Release Blitz: Level Up by Annabeth Albert

Level Up | Annabeth Albert

Level Up Cover

Release Date: May 17, 2018

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 40,000 words

Genre: Romance, contemporary m/m romance, gay romance, geeks, nerds, friends-to-lovers, gamers, gaymers

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Blurb

Landon can’t believe he’s let himself get roped into participating in a charity calendar, let alone one that features tastefully photographed nudes. The genius physicist is hardly model material and he’s dreading the nude part of the photoshoot. Amid his reluctance, the one bright spot is his emails back and forth with the photographer.

However, Bailey ends up being not quite what Landon expects, and their first meeting is decidedly awkward. Bailey’s persistent though, and gradually Landon warms to the burly photographer, and they discover they have a shared love of gamer culture.

A tentative friendship is born, but the road from friends to lovers isn’t easy. Landon’s battling past trauma and must decide how much of a risk he’s willing to take. A sexy connection may not be enough to keep them together unless both are willing to put their hearts on the line.

Previously released as part of the EXPOSED anthology, and loosely linked to the #Gaymers universe, this friends-to-lovers, hurt/comfort story stands alone with a guaranteed happy ending.

Contains a brief mention of a prior assault, but no on-screen violence or flashbacks.

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Excerpt

Annabeth says: “This is their first kiss, because I absolutely love writing first kiss scenes!

***

Bailey was the type who moved a lot as he gamed, biceps flexing, knees wiggling, shoulders jostling. Landon always liked people who got so into gaming, but it was more than a little distracting. His body was quickly coming to associate that orange scent of Bailey’s with good things, and other parts of him apparently liked Bailey’s nearness, which was a novelty because instead of intimidated, as he would have expected, he was more than a little turned on.

“Oh man, that was a rush.” Bailey laughed as both of their health meters dipped to zero. “I’m almost wishing I’d gone into game art, not photography. Amazing how these graphics have held up over the years.”

“Totally. And speaking of art, let me find the Space Villager stuff.” Landon reluctantly stepped away from the game. He headed to the nearby kitchen, where he was pretty the papers were buried with a stack of mail. Paper control was not his strong suit. “You’ll go nuts at the latest screenshots and promo teasers.”

“Cool.” Rather than follow Landon, Bailey went to sit on the couch.

“You want a drink while I’m in here?” Landon called to him after he found the papers under a pile of pizza ads. “I’ve got four flavors of Snapple, soda, and water.”

“Surprise me with a Snapple flavor.” Bailey looked right at home on Landon’s couch, lounging back.

He really did not look at all like any photographer Landon had ever met, and curiosity had him asking, “So why photography? You said you could have done game design?”

“Yeah, I had plenty of friends at the art institute go that direction. But I’ve been in love with photography ever since I worked on our middle school yearbook. I figured out quickly that taking pictures of events and sports was far more fun than trying to do the sports myself, so I did yearbook all through high school, got a photography scholarship to the art institute in Portland.”

“So you don’t play a sport?” Landon had a hard time believing that. With Bailey’s height and breadth, he totally looked like he lived for weekend games of some type.

“Nope. Hopelessly uncoordinated.” Bailey shot him an endearing smile when Landon handed him the bottle of tea.

“Me too.” Landon clinked bottles with him, then held up the papers. “Found the codes. But can I show you some stuff on the TV screen while you have your drink?”

“Absolutely.” Bailey took a long swig of tea, and Landon had to look away before he got mesmerized by Bailey’s full mouth, how it looked when his tongue chased a stray drop of moisture, how pink it was in contrast to his paler skin and brown beard.

Landon queued up the pre-release trailer Josiah had sent him a link to. Bombastic music filled his small living room as on the screen, and a spaceship pulled in for a landing on a planet filled with ruins of a once-powerful civilization. The narrator had an iconic voice and detailed all the special features of the expansion pack. Landon had already watched this a half-dozen times, and it still gave him happy chills.

“Wow. I can’t wait.” Bailey looked suitably awed. “This is even cooler than when War Elf added the mystic raids.”

“I know, right? Now look at the in-game screen shots.” He brought up another video, body relaxing more and more despite Bailey’s nearness. It was just so awesome to have someone new to share this with. He’d been hyped about this all week, but Pike was distracted by his boyfriend Zack’s deployment, Savannah didn’t game much, and the rest of his regular crew seemed to have other things occupying their attention.

Somehow, as he shared more video clips, he drifted closer to Bailey, so that their knees were almost rubbing. It wasn’t a giant couch, so there wasn’t a ton of room to move back, but even so, Landon wasn’t looking for an escape. He was aware of Bailey, very much so, but not nearly as freaked out as he’d been a few hours ago. Instead, his senses seemed to soak up Bailey’s scent and nearness, and it wasn’t until the fourth or fifth video that he realized that he was aroused.

Clink. Somehow Landon’s left hand, holding his drink, and Bailey’s right hand tangled.

“Oops.” He tried to extricate himself without spilling both beverages. Bending to put his on the floor, he hadn’t realized that Bailey had also leaned down until their heads collided.

“Ow,” they said simultaneously.

“Oh my gosh. I’m so sorry.” Bailey reached out, feeling around on Landon’s head. “Did you see stars? Break the skin?”

“I’m fine.” Landon didn’t pull away. Bailey’s hand felt damn nice. Gentle. Soothing more than just the bump on his head. Their eyes met, and he really needed to move back, break this spell, but he didn’t, instead leaning into to the touch. Bailey’s eyes darkened, and he stroked down Landon’s jaw.

God, that felt so good, like an extra blanket on a chilly night, warmth he hadn’t realized he was missing. How long had it been since he’d been touched like this? Hugged, sure. He’d hugged Savannah goodnight, and hugged and wrestled around with his best friend Pike at the last LAN party, but neither of those things was touch like this. Caring. Sweet. Arousing.

Bailey leaned in again, way slower this time, all the time in the world for Landon to stop him. But he didn’t. Bailey’s beard tickled an instant before their lips met, a soft slide of mouths. Not aggressive at all, not the on-a-tight-schedule rush of a hookup, Bailey kissed like they had a sleepy Sunday afternoon to kill, like each reaction of Landon’s mattered, like he was trying to memorize something important and was going to take his time learning the lesson.

Landon was the first one to take things further, mouth opening on a sigh, welcoming Bailey’s agile tongue. He tasted sweet, like tea, and minty like the gum he’d popped after the pizza, familiar yet new at the same time. How had he managed to forget how awesome kissing could be? A laugh bubbled up in his chest, but quickly transformed to a groan of pleasure as Bailey nipped at his lower lip.

Not content to let Bailey be the one exploring, Landon sent his own tongue on a quest, tracing Bailey’s full lower lip, delving inside to rub tongues, retreating playfully to earn another nip. Fuck. This was nice. The video switched over to something random, and he barely registered it. He couldn’t say how long they kissed, just that he didn’t want it to ever end.

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Meet the Author

Annabeth-Headshot-Small

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.

The #OutOfUniform series joins her critically acclaimed and fan-favorite LGBTQ romance #Gaymers, #PortlandHeat and #PerfectHarmony series. To find out what she’s working on next and other fun extras, check out her website: 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 is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two active children.

Author Links

Website: http://www.annabethalbert.com/

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

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/AnnabethAlbert

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6477494.Annabeth_Albert

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

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/Nb9yv

Annabeth’s Angels: https://www.facebook.com/groups/annabethsangels/

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Refresh Tour: Accepting the Fall by Meg Harding

Accepting the Fall | Meg Harding

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Publisher: Oceanside Press

Release Date (Print & Ebook): June 8, 2017

Refresh Tour dates: April 23 – 30, 201

Length (Print & Ebook): 62k

Subgenre: Contemporary Romance

Buy  link: http://amzn.to/2HrrgSX

~

Blurb:

Confronting the past is never easy.

Cole Whitaker is happy. He has the job and boyfriend he always wanted. His heart’s in no danger of being broken, and he can’t ask for more from life. As a kindergarten teacher, he sees it all; however, one troublesome student has him reaching out to the parent, wanting to help. There’s something about Savanah that tugs at his heartstrings.

He never expected her father.

Zander Brooks hasn’t had an easy life, and he’s made some mistakes. Freshly retired from the military and working as a firefighter, Zander thought he’d left Cole in the rearview mirror.

He’s not expecting him to appear in St. Petersburg, Florida, of all places, teaching his daughter’s kindergarten class. Suddenly, his biggest mistake is being shoved in his face.
This is Zander’s chance to close a door he’d never fully shut, but time with his former flame might change his mind.

~

Author Meg Harding’s take on Accepting the Fall: “Not everything is perfect, and it’s not always going to go right the first time around. It’s not any less special because it was flawed.”

Praise for Accepting the Fall: “A character driven, second-chance romance. Recommended for anyone craving a low-angst, tender, contemporary story stuffed to the brim with feels and sweetness.” – Piper Vaughn

~

 Extract

It was softness and warmth, the slide of their noses bumping, their chins scraping, their lips relearning the feel of one another. Zander held Cole steady, tilting his head for a better angle.

With his tongue, he traced the curve of Cole’s lips before venturing into his mouth. Cole met him push for push, and what had started out gentle turned heated quickly. Their tongues tangled together as Zander and Cole teased and chased. Cole tasted sweet and sugary, and vaguely like strawberries.

The air between them was damp and heavy, neither willing to pull away. Zander felt as if the oxygen was being sucked from his body, and he hadn’t the slightest inclination to do anything about it.

The world would end if the kiss stopped. He didn’t need anything else but the slick glide of their tongues and the dull graze of teeth as they fell into their own private world.

About the Author

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Meg Harding is a sucker for things on four legs and works as a pet sitter when she’s not writing. She’s an editor and a lover of fanfiction.

She enjoys the theatre, concerts, and lazing about in front of the TV. Meg Harding is a graduate of UCF and Anglia Ruskin, with a bachelors in Psych and a masters in publishing.

For as long as she can remember, writing has always been her passion, but she had an inability to ever actually finish anything.

She’s immensely happy that her inability has fled and looks forward to where her mind will take her next.

She’s a sucker for happy endings, the beach, and superheroes. In her dream life she owns a wildlife conservation and is surrounded by puppies. She’s a film buff, voracious reader, and a massive geek.

Connect with Meg Harding: Author Site | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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Audio Release: Leaning Into Touch by Lane Hayes

Leaning Into Touch | Lane Hayes

 Series: Leaning Into Stories #4
Narrator: Nick J. Russo
Publisher:  Lane Hayes
Original Publication Date: October 5, 2017
Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 80k words
Genre: Romance, Bisexual, Humor, Second Chance, Friends to Lovers, San Francisco, Office

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Synopsis

Josh Sheehan is unlucky in love and now… newly unemployed. He’s not sure what to do next, but he’s sure he should give up on romance. Especially after last time. His friends warned him that falling for the hunky Irishman was a bad idea. Josh can’t help feeling torn even though he knows it’s best to move on.

But when an unexpected dose of family drama blindsides him, Josh finds himself leaning on the one man he’s supposed to forget.

Finn Gallagher is driven by success. He makes no secret that building a name for his tech company is his number one goal. Finn left home a decade ago with a ton of regret, a heavy heart, and a vow to never repeat the same mistake twice.

However, there is something undeniably appealing about the self-deprecating man with the silly sense of humor that makes it difficult for Finn to remember why falling for Josh is a bad idea. It soon becomes clear they’re both in deeper than they intended. There is no way to remain untouched. And there is so much to gain, if they’re brave enough to lean in.

Listen to an audio excerpt & purchase at Audible

Meet the Author

Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full-time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and were winners in the 2016 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in a newly empty nest.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Meet the Narrator

 

Nick is an award winning narrator with a fan following for his work in fiction, specifically in the romance genre. His performances in two of Amy Lane’s books, Beneath the Stain and Christmas Kitsch, made him the recipient of Sinfully M/M Book Review’s Narrator of the Year – 2015.

When he’s not in the booth, Nick enjoys spending time with his wife, Jessica, and kids, (aka their beagle Frank and cat Stella), drumming in his cover band, exploring rural back roads with his wife on his motorcycle, or being enthralled in a tabletop role playing game with his friends. 

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Christina’s latest is a joyous friends to lovers romance

ReclaimReclaim by Christina Lee

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There’s not much better than the friends to lovers trope and in the skilled hands of Christina Lee, we are given a masterpiece in how to build up tension.

I loved Elijah in the other books in this series and was glad when he finally dumped Stewart (more on him later and what a delightful Easter Egg that was) because he was treating him like dirt.

Kam was more of an unknown quantity but I soon grew to love his solid and reliable presence in Elijah’s life and how Kam had slowly realised he was falling for his best friend once he’d been sidelined by injury and reliant on the other man’s help.

Chuck in a sweet dog, a wee bit of UST, some fear about irrevocably changing their relationship for the worse, a couple of smoking hot blow jobs and I was totally on board the Elijah and Kam train.

Eventually someone needs to make a move and I loved that it was Ginger the dog that helped Kam to finally declare his feeling, leading to a super emotional smexy times scene which was perfect. The epilogue is super sweet and we get to catch up with the other two couples too on New Year’s Eve.

And back to Stewart, the bonus chapter after the epilogue had me squealing as it had been discussed long and hard in Christina’s Facebook group and, while she says it’s not from an upcoming book, I am rather hoping there’s a “yet” firmly attached to that statement 😉

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

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Blog Tour: Leaning Into The Look by Lane Hayes

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LEANING INTO THE LOOK | LANE HAYES

LEANING INTO STORIES BOOK 6

M/M ROMANCE | RELEASE DATE: 23.03.18

READ MY REVIEW HERE

Leaning Into The Look Cover

COVER ARTIST: REESE DANTE

AMAZON US | AMAZON UK

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BLURB

Grant Kostas made a career based on his looks before joining his family’s real estate firm. He may not love his job but he’s better at sales than he thought. And when he’s poised to bring in the biggest account of the company’s history, even his father is impressed. Unfortunately, the extra attention highlights Grant’s personal life. His parents accept that he’s gay. They just wish he’d meet a nice Greek man.

Miles Harrison is a fabulous redhead going through a rough patch. Between getting dumped by his long-term boyfriend and finding a new place to live in the city, he’s nearing his wits end. He’s not sure why he thought rooming with his boss’s friend was a good idea. Miles has had a crush on Grant for years.

However, he knows attractive people aren’t always pretty on the inside. As the two men grapple with external problems, they form an unexpected bond of friendship and trust that feels like the real thing. The only way to know for certain is to let go of fear and lean into the look.

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EXCERPT

“You and I are opposites. You like quiet and order, and I thrive on chaos. I want everything you have and more. The boisterous family with the ancient traditions and food for days. I can’t even watch My Big Fat Greek Wedding without getting jealous. And that’s your real life.”

“Times ten,” I agreed with a half laugh.

Miles chuckled. “Humans are a mystery. Why are we never happy with what we have?”

I lowered my hand to his waist and hooked my fingers through his belt loop. “We don’t see well. We don’t know when to speak and when to listen. We don’t understand the nuances in taste and touch. Take your pick.”

“Mmm. Personally, I think we rely too heavily on looks. Physical appearances and perceived appearances. It takes patience and effort to really see the person under skin and bones. The scars and insecurities. To sift through their baggage while they do the same to you and cross your fingers, hoping like mad that you pass the test. It’s so…hard.”

“I’ve heard if you find the right partner it’s worth it,” I said softly.

Miles sighed and leaned heavily against my side. We fell silent for a moment, letting the squawk of seagulls and the medley of tourists’ voices mix with the occasional bark of a sea lion. We were part of a crowd and yet separate enough to hear our own thoughts.

“Thank you for today,” he said after awhile.

“I didn’t do anything special.”

“Sure you did. You took me on a date.”

“It wasn’t a real date. I can do better,” I assured him with a wry grin.

“No complaints here. Oh, except you made me walk three miles and—”

“Hey, at least I avoided the steeper streets.”

Miles snickered. “You were probably afraid I’d get tired and demand a piggyback ride.”

“Yeah, that did cross my mind,” I agreed sarcastically. “How about if I buy you a coffee for the walk back to the car?”

“Make it a hot chocolate and promise to hold my hand the whole way, and you’ve got yourself a deal,” he countered with a straight face.

My smile was so big it hurt. I enveloped him in a giant bear hug and pulled back to kiss his forehead. “Deal.”

I laced my fingers with his and pulled him through the crowd to the boardwalk. And I didn’t let go. Block after block through familiar city streets and eclectic neighborhoods, I kept him close, marveling at how right it felt just being with him. I noted his shy, pleased smile and cautioned myself not to read too much into the look. I didn’t want to ruin the mood by saying too much. But I knew it was a matter of time before I lost myself to Miles completely.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full-time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men.

Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and were winners in the 2016 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in an almost empty nest.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram

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Leaning Into Love | Leaning Into Always

Leaning Into the Fall | Leaning Into Touch

Leaning Into a Wish

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Off page sex put the dampener on this one for me

Eyes Wide Open CoverEyes Wide Open by V.M. Sanford

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Friends to lovers is usually one of my favourite tropes but for some reason, this one was just missing the spark that would have made it a great story instead of an okay one.

I’ll also be brutally honest and admit that off page sex really annoys me in a romance book. I don’t necessarily expect a full on erotic porn scene but I do like to read about the couple’s first time and see an emotional connection alongside a physical one on page. I don’t want a fade to black and a line that says they’ve been screwing like rabbits (paraphrasing here as it didn’t say that!) off screen.

It made an interesting story involving last minute love confessions and potential family disasters all feel a bit flat, which is a shame as the narrative had started off promising.

I will give props to the author for the good characters and setting, I liked the closeness of Jason’s family and the contrast with Spencer’s rotten mother. Spencer annoyed me for a lot of the book and I have to say, or don’t think either MC read like they were in their 30s.

Overall this wasn’t a bad read though and the sneak peek at book two gives me hope for a continually improving series and I absolutely love the cover!

#ARC kindly provided by the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Action packed adrenalin rush of a romance

EDIT: April 20. Rinda and Jocelynn have issued an apology over the use of the word Shylock in Deadly Dorian. You can read it here: http://drakeandelliott.com/2018/04/sincere-apologies/

 
Deadly Dorian (Ward Security, #3)Deadly Dorian by Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So Royce & Marc came this >< close to taking top spot on my most favourites list of Rinda & Jocelynn couples up until Rowe’s Mrs Peacock moment.

Then he firmly secured his and Noah’s existing place as reining champions in two series’ of books which just tick pretty much every one of my boxes.

The last 25% of this book is the sort of adrenaline rush you usually get from a big screen thriller and the plot races along, paying a lesser lip service to its classical literature influence then the previous two Ward Security stories have, but still calling to mind Oscar Wilde’s story of hedonistic behaviour and double crossing.

Oh, and this one is hot. Like C4 explosive hot, like screw me over a Tuscan balcony hot, like “I can’t keep my hands off you” hot. These two being a whole new definition to sexual tension, it oozes off them whenever they’re in the same space and I just absorbed it all in like the best aphrodisiac.

I’m not going to go into too much plot detail but suffice it to say, your heart will be in your throat at the audacious behaviour these two get up to and you’ll be gasping in surprise and praying as hard as you can as forces array against them.

But be assured, family is at the heart of this story, as with all the romances in these two interlinked stories, and you will cheer and whoop for joy when the big guns come to play 🙂

Oh, and at 5% you’ll be screaming at Rinda & Jocelynn – “Oh no, you didn’t do that”
 – just as loud as I did while also squealing with delight.

#ARC kindly provided by the authors in return for an honest and unbiased review.

The gushing and Fangirling is all my own work and I’m not a bit ashamed about it 😀

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