Tag Archives: contemporary

Release Blitz: This Will Hurt II by Cara Dee

This Will Hurt II | Cara Dee

This Will Hurt Duet #2


Release Date: June 2nd, 2023

Cover Photographer: CJC Photography

Model: Phillip Glass

Universal Link: https://readerlinks.com/l/3340336

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/137972940-this-will-hurt-i




Buckle up. Hearts broken and wings clipped, Roe and Jake have mountains to climb, walls to tear down, and countless private moments to bring them even closer in this final part of their journey.

I’d gotten what I’d asked for, right? The ground beneath me had finally settled. I had the wife. I had the kid—my beautiful baby boy. Work was great. I was traveling the globe with my best friend, and together we were Roe Finlay and Jake Denver. Inseparable.

That was the f— That was the problem. We were inseparable. Even though he would never be the man I’d once wished he could be, I couldn’t freaking cope going a day without seeing him. When we were together, all was well in the world. I could breathe easier.

Then I found his damn journal from…therapy. That was right. My best friend, who defined “man of few words,” was in therapy. The ground started shaking again. I got desperate. I swam in denial. I…almost lost him on the job when he saved my life.

Nothing was settled anymore.



What the fuck did you wear to a country concert?

I grabbed a pair of jeans and boxer briefs from the closet, then walked back into the bedroom and picked up my phone from my nightstand. I sent Jake a message.

I’m fresh out of chaps and cowboy hats. What should I wear, hoss?

While I waited for his response, I removed the towel around my hips and put on the boxers and jeans.

“Dada, I’m-wa no baff!”

I glanced over at the door as my boy ran in, with Sandra hot on his tail.

I grinned faintly and swooped him up. “Look out, we got a runner ova’ hea’.” I peppered his face with smooches, and he giggled up a storm. “You can’t escape bath time, baby boy. But you know what comes after, don’t you? Mommy’s gonna read you a story.”

“Nooo,” he complained.

“Yeees,” I mimicked.

Sandra sighed and smiled ruefully. “Let’s go, sweetie. We’ll get extra bubbles and everything.”

“Hear that? We love those bubbles.” I handed over the clinging monkey to her and pressed a kiss to the side of his head.

“I don’t wannaaa,” he whined.

Sandra carried him out, only to stop in the doorway and turn back to me. “You sure you don’t wanna cancel?”

Positive—and I wasn’t fighting with her about it again.

“I won’t be late,” was all I said.

The teasing glint in her eyes faded, and she walked out.

I released a breath.

My phone dinged on the nightstand, and I walked over and read Jake’s text.

I’ll tell you you’re pretty no matter what you wear, sugar.

I laughed silently and shook my head.


Whatever. I returned to the closet and dug out a long-sleeved tee that made my biceps look good. We were going to an outdoor place up in Griffith Park, so it was bound to get chilly. But I liked that it wasn’t a huge concert. Only some five thousand people. It beat going to the Staples Center.

Jake picked me up downstairs fifteen minutes later, and the most country thing about him continued to be his truck. It made no sense to drive a truck in LA. But he loved it, and I really had no room to argue choices of vehicles. I was still a laughingstock after buying a sports car before Casper was born. Worst deal ever. I’d probably lost twenty grand when I’d traded it in for a family-friendly SUV.

“Hey, pretty.” Jake pulled out from the curb. “I see you found clothes.”

“No thanks to you.” I smiled and buckled my seat belt. “Will I see a lot of chaps tonight?”

“If I drop you off in West Hollywood instead, I’m sure there’s a club for you.”

I laughed. Funny.

“Oh, this is a good one.” He cranked up the volume on the stereo. “He’ll probably play this tonight.”

I side-eyed him, more interested in studying Jake than hearing a song. There was something inherently sexy about how he drove. He made life look easy when he was on the road. One arm along the edge of the window, the sleeves of his open flannel shirt rolled up—some serious forearm porn going on—two fingers gripping the wheel loosely at the bottom. He tapped his foot to the rocky beat, and his lips moved subtly to the singer’s voice.

Ratty USMC ball cap on the dash. Since he always wore it backward, he took it off when a headrest was in the way.

Fitting lyrics, about holding on to things you believed in.

Of course, it being a country rock song, the topic was the singer’s truck.

“It’s the miles that make a man.”

How many miles till I fell out of love with him?

“I’d be nothing without you, so I’m holding on.”

Surprisingly, a line not about the truck.

“I’m not the openin’ act,” he chuckled. “Quit starin’.”

That was the fucking problem, wasn’t it? He was the headliner.


Start the Duet

This Will Hurt I

This Will Hurt Duet #1

Release Date: May 9th, 2023

Cover Photographer: CJC Photography

Model: Eric Guilmette

Universal Link: https://readerlinks.com/l/3340203



Maybe the heart needs to break before one can put together the pieces correctly. This is Jake and Roe’s story.

I used to think leaving the Marines and moving to LA was the defining moment that changed my life. I was gonna become a documentary filmmaker and see the world through my camera. Then I met Roe Finlay.

Never in a million years could I have imagined…well, everything we went through. I sucked at expressing how I felt—which was emotionally stunted most of the time—but Roe seemed to get me. I became…dependent.

Attached. Not in a sexual way or anything—I wasn’t gay. Far from it. Or bisexual like Roe, for that matter. No, this was different. I just wanted to be close to him. He made me laugh like no other. We were a fantastic team. We lived together. Worked together. He was my best friend.

He was everything. He was my defining moment.

Until he decided to commit to his f—to his girlfriend.

About The Author

I’m often awkwardly silent or, if the topic interests me, a chronic rambler. In other words, I can discuss writing forever and ever. Fiction, in particular. The love story—while a huge draw and constantly present—is secondary for me, because there’s so much more to writing romance fiction than just making two (or more) people fall in love and have hot sex.

There’s a world to build, characters to develop, interests to create, and a topic or two to research thoroughly.
Every book is a challenge for me, an opportunity to learn something new, and a puzzle to piece together. I want my characters to come to life, and the only way I know to do that is to give them substance—passions, history, goals, quirks, and strong opinions—and to let them evolve.

I want my men and women to be relatable. That means allowing room for everyday problems and, for lack of a better word, flaws. My characters will never be perfect.

Wait…this was supposed to be about me, not my writing.

I’m a writey person who loves to write. Always wanderlusting, twitterpating, kinking, cooking, baking, and geeking. There’s time for hockey and family, too. But mostly, I just love to write.

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Lemon gets his HEA with a gentle giant former SEAL

Atlas EbookAtlas by Eden Finley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not what I was expecting but still an enjoyable read all the same.

Be aware of the trigger warnings for domestic abuse. It’s not graphically described on page, more a case of seeing the aftermath of assault.

Atlas took a while to warm up to, he was judgemental, condescending and a bit of an arse at first, but Lemon soon shoved the prejudiced blinkers off his eyes and made him look again at his attitude towards not only sex workers but sex in general.

I couldn’t quite tell whether Atlas was supposed to be demi-sexual, but I think he was more along the lines of an aromantic, he didn’t want cheap hook-ups but was looking for something special and permanent.

He wasn’t expecting to find that future in a sassy erotic dancer with a heart of gold and a sideline of rescuing troubled men who found themselves embroiled in sex work or stripping when they didn’t really want to be there.

Although Lemon first appeared in Eden’s Thorned Heart this works as a standalone because there’s not really much overlap with the previous two books in this series, other than the guys from Mike Bravo turn up now and then.

Once Atlas looses his judgemental attitude and actually starts to pay attention, he realises that Lemon, aka Andrew, is actually a pretty wonderful guy, who acts as the mother hen for the rest of the young men working at the club.

Lemon’s got strong opinions and won’t be looked down on because he dances for a living in a strip club and sparks fly between them from the moment Atlas rescues Lemon from an overly handsy customer (played by MB’s boss Travis).

Things finally get steamy the closer to the dramatic ending we get and Atlas and Lemon definitely make it worth the weight as they turn up the heat to scorching hot. I loved them as a pairing, they just work together, each providing a caring support for the other in different ways.

Lemon learns to trust someone will always have his back, while Atlas learns to relax and trust in himself and his need for commitment.

The suspense element here is a bit weaker than the first two, for me anyway but there’s intrigue and misdirection aplenty, the pacing keeps going smoothly and there’s a very definite build-up in tension as it becomes clear there’s more going on than just the club’s profits being scalped.

I liked the twist over who was involved in the thefts from the club and the longer term reveal of the mole – although I wasn’t as happy that we were left dangling without a definite conclusion to that plot thread.

Overall this was a great addition to the Mike Bravo series and I was very happy to see Lemon finally get his own Happy Ending, he deserved it.

#ARC kindly received from the author via Foreward PR, I am voluntarily leaving a review. 

View all my Goodreads reviews

Release Blitz: The Art of Husbandry by Jay Hogan

The Art of Husbandry | Jay Hogan

Mackenzie Country #1


Release Date: June 1st, 2023

Universal Link

Add to Goodreads




A world shattered. A hope kindled. A love ignited.

When life drowns you in lemons, to hell with making lemonade. I wanted to burn the whole world. But eighteen months from the day my life was torn apart, I’m tired of the anger. Tired of the nightmares. Tired of putting one foot in front of the other just trying to survive. Three months on a high country sheep station in the middle of nowhere is precisely the reboot I need. A chance to break free. To breathe again. To find a way forward.

I put my entire life on hold and head south to Mackenzie Country. But falling for the captivating young station boss was never part of the plan. Holden Miller might be smart and sexy and push all my dusty buttons, but we come from two different worlds. I’m not looking for a relationship. I’m not interested in love. I’m done with all that.

But Holden doesn’t care about my rules. Nestled safely in the arms of the spectacular Southern Alps, on an isolated sheep farm at the top of the world, Holden begins knitting my battered heart together one careful stitch at a time. And with every pass of the thread, every braid of the river on our doorstep, I catch a tantalising glimpse of something I’d almost given up on.

Happiness, and maybe even love.

If I have the courage to reach out and grab them.

Note: This book contains references to the past death of a child and PTSD.

TAOH 6 unil HM


“Hang on, Tuck.” I lowered the phone from my ear and squinted at the dusty blue Hilux pulling in at the kerb. It had Miller Station stamped on its door, windows rolled down, and music blaring.

The driver killed the volume, pushed his sunglasses up his nose, and leaned across the passenger seat to speak through the window. “Are you Gil Everton?”

“Yep.” I raised a tentative hand in greeting.

“Cool. I’m Holden Miller. Let’s get you on board.” His full mouth curved up in a high-wattage smile that made my stomach do a weird-arse, vaguely familiar flip.

Oh boy. Attraction. Just freaking dandy. Eighteen months with my libido on military-grade lockdown, and it chose that moment to wake up and get with the program. Not only that, but I already knew Holden was gay from my conversations with Emily. Go fucking figure. It was a wrinkle I sure as hell didn’t need in my reboot plan. I hadn’t been laid since Callie’s death and I wasn’t looking to change that state of affairs anytime soon even if I had been able to summon any interest, which I hadn’t . . . for a while. So, yeah, there was that. Which was why my reaction to any man was . . . surprising.

“Gil, are you still there?” Tuck called through the phone as Holden disappeared back into the cab and the driver’s door opened.

I raised the phone to my ear again. “Yeah, but I’m gonna have to—” I stopped abruptly as a ruggedly handsome dark-haired beauty with a mass of lazy brown waves bouncing around his ears emerged from the Hilux. And since I was a hot mess but not dead, I drew in a sharp breath and whispered, “Wow.”

“What?” Tucker interrupted my gawping. “What wow? Gil?”

I cleared my throat and mumbled. “Nothing. I’ll call you in a day or two. Say hi to Gail and the kids for me.”

“They don’t like you either.”

I laughed. “They love me.”

“Fuck it. You’re right.”

“Bye, Tuck.”

“Wait, Gil. Gil!”

I hung up on Tuck’s protest and shot to my feet, by which time Holden had circled to the back of the Hilux and was busy opening the hatch. It gave me a few seconds to appreciate the way his dusty jeans hugged a pretty spectacular arse, and an equally dusty black T-shirt showed off lean muscular arms sporting a golden tan.

Holden caught my eye and that broad smile widened, no doubt because I was standing there staring at him like a total idiot. “First off, let’s exchange numbers,” he said. “I think you only have Mum’s. I tried to call to say I was running late, but whatever I had in my phone didn’t work.”

“Oh.” Shit. Great way to start. “Yeah, I ah, changed my number, sorry. I updated your mum, but maybe you’ve got my old one.”

“No problem. Here.” He gave me his phone and I corrected the number he had stored and then he sent me a text.

I called him back to make sure we were right, and Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl” rang out through the carpark.

I bit back a smile and raised a brow. “Really? I think I should be offended.”

He chuckled. “Don’t be. Besides, it was before I met you and it kind of fits, right? You’re from the big smoke. You’ve even got your Roberto Cavalli’s on.” He pointed to the label on my jeans and heat rose in my cheeks. “Pretty fancy for a sheep station.”

I narrowed my gaze and fired back, “But you recognised the brand which says you have an eye for those things.”

He grinned. “Of course. They’re a great jean. Just don’t wear them in the woolshed.”

I laughed. “Kind of goes without saying.”

“Are those it?” He nodded to four bags of varying sizes siting in a tidy line at my feet.

I gave a mute nod, because I was well-educated like that, and wiped my hot palms down the front of my jeans.

“Great.” He sauntered over in that loose-gaited way perfected by many farmers like they had all the time in the world. About a metre away, he stopped, lifted his glasses onto his head, and a pair of dark coffee-brown almost black eyes locked with mine.

And just, damn. I was in trouble.

Then he smiled. “Welcome to Mackenzie Country, Gil.”

TAOH 9 delicious

About The Author


Heart, humour and keeping it real.

Jay is a 2020 Lambda Literary Award Finalist in Gay Romance and her book Off Balance was the 2021 New Zealand Romance Book of the Year.

She is a New Zealand author writing mm romance and romantic suspense, primarily set in New Zealand. She writes character driven romances with lots of humour, a good dose of reality and a splash of angst.

She’s travelled extensively, lived in many countries, and in a past life she was a critical care nurse, nurse educator and counsellor. Jay is owned by a huge Maine Coon cat and a gorgeous Cocker Spaniel

Social Media: https://jayhoganauthor.contactin.bio


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