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Release Blitz: Cosy & Chill by Jackie Keswick

Cosy & Chill | Jackie Keswick

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Cover Artist: Covers by Jo

Release Date: November 10th, 2021

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: approx. 62,000 words

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Blurb

What does it take to change your life?

Not “manly” enough for his father, quiet, industrious Finn dreams of his own knitting store. He needs Leo’s enthusiasm to take the steps that make his dream come true.

Cheerful, adventurous Leo puts on a good front selling artisan ice cream at the market, but shies away from fulfilling his grandmother’s last wish. He needs Finn’s love and support to tackle his past and put it to rest for good.

Add a Saxon treasure, a fae stranded in the human world, and an empty store with very unusual rental terms and falling in love is not the only challenge Finn and Leo have to face.

But there’s magic in dreams, and all they have to do is hold on tight.

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Excerpt

Finn’s boots squelched with every step. When he kicked them off on his parents’ doorstep, water seeped from his wet socks. “I hate November,” he grumbled while he hunted for his keys. “And weather forecasters.”

They hadn’t predicted this morning’s downpour, and Finn minded that. He might have taken an umbrella had he known. Or a boat.

He’d gone to the post office to drop off his latest batch of parcels, detouring on to the far end of the High Street to look at an empty store on the way back. Double-fronted with a bow window, it was perfect for the shop he dreamed of. He’d lingered in front of the dusty windows, imagining them sparkling clean, and the shelves in the room beyond filled to bursting—until the rain had prompted him to leave.

The shop was all he could think of and if wishes were coins, he’d have rented it already. As matters stood, he hadn’t even enquired.

Finn pushed open the door, and a ball of russet yarn with two needles sticking through it hit him right in the face.

“How many times have I told you not to leave your prissy stuff lying around the house?” His father bellowed at full volume from three feet away.

Finn wanted to point out that his ears worked fine, thank you very much, but knew that it would only make matters worse. He picked up the yarn, grateful that neither needle had poked his eye out, and that his father’s rough treatment hadn’t dropped any stitches.

“Sorry, Dad,” he muttered, meaning it. He’d been working on a commission when he realised that he’d miss the parcel collection if he didn’t hurry. In his rush to the door, he’d brought the half-finished glove in his wake. He should have taken it back to his room and run if he’d needed to, but that was water under the bridge.

He hung up his jacket in the hallway, then stripped off his sodden socks and his T-shirt so he could dry his feet before leaving wet footprints everywhere. He wiped up the water on the wooden floor for good measure before he made his way up the stairs.

If his father was yelling when it was barely five o’clock, then the rest of the evening wouldn’t be peaceful. No doubt he’d already opened the bottle of Scotch he’d bought yesterday.

Finn couldn’t cope with much more of this. Christmas was two months away. His list of orders was as long as his arm and turning away new business was not an option. He needed to work, not sit in his room, keeping half an ear out for trouble.

The familiar, colourful clutter in his room soothed his mind. The space wasn’t large, just roomy enough for a bed, a wardrobe, and his desk. Every free corner held boxes and baskets filled with yarn, and he hunted for a piece he could create in a few hours. Hats were good for that. He could knock those out in no time flat.

His order book showed two requests for hats, and both were his favourites: custom orders.

He opened the first file to the smiling face of a young woman with green eyes, red hair a few shades darker than his own bright copper, and a spray of freckles across her nose. She’d requested a hat in a flattering style, but had specified nothing else. Moss green, his mind supplied immediately. Mohair. A close-fitting hat with a swirl pattern.

Suddenly excited, he went rummaging under his desk for a skein of moss-green yarn that showed tiny speckles of deep red here and there. He stuffed the yarn into his messenger bag along with his needle case, a measuring tape and the customer’s measurements. Then he changed into dry clothes and checked the weather. The rain had let up a bit, and Finn hoped he could make it to the pub without getting soaked again.

His father was swearing at something on the telly, as had become his habit. Finn tiptoed out and breathed a sigh of relief when he stood in the rain. Everything set off his father’s temper these days. Especially Finn.

He really should move out. He would move out. As soon as he’d saved enough to afford the rent on a small shop with a room where he could sleep. Maybe then, his father wouldn’t be so angry all the time and his mother would smile again.

Three hours later, the moss-green hat was nearing completion. Warm through after a dinner of steak pie and chips, and nursing a second beer, Finn felt almost happy. He was a familiar sight in the Crown & Anchor, tucked into a corner with his yarns and needles. It was a place where he could work without fear of interruption, and he’d been coming here ever since his father had lost his job and started drinking.

Food and peace weren’t the only things to recommend the pub. It was a great place to pick up commissions. People always looked for unusual, one-of-a-kind gifts, and he’d made christening gowns, blankets, baby clothes, scarves, hats, gloves, even Christmas ornaments.

The crowd was friendly and Annabelle, who held the pub’s license and worked at the bar that night, was more supportive than his parents had ever been. He’d made her a long cardigan, wine-red yak with a touch of silk, and she was perfectly happy for him to sit in his corner and knit. She even recommended him to friends and customers.

He hadn’t shared his dreams of owning a yarn shop with anyone, but maybe it was time to change that. He was working up his courage to ask her about business loans and setup grants, but he’d wait until she’d finished speaking to the guy leaning on the bar.

He had broad shoulders that tapered to slim hips, a trim backside, and long legs. A fisherman’s rib jumper, Finn’s mind suggested. Navy blue Aaran. Or tweed, indigo with gold speckles. With a high collar to show off that long neck and let the slightly too long blond hair pool like gold against the blue.

You’re staring. Stop it.

That was easier said than done until Finn thought to wonder why the guy had four little Tupperware dishes open on the bar between himself and Annabelle.

He was explaining something to her, talking not just with his hands but with his whole body. There was passion in that lithe form, something bright and shining that held Finn’s interest until he realised he hadn’t stopped staring at all.

He dropped his gaze to his newly finished hat and tried to focus on the pattern, the run of the yarn. It would suit the lady who’d sent the photo. It would frame her delicate face, set off the striking hair, and bring out the green of her eyes. He knew the hat would find favour with her, but—for once—knitting couldn’t hold his mind.

The blond man at the bar drew his mind and his eyes, and Finn caught the moment when all that passion fell to ashes. The man’s shoulders slumped and one of his hands dropped to his side.

Annabelle watched him with an apologetic smile as he returned his dishes to his bag. She pulled a beer for him and handed it across the bar.

For a heartbeat, he appeared as if he was going to refuse. Then he dipped his head in thanks and reached for the glass. He slung the strap of his bag over his shoulder and turned away from the bar.

In a move that surprised him by its daring, Finn caught the man’s gaze, flicked his own to the empty seat at this table. He’d never been so brazen before, but something in the man’s wary determination spoke to him. He wasn’t sure what the blond man saw, but he came over and set his beer on the table.

“May I?”

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About the Author

Jackie Keswick was born behind the Iron Curtain with itchy feet, a bent for rocks and a recurring dream of stepping off a bus in the middle of nowhere to go home. She’s worked in a hospital and as the only girl with 52 men on an oil rig, spent a winter in Moscow and a summer in Iceland and finally settled in the country of her dreams with her dream team: a husband, a cat, a tandem, a hammer and a laptop.

Jackie loves unexpected reunions and second chances, and men who write their own rules. She blogs about English history and food, has a thing for green eyes, and is a great believer in making up soundtracks for everything, including her characters and the cat.

And she still hasn’t found the place where the bus stops.

For questions and comments, not restricted to green eyes, bus stops or recipes for traditional English food, you can find Jackie Keswick in all the usual places

Blog/Website | Facebook group | Facebook page | Twitter  | Instagram | Newsletter Sign-up | TikTok | Patreon

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Release Blitz: Show Me by Neve Wilder

Show Me | Neve Wilder

Extracurricular Activities #3

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Release Date: March 23rd, 2021

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Blurb

Two roommates. One camera. A whole lot of action. 

I get crushes the way some people get seasonal allergies.

And sharing a house with four hot roommates is like being stuck in permanent spring.

Too bad I keep getting friend-zoned.

But it’s senior year now, and I’m done pining for the impossible.

Time to live it up and go out with a bang.

Or a lot of bangs.

And I’m definitely, definitely not getting attached to anyone.

Especially not my straight, gym-loving, football-player roommate Sam whose impressively large… smile I caught a glimpse of once.

Or several times.

That’s why, when Sam asks me for help with a very special, very NSFW project so he can make a little cash, of course I agree. In the name of friendship.

And if it turns out that Sam’s more than just muscles—that he’s sweet, and smart, and a little bit filthy, and a whole lot less straight than I thought—well, that’s neither here nor there, because this time I’m gonna be smart. This time, I’m friend-zoning myself.

We’ve got a list of deliciously hot scenarios, a camera, and Sam’s huge… smile. What could possibly go wrong?

From the author of Want Me comes the third new adult college romance in the Extracurricular Activities series. Expect low angst, high heat, plenty of laughs, a flustered redhead, a gentle giant of a football player, and enough BDE to power a mid-size city.

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Excerpt

Mark glanced over his shoulder and waved to the approaching Adonis before turning back to me. “I worked with John this summer. Want me to introduce you? He’s awesome.”

“Fuck yes,” I hissed in a tone that I hoped was not too desperate. Nate’s amused glance suggested it was. Easy for him to be smug, though, with his own personal sexual Svengali sitting at his side.

Mark made introductions, and John took the seat next to me when Mark got up. Turned out he was a third-year law student, which ticked one more of my boxes. He wasn’t too big, wasn’t too small. Wasn’t too arrogant or shy either, and he had a nice, easy laugh.

“So you’re a third-year, huh?” I said. “Do you think you’ll join the law firm where you and Mark are interning… What’s it called?”

“Preston, Beasley, and Waring.” John smiled. “I hope so. That’s the plan.”

Sam snapped his fingers suddenly and pointed at John, startling me. “I just figured out who you are!” He said it like he was about to pull John’s face off, Scooby-Doo-style, and reveal him to be the crooked innkeeper haunting the overdecorated estate. “You’re a Sigma Alpha. Class of…” Sam squinted. “2014. No…2012.”

“I am, indeed.” John grinned. “Good call.”

They proceeded to exchange their stupid frat handshake.

“I’ve been playing a lot of pool recently. I thought your face was familiar,” Sam said.

“Ahh yeah. I spent many hours in that library. So they’ve still got all the class portraits on the wall?”

“Yep. You need to come by again soon.”

“I should. It’s been a while.”

They toasted each other, instant chums, and a prickle of jealousy ran through me. I supposed that was one benefit of being a frat rat.

“Have you ever really looked at the portrait of class of ’68?” John’s brow lifted in a mischievous arch, one that was supposed to result from me saying something witty.

Sam busted up laughing. “Yes! Every single one of them have the same exact mustache. It’s hilarious.”

I folded my arms over my chest and stared meaningfully at Sam. Wingman, my ass. “Should we switch seats so it’ll be easier for you two to talk?”

“Nah.” Sam grinned cheerily at me. “We’re good.” He turned his attention back to John. “So…wait, were you also the class that nailed all of the chapter room chairs to the ceiling?”

This was fine. I totally enjoyed being a net over which conversation was volleyed back and forth.

John grinned. “Guilty.”

“Oh man, that was awesome.”

They droned on while I moved on to a mojito, and finally Sam wandered off and it was just me and John again.

Go time. I fixed him with my most winsome smile. “So I imagine you must spend a lot of time at the firm, then. Mark makes it sound pretty cutthroat.” I tilted my head to show I was invested in his response and angled slightly toward him to demonstrate I was interested in him as a person. People skills. I had them.

“It’s competitive, yeah, but not all the bad. There are plenty of late nights, though, and more ahead.” John then launched into a good three-minute soliloquy about the cases he was working on and some of the complexities of employment law until my eyes started glazing over.

That was okay, though. I wasn’t trying to marry him or anything, just see what he had on under those khakis. Probably boxer briefs, if I had to guess. Probably a decently sized cock that he used decently in bed. Both were totally acceptable for a night or two of fun.

“Hopefully some of those are the fun kind of late nights?” I gave him a slow once-over, and the corner of his mouth quirked. “Do you have anyone who brings you dinner up there?” The twinkle in his eyes suggested he enjoyed my lack of subtlety. Hook, line, and sinker. Now I just had to get him in my metaphorical bucket. Or, more likely, his literal car, since I hadn’t driven. Hopefully he had. Otherwise maybe there was somewhere on the premises we could—

“Jesse’s a great cook. Er, chef.” I gave Sam a flat stare that he failed to properly interpret. He cocked his head, wrinkling his nose in thought. “Chef? Or cook? Whatever. His food’s good.” He handed John another beer and then passed me something peach colored.

“What’s this?”

“Bellini. Isn’t that what you were drinking? It looked similar.”

That hadn’t been the question I was actually asking, but in my confusion over being brought a drink in the first place, I answered, “It was a peach mojito.”

“Oh, well, hang on.” He snatched the Bellini back.

“Wait—” I blurted, but he’d already set off toward the bar again.

John and I watched as he navigated the crowd.

“He seems nice. Roommate, yeah?” John asked, and I could tell by the way he was studying Sam’s ass exactly what calculations were taking place.

I settled back in my chair and laced my fingers over my belt. Fuck me, it was hard being a nice guy sometimes. Too hard. I opened my mouth to pick up our earlier conversation, but my brain-mouth connection malfunctioned. “If you dare him to suck your dick, he’ll probably do it, because he’s pretty competitive. But he’s otherwise straight. On the other hand, I don’t require dares. I’ll suck a dick because I enjoy it. And Sam’s correct. I’m a really good cook. I’m even better at sucking cock.”

John choked on a mouthful of beer. “Was not expecting that. Alrighty, then.”

I handed him a napkin. “You learn all sorts of fascinating things living in a house with four other guys,” I offered chastely.

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About The Author

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Neve Wilder lives in the southern United States, where the summers are hot and the winters are…sometimes cold.

She reads promiscuously, across multiple genres, but her favorite stories always contain an element of romance. Incidentally, this is also what she likes to write. Slow-burners with delicious tension? Yes. Whiplash-inducing page-turners, also yes. And every flavor in between.

She believes that love conquers all. Except the heat index in July. Nothing can conquer that bastard.

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Website: https://www.nevewilder.com/

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Best one yet – oozing with sexual chemistry and loads of emotion

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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Best one yet!

That was an absolutely stunning example of a sexual awakening romance with all the steam and all the feels Neve is so skilled at.

I absolutely adored Jesse and Sam and loved everything about way this narrative unfolded.

It begins with an accidental moment that sets off a chain of events which I could totally buy into.

Jesse’s attraction to Sam is built as much out of him being a nice guy as it his epic football player physique and Sam’s not missed how much he enjoys spending time with his housemate either.

The things they get up to are insanely hot, but the feels are all there, “hiding in plain sight” from the off too.

There’s very little drama, the only real tension point doesn’t even come from either of them and I seriously appreciated the lack of Sam angsting over his attraction to Jesse.

What starts out as a means to help Sam gain some savings with his NSFW project quickly turns into so much more.

The Epilogue is utterly delightful and explosively steamy.

I could have read another 80,000 words of these two exploring different ways to get off while full on loving each other with all the swoony boyfriend feels you’d ever want 😁

There are also guest appearances from all the previous characters, snarky jokes and sharp dialogue and Ansel still being as utterly mysterious as in the first two books.

Maybe his story after Cam gets a happy ending please Neve?!

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

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