Tag Archives: hurt/comfort

Tensions abound in this peek at London life from Garrett Leigh

53904933._SY475_Redemption by Garrett Leigh

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Garrett Leigh kept me awake until half one this morning with this book. I started reading it around 10pm, thought I’d just get a few chapters in and then could not actually put it down until I’d made sure that Paolo and Luis were going to be okay.

I mean, it’s a romance, so I knew they’d be okay eventually, but oh my gawd the tensions throughout this book were immense.

Not between them, they’re just utterly perfect for each other, the way they just meld together is a joy, fraught as it is with all the extra complications that come from who they are as individuals.

And this is why Garrett’s writing is my book drug of choice.

She crafts characters and settings which feel like you’re just sneaking a peak into real peoples’ lives who she knows and who just said yeah, go for it Garrett, write our story when she puts forth an idea for her next release.

Nothing is easy about this book, Luis spent six years in prison for a pretty shitty crime, he’s not an innocent man by any stretch. But he’s also not a bad man, family pressure gave him a life he wouldn’t have chosen and he was happy to do his time.

Now he’s out and life is confusing and oh how my heart hurt for Luis. He’s not the man his reputation painted him and his six years inside have markedly changed him, both mentally and physically.

Paolo’s grandfather Toni’s caff (because that’s how you pronounce a London greasy spoon 😉 ) gives him his first sense of peace in years and the man running it, his first spark of attraction in just as long.

I loved their relationship development. From wary work colleagues, through to friends, into intimacy and the wonderful emotionally vulnerability of falling in love, but with this overpowering sense of foreboding threatening everything.

Because Luis might have turned his back on his former life, but that’s not a decision he’s allowed to make on his own and my heart was racing so much as the narrative sped along to the eventual conclusion – hence why I was still reading at 1.30am.

The big major drama plot surprised me in one way, but – and there’ll be no spoilers here – also didn’t at all. Because this book’s main driving thread through everything is about family, about loyalty, about making decisions on the knife’s edge.

The Epilogue is just all ends up wonderful and I really, really wish that Toni’s Cafe did exist in a tucked away corner of a South London High Street, filled with builders and locals alike, passing hipsters with annoying mustaches wanting beans on toast with the smell of fried bacon and Italian tomato sauce on a Sunday.

I think I’d like to spend hours there just watching Paolo and Luis work together, seamlessly blending love and found-family into a Happy Ever After that feels utterly grounded in truth.

Now I can’t wait to see if there will be more, and who is the focus of the next Darkened Skies novel, because there’s one candidate here who I think would be a fascinating character to explore and a great redemption narrative to work.

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

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Release Blitz: Loving Logan by Sammi Cee

Loving Logan | Sammi Cee

Writing Our Love Novella #4

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Release Date: June 26th, 2020

Universal Link: http://mybook.to/lovinglogan

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Blurb

Logan’s life changed forever six months ago when he lost his best friends and support system. Now it’s up to him to raise the two-year-old son they left behind.

Creed’s family teases him for being a serial dater, but that’s because he refuses to settle. He’s searching for the right person to fall in love with, but no one fits—until he meets the tattooed giant behind the bar.

Logan may look like a tough guy, but he has a shy, vulnerable side that sparks protective instincts Creed didn’t even know he had.

When Creed pursues Logan full stop, will the other man’s insecurities get in the way or will Creed get the love he’s always longed for?

This is a sweet-as-pie novella about two men and a precious little boy; no angst, just healing as they find their happily ever after— together.

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Excerpt

After walking my brother and his men out to their car, I went back to the bar. I had no reason to seek out the gentle giant who’d served us all night, but there was something about him, and I couldn’t leave without at least talking to him.

“Did you need something else, sir?” Logan asked politely as I approached where he was cleaning up.

“I’m Creed,” I said, extending my hand and flashing the cocky smile that had landed many women in my bed.

“Um, Logan.” I resisted saying I know. He dried his hands off quickly on the towel at his side and shook my hand. “Was there a problem tonight?” he asked warily.

I casually leaned my elbow onto the chair right in front of him, hoping to relax him. “Not at all. The food was good and the drinks were great. I overheard you and the other bartender talking though, and since you don’t normally work nights and are leaving soon, I thought I’d hang around and keep you company until you’re done.”

His whole body startled, pale gray eyes widening and fascinating me further. Why did this man appear so vulnerable and call out to every protective instinct inside of me? For the second time tonight, my pants tightened. Yeah, I wasn’t going anywhere without getting to know the sweet Logan a little better.

About the Author

Sammi-Cee---Main-Logo

Sammi Cee was raised in a family of readers. Summer vacations consisted of a good book while sitting lakeside from as far back as she could remember. After growing up and having her own children, her appreciation of how the written word could transport you on an adventure, bring you to tears, or give you hope, took on a whole new meaning.

These days Sammi is watching her children develop into fine young ladies while doing the things she enjoys most: drinking coffee, eating chocolate, and writing her own stories.

https://linktr.ee/sammiceeauthor

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Series Tour: Boys of Brighton by M. Tasia

Boys of Brighton | M. Tasia

BOYS OF BRIGHTON

Welcome to Brighton, Texas. Where anyone can find a home.

Overall Heat Rating: 4 flames

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Kobo | Boroughs Publishing Group

Gabe

1 Gabe

Length: 41 410 words

Release Date: September 8, 2016

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Blurb

Gabe Mason is a fifth-generation firefighter unable to move forward with his life after a devastating betrayal two years earlier. Graphic designer Johnny Jeffrey relocated to Brighton, Texas, to flee persecution and fear, and to begin living again on his own terms.

The two meet amidst fire and smoke, and soon Johnny is in Gabe’s arms, right where he should be. The connection is palpable, undeniable, and hot, and healing from the past is within reach of both men. And yet, the office-building blaze that brought them together is only the beginning of their struggles.

Not family, not faith, not a lunatic’s rage. It took a fire to bring Gabe and Johnny together. Nothing will tear them apart.

Sam’s Soldiers

Length: 40 560 words

Release Date: December 29, 2016

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Blurb

As an emergency room nurse at Brighton General, Samuel Mason spends most of his days caring for the sick and injured, and his nights alone. Until now.

Jack “Spider” Forrester and Dante Snow have arrived. Retired from the Army, they provide protection to those in need. They’ve come to Brighton to guard Sam’s cousin from a dire threat, but it’s Sam’s world they turn inside out. Jack wears his heart on his sleeve but is no pushover, and Dante is scarred from a past he’d sooner forget.

The two are partners in all things, from the bedroom to the office to the street, and they want Sam to join them…for as long as they’re in town. But there is danger ahead, and not just from the type of men these skilled, muscled heroes have sworn to take down. The danger of falling in love.

Rick’s Bear

Length: 40 060 words

Release Date: March 3, 2017

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Blurb

Clem “Bear” Mitchell owns the only diner in Brighton and prefers to be left alone. After growing up in—and barely escaping—one of the toughest motorcycle gangs out of Chicago, he just wants peace. Librarian Rick Johansson is the same.

Due to his anxiety, he has always lived on the outskirts of society, finding it far safer to stay in the stacks. But no man is an island, and when the two are thrust together by dangerous events playing out around them, they see that life is better together.

The tattooed, bear of a biker and the quiet, unassuming librarian will soon show the residents of Brighton that the local bookworm can teach an old bear new tricks.

Jesse

Length: 40 810 words

Release Date: June 2, 2017

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Blurb

Royce Evans has worked as a paramedic in Brighton since graduating college. After the accident, though, his life seemed over. His husband died. Then he met Jesse. Handsome, brave, loving—the short-order cook is everything Royce desires.

Everything he’d thought forever gone. Now Jesse’s tan, muscled body has brought him back to life, and nothing is going to shut that down. Not his own fears of heartbreak. Not Jesse’s past, or the fact that he ran from it. And definitely not Jesse’s crazy violent family, the Redemption Squad.

Coop

Length: 41 430 words

Release Date: September 5, 2017

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Blurb

King of the one-night stand, Coop Stenson knows his warped upbringing and chosen profession with the Sentinels, a private security team, has conditioned him to avoid romantic attachments. Yet when accident-prone Matthew Whitton literally falls into his life, one thing is abundantly clear: Matt deserves more than a man-slut.

Matthew’s love is overpowering, and just as Coop is ready to take the plunge, having fought its inevitable pull for as long as he could, an old nemesis targets the partners of the Sentinels. So keeping Matt safe is about more than just another job or set of logistics. It’s about the rest of his life.

Travis

Length: 44 450

Release Date: November 7, 2017

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Blurb

BEAUTY

After living on the streets and in his car, Travis has found a home in Brighton, Texas. His job as a cook at the local diner pays enough for him to afford a small apartment, and, for the first time in years, he’s able to feed his passion, buying a few art supplies so he can sketch. He’s safe, and, oddly enough, feels accepted in this small town. And, for reasons he cannot fathom, Bo Mason, a gorgeous cop, seems interested. While flattered, Travis knows if his secrets are revealed, Bo won’t want to have a damn thing to do with the likes of Travis Boone.

IS MORE THAN SKIN DEEP

From the moment he saw the new blue-eyed cook at Brighton’s diner, Bo Mason fell. Hard. And while getting close to Travis Boone has been like gentling a terrified animal, Bo knows there’s a special person hiding behind those small smiles and closely guarded secrets. Slowly, Bo starts to peel back the layers cocooning Travis and learns the heart of an angel beats inside the most beautiful man Bo has ever known.

Grady

Length: 43 650 words

Release Date: March 1, 2018

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Blurb

WATCH OUT FOR

After coming out, Grady Reynolds is disowned by his family, and is forced to leave his job in the Dallas PD. Becoming an officer in the small town of Brighton, Grady has to start over while feeling adrift and alone. When he meets firefighter Ben Mason, life takes a sudden, happy turn until Ben tells Grady they have to keep their relationship on the DL. After months of loving a man who thinks of him as no more than a booty call, Grady has had enough and wants out.

THE WRECKING BALL

Ben Mason loves Grady Reynolds like crazy. But Ben can’t tell his lover how he feels. He can’t acknowledge him in public. He can’t claim him as his own. Ben wants to tell Grady the truth, but the danger in that is deadly, and Ben won’t risk it.

But peril and menace find Grady anyway, and Ben’s lies and deception come crashing down around him. Just when he thinks he’s lost everything, he learns that a love as deep as theirs can survive anything.

Vincent

Length: 44 690 words

Release Date: July 17, 2018

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Blurb

ONLY THE STRONG

When he moved to Brighton, novelist Tristan Michaels was thrilled to leave his past behind. Trauma and danger had shattered his world and almost ruined his life. When everything finally seems to be settling down, he becomes embroiled in his best friend’s drama, which leads to more danger and…Vincent. And while love at first sight had been the stuff of Tristan’s books, when he meets Vincent fantasy became reality.

SURVIVE

Vincent Greyson has spent his life fighting for what’s right, first as a Navy Seal, and now as a member of the elite team known as the Sentinels. When he meets Tristan Michaels, Vincent knows his heart will always belong to this magnetic, special man.

But love and patience is tested when horrible fates keep befalling Tristan, and Vincent vows that he’d do anything for his love, even leave the Sentinels.

Shadow

Length: 41 560

Release Date: October 25, 2018

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Blurb

THE MOST DIFFICULT THING TO DO…

Imagine knowing your family hates you and has no problem sending you away to be abused – to die alone. Randy Reynolds was living that reality until he was saved by a man called Shadow. What Randy learned about himself and the people who were supposed to love him was nothing short of horrific. What he found with the Sentinels and Shadow was everything miraculous.

IS FACE THE TRUTH

Jake Kennedy’s past haunts him. Ghosts drove him into the shadows until he became Shadow. Unseen and not really there, he lived his life without any connections but for the Sentinels, the team that saved him from oblivion. Then a mission changed his life and forced him to shed the shroud that kept his heart from feeling.

Now, for Randy Reynolds, Jake will come out of the shadows, he’ll be present and whole instead of the man who had kept himself hidden for twenty years.

The Holidays

Length: 39,960

Release Date: November 29, 2018

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Blurb

Tis The Season

Some had waited years to find “the one,” while others had given up on love and had closed themselves off from feeling anything. But each of these men have found the person that makes them whole, gives them hope and strength to face whatever life throws at them, and to show them what love really means.

Welcome to the holidays in Brighton, Texas. Sit down and stay a spell. We invite you to soak up the joy of the season with your favorite lovers.

Excerpt From Travis

Travis cleaned his cup, made his bed, showered, and headed downstairs to the diner. The dining room was dark, the solo light from the kitchen spilling out into the area, casting a dim glow. He loved this time of day. Everything was fresh and new; anything was possible. Since the diner faced east, he’d soon be graced with a beautiful sunrise filled with reds and yellows. Someday, he would capture that sight on a canvas.

He turned from the window and headed for the kitchen. He’d get a tray of biscuits on before he started the coffee, knowing he’d have company soon enough. Since he’d decided to come back to his apartment from the hospital, Bo had been showing up every morning before the diner opened to have coffee with Travis. Then throughout the day into the evening, Bo would stop by until Travis was done with work.

If he were honest with himself, he looked forward to their time together. And that was all he could allow. Nothing closer and certainly nothing more. Aside from the hospital staff and physical therapists at the rehab facility, no one willingly had or would ever touch him.

Within twenty minutes, Travis had a tray of biscuits ready for the oven. He set the timer and went to turn on the coffee when he heard a knock on the front door. Bo.

“Just a minute,” Travis yelled as he poured the remaining water into the coffee makers and headed for the door.

He rounded the booths and saw Bo’s police cruiser in the parking lot, and the man’s large body filling the front door’s frame. Bo stood there smiling wide as if he had good reason. Travis felt his body heat up, and he knew he was blushing.

Life had made him tough; he was a loner, and he didn’t blush, dammit. But the sight of Bo turned Travis’s brain into tapioca pudding. Quickly, he unlocked the door and let in the man of his dreams. He could look but never touch.

“Good morning.” Bo’s deep voice resonated throughout Travis’s body like a caress.

He reminded himself to remain unaffected; he could never allow himself to slip. “Good morning, Bo. I just put the coffee on. It should be ready any minute.”

“Great. Will you be joining me this morning?” Bo’s brown eyes were so warm and inviting.

Travis had already put on the biscuits, so he had a few minutes to spare. But should he? Bo being a cop meant he could read people well.

“A couple minutes is all I’m asking for, promise.”

Oh, what the hell, why not? “Okay, I’ll get the coffee.”

Bo sat his large body on a stool at the counter. With only the light from the kitchen illuminating the area, this familiar scene felt almost intimate. Travis’s hands shook slightly with equal parts excitement and trepidation. Though there could be nothing physical between them, maybe they could be friends. That way he wouldn’t lose Bo completely once the man realized Travis was a lost cause and Bo moved onto someone who could be what he needed.

Carefully, Travis added sugar and cream to Bo’s coffee, and then walked to the opposite side of the counter across from Bo, making sure a physical barrier remained between them. Bo smiled when Travis returned with his black coffee, and if Bo noticed Travis was keeping his distance, the cop gave no indication.

“How was your night? More nightmares?” Bo cradled the coffee mug between his large hands.

Travis had tried to keep his nightmares to himself, but Bo had seen the effects they had on him in the hospital, so there was no use in pretending they didn’t exist.

“It wasn’t so bad. Only one last night.” Travis played off how shaken he’d been and attempted a smile.

Bo reached over and took Travis’s hand, holding it gently. Travis froze, unable to pull his hand away. The big man’s warmth moved up Travis’s arm, and excitement filled his body. Bo reached into his pocket and pulled something out before placing it into Travis’s open palm.

“I want you to have this.” Bo removed his hand, leaving a shiny, black cell phone behind. “Please accept it.”

Travis never had enough extra money to buy a cell phone—a roof over his head and food in his stomach took precedence over any creature comforts. He looked at the phone’s shiny screen and its sleek body and had no clue what to do with it.

Of course, he knew there was a button to turn it on, but that was as far as his knowledge base went.

“I…I’ve never…I can’t take this.”

“Yes, you can. I bought it for you.”

“But why?” Travis asked, truly confused. Travis could have sworn Bo’s cheeks pinked. Why would he be embarrassed? I’m the one who doesn’t know how to use the damn thing.

“You should have one for safety in case you need help, or if you just want to talk to someone. I programmed my number into it, but you can add as many people as you like. Here is your new phone number.”

Bo handed Travis a slip of paper then took the phone from his hand and said, “I’ll show you how it works,” saving him the embarrassment of admitting he was clueless.

He figured Bo must have noticed Travis didn’t have much by way of possessions, particularly a phone. Bo spent the next ten minutes explaining all the features. The only things that registered with Travis were how to text and make a call. He had no idea what he’d use the Bluetooth for. There was even a little picture of Bo on the screen Travis could push if he wanted to call him.

Bo smiled wide, handed the phone back to Travis then stood while placing his money for the coffee on the counter. “I’ll drop in later today for lunch.”

“But I didn’t say I’d take it,” Travis called out as Bo headed for the door.

“Try it out. See if you like it,” Bo replied. “Have a good day.”

The door swung shut, and he was gone. Travis stood at the counter for a few minutes, trying to figure out what to do with the phone.

In the end, he shoved it into his pocket before returning to the kitchen.

About the Author

M. Tasia, is a romance author who lives in Ontario, Canada. Michelle is a dedicated people watcher, lover of romance novels, 80’s rock, and happy endings. Who grew up with a love of reading.

She’s a firm believer that everyone deserves to have love, excitement and crazy hot romance in their lives. Love should be celebrated and shared.

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