Beautiful love story with an Iranian flavour

Watermelon KissesWatermelon Kisses by Freddy MacKay

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a really beautiful love story tempered with the knowledge that you’re reading about a couple who have been through Hell to get where they are.

The visceral descriptions of how Amir was behaving in the store were heart breaking, I loved that there was someone there to help but also cynically wonder how likely that would be in today’s horrendous climate of distrust and fear mongering about immigration.

Both Amir and his husband Esmail are created with such care and consideration for their ethnic background and the cultures and traditions of Iran (part of the former Persian Empire) and it was a wonderful change to read a festive story not focused on Christmas.

There’s also a bonus appendix with an explanation of the traditions and the recipes mentioned in the book which I though was a great addition.

#ARC received from the publishers in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

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Release Blitz: Unexpected Christmas by Nell Iris

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | JMS

 Length: 13,527 words
Publisher: JMS Books
Blurb
 

Daniel Erickson stormed out of his family celebration after choking on turkey served with a side of bigotry. Utterly miserable, he reluctantly lets himself be charmed by the hulk of a man and gets into the stranger’s car … hoping he won’t be axed before the night is through.

Axel Wilson — Ax for short, unfortunately — is a sweetheart. Really. He may be badass-looking but his heart melts into goo at the mere mention of his four-year-old niece. Surely he isn’t dangerous?

Thrown together by family drama, the two men spend the evening getting to know each other. Axel is nothing like Daniel expected. But it doesn’t matter that he loves poetry, is gentle and patient — and hot! — Daniel is absolutely not falling in love at first sight. There’s no such thing.

Right?

Excerpt

A few minutes later, a vehicle approached from behind. Reacting instinctively, I turned around and waved my arms, hoping the big truck would stop and have mercy on my freezing ass.

I let out a giddy yelp as it slowed down, but it got stuck in my throat when the driver rolled down the window.

He was huge and couldn’t hold his head upright without banging it on the ceiling. Big steel gauges adorned both his ears — at least an inch and a half wide — and his hair was black and so closely cropped it resembled a five o’clock shadow more than an actual haircut.

“You need a ride?” he asked and his voice was deeper than the Mariana Trench, perfectly matching his frightening appearance. Black tattoos crept up his neck and snaked down his hands below his sleeves. His shoulders were wide, his muscles strained the sleeves of his thick black jacket, and his cheeks were hollow. I was one second from shitting myself.

“I’m not riding with a serial killer!” The words slipped out of my mouth and I groaned. I couldn’t have kept my mouth shut for five fucking seconds to avoid being chopped up and thrown to the wolves?

He threw his head back and let out a thunderous laugh.

“What’s so goddamned funny?” I glared at him, but he didn’t seem to care.

“I’m no serial killer.”

“And I’m just supposed to take your fucking word for it?” I raised an eyebrow. I knew I was being combative and taking out my frustration on this stranger, but I couldn’t stop myself.

“You could call my ma for references.”

“Ha ha. Very funny.” With a deep sigh, I resigned to my fate and started walking again. No way was I getting into a car with that mammoth of a man.

“Where you goin’?” he called after me. When I didn’t bother to answer, he eased off the break and let his truck crawl after me.

I swirled around. “Stop following me, you creep,” I hissed.

He let go of the steering wheel with one hand and held it up as if he surrendered. “Look, man. It’s freezin’. You’re wet and miserable. Get in the truck and lemme take you wherever you’re goin’.” His deep voice was surprisingly gentle. Non-threatening, as if he’d come to expect reactions like mine.

“I’m really not a bad guy.” He stuck out his lower lip in a pout that would have made a five-year-old girl green with envy and I had to bite my lip to stop a smile from erupting.

“Really?” I tried to hang on to my mistrust, but he made it hard. His appearance screamed RUN AND HIDE, but there was something soft in his eyes that told a different story.

He shot me a crooked smile. “It was worth a try. It works on my niece every time.”

The fucker knew all the right words to say to disarm me. “And how old is she?”

“Four.”

I huffed out a reluctant chuckle. “Well, you know how it is. Everyone always says how they couldn’t believe their neighbor was a serial killer because he seemed like such a nice guy.”

His eyes grew big and round. “You’re sayin’ you don’t trust my niece as a character witness?” He sounded as I’d just delivered the biggest insult of his life, but the amused glint in his eyes told me it was all for show. “Can you blame me?” “I guess not.” He sighed and grew serious. “Please. I couldn’t live with myself if I left you here to freeze to death.”

My body screamed at me to take him up on his offer. The ice pellets were relentless and I was soaked and gloomy and was starting to feel like maybe being ax murdered wouldn’t be the worst thing that could happen to me right now.

The openness in his posture and honesty in his eyes had me on the verge of caving. “You promise you won’t kill me?” I sounded like a scared little kid even to my own ears.

Author Bio
 

Nell Iris is a romantic at heart who believes everyone deserves a happy ending. She’s a bona fide bookworm (learned to read long before she started school), wouldn’t dream of going anywhere without something to read (not even the ladies room), loves music (and singing along but let’s face it, she’s not Celine Dion), and is a real Star Trek nerd (Make it so). She loves words, poetry, wine, and Sudoku, and absolutely adores elephants!

Nell believes passionately in equality for all regardless of race, gender or sexuality, and wants to make the world a better, less hateful, place.

Nell is a 40-something bisexual Swedish woman, married to the love of her life, and a proud mama of a grown daughter. She left the Scandinavian cold and darkness for warmer and sunnier Malaysia a few years ago, where she spends her days writing, surfing the Internet, enjoying the heat, and eating good food. One day she decided to chase her life long dream of being a writer, sat down in front of her laptop, and wrote a story about two men falling in love.

Nell Iris writes gay romance, prefers sweet over angsty, and wants to write diverse and different characters.

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Review Tour: Three Under the Christmas Tree by Silvia Violet

 Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 22,000 words approx
Cover Design: L.C. Chase
 Blurb
 

Ace and Gavin haven’t had a threesome in far too long. When Ace meets the perfect guy to join them, he can’t think of a better way to kick off the holiday season.

Jonathan is charmed by the sexy couple, and he quickly realizes that what started as a fling has the potential to be a whole lot more.

Gavin feels their connection just as strongly, but even after weeks of the three of them hanging out, he’s afraid to suggest they turn their friends-with-benefits arrangement into a serious relationship.

The joy and shared experiences of the season have a way of making magic happen, if only all three men could find the courage to ask for what they want.

December 7 – BooksLaidBareBoys
December 11 – Lelyana’s Book Blog
 

Author Bio

Silvia Violet writes fun, sexy stories that will leave you smiling and satisfied. She has a thing for characters who are in need of comfort and enjoys helping them surrender to love even when they doubt it exists. Silvia’s stories include sizzling contemporaries, paranormals, and historicals.

When she needs a break from listening to the voices in her head, she spends time baking, taking long walks, curling up with her favorite books, and spending time with her family.

Newsletter: http://silviaviolet.com/newsletter

Website: http://silviaviolet.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/silvia.violet

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Silvia_Violet

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Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/silviaviolet/

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Review Tour: Love Happens Anyway by R.J. Scott

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Length: 42,500 words approx.
Blurb
 

Hiring a boyfriend for Christmas; what could possibly go wrong?

Derek is facing yet another Christmas where his life feels out of control. He has a new career that doesn’t feel like his, and parents who would just love to see him settled down. All he needs is a temporary buffer for the parties he has to attend, and for his parents to leave him alone. Enter, Luke.

Luke is twenty-thousand dollars short for the renovations on Halligans; his family’s bar in New York’s Financial District. A favor for a buddy has him agreeing to play the part of boyfriend to a guy with more money than sense.

But when the spirit of Christmas works its magic on the two men, and they begin to fall for each other, Derek runs scared, and Luke needs space.

It doesn’t matter what obstacles you throw in the way of love, or how much you run in the other direction, because, when you’re least expecting it, whether you want it or not, love happens anyway.

December 6 – Xtreme Delusions, Valerie Ullmer, The Way She Reads, Gay Media Reviews

December 8 – Lelyana’s Book Blog

December 11 – Hearts On Fire Reviews, Millsy Loves Books, My Fiction Nook

December 13 – Mirrigold:Mutterings & Musings, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, BFD Book Blog, Nicole’s Book Musings, MM Good Book Reviews

December 15 – Jim’s Reading Room, Making It Happen, Padme’s Library, Sexy Erotic Xciting, Wicked Faerie’s Tales & Reviews

December 20 – Dog-Eared Daydreams, Book Lovers 4Ever, Au Boudoir Ecarlate, Wicked Reads

December 22 – A Book Lover’s Dream, Bayou Book Junkie

RJ Scott is the bestselling romance author of over 100 romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men and women who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.

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

mailto:rj@rjscott.co.uk
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Review Tour Blitz: On The Third Kiss by George Loveland

 Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 40,000 words approx.
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
Blurb
 

Sebastian Bennett is really looking forward to his Christmas holiday with boyfriend Elliot Bolton in the Gran Canarian sun. The only thing left is for him to sing one last song at the pub as his Drag Queen alter-ego, Donna Tracey. After the wig, make-up and dress come off, he rushes home to pack, only to find he and his chihuahua, Buster, have been deserted by Elliot, who’s taken someone else to Gran Canaria. Devastated, Elliot turns to his friend and the pub’s manager, Javier Reyes-Martinez, who helps him pick up the pieces.

Javier seems determined to bring fun and laughter back into Sebastian’s life during this holiday season, and Sebastian is both grateful and enchanted. After a family Christmas and a word of advice from his great-uncle, Sebastian starts to look at Javier in a different light. Is Javier as fond of Sebastian as he appears, or is Sebastian being misled by his own need? If he’s reading the signs right—and if he’s ready to move on from his previous heartbreak—could he and Javier be much more than friends?

December 4 – Valerie Ullmer, Gay Media Reviews, The Way She Reads, Dog-Eared Daydreams

December 8 – A One-Click Addicts Book Blog

December 11 – Mirrigold: Mutterings and Musings, My Book Filled Life

December 13 – Bayou Book Junkie, Boy Meets Boy Reviews, MM Good Book Reviews

December 15 – Reading Is Our Satisfaction, Hearts On Fire Reviews, BooksLaidBareBoys, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue WordsMy Fiction Nook 

Author Bio

George was about eighteen when he told his friend that he was going to be a writer. It took him another eighteen years before he finally did anything about it and wrote his first short story. A typical Englishman, he drinks buckets of tea with milk – but no sugar, because he is sweet enough. His Nan told him so.

George lives just outside of London, but close enough to enjoy Soho and the West End, where you will find him in a bar with a pint, in a club dancing into the early hours of the morning, or enjoying a musical in the theater; but more than likely he will be in a coffee shop reading a book or writing a new story. Currently single, but taking applications for future husband position, George enjoys crafting romantic stories in which he hopes that one day, life will imitate art.

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Review Tour: Not Just For Christmas by Annabelle Jacobs

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 48,000 words approx
Cover Design: Natasha Snow
 Blurb
 

Ben has Christmas, cats, and mistletoe on his side…. Jason doesn’t stand a chance

For Ben Slater, moving back to Bristol means being closer to his family, living with his best mate, and volunteering at the local animal shelter. But there’s also Jason, his best mate’s eldest brother. Ben’s had a crush on Jason for as long as he can remember, but the eleven-year age gap has always seemed insurmountable.

Jason Armitage works as a vet at his uncle’s practice. He owns a cute cottage on the outskirts of the city, and a loving dog. The one thing missing is someone to share it all with. His brother’s best friend seems a bad choice, but Jason can’t help taking a second look. Ben’s changed a lot since Jason last saw him; both in appearance and attitude. Gone is the shy young boy, replaced with a confident, twenty-four-year-old man.

In the run up to Christmas, the festive period gives Ben the ideal opportunity to show Jason what he has to offer. But concerns for his brother’s feelings hold Jason back. If they have any chance of making this work, Ben must convince Jason that he’s old enough to know what he wants, and Jason needs to believe that a relationship with his brother’s best friend won’t ruin their friendship.


November 28 – The Blogger Girls, Gay Book Reviews, My Fiction Nook, Gay Media Reviews, Mikku-chan

December 2 – Making It Happen

December 4 – BooksLaidBareBoys, My Book Filled Life, V’s Reads

December 6 – OMG Reads, Fannatality

December 8 – Valerie Ullmer, Au Boudoir Ecarlate, The Geekery Book Review

December 11 – Mirrigold: Mutterings & Musings, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Nicole’s Book Musings

December 13 – Hearts On Fire Reviews, A Book Lover’s Dream Blog, BFD Book Blog, Sexy Erotic Xciting, Wicked Faerie’s Tales & Reviews

December 15 – Drops Of Ink, Bayou Book Junkie, Diverse Reader, Book Lovers 4Ever, Lelyana’s Book Blog 

Excerpt



Ben tried not to look, but inevitably his gaze was drawn to Jason still sat on the sofa. He stood as Pete stepped back, and Ben got a proper look at him. Ben wasn’t the only one who’d changed a little over the past couple of years. The last time he’d seen Jason, his hair had been short, like an army cut, and he’d had a beard. He’d looked hot then, but now…. Ben had to forcibly shut his mouth so he didn’t gape.

Jason’s thick dark hair, still shaved at the sides, was now a good couple of inches longer on top. And he was clean shaven. Ben kind of missed the beard, but without it Jason looked much younger, and his strong jawline was a thing of beauty. He looked thinner, too. Ben frowned because Jason ate like a horse and had always been bulkier than his brothers. That thought somehow made its way out of Ben’s mouth.

“Have you lost weight?”

Jason laughed softly, one hand immediately going to his stomach. He patted his belly and sighed. “God don’t you start. Mum’s already been on at me about not eating properly.” He pulled Ben in for a quick hug. “It’s good to see you, even if you do put the rest of us to shame.”

Oh God, that voice. As smooth and deep as Ben remembered.

 
Author Bio
 

Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with three rowdy children, and two cats. An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories. They’re usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it – fighting enemies and adversity – but they always find love in the end.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJacobs_fiction
Website: www.annabellejacobs.com
Email: ajacobsfiction@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ajacobsfiction

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Release Blitz: The Christmas Fling by Heidi Cullinan

TheChristmasFling_DIGITAL_HighRes

RELEASE DATE: December 12, 2017

Format: Novel • Genre: Contemporary/Holiday • Length: 74,000

Publisher: Heidi Cullinan

Cover Artist: Kanaxa

Ebook ISBN: 978-1-945116-27-8

Print ISBN: 978-1-945116-28-5

Characters: Evan Myles, Terry Reid, Dale Davidson, Levi Daniels, Charlotte, Frankie Blackburn, Marcus Gardner, Arthur Anderson, Gabriel Higgins, Kyle Parks, Paul Parks


Blurb

Sometimes it takes a village to fall in love.

Eccentric, reclusive, socially awkward project designer Evan Myles doesn’t date. Paying for sex with professionals is so much more efficient and suits his needs well enough. But when he’s on assignment in rural Logan, Minnesota, for the Christmas Town project and a handsome stranger at the bar catches his attention, Evan decides it’s time to break his rule. It doesn’t matter that he’s never so much as flirted before. It can’t be that hard, can it?

Davidson Incorporated lead architect Terry Reid hasn’t been hit on so clumsily in his life. Terry’s the first to admit he’s a neurotic Prince Charming, and he’s kissed his share of frogs of both genders, but he’s never met anyone quite like Evan Myles. Evan calls Terry by the wrong name, mistakes Terry for a simple construction worker, and picks apart his work as an architect. Despite this rough start, Terry is lured by the brilliance of Evan’s ideas, his quirky personality, and once they’re alone in Evan’s cabin, the man’s mad skills in bed. Yet Terry knows it takes more than a single night of passion to make a relationship work, and after so many failures, he’s just not ready to try again.

Evan and Terry’s path is strewn with stones neither of them can dislodge. Fortunately, they’re not alone on the road to romance. They’re in Christmas Town, home to matchmakers, meddlers, and more “fairy godfathers” than they could possibly know what to do with.

Most importantly, in Logan, Minnesota, happy ever after is guaranteed.

AMAZON • KOBO • BARNES & NOBLE • ITUNES • SMASHWORDS • SCRIBD

the christmas fling

Author Bio

Heidi Cullinan head shot

Author of more than thirty titles, Heidi Cullinan has always enjoyed a good love story, provided it has a happy ending. Proud to be from the first Midwestern state with full marriage equality, Heidi is a vocal advocate for LGBT rights.

She writes positive-outcome romances for LGBT characters struggling against insurmountable odds because she believes there’s no such thing as too much happy ever after. When Heidi isn’t writing, she enjoys playing with new recipes, reading romance and manga, playing with her cats, and watching too much anime. Find out more about Heidi at heidicullinan.com


Related Series

Minnesota Christmas

Let It Snow

Frankie’s malfunctioning GPS sent him to Logan, and a blizzard ensures he won’t be leaving anytime soon. Being rescued by a sexy lumberjack is a nice fantasy, but Marcus isn’t playing along, because Frankie is a sassy city twink who might as well have stepped out of his dark past. Yet as the snow falls, the deeper they fall in love. Though all they want for Christmas is each other, the gift of forever may be too much to ask.

Sleigh Ride
Arthur wants nothing to do with romance, and he certainly doesn’t want to play Santa in his mother’s fundraising scheme. It’s clear the town’s librarian doesn’t want him, either—as a Santa, as a boyfriend, as anyone at all. But two men who insist they don’t date wind up doing an awful lot of dating. And the sleigh they’re trying not to board could jingle them all the way to happily ever after.
Winter Wonderland

Paul can’t find a gay man within a fifty-mile radius who wants more than casual sex. No one, that is, except too-young, too-twinky Kyle, who sends him suggestive texts and leaves X-rated snow sculptures on his front porch. Kyle’s loved Paul since forever, and this Christmas, since they’re both working on the Winter Wonderland festival, he might finally get his chance for a holiday romance. But Paul comes with baggage. When his family’s anti-LGBT crusade spills beyond managing Paul’s love life, Kyle and Paul must fight for everyone’s happily ever after, including their own.

Santa Baby

A one-night threesome becomes more when Dale Davidson joins already coupled Arthur Anderson and Gabriel Higgins, which is complicated enough in their sleepy northern Minnesota town, but when Dale’s abusive ex draws him into a dark web, the whole community must put aside their preconceptions of relationships, come together, and help bring their Santa home.