Tag Archives: Humour

Release Blitz: Throwing Hearts by N.R. Walker

Throwing Hearts | N.R. Walker

Release Date:  March 15th, 2020

Length: 55,000-words

Universal Buy Link:

http://mybook.to/ThrowingHearts

Throwing Hearts 1200

Blurb

A fun and sexy romance where the kiln isn’t the only thing that’s scorching hot.

Leo Secombe loves his life, and he’s convinced himself he’s happy to be single. In his spare time, he keeps himself busy at a local LGBTQ centre that pairs a younger person with a community elder to help them feel included in today’s rainbow family. Leo and Clyde have been buddies for a few years now, and signing up for a pottery class seems like fun.

Merrick Bowman has been so focused on getting his pottery business up and running that he’s forgotten how to date. How to live, even. But when a young, bubbly Leo and an older, grumpy Clyde walk through his door, Merrick has no idea how much Leo is about to centre his world.

Throwing clay has been Merrick’s entire life, but Leo’s about to change all that. Maybe Merrick’s ready to throw caution to the wind. And maybe he’s ready to finally throw his heart on the line.

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Excerpt

I was still smiling when I got into Merrick’s car. He’d pulled into the street as I got to the footpath, so I climbed straight in. “Hey,” I said, trying not to notice how particularly gorgeous he looked tonight. He wore a navy button-down shirt and faded jeans, his short hair was glossy black, his smile, and his smell . . .

Jesus. I was ready to forego dinner and just get straight to the dicking.

“Hey,” he replied huskily. He looked at me like he might want to devour me. “You look so good.”

Yep. Straight to the dicking. Please, and right now, thanks.

He let out a laugh as though he was nervous. “I told myself to try and play it cool. That didn’t last very long.”

“God, same.”

He laughed again, but then his gaze darted to the rear-vision mirror. “Oh shit.” There was a car behind us so he kept driving, and that was a good distraction. “How was work?”

“So busy. Actually, it was crazy-busy, but that was possibly a good thing because I was too busy to overthink everything and have a nervous breakdown before you picked me up. How about you?”

He grinned at me. “About the same.”

The electricity between us was insane. I was surprised there weren’t actual physical sparks. My heart was doing some squeezy-hammering thing; I couldn’t seem to breathe properly, my skin was warm all over, and all I wanted to do was laugh. “Ooooh boy,” I said, trying to catch my breath, grinning like an idiot. “So where are we going for dinner?”

“It’s an Asian-fusion noodle bar,” he answered. “They have everything. You hungry?”

“I am, actually. I didn’t really get a lunch break.”

“Well, the food at this place is amazing.” He looked down at my shirt again before meeting my eyes. “I really like that shirt.”

I almost said where I would like to see it end up but decided against it. “Uh, thanks.”

He shot me an odd look. “What’s so funny?”

“Nothing.” I was still grinning, and I figured what the hell. “I was just thinking . . . if you really like my shirt, I’ll be only too happy to leave it on your bedroom floor tonight.”

He burst out laughing, surprised but amused. “Is that so?”

“Yeah, sorry. Corny pickup lines are terrible.”

“Not completely terrible. I liked where that one was going.”

He pulled the car into a parking spot and I realised then where we were. We were at his studio, or more significantly, at his house. “Oh. Was the offer of my shirt on your bedroom floor better than dinner? Because seriously, I won’t mind.”

He laughed again and got out of the car. “I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t.” He nodded up the street. “But the restaurant is within walking distance.”

We got out of the car, and I kind of felt bad that he had come to pick me up only to drive straight back to his house. “I could have driven to your place,” I said.

He put his hands to his heart. “But it’s a date. My dad always said I had to date properly. Pick them up, drop them home. Be a gentleman, that kind of thing.”

“Pretty sure your dad was just looking after your virtue. By picking your date up and then dropping them home, you’d be minimising the time spent at your place.”

Merrick laughed. “Maybe.”

I looked at the studio, at the darkened windows, at the privacy. And my empty stomach was forgotten, because inside that ceramics studio—or rather, in the loft above it—was privacy for kissing, touching, tasting . . .

I pointed my thumb towards the front door with the closed sign. “If you’d like to take me upstairs right now, I could help you find that virtue . . .”

Merrick barked at a laugh and grabbed my hand. “Dinner first. Conversations and questions. Then we can worry about virtues.”

As we walked up the street, Merrick kept a hold of my hand. I threaded our fingers properly, and the adrenaline and the nerves, the anticipation, and the sexual tension manifested as a shit-eating grin.

The restaurant was only a block away, but there wasn’t just one place to eat. There were heaps on both sides of the street. I could see lots of people, smiling and eating, seated at tables inside each one. “Man, I wish Kell and I had a dozen different restaurants a block away.”

“Perks of living in a semi-commercial zoned part of the city,” Merrick said as he held the door open for me. “Means I don’t have to cook very often.”

It was busy inside, but thankfully Merrick had made a reservation. We were shown to our table by a woman who knew Merrick by name, and we each ordered a Coke. “You do come here often.”

He nodded. “The japchae is to die for. And the shoyu ramen is better than my grandmother’s, but if anyone else asks, I’ll deny I ever said that.”

I chuckled and sipped my drink. As much as I had wanted Merrick to take me upstairs at his studio, I was really glad he had opted for dinner first. He was right; there would be time for that later. Getting to know each other and being certain that this thing between us was right was too important to ignore.

“So,” I began, “you wanted conversations and questions . . .  What did you want to ask?”

“Everything,” he replied simply. “I want to know everything.”

God, that could be dangerous. “Such as?”

“Favourite colour?”

I snorted, because that was not what I expect him to ask. “Um, it depends. Are we talking about Skittles? Or having to choose one colour to wear for the rest of your life? Because they have vastly different selection criteria.”

My answer clearly surprised him. He almost choked on his drink. “Okay, sorry. I should have been more specific. Favourite colour Skittle?”

“The purple ones, of course.”

“Of course.”

“Yours?”

“Orange.”

“Least favourite?”

“Yellow.”

“No one eats the yellow Skittles.”

He grinned. “Favourite colour M&M’s?”

“The normal ones or the peanut ones?”

“Both. Either.”

“I prefer the peanut ones, not gonna lie. Blue ones are my favourite. Yours?”

“I like the normal M&M’s better, and I eat the brown ones first. The red ones die last, and all other colours are indiscriminately picked off at random.”

“Ooh, organised chaos. I like that.”

Merrick laughed again. “And if you had to choose a colour to wear every day for the rest of your life?”

“Probably blue. It’s more adaptable for more situations. I love splashes of pink, but wearing it head to toe every day of forever would be a bit overwhelming.”

“Agreed. Very Umbridge.”

Now it was me who laughed. “God, I didn’t even think of that. She was so evil.”

The waitress came back and took our order, but because we hadn’t even looked at the menu, Merrick ordered for the both of us. I figured it’d be interesting to see what he chose, what he thought I’d like.

“Okay, my turn to ask a question. Dating history. And go . . .”

He made a face. “Wow, okay. You just jump right in.”

“Well, we have discussed Skittles and M&M’s, so there’s nowhere left to go, really.”

About The Author

NR Walker Logo

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…

Social Media

WebsiteFacebook | Facebook Author Page

Twitter Instagram

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Email: nrwalker@nrwalker.net

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Release Blitz: Up Close And Personal by Jay Hogan

Up Close And Personal by Jay Hogan

Auckland Med #3

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Publisher: Southern Lights Publishing

Amazon Universal:

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52097066-up-close-and-personal

LIght Cover

Blurb

Detective Mark Knight has a serious problem—one that comes in the form of Auckland Med’s brand-new forensic pathologist. Six feet of delicious blond-haired, scary smart, stern and disapproving hotness – Dr Edward R Newton.

The man is miles out of Mark’s league; completely opposite in almost every way, and shockingly immune to Mark’s flirtations. Mark should just let him go. But the alluring doctor has taken residence in Mark’s brain and is messing with his life’s plan—in particular Mark’s determination to skirt attachments and all the self-absorbed drama that goes with them.

Mark has spent two years watching his friends drop like flies to the white picket virus, only to suddenly find himself hankering for a hammer and some white paint. Edward, however, doesn’t want a bar of Mark’s roguish charm.

But it’s not like Mark can avoid the sexy pathologist—death brings them together on a regular basis. So when a string of murders threatens both their lives and sends them into hiding, something has to give.

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Excerpt

Liam laughed. “So, tell me again why we didn’t come in the brand spanking new entrance?”

Mark ignored him, eyes flat as a lake.

Liam smiled sweetly. “Oh, that’s right. You wanted to grab a coffee for our new pathologist. Don’t remember you ever getting one for Tom Spencer…let me see…” He looked thoughtful. “Nope, never.”

“Tom Spencer was seven-hundred-years-old,” Mark fired back. “Besides, the coffee was for us, the doc was a mere afterthought.”

Liam gave him the side-eye. “Of course he was.”

“And parking’s easier up the top. It’s still raining, in case you hadn’t noticed.”

“Would you like a bigger spade for that hole you’re digging?”

No. Mark was doing just fine with the one he had, thank you very much.

“Have to say I wouldn’t have pegged the man as your style. Just saying.”

They pressed themselves to the wall as a pair of orderlies pushed a steel body box past and Mark took the moment to study his partner. “We’ve been partners what, eight months?”

Liam nodded warily. “Seven months three weeks, to be precise.”

“Right. And I think we’ve talked about my sex life all of…hmm let me see…never in all that time. So, forgive me, but I wouldn’t have thought you’d have any idea, let alone an opinion, on my style, detective. So please, do enlighten me.”

Liam’s neck abruptly reddened. “Well, I haven’t, not really. But I’m not immune to the grapevine gossip either. And if you go through young gay dudes at the rate they say you do you call them twinks, right?” Liam’s eyes glittered with mischief. “Well, I just wanted to say that I’m seriously impressed. I honestly don’t know how you find the energy. By the time I get home and get the kids to bed, I can barely lift my toothbrush let alone any parts south of that. But on that note and in answer to your question, I just meant the doc is hardly in the same category as your usual pickings.”

No. No he wasn’t. And that was Mark’s problem in a nutshell. He let Liam chatter away about the sad state of his own married sex life with two kids under three, while Mark pondered the implications of Liam’s belief about Mark’s. It wasn’t like the office chatter about Mark was new, or even inaccurate. That people thought he was a flirt and a lightweight had never bothered him before. So, why then did it all of a sudden sting, just a little bit? It was a question he suspected he knew the answer to if only he was brave enough to stop running long enough to consider it, which he wasn’t.

“I wouldn’t believe everything you hear,” he interrupted Liam’s inventory of sleep deprivation and its effects on the male refractory rate. “And why the hell are we even having this conversation?”

“Because I’m your partner?” Liam returned Mark’s playful punch.

“Hmmph. You never shown any interest before.”

Liam shrugged. “Maybe I should have. Besides, you know in intimate detail all the highs and lows of my own child rearing disasters, and the effects of new born baby cock-blocking syndrome.”

JayHoganAuthor

About The Author

I am a New Zealand author writing in MM romance, and romantic suspense. I have traveled extensively and lived in the US, Canada, France, Australia and South Korea. In a past life I have been an Intensive Care Nurse, Counselor, and a Nursing Lecturer.

I’m a cat aficionado especially of Maine Coons, and an avid dog lover (but don’t tell the cat). I love to cook, pretty damn good, love to sing, pretty damn average, and as for loving full-time writing, absolutely… depending of course on the day, the word count, the deadline, how obliging my characters are, the ambient temperature in the Western Sahara, whether Jupiter is rising, the size of the ozone hole over New Zealand and how much coffee I’ve had.

Welcome to my world.

Social Media

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJayHogan/

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/hoganshangout/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jay-hogan

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jayhoganauthor

Website: https://www.jayhoganauthor.com/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B079CRL7RW

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17632551.Jay_Hogan

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Series Refresh: Shatterproof Bond by Isobel Starling

Shatterproof Bond | Isobel Starling

Publisher: Decent Fellows Press

Release date: Already released in print, ebook, and audiobook

Length (Print & Ebook/Audio):

Book 1: As You Wish, 45k words | 4 hours audio

Book 2: Illuminate the Shadows 55k words | 5 hours audio

Book 3: Return to Zero 70k words | 7 hours audio

Book 4: Counterblow 48k words | 4.5 hours audio

Book 5: Powder Burns 103k words | 10 hours audio

Buy Links:

As You Wish: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B012T8J92U

Illuminate the Shadows: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01ELOXC

Return to Zero: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01FHYJWTS

Counterblow: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072LP9Y9N

Powder Burns https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07XP9PMR7

Blurbs

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As You Wish

WINNER OF THE 2018 AUDIOBOOK REVIEWER AWARD FOR ROMANCE

1 wedding, 2 best men, one hell of a love story!

Declan Ramsay was set to be the best man at his brother’s wedding in Scotland, sharing best man duties with the bride’s gay kid brother Sam. Sam was abroad finishing his studies so the best men communicated by email for more than a year and wouldn’t meet for the first time until a few days before the wedding.

But on meeting Sam Aiken, Declan is surprised to see he isn’t a kid at all, but a striking, athletic blond man with gorgeous green eyes and a wicked sense of humor. Declan is alarmed by the ferocious attraction he feels for Sam. And as the attraction is reciprocated, the events at Dunloch Castle change everything Declan has ever believed about himself.

But is Sam Aiken all he appears to be?

Also available in paperback and as an award-winning audiobook, narrated by Gary Furlong.

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Illuminate the Shadows

A Scotsman and an Englishman fall in love…

After the most amazing week of his life, at Dunloch Castle on the banks of Loch Ness, in Scotland. The charming, mysterious Samuel Aiken has turned Declan Ramsay’s life upside down. Declan has experienced a remarkable change. He has come to terms with the fact he is bisexual, and he has fallen head-over-heels in love with his boss’s son Sam.
However, falling for his boss’s son was never going to be an easy path to happiness, mainly because the boss in question is multi-millionaire property tycoon and former MI5 operative, Sir James Aiken.

Sir James is repulsed by his son’s homosexuality, and so discovering that his employee Declan Ramsay- the man he installed to run his luxury property rental empire- is in a relationship with Sam, does not go down well.

The lovers cannot hide from the looming presence of Sir James Aiken for long! Soon enough James makes his move, and Declan finds out what he will have to endure to stay with Sam, and what he will have to give to feel worthy of Sam’s love.

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Return to Zero

Life takes a darker turn for Sam and Declan…

Pulled into a world of secrets and lies for the man he loves, Declan Ramsay’s life has changed immeasurably in the eight months since meeting and falling for his boss’s son, Sam Aiken. Declan’s journey of personal discovery is about to take a darker turn, and for Sam, the world becomes more treacherous than he could ever have imagined.

Two agents are missing — presumed dead, while on a reconnaissance mission at an outdoor adventure center in the Scottish Highlands. Sir James Aiken sends his son and Declan to follow the trail, and discover the fate of the agents.

As the mission offers his first chance to use the skills he learned on the MI6 training course in Morocco, Declan is keen to get started. However, Sir James sees to it that the seeds of doubt and discord have been sewn between the couple, as they begin their mission.

The journey to their Highland location, and the discoveries they make when they reach the G’wan Adventures center, prove that Sir James Aiken has been less than honest with his son.

Events in the Highlands force Sam and Declan to face their greatest fears and understand what they both really want from life — and from each other.

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Counterblow

True love comes at a cost…

After the devastating events in the Scottish Highlands, Sam and Declan have moved on to a new, deeper level in their romance. Their commitment to each other is unquestionable; however, there are plenty of questions that need answering about other aspects of their lives, and those who sought to end them.

Sam is trying his best to deal with the day to day frustrations of his injuries. He’s completely dependent on Declan for everything and hates the way the scales have tipped in their relationship. Although he’s officially on leave, Sam’s mind cannot stop replaying all that happened to him and questioning why, and who is behind it all.

Declan’s relief at having Sam home throws him into house-husband mode. He’s happy to take the reins and care for his partner, however, beneath the surface Declan cannot help but be drawn back to how he felt in the Highlands, and how they were betrayed by a man who was supposed to have their back.

Declan had promised Sir James Aiken that he would pay if he hurt Sam, and now Declan has to decide how he can deliver his payback and put his and Sam’s world back on an even keel.

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Powder Burns

One book, Two Missions, and a memory-key full of secrets!

After a series of terrorist attacks on fracking sites owned by a Gas multinational named Drilsink, Sir James Aiken’s agency is bought in to find the radical Eco-terrorist group responsible. He sends Sam and Declan to work undercover at Imperial College where Intel suggests the group is recruiting.

While Sam works behind the scenes, Declan takes on the identity of Geologist Dr. Tobias Hunter and soon makes an enemy of a fellow science geek- a man who Declan comes to despise more than Sir James Aiken!

When the operation moves from London to Munich and then Vienna, Sam, and Declan are thrown headlong into a spy scenario straight out of the thriller novels they love to read—but with a distinct and disturbing sexual twist! Sam meets an old friend and uncovers shocking information about James’ past.

With Erik Madsson still imprisoned inside the A.L.L. HQ, James comes to realize that he should have listened to his son. Keeping the enemy inside his own home is about to be the biggest mistake he has ever made.

Excerpt

As You Wish

Shatterproof Bond #1

“Flight B-A-one-four-three-two to Edinburgh will be boarding from Gate A twenty-six.”

Sam Aiken paused and glanced up at the yellow airport signage directing that the walk to Gates A1-A26 would take ten minutes. “Shit,” he muttered under his breath. Sam’s flight to Edinburgh was also due to take off in ten bloody minutes. He shouldered his heavy rucksack and sprinted through Terminal Two at London’s Heathrow Airport, ducking and diving around fellow travelers.

It was partly Sam’s fault that he had been delayed. Initially, it was by choosing the wrong queue and getting stuck in the security check line for twenty minutes. And then, by attempting a conversation with a security guard and being given a thorough groping in response. If he hadn’t been so stressed, Sam might actually have enjoyed the attention.
Sam Aiken was over six feet tall and wore his sandy-blond hair to his shoulders. His boyish face, tanned by the Saudi Arabian desert winds, had sprouted a monstrous attempt at a beard. It looked ridiculous. It couldn’t even be called a beard, more scrub than forest! Sam had spent the past year in the Middle East, where the beard is the symbol of manhood and honor, so he’d grown it to try and fit in. It worked there, but back in the UK, it just made him look a bit grubby. Sam was dressed in knee-length khaki shorts and an over-washed, cranberry-red T-shirt. His appearance was that of your average backpacker, so why security had singled him out for the extra attention, Sam didn’t know. Maybe he should know better than to try and crack jokes with security officials, especially when they had his balls in their hands.

“Nice wand! Watch where you’re sticking that thing, I might like it!” Sam joked nervously in his soft British accent. The very well built, alpha security guard waving the metal detector wand over his body glared at him. Sam arched his brows and grinned, hoping to inspire an illicit smile from the man, but instead, the security guard pulled him aside and got his friend to observe as he gave Sam a thorough feel up. He wished he had kept his mouth shut. That thirty-minute delay left Sam on a knife-edge.

As he ran through the featureless, white airport corridors towards Gate A26, Sam wasn’t sure now whether he would make the flight. His mind raced with the snowball effect of that possible future event. All of his father’s well-made plans would be shot to shit, and he would be the reason— in the dog house and only back in the UK an hour.

Sam turned into a wide, open-plan lounge. Out of nowhere another traveler suddenly appeared, cutting across Sam’s path, dragging a black, wheeled suitcase. Sam couldn’t stop himself from tripping. He fell forwards and then halted in mid-air. The broad masculine hand of the traveler was gripping his bare forearm to prevent the fall. He pulled Sam to right himself. The two men glared at one another.

“Jesus! Watch what you’re doing with that thing!” Sam exclaimed, furious.

“You watch where you’re going, eejit!” the stranger retorted in a posh Edinburgh brogue.

The Scotsman rushed off, dragging his suitcase, and Sam continued to run on to the correct gate, fretting internally about what idiot’s people can be.

When Sam arrived minutes later, he saw a throng of passengers milling around, and on glancing at the info board, he read there was a delay of ten minutes. Sam breathed a deep sigh of relief. He unhooked his rucksack and found a wall to slide down. He searched in the front pocket of his pack, drew out his phone, and made a call.

“Hi, this is Samuel Aiken. I have a one-thirty p.m. pick up from Edinburgh Airport. Well, my flight is delayed by ten minutes. I just wanted to let you know. Great, see you then.”

Sam ended the call and glanced down at his left forearm. He saw the outline of red grip marks. He absently rubbed the imprints left by the Scotsman with the wheeled black case, unable to deny that being touched so roughly had made warmth flood into his gut.

Giveaway

To celebrate the refresh of the Shatterproof Bond Series, Isobel Starling is giving away 2 complete e-sets of the series!

Open internationally, must be 18 years old to win. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Release Blitz: Ted of the d’Urbervilles by Rob Rosen

Ted of the d’Urbervilles | Rob Rosen

TED OF THE D'URBERVILLES

Publisher: JMS Books

Release Date: January 18, 2020

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 63,600 / 195 pages

It is a standalone story.

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK

JMS Books | GooglePlay

Add on Goodreads

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Blurb

Love is Love—though who they will find it with remains a mystery until the very end!

Ted is an orphan, a young gay man living on the streets following the death of both his parents. Hope seems futile, though hope is exactly what he finds when a surprising email informs him that an unknown wealthy relative has died, that a reading of a will is soon to occur clear across the country. Ted will inherit something, but what that something is remains to be seen.

Benny is a young, homeless drug addict, straight except for when cash is involved. Benny has never had a reason to be hopeful about anything until a chance encounter with Ted.

Both men are soon traveling together from state to state, making ends meet however they can, rushing to the reading of the will that may or may not change both their lives forever. An unexpected friendship quickly forms, and then just as unexpectedly blossoms into something more as their adventure ultimately leads them to their fates.

At turns darkly funny and tragic, deeply erotic and poignant, Ted of the d’Urbervilles uniquely shines a light on the phrase Love is Love—though who they will find it with remains a mystery until the very end.

Excerpt

I found myself in a tangle of trains. Not passenger trains, but the kind that carries stuff. Coal, lumber, crates. No train cars. Nothing I could hop into so much as on. I wasn’t counting on this. I thought I’d slide open a door and bum a ride. But a ride to where? Even if I could hop on, where would I wind up? I clearly hadn’t given it enough thought. To be fair, my head was full of Chuck at the time, a peg missing its hole. It was, as analogies went, a fine one.

I needed to travel east. East I could figure out. East was away from the Rockies. But all the trains were parked. Which way were they headed once they left? And what if I hopped on and the train never stopped until its destination? What if we started east and then headed south?

I sat on the track. My salvation was somewhere in front of me. Eeny, meeny, miny, which one would the mo choose?

“Where you headed?”

I jumped. I fell backward. I stared up, shielding my face with my hand. A guy stood there staring down at me. He was on the dirty side, young, like me, gaunt, shorter by a foot. I’d seen men like this around San Francisco. I avoided men like this. You wound up homeless for a lot of reasons. You also stayed homeless for a lot of reasons. This guy either started or wound up that way because of drugs. His hand twitched. His right eye did the same. Manic would’ve been a good word for it. Or a bad one.

“Just looking,” I said as I righted my butt back on the tracks. “I like trains.”

I turned away from him. I hoped he’d take the hint. Sadly, he sat down next to me instead.

“You can’t hop them,” he said. “They check. They’re watching you right now even.” He pointed up to a lamppost. I could see the camera. It didn’t matter; there was nothing to hop into. And even if I could make it on top of a car, it would be crazy dangerous. And windy. And cold. Not an adventure so much as an ordeal. “Benny,” he said, holding out a hand. He had long nails. Dirty nails. His current state had always been a possible future for me. I seemed to always be running from it. But in which direction, away or towards?

I didn’t shake his hand. I nodded his way instead. “Ted.”

He put his hand by his side. He frowned. I felt bad. I was homeless. He was homeless. It wasn’t a bond so much as a prison sentence we shared. “Where you headed?” he repeated.

“New York.”

“That’s where I started.”

My heart pulsed. If he started from there, he knew which way to head. I pointed in front of me. “Which one goes that way?”

His grin returned. His teeth were in need of a brushing. He looked like a scrawny, shorter, pimplier Justin Bieber—if Justin Bieber hadn’t showered in a week or had a haircut or shave in ten. I felt bad for Benny. I felt scared of Benny. Were people scared of me when they saw me? I was judging a book by its cover, but covers are a pretty good indication of what’s inside. I sensed Benny was rotting from the inside out, that all he had left was a tattered cover. I didn’t want to be a part of Benny’s story, but our plotlines had intersected just the same.

In any case, he shrugged. “Been in Denver a month. My train has long come and gone.” Again, he pointed. “That one goes east.”

“How do you know?”

The shrug hadn’t moved. “That terminal is a dead end. Trains enter that way and go back the way they came. That train came from the east. Do you have any drugs on you?”

It was an unsettling segue. Benny was unsettling. You could turn a bend and wind up like Benny. Benny had no hope. You could see it in his eyes. That is to say, you couldn’t see it. “I don’t do drugs.”

“Smart.”

“You shouldn’t do drugs.”

He rested his head on his knee. “Yep.”

“It’s not that easy though, right?”

He turned his face my way. He’d been cute once. You could see it if you tried. How many people still tried? “Nope. Any money for drugs? I could trade you.”

I knew what he had to trade. I had the same thing to trade. “I have less than six dollars on me.”

He sighed. He turned his face back to the starting position. “Figures.” We sat there in silence. The trains didn’t budge. Maybe this was a graveyard of sorts. Maybe trains came here to die. Maybe Benny came here to die. Me, I had other plans.

About the Author

Multi-award-winning and best-selling author/editor/anthologist Rob Rosen is the author of Sparkle: The Queerest Book You’ll Ever Love, Divas Las Vegas, Hot Lava, Southern Fried, Queerwolf, Vamp, Queens of the Apocalypse, Creature Comfort, Fate, Midlife Crisis, Fierce, And God Belched, Mary, Queen of Scotch, and Ted of the d’Urbervilles.

His short stories have appeared in more than 200 anthologies. You can find 20 of them in his erotic romance anthology Good & Hot. He is also the editor of Lust in Time: Erotic Romance Through the Ages, Men of the Manor, Best Gay Erotica 2015 and Best Gay Erotica of the Year, Volumes 1, 2, 3 and 4.

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Exceptional romance from Eden Finley – this hit all of my favourite elements

Hat Trick (Fake Boyfriend, #5)Hat Trick by Eden Finley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Exceptional. This one might have just sneaked ahead of Miller and Talon to be my favourite in what has been a truly outstanding series from Eden Finley.

Jet and Soren were just such a compelling pair. The use of flashbacks worked brilliantly to give the reader insight into the single previous encounter they’d had before each knew who the other was and the chemistry and connection between them was palpable.

From the moment they meet again on Fiji to the absolutely brilliant Epilogue, Jet and Soren were just a joy to read. There are sparks and sarcasm, there is love and there is ultimately a pair who just bring out the best in the other.

Sex is steamy and sensual and also sometimes funny and I love how these two can bring the other out of a funk. The tensions in the book are all created by external forces and I liked that Eden didn’t dwell too long with any sort of will they, won’t they over Jet’s ex-boyfriend and with Soren’s professional ice hockey career.

The rest of the gang are also on hand to bring the laughs and, if this is to be the final full-length book, I think Eden has brought the curtain down in some style.

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

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Release Blitz: Best Man by Lily Morton

Best Man | Lily Morton

Close Proximity #1

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Genre: MM Romance

Release Blitz: 03.10.19

Universal link: http://getbook.at/Best-Man

Amazon US: www.amazon.com/dp/B07YKNQKHY

Amazon UK: www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07YKNQKHY

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Blurb

Zeb Evans doesn’t do messy.

The product of a disorganised and chaotic childhood, Zeb likes order and control, and as the boss of his own employment agency he can give that to himself. Life runs along strict lines and he never mixes business with pleasure. Everything in his life lives in neat, alphabetized boxes. Until Jesse.

Jesse Reed is Zeb’s complete opposite. He’s chaos personified. A whirling cyclone of disorder. He’s also charming and funny and a very unwanted distraction.

Which is why it comes as a complete surprise to Zeb to find himself asking Jesse to pose as his boyfriend for a few days in the country at a wedding.

Zeb doesn’t do impulsive, but as the time away progresses, he finds himself increasingly drawn to the merry and irreverent Jesse. But can he bring himself to break the hard-won lessons he’s learnt in life? And even if he can, how could Jesse be attracted to him anyway? He’s so much older than Jesse, not to mention being his boss.

From the bestselling author of the Mixed Messages and Finding Home series comes a warm and funny romance about one man’s fight for control and another man’s determination to circumvent it.

This is the first book in the Close Proximity series, but it can be read as a standalone.

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Excerpt

He looks at me and sighs wearily. “Do you think you could possibly behave?” he finally says.

I bite my lip. “I don’t think it would be entirely honest of me to promise that,” I say slowly. “Especially if people keep treating you like you’re some sort of desperate stalker. It’s not fair.” I frown. “You’re doing bloody Patrick a favour. They should be thanking you, not treating you like an unexploded bomb from the war that might go off in suburbia and wreck someone’s lavender bush.”

He blinks. “Where the hell did that come from?” He pauses. “And why am I the unexploded relic from the war?”

I smile at him sympathetically. “You have a lot of pent-up aggression,” I inform him.

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About The AuthorFB_IMG_1570052267267

Lily Morton writes contemporary romance novels, and specialises in hot love stories with a good dose of humour.

Lily lives in sunny England with her husband and two children, all of whom claim that they haven’t had a proper conversation with her since she bought her first Kindle.

She has spent her life with her head full of daydreams and decided one day to just sit down and start writing about them. In the process she discovered that she actually loved writing, because how else could she get to spend her time with hot, funny men!

She loves chocolate and Baileys and the best of all creations – chocolate Baileys! Her lifetime’s ambition is to have a bath in peace without being shouted by one of her family.

Facebook Author | Facebook Profile | Website

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Release Blitz: Love & Tea Bags by C. F. White

Love & Tea Bags | C. F. White

Pink Rock #1

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Publisher: Pride Publishing

Cover Design: Erin Dameron-Hill

Length: 79,679 words

Buy Links:

Pride Publishing – To be released wide July 16

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Blurb

Fate can be written in a tea bag too.

Mark Johnson is hitting his forties and is stuck in a rut.

He’s had the same boring office job for ten years, with no motivation or inclination to change it. The same crumbling house for ten years, with no cash or know-how to fix it. And the same Facebook status for five years—it’s complicated. It isn’t. He’s single. He just doesn’t want to correct it. That would be admitting defeat.

The day a tea bag splats onto his face whilst he’s emptying the dregs of his morning cuppa at Macy’s Tea Shoppe is the one that makes him question each of his current life choices…the tea bag and that the shop is currently being run by one rather friendly, rather hunky, but rather young Australian named Bradley Summers.

Tea has never tasted so good.

Excerpt

The slurp was loud and rather obnoxious, especially when the man was sipping from one of Mark’s grandmother’s dainty china teacups that Mark saved for special occasions. Since Mark hadn’t had any need for the guest china in quite some time, he’d let Grammy’s cardinal rule slide for the strapping workman clambering up in his loft.

“Yup, I see the problem,” the workman yelled down the open hatch in Mark’s landing ceiling that led to the over-cluttered store of stuff that Mark hadn’t set foot in for…well, quite some time.

Mark wished he hadn’t offered the man a brew. He really hadn’t had the time to wait for the kettle to boil, for a start. But he’d been brought up well, and one must offer one’s tradesmen a cuppa in the hope they’ll knock a few quid off the call-out charge. He suspected he would have to delve deep into his already ravine-like pockets, so anything that could be considered mates-rates would really help at this point in his life. Mark wished he did have mates. Ones that were handy, anyway.

“Oh, yes?” Mark called back, his voice echoing through the square hole in his ceiling. He closed his eyes, for some reason, as if that would soften the blow of what was going to come out of the man’s mouth next.

“Gonna need coupla new roof tiles, mate. A lotta this stuff is gonna get ruined.”

“Bugger,” Mark muttered into his own mug of piping-hot tea. Well, it was rude not to join the man in a beverage.

“What was that?” The man’s round, if somewhat flushed, face appeared at the hole.

“Nothing, nothing.” Mark shook his head. He didn’t much fancy repeating himself. The man might take it seriously and give him a whack. Or, which would be much worse, not take the job of fixing Mark’s leaking roof. “Thank you.” He smiled.

Mark had been told, on occasion, that he had quite a nice smile. One that relaxed people. Mark, however, believed it to be far more useful to allow people to walk all over him. Or pass by him. Through him…

With a grunt, the workman set his steel-toe-capped boots on two metal rungs of the ladder, revealing the tip of his rounded behind popping out of the elastic waistband that appeared to be failing in its one basic function. Normally, on an average Saturday night, Mark wouldn’t have minded the view, as his internet history would evidence. But today was a Monday and the man didn’t look like he would appreciate Mark’s ogling. Not that Mark was ogling. He just had nowhere else to look. Honest.

On reaching the landing, the workman crashed back into Mark. Stumbling, Mark gripped his cup with both hands to prevent the utter travesty of spillage onto the carpet. Not only did he not have time to clear up any stains—not that any would show on the swirling patterns of the seventies-design stitch work—but he also hated to waste a cup of the good stuff.

The workman hefted up his jogging bottoms, his hands empty of the china teacup he had been avidly slurping from up in the loft. And that meant Mark would now either have to venture up into the space he avoided like the seaside lido on a May bank holiday afternoon, or leave it up there to breed new life. He knew which he would rather.

“Right.” The man scratched his stubbled chin. “See, you’re gonna need a coupla new tiles. Tha’s what the leak is. The rain we been ’avin is comin’ in frou ta ’ole in ya roof. Travelling daan the walls and dripping aaat ya ceiling.”

“Good-oh.” Mark nodded, not letting on for a single second that he had no idea what the man had just said. “Uh, can you fix it?” He mentally crossed his fingers in the hope that he hadn’t just said that he could. Or couldn’t.

“Yeah, no sweat. I can do two tiles at a ton.”

“A what now?”

“A ton.”

“A ton of what? Tiles?”

“No. A hundred smackers.”

Mark blanked, shaking his head.

“Paand?”

“Oh, I see. Well, that’s not too bad then.” Mark smiled. And phewed. Mentally.

“But that won’t fix ya problem.”

“Oh dear.” Mark furrowed his brow, which he didn’t like to do all that often as the lines weren’t smoothing out after so much anymore.

“Dunno which bleedin’ cowboy did ya roof last, but they didn’t felt it.” The man tucked a tiny pencil behind his ear. Where he’d got the pencil from was Mark’s first question. Quickly followed by, do I really want to know?

“That cowboy would be my grandfather.” Mark attempted to add a hint of pride to his voice, but the vacant expression of the workman before him just made him slink into a guilty, wincing admission. “He built the house.”

“Ah. Right. ’Nover ’and-me-down was it?”

“Hand-me-down?” More deep-set wrinkles formed on Mark’s brow. He must remember to use that skincare range for men he’d got as a Secret Santa present at work last year, the one that claimed to defy even the deepest-set wrinkles. He had a hunch who’d been bold enough to buy that for him. Bloody Yvonne.

The man waved, indicating Mark’s attire. “The clothes.”

Mark held out his arms, still clutching his mug of tea, and peered down at himself. Trusty grey corduroy trousers, wonderful and comfy, and rather warm considering the current climate, matched with a white button-down shirt. The vest underneath was simply due to the fact that his dark nipples tended to show through the thin material of cheap cotton. He’d discovered that tidbit of information back at secondary school when the popular boys used to poke his nipples through his school shirt, many twisting for added effect. And people say all-boy grammar schools are a safe haven from bullying.

Mark ran a hand through his thick dark hair, sliding it across his forehead in a floppy fringe, ignoring the jibe at his attire and moving on to the pressing transaction at hand. “So you were saying about the roof?”

“Yeah. Gonna need ta replace it.” The man sniffed, his chest rising with the inhale of breath, then shrugged. “Set ya back ’bout five grand.”

The fact that Mark had chosen the man’s pause to take a sip of tea probably summed up his entire existence. It had been, of course, the wrong decision. He spat the tea out, liquid escaping from his nose, and coughed, gasping to get air, rather than the delightful Twinings English Breakfast, into his lungs.

The workman slapped him on the back. Perhaps he thought that would help the situation. It didn’t. It only exacerbated it, knocking Mark off his feet and forcing him to grapple for the bannister to prevent a rather tragic tumble down the stairs.

“Better out than in, I say.” The workman did say.

Mark blanked. If only the boys at his delightful modern secondary grammar had believed in that statement back when Mark had been in year ten and announcing to the world he was gay. Not that any of his peers had had any doubt before Mark had made his fabulous speech. But Mark presumed they would have preferred him to stay in on that day, considering many had received detention for the words of “encouragement” they had called out in a perfect display of teenage camaraderie.

“Well, I can do the tiles tomorra,” the man carried on, oblivious to Mark’s inner turmoil. “Fink about the rest of da roof, though. You don’t want it cavin’ in on ya.”

Mark nodded, although, right then the thought of paying out five thousand pounds that he didn’t have made him consider the alternative option.

“Righty-oh. Thank you very much for coming out on such short notice.” Mark ushered him down the stairs.

“No probs. Give me card your granddad, then.” The man handed over a bent business card, a mobile phone number scrawled on the back with black pen along with the words The Man With The Van Who Can. Mark pondered if there was anything that he couldn’t? Or wouldn’t?

“That would be rather futile. Grampy died quite some time ago.”

“Oh.” The man squinted, stepping out into the daylight and onto Mark’s porch. “So you chose this?”

“Chose what?” Mark desperately tried not to furrow his brow.

The man waved his hand, indicating, Mark presumed, the entire house’s internal decor.

“I like antiques.” Could seventies decor be considered antique? He supposed it could.

“You get antique wallpaper these days then?”

Bastard. “Oh, indeed.” Mark nodded. “Worth a fortune.”

Mark slammed the door shut and rested his back against the wall, glancing around at the house he’d lived in coming along ten years now. It was falling apart and no redecoration had been done since probably the last time he’d been up in the loft. He sighed, slammed his mug down on the windowsill and decided now was the time for a decent cup of the good stuff.

Grabbing his black Barbour jacket from the coat hooks, he slipped his feet into the black loafers by the door then ventured out into the morning sun. And what a glorious day it was, perfect to be beside the seaside. And Mark was. He lived directly opposite the pebble beach of Marsby in the south-east, a quaint little seaside town that homed more retirees than tourists. Not that Mark was retired. He could only wish for that, although he was leaning nearer to the end of his career than the start. Mid-career, perhaps? Christ, maybe I should think about actually having a career rather than simply a job that barely pays the bills?

Trying to forget that he had left a gaping hole in his roof—and now his ceiling having forgotten to shut the loft hatch—Mark rammed his hands into his jacket pockets and thanked whomever above for the abnormal radiant sun. And that was when the inevitable dark clouds glided overhead and droplets landed with splats on his cheeks. Such was Mark’s luck. So he trotted that bit faster along the pathway beside the beach and into the main High Street, stopping at the welcoming sign of Macy’s Ye Olde Style Tea Shoppe on the corner.

The bell above the door chimed as Mark hurried into his regular haunt. He’d been going there for quite a few years now, since his move back to his home town from the mean streets of London, and still hadn’t figured out why Macy added the extra p and e to the shop. He shook his hair out like a wet dog and nodded at the umbrellas Macy always offered to customers on such regular occurrences as torrential rain, a quick downpour, scattered showers and that really fine light rain that has one believing they aren’t getting wet until they get home and their clothes are sopping.

The shop was empty, which was rather odd. There was usually someone sipping on a decent cup of tea made from the loose leaves in a well-stewed pot. Macy made proper tea, using a strainer, and it tasted every bit of the aromatic leaves that it should. She was also a rather good baker and Mark was horrified that there were no buns, baps or any other derogatory term used for parts of the female anatomy displayed on the counter for Mark to scoff and instantly burn off the calories by breathing. He had a fast metabolism, which was both a dream and a curse.

As Mark slapped a hand down on the counter, he heard shuffling back in the kitchen area. Thank God Macy was there. He needed a chat. And a tea.

“Helloooo? Only me, love. Usual cuppa when you’re ready.”

Drumming his fingers on the counter, Mark swivelled a one-eighty. Vacant seats and no-one in the vicinity looking like they might want venture on in to grab a tea to go, which would be quite difficult as Macy only served tea in porcelain cups. And rightly so.

“So, Macy, love,” Mark called out over his shoulder, thinking it was best to fill her in now or he might not have time to divulge all the details of his eventful morning before he had to head into work. “I’ve decided I’m better off if I just kill myself now.”

He leaned forward over the counter, ensuring his voice would drift to the kitchen. “Turns out my roof might collapse on me anyway. And according to this rather annoyingly beefcaked member of the male species, the sight of whose perfectly rounded behind is now imprinted on me for many a future solo endeavour, and who graced me with a whole other English language making me feel every bit of my—cough—years, it’s going to cost me rather more than my arm and my leg. And I’m sadly going to have to admit it, Macy love, that I’m not sure the fellow would accept an offer of my penis as monetary value. Not that I have a wealth of offers for that part of my anatomy these days anyway. Much like the pound to the euro, I swear it’s shrinking in value.”

He chuckled at his own joke, as he so often did, then spun around to face the seating area. A couple of joggers zoomed past the window, obviously on their beachside run rather than the mad dash for cakes and biscuits that he did.

“You okay, Mace? Need a hand?”

No reply. So Mark leafed through the selection of pre-packed biscuits crammed in the bowl by the till. Macy had one of those old-fashioned registers. No electronic buttons to press. No new-fangled tablet hooked up to the mains. It was basically a calculator with a drawer.

Choosing a packet of chocolate-dipped Viennese shortbread fingers, Mark cocked his head to peer through the open kitchen door. “I mean, Macy, what is the point in filing paperwork for a living just to earn enough money to fix a roof when I have no man to enjoy the comforts of my damp-free living space along with me? And by the time I find a willing participant to snuggle with me on my antique sofa looking at my antique wallpaper in my antique house, I’ll be ready to pop my clogs anyway. So, death by sugar, please, Macy.”

He slapped the counter to finalise his self-depreciative monologue, and nearly threw up the entire contents of his breakfast when a male vacated the back kitchen. Said man was wiping his hands on a rather beautifully stitched gingham tea towel. But that wasn’t the only thing that was a delight for the eye. The man was shirtless—rippling muscles, a glowing sheen of glistening skin and white-wash jeans hanging low on his perfectly sculpted hips. Needless to say, that wasn’t Macy.

“Hello,” Mark said, because, it is the polite way to greet a man, regardless of the lack of shirt and the highly embarrassing fact that Mark had already told his life story, leaving out all, or indeed any, good bits.

“G’day,” the man replied.

About The Author

Brought up in a relatively small town in Hertfordshire, C F White managed to do what most other residents try to do and fail—leave.

Studying at a West London university, she realised there was a whole city out there waiting to be discovered, so, much like Dick Whittington before her, she never made it back home and still endlessly searches for the streets paved with gold, slowly coming to the realisation they’re mostly paved with chewing gum. And the odd bit of graffiti. And those little circles of yellow spray paint where the council point out the pot holes to someone who is supposedly meant to fix them instead of staring at them vacantly whilst holding a polystyrene cup of watered-down coffee.

She eventually moved West to East along that vast District Line and settled for pie and mash, cockles and winkles and a bit of Knees Up Mother Brown to live in the East End of London; securing a job and creating a life, a home and a family.

Having worked in Higher Education for most of her career, a life-altering experience brought pen back to paper after she’d written stories as a child but never had the confidence to show them to the world. Having embarked on this writing malarkey, C F White cannot stop. So strap in, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride…

You can follow C F on Facebook and Twitter and check out her Website.


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