Tag Archives: low angst

Low angst and very sweet romance keeps the interest going

13_V&V_Davies_ebook_FINALLimelight by E. Davies

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

This is another solid entry in the Vino & Veritas series and it’s as sweet as the mead that Tag makes.

That’s also one of the reasons why it didn’t become a 4* read.

There’s very little tension, in spite of the secret Tag is keeping, so the narrative felt like it was all running along at the same pace.

The other reason is the timescale they fall in love. I know people do meet and have whirlwind romances, but even so, this is fast.

There is a connection between them which is more than just sexual. Ed does well to get that over in the story, they just click.

***SPOILER-ISH***

But I still thought that for it all to come together, have the “meet the family” gathering, then the secret coming out because of someone else, the big split, and the reconciliation, all happen within a fortnight, was a bit much.

***ENDS***

Still, that’s a me thing, it may not bother other readers.

Both characters are lovingly written, they’re their own people, with very much distinct voices, and I liked them both.

Caleb is a bit of a cinnamon bun, he’s the youngest of four brothers and he’s maybe been over protected.

He’s inexperienced in relationships and love, which is another reason for me not committing 100% on the timescale.
Not because I couldn’t see him absolutely getting a crush, but because he has nothing to compare with.

That said, it’s ‘slow burn’ ish within the time frame, with their smexy times hitting low steam levels until after they reunite.

There is a lovely, emotionally connected scene here which does demonstrate how they’ve built up a level of trust and intimacy.

Overall, a simple to read, not overly dramatic romance with a few of the usual gang showing up.

#ARC kindly received from the publisher Heart Eyes Press in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Cover Reveal: Friendly Fire by Saxon James

Friendly Fire | Saxon James

A Never Just Friends Novel #4

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Release Date: August 23rd, 2021

Cover Designer: Story Styling Cover Designs

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Blurb

Rafe
It started in high school.
We grew apart. Bit by bit, then all at once.
The friend who was my ride or die suddenly wanted nothing to do with me.
Now Cam’s back from college, living in the house next door, and pulling stupid pranks just to annoy me.
Between my intense family and my failing relationship, I’m struggling enough without his antics.
But Cam won’t go away. And I’m not so sure I want him to.

Cam
It started with a smile.
A touch.
A shared look of mischief.
Rafael Ortega stole my heart before I realised it was mine to give away.
We were best friends from the time we were in diapers right up until the unthinkable happened: he started dating.
I put distance between us to save myself, but now I’m back, willing to do anything for his attention again.
Because the only thing worse than Rafe breaking my heart…
Is him not getting a chance to.

Friendly Fire is the final book in the Never Just Friends series. It’s a low angst childhood-best-friends-to-lovers romance with skinny dipping, sex toys, and one final happily ever after.

CR FF Teaser 1

Excerpt

“So what are we watching?”

Rafe drops onto the cushion next to mine, and I hate that he can’t do something as simple as that without my breath catching. Someone needs to turn the hose on me.

“Dunno. There has to be a series or something that looks interesting.”

“You want to start a series with me, Rafe? Wow. That sounds like a big commitment, and I’m not sure our relationship is ready.”

He blinks at me.

I grin. “Kidding. Obviously. Carry on.”

He’s quiet as he scrolls through the options, and I notice him glance at me from the corner of his eye a couple of times.

“What?”

He jumps at being caught. “Just thinking.”

“About?”

“Whether your mouth has always been so out of control.”

“There’s a lot about my mouth you don’t know.”

Rafe shakes his head. “I walked into that one, didn’t I?”

“Less walked and more steam rolled, but yep.” I adjust my baseball cap, then point at the screen. “You’re still as indecisive as ever.”

He huffs and tosses me the remote. “You choose.”

“Fine.” I hit play on some Sci-Fi show he’d hesitated over.

We get through most of the first episode before he speaks again.

“Is this weird?”

I know he’s talking about us. Being here. The space between us. So many things are rolled into that one question that I hesitate on how to answer at first.

“Oh yeah.” Might as well agree. “I think we’ve well and truly passed that line.”

“At least it’s not just me.”

“Why do you think it’s so weird? We spent most of our lives together, but for some reason the last few years are the ones that seem to count.”

He frowns. “I don’t think that’s it.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, I think they only count, because the ones before them counted more. Maybe. Does that even make sense?”

“I think so.”

“Like …” He tugs at his hoodie sleeve, looking unsure. “Even though this feels weird, I’m still glad I’m here.”

That smooth motherfucker. This is a serious conversation. I shouldn’t be smiling. I shouldn’t. “Me too.”

“Which makes it weirder.” He lets out a frustrated sound. “Shouldn’t I be making excuses to bail, instead of wishing things could go back to how they were?”

Every word he’s saying lightens some of that pressure on my heart. Maybe we’re not doomed. Maybe our friendship really can be given a jumpstart.

“I wonder if your need to be here is the same as mine.”

He looks up at me, pinning me with those dark eyes that I can’t stop dreaming about. “Which is?”

“I missed you.”

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About The Author

Saxon James is an author from Aus who’s obsessed with writing queer characters.

She has a range of books from YA to adult and they all have one thing in common: swoony, sweet love.

When not writing, Saxon exists on a diet of coffee and chocolate while putting her KU subscription to the test.

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Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/groups/saxonssweethearts/

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Website: https://saxonjamesauthor.com

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To celebrate Saxon’s Cover Reveal, we are giving away three advanced e-copies Friendly Fire before its release

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Release Blitz: rules of Play by Lane Hayes

Rules of Play | Lane Hayes

The Script Club #2

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Release Date: July 16th, 2021

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 53K

Universal Link: mybook.to/Rules-of-Play

Add To Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57922813-rules-of-play

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Rules of Play

Blurb

The genius, the mechanic, and a new playbook…

George-

My brother’s friend is hot. If you’re into flannel-wearing lumbersexual former jocks who eat donuts for dinner and still scribble to-do lists on their palms. I’m not. I’m a serious scientist in my final of grad school. Okay, I admit I have few quirks of my own. I also have a broken truck and a boss who thinks I can help him find love. I’m in over my head. Help!

Aiden-

A few quirks? Really? George the weirdest dude I know. He wears capes in public, brings a book everywhere he goes, and loves all thing spooky. He’s also the smartest person on the planet—who somehow thinks I can help him write a How-To-Get-A-Date playbook for his boss.

Yeah, that sounds suspicious. I know baseball; I don’t know anything about love. But I can’t say no. I’ve always had a soft spot for George. I just didn’t count on falling for my best friend’s nerdy brother. This is against the rules, isn’t it?

Rules of Play is an MM bisexual awakening story where opposites attract and shenanigans ensue!

Rules of Play Teaser

Excerpt

“The Script Club?”

I grimaced. “Well, yeah. That name came later.”

“You really are a little weirdo, aren’t you?”

The twinkle in Aiden’s eyes and his affectionate tone paired with an unlikely term of endearment were exactly what I needed to pull me from my infatuation-induced awkwardness.

I smacked his biceps playfully, then leaned against his side, staring up at the crescent moon in the twilight sky. “I am weird and I am proud.”

Aiden chuckled. “I like that about you. I like your idea too. It’s a good one. I should get in on that and collect a few new experiences before I quit the garage and move on to my next venture.”

“What would you do? I mean, what would you want to try?”

“I don’t know. Maybe something will come to me.” He set the half-eaten container of meatballs down and reached for his beer. “As for your boss…he needs a rule book.”

I shifted to face him. “What kind of rule book?”

“A dating rule book. It would be the equivalent of a sports playbook…a list of strategies and a backup plan if things go awry.”

“Okay, that makes sense. Step one, ask for a date.”

Aiden shook his head. “No. Don’t go in hot. Gotta practice a little finesse. It’s better to get to know someone—ask about their interests, share yours, and see if there’s anything there. Theoretically, that’s how I think it should work.”

“You’re right. They have to build a rapport.” I squinted. “He’s going to need an icebreaker.”

“Yeah, that makes sense. Hit me with your best shot.”

“Uh…what do you mean?” I stammered.

“Pretend you’re into me and you want to get to know me.” Aiden quirked a brow and wiggled his fingers. “Ask me something.”

“What are your interests?”

He made an obnoxious buzzer noise and rolled his eyes. “Wrong. That’s a date question. A lame one, too. Would you really walk up to someone and ask them what they’re into?”

“No, of course not.”

“Redo. You’re trying to get to know me, but you can’t be too forward, and you can’t make assumptions. Got it?” He waited for my nod of agreement and continued. “Pretend we’re standing at the coffee machine at work on a Monday morning. And…action.”

“O-kay…what did you do last weekend?”

Aiden smiled. “Good one. And my answer…not much. I went to that college ball game I told you about last week, watched a lot of basketball, made arrangements to schlep your Bronco here, and played pool with Kenny and a couple of high school buddies. You?”

“I studied and hung out with my friends.”

He stared at me long enough for me to wonder if I had meatball between my teeth.

“If that’s all you have to say, you just killed this conversation,” he deadpanned.

I chuckled. “I did not. It was your turn to ask <em>me</em> something. That’s how it works in real life. I’m not that big of a dork!”

“But what about your boss?”

Good point. “Newton is a big dork. Very big.”

“Right, so this is where rules come into play. You have to pay attention and take hints and clues to heart. Almost everything I mentioned about my weekend had a theme…sports. I told you what I’m interested in without announcing, ‘I like sports.’ If you really wanted to get in my pants, you’d ask me a sports-related question.”

I shot to my feet, whirling my cape like a true badass. “Who said anything about getting in your pants?”

Yes, I was entirely in favor of the idea, but I was pretty sure I hadn’t said it aloud.

“Isn’t that the end game?” Aiden flashed a devilish grin my way.

“No! I mean, maybe for you, but not for Newton. I don’t think he’s hoping for sex.”

“Then what’s the point?”

“Love!”

Aiden widened his eyes comically. “What’s that?”

“I don’t know,” I sighed in defeat, reclaiming my spot on the stoop next to him. “That’s why this is complicated.”

About the Author

Lane Hayes

Lane Hayes loves a good romance! An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and were winners in the 2016, 2017, and 2018-2019 Rainbow Awards.

She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in a not quite empty nest.

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Start the Series

The geek, the jock, and a new set of rules…

Following the Rules

The Script Club #1

Following The Rules 500

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Also available in Audio

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