Tag Archives: romance

Glorious Restoration romance from Rebecca Cohen

52220709._SY475_James, Earl of Crofton by Rebecca Cohen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Historical romance is among the most difficult of sub-genre to get right imho.

Too much detail and it becomes more of a factual experience, too little detail and you might as well read a contemporary romance.

Setting a book in the Restoration period of British history is a bold move and Rebecca Cohen’s talent ensures the reader gets a treat which is not only a delightful romance, but a top quality setting pitched perfectly.

I’ve loved all her Crofton series so far and this one was a wonderful addition to the collection.

James, great-grandson of Anthony, the first Earl, isn’t your usual feckless noble, he’s already been helping King Charles II’s court recover after the Great Plague and the Fire of London.

Adam is a fascinating character, son of a famous soldier, a supporter of Charles’ father during the English Civil War, and general man of all talents.

He’s acting as a minder to a younger son at court when their paths cross and we then get a delicious slow burn friends to lovers romance with a side order of dashing highwayman and dodgy dealings at the ancestral home.

Everything about this book just worked for me. I’d have happily read about James and Adam indefinitely 😁

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

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Release Blitz: New Lease of Life by Lillian Francis

New Lease of Life | Lillian Francis

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Publisher: Finally Love Press

Release Date: March 9th, 2020

Cover Art: Paul Richmond

Universal Link: https://books2read.com/newleaseoflife

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/new-lease-of-life-by-lillian-francis-2020-03-18

Add To Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27973790-new-lease-of-life

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Blurb

There’s a fine line between independence and isolation.

Phillip used to laugh a lot, back when his friends called him Pip. However the good deed that left him hospitalised not only marred his body, it stripped him of his good humour too. Ever since, he has pushed his friends away and shut out the world.

Donating his vintage clothing to a charity shop should have been the final act in a year-long campaign to sever the links with the man Pip used to be, but the stranger on his doorstep awakens feelings in Pip that he hasn’t experienced since the incident that left him angry at the world and reliant on the cold metal of the hideous hospital-issue crutch.

Colby forces his way into Pip’s life, picking at the scab of his past. Colby isn’t interested in Pip’s money or his expensive address. He has only one goal: to make Pip smile again.

With every moment in Pip’s presence, Colby chips away at the walls Pip has built around himself. Pip knows it’s impossible to fight his attraction with Colby’s sunny disposition casting light into the darkness in his soul.

This is the Second edition. Previously published with Dreamspinner Press

Excerpt

“Who’s Pip?” Colby asked before he could censor himself.

The side table under the window held nothing but a smattering of books and magazines, and a vase—chunky and colourful, Whitefriars Glass if Colby’s assessment was correct—devoid of flowers. Phillip indicated that Colby should place the box there and frowned. No doubt pondering whether he should answer the question or tell Colby to mind his own business.

“I am. My friends called me Pip.”

Called? Colby daren’t ask about the use of the past tense. Instead he rolled the nickname around in his head for a moment, wishing he could try out the simple syllable on his tongue.

“So…” Colby traced a finger over the edge of the box, snatching it away when Phillip—Pip—glared at him. “The box is down now. Are you going to show me?”

“Show you?” With the permanent frown Phillip wore, it was hard to tell, but Colby thought he sounded confused.

“That your unwanted collection is suitable for my shop,” Colby reminded him, as offhand as he could muster.

It gave Colby little satisfaction to watch Phillip wince and bristle as the dual barbed comment hit home. An impressive feat that made Phillip’s slender frame appear as if he were vibrating.

“Oh, I’ll show you.”

Carefully, Phillip eased the lid from the box and removed the top album. Colby read the date over his shoulder. According to the label, the album covered the first nine months of last year. Apparently it had last been updated in September, just seven months ago.

Resting all his weight on the crutch and all but cradling the album to his chest, Phillip flicked through several pages before turning it to show Colby the image he had chosen to illustrate his point.

For a moment Colby took his time to appreciate the quality of the album; the thick vellum pages, photographs held in place with corner mounts rather than glue, and a thin page of translucent tissue-like paper to protect the image. Everything about Phillip and these clothes screamed loved and cared for, and yet again, Colby wondered why anyone who had invested that much care and attention would want to get rid of them.

A younger-looking Phillip—although from the dates Colby knew this could be no more than fifteen months ago—smiled out of the photo at him. His blond hair was neatly trimmed in a short back and sides, more reminiscent of the style of yesteryear than the recent bastardization of the cut by footballers and celebrities alike. His blue eyes shone with laughter, happiness directed at the photographer rather than for the camera, and Colby knew he had now met the man who friends called Pip. Pencilled in beneath the photo, perfect penmanship recorded the occasion. Pip. Emily’s wedding. February. Just over a year ago, then.

Belatedly Colby remembered he was supposed to be looking at the clothes. Pip had combined what appeared to be a vintage, single-breasted tux with a cream and pale green silk brocade waistcoat.

“Waistcoat and tux combo,” he said with a shrug. “Impressive, but everyone dresses up for weddings.”

“That combo is a late 1930s Hart Schaffner Marx two-piece tuxedo with shawl lapels and a vintage Chinese silk brocade waistcoat from the fifties. It took me weeks of trawling to find that piece.”

And yet you are giving it away. What happened to you?

“Still, it’s a wedding photo.” Colby snorted, fabricating the disdain for effect. He had to admit Pip looked bloody amazing, although he couldn’t decide how much of that had to do with the clothes. That smile would brighten up even the crap he was hiding away in now. “Even I can look good at a wedding.”

Colby grabbed his phone from his back pocket and started to flick through his photo album.

“You look great as you are,” Pip said with more sincerity than Colby would have expected. “Very presentable. Stylish.”

Surprised, Colby glanced up from the search of his photo gallery to find Pip—because he couldn’t be anything else now that Colby had seen the man smile, if only second-hand—studying him.

“What? You’ve got that whole ‘lumberjack in the city’ look going on. I couldn’t pull it off, but you…” Pip paused and raked his gaze over Colby’s body. “You look very manly.”

Colby ignored the disappointment he felt knowing that Pip’s interest was in the wrapping and not the contents.

“Thanks.” He returned his attention to the phone, finding the photo he was looking for almost immediately. Then he held his phone out to Pip, the screen on display. “Look.”

“Oh. Very smart.”

Pip didn’t sound impressed. In fact, he sounded downright disappointed.

“Sorry, do I not meet your exacting standards? I thought I looked okay. Handsome, even.”

“You do. Very James Bond.”

“Yeah, if Bond was a builder from Billericay.”

“Don’t put yourself down.”

Colby shot his companion a disbelieving look that was meant to convey the old adage about pots and kettles, but apparently the message got mixed up in the silent communication.

“You do look handsome. I thought, from what you said earlier….” Pip shrugged and forced a smile. Compared to the blinding grin he’d displayed in the wedding photo, it might as well have been a grimace. “She’s a lucky lady.”

“I don’t see why. I got the looks and the brains.” Colby glanced at the screen and couldn’t stop his own smile from peeking through. “Nah, she’s beautiful. I still say I got the brains, though.”

“You make a lovely couple.”

“You should see her husband. Six foot four. Muscles everywhere. In fact you could say he’s full of them.” Colby grinned, pleased with the word play.

“Why are you talking about yourself in the third person?” Pip frowned. “Don’t. It’s weird. I wouldn’t have said you were quite six four, though.”

“What? I’m six two. I was talking about my brother-in-law. He’s Australian. You know? Like the song?” Before he could bemoan Pip’s lack of eighties pop knowledge, realization crashed into Colby. “You thought we were married? Ewww, no. That’s my sister. I gave her away.”

“Isn’t that a father’s job?”

“Normally.” Needing something to do, Colby locked his phone and slipped it back into his pocket. “Ours forfeited the right to that job when he walked out on us as kids.”

“Sorry.” Contrition softened Pip’s voice, and Colby had no trouble believing that this stranger wasn’t just paying lip service.

“I got over it a long time ago. And I wasn’t kidding earlier. Out and proud.” Colby smiled. “But my point still stands. People dress up for weddings. And they rarely wear tweed, knitted waistcoats, or slacks.”

“Don’t know why. Tweed can be combined in so many ways. No reason why it can’t be smart enough for a wedding.”

“Careful, your enthusiasm is showing.”

Dumbstruck, Pip spluttered, and Colby took advantage of the distraction to steal the photo album.

“Let me see.” Colby hummed as he turned to the next page and found a couple of informal shots of Pip, the combination of a variety of layered tweeds and a Fair Isle knitted waistcoat working on his slim frame despite—or because of—the differing patterns, textures, and colours.

The next page showed the same outfit in a staged setting, a group of four photographs: the tweed combined with a belted herringbone wool coat in one, front and back shots of the original outfit, and one shot with Pip’s head cropped out of the photo.

“What’s with the headless horseman shots?” He turned the book to show Pip what he was referring to but kept it out of the smaller man’s reach.

“Give that back.”

Colby flicked to the next page, barely acknowledging Pip’s protest.

Pip and Davy.

“Davy” was dark where Pip was fair. His olive-toned skin, beautifully contrasted against Pip’s healthy glow, hinted at least one Mediterranean parent. One of Davy’s arms was slung casually over Pip’s shoulder, and the pair leant into each other with an ease that proclaimed more than a passing friendship. So where’s Davy now?

The camera loved Davy, and it was obvious that the feeling was mutual, but it was Pip’s smile and the gentle mischief in his expression that drew Colby’s attention away from the more classically handsome man.

A nudge against his bicep warned Colby of Pip’s presence at his side. He could have sworn he heard Pip mutter “Davy, of course” under his breath. Instinctively, Colby shifted the book out of reach.

“Close your mouth,” Pip snapped. “You’re catching flies.”

“I was just admiring—”

“Davy. He was a photographer.” Pip caught his breath. “Is… Davy is a photographer. He was my…”

Pip trailed off as if the words had simply dried up on his tongue. Thankfully, because Colby suddenly had no desire to know what Davy and Pip had been to each other. Not when the passing of that relationship had apparently left Pip a shell of his former self. Colby could fill in the gaps, even though he’d never had a relationship that intense. World. Life. Reason to get up in the morning. Colby had to say something to stop the maelstrom of unfathomable jealousy from twisting around in his head.

“He looks more like a model.”

“That would make his day, hearing that.” Pip sounded fond, as if he’d forgotten the circumstances he found himself in, just for a moment. “He took that shot. He’d been playing around with the timer on the camera.”

“He’s good.”

Pip snorted, an exhale of air from his nose that might have been amusement but for the muttered “good-looking” barely loud enough for Colby to hear. “Strictly amateur. Photographer is not a suitable job for a diplomat’s son. Not when he has a First from Cambridge.”

“Is that where you met? At university?” Why was he torturing himself with these questions? Because it would tell him more about Pip, obviously. About just how far he was out of Colby’s league. Cambridge. Not some grubby inner city polytechnic that tried to pass itself off as a paragon of higher learning.

Unfortunately that was a question too far for Pip’s newfound tolerance.

“None of your bloody business.” The anger flared bright, and Pip reached for the album. “I asked you to give that back.”

“Just one more.” Colby was more than aware that he was pushing his luck, but a desire to ensure that Pip remembered him, even if for the wrong reasons, urged him on.

At about six inches shorter than Colby, Pip could be tucked quite easily under Colby’s arm. Colby would be able to tug Pip against his larger bulk and surround him. And as Colby stared at the smiling man in the photos, Colby found himself itching to do just that. But the reality of the bitter, angry man standing in front of him reasserted itself.

“Give that back, you… you bully.”

Bully? That would be the last word any of his friends or former clients would ever use to describe Colby. It struck him as so out of place that he laughed.

He flipped a couple of pages, hoping to land on a more summer-focused photograph, and the laughter died on his lips.

“Oh my,” Colby whispered on an exhale as all his breath seemed to be squeezed from his chest.

About The Author

FinallyLovePress_PNG_Colour-01

Lillian Francis. Author of gay romance. Happy Endings guaranteed. Eventually.

Lillian Francis is an English writer who likes to dabble in many genres but always seems to return to the here and now.

Their name may imply a grand dame in pink chiffon and lace, but Lillian is more at home in jeans, Converse, and the sort of T-shirts that often need explaining to the populous at large but will get a fist bump at Comic-Con. Lillian is a self-confessed geek who likes nothing more than settling down with a comic or a good book, except maybe writing.

Given a notepad, pen, her Kindle, and an infinite supply of chocolate Hob Nobs and they can lose themself for weeks. Romance was never their reading matter of choice, so it came as a great surprise to all concerned, including themself, to discover a romance was exactly what they’d written, and not the rollicking spy adventure or cosy murder mystery they always assumed they’d write. Luckily there’s always room for romance no matter what plot bunny chooses to bite them, so never say never to either of those stories appearing.

Lillian lives in an imposing castle on a windswept desolate moor or in an elaborate shack on the edge of a beach somewhere, depending on their mood. And while they’d love for the heroes of their stories to either be chained up in the dungeon or wandering the shack serving drinks in nothing but skimpy barista aprons more often than not they are doing something far less erotic like running charity shops and shovelling elephant shit.

Drawn to the ocean, although not in a Reginald Perrin sort of way, Lillian would love to own a camper van and to live by the sea.

Social Media

http://lillianfrancis.blogspot.co.uk/

Twitter @LillianFrancis_

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Email: lillianfrancis@rocketmail.com

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Blog Tour: Give Me A Hand by Gwen Martin

Give Me A Hand | Gwen Martin

Beyond Desires #1

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Release Date: March 10th 2020

Cover Designer: StudioNP https://studioenp.com/

Universal Link: http://bit.ly/GiveMeAHand

Give Me A Hand Cover

Blurb

Cam and Jude had been college roommates for two years, fitting into each other’s lives with ease.

That is, until Cam walked in on Jude getting off alone in their shared dorm bathroom.

Everything shifted between the two of them, awakening feelings Cam hadn’t felt for anyone in a long time. Feelings Cam believed had shriveled up after surviving a near fatal car accident to then suffer a disastrous breakup with his first love.

Since then, Cam kept his heart sealed tight in a fortress, keeping himself busy with a lot of mindless hookups and a steadfast refusal to ever commit.

Cam’s life had been predictable. He knew what he wanted.

Until that impromptu mutual orgasm with Jude.

Cam didn’t want a boyfriend, and he certainly didn’t need a relationship.

But he knew one thing he did crave and that was more of Jude Ellison.

Will Cam be able to work through his painful past if Jude offered him a chance at more?

***Give Me A Hand is the first book in the Beyond Desire Series, but is a standalone novel. Each book in the series will feature a different couple, but the couples will show up throughout the series.

It is approximately 50,000 words and a New Adult Friends to Lovers romance between two men with explicit language and graphic sex intended for Adults Only.***

Give Me A Hand Teaser 2

Excerpt

Their bodies pressed together, faces a breath apart. Cam noticed the faint flicker of green around Jude’s pupils, and tiny droplets of water from his shower caught in his stubble along his jaw. Cam brushed the fringe off Jude’s forehead and watched, transfixed, as Jude wetted his lips.

Cam loved the way Jude responded; he reveled in Jude’s eyes fluttering shut as Cam’s fingertips grazed down his neck.

“God,” Jude moaned with a sigh, “I’ve been thinking about this all day.”

Cam grabbed a handful of sheet in a tight fist in an effort to ground himself in the dizzying whirlpool he was sinking in. He was floating with desire, and shaky inside from the intensity of it. Cam’s mind warred with wanting it to stop and never letting go.

“Have you?” he murmured against the warmth of Jude’s skin.

Cam leaned down, his lips brushing against Jude’s collarbone. His heart pounded inside of his chest, and he was nervous, but he was excited. Cam hadn’t felt this way about being with someone since high school.

He swallowed hard and placed a small kiss on Jude’s collarbone.

Jude combed his fingers through the hair at the base of Cam’s neck, gripping a handful and jerking Cam’s head up. Cam expelled a sharp moan, and his heart revved into overdrive when Jude’s face grew so close he turned into a blurry mess within Cam’s swimming vision.

“You,” Jude said in a low, commanding voice, “are wearing far too much clothing.”

Cam licked his lips and nodded. “Okay,” he said, leaning back to give himself room. “Right, okay.”

He lifted an arm, and Jude helped pull his shirt off. Jude tossed it to the other side of the room without breaking eye contact with Cam, and lifted a single eyebrow.

“You need to be more naked for what I want to see you do.”

Cam bit down the whine itching in the back of his throat. The roughness of Jude’s voice was doing a million things to Cam’s body, including surging warmth in his chest. There was an old familiarity to that, and a warning bell went off inside of his head.

He swallowed hard and changed his focus.

“Oh yeah?” he teased, hoping his voice didn’t give away his nerves. Cam glided a hand down the front of his chest towards the button of his jeans, and a thrill jolted through him as Jude positioned himself on his elbows. Jude watched with such naked appreciation, Cam had to take several breaths before he could speak again. “And…what is it you want to see?”

Give Me A Hand Teaser 4

About the Author

Gwen Martin lives in Florida where the sun is always shining, the humidity is always high, and Disney is just a hop skip away. When she’s not trying to write one of her million story ideas, she’s usually hanging out with her husband and four cats.

Gwen first started writing at a young age, coming up with stories in class instead of paying attention to the math lesson. Since then she has been exploring her love of writing in various fan communities where she has learned how to cultivate character development and romantic interactions.

She has a strong love affair with cold brew coffee, black cats, and nerding out in various fandoms. When she’s not writing, she’s reading everything she can get her hands on, listening to a lot of lo-fi and making playlists, chilling with her four gatos and obsessing about Pusheen. Because it’s always about Pusheen.

Social Media

Facebook Page: http://bit.ly/GwenFBPage

Facebook Group: http://bit.ly/gwensgang

Instagram: https://instagram.com/gwen.martin.author

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/gwenmartinauthor/

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/GwenMartinGR

Sign up to Gwen’s Newsletter for an exclusive epilogue of Cam & Jude

Direct Link: https://mailchi.mp/6f4d75eb84af/gwenmartinauthor

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Blog Tour: The Pathfinders by Geoffrey Knight

The Pathfinders | Geoffrey Knight

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Release Date: March 12, 2020

Length: 163 Pages

Universal Link: http://mybook.to/ThePathfinders

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Blurb

JACK

Hell, I knew the divorce from Sophie would break my heart, but I had no idea how lost and lonely I would feel once she was gone. Everything ended amicably, almost too peacefully, but now I’m facing a whole new chapter of my life. The only problem is, I don’t know what that chapters holds, or if anyone will ever be there to catch me if I fall again.

My only savior right now is my cousin and best friend Hux. We’ve known each other just about our whole lives, and his invitation up to the woods to help him rebuild the old cabin by Pathfinders Lake could be the one thing I need to figure out what plans the universe has in store for me… and the path I need to find.

HUX

Hell, I knew Jack’s divorce from Sophie would break his heart, but I had no idea it would bring to the surface all the yearning and pain and hopelessness I’ve felt over the years. The fact is, Jack’s the one and only person I ever want to spend the rest of my life with. But how do you tell your best friend—your cousin—how you truly feel?

I know I need to help him through the dark days following his divorce, but will I be able to keep myself from betraying all his trust by letting my true feelings show? Will inviting him up to the woods to help me rebuild the old cabin by Pathfinders Lake be the end of our relationship? Or will we finally find our very own path in this world together?

Pathfinders_Promo1

Excerpt

OH. My. Fuck.

Jack was gonna strip. He was seriously gonna strip and go skinny-dipping, right there, right then. I knew that look on his face.

“Ah… Jack? What are you doing?”

“What does it look like I’m doing?”

“It looks like you’re about to get naked.”

“Finish your beer and grab another,” he told me. “I’m in the mood to feel young and daring again. Like the old days at the quarry. I wanna feel free again, Hux. Don’t you?”

I chugged down the rest of another bottle in one gulp, watching as his shirt came off, revealing that toned, smooth torso of his.

“You seriously wanna go skinny-dipping?”

He unraveled the bandage around his hand. He unbuttoned his shorts, then unzipped them. “Why not?”

He dropped his shorts to the jetty boards and stepped out of them. Then, sliding his thumbs under the waistband of his briefs at the hips, he pushed his underwear down the length of his strong legs, kicked them out from under his feet, and stood upright in all his naked glory.

I stared up at him, trying to keep my mouth shut, my eyes close to watering as I marveled at his perfect form, his handsome face smiling somewhat nervously back down at me. His muscles were white in the bright sunlight. His nipples were hard even though the air was hot and still. His cock, the one I had tried so many times not to stare at, was flaccid and thick, but I could see it was gaining length with each passing moment that I stared at it.

I wondered whether I was allowed to stare at it, now that I had come out.

Or whether it was completely off limits forever.

As if to answer my question, Jack said, “It’s okay, you can look at it. I don’t mind. In fact, I think I kinda like it. I’m a single man now. So are you. We’re already stripped bare. What do clothes matter now?”

God, he shrugged so casually I could have kissed him.

Before I had a chance, Jack launched himself off the jetty and dived into the lake.

My heart was a thunderstorm of excitement.

Of terror.

Of panic when he didn’t surface after a few moments.

Suddenly he broke through the water and flicked his black hair out of his eyes, and with that enticing grin of his he said, “Well? Are you coming in?”

I sucked in a breath. “I would, but I’m kinda… you know.”

Jack just laughed. “Hard again?”

I nodded almost guiltily, but Jack just responded with, “I’d be insulted if you weren’t, knowing what I know now. So, are you coming in or what?”

He splashed me with water and drenched my shirt and shorts. He seemed determined to get me wet, either in or out of clothes.

“Okay, okay. Calm down, Flipper.”

He made a dolphin noise then turned and dipped under the water, the moons of his bare ass briefly breaking the surface before he submerged.

“You fucking tease,” I muttered to myself as I watched his air bubbles leave a trail through the water, heading away from me. “You have no idea what you’re doing to me.”

Or did he?

He surfaced again and called out once more, “Come on!” before breast-stroking his way to the middle of the lake.

I took a deep breath and stood from the edge of the jetty. I hesitated a moment longer, enough to make me try and imagine what would happen next. Naturally one of the many fantasies I’d kept buried deep my entire life began playing in my head.

The cool, shimmering water.

The movement of our feet treading water to keep us afloat.

The kiss I would suddenly steal, wet and tender.

And his reaction?

“Just keep your shit together,” I warned myself quietly. “He’s trying to prove that things are still normal between us. Don’t fuck it up.”

With another breath I peeled my T-shirt off and began to unzip my shorts. The bulge in my crotch was impossible to hide so there was no point trying. All I could do was act like it was no big deal. Like everything was still normal between us, right?

Anxiously I pushed my shorts down to my ankles and stepped out of them.

As I did, my enormous hard-on slapped up against my hairy belly.

“Woah,” called Jack from the lake. “You really do need to keep a leash on that thing, don’t ya.”

I felt myself blush, but I knew there was no malice in his remark. Hell, he was just using humor to deal with the situation, to make it feel like this was no biggie, excuse the pun. After all, he would have made the same joke before he knew I was gay, so why hold back from using it now?

“Jealous much,” I joked back. “Envy won’t make yours any bigger, you know.”

Yes, everything was just as it had always been.

At least that was the line we were both trying to walk. We sounded like teenagers unable to face the situation with any amount of seriousness. We relied on wisecracks to avoid my coming out turning our friendship into a train wreck. We chose levity over gravity, as men often do. Was I truly expecting anything else?

I wondered if he had detected the overcompensation in my words. I wondered if he knew he was trying too hard to overcompensate too. Or whether he was convinced by his own denial that me being gay changed nothing.

I honestly didn’t know what he was thinking.

I wasn’t sure he even knew himself.

All I knew was, I couldn’t stand there a moment longer thinking about it.

Quickly I dived into the lake, swimming as far as I could under the water before breaking the surface and freestyling toward him. I stopped swimming and started treading water a short distance from him. I wouldn’t allow myself to get any closer.

“Okay, so you win. I’m wet. I’m naked. We’re skinny-dipping. Happy now?” I asked.

It was Jack who paddled closer to me, stopping within a few feet of me. Our arms swished the water and my fingers accidentally brushed his forearm. I felt my hard dick flinch. I tried to glance down, to see if my cock was noticeable through the water. The lake was crisp and clear and the shape of my dick rippled under the waves, unmistakeably hard.

But then again, so was Jack’s.

Water splashed into my mouth. I swallowed some of it and coughed up the rest, quickly looking up before I got caught eyeing Jack’s hard-on.

It was too late.

“Yes, I’m happy now,” he said, answering my question. “See? Not threatened. Nothing’s changed. Just like the old days.”

Playfully he lunged at me in the water and pushed me under. I got a breath of air just before disappearing under the surface, then wrestled my way out of his grip. For a moment I was there, submerged and directly facing his distinctly erect penis.

I couldn’t take it anymore.

I broke the surface with a splash, sucked in a lungful of air and said, “Okay, wait. Stop. I have to say something.”

Jack was about to splash me again but he saw the troubled look on my face and stopped. “Hux? What’s the matter?”

“This,” I said, gesturing to the two of us. “This is the matter. Us pretending that nothing’s changed when in fact a lot has changed. Jack, I just told you I’m gay. I know it’s still the same old me, but that doesn’t mean I want to shrug off that fact that the two of us should maybe try to deal with who I am now. I can finally be myself around you. I don’t want to keep pretending to be someone when you’re only seeing half the man I am. I want you to know all of me.”

For a moment I almost kept going. I almost blurted out how much I loved him, how I had been in love with him since the day we met. But I slammed the door on that fast. Coming out to him was already a big deal and he was trying to deal with it as best he could. He didn’t need me to bury him in an avalanche of secrets and revelations.

And so I held it in.

We treaded water for a few moments longer, just looking at one another.

Then quietly Jack said, “I do wanna know all of you, Hux.” He paused and added, “But that’s not all I want. There’s something else.”

“What is it?”

“I want you to kiss me.”

I creased my brow and squinted my eyes at him, as though the words I’d heard couldn’t possibly be the same words he just said. “What did you say?”

It took him a while to repeat it, as though he was considering backing out and changing his words to something else. But he didn’t. “I said I want you to kiss me. Will you kiss me?”

I kinda gave a half-smile of disbelief. My face didn’t know what it wanted to do. “What are you saying? Are you saying now that I’m out you’re feeling all… I dunno… gay curious? I think you’ve had one too many beers. Are you drunk?”

Jack shrugged and his arms made angel-wing movements through the water. He looked more beautiful to me in that confused moment than ever before. I had no idea why I insisted on asking questions and delaying something I’d dreamt of almost my entire life. Maybe I was having trouble accepting that what was happening was indeed real and not another fantasy. Maybe now that my wish might finally come true, I was petrified of what consequences it might hold. Or maybe I was holding back, terrified he was about to burst out laughing at any second and tell me he was just joking. My heart couldn’t have survived that kind of taunting and rejection.

But Jack didn’t laugh.

His gaze didn’t flinch, and neither did the earnest expression on his face. “I’m not drunk. Well, not that drunk. But maybe I am a little… I dunno… gay curious, maybe? I don’t really know. I don’t know what I want anymore. I don’t really know who I am. I’ve been with Sophie for so long, I’m not sure who I’ve grown into. Part of me doesn’t even want to find out.” He swam closer to me then and added, “But part of me does.”

My heart was a drummer with delusions of grandeur. My stomach was a sheet in a washing machine, twisting itself into knots. I didn’t know what to say other than, “You want a kiss?”

Jack paused. Then nodded. “I do. But not here. Take me inside. Take me to your bed.”

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About The Author

Geoffrey Knight is the author of more than 25 gay fiction novels, novellas and short stories, ranging in genre from gay adventure, gay romance, gay suspense and gay comedies. He is the recipient of two Rainbow Awards including Best Mystery Winner and Best Overall Gay Fiction Runner-up. His work has been featured in several anthologies including Best Gay Erotica 2013, and he appeared as Guest of Honor at the inaugural Rainbow Con in Florida, 2014.

Geoffrey has worked in advertising, politics and journalism, but nothing is as fun as telling stories. He lives with his partner, their young daughter and their small furry family in a rambling old house in North Queensland, Australia, where the paint is fraying and life is good.

Social Media

Facebook: https://facebook.com/Geoffy.knight

Twitter: @FathomsFive

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Geoffrey-Knight/e/B002F89TV6

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Release Blitz: Late Night Poetry by Nell Iris

Late Night Poetry | Nell Iris

Publisher: JMS Books

Cover Artist: Written Ink Designs

Release Date: March 28, 2020

Heat Rating: 1 flame

Length: 10,000 words

It is a standalone story

Buy Links

JMS Books | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Kobo | Apple books | B&N

Add on Goodreads

Blurb

A love story told in answering machine messages.

Saying “I love you” to someone who says it first, isn’t supposed to lead to a break-up, but that’s what happens to Sully and Lou. Sully is out and proud while Lou is in the closet, so when their relationship deepens, Lou runs.

But then Lou starts leaving emotional messages of remorse on Sully’s answering machine. Sully is torn between his love for Lou and his attempts to get over him.

With each message, Lou’s regrets deepen. With each message, it becomes more difficult for Sully to forget him. With each message, Sully finds it harder to want to move on.

Can old love poems and heartbreaking honesty help Sully and Lou find their way back to each other?

Excerpt

Sunday, November 25, 1990. 11:35 PM.

“Ron set me up on a date.”—thick, revolted grunt—”A fucking date. He and Kelly told me to come over for dinner but neglected to tell me they had also invited one of her single female friends. Fuck him. I told him I was trying to get over someone and then he does this? I asked him why and he said, ‘I’m your brother, I’m just looking out for you and besides you need to get back into the saddle again.’ The saddle, Sully, like I’m some fucking cowboy or something.”—Deep stuttering breath—“I felt so betrayed. A few days ago, he asked me why I was so mopey, and I told him I’d just broken up with someone really important and that I’m very upset about it. He said he was sorry and then a few days later he tells me to get back on the horse? I couldn’t even storm out of there because he grabbed my arm and said Kelly had worked so hard on the dinner, so I better not disappoint her. He’s definitely inherited his guilt-trip skills from Mom.

“Then I had to spend the rest of the night dodging wandering hands. I can’t tell you how many times I had to brush her fingers away from my thigh. As soon as I could, I got up and left but then she followed me. She cornered me before I could get into my car and kissed me. I felt like I cheated on you. I cheated on you and all I want to do is beg your forgiveness and promise you I won’t do it again. Except it doesn’t matter, does it? I did this to myself. I did this to myself and now I have to live with my choices. With the consequences of my cowardice.

“And you probably don’t care anymore and you’re right not to because you deserve someone by your side who’ll be happy to be seen with you. Someone who’ll stand up to his family and tell them that the person he’s so broken-hearted over is a guy. The most amazing guy I’ve ever met who made me laugh every day and saw behind the tough-guy persona and saw the real me.

“You need someone like that. I wish that person could be me. I’m so sorry. I should stop calling you. I need to stop calling you. It’s just…I miss you. All the time.”

I don’t sleep well that night. It’s one of my few weekends off; I relented and took time off from the bar on the weekend after yet another call from Dad telling me in his sternest voice to not work myself to the bone. I spent the evening conked out on the couch, half-sleeping to a movie I’d seen before, and after that, I moved the party to the bed to get some actual sleep. But Lou’s phone call woke me up, and after listening to his message my sleep is restless.

I dream of his large hands touching every inch of my body. Of his thin but warm lips constantly surrounded by stubble because he needs to shave twice a day to keep his face smooth. Of his long hair hanging like curtains around us as he lay on top of me, kissing me. Of his fingers playing with my curls that he loves so much or tracing the outline of my tattoo.

I dream of long legs entwined with mine and the hard planes of his body rubbing against mine. Of deep moans in my ear, of fingers digging into my flesh, of sweat dripping down on me as he made love with me. I dream of his scent. His deep laughter. How his eyes softened whenever he looked at me.

Caught in the space between dream and consciousness, I dream of…remember?…the time he crawled into my bed late at night, snaking his arm around my waist and pulling me flush to his body, pressing his broad chest against my back, rubbing the curly hair covering his pecs against my bed-warmed skin. I was aware of his presence but not quite awake as he carefully caressed the skin under my belly button with a thick thumb. I dream of…remember?…the softly whispered words against the back of my neck. “I love you, Sully Winslow.”

About the Author

Nell Iris is a romantic at heart who believes everyone deserves a happy ending. She’s a bona fide bookworm (learned to read long before she started school), wouldn’t dream of going anywhere without something to read (not even the ladies room), loves music (and singing along at the top of her voice but she’s no Celine Dion), and is a real Star Trek nerd (Make it so). She loves words, bullet journals, poetry, wine, coffee-flavored kisses, and fika (a Swedish cultural thing involving coffee and pastry!)

Nell believes passionately in equality for all regardless of race, gender or sexuality, and wants to make the world a better, less hateful, place.

Nell is a bisexual Swedish woman married to the love of her life, a proud mama of a grown daughter, and is approaching 50 faster than she’d like. She lives in the south of Sweden where she spends her days thinking up stories about people falling in love. After dreaming about being a writer for most of her life, she finally was in a place where she could pursue her dream and released her first book in 2017.

Nell Iris writes gay romance, prefers sweet over angsty, short over long, and quirky characters over alpha males.

Social Media

Blog/Website | Facebook Author Page | Facebook Profile

Twitter: @nellirisauthor | Instagram: @nell_iris | Goodreads

QueeRomance Ink | BookBub

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win a choice of one of five ebooks from the author’s backlist

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Another triumphant polyamorous romance from K.M.

52377192._SY475_Four Letter Word by K.M. Neuhold

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So good. K.M. is one of the best in the genre when it comes to writing believable multiple partner romances.

This polyamorous narrative is wonderfully done, with four unique characters who all have their own voice.

I loved getting to see inside each of their heads.

There’s loads of chemistry between them all and the different tensions with each of the four men in their mixed pairings were given good depth.

Loved it.

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

View all my reviews

Release Blitz: The Last Kiss by Sally Malcolm

The Last Kiss | Sally Malcolm

Banner

Universal Link: mybook.to/TheLastKiss

Available in Kindle Unlimited

Length: 81,000 words

Last Kiss cover FINAL2

Blurb

A tender and triumphant story of forbidden love in the aftermath of war

When Captain Ashleigh Dalton went to war in 1914, he never expected to fall in love. Yet, over three long years at the front, his devoted batman, Private West, became his reason for fighting—and his reason for living .

For Harry West, an ostler from London’s East End, it was love at first sight when he met complex, compassionate Captain Dalton. Harry knew their friendship wouldn’t survive in the class-bound world back home, but in the trenches there was no point in worrying about tomorrow…

Now, gravely wounded, Ash has been evacuated home to Highcliffe House, his father’s Hampshire estate. Bereft of Harry, angry and alone, Ash struggles to fit into the genteel world he left behind. Meanwhile, Harry, broken-hearted, doubts he’ll ever see his beloved captain again.

But when the guns fall silent and Harry finds himself adrift in London, a desperate hope carries him to Highcliffe House in search of work—and of the officer he can’t forget…

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About The Author

Sally Malcolm was bitten by the male/male romance bug in 2016 and hasn’t looked back. Her stories are emotional, sweetly angsty , and always have happy endings.

She also writes tie-in novels for the hit TV shows STARGATE: SG-1 and STARGATE ATLANTIS. To date, she’s penned nine STARGATE novels and novellas, and four audio dramas.

Sally lives in South West London with her American husband, two lovely children and two lazy cats.

Social Media

Website: http://www.sallymalcolm.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SallyMalcolm.author 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sally.malcolm/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Sally_Malcolm

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