Tag Archives: ex-Marine

Release Blitz: Mr. Right Now by Annabeth Albert

Mr. Right Now | Annabeth Albert

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Genre: MM Contemporary Romance

Release Date: 14.11.19

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48481844-mr-right-now

Universal Link: https://amzn.to/2JTW01L

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Blurb

He’s Mr. Right Now, but for how long?

When Russ suffers a Thanksgiving disaster, his gorgeous neighbor Esteban is there to save the day. And after an innocent mix-up leads to the former Hollywood hottie playing the role of Russ’s date, Russ thinks scoring Esteban as his fake boyfriend is a huge win. The newly discharged marine is healing inside and out and could use some holiday cheer.

For his part, Esteban is intrigued by his big, bad neighbor. He likes how his matchmaking cat brings out an unexpected caring side of Russ. Desire flares as the reasons to continue their ruse pile up for both men.

And pretending feels so good. From chocolaty kisses to late night cuddles, their burgeoning friendship is getting cozier and cozier. But as the end date for their little deception looms, all the real feelings they’ve tried to ignore come tumbling in. Each must decide whether they have what it takes to ring in the New Year as a couple.

Mr. Right Now is a stand-alone holiday novella with sweet, low-angst feels, spicy love scenes, and foodie inspired, quirky Oregon romance with a military flavor. Happy ending guaranteed with no cliffhangers!

Tags: neighbors-to-lovers, fake boyfriend, holiday romance, friends-to-lovers

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Excerpt

Russ didn’t consider himself an angry guy, but as he carried the blackened and flaking skillet out to the trash, he was seriously considering violence toward the misbehaving onions that had transformed from raw to charred before he could save his pan. The mess was far too gross for pitching into his small under-the-sink can.

Adrenaline pumping more than it needed to be, he heaved the pan into the shared dumpster for his condo community where it landed with a satisfying clang. “Take that, Thanksgiving.”

Now he needed to go back into his place and decide how to cope with the loss of his one large skillet. If he didn’t pass out from the stench first. He sagged against the fence surrounding the dumpster and took some deep breaths.

“Problem?” A familiar, deep voice asked.

Hell. Of course, he wasn’t alone in his humiliation. No, his next-door neighbor was right there, neat white bag of trash in hand. And not the older woman who occupied the condo on the corner. This would have to be the hot neighbor, Esteban.

With his full head of dark hair shot through with silver strands, lush mouth, chiseled features, and lean build, Esteban always managed to look like a magazine spread of forty-something Hollywood heartthrobs. He even looked good taking out the trash. Today he was wearing a black T-shirt advertising last year’s Pride Run, turquoise running shoes, and gray shorts way too short for the dreary November Portland weather.

“Not really.” Russ tried for a casual tone.

“Trying out for the next Olympic shotput team? Or did that pan commit some unpardonable offense?” Esteban laughed lightly, in his usual good humor.

His voice was as Hollywood-worthy as the rest of him, rich and sinful even when teasing. Nothing seemed to faze him, not his escape-artist cat, not the continual parking issues for their condo complex, not mail mix-ups, and not Russ taking his frustrations out on his cookware.

“The second. Ruined my stuffing before it even got started.” He groaned, hating how the explanation sounded, but also not one to lie simply for the sake of looking better. Even if Hot Neighbor Esteban was totally worth a white lie or two.

“There’s a joke there…” A smile teased the edges of Esteban’s full mouth. “Let me guess, your family assigned you a dish you’ve never made before to bring to dinner?”

“Worse.” Might as well confess everything.

“I’m supposed to be hosting. And I was supposed to have help, but then my…boyfriend broke up with me last night, and now I’m on my own.”

It still felt weird, that word “boyfriend” on his tongue, even when he was almost certain that Esteban, the guy his Realtor had described as a “hot, gay, former movie star,” wouldn’t care. Heck, if he was honest, that descriptor, plus the convenient single-story layout, had sold him on the condo several months back.

“Oh, man. He seriously left you hanging, didn’t he?” Eyebrows creasing, Esteban shook his head. “Didn’t he even leave you a cookbook or a menu for the meal?”

“Nope. Just me and Chef Google. Tried to make a plan this morning.” Russ tried for an upbeat tone again. “There’s apparently a limit to what cooking videos can teach on the fly.”

“Yeah, there is. Is there anything I could do to help?” Esteban seemed sincere in the offer, voice warm and sympathy clear in his brown eyes.

It was the kind of offer Russ would ordinarily turn down. He was a former marine, and he liked to think he could handle himself in most situations. As a result, he didn’t like relying too much on strangers, or even friends, and he’d gotten a little too good at distancing himself from well-meaning buddies from the military.

But Thanksgiving meant these were not ordinary times. He was well and totally screwed for hosting dinner.

“Do you have a large nonstick skillet I could borrow?” he asked. “Most stores are probably closed, and even for the ones that are open, by the time I go and come back…”

“I’ve got you.” Esteban clapped him on the shoulder, strong grip that belied his lean build.

The rumors were probably right about Esteban’s movie-star career. He was one of those perfectly proportioned people—neither tall nor short, shoulders more in keeping with his running habit than linebacker-wide, slim torso, toned legs, and long, elegant fingers that always made Russ feel that much bulkier and clumsier.

“I…uh… Can I get it now? I’ll bring it back later. And if another disaster happens—”

“It won’t.” Laughing again, Esteban shivered as a breeze whipped through their corner of the courtyard.

“I wouldn’t be so sure,” Russ admitted, trying his best to ignore the impulse to warm up Esteban. Between his electric touch and the adorable way his cheeks went pink in the chilly wind, there was no denying Esteban’s appeal, even if Russ had sworn just last night that he was over attractive guys forever. “But I’ll replace it if it gets ruined.”

“Appreciated, but I’m coming with the pan. I can get you started sautéing without torching anything at least. You need another onion? I’ve got plenty.”

“You want to help me?” Russ blinked. This was…unexpected.

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About The Author

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Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer. Mr. Right Now joins her many other critically acclaimed and fan-favorite LGBTQ romance series and stand-alone titles.

To find out what she’s working on next and other fun extras, check out her website: http://www.annabethalbert.com or connect with Annabeth on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify! Also, be sure to sign up for her newsletter for free ficlets, bonus reads, and contests. The fan group, Annabeth’s Angels, on Facebook is also a great place for bonus content and exclusive contests.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and particularly loves uncovering unique main characters. In her personal life, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two active children.

Social Media

Website: http://annabethalbert.com/

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/Nb9yv

Fan group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/annabethsangels/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6477494.Annabeth_Albert

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Annabeth-Albert/e/B00LYFFAZK

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnnabethAlbert

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annabethalbert

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


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Release Blitz: Who We Used To Be by Dara Nelson

Who We Used to Be | Dara Nelson

Do-Over Series #1

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Publisher: Dare Publishing

Cover Artist: Dara Nelson

Cover Photo: Dan Skinner/DWS Photography

Release Date: June 15, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary, MM, Romance

Heat Rating: 5 flames

Length: 51,356 words/280 pages

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Buy Links

Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

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Blurb

Ten years ago Zeke Malloy had everything:

A happy childhood, a shot at a state championship wrestling title, a best friend, a boyfriend (albeit a secret one but that was okay because, once they graduated, that would change).

He had love, happiness……a heart.

All of that changed in the blink of an eye.

One moment he was deliriously happy, looking forward to a future with Digger Brandt, building a life, a home, a forever, with him.

And then it was gone, disappearing like the tears that flowed down Zeke’s cheeks as he watched from the back of the church as Digger married Lisa – with his father sitting proudly in the front pew. Those tears were still flowing when he walked out of that church and went directly to the nearest recruiting office. Because he didn’t just lose the love of his life that day, he lost his hopes, his dreams, he lost…..himself.

For the next ten years he was a machine – the best Marine, the best friend, but like a machine, he did it all without a beating heart. His was dead…..or was it?

Was ten years too long?

Was a broken heart too much?

Zeke didn’t know. Hell, he wasn’t even sure he wanted to know.

From the moment Digger walked up behind him and said in that smooth, sexy voice that used to light Zeke up six ways from Sunday, “The man I knew never had a problem with it,”, the only thing Zeke knew now was that he was about to find out.

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Excerpt

Zeke stared at the amber colored liquid in his glass while trying to figure out what he was feeling. That was just the thing. He wasn’t feeling anything.

He was numb.

If he really allowed himself to think about it, he’d been numb for a decade. Since the day he’d opened his front door and had seen that invitation sticking out from under his doormat. That was the last day he’d felt anything at all. And what he’d felt then was total, utter devastation as he collapsed onto the porch swing as those words penetrated his brain. Such a profound sense of not only sadness, but the devastating knowledge that life as he knew it was over.

Everything he thought he knew was shattered.

How could he do this?

Everything he thought he could have was gone.

Did he know her? Had he been cheating the whole time?

And anger – god there was so much anger.

The cowardly fucker didn’t even have the balls to look him in the eye when he destroyed him.

He swore he could feel his heart shattering into a million pieces. It was also the day that he lost all hope of finding his happily ever after.

It was the day he was forced to come to terms with the fact that he and Digger were not meant to be.

Shit. Every time one of Zeke’s crappy relationships ended, he always thought of Digger.

Digger Brandt. The first boy he’d kissed. The first boy he’d touched. The first…and only…. boy he’d ever loved.

Digger Brandt. The man who had destroyed Zeke Malloy. Ruined him for all others.

“Fuck,” he mumbled as he scrubbed a hand over his face. He really needed to stop doing this.

He had to find a way to get over Digger Brandt once and for all.

But how?

As he brought his glass up until it touched his lips, he felt a presence behind him, the heat of someone close, someone big, someone strong, someone that Zeke might be able to get lost in.

“I don’t bottom,” he said, getting that shit outta the way right quick.

A deep chuckle rumbled out of the man’s chest. It was so sexy it made Zeke’s balls tingle.

“The man I knew never had a problem with it.”

Zeke’s eyes squeezed shut.

He knew that voice.

He’d felt that voice.

He’d swallowed that voice into his body when the man came, dozens of times.

He still heard that voice every time he jacked off, despite trying to fight it with everything he had.

If he allowed himself to, he could easily get lost in that voice again.

He shook his head.

No. Not again. Never again.

“The boy you knew doesn’t exist anymore,” he growled and then he tipped back his glass, welcoming the burn as the liquid slid down his throat.

He felt the change in the man behind him, knew without looking that he’d gone from self-assured, cocky even, to unsteady, remorseful…..guilty.

Good.

“Zeke, I….”
“Don’t, Digger. Just fucking don’t. Go back to your perfect house, your white picket fence, your beautiful wife, your two point five kids. Go back to whatever fake little happy life you built and leave me the fuck alone.”

God. Ten fucking years of trying to forget him erased in sixty seconds.

He signaled to Joe, the bartender, for another and tried to ignore the fact that he could still feel Digger behind him.

When Digger slid onto the empty stool next to Zeke, he wanted to turn and walk out.

But he couldn’t.

He felt like he was anchored to his spot with a one-ton boulder.

To be honest, he was anchored, but not by a boulder; by a six-foot-one heart-breaking asshole named Douglas Digger Brandt.

Zeke refused to turn and look at the man.

Truth be told, he was afraid to look.

Afraid that he just might drop to his knees and beg the man to love him, to really love him, the way Zeke thought he had all those years ago, the way Zeke had loved him, the way a still fucking loved him.

Hell, he’d probably even offer to be his dirty little secret if Digger asked him to.

Just anything to get the man to touch him one more time.

Nobody had ever touched Zeke the way that Digger had, like he was trying to fuse them together, like he was pulling whatever it was that made Zeke, Zeke, into himself. He didn’t even have to touch Zeke’s dick, although that was amazing too. Just the tips of his fingers on Zeke’s skin or the brush of his lips on his neck made Zeke feel like he was the only thing in the world that mattered.

Everything that was Digger slid effortlessly together with Zeke like the pieces of a perfect puzzle.

A puzzle whose pieces Digger had scattered to the wind the moment he had walked away.

Maybe nobody had ever touched Zeke like that since because he’d never allowed it, because he’d never let someone get that close.

Never again.

A heartbreak like that was something you never forgot – it changed you.

About the Author

I did not choose to write…..writing chose me

Kendel Duncan is the pen name for Dara Nelson. Why a pen name? I first chose it because I was initially writing in two different genres (M/F Paranormal and Gay Romance). I’ve since transitioned into a strictly gay romance author – writing romance, action, suspense and second chance romances.

I’ve tackled subjects that I’m very proud of, including losing a spouse, living with HIV, among other things.

I was born and raised in the Bay Area of Northern California but have made my home in the Pacific Northwest for more than two decades. My husband & I live on a small farm surrounded by chickens, goats, 5 dogs, and a cat, in the shadow of stunning Mt Rainier.

With my grown children and grandchildren nearby, my life is always busy, happy and full of laughter.

I am an active Blogger, having created Love Unchained Book Reviews out of my love for all things reading – mostly MM books.

Owner of Dare Publishing & Design – Offering quality, affordable services for indie authors, including:

Editing, Publishing, Book Cover Design and more!

When I’m not on the phone with my best friend (which is at least once every day) – I am an avid, addicted reader. It is my passion, my escape, my joy
And I am most definitely a writer. The characters in my head are constantly demanding that their story be told.
But above all that – I am a human being. My passion for people is unparalleled, my firm belief in Love is Love unwavering, my hope that all can be accepted, undying. I do not write because I want to, I do it because I have to. I write because these voices, these beautiful men, have chosen me to tell their stories – and how damn lucky am I for that?

As an author, I write under both my name and my pen name (Kendel Duncan), with total transparency and honesty.

Dara Nelson is the author of:

Author of the successful ‘Healing Hearts’ series (Love in the Aftermath, Love After Chaos, Love Worth Fighting For – and more to come soon)

Under the pen name Kendel Duncan:

Author of the popular & critically acclaimed ‘Black Ops Heroes’ series and the new top-selling ‘Doyle Global Securities’ series

Social Media

Blog/Website

Twitter: @daranel

Facebook

Instagram: @daranel1

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Cover Reveal: In His Sights by LA Bryce

In His Sights | LA Bryce

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Pre-Order: JMS Books

Add to Goodreads

Length: 104,000 words approx.

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Blurb

Meet two men who need each other’s help but don’t realize it until it’s almost too late.

Noah is gay and terrified someone might find out. So much so that when he was blackmailed with pictures of himself with another man, instead of coming clean, he left his SEAL team without a word.

The other man is openly gay Mason, a former Marine and now part of the FBI’s Joint Terrorist Taskforce. It takes eight years after their first meeting in the desert for a chance event bring the two men together again.

Now Noah must decide if he’s ready to accept who he is or if it’s easier to cut and run. Can they navigate the obstacles in their path to build a relationship? And why does the thought of that scare them more than investigating a group of terrorists?

About The Author

I’ve been telling stories for as long as I can remember; my parents tell me it’s been going on even further back than that and not always at the appropriate times. Now I choose to use my gift for good.

I enjoy meeting new people, even if they’re only in my head.

I believe love comes in all different packages and each should be wrapped in a ribbon and cherished.

I’m currently working on a contemporary romance with a splash of suspense. I get a thrill coming up with unexpected and usually dangerous situations for my characters to be in and then thinking of extraordinary ways for them to escape with outcomes that deviate from the expected.

I live with my family in the Northeast where we enjoy white winters, balmy summers, a spring flurried with fragrant flowers, and a fall filled with piles of leaves to dive in to. Our small town offers the old world charm of knowing your neighbor and its location enables us to take off for dinner in a city known for its beautiful skyline or to an afternoon playing in the sand of some of the best beaches found in the United States.

For me, writing is relaxation for the soul and reading is its nourishment.

 

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Release Blitz: Teach Me To Touch You by Joshua Landon

Teach Me To Touch You | Joshua Landon

Teach Me #1

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Genre/s: Gay Romance

Length: 27,000 words approx. /100 pages

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Release Date: December 23, 2018

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  Amazon UK

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Blurb

When Austin’s father deserts his young family, he leaves Austin and his sister to struggle with poverty and neglect at home and bullying at school. When Austin’s first girlfriend kisses him in high school, his PTSD flashback to childhood abuse scares his girlfriend away.

A Marine at eighteen, Austin returns home after four years with his PTSD aggravated by nightmares of war. He fears he’ll never have a sex life.

Daniel, a psychiatric technician with a speciality in PTSD, helps Austin readjust to civilian life. Over months of work together, trust grows between them along with an attraction they hide from each other since Austin is straight and Daniel is gay.

A gifted healer, Daniel believes a sexual relationship between them could harm Austin, though Austin is anxious to learn to touch again. But when their visits are scheduled to end, both men must deeply examine their concerns and untangle their desires for the future.

Excerpt

Austin

I was seven when my dad left for work in the morning and never came back. My sister Julie was six.

It was a bad year, the first truly awful year. Not that the years before had been ideal, with my parents snapping at each other over each little affront, but at least they’d both been part of my life. And with either parent alone, I’d felt like a normal kid. It wasn’t entirely self-deceptive—it was all I knew.

But the day my dad pushed my mom against the wall, cocking back one huge fist to strike her, I ran to push myself between them.

“No, Dad, don’t!” I’d cried.

He’d looked at me, lowered his fist, and never spoke another word to me.

In the morning, he was gone.

At first, the dad-sized hole inside me seemed about to swallow me up. I was sure I’d die like the baby bird I’d found in the yard early that spring. I’d given it water and worms in a shoebox with crumpled toilet paper for warmth, but it wouldn’t eat or drink and grew steadily weaker. When it quit moving altogether, my mother stroked my hair, soothing me in a whisper

“Its tiny heart quit beating, Tintin. Baby birds are too small to survive without their parents. But you gave it the best care you could. Its death isn’t your fault.”

I buried the bird in the back corner of our Mountlake Terrace yard without fanfare, digging its grave in the frozen ground with icy fingers that held a bent teaspoon.

Despite my mother’s insistence that I wasn’t to blame, I knew the truth. I’d failed the bird just as I had failed my father.


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About the Author

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A fanboy of books, theater, and cinema and a supporter of the LGBT+ community, Joshua Landon lives in the greenbelt and park-filled community of Lynnwood, Washington not far from Seattle, Edmonds and Everett—a great location to experience the outdoors, music and the arts.

He recently authored the three Teach Me novellas, a romance about two young men: a troubled Marine and a talented healer. They will become available for order through Amazon online in multiple countries, releasing between December 23, 2018 and February 2019.

When not writing, Landon enjoys building stage sets, bungee jumping, river rafting, and watching films from all eras. He shares his bookshelf-lined home with a middle-aged tomcat, and his backyard fills seasonally with wild rabbits.

Author Links

Instagram: Joshua Landon

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Book Blitz: Scandalous by Sybil Bartel

Scandalous | Sybil Bartel

Alpha Bodyguard #1

Publication date: September 10th 2018

Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Bodyguard.

Babysitter.

Chauffeur.

Not what the hell I thought I’d be doing with my life.

Especially not for a spoiled Hollywood actress on location in Miami Beach. But triple pay and carrying a gun had its advantages. I’d shove away paparazzi and screaming fans for a lot less. The Marines trained me to be Force Recon—intimidation and crowd control was child’s play compared to four tours. This assignment should’ve been easy money.

But the doe-eyed starlet with the perfect ass dragged me down her rabbit hole. Living for the spotlight, she leaked the perfect scandal. I warned her making headlines wasn’t in my job description, but she kept smiling for the cameras.

Now she was going to find out just how scandalous a bodyguard could be.

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Author Bio:

Sybil Bartel grew up in Northern California with her head in a book and her feet in the sand. She dreamt of becoming a painter but the heady scent of libraries with their shelves full of books drew her into the world of storytelling.

She loves the New Adult genre, but any story about a love so desperately wrong and impossibly beautiful makes her swoon.

Sybil now resides in Southern Florida and while she doesn’t get to read as much as she likes, she still buries her toes in the sand. If she isn’t writing or fighting to contain the banana plantation in her backyard, you can find her spending time with her handsomely tattooed husband, her brilliantly practical son and a mischievous miniature boxer…

But Seriously?

Here are ten things you probably really want to know about Sybil.

She grew up a faculty brat. She can swear like a sailor. She loves men in uniform. She hates being told what to do. She can do your taxes (but don’t ask). The Bird Market in Hong Kong freaks her out. Her favorite word is desperate…or dirty, or both—she can’t decide. She has a thing for muscle cars. But never reply on her for driving directions, ever. And she has a new book boyfriend every week—don’t tell her husband.

To find out more about Sybil Bartel, be sure to follow her on Twitter (she loves to hear about your favorite book boyfriend!), visit her website, like her on Facebook or join her Facebook group Book Boyfriend Heroes for exclusive excerpts and giveaways.

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I adored this military romance from Melanie

40246271Loving a Warrior by Melanie Hansen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another fabulous military romance from Melanie Hansen, Loving A Warrior carries the same exacting attention to detail as her other works, and has a wonderful couple at the heart of the narrative.

I know other reviewers have mentioned the amount of background work which focuses on the training the SEALs go through in BUD/s but, for me anyway, it was a vitally important part of the story.

Without that deep-seated intensity and the high failure attrition rate, the impact of Matt and Shane falling for each other would have been seriously subdued.

These guys are more than just teammates, in any Special Forces unit, no matter which branch of the Military it is, the bond is forged in hardship and suffering and I felt everything they were going through vicariously.

Melanie’s characters are always so beautifully crafted, the intimacy and trust the two men develop, while knowing their careers will get in the way, was so well done.

I adored prickly Matt and wanted to wrap Shane up to protect his sometimes too open heart. I was also glad a certain cast member is pre-deceased as I wanted to cause them serious harm

Two moments stood out for me, the “I’m Spartacus” incident outside the club, and in the Epilogue, when Shane finds the two by four.

For me, they summed up everything 🙂

Can’t wait for book two, which I’m hoping is going to be turning the exceptionally strong HFN into the HEA it really is.

#ARC kindly received from the publishers Carina Press via NetGalley.

View all my Goodreads reviews

Cover Reveal: Loving A Warrior by Melanie Hansen

Loving A Warrior | Melanie Hansen

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Pre-Order Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Carina
 
Length: 77,300 words approx.
 
Publisher: Carina Press
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Blurb

BUD/S: six months of the most intense training there is. It’s survival of the toughest, and Matt Knytych is determined to come out the other side a Navy SEAL.

Distraction is life or death. And just the sight of former Marine Shane Hovland is enough to shake Matt’s concentration.

Shane came to BUD/S training ready to prove himself—again. Semper Fi is forever, but he needs a new start. Not this dangerous heat with a man he barely knows.

Everything they’ve ever wanted is riding on a thin, punishing line. And they’ll have to fight for more than just each other if they want to make it through intact.

After all, the only easy day was yesterday.

Author Bio

Melanie Hansen has spent time in Texas and Florida prisons…for work. She’s been in a room with a 17-year-old mass murderer who was also one of the most soft-spoken and polite teenagers she’s ever met. After a 13-year career as a court reporter, she can tell many stories both hilarious and heartbreaking.

She grew up with an Air Force dad and ended up marrying a Navy man. After living and working all over the country, she hopes to bring these rich and varied life experiences to her stories about people finding love amidst real-life struggles.

Melanie left the stressful world of the courtroom behind and now enjoys a rewarding career transcribing for a deaf student. She currently lives in Arizona with her husband and two sons.

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