Tag Archives: second chances

Blog Tour: Terrible Things by Beth Bolden

Terrible Things | Beth Bolden

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MM ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 19.01.19

Cover Design: Cate Ashwood

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When Caleb Chance walked out in Detroit five years ago, leaving his band, millions of his fans and his lover behind, Leo knew he could never forgive.

Some things, no matter what the cause, are unforgivable.

But Leo never expected Caleb to show up again, clean and sober and wanting to get their band, Star Shadow, back together. He definitely never expected to agree to Caleb’s plan.

He never expected to confront the love of his life again—or the disaster of his past, the hopelessness of his future, and every terrible thing he’s been carrying inside him.

But maybe some things aren’t so terrible after all.

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EXCERPT

“Are you sure you’re going to be okay setting up without help?” Caleb asked.

Leo rolled his eyes, trying to return to normal interaction. Caleb didn’t need to know about all the little, unbearably painful, things that still caught him unawares. It turned out that grief wasn’t only that yawning chasm of missing someone so much your teeth ached; sometimes it was the tiny, most insignificant bits of a destroyed, disintegrated life.

“I’m perfectly capable, you know,” Leo insisted. “I can have people over without making a mess of it.”

“Of course you can. I just want to help,” Caleb said, sounding flustered. “That’s why I offered to cook.”

“You shouldn’t be cooking for your own celebration,” Leo said.

“You used to like it when I cooked.”

Leo couldn’t help the laugh that bubbled out of him at this understatement. “I fucking loved it when you cooked.”

Caleb looked pleased. “That’s good. Really good. I mean, I want to make you feel that way. Again. Um.” He hesitated, mouth twitching. “All the time, actually.”

It was good to hear. Leo had missed someone taking care of him.

But again, that wasn’t exactly accurate. For Christmas two years ago, Benji had given him the services of a housekeeper for six months. At the time, Leo had been over the moon, thinking it was the perfect gift. But it turned out that he hadn’t liked someone in his business all the time. He didn’t like the way she’d look down her nose at him for leaving dirty dishes overflowing on the coffee table or the way he’d track mud in after a run or that sometimes he wouldn’t leave his warm, comfy bed until two in the afternoon.

In the end, he’d written her a big check, buying both her absence and her silence.

So, specifically, what Leo missed was Caleb taking care of him.

“Maybe that’s something we could do again. Dinner sometime.” At first Leo couldn’t believe he was suggesting it—hadn’t he just thought that Caleb back in the kitchen was too much to handle? But he also told himself that they were trying to be friends again. And friends could share a friendly meal.

“Really?” Caleb sounded incredulous, but he was looking at Leo like he’d just hung the moon and the sun and the stars in the sky.

“Of course,” Leo said, like it wasn’t a big deal. “I know we’ll be off on the tour soon, but maybe when we get back.”

“That would be so great.” He paused. “Like maybe even . . . maybe even a date?”

Leo was twenty-six years old but he honest-to-god blushed when Caleb said the magical d word.

“Sure,” Leo said. He couldn’t believe he’d said yes. He also couldn’t believe Caleb had asked after last night’s conversation.

“I know it seems sudden,” Caleb added.

Leo shrugged. “It isn’t like we set a date and time. Just . . . sometime in the future.”

“Nice and vague,” Caleb agreed. “Vague is good.”

Leo was aware they were both grinning at each other like idiots. This was confirmed when Max wandered over and did a double take.

“You two,” he said with a short, barking laugh. “Stop flirting and get going. You’ll see each other soon, I promise.”

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Beth Bolden lives in Portland, Oregon with her supportive husband. She wholly believes in Keeping Portland Weird, but wishes she didn’t have to make the yearly pilgrimage up to Seattle to watch her Boston Red Sox play baseball. She’s a fan of fandoms, and spends too much of her free time on tumblr.

Beth has been writing practically since she learned the alphabet. Unfortunately, her first foray into novel writing, titled Big Bear with Sparkly Earrings, wasn’t a bestseller, but hope springs eternal. She’s published eight novels and two novellas, with Catch Me, the next novel in the Kitchen Gods series, releasing in May 2018.

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Book Blitz: North Star by Posy Roberts

North Star | Posy Roberts

North Star #1-3

Publication date: January 22nd 2019

Genres: Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Romance

A romance with a seventeen-year intermission.

Love that’s worth the wait, and now a family to fight for.

Hugo and Kevin were best friends and secret lovers back in high school, but love came too early for them to make a solid commitment.

College, other relationships, kids for Kevin, and years got in the way, but a chance meeting at a lake in the middle of nowhere proves the spark that first drew them together remains. Seventeen years later, life is a lot more complex, but falling in love again is easy.

In Spark, Hugo and Kevin attempt to rekindle their relationship while overcoming the obstacles of coming out, divorce, and parenting. Second chances at lost love are rare but worth it.

In Fusion, Kevin and Hugo make plans to blend their lives, but bleak news changes everything. Building a future together is still a priority, but only if their relationship can survive.

And in Flare, Hugo and Kevin seek stability for themselves and the kids after tremendous loss.

They never expected family and friends to toss obstacles in their way, but they are determined to fight for their happily ever after.

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EXCERPT:

Seventeen years after their last kiss, a second chance…

They’d been good together, Kevin and Hugo. Not just back in high school, but also last night. It was as if their bodies knew exactly where to pick up, like they’d only left each other a day or two before rather than years ago.

Their kisses alone . . .

Hugo pressed his fingers to his mouth, but a knock at the door startled him.

“Do you need a toothbrush?”

“If you have a spare, sure,” he said as he opened the door.

“This is the only one I could find.”

“Thanks.” Hugo tore into the package, unwilling to take his eyes off Kevin. He looked more rested than Hugo. Kevin smiled.

“Toothpaste is in . . .” Kevin gestured but then walked in and retrieved it from a drawer. “Here.”

Hugo loaded the bristles, nodded, and turned to brush his teeth. Kevin stood in the doorway for a few extra seconds but then slipped away.

He spent a few minutes brushing, lost again in thoughts of the previous night before spitting and rinsing his mouth. When he looked down, he saw a redheaded princess on the handle.

No wonder it felt so small in my mouth. It’s a kid’s toothbrush.

Hugo turned off the faucet.

“Kevin,” he called out, “where should I put this? Maybe take it with me?”

“No, you can leave it on the counter.” Kevin appeared in the doorway with a teasing smile. “It can be yours. I’ll label it so you can use it the next time you come to the lake.”

Hugo gave a small snort of laughter, liking the sound of a next time.

“Do you have kids?” he asked warily.

Kevin looked to his bare feet, then back to Hugo’s eyes.

“Yep. Two. Brooke and Finn. Brooke, she’s ten and just finished fourth grade, and Finn is five. He’ll start kindergarten this fall.”

“Oh.” That’s all Hugo managed, not sure what the hell happened to his tongue, let alone his brain. It was as if his brain flipped to a television station with only static.

“That’s why I’m going to Fargo today. They’ve been spending time with my ex at her parents’ house.”

“So you’re a dad?” Hugo’s brain barely took in a few images beyond the static.

“Yep,” Kevin said with a cocky smile. “That’s generally the title you take on when you’ve fathered children. Does that surprise you?”

Hugo blinked several times, looking into the familiar midnight-ringed gray of Kevin’s eyes as if that would bring back feeling in his fingers and clarify things in his head. Did it surprise Hugo that Kevin was a father?

“No. No, I suppose not. You always had your life pretty well laid out. Or your parents did.”

“And I did everything they wanted. I went to the college they wanted me to, got the degree Dad said was worth something, found a job in a field he approved of, married a smart, beautiful woman who was my best friend and had a couple of great kids with her. Unfortunately, the marriage didn’t last, but I got two amazing children out of the deal. I’d like for you to meet them. My kids, that is.”

“Me? Why me?” Hugo stammered.

Kevin laughed. “Why not? They’d love you. Not to mention, I think I’d like them to meet the man who changed my life.”

Hugo took a step back. “What are you talking about? I didn’t change your life.”

“The hell you didn’t. Before I met you, I was my dad’s pawn in everything. It wasn’t until I told you how angry I was that I stood up to him. Only on little things at first, but I rebelled in my own way. I never would’ve done that without you. After he died, I finally made the changes I needed to make.”

Kevin pressed a kiss between Hugo’s brows, causing the creases there to melt away. Kevin whispered as his hands warmed Hugo’s back. “You were so much more significant in my life than I ever let you know. Probably more than I even knew at the time. I took you for granted, but you changed me. When I was with you, I was just Kevin. I wasn’t Kevin Magnus, son of the great Peder and Linda Magnus. I was just plain ol’ Kevin, and you liked me for who I was.”

“Of course I did.” Hugo pressed a kiss in the slight cleft of Kevin’s chin. It felt natural to kiss him like this, uninhibited. “You were easy to like, most of the time.”

“That was different for me, you realize, someone liking just me.”

Hugo nodded, enjoying the sensation of Kevin’s freshly shaved skin smoothing over his lips.

“If it weren’t for you, I would’ve never known I was bisexual. Or I would’ve never been brave enough to see what those feelings were even about.”

“You probably would’ve experimented in college.”

Kevin shook his head and drew Hugo closer, pressing a kiss in front of his ear. “No. No, Hugo. Don’t you see? I already knew I was bisexual in college, and not once was I with another guy. You were it. You were the only one who made me feel brave enough to go against my father. No one else in my life even knows about this. Not even my ex.”

Hugo pulled away as he asked, “Then why on earth would you want your kids to meet me? If this is still such a secret, why risk that? We barely know each other.”

Kevin reached for Hugo’s hand and held his fingers tight. “I didn’t say I wanted to introduce you as my ex-boyfriend . . . as anything more than my friend. Geez. Wow. That sounded bad, didn’t it?”

Hugo barked out a nervous laugh. “A bit rushed. Yeah. I’m glad we ran into each other and all, but . . . I’m still trying to wrap my head around that. But dating . . . ? And meeting your kids . . . ?” He mimed his head exploding.

“God.” Kevin chuckled, flustered. “No. I guess what I meant to say is I’d like to spend more time with you.”

“I can’t believe I let things get away from me last night. I rarely hook up like that.”

Kevin gave a short nod.

“It’s not a bad thing . . . what happened, I mean. But I’m more of a relationship guy.”

“So am I.” A frown marred Kevin’s gorgeous face.

“It’s certainly not unappealing seeing you again.” Hugo stepped in close and played with the button in the center of Kevin’s chest. “Let’s not go so fast though.”

“I got carried away last night. I’ve never done anything like that before, but it was you. It was Hugo Thorson.” Kevin smiled and ran a thumb down Hugo’s temple, tracing his jaw until his fingers pressed below Hugo’s chin. Kevin directed Hugo’s mouth to his own and whispered, “Hugo Thorson,” again.

They kissed slow and sweet, velvet tongues licking into open mouths and sliding against each other, but it didn’t deepen or turn desperate.

“I can’t believe I ever walked away from this,” Kevin said as he rested his forehead against Hugo’s and closed his eyes.

 

Author Bio:

Posy Roberts started reading romance when she was young, sneaking peeks at adult books long before she should’ve. Textbooks eventually replaced the novels, and for years she existed without reading for fun. When she finally picked up a romance two decades later, it was like slipping on a soft hoodie . . . that didn’t quite fit like it used to. She wanted something more.

She wanted to read about men falling in love with each other. She wanted to explore beyond the happily ever after and see characters navigate the unpredictability of life. So Posy sat down at her keyboard to write the books she wanted to read.

Her stories have been USA Today’s “Happily Ever After” Must-Reads and Rainbow Award finalists. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with her family and friends and doing anything possible to get out of grocery shopping and cooking.

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Release Blitz: Terrible Things by Beth Bolden

Terrible Things | Beth Bolden

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MM ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 19.01.19

Cover Design: Cate Ashwood

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BLURB

When Caleb Chance walked out in Detroit five years ago, leaving his band, millions of his fans and his lover behind, Leo knew he could never forgive.

Some things, no matter what the cause, are unforgivable.

But Leo never expected Caleb to show up again, clean and sober and wanting to get their band, Star Shadow, back together. He definitely never expected to agree to Caleb’s plan.

He never expected to confront the love of his life again—or the disaster of his past, the hopelessness of his future, and every terrible thing he’s been carrying inside him.

But maybe some things aren’t so terrible after all.

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EXCERPT

“Can I . . . can I ask that there be no alcohol backstage?” Caleb asked in a small voice.

Benji shot everyone a reprimanding look at this demand, like any of them would dare to make fun of Caleb’s request. If anyone did, Leo knew that not only would Benji make them regret it, he’d extract his own pound of flesh. He wasn’t sure he could ever forgive Caleb for what he did, but he was undeniably proud that Caleb had achieved sobriety and kept it up. It was a feat worthy of his respect.

“Of course,” Benji said instantly. “I’ll make sure of it personally.”

And Benji would, because Benji was just that loyal.

Caleb wrung his hands. “I don’t want you guys thinking I can’t control myself, because I can, but it’s just easier.”

“It’s okay,” Leo said, to his own eternal shock. He’d barely been able to speak to Caleb at all since he came back, but the last thing he wanted was Caleb thinking they weren’t supportive.

The five members of Star Shadow had always had each other’s backs before, and even though so much had changed, that hadn’t—and wouldn’t ever. Caleb, even though he’d been gone for awhile, was still a member of Star Shadow and nothing was going to change that.

Half an hour later, the four of them prepared to leave while Diego teased Max over not wanting to park his new Bentley convertible in Leo’s neighborhood. Leo could only roll his eyes; properties here easily ran in the seven figures, and most of his neighbors owned Bentleys. The houses might be small and some of them might be run-down, but none of them were cheap.

“I heard you saw Maya today,” Caleb said, cornering Leo in the kitchen as he tossed empty bottles into the recycle bin. “Your hair looks good.” There was a glimmer of a smile on his face as he glanced shyly over at Leo.

“Maya is really good,” Leo said stiffly.

“You cut it shorter,” Caleb pointed out.

“Less of a hassle for the tour.”

“I like it,” Caleb said, and even though Leo told himself that it did not matter what Caleb thought, he blushed anyway.

“Seriously, Leo, you look good,” Caleb continued, and he was edging closer to where Leo was standing. Too close. Benji had already left the kitchen and there was nobody left to buffer them. Leo didn’t know how he felt about Caleb getting closer. If he’d hated it entirely, he could have just left, too, but he didn’t hate it. Not entirely.

“Your eyes need to be checked,” Leo said with a self-conscious laugh.

“My eyes are just fine. You could never see yourself clearly.”

“Benji said I looked like Sasquatch,” Leo squawked indignantly. There was a part of him that still wanted—still craved—Caleb’s attention.

He wasn’t sure that part was ever going to die.

“Benji is full of shit,” Caleb said, grinning. “That hasn’t changed.”

“I’m going to have to run more,” Leo said. “Maybe take up something other than half-heartedly swimming around the pool. Otherwise I’ll never make it through the tour.”

“You still look hot.” Caleb grinned, and then glanced behind Leo and he knew exactly what he was staring at.

Then his gaze was back, looking directly at Leo again, and he discovered it felt easier today to meet those green eyes. Maybe he was growing numb, but there wasn’t a part of him that felt numb now. He felt electrified. Electrified by the curve of Caleb’s lips and his cheekbones, and the fact that he still had dimples.

Then Leo’s gaze drifted lower, across his wide shoulders, the clearly defined biceps in his tight black t-shirt, and Leo had to swallow hard. It had been so long since he was remotely turned on by anyone or anything, but suddenly he was half-hard in his jeans. He awkwardly leaned against the counter so Caleb wouldn’t realize.

Leo knew they were flirting again, even though it was a huge mistake. Was he ever going to be able to resist their trademark banter?

Caleb glanced down at the counter, and Leo saw that his hand was inching closer to his own. In ten seconds, if Leo didn’t move, their skin would touch.

Leo jerked his hand away. Suddenly, it was just too much. He was too controlled, too needy, too angry, to use Caleb to take the edge off his sexual frustration. It wouldn’t be fair to either of them.

He pulled away from the counter, turning away from Caleb, and hoped that the painful memories he’d just forced himself to relive would calm his erection down.

Caleb looked disappointed, but not surprised.

“Early morning tomorrow with the radio interview,” Caleb said, turning away. “We’d better get some sleep.” He said his goodbyes, skirting around Leo, like he knew he’d pushed him too far.

Almost too quickly, Leo found himself alone in the big house. But he knew Caleb was right, and it was an early call tomorrow for the interview. After flicking off the lights and locking the doors, Leo headed upstairs for bed. He was brushing his teeth when he heard his phone ding.

He meandered over to his bedside table, where he’d plugged his phone in. It was another text from that unknown number that he knew was Caleb’s. Caleb was unsurprisingly persistent.

Leo opened the message, even though he knew he’d regret it. Caleb was also surprisingly blunt, and Leo spent countless minutes perched on the edge of the bed, frozen in time with his toothbrush still in his mouth.

When I see you, it’s like the first time all over again. I’m sorry I got carried away, the text read.

Leo finally got up and, in a trance, went to the bathroom to finish brushing his teeth. When he was done, he stared at the phone again for another long moment. He couldn’t reply to the text—there was a part of him that was absolutely terrified of what Caleb could do to him again. But there was one thing he could do.

Instead of deleting the message, he added Caleb’s number back into his phone.

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Beth Bolden lives in Portland, Oregon with her supportive husband. She wholly believes in Keeping Portland Weird, but wishes she didn’t have to make the yearly pilgrimage up to Seattle to watch her Boston Red Sox play baseball. She’s a fan of fandoms, and spends too much of her free time on tumblr.

Beth has been writing practically since she learned the alphabet. Unfortunately, her first foray into novel writing, titled Big Bear with Sparkly Earrings, wasn’t a bestseller, but hope springs eternal. She’s published eight novels and two novellas, with Catch Me, the next novel in the Kitchen Gods series, releasing in May 2018.

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Book Blitz: Snowed In – Ross and Ashton by J.V. Speyer

Snowed In – Ross and Ashton | J.V. Speyer

Publication date: January 5th 2019

Genres: Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Romance

Massachusetts State Trooper Ross Huber is giving one last sweep of the roads before heading in for the night.

The nor’easter hitting the Boston area is worse than expected by an order of magnitude, and the governor has just issued a travel ban.

He finds a wrecked car half buried in a snowbank and rescues its human and canine occupants from carbon monoxide poisoning, but is forced to take shelter with them in a vacant or abandoned house when the roads are blocked.

When he gets the victims indoors, he thinks the human looks uncomfortably familiar…

Ash Machado has been through a lot in his career as a war correspondent. Sidelined by an injury, he’s returned to Boston to take up a job as a news anchor. After he loses control of his car on an icy road, he wakes up in an unfamiliar home, looking into the face of the guy who broke his heart in college.

Neither Ross nor Ash are the same guys they were in college, but they’re trapped in the abandoned house with no place to go.

Can they get past old hurts long enough to get through the storm, or will the same misunderstandings that drove them apart years ago make this confinement unbearable?

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EXCERPT:

Ash moistened his lips and scratched between his dog’s ears. “More or less, yeah. He definitely likes to be on the receiving end of any affection.” He swallowed hard. He could still taste Ross on his tongue, bad morning breath and all.

He lurched to his feet. “I’m going to see what I can do about excavating some space for Porthos to do his business. He’s going to have to sooner or later, and I don’t want to wreck the joint.” Ash had to get up and do something. He had to get away from Ross or his brain might explode.

“Good point.” Ross grimaced and stood up too. “Can you shovel, with your arm like that? Do you want me to do it?”

Ash forced a little smile. Ross’ words cemented his worst fears. Ross hadn’t kissed him out of affection or even nostalgia. He’d kissed Ash out of pity. It turned Ash’s stomach. “No, thanks. I’ll be sore, but I really want to move around a bit.”

He ran for the back door as fast as he could.

Was this really what life was going to be from now on? Pity kisses from guys who occasionally wanted to throw him a bone, and who didn’t have any better options? A sedate anchor job covering sedate local news from the safety of a swanky downtown newsroom, instead of being out in the field like he’d been born to do?

He struggled into his coat and pushed the intrusive thoughts out of his head. The doctors had warned him about this after his injury, both in Turkey and in Germany. Intrusive thoughts were normal.

Bouts of depression were normal. He’d survived a major explosion, and he’d had to make some major lifestyle changes as a result. It was okay to be upset, and it was okay to be frustrated. Ash should be patient with himself, they said. And they also acknowledged it would be a challenge for him to find that patience. He knew exactly what to expect.

He attacked the snow with vigor. He’d made it out alive when plenty of others had not. He was not going to squander his second chance on self-pity and pining for a guy who’d dumped him almost a decade ago.

He was here, breathing free air. He might be in pain, and he might not have full use of all of his limbs, but he could use most of his parts and that was enough. He was a lucky man. He just needed to remind himself sometimes.

He hacked into the snow, using his anger and his grief to power through the pain. Okay, sure, this sucked, and he’d need more surgery on his shoulder eventually. He’d get it. In the meantime, chances were that he’d find himself in a position to need to shovel. He needed to get used to it.

He needed to toughen up, and get used to doing things for himself. Two hours later, he’d carved out enough space to function as a doggy outhouse. It would be foul soon enough, but it had become almost like a little snow cave.

Ash had worked up a good sweat, and he’d accomplished something to take care of Porthos. He hadn’t had to depend on Ross, or anyone else. He’d done it himself. He could be proud of it.

Author Bio:

Want to get cocktail recipes, book updates, and craft beer notes from J. V.? Sign up here (http://eepurl.com/dtlwBH)!

J. V. Speyer has lived in upstate New York and rural Catalonia before making the greater Boston, Massachusetts area her permanent home.

She has worked in archaeology, security, accountancy, finance, and non-profit management. She currently lives just south of Boston in a house old enough to remember when her town was a tavern community with a farming problem.

J. V. finds most of her inspiration from music. Her tastes run the gamut from traditional to industrial and back again. When not writing she can usually be found enjoying a baseball game or avoiding direct sunlight.

She’s learning to crochet so she can make blankets to fortify herself against the cold.

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Kelly saves the best for last and gives us a wonderful mature romance

chasing foreverChasing Forever by Kelly Jensen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thank you for this book Kelly Jensen, just thank you.

I am 48 like Brian, I am disabled with mobility issues that came out of the blue at a relatively young age and changed my world like Malcolm.

I may not be a gay man but I could empathise with so much that these two complex and wonderfully alive characters had experienced and the doubts and fears they lived with.

Getting a redemption storyline right is not an easy task, and while Brian was never a true villain, our gaze as readers had been on him from the point of view of his ex Simon and Simon’s best friend Frank.

We had an opinion on his character, on his behaviour, on how he was an ass, on how he treated Simon appallingly. But we were wrong in many ways.

Brian was a lost soul, clinging onto something that wasn’t, and never would be, the right relationship for him or Simon, but lacking the whole awareness to realise it and so putting them both through Hell.
He’d been fighting his whole life so hard that he didn’t know how to stop and put his shield and sword away.

It wasn’t until his nephew Josh shows up with a painful reminder of the past, that Brian starts to become the beautifully flawed man he truly is. And it is then through the eyes of Malcolm that the layers start to peel away.

And here can I gush about Malcolm for a bit. He’s not perfect either, he’s physically fragile and feeling his mortality after the hit and run that almost destroyed his legs and nearly took his life.

But he is strong in heart, aware of his weaknesses and determined to not let his age, his awkwardness or his shyness get inside his head and prevent him from acknowledging that he wants Brian even with his asshole reputation.

I’m not sure which one I loved the most. They were stubborn, they were vulnerable, they were sexy and sweet together, frustrating and fascinating and ultimately the perfect fit to slot into place and create their own future together.

The secondary plot was a surprise, I didn’t expect it to go the way it did but the narrative actually couldn’t have been more right in the end. It’s not the physical places that make a community but the people and the friendships and while the final outcome was a different one, I loved it.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed each book in this series, so much so that I bought them all even though I’d had the ARCs. This is hands down one of the best series I’ve read not only this year but in the contemporary romance genre as a whole.

If you want interesting and intelligent mature characters all well past their youthful bloom who find and fall in love with their perfect partner, then you’d not go far wrong with picking this series up.

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

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It’s a hat-trick of happy for me with Kelly Jensen’s romances

41710260.jpgRenewing Forever by Kelly Jensen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“…sex with someone you wanted this much could only ever remake the world.”

Kelly Jensen scores a hat trick with Renewing Forever, this makes three out of three for books I’ve read and fallen in love with.

This one is a gorgeous second chance romance, a later in life love restored, just like the old lodge house, and proof that it’s never too late to take a step on the road to forgiveness and understanding.

Both Frank and Tom are complex characters and there is no single issue of fault. Both made mistakes when they were just teenagers and both have spent 30 years living with the consequences and the regret.

There’s a feeling of not quite melancholy, but almost an element of time stood still and is now slowly coming to life again.

We find out more about Frank than his outward appearance of Simon’s jovial journalist best friend. We meet Tom, who I alternatively wanted to put away somewhere safe and conversely push out to experience the full scope of the world outside his doorstep.

There’s angst in this, but it’s the realistic drama of finding yourself back with The One who you never stopped loving but who had cut you to the bone and not knowing quite where to start the moving on process.

It’s a wonderful slow burn between two mature characters approaching their half century of life and I adored it. Now, who is going to be giving Brian his Forever in book three?!

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

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Two great Young Adult romances from Brigham Vaughn

Bully & Exit (The Midwest Series, #1)Bully & Exit by Brigham Vaughn

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

This is a really solid young adult second-chance college romance with characters who have flaws but who I was rooting for throughout.

I do love me a good second chance romance and this one delivered it up with a little bit of angst but no overly dramatic plot points or dramady.

Both Caleb and Nathan read as their ages, mature but still young enough to not be perfectly assured with their lives and their feelings.

It’s not all hearts and flowers and it felt like an honestly expressed exploration of how you can learn to move on from great pain and find the spark again.

Push & Pull (The Midwest Series, #2)Push & Pull by Brigham Vaughn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed book one in this series but I loved this one. Brent and Lowell made a brilliant pair and this is an excellent frenemies to friends to lovers romance.

It’s less angsty than Caleb and Nathan’s relationship was and there’s quite a bit of humour in the narrative too.

Essentially what the reader is given is a road-trip romance in which two guys go through a total 180 in not only how they feel about the other, but also slowly fall in love.

I’m guessing book three in the series will be Micah and our author is going to have to go some with that redemption arc as he’s an absolute dick again in this book!

We get a glimpse of Caleb and Nathan still going strong and settling into their life in Chicago.

One thing I have been wondering about in both books is the timescale. They are set in 2013 when the guys have all just finished college so it’ll be interesting if Brigham is planning on bringing the series up to the present.

Overall this is a smashing series of new adult romance which feels believable.

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

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