Tag Archives: historical

My Best Books of 2019…

…okay so it’s more a round-up of the books that stood out for me this year as I’ve read almost 400 and (while that’s a load down on the last two years) I was lucky to not have many ones I failed to connect with.

Sooo, in no particular order at all, honestly, there isn’t an order, it’s the ones which sprung into my head and stayed there, I give you My Best Books of 2019 (and quite a few bonus festive entries at the end).

TMAABB-f900Lily Morton’s The Mysterious and Amazing Blue Billings blew me away. Totally different from one of my favourite authors, a paranormal romance in the beautiful surrounds of the City of York.

Tal Bauer’s Soul On Fire was stunning. Especially considering the background to the book, which was written in a month and based on reader suggestions for all aspects of the narrative.

Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott’s Ignite saw one of my favourite pairs of authors taking another step in the Unbreakable Bonds universe and giving me my fave MM book boyfriend Rowan Ward creating more Mayhem with boyfriend Noah.

Tibby Armstrong’s Taste The Dark I was gutted when Random House cancelled Tibby’s Boston After Dark series, so the news she was going to self-publish book two in the trilogy was wonderful. The book itself lived up to all expectations. Now I really, really need Nyx and Isander please Tibby 😁 ♥

Allie Therin’s Spellbound a new author for me and a wonderful debut historical novel set in an alternative 20s Prohibition Era New York. Prince of Killers Ebook

I could have gone for a number of Layla Rayne books but I picked Prince Of Killers for the brilliant opener to what turned out to be a fabulous assassin/Government agent enemies to lovers romantic suspense.

RJ Scott’s Single, book one in her new series focusing on single dads was an absolute triumph for me and catapulted its warmth and its compelling characters to the top of my list of favourites from her.

Spicy, steamy, beautifully and unashamedly erotic, I absolutely loved Roe Horvat’s Adam Only.

Jackie Keswick’s step into fantasy land resulted in a triumphant Healing Glass, one of my absolute favourite reads of all of 2019 with its well written and detailed world building .

Perennial favourite Lucy Lennox broke my heart (and then fixed it again) when she finally wrote Doc and Grandpa’s romance in Wilde Heart. I’d been waiting for this since we first met this bunch of amazing characters, and it didn’t disappoint.

Close-up portrait of a handsome young man with brave manly face.

Cara Dee challenged trope expectations with If We Could Go Back and smashed through the “no cheating” rules with a stunningly emotional tale of a romance long in the building.

Charlie Adhara hit her third 5* rating from me for her Big Bad Wolf series with book three, Thrown To The Wolves,  which saw Cooper and Park’s relationship strengthen as they investigated more whodunits.

Easily the most brilliantly named book on my list, Lyn Gala’s Earth Fathers Are Weird was an original, fabulously executed Sci-Fi mPreg alien romance and I utterly adored it.

Davidson King provided an epic closure to her fabulous Haven Hart Universe with Poe’s tale and Raven’s Hart was a perfect way to sign off on this romantic suspense saga.

Kat and Agnes Merikan brought their insanely brilliant paranormal motorbike club series to an end with In The Arms Of The Beast, which saw the Kings of Hell MC battling demonic entities in this jaw-dropping wft-ery of everything!

Elin Gregory soothed my historical romance loving heart with book two of The Carstairs Affairs, Midnight Flit in which Miles and Briers are dropped into Europe at the start of the madness leading up to the Second World War in the early 1930s.

Redeem Cover

My favourite cover model turned up again on Christina Lee’s Redeem (and yes, I will use his picture again exactly for that reason!) with a redemption arc romance which pleased every bit of my aching heart.

With Prince of Death (co-written with W.M. Fawkes) Sam Burns cemented her place as one of my absolute favourite paranormal/urban fantasy authors. I could have picked any of the trilogy but the opener set the scene for what was to come perfectly.

And, speaking of urban fantasy, next up is the bloody brilliance that was Hailey Turner’s All Souls Near & Nigh. Book two in what I believe will be a six (or more) book series, this one took the reader on an epic ride into South America with the Aztec Gods – Quetzalcoatl and Tepoztēcatl, the Mexican/Catholic death cult Goddess/saint Nuestra Señora de la Santa Muerte, as well as the Native American trickster God Coyote or Altse Hashke.

Epic fighting was on the cards in my next pick, Rachel Reid’s Heated Rivalry, an insanely hot enemies to lovers ice hockey sports romance featuring an All American dreamboat and his Russian rival in the arena.

Back to the urban fantasy/paranormal for this second instalment in MA Grant’s excellent series The Darkest Court. The Marked Prince played around with the Seelie/Unseelie Courts and Irish mythology for a superb slow burning but compelling tale.

Beth Bolden made me cry with Terrible Things, the first in her rock band series and a beautiful reconciliation, second chances romance which is well-worth a read. It doesn’t follow the usual tropes.

After BenAnd Con Riley also had the tears flowing with the divine After Ben, first in her Seattle Stories series, which is being re-published. It remains one of my favourite books dealing with moving on after the death of a long-term partner.

Next up. Garrett Leigh went paranormal and OMG it was EPIC. Like seriously good, a new interpretation of shifters and werewolf society and full of the usual Britishness which typifies her work. Grab your copy of Fated Hearts if you’ve not read it yet.

And while we’re on with the werewolves, Annabelle Jacobs turned to them once again for her latest series, absolutely different from the Regent’s Park Pack series which is one of my all-time favourite shifter works. Escape was daringly different, menacing and not entirely unlike the political shitstorm occuring in the UK right this minute.

Copy of GentlemanWolf_300Joanna Chambers also gave me werewolves, but with a glorious historical twist and a bit of a cliffhanger in the first of her duology Gentleman Wolf. Set in 18th Century Scotland, it’s an epic tale of mystery, heartache, adventure, and suspense with a seriously nasty villain and a stunning cast of characters.

Merlin and Lancelot reincarnated (which bizarrely is also the plot of one of the books I’m writing atm!) take the stage in Victoria Sue’s Twelfth Night, which plays not only on Shakespeare’s title but with Arthurian mythology to craft a thrilling urban fantasy.

My last recommendation before I get to the Festive Recommendations is Kasia Bacon’s ridiculously brilliant in less than 28 pages Rago. A dragon shifter fated mates snippet set in her excellent Order Universe.

~

This is by no means my only exceptional reads of the year. I could also add about another 50 books but then we’d be having to scroll down for days.

I could include Aimee Nicole Walker’s Wicked Games, which might be my favourite book of hers so far full stop (although I’m massively falling for Locke and Key in her latest series so who knows!)

I could also include Nicholas Bella, Lane Hayes, Felice Stevens, Keira Andrews, Rick R Reed, K.c. Wells, V.L. Locey (both individually and with RJ Scott), I want to put Annabeth Albert on here (she’s on my Christmas recommendations I’ve nicked from RJ – keep reading) along with Eli Easton.

Sneaking on would also be E.J. Russell’s fab Supernatural Selection series, May Archer,  Eden Finley, Neve Wilder, Nora Phoenix, and K.M. Neuhold. I’d go on but then I’d forget someone and I’d be annoyed and worried I’d upset them.

So just clicky here and read all my reviews for all the amazing authors who’ve delighted me with books during 2019.

And let me just say a huge thank you to all the authors who’ve entrusted me with their ARCs to beta, proof or review during 2019.

It’s been a pleasure and a privilege. Now, onto the first month of the new year!

~

Festive Romance Recommendations

I think I may just totally cheat here and point readers to RJ Scott’s most excellent Facebook post on her favourites 😁

You can find that here: https://www.facebook.com/author.rjscott/posts/2578736988876034

Best-Books

 

Review Tour: Dances Long Forgotten by Ruby Moone

Dances Long Forgotten | Ruby Moone

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Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Universal Link

Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited

Length: 35,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Meredith Russell

READ MY REVIEW

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Blurb

On Christmas Eve, Dylan, the man of James Pell-Charnley’s dreams, is on the point of walking out. Then they hear the faint strains of a waltz in the library of the empty abbey. The music is said to be heard only by those truly in love and it gives James the courage to tell Dylan the story.

In December 1841, Lord Hugo Pell-Charnley is in a terrible mess. The youngest son of the late Marquis, youngest brother of the incumbent, never felt to fit. When his life comes crashing down, and it threatens his life and his family, he is forced to face his elder brother and confess his deepest secret. When he arrives at Winsford Abbey he finds he must also confront the shame from his past in the form of Lyndon Cross. The boy he’d loved but betrayed in school.

As they clear the ghosts from the past, they dance in each other’s arms in the library to the soft strains of the waltz, but long buried secrets threaten to destroy their happiness.

Two hundred years later, can those dances long forgotten give James and Dylan the courage to hold on to love?

Excerpt

A knock on the door froze him. Who in God’s name would be wanting entry to the damned library at this hour?

Before he could respond, it opened, and Lyndon Cross stepped over the threshold and closed the door behind him.

Hugo had no idea what to say. He just stared. Mouth quite probably hanging open.

“I hope you don’t mind me following you,” Cross said. His voice should have been like a chorus of angels given the way he looked, but it was deep, quiet, and had a warm, raspy quality to it that brushed against Hugo’s skin. It always had. Even as a boy it had power, but as a man it wrapped its way all around him.

“Not at all.”

Cross walked towards him, and Hugo had to fight to remain in place and not bolt for the door.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect.”

Hugo frowned. “Beg pardon?”

“I wasn’t sure if you’d want to speak to me.”

“Ah, why wouldn’t I?” Hugo was genuinely bewildered for a moment, but then Cross raised an eyebrow; tilted his head.

No…no…no… He isn’t going to mention it…surely to God? It was something that Hugo had expunged from memory. 

“Do you remember my last day?”

Hugo nodded; eyes wide. He is. Dear, sweet God, he is going to mention it. 

Hugo felt as though someone was squeezing him all over, making it hard to think or breathe, as he recalled that last day vividly to memory.

He’d heard that Lyndon was leaving the school, from the gossip that periodically rippled through the school. It was as though someone had ripped his heart from his chest. He’d followed him through the building, completely unable to speak to him, tell him how desperate he felt. At the end, he’d hidden in the grand hall and watched Lyndon walk across it to meet his parents waiting in the carriage on the drive. No-one else was about. It was his last chance to say something, but the words stuck in his throat.

Lyndon, by some strange twist, paused by the door, looked around, and spotted him lurking by the grandfather clock. He’d hesitated, whilst Hugo’s heart hung suspended in his chest, and then he’d run to him. Run back into the hall. He’d thrown his arms around Hugo, held him tight for a moment, then kissed him on the cheek. He’d been about to run back when Hugo grabbed him. Actually grabbed him and kissed him full on the mouth. 

In his dreams, Hugo liked to think Lyndon had returned the kiss, in a closed mouthed, inexpert way, with his arms tight about him. In reality, he wasn’t too sure. Lyndon had stared for a moment, then run back to his parents. 

That had been ten years ago, and now, the first boy he’d kissed stood before him. Hugo wasn’t sure if he’d come to exact retribution and expose him. Well, if he was here to do that, he’d need to get in line.

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About The Author

My name is Ruby Moone and I love books. All kinds of books. My weakness is for romance, and that can be any kind, but I am particularly fond of historical and paranormal.

I decided to write gay romance after reading some fantastic books and falling in love with the genre, so am really thrilled to have my work published here. The day job takes up a lot of my time, but every other spare moment finds me writing or reading.

I live in the north west of England with my husband who thinks that I live in two worlds. The real world and in the world in my head…he probably has a point!

Social Media

Ruby’s Room –  https://www.facebook.com/groups/883596845175216/

Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/RubyMoone/?ref=bookmarks

Twitter – https://twitter.com/RubyMooneWriter

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

BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/profile/ruby-moone?list=about

Website – https://rubymoone.com

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Another truly charming historical from Ruby

49450248._SY475_.jpgDances Long Forgotten by Ruby Moone

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was an absolute delight. I love it when authors mix a modern day in with a historical to give me two love stories and that’s just what Ruby Moone does here.

The first snippet gives us the latest Marquess of Winsford and his second-in-command who is about to break his heart by handing in his resignation when they hear the faint sounds of a waltz while in the Library.

James tells Dylan the story of his ancestor Hugo and it is this 1814 historical romance which makes up the majority of the book.

I absolutely loved this one, it was also packed full of little surprises that I wasn’t expecting and that I’m not going to hint at, but suffice it to say, they all worked wonderfully for me.

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

View all my reviews

Release Blitz: Dances Long Forgotten by Ruby Moone

Dances Long Forgotten | Ruby Moone

RBBANNER-136.jpg

Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Universal Link

Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited

Length: 35,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Meredith Russell

Dances Cover.jpg

Blurb

On Christmas Eve, Dylan, the man of James Pell-Charnley’s dreams, is on the point of walking out. Then they hear the faint strains of a waltz in the library of the empty abbey. The music is said to be heard only by those truly in love and it gives James the courage to tell Dylan the story.

In December 1841, Lord Hugo Pell-Charnley is in a terrible mess. The youngest son of the late Marquis, youngest brother of the incumbent, never felt to fit. When his life comes crashing down, and it threatens his life and his family, he is forced to face his elder brother and confess his deepest secret. When he arrives at Winsford Abbey he finds he must also confront the shame from his past in the form of Lyndon Cross. The boy he’d loved but betrayed in school.

As they clear the ghosts from the past, they dance in each other’s arms in the library to the soft strains of the waltz, but long buried secrets threaten to destroy their happiness.

Two hundred years later, can those dances long forgotten give James and Dylan the courage to hold on to love?

Excerpt

A knock on the door froze him. Who in God’s name would be wanting entry to the damned library at this hour?

Before he could respond, it opened, and Lyndon Cross stepped over the threshold and closed the door behind him.

Hugo had no idea what to say. He just stared. Mouth quite probably hanging open.

“I hope you don’t mind me following you,” Cross said. His voice should have been like a chorus of angels given the way he looked, but it was deep, quiet, and had a warm, raspy quality to it that brushed against Hugo’s skin. It always had. Even as a boy it had power, but as a man it wrapped its way all around him.

“Not at all.”

Cross walked towards him, and Hugo had to fight to remain in place and not bolt for the door.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect.”

Hugo frowned. “Beg pardon?”

“I wasn’t sure if you’d want to speak to me.”

“Ah, why wouldn’t I?” Hugo was genuinely bewildered for a moment, but then Cross raised an eyebrow; tilted his head.

No…no…no… He isn’t going to mention it…surely to God? It was something that Hugo had expunged from memory. 

“Do you remember my last day?”

Hugo nodded; eyes wide. He is. Dear, sweet God, he is going to mention it. 

Hugo felt as though someone was squeezing him all over, making it hard to think or breathe, as he recalled that last day vividly to memory.

He’d heard that Lyndon was leaving the school, from the gossip that periodically rippled through the school. It was as though someone had ripped his heart from his chest. He’d followed him through the building, completely unable to speak to him, tell him how desperate he felt. At the end, he’d hidden in the grand hall and watched Lyndon walk across it to meet his parents waiting in the carriage on the drive. No-one else was about. It was his last chance to say something, but the words stuck in his throat.

Lyndon, by some strange twist, paused by the door, looked around, and spotted him lurking by the grandfather clock. He’d hesitated, whilst Hugo’s heart hung suspended in his chest, and then he’d run to him. Run back into the hall. He’d thrown his arms around Hugo, held him tight for a moment, then kissed him on the cheek. He’d been about to run back when Hugo grabbed him. Actually grabbed him and kissed him full on the mouth. 

In his dreams, Hugo liked to think Lyndon had returned the kiss, in a closed mouthed, inexpert way, with his arms tight about him. In reality, he wasn’t too sure. Lyndon had stared for a moment, then run back to his parents. 

That had been ten years ago, and now, the first boy he’d kissed stood before him. Hugo wasn’t sure if he’d come to exact retribution and expose him. Well, if he was here to do that, he’d need to get in line.

Signature copy.jpg

About The Author

My name is Ruby Moone and I love books. All kinds of books. My weakness is for romance, and that can be any kind, but I am particularly fond of historical and paranormal.

I decided to write gay romance after reading some fantastic books and falling in love with the genre, so am really thrilled to have my work published here. The day job takes up a lot of my time, but every other spare moment finds me writing or reading.

I live in the north west of England with my husband who thinks that I live in two worlds. The real world and in the world in my head…he probably has a point!

Social Media

Ruby’s Room –  https://www.facebook.com/groups/883596845175216/

Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/RubyMoone/?ref=bookmarks

Twitter – https://twitter.com/RubyMooneWriter

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

BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/profile/ruby-moone?list=about

Website – https://rubymoone.com

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

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Blog Tour: Ablaze by Elvira Bell

Ablaze | Elvira Bell

Wavesongs #3

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Release Date: December 8, 2019

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: approx. 94K words

Buy Links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

Add to Goodreads

Blurb

Nick Andrews has returned to the Caribbean—but the world he remembers has changed for the worse. Despite the dangers, he needs to find a way to get to Corona. All he can think of is to reunite there with the love of his life.

Meanwhile, Tom is watching his every move. Tom, who has turned cold and demanding, and is desperate for Nick to love him.

One night things get out of hand, and something happens between them. Something unforgivable.

Content note: This book contains non-gratuitous depictions of torture, slavery, and sexual abuse.

Please note that the books in the Wavesongs series should be read in chronological order!

Excerpt

Tom is sullen and quiet as he gets ready for bed. His chamber is at the corner of the house, three times as spacious as Nick’s room next door, and far away from O’Connell, whose quarters are next to the kitchen and dining hall. There’s fresh water by the washstand, clean bed linens, and a mirror on the wall—but Tom complains about the mosquitoes, the humidity, and the house’s size.

“Just one floor, like a house for poor people… and nothing is beautiful here, nothing! How am I supposed to live like this?” He lies down in bed, curling up before giving Nick a hard look. “But you think it’s all fine, don’t you?”

“No.” From what he’s seen so far, Harrow Hall is not a good place. That whip in Buckley’s hand… “Why would I think that?”

Tom turns over. “Oh, I don’t know. I’m tired. Please, leave me alone now.”

Nick goes into his own chamber. His body is sore, exhausted, but once he’s in bed he finds it hard to sleep. From the other part of the house comes the sound of voices, laughter. O’Connell and his men sampling their own rum, probably.

There is nothing to like about this place, but Nick won’t stay long. He’ll take the first opportunity to leave.

An Interview With Elvira Bell

When did you write your first story and what was the inspiration for it?
The first story I wrote that was more than a few pages long was about a farmer’s wife in the middle of the 19th century. I was always a history nerd and had a lot of inspiration for my earliest stories from books about the immigration from Sweden to the United States.

Do you have a writing schedule or do you just write when you can find the time?
I try to write every day, but it depends on what I’m working on and what is going on in my life otherwise. When I write the first draft of a novel, I tend to work very hard and finish in a short amount of time, rather than write some words here and there.

Briefly describe the writing process. Do you create an outline first? Do you seek out inspirational pictures, videos or music? Do you just let the words flow and then go back and try and make some sense out it?
I tend to do a pretty extensive outline, unless I’m working on a short story or something that doesn’t have a very complicated plot. I often have to do several outlines, each one more detailed than the last, until I’m at a point where I feel ready to start writing. If I’m working on a novel, I also fill in character sheets for all the characters before I get to writing.

Where did the desire to write LGBT romance come from?
I discovered LGBT romance mainly through the British show Queer as Folk, which I started watching when I was 13. My writing was affected gradually—I hinted at minor characters being bisexual or gay in my otherwise straight romantic stories, and then when I was 14-15 I found fan fiction and started writing male/male romance.

How much research do you do when writing a story and what are the best sources you’ve found for giving an authentic voice to your characters?
It depends a lot on the story, but I usually do a lot of research since I mainly write historical novels. It’s not my favorite part of writing, since I’m always eager to get on with the story, but it’s fun and always makes me learn a lot.

What’s harder, naming your characters, creating the title for your book or the cover design process?
I think creating book titles is certainly the most difficult part. I love naming characters, and I can take forever to come up with the perfect name, and the cover design process hasn’t been very hard at all for me since I’ve worked with such skilled and professional people. But book titles… It really isn’t easy.

“How do you answer the question “Oh, you’re an author…what do you write?”
That really depends on who’s asking! I don’t like to talk a lot about my writing with co-workers, for example, but it’s different when it’s someone who’s familiar with the genre or who’s into nerdy things in general. I can be more honest then.

What does your family think of your writing?
They are proud and supportive.

Tell us about your current work in process and what you’ve got planned for the future.
My current WIP is a fantasy story. In the future, I’d love to write about Vikings!

Do you have any advice for all the aspiring writers out there?
All writers give the same advice, don’t they, but that’s because it’s true—READ. Read a lot, write a lot. Find out who your favorite authors are, and why, and what you can learn from them. Find your own style.

If you could travel forward or backward in time, where would you go and why?
I’d go back in time and see the seven wonders of the Ancient World. ❤

We’ve all got a little voyeurism in us right? If you could be a fly on the wall during an intimate encounter between two characters, not your own, who would they be?
Aragorn and Legolas? Because some pairings are too good to ever get old (and not only because one of them is an elf).

If I were snooping around your kitchen and looked in your refrigerator right now, what would I find?
Olives, pickles, peanut butter… anything in a jar, really.

If you could trade places with one of your characters, who would it be and why?
Since I’m the kind of person who can’t stand traveling (and isn’t fond of tropical heat or insects), I guess I’d just trade with one of the villagers Nick left behind when he went to sea. A calm and simple life!

If you could sequester yourself for a week somewhere and just focus on your writing, where would you go and what would the environment be like?
Well, since I don’t enjoy traveling I wouldn’t go far—only to some quiet little cottage in the countryside, with the woods nearby.

What’s the one thing, you can’t live without?
Loved ones aside, I really couldn’t live without books.

What internet site do you surf to the most?
Tumblr or various news sites.

When you got your very first manuscript acceptance letter, what was your initial reaction and who was the first person you told?
I was very shocked, very excited, and rushed through the apartment at once to tell my boyfriend.

About the Author

Elvira Bell lives in Sweden and spends most of her time writing, reading or watching movies.

Her weaknesses include, but are not limited to: vintage jazz, musicals, kittens, oversized tea cups, men in suits, the 18th century, and anything sparkly.

Elvira writes MM fiction with a touch of romance and has a penchant for historical settings. She adores all things gothic and will put her characters through hell from time to time because she just loves watching them suffer.

It makes the happy endings so much sweeter, after all.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Tour Schedule

12/11 Love Bytes

12/12 Mirrigold Mutterings and Musings

12/13 MM Good Book Reviews

12/14 I Love Books and Stuff Blog

12/15 Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author

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New Release Blitz: Ablaze by Elvira Bell

Ablaze | Elvira Bell

Wavesongs #3

Release Date: December 8, 2019

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: approx. 94K words

Buy Links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

Add to Goodreads

Blurb

The final book in the Wavesongs series!

Nick Andrews has returned to the Caribbean—but the world he remembers has changed for the worse. Despite the dangers, he needs to find a way to get to Corona. All he can think of is to reunite there with the love of his life.

Meanwhile, Tom is watching his every move. Tom, who has turned cold and demanding, and is desperate for Nick to love him.

One night things get out of hand, and something happens between them. Something unforgivable.

Content note: This book contains non-gratuitous depictions of torture, slavery, and sexual abuse.

Please note that the books in the Wavesongs series should be read in chronological order!

Excerpt

Tom is sullen and quiet as he gets ready for bed. His chamber is at the corner of the house, three times as spacious as Nick’s room next door, and far away from O’Connell, whose quarters are next to the kitchen and dining hall. There’s fresh water by the washstand, clean bed linens, and a mirror on the wall—but Tom complains about the mosquitoes, the humidity, and the house’s size.

“Just one floor, like a house for poor people… and nothing is beautiful here, nothing! How am I supposed to live like this?” He lies down in bed, curling up before giving Nick a hard look. “But you think it’s all fine, don’t you?”

“No.” From what he’s seen so far, Harrow Hall is not a good place. That whip in Buckley’s hand… “Why would I think that?”

Tom turns over. “Oh, I don’t know. I’m tired. Please, leave me alone now.”

Nick goes into his own chamber. His body is sore, exhausted, but once he’s in bed he finds it hard to sleep. From the other part of the house comes the sound of voices, laughter. O’Connell and his men sampling their own rum, probably.

There is nothing to like about this place, but Nick won’t stay long. He’ll take the first opportunity to leave.

About The Author

Elvira Bell lives in Sweden and spends most of her time writing, reading or watching movies. Her weaknesses include, but are not limited to: vintage jazz, musicals, kittens, oversized tea cups, men in suits, the 18th century, and anything sparkly.

Elvira writes MM fiction with a touch of romance and has a penchant for historical settings.

She adores all things gothic and will put her characters through hell from time to time because she just loves watching them suffer. It makes the happy endings so much sweeter, after all.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Release Blitz: Mercutio by J.I. Davenport

Mercutio | J.I. Davenport

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Release date: November 25, 2019

Buy link:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B081RHP1DJ

Add to Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48890738-mercuti

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Blurb

Return to the sensuous world of Romeo and Juliet to discover the story of Mercutio, Verona’s most flamboyant citizen!

​Prancing on the sidelines of the bitter feud between the House of Montecchi and Capuleti, Mercutio harbours his own secret conflict: he is hopelessly in love with his best friend, Romeo Montecchi. When he spies true love blossoming between Romeo and a young Capuleti girl one fateful summer’s eve, Mercutio fears he has finally lost the man he loves, forever.

​Turning to drink, drugs and ever wilder escapades in an effort to ease his aching heart, Mercutio starts to come off the rails, hurtling towards his own spectacular fate …

Excerpt

It was always difficult to ignore the moment Mercutio entered a room. The people of Verona had mostly given up trying. Best let him have his moment, or he may never quieten down!

‘Buona sera, one and all!’ he cried, bursting into the ballroom in a flourish of canary-yellow silk. A sea of faces turned his way, and he greeted them with a frivolous bow.

No one could deny that he at least gave them something to look at. His doublet was undeniably as bright and gay as a canary, heavily brocaded with leaves and flowers in white and gold thread. His fancy sleeves were puffed at the shoulders and slashed to reveal naughty glimpses of violet satin. Tight, particoloured hose flaunted his legs to their utmost shapeliness. His head was topped with a cap of outrageous purple velvet, matching the vibrant gloves adorning his hands.

Velvet gloves in summer? Only Mercutio!

Yes, indeed, he was fair, and it went beyond his sun-blond hair. There was a natural symmetry to his face and body that was nothing short of statuesque. The length of his neck, the width of his shoulders, the curve of his jaw — even the shape of his ears — all were as exquisitely formed as if sculpted by an artist. Yet, it was simply the way he was born. His eyes mirrored the sky: azure by day, sapphire by night. While his lips were not the fullest, they were of the finest shape and definition thanks to their deep crimson colour. He would never deny that Romeo had always been the one with the lips.

Whether Mercutio was vain or not was a difficult question to answer. You had to understand him. He often complained, himself, of the young men he saw preening about the city, obsessed with image and etiquette. He certainly did not count himself amongst that pride of peacocks. He was too much the rule breaker and rebel at heart, delighting in the controversy and outrage he excited as much as the envy and admiration. He was beautiful and fashionable and a living satire of men’s vanity. While others might boast of the height of their brows or the shapeliness of their calves, Mercutio was more likely to pull down his hose and extol the peachiness of his buttocks. In fact, the habit had earned him the epithet il Callipigio, which alluded to sculptures of the goddess Aphrodite that had been worshipped by the ancients for their “lovely buttocks”.

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About the Author

J.I. Davenport has a B.A. in English literature and creative writing from the University of Greenwich. He lives in London with his family and a tomcat named after Cesare Borgia, who he is forever trying to persuade not to invade Naples!

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