Tag Archives: ballet dancer

Release Blitz: Off Balance by Jay Hogan

Off Balance | Jay Hogan

Painted Bay #1

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Release date: September 29, 2020

Universal Link: https://readerlinks.com/l/1448259/02

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55208012-off-balance

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Blurb

When JUDAH MADDEN flees his tiny suffocating home town in New Zealand for the dream of international ballet stardom, he never intends coming back.

Not to Painted Bay. Not to his family’s struggling mussel farm. Not to his jerk of a brother. Not with his entire life plan in shreds.

And certainly not into the tempting arms of MORGAN WIPENE, the older, ruggedly handsome fisheries officer who seems determined to screw with Judah’s intention to wallow in peace.

But dreams are fickle things. Shatter them and it’s hard to pick up the pieces. Hard to believe. Hard to start again.

And the hardest thing of all? Finding the courage to trust in love and build a new dream where you least expected to find it.

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Excerpt

I braced a hand on the ice-white tiles and jerked myself off to the image of a man who had no business occupying my boathouse shower on a Saturday morning, especially after I’d thrown his sorry arse off our property less than twelve hours before. And yet here he was—in my head. And where was my hand? On my fucking dick. Go figure.

The upside? I actually had the energy to expend on a little self-pleasure. I’d managed to sleep until ten and it had been five days without a full-blown vertigo attack—the drop attacks didn’t drain me quite the same way. Go me. Maybe the meds were finally working. It was enough to have me looking at the world in a better light, at any rate.

So Morgan had been married, huh? And there he was again, front and centre in my pea-sized, lust-addled brain. Still, I hadn’t seen that particular twist coming. But then, an attractive guy like that, it made sense that someone nailed his arse down at some point. I couldn’t imagine losing someone so important after such a short time.

And judging by the tone in Morgan’s voice, the loss was still painful, still fresh. What would it feel like to be loved by someone, by a man, by Morgan, so deeply? There was an intensity to him that promised you’d never have to question it. He’d show you every day.

I shook my head at the thought. Like Morgan would be remotely interested in someone as fucked up as me. For a quick fuck? Sure. For more than that? He’d have to be a raging masochist.

Nothing said doomed relationship like a guy with no job, no prospects, a bad attitude and a chronic illness. Which is why I needed to keep this thing between us to friends. I liked Morgan, more than was good for me, or explicable from the brief time we’d spent together. I liked him enough to know that if we started something, I’d miss him when it fell apart. But if we kept it to friends, then maybe he’d stick around for me to enjoy, and I liked the idea of that, liked it a whole lot.

I dried off, threw on some old dance leggings and a T-shirt, and froze once again at my reflection in the full-length mirror, briefly contemplating a life where I didn’t have Meniere’s and could give free rein to the attraction I felt for Morgan.

How the hell had this become my life?

I stared at my reflection and realised the answer didn’t matter. It was time to stop wallowing. Enough.

I sucked in a deep breath all the way down to my diaphragm and my thighs flexed like they were hopeful or something, tentatively lifting me up on the balls of my feet.

Move. The imperative pushed at my brain.

I stretched a leg behind, teetering a little, testing the weight I hadn’t carried in months—arms out, reaching for that point of balance, clocking into the ‘office’ I worked in, the place I called home, and hearing that silent but familiar addictive mental click when I reached it and tipped over into weightlessness.

There. Like a soft sigh in my head. The rush of connection, the sweet sing of my body surging to life, adrenaline ticking up my heart.

Try.

A fouette spin. And then a second. The centrifugal pull to another, and another. I nailed them all. But a stutter on the sixth as the world tipped slightly with the roar of the sea in my ears. I fell out of the spin and hit the floor in a graceless lump.

Fucking, fuck, fuck. My sneaker hit the mirror and a sea of fissures exploded across its face. Less than a year ago I’d have done thirty-two spins without breaking a sweat. Five was a joke.

No. More. Wallowing.

I gave myself five minutes to fall apart then scrubbed my hands down my face, ripped the sheets from my bed and threw them in the wash. That done, I stood barefoot in my kitchen and studied the current state of my tiny house while I chewed on a slice of stale toast and jam.

The picture told a sorry tale. I could’ve started my own recycling plant with the number of empties from my determination to single-handedly underwrite the local liquor store.

It wasn’t hard to imagine what Morgan must’ve thought—nothing good, for sure. I blamed my perpetual brain fog for even inviting him in. These days my grey matter functioned like a rusty, poorly tuned Lada, as opposed to the hot pink sharply primed Audi convertible it used to be.

His opinion shouldn’t matter. Morgan was an overbearing boor, if somewhat sexy, because that shit couldn’t be denied—cue my recent shower scene for confirmation. Not that we’d be crossing paths again if he could take a hint. I didn’t need yet another person treating me like a pretty but fragile ornament, thinking they knew what was best for me.

And if only he’d stop texting me an endless supply of more than decent apologies, I might even begin to believe it. The man had a good line in grovelling and my resolve was wavering.

‘I’m an arse.’

Yep.

‘I have no excuse.’

Nope.

‘I should never have said what I did and I’m sorry…’

Too late.

‘I was worried for you…’

Ah, shit.

‘I would never have forgiven myself…’

Goddammit.

‘You were right to be angry.’

Fuck.

‘I hope we can still be friends.’

A pestilence upon all your houses.

When I woke up this morning and read them all, I’d texted one word. ‘STOP’.

He had, and I’d been checking my phone ever since.

jay hogan logan

About the Author

I am a New Zealand author writing in MM romance, and romantic suspense. I have traveled extensively and lived in the US, Canada, France, Australia and South Korea. In a past life I have been an Intensive Care Nurse, Counselor, and a Nursing Lecturer.

I’m a cat aficionado especially of Maine Coons, and an avid dog lover (but don’t tell the cat). I love to cook, pretty damn good, love to sing, pretty damn average, and as for loving full-time writing, absolutely… depending of course on the day, the word count, the deadline, how obliging my characters are, the ambient temperature in the Western Sahara, whether Jupiter is rising, the size of the ozone hole over New Zealand and how much coffee I’ve had.

Welcome to my world.

Social Media

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJayHogan/

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/hoganshangout/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jay-hogan

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jayhoganauthor

Website: https://www.jayhoganauthor.com/

Amazon: amzn.to/jayhoganauthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17632551.Jay_Hogan

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This beautifully crafted New Zealand-set romance will steal your heart

OffBalance-600x900Off Balance by Jay Hogan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s a simple fact, I absolutely love Jay Hogan’s writing. It doesn’t matter what she turns her hand to, I feel absolutely drawn into the world she creates and the lives of the characters she’s writing about.

Here it’s a story which affected me deep in my gut, it’s full of hurt/comfort, it’s full of suppressed emotions, it’s got chemistry which not only rockets off the charts but which wraps you up in all the feels of a fluffy blanket.

There’s a side order of suspense plot, a whole load of small town vibes with interesting and intriguing characters I hope are going to feature in the next book and such a sense of place. New Zealand has a unique vibe to it which Jay nails every single time.

As for the main plot, as someone who danced ballet, tap and contemporary dance (although never of a level to do so professionally), Judah’s heartbreaking diagnoses with Ménière’ Disease had my heart cracking in two because the pain of what he lost is palpable.

Morgan’s also nursing his own pain, a widower, he’s still missing his wife Sally although he’s managed to move on from the numbing loss of her death five years earlier.

The amazing way these men provide both healing and support to each other, without even really doing so consciously, is so beautifully depicted in this book. I loved everything about their friendship, their amazing sexual and emotional connections and the way they were both determined to do the best for the other.

Do yourselves a favour and pick up this book, especially if you’ve never read Jay before, then go grab her back catalogue, I promise it’s worth it.

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

View all my reviews

Blog Tour: That Feeling When by S. M. James

S. M. James | That Feeling When

Publisher: May Books

Cover Artist: Story Styling

Genre/s: YA, LGBT, contemporary romance

Length: 77,000 Words/343 pages

Release Date: September 16, 2018 (Available now in paperback)

Buy Links

Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK

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Blurb

Dance Academy reject, Archie Corrigan, resents the stereotype guy ballet dancers are gay. Because he isn’t. At all. Forced to reassess his life goal at Camp Crystal Cove, it’s by sheer dumb luck he meets Landon Summers, who turns everything Archie was sure of into chaos.

Poor boy turned teen heartthrob, Landon Summers, is the name on everyone’s lips. With his unexpected leap to fame, his agent advises him to keep his bi status on the down low. Not a problem! Until Landon meets Archie.

Their unexpected friendship leads to an inevitable kiss, but their moment is caught in high definition and used as fuel for blackmail. If the truth gets out, Landon’s career could be over, and Archie will be forced to acknowledge the one thing he’s fought to deny.

But how do you go back to your average life once you’ve experienced That Feeling When … you’re finally happy?

Excerpt

Landon Summers is into guys. I think he likes you.

And while Meredith didn’t say anything about me, there was something way too knowing in her look.

Everyone else seems too into their own lives to be paying us any attention, and even when we’re announced winners of the trivia, my celebration doesn’t crack the surface chill that’s taken over me.

Meredith’s wrapped her arm through mine, and she’s cheering with the others, one hand in the air.

I’m a week in the past. Watching Landon pull on that stupid costume in the dark. The spark in his eyes as he thanked me. The brush of his skin on mine.

How was that only a week ago?

Why can’t I go back and enjoy that moment more? Savor my time with him?

Really take it all in, before he went and messed it all up.

About the Author

SM James in an Australian author who writes books for teens about squishy sweet characters. While not writing, SM is a readaholic and netflix addict who regularly lives on a sustainable diet of chocolate and coffee.

Member of SCBWI. Unapologetically dishing out HEAs for LGBT+ characters.

Social Media Links

Blog/Website

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Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of the following prizes:

1 x Paperback copy of That Feeling When (US only)

2 x $15 Amazon gift card (international)

3 x eBook copy of That Feeling When (international)

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