Tag Archives: New Zealand setting

Blog Tour: Tell Me Our Story by Anyta Sunday

Tell Me Our Story | Anyta Sunday

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Release Date: March 21st, 2022

Cover Illustration: Lauren Dombrowski

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Blurb

Icy, standoffish Jonathan Hart always turned towards that laugh. Full-throated, uninhibited, addictive.

Soft smiles encouraging him over swing bridges. Hearty chuckles dancing around a ballroom. Wobbly grins. Double-glances. Eyes that brightened the world. His world.

From the moment he met David O’Hara, Jonathan started forming a smile of his own.

And then O’Hara left.

One lingering look.

No last goodbye.

Seven years later, that laugh again.

Full-throated, uninhibited.

Addictive.

O’Hara. Still all fire and flame, still drawing Jonathan in.

And now he wants Jonathan paired with him in a seven-week social influencing challenge.

Now, he wants to finish melting his heart…

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Excerpt

Jonathan sat at one of the dozen tables for the opening dinner and willed himself to hold it together. His first ICon. Months of mental preparation, and still he sweated. Willed himself not to search out the bright, full-throated laughter that rippled through the dining area. Willed himself not to scan the hundred-plus crowd for him.

But all during dinner, Jonathan’s ears had been filled with that uninhibited laughter. Like a wet umbrella popping open in his face, covering him forehead to chin in fresh rain. It tickled. Made him shiver.

He needed it. He needed to escape it.

Key-card cutting into his palm, he dashed to the lobby and pressed the up button between two brass-doored elevators. He’d go to his room. Call it in for the night.

Movement caught his peripheral vision. His nape prickled; his limbs locked together.

“I thought you lived in Sydney?” came a creamy female voice.

“Couldn’t miss out on all the naughty fun that happens at night.” That laugh. “Come on. Show me your room.”

“You’re determined, O’Hara.”

“I prefer charming.”

Both sets of elevator doors dinged and opened. Jonathan hurriedly slid into the fuller one, alongside another couple and their massive suitcases. He jabbed at the button for the 12th floor and the doors blessedly began to close.

“Quick, Mira. Let’s catch that one.”

“But the other one is empty—”

“Hold the doors!” O’Hara called jovially.

The middle-aged woman next to Jonathan immediately unfolded her arm and the doors buckled open again.

Jonathan dropped his gaze to the floor as they squeezed in. A glittery red dress and strappy heels pushed past him, followed by tight, monotone grey jeans and a darker grey jersey, artfully distressed at the hip.

A braided leather wristband caught his eye. O’Hara dropped his hand from the panel of floor buttons and a whoosh of air breezed against Jonathan’s arm. There was a slight hitch in the air. A hesitation.

Quiet acknowledgment.

Jonathan’s focus froze on the panel. No new number had lit up. Either O’Hara and Mira were on the same floor as the couple, or they were at the top like him.

The elevator creaked and groaned as it ascended, and Jonathan’s key-card bent under his squeezing grip. The floors took forever to pass.

O’Hara shifted, bumping into the couple’s suitcase. A thump had him crouching with cheerful apologies, and just like that they were talking about where they’d been in Australia so far, and where they should go, and joking about O’Hara’s accent—neither Kiwi nor Aussie despite his having lived in both countries, but it didn’t bother him, because everyone loved an unusual accent. It started many a conversation, just look.

The elevator reopened and the couple pushed out with their luggage, waving happily and wishing O’Hara and Mira a wonderful evening.

Jonathan looked quietly toward O’Hara’s black ankle boots, one crossed over the other. He couldn’t deny, O’Hara had always been skilled at forging connections.

The elevator clattered upwards again with a sway. He touched his fist to his mouth and focused rigidly on the floor numbers counting up, ignoring the whispers and flashes of twirling red and grey as O’Hara hummed Johann Strauss. That song. Was he . . . trying to say something?

“I thought the dancing was all made up,” Mira murmured.

“An old friend had ballroom-champion parents. He taught me . . . everything.”

Jonathan closed his eyes and squeezed his key-card.

Mira sighed. “Do you twirl everyone you meet?”

“It puts a smile on their faces, so why not?”

“A smile on their faces. Yeah, that’s why you do it.”

O’Hara didn’t respond, but there was another twirl of red and grey.

Jonathan shut his eyes—

The elevator groaned and stopped.

—he shot them open again.

The lights above died, and the doors weren’t opening. He drew in a deep breath and shoved the key-card into his pocket before he snapped it. Power cut. Probably due to the storm.

Any moment, it’d kick back on.

It would.

Keep it together.

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About the Author

A bit about me: I’m a big, BIG fan of slow-burn romances. I love to read and write stories with characters who slowly fall in love.

Some of my favorite tropes to read and write are: Enemies to Lovers, Friends to Lovers, Clueless Guys, Bisexual, Pansexual, Demisexual, Oblivious MCs, Everyone (Else) Can See It, Slow Burn, Love Has No Boundaries.

I write a variety of stories, Contemporary MM Romances with a good dollop of angst, Contemporary lighthearted MM Romances, and even a splash of fantasy.
My books have been translated into German, Italian, French, Spanish, and Thai.

Social Media

Contact: http://www.anytasunday.com/about-anyta/

Sign up for Anyta’s newsletter and receive a free e-book: http://www.anytasunday.com/newsletter-free-e-book/

Join my Facebook group to chat all things Slow Burn Romance:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/SlowBurnSundays/

You can also find me here:
www.anytasunday.com
anytasunday@gmail.com

For information about new releases and freebies, follow me on BookBub:
https://www.bookbub.com/authors/anyta-sunday

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Tell Me Our Story, Anyta is giving away a complete e-set of her hit, Love, Austen Series

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Release Blitz: In Step by Jay Hogan

In Step | Jay Hogan

Painted Bay #3

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Release Date: February 10th, 2022

Universal Link: https://readerlinks.com/l/2002327

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58931220-in-step

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Blurb

When hearts collide on the dance floor.

Karma. You reap what you sow, and KANE MARTIN isn’t looking for forgiveness.

But the arrival of ABE TYLER in Painted Bay has Kane dreaming of the impossible. The sexy, silver fox choreographer is determined to pull Kane out from the shadows, but Abe’s career isn’t about to shift to Painted Bay, and Kane’s life is in neat little boxes for a reason.

A past he isn’t proud of.

A family he’s walked away from.

A job he doesn’t deserve.

A secret he’s ashamed of.

But life’s dance can make for unexpected partners, and learning to trust and keep up with the footwork is the name of the game.

Two steps forward, one step back.

It takes two to tango.

Trigger Warning: Contains references to past abuse and bullying.

Catch up with the whole series here: https://readerlinks.com/l/2094148

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Excerpt

The pattering rain grew heavy on the iron roof and my thoughts ran to the beautiful guy I’d glimpsed in the window above the garage the night before. His name was Kane, apparently. He worked with Fox and Leroy and rented the bedsit, and I wondered why Judah had made no mention of him when he’d given me a rundown on virtually the entire town.

Even in the gloom and lit only by the reflected porch light, Kane’s stunning good looks and shoulder-length sun-bleached locks belonged on the cover of a surfing magazine, not manning a boat on a mussel farm. Just the memory had my cock thickening in my hand. Nope. I dropped it with a groan. Way too creepy since I was surely gonna have to talk to the guy at some point.

Get a life, Abraham.

The click of claws on wood made their way up the hall and a black nose pushed my door open. I scooted back and patted the bed. “Come on, gorgeous.”

Mack pushed through and jumped on the bed, quickly settling in a big lump behind my knees. Prue followed soon after, curling her small feline body into a ball between Mack’s front paws.

“So that’s how it’s going to be, huh?” I scratched Mack behind the ears. “Why do I sense I’m being played here? Are you normally allowed on the bed?”

They both ignored me.

“Okay, you get a free pass this time, but I’m taking it under advisement. One word from your daddies and this is all over. Now move over, you’re hogging the blankets and there’s a dirty paw print on my damn sheet. I th—” I jumped at the loud knock on the front door right outside my bedroom.

At this hour? I got up on one elbow to peek through the window. Huh. Surfer boy himself. But with no answering footsteps from Leroy and Fox’s bedroom, I figured they were still . . . occupied.

“Guess I’m it.” I threw back the covers and bounced out of bed, shivering with the sudden wash of cold over my bed-warm skin. “Shit.” I glanced down at my black briefs, then briefly considered my still-unpacked bag before pulling the spare blanket around my waist instead and hotfooting it to the front door. The glacial blast when I hauled it open almost knocked me sideways and instantly pebbled my skin.

“Damn, that’s cold.” I fumbled the blanket up under my armpits but not before I noticed Kane’s eyes bug out of their sockets. “Sorry.” I motioned back down the hall. “It’s just me. Leroy and Fox are . . .” I snorted in amusement. “Well, they’re likely having a lot more fun than either of us and getting a damn sight warmer in the process. How can I help you? It’s Kane, right?”

Kane nodded, still staring at my naked chest, and for some ridiculous reason, my cheeks warmed. Oh, for fuck’s sake. I was far too old and comfortable in my own skin for that rubbish. I danced for a living and there wasn’t a square inch of my skin that hadn’t come under intense scrutiny at one time or another. Age might’ve frayed me around the edges a bit—I wasn’t as tight or streamlined as I used to be—but I didn’t suck for a forty-two-year-old who was pushing middle age and with a perilous fondness for pasta.

“Kane? Hello?” I sucked in a breath laced with a strong hit of ocean salt.

“Um.” He licked his lips and his gaze shot up as if suddenly aware he’d been staring, and I got a good look at his eyes for the first time. They were the clearest, deepest blue, like those tropical lagoons you drooled over in tourist brochures. Although that’s where the similarity ended as they jackrabbited nervously across my face, making me wonder what the hell I’d done to unnerve the guy.

“I, um, came to drop off the food,” he muttered, still not meeting my eyes. “For Mack.” He dropped the weighty bag of dog food on the deck at my feet, pulled up the waistband of his jeans, and turned to leave.

“Wait.” My hand shot out. “We haven’t met. I’m Abe Tyler. I’m staying with Leroy and Fox while I help Judah out with his class recital.”

Kane stared at my hand for a second like it might bite him, and his grasp when it came was cool, dry, and very short. “Hi. I’m Kane Martin.” He blushed prettily. “But then . . . you obviously know that.” Once again, those magnetic-blue eyes flitted away, and I realised Kane was older than the whole surfer vibe indicated—closer to thirty than twenty.

“Yeah, Leroy mentioned your name and that you worked with them. It was you at the window last night, right?” I inclined my head toward the bedsit, prolonging an unnecessary conversation that was turning me into a human popsicle. But the man in front of me was as gorgeous as I remembered, and a man’s balls worked strange magic on his brain that way. “We, ah, waved.” I bit back a smile and he blushed. He fucking blushed.

Kane tugged at his jeans, then glanced up at the bedsit and sighed. “Sorry about that. I didn’t mean to be nosy—” He hesitated and the flush deepened. “Yeah, total lie. It’s a small town, you know?” He dropped his gaze and scuffed the sole of his boot on the old plank deck worn smooth with age.

I chuckled. “I get it. I came from a small town too.” I willed him to look at me, wanting another moment with those cobalt eyes and the cut-glass cheekbones with a spray of freckles like someone had thrown chocolate hail and only a few had stuck—a darkly sweet and all-too-inviting constellation.

“Really?” He finally met my gaze. “I thought you hailed from Wellington?”

I shook my head. “We moved to Wellington when I was eight. But I was actually born in Reefton on the South Island. You don’t get much more small-town New Zealand than that. Couldn’t wait to leave, to be honest.”

His lips quirked up, soft and red and . . . fuck me, I wanted nothing more than to kiss them. They were the only soft thing about Kane. Like his cheekbones and the hollow beneath them, everything else seemed a little too sharp, a little too thin, a little too . . . hungry. Like the tips of his shoulders that poked through his sweater and the outline of his clavicle at its neck. The bulky knit hung loose on a narrow frame over a pair of jeans that seemed perilously close to falling from his hips, judging by the number of times he hauled them up. I felt the ridiculous urge to sit him down and feed some meat onto those bones.

About The Author

jay hogan logan

Heart, Humour, & Keepin’ It Real

Jay is a 2020 Lambda Literary Award Finalist in Gay Romance and her book Off Balance was the 2021 New Zealand Romance Book of the Year. She is a New Zealand author writing mm romance and romantic suspense, primarily set in New Zealand.

She writes character driven romances with lots of humour, a good dose of reality and a splash of angst. She’s travelled extensively, lived in many countries, and in a past life she was a critical care nurse, nurse educator and counsellor.

Jay is owned by a huge Maine Coon cat and a gorgeous Cocker Spaniel

Find Jay in all the places: https://www.jayhoganauthor.com/landingpage

Out Now

Kane is so much more than his past and I adore him

InStep-400x600In Step by Jay Hogan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

While book two still just shades it as my favourite in this series, I have to say, Kane and Abe ran them close to take over at the top.

This book is nothing like I thought it would be.

Kane is nothing like the image we’ve been given of him in the previous stories, although he is also the first to tell people that he does not deserve their pity, or their friendship.

His one act of violence while still a schoolboy has had a lasting effect on Judah, Leroy and the rest of the Madden clan but as he slowly opens up to Abe, you find out more about the life Kane was living at that time.

While it never excuses what happened, it explains it. There was so much more going on than just a bully hitting out at an easy target.

I think Jay dealt with the whole journey, from the tentative friendship which arises between Judah’s choreographer friend Abe, through to the final ending, with supreme skill.

There are some very painful elements which tug at the heartstrings, but also a whole lot of hope and thoughts for a renewed life.

Heed the trigger warnings, there’s plenty to go at with this book, Kane has had a life that really wasn’t pleasant and he’s affected by his experiences in a multitude of ways.

But also, take joy from someone finding out that mistakes made, and one act of impulse, doesn’t have to be the thing that defines the rest of your life.

As someone who used to dance, that element of this book worked so beautifully for me. Jay uses the vehicle of the Argentine Tango in which to express the changes that Kane goes through as he opens up to Abe and then to the wider Madden family.

It’s a dance of passion, of emotion, it’s intimate and connected, it mimics the acts of both sex and love, and it draws you into a world in which two men can dance together and no-one blinks (AT’s roots are as a same sex dance in the ghettos of Buenos Aires where men would dance together to attract the attention of the local prostitutes).

I utterly adored everything about the dance elements which anchor this book, from the work Judah and Abe are doing with the young kids to show them that life with a disability doesn’t have to be limiting, to the growing love between Abe and Kane.

So, while Leroy and Fox still take first place in my heart, I will also have a space for Abe and Kane, and a relationship they worked so hard to reach.

There’s no ridiculous dramady in this one, the angst isn’t from misunderstanding or miscommunication, tensions arise from outside plot events and there is never a sense that things are being played out for plot’s sake.

It’s a beautifully organic romance that develops through two people finding a connection and then working at it when it becomes clear there’s far more than just a lustful attraction involved.

Kane is a complex and vulnerable man, and in Abe he finds someone who can help shoulder his load, for Abe, Kane is somewhere to come home to. I adored everything about this book.

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

View all my reviews

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