Fantastic fake boyfriend follow up in this college series from Lane Hayes

Out in the End Zone CoverOut in the End Zone by Lane Hayes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review tomorrow when I’m at the laptop.

Weeee, this was a delight. It overlaps with book one in the series but can still be read as a standalone. I loved Evan and Mitch.

Evan was like a giant puppy, eager but naive and sensitive and, once his past was revealed, it made perfect sense.

Mitch was just a great character, he’s out and proud and happily living his life without complications, but he’s also vulnerable, apart from his grandmother, he’s never been put first as a priority, both his parents essentially abandoning him for their careers.

There’s just a really sweet romance at the heart of this “fake” boyfriends trope when it becomes clear that pretending to have a relationship – so Mitch can use the YouTube videos for his final year project on the impact of social media – not only isn’t a hardship but, for Evan, is becoming the central part of his life.

I will say, Evan also frustrated me for a long time but, once I knew what happened in his past, it became crystal clear why he behaved as he did. It’s not horrible behaviour, so no need to worry there! Just a wee angsting about accepting his bisexuality.

Also, there was a brief bit of plotline which just didn’t seem to go anywhere and, while I got that it was a bit more background to the big reveal later, I think it may have benefitted from a small follow up reference as to whether Evan did anything or not about it. Sorry to be cryptic but it’s a fairly big spoilery type thing!

Even though these guys are college age at just 23, I firmly believed in their Happy Ever After and can quite easily picture them muddling along together for the rest of their lives.

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

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Blog Tour: Ryker by RJ Scott & V. L. Locey

Ryker | RJ Scott & V. L. Locey

Owatonna U Hockey #1

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 50,700 words approx.

Cover Design: Meredith Russell

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Blurb

Ryker is hockey royalty, Jacob is a poor country boy. Can two vastly different people find common ground and become the men they want to be?

Ryker comes from a long line of championship-winning hockey players. Playing college hockey to develop his game is his only focus, and nothing will stand in the way of him working to become the best player.

He has no room for relationships, people that point out his flaws, or anyone who calls him on his dreams. He certainly has no place for love, and meeting Jacob is nothing but a useful distraction on the side. After all trying to get his Owatonna Eagles teammate into bed is less work and more play. When tragedy rocks his family, his charmed life crumbles, and the only person he can turn to is the same one who claims to hate him.
Jacob Benson has only known hard work and stifling conservative values his whole life. Born and raised in the small rural community of Eden Crossing, Minnesota, he’s the only son of a hard-working but struggling dairy farming family. Jacob is using his skills in hockey to finance his way to an agricultural science degree.

These four years at Owatonna U. will probably be the only time he has to enjoy life, gain acceptance about his sexuality, and live openly before his inevitable return to the farm. Running into a pretty rich boy like Ryker Madsen is putting a damper on his enjoyment of life away from home.

Ryker’s flip, conceited, carefree attitude grates on Jacob’s every nerve. So why, if Ryker is everything he dislikes, does he want nothing more than to explore the sinful dreams that his annoying teammate stars in every night?

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September 26 – Urban Smoothie ReadBook Lovers 4EverXtreme DelusionsJessie G BooksSexy Erotic XcitingReading In Sarah’s CornerOMG Reads, Two Chicks ObsessedSeptember 28 – The Blogger GirlsOctober 1 – Mirrigold: Mutterings & MusingsAmy’s MM Romance ReviewsLove Unchained Book ReviewMainely StoriesOctober 3 – My Fiction NookWicked Faerie’s Tales & ReviewsNerdy Dirty & FlirtyOctober 5 – Scattered Thoughts & Rogue WordsMaking It HappenWicked ReadsMM Good Book ReviewsOctober 10 – Sarandipity Book ReviewsPadme’s LibraryOctober 12 – We Three QueensLillian FrancisBayou Book Junkie

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RJ’s goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

RJ is the author of the over one hundred novels and discovered romance in books at a very young age. She realized that if there wasn’t romance on the page, she could create it in her head, and is a lifelong writer.

She lives and works out of her home in the beautiful English countryside, spends her spare time reading, watching films, and enjoying time with her family.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit and has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.

She’s always thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers. Please contact via the following links below:


Email RJ (rj@rjscott.co.uk)

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V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, Doctor Who, Torchwood, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.)

She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, two Jersey steers and a flock of assorted domestic fowl.

When not writing lusty tales, she can be found enjoying her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand.

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RJ and VL nail it again with their latest ice hockey offering

35559022Ryker by R.J. Scott & V. l. Locey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s not often I read a Young Adult romance because invariably I find myself rolling my eyes at the antics or – understandable given their ages – lack of maturity often used in the narrative to create plot tension.

However, as this is a spin-off from the Harrisburg Railers series and it comes from the pens of two of the finest writers of sports romance in the MM genre, I knew I’d get little of the above.

There is a wee bit of what could be described as irrational dislike when Ryker and Jacob meet, but the in-character explanations more than adequately provide reasons for Jacob’s feelings.

He’s also fairly quick to acknowledge it was his own unreasonable prejudices and a sense of misplaced inadequacy over their different backgrounds which led to his behaviour.

When they do finally move beyond friendship, the reader is given a truly beautiful tale of first love. They come to rely on each other for everything and, when the book brings us up to date with what’s been happening on the ice for the Railers, we see just how much Jacob has become Ryker’s solid foundation.

I loved everything about this book, apart from

**SPOILER**

having to read about poor Ten getting injured all over again

**SPOILER**

and I’m seriously looking forward to seeing where these authors take us next.

Scott’s story looks like it will be way more angsty and I’m now “bring it on”!

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

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New Release Blitz: Out In The Deep by Lane Hayes

Out In The Deep | Lane Hayes

Out in College #1

Publisher: Lane Hayes

Release Date: August 29

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 41K

Genre: Romance, New Adult, Bisexual, College romance, Water Polo, Coming out

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Synopsis

Derek Vaughn is a little too serious. He’s a type A control personality with a penchant for order and a love of water polo. But he’s determined to enjoy his last year of college. The real world with a serious job and big expectations can wait for a few months. He’s going soak up every minute on campus with his friends and teammates before he moves on. The only possible kink in his plan is the new guy on the team… also known as his nemesis.

Gabe Chadwick has big Olympic dreams. His transfer between Southern California universities has nothing to do with scholastics. The degree is his backup plan. He’s not there to party or make friends. And he certainly isn’t going to announce his sexuality. But he can’t deny there’s something special about the uptight team captain. However, when an unwitting friendship and mutual attraction collide, both will have to decide if this is the real thing or if they’re about to lose it all in the deep.

Excerpt

Maybe I just needed a good night’s sleep. It had been a long day. And a weird one. I could never have dreamed up a scenario featuring Gabe Chadwick in my house after this morning. But here he was.

I gave him a thorough once-over as he walked into the kitchen. And again, the first thing that crossed my mind was, “Wow, he’s really fucking hot.”

“Nice place.”

“Thanks. Do you want some water or something?” I asked, awkwardly pointing at the fridge.

“No, thanks. I’ve had enough tonight,” Gabe replied with a laugh.

I should have said good-bye then and escorted him to the door, but I had a strong desire to keep him talking and maybe dispel the weird admiring thoughts going through my brain. Yes, Gabe was a good-looking guy, but I shouldn’t be fixating on his long eyelashes and the way the kitchen light framed him in a halo of sorts. I couldn’t let him go until my brainwaves returned to normal, and he was the same annoyingly smart and talented opponent I’d played against occasionally for years. The thing was, I didn’t really know him and at that moment, I wanted to.

“Where do you live?” I asked.

“About fifteen minutes away. I scored an apartment by campus. I have one roommate. Brent’s a volleyball player. We might get a third to cut expenses, but I don’t want to share a room, so that’ll be up to him.”

“Sharing a room gets old fast. Evan and I knew we wanted to live together, but I’d probably smother him in his sleep if I had to listen to him snoring every night a few feet away from me,” I said in a lame-ass effort to keep him talking.

Gabe chuckled. “That would be rough. Evan seems like a cool guy. Is he as neat as you? This house is spotless.”

“No, that’s all me. I can’t help it. I have a thing about order. Evan’s a slob. You should see his room. At least he tries in shared spaces. I don’t bug him about his unmade bed, scattered clothes, and random dishes he leaves on his nightstand as long as he keeps the bathroom and kitchen tidy. He’s been on the receiving end of a couple of classic Vaughn meltdowns,” I said with a self-deprecating shrug.

“A Vaughn meltdown,” Gabe repeated. “That must be a version of what I experienced this morning when you tried to drown me.”

“Fuck off.” I laughed, then looked away quickly when a rush of heat flooded my cheeks. Oh, my God. Please don’t let me blush. Not now. He’ll know something’s wrong with me.

Gabe stepped closer to me and cocked his head. “Are you blushing?”

Great.

“I don’t blush.”

“Whatever you say.” He winked and gave me a mischievous smile that turned me inside out.

This couldn’t be happening.

Purchase at Amazon

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Meet the Author

Lane Hayes is finally doing what she loves best. Writing! An avid reader from an early age, Lane has always been drawn to romance novels. She truly believes there is nothing more inspiring than a well-told love story with beautifully written characters.

Lane discovered the M/M genre a fews ago and was instantly hooked. She is the bestselling author of the Better Than, Right and Wrong, A Kind of Stories and Leaning Into series. Lane’s novels placed first in the 2016 and 2017 Rainbow Awards.

She loves travel, chocolate, and wine (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in an empty nest.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

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Review & Blog Tour: On The Ice by Amy Aislin

On The Ice | Amy Aislin

Stick Side #1

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 Universal Buy Link

 Length: 87,000 word approx.
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Blurb

For college sophomore Mitch Greyson, determination and persistence are the name of the game if he wants to make it as a professional hockey player.

A busy schedule of practices, games, classes, homework, two part-time jobs—and now, working with a tutor to help him pass the class he’s failing so that he can keep his scholarship—shouldn’t leave him with enough time to flirt with the NHL player in town. But that doesn’t stop him.

Placed on the injured reserve list until his broken arm heals, NHL defenseman Alex Dean is using the time off to be with his ailing grandfather and get a head start on the book he’s been commissioned to write. He doesn’t expect to get roped into a tutoring gig, especially not for cocky, smart-ass Mitch.

But Alex soon discovers that there’s more to Mitch than meets the eye…and he really likes what he sees. Only Alex doesn’t dare risk his NHL career by coming out, and a relationship between them would jeopardize Mitch’s chances with the organization too.

It looks impossible. Then again, the best things usually do…

Excerpt

“Good game against Colgate,” Alex said, pocketing his phone.

The mask slipped off Mitch’s face. “You were there?”

Alex shook his head. “Watched it on TV.”

Holy crap! An NHL player—Mitch’s hockey crush, no less—had watched his game. At a loss for words, Mitch stood there blinking at Alex like a putz.

“You’ve got impressive foot work,” Alex said.

Mitch continued to blink at him.

“You skated circles around Colgate and that goal in the third?” Alex smiled wide. “You broke Colgate’s end as if the defensemen were pylons. It was beautiful.”

“I—” Mitch cleared his throat. “Well, McCall passed me the puck at just the right time, so… I mean, I did figure skating for years and…” He had no idea what he was trying to say.

“Huh. I know a couple of guys who did some figure skating after their game slipped and it helped them rebound. It’s something I’ve been considering to improve my foot speed.” Alex leaned a shoulder against the wall and crossed his arms, but his cast got in the way so he ended up shoving one hand in his pocket and letting the casted one dangle. “Your training shows in your footwork. How else has it helped your game?”

In total disbelief that an NHL player was asking him for advice, Mitch said, “Figure skating is about using edges and your body to change direction on the ice. It’s about learning to cut a corner or to pivot the right way while maintaining your speed. It made me a better skater.”

“It shows.”

God, the compliments were going to go to Mitch’s head.

“What made you decide to stick with hockey instead of figure skating?”

Mitch shrugged and told the truth. “I liked hockey better.”

“Could you do a triple axel in full hockey gear?” Alex asked, a teasing grin on his face.

Mitch had to laugh. “I’ve never tried.” But now he was itching to.

“No? What about a—” Alex held his index finger up and moved it in small circles, “—with the leg out in front?”

“A sit spin?” Mitch scratched his head. “I actually think that one might be harder than the triple axel in full hockey gear.”

They stood there smiling at each other for a moment, Alex’s eyes the color of the Green Mountains in summer. The man was too gorgeous for words and he was nice to boot. Mitch couldn’t help staring at Alex’s mouth, red and surprisingly soft in an otherwise rugged face.

Alex cleared his throat and edged around Mitch. “I’ve got to get back to my friend.”

“Wait, I—” The hallway was empty so Mitch plastered his sex smile back on his face, walked right into Alex’s personal space, and put a hand on Alex’s hip. “Why don’t you come over tonight and we’ll—”

Alex palmed Mitch’s shoulders and pushed him away. “Look, kid—”

“I’m not a kid.”

“Mitch.” Alex held him at arm’s length. “Whatever it is you’re trying to do here, it’s not going to happen. I don’t even know you.”

“What difference does that make?”

Alex dropped his arms. “I don’t jump into bed with people I don’t know. Hell, I don’t even jump into bed with people I do know.”

Alex wasn’t saying I’m not gay, but it did sound like he was saying I’m asexual or something similar, which left Mitch exactly nowhere.

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May 8 – Xtreme Delusions, We Three Queens, Bookaholic & Kindle, MM Midnight Cafe

May 10 – Love Bytes, Mean Girls Luv Books, Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books, Kimmer’s Erotic Book Banter, United Indie Book Blog, Megan’s Media Melange, Urban Smoothie Read, Mainely Stories

May 11 – The Novel Approach

May 12 – My Fiction Nook, Katie’s Book Corner, Dreams & Screams Bookaholics, Love Unchained Book Reviews

May 14 – Drops Of Ink, Unquietly Me, Cupcakes & Bookshelves, Wicked Faerie’s Tales & Reviews, Making It Happen, Wicked Reads

May 15 – Joyfully Jay

May 16 – Valerie Ullmer, Queerly Reads, Mirrigold: Mutterings & Musings, Sarandipity, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

May 17 – Bayou Book Junkie

May 19 – MM Good Book Reviews

 Amy started writing on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class was forced to stay inside for recess. Tales of adventures with her classmates quickly morphed into tales of adventures with the characters in her head.
Based in the suburbs of Toronto, Amy is a marketer/fundraiser at a large environmental non-profit in Toronto by day, and a writer by night. Book enthusiast, animal lover and (very) amateur photographer, her interests are many and varied, including travelling, astronomy, ecology, and baking.
She binge watches too much anime, and loves musical theater, Julie Andrews, the Backstreet Boys, and her hometown of Oakville, Ontario.
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Release Blitz: On The Ice by Amy Aislin

On The Ice | Amy Aislin
Stick Side #1

RBBanner

Universal Buy Link

 Length: 87,000 word approx.
Copy of Copy of OnTheIce-MEDIUM
 
Blurb

For college sophomore Mitch Greyson, determination and persistence are the name of the game if he wants to make it as a professional hockey player.

A busy schedule of practices, games, classes, homework, two part-time jobs—and now, working with a tutor to help him pass the class he’s failing so that he can keep his scholarship—shouldn’t leave him with enough time to flirt with the NHL player in town. But that doesn’t stop him.

Placed on the injured reserve list until his broken arm heals, NHL defenseman Alex Dean is using the time off to be with his ailing grandfather and get a head start on the book he’s been commissioned to write. He doesn’t expect to get roped into a tutoring gig, especially not for cocky, smart-ass Mitch.

But Alex soon discovers that there’s more to Mitch than meets the eye…and he really likes what he sees. Only Alex doesn’t dare risk his NHL career by coming out, and a relationship between them would jeopardize Mitch’s chances with the organization too.

It looks impossible. Then again, the best things usually do…

Excerpt


“Good game against Colgate,” Alex said, pocketing his phone.

The mask slipped off Mitch’s face. “You were there?”

Alex shook his head. “Watched it on TV.”

Holy crap! An NHL player—Mitch’s hockey crush, no less—had watched his game. At a loss for words, Mitch stood there blinking at Alex like a putz.

“You’ve got impressive foot work,” Alex said.

Mitch continued to blink at him.

“You skated circles around Colgate and that goal in the third?” Alex smiled wide. “You broke Colgate’s end as if the defensemen were pylons. It was beautiful.”

“I—” Mitch cleared his throat. “Well, McCall passed me the puck at just the right time, so… I mean, I did figure skating for years and…” He had no idea what he was trying to say.

“Huh. I know a couple of guys who did some figure skating after their game slipped and it helped them rebound. It’s something I’ve been considering to improve my foot speed.” Alex leaned a shoulder against the wall and crossed his arms, but his cast got in the way so he ended up shoving one hand in his pocket and letting the casted one dangle. “Your training shows in your footwork. How else has it helped your game?”

In total disbelief that an NHL player was asking him for advice, Mitch said, “Figure skating is about using edges and your body to change direction on the ice. It’s about learning to cut a corner or to pivot the right way while maintaining your speed. It made me a better skater.”

“It shows.”

God, the compliments were going to go to Mitch’s head.

“What made you decide to stick with hockey instead of figure skating?”

Mitch shrugged and told the truth. “I liked hockey better.”

“Could you do a triple axel in full hockey gear?” Alex asked, a teasing grin on his face.

Mitch had to laugh. “I’ve never tried.” But now he was itching to.

“No? What about a—” Alex held his index finger up and moved it in small circles, “—with the leg out in front?”

“A sit spin?” Mitch scratched his head. “I actually think that one might be harder than the triple axel in full hockey gear.”

They stood there smiling at each other for a moment, Alex’s eyes the color of the Green Mountains in summer. The man was too gorgeous for words and he was nice to boot. Mitch couldn’t help staring at Alex’s mouth, red and surprisingly soft in an otherwise rugged face.

Alex cleared his throat and edged around Mitch. “I’ve got to get back to my friend.”

“Wait, I—” The hallway was empty so Mitch plastered his sex smile back on his face, walked right into Alex’s personal space, and put a hand on Alex’s hip. “Why don’t you come over tonight and we’ll—”

Alex palmed Mitch’s shoulders and pushed him away. “Look, kid—”

“I’m not a kid.”

“Mitch.” Alex held him at arm’s length. “Whatever it is you’re trying to do here, it’s not going to happen. I don’t even know you.”

“What difference does that make?”

Alex dropped his arms. “I don’t jump into bed with people I don’t know. Hell, I don’t even jump into bed with people I do know.”

 

Alex wasn’t saying I’m not gay, but it did sound like he was saying I’m asexual or something similar, which left Mitch exactly nowhere.

Amy started writing on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class was forced to stay inside for recess. Tales of adventures with her classmates quickly morphed into tales of adventures with the characters in her head.

Based in the suburbs of Toronto, Amy is a marketer/fundraiser at a large environmental non-profit in Toronto by day, and a writer by night. Book enthusiast, animal lover and (very) amateur photographer, her interests are many and varied, including travelling, astronomy, ecology, and baking.

She binge watches too much anime, and loves musical theater, Julie Andrews, the Backstreet Boys, and her hometown of Oakville, Ontario.

Connect with Amy:

Website: http://amyaislin.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amy.aislin

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AmyAislinAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/amy_aislin

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

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ca/amyaislinauthor/

Tumblr: https://amyaislin.tumblr.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16693566.Amy_Aislin

QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/amy-aislin/

Amazon: https://amazon.com/author/amyaislin

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Another good paranormal romance from Cameron

Omega StudiesOmega Studies by Casey Cameron

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I like the paranormal world that Casey Cameron has created for her alpha/beta/omega romances. There’s no shifters here but a lot of the dynamics work in a similar fashion.

This is a romance but it has a nice side order of college politics running alongside it. I did think there were a few plot elements which didn’t get properly resolved like Andy’s fate for one, but overall it was an enjoyable read.

I found Matt a little too abrasive at first but he slowly grew on me. Derek I liked from the off as he seemed determined to try and not fulfil stereotypes and was willing to listen.
I liked the secondarily characters too and I liked that all the alphas weren’t jerks.

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