Tag Archives: PTSD

Blog Tour: His Brother’s Viscount by Stephanie Lake

His Brother’s Viscount | Stephanie Lake

Second Chances #3

BANNER2 - His Brother's Viscount

Release Date: January 1st, 2021

Word Count: 54,500

Cover Artist: Tammy Sedick

Buy Links:

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COVER - His Brother's Viscount

Blurb

As a baron’s youngest son, Hector Somerville has no real prospects. He will not inherit, and he’s overshadowed by two perfect brothers.

While searching for ways to improve his situation, Hector finds respite in an invitation to a country estate—and has a second chance at rekindling his illicit affair with Viscount Wentworth, captain of HBMS Dragon.

The upcoming fortnight could be everything Hector dreamed of since their disastrous parting.

Wentworth has forsaken love, and yet, memories of guilt and heartache resurface. He loved a boyhood friend once, Hector’s older brother William, until the man left him, trampling his heart in the process. Years later, he wonders if he ever fell out of love.

Is his heart bound by William, or can he create a life with Hector?

MEME2 - His Brother's Viscount

Excerpt

Hector raised his face to the warm spring sun. The gods had worked together to make this a perfect day. Well, he had a small part in making all the components align correctly, of course. He smiled, looking forward to what lay ahead.

Flourishing spring-green grass spread all the way to the surrounding forest, the manor house stood bright against a vibrant sky, and a light breeze cooled the air and carried the scent of woodbine.

He admired the spread of food arrayed on large linen-covered tables. One dish containing meat in a dark gravy filled the air with a savory fragrance that started his stomach to rumbling. The crystal, which sparkled in the sunshine, was filled with the best wines from France, and delicate porcelain tableware was arrayed for the guests’ use.

Youngsters chased one another about. The light giggles of two young women and the hearty laughter of young men added to the festive air. Yes, it was a glorious day, brimming with joy, but the party alone could not explain the gale-force euphoria surging through his body.

In fact, he could not remember life ever being this enjoyable. Especially not in the past eighteen months. Certainly not in the past eighteen months.

His favorite—well, his only, but he knew she would always be his favorite—niece’s christening had progressed along wonderfully. But his attention wandered to things other than the party. Even with the warm sun, he shivered thinking about the night to come. If he wasn’t careful, he might even sport wood. Now wouldn’t that be a shock to old Aunt Dorothea?

“Well, don’t you look like the man who stole the raspberry tart?” Will slapped him on the back with a bit too much enthusiasm.

Hector winced but would not let sibling rivalry ruin his day. He’d always been smaller than his two older brothers, and Will’s mere presence reminded him of his deficiency.

“Careful, you might drop Pug in your attempt to collapse my left lung.”

“I’d never drop my precious girl,” Will cooed to the babe in his arms. “And stop calling her Pug.”

He looked up at Will—two inches up, to be exact. Two very important inches. Two inches and a scar that changed common, everyday looks into the dangerously dashing Dr. William Somerville. It wasn’t only size that distinguished the two of them. Will had his jaunty black hair, black eyes, and a swarthy complexion. Hector had washed-out mud brown, faded mud brown, and light mud brown.

But today it didn’t matter that he was small and forgettable. Today, Hector felt like Apollo himself.

“’Fraid I cannot stop calling her Pug, old man, not until she grows into those ears of hers.” He laughed at Will’s puckered expression. “By the way, the celebration is going well. All the work your wife forced us into this morning paid off outstandingly.”

The early hours they spent tacking up decorative paper in the high-ceilinged grand hall and around the stone balustrades made the inside and outside of the manor rather festive. They’d rearranged furniture and pinned up paper decorations for his brother’s first child’s first party. Margaret Harriet Philadelphia Somerville. What a designation. Will had taken leave of his senses when he labeled the poor girl with that name. But even with that taint, Pug was a sunny child with her mother’s fawn-colored hair and her father’s rambunctiousness. At just three months, she managed to grab everyone’s attention, a little sun at the center of whatever room she occupied. It’d taken Hector two months to decide he really quite liked the girl even though she was an unsightly pink, wrinkly thing that smelled of curdled milk.

“My little girl’s ears are in perfect proportion. She is beautiful.” Will glowed, simply oozing fatherly pride. He acted like a simpleton around his squirming bundle, making funny squeaking noises and wiggling his fingers—as he did now—to make his daughter laugh. And she did laugh, with a toothless, infectious mirth.

Hector laughed with her and ruffled the baby’s tuft of downy hair.

Will’s attention, as usual, was divided between his daughter and his wife, Mary. She chatted with guests, lovely in a sunny yellow muslin afternoon dress. Mary was one of those natural beauties who were always attractive. In fact, she probably woke up pretty, even with rumpled hair, pillow marks on her cheek, and sleep in her eyes.

Anyone who glanced at them could tell that Will and Mary were besotted. That was what he wanted. He wanted someone to stay by his side, to wake up with every morning. Someone to grow old with. Someone he found beautiful even with rumpled hair, pillow-creased cheeks, and a sparkling drop of drool on silk sheets.

A stupid romantic, he, ever since boyhood; but on a day like today it was hard not to be. Because even if he didn’t quite match up to his older brothers, it didn’t matter. Somebody had noticed him again, and today that somebody would collect him for an extended stay in the country.

He had magnificent plans for this fortnight. He rubbed his hands together, the friction warming his fingers, getting them ready for anything. Everything. Yes, joy filled his body today, and nothing would ruin his optimism for the future. Not even his brother’s perfection.

Even so, he stiffened when Will said, “You enjoy little Margaret so much, you should marry, have your own children.”

“That won’t happen, Will. You know why, so leave off.”

Tight-lipped, Will looked about to say something. Fortunately, Mary joined them at that moment. “How are my three favorite Somervilles?” she said in her soft, smoky alto. She leaned over and kissed her daughter’s forehead, then brushed the fuzzy locks back into place. She glowed with pride, just like her husband. “Hector, I believe you are as fond as we are of our little girl.”

“Actually, I spent the day planning my revenge. I will take her on outings, spoil her rotten, and then give you back an overexcited and insufferable child.”

Will groaned with an age-old weariness. “Save your strength. I will simply hand her off to Nanny Pennington if you do so. Besides, you’ve given me enough trouble throughout my lifetime. I don’t need her following in your footsteps.”

“Me? You were the one who tormented me to distraction and tears. And got me into predicaments where I required doctors to sew me up.”

Will laughed. “I will not deny Stephen and I were terrors, but in my defense, he usually instigated the worst of the pranks.”

Hector snorted but knew he’d been partly to blame, always following his older brothers, wanting to be as big, bold, and brave. They’d picked on him because he’d been the youngest, the weakest. It didn’t matter. Hector no longer held animosity over his brothers’ dealings. To be honest, they hadn’t been that bad. They shared brotherly affection. They held together through their father’s drunken abuse. In fact, Hector could remember times when Will took the switch meant for him.

He did appreciate his older siblings. It was just that sometimes, when the days were gloomy and he did not quite know what to do with his life, the comparisons to perfection rankled.

MEME1 - His Brother's Viscount

About The Author

Stephanie Lake is the pen name for a husband/wife team who enjoy writing happy endings and steamy middles. We write historical and contemporary LGBTQ+ and M/F romance.

Inspiration for our stories comes from living in seven countries and traveling around the world. Wherever we wander, our beloved four-legged family member is not far away.

Social Media

Website: https://sites.google.com/site/stephanielakeauthorcom/home

Bold Strokes Books: https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/authors/stephanie-lake-330

Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/StephanieLakeRomance

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15343210.Stephanie_Lake

QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/stephanie-lake/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Stephanie-Lake/e/B01LWCS90U/

Giveaway

Stephanie is giving away two Bold Strokes Books (publisher) gift certificates with this tour:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Release Blitz: The Gardener and the Marine by RJ Scott

The Gardener and the Marine | RJ Scott

Ellery Mountain #9

Twitter 2

Release Date: August 20th, 2021

Publisher: Love Lane Books

Cover Design: Meredith Russell

Length: 50,000 words

Universal Link: http://www.rjscott.co.uk/read-gardenermarine

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58663081-the-gardener-and-the-marine

READ MY REVIEW

Ellery 9 jpg

Blurb

Harrison is alone and hurting with his memories gone, but Toby shows him that love can heal even the most broken of hearts.

After losing his entire team in a roadside bomb, Harrison is left with a traumatic brain injury, a broken body, and scars on his heart that might never heal. Staying at the Ellery Mountain Veterans Center is the first step in healing, but short-term memories evade him, and the only thing he trusts is the love of Barney, his support dog.

Until he meets Toby.

Toby lands the chance of a lifetime, using his horticultural skills to aid in working with veterans during their physical and mental recovery. Meeting Harrison on his first day goes badly, but there is something between them that could be more than just friendship.

With time, it could even become love.

This story was previously available in weekly instalments in my newsletter. The file has been edited and a few scenes added.

Excerpt

I didn’t look at them, let alone talk to them, and even though I sensed Daniel wanted to ask me if I was okay, I ignored him and was quickly halfway up the stairs, my hand on Barney’s collar, hoping like hell for my leg not to buckle. He didn’t call up after me. No one shouted in this place, because it was an oasis of peace and a secure shelter for all those damaged vets who’d been chewed up and spit out by war.

When my recollection of why I was here hit me front and center, I counted myself as one of the lucky ones to find a place to hide. I wasn’t a danger to anyone else, but I was a danger to myself. The night terrors, the panic attacks, the stupid fucking inability to be a goddamned man—that was why I was there. The hospital staff healed my body to the best of their ability, the shrinks attempted to fix my head, but I didn’t have peace, and Barney was the only thing I cared about.

Caring got you hurt, and I was too raw to extend any affection or understanding to anyone but Barney.

I slumped onto my bed, then flopped backward, hands extended to each edge, Barney jumping up and curling himself right into my side. My heart raced, my head hurt, but once I matched my breathing to Barney’s and allowed his presence to soothe me, I began to calm.

“Danno, Brat, Diaz, Spook, and me,” I whispered into the room. “Danno, Brat, Diaz, Spook, and me.” The names of the fallen were a reminder of what I’d seen and lost and were a way to connect with the world around me. Other people grieved Danno and Brat’s loss—they’d only been kids both of them with big families. Diaz had a girlfriend who blamed me for her beloved dying on my watch. Spook had been married no more than a month and had left a pregnant wife behind.

I had my mom, but I’d pushed her away when I was in hospital. I know that because it’s written in my book.

Why didn’t the explosion take me?

About The Series

Ellery Mountain—a series of books set in the town of Ellery in the Smoky Mountains focusing on heroes as they navigate the barren landscape of being gay in a small town.

Read stories of men like Finn the cop, Daniel the ex-marine, Kieran the carpenter, Marines, SEALs, teachers, soldiers, and a town that embraces them with love.

1. The Fireman and the Cop

2. The Teacher and the Soldier

3. The Carpenter and the Actor

4. The Doctor and the Bad Boy

5. The Paramedic and the Writer

6. The Barman and the SEAL

7. The Agent and the Model

8. The Sinner and the Saint

9. The Gardener and the Marine

10. The Soldier and the Bodyguard – currently a free weekly series in RJ’s newsletter

** Readers who want the next story in free instalments can sign up here: https://rjscott.co.uk/GMNL**

RJ Scott Logo

About The Author

Writing love stories with a happy ever after – cowboys, heroes, family, hockey, single dads, bodyguards

USA Today bestselling author RJ Scott has written over one hundred romance books. Emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, single dads, hockey players, millionaires, princes, bodyguards, Navy SEALs, soldiers, doctors, paramedics, firefighters, cops, and the men who get mixed up in their lives, always 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 box of chocolates she couldn’t defeat.

Social Media

Website |  Newsletter |  Email   | BookBub | Amazon | Pinterest | Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook Reader Group | Facebook Author Page |  BingeBooks | TikTok  | YouTube |  MeWe |  Facebook MM Hockey Romance Group

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Three More Vino & Veritas Releases Out Today

Today there are three more books out in Sarina Bowen’s Expanded World of True North‘s Vino & Veritas setting from Rhys Everly, Kate Hawthorne and A.E. Wasp

Series Page: https://hearteyespress.com/wotn#/vino-and-veritas

vinoveritas

Insatiable | Rhys Everly

Vino & Veritas #11

8_V&V_Everly_ebook_FINAL

Release Date: May 10th, 2021

Universal Link: https://geni.us/AmazonInsatiable

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/35VqhrX

READ MY REVIEW

Blurb

It was just a bet . . . until feelings got involved.

This job sucks but someone’s got to do it. My readers expect me to chronicle my very real, very steamy encounters in my novels. I’d never want to disappoint my fans, but the creative well has run a bit dry. Burlington, Vermont, seems like a good place to fill it up. This town offers a tempting array of artists, craftsmen, farmers, lumbersexuals . . . and so many beards.

But no one prepared me for Brody. He’s young. He’s hot. He’s definitely a grump. And he’s getting under my skin. Where I want him is under my bedsheets.

When my friend bets I’ll never be able to get Brody there, I make winning my mission. Turns out being with Brody is more than a plot device. He’s so very wrong for my life . . .  but is he right for my heart?

Insatiable is a standalone book in the Vino & Veritas series by Heart Eyes Press and contains a big/small, grumpy/sunshine pairing, a bed-hopping author, a jilted sugarmaker and a reluctant fake relationship.

Insatiable+-+Destination

Excerpt

“And? Have you found the object of your ‘affection’ yet?” Harrison asks. “Current company excluded, of course.”

I shrug and turn around, taking in the bookshop, but someone outside catches my attention, coming out of a restaurant across the street.

Brody Mercier. I’d love to see him sprawled out in my bed, hanging onto my lips as if they are sweeter than maple, and have him shout out my name as I take him six ways to Sunday, effectively turning that frown upside down.

“I think I have,” I say, looking back at my friend with a smirk.

Harrison checks over his shoulder for who I’d been looking at, then turns back to me in horror.

“Oh God. No. Leave the poor man alone. He’s got enough to deal with without you chasing after him,” he says.

I take another sip of my coffee—delicious, by the way—and sit back on the stool.

“The way I see it, he’s got a bad case of the sadsies and could use a…smile,” I say. Or a dick in his mouth. Same difference.

“You’re an idiot.”

Harrison shakes his head, and Oz grimaces.

“What? You think you can get him? Good luck with that. That man has been in a rut for three months now,” he says.

“Is that a challenge?” I say, addressing both of them.

Harrison rolls his eyes and sips his coffee.

“Do you ever not…um…think with your dick?” Oz asks.

“Probably not,” I say.

“I know you’ve had a lot of ‘adventures,’ but Brody Mercier isn’t the type to fall under your spell. He almost got married for crying out loud,” Oz says.

“All the more reason to have some fun and rebound. Hard,” I say. “Hey! That could be the title of my next book. Hard Rebound with the Sugarmaker.”

“I still don’t think Brody is a guy who will want a quickie in the restroom or a BJ behind the bushes.”

“Maybe not at first.”

“Maybe not ever,” Oz counters.

“Wanna bet on it?” I ask, the cogs already turning in my head.

I love nothing if not a challenge, and from the sound—and look of it—Brody Mercier may just be exactly what I need to get me out of my own rut. And we can both have fun in the process. And a bestseller at the end of it.

That’ll show those bloody critics.

“Bet on it?” Oz asks, hesitantly.

“Yeah. Bet. You say I can’t get him, and I’m telling you that I can have him in my bed by the end of the month, if not the week.”

“Gosh, I knew you based your stories on real life, but I didn’t realize all you think about is sex. When was the last time you went without sex for longer than a week?” Oz asks, leaning forward, a hand under his chin, brown eyes staring right at mine.

“A week? Jeez. Does anyone go through such torture?” I ask.

Harrison lets out a surprised wow next to me, but both Oz and I ignore him.

“I’ll tell you what. I’ll bet you can’t get him into bed, and if you lose…” Oz scratches his chin and purses his lips before he speaks again. “If you lose, you can’t have sex for three months.”

A knot forms in my throat, and I start coughing on the coffee dregs still in my mouth.

“What the hell? Three months? That’s plain torture.”

Oz stands up straight again and shrugs.

“Well, if you’re scared—”

“I’m not scared,” I say before he can even finish. “Why would I be? I can get him like that.” I click my fingers, and the snap seems to give me back my confidence.

Getting guys in my bed is what I do. I never fail. The guy to resist me hasn’t been born yet. And Brody Mercier is no exception. He may be a challenge, but he’ll be begging for my cock before long.

“If you say so,” Oz smirks. “But if you lose, you go celibate. Three months.”

“Fine. I lose, I go celibate.” A shudder passes over my entire body at the mere suggestion. “But if you lose, I get your respect for my skills and charm.”

Oz raises an eyebrow and crosses his arms.

“That’s it? That’s all you want from me? Respect? I thought you were going to ask for something naughtier. You, Mr. Graves, surprise me. And…” He reaches for my hand and we shake on it. “You’ve got yourself a deal.”

Insatiable+-+Kiss

Daybreak | Kate Hawthorne

Vino & Veritas #12

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Universal Link: https://geni.us/AmazonDaybreak

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/38YImHR

READ MY REVIEW

Blurb

When a sunny young musician gets stranded with a grumpy mechanic during a snowstorm, a lack of heat is the least of their problems…

Liam Luckett is on an adventure. He’s dropped out of his Master’s program without telling his overbearing parents and set off on a road trip across the country. Armed with little more than his guitar, he’s looking for his best life. He never expected his car to break down in the middle of nowhere Vermont with a huge storm pending, leaving him stranded and at the mercy of a hunky local mechanic.

Jasper Cunningham is in a holding pattern. Three years after the death of his husband, he still hasn’t moved on. A hot, younger, stranded tourist is exactly the sort of complication this mechanic has been avoiding. But he also can’t leave him in the snow. He brings Liam home and lets him sleep on the couch. The air is heavy with more than snow, and when the power goes out, the two men become closer than either of them expects.

Every silken note Liam sings on that guitar thaws Jasper’s heart a little.  Suddenly, Liam’s itchy feet aren’t so eager to move on. When their feelings get too big to ignore, the bond they’ve formed is tested. Will daybreak leave them going their separate ways?

This opposites-attract, hurt/comfort romance features a grumpy widower who is only soft for one specific blue-eyed musician, a remote farmhouse, a friendly dog, and enough snow to knock the power out until love catches fire. 

Daybreak+-+Future+Past

Excerpt

I reached up and wiped my face, and Liam laughed, standing up and coming around the table. He batted my hands away and notched himself between my spread thighs. He reached up and swiped his fingers over my cheeks, looking down at me with eyes that looked a little scared and a little sad. 

“That’ll do,” he said, threading his fingers through my hair.

A rumbling groan fell from my mouth and I leaned into the touch. He kept touching me, working his fingers from my hairline to the back of my head over and over until I felt heavy and hazy with sleep.

“You were out there awhile,” he murmured, “considering you only crossed one thing off your list.”

I sighed and rolled my neck, pressing my forehead against his stomach and bracketing my hands around his slender hips. 

“I finished your car,” I told him.

“So…” His voice was barely louder than a whisper. “So, it’s all fixed, then?” 

“Fixed.” 

The confirmation had my chest tightening, my organs suddenly too big for my ribs, the curved bones constricting around my lungs, my heart.

“You gonna take off?” I asked, even though the words sliced my tongue as I forced them out.

“Uhm…” Liam joined his fingers together at the back of my head, tight enough that I couldn’t not be aware of the pressure he used to hold our bodies together. “Not quite yet, if that’s okay with you.” 

“Yeah.” I breathed in the smell of my soap on his skin. “That’s okay with me.”

Daybreak+-+Touch

Heartsong | A.E. Wasp

Vino & Veritas #13

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Universal Link: https://geni.us/AmazonHeartsong

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3bRqTTq

READ MY REVIEW

Blurb

The best music comes from the heart.

Sean Anderson has spent his life waiting to get the hell out of West Virginia. His plans got derailed when his dad shipped him off to “pray the gay away,” but he’s over it, ready to prove that he’s a grown-ass man who can take care of himself. Of course, he’d have a better chance convincing himself if he could stop lusting after his grumpy roommate.

Army veteran Cooper Hill returned to Vermont minus one leg and one career, but determined to build a new life. When an army buddy asks Cooper to keep an eye on his nephew, a junior at the local college, Cooper can’t say no. He’s expecting a sheltered kid. What he gets is a gorgeous young man whose brilliant poetry gives voice to everything Cooper’s been trying to express. He wants Sean more than he’s ever wanted anything. And somehow, miraculously, Sean wants him too.

But wanting each other isn’t the same as being good for each other . . . especially when past pain threatens to write its own verse in their song.

A stand-alone novel in Sarina Bowen’s True North world, HEARTSONG contains first love, found family, kisses around the campfire, and two caring men who discover they make beautiful music together.

Heartsong+-+Bones

Excerpt

Head down against the driving rain, body hunched over the injured dog, I don’t see the taillight of the car pulling out of a parking spot until it’s almost too late. Oh fuck. I close my eyes, turn the dog away, and brace for the impact.

Strong hands clamp down on my upper arms and yank me back. My back slams against a hard, broad chest, and then all three of us, me, my rescuer and the dog, are stumbling into the back bumper of a minivan.

The hands around my arms tighten, and I lean against this stranger’s body for a second. The guy is almost the same height as me, but much broader, his chest wide and warm against my wet back. The feel of stubble against my cheek and warm breath blowing over my ear makes me shiver.

“Sean?” he says, voice deep and smooth.

Oh, holy hell. Can it be?

“Cooper, get the hell in here!” a second man calls from behind us.

A’course it is.

I straighten up and try to pull away. I swear his hands tighten on my arms, tugging me back against him for a glorious but far too brief moment before he lets me go. When I look over my shoulder at him, our eyes meet and my words lock in my throat as a sizzle of electricity shoots down my spine. It’s so real, I swear lighting must have touched ground somewhere. By the way his eyes widen, Cooper feels it, too.

I can’t hear anything except our breathing and the rain pounding on the gravel parking lot, soaking my thin t-shirt, and plastering Cooper’s hair to his head.

In my arms, the dog whimpers, and still I can’t look away from Cooper’s piercing gaze. What the hell is going on?

He starts to speak, and I sway towards him, holding my breath.

Those dark, intense eyes narrow and he scowls. “Don’t you fucking know how to drive?”

Speechless, I reel back and he grabs my arm again to keep me from losing my balance.

“Jesus Christ,” the older man says. “Don’t either one of you idiots have the sense God gave a goose? Get the hell inside.”

Cooper drops my arm like it’s scalding him, and I tear my gaze away from his angry face. An older guy with dark-brown skin, grey beard, and salt-and-pepper dreadlocks tied behind his neck waves at us from the open doors of the diner.

Grateful for the save, I walk carefully to the doors and into the diner.

“What happened?” the man asks as I pass him.

“This kid hit a dog and then almost got hit by a car himself,” Cooper answers from behind me.

“Are you always such a dick or is today special?” I snap at him.

Heartsong+-+Off+limits

Series Page

https://shor.by/vino-and-veritas

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