Tag Archives: frenemies

Cover Reveal: Playing Games by Riley Hart

Playing Games | Riley Hart

Franklin University Series #1

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Release Date: August 25th, 2022

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Blurb

Brax

Tyson Langley thinks the king in Franklin University Kings is in reference to him. Star lacrosse player and God’s gift to the female and male population, there’s nothing the spoiled jock can’t have.

It’s impossible for us to be in the same room without talking crap to each other. But I also have a secret… As much as I despise Ty, I want him too. I revel in our banter and in never knowing what he’ll say next.

I’ve spent too much time on the wrong side of the law for someone like Ty, though, and if I want to make it through college and escape my past, he’s a distraction I don’t need.

Ty

Braxton Walker needs to learn to lighten up. If you search brooding online, his name pops up. He’s the bad boy with a leather jacket and a scowl. We couldn’t be more different.

Finding ways to annoy him is like the longest foreplay session of my life. And when we end up working together, it gets harder to deny how hot he makes me.

What’s a little hooking up between enemies?

We weren’t supposed to become friends or share secrets. We weren’t supposed to understand each other and all the complicated stuff we’re going through.

I’m used to playing games, only the more time I spend with Brax, the less it feels like playing around and the more it becomes something real.

About the Author

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Riley Hart has always been known as the girl who wears her heart on her sleeve. She won her first writing contest in elementary school, and although she primarily focuses on male/male romance, under her various pen names, she’s written a little bit of everything.

Regardless of the sub-genre, there’s always one common theme and that’s…romance! No surprise seeing as she’s a hopeless romantic herself. Riley’s a lover of character-driven plots, flawed characters, and always tries to write stories and characters people can relate to. She believes everyone deserves to see themselves in the books they read. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her reading or enjoying time with her awesome family in their home in North Carolina.

Riley Hart is represented by Jane Dystel at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret Literary Management. She’s a 2019 Lambda Literary Award Finalist for Of Sunlight and Stardust. Under her pen name, her young adult novel, The History of Us is an ALA Rainbow Booklist Recommended Read and Turn the World Upside Down is a Florida Authors and Publishers President’s Book Award Winner.

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To celebrate this exciting new series and cover reveal, we are giving away two advanced e-copies of Playing Games

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A powerhouse demonstration of how to write an epic love story

58919071._SY475_The Long Game by Rachel Reid

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s been a long wait for this book. I suspect the pressure on Rachel Reid for writing this book was immense.

Their original decade long love story was told so beautifully in Heated Rivalry that, although it finished with them both still closeted, their own HEA felt very much a guarantee.

What I didn’t want from this book was anything which messed with that solidity, that hard-fought for place they’d reached when all the world thought they were rivals.

Ilya Rozanov is on my top ten list of favourite MM characters ever, he’s the almost perfect depiction of what I’d hope to see in a Russian star Ice Hockey player.

He has attitude, he’s a god on the ice, in perfect control of the puck, he’s ambitious, arrogant.

But, he’s also vulnerable, he hides great pain and hurt, he has a darkness inside him that he fears my take him down the same road as his mother Irina.

And he has Shane.

Shane Hollander, who is a character I alternate between loving almost as much as Ilya and, not quite hating, but finding it very difficult to be sympathetic towards.

He has always been the centre of Ilya’s world, but sometimes the reverse hasn’t always felt true and a lot of the tension points in this narrative come from his fears over what might happen if they’re outed and his career was affected.

And I get it, I totally understood Shane’s fears, they’re not coming from nowhere. This book obviously loosely overlaps with everything onwards from their first appearance, but more specific attention is paid to the same period as Troy and Harris’ story in Role Model so we’ve seen what the League can threaten to those it feels don’t “fit in”.

But, when push comes to shove, Shane shows not only Ilya, but the world, that he is a one-man guy and will never be anyone else’s but his Russian’s, and it’s a moment that brought tears to my eyes.

I don’t think there was an emotion I passed over while reading The Long Game. It took me from humour through happiness, into confusion, anger, despair, back into hopefulness.

There is heat which scorches, intimacy which brings tears to the eyes, passion which could light a room, fear which would fell even the strongest army.

But it ultimately all folds together into a bone deep satisfaction for not only a story well told but for a pairing that is as solid as the Rock of Gibraltar.

Do what makes you happy. Live how you want, love who you want. People will judge you, hate you , criticize you, but plenty more will support you and love you. And, in the end, no one matters except the people you care about.

I care, I care about Ilya and Shane. I love that there was no dramady made up purely for plot tension, I loved that they had moments where their love was so palpable I could feel it surrounding me as I read.

I loved that Rachel took two men and the journey they’d already been on through 10 years of hiding their love and gave them an ending which will make your soul sing.

This Game Changers series has been immense, while Ilya and Shane might stand out as the couple most readers fell for, for me every book has brought something new to the sports romance MM sub-genre and I really hope there might still be more to come.

#ARC kindly received from the publishers Carina Press via NetGalley in return for an honest and unbiased review

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Release Blitz: Matched By My Rival by DJ Jamison

Matched By My Rival | DJ Jamison

Thrust Into Love #2

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Cover Artist: Cate Ashwood

Release Date: July 8th, 2021

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 75,000 words

Available in Kindle Unlimited

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Blurb

Simon Prentiss: Ex-football star, bitter rival, and…falling for the enemy?

I hate my teammate, Parker Reed.
I hate that he makes me work so hard for my position on the field.
Hate how he always smiles. How easily he shows me up when I’m injured.

Most of all, I hate that he made me lose my temper.

Next thing I know, football is gone.
My scholarship is gone.
I’m nearly gone, too.

With help, I manage to stay in school for my final semester.
At least without football, I can explore a new side to myself.
See where my attraction to guys takes me without fear of it affecting my future.

I didn’t see it coming. The cosmic joke.
The sweet, patient guy on the hookup app?
The one who makes me burn with the desire to have him?

Yeah, it’s Parker.

Our chemistry is off the charts, no matter how much I resent him.
Holding a grudge against him is impossible.
But when he wants to walk away from everything I lost, can I accept it?

If I don’t, I’ll lose him too–and that can’t happen.
Because I don’t hate Parker Reed.
I think I love him.

Matched By My Rival is an enemies-to-lovers, jock rivals romance. It’s Book 2 of the Thrust Into Love series but can be read as a standalone.

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Excerpt

The following excerpt is from Simon’s POV, when he realizes that his app hookup is actually his rival, Parker Reed.

This couldn’t be happening. Parker Reed? Parker Reed was my Thrust match? No, I refused to believe it.

“There must be some mistake,” I growled.

He didn’t back down. Parker wasn’t the type. But for once, his obnoxious grin was absent.

“No mistake. A surprise, for sure.”

I turned to Rhett, who was watching us with the fascination of a driver gawking at an accident scene. “I’ll close up if you let me take care of this.”

“Yeah, sure. Bar’s done serving. Knock yourself out, just…clean up the blood before you leave.” He cut his eyes toward Parker. “Whoever you are, I wish you the best.”

He exited the bar through a little section of counter that raised up, creating a gap. I held it open for Parker, jerking my chin toward the back room. “Let’s go.”

Parker chuckled nervously as he passed through the bar entrance, brushing against my chest. I could feel his body warmth, smell his aftershave, an earthy natural scent that suited him.

Heart pounding, I led him into the back room. Surrounded by boxes of liquor and kegs of beer, I whirled on him. “Did you know?”

“Wh-what?”

Parker appeared off-balance. Usually he was a smooth fucker.

“Were you playing me?” I demanded, crowding him against a stack of boxes. We were close to the same size, but I didn’t let it stop me from putting every ounce of threat I could into my voice.

“No!” The word burst from him, sounding incredulous. “How would I know it was you? We never shared personal stuff.”

“So it’s a coincidence?” I said skeptically.

“Yes. It’s a really awkward coincidence that the guy I—” His voice cracked, and he looked away. “I didn’t know.”

“Look me in the eye when you say it.”

Parker reluctantly looked at me, frustration blazing. “You’re such an asshole sometimes, Prentiss.”

A shocked laugh burst out. “Really?”

“Yeah, I know I screwed up, okay? I never should have gone to that party with Kristin. And obviously we wouldn’t be here if you knew it was me on that app. But you don’t have to interrogate me like a fucking criminal.”

A whole series of memories hit me. All those flirty chats. Those sexts that Parker had so patiently walked me through. I’d thought he was the nicest guy on the planet.

“Fuck me,” I muttered, looking away.

“Please stop saying that,” Parker said in a strangled voice.

I jerked my eyes back to his face in time to see a look of such lust it shot heat through my entire body. “What?”

“Fucking you is all I’ve thought about for weeks.” He laughed weakly. “Joke’s on me, huh?”

I couldn’t stop my eyes from making a slow perusal of his body. It was dark, but I could make out the shape of him. I knew how fit he was. Knew because we had practically the same body, the way we’d pushed ourselves in training. He was of a slightly leaner build than me, more flexible. I knew his body intimately too. A series of pics from his profile, and even more illicit ones he’d sent me directly, had filled in any blanks I might have had.

His chest rose and fell faster. When I raised my gaze to his face, he dragged the tip of his tongue over his dry lips.

And I lost it.

There was no thought, no reasoning. I’d spent weeks dipping my toe in the water, testing, evaluating. But now I was in the deep end.

I was ready to swim. Or maybe I’d drown. But if I did, I was taking us both down.

I crushed my mouth to his, shoving him harder into the boxes, and he grasped at my waist for balance, gripping hard enough to hurt. The pain only fueled my need. I grabbed his hair, short on the sides but longer on top, and yanked his head back to better devour his mouth.

Weeks of buildup, of flirting with my bisexuality and tempting myself to no end, exploded in a fiery inferno of need.

I didn’t care if it was Parker. I didn’t care that he was a man I’d blamed and detested. In some ways, it made it easier.

This wasn’t the love connection I thought it might be. It was unbridled lust, and I was just getting started.

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About the Author

DJ Jamison writes romances about everyday life and extraordinary love featuring a variety of queer characters, from gay to bisexual to asexual. DJ grew up in the Midwest in a working-class family, and those influences can be found in her writing through characters coping with real-life problems: money troubles, workplace drama, family conflicts and, of course, falling in love.

DJ spent more than a decade in the newspaper industry before chasing her first dream to write fiction. She spent a lifetime reading before that and continues to avidly devour her fellow authors’ books each night. She lives in Kansas with her husband, two sons, one snake, and a sadistic cat named Birdie.

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