have Kel seize it from him and pull it back over himself. Half-closed brown eyes regarded him with incredulity.

“How’d you get in here?”

“I have a key. You mom gave it to me. Remember, she asked me to check on the house?”

Kel propped himself up on his elbows, and the comforter slid lower, revealing…

Well, I certainly didn’t expect that.

Kel had a tattoo, a pattern of black swirls and spikes that covered his right shoulder, his pec and came halfway down his upper arm. There was also a lot more body hair than Luc had been prepared for. Before Luc could utter another word, Kel set his jaw. “I want it back, then I want you to leave.”

Luc slowly shook his head. “No. You need help.”

Kel’s eyes blazed, and he sat bolt upright. “You. Need. To. Go. Now.”

“And let you keep doing this to yourself? Kel, you’re better than this.”

Kel’s jaw dropped, then he snapped it shut. “You need to go,” he repeated through gritted teeth. “I don’t want you seeing me like this. I’m a pathetic excuse for a human being. Helpme? You couldn’t help me. I’m a hopeless case. I’m worse than useless.”

Luc’s stomach turned over. What the fuck had happened? “I have no idea where all this is coming from,” he said, doing his best to keep his voice even. “I know you, Kel. You’re nothing like the person you just described.”

Kel stared up at him, a dazed look in his eyes, his mouth open. “Know me? You don’t know me! Even my parents didn’t know me!” His chest rose and fell rapidly, his breathing harsh and staccato. “If they did, they’d have shunned me for the abomination that I am.”

Abomination? “Kel, I—”

I was not a good son! Kel yelled, the cords of his neck standing out. “And if they’d seen into my heart, they’d have been horrified. I went against their teachings.” He brought his left hand down hard on his right pec, wincing. “This. This would have given them so much pain, and I stillhad it done, knowing that.” His eyes glistened. “And there was worse than this. So many things I wanted to tell them, but I couldn’t, because they’d have been so damned disappointed in me. And now it’s too late. They’re never going to know what I’m really like. And I can’t bear that.” Tears spilled over his cheeks, his shoulders shook, and he sobbed.

Luc knew what he was seeing. In an instant, he sat on the bed, drew back the comforter, and pulled Kel into his lap, his arms around him. It was no surprise when the boy threw his arms around Luc’s neck and buried his face in Luc’s chest, his knees up to his chest, harsh sobs racking his body. “It’s okay,” Luc whispered. “Let it out. It’s all right to let it out, Kel.” Hot tears soaked into his shirt.

“I… can’t… stop… it from… hurting…” Kel choked out between sobs.

“It’s supposed to hurt.” Luc held onto him, one arm around his back, the other around his legs, cradling him, aware of the tremors that jolted through Kel’s frame. “This is grief. You’ve held on to your emotions so tightly, but now you have to let go.”

Kel’s sobs increased in volume and frequency, and Luc remained silent, gently rocking him in his arms, a weeping young man dressed only in his briefs, curled up against Luc’s chest and clinging to him. Luc’s arms were full to capacity: Kel might have been shorter than him, but he’d obviously been working out at some point. Little by little the tears subsided, and Kel’s breathing became less erratic. Luc brought his rocking to a halt, his nose buried in Kel’s hair. Finally, Kel moved gingerly, as though embarrassed by his position.

Luc let go, and Kel sat on the bed beside him. He sniffed, then wiped a hand across his eyes. “I’m sorry.”

“You have nothing to apologize for. If you knew how long I’ve been waiting for you to show some emotion over their deaths….” Luc stroked Kel’s hair. “It’s perfectly normal. And nothing to be embarrassed about. Although….” Luc wrinkled his nose.

Kel swallowed. “I guess I smell a bit ripe, huh?”

“Just a little,” Luc lied. “Nothing a good shower wouldn’t put right. If you think you can stay upright for that long. You might be a little shaky on your legs.” He stood, and held out a hand to Kel, who took it and pulled himself to his feet. Luc watched him anxiously. “Well?”

Kel expelled a long shuddering breath. “I can manage a shower.”

Luc nodded in approval. “And while you’re doing that, I’ll go downstairs and make you something to eat.” He cocked his head to one side. “That’s assuming there’s food in your kitchen. Edible food.”

Kel bit his lip. “Yeah, about that…”

Luc rolled his eyes. “Get washed. I’ll go to my place and raid the refrigerator. Take as long as you like.”

For the first time since Luc had entered his room, there was a flash of the old Kel. “Is that Luc-speak for ‘you stink’?”

Luc laughed. “Shower, dirty boy. Then I’ll feed you. And then… we can talk.” He felt a good deal lighter. That had been a cathartic moment, and while Kel still had a way to go, the outlook was hopeful.

What puzzled him were a couple of things Kel had said. At this point Luc wasn’t sure if he was going to leave them for now, or bring them out into the open. Because sooner or later, they had to talk about them.

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About The Author

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K.C. Wells started writing in 2012, although the idea of writing a novel had been in her head since she was a child. But after reading that first gay romance in 2009, she was hooked.

She now writes full time, and the line of men in her head, clamouring to tell their story, is getting longer and longer. If the frequent visits by plot bunnies are anything to go by, that’s not about to change anytime soon.

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