Release Blitz: Reawaken by Christina Lee

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REAWAKEN

UNDER MY SKIN SERIES, BOOK 2

CHRISTINA LEE

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 11.02.17

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Cover Designer: KANAXA

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BLURB

Losing his adoring husband shattered Tristan Rogers world. For the past few years, he’s been going through the motions, running their dog grooming business while hiding the loneliness he feels down to his bones. When he witnesses an ugly breakup between a pretentious customer and his boyfriend, Tristan can’t help but intervene. Something about the unassuming younger man calls to him, and he can’t help wondering if he’s experienced some heartache of his own.

Life took a tragic turn for Jonas “West” Hollis as a teen, and he’s felt indebted to his overbearing lover ever since. Tristan’s kindness draws him from the start, but with his dreams finally in reach, West can’t risk getting close to someone else. Not now that he can live his life and stand on his own merit.

From innocent texts to companionable rides on Tristan’s boat, what starts as an unexpected friendship between the men sparks into undeniable attraction. Neither are ready for anything deeper than a couple of passionate nights wrapped in each other’s arms but their connection becomes too intense for either to ignore. If Tristan and West want to heal their broken hearts, they’ll need a considerable amount of trust and courage—not only in themselves but also each other.

Reawaken Teaser 1

EXCERPT

“Promise you won’t let me drown?”

“If I did, I’d miss out on whatever meal you promised as payback,” he replied with a smirk. “And believe me, I’m all for that.”

A nervous laugh jumped from my throat, even though the idea of cooking for him—for anybody, really—thrilled me. I pulled the sticky orange life vest over my neck and fastened it, figuring I’d bob around at first and get used to the water.

After I jumped in, I stuck close to Tristan, still nervous that I’d somehow float away from him and feel abandoned in this giant body of water.

“You ready to try without the life vest?” he asked in a tentative voice.

My pulse pitched, but I still nodded. I knew he wouldn’t leave me stranded or let anything happen to me.

“We’ll just practice floating.”

Tugging me closer to the edge of the boat, he helped unsnap the vest. As he fished it over my shoulders, his gaze met mine. “It’s okay. I got you.”

He placed the vest on the platform, where my fingers were digging into the edge for dear life.

Tristan moved behind me, his hands winding around my waist, and I immediately felt goose bumps line my skin. Just like I did when I was lying in bed with him. His lips found my ear, and it made all the hair along my nape stand on end. “Breathe, West. It’s going to be okay.”

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Mother, wife, reader, dreamer. Christina lives in the Midwest with her husband and son–her two favorite guys. She’s addicted to lip balm, coffee, and kissing. Because everything is better with kissing.

She writes MM Contemporary as well as Adult and New Adult Romance. She believes in happily-ever-afters for all, so reading and writing romance for everybody under the rainbow helps quench her soul.

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Release Blitz: Shattered Pieces by K.M. Neuhold

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SHATTERED PIECES

HEATHENS INK SERIES, BOOK 4

K.M. NEUHOLD

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 10.31.17

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COVER DESIGN: K.M. Neuhold

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“I was sure my heart had withered away years ago, but then you smiled at me and I felt it beat again.” ~Gage

Years ago, I fell in love with my best friend’s little brother. Then, he took his own life, leaving me shattered and unable to piece my heart back together. I’ve been a zombie for nine long years. Until a crazy, gorgeous man walked into Heathens Ink and injected color back into my world of gray. No matter how hard I try to resist Beck he just won’t give up on me. I would need steel willpower to withstand his gorgeous long legs in his high heels, and his drawer full of lacy lingerie. But is this just a kinky hook up or does it have the possibility for more?

“We’re both broken, but our jagged edges fit together well” ~ Beck

When you’re half of a whole you never contemplate what life would be like without your matching piece. Since my twin sister, Brianna, died last year, nothing I do seems to quiet my soul. I know there has to be some way for me to feel happy and whole again. And, when I look into the pained eyes of the tattoo artist at Heathens Ink I feel like I have a purpose. I can’t explain it, but I feel like I have to find a way to put him back together.

Shattered Pieces is book 4 in The Heathens Ink Series and can be read as a standalone.

Scattered Pieces Teaser 1

EXCERPT

“Dance with me.” Beck holds his hand out to me. His eyes spark with amusement at what I’m sure is the obvious horror in my expression.

“I don’t dance.”

“Come on, you’re supposed to be trying fun, new things. I’m not expecting Fred Astaire, just stand in my general vicinity and nod your head to the beat.”

I sigh in resignation and take Beck’s hand, refusing to notice how soft his skin is or how good it feels to touch someone, however casually.

Still clutching my hand, Beck starts to dance. He starts out tame, simply swaying to the music. But, before long he’s spinning and shimmying like a ballerina on crack. Even being goofy and over the top he’s utterly graceful. And the joy in his expression is heartbreaking in its beauty.

When he spins out and then into my arms like a tango dancer, a laugh escapes from my chest, too full of a warmth to contain it.

“You have a really nice laugh,” Beck says, smiling up at me.

My heart thuds violently against my ribcage. Some long-forgotten place in my brain wakes up from its long slumber and starts to make irrational demands like kiss him and make Beck mine.

I pull my arms back, forcing a smile as blood rushes in my ears. Beck isn’t mine. He can never be mine. I had someone who was mine and I broke him beyond repair.

“I’m afraid I’m a bit rusty,” I admit with chagrin.

“Never too late to pick it back up again,” Beck reasons, stepping close again but not so close to warrant another retreat on my part.

His lips are rosy pink and so soft, slightly parted and unbelievably tempting. I can’t remember if we were discussing laughing or kissing and I don’t really care.

“For the first time in a long time I’m starting to wonder if that’s true.” The hope my statement sparks in Beck’s eyes forces me to backpedal as guilt washes over me. “It feels wrong to imagine happiness is possible, even in some vague, future way.”

“I’m not going to give you any trite bullshit like saying Johnny would’ve wanted you to be happy. I didn’t know Johnny and even if I had there’s no way to know what he would’ve wanted because he’s gone. But you’re still here. You still have a life, a heart, and the right to be happy whether now or in a vague future.” The way Beck holds my gaze is like a cobra ensnaring a mouse. “You don’t need Johnny’s permission to move on and be happy. You only need to give yourself permission.”

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I’m an author of m/m and new adult romance. I have a strong passion for writing characters with a lot of heart and soul, and a bit of humor as well.

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My favourite in the Heathens Ink series so far

Shattered Pieces (Heathens Ink, #4)Shattered Pieces by K.M. Neuhold

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked this one the best out of all in this series as there’s nothing sweeter than someone getting a second chance at love.

However, I think there was a touch too much introspection on Gage’s part as he repeatedly weighed up whether he could love Beck because of Johnny.

I mean I totally get that you don’t ever get over the death of a loved one and the particular circumstances here were heart breaking tragic, but still it was heading slightly into masochistic tendencies the amount of times he mentally beat himself up over every piece of enjoyment.

Beck was awesome though, I completely loved him. Unabashed about his love of make up, lace underwear and heels, he had an irrepressible spirit and just oozed joy.

He did provide the perfect foil for Gage and helped him move back into the world of the truly living and I do like this setting with its close knit bunch of friends.

#ARC provided by the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Gorgeous romance from Christina Lee

Reawaken (Under My Skin, #2)Reawaken by Christina Lee

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is gorgeous and tugs at the heart strings before wrapping everything up in a slightly squiffy bow which has been tied together with a lot of love but not necessarily any polish. (The bow that is, not the book!)

I’ve said before how much I love the skill Christina has in connecting the reader to the characters she writes and this one, book two in her new series of intertwined stories, is no exception.

In Tristan and West she’s created two fully fleshed out men with their own broken parts and holes in their heart which are looking for the right person to mend them.

It’s a slow, slow burn, friendship into attraction into lust and into love and it has to be that way as both men have deep scars which need some tender care.

I felt a twinge of sympathy for Mr V, West’s ex-boyfriend, I think he did care for him in his own repressed way, and Tristan’s dead husband was a presence in the background who never took over or felt like a missing perfect saint.

Seeing them slowly open up again to the possibility of a new life and a new love was so beautiful to read. I’m looking forward to more from this series.

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

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My favourite one yet in the series – full of comfort and hope

Brave & Beautiful (Sassy Boyz, #3)Brave & Beautiful by Elizabeth Varlet

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Definitely my favourite so far in this series and the one which ties in the closest to the dance related theme on which the books hang.

Surprisingly, for a character who has suffered so much in his relatively short life, Tam was a beautiful soul, and I never found this story to be particularly depressing or overly angsty.

I also didn’t really find Driver to be an ass, as others have pinned him, I understood his need to run, to try and escape from feeling anything real. Yes, he was a dick, but it wasn’t done from malice or even with any deliberate intention.

I will say one thing though, why the bizarre names?! I swear there’s not one character in these books, including secondary ones, that has what I’d consider a ‘normal’ name and it does knock me out of the story a bit when I read it.

Not that I expect everyone to be called Fred or John and to be honest, it’s mostly Driver that I’m having a whinge about because really, Driver?! (I loved Tam’s name though so yes, I’m fickle)

There’s some truly sweet character development in this one and the steam level, while on the lesser side for quite valid reasons, still manages to be wonderfully expressive and emotional.

Loved the cover too, again my fave of the series so far.

#ARC received from NetGalley in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Potential trigger issues but I didn’t find it dark

Dark & Dazzling (Sassy Boyz, #2)Dark & Dazzling by Elizabeth Varlet

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked this one more than book one. I’m not sure just what it was, but I had more sympathy for Z than I had had with Ansel, even though most of Z’s problems were caused by his own pride.

I loved Connelly though, even if he was a bit of an idiot to not tell Azariah that he’d paid his back rent for him. His whole character was unapologetically caring and he tried to do his best all the time.

I wouldn’t say this one was particularly dark though, there’s two scenes people have highlighted as being potential issues but I felt neither hit the non con status even if one was a little bit icky and the other was filled with angry emotions.

Either way, there’s some hot sex, some angst, some dramady and a nice lot of groveling to wrap things up.

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Just my cup of tea

Rule BreakerRule Breaker by Lily Morton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh this book suited me perfectly, the right amount of banter, a British bite of sarcasm and humour, insanely hot sex, a broken man who finds his way and another who provided the port in a storm.

Gabe, tormented and broken Gabe, I’ve had my own version of you, a man afraid to let go of his heart, afraid of love because of the pain it can bring with it.

He was an utter arse at times but I understood him completely, he was frightened of his feelings for Dylan and couldn’t take the risk of being abandoned so he fought back with his whole arsenal of emotional weapons.

And there’s no one can hurt you as much as the person you’re in love with. I ached for Dylan, but he didn’t sit passively by when pushed, he hit back too, using the knowledge he’d built up to stab Gabe where it would hurt the hardest – into the fragile part of his feelings he’d slowly been letting out.

The scenes in Devon at Dylan’s parent’s farm were among my favourites. The contrast between the family’s acceptance of Gabe, his own awakened feelings which allowed him to just let go, and the explosively hot Fleshjack edging sexual encounter was perfect.
And gawd, the sexual chemistry between these two men hit volcanic status, it oozed off the pages alongside the tensions and the emotions.


His shirt is hanging off one shoulder, the arm seam ripped where I’d fisted it, and his trousers are round his ankles. I’m stark, bollock naked apart from one black sock. We’re both covered in sweat and come and breathing heavily.

I know other reviewers have described the relationship between them as toxic but I don’t think it was as straightforward as that. Gabe never hid from Dylan that he couldn’t do real, that it would only ever be sex. But Lily Morton did brilliantly to show the reader, through only Dylan’s POV, that he was fighting more than just sex, that feelings and emotions were involved whether Gabe wanted them to be there or not.

Dylan knew what he was doing when he got into bed with Gabe and he managed to run with it for quite a while, hoping there’d be a change in circumstances as anyone in love would do. It wasn’t until Gabe started shutting himself off – and the Valentine’s Day incident – that he took a stand.

I understood why he reacted as he did, it was a natural consequence of being pushed away too far. I loved how Jude and Henry, best friends of the two men, saw what was really going on and started their plotting, knowing Dylan and Gabe really did need each other.

For me, there was enough groveling and genuine expressions of remorse to enable the narrative to come together for the ending. The epilogue was all ends up awesome too.

I’d love to read more about Jude and Henry too. I would say though, that the setting itself, outside of the sarcastic banter, didn’t really have a huge British feel to it. The odd words threw me, elevator instead of lift, intern instead of apprentice or trainee (as has been my own work experience) but whisky was spelt right 🙂

Also major kudos goes to Lily for including Peter Gabriel’s In Your Eyes as the tune which reminded Gabe of Dylan. It’s one of the most beautiful songs in the world imho.

Watch the Say Anything moment here

Make sure to grab the free short from Lily’s website of what happens next, it’s awesome.

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