Tag Archives: love after loss

Review Tour: Blue Umbrella Sky by Rick R. Reed

Blue Umbrella Sky | Rick R. Reed

RTBANNER-46

Length: 60,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Reese Dante

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Universal Link

READ MY REVIEW

BlueUmbrellaSkyFS_v1.jpg

Blurb

Milt Grabaur has left his life, home, and teaching career in Ohio to start anew. The Summer Winds trailer park in Palm Springs, butted up against the San Jacinto mountain range, seems the perfect place to forget the pain of nursing his beloved husband through Alzheimer’s and seeing him off on his final passage.

Billy Blue is a sexy California surfer type who once dreamed of being a singer but now works at Trader Joe’s and lives in his own trailer at Summer Winds. He’s focused on recovery from the alcoholism that put his dreams on hold.

When his new neighbor moves in, Billy falls for the gray-eyed man. His sadness and loneliness awaken something Billy’s never felt before—real love.

When a summer storm and flash flood jeopardize Milt’s home, Billy comes to the rescue, hoping the two men might get better acquainted… and maybe begin a new romance.

But Milt’s devotion to his late husband is strong, and he worries that acting on his attraction will be a betrayal.

Can they lay down their baggage and find out how redemptive love can be?

Rick Says:

Blue Umbrella Sky is my first novel set in my new home of Palm Springs, California. The old song is true—it never rains in southern California, but when it does, it pours.

A flash flood plays an unlikely Cupid in bringing our two main characters together, as you’ll see in the excerpt below.

Excerpt

Boy Meets Boy

Worst of all, Milt watched the water hover just outside the sliding glass doors, waiting, perhaps, for an invitation to come inside.

Ah, the hell with it, the water seemed to say, why wait for an invitation? This party needs crashing!

And it began to seep in…. A little at first, and then faster and faster, until his entire floor was covered.

Milt involuntarily cried out, voice high-pitched and terrified, nothing like the butch forty-two-year-old he thought himself. “Help! Flood! Somebody, please!” The cry was pure panic. Logically, he knew no one would hear.

What that helper would do, Milt had no idea, but he simply wanted someone to be with him in his predicament. The thought flitted across his consciousness that he’d been here six months, and it wasn’t until today and the advent of a rainstorm of biblical proportions that he realized he didn’t want to be alone. He swore as warm water covered his bare feet at the exact moment his power went out, plunging his little sanctuary into murky dark.

And at this very unnerving moment, Milt realized—gratefully—someone just might have heard his pleas for help. There was a pounding at the back door, rattling the glass jalousie panes. He turned, confused for a moment—he’d cast himself as a sole survivor, a man against nature, alone.

The pounding continued. A voice. “Hey! You okay in there?”

Milt crossed the living room and the small galley kitchen to get to the back door. But when he opened it, there was no one there. The wind pushed at him, mocking, and the rain sent a drenching spray against him. Despite getting soaked, Milt leaned out, gripping the door’s frame with both hands for balance, and looked around.

Even though the covering of storm clouds had made it seem as though a dusky twilight had fallen, he could see that there was no one there.

He wondered if he’d imagined the knocking and the voice. He really didn’t know his neighbors, having kept to himself since he’d moved out here because he just wasn’t ready to connect with others again. He’d given so much to his Corky during those final tortured months…. Sometimes Milt felt he had nothing left to give anyone again ever.

And a dog, cowering and bashful as she might be, had been company enough.

His little reverie was shattered by a second round of knocking, this time at the sliding glass doors in his living room. “Okay, so I’m not hearing things.” Milt turned away from the back door and headed to the sliders.

Outside, a young man stood, drenched from head to toe, in a pair of neon-pink board shorts and, well, nothing else. Maybe there’s flip-flops. Milt couldn’t see the guy’s feet. His jaw dropped as he hurried to open the door. In spite of all that was going on—the storm, the flood, the risk of his home being destroyed—he couldn’t help his thoughts, notions he’d decided long ago died within him.

I am looking at an angel; that’s all there is to it. He’s going to sweep me away in those muscular arms, lifting me right up to heaven and setting me down gently next to my Corky.
Milt shook his head. A short burst of laughter escaped him, almost as if someone else were chuckling in his living room with him.

The guy was handsome, a tanned and buff dreamboat. Corky would have loved him, saying, once upon a time, that looks like this boy’s should be illegal, or at least sinful. Milt smiled.

Even though his hair was plastered to his head, Milt could tell it was thick and luxurious—right now the color of dark wheat, but Milt was certain that in dryer moments, it was as gold as the pure, unfiltered sunshine Milt had grown accustomed to being greeted by every morning. He had a body that made Milt, if only for a moment, forget the storm and the fact that he was a widower, still grieving nearly a year after losing his man. Muscles, smooth bronze skin, and a six-pack had the power of oblivion, of taking precedence over everything else.

Stop, he mentally chastised himself. He flung open the slider, noticing the rain had—at last—slowed to a patter and the winds had died down almost completely. Milt, though, couldn’t seem to put lips and tongue together to form a greeting or ask a question or to even say anything at all. His eyebrows came together like two caterpillars possessed of their own will.

“Hey there, man. I heard you calling out for help.” He jerked a thumb over his shoulder. “I live in the unit behind you.” He smiled, revealing electric-white teeth that made Milt’s thoughts go even more blank or even more lascivious, he wasn’t sure which. He shivered.

TourGrahpic-13

About the Author

Copy of RickRReed-wm-1.jpg

Real Men. True Love.

Rick R. Reed draws inspiration from the lives of gay men to craft stories that quicken the heartbeat, engage emotions, and keep the pages turning. Although he dabbles in horror, dark suspense, and comedy, his attention always returns to the power of love.

He’s the award-winning and bestselling author of more than fifty works of published fiction and is forever at work on yet another book. Lambda Literary has called him: “A writer that doesn’t disappoint…”

You can find him at www.rickrreed.com or www.rickrreedreality.blogspot.com. Rick lives in Palm Springs, CA with his beloved husband and their fierce Chihuahua/Shiba Inu mix.

Social Media

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/rickrreedbooks

Twitter: www.twitter.com/rickrreed

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+RickReedWRITER

Blog: http://rickrreedreality.blogspot.com/

Website: www.rickrreed.com

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/rick-r-reed

Email: rickrreedbooks@gmail.com


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Release Blitz: Blue Umbrella Sky by Rick R. Reed

Blue Umbrella Sky | Rick R. Reed

RBbanner-60.jpg

Length: 60,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Reese Dante

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Universal Link

BlueUmbrellaSkyFS_v1.jpg

Blurb

Milt Grabaur has left his life, home, and teaching career in Ohio to start anew. The Summer Winds trailer park in Palm Springs, butted up against the San Jacinto mountain range, seems the perfect place to forget the pain of nursing his beloved husband through Alzheimer’s and seeing him off on his final passage.

Billy Blue is a sexy California surfer type who once dreamed of being a singer but now works at Trader Joe’s and lives in his own trailer at Summer Winds. He’s focused on recovery from the alcoholism that put his dreams on hold.

When his new neighbor moves in, Billy falls for the gray-eyed man. His sadness and loneliness awaken something Billy’s never felt before—real love.

When a summer storm and flash flood jeopardize Milt’s home, Billy comes to the rescue, hoping the two men might get better acquainted… and maybe begin a new romance.

But Milt’s devotion to his late husband is strong, and he worries that acting on his attraction will be a betrayal.

Can they lay down their baggage and find out how redemptive love can be?

Rick Says:

Blue Umbrella Sky is my first novel set in my new home of Palm Springs, California. The old song is true—it never rains in southern California, but when it does, it pours.

A flash flood plays an unlikely Cupid in bringing our two main characters together, as you’ll see in the excerpt below.

Excerpt

Boy Meets Boy

Worst of all, Milt watched the water hover just outside the sliding glass doors, waiting, perhaps, for an invitation to come inside.

Ah, the hell with it, the water seemed to say, why wait for an invitation? This party needs crashing!

And it began to seep in…. A little at first, and then faster and faster, until his entire floor was covered.

Milt involuntarily cried out, voice high-pitched and terrified, nothing like the butch forty-two-year-old he thought himself. “Help! Flood! Somebody, please!” The cry was pure panic. Logically, he knew no one would hear.

What that helper would do, Milt had no idea, but he simply wanted someone to be with him in his predicament. The thought flitted across his consciousness that he’d been here six months, and it wasn’t until today and the advent of a rainstorm of biblical proportions that he realized he didn’t want to be alone. He swore as warm water covered his bare feet at the exact moment his power went out, plunging his little sanctuary into murky dark.

And at this very unnerving moment, Milt realized—gratefully—someone just might have heard his pleas for help. There was a pounding at the back door, rattling the glass jalousie panes. He turned, confused for a moment—he’d cast himself as a sole survivor, a man against nature, alone.

The pounding continued. A voice. “Hey! You okay in there?”

Milt crossed the living room and the small galley kitchen to get to the back door. But when he opened it, there was no one there. The wind pushed at him, mocking, and the rain sent a drenching spray against him. Despite getting soaked, Milt leaned out, gripping the door’s frame with both hands for balance, and looked around.

Even though the covering of storm clouds had made it seem as though a dusky twilight had fallen, he could see that there was no one there.

He wondered if he’d imagined the knocking and the voice. He really didn’t know his neighbors, having kept to himself since he’d moved out here because he just wasn’t ready to connect with others again. He’d given so much to his Corky during those final tortured months…. Sometimes Milt felt he had nothing left to give anyone again ever.

And a dog, cowering and bashful as she might be, had been company enough.

His little reverie was shattered by a second round of knocking, this time at the sliding glass doors in his living room. “Okay, so I’m not hearing things.” Milt turned away from the back door and headed to the sliders.

Outside, a young man stood, drenched from head to toe, in a pair of neon-pink board shorts and, well, nothing else. Maybe there’s flip-flops. Milt couldn’t see the guy’s feet. His jaw dropped as he hurried to open the door. In spite of all that was going on—the storm, the flood, the risk of his home being destroyed—he couldn’t help his thoughts, notions he’d decided long ago died within him.

I am looking at an angel; that’s all there is to it. He’s going to sweep me away in those muscular arms, lifting me right up to heaven and setting me down gently next to my Corky.
Milt shook his head. A short burst of laughter escaped him, almost as if someone else were chuckling in his living room with him.

The guy was handsome, a tanned and buff dreamboat. Corky would have loved him, saying, once upon a time, that looks like this boy’s should be illegal, or at least sinful. Milt smiled.

Even though his hair was plastered to his head, Milt could tell it was thick and luxurious—right now the color of dark wheat, but Milt was certain that in dryer moments, it was as gold as the pure, unfiltered sunshine Milt had grown accustomed to being greeted by every morning. He had a body that made Milt, if only for a moment, forget the storm and the fact that he was a widower, still grieving nearly a year after losing his man. Muscles, smooth bronze skin, and a six-pack had the power of oblivion, of taking precedence over everything else.

Stop, he mentally chastised himself. He flung open the slider, noticing the rain had—at last—slowed to a patter and the winds had died down almost completely. Milt, though, couldn’t seem to put lips and tongue together to form a greeting or ask a question or to even say anything at all. His eyebrows came together like two caterpillars possessed of their own will.

“Hey there, man. I heard you calling out for help.” He jerked a thumb over his shoulder. “I live in the unit behind you.” He smiled, revealing electric-white teeth that made Milt’s thoughts go even more blank or even more lascivious, he wasn’t sure which. He shivered.

Copy of RickRReed-wm-1.jpg

About the Author

Real Men. True Love.

Rick R. Reed draws inspiration from the lives of gay men to craft stories that quicken the heartbeat, engage emotions, and keep the pages turning. Although he dabbles in horror, dark suspense, and comedy, his attention always returns to the power of love.

He’s the award-winning and bestselling author of more than fifty works of published fiction and is forever at work on yet another book. Lambda Literary has called him: “A writer that doesn’t disappoint…”

You can find him at www.rickrreed.com or www.rickrreedreality.blogspot.com. Rick lives in Palm Springs, CA with his beloved husband and their fierce Chihuahua/Shiba Inu mix.

Social Media

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/rickrreedbooks

Twitter: www.twitter.com/rickrreed

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+RickReedWRITER

Blog: http://rickrreedreality.blogspot.com/

Website: www.rickrreed.com

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/rick-r-reed

Email: rickrreedbooks@gmail.com


Giveaway

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Oxford-set romance is just the ticket!

A Late Summer Night's DreamA Late Summer Night’s Dream by Eleanor Harkstead & Catherine Curzon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I do love the way these two write together. Usually, it’s historical, but this one’s contemporary and set amid Oxford’s dreaming spires.

The idea behind this one just tickled me, a mix up over theatre seats turns into a pie and mash date between PhD student Simeon and Anthony, the guy he thought was sitting in his seat.

Things look like they’re moving to the start of something special but Anthony is older than Simeon and he lost his husband to brain cancer just four years earlier and he has a touch of the second thoughts.

Thankfully, in the words of the immortal bard, ‘all’s well that ends well’ and a coincidental meeting a short while later puts them both back in each other’s orbit and a second chance begins.

These books are always so very English in feel and this one’s no different, it’s just a delightful romance.

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

View all my Goodreads reviews

Release Blitz: Elias by Erin E. Keller

Elias | Erin E. Keller

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | JMS Books

Length: 37,000 words approx.

Publisher: JMS Books

elias

Blurb

Detective Thomas Doyle has been living a lonely, compartmentalized life ever since the death of his life partner, Aiden. He vowed never to let anybody get close to him again — the pain of losing a loved one is too much to bear. Despite his vow, Thomas is lonely, and has a number of one-night stands, sexual encounters with unnamed men he doesn’t care to remember. Then he meets Elias.

Elias Byrne knows the pain of abuse and rejection intimately. Unable to escape the clutches of his older brother, Elias dreams of someone to love, and of being loved in return. He admires Thomas, but the detective never pays him any notice. In a desperate attempt to get closer to him, Elias steals his wallet, then gives it back the next day.

Pretty soon, Thomas feels a strong attraction to the fiery, arrogant, younger man. Elias intrigues him, but he resists his growing feelings because he doesn’t want to get hurt again.

When Thomas rescues Elias from his abusive brother, can he also rescue them both from the loneliness that threatens to consume them?

Can Elias conquer the detective’s hardened heart and find the love he always longed for? Or will Thomas stubbornly refuse to give himself another chance at love?

Excerpt

The Black Sheep’s lights were soft; people’s shadows moving inside seemed like dark souls waiting for a body to enter. In fact, people came to this specific pub for that reason. He wasn’t the first to use the privacy given by the place to find a hot body to lose himself in.

Thomas entered and looked around, a worried expression of his face. His fists clenched, arms stiff at his sides. He headed to the bar and leaned an elbow on it, observing the surrounding people, the darkest corners, the private rooms, and the dance floor, a small area that only fit a few people. The music was rhythmic but not too fast. It was kind of sensual, so different from the folk music you usually heard in most Irish pubs.

Adrian, the barman, slid a glass in his direction.

“Here you go, the usual,” he said, winking.

Thomas nodded and answered with half a smile, putting the money on the counter. He turned away for a few moments before looking back at Adrian.

“Do you know Elias?” he asked.

Adrian seemed to think for a moment. “Thin, black hair, even darker eyes, sexy as hell?”

Thomas blinked. From the description, it sounded like Elias, even if Thomas didn’t personally find him sexy as hell. That is, he couldn’t deny what he’d seen under those long locks was something magnetic, that his body seemed thin but not skinny, but …

Thomas shook his head. He was a boy. And a thief. And a stalker. And who knew what else? And he wasn’t interested in him in that way.

“I think so,” he finally replied.

Adrian smiled and gestured to a hidden corner of the tiny dance floor. There, wearing a pair of tight jeans and a white T-shirt, was Elias, dancing with a guy behind him who had one hand on his chest and the other on his belly. His eyes were closed, and he was moving his pelvis. Sexy as hell, actually. His head was reclined, leaning on the shoulder of the man behind him, and he had his hand by his side as he swayed.

Thomas picked up his drink and took a long sip. That boy owed him an explanation. Suddenly, he realized he couldn’t accuse him of anything without some kind of evidence. For a very short moment, doubt ran through his mind: had it really been Elias, or had Thomas finally lost it? Maybe when he’d been twirling under the rain like an idiot fighting his panic attack?

When he looked at the dance floor again, Elias had disappeared.

“What the fuck!” he burst out, frustrated, a second before feeling somebody touch him, a solid body pushing against his back and a voice speaking in his ear, softly enough so as not to be heard by anyone else.

“If they told me to choose who to fuck, I would choose you.”

Thomas turned suddenly and almost spilled his Guinness on himself.

There he was — Elias.

Thomas observed him for a few moments, and his brain registered different things. This time, he could see Elias’s face, even if it was barely lit. It was a very unusual face: thin, big black eyes, a sharp nose, and a large, full mouth. Elias wasn’t as thin as he first seemed. Or, yes, he was thin, but the right definition would have been slim. The stretch T-shirt highlighted his long muscles, as well as his tight jeans, which underlined the contour of his hips, molding his legs. His hair was long at the front and really, really black. His gaze in that moment was particularly intense. The corners of his mouth were turned up in half a smirk.

Thomas suddenly looked away from his lips, the taste of which he could still feel on his mouth, and took a sip of beer.

“I saw you while I was dancing. You came looking for me,” Elias continued.

It wasn’t a question. It was an assertion.

“No. I came looking for my wallet.”

Sure, he could have beaten around the bush, but this guy somehow got on his nerves, and he wasn’t in the mood for acting kindly. He waited for a question from him, even outrage. What he wasn’t expecting was Elias taking his hand, turning it over, and putting the wallet in it.

“And what does this mean?” Thomas growled. “If this is a joke, it’s not funny.”

“Isn’t that your wallet? Didn’t you come here for it? Here it is. No joke.” Elias’s expression was unperturbed.

“You stole it.”

“Had it on loan.”

“I could report you.” Better yet, I could arrest you. But he didn’t say that out loud because he didn’t want Elias to know anything else about him.

“Does it look like I’m stopping you from doing anything you want to do?”

Author Bio

Erin is Irish in her heart and soul, and she hopes she’ll move to the Emerald Island one day. She lives with her husband and their cats in a house near a wheat field.

She has been writing for years but admits she is a very undisciplined writer. The problem is that handling a couple of jobs makes it almost impossible to write every day. She loves letting her mind wander through the real world. She likes to write contemporary MM romance because she loves love. And men.

For more information, please visit erinekeller.com


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Book Blitz: Baseball Lover by Rose Croft

Baseball Lover | Rose Croft

Publication date: November 14th 2018

Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Rose

Sometimes life rears its ugly head and messes up your world.

I know too well. It happened to me five years ago when I lost my fiancé.

It took me awhile to get back on my feet, but I finally got my life in order.

Don’t commit. Don’t get attached. Guard your heart.

Seemed plausible…until a tall, dark and gorgeous man commands my attention.

He is the worst kind of temptation.

Funny, charming, and did I mention hot?

Every woman’s fantasy.

A professional baseball player.

Suit up heart because I have no desire to become one of his stats.

John

Sometimes life drops a little miracle right in front of you.

In the form of a beautiful goddess.

Who’s also intelligent.

Snarky.

Oh, and doesn’t fall for my bullshit.

In fact, I don’t even think she likes me.

That’s okay.

I’m an athlete, and I’m used to challenges.

You don’t make it as far as I have in my sport without having goals in mind.

I’ll pursue her like I’m pursuing the MVP award this season.

And, I will conquer.

Goodreads / Amazon

Author Bio:

Rose Croft is a wannabe poet and a writer in her own mind. She’s a wife and mom to a beautiful daughter and lives her own happily ever after.

Goodreads / Facebook / Instagram

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Simply beautiful romance from Kelly Jensen

Building foreverBuilding Forever by Kelly Jensen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is two out of two for Kelly Jensen – both completely different genre types as well, a Sci-Fi To See The Sun and now this contemporary.

I knew I was going to like this one when I was laughing out loud during the first chapter, tearing up at 37%, and when Kelly used one of my most favourite words ever – susurrate during a sex scene 🙂

This book is, pretty much, a feel-good read with only a teeny bit of angsty, lots and lots of love, fun and laughter, humour, and great characters and world-building, and it’s really visual! I could picture perfectly in my mind the setting.

The two protagonists are the kind of blokes I want to be friends with. I loved Simon and I adored Charlie. Their relationship was just lovely to read. The trope of neighbours falling in love is one you don’t see so much these days and it’s done with full justice here.

Simon’s looking for a new start, Charlie’s just living day by day, mostly happy but living with buried feelings of guilt and still mourning the loss of his wife.

There is a scene, which I mentioned in my Updates, which had me tearing up completely and it just summed up the whole book for me really – Simon was the perfect guy to pick up the baton so people could move on.

“I’m aware most of Bethlehem believes my associates are ghosts,” Arthur continued. “There was only one, though. Jeremy Klein. He was my partner in all things until he passed.” He wore the expression of a man reminiscing over deep loss and old grief. “It’s difficult to move forward from that. Especially in a small community. So I honored his memory—each facet of it—by making Jeremy into a host of associates. My partner, my friend.” A quiet breath. “My lover.”
Gaping wasn’t polite, but how else to react?
“I hope I have not misjudged you,” Arthur went on. “That my . . . personal history isn’t something you—”
“No. You haven’t. I appreciate the confidence.”
“It’s considered rude to imagine one knows another without question, and this world is so obsessed with labels. But I recognized you when you first came to visit me, Simon. That’s not why I was eager for the partnership, you understand. But I felt nonetheless that we could make beautiful things together. That in you, I had found someone to pass my associates on to.”

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

View all my reviews

Review Tour: Any Given Lifetime by Leta Blake

Any Given Lifetime | Leta Blake

RTBanner (24)

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 70,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Dar Albert @ Wicked Smart Designs

Copy of any given lifetime high res.jpg

Blurb

Neil isn’t a ghost, but he feels like one. Reincarnated with all his memories from his prior life, he spent twenty years trapped in a child’s body, wanting nothing more than to grow up and reclaim the love of his life.

As an adult, Neil finds there’s more than lost time separating them. Joshua has built a beautiful life since Neil’s death, and how exactly is Neil supposed to introduce himself? As Joshua’s long-dead lover in a new body? Heartbroken and hopeless, Neil takes refuge in his work, developing microscopic robots called nanites that can produce medical miracles.

When Joshua meets a young scientist working on a medical project, his soul senses something his rational mind can’t believe. Has Neil truly come back to him after twenty years? And if the impossible is real, can they be together at long last?

Any Given Lifetime is a stand-alone, slow burn, second chance gay romance by Leta Blake featuring reincarnation and true love. This story includes some angst, some steam, an age gap, and, of course, a happy ending.

Author Bio

 

Author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan favorite Training Season, Leta Blake’s educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively.

However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern US Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.

 

Patreon | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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