Tag Archives: friendship

A twist to the usual second chances trope and an interesting separation reason

53605377._SY475_Rare by Briar Prescott

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m incredibly impressed with Briar Prescott.

It’s rare for me to read a Young Adult book, I find myself getting annoyed with the immaturity of most 18 to 21-year-olds, however in Part I of this book, at no point did either Alex or Noah irritate me.

I did find myself occasionally frustrated with both of them once they started their relationship but that was more down to lack of communication, and I find that frustrating irrespective of the age of the MCs!

However, I also found them both completely endearing, Alex being far more than the spoiled rich boy he was presenting to the world and Noah’s sweetness providing a perfect foil.

By the end of Part I my heart was breaking for both of them, while I was also curious to know what caused the specific issues which cropped up at that time.

I was very glad there wasn’t a long wait to reunite them in Part II and I absolutely adored Noah’s friend and work colleague Hannah. I do love when there are strong and supportive female characters in an MM romance.

Did I like that there’d been a 10 year gap and that neither had tried to find the other, not a jot, but when I discovered Noah’s reasons, while there is very much an element of martyr syndrome I think it was justified. I also appreciated the unique reason for why Noah had left Alex 10 years earlier wasn’t an inconsequential one.

The path back to happiness is relatively smooth, and I again really appreciated how there was no messing about with communication once they reunited.

There won’t be any spoilers from me, but it felt utterly believable, the cause is one that’s close to my heart and I liked that it was treated with the seriousness it deserves and the awareness of the rarity of Noah’s position.

I got the warm and fuzzies with their second chance relationship though and I loved how passionate they both were. I also thought there was considered effort put in to making neither Noah’s mother, or Alex’s father villains they’re both just flawed humans who are doing what they think is right or were unable to verbalise their feelings.

So that’s two out of two for Briar and I can’t wait to see what common MM tropes get twisted next!

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

View all my reviews

Series Tour: The Speakeasy Series by K. Evan Coles & Brigham Vaughn

The Speakeasy Series | K. Evan Coles & Brigham Vaughn

SERIES TOUR

Publisher: Pride Publishing/Totally Entwined Group

Overall Heat Rating: 4 flames

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/series/242442-the-speakeasy

Series Blurb

Media mogul Jesse Murtagh and bartender Kyle McKee decide to go into business together and open Under Lock & Key, a speakeasy on the upper West Side of Manhattan.

The bar, with its secret passphrases and craft liquor cocktails, becomes a sanctuary for Jesse and Kyle’s circle of friends, who gather once a month to catch up with each other and share their experiences.

Under is both hang out and haven for the men who spend time within its walls and their friendships build family ties that are sometimes missing from their own lives.

With A Twist

The Speakeasy #1

WithaTwist_9781786516848_ebook_1500x2400

Length: 95 295 words/ 263 pages

Release Date: September 25, 2018

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Blurb

Nursing a broken heart when his ex-boyfriend, Riley, leaves him for the love of his life, Carter, Will Martin throws himself into teaching at NYU and writing. An invite from Riley to a speakeasy called Under helps Will begin to heal, and he finds himself enjoying both the drinks and the company.

Soon after, he’s shaken by news of his father’s cancer diagnosis and Will reluctantly returns to Long Island to see the man who disowned him after he was outed.

Sparks fly when Will meets his father’s mentee, Republican Senator David Mori, who is both mixed race and openly gay. Will is looking for a no-strings-attached fling and David is leery of getting involved with his mentor’s son, so they keep their affair a secret.

As his father’s health worsens, Will elects to remain in Garden City and his relationship with David grows beyond casual sex. Now, both men must decide how to bridge the divide between them.

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK | iTunes | B&N | Kobo | Google Play24 Symbols | Thalia | Bol.de | August Roberton | Mondadoristore

Extra Dirty

The Speakeasy #2

ExtraDirty_9781786517098_Ebook_1500x2400

Length: 88 944 words/ 345 pages

Release Date: March 26, 2019

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Blurb

Jesse Murtagh loves his life as a wealthy bisexual businessman dedicated to the pursuit of pleasure. With a circle of friends he trusts implicitly, he enjoys a successful career in his family’s business and as co-owner of Under, an uptown speakeasy, with his friend with benefits, Kyle McKee.

Music teacher and part-time DJ Cameron Lewis lives modestly in a DUMBO loft and isn’t interested in serious relationships. However, he’s always up for some casual fun.

Doing a favor for his friend Carter Hamilton, Jesse meets Cam and is immediately charmed. When Jesse discovers Cam’s other life as a DJ, he is further intrigued. Viewing Cam as a challenge, Jesse pulls out all the stops, but his usual methods to avoid serious relationships fail. Though Cam has no intention of becoming attached, he begins to fall for Jesse, unaware that Jesse’s feelings are changing.

Afraid of heartbreak, Cam pulls away, leaving Jesse bewildered and hurt. They remain friends until a series of misunderstandings widens the rift to breaking point. When Cam steps in to help Jesse through a family crisis, they realize they care for each other more than they’ve been willing to admit. Jesse and Cam don’t want a traditional relationship, but can they build a future that makes them both happy?

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Apple iStore | B&N | KoboGoogle Play | 24S | Angus RobertsonMondadori

Behind The Stick

The Speakeasy #3

BehindtheStick_9781786518323_Ebook_1500x2400

Release Date: August 20, 2019

Trope/s: Bad Breakup,  Interracial Relationship,

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 97 045 words/370 pages

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Blurb

Kyle McKee lives a charmed life. He co-owns Under, an uptown speakeasy, where he is chief mixologist. Friends poke fun at Kyle’s tiny one-bed apartment in Chelsea, but they’re the best support system a man could ask for. Unfortunately, Kyle’s lackluster love life has led him to take a break from dating.

Harlem resident Luka Clarke is a lieutenant with Engine 47, the Pride of Morningside, where he carries on his father’s legacy with the FDNY. Luka, who is mixed race and bisexual, has his eye on Kyle, whom he met at a local burger joint and he just needs to make time to visit Kyle’s bar.

Before work one evening, Kyle is trapped inside the luncheonette when a fire breaks out. Luka’s firehouse answers the call and he connects with Kyle again under the most unexpected of circumstances. When Kyle gratefully invites Luka and the firehouse squad to Under, the flirting between the two men leads to a date.

Kyle and Luka quickly grow close, but Luka’s mother and sister distrust Kyle for being both white and gay. Luka believes his family will come around and accept Kyle in the end, but Kyle is not optimistic and hides his disquiet as attraction blossoms into love.

Kyle and Luka’s near-idyllic bubble is shattered one evening after a hate crime leaves them scarred, inside and out. Shaken, they put on a strong front but struggle inwardly against fear and personal demons. As the emotions seething beneath the surface finally come to a head, both men must decide if they have the strength to find love enough to conquer hate.

Reader advisory: This book contains references to non-nurturing parenting; homophobia; racism and racist slurs. There are references to recreational drug use. This book also contains scenes of mmmm ménage and characters caught in fire.

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK B&N | Apple | Google | Kobo

Straight Up

The Speakeasy #4

Length: approx 94 217 words/ 267 pages

Release Date: June 9, 2020

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Buy Links

Choose Your Store | First For RomanceAmazon US | Amazon UK

Blurb

Malcolm Elliott has been keeping secrets. Helping his mom through a financial crisis has nearly emptied his bank account and his kitchen cupboards, despite his thriving career with Corporate Equality Campaign. Malcolm is also bothered by his inability to tell the most important people in his life that he identifies as gray ace.

Stuart Morgan has a secret of his own. Though years have passed since the tattooed chef fled the Mormon church in Utah for New York, he’s never truly come to terms with the kink that ruined that rigid but outwardly perfect life. Experience has also taught Stuart that keeping his love of lacy things under wraps is safer than telling the truth.

After Malcom’s boss, Carter, hires Stuart’s restaurant to cater a gala fundraising event, the strait-laced Malcolm is thrown together with badass biker Stuart. Despite their differences and a couple of false starts, the men discover they work well together and a friendship quickly forms.

As Malcolm’s feelings for Stuart deepen, his sexuality awakens, but he remains tight-lipped about his problems. And though Stuart grows more and more attached to Malcolm, he remains fearful of confessing his kink.

When both of their secrets are finally exposed, they find themselves at a crossroads in which they must choose between playing it safe or finally coming clean to the person they love.

Excerpt

“Crap, crap crap.” Malcolm took the subway stairs two at a time, muttering under his breath.

He’d arranged the Thursday meeting with Chef Morgan at Lock & Key, expecting forty-five minutes would be plenty of time to commute up from Midtown. However, a mechanical problem had plagued his train and he’d spent the crawling ride exchanging messages with his mom, trying to get her to apply for job openings he’d found in the neighborhoods around Staten Island. Now Malcolm was nearly fifteen minutes late and almost sprinting along Broadway in his loafers and business casual duds, messenger bag bumping his hip.

Malcolm hated being late, particularly when it came to his job. He’d texted the chef with a heads-up he was running behind, but still felt wretched and unprofessional. He also knew this would make a poor impression on a man who had high expectations of the people around him. Stuart had been friendly—even charming—when he’d introduced himself to Malcolm, tattoos peeking out from beneath the chef’s white jacket. His demeanor had changed the moment the talk had turned to food, however, shifting into a thorough confidence that was reflected in the quality and plating of the food he’d put in front of Malcolm. Everything had been luscious—both esthetically and in taste—and Malcolm had known from the first bite that the chef and his staff at King’s would do impeccable work for the CEC fundraiser.

The steel in Stuart’s expression as he’d spoken about food and his work had reassured Malcolm. He understood how to interact with a man who was all business. He’d been less sure of how to handle the moments when Stuart had smiled at him, however, and the way that warmth had made his brown eyes dance. The chef’s touch had tingled against Malcolm’s skin when they’d bid each other goodbye, too and…well. Malcolm really didn’t know what to make of that.

He caught sight of a huge motorcycle parked by the curb as he neared Lock & Key and slowed to a walk. It was a beautiful machine, gleaming black and chrome in the late afternoon light, and Malcolm could imagine the kind of man who rode it, clad in a leather jacket with tattoos on full display.

I’ll bet Stuart Morgan wears a leather jacket.

Malcolm nearly tripped into Lock & Key’s door. Where the hell had that come from?

Seconds later his errant thought literally came to life and Malcolm blinked at the sight of the chef seated at Lock & Key’s bar, a tall glass of water in hand and motorcycle helmet by his elbow. Stuart wore a black leather jacket, just as Malcolm had imagined, and a scowl so mighty he looked almost like a stranger. Malcolm’s stomach flipped.

“I’m sorry I’m late,” he said in a rush. Moving quickly, Malcolm waved hello to the bartender, then pulled the strap of his bag over his head and stepped up beside Stuart. “I meant to be here to meet you, Chef, but the train—”

Stuart cut in, his voice gruff and grumpy as Malcolm had expected. “I get it. Public transportation sucks.”

“It’s unpredictable,” Malcolm replied. “Anyway, Under’s head bartender is waiting for us downstairs.”

“Downstairs?” Stuart waved at the room around them with one hand. “Downstairs from here?”

“Um, yeah. This is Lock & Key. Under’s located in the basement.”

“I thought you said the event would be happening on the roof?”

“It will be. Under and Lock & Key will be part of it, too though. Sort of.” Heat flashed over Malcolm’s cheeks when Stuart rolled his eyes. “Sorry, let’s …” He blew out a breath and squared his shoulders. “Let’s start again.”

Stuart’s expression softened by a degree. “Okay. I’m listening.”

About the Authors

K. Evan Coles is a mother and tech pirate by day and a writer by night. She is a dreamer who, with a little hard work and a lot of good coffee, coaxes words out of her head and onto paper. K. lives in the northeast United States, where she complains bitterly about the winters, but truly loves the region and its diverse, tenacious and deceptively compassionate people.

You’ll usually find K. nerding out over books, movies and television with friends and family. She’s especially proud to be raising her son as part of a new generation of unabashed geeks.

K.’s books explore LGBTQ+ romance in contemporary settings.

Social Media

Blog/Website | Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Facebook Reader Group

Twitter | Pinterest | BookBub | Instagram

Goodreads | Newsletter

Brigham Vaughn is on the adventure of a lifetime as a full-time writer. She devours books at an alarming rate and hasn’t let her short arms and long torso stop her from doing yoga. She makes a killer key lime pie, hates green peppers, and loves wine tasting tours.

A collector of vintage Nancy Drew books and green glassware, she enjoys poking around in antique shops and refinishing thrift store furniture. An avid photographer, she dreams of traveling the world and she can’t wait to discover everything else life has to offer her.

Her books range from short stories to novellas. They explore gay, bisexual, lesbian, and polyamorous romance in contemporary settings.

Social Media

Blog | Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Fan Group (Brigham’s Book Nerds)

Twitter | Newsletter sign-up | Instagram | Pinterest

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Review Tour: A Bit of Me by Kent Lowe

A Bit of Me | Kent Lowe

REVIEW TOUR

Cover Artist: Hocking Design Solutions Ltd

Release Date: March 27, 2020

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 88,000 words/316 pages

It is a standalone story

Universal Link: http://mybook.to/ABitOfMe

A bit of me Cover

Blurb

Dumped.

Heartbroken.

Alone.

It took the person he hated to make him love again.

A BIT OF ME BLURB

Excerpt

From Chapter 1

Wiping the sweat from his top lip, he tried to breathe in something other than stranger’s body heat. It was thick. Solid. Like the air had been stuck in the carriage for years. And he knew as the doors beeped shut behind him, the five-fifty-two to London was going to be one bastard of a journey.

‘Close one, Georgie boy.’

‘I know.’ Wheezing, George slipped into the seat next to Alfie and sucked in mouthfuls of the staleness. ‘Got held up at work.’

Truth was, it had nothing to do with his job. Being late wasn’t something George Taylor was good at. He was the fucking champion. Tell him where and when to meet and he’d be there. Twenty minutes after everybody else.

Dripping with sweat, he dragged the back of his wrist over his brow then yanked the neck of his T-shirt in an attempt to cool his clammy skin.

Sitting on the chav wagon for an hour was hell for him. The thought of being sat amongst thirty-odd strangers, most of whom had no idea of personal space, gave him full on anxiety. Actually doing it, made him want to vomit. But it was worth it. Nothing could bring him down. Not even a soap dodger with an allergy to antiperspirant. He was on his way to see Ellie. And that was all that mattered.

‘Babes, please tell me you’re not wearing that tonight.’ Aimee momentarily glanced away from her phone and winced at his muddy top. ‘Ells will actually kill you if you turn up in that.’

‘Course not. I’ve got my going out gear in here.’ George unzipped his torn rucksack to prove he’d packed a fresh set of clothes that morning. He hadn’t needed the reminder that Ellie would disapprove of his work gear. ‘I didn’t have time to change.’

‘Or wash by the smell of you.’ Aimee turned her nose away. ‘You look like you’re covered in-’

‘Shit!’ Alfie jabbed his elbow into George’s side. He was gawping at a blonde who had just boarded the train in a tight figure-hugging blue dress. ‘Look at the bounce on those things.’

Never one to encourage Alfie’s ogling of anyone with breasts, George made a point of rolling his eyes. He couldn’t help but notice the impressive chest on the blonde himself though.

‘She is hot.’ Alfie whistled, manspreading into George’s space.

Aimee peered up from her phone to give the woman the once-over. Possibly the twice-over by her look of disdain. She was one of the nicest, sweetest girls on the planet but other attractive females brought out the monster in her. ‘What? No way. She’s so basic.’

‘I don’t care if she’s basic, I’d motorboat the fuck out of those things,’ Alfie beamed, following it up with a wink George’s way.

‘The way you objectify women is gross.’ Aimee huffed, pulling at her neckline to show off her own bronzed and perky assets. ‘Besides, you can tell she’s a total bitch, just look at her eyebrows.’

George and Alfie shrugged in unison as Aimee continued to glare at the woman. Like she was sizing her up for a coffin. George had no idea what the woman’s eyebrows had to do with her being a bitch, but by the grimace plastered on her face, Aimee seemed adamant about it. She always insisted that she had a way of knowing those sorts of things, but George had yet to see any proof.

About the Author

KentLowe Logo1

“My English teacher in Year 11 once said that I’d either be a rent boy or a writer. I wasn’t successful at the first so thought I’d try the latter.”

Kent Lowe grew up in East London, spending most of his youth in Dagenham, before moving to Essex.

Being a daydreamer and somewhat of a loner, he found art and literature to be the perfect medium for his endless imagination. After finishing college, Kent went on to study a Fine Art degree where he moved from canvas to installation which reared his love for both visual and literary storytelling.

Kent has always had an affinity with animals, and growing up with a menagerie of creatures, he now has fish, an orange cat and four adorable dogs that make his chaotic world just that little more harmonic.

As an artist and writer, all of Kent’s works delve into humour, love and friendship.

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Facebook: @kentloweauthor | Twitter: @KLJLowe | Instagram

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