Release Blitz: Last Defence by RJ Scott and V.L. Locey

Last Defence | RJ Scott & V.L. Locey

Harrisburg Railers #5

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Length: 52,000 words approx
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
Harrisburg Railers Series
Book #1 – Changing Lines – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – First Season – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – Deep Edge – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #4 – Poke Check – Amazon US | Amazon UK

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Blurb

Two men afraid to feel, have to make choices that could end up breaking down their defenses and leading them back to love.

Every time Max Van Hellren steps on the ice he knows it could be his last time. At thirty he’s past his hockey prime but he’s also hiding a life-threatening injury that private doctors warn could kill him. This is his last season, and there’s a chance he could lift the Stanley Cup after fourteen years in the NHL. He just needs to stay safe and healthy; difficult when he’s known for his heavy hitting and with a propensity for dropping the gloves and putting his body in the way of pucks to keep his team safe.

A one night stand with a sexy man was just what he needed, dangerous and hot, but what if it turned into more? Would he actually have to share the secrets he so desperately tries to hide?

Ben Worthington had it all. A fulfilling job running the CrossRoads Shelter, his loving aunts, and a husband that understood his devotion to animals. Then, the love of his life left him, succumbing so quickly to an unexpected sickness that Ben never had time to say goodbye. The violent loss scarred him.

Unable to move past his fears, he moves from lonely encounter to lonely encounter, slaking a desperate need that is eating away at him, but never making a connection that could lead him back into love. One night with Max makes him want more, but will giving into the temptation open the door to feelings he can’t contain?

Can these two broken men ever find a way to be together?

Excerpt

“Nice dog.” I paused just this side of the players’ entrance at the deep voice coming from behind me. There was something about that man’s voice…the timbre of the bass or the way he spoke. Not sure what it was, but the last time he’d spoken to me my body had had the same kind of reaction. A spear of latent heat low in my belly followed by a shiv of icy dread.

“Thanks.” I wanted to stare at the door. Or run. I couldn’t do either of those, though, so I turned to face the bearded man. Christ, but he was fierce-looking. Like a Viking, with piercing eyes and an aura that screamed berserker. He was bigger than me. Taller by at least four inches and probably sixty pounds. He was wearing a suit, as Stan and Erik had been, but his looked incredibly fine on his burly frame. Dark blue with a silver tie and a white shirt. His biceps strained the material trying to contain them.

“His name is Bucky.” There now, I had spoken to the man who made my heart leap around inside my chest like a frog on a highway.

“Like Captain America’s sidekick?” He looked down at my worn T-shirt with Cap’s shield on it.

“Exactly like that.”

He took another step, which put him into my little personal space bubble, his gaze and mine locked. I wet my lips and jerked my chin up a bit. I wasn’t going to let some hockey player intimidate me.

“Cute dog. Hot owner.” He gave me a long, slow look, petted Bucky, and stepped around the dull-witted man trying to digest the fact Mr. Fear had said he was hot. “Are you coming in, or are you teaching your dog to open doors mentally?”

“I’m here to see Layton Foxx.”

“Yeah? Well, I’m here to participate in morning skate.”

“I know who you are. Max van Hellren. You played for Washington four years ago.”

He tugged the door open and settled a kind of bored look on me. “Yeah, that was me. You like Washington?”

“Hometown team.” Bucky barked to back me up. Max smiled. All the ferocity that oozed out of him dissipated when he smiled. The man was seriously fine.

“Maybe I can change your mind about which team to cheer for, Mr. Washington Fan.”

“Ben. My name is Ben.”

He nodded just once, his hand still keeping the door open. “Ben. I like that. Suits you. So, are we coming in or are we going to flirt here in front of Pete?”

A security guard peeked around the door and winked at me. I wanted to die. Right there.

“I don’t flirt,” I snapped. I stalked around Max and Pete and went off to find Layton Foxx. Determination hot in my breast kept me from looking back to see if Max was checking out my ass. I hoped he was and I prayed he wasn’t.

RJ’s goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after. RJ Scott is the bestselling author of over one hundred romance books.

She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, Dr. Who, Torchwood, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.)

She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, two Jersey steers and a flock of assorted domestic fowl.

When not writing lusty tales, she can be found enjoying her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand.

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Gorgeous addition to the Harrisburg Railers series

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Last Defense by R.J. Scott & V.L. Locey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This one is as gorgeous as the cover and difficult to review without giving a lot away!

There’s the usual excellent level of ice hockey detail you’d expect from this series, all our usual suspects make plenty of appearances and Stan is still the best Russian goalie ever 🙂

But, in this one, we have a different type of relationship which looks at how sometimes it’s the things we don’t say which can be the most important.

I admired Ben, I adored Max, and I wanted to squish hug Bucky the dog, and together they were just absolutely perfect. Everything I’d want to see in a relationship, supportive, understanding, caring, hot as a burning fire.

The angsty is still there though, hiding away until it eventually boils over. I’m not going to go into the plot as this is one which needs to be read blind, but believe me, the tension is real with this one!

I loved everything in this story, the narrative pacing was perfect, the romance was so sweet and passionate.
I loved that there was no doubts from Max about Ben’s love for his sadly deceased husband. I loved how Ben’s great aunts were meddlers for all the right reasons.

The interracial elements are handled well, Ben’s wry commentary on how his skin colour would be perceived in the posh neighbourhood where Stan and Alex live if he followed Max’s suggestion of “just driving around until they spotted the big gates”, was perfectly judged.

I’m hard pressed to pick a favourite Railers story but this one would be pushing hard.

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

View all my Goodreads reviews

Review & Blog Tour: Diego’s Secret by Bryan T. Clark

Diego’s Secret | Bryan T. Clark


Universal Buy Link

Cover Design: Krista Lynn Design

Length: 80,921 words

 

 Blurb

 

Can love conquer our deepest secrets and fears?

Are the challenges worth the struggle?

Eight years ago, at the age of seventeen, Diego Castillo came to the United States illegally from Mexico. Working long hours in the family landscaping business, he now shares a tiny apartment with his two machismo brothers in Southern California. Diego has worked hard to keep his desires for other men a secret from his brothers. He’s worked just as hard to keep his undocumented status a secret from the world he now lives in.

Thirty-two-year-old Winston Makena is beautiful, intelligent, and intimidating. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but no amount of money can relieve the enormous grief he is suffering from his husband’s sudden death. He is one of Diego’s best accounts and lives a life in stark contrast to his gardener’s. Winston’s wealthy upbringing has influenced his ideas, leading him to certain biases.

Winston believes he could never love again. Diego believes that his family’s lives depend on him keeping his secrets. What neither of them know is that the heart knows no such boundaries. Will social divisions, ideology, and secrets destroy both their chances for happiness?

Can love really conquer all?


May 1 – Dreams & Screams Bookaholics

May 2 – The Novel Approach

May 3 – Katie’s Book Corner, Blazing Zane Book Blog

May 4 – Love Bytes Reviews

May 8 – Bayou Book Junkie

May 9 – RAM PA Group, MM Good Book Reviews

May 10 – Joyfully Jay

May 11 – Valerie Ullmer, Mirrigold: Mutterings & Musings, Megan’s Media Melange, Virginia Lee

May 12 – Making It Happen

Copy of Bryan 200dpi

 Author Bio

 Bryan Thomas Clark is a funny, loving, family-oriented, and proud member of the LGBTQ community. After twenty-seven years in law enforcement, Bryan retired in 2015 to focus on his writing full time.
Behind his computer, working on his next novel, Bryan writes Romance with real emotions that represent the moral dilemma that his characters face in their pursuit of love.
He brilliantly weaves real life situations filled with difficult challenges, where his vibrant characters experience personal growth, and of course, what we all desire, lasting love.
Author’s website: www.btclark.com

Twitter: @BryanTClarkx2

Facebook: BryanTclarkauthor@facebook.com

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

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/7875459.Bryan_T_Clark.com

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Release Blitz: Diego’s Secret by Bryan T. Clark

Diego’s Secret | Bryan T. Clark

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Cover Design: Krista Lynn Design
Length: 80,921 words

Blurb

 

Can love conquer our deepest secrets and fears?

Are the challenges worth the struggle?

Eight years ago, at the age of seventeen, Diego Castillo came to the United States illegally from Mexico. Working long hours in the family landscaping business, he now shares a tiny apartment with his two machismo brothers in Southern California. Diego has worked hard to keep his desires for other men a secret from his brothers. He’s worked just as hard to keep his undocumented status a secret from the world he now lives in.

Thirty-two-year-old Winston Makena is beautiful, intelligent, and intimidating. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but no amount of money can relieve the enormous grief he is suffering from his husband’s sudden death. He is one of Diego’s best accounts and lives a life in stark contrast to his gardener’s. Winston’s wealthy upbringing has influenced his ideas, leading him to certain biases.

Winston believes he could never love again. Diego believes that his family’s lives depend on him keeping his secrets. What neither of them know is that the heart knows no such boundaries. Will social divisions, ideology, and secrets destroy both their chances for happiness?

Can love really conquer all?

 Copy of Bryan 200dpi

Author Bio

Bryan Thomas Clark is a funny, loving, family-oriented, and proud member of the LGBTQ community. After twenty-seven years in law enforcement, Bryan retired in 2015 to focus on his writing full time.

Behind his computer, working on his next novel, Bryan writes Romance with real emotions that represent the moral dilemma that his characters face in their pursuit of love.

He brilliantly weaves real life situations filled with difficult challenges, where his vibrant characters experience personal growth, and of course, what we all desire, lasting love.

Author’s website: www.btclark.com

Twitter: @BryanTClarkx2

Facebook: BryanTclarkauthor@facebook.com

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

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/7875459.Bryan_T_Clark.com

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Slow slow slow burn for this look at love after loss

Diego's SecretDiego’s Secret by Bryan T. Clark

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was my first read by Bryan T. Clark and I enjoyed it. There’s a huge amount of world building gone into this book, layers which bring depth to the romance between two different people from totally different worlds.

It’s not quite slow burn, but it builds up the tension as Diego can’t quite understand why Winston is so drawn to him but, for the older man, it’s a second chance of love having lost his husband, the man who had taken care of everything for him in the past decade.

There’s hesitancy but the men create a deep connection with each other in spite of the secrets and the differences however, I did find it took a while to really get going. There’s lots of expressive prose describing the day to day actions of both men which are gorgeously written but perhaps not all needed.

As I’ve not read this author before I’m unsure if this is just their style but the slow languid pace was sometimes a bit frustrating and I just wanted the big fall out to hurry up and get out in the open so both men could move on with building a new life together!

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

View all my reviews

Good promise but an unpolished execution in this love story

Jace's Trial (Trials in Abingdon #1)Jace’s Trial by J.M. Wolf

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

2.5*

I wanted to like this book more than I ended up doing as, on paper, it had so many tropes I love reading about.

Unfortunately, for me, it just didn’t work for a number of reasons, not least being the lack of development given to the relationship between Jase and Gerard.

I know there’s such a thing as instant love, that meeting with your soul mate, but I just didn’t feel that here, especially since Gerard had been in love with Jase’s dad and in a relationship with him only a relatively short while earlier.

The narrative was an odd jumble of styles too, told in first person alternative POV, it jumped around and the dialogue was, at times, odd and unnatural sounding.

Plus, at one point early in the story when the two men first meet, Jase’s eyes are described almost simultaneously as both ‘scintilating’ and yet also expressing the cold, blank and lifeless stare, his aunt had warned Gerard about. I scratched my head a bit at that point.

There’s good points though, it’s a nicely fleshed out world with some interesting secondary characters, there’s potential for more stories in this setting and it’s well edited in terms of proofing and grammar and the cover is gorgeous.

I think the author has promise and I will definitely keep an eye out for the next book in the series.

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

View all my reviews

Blog & Review Tour: In Wild Lemon Groves by Selina Kray

Universal Buy Link: books2read.com/WildLemonGroves
Length: 55,000 words approx.
Cover Design: Tiferet Design

 Blurb

 

A telltale knock on a quiet winter night is a sound no husband wants to hear.

Sébastien Osaki has spent the past three years surviving the loss of his beloved Henry. When Seb lands in Amalfi, Italy, for their would-have-been tenth-anniversary trip, he’s haunted by the memory of the man he loved. Following Henry’s notebook leads him to some breathtaking coastal views but also right back to his despair. Seb’s there to get his groove back, not let the past wrong-foot him at every turn.

Enter Andrea Sorrentino, chauffeur, part-time pet whisperer, a Bernini statue in a soccer tee and tight shorts. From the moment Andrea picks Seb up from the airport, he knows just how to soothe Seb’s case of the sulks. But Seb isn’t sure he’s ready for Mr. Right Now, let alone a potential Mr. Right, in a part of the world where all roads lead back to Henry.

Can sun, sea, and eating your weight in pasta mend a tragedy-stricken heart? Will wine-soaked Amalfi nights and long walks through lemon groves work their magic on Seb’s wounded soul? Or will he slink back into the shell of his grief once his grand Italian adventure is over?

 Excerpt
 

Scent of sea and palm,

Craggy and ancient, a world

Bathed in saffron

– #17, In Blue Solitudes, S. Wilson-Osaki

“A. S’okay.” Bleary eyed and bone weary, Sébastien stared at the sign for two minutes before it registered. He kept his distance, glanced around the bushel of sun-ripened cab drivers and chauffeurs waiting to squeeze every last euro out of their charges, but no.

This was him. Smile so bright it blinded, like glare off a windshield. Footballer’s frame decked in team colors and too-tight shorts. Face Bernini could have sculpted. Hair black as an oil slick, greased into a neat, perfect slope. His tortoiseshell eyes twinkled in Seb’s direction when he took a cautious step forward.


Signor S’okay?”

“Osaki. Yes.”

“Ah, Osokay.”

“Osaki. O-sak-i. Japanese.”

“You fly from Japan?”

“No. Canada. Montreal.”

“Si, si, Signor Osaki. Sebastiano.”

Seb opened his mouth to correct him but nodded instead. “That’s me.”

“Andrea Sorrentino.” He thumped a hand on his chest. “You want I take your bag?”

“Uh…”

Before he could decide, the driver clacked down the handle on his extra-fee-heavy suitcase and hefted it under his arm like an unruly toddler. “Vieni, vieni.” He dove into the crowd before Seb could get his bearings.

Spotting the clean line to the exit, Seb set his own pace, his tipsy head still mired in a post-flight fugue. Thirty-two sleepless hours, plus a morning spent tracing and retracing his path through the labyrinthine halls of the Rome airport to make his connection, left him listless. With exhaustion but also nerves. What had he been thinking, shipping off to a country he’d never been to and where he didn’t speak the language?

The answer, of course, was Henry. Who should have been there, propping him up with his rock climber’s arms, but also with his wonderment, the kid-in-a-candy store way he’d seen the world. Henry had puffed all his energy and excitement and fire into Seb’s lead balloon and—in his latest impossible feat—made him fly.

Clutching his backpack like a life preserver, Seb practiced his deep breathing as he waded through the stream of travellers. More of a trickle, really, now that he was in the flow. One foot in front of the other, he reminded himself, looking for a focal point. A taut jean-clad ass, with a carefree swagger all its own, lured him the rest of the way. Seb staggered out of the airport terminal…

… into a whole new world. The hazy afternoon sun swaddled him like a warm blanket. Ripe with the scent of palm trees and petrol, the parking lot was more social gathering than frantic hub, with drivers chatting, smoking, and laughing as they waited for clueless travellers to wander by. Stoic mountains—silent sentries at the gate to paradise—shadowed the horizon, rings of mist crowning their crater heads.

Woozy with relief, Seb lowered his lids to half-mast and basked in the moment. This was Henry’s world. He was safe.

A hulking black SUV screeched to a halt in front of him, blocking the view. Before Seb could decide whether to be terrified or outraged, his driver slid open the side door, beckoning him into his luxury air-conditioned chariot. Too polite to give in to the urge to collapse across the seats and zonk out, Seb stumbled into the nearest chair. His hands shook as he fought with the seat belt.

Something about that fateful click brought the reality back home—he was trapped in a jet-fuelled coffin with a man who could barely pronounce his name, soon to be zipping down a highway where speed limits weren’t even guidelines, thousands of miles from home, by a world-famous volcano that once scorched everything for miles—

Hand on his knee. There was a hand on his knee.

Signor Osakay? You want I get you espresso? Water? Food? Is no trouble.”

“No.” Seb shut his eyes, sucked in all the air he could. “I… I’m just tired. Didn’t sleep on the plane.” When he opened them again, he met soft eyes shimmering with kindness. His exhalation came easy. So did his smile. What was his name again? Andrea Sorrentino. A gentle name, full of music.

Granita al limone. Un momento.” A squeeze to Seb’s knee, and he hopped out the door.

February 8 – The Novel Approach

February 9 – Booklove

February 10 – Gay Book Reviews

February 12 – MM Good Book Reviews

February 13 – Hearts On Fire Reviews, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

February 14 – My Fiction Nook

February 16 – Love Bytes Reviews

February 17 – Open Mind For A Different View

February 19 – Mirrigold: Mutterings & Musings, Sarandipity Book Reviews

 

Author Bio

Selina Kray is the nom de plume of an author and English editor. Professionally she has covered all the artsy-fartsy bases, having worked in a bookstore, at a cinema, in children’s television, and in television distribution, up to her latest incarnation as a subtitle editor and grammar nerd (though she may have always been a grammar nerd). A self-proclaimed geek and pop culture junkie who sometimes manages to pry herself away from the review sites and gossip blogs to write fiction of her own, she is a voracious consumer of art with both a capital and lowercase A.

Selina’s aim is to write genre-spanning romances with intricate plots, complex characters, and lots of heart. Whether she has achieved this goal is for you, gentle readers, to decide. At present she is hard at work on future novels at home in Montreal, Quebec, with her wee corgi serving as both foot warmer and in-house critic.

If you’re interested in receiving Selina’s newsletter and being the first to know when new books are released, plus getting sneak peeks at upcoming novels, please sign up at her website: www.selinakray.net

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