Tag Archives: coming out

New Release Blitz: Out In The Offense by Lane Hayes

Out in the Offense | Lane Hayes

Out in College #3

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Release Date: January 10, 2019

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 54k

Genre: Romance, New Adult, Bisexual, College romance, Football, Coming out

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Synopsis

Christian Rafferty is a talented quarterback with a big secret. He’s determined to make the most of his final season on the football field, and if possible, avoid any confrontations with his conservative parents about his future. It shouldn’t be difficult; he’s become adept at keeping his public and private lives separate. However, when a math class threatens to derail his plans to graduate on time, he realizes he may need outside help.

Rory Kirkland has a reputation for being a tough guy. He’s a former wrestler and recent college graduate who needs a real job. Until he finds one, tutoring is a decent temporary gig. Luckily, his brain is his biggest asset.

Rory is a genius. He credits his sport for helping him deal with angst and rumors about his sexuality when he was younger, but he doesn’t care what others think anymore. He likes his new status as an out and proud bi man; and he recognizes something of himself in Christian. But Rory didn’t count on falling for him.

When an unlikely friendship collides with intense attraction, both men begin to realize that coming out on offense just might be the surest path to love.

Excerpt

“Can I do anything to help?” I asked, setting my backpack on one of the two barstools at the narrow counter space.

“Nope. As soon as the veggies are sautéed, we’ll be ready to eat. Want something to drink?”

“Yes, please. Water is fine. Where’s Buttons?”

Rory pulled a water bottle from the small fridge behind him and handed it over, then pointed at a basket next to the sofa.

“She’s hiding behind that basket. She’ll make an appearance if she decides you’re worthy. In the meantime, there’s bread in that basket on the counter next to your bag. Help yourself. I’ll bring dinner out.”

I thanked him, then twisted the cap from the water bottle and took a generous sip before rounding the corner in search of the bread. I was ravenous. I bit into the baguette with gusto before turning to check out my surroundings.

Rory’s apartment was tiny. Probably half the size of mine and much older. But unlike the rough exterior, it was…pleasant. Surprisingly so. A short wall delineated the narrow kitchen from the main living area. There was just enough room for a sofa, an ottoman, a TV console, and a smallish television. Two barstools were tucked under the small peninsula by the cut-out in the kitchen wall. The palette was basic “dude”…dark leather against stark white walls, though a large red throw rug anchored the room and provided a nice splash of color. It was simple—but tidy and very clean.

“Your place is cool,” I commented when he entered the room, carrying two plates and a large bowl.

“Thanks. Let’s sit on the sofa. We have more room to eat there,” he said decisively as he set his burden on the coffee table. “Help yourself. I’ll get some forks, napkins, and extra veggies.”

I obeyed and quickly got to work, scooping chicken fettucine Alfredo onto both plates. Rory joined me a minute later, handing over the silverware before taking a seat next to me. I shot a bashful sideways glance at him as I reached for a napkin.

“Do you eat like this every night?”

“It’s really nothing special. I make sauces in bulk and freeze them. Then it’s just a matter of adding protein and veggies. By the way, this Alfredo is a healthy version. If you want to drown it in parmesan, feel free. I won’t be offended. Cheers.” He tapped his water bottle against mine and winked.

“Cheers. And thanks again. This is incredible and very unexpected.” I smiled as I twisted the pasta around my fork.

“You’re welcome. You sounded anxious, but you said we’re cool. Are we?”

“Of course.”

Rory tilted his head and shot me a challenging look. “Then kiss me.”

“Um…now?”

“Yeah, now. The other night could have been a fluke. Instead of wondering, let’s get it over with. One kiss should be enough to tell. C’mere,” he commanded, leaning sideways.

I set my fork down and met him halfway until our noses brushed. Then I waited for him to make the next move. He stayed stubbornly still. When I couldn’t stand the growing tension, I pressed my lips to his. And wow…amazing.

Rory was a great kisser. He had the simple art of give-and-take down to a science. He molded his mouth to mine and gently pushed his tongue inside. The connection was sweet but bold. It was more about discovery than possession. I hummed as I snaked my arm around his neck, pulling him closer. He sucked my tongue, then bit my bottom lip playfully before pulling back.

“Definitely not a fluke,” he said with a devilish grin.

Meet the Author

Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full-time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men.

Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and won First Prize in the 2016 and 2017 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order).

Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in a newly empty nest.

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Release Blitz: You. Forever. Always by K.A. Merikan

You. Forever. Always. |  K.A. Merikan

The Underdogs #3

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Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Genre: Contemporary MM, Rocker, Romance

Heat level: sweet, explicit scenes

Length: ~50,000 words (Can be read as standalone, HEA)

Cover Design: Natasha Snow

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Blurb

—Years of loving in secret. Now the secret’s out.—

Mage. Reasonable. Mature. In love with his best friend’s little brother.

Dawn. Painfully shy. Crazy talented. An anxious cinnamon roll in need of protection.

Mage has always been Dawn’s hero. He’s been there for him when Dawn was bullied, when Dawn came out, and when he joined The Underdogs. He’s also been Dawn’s first and only love – painfully unrequited, since Mage is straight. But that’s only for the better, because they’re bandmates, and Dawn’s brother is Mage’s best friend.

It would all be too intense, too complicated, too real.

But then one drunken kiss proves Mage might not be as straight as he seemed, and their whole world turns upside down. Even though Dawn craves Mage’s love so much his heart could burst, his shyness stands in the way of any future they could share.

While they have to keep their budding relationship under wraps and they prepare to sign a major record deal, Dawn’s anxiety gets out of control. Mage will have to choose between the success he’s always craved and the love of his life.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS

Themes: rock band, bandmates romance, older brother’s best friend, coming out, bisexuality, first love, anxiety, compromise, music, secret love

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Underdogs Series

Book #1:

Manic Pixie Dream BoyAmazon US | Amazon UK

Book #2:

Just Here For The PainAmazon US | Amazon UK

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About The Authors

K.A. Merikan are a team of writers who try not to suck at adulting, with some success. Always eager to explore the murky waters of the weird and wonderful, K.A. Merikan don’t follow fixed formulas and want each of their books to be a surprise for those who choose to hop on for the ride.

K.A. Merikan have a few sweeter M/M romances as well, but they specialize in the dark, dirty, and dangerous side of M/M, full of bikers, bad boys, Mafiosi, and scorching hot romance.

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Jocelynn & Rinda open this new series with a cracking good read

Something About Jace (Pineapple Grove #1)Something About Jace by Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From the minute he almost stole the show as a guest star in Dominic and Abe’s book Sadistic Sherlock, I’ve been hoping we’d get Trent’s book.

Jocelynn and Rinda use it to kick off their new Pineapple Cove series set in sunny Florida and it’s a great introduction with a new set of characters to fall in love with.

They even manage to add in a bit of suspense with a secondary subplot involving art vandalism which ties in with Trent’s love interest Jace’s sister.

And speaking of Jace, he was a sweetheart and just the right person to spark Trent’s interest and to allow the global superstar movie actor the freedom to be himself.

The tension in this is all relatively low key, concentrating on the relationship and the impact on Trent’s career when he comes out as bisexual. It was handled with ease by these two talented authors and felt organic and not there just for the plot.

The sex is, as expected with these two, volcanic. I’m sure they deliberately seek ways in which they can get us dedicated fans of theirs to shout out loud in joy!

This book is no exception and the chair and mirror combo in this one rocketed to the top of the list of seriously sexy times!

I’ve five starred this one, as I have most of their books, because it was a read in one go and I finished it at 3am this morning and loved every bit of it 🙂

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

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New Release Blitz: Stay A Little Longer by Jess Bryant

Stay A Little Longer | Jess Bryant

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Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: November 19, 2018

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 56100

Genre: Contemporary, LGBT, in the closet, coming out, being outed, law enforcement, musician

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Synopsis

Country music superstar, Trent Thorne is on the run. What he’s kept hidden from the world is no longer a secret. He trusted the wrong person, a man he’d stupidly thought he was in love with, and instead of a happily ever after all he’d gotten was outed. Unwilling to sit around and watch his private life get plastered all over the news, Trent hits the road and somehow ends up in his best friend Lemon’s small hometown of Fate, Texas.

Lance Nichols knows a thing or two about hiding. He’s so deep in the closet he can’t even see daylight. The former womanizer finally admitted the truth to himself a few years ago but he never thought he’d be able to say the words aloud, not to his family, not to his friends, and certainly not to his secret celebrity crush when the guy stumbles awkwardly into his life.

Fate brought these two together, but will it also tear them apart? One newly outed man refuses to go back in the closet. The other can’t imagine coming out of his.

Excerpt

Stay a Little Longer
Jess Bryant © 2018
All Rights Reserved

Fuckin’ Heath motherfuckin’ Barber could go fuck himself.

Trent Thorne had been betrayed by a man he’d thought he could trust. The man he’d considered his best friend. The man who he’d convinced himself he was in love with. The man who he’d been delusional enough to believe might be in love with him too.

He white-knuckled the steering wheel and cursed his ex-best friend for the millionth time. He was an idiot. An idiot to have ever thought Heath reciprocated his feelings. An idiot to have ever said those three little words, to have ever said a thing about how he felt or who he was. A major idiot for ever having believed he could have it all.

He’d told Heath his biggest secret. The one thing he kept from everyone but a trusted few in his inner circle. Nobody on the outside knew. Not his record label or his band. Certainly, not the millions of people that bought his albums or the legions of women who threw themselves at him. He’d told Heath he was gay, and it had turned out to be the biggest mistake of his life.

Heath’s reaction to his confession had been swift and brutal. He’d recoiled, and he’d called Trent a liar. He’d said Trent had been lying to him from the moment they met. He’d said Trent had been lying to him every day for two years. Been lying ever since he’d hired the retired professional athlete as his trainer and then his personal assistant. Heath had been the person in his life he was closest to, only he’d said he didn’t know Trent at all.

And the thing was, Trent hadn’t been able to deny it. Of course, Heath didn’t know him. Very few people could say they did. Not the real Trent. Not Trenton James Thorne, Texas native, long-lost brother and exiled son with an unhealthy fear of firearms and dying alone. Because to be Trent Thorne, country music superstar, charmer and all-around lady’s man, he couldn’t be himself.

He couldn’t be gay.

That had been made clear to him from the day he set foot in Nashville, and in the years since, covering up and hiding his truth had been as much a full-time job as performing or recording. The first time that spotlight had hit him and the crowd went wild, he would’ve sold his soul to the devil to make that feeling last.

In a lot of ways, he knew now that he had.

He’d sold himself out for the money and the fame and the success of being worshipped by a bunch of strangers. Because he’d just wanted to play his music and he’d thought it was the only way. Because his manager, his record label, and his throng of adoring fans wanted the Trent Thorne who wiggled his hips and winked at all the girls, who sang bro-country anthems about hooking up with hot chicks down by the lake and crooned about soft bodies in moonlight.

Nobody wanted the real Trent Thorne. They never had. They never would.

The cell phone vibrating in the center console of his rental called him a liar now too. It hadn’t stopped ringing all day. Not since the news broke. It seemed the entire fucking world wanted a piece of the real Trent Thorne now, and it was all because he’d trusted the wrong person, fallen for the wrong person, shown his true self to someone who hadn’t liked what they’d seen.

Heath had fuckin’ outed him.

Considering it was his life being broadcast over every entertainment outlet in the western hemisphere, Trent was a little fuzzy on the details of how it had happened. He’d woken up to his ringing phone this morning. His manager, Rick, had said something about Heath telling a friend who told a friend who told someone who wasn’t a friend… or something like that.

It sounded so cliché. High school drama multiplied to the umpteenth level. Trent almost could have laughed. Almost. All of his carefully laid plans, skillfully guarded secrets, and he’d been outed by a game of telephone gone awry.

The entire fuckin’ world knew he was gay now, which meant life as he knew it was over.

Just that fast and just that easily, he was done in Nashville. He knew it. Had always known it would be the end of his career if he trusted the wrong person with his true identity and it got out.

But he’d thought he was in love with Heath, which was just so goddamn ridiculous in the bright light of today that he had no explanation for how he could have so monumentally screwed up.

Meet the Author

Jess Bryant is an avid indoorswoman. A city girl trapped in a country girl’s life, her heart resides in Dallas but her soul and roots are in small-town Oklahoma. She enjoys manicures, the color pink, and her completely impractical for country life stilettos. She believes that hair color is a legitimate form of therapy, as is reading and writing romance. She started writing as a little girl but her life changed forever when she stole a book from her aunt’s Harlequin collection and she’s been creating love stories with happily ever afters ever since.

Jess holds a degree in Public Relations from the University of Oklahoma and is a lifetime supporter of her school and athletic teams. And why not? They have a ton of National Championships! She may be a girlie girl but she knows her sports stats and isn’t afraid to tell you that your school isn’t as cool as hers… or that your sports romance got it all wrong.

For more information on Jess and upcoming releases, contact her at JessBryantBooks@gmail.com or follow her on her many social media accounts for news and shenanigans.

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Blog Tour: Lonely Hearts by Posy Roberts

Lonely Hearts | Posy Roberts

A Novella Bundle

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MM Romance

Release Date: 25.10.18

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Stoic men, who believe they’re happy alone, find the world turned upside down when their perfect someone stumbles across their path. In four novellas, eight men encounter unique struggles on their way to their well-deserved happily ever after.

Marc joins the Lonely Hearts chat room where men support men on their way to finding true love. He wants to believe that kind of love is possible for him, but his once-burned heart stops him from going all-in with anyone.

The chat group’s philosophy is, “Figure out how you keep screwing up your happily ever after. Once you know, you’re more likely to find the true thing.”

Skeptical as he is, Marc logs in and meets men in various degrees of getting there. At least he’s not alone. Luther truly loves his single life on the Bakken oil fields. William’s not sure he’ll ever measure up, let alone find someone he can be himself around. And Andrew still pines for a guy he hooked up with on a reenactment battlefield before he got blown up on a real one.

One by one they start dropping like flies. Flies drunk on love. And sooner than he expects, Marc’s luck starts changing thanks to these new friends.

Walk alongside these men as they find the men of their dreams and discover their happily ever afters.

101,000 Words | 396 pages | 8-9 hours to read

blue-collar | reluctant lovers | rural | bisexual | gay | meet-cute | fated lovers | love triangle | Halloween | white-collar | opposites attract | multicultural | coming out | second chance | first time | disability romance | meant to be | military | artist | world traveler | coming of age | long distance | pen pals | gay romance | contemporary | MM romance | lone wolf | alpha male

Stories included: Bent Arrow, Stroke of Luck, Momo, My Everything, and Love on a Battlefield.

Universal Amazon Link: http://getbook.at/LonelyHearts

Universal Buy Link: http://books2read.com/LoneHearts

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EXCERPT

Marc logged into the chat room, unsure what he was getting into, but he’d been reassured by a friend (who was friends with the moderator) that this was a good group of guys. If nothing else, he’d get to know other queer men. If he was lucky, maybe they’d help him find a way to open up his heart to fall in love again. At least that’s how the group was described to him.

5 Members in Chat Room

Marc: Hey, I’m Marc. I’m new here, and the rules said I had to introduce myself. I’m bisexual but haven’t dated much since my ex-girlfriend cheated on me. Work has been my focus, but after three years, I’m lonely. It’s as plain as that. I’m just not sure how to trust someone again.

Hugo: Hi, Marc. I’m Hugo, the moderator. If I disappear all of a sudden, it’s because I’m waiting to chauffeur kids between gymnastics and yoga.

Marc: You have kids?

Hugo: They’re Kevin’s, my boyfriend’s kids. But who knows what the future holds. Anyway, I was in the same place as you not so long ago, with a cheating cheater who cheats. I had a string of shitty boyfriends, but cheating messed me up. Bad. I swore off men for a solid year, and it eventually paid off.

Marc: How did the time off help?

Hugo: I fixed my shit. Figured out what I kept doing wrong. Worked out my patterns

Luther: Oh no, here he goes! Haha. Love you, H! Marc, H is all about fixing shit so you’re ready for love when it stumbles in your path.

Marc: Makes sense.

Luther: If you have a path filled with potential partners, I supposed it does. H is all about twuuuu wuv cuz he has it. All I can find out here on the oil fields is a hookup. Nothing else. Can’t be out.

Marc: That sucks.

Luther: It’s not all bad. I have a lot of sex and very few awkward conversations. Few conversations at all, to be honest.

William: So, Luth, do you save all the awkward conversations for when you come in here to chat? Stop scaring Marc off.

Luther: Ha. Ha. Okay, Mr. Serious, what have you done lately to make yourself available to the hot dudes who run around on the beaches half naked?

William: I bought a guy a drink at the club last weekend. Spent most of the night with him.

Luther: Before you went home alone?

William: Well, yes, but I had to work the next day.

Luther: LOL.

Andrew: Hi, Marc. Welcome. I’m pretty new here too. New to being fully out despite knowing I liked men for years. I’m still trying to figure out how all this works. Gay clubs are about all I’m capable of yet. If I go to a club, there’s no chance I’ll hit on a straight guy, at least. I’m a vet, and my PTSD and injuries make taking that risk of hitting on the wrong guy anxiety inducing. I distrust everyone, including my own brain and injured body.

Luther: And I’m the sole closet case here.

William: Not entirely. I’m not out at work. No one there has earned the right to know that about me yet. But my family knows.

Hugo: I’ve been out for ages, but I’m still not entirely open about my drag persona. That’s still need to know.

Marc: You do drag? What’s your drag name.

Hugo: Yep. Miss Cherri Pop! 😉

Marc: Where does everyone live? Or should I not ask that?

Luther: On the dusty oil fields of North Dakota, but there are tons of men to hook-up with here. No questions asked. No demands to kiss. Just how I like it!

William: Sunny California, though right now, I’d prefer rain.

Andrew: I’m in Texas, happy to be home after four years in the army.

Hugo: Minneapolis.

Marc: Me too! Minneapolis, that is. I gotta say, it’s nice chatting with some queer men. Everyone around me assumes I’m straight. And since I haven’t dated a man in ages, it’s like all my friends forgot I’m bi. But I’d really like to date a man again. I think if I date a woman, I’m bound to . . . What’s the word? Put all my shit on her?

Hugo: Project?

Marc: Yeah. I’m gonna project my hurt on her cuz of my ex. So I’d really like to try something serious with a guy.

William: So, what are your greatest fears when thinking about falling in love?

Luther: Coming out. I know, I know. It won’t be as bad as I think it will be. But what if it is? I’ll lose everyone around me.

William: But you prefer being alone. Or so you’ve claimed, Luth.

Luther: Right. I push people away. Easier that way.

Marc: I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to trust again. And if I do, what if the guy I end up with assumes I’m cheating on him only because I’m bi?

Hugo: My Kevin is bisexual, and I never made those assumptions. We’re not all neanderthals who can’t appreciate subtlety.

Marc: True. There’s that lack of trust thing again.

William: I’m worried I’ll never measure up.

Luther: Says the man who probably has a dick the size of an eggplant.

William: . . .

William: I might. 😉

Luther: LOL. I knew it!

Hugo: If W & L weren’t thousands of miles away, I’d suggest you guys get a room and fuck to work out your sexual tension.

William: Not going to happen.

Luther: He’d probably want to marry me. 😉 I’m not settling down. I just want to fall in love. Big difference.

Andrew: I already know who I want to be in a relationship with. But I’m too boring for him.

William: You’re far from boring, Andrew.

Hugo: The only way you’ll know is if you take a chance. But get into a good headspace before that. Yes, I know, Luther, you’re sick of me saying that, but if I hadn’t fixed my shit before running into Kevin again seventeen years after our last kiss, I would’ve fucked it up that first night.

Marc: Thanks for this, guys. I’m glad I found you.

 

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Posy Roberts started reading romance when she was young, sneaking peeks at adult books long before she should’ve. Textbooks eventually replaced the novels, and for years she existed without reading for fun. When she finally picked up a romance two decades later, it was like slipping on a soft hoodie . . . that didn’t quite fit like it used to. She wanted something more.

She wanted to read about men falling in love with each other. She wanted to explore beyond the happily ever after and see characters navigate the unpredictability of life. So Posy sat down at her keyboard to write the books she wanted to read.

Her stories have been USA Today’s “Happily Ever After” Must-Reads and Rainbow Award finalists. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with her family and friends and doing anything possible to get out of grocery shopping and cooking.

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Posy’s Newsletter ~ http://bit.ly/PosyNews-LH

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Website ~ http://posyroberts.com

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Lonely Hearts

Lovely collection of novellas from Posy Roberts

lonely hearts ebook 4x6Lonely Hearts: a novella bundle by Posy Roberts

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Full review when I’m at the laptop tomorrow.

Right, this is a lovely collection of four of Posy’s previously released shorter novellas and they’re all nice easy to read, relatively low angst and moderate steamy romances.

With this novella, they’ve been loosely connected into her North Star Series series as Hugo sets up a chat room into which each of one half of the pairings joins.

So, in order:

3* Luther and Erik in Bent Arrow – set in the North Dakota oil fields, this is a friends with benefits turns into love romance and it worked really well for me.
There’s a small hiccup as Luther panics when he realises his feelings for Eric are a bit more serious and he needs to deal with coming out but overall, the narrative runs smoothly into a happy ever after.

4* Marc and Cas in Stroke of Luck – This one has a really interesting premise in that Cas still lives with Maisie, his once girlfriend and absolute best friend in a sort of unhealthily “non-sexual” relationship.
There’s lots of dramatic flouncing, a bit of misunderstanding, a lovely make-up scene and a lovely ending.

3* William and Nate in Momo, my Everything – oooh this one was a delicious premise but also super irritating.

An interracial relationship with a fair bit of internalised homophobia on the part of William and an amazingly out and proud drag queen Nate who works as the elegant geisha Momo in a Japanese tea house.
Having the narrative solely from William’s point of view was draining and I wanted to kick his ass for the majority of the story but I absolutely loved Nate.

4.5* Andrew and Shep in Love on a Battlefield – very definitely my absolute favourite and I also own this one as a novella in its own right.
I just loved this. It’s hard to pinpoint why exactly but I think it’s just a sense of the fact that these two guys were each other’s lodestones – even through half a decade apart when life conspired to crap all over Andrew’s dreams while making it appear that Shep was living his.
They are just beautiful and I loved the concept of having the letters they’d written, and Andrew’s journals, form such a major part of the story.

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

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New Release Blitz: Out In The End Zone by Lane Hayes

Out in the End Zone | Lane Hayes

Out in College #2

Out in the End Zone Banner

Release Date: October 10

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 44,000

Genre: Romance, New Adult, Bisexual, College romance, Football, Coming out

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Synopsis

Evan di Angelo is an upbeat, good-natured goofball who loves his friends and family… and football. A traumatic accident may have ended his hopes of playing professionally, but he’s made the most of his four years on the field at a small Southern California college.

He’s learned the hard way to embrace change, take chances and try things outside of his comfort zone…like agreeing to play fake boyfriends for someone else’s senior project.

Mitch Peterson knows that being his authentic self is the path to true happiness. He’s grown from a shy, quiet kid from a broken home to an out and proud budding internet sensation bound for grad school. An awesome senior project is the key.

It’s unlikely anyone will believe the hunky, straight athlete is Mitch’s new lover, but it’s worth a shot. However, as their tentative friendship blossoms into unexpected attraction, the lines between reality and fiction blur for both men.

Evan is forced to face old demons and decide if he has the courage to take the next step and come out in the end zone.

Excerpt

Mitch scoffed. “Cooperate, please. This is your intro. Maybe you should put your arm around me and kiss my cheek.”

“Now?”

“Yes. This is a rehearsal, so…go for it.”

I moved to his side, slipped my arm around his waist, and kissed his cheek. His scruff threw me off stride. It wasn’t noticeable because his facial hair was blond, but I could feel it. He smelled and felt different from anyone I’d ever kissed before. Sure, I’d kissed male relatives. I was part Italian. No one in my family shied from physical contact. But a hug and kiss on each cheek from my Uncle Gianni was different from kissing an attractive man. I caressed his cheek impulsively and then leaned in to sniff him the way I’d wanted to since the party. “Mmm.”

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“You smell good. I’ve never kissed a guy I wasn’t related to who had a five o’clock shadow.”

Mitch gave me a funny look. “You kissed me yesterday at lunch.”

“Yeah, but you haven’t shaved since this morning, right? The texture is like sandpaper but in a good way. I like it,” I assured him.

He looked flustered for a second but recovered quickly. “Well, that’ll make the real kiss easier then.”

“Right. When do we kiss, and what’s the intensity level supposed to be? G, PG, PG-13? Or are we going straight to the nasty?” I teased.

“Ha. G is peck on the cheek, which we just covered. PG is peck on the lips. So somewhere in between that and PG-13 works.”

“Got it. Maybe we should practice first,” I said.

“Um…sure.” Mitch turned around and gestured toward the bar stools at the island. “We can sit there, and I’ll set up the tripod a foot or so from where you’re standing now.”

“We don’t have to be in exact position. I just need to get used to touching you. It would be the same with anyone. Guy or girl.”

Okay, fine. I wanted to do it again. I’d thought about him nonstop since the party last weekend. And that throwaway kiss yesterday at the restaurant had opened a Pandora’s box. I was consumed now. I didn’t want to practice kissing him. I had to or I’d go crazy.

“Maybe you’re right. Um…okay. You can kiss me,” he said in a low voice.

“Well, you have to participate,” I chided as I stepped into his space.

“I’m…yes. Do you want to go first? Like…” Mitch set his hand on my hip and inched closer still. “This?”

I lifted my right hand and hovered it above his ear for a moment before threading my fingers through his hair. He suddenly looked nervous, which somehow worked in my favor. I held his gaze, then moved forward and gently pressed my lips to his.

And fuck, it felt amazing to be here again. I tilted my head slightly, loving the intoxicating contrast of his soft lips and scratchy chin. Mitch closed his eyes and hooked his arms around my neck so we stood toe to toe and chest to chest.

All the ways this felt different no longer applied. I knew what to do here. I was practically a fucking expert.

Meet the Author

Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full-time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters.

These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and won First Prize in the 2016 and 2017 Rainbow Awards.

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

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