Tag Archives: nerds

Release Tour: Head to Head by Eli Easton & Tara Lain

Head to Head | Eli Easton & Tara Lain

Nerds Vs Jocks #3

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Release Date: May 25th, 2021

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Blurb

If these two don’t kill each other, they might fall in love.

Rand hates Jax because he’s the laid-back, vegan-eating, tree-hugging, total-Zen-until-I-get-a-chance-to-screw-you president of Sigma Mu Tau, the nerdy fraternity that’s the sworn enemy of Rand’s house, Alpha Lambda Alpha. What a phony!

Jax hates Rand for being the privileged, rich-heir-to-an-oil-empire, environment-destroying, soul-sucking president of the ALA jocks—but mostly because Rand hated him first. Rand has sent nothing but hateful vibes his way since the day they met. What a douche!

The enemies have never had a single conversation that didn’t involve shouting—until Jax’s old Buick breaks down on a road trip and Rand plays reluctant rescuer. Jax is forced to sit on Rand’s dead cow seats. Rand learns chickens can enter the living room and that Jax’s beliefs are more than skin-deep.

The bitter rivals embark on a quest to save a family member and discover that sometimes animosity is a mask for crazy-hot attraction. With this much face time, head-to-head might become heart-to-heart.

HEAD TO HEAD is an enemies to lovers, forced proximity, opposites attract, searching for his sister, clashing cultures, MM romance—with a whole lot of fracking.

Teaser 1

Excerpt

I’d known for a long time that Rand was the son of the founder and CEO of American Eagle energy company an oil-extracting and fracking behemoth. But it was one thing to think of it as something his father did. That Rand himself would be part of it one day, maybe even run the company—the enormity of that sent a chill of awe up my spine. “I can see that,” I said carefully. “It could be amazing. If your stockholders and dad, etcetera… if they’d let you really change things.”

He frowned slightly. “Yeah.”

I nodded decisively. “So. We’ve got it figured. You’ll be the hot young CEO running American Eagle and turning it to green energy, and I’ll be the rebel hippy lawyer watching your every step like a hawk.”

Rand laughed. He gave me a warm look that curled my toes. “Sounds about right. Do you think we’ll ever not be on opposite sides, Jax?”

I shrugged. “I dunno. Maybe it’s our karmic destiny.”

I licked sticky candy off my lips and his gaze tracked the movement. He licked his own lips, seemingly unconsciously. The warmth I was feeling toward him—an oddity itself—flared into something else. Whoosh.

I abruptly got up and tossed the remains of my candy apple in the trash. “Hey. Let’s go check out that haunted house ride.”

At the Devil’s Dungeon, Loveda and Mikey got a car near the front of the little train. Rand and I got placed in the back, several cars behind. The teenaged attendant smirked as he pushed the bar down onto our laps. “Keep your hands and arms inside the car,” he recited. “Or the ghosts may rip them clean off. You’ll be dead of blood loss before the train even returns to the station.”

My mouth dropped open. “Do you say that to five-year- olds?”

He grinned. “Have a nice ride. And no making out.”

Rand and I looked at each other and laughed. But my giggle, at least, was a little nervous.

“He has no idea,” I said, as the train headed into the dark.

“Right? We’re more likely to rip each other’s arms off.”

“Totally.”

Inside the dark building, the train tracks shifted and jolted—on purpose. Painted scenes of horror glowed in the dark. A guillotine. A graveyard. On my side, a Dracula popped out of a box. Drac was looking pretty raggedy.

“He needs a new tailor,” Rand said, the jolting train throwing him against my side.

“He’s looking a bit peaked. Want me to open your vein for him?”

“You can try.” Rand’s teeth flashed white in the dim light.

Wax heads on a rack were next. They were probably convincing in the 50s, but they looked lame compared to modern CGI.

“Oh, man. This is so bad, it’s good.” Rand laughed.

“I know, right? To quote Mikey: it’s a classic.”

With a clang, our train lurched to a stop. A dingy white- sheeted ghost bobbed on my right.

“Probably waiting for the train ahead of us,” Rand said.

“Yup. No worries. You’re not afraid of the dark, are you?” I sneaked a hand onto his leg and squeezed.

Rand grasped my hand in his for a moment and pinched it. “Stop that. Of course I’m not afraid of the dark. That would be childish.”

“Uh-huh.” That brilliant comeback was brought to you courtesy of my pounding heart and dry mouth. Rand’s hand was big and so warm as he dropped mine back into my own lap.

Aaaaand still, the train wasn’t moving. I tried to think of something else. Anything other than the feeling of Rand’s arm against mine. Anything except all the things that could happen in the dark.

“So, um… what, exactly, did your dad say on the phone this morning?”

Rand shifted. “Just what I told your dad. He wasn’t exactly shocked to hear Peyton isn’t with Jason.”

I thought about that for a bit. The train sat there. “So your dad knew your seventeen-year-old pregnant sister wasn’t really with her boyfriend, and he didn’t try to find her?”

“Jax—”

“I mean, I heard Jason say your dad sent armed men to find him and warn him off. If your dad could do that, he could hire a PI to find Peyton and bring her home. Right?”

Rand snapped at me. “You don’t know the situation. Okay?”

I blinked in surprise at his tone. But, spark meet fuse. Like always, Rand’s anger set me off. “So what have I got wrong? That’s what happened, isn’t it?”

Even in the dim light, I could see him gripping the lap bar hard. He glanced over his shoulder, but we were in the last seat, and there wasn’t another train behind us. He hissed. “So you’re saying he should have hired goons to track her down? That’s good parenting to you? He’s been sending her money, supporting her. I don’t even know if she had the baby. She said she didn’t want to see us. Maybe my dad is just respecting her wishes.”

“But even if she fought with your dad, why wouldn’t she want to see you? You said you were close, right?”

“Look, we’re not Perfect Happy Family like you are. Okay?”

I gaped. “What?”

“Can we not talk about this?” His voice was raised.

He was annoying the hell out of me. “Dude. I’m just saying. Maybe your dad isn’t exactly being forthcoming. That’s all.”

“Fuck off!”

“Really? We’re back to that? So mature. Well, fuck you, Rand Ch—”

Rand grabbed my neck with one hand and crushed his mouth against mine.

For a moment, we both froze. What the hell was he doing?

Kissing me.

Oh God. Rand was kissing me.

I’d imagined this. Last night when I showed him the guest room. In the car. Hell, long before that. Every time we fought at Madison, I’d wanted to grab him and shake him and…

Teaser 2

About the Authors

elieaston_road_bw

Coming from a background in computer game design, Eli has written over 35 books in m/m romance since 2013. The Mating of Michael (2014) and A Second Harvest (2016) both won The William Neale Award for Best Gay Contemporary Romance, and Eli’s books have won many awards from the Goodreads M/M Romance Group’s Reader’s Choice Awards.

She is best known for her Christmas romances, the Howl at the Moon series of rom coms featuring dog shifters, and her Sex in Seattle series, which revolves around a sex clinic in Seattle.

Social Media

www.elieaston.com

Facebook: Eli Easton

Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/164054884188096

Twitter: @elieaston

tara-lain-medium-optimizedjpg

Tara Lain believes in happy ever afters – and magic. Same thing. In fact, she says, she doesn’t believe, she knows. Tara shares this passion in her stories that star her unique, charismatic heroes and adventurous heroines. Quarterbacks and cops, werewolves and witches, blue collar or billionaires, Tara’s characters, readers say, love deeply, resolve seemingly insurmountable differences, and ultimately live their lives authentically.

After many years living in southern California, Tara, her soulmate honey and her soulmate dog decided they wanted less cars and more trees, prompting a move to Ashland, Oregon where Tara’s creating new stories and loving living in a small town with big culture.

Tara loves animals of all kinds (even snakes), diversity, open minds, coconut crunch ice cream from Zoeys, and her readers.

She has around 57 books published or scheduled for publication.

Social Media

Website: https://taralain.com/

Facebook Reader’s Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/255111391312743

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/taralain/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/taralain

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

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/tara-lain

Teaser 3

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Schooling the Jock, Eli & Tara are giving away a $25 Amazon Voucher.

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Release Blitz: Level Up by Annabeth Albert

Level Up | Annabeth Albert

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Release Date: May 17, 2018

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 40,000 words

Genre: Romance, contemporary m/m romance, gay romance, geeks, nerds, friends-to-lovers, gamers, gaymers

Goodreads

Blurb

Landon can’t believe he’s let himself get roped into participating in a charity calendar, let alone one that features tastefully photographed nudes. The genius physicist is hardly model material and he’s dreading the nude part of the photoshoot. Amid his reluctance, the one bright spot is his emails back and forth with the photographer.

However, Bailey ends up being not quite what Landon expects, and their first meeting is decidedly awkward. Bailey’s persistent though, and gradually Landon warms to the burly photographer, and they discover they have a shared love of gamer culture.

A tentative friendship is born, but the road from friends to lovers isn’t easy. Landon’s battling past trauma and must decide how much of a risk he’s willing to take. A sexy connection may not be enough to keep them together unless both are willing to put their hearts on the line.

Previously released as part of the EXPOSED anthology, and loosely linked to the #Gaymers universe, this friends-to-lovers, hurt/comfort story stands alone with a guaranteed happy ending.

Contains a brief mention of a prior assault, but no on-screen violence or flashbacks.

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Excerpt

Annabeth says: “This is their first kiss, because I absolutely love writing first kiss scenes!

***

Bailey was the type who moved a lot as he gamed, biceps flexing, knees wiggling, shoulders jostling. Landon always liked people who got so into gaming, but it was more than a little distracting. His body was quickly coming to associate that orange scent of Bailey’s with good things, and other parts of him apparently liked Bailey’s nearness, which was a novelty because instead of intimidated, as he would have expected, he was more than a little turned on.

“Oh man, that was a rush.” Bailey laughed as both of their health meters dipped to zero. “I’m almost wishing I’d gone into game art, not photography. Amazing how these graphics have held up over the years.”

“Totally. And speaking of art, let me find the Space Villager stuff.” Landon reluctantly stepped away from the game. He headed to the nearby kitchen, where he was pretty the papers were buried with a stack of mail. Paper control was not his strong suit. “You’ll go nuts at the latest screenshots and promo teasers.”

“Cool.” Rather than follow Landon, Bailey went to sit on the couch.

“You want a drink while I’m in here?” Landon called to him after he found the papers under a pile of pizza ads. “I’ve got four flavors of Snapple, soda, and water.”

“Surprise me with a Snapple flavor.” Bailey looked right at home on Landon’s couch, lounging back.

He really did not look at all like any photographer Landon had ever met, and curiosity had him asking, “So why photography? You said you could have done game design?”

“Yeah, I had plenty of friends at the art institute go that direction. But I’ve been in love with photography ever since I worked on our middle school yearbook. I figured out quickly that taking pictures of events and sports was far more fun than trying to do the sports myself, so I did yearbook all through high school, got a photography scholarship to the art institute in Portland.”

“So you don’t play a sport?” Landon had a hard time believing that. With Bailey’s height and breadth, he totally looked like he lived for weekend games of some type.

“Nope. Hopelessly uncoordinated.” Bailey shot him an endearing smile when Landon handed him the bottle of tea.

“Me too.” Landon clinked bottles with him, then held up the papers. “Found the codes. But can I show you some stuff on the TV screen while you have your drink?”

“Absolutely.” Bailey took a long swig of tea, and Landon had to look away before he got mesmerized by Bailey’s full mouth, how it looked when his tongue chased a stray drop of moisture, how pink it was in contrast to his paler skin and brown beard.

Landon queued up the pre-release trailer Josiah had sent him a link to. Bombastic music filled his small living room as on the screen, and a spaceship pulled in for a landing on a planet filled with ruins of a once-powerful civilization. The narrator had an iconic voice and detailed all the special features of the expansion pack. Landon had already watched this a half-dozen times, and it still gave him happy chills.

“Wow. I can’t wait.” Bailey looked suitably awed. “This is even cooler than when War Elf added the mystic raids.”

“I know, right? Now look at the in-game screen shots.” He brought up another video, body relaxing more and more despite Bailey’s nearness. It was just so awesome to have someone new to share this with. He’d been hyped about this all week, but Pike was distracted by his boyfriend Zack’s deployment, Savannah didn’t game much, and the rest of his regular crew seemed to have other things occupying their attention.

Somehow, as he shared more video clips, he drifted closer to Bailey, so that their knees were almost rubbing. It wasn’t a giant couch, so there wasn’t a ton of room to move back, but even so, Landon wasn’t looking for an escape. He was aware of Bailey, very much so, but not nearly as freaked out as he’d been a few hours ago. Instead, his senses seemed to soak up Bailey’s scent and nearness, and it wasn’t until the fourth or fifth video that he realized that he was aroused.

Clink. Somehow Landon’s left hand, holding his drink, and Bailey’s right hand tangled.

“Oops.” He tried to extricate himself without spilling both beverages. Bending to put his on the floor, he hadn’t realized that Bailey had also leaned down until their heads collided.

“Ow,” they said simultaneously.

“Oh my gosh. I’m so sorry.” Bailey reached out, feeling around on Landon’s head. “Did you see stars? Break the skin?”

“I’m fine.” Landon didn’t pull away. Bailey’s hand felt damn nice. Gentle. Soothing more than just the bump on his head. Their eyes met, and he really needed to move back, break this spell, but he didn’t, instead leaning into to the touch. Bailey’s eyes darkened, and he stroked down Landon’s jaw.

God, that felt so good, like an extra blanket on a chilly night, warmth he hadn’t realized he was missing. How long had it been since he’d been touched like this? Hugged, sure. He’d hugged Savannah goodnight, and hugged and wrestled around with his best friend Pike at the last LAN party, but neither of those things was touch like this. Caring. Sweet. Arousing.

Bailey leaned in again, way slower this time, all the time in the world for Landon to stop him. But he didn’t. Bailey’s beard tickled an instant before their lips met, a soft slide of mouths. Not aggressive at all, not the on-a-tight-schedule rush of a hookup, Bailey kissed like they had a sleepy Sunday afternoon to kill, like each reaction of Landon’s mattered, like he was trying to memorize something important and was going to take his time learning the lesson.

Landon was the first one to take things further, mouth opening on a sigh, welcoming Bailey’s agile tongue. He tasted sweet, like tea, and minty like the gum he’d popped after the pizza, familiar yet new at the same time. How had he managed to forget how awesome kissing could be? A laugh bubbled up in his chest, but quickly transformed to a groan of pleasure as Bailey nipped at his lower lip.

Not content to let Bailey be the one exploring, Landon sent his own tongue on a quest, tracing Bailey’s full lower lip, delving inside to rub tongues, retreating playfully to earn another nip. Fuck. This was nice. The video switched over to something random, and he barely registered it. He couldn’t say how long they kissed, just that he didn’t want it to ever end.

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Meet the Author

Annabeth-Headshot-Small

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.

The #OutOfUniform series joins her critically acclaimed and fan-favorite LGBTQ romance #Gaymers, #PortlandHeat and #PerfectHarmony series. To find out what she’s working on next and other fun extras, check out her website: www.annabethalbert.com or connect with Annabeth on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify!

Also, be sure to sign up for her newsletter for free ficlets, bonus reads, and contests. The fan group, Annabeth’s Angels, on Facebook is also a great place for bonus content and exclusive contests.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two active children.

Author Links

Website: http://www.annabethalbert.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annabethalbert

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/AnnabethAlbert

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6477494.Annabeth_Albert

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

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/Nb9yv

Annabeth’s Angels: https://www.facebook.com/groups/annabethsangels/

Giveaway

$20.00 Amazon Gift Card:
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More than perfect follow up

More Than Luck (Legendary Pairs Book 2)More Than Luck by Casey Cameron

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This one instantly went onto my winning list when it referenced not just one John Cusack film, Better Off Dead, but then also went on to mention the boombox scene in Say Anything as an example of extremely romantic gestures.
See that there is impeccable taste and so this book had a huge advantage.

That it also lived up to its promise by being a well crafted, much longer exploration of the CCG gaming world Casey Cameron has created was an added bonus.

I loved Lucas’ youthfulness and his harshness and arrogance, but also his vulnerable and hurting parts too. Drey, well this type of gruff, stoic and reticent older guy pushes all my buttons. He was grizzly, a bit of an arse and pure silver fox, with the maturity needed to help Lucas find a level surface to lean against.

Much more steam in this one, some epic phone calls and a lot of sexy talk all made this a real emotion stirrer.

# ARC kindly provided by the author in return for an honest review.

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