Tag Archives: love after loss

A tale well told with loads of feels

the good green earth ebookThe Good Green Earth by V.L. Locey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Each time I open a book from Vicki Locey I know I’m going to get a tale told well with depth and loads of feels, usually with a side order of ice hockey.

This one did all that but it also did more.

For one, it made me hate a character with the fire of a burning sun and all with just a few throwaway lines and a bit of explanation.

But by all that’s holy, I wanted to do painful damage to Nate’s brother Chris.

Secondly, it gave me a complex and emotionally scared young man who I wanted to cover in bubble wrap and save from all the hurt he’d had to deal with in such a short lifetime.

Thirdly it gave me a perfect person to make that safe place for Nate. Bran had his own issues and traumas to deal with, but his older pain has been processed, giving him the experience to know how to support his younger lover.

Fourthly, it examines the damaging culture of alcohol which has been tied up in sport for so long. It looks at how drinking is almost a daily routine if you’re a sports star and how getting utterly hammered isn’t frowned on until something goes wrong.

The slow development of Nate and Bran’s relationship is supported by a bunch of ornery seniors, one awesomely supportive agent, a bunch of other interesting side characters and two entitled seagulls who bring light relief to what could have been an overly angsty narrative.

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

View all my Goodreads reviews

Blog Tour: Change of Heart by K. M. Neuhold

Change of Heart | K. M. Neuhold

Change of Heart Tour Banner.jpg

MM, Romance

Release Date: 17.0619

Universal Link: mybook.to/ChangeofHeart

READ MY REVIEW

ChangeofHeart-KMN-f.jpg

Blurb

Does my husband’s heart still miss me now that it beats in the chest of another man?

Lub-dub

A heartbeat more familiar than Easton’s own

Lub-dub

He vowed to love his husband until death do they part. And then the worst happened.

Lub-dub

His heart kept another man alive. River. A stranger in the world with Easton’s husband’s heart pumping the blood that warms his skin. Does his heart ever miss Easton without knowing why?

Lub-dub

Sweet, kind, beautiful, River. Easton never meant to meet him…never meant to know him…never meant to fall for him.

Lub-dub

Easton loved River’s heart long before he ever met him, but is it possible he’s falling in love with his mind and soul too?

***Change of Heart is a stand-alone story with strong hurt/comfort themes, mild bisexual awakening themes, and a HEA

CoH teaser 3

Excerpt

The cool night air wraps around me, the din of the bar fading as soon as the door closes behind me, leaving only the scattered sound of cars passing and the occasional drunken laugh escaping into the night.

An overwhelming emotional exhaustion hits me, and the task of walking the half-block to my car seems insurmountable. I lean against the rough brick outside of the bar and tilt my head back, looking up at the expansive night sky. The light illuminating the bar entrance flickers, and I close my eyes as an inescapable feeling of loneliness hits me square in the chest and nearly brings me to my knees. I drag in a harsh breath, putting a hand over my heart, and wonder for the millionth time about my heart donor. Did he love someone so much he could hardly breathe? Is there someone out there still who loved him the same?

I drag my fingers to the center of my chest, tracing the raised edges of my scar through the soft fabric of my shirt. I can feel the beat, steady and even against my palm, and I think about the man who saved my life. I don’t know a damn thing about him, but that doesn’t stop me from wondering who he was, what kind of a life he lived, who loved him but selflessly made the sacrifice to save the life of a complete stranger?

KM Neuhold Logo

K.M.Neuhold is a complete romance junkie, a total sap in every way. She started her journey as an author in new adult, MF romance, but after a chance reading of an MM book she was completely hooked on everything about lovely- and sometimes damaged- men finding their Happily Ever After together.

She has a strong passion for writing characters with a lot of heart and soul, and a bit of humor as well. And she fully admits that her OCD tendencies of making sure every side character has a full backstory will likely always lead to every book having a spin-off or series.

When she’s not writing she’s a lion tamer, an astronaut, and a superhero…just kidding, she’s likely watching Netflix and snuggling with her husky while her amazing husband brings her coffee.

Social Media

FACEBOOK

NEUHOLD’S NERDS (FAN GROUP)

TWITTER

WEBSITE

NEWSLETTER

Giveaway

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CoH teaser 1.jpg

 

Release Blitz: Change of Heart by K.M. Neuhold

Change of Heart | K.M. Neuhold

Change of Heart RDB Banner.jpg

MM Romance

Release Date: 17.06.19

Universal Link: mybook.to/ChangeofHeart

ChangeofHeart-KMN-f.jpg

Blurb

Does my husband’s heart still miss me now that it beats in the chest of another man?

Lub-dub

A heartbeat more familiar than Easton’s own

Lub-dub

He vowed to love his husband until death do they part. And then the worst happened.

Lub-dub

His heart kept another man alive. River. A stranger in the world with Easton’s husband’s heart pumping the blood that warms his skin. Does his heart ever miss Easton without knowing why?

Lub-dub

Sweet, kind, beautiful, River. Easton never meant to meet him…never meant to know him…never meant to fall for him.

Lub-dub

Easton loved River’s heart long before he ever met him, but is it possible he’s falling in love with his mind and soul too?

***Change of Heart is a stand-alone story with strong hurt/comfort themes, mild bisexual awakening themes, and a HEA

CoH teaser 3.jpg

Excerpt

He licks his lips, and I can’t take another second of not knowing what they taste like, what they would feel like against mine, so I lean in, closing the space between us. His breath fans over my lips, his eyelids lowering to half-mast as he waits to see what’s going to happen next. I’m not sure if I’m giving him time to push me away or simply savoring the anticipation—probably a little of both.

Easton makes a frustrated noise in the back of his throat, his nose brushing against mine before our lips are pressed together. Fully, firmly, irrevocably, I’m kissing a man, and my heart starts to soar. I drag my hands through his hair, grasping his head to pull him closer as our mouths move in tandem. There are no tongues, no groping hands or rutting bodies, like in my dreams; it’s simply our lips learning the feel of each other and somehow, it’s the hottest kiss I’ve had in my life.

When my lips part to deepen the kiss, the salty taste of tears finds its way into my mouth, and I pull back to find wet tracks down Easton’s blushing cheeks.

“Oh god, I’m sorry, should I not have done that?” I pull my hands away, my gut twisting with guilt at how much pleasure I took from a kiss he clearly didn’t want.

“No, it’s not you,” he assures me, reaching for my hand again and linking our fingers. “It’s…it’s complicated.”

“I’m the first person you’ve kissed since Paul?” I guess.

“Yes,” he admits. “But, it’s more than that.”

“Tell me?”

A sad smile crosses his lips, and he lifts his free hand to my face, cupping my jaw and dragging his thumb along my cheek. “God help me, I do want you.” His words almost seem more for himself than for me, but they light a desperate longing in the pit of my stomach.

“You can have me,” I whisper, turning my head and pressing a kiss to the pad of his thumb.

“Whatever is so complicated it can’t be more important than the way you make me feel. Tell me you feel it too.”

KM Neuhold Logo

K.M. Neuhold is a complete romance junkie, a total sap in every way. She started her journey as an author in new adult, MF romance, but after a chance reading of an MM book she was completely hooked on everything about lovely- and sometimes damaged- men finding their Happily Ever After together.

She has a strong passion for writing characters with a lot of heart and soul, and a bit of humor as well. And she fully admits that her OCD tendencies of making sure every side character has a full backstory will likely always lead to every book having a spin-off or series.

When she’s not writing she’s a lion tamer, an astronaut, and a superhero…just kidding, she’s likely watching Netflix and snuggling with her husky while her amazing husband brings her coffee.

Social Media

FACEBOOK

NEUHOLD’S NERDS (FAN GROUP)

TWITTER

WEBSITE

NEWSLETTER

MichelleSlagan---VibrantPromotionsLogo---FiveStarDesigns---150ppi

CoH teaser 1.jpg

 

A gorgeous romance which examines the strength of love

Change of HeartChange of Heart by K.M. Neuhold

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This romance is just gorgeous, there’s no other word for it imho. From the start to the finish I had a really warm feeling of love throughout the narrative even though there were moments tinged with sadness.

I think K.M. has handled what could have been a truly mawkish subject with consummate skill, it’s a difficult tone to get right but overall this romance with a twist had a strength of feeling which was pitched perfectly.

Easton’s love for his dead husband Paul is present throughout, the necessary level of weight for his grieving is there but Paul never overtakes the story and becomes too big an issue for a new relationship to take hold.

And River, the recipient of Paul’s heart, is also enough of a strong character that he never feels like a substitute and the affection which grows between them, while it has possibly dubious beginnings, is allowed to develop and meander through friendship into affection and attraction and then into love organically.

It’s a tough subject to tackle and I think it’s pitched perfectly. Enough weight is given to each aspect of the romance and, while things do perhaps happen a little bit quickly, I think sometimes when you’ve lost a great love, when another one arises, it feels almost like a miracle which has to be grasped and not let go of.

There’s also perhaps hints of a second book which I would absolutely love to read because I think Fox needs his own chance to move on from grieving his best friend and I think Brandon might just be the one to do it, even if he’s not aware of it just yet.

Also, as a final point, the use of colour in this book to reflect the journey Easton takes from grief and back into life is beautifully done. Bravo for that.

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

View all my reviews

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


Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions
INSTAPROMO-48.jpg

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions
INSTAPROMO-48.jpg

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

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