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Release Blitz: The Rest of the Story by Tal Bauer

The Rest of the Story | Tal Bauer

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Release Date: January 8th, 2023

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Blurb

Let me earn it.

I keep things simple. I’m a classic one-night wonder. Relationships? Are you out of your mind? No. No way. Not interested. My heart is vulcanized rubber, puck hard, and that’s the way I like it.

Then I’m traded to the absolute worst team in the NHL, the Rocky Mountain Outlaws, and I’m hit with a one-two punch.

First: I’m asked to step up and lead the team, which is every kind of bad idea you can imagine. I’m a head-down, mind-my-business kind of guy. Mr. Uninvolved, Mr. No, Not Me, Mr. Find Someone Else. But these players have been through a mess of hell, and someone thinks I can help pull them together.

The Outlaws are made up of jaded veterans and wide-eyed rookies, and we have no business whatsoever succeeding. We are scrappy and plucky and built out of spit and duct-tape… and whatever we’re doing, it’s working.

Second: The first day I’m in Boulder, I go over the boards and come face-to-face with a pair of blue eyes and lose my heart. Boy, howdy: meet my new co-captain, Shea Darling.

He’s way, way off-limits. It’s a stratospherically terrible idea to want or crave him. This crush, this infatuation, is going nowhere fast.

Yeah, right. I’m gone for Shea. I’m head over heels, and I’m all tangled up in something I can’t understand or control. This isn’t me. I don’t fall in love. And there’s nothing simple about Shea, or about the Outlaws. This team is finally putting up the wins, and we are making something of ourselves. Falling for my co-captain while we’re on a Cinderella run could jeopardize everything we’re striving for.

But then there’s this one night.
And this one kiss.
And everything changes.

Eighty-two games in a season.
Twenty men hungry for redemption.
One co-captain who could be my forever.

This is the rest of the story.

*****

The Rest of the Story is a friends-to-lovers, hockey players/teammates MM romance, and includes themes of survivorship.

The Rest of the Story is set in the same universe as Gravity, but each novel can be read independently. You do not need to read Gravity first to enjoy The Rest of the Story.

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Excerpt

We picked up a win in Tampa and got to enjoy an off day before our flight home. Snow was already falling on the peaks in Colorado, but Tampa Bay was eighty-five degrees and drenched with sunshine. We hit the beach.

It was a postcard day. Waves shimmering like scattered diamonds, the surf playing peekaboo with the nearly ice-white sand. I plopped my ass on my towel, buried my toes, and listened to the waves… and the sounds of my team, roughhousing in the shallows, shit talking their way through a beach volleyball game, and then deciding it would be a fucking brilliant idea to rent Jet Skis and race each other around the bay.

I lay back, ready to blank out my mind and replace everything in my skull with sunshine and indulgence. Float around on my subconscious, daydream the afternoon away.

A body thudded onto a towel beside me, wet enough to flick damp seawater across my chest and kick sand over my calves. I rolled, glowered, ready to unburden my substantial irritation at my intruder—

Shea—shirtless, in low-slung board shorts that barely clung to his hips, water dripping down his skin—was propped on one elbow and grinning. “Hi.”

I couldn’t have told you my name with a gun to my head. Every thought had been replaced with him, with the way seawater was moving down his clavicles, with how the sun was already bringing out hidden freckles across his chest. His long legs were lazily crossed, toes tickling the sand, and his hair was finger-combed back from his face. Miles of hockey-player-pale skin was on display. It was almost lewd, lascivious, even, how he’d show the world how gorgeous he was. Were other people as stunned, as speechless, as absolutely bamboozled as I was? Was he causing traffic accidents on the road fronting the beach? What if someone drowned because a lifeguard couldn’t tear his eyes away from the happy trail escaping down Shea’s abdomen and disappearing beneath the shoelace tie of his board shorts? Jesus, one tug of that lace and God’s gift was on display.

I exhaled, grunted some kind of vocalization, my wonderful way with words really coming in clutch. He kept right on grinning, head tilted and resting on his shoulder, his eyes hidden behind sexy little mirror aviators. It should be fucking illegal to smile like that, looking like that.

I hadn’t dressed to impress on this beach trip. My own board shorts were probably ten years old, stamped with big, bold hibiscus flowers in a gaudy tropical print. And no one who looked at me—broad, furred chest scattered with old scars, a layer of padding around my middle that made me “stocky”—was going to be singing hallelujahs or crashing their car in wide-eyed delight.

Why was he here? I found my tongue and kick-started my frontal lobes. Put words in order. Breathe in and out. My standards for getting through the next few minutes were not high. I wasn’t sure I could meet them. “Uhh, you’re not— You’re not going with—” Down the beach, we heard the roar of engines and the high-pitched laughter of Logan and Brody.

“Nah.” Shea flopped back, threw his arms over his head. I could trace his biceps and his forearms into the sand with my fingers, create a perfect outline of him. “You have the right idea,” he said on a sigh. “This is perfect.”

Sure, perfect for him. But now there was a marching band in my chest, fireworks blazing beneath my skin, and big ol’ bongo drums and shimmy-shimmy tambourines going wild inside my skull. Plus, I needed a moment and some deep breathing exercises. Certain things had to calm down.

There went my afternoon of not thinking about Shea.

About The Author

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Tal Bauer writes breath-taking, heartfelt, and often action-packed gay romance novels. His characters are head over heels for each other, and fight against all odds for their happy ending.

Nothing stands in the way of love. Tal is best known for his romantic suspense novels, including the Executive Office series, The Murder Between Us, The Night Of, and his MM sports romance, The Jock.

Visit Tal at www.talbauerwrites.com and on Facebook or BookBub today.

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Tal delivers a powerful story about hope and love

The Rest of the Story coverThe Rest of the Story by Tal Bauer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So, so good!

Tal Bauer owes me another four hours sleep because, as I read this relatively low angst (as in there’s not loads of whinging whining!), but still with its own heart-breaking moments romance, I just knew he was going to lay down a gut punch which would totally blindside me.

And he did, waaaaaaaaay past the usual 75% break-up/Third Act crisis point comes a crashing blow which you never see coming and I couldn’t even be mad with him, because it completely fits within the narrative.

You’ll get no spoilers here, but it’s not dramady, it’s not Tal throwing in something just to raise the tension stakes. It feels wholly believable and it’s an earned part of the plot which rocks your very core.

However, this is also Tal Bauer, so happy ending absolutely guaranteed and how he brings around that resolution is an incredible piece of writing that drags on every tender part of your soul and makes you wish with every breath of your body as he mends what was broken and turns it into something beautiful.

Rather like the Japanese art of Kintsugi.

Before that he’s given us a tale of so many emotions. Those of an ice hockey team which has not only hit rock bottom, but plummeted beyond the surface and into a cave of despair. Those of a jobbing player who’s hit his 30s and knows he’s reaching the end and those of a young gun, a 24-year-old rookie who’s holding on to every bit of hope he can.

This is a romance about hope, about opportunities which open where you’d never expect them. It’s about finding strength in the hidden places. It’s about love, oh boy is it about love.

And not just romantic love. It’s about families, both those made in blood and bones and those created in the molten fire of an ice hockey dressing room and out on the arena. It’s about making promises and then doing whatever it takes to make that future happen.

It’s a barnstormer of a book and I fell head over heels for every single person – bar one! – who appears within its pages.

And I want my four hours of sleep back please Tal Horatio Nelson Bauer!

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

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Blog Tour: The Asylum Fight Club Series by Tibby Armstrong & Bianca Sommerland

The Asylum Fight Club Series | Tibby Armstrong & Bianca Sommerland

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The Asylum Fight Club Series

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Blurb

Fated. Forged. Forever.

A place where men live and love by their fists—and ropes are for more than just the ring—The Asylum Fight Club isn’t the easiest place to live or work, but it’s a haven and a home for three men who’ve put their livelihoods—and lives—on the line to build a members-only gay sanctuary.

At the heart of The Asylum, Lawson Gaumond, Noah Leonov, and Curtis Smith, are three ex-lovers with one mission: to protect those they care for at all costs in an often unforgiving world of violence and vice.

They are three men, with one vision. Their bonds forged in blood. Fated to be together. Forever.

Flawed Justice

The Asylum Fight Club #1

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If there were an emergency number for adulthood, Matt Kincaid would have dialed it months ago. Raising his kid brother alone is already an uphill battle, never mind when an ugly gang initiation lands the teen in lockup. Again. Only, this time for a hate crime against a local fight club, where settling debts isn’t taken lightly. When the club offers to let Matt risk everything in a long-shot match with a man who’s as brutally handsome as he is tough, he jumps at the chance.

If Matt wins, all will be forgiven. If not? Well, he might as well move in, because ‘The Law’ will own his ass…for a very long time.

There are no limits to what Lawson ‘The Law’ Gaumond will do to protect the club he and his former lovers built. An inner-city sanctuary where Anniston Falls’ gay leather culture thrives, The Asylum Fight Club isn’t an easy place, but it’s home. Taking on a local hothead whose younger brother vandalized the space isn’t high on his priority list, but there’s something about Matt that cries out for a firm hand.

Lawson’s never backed down from a fight, and he’s not about to start when there’s no way he can lose.

When renewed gang violence erupts, spilling blood over The Asylum, Lawson and Matt must confront their pasts to find a way forward. Gunshots and knives should be harder to survive than this rough love, but coming to the ring armed with nothing but the truth is their greatest challenge of all.

Beyond Justice

The Asylum Fight Club #2

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Raised and trained by The Asylum Fight Club’s most infamous owner, Reed Dane is almost untouchable. Might sound dope, but there are disadvantages to his ‘privileged’ status. His guardian’s reputation makes a serious relationship impossible—turns out the club’s members are addicted to breathing—and the one man Reed truly wants sees him only as a stray his former lover brought home.

An endless string of one-night stands lacks the intimacy Reed craves, but at least edgy post-fight hookups distract him from what he’ll never have. Until he takes a wrecking ball to the walls that set him apart.

Curtis Smith is a lot of things—MMA fighter, club owner…son of a drug lord—but one thing he’s not is prepared to face temptation exploding past his carefully built boundaries. Reed is forbidden, to him most of all, but resisting what they both want becomes impossible with the sub challenging him at every turn. And with his past threatening everything The Asylum has been built to protect, Curtis can’t afford to be addicted to Reed’s brand of candy coated sin.

He can’t deny himself one taste before his stolen time runs out. Because when it does, all that will be left behind for Reed is a memory…

And his heart.

Hard Justice

The Asylum Fight Club #3

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Scandalous headlines threaten to turn Jamie Kent from a pop star to a pariah on the regular, but this latest one is a little too close for comfort. The Asylum Fight Club seems like a good place to hide out…until he has to prove he belongs – deep in a lifestyle with a contract and rules he breaks within the first five minutes. Staying means complete surrender, but a lifetime scripting love songs didn’t prepare him to give his heart to the one man who claims everything he has to offer.

The day he returns from prison.

Reputation has its own kind of power in a place where pain and pleasure depend on who’s in control. Entangled in the lives of those he’d give anything to protect, Noah Leonov rarely takes chances, but the hardened fighter refuses to abandon the vulnerable new sub to vultures who could tear his life apart with a camera flash. With the cage where he spent two years fresh in his mind, Noah won’t trap the man he loves in his brutal world. Jamie deserves the glamour and fame, where he can have more than a broken man can provide.

He belongs in the spotlight.

Neither man ever had the choice to decide their own destiny. Imprisoned by the roles they’re forced to play, their key to freedom might be to do the unexpected.

Refuse to let go.

Check out the newest release in the series

Past Justice

The Asylum Fight Club #20

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This is not a beautiful love story.

But there is beauty in the darkness, and a love within family forged in blood, pain, regret, and triumph. To start here is to slip back to where it all began. From the boy who embraced a tempting nightmare to escape a hopeless reality, to the men who came together to find a home where even the most fragile heart, or the most depraved one, can be made whole.

The Asylum is more than a fight club.

Two teens raised within this haven drift away from the core of all it has to offer, drawn back as adults to find what they lost. One man, Sinaan ‘Sin’ Persaud, can bring them together, but only once he uncovers the war waged within the walls where romance can bring the sweetest pain and pleasure comes from indulging in things most speak of only in whispers. To first claim Garet Kincaid, he must join the young man on a road to redemption that began before he was even born.

To understand the challenges they all face is to explore a history dangerously close to repeating itself.

And expose the lies and secrets threatening to tear the foundation from the roots.

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About the Authors

Bianca Sommerland, author of the award winning Dartmouth Cobras series, was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec.

After hitting the USA TODAY Bestsellers list, and being invited to teach several classes on writing in the sports and BDSM genre, they retreated to their writing cave and can still be found there, doing what they’ve always done. Which is writing whatever the characters tell them to.

Tibby Armstrong is the author of the (in)famous Hollywood and Boston After Dark series. She resides in her Connecticut hometown one mile from her ancestral family book farm.

Seriously. There might be more books in her great-grandparents’ 20 room Victorian farmhouse than in the local Barnes & Noble. With a Master’s in Library Science and three cats, she’s destined to be happily single and reading Romance novels until the end of her days.

Social Media

https://www.asylumfightclub.com

https://www.facebook.com/AsylumFightClubCore

https://www.instagram.com/asylumfightclub/

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Giveaway

To celebrate the Asylum Fight Club Series, Tibby & Bianca are giving you a chance to win an awesome $100 Amazon Gift Voucher and one of five e-sets of the first six books in the series.

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

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