Tag Archives: bisexual MC

A nice low angst & sweet romance kicks off this new ice hockey series

Top Shelf CoverTop Shelf by R.J. Scott & V.L. Locey

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

This is the first in a new ice hockey series from RJ and V.L. looking at the Boston team that Ten’s brother Brady is the Captain at.

It’s a good intro, following on from a short freebie that has been serialised in RJ’s newsletter, to the series and establishes all the LGBTQ+ characters that I suspect we’ll be getting novels about at some point in the future.

The main focus of the book is Xander and Mason’s relationship and it’s a really lovely romance with absolutely zero angst or drama really outside of the wider implications of Xander’s coming out as a bisexual ice hockey player.

Both have been in love with the other for years, they’ve essentially grown up together as Mason’s older brother Eli took care of him after their parent’s death and Xander’s family were neighbours. Eli and Xander are best friends, heading off to join the NHL together playing for the Boston Rebels.

Apart from Eli’s original reaction when he discovers they’re together, there’s pretty much no tension involved in their relationship which makes it a nice easy read, but also means there’s not really much changes in the pacing either.

The couple of smexy times we get in detail are really sweet and loving, Mason and Xander respect each other and they work at making the other happy, they’re passionate and talk a lot about their future and what they hope for.

My main reason for not giving it a higher rating is that it seemed to end really abruptly without one of the plot threads which had been ongoing throughout being concluded. That’s not to say it’s a cliffhanger, it isn’t, the plotline is only a side one involving the ice hockey team and nothing to do with Xander and Mason’s relationship.

But it just sort of stopped after a big discussion about it. I am assuming it will be a plotline that’s picked up in future books in the series but it did leave me shaking my head a bit.

There’s a great bunch of secondary characters and we get a brief catch up with Ten and the other Rowe brother Jamie which ties back in to the https://www.goodreads.com/series/1978… series.

I’m hopeful this is going to be another cracking entry to RJ and V.L.’s lexicon of interrelated ice hockey romances.

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

View all my reviews

Blog Tour: Love on the Horizon by R.J. Peterson

Love on the Horizon | R.J. Peterson

New Adventures In Love #1

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Release Date: May 4th, 2021

Universal Link: https://books2read.com/LoveOnTheHorizon

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57956007-love-on-the-horizon

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Blurb

Two years after losing his husband, the last thing widower Rob Asher wants to do is go on a cruise-for-two by himself. But after some practical advice from his best friend, Rob realizes that his husband wouldn’t have wanted him to hide away from the world with only his grief for company. So despite some lingering doubts, Rob packs his bags for his cruise adventure and flies to Barcelona to board the Ocean Wanderer.

Actor Ben Rockingham has just finished a whirlwind promotional tour around Europe and is looking forward to a week long cruise so he can relax and unwind. He’s felt alone for far too long and doesn’t foresee that changing anytime soon. But a chance encounter in a hotel bar has Ben feeling things he hasn’t contemplated for a very long time.

He and Rob hit it off right away and Ben is both intrigued by and attracted to this conflicted man. Is it possible that Rob is the one who’s been missing from Ben’s life all these years, and can Ben help Rob move past his grief so they have a chance at a future together?

They have one week aboard the Ocean Wanderer to find out and the stakes are high on the high seas.

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Excerpt

Ben rolled over and looked at the clock on the nightstand. The alarm on his phone would go off in fifteen minutes. Just enough time to lie there and think about yesterday. Meeting Rob at the bar had been a pleasant surprise. And though Rob recognized him right away, he didn’t act like he was an over-the-top fan who only wanted to chat with Ben for bragging rights later. He just seemed like an all-around nice guy.

Rob was handsome, but there was more to it than just his good looks. Sure, Ben had always found both men and women attractive, but no man had put butterflies in his stomach since Ryan back in college. Until now. Fuck, was there any chance that Rob maybe felt the same way? Yes, he was gay, but his husband died two years ago and he was obviously still in mourning; only natural considering how long they had been together.

What do I know? I haven’t had feelings like this for such a long time—wait, do I have feelings for Rob?

Something is definitely going on here, but I’m not really sure what. Ryan was a great boyfriend, but it was the ‘80s then and we had hidden our feelings from pretty much everyone. We’d known each other for years and just kind of fell into a romance after admitting that we found each other attractive. At the time, there was so much homophobia out there and neither one of us had been ready to be out and proud. Over time, we had drifted apart and then I met Caroline. And while we got along great at the beginning, our relationship had mostly been rocky, if I was being honest. We did have Kyle though, so it hadn’t been all bad.

“Okay,” he said aloud, “I had a short relationship with a guy thirty-plus years ago and then a longer relationship and marriage with a woman a few years after that, and not much of anything since then.” He paused a moment, trying to organize his thoughts. “Both of those relationships had taken a while to develop. I’d never experienced ‘love at first sight’ or ‘lust at first sight’ or whatever the hell this was. Sure, a few dates here and there, but nothing that really felt completely right. For so many years I thought that either I was bi or that Ryan was just a one-time thing.”

But now, after spending just a few hours with Rob, he’s all I can think about.

Ben remembered a movie set he had been on a few years ago. He’d been chatting with one of the crew one day and the guy mentioned that he was ‘demi.’

“Demi? What the hell is that?” Ben had wanted to know.

“Demisexual,” the guy had replied. “I like girls and I like guys, but unless I have an emotional connection to them, I can’t get serious. Casual sex just doesn’t do it for me, but if we connect emotionally, it’s magical.”

That had stuck in the back of Ben’s mind and sometimes he thought that maybe he was demisexual too. He had done a bit of research at one point and it seemed like the emotional connection took a bit of time to develop. That certainly fit in with what he’d experienced before. It had been so long since he felt anything for anyone, he had started to think maybe he was asexual. Now, those emotions were starting to stir again when he thought of Rob. Was this really happening?

Ben’s phone began to chime, so he reached over and shut off the alarm, then got up and began to get ready for the new day.

About the Author

rj peterson logo

R.J. Peterson is a retired graphic designer.

He is an avid reader, preferably while sipping a vodka martini or some bourbon on the rocks. RJ’s had a long and varied career, including library page, car wash attendant, customer service representative, interpreter for the deaf, travel agent, and graphic designer in the marijuana industry.

He also worked in banking for twenty-five years. In addition to starting up a writing career, he still works as a freelance designer, creating book covers and other items for several authors.

RJ loves to travel and has been on 40+ cruises. When not on a cruise, he and his husband live in New England.

Love On The Horizon is his first book.

Social Media

Website: www.rjpeterson.net

Email: rjp@rjpeterson.net

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/138818084707307

Twitter: @RJPeterson4

Sign up for his monthly newsletter: https://rjpeterson.net/newsletter

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Release Blitz: Two more Vino & Veritas stories are out today

Today we have two more Release Blitz for the Vino & Veritas series in the Expanded World of True North from Laurel Greer and Jay Hogan

Series Link: https://hearteyespress.com/wotn#/vino-and-veritas/

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Turnabout | Laurel Greer

Vino & Veritas #9

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Universal Link: https://geni.us/AmazonTurnabout

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/35VpOWG

Shorby: https://shor.by/vino-and-veritas

READ MY REVIEW

Blurb

I don’t have time for an unplanned visit home to help out in my father’s struggling letterpress shop. My stint in Vermont will have to be short, for a couple of reasons:

One, I’m a busy executive trying to climb the corporate ladder.

Two, my ex is still my dad’s right-hand man in the shop. And I am not over him.

Nothing has changed at the Burlington shop. Auden still has his infuriatingly sexy Scottish accent. He’s still hot, and still stubborn. Between operating the antique press with his shirtsleeves rolled up, and moonlighting at Burlington’s hottest inclusive wine bar, he pushes every one of my attraction buttons.

My falling-in-love-again buttons, too. Except I’m his polar opposite. I love change, and taking chances. Everything he avoids in life.

So why am I trying to convince him to reach for more than we’ve ever dreamed of—the possibility of forever?

Turnabout is a second-chance romance with interfering family, groveling, and a large helping of artisan stationery geekery.

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Excerpt

He lifts a dark eyebrow. “I said, I want to work with someone willing to wallow with paper and design. Tease out the one-of-a-kind magic.”

His voice is quiet, soothing. It demands I take a deep breath and get out of my feelings.

“I’ve been reminded of how much of an art it is,” I say. “And that I can get by, but you—you have a gift.”

Rosy splotches bloom on his cheeks. “You know what you’re doing, too.”

“I don’t have the rhythm of it like you do. The innate… mastery, I guess. The relationship.”

Auden tilts his head and looks out the front window.

“What?” I ask. “He’s not coming back.”

“I know, but hearing the words rhythm and mastery and relationship when it comes to using a press… I’m looking for locusts, frogs, horsemen—any sign of the apocalypse.”

“Fuck off,” I mutter.

Rhythm, mastery.

When he repeats the words like that, I’m not thinking of cast iron machines—I’m thinking about sex.

I can’t believe he didn’t call me on how filthy that sounded.

He’s biting his lip, still a little pink in the face.

Okay, maybe he’s thinking it, at least.

“I could show you,” he says.

Meeting his gaze is like swimming in a lake, when you dive down, down on a bright day, and you have the dark depths below, and the streams of light from above, and it blends around you like you’re wearing a crown of green water and sunlight.

Holy fuck. He’s too much sometimes.

“Come here.” He crooks a finger for me to meet him at the Chandler and Price.

Definitely too much.

I join him anyway.

He takes my left hand and places it on the small shelf on the front of the press where we’d normally collect the cards during a run. The wood is smooth. And it would feel exactly like palming a flat piece of wood always does, except his big hand covers mine.

“Artisanry demands that relationship.” His voice is insanely low, but he’s only inches from me, so I don’t miss a syllable.

“I’m not an—”

“You have the artistic talent. You just need a little patience.” He puts his other hand on my right hip and positions me square to the press. He taps his toe against my heel, a silent command to put my foot on the treadle.

“We’re missing some parts.” Paper. Ink. The frame. Everything that actually turns into a product.

“We’re not making anything.” He’s at an angle to me. If he leaned forward three inches, his dick would be pressed into my hip. His left hand is still holding mine to the shelf. The other is a heavy weight just below my waist.

“I don’t understand,” I say.

“Just watch it, Carter.” He sounds amused. “You want to know every quirk. And not to try to learn when you’re rushing through eight jobs at once. When you have time to go easy.”

“Really.”

“Really,” he says. “Grip the wood with your other hand, too.”

Grip the wood? You’re fucking with me.”

“A little.” I can’t see his face from where he is behind me, but I hear his smirk.

A little? A lot. I grab hold of the shelf anyway.

“Just work the treadle,” he says.

I press my toe into the pedal, making the flywheel whir.

“And listen,” he says. “Watch.”

I do that, too.

I’ve been so damn busy since I got here—paper in, paper out, paper in, paper out—I haven’t actually watched anything I’ve done.

The rollers, mesmerizing as they glide over the circular, iron platen.

“What color’s the ink?” Auden’s hand tightens on my hip. His breath tickles the side of my neck.

There is no ink.

“Green,” I say. I can’t get that sunlit lake off my mind.

(I don’t want to. Ever.)

My tie… Why am I wearing something meant to restrict my airflow? I want to loosen it, but Auden told me to keep my hands on the shelf, so I’m keeping my hands on the goddamn shelf.

“Hear anything in the flywheel?” he says.

Just the whir and clicks and whuffs it normally makes. “Should I be?”

“Nothing unusual, but the more you know the sounds of it, the more you know exactly when to feed the paper.” He taps the top of my hand once. Twice. Again. Matching it up to some sensory memory that’s so ingrained in him, he probably dreams in that rhythm.

Anchored by his touch, I’m the one who leans in the three inches. My shoulder, touching his chest. His breath, much more than a tickle. A caress.

“It’s a pulse,” he murmurs, so gruff, the consonants and vowels mix together. His fingers brush the hollow above my shirt collar. My knees wobble.

“A pulse.” I tilt my head to the side, exposing my neck.

“Aye.” Bending his head, his lips land on the same sensitive spot.

My head’s turning faster than the flywheel.

“Auden.”

“See? You know the rhythm.”

Oh god, I don’t know anything right now.

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Unguarded | Jay Hogan

Vino & Veritas #10

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Universal Link: https://geni.us/AmazonUnguarded

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2M3qdiU

Shorby: https://shor.by/vino-and-veritas

READ MY REVIEW

Blurb

I fled Boston and my cheating jerk of an ex with three hundred dollars and a lip gloss in my pocket. Waking up the next day in Burlington, Vermont, with a crick in my back and a frozen ass wasn’t exactly in the plan. If there was one. Which there wasn’t. Story of my life.

Three hours later and I’ve been hired as temporary help in the local veterinary and grooming clinic, which is kind of impressive since I know zip about animals and even less about grooming. But one thing I do know—I’m crushing hard on the sexy, absent-minded vet I work for.

My life is a hot mess. The last thing I need is another relationship. Emmett pushes all my buttons, but he isn’t out. He’s overwhelmed with a business to run and a son to look after and the kind of domestic life I never thought I wanted.

I should walk away.

But Emmett believes in me, and I might just be starting to believe in myself. As different as we are, is it possible we’re exactly what the other needs?

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Excerpt

The final client of the morning was a grumbling, overweight Pekingese cross named Charles, with an attitude to rival Genghis Khan and an owner who refused to come in with her dog because she didn’t want the nippy little demon to associate her with any discomfort.

Under instruction from Ivy, Tai had the growling, muzzled dog wrapped in a towel and pinioned against his stomach, his expression caught somewhere between are-you-fucking-kidding-me and abject terror.

I told him what we were about to do and he stared at me in wide-eyed disbelief. “You did not just say you were going to milk this little guy’s anal glands?”

I swallowed a laugh. “I believe those were my exact words.”

His gaze flicked down to the squirming dog, then back up. “Do I even want to ask why?”

I shrugged and pulled on some gloves. “The anal glands are two little sacs on either side of the rectum. Normally they get expressed every time the dog poops. Helps mark his territory.”

“Oh. My. God.” Tai rolled his eyes dramatically. “I think I dated a guy like that once.”

Ivy snorted while I grappled with an influx of images involving Tai with another guy and that whole territorial marking thing. I snapped the second glove on my wrist like an elastic band, hoping the pain might shock some sense into me.

It didn’t.

Tai got his freak under control and tucked Charles firmly back against his stomach. It was the first time I’d ever been jealous of the mutt.

“I know I’m going to regret asking this,” he said, wrinkling his nose. “But what happens when things don’t get expressed, on the whole anal-gland front? And I can’t believe I just said that.”

“Welcome to my world.” Ivy appeared from the supply room.

I caught Tai’s eye and waggled my eyebrows. He was hella fun to tease. “I’m so glad you asked that question. If they don’t get expressed naturally, not helped by poor diet and excess weight, then the glands can block and get smelly and painful. They can even form an abscess that can burst onto the skin.”

Tai’s mouth dropped open in horror. “Holy crap. And also—another date of mine.”

I gave a strangled laugh and realized I hadn’t had so much fun at work since . . . well yeah, it had been a while.

“Damn, that’s disgusting. The poor thing.” Tai lifted Charles to smooch him safely around the back of his ears. “We need to talk about your diet young man,” he cooed to the dog who, miracle of miracles, appeared to calm. “Fiber is the key, plus plenty of water and attention to timing. Clean, screened, and fit for a queen.” He glanced up with a wicked grin. “Right, Mr. Vet?”

Ivy coughed loudly, while every semi-functioning neuron in my body focused on only one thing that shall not be mentioned.

“I, yeah . . . I guess,” I managed to croak. “Although maybe not the screening thing, not for dogs.”

Tai lifted Charles to eyeball him. “Safety first.”

Ivy joined us at the table. “Okay, you two. Let’s get this done so I can spritz the room. Keep a firm grip,” she told Tai.

His eyes widened. “This is going to smell worse than I thought, isn’t it?”

She wrinkled her nose. “Think fishy.”

Tai got a tight hold on the wriggling dog. “Huh? Not my first guess. Okay, I’m ready. I have to say, it feels a little like an initiation.”

I flashed him an encouraging smile. “You’ll be fine. Now hold that tail up.” As soon as the words left my mouth, I knew, and sure enough—

He snorted. “Not the first time I’ve been told that.”

I shook my head, gently squeezed, and . . .

“Whoa.” He gave a long blink and jerked his head around and out of the way. “Ewww, Charles. That’s some nasty shit right there.”

I grinned from ear to ear, pretty much as I had from the minute Tai had walked into my clinic. I was so fucked.

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Out-Now

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