Tag Archives: family drama

Fake it ’til you make it and win all the festive romance

The Christmas DealThe Christmas Deal by Keira Andrews

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve read some absolutely smashing Christmas books so far this year and now Keira’s is currently sitting at the top of the tree.

This was so good, it had absolutely the right mix of festive cheer and sharp pain to stop it ever becoming overly cloying.

I absolutely love the fake boyfriend trope and here Keira gives it a fresh look with a sister accidentally setting up her friend and sort of boss at work with her down on his luck brother.

Throw a grieving stepson into the mix and you really have a perfect recipe for a Christmas romance with all the feels. I wanted to surround Logan in bubble wrap within the first few pages, the poor guy has got the weight of the world on his shoulders and none of it has been his doing.

Seth has been hurt by those who should love him best and he’s still dealing with his long-term partner’s desertion of him a year previously after they made major life decisions and he was then left in the lurch.

The fake boyfriend scenario seems like a great temporary deal for all of them and the sparks fly almost from the off as Logan realises that his previous encounters with men might not have just been meaningless sex.

I loved how Keira approached his dawning awareness of his bisexuality. No erasure here, he’s not gay for Seth but he absolutely is romantically falling for a man for the first time with all the confusion that entails.

With a super setting and a great bunch of secondary characters (I loved Logan’s dad, his sister, her family, as well as Jenna and Seth’s wonderfully outspoken boss Angela) this really does provide a lovely romance to unwrap for the festive season.

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

View all my reviews

Felt it was missing a bit for me but still an enjoyable romance

The Guy in the WindowThe Guy in the Window by Cara Dee

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

A good solid story but, for me, just needing a tiny bit more character development for Adam specifically.

I felt I totally understood Everett but there was more of a disconnect with Adam as his backstory didn’t ever get fully explored. Why he’d severed his family connection was mentioned as a reason for him reaching out to Everett but then discarded.

I also found the formatting decision to have all of Adam’s POV chapters in italic a bit of a strange one, especially given how it can be difficult to read for those with visual impairments.

That’s my two niggles out of the way. The rest, ignoring the ‘faux’ nephew elements, brought an interesting and sweet twist on the gay for you trope which I enjoyed a lot.

I liked how Everett just went with the flow when he realised he was attracted to Adam and I loved his determination to fix his relationship with his daughter Grace

Speaking of daughters, Adam’s Bella was a delight and I really loved her.

I also loved the sexual exploration, the humiliation kink was perfectly worked into the narrative and it never veered into dramedy or overly angsty.

Overall, it just suffered a little from being a short story rather than a full blown novel for me. I’d have liked more of them together.

But the Epilogue was all ends up beautifully done.

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

View all my reviews

Release Blitz: Happy For You by Anyta Sunday

Happy For You | Anyta Sunday

Love & Family #3

Happy For You Banner 1.png

Release Date (Print & Ebook): September 10, 2019

Length (Print & Ebook): 60,000 words

Subgenre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Warnings: Depression (affecting a side character)

Order now: https://www.anytasunday.com/projects/happy-for-you/

HappyForYou-AS-f.jpg

Blurb

Mort wants his de facto family back…

He knows he doesn’t deserve them. Not yet, anyway. Not without making up for leaving them in their time of need.

But it’s not easy to make amends. Mort must show how much he wants the Rochester family back in his life. When his best friend’s younger brother, Felix, has his license suspended, Mort jumps at the chance to play chauffeur and to win back the family he desperately wants to call his own.

Repairing his broken relationships—with all five Rochester siblings—becomes Mort’s personal mission. Especially with Felix. Felix, who used to follow him everywhere. Felix, who idolized him. Felix, whom Mort has not stopped thinking about…

Felix is just trying to keep it together…

With a perma-smile as his armor, he’s determined to make his family happy. Determined to be a positive role model to his three younger sisters, while their mum struggles with depression after her kidney transplant.

Unfortunately, no amount of smiling can save his license when he gets pulled over for the umpteenth time, and he still needs to get his sisters to school, soccer, and dance classes.

The solution to his problem emerges in the return of their prodigal neighbor, Mort. Mort, who left their lives without a word. Mort, who was in love with Felix’s older brother.

Mort, who is the last guy Felix wants charging back into their lives…

Mort and Felix. Two guys bound by a rocky past—

—a past they must come to terms with to find true happiness in the here and now.

Set in New Zealand, Happy For You (Love & Family #3) is an MM gay romance featuring two guys pitted together in a blue 1988station wagon—and there’s no doubt about it, Mort is going to drive Felix crazy.

Can be read as a standalone.

~-~-~

Excerpt

Felix eyes me sleepily. “That’s one wild frown.”

I readjust my cap. “Tailored just for you.”

His cheeks dimple. “What’s the matter?”

“Are you in the mood to talk?”

Felix pushes himself upright, leaving a smear of condensation on the glass. “About what?”

“Everything.”

He squints, hesitant. “Define everything.”

“How’s your mum doing?”

A whimper-laugh drizzles out of him. “I’d rather talk about the sorry state of my love life.”

“How sorry are we talking?”

He stares at me blankly. “You first.”

I laugh. “Remember when I dragged you for coffee at Zealandia Café and we bumped into my colleague Jack and—”

“And Ben McCormick. Trust me, a week is not long enough to erase the embarrassment of almost toppling into them.”

“Jack’s the guy I’ve been flirting with at work.”

Felix gives me a standard cardboard smile. Those smiles are pissing me off. His days are littered with them.

I fight back a growl. “I’m fairly sure he’s a lost cause.”

“Considering he wedged his hand into Ben’s back pocket, I’d say he is.” Felix stares at passing cars. “Are you gutted?”

“He’s a decent guy. Hot and charming but mostly just a distraction.”

Felix whips his head toward me. “From what?”

I give him a pointed look.

“From missing us,” he murmurs.

Yeah. From that tiny ache that’s ripping me open.

“Do you miss us all equally?” Felix claps his mouth shut. “Forget it. That’s like asking a parent who their favorite child is. No matter how untrue, they’ll swear they don’t have one.”

I peer at him through the rearview mirror. “I missed you all equally.”

“You’ll make a good parent.” He drops back in his seat, and catches my eye, mouth twisted toward a smile. A real one this time.

I want more of his smiles. I want Felix to see what we could have together. Want to graduate from “chauffeur” to Guy He Has Fun With.

Felix clears his throat and clicks his seatbelt open. “I should get inside.”

“Tiffany has an hour left.” I eye the arcade. “We can use it.”

Felix hums. “Yeah, okay. We’re out of parchment paper and detergent. The Warehouse is still open. We can swing by.”

Parchment paper and detergent? That’s how he wants to spend a free hour? Felix doesn’t know how much he needs me. “Out of the car, sunshine.”

“What?”

“Hop out, or I’m coming around and making a show of opening your door.”

Happy For You Banner 2.png 

Release Blitz Q&A with Anyta Sunday

What is the significance of the title “Happy For You”?

AS: This book’s all about happiness – where to find it for ourselves, how to make others happy, and how to live with the fact that we can’t make everyone around us happy.  Mort and Felix have to learn it the hard way: if they’re both only trying to make others happy, they’ll lose sight of themselves. They have to find their own happiness first to finally be happy together.

What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book?

AS: While every book has its own challenges, this one was special because it features a large family that wanted to have ample space on the page. To give all of them their rightful place was not easy, but they all demanded to be heard ☺ This spring and summer, when I worked on “Happy For You”, was also a time of transitions for my family – from my son changing schools to me transitioning to a new diet, so finding time for the book wasn’t always easy.

Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with your readers about?

AS: I am always working 😀 At the moment, I’m diving back into astrology and star signs, and tackling book 5 in the “Signs of Love” series. A Cancer and an Aquarius are the lucky couple in this one, and I’m already having so much fun with them. It’s quite emotional, but just like all the other SoL books, also full of banter and romantic comedy!

Where do you draw inspiration from?

AS: Inspiration is all around – walking the streets, seeing a couple interact at the café, getting a lovely message from my husband. So many things can spark an idea, like a smell that brings back a memory or a piece of music that becomes alive in my head. I try to soak it all in and scribble it down as soon as possible.

Do you have any new series planned?

AS: There are a few ideas currently swirling in my head, and I never know how they’ll finally arrive on the page. One series idea I just cannot stop thinking about is what I call the “Love Shack” in my head. A beachside house that brings different roommates together, always sparking new misadventures and love stories! Another idea is a cozy, super sweet and romantic mystery. But whatever series comes next, you can be sure it’ll be full of slow burn romance!

ForYou-Series.jpg

About The Author

I’m a big, BIG fan of slow-burn romances. I love to read and write stories with characters who slowly fall in love. Some of my favorite tropes to read and write are: Enemies to Lovers, Friends to Lovers, Clueless Guys, Bisexual, Pansexual, Demisexual, Oblivious MCs, Everyone (Else) Can See It, Slow Burn, Love Has No Boundaries.

I write a variety of stories, Contemporary MM Romances with a good dollop of angst, Contemporary lighthearted MM Romances, and even a splash of Fantasy. My books have been translated into German, Italian, French, Spanish, and Thai.

Social Media

Author website:http://www.anytasunday.com/

Author newsletter signup: http://www.anytasunday.com/newsletter-free-e-book/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/anytasunday

Instagram: https://instagram.com/anytasunday

BookBub: https://bookbub.com/authors/anyta-sunday

Giveaway

Prize: Enter to win one complete paperback set of the Love & Family series: Taboo for You, Made for You, and Happy for You, or, one of three e-books of Happy for You.

Prizes are open internationally. Must be 18 to enter and win.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy For You Graphic 2.png

 

New Release Blitz: Stray by Nancy J. Hedin

Stray | Nancy J. Hedin

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: August 12, 2019

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 65,800

Buy Links:

NineStar Press | Amazon

Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Add to Goodreads

Blurb

Lorraine Tyler should be in vet school, but she stayed behind in her home town of Bend, Minnesota to care for her nephew, spend time with her lover, Charity, and give her momma a chance to complete nursing school.

Lorraine is content until her momma brings home a steady stream of bachelors to straighten her out. Charity is out of town more and more, and Lorraine’s brother-in-law is looking for a new mom for Little Man. To make matters worse there’re new people in town. A politician is drumming up fear and hate, a social worker is flirting with Lorraine, and Lorraine’s new friend, Ricky, is beaten into a coma.

Lorraine suspects Ricky was beaten because of being gay. Lorraine is determined to find out who did it, protect Ricky from the hater who might try to finish the job, and she’s worried she might be next on the hater’s list.

Stray is a story of politics fueling hate, competing romantic interests, and regular people examining their hearts, souls, and hormones. Will the people of Bend harbor the fear-rattled haters of some, or will they provide sanctuary for all?

Excerpt

Stray
Nancy J. Hedin © 2019
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
It was supper time on a weeknight and there were two vehicles I didn’t recognize and a hearse parked next to our farmhouse. It wasn’t really a hearse, it was Pastor Grind’s tan Toyota, but any visit from him meant bad news. God how I hoped Momma had started a book club or extorted people to attend a Tupperware party. More likely she was bringing me a parade of potential husbands. She wanted to straighten out her queer daughter, me. I didn’t know if she was acting alone or if she’d again claim she had God on her side. Maybe she got Pastor Grind to agree to marry me to one of those men on the spot.

“Lorraine, Lorraine!” Momma came rumbling out of the house onto the open front porch, waving her arms. “Don’t change out of your college clothes. We have guests for dinner.”

It’s not like I routinely changed clothes in the yard. I parked my truck in between Dad’s beat-up pickup and Momma’s dented station wagon. Momma had parked on half the pink flamingo pair of lawn ornaments Dad had installed the day before.

“We’re having chicken. Ricky wants to learn to make my gravy.” Momma wiped her hands on her denim apron.

Before I could ask her who Ricky was—like I didn’t already know he’s some guy she found at college and deems him a good husband for me—the only requirement being a penis in his pants—she put her hands on her wide hips like she had more to say. “That Charity girl is here too, but she’s not staying.” Momma swiveled around and marched to the house.

My girlfriend, Charity, was there. Finally, some good news. At least it meant she was driving her dad’s car and he wasn’t with her. There was no way that holier-than-god man would come to the queer’s house and have his daughter with him.

Dad and my three-year-old nephew, Little Man, came out of the barn with the dogs, Sniff, Pants, and Satan. Dad was telling Little Man some damn animal story—something about what they can tell from smelling another dog’s pee. Little Man and the dogs came running to me. “Raine, Raine, we’ve been throwing balls for the dogs.”

Most days I took care of Little Man, but Tuesday was a school day for me at the junior college where I had enrolled in as many math and science classes as I could manage until I left for Grayson School of Veterinary Science in Duluth. Grayson wasn’t a top ten veterinary school, but it was my first choice because I didn’t have to have a bachelor’s degree before entering their program. That was good for me since I had already delayed my college entrance by a couple of years because of the needs of my family.

Grayson accepted two years of college level science and math and allowed degree candidates to take summer classes for the entire four years of pre-veterinary science programs. It floated my boat, but what really got me excited was if I was short on the college level courses, which I was, they’d let me take skills and knowledge testing which would count toward coursework. All those things I’d learned from helping Twitch with his vet business could be parlayed for course credits. Sweet.

Little Man hugged my legs. When I looked at him and Momma and Dad, I had a hollow ache in my chest for who was missing. My twin sister, Becky, was dead. She left behind a dope of a husband and the sweetest little boy I could imagine existed in the world. My brother-in-law Kenny’s truck was gone. He must have still been at work at the lumber yard.

I scooped up Little Man. He wore the matching blue and white T-shirt and pants I’d put him in early in the morning, but he was filthy from playing. As I kissed his doughy neck, I sniffed him to know what he’d done while I was away. I detected the scent of outdoors, dogs, dirt, and snickerdoodle cookies, an average day.

I dropped him off in the mudroom. He climbed the green plastic, frog-faced step stool so he could reach the mudroom sink to wash his hands, and I looked for Charity. Charity leaned against the kitchen counter. Damn she looks good. I forgot all about supper. My whole body hungered for her touch and the sweet things she always said to me. I wanted to wrap my arms around Charity and kiss her until my lips fell off.

No kissing for me. Momma came back in the kitchen looking like she owned and ran the place, which she did. Momma and Charity were as far apart from each other as possible in the room and despite the temperature outside being near eighty degrees, the air temperature between them was colder than a well-digger’s lunch, as my dad would say.

“Hi.” I touched Charity’s shoulder. “I’m glad to see you. Why are you driving your dad’s car? You about scared me to death.”

She smiled and squeezed my hand quick, her eyes glued on Momma. “Dad needed my truck to help somebody move some boxes or something.”

I smelled her shampoo and she’d just put on some lip gloss I wanted to methodically taste and remove.

Momma gave the queer girls only cursory attention. I almost snuck a kiss, but I realized half a man twitched and kicked on the kitchen floor. The other half of him was tucked in the cabinet under the sink. When the top of him emerged I about lost my mind.

Christ, she’s at it again. This time the man was old enough to have possibly signed the Declaration of Independence, or at least the Constitution.

“Momma, I hope you haven’t been trying to find a date for me again.” Next, I addressed the fossil under the sink. “Ricky, I’m sorry you come all this way for nothing but a busted sink.”

Just then Little Man came in the kitchen. Momma’s face brightened as she whisked Little Man into her arms. He dried his wet hands on the front of Momma’s good apron—the full-length one with chickens embroidered on it and pockets on both sides of the skirt. Next Momma pulled me into the utility room with her and Little Man. “Excuse us.” She slid the accordion door closed.

Oh Christ, she’s going to murder me. No. She wouldn’t murder me in front of Little Man and so many witnesses in the house, but there was a fair chance she was going to lecture me and possibly brain me with one of her sacred books. She appreciated the Old Testament shock and awe. She didn’t much go for the patient tolerance of God’s later work or “the mushy parts,” as she called them. However, she did like the way her slim New Testament fit in the oversized pockets of her denim apron, and she liked the way it fit nicely in her hand when she wanted to swat someone, usually me. But she didn’t hit me. Instead, she reminded me of the way her mind worked and how she got everything done with speed and efficiency.

“That’s not Ricky. It’s Harold. Has it ever occurred to you, Lorraine, that we needed the sink replaced?”

That’s Momma for you. She could probably kill more than two birds with one stone. She weaseled getting our sink fixed and paraded a bachelor for my appraisal. She was so efficient, I was surprised there were any birds left.

Momma continued, “Besides, you can’t marry Harold. He’s already engaged to a gal from the square-dancing club.”

“Square dancing,” Little Man said.

Little Man, at three years old, needed an interpreter. I caught most everything he said because I listened to him most days. He had acquired a new habit of repeating parts of whatever he’d heard somebody else say.

“Well, do-si-do and an allemande right if I’m not relieved.”

“Smarty pants,” Momma said. “Behave yourself. It wouldn’t hurt you to try to make friends with our guests. Supper is almost ready.”

“Great. I want to sit by Charity.”

“She’s not staying.”

What? Hadn’t we made any ground at all? Couldn’t my girlfriend at least enjoy a meal at our house? It’s not like we would make out at the dinner table.

Momma pushed me out of the utility room, put Little Man down with half a cookie, and helped Harold get up off the kitchen floor.

“Can’t you stay for supper?” I asked Charity.

Charity glanced at Momma. Then she looked at her feet and bit her lip.

Those lips. I knew how pillowy soft and warm they were. The first time she ever kissed me it felt like I had known her mouth forever.

Charity turned her back on Momma and she half whispered and half gasped, “Lorraine, are you ever leaving for college? This is too small, too much.”

“How can something be both too small and too much?” I tried to joke, but Charity wasn’t having it.

“I don’t know, but Bend is and you need to decide. I’m going home.” Charity headed to the door.

I wanted to remind her I was moving as fast as circumstances would allow. I’d enrolled in as many science classes as the junior college offered while I worked with Twitch…and I minded Little Man. But I didn’t speak up for myself.

“Are you still coming over tomorrow?” I whispered. “Little Man has some new plastic animals. I’m thinking of decorating the kitchen like an African safari.” My scheme kept Little Man busy and allowed me to study animal physiology and anatomy at the same time.

“See you tomorrow.” Charity called over her shoulder with very little enthusiasm.

I watched Charity through the window walking away. My heart raced. I almost ran after her, but then Momma grabbed me and harped at me to go sit in the dining room and talk to the guests. Why is everybody so mad at me? Why is everyone pressuring me to move faster or be different? Momma wanted me to not be queer and marry a man. Charity wanted me to leave Bend before I had Little Man settled. I took deep breaths and prepared to enter the dining room.

About the Author

Nancy Hedin, a Minnesota writer, has been a pastor and bartender (at the same time). She has been a stand-up comic and a mental health crisis worker (at the same time). She wants readers to know that every story she writes begins with her hearing voices.

In 2018 Nancy’s debut novel, Bend was named one of twenty-five books to read for Pride Month by Barnes and Noble and was named Debut Novel of the Year by Golden Crown Literary Society and Foreword Indies Honorable Mention for GLBT Adult Novel of the Year.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Linkedin | Pinterest

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Button 2

Erin’s ogre saves the day in the second Copper Point Medical romance

41104632.jpgThe Doctor’s Date by Heidi Cullinan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

While I’ve rated them both the same, I think I enjoyed this one a tiny bit more than the first book in what is so far proving to be an excellent series.

This had none of the preachy element that I felt had slightly taken over the narrative of book one, instead it was all about family, how they can screw with your head and change your perceptions of life.

From the bat, this was clearly going to more than the obvious sum of its parts. It’s not really a fake boyfriend story, there is so much history between Owen and Erin.

I have to say, every single time I read his name I had a pause to catch up that it’s a male character. There is an explanation for his name and Erin is an Irish gender-neutral name for the country of Ireland (Éirinn) but it’s more commonly used as a female name, so it threw me but hey that’s just a personal thing.

Erin himself was a complex character and I loved him, almost as much as I loved Owen, his ogre, his dragon, his defender against whatever tried to hurt him. Theirs is a genuine, emotional connection but, as my lovely friend Dani says in her review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show…

I wanted more tension, especially because the romance that followed was slightly lackluster. Erin is over 30 and a virgin. Owen is a former player. When the two get together, sparks … uh, actually, nope, sparks don’t fly because there are no sparks. And no steam. And I do mean NONE, unless you count two brief groping scenes.

The chemistry which I love to see in a romance is simply absent. Everything fades to black or is referred to off page.

This was a little disappointing, not because I wanted a full-blooded erotic porn encounter to read, but because it meant that element of their relationship was utterly missing.

Erin’s a virgin, the care Owen took with every other aspect of his relationship with him should have been there for the reader in this also, but it wasn’t. It was a throwaway line.

Still, that’s really my only grumble because I loved everything else about this narrative. It’s not a standalone, you need to read book one because there is a series long thread running in the background about the hospital all the doctors work at and I think it’d mean a whole chunk of understanding about what’s going on would be missing.

Now, on to Jared and Nick and I really can’t wait for that one.

#ARC kindly received from the author via Dreamspinner Press in return for an honest and unbiased review.

View all my reviews

Release Blitz: The Scarecrow & George C by Mia Kerick

The Scarecrow & George C | Mia Kerick

Scarecrow Banner.png

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: June 3, 2019

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Length: 65,700

Buy Links:

NineStar Press | Amazon

Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Add to Goodreads

ScarecrowandGeorgeC-f500.jpg

Blurb

High school senior Van Liss is barely human. He thinks of himself as a scarecrow—ragged and unnerving, stuck and destined to spend his life cold and alone. If he ever had feelings, they were stomped out long ago by his selfish mother and her lecherous boyfriend. All he’s been left with is bitter contempt, to which he clings.

With a rough exterior long used to keep the world at bay, Van spooks George Curaco, the handsome new fry cook at the diner where he works. But George C senses there is more to the untouchable Van and refuses to stop staring, fascinated by his eccentricity. When Van learns that George C is even more cold, alone, and frightened than himself, Van welcomes him to his empty home. And ends up finding his heart.

Their road to trust is rocky and, at times, even dangerous. And looming evil threatens to keep them apart forever.

Fair warning: You may want to strap in. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Excerpt

The Scarecrow & George C
Mia Kerick © 2019
All Rights Reserved

Do us both a favor: check this out before you read

If you’re looking to read a story about a sassy teenage gay boy who refuses to behave until he meets Mr. Wonderful in Senior Honors Physics, and then is dazzled into improved conduct and future monogamy, I highly doubt this is the book for you. Believe me when I say you should close the book right now—drop it into a recycling bin if you’re all about keeping the earth green—and walk away. To this point, my life hasn’t run according to a predictable romantic formula. I don’t see a reason for this status to change.

Maybe you think you’re into something darker, so an unconventional story will suit your offbeat mood. News flash, reader: loners spend significant time in bookstores. I’m aware of the kind of books that consider themselves dark, at least in a carnal sense, and many are categorized as “New Adult,” just like this one. Between lewd front and back covers featuring tits, tats, and torsos, a threadbare plot is woven into a heavy fabric of inspired sex. You’re not likely to find that shit in here, either—but don’t I wish?

By now, you’ve probably noticed I possess a flair for the dramatic. Well, I look at it like this: creating drama staves off boredom. Not that I need to justify myself. But if you’re still with me, you’ve earned a shred of my respect. So on second thought, maybe you should keep reading.

Stick along for the ride if it pops your cork…

Friday
I towel myself off after my second, extremely necessary, shower of the morning. Mom’s cast-off pale pink towel is history thanks to unsightly smudges of black dye. Whatever. I did what I had to do, even if it was messy.

This morning, you see, I woke up and dyed my roots black. The urge to do it had been gathering steam for a few days—ever since the new kid started working at the diner. I picked up the dye on a rather compelling whim at the 24-hour pharmacy on the corner of Depot and Wilder Streets after work on Tuesday night. The rest is well-planned history.

I had to refer to a YouTube video so my roots would appear intentional, rather than a result of lazy grooming. And you may think I seem like a hot mess, but my crime against hair color has been done by careful design. Don’t delude yourself—I wasn’t going for the chic ombré look. Believe me, there’s nothing trendy about me. I want bold black roots with zero transition to the rest of my white-blond hair.

I glance in the mirror over the bathroom sink and see the male reverse of Cruella DeVil. And I smile, having achieved the “what the fuck’s up with his hair?” vibe I desire.

I suppose you want to know why I did it. That’s an easy one, and I think you’re going to appreciate my total candor. Drumroll, please: It’s because even if I’m a loner, I’m not heartless. I’m different, and I flaunt it, which is my way of keeping it real with the world. FYI: “Different” is my PC way of letting the public know I’m strange, frightening, and maybe even slightly dangerous. So, it’s better if that kid at the diner, and everybody else, looks away.

And you know what, boys and girls? I can help with that…

Here’s how: I dress like a Halloween scarecrow. Yeah, yeah… You’re wondering what, exactly, constitutes “scarecrow attire”? Go ahead, bookworm, google it. I did—I’m a visual sort of guy. You’ll see images of rigid figures, some stuffed with hay, others skinny as the barn boards they’re made of, clad in an unfortunate variety of secondhand clothing. I wear plaid flannel button-downs and overalls—yes, even to the wedding of a random second cousin last summer—peplum shirts of coarse fabric, and baggy, worn-out jeans, cinched at the waist by knotted burlap belts. Countless patches, Western bandanas, and an antique, oversized top hat finishes my retro cast-off style.

I laugh as I pull on today’s hokey duds. I’m not what you’d call the picture of fashion. In fact, I’d wager guys rarely fantasize about their boyfriends sporting dirty, patched overalls and a hat like Abraham Lincoln’s. But even if I take the hat off, you’ll see my new jet-black roots—hard as hell to appreciate on a bleached blond. Dedicate the hair color upgrade to that guy at work who won’t look away.

He probably considers himself eclectic and likes to think he appreciates life’s more unusual things. Or maybe he’s merely a Halloween maniac who is turned on by scarecrows with hair like straw. Incidentally, when I stripped my hair of color, I hoped it would further shock those around me into keeping their distance, but it seems to attract a certain fry cook.

I have fifteen minutes before I have to leave for the torture chamber most people refer to as high school, so I kneel in front of the coffee maker and brew a pot. I’ll check over my take-home Euro History quiz while it brews. No, I’m not a nerd, but I want better options for the future than I’ve had in the past.

Before you ask, I have my reasons for wanting to appear shocking to the point of repellant. And for the most part, I’ve gotten my wish. Teachers and students at school, coworkers and customers at the diner, not to mention Mom and Jake downstairs, all glance at the floor when I walk by. But this guy fixes his gaze on me. Maybe my unnatural black roots will scare him off, the way a good scarecrow stuck in a vast cornfield scares away so many crows.

I just don’t understand why he can’t see how frightening I am.

You can see it, can’t you?

Scarecrow & George Now Available.png

Meet the Author

Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—one in law school, another at a dance conservatory, a third studying at Mia’s alma mater, Boston College, and her lone son still in high school.

She has published more than twenty books of LGBTQ romance when not editing National Honor Society essays, offering opinions on college and law school applications, helping to create dance bios, and reviewing English papers. Her husband of twenty-five years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about this, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young people and their relationships. She has a great affinity for the tortured hero in literature, and as a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with tales of tortured heroes and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to NineStar Press for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.

Her books have been featured in Kirkus Reviews magazine, and have won Rainbow Awards for Best Transgender Contemporary Romance and Best YA Lesbian Fiction, a Reader Views’ Book by Book Publicity Literary Award, the Jack Eadon Award for Best Book in Contemporary Drama, an Indie Fab Award, and a Royal Dragonfly Award for Cultural Diversity, among other awards.

Mia Kerick is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.

Contact Mia at miakerick@gmail.com or visit the below links to see what is going on in Mia’s world.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Button 2

Good solid fake boyfriend romance

Living on a Dare: A Shore Thing Novel (Book One)Living on a Dare: A Shore Thing Novel by Grace Kilian Delaney

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

A good, solid read with a lot of my favourite tropes included and a couple of likeable characters.

I’ve not read this author before so I’ve no idea of their style but I thought they handled the fake engagement element in a well-paced fashion.

Although I was a little frustrated by all the “I’ve always loved you but now I’m scared to tell you” sections, once Jules told Draven he was bisexual, the family dramas did help to anchor the narrative.

There’s no real angsting, the contrast between the two men in how they come to terms with their feelings felt properly earned and there’re lots of really sweet moments.

The set up for book two is there but handled fairly subtly and I shall probably pick that up too.

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

View all my reviews

« Older Entries