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Release Blitz: Stacking the Deck by Charlie Cochet

Stacking the Deck by Charlie Cochet

The Kings: Wild Cards #1

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Release Date: July 28th, 2020

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Blurb

Ex-Special Forces Communications Sergeant Jacopo “Jack” Constantino heads the cybersecurity department at Four Kings Security, working with his tech-savvy team to provide clients with state-of-the-art security systems. But life for Jack is pretty uneventful—despite the exploits with his brothers-in-arms—and he finds himself longing for a little more excitement.

Be careful what you wish for.

Two years ago, Fitz Harlow captured Jack’s heart and walked away with it. Now he’s back.

Fitz spent the last two years picking up the pieces of his life after a disastrous relationship. After much therapy, and ice cream, Fitz leaves the fashion world behind and returns home to St. Augustine to open his own high-end salon, Hair Comes Trouble. Now Fitz finally has the quiet, peaceful life he’s wanted for so long. There’s only one thing missing, or rather, one man missing, but Fitz has his doubts. With Jack, he’s not just gaining a boyfriend—he’s gaining a boyfriend, his family of mischief-magnet ex-Green Berets, and one highly opinionated Belgian Malinois.

Fitz and Jack discover their connection has only grown stronger over time, thanks in part to meddling friends, but just as they start to pick up where they left off, someone takes exception to their reunion. Danger hides in the shadows, a stalker determined to keep Fitz out of Jack’s life, no matter the cost. With the odds stacked against them, can Jack and Fitz win a battle against an unknown enemy, or will Jack lose Fitz forever?

The Kings: Wild Cards series is a spin-off of the Four Kings Security series.

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Excerpt

Oh God. Jack covered his face with his hands. Just what he didn’t need.

“What is it?” Ace asked, no doubt peeking over Joker’s shoulder, because although Joker was nosy, no one beat him in the meddling department like Ace. Anston Sharpe was worse than the granny living next door who knew more about you than your family did.

“A text from Fitz.”

Jack ignored the smile in Joker’s voice. He moved his hands and sighed. The two were grinning like idiots.

“It’s nothing. Just a reminder about my upcoming hair appointment.” Why the hell had he agreed to get his hair cut at Hair Comes Trouble? Right, because Fitz’s best friend, Laz, had given Jack the puppy eyes and Jack was too much of a sucker to say no. Sometimes friends sucked.

“There’s a kissy-face emoji after it, though,” Ace pointed out.

“I’m sure he adds that to all his texts.”

“No, he doesn’t,” Ace said, removing his phone from his pocket. He tapped away at it before showing Jack his text from Fitz. “My emoji is looking at me with suspicion. Like, what is that? Why do I get the suspicion emoji? Is he expecting me to make off with his hair dryer? Give him a bad review on Yelp? Why do you get a kissy face and I get apprehension?”

“Because you’re shady as fuck,” Joker said with a snort.

“Screw you. What emoji did you get?”

“I got a happy face and a little service dog emoji for Chip.”

“What the hell? I mean, Chip I get. Everyone loves him, but why do you get a happy face? No one likes you.”

Joker grinned smugly. “My emoji and my dog’s emoji say otherwise.”

“Whatever.” Ace rolled his eyes before turning that intense gold-green gaze on Jack. “So… you gonna call him?”

Jack shook his head. “Nope. It was a confirmation appointment. From his salon, I might add. Not a personal text.”

“But it had a kissy-face emoji,” Ace said, waggling his eyebrows.

“It was probably a mistake. Everyone, get out of my van.”

About The Author

Author Image Charlie

Charlie Cochet is the international bestselling author of the THIRDS series. Born in Cuba and raised in the US, Charlie enjoys the best of both worlds, from her daily Cuban latte to her passion for classic rock.

Currently residing in Central Florida, Charlie is at the beck and call of a rascally Doxiepoo bent on world domination. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found devouring a book, releasing her creativity through art, or binge watching a new TV series.

She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.

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Website: https://charliecochet.com/

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FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/charliecochet/

BookBub: http://bookbub.com/authors/charlie-cochet

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5621569.Charlie_Cochet

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Heart-pounding thrilling opener to this new series from Charlie Cochet

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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Perfect start to this spin-off from the Four Kings series.

While I guessed the bad guy pretty early on, it never stopped me from enjoying what turned out to be a thrilling, heart-pounding, pitch perfect romantic suspense.

At times I was gasping out loud and at others I was laughing my head off and that’s what puts Charlie’s books onto my favourites shelf regularly.

Jack and Fitz were so cute together, but also so incredibly connected from the start. They just click and the emotional levels they reach are powerfully intimate.

The rest of the gang are obviously all around and it’s great to see they’re all as loved up and I’m stoked to see where the series is going next.

I’m betting Charlie is going to be a big meanie and lead Joker until last though 😁

Brilliant book, read the Four Kings Security books first though as it’ll help with all the jokes and relationship dynamics.

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

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Release Blitz: Level Up by Annabeth Albert

Level Up | Annabeth Albert

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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

Goodreads

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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