Tag Archives: friends to lovers

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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Blog Tour: Minuet by A.M. Leibowitz 

Minuet | A.M. Leibowitz

Notes From Boston #4

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Publisher: Supposed Crimes

Release Date: Sunday, September 1 2019

Length: around 93k

Cover Artist: Brett Kessler

Buy Links:

Publisher | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CAN | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords | QueeRomance Ink | Goodreads

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Blurb

When it comes to love, Mack Whitman prefers to limit it to writing songs and poetry.

Aromantic, he’s content to have quality friendships and people who sometimes also share his bed. He’s never considered himself the jealous type. But when he sees everyone in his life, from his best friends to his occasional partners, moving toward more settled lives, it leaves him frustrated, disappointed, and worried he’ll be left behind.

Amelia Roberts doesn’t care about the genders of her partners as long as she follows her one rule: Don’t ever fall in love. It’s worked out well for her, since that’s a line she knows she’ll never cross with Mack. He’s as happy as she is to keep things as they are. The only trouble with her philosophy is that she didn’t count on meeting the one person who might change her mind.

Jomari O’Brien’s supportive family made it smooth for him to transition several years ago. Since then, he’s been in and out of love, and other people’s beds, plenty of times, and he has no regrets. Each one is a small part of a larger symphony. Becoming involved with two people at once is a more complicated harmony, but it’s one he’s willing to learn as long as they are.

Their individual melodies become discordant as they struggle to make them fit together. But if all three can learn to play with each other instead of against, they may yet hit all the right notes.

Warnings: There is no graphic description of anything, but there are themes of addiction/recovery/relapse, gender dysphoria, family violence, adultery, and body image

Series BlurbWhen Trevor, Nate, Jamie, and Mack moved in together, they had no idea how it would change their lives. Four roommates. Four stories about living and loving in the City on a Hill.

Other Books in Series:

Anthem

Nightsong

Drumbeat

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Excerpt

‘They paid for the groceries and headed for Mack’s van. Once they’d loaded it up, Mack went to start the van, but Trevor put a hand on his arm.

“Wait.”

“What?”

“I’m not letting you go home without talking about what the hell that was back there. You were really pissed off when you came to see me. You’re calm now, but if you go back home, you’re gonna get right back into that mess all over again.”

He was right, and Mack knew it. He turned over the engine. “Look, it’s freezing out here. I’ll drive you back, and I’ll explain on the way.”

“Fair enough.”

Mack waited until they were out on the road to say, “It’s fucking weird, having both of them together. It’s not like it hasn’t happened before, but not like this. I don’t know. It felt like they were doing this bonding thing, and I wasn’t part of that.”

“I get it,” Trevor said.

“Do you? Because your family looks different.”

“What is it you wanted? To have Amelia to yourself? You’ve said she’s not your girlfriend. So why does it matter?”

“I don’t know!” But he did know. He had a very clear idea why it bothered him so much. Mack slammed his palm against the steering wheel. “She and I…we’re both fucking Jomari. We all know, but we’ve never hung out just the three of us.”

Trevor seemed to contemplate that. “Yeah, I’d say that’s different from my family. It really bothers you, huh?”

“Not that. It’s…” Mack didn’t know how to explain the way he’d seen the tender gestures between Amelia and Jomari. Sure, she would do the same for him, but it didn’t look or feel identical for some reason Mack couldn’t pinpoint. “I guess they’ve been getting to be closer since she started playing with Cian’s band.”

“Makes sense. Spending more time together. But you think there’s more going on?”

“I don’t know,” Mack admitted. “Up until now, I wouldn’t have thought so. She always said she was mostly into women. She doesn’t date men, and she made that clear to me. I didn’t care. But now here she is, and I can’t really tell what’s going on. She’s already cancelled plans with me so they could go out.”

“Ah.” Trevor was quiet a moment. “People change, you know. Until Andre, I thought I only loved Marlie and the couple times I fooled around with guys were, like, just sex. Then after Andre, I thought maybe Marlie was my exception and I mostly wanted guys. Now I’m not sure, but it doesn’t matter because this works for us. Jamie’s only into men, but I know he’s fucked women on camera and enjoyed it. He said Cian can’t separate love and sex, he’s got a high drive for both, and he doesn’t care about gender at all. Maybe Amelia’s needs have changed.”

“Maybe.”

It wasn’t only about whether or not her relationship with Jomari was changing. It was why. Why now, after years of things being the same? What made him different from everyone else? Mack hated the feeling she’d finally had enough and was choosing someone who might be able to give her what he couldn’t. But why would she have told him their kind of relationship was enough if it wasn’t? She knew who he was and that he made no apology for it. Was it like Trevor said, and she was changing, or had she been dishonest?

“Listen,” Trevor said as they pulled into his driveway. “Why don’t you invite Jomari for Thanksgiving?”

“What? Why?”

“It might be easier if it’s not the three of you having to figure this out alone, that’s all.” Trevor unbuckled, but he didn’t move. “Talk to them. The only way I made it work with Andre and Marlie is by telling them both the truth. And the only way I didn’t fuck it up with Jamie was by telling them I needed him in my life too.” He curled his fingers into a fist. “If only we could work that out.”

Mack didn’t reply. Jamie was still a sore spot for both of them. He helped Trevor unload the groceries and put things away. They had some time for him to think about inviting Jomari, but he wasn’t sure he was going to.

“Thanks for your help,” Trevor said. “Hey, you feeling better?”

“Maybe.” Mack accepted the Night Crawlers from Trevor. “I should get these to the others.”

“Good luck.”

Back in the van, Mack looked at the package on the passenger seat. For once, Trevor was right, but tonight he didn’t have the right words. Instead, he would bring the sour gummies as a peace offering and sit with them this time, even if it meant he had to watch confusing science fiction shows. He pulled out onto the road and headed for home.

About The Author

A.M. Leibowitz

A.M. Leibowitz is a queer spouse, parent, feminist, and book-lover falling somewhere on the Geek-Nerd Spectrum. They keep warm through the long, cold western New York winters by writing about life, relationships, hope, and happy-for-now endings.

Their published fiction includes several novels as well as a number of short works, and their stories have been included in multiple anthologies. They are an occasional host for Bi+Plus, a podcast for the bi+ community, as well as doing bi+ advocacy work and curating the best-of bi list on the QueerBooksForTeens website.

They are a social media contributor for Supposed Crimes, LLC, and they post about news, reviews, and updates. In between, they blog coffee-fueled, quirky commentary on faith, culture, books, chronic illness, and their family.

Social Media

Website: http://amleibowitz.com

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AMLeibowitz

Twitter: https://twitter.com/amyunchained

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8544236.A_M_Leibowitz

QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/a-m-leibowitz/

Amazon: https://www.booklinker.net/author-links.php

Giveaway

A.M. is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card AND the first three books in the series in eBook format as a single prize. For a chance to win, enter via Rafflecopter:

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Release Blitz: Precariously Mated by Jessamyn Kingley

Precariously Mated | Jessamyn Kingley

D’Vaire #14

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Cover Artist: LJ Anderson of Mayhem Cover Creations

Release Date: October 24, 2019

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Buy Links:

Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Add on Goodreads

Blurb

A precarious road is no match for an enduring friendship of two strong hearts.

At the tender age of eighteen, Prince Niko Kyrkosdraconis finds himself at a dragon fair, trying his best to maintain his strict schedule of rituals that have followed him since birth, when Fate steps in. The appearance of two strangers alters the course of his life, and Niko sets upon an unforeseen path.

Centuries later, Niko is doing whatever he can to pick up the pieces of his shattered world. Unsteady and uncertain, he struggles to place faith in both himself and those around him. Much to his surprise, he finds himself with a new best friend who he grows to trust like no one else before.

Royal Duke Costas Draconis is happy to be back with the men he calls family after ten years of caring for his irascible parents. Having a knack for money, he is once again entrusted with making the dragons prosperous. Costas is surrounded by loved ones and thriving on the outside, but deep inside he yearns for his mate.

Then Niko comes into his life. Costas loves the time they spend together, especially their nightly talks on the roof deck, but he must constantly remind himself that the man is not for him.

Niko and Costas go to great lengths to hide their feelings for one another and everyone else, fearful that the future holds nothing but heartache. But things are never what they seem, and Fate will always have the last word, even when you doubt her.

As the obstacles before them are slowly peeled back, will Costas and Niko find a way to call each other mate? The road ahead is precarious, and in the end, Fate will have her say, and only then can Niko and Costas prove that the strongest hearts will prevail.

Excerpt

Niko lifted his beer to his lips and drank deeply. It was a bit cool outside as the sky darkened, but he wouldn’t dare retreat indoors—not unless he and Costas could find another beautiful spot to hang out and discuss whatever topic burdening their minds. It was not a ritual but a tradition they’d built since the moment he arrived.

“Why are you grinning at your beer?”

Glancing up, Niko smiled brighter. “I just realized it’s been three months since I moved here.”

“Wow, has it really?”

“Yes, and this was the second week in a row I was able to handle scrubbing my bathroom and bedroom only two times.” He refused to feel ashamed of those moments when his anxiety ruled over everything and he had to give in to compulsive actions. There were days when he went to bed happy that he’d only obsessed over things he didn’t want to forget and others where he was frustrated that even while trying to rest he felt tension. It was all a part of who he was, and just like the thoughts that still circled until he forced himself to stop listening, Niko handled it the best he could.

“Is there anything you haven’t succeeded in since you arrived?”

“I don’t think I’ve improved very much with my cooking,” Niko answered thoughtfully. The men in the house didn’t complain, but so far nothing he’d made was tempting to his own palate. Maybe he was being too picky. If his new family enjoyed it, then why couldn’t he? He wished he had more time to experiment but with his rituals, desire to read books to improve at his job, and the schedule the royals had to maintain with events he had to stick with weekends and one or two nights a week. He deemed himself lucky that no matter what was going on, Costas always found time to meet him out on the roof deck each night.

“Why do you say that?” Costas’s voice sounded off somehow, but Niko didn’t see anything troubling in his gaze.

“I don’t think it’s that tasty.”

“I’m sure you just need to find recipes with ingredients you like more.”

“Perhaps that’s it.” However, he’d purposely set out to pick ones that featured his favorite things, so Niko wasn’t sure he agreed but he didn’t want to hurt Costas’s feelings by dismissing his suggestion.

“The good news is that you’re trying.”

“I feel like all I’ve done since I got here is try new things. It’s been so wonderful to have so many opportunities. I can hardly fathom everything I’ve learned of this incredible Council and the people in it. I like my job even if it intimidates me still.”

“Sometimes we have to do things that scare us for our own good.”

“That does seem to be the case for me. I thought my anxiety would grow with new experiences but instead, I’m doing better at managing it. It certainly hasn’t come close to disappearing and I do freak out internally on a regular basis, but I’m slowly learning new ways to cope.”

“I’m so proud of you.”

Niko grinned at the handsome man reclining next to his chaise. Costas’s approval meant the world to him, but the most important person he’d impressed was himself. His dragon flew every few days and each time they soared together, Niko was granted more of his fortitude. Together Niko and his beast were forging themselves into a more confident version of himself, less reliant upon fear. It did help that everything that made him sick to his stomach was still in Greece. Niko still woke at night from terrifying memories of his time with his mates, but he refused to stay a prisoner to it. “Me too.”

“Elf’s excited about the law to help shifters get their training.”

“I know. I’ve been fielding calls from other shifter leaders for the past two weeks. You had a great idea, and I don’t see how it won’t be passed. There has hardly been any dissension.”

“I was inspired by you. You shouldn’t have had to shift by yourself without any training.”

As Niko examined his life, those scary minutes or however long he’d sat outside waiting for his dragon didn’t resonate as deeply as other moments. Yes, he’d been afraid, but his beast has assured him they were going to be okay. It was his position as mate to Andriana and Gelon that had broken him in so many ways. But those weren’t things he could speak to Costas about despite their close friendship. “I suppose not.”

“You have a faraway look on your face.”

“I was considering my past. It seems as if each day my picture of it alters.”

“Sometimes profound changes can do that. I had a similar experience when I had to leave here to take care of my parents. Suddenly I realized how much I’d taken for granted.”

“You gave up one family to do your duty to another.”

“Yeah, and it was cold comfort when my father berated me as my mother cried because she couldn’t figure out who either of us was.” Costas leaned his head back as he frowned. “I hope they’re happy now without pain or lacking anything they want.”

“Me too, and I’m sorry you weren’t able to resolve all your issues with them.”

“My father refused to listen to my feelings on any subject. I fooled myself into believing we could ever mend what was broken.”

“My father was much the same. It was his way and I had no voice.” Niko understood now that his parents had never loved him, and they’d kicked him out at the first opportunity. Growing up without their affection had made him believe he was the one lacking when the fault lay with them.

“You know, it’s been a long time since you spoke to him. Have you considered writing to him now? We know his kingdom is part of the Council.”

“I was cast aside because he disapproved of my mates. They are still the same. And that was simply an excuse anyway. I can see now that he never cared for me or my feelings.”

“Are you sure? Once they pass, there’s no winding back the clock.”

Niko turned to Costas and set his beer down. “Do you know I never learned to ride a horse?”

Costas lifted an eyebrow. “How in the world did you get around? It’s not like we had cars when you were young.”

“He decreed that I was to ride in a cart.”

“Did he give a reason?”

“I was a shy child who was overwhelmed by things easily. I’ve mentioned before that my sister practically raised me. Nitsa was always there to take me outside to play or read me stories. My father hated it. He told me I did nothing but weep and hide behind her skirts. I think I was five or six years old at the time. When the other young boys were being given lessons in weaponry, he told me I wasn’t welcome to learn. He wasn’t going to waste any coin on having a blade made or take up any of the trainers’ time with the likes of me.”

“Your father sounds like an asshole.”

About the Author

Jessamyn Kingley lives in Nevada where she begs the men in her head to tell her their amazing stories which she dutifully writes it all down in what has become a small mountain of notebooks. She falls in love with each couple and swears whatever book she wrote last is her absolute favorite.

Jessamyn is married and working toward remembering to start the dishwasher without being distracted by the scent of the magical detergent. For personal enjoyment, she aids in cat rescue while slashing and gashing her way through mobs in various MMORPGs. Caffeine is her very best friend and is only cast aside briefly for the sin better known as BBQ potato chips.

Social Media

Website

Facebook

Twitter | Pinterest | Tumblr

Follow the tour and check out the other blog posts and reviews here

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Release Blitz: Running From My Heart by Felice Stevens

Running From My Heart | Felice Stevens

Rock Bottom #3

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Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Universal Link

Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited.

Length: 246 Pages

Cover Design: Reese Dante

Photographer: Wander Aguiar

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Blurb

“Holding onto the past can hurt more than letting it go.” 

People say six years is long enough to mourn the death of his husband but for Ross Miller, the pain is as fresh as if it happened yesterday. He’s left his glittering Hollywood life behind, yet guilt still dogs his steps, no matter how far he runs.

Trapped by his past and needing to escape his well-meaning friends, he rents a cabin in the secluded Adirondack mountains.

A reclusive man moves in next door and piques Ross’s interest, but his persistent attempts at friendship are rebuffed. That doesn’t stop him because the one rule Ross Miller has always lived by is to never take no for an answer.

Novelist Arden Wainwright has given up. He can’t pretend a happiness he knows he’ll never find again. Solitary days turn into years, and he remains frozen, unable to take a breath. At his wit’s end, he retreats to the mountains, but it does little to stir his creativity.

He continues to hide from life and avoids his overly nosy neighbor, who insists on planting himself at Arden’s doorstep at every turn. Making friends is the last thing Arden wants, but annoying or not, he can’t get the damn man out of his mind.

Finding peace in their isolated surroundings, the two lonely men forge an unlikely friendship where they realize they’re more alike than different and better together than apart. With Ross’s help, Arden begins to rebuild the shattered pieces of his life, while Arden gives Ross the strength to face his fears and find his way home.

When love comes calling you can choose to hide from hurt, loss, and pain, but if you take a chance and open the door, you might discover that running from your heart is the last thing you’ll want to do.

This book can be read as a standalone but you may remember Ross, Foster’s best friend from Broken Silence, Book One of the Rock Bottom series.

Rock Bottom Series

Book #1 – Broken Silence –Amazon US | Amazon UK (currently only 99c/99p)

Book #2 – Imitation of Life – Amazon US | Amazon UK 

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About The Author

I have always been a romantic at heart. I believe that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending around the corner, My characters have to work for it, however. Like life in NYC, nothing comes easy and that includes love, but getting there is oh so fun and oh so sexy.

I live in New York City with my husband and two children. My day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass (or two of red wine). I practice law but daydream of a time when I can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there are bound to be a few bumps along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

Newsletter | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

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Review Tour: Shinigami by Xia Xia Lake

Shinigami | Xia Xia Lake

Takamagahara Monogatari #2

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Release Date: October 1, 2019

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 71,440 words /220 pages

Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Add on Goodreads

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Blurb

Nothing is what it seems.

A coming of age love story between the heir of the richest family in the Land of Yamato and an orphan. The human world meets the yōkai world in a power struggle for the fate of Fujiwara no Hirotsugu.

While he battles to find his own path in life, Hirotsugu finds solace in a boy who will first become his secret friend, then his salvation, then, as they become adults together, the love of his life.

The story is set during the Nara period of ancient Japan and will expand over a period of 25 years (715-740).

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Excerpt

Chapter 1: Kagerō

Kagerō: The quivering appearance of the mist rising from the hot surface of the ground”

On the day Fujiwara no Hirotsugu was born, Mount Kasuga was covered in golden shimmering kagerō rising from the ground to cloak the mountain in mist. The uguisu sang from dusk until dawn, and a crane appeared in the palace garden and didn’t leave for five days.

It was late May, close to the final days of planting the rice. These were the days when finishing the paddy field work was paramount, lest next year’s crops be affected. Yet in celebration of Hirotsugu’s birth, his father, Umakai, sent an order to his bailiff to decree half a day off for all workers. Servants from the palace went down the mountain to offer rice, fish, and sake to the poor in Heijo-kyo.

Gifts poured through the gates for weeks, coming not only from the greatest families living in the land of Yamato, but also from as far away as Silla and Tang. Even the old Empress Genmei, who had no love for the Fujiwara clan, sent Hirotsugu a gift fit for royalty: a sword replica modeled after Kusanagi the Grass Slasher, the sacred imperial heirloom of the Yamato Emperors. Since it was forbidden for anyone except the reigning monarch and the High Priest of the Ise Grand Shrine to lay eyes on the real Kusanagi, no one could actually tell how good the replica was. But neither could they deny that the sword Hirotsugu received was of exceptional workmanship and extraordinary value.

The greatest gift of all came from Hirotsugu’s grandfather, Fujiwara no Fuhito. The leader of the Fujiwara clan made a secret pact with Crown Prince Obito that on the day Hirotsugu turned twenty, he would marry Princess Abe, Prince Obito’s firstborn child.

Upon Hirotsugu’s birth, the Fujiwara clan made great plans for his future, and I watched from my throne of skulls behind the kagerō veil and laughed and laughed and laughed.

SPRING

Chapter 2: Uguisu

Uguisu: The Japanese nightingale

In spring, nature was at its most beautiful at dawn, when Amaterasu’s robe touched the hills and dyed them red, and the blooming cherry trees turned a vibrant pink. Hanging from the eaves of every Fujiwara castle were tendrils of purple wisteria, their blooms awakening to welcome the Sun Goddess. The white clouds above resembled boughs of cherry flowers.

When night approached, the birdsong gently shifted from cheerful to forlorn. The uguisu went to sleep in its pot-shaped nest, and the brown-feathered night thrush—recently returned from wintering in Tenjiku—took its place and claimed the night. Now and then, a deer would call and a fawn would answer back.

The day Hirotsugu was born, a young god wandered up and down the high-forested slopes of Mount Kasuga, tired from the day he’d spent blessing the fields and the future harvest. He would have gone home to Mount Kurama in Kibune, but something was amiss with the yōkai living on Kasuga and he’d come to investigate.

At twilight, he found a group of kodama and an old kappa gathered underneath the budding leaves of a giant plum tree, transfixed by its beautiful red blossoms. When he entered the clearing, they were trying to touch the blossoms, but as soon as a hand came close, the tree would raise its branches out of reach.

“Don’t touch it,” the god commanded. His voice was calm, but it came like the snap of a whip and took them out of their reverie. “It’s a ghost tree. It’s not really here.”

The kodama stumbled backward, frightened.

“When did it appear?” the young god asked.

“This morning, Inari-sama,” the kappa answered. “When the baby was born.”

“Baby?” Inari frowned. “Come closer, child, don’t be afraid. Which baby do you speak of?”

Kogitsune

Takamagahara Monogatari #1

It’s a 40-page short story and is FREE on Smashwords.

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About the Author

Xia Xia Lake is an Otaku & Slytherin that used to cosplay at every comic con she attended until a kid asked if he could take a picture with the “old lady.”

She decided a couple of years ago that she wanted to spend her free time writing stories and partying with vampires.

She lives in Transylvania with her fiancé and is a big fan of Romanian cuisine.

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Cover Reveal: Precariously Mated by Jessamyn Kingley

Precariously Mated| Jessamyn Kingley

D’Vaire #14

Cover Artist: LJ Anderson of Mayhem Cover Creations

Release Date: October 24, 2019

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Blurb

A precarious road is no match for an enduring friendship of two strong hearts.

At the tender age of eighteen, Prince Niko Kyrkosdraconis finds himself at a dragon fair, trying his best to maintain his strict schedule of rituals that have followed him since birth, when Fate steps in. The appearance of two strangers alters the course of his life, and Niko sets upon an unforeseen path.

Centuries later, Niko is doing whatever he can to pick up the pieces of his shattered world. Unsteady and uncertain, he struggles to place faith in both himself and those around him. Much to his surprise, he finds himself with a new best friend who he grows to trust like no one else before.

Royal Duke Costas Draconis is happy to be back with the men he calls family after ten years of caring for his irascible parents. Having a knack for money, he is once again entrusted with making the dragons prosperous. Costas is surrounded by loved ones and thriving on the outside, but deep inside he yearns for his mate. Then Niko comes into his life. Costas loves the time they spend together, especially their nightly talks on the roof deck, but he must constantly remind himself that the man is not for him.

Niko and Costas go to great lengths to hide their feelings for one another and everyone else, fearful that the future holds nothing but heartache. But things are never what they seem, and Fate will always have the last word, even when you doubt her. As the obstacles before them are slowly peeled back, will Costas and Niko find a way to call each other mate?

The road ahead is precarious, and in the end, Fate will have her say, and only then can Niko and Costas prove that the strongest hearts will prevail.

About the Author

Jessamyn Kingley lives in Nevada where she begs the men in her head to tell her their amazing stories which she dutifully writes it all down in what has become a small mountain of notebooks. She falls in love with each couple and swears whatever book she wrote last is her absolute favorite.

Jessamyn is married and working toward remembering to start the dishwasher without being distracted by the scent of the magical detergent. For personal enjoyment, she aids in cat rescue while slashing and gashing her way through mobs in various MMORPGs. Caffeine is her very best friend and is only cast aside briefly for the sin better known as BBQ potato chips.

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Release Blitz: Amalgamated by Becca Seymour

Amalgamated |Becca Seymour

Coming Home Series

AMALGAMATED

Publisher: Rainbow Tree Publishing

Cover Artist: Soxsational Cover Art

Release Date: September 28, 2019

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 18,000 words/70 pages approx.

It is a standalone story

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

iTunes | Kobo | Nook

Add on Goodreads

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Blurb

Escape with Leo and Zak in outback Australia as they discover it sometimes takes time, distance, and interfering family to amalgamate.

After five years of living in the UK, it’s time for Leo to return home to his dad’s stud farm in outback Australia. He has no idea what to expect when he arrives. He didn’t exactly leave with balloons and banners.

Nope. His farewell involved destruction and his own heart split in two.

He knows seeing the man who’s always held his heart, Zak, is going to be awkward. The older farm manager made his feelings pretty damn clear when Leo hightailed it out of there.

Leo quickly figures out life is going to get complicated and a whole heap more exciting as his trip home becomes so much more.

Amalgamated is a fun and steamy MM short story in Becca Seymour’s Coming Home series. Stand-alone romances complete with heat, wit, and happily ever afters.

Realigned

Coming Home #1

FREE READ

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Excerpt

“Promise you won’t be mad.”

Groaning, I shook my head. Any request starting that way was going to result in me being pissed off. “What did you do?”

This time her glance my way had me tensing. Concern flickered in her eyes. When she focused on the road ahead, she blew out her cheeks, her lips pursed. “We’re heading to mine.”

“Okay?” I dragged out the word. I’d figured that out since we weren’t heading towards Dad and Michelle’s.

“Dad kinda got excited about you coming home.”

My stomach dipped. I just knew where she was heading with this. Slamming my eyes shut, I waited for her next words.

They came out in a rush. “Sohekindainvitedaheapofpeopleover. But…” She gasped for breath. “…it’s not technically a party, as there aren’t banners or balloons.”

My eyes sprang open, and I stared at her wide-eyed.

She glanced at me, a mix of horror and amusement on her face. “You owe me big for talking him out of that.”

“Yet you couldn’t have talked him into a small family meal?”

She shrugged. “I did try, but, Leo.” She paused, emotion swirling in her eyes, and I swallowed. This was just one of the reasons I’d stayed away. Guilt still clawed at me whenever I gave it life. “Dad was so excited you were coming home. You know he still doesn’t understand why you left. If it had just been heading to the city, that would have been a struggle, but you travelled to the other side of the world.”

My gut clenched. I still felt shit for leaving my dad, but I had my own life to live, and taking over my dad’s stud farm wasn’t what I wanted. Plus there was the major screw-up with how I destroyed any semblance of a friendship with Zak.

“There’s more.”

I flashed Jen a resigned look.

“Dad obviously invited Zak.”

My heart seized, and my gut churned. This could not be happening. While I’d anticipated seeing him, I wasn’t prepared for it to be the first night I got home. In hindsight, this was ridiculously naïve of me, considering his place was only a hundred metres or so away from the main house on the property.

“I know, I know, but best to get the whole awkwardness out of the way, right?” She reached out and gave my hand a small squeeze. After I’d run out on Zak the night I’d left, it had taken just a handful of calls from Jen for her to recognize something was wrong and for me to spill my guts. We remained close, even with the distance of the past five years, and without her in my corner, life certainly would have been trickier.

“Yeah, I suppose.” There was something to be said for ripping the Band-Aid off, but my gut clenched in anticipation.

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About the Author

Becca Seymour lives and breathes all things book related. Usually with at least three books being read and two WiPs being written at the same time, life is merrily hectic. She tends to do nothing by halves so happily seeks the craziness and busyness life offers.

Living on her small property in Queensland with her human family as well as her animal family of cows, chooks, and dogs, Becca appreciates the beauty of the world around her and is a believer that love truly is love.

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