Tag Archives: geek

Book Blitz: Upside Down by N.R. Walker

Upside Down  | N.R. Walker

Publication date: March 21st 2019

Genres: Adult, LGBTQ+, Romance

Jordan O’Neill isn’t a fan of labels, considering he has a few. Gay, geek, a librarian, socially awkward, a nervous rambler, an introvert, an outsider.

The last thing he needs is one more.

But he when he realises adding the label ‘asexual’ might explain a lot, it turns his world upside down.

Hennessy Lang moved to Surry Hills after splitting with his boyfriend. His being asexual had seen the end of a lot of his romances, but he’s determined to stay true to himself. Leaving his North Shore support group behind, he starts his own in Surry Hills, where he meets first-time-attendee Jordan.

A little bewildered and scared, but completely adorable, Hennessy is struck by this guy who’s trying to find where he belongs.

Maybe Hennessy can convince Jordan that his world hasn’t been turned upside down at all, but maybe it’s now—for the first time in his life—the right way up.

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EXCERPT:

Context: Jordan is attending his first asexual support meeting, along with his best friend Merry, where Jordan finds the guy from his bus, whom he’s admired from afar and dubbed ‘Headphones Guy’ (Hennessy) is running the meetings.

Jordan

I didn’t even notice that the room had cleared out. Merry had pulled up a chair at my side, but Hennessy sat with his knees between mine, holding my hand while I cried.

I fucking cried.

Through my stupid, traitorous tears, I caught the end of a silent conversation between Merry and him, my Headphones Guy.

Hennessy.

And then Merry rubbed my back before she walked out, and Hennessy squeezed my hand. “She’s just gone to get you a drink of water,” he said gently.

“I don’t know why I’m crying,” I said, wiping my face with my free hand.

“Because it can be overwhelming,” he said. His voice was calm and soft. “Because it can be life-affirming and scary as hell, all at the same time.”

I nodded. “I don’t want another label, you know? Because I have enough. I have more than enough. Too many, probably, you know for a geeky book-nerd gay man with so many levels of social awkwardness Freud would need an elevator, but the labels fit. And I hate that they fit. Everything that was said here tonight was like it was said for me, like I was saying those things. I didn’t want this to happen,” I said, shaking my head, fighting more tears.

“I wanted to come here and, well, that’s not exactly true. I didn’t want to come here at all; it was Merry’s idea. She suggested that I look into what being asexual meant. After my 683rd failed attempt at a relationship, she thought maybe I should see if I ticked any boxes on the ‘How To See If You Could Be Asexual’ questionnaire on Teen Vogue, and after I realised that I could almost tick all the boxes, I decided I didn’t want or need another label. So then I had to come here tonight to shut her up. I was going to prove her wrong and then I could go on living my best life being not asexual but just a gay man who didn’t actually want to have sex. A socially awkward, geeky book-nerd gay man,” I amended through more tears, “who doesn’t actually want to have sex. I’m sorry for crying. I wasn’t expecting the emotional dump, but I wasn’t expecting to feel so… lost and found. Like I once was lost but now I’m found, kind of like the song, which is cheesy as fuck and I didn’t mean it to sound like that. I just didn’t realise how hard I’d been trying to fit in with the real world, trying to be normal, when my normal was here all along. Because I really am asexual and it hit me like a metric fuckton of bricks that there’s actually nothing wrong with me.”

And then there were more tears.

“Because that’s my truth, even if I thought there was something wrong with me, and fuck knows I’ve been told there was, many times,” I said, wiping my face. “But there’s not. I’m asexual, and that’s my motherfucking truth whether I like it or not.”

Hennessy smiled at me. With his perfect lips and perfect teeth, his pretty blue eyes, and three-day scruff. He looked so different without his headphones, like seeing someone who normally wears glasses without them. “There’s nothing wrong with you,” he said, still smiling, still holding my hand.

“I’m sorry, were you not here for the geeky book-nerd gay man with so many levels of social awkwardness Freud would need an elevator conversation?”

He laughed at that. “I believe I was, yeah.”

“Sorry about that. I tend to babble a lot when I’m nervous. And swear. Well, I say fuck a lot even when I’m not nervous. I don’t have Tourette’s or anything, I just like the word fuck. The noun and adverb, even the adjective, not the verb obviously because I’m asexual. Apparently. So there is definitely no actioning of the word.”

Hennessy chuckled. “No actioning of the word, got it.” He still had a hold of my hand, and I liked it. As in, really liked it. My Headphones Guy was holding my hand, and he was smiling at me, in what I think was not in a bad way. I mean, his smile was kind and his eyes were smiling too, if that was even possible. I mean, no it wasn’t possible—eyes could not physically smile, I got that—but damn, they sure looked happy.

“How are you feeling now?” he asked.

“A little weirded out,” I answered. “Not gonna lie. I didn’t want to admit the asexual thing to myself for a long time, and I’m thinking it will take some getting used to. Like breaking in a pair of Doc Martens, ya know? Like they’re uncomfortable and tight and basically kill your feet until they’re the most comfortable shoes you’ll ever wear. They become like a second skin, and I’m pretty sure this whole asexual thing will be like that.”

He made a thoughtful face. “I like that analogy.”

“And it’s even weirder, because you’re my Headphones Guy and I had no idea you’d be here, but here you are and now you’re holding my hand and I cried in front of you, which is not how I wanted our first meeting to go. Believe me. I had visions of it involving me not being so… well, so me. And doing all the talking, because I tend to talk a lot when I’m nervous, which I think I’ve said already—”

“I’m your Headphones Guy?”

Oh fucking fuckity motherfucker. “I said that out loud, didn’t I? To your perfect face, and what kind of perfect name is Hennessy, by the way? Because—”

A loud peal of laughter broke through the door when a couple, a guy and girl, stumbled into the backroom, their arms around each other, obviously intoxicated and handsy and half kissing, half laughing, until they realised the room wasn’t empty.

I shot to my feet and pulled my hand away from Hennessy’s.

“Oh, sorry guys,” the girl said.

“Didn’t mean to interrupt,” the guy said. He took his hand off her arse to wave it. “Keep doing what you’re doing. We don’t mind. We thought this room was empty.”

“We weren’t doing anything,” I said quickly.

“Excuse me,” Merry said, sliding in around the drunk couple. She held three bottles of water. “Sorry, it took forever to get served. They’re really busy.”

I’d never been happier to see her. “Oh, thank God.” I grabbed her arm and turned her back toward the door. “We need to leave. I called him my Headphones Guy to his perfect fucking face.”

Merry shot Hennessy a look and held out a bottle of water for him. He took it, still smiling, though somewhat confused. Then Merry looked up at me as I dragged her to the door. “To his face?”

“What was I supposed to do? You left me unsupervised!” I stopped at the couple who were still standing in the doorway, and only just then I realised what the guy had meant when he said they thought the room was empty… “Oh praise baby motherfucking Jesus, I hope you have antibacterial wipes.”

Now Merry was hauling me out through the crowded pub. I yelled back at the couple, hoping they’d hear, “At least wipe it down afterwards, we have meetings in there!”

We burst through the crowd onto the street and Merry looked up at me and sighed. “What else did you say?”

“What didn’t I say?” I answered. “I was a mess, crying all over him because of the whole asexual thing, thank you very much. Then I was nervous and we both know how well that ends. And I think I might have told him that he was my Headphones Guy, that he had a perfect face and a perfect name, because who the fuck calls their kid Hennessy, and now he thinks I’m a raving lunatic because you. Left. Me. Un. Supervised.”

Merry cracked her bottle of water, took a long drink, sighed, then hooked her arm around my elbow. “He really is very good looking,” she said as we began the walk back to my flat. “I can see why you’ve been crushing on him forever.”

I took a swig of my water. “Fucking hell, I wish this was wine. Where is Jesus when you need him?”

Author Bio:

N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance.

She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way.

She is many things: a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who live in her head, who don’t let her sleep at night unless she gives them life with words.

She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things… but likes it even more when they fall in love.

She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.

She’s been writing ever since…

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Release Blitz: Would It Be Okay To Love You? Year Two by Amy Tasukada

Would It Be Okay To Love You? Year Two | Amy Tasukada

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 113 pages
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Would It Be Okay To Love You? Box Set (Books 1 – 3)

 Amazon US | Amazon UK

Blurb

 

An ex-playboy. A robot geek. Can their love last when the whole world finds out?

Robot fanboy Sato has spent too much time alone hiding the love of his life. But when Sato comes out to his parents, it doesn’t end well. He no longer wants to conceal their relationship, but he doubts his boyfriend is ready.

Aoi might spend all day moaning as an erotic voice actor, but he doubts his legion of fangirls will approve if he comes out. With his career on the line, Aoi feels like Sato has pushed him to the breaking point.

As Sato opens up to more people about his sexuality, can they find a compromise that will make them both happy, or will it be too much for Aoi?

Year Two is the fourth book in the gay romance series Would It Be Okay to Love You?

If you like Japanese culture and sizzling romance, you’ll love this year-in-the-life anthology collection.

Buy Year Two to confess your love today!

Amy Tasukada lives in North Texas with a calico cat called O’Hara. As an only child her daydreams kept her entertained, and at age ten she started to put them to paper. Since then her love of writing hasn’t ceased.

She can be found drinking hot tea and filming Japanese street fashion hauls on her Youtube channel.

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Release Day Blitz: Dantès Unglued by Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott

Title:  Dantès Unglued

Series: Ward Security Series #2

Author: Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott

Publisher:  Drake and Elliott Publishing LLC

Release Date: January 26th

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 72k

Genre: Romance, Thriller/Suspense,

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Synopsis

When private investigator, Shane Stephens, is hired by the mayor of Cincinnati to track down the hacker who has been threatening him, Shane is sure this is the opportunity to launch the Merleau Detection Agency into the big time. He even convinces Rowe Ward of Ward Security to loan him one of his best IT specialists, Quinn Lake.

Shane, a man who prefers casual intimacy, is surprised by his attraction to the moody computer geek, but when Quinn suggests they have fun for the month he’s on loan, Shane happily agrees. Both men are expecting nothing more than a good time.

But the investigation takes an unexpected turn and they quickly discover they are facing more than a hacker out to ruin the mayor’s re-election chances. And as they spend more time together, they realize their relationship may be a lot more than just a good time.

With only weeks until the election, Shane and Quinn race to gather the proof they need while dodging bullets and possibly…falling in love.

Excerpt

After one quick knock on Rowe’s door, he stepped inside without waiting for him to call since he was already expected. But he stopped short when he saw the tall man standing next to Rowe’s desk, his hands on his slender hips as he grinned down at Rowe. Quinn couldn’t stop his eyes from quickly sweeping over his broad shoulders and chest that tapered into a narrow waist. His eyes snapped back up to find a pair of brown eyes that twinkled as they finished checking him out as well.

“Sorry,” Quinn mumbled, instantly taking a step backward. “I can come back.” Rowe rarely saw clients. He had customer representatives that handled talking to the clients. Of course, with Rowe’s lack of a filter, it was better if he didn’t talk to the new clients directly.

“No, come in, Quinn,” Rowe said sharply. He stood behind his desk, drawing Quinn’s gaze to his shorter but broader frame. His dark red hair stood up slightly as if he’d been running his fingers through it. Quinn never took that as a particularly good sign.

With a quick jerk of his head, Quinn stepped in and shut the door behind him. The other man was smiling at him, that assessing look still in his eyes, and Quinn didn’t want to think about the fact that he was dying to take another longer look at him, but not with the freaking boss in the room.

“Quinn Lake, this is Shane Stephens. He’s a private investigator with The Merleau Detection Agency,” Rowe introduced.

Shane extended his hand to Quinn and Quinn clenched his teeth, trying to hide his discomfort at taking Shane’s hand. His own palms were sweaty, making the momentary contact awkward. Why the fuck was he always so damn awkward around hot guys?

“Rowe tells me you’re the best,” Shane said, releasing his hand.

Quinn couldn’t help the skeptical look he shot at Rowe, who only shrugged as he sat down again. “Well, I said you <em>and</em> Gidget are the best.”

“Is this about a job?”

“Sit, Quinn.” Rowe absently waved toward the two chairs in front of his desk. He shuffled some papers around without seeming to actually look at them, placing them in piles at the edge of his desk.

Shooting one last uncertain look at Shane, Quinn moved to the farthest chair and sat, his tablet clenched in both hands. His mind raced as he tried to figure out why he’d been called into this meeting. Clients didn’t meet with Rowe, and Quinn didn’t meet with clients unless they’d already been assigned a bodyguard. And while they’d worked with some private investigators in the past, Rowe wasn’t usually involved. He had a company to run.

“Shane recently acquired a client who is the victim of a hacker,” Rowe started.

Quinn looked up at Shane, who was still standing beside Rowe’s desk, his mind finally turning away from too many questions to a problem he could understand. “Identity theft? Bank accounts drained?”

“No, not yet.” Shane shook his head, some of his dark curly hair falling forward against his temple. “At least, not that we’ve uncovered.”

“Then how do you know this client was hacked?”

“There are other signs…but I can’t go into it.”

Quinn frowned for a second. That certainly wasn’t going to make his job easier. “Well, do you just need improved protection? Alerts on accounts? We’ve got a comprehensive list of things we can do to help shore up the client’s account protection and privacy.”

“Shane isn’t looking for protection from the hacker for the client.” Rowe paused until Quinn looked back at him. “His client has hired him to track down the identity of the hacker.”

“Whoa…” Quinn said on an exhale, sitting back in his chair. That…that was not an easy task. Most hackers were pretty damn good at not being found. You had to be if you wanted to survive as one. If you sucked, you were usually snagged by the FBI pretty damn fast. Quinn would know. He’d started hacking at a young age—not stealing other people’s money but just breaking through security systems because he could. It took the feds a solid five years to catch him. But his boss knew all this. Rowe knew everything about the people working for him.

“We’re not equipped to handle this level of…” Shane frowned at Rowe’s computer as if he blamed it for his problems. “Well, we’re not staffed yet to handle computer things like this. I can do some of the forensic research in accounting matters, but I need a computer genius like you.”

“That’s why I agreed to loan you to Shane and his business partner, Ethan, for one month,” Rowe announced.

Quinn was out of his seat in a shot, hovering over the edge of the desk as he looked down at his boss. Pain shot through his chest, and he was suddenly having trouble catching his breath. Panic clouded all of his thoughts. He loved working for Ward Security. He’d been there for just less than two years, and he’d never found another place where he’d felt like he fit so damn perfectly. This was home. These people he worked with, they were his friends. He didn’t have to hide or pretend or feel uncomfortable.

And Rowe…Rowe had always been amazing. Sure, he could be cranky and a little crazy. He was always loud and tended to speak before thinking. But Quinn always knew exactly where he stood with Rowe. He always felt like Rowe had his back.

But this…

“Are you getting rid of me?”

“What?” Rowe snapped. “Where the fuck did you get that idea?”

“You’re hiring another IT person. I saw the listing. And this? Putting me ‘on loan’?”

Rowe groaned and scrubbed a hand over his face. With a heavy sigh, he pointed back at the chair Quinn had just vacated. “Sit.” Grudgingly, Quinn followed direction while Rowe looked over at Shane. “Can you give us a minute?”

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Meet the Authors

Who are Drake & Elliott?

Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott have teamed up to combine their evil genius to create intense gay romantic suspense stories that have car chases, shoot outs, explosions, scorching hot love scenes, and tender, tear-jerking moments. Their first joint books are in the Unbreakable Bonds series.

 

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Really lovely second novel from Morningstar Ashley

A Different Light (A Begin Again Novel #1)A Different Light by Morningstar Ashley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This second novel from Morningstar Ashley, the start of a new series, is a delight. Although it has a serious act of trauma as a teenager as the fulcrum point, it’s surprisingly light in tone and has a lot of humour.

I loved both Bennett and Mac for different reasons. Bennett’s uptight science nerd may have played to stereotypes but it made sense given his experience as a 16-year-old.

But Mac, he may have looked like the typical tattooed motorcycle riding bad boy, but that was all surface. He was a hard working, humorous and caring soul with a heart that had never stopped beating for his geeky childhood neighbour.

I liked the time and care given to the relationship development between these two. They didn’t rush into bed, there wasn’t an insta love, more Bennett’s realisation of what sat at the heart of Mac’s teasing.

A good setting and secondary characters gave this book a great grounding and I’d like to find out more about them all.

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

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