Tag Archives: Scottish MC

Release Blitz: Two more Vino & Veritas stories are out today

Today we have two more Release Blitz for the Vino & Veritas series in the Expanded World of True North from Laurel Greer and Jay Hogan

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

vinoveritas

Turnabout | Laurel Greer

Vino & Veritas #9

9_V&V_Greer_ebook_FINAL

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

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

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

READ MY REVIEW

Blurb

I don’t have time for an unplanned visit home to help out in my father’s struggling letterpress shop. My stint in Vermont will have to be short, for a couple of reasons:

One, I’m a busy executive trying to climb the corporate ladder.

Two, my ex is still my dad’s right-hand man in the shop. And I am not over him.

Nothing has changed at the Burlington shop. Auden still has his infuriatingly sexy Scottish accent. He’s still hot, and still stubborn. Between operating the antique press with his shirtsleeves rolled up, and moonlighting at Burlington’s hottest inclusive wine bar, he pushes every one of my attraction buttons.

My falling-in-love-again buttons, too. Except I’m his polar opposite. I love change, and taking chances. Everything he avoids in life.

So why am I trying to convince him to reach for more than we’ve ever dreamed of—the possibility of forever?

Turnabout is a second-chance romance with interfering family, groveling, and a large helping of artisan stationery geekery.

16

Excerpt

He lifts a dark eyebrow. “I said, I want to work with someone willing to wallow with paper and design. Tease out the one-of-a-kind magic.”

His voice is quiet, soothing. It demands I take a deep breath and get out of my feelings.

“I’ve been reminded of how much of an art it is,” I say. “And that I can get by, but you—you have a gift.”

Rosy splotches bloom on his cheeks. “You know what you’re doing, too.”

“I don’t have the rhythm of it like you do. The innate… mastery, I guess. The relationship.”

Auden tilts his head and looks out the front window.

“What?” I ask. “He’s not coming back.”

“I know, but hearing the words rhythm and mastery and relationship when it comes to using a press… I’m looking for locusts, frogs, horsemen—any sign of the apocalypse.”

“Fuck off,” I mutter.

Rhythm, mastery.

When he repeats the words like that, I’m not thinking of cast iron machines—I’m thinking about sex.

I can’t believe he didn’t call me on how filthy that sounded.

He’s biting his lip, still a little pink in the face.

Okay, maybe he’s thinking it, at least.

“I could show you,” he says.

Meeting his gaze is like swimming in a lake, when you dive down, down on a bright day, and you have the dark depths below, and the streams of light from above, and it blends around you like you’re wearing a crown of green water and sunlight.

Holy fuck. He’s too much sometimes.

“Come here.” He crooks a finger for me to meet him at the Chandler and Price.

Definitely too much.

I join him anyway.

He takes my left hand and places it on the small shelf on the front of the press where we’d normally collect the cards during a run. The wood is smooth. And it would feel exactly like palming a flat piece of wood always does, except his big hand covers mine.

“Artisanry demands that relationship.” His voice is insanely low, but he’s only inches from me, so I don’t miss a syllable.

“I’m not an—”

“You have the artistic talent. You just need a little patience.” He puts his other hand on my right hip and positions me square to the press. He taps his toe against my heel, a silent command to put my foot on the treadle.

“We’re missing some parts.” Paper. Ink. The frame. Everything that actually turns into a product.

“We’re not making anything.” He’s at an angle to me. If he leaned forward three inches, his dick would be pressed into my hip. His left hand is still holding mine to the shelf. The other is a heavy weight just below my waist.

“I don’t understand,” I say.

“Just watch it, Carter.” He sounds amused. “You want to know every quirk. And not to try to learn when you’re rushing through eight jobs at once. When you have time to go easy.”

“Really.”

“Really,” he says. “Grip the wood with your other hand, too.”

Grip the wood? You’re fucking with me.”

“A little.” I can’t see his face from where he is behind me, but I hear his smirk.

A little? A lot. I grab hold of the shelf anyway.

“Just work the treadle,” he says.

I press my toe into the pedal, making the flywheel whir.

“And listen,” he says. “Watch.”

I do that, too.

I’ve been so damn busy since I got here—paper in, paper out, paper in, paper out—I haven’t actually watched anything I’ve done.

The rollers, mesmerizing as they glide over the circular, iron platen.

“What color’s the ink?” Auden’s hand tightens on my hip. His breath tickles the side of my neck.

There is no ink.

“Green,” I say. I can’t get that sunlit lake off my mind.

(I don’t want to. Ever.)

My tie… Why am I wearing something meant to restrict my airflow? I want to loosen it, but Auden told me to keep my hands on the shelf, so I’m keeping my hands on the goddamn shelf.

“Hear anything in the flywheel?” he says.

Just the whir and clicks and whuffs it normally makes. “Should I be?”

“Nothing unusual, but the more you know the sounds of it, the more you know exactly when to feed the paper.” He taps the top of my hand once. Twice. Again. Matching it up to some sensory memory that’s so ingrained in him, he probably dreams in that rhythm.

Anchored by his touch, I’m the one who leans in the three inches. My shoulder, touching his chest. His breath, much more than a tickle. A caress.

“It’s a pulse,” he murmurs, so gruff, the consonants and vowels mix together. His fingers brush the hollow above my shirt collar. My knees wobble.

“A pulse.” I tilt my head to the side, exposing my neck.

“Aye.” Bending his head, his lips land on the same sensitive spot.

My head’s turning faster than the flywheel.

“Auden.”

“See? You know the rhythm.”

Oh god, I don’t know anything right now.

15

Unguarded | Jay Hogan

Vino & Veritas #10

7_V&V_Hogan_ebook_FINAL

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

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2M3qdiU

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

READ MY REVIEW

Blurb

I fled Boston and my cheating jerk of an ex with three hundred dollars and a lip gloss in my pocket. Waking up the next day in Burlington, Vermont, with a crick in my back and a frozen ass wasn’t exactly in the plan. If there was one. Which there wasn’t. Story of my life.

Three hours later and I’ve been hired as temporary help in the local veterinary and grooming clinic, which is kind of impressive since I know zip about animals and even less about grooming. But one thing I do know—I’m crushing hard on the sexy, absent-minded vet I work for.

My life is a hot mess. The last thing I need is another relationship. Emmett pushes all my buttons, but he isn’t out. He’s overwhelmed with a business to run and a son to look after and the kind of domestic life I never thought I wanted.

I should walk away.

But Emmett believes in me, and I might just be starting to believe in myself. As different as we are, is it possible we’re exactly what the other needs?

13

Excerpt

The final client of the morning was a grumbling, overweight Pekingese cross named Charles, with an attitude to rival Genghis Khan and an owner who refused to come in with her dog because she didn’t want the nippy little demon to associate her with any discomfort.

Under instruction from Ivy, Tai had the growling, muzzled dog wrapped in a towel and pinioned against his stomach, his expression caught somewhere between are-you-fucking-kidding-me and abject terror.

I told him what we were about to do and he stared at me in wide-eyed disbelief. “You did not just say you were going to milk this little guy’s anal glands?”

I swallowed a laugh. “I believe those were my exact words.”

His gaze flicked down to the squirming dog, then back up. “Do I even want to ask why?”

I shrugged and pulled on some gloves. “The anal glands are two little sacs on either side of the rectum. Normally they get expressed every time the dog poops. Helps mark his territory.”

“Oh. My. God.” Tai rolled his eyes dramatically. “I think I dated a guy like that once.”

Ivy snorted while I grappled with an influx of images involving Tai with another guy and that whole territorial marking thing. I snapped the second glove on my wrist like an elastic band, hoping the pain might shock some sense into me.

It didn’t.

Tai got his freak under control and tucked Charles firmly back against his stomach. It was the first time I’d ever been jealous of the mutt.

“I know I’m going to regret asking this,” he said, wrinkling his nose. “But what happens when things don’t get expressed, on the whole anal-gland front? And I can’t believe I just said that.”

“Welcome to my world.” Ivy appeared from the supply room.

I caught Tai’s eye and waggled my eyebrows. He was hella fun to tease. “I’m so glad you asked that question. If they don’t get expressed naturally, not helped by poor diet and excess weight, then the glands can block and get smelly and painful. They can even form an abscess that can burst onto the skin.”

Tai’s mouth dropped open in horror. “Holy crap. And also—another date of mine.”

I gave a strangled laugh and realized I hadn’t had so much fun at work since . . . well yeah, it had been a while.

“Damn, that’s disgusting. The poor thing.” Tai lifted Charles to smooch him safely around the back of his ears. “We need to talk about your diet young man,” he cooed to the dog who, miracle of miracles, appeared to calm. “Fiber is the key, plus plenty of water and attention to timing. Clean, screened, and fit for a queen.” He glanced up with a wicked grin. “Right, Mr. Vet?”

Ivy coughed loudly, while every semi-functioning neuron in my body focused on only one thing that shall not be mentioned.

“I, yeah . . . I guess,” I managed to croak. “Although maybe not the screening thing, not for dogs.”

Tai lifted Charles to eyeball him. “Safety first.”

Ivy joined us at the table. “Okay, you two. Let’s get this done so I can spritz the room. Keep a firm grip,” she told Tai.

His eyes widened. “This is going to smell worse than I thought, isn’t it?”

She wrinkled her nose. “Think fishy.”

Tai got a tight hold on the wriggling dog. “Huh? Not my first guess. Okay, I’m ready. I have to say, it feels a little like an initiation.”

I flashed him an encouraging smile. “You’ll be fine. Now hold that tail up.” As soon as the words left my mouth, I knew, and sure enough—

He snorted. “Not the first time I’ve been told that.”

I shook my head, gently squeezed, and . . .

“Whoa.” He gave a long blink and jerked his head around and out of the way. “Ewww, Charles. That’s some nasty shit right there.”

I grinned from ear to ear, pretty much as I had from the minute Tai had walked into my clinic. I was so fucked.

12

Out-Now

This second chance romance set in a small press is just my cup of tea

9_V&V_Greer_ebook_FINALTurnabout by Laurel Greer

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Second chance romance is one of my favourite tropes, when it’s done well and you can see that there was a valid reason for why they didn’t work at the time and why things have changed.

Here you get just that. When Auden and Carter split in their early 20s after a fairly lengthy college romance, a lot of it was to do with wrong place, wrong time and outside forces they had little control over.

When they meet again a decade later, it’s clear not only did the feelings never go, but also the pain and longing of knowing you had the one but just couldn’t hold onto them.

The way this is resolved works perfectly. The next bit may be slightly spoilerish, although nothing major so I shall hide it.

***SPOILER-ISH***

Although at times Auden irritated me beyond words because, while I could understand he’d been dealing with unresolved trauma from his own personal circumstances, I felt he placed too much weight on his mum’s experiences and not on the difference in his own life. 

***ENDS***

What I loved most about this book was that it emphasises the frailties of humanity, our fears, our flaws, the courage needed to put your heart on the line even knowing it might get stomped on. All of this is present in both Auden and Carter.

It also shows that people make mistakes they live to regret and that pride (looking at you Carter’s dad!) is more often than not the bogeyman in any type of relationship, whether it’s family or lover.

Also, as someone who started their journalism career at a newspaper still printed on hot metal, I absolutely adored all the luxury handpress stationary elements in this story.

This is a lovely romance, it’s quite gentle with a bit of angst, there are family tensions which add to the plot but nothing is overwrought or dramatic.

I loved Carter’s meddling aunt Bee and her wife Gracie, Olivia who comes to interview at the press only had a tiny bit of page time, but she’s fully realised and I loved her too.

My frustrations with Auden knocked half a star off but this really is a wonderful romance.

#ARC kindly received from the publishers Hearts Eye Press in return for an honest and unbiased review

View all my reviews

Author Spotlight & Review Tour: Shatterproof Bonds by Isobel Starling

Author Spotlight and Review Tour: Shatterproof Bond | Isobel Starling

35515662

AS YOU WISH (Book #1)

1 wedding, 2 best men, one hell of a love story!
Declan Ramsay was to be best man at his brother’s wedding in Scotland, sharing best man duties with the bride’s gay kid brother Sam. The best men wouldn’t meet for the first time until a few days before the wedding, so communicated by email for more than a year.
But on meeting Sam Aiken, Declan is surprised to see he isn’t a kid at all, but a striking, athletic blond man with a wicked sense of humor. Declan is alarmed by the ferocious attraction he feels for Sam. And as the attraction is reciprocated, the events at Dunloch Castle change everything Declan has ever believed about himself.
But is Sam Aiken all he appears to be?

35176982

ILLUMINATE THE SHADOW (Book #2)

The thrilling, funny sequel to ‘As You Wish’.

“A Scotsman and an Englishman fall in love… After the most amazing week of his life, at Dunloch Castle on the banks of Loch Ness, in Scotland. The charming, mysterious Samuel Aiken has turned Declan Ramsay’s life upside down. Declan has experienced a remarkable change. He has come to terms with the fact he is bisexual, and he has fallen head-over-heels in love with his boss’s son Sam.

However, falling for his boss’s son was never going to be an easy path to happiness, mainly because the boss in question is multi-millionaire property tycoon and former MI5 operative, Sir James Aiken.

Sir James is repulsed by his son’s homosexuality, and so discovering that his employee Declan Ramsay – the man he installed to run his luxury property rental empire – is in a relationship with Sam, does not go down well.

The lovers cannot hide from the looming presence of Sir James Aiken for long! Soon enough James makes his move, and Declan finds out what he will have to endure to stay with Sam, and what he will have to give to feel worthy of Sam’s love.”

35293733

RETURN TO ZERO (Book #3)
The thrilling sequel to “As You Wish” and “Illuminate the Shadows”.

Pulled into a world of secrets and lies for the man he loves, Declan Ramsay’s life has changed immeasurably in the eight months since meeting, and falling for his boss’s son, Sam Aiken. Declan journey of personal discovery is about to take a darker turn, and for Sam, the world becomes more treacherous than he could ever have imagined.

Two agents are missing – presumed dead, while on a reconnaissance mission at an outdoor adventure centre in the Scottish Highlands. Sir James Aiken sends his son and Declan to follow the trail, and discover the fate of the agents.

As the mission offers his first chance to use the skills he learned on the MI6 training course in Morocco, Declan is keen to get started. However, Sir James sees to it that the seeds of doubt and discord have been sewn between the couple, as they begin their mission.

The journey to their Highland location, and the discoveries they make when they reach the G’wan Adventures centre, prove that Sir James Aiken has been less than honest with his son. Events in the Highlands force Sam and Declan to face their greatest fears, and understand what they both really want from life — and from each other.

Excerpt from “Return to Zero” (Shatterproof Bond #3)

“SAM! Are ye home?” Declan hollered as he opened the front door. “Sam?”

“In here.” Sam’s distant voice filtered from the spare bedroom. Declan was in a buoyant mood, at last, after weeks of waiting, he’d received a call from his boss. He sauntered confidently towards the bedroom and knocked once before walking in.

“Why d’ye no’ pick up? I’ve called ye, like, six times already! James wants us in fera meet —” Declan stopped, and in the way,only Sam Aiken could do, the breath was stolen from his lungs.

Declan’s yoga mat was laid out in the centre of the large bedroom floor, and upon it, a shamelessly nude Sam Aiken was facing the tall antique mirror that rested against the wall. He was on his belly, his back bowed, and his palms pushing against the floor as his shoulders rose in the midst of the cobra pose.

Declan slumped to sit silently on the king-size bed and watch. He stared, bug-eyed and slack-jawed at all of that flawless pale skin, wrapped around an athletic, slim frame. Declan adored how pliant and supple Sam was. He reveled in the sight of corded muscles moving beneath the taut surface of the younger man’s skin, like the workings of a well-honed machine.

Ignoring his voyeur, Sam pushed himself up from the cobra pose, so he sat back on his calves. He closed his eyes and focused on his breath, and then, when he was ready, placed his palms flat on the mat, level with his knees. Then, putting all of his weight on his hands, Sam drew his legs out to either side of his body, doing the splits, balancing solely on his hands.

Declan’s bearded jaw dropped open, and his heart skipped a beat at the impressive sight. The mirror allowed Declan to observe Sam from many angles, and the view was exquisite. He knew there was a reason he was home early, but, whatever the hell it was, it could wait.

Sam aligned his legs and bought them up above his head, so he was in a handstand position, and there he stayed for a minute, his breath shallow and barely audible. There was not one tremble in any of Sam’s muscles. It was awe inspiring. Sam was the very picture of oneness —strength, control, balance, and agility. The lines of Sam’s form were sinuous and erotic, and there was no stopping the hot, hot hunger that made Declan’s whole being shudder with need.

Sam’s spine arched back and with incredible discipline, his body bowed slowly, until the soles of his feet were placed firmly on the yoga mat, and Sam was in the crab position. He was trying so desperately to focus on his own breath and to remain centered, but Declan was breathing heavily through his nose, like a stag readying for the rut, and even though Sam could not actually see him, Declan’s presence always came with the prickle of otherworldly electricity. It really was like they were magnetized.

The sound of heavy breathing was doing things to Sam’s body that he just could not control. His heart beat faster, beads of sweat littered his brow and formed on his chest, and his pale cock reddened, filled and rose majestically, providing an extra spectacle for his handsome observer.

Sam arched his spine to its capacity and inched to his toes and fingertips. He stayed like that, his muscles clenched tight and his cock standing straight as a flagpole awaiting its flag. After a minute, he slowly unclenched his muscles and allowed his body to ease its way gently back to the mat. Each movement still effortlessly controlled.

This naked yoga routine was on the list of the most erotic things that Declan had ever seen in his life. And now that Sam was on his back, his eyes closed, with arms stretched above his head. Declan decided that this was his opportunity to pounce.

© Isobel Starling 2016

31432691

COUNTERBLOW (Book #4)

After the devastating events in the Scottish Highlands, Sam and Declan have moved on to a new, deeper level in their romance. Their commitment to each other is unquestionable; however, there are plenty of questions that need answering about other aspects of their lives, and those who sought to end them.

Sam is trying his best to deal with the day to day frustrations of his injuries. He’s completely dependent on Declan for everything and hates the way the scales have tipped in their relationship. Although he’s officially on leave, Sam’s mind cannot stop replaying all that happened to him and questioning why, and who is behind it all.

Declan’s relief at having Sam home throws him into house-husband mode. He’s happy to take the reins and care for his partner, however, beneath the surface Declan cannot help but be drawn back to how he felt in the Highlands, and how they were betrayed by a man who was supposed to have their back.

Declan had promised Sir James Aiken that he would pay if he hurt Sam, and now Declan has to decide how he can deliver his payback and put his and Sam’s world back on an even keel.

Catch up with the Shatterproof Bond series in Kindle Unlimited before book #5 “Powder Burns” is released in the spring.

Series Buy Links

Available on Kindle Unlimited, in Paperback, and on Audible.

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Audible.com

Audible UK

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT AND REVIEW TOUR SCHEDULE

About the Author

Isobel’s novel “As You Wish” (Shatterproof Bond #1) is an Amazon Best Seller on Amazon.com and Amazon France. Nine novels into her writing career Isobel has just released The Shatterproof Bond box set which contains all three novels in the series, and the first book in the M/M Romantic Comedy mystery series “Dick and the Sidekick” -“Detective Fox and the Christmas Caper”.

“As You Wish” has been translated into French under the title “Comme Vous Voudrez”
The rest of the Shatterproof Bond novels will soon be available in French and German.

Find Isobel Starling here:

Facebook

Twitter

Website

Amazon Author Page

Goodreads

~

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

« Older Entries