Tag Archives: medium steam

A book full of joy and all the feels from N.R.

Throwing Hearts 1200Throwing Hearts by N.R. Walker

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Every now and then I want a book that just makes me go awwwww without any angsting, no made up tension, no aggravating plot points to make things drag out.

N.R. Walker’s Throwing Hearts is just joy in book form.

It’s two people falling in love with a side order of brilliantly supportive friends, unexpected romance in the senior citizens section, and a lot of big feels.

I loved it. The Ghost references just made me smile

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

All the happy heavy sighing and big heart eyes are all my own work!

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More lack of communication but it doesn’t spoil the enjoyment

47884987._SY475_Hard Ride by A.M. Arthur

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It would seem that the main hallmark of this series is the absolute lack of communication which drives the main plot point of preventing two people who quite clearly have big feelings for each other getting it together until almost the end.

And, like my ridiculously long sentence above, it can be a bit wearying.

However, with this book I actually liked both Slater and Derrick enough as individual characters that their repeated introspections about how they other person had to be the one to say something didn’t annoy me as much as it might have done.

I love the setting, the found family and how they all have each others’ backs and I love the messages of hope that the Clean Slate Ranch series gives for people who might have made mistakes in the past.

This one’s medium steam but it works for the narrative as Slater’s recovering from literally falling down a mountain for most of it and red hot sex would have utterly broken the realism!

I’ve always erred on the side of liking the books in this series more than disliking them and this one’s even more towards the I really liked it end of the scale.

~ARC kindly received from the publishers Carina Press via NetGalley in return for an honest and unbiased review

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New Release Blitz: Unraveling by Rick R. Reed

Unraveling | Rick R. Reed

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: January 13, 2020

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 68,300

Buy Links:

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Blurb

Randy Kay has the perfect life with his beautiful wife and adorable son. But Randy’s living a lie, untrue to himself and everyone who knows him. He’s gay.

Marriage and fatherhood, which he thought could change him, have failed. He doubts if anyone can love him for who he really is—especially himself.

With his wife’s blessing, he sets out to explore the gay world he’s hidden from all his life.

John Walsh, a paramedic with the Chicago Fire Department, is comfortable in his own skin as a gay man, yet he can never find someone who shares his desire to create a real relationship, a true family.

When Randy and John first spy each other in Chicago’s Boystown, all kinds of alarms go off—some of joy, others of deep-seated fear.

Randy and John must surmount multiple hurdles on the journey to a lasting, meaningful love. Will they succeed or will their chance at love go up in flames, destroyed by missed connections and a lack of self-acceptance?

Excerpt

Unraveling
Rick R. Reed © 2020
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
RANDY

I have my death all planned out.

Unlike the thirty-two years that have gone before, I want my passing to be peaceful and free of the discord and pain I’ve lived with for as long as I can remember. I want it to be easy. Effortless. Guilt-free.

Whether it’s any of those things remains to be seen.

I’ve rented this hotel room at a small boutique hotel off Michigan Avenue. The Crewe House has been standing on this same ground on Oak Street for at least a hundred years. The rooms are small, fussy, and charming, with flocked wallpaper, four-poster beds, and claw-foot tubs and pedestal sinks in their black-and-white bathrooms. It’s charming, and I deserve something nice to gaze at before I close my eyes for good.

I have some sandalwood-scented candles lit, and the fragrance is warm, enveloping. Their soft flicker is the only illumination. Outside, the winter sky darkens early. Dusk’s cobalt blue makes silhouettes of the water towers, train tracks, and buildings to the west of the hotel. Near the horizon the sky is a shade of lavender that mesmerizes me, makes me think of changing my mind. If a sky like this can exist, with its electric bands of color, maybe the world isn’t such a horrible place.

Maybe I can go on.

No.

What else have I done to ease my passage into whatever comes next? I have a bottle of Veuve Cliquot, my favorite champagne, uncorked and resting in a silver ice bucket, filled with melting ice. A flute stands next to it, waiting.

I’ll wash the sleeping pills down with the bubbly.

Before getting into bed, I’ll turn on the cassette I have in my boombox, Abbey Road. I have it queued up to “Golden Slumbers.”

I’ve been carrying this weight for such a long time.

I long for smiles.

At last, I’ll undress and stretch out on the four-poster. I’ll pull the eiderdown duvet loosely over me and close my eyes.

The plan is I will slowly slip under, my brain becoming a soft velvety fog, and I’ll simply fall into the arms of a comforting—and obliterating—slumber.

I will not dream.

It won’t take long.

And I’ll leave a beautiful corpse.

That’s the plan, anyway. Some of my research into this method of offing myself runs counter to this gentle fantasy, but I don’t want to consider the downside of overdosing on strong barbiturates.

I want to go to sleep.

I want to forget the impossibility of being able to become the man I know I should be.

Husband.

Father.

I blink back tears as I sit on the bed, staring out at the deepening twilight. They don’t deserve this: what you’re going to leave them with. I know the voice inside, the one that’s always made me do the right thing, at the expense of my very being, is right. And even though they don’t deserve it, you know they will hurt, of course they will, but in the end, they’ll be better off.

Who wants a husband and father who can’t seem to make himself straight, despite trying therapy, the Catholic Church, the Buddhist faith, self-help groups, and self-help books. A group of pathetic married men meeting once a month and thinking they can change. Nothing works. If I could change, I would.

And since I can’t change, I’m left with three options:

Accept myself as I am. How can I do that? I’d be a failure as a husband, a father, a son, a brother. I’d go on wearing this suffocating mask. I’d continue to live a life that’s essentially a lie.

Everyone who loves me doesn’t even know me.

They love a façade, a projection, a mirage made of wishes, impossible hopes, and self-hatred.

No, acceptance is not an option. It never was.

Second, I could resist. I could knuckle down and brace myself against the attractions I feel, the dreams that pop up in my sleep despite my desperately not wanting them there. I could hold myself back from falling prey to the temptations I feel on the streets, the subway, the locker rooms—everywhere I encounter a beautiful man.

The reason I find myself here is because I can’t resist. Not anymore.

And the third option is simply the one I have to choose—remove myself from the pain. Remove myself from existing as this broken thing that God nor man can fix.

Yes, Violet and Henry both will find a way to move on, and they’ll be happier, more anchored in life without me.

Who needs a gay dad? Or a husband who, deep down, doesn’t want what his wife has to offer? Or worse, a dad who contracts the death sentence of AIDS?

Enough of the grim thoughts. They were not part of my plan. Tonight, I go out peacefully. I’ll shut my eyes and remember things like my joy six years ago when Henry was born and seeing him take his first breath. I shouted, “We got a boy!” and fell into the deepest, most effortless love I’ve ever felt. I’ll remember proposing to Violet when we were both college sophomores and the thrill when she accepted the cheap diamond-chips ring I gave her. Things will be okay now, I remember thinking. I can change.

I really believed that. And I know I love Violet as best I can.

It’s sad when your best simply isn’t good enough.

I reach over for the bottle of sleeping pills on the nightstand. There are thirty of them, and I intend to take them all, two or three at a time. If it takes the whole bottle of champagne to get them down, well, things could be worse. No?

I tip the bottle and look at the tablets against the dark wood, so innocent, yet so lethal.

I’m just reaching for one when there’s a sudden knock on the door. Loud. Forceful. Urgent.

“Randy? Randy? Open up, please.”

The door knob turns as Violet’s voice penetrates the heavy wood of the door, making her sound muffled.

I close my eyes. I could ignore her, hope she goes away.

How did she find out where I was anyway?

She wasn’t supposed to know until she got the letter, the one neatly folded and an arm’s length away on the nightstand.

Pounding. “Please!” Violet calls.

I gather the pills, shoving them back in the bottle, then hide the container in a nightstand drawer.

How will I explain?

I get up, cross the room, and open the door.

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…” Rick lives in Palm Springs, CA with his beloved husband and their fierce Chihuahua/Shiba Inu mix.

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Review Tour: Promise by RJ Scott

Promise by RJ Scott

Single Dads #3

RTBANNER-121.jpg

Buy Links:

Amazon US https://amzn.to/2Oc5iso | Amazon UK https://amzn.to/35sCiCS

Universal Link

Length: 57,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Meredith Russell

READ MY REVIEW

Promise v2 400

Blurb

Leo Byrne is a cop, Jason Banks is an ex-con. Even after one stolen kiss, something has to give before Leo can convince Jason that falling in love is even an option. 

Adopted at a young age, Leo is part of the sprawling Byrnes family. With his dog Cap, three siblings and a whole mess of nieces and nephews, he is never lonely, and his life is full. Love is the last item on his to-do list, but seeing his best friends Sean and Eric happy and making new families makes him want things he doesn’t think is possible.

Kissing Jason at an event to honor his bravery was one thing, but anything other than that is off limits. Until Jason has no one left to turn to, and it’s Leo who helps him at his lowest. Taking Jason and his daughter into his home is one thing, but falling for the ex-con is something else altogether.

Jason made a deal to keep his daughter safe and spent years behind bars as a result. Volunteering as a convict firefighter was as much about helping the community as saving his sanity, but now that he’s out, he doesn’t even have that.

He’s lost his future, his self-respect, and has no friends or a place to call home. Worst of all, even after rescuing his daughter he still can’t keep her safe from the man who wants to use her as a bargaining chip for money.

Meeting Leo might give Jason a way to keep Daisy safe, but falling for the stubborn cop means the truth has to be revealed, and he could lose everything all over again.

TourGraphic-116.jpg

Single Dads Series 

Book #1 – Single –  Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link

Book #2 – Today – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link

About The Author

Copy of 2

USA Today bestselling author RJ Scott writes stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, a happily ever after.

RJ is the author of over one hundred romance books, writing 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.

She’s always thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers. Please contact via the links below:

Email RJ rj@rjscott.co.uk | Facebook | Twitter | BookBub | Instagram | Pinterest

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Release Blitz: Promise by RJ Scott

Promise by RJ Scott

Single Dads #3

RBBanner-128.jpg

Buy Links:

Amazon US:  https://amzn.to/2Oc5iso Amazon UK:  https://amzn.to/35sCiCS

Universal Link

Length: 57,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Meredith Russell

Promise v2 400

Blurb

Leo Byrne is a cop, Jason Banks is an ex-con. Even after one stolen kiss, something has to give before Leo can convince Jason that falling in love is even an option. 

Adopted at a young age, Leo is part of the sprawling Byrnes family. With his dog Cap, three siblings and a whole mess of nieces and nephews, he is never lonely, and his life is full. Love is the last item on his to-do list, but seeing his best friends Sean and Eric happy and making new families makes him want things he doesn’t think is possible.

Kissing Jason at an event to honor his bravery was one thing, but anything other than that is off limits. Until Jason has no one left to turn to, and it’s Leo who helps him at his lowest. Taking Jason and his daughter into his home is one thing, but falling for the ex-con is something else altogether.

Jason made a deal to keep his daughter safe and spent years behind bars as a result. Volunteering as a convict firefighter was as much about helping the community as saving his sanity, but now that he’s out, he doesn’t even have that.

He’s lost his future, his self-respect, and has no friends or a place to call home. Worst of all, even after rescuing his daughter he still can’t keep her safe from the man who wants to use her as a bargaining chip for money.

Meeting Leo might give Jason a way to keep Daisy safe, but falling for the stubborn cop means the truth has to be revealed, and he could lose everything all over again.

Single Dads Series 

Book #1 – Single –  Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link

Book #2 – Today – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link

About The Author

Copy of 2

USA Today bestselling author RJ Scott writes stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, a happily ever after.

RJ is the author of over one hundred romance books, writing 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.

She’s always thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers. Please contact via the links below:

Email RJ rj@rjscott.co.uk | Facebook | Twitter | BookBub | Instagram | Pinterest

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions
INSTAPROMO-113.jpg

 

Leo and Jason made my heart happy with this lovely single dad romance

Promise v2 400.jpgPromise by R.J. Scott

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book so much. It was the one I’d been waiting for right since we were first introduced to this set of best friends and emergency service personnel and RJ didn’t disappoint at all.

Leo and Jason made my heart happy and I absolutely adored Daisy, a precocious almost four-year-old who we are introduced to almost immediately when Jason appears looking for help from firefighter Eric whose life he saved while working as a convict fireman.

I won’t spoil the plot, but suffice it to say, that watching these two radically different but utterly determined men fall in love was a delight.

I’m seriously pleased that the series isn’t over though and I’m very much looking forward now to finding out more about the rest of the characters RJ is introducing us to in more detail.

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

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I was left with mixed feelings for this new series from Annabeth Albert

ArcticSun_Cover.jpgArctic Sun by Annabeth Albert

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I am so torn over just what I think about this book because: A) Annabeth is one of my favourite authors and B) I actually loved a lot of this book.

But, for me at any rate, it seemed to take forever to actually get to the meat and bones of the story.

My status update (on Goodreads) should explain a bit about how I felt, it seemed like I’d read almost a whole book but I was only at the half-way point.

Both characters are wonderfully expressed and both are dealing with serious issues in ways which felt realistic to me as an outsider never having dealt with either an eating disorder or with alcoholism.

They both had interesting quirks and backgrounds that never overtook the present, but the present itself just dragged on for a bit too long for me.

However, having said the above, I absolutely adored the final third of this book, it was everything I’d expect from an Annabeth Albert novel. It was expressive, it had trials which were overcome with some good communication, it had forgiveness and acceptance that asking for help doesn’t make you weak.

Huge massive positives also for the setting. The descriptions of Alaska put me right into that landscape, I followed on the journey as they explored the hidden gems and beautiful national parks which make up this remote and stunning state (from all the images I went and looked up while reading!)

There’s an interesting set of secondary characters but I didn’t get Griffin’s mother at all, she seemed unduly hostile to River from the out. River’s old friends were perfectly portrayed though as a set of vacuous people with which he no longer had anything in common.

Overall, I really enjoyed the final part of this book and firmly believed the two of them would make it into their Happy Ever After, but the first quarter dragged and that’s why my rating is one star lower than it would have been otherwise.

#ARC kindly received from the publishers Carina Press via NetGalley in return for an honest and unbiased review

View all my reviews

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