Tag Archives: forced proximity

Release Blitz: Sweet to the Core by Amy Aislin

Sweet to the Core | Amy Aislin

Lighthouse Bay #3

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Release Date: May 17th, 2022

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 64,000 words/ 250 pages

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Blurb

Dev has pined for his cousin’s best friend for years, but no matter how hard he wishes, Clark sees him as nothing but a friend. And it’s as a friend that Clark comes to him for help.

Clark’s father is on the brink of losing his house and the fastest way to make a quick buck is to win the $10,000 prize in the inaugural Sweet to the Core apple baking contest. Only problem? He’s never baked anything that hasn’t come out of a box.

But Dev has. As a baker, he’s Clark’s best chance.

For the first time, Dev has something Clark wants. Only problem? Dev needs the prize for himself. The only thing he wants—besides Clark—is to buy the local lighthouse where he last spent time with his parents before they died.

Working together means opening a lot more than a barrel of apples, though. They may have found the recipe to love.

But will Dev have to give up the only connection he has left to his parents in order to have it? Or will Clark let his father down? They can’t both have everything.

Or can they?

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Excerpt

“I wanted to talk to you about Sweet to the Core.”

“I already told you I’m not entering.”

“What if you had a partner and entered as a team?”

Dev swirled the beer in his bottle. “Why would I do that? I work alone.”

“As they say, two heads are better than one.”

“No, thanks.”

“Don’t you want to know who it is?”

“Are they an expert in baking with apples?”

“Uh . . . no,” Clark said. “They’re not really an expert in baking . . . anything. Except homemade pasta. And cock croissants.”

“Then again, I ask, why would I want to do that?” Why would he split ten grand with someone who couldn’t actively contribute? “Wait.” An expert in making homemade pasta? Cock croissants? “You want to compete?”

Clark crossed his arms and squinted against the sun. “I looked the rules up online. That social media component? It’s all about documenting your journey through the competition. Whoever gets the most cumulative likes at the end gets a thousand bucks, six months of free advertising, and web design consultation.”

“Yes, I know all this. That’s why I’m not competing. I don’t have time for all the social stuff.”

“Right. That’s where I come in.”

Dev regarded him through narrowed eyes. What universe had he been dropped into that Clark wanted to partner with him for a baking contest? There wasn’t a single part of that sentence that made sense. “Explain.”

“What if I take care of the social media stuff?” Sitting forward, Clark braced both elbows on his knees and regarded him. “Whenever you’re doing contest-related stuff, I’ll tag along, take photos, and post them with a catchy caption. Easy. I’ll have everyone eating out of the palm of your hand. Which leaves you free for the baking. If we win, we split the prize fifty-fifty.”

Dev pursed his lips. Fuck, it was tempting. So very, very tempting. Half the prize would speed up his timeline for acquiring the lighthouse and light keeper’s cottage by months. He could be out of Holland and Zach’s hair that much faster. Within the year if the one-story cottage could be renovated quickly.

The prospect of spending all that time with Clark, though . . . Dev both dreaded it and ached for it desperately.

“Why?” he asked. “Why would you do this? There’s a lot of prep that goes into this kind of thing. It’s not about submitting my bake and hoping for the best. There are two rounds of—”

“Judging. I remember.”

“It’s not just that,” Dev stressed, trying to drive the point home that this wasn’t something that would take an hour of Clark’s life before he went on his merry way. “Whatever I enter in the contest needs to be test-baked several times to ensure it’s as perfect as it can be. That means I need to check my personal inventory to determine if I have enough ingredients to cover multiple bakes. If it’s not, I need to buy some—flour, baking powder, whatever. And this is an apple baking contest, which means going apple picking to select the best apples. I also need to research other countywide contests to see what kinds of bakes have won. Granted, I’ll be doing all of this in the evenings after the bakery has closed, so if we do team up, it won’t interfere with your job. But it’s still going to take up a lot of your time in the next four weeks. This isn’t one of your hookups; there’s a time commitment involved.”

Clark opened his mouth to speak. Snapped it closed, brow furrowing. “You seem to have a very low opinion of my character.”

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About the Author

Amy’s lived with her head in the clouds since she first picked up a book as a child, and being fluent in two languages means she’s read a lot of books! She first picked up a pen on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class had to stay inside for recess.

Tales of treasure hunts with her classmates eventually morphed into love stories between men, and she’s been writing ever since. She writes evenings and weekends—or whenever she isn’t at her full-time day job saving the planet at Canada’s largest environmental non-profit.

An unapologetic introvert, Amy reads too much and socializes too little, with no regrets. She loves connecting with readers. Join her Facebook Group to stay up-to-date on upcoming releases and for access to early teasers, find her on Instagram, or sign up for her infrequent newsletter.

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Blog Tour: Forever After by Marie Sinclair

Forever After | Marie Sinclair

Finding Forever #3

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Release Date: April 6th, 2022

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Blurb

After a fire destroys his apartment, Diego has no choice but to move in with the person least likely to welcome him with open arms: Alex, the recently divorced, presumably straight guy who didn’t take kindly to Diego hitting on him at a friend’s wedding.

Unfortunately, Alex can’t exactly complain about the living arrangements. After his wife cheated, he moved across the country to San Francisco to start over. The place he’s living belongs to a friend, so when Jake also offers Diego a room, Alex needs to figure out how to deal with the exceptionally hot, sex-positive, queer youth counselor whose gaydar has picked up that Alex isn’t as straight as everyone thinks he is.

Forced to live in the same house, Alex and Diego are about as combustible as fire and gasoline. But when Alex’s thirteen-year-old comes out as trans masc and moves into the house with them, Alex begins to see another side of Diego, and Diego realizes this sullen, complicated man has a heart of gold that’s been stomped on a few too many times.

Once the walls start to come down, Alex and Diego realize they have a lot in common. Not to mention an attraction that blazes hotter the more they get to know each other.

Forever After is an enemies-to-lovers, forced proximity, bi-awakening story. It is Book Three in the Finding Forever series but can be read as a stand-alone novel.

Please use the Look Inside feature to read the book’s trigger warning.

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Excerpt

“What the fuck are you doing?”

Diego spun, knife clenched in one hand, the tube of biscuits in the other, to find Alex glaring at him from the kitchen doorway. “What does it look like? I’m cooking.”

Alex strode into the room and took the knife from his hand, then almost lovingly slid it into the knife block before turning to face Diego. “One, don’t use my knives if you can’t handle them properly. Two, don’t ever, ever use the point of a knife to open something. And three, what the fuck are those things?” He pointed to the tube Diego still clutched in his hand.

“I told you, I’m cooking.”

“You are not cooking because that is not food.”

Diego shook his head in exasperation. “Dude. What is wrong with you?” He turned and rustled a butter knife out of the silverware drawer. “I assume you’re okay with me using this?”

“I’m not okay with what you’re planning on eating. That stuff is horrible.” Alex held out his hand, and Diego just stared at it, then raised his eyes to meet Alex’s gaze.

“You can’t be serious.”

“Yeah. I am. Do you even know what’s in this shit? Give it to me.”

With another head shake, Diego turned his back to Alex and resumed his attempts to open the tube. “I don’t know what your problem is, dude, but leave me out of it. I’ll clean up the kitchen after…what the hell?” Diego clamped his hand around the tube just as Alex tried to grab it off the counter. He spun around, glaring at Alex, who was holding on to one side of the tube. Mierda! Was this guy for real?

“Look,” Alex said. He extended a finger without letting go and pointed to the ingredients list, which Diego knew was full of preservatives and artificial flavors, but, at the moment, he couldn’t care less. Alex was being an ass. Again. And Diego’s temper was up. He’d die on this biscuit hill, if he had to.

“So what?”

“When I make biscuits it’s flour, salt, baking powder, butter, and milk. That’s it.”

“These take fifteen minutes to make.” Diego tugged on the tube without success. “And I’m hungry.”

“I can make them from scratch in under twenty.”

Diego tugged on the tube again, but Alex wasn’t letting go. With a growl, Diego tightened his grip, and gave a yank. For a moment, he had Alex off balance, but then Alex found his feet and pulled back. They held for a moment, the tension they both exerted and their full weight equal as they glared at each other over the metallic blue tube. Alex’s eyes glinted, and the corners of his mouth turned up. Diego was struck by how gorgeous the man was, especially as anger colored his cheeks. When Alex narrowed his eyes and then licked his lips, Diego nearly groaned with frustration that all this physical perfection was wasted on such an arrogant cabrón.

“Give me the tube,” Alex said.

“No. If you want to make biscuits, go ahead. I won’t stop you.”

With a huff of air, Alex’s expression turned stony and he shifted on his feet, but Diego was ready. You didn’t grow up the youngest of five siblings and not know how to anticipate when someone was going to try and sweep your feet out from beneath you, which is exactly what Alex did. Diego sidestepped, pulling backward with his full weight. For a split second, everything was fine, and then the tube split as the pressurized contents expanded and the cardboard unraveled around the seam.

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A Kind of Forever

Book 1 A Kind Of Forever

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Ry and Cart were inseparable in college: two innocent kids in love who thought they could take on the world. But when a photograph of the two of them at an LGBTQ protest outed Ry to his conservative family, his parents forced him to leave college and convinced Cart their relationship was something Ry regretted.

Twelve years later, they’re given a second chance.

Since they last saw each other, Cart has moved on. Sort of. He relocated to San Francisco, became a human-rights lawyer, and fell in love again and got married, only to lose his husband to cancer. Still reeling from the loss, he’s devoted himself to the struggling LGBTQ youth center his late husband founded. Then Ry joins the law firm where Cart works.

The moment they see each other, Cart can tell Ry’s changed. Gone is the sensuous and enthusiastic lover Cart remembers, and in his place is a man who looks at Cart with disgust. The last thing Cart needs is having to figure out what’s going on with his former lover, but he can’t ignore the strong emotions resurfacing between them.

When Ry returned to his hometown of San Francisco, he knew being near his parents again was going to be a challenge. For twelve years, they’ve been manipulating him with threats of being disinherited and losing his trust fund. It worked when he was younger, getting him to leave college and agree to conversion therapy in the hopes of getting away and returning to Cart.

But the camp caused him so much trauma, he can’t even look at another man without experiencing a panic attack. Now his goal is to beat his parents at their own game by pretending to be the dutiful, straight son they want. Two more years, and he’ll succeed. Then he sees Cart again and realizes what really matters to him. He just needs to find a way for Cart to realize it too.

Trigger Warnings: This book contains references to attempted suicide, conversion therapy, depression, and self-harm, as well as depictions of PTSD and panic attacks.

Nothing Like Forever

Book 2 Nothing Like Forever

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Jake and Micah met at eighteen and formed a deep connection the instant they saw each other. That was the easy part.

Nothing Like Forever is a soul mates-to-partners, can’t-live-with-him/can’t-live-without-him unconventional love story in which Jake doesn’t want romance or a happily-ever-after, and Micah wants it all. With Jake. For twenty years they’ve been in and out of each other’s lives trying to get it right. They fail, retreat, disappear from each other’s lives for years at a time, and then fate (or a friend’s wedding) brings them back together for another attempt at making it work.

Their connection always runs deep, but no matter what it takes for them to stay together, one thing’s certain: these guys have a unique path to finding their HEA, and when they get there, it might not look the way either of them expect.

This novel is about learning what you can and can’t expect from your partner and what you can and can’t accept for yourself in a relationship, what lines you’re willing to cross, what compromises you’re willing to make, and where you have to stay true to who you are no matter how you feel about the other person. It features an aromantic MC and a guaranteed HEA that’s as unique as these two men and the journey it takes them to find forever.

Trigger warning: This novel has mentions of alcoholism and dementia. It also features MCs who are consensually non-monogamous, but there are no on-page depictions of Jake and Micah with anyone except each other.

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About the Author

Marie Sinclair is a queer writer living in San Francisco. Though she’s been a writer all her life, it wasn’t until she stumbled upon MM romance that she knew she’d found a home for herself and all the characters in her head.

Her focus is on contemporary romance, usually on the steamy side. While HEAs are guaranteed, it will always take some work for the couples to get there, and it might not look the way they expected at the beginning.

As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, Marie believes in rooting her stories in the real world of queer culture and showing how love can survive even in challenging times.

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Website: www.sinbinbooks.com

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To celebrate the release of Forever After, Marie is giving away an e-sets of the Finding Forever Series (3 eBooks) PLUS the bonus prequel

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Release Blitz: Over the Emerald Valley by Lee Colgin

Over the Emerald Valley | Lee Colgin

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Release Date:  April 28th, 2022

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Heat Rating: 4 flames

 Length: 61,000 words/ 250 pages

Available in Kindle Unlimited

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Life as a concubine to the devious Viceroy Abasi isn’t so bad. Temaj has food, shelter, and every inch of his skin is draped in emeralds. What’s freedom worth when weighed against the luxury of the palace?

Solon’s dutiful life earned him the rank of army general to the pharaoh. But when he’s sent on a diplomatic mission to an emerald mine rather than into battle, he senses the end of his career and a lonely retirement.

Temaj is gifted to Solon for his stay, but the last person Solon wants in his bed is a slave sent to spy on him—even if he is a gorgeous, silver-tongued vixen of a man.

Trouble brews when emeralds go missing. With only a clever concubine and the viceroy’s harem on his side, can Solon solve the mystery and escape with his life, or are he and Temaj destined to haunt the walls of the palace forever?

Over the Emerald Valley is a gay paranormal romance full of snarky banter, dangerous secrets, steamy stolen moments and only one bed. It’s a stand alone novel within the Immortal Jewels series and can be read first or last with no spoilers, no cliffhangers, and always a happily ever after!

STRAPLINE

Excerpt

“Ah, fear not.” Abasi raised a bejeweled finger with a flourish and beckoned forth a new group. “I’m told you prefer men, and I’m nothing if not accommodating.”

Solon preferred willing partners, not slaves, but he wouldn’t risk insulting Abasi with his morals.

There was no easy way to get out of this. He’d have to select one of them.

As the newest line of elegant, supple bodies drew close, Solon caught the gaze of a tall man who moved with the feline grace of a street cat. His honey-colored hair hung in long, loose waves over his shoulders, and his pursed lips said he knew what a gem he was.

That light hair marked him as foreign among all the black silken tresses of the other concubines. Northern. From distant lands. How did he end up in an Egyptian harem so far south?

Solon stared. The man wore no paint, no kohl, and no gaudy decorations, just a simple green linen shift belted at the waist. His beauty needed no enhancement.

Rather than cast his gaze demurely at the floor, as the others had done, the blond met Solon’s stare…and winked.

A real smile at such a display of gumption replaced the fake one on Solon’s lips.

Abasi stood, and a servant bustled to move his chair out of the way. “Come, have a look. Shall I introduce them?”

Solon followed his host to the line of concubines. There were fewer men than women, but still quite the selection. Six men and nine women in total.

“That won’t be necessary.” Solon would prefer to retire alone for the night, but if he had to pick… “I’ve made my choice.”

Abasi knocked him on the back so hard Solon nearly stumbled. “I like a man who knows what he wants. Which will it be?”

The blond, without hesitation, stepped forward. Bold. He peered at Solon through half-lidded eyes, gaze intense, as if daring him to suggest anyone but himself.

“Him.” Solon gestured to the brazen slave, who only then deigned to lower his gaze.

“Ah, well chosen. That is Temaj, a beauty from the north and a wild cat beneath the sheets, or so I’m told. My tastes don’t run toward men.”

“Then why have them in your harem?” The question was out of Solon’s mouth before he could think better of asking. Luckily, the viceroy didn’t seem offended. Rather, the man laughed.

“A proper harem must contain both, dear Solon, for how else are you to please all your guests?”

Solon would never understand the lives of the rich or the royal. When he retired from the army, he wanted only a plot of land, a good mule, decent tools, and, if he was very lucky, perhaps someone to share it with, though he expected to end up alone.

“How do you want him?” asked Abasi.

Solon cocked his head. “What do you mean?”

Abasi gestured to Temaj, who stood silently as if he didn’t mind two men discussing him as if he weren’t there. “How do you want him dressed? Done up? What are your preferences?”

“Oh. Nothing,” said Solon.

Temaj startled and bestowed on him a glower that would send a dog’s tail sticking between its legs.

About the Author

Lee Colgin has loved vampires since she read Dracula on a hot, sunny beach at 13 years old. She lives in North Carolina with lots of dogs and her husband. No, he’s not a vampire, but she loves him anyway.

Lee likes to workout so she can eat the maximum amount of cookies with her pizza. Ask her how much she can bench press.

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