Tag Archives: romantic

Another one to add to my favourites shelf from J.R. Lawrie

57431205._SY475_The Sheltering Tree by J.R. Lawrie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

J.R.’s debut collection of short stories is one of my favourite books of all time and this one has gone right next to it on the shelf.

The relationship between Alastair and jay is perfectly developed through intense chemistry when they first meet, to a hesitant friends with benefits sexual exploration and then into a deep friendship.

They are studies in opposites, Alastair’s high flying job as Commander of the Metropolitan Police puts him in the spotlight, but it’s something he does under sufferance. Jay’s role as CEO of a company helping at risk kids is close to home, and he’s hiding a painful secret which would have devastating consequences if it comes out.

There’s a tension runs through the book because of this secret, which the reader isn’t a party to either in full, which makes the narrative pacing a perfect blend of the quieter, intimate moments with the suspense elements.

Sex is inspired between these two. Alastair hasn’t had chance to have a relationship for years, Jay is too busy hiding himself to really let go but together, they fly high.

The scenes at Cliveden are among my most favourite romantic encounters in any book, they’re so filled with all the feelings the two men are trying to suppress. The speculative added commentary from the hotel staff just pops the cherry on an already delicious cake imho. It made me smile big time.

There’s also an excellent set of secondary characters, one of my favourites being Alastair’s personal assistant (and general go-to gal) Juliet, who is encouraging and mothering of him even though she’s much younger.

I won’t go into the details of the suspense element of the plot, only to say that it works perfectly throughout as Jay’s past comes back to threaten not only him, but Alastair’s position. The build-up to the final quarter of the book will make your heart race as the danger gets closer.

Oh, and the wee little Easter Egg reference to Richard from J.R.’s Let Your Heart Be Light: A Collection of M/M Holiday Romances was brilliant. If you’ve not read that book yet, I’d definitely suggest you do!

I can’t wait to see what other people think of this book, it’s one of my absolute favourite reads in any genre.

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

View all my reviews

Release Blitz: How to Make the Perfect Man by Catherine Curzon & Eleanor Harkstead

How to Make the Perfect Man | Catherine Curzon &Eleanor Harkstead

Some Like it Haunted #4

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Release Date: October 27th, 2020

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Length: 15.148 words

Buy Links:

Publisher: https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/how-to-make-the-perfect-man

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Make-Perfect-Man-Haunted-ebook/dp/B08GKTSCDM

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Make-Perfect-Man-Haunted-ebook/dp/B08GKTSCDM

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55290261-how-to-make-the-perfect-man

HowtoMakeaPerfectMan

Blurb

Love isn’t science. It’s alchemy.

Needing a date for the hottest Hallowe’en party in town, scientist Aubrey Waldegrave sets to work creating his perfect man. Unfortunately, the Adonis who emerges from his laboratory is a free spirit who has no time for Aubrey’s brogues and tweeds.

Alchemist Trismegistus Nimlet can turn anything into gold, but when his apocathery’s alligator starts talking back and his werewolf allergy leaves him sneezing, it looks like Halloween might be a washout. Worse still, is Tris really about to lose the chap he secretly loves to a manmade surfer dude who’s more flash than Frankenstein?

With werewolves leaving fur in the ornamental fountains and a banshee making enough noise to wake the dead, Aubrey’s Halloween is going from bad to worse. All he wanted was to make his perfect man, but what if he was right there all along?

Excerpt

The experiment was ready and the weather was just right.

Although Aubrey could have wired the tank up to the mains, powering it using the awesome force of a violent electrical storm appealed to his sense of tradition. A long line of Waldegraves had tried to harness nature’s power and dissect its secrets, and now Aubrey stood on the brink of breathing life itself into his creature.

The laboratory took up a wing of Aubrey’s house, a rambling place that had been added to over the years by successive generations of Waldegraves. There were corridors that headed nowhere, stairs that seemed to lead upwards but only went down, and grand doors that had once led into ornate rooms that now only opened onto cupboards. The house’s stone exterior was decorated with a lively collection of gargoyles who, when they were in the right mood, would wink and stretch out their wings as Aubrey passed them.

But it was the laboratory where Aubrey spent most of his time, the house’s other rooms mostly mouldering under dustsheets. In some respects, it was more like a museum of science than anything resembling a modern laboratory. But it suited Aubrey. He happily spent all his hours among his copper pipes and rubber tubes, his pulleys and steam generators, his wooden benches and elegantly-carved test-tube racks. Various biological samples collected or created by his ancestors were suspended in glowing fluids inside jars in a cabinet—a foot here, an eye there, two-headed wonders and five-legged marvels.

The roof was fashioned from glass, inspired by the vast greenhouses at Kew Gardens. An extensive library of leather-bound books covered one wall of the laboratory. The shelves were three-storeys high, with a cast-iron spiral staircase that wound up to the top. Each step bore a curlicued rendering of the initials of Aubrey’s great-great-grandfather, and his family’s crest appeared in stained glass at each leaded window. At least, in the windows that had survived Aubrey’s ill-advised, youthful experiments with compressed gasses.

But Aubrey was a callow youth no longer. He had plumbed nature’s secrets, and now his toil and research would bear fruit.

The figure lay inside a large glass tank in the middle of Aubrey’s laboratory. The water it contained was cloudy and white, luminous from the brightness of the lightning that filled the room at intervals. Aubrey leaned against the side of the tank and peered fondly at his creation.

At him.

Aubrey had put so much work into his creature, and soon—soon—he would have a man, fashioned by his own hands, as beautiful as Aubrey had power to imagine.

As the rain beat ever harder against the glass panes of his laboratory’s roof, Aubrey looked over at a fluttering dial that told him the lightning was at just the right intensity for his man to breathe at last.

He stepped back from the tank, then grabbed the handle of a huge brass switch. Still watching the dial fidget in its glass case, the needle advanced just enough, and Aubrey pulled down the handle.

A great sizzling tore the air, and Aubrey had to squint behind his green-lensed goggles. A bolt of lightning shot down from the inverted conductor that hung from the ceiling and arced into the machinery that stood next to the tank.

The tank’s glass sides cracked apart and the cloudy water burst across the floor. There, twitching on a wooden platform inside what was left of the tank, was Aubrey’s man.

Aubrey yanked off his goggles and stared in awe at the figure.

“It lives!” Aubrey cried. I’ve always wanted to say that. He took a step closer, clutching his hands, unable to tear his gaze away from the man before him. The man Aubrey had created. “He lives! Hurrah, I have a date for the party!”

He had never seen a creature like him. A bronzed god, his muscular frame shuddering as he drew in his first breath. The long-lashed eyelids opened and his creation parted his perfect, full lips. A moment passed before the Adonis said, “Woah… Dude. What a wild freakin’ ride!”

Aubrey tipped his head to one side. Had he really heard that properly? Had the thunder banging overhead dimmed his hearing?

But no. His Adonis had just addressed him as dude. Surely it was only a temporary glitch.

“G-good evening,” Aubrey stammered. “Are you comfortable? Can I get you anything? A cup of tea, perhaps?”

The creature sat up, surprisingly nimble for someone who had just been brought to life by a lightning strike. He looked down at his naked body, his eyes alighting on his own impressive manhood.

“Dude, I’m seriously hench. And hung!” He lifted his hand and waited, offering Aubrey a nod. “Hit me, bro! Yeah!”

Aubrey lifted his hand in response and waved, slowly. The man would have to learn how to greet people properly, but a raised hand was halfway to a wave. And physically, Aubrey had got it just right. The toned figure was perfect.

“Hello, my name’s Aubrey. And I’m calling you Adam.”

“Who’s Adam?” He slapped his palm against Aubrey’s. “I’m Kai, bro, good to know you. Woo! Yeah!”

“Kai? No, no…” Aubrey shuddered. What nonsense was this, interfering with his newfound Godlike powers of creation? “No! I’m your creator, and I’m calling you Adam!”

Kai—Adam—frowned then laughed, showing off his perfect white teeth. He slapped Aubrey’s shoulder as, outside, Aubrey heard the throaty purr of a familiar engine .

“Yeah, right. Adam!”

“But…but…” Aubrey pouted. Oh bloody blast it, it’s gone to pot again. And after I’d told Tris I almost definitely had a date for the party. “I’ve got you something to wear.”

He took a pile of clothes from a box and held them out to Adam. Commodious briefs, a comfortable Aran jumper, a checked shirt, corduroy slacks, Argyle socks and lace-up brogues. All from the same gentlemen’s outfitters Aubrey shopped at himself.

“Dude.” Adam shook his head. He hopped down to stand before Aubrey, his hands on his hips. “Like, it works for you, but you got nothing a bit more…y’know…me?”

Aubrey glanced from the clothes to Adam. How could he convince him to get dressed before his visitor made his presence known?

“And what is more you? I don’t own flip-flops.”

“So, I’ll kick it just like I am, yeah?” He shrugged his sculpted shoulders and tossed his beachy blond locks. “I’m cool with that. Hanging with the boys, letting it all loose. Let’s hit the waves.”

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Read the Rest of the Series

https://www.pride-publishing.com/collection/some-like-it-haunted-pride

About The Authors

Visit their website at www.curzonharkstead.co.uk

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Catherine Curzon is a royal historian who writes on all matters of 18th century. Her work has been featured on many platforms and Catherine has also spoken at various venues including the Royal Pavilion, Brighton, and Dr Johnson’s House.

Catherine holds a Master’s degree in Film and when not dodging the furies of the guillotine, writes fiction set deep in the underbelly of Georgian London.

She lives in Yorkshire atop a ludicrously steep hill.

You can follow Catherine on Facebook and Twitter and take a look at her Website.

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Eleanor Harkstead likes to dash about in nineteenth-century costume, in bonnet or cravat as the mood takes her. She can occasionally be found wandering old graveyards. Eleanor is very fond of chocolate, wine, tweed waistcoats and nice pens. Her large collection of vintage hats would rival Hedda Hopper’s.

Originally from the south-east of England, Eleanor now lives somewhere in the Midlands with a large ginger cat who resembles a Viking.

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Release Blitz: Fakers by Lucy Lennox & May Archer

Fakers | Lucy Lennox & May Archer

Fakers Banner

Cover Designer: Cate Ashwood

Release Date: June

Universal Link: https://getbook.at/Fakers

Add To Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53554265-fakers

Fakers Cover

Blurb

Brooks Johnson’s Words To Live By:

When returning to Licking Thicket, TN, for the first time in ten years to reunite with your nosy neighbors, heart-broken ex-girlfriend, and matchmaking mama who never quite believed you were gay, it’s best to bring a fake boyfriend as backup…

Just don’t be surprised when your ex-girlfriend does the same.

And when her incredibly hot fake boyfriend becomes the one island of calm in a sea of bovine-based insanity, it’s best to exercise caution… especially when he pushes you up against the rough barn wall to check you very thoroughly for splinters…

Just don’t be surprised if you fall head-over-hooves in love with him.

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Excerpt

I slunk down the hall like I was a kid again, afraid of being caught, and I snuck glances at the backyard out the window to make sure my mother and Ava weren’t coming… which was how I nearly ran into a person standing in the hall by the kitchen.

“Oh my God!” I said, grabbing the person—a man, definitely a man, though much less bulky than me—by the shoulders. “I’m so sorry. I was, ah… distracted.”

And if I hadn’t been before, I certainly was once I got a look at him. Holy shit.

“No, sorry, my bad,” the guy said. He straightened his black T-shirt and brushed an unruly mop of wavy, brown-gold hair away from his magnetic blue eyes. “I was distracted too.”

He motioned toward the pictures on the hallway wall—a collection of bovine-inspired artwork my mother had begun before I was born—and shook his head wordlessly. I felt my face heat.

“Ah. Yeah, it’s quite a theme, isn’t it?” I said. “Cows in flower crowns?”

“I can’t tell if it’s horrible, or wonderful, or both.”

“Both,” I decided. “Most things are.”

He turned to give me a quick, startled smile, and I realized belatedly that while he’d been staring at the wall, I’d been staring at him.

Honestly, there was a lot to look at. Besides the sexy, untamed hair, the man had sharp, intelligent eyes that looked like they missed nothing, high, rounded cheekbones, a scruffy jaw, and plush, pink lips, like a master sculptor had perfectly softened all his other features to balance the intensity of his eyes. His body was lithe, leanly muscled, and delightfully warm. He had a little silver hoop in his left ear, a freckle in the hollow of his throat, and a stack of bracelets up one wrist. He could’ve been anywhere from fifteen to thirty years old. I felt a pulse of awareness in my gut.

Please don’t be fifteen, please don’t be fifteen.

“Are you okay?” he asked, frowning at me in concern.

Damn it all, I was still staring.

“Yeah, no, totally. Just, um.” I cleared my throat. My mother’s art display was the last place on earth I’d expected to meet someone as striking as this. Why did this have to happen while I was a giant, sweaty mess? “Making sure you are.”

“Oh.” His expression cleared, and his lips twitched. Apparently, I was still staring at his lips. “I’m fine. Except that I stepped out of the bathroom down here and this cow started staring into my soul.”

I had to force myself to look away from him and focus on the cow painting, but when I did…

I laughed out loud. “It really is. That cow knows exactly what you’re thinking right now.”

The man gasped, and the sound went straight to my balls. “You think? In that case, that cow needs to mind her fucking business before she gets corrupted.” He looked me up and down, from my messy, sweaty hair to my sneakers, and I’d swear the smile he gave me was pure flirtation.

The smile I gave him in return sure as hell was.

This kind of thing never happened to me. Ever.

“Have you ever seen a real cow?” I asked, because I was the fucking king of suave conversation.

Jesus Christ, how had I ever managed to have sex with anyone?

“A real cow? Obviously,” the guy said, folding his arms over his chest. I couldn’t help but notice the defined muscles in his chest and arms. He was shorter than I was but definitely not scrawny. Fuck he was sexy. He smirked. “Don’t I look like a country boy?”

I laughed, feeling all the stress from the day start to fall away.

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About The Authors

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After enjoying creative writing as a child, Lucy didn’t write her first novel until she was over 40 years old. Her debut novel, Borrowing Blue, was published in the autumn of 2016. Lucy has an English Literature degree from Vanderbilt University, but that doesn’t hold a candle to the years and years of staying up all night reading tantalizing novels on her own.

She has three children, plays tennis, and hates folding laundry. While her husband is no shmoopy romance hero, he is very good at math, cooks a mean lasagne, has gorgeous eyes, looks hot in his business clothes, and makes her laugh every single day.

Lucy hopes you enjoy sexy heroes as much as she does. Happy reading!

Social Media

Facebook Page | Lucy’s Lair Facebook Group | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Website | Newsletter
Amazon Page | Goodreads | BookBub

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May Archer is an MM author who lives in Boston. She spends her days raising three incredibly sarcastic children, finding inventive ways to drive her husband crazy, planning beach vacations, avoiding the gym, reading M/M romance, and occasionally writing it.

She also writes MF romance as Maisy Archer.

Social Media

Facebook Page | Club May: Facebook Group | Twitter | Instagram | Website | Contact | Newsletter
Amazon Page | Goodreads | BookBub

Giveaway

To celebrate Lucy & May’s release, we are giving away 3 eBooks copies of Fakers!

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

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