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Release Blitz: Learning Curve by N.R. Walker

Learning Curve | N.R. Walker

Franklin University #6

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Release Date: Sept 29th, 2022

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Blurb

Cobey Green

There I was, moving into the dorms at Franklin U, and not into the shared party house I’d lived in my freshman year. Last year had been all about football and afterparties, not schoolwork. Which was why my grades tanked, and why I was one failed class away from being kicked off the team.

Why I needed to live on campus, and find myself a tutor.

Funny that my new roommate just happened to be a tutor. Funny that he was oblivious to how hot he is. For a smart guy, he was pretty clueless. Maybe I could tutor him in how to be more outgoing in exchange for help with calculus? I could teach him how to talk to people, how to make new friends. Hell, maybe I could even help him punch his V card.

Actually, now that I thought about it… that was a really good idea.

Vincent Brandt

And there I was, happy to be back at college, happy to be where I was most comfortable. Happy to be starting another school year, happy to start tutoring again so I could earn some money.

And yes, there I was, equal parts excited and dreading to see who my new roommate would be… Until Cobey Green’s smiling face appeared at the door. A huge football player, loved by everyone, gorgeous, rich, and out of the closet.

Everything I was not.

It didn’t help that he was genuinely a really nice guy. It didn’t help that I could make him laugh, and we could talk so easily, and it certainly didn’t help that we started having private tutorials which ended up way more private than I’d ever dared imagine.

I’d ranked top of my class in every subject since the first grade yet there I was falling stupidly in love with him.

This was going to be a hell of a year. And one very steep learning curve for both of us.

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Excerpt

Cobey Green

“You’ll thank us one day,” Mom said.

I was in the backseat of the car, having flashbacks of when I was thirteen and my parents had enrolled me in a summer camp for mathletes instead of football. Only this time, they were moving me back to college, but not back to the fun house where I’d spent my first year. Oh no. They were moving me into the dorm. Why?

Because I was failing school.

I didn’t thank them when I was thirteen, and I wasn’t thanking them now.

Sure, they meant well. But come on! I was a nineteen-year-old guy on the college football team. My education was secondary to my social life. Well, and to my football life, so make that thirdary . . . if that’s even a word.

And therein lay the problem. Or so my father had said. School needed to be a priority.

So yeah, a great start to the new school year.

I was trying not to be mad about it. While I wasn’t thanking them, I could see their point.

Kinda.

“And who knows,” Dad said brightly, eyeing me in the rearview mirror as he drove. “Your new roommate might be nice. A good influence, perhaps.”

I stared.

Did I just hear him correctly?

“I’m sorry, my new room-what?”

“Your new roommate.” Dad shot Mom a panicked look. “You didn’t tell him?”

If Dad looked panicked, Mom looked stricken. “Didn’t you?”

“Didn’t tell me what?” It came out as a yell-squawk. I leaned forward through their front seats so I could try to see their faces. “A roommate?”

“All the single rooms were taken,” Dad offered.

I slumped back in my seat. They gotta be fucking kidding me.

But no, they weren’t.

“It won’t hurt to make friends outside of your football buddies,” Mom added. “Broaden your circle a bit. Broaden your horizons.”

Cool.

And when we get to the horizon, we can just keep on driving. Right off the fucking edge.

“I’d rather not broaden anything, just so you know,” I mumbled. “I like my football buddies just fine.”

They droned on about how it won’t be so bad, and it could even be great, and how it will mean more study time. Thankfully Dad realized now was not the time to lecture me again on my priorities and last year’s poor grades, because all I could think about was who I was going to have to live with.

What if they were a slob? What if they left their crap all over the floor?

Oh god.

“What if they don’t do laundry and our entire room stinks like a gym bag?”

Dad snorted. “You mean, like your gym bag?”

Mom turned to give me that look. You know that sorry-patronizing-grimace look that moms can do. “It’s highly unlikely it could be worse than what you lived in last year, darling. And anyway, maybe your new roommate will be a quiet, clean, and considerate person.” Then she mumbled under her breath, “Unlike whom you lived with last year.”

“The guys I lived with last year were just fine,” I grumbled. “They’re my friends. My teammates. And what if this roommate person is super weird? Like crazy-weird.”

“I’m sure they’ll be fine,” Dad said. “And if they’re not, if you really can’t live with them, then you can see about changing rooms. Just give it a couple of weeks. Who knows . . .” He gave me a hopeful glance in the rearview mirror. “They could turn out to be someone great.”

I sighed.

Now, I was normally an optimistic guy, always trying to look on the bright side. But this semester was going to blow.

* * *

Vincent Brandt

My new roommate was Cobey Green.

Cobey freaking Green.

He, of course, had no idea who I was. Which probably wasn’t surprising, let’s be real. Everyone at Franklin U knew who Cobey Green was. He was the incredibly popular, six-foot-three linebacker for the Kings, totally gorgeous, with a killer trademark grin. If that hadn’t been enough to annoy my cynical little heart, I’d never heard anyone say a bad word about him.

“Hey, man,” he’d said, carrying a box in. I’d opened the door, saw him holding said box with the aforementioned killer grin, and I’d stood there like an idiot. “Name’s Cobey. Your new roomie.”

It took a second for my brain to function. “Oh, sure.” I stood aside. “Come in. I, uh . . . I moved in already and put my stuff on the left.”

Cobey put the box on his bed. “I’m cool with whatever,” he said, still wearing that ridiculously stunning grin. “Oh, this is my mom and dad. Sorry, I didn’t catch your name.”

“I’m Vincent Brandt.”

There was a forty-year-old dad version of Cobey, clearly where he got his height from. And a woman, from whom he’d very obviously inherited his smile.

“Hi, Vincent,” his mom said. She had a huge bag of bedding. “I’m Sheree, and this is Chris.”

I gave Cobey’s parents a smile and a nod. “Nice to meet you.”

The room was small enough as it was—with two single beds, two desks, two closets—but now with three tall people all looking at me, it was kinda crowded. And I was never good with parents.

“I’ll, uh, I’ll let you get settled in,” I said, shoving my hands in my jean’s pockets.

“Oh, we didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable,” Sheree said. “You can stay. This is your room.”

“No, it’s fine. It’s not that.” I gave them my best smile and pointed to the door. “I have to go see about a . . . tutor program thing. In the tutoring center . . . it’s in the library.”

“Oh, a tutor program.” Chris’s eyes lit up and he gave Cobey an excited nod. “See, son? Vincent here’s in the tutor program too. There’s no shame in needing a tutor.”

Cobey was clearly horrified, and he hissed, “Dad!”

Oh god.

That was my cue to leave.

“Nice to meet you,” I said again, edging my way around them toward the door. “Oh, Cobey, you might not want to open the blind. It fell down before.”

He gave me an apologetic smile, and after giving him a nod, I bailed. I did have to go to the library to see about the tutor program; that wasn’t a lie. And the room was too small for four people anyway. Giving them the space to get settled and organized without me sitting on my bed like an awkward lump, getting even more awkward questions from Cobey’s parents . . .

No thanks.

Not today.

In the tutoring center, I found Rafe behind an armful of books. “Hey, Vincent,” he said warmly. “Glad to see you back, man.”

Rafael was a junior English major, and we’d been friends since my first day there. I didn’t have many friends. Like maybe three I could name. We didn’t hang out often, or at all, really, but we were friends enough to strike up a conversation. Like now.

I took half his burden of books. “Hey. Yeah, it’s good to be back. How was your summer?”

“Not bad. Time with the fam, and earned some money helping my dad. How about you?”

“Yeah, much the same,” I lied, on both counts, and quickly changed the subject. “Just met my new roommate.”

“Oh? Who is it?”

“Cobey Green.”

Rafe put the books down and gave me a smile. “Oh, he’s a nice guy.”

That was the consensus. Absolutely everyone at Franklin U knew him and liked him. I wasn’t sure why that annoyed me.

Jealousy?

No.

I just didn’t hold people who coasted in high regard. The type of people who had everything come easy: money, social life, sports. And Cobey was the epitome of that. Superstar football player, tall, gorgeous, rich, friends with everyone, had loving parents.

He was also out and proud.

He was literally every single thing I wished I was . . . but wasn’t.

Was that his fault? No. Was any of his good fortune his fault? Also no.

Was I being an ass with my generalizing, broad-sweeping, stereotypical assumptions?

Possibly yes.

“Yeah, I’m sure he’s great,” I added. “He’s gotta be better than the guy I roomed with last year.”

Rafe chuckled. “We can only hope.” I helped him sort through the books in a comfortable silence for a while. “Please tell me you’re here to sign up for the tutor program?”

“Oh, yeah. That’s what I came in here for.”

“You mean you didn’t come in just to see me?”

I rolled my eyes, but he did make me smile. “Oh, sure. That too.”

See? I sucked at the whole friend thing.

“We’re having a bit of a welcome back party this weekend.” Rafe handed me the clipboard. “You should come.”

I took the clipboard, my introverted heart panicking at the mention of a social outing. “Oh.”

He laughed. “The look on your face . . .”

“No, I could come,” I tried, regretting it as soon as I’d said it. “Who else will be there?”

He looked at me, obviously deciding not to laugh when he realized I was trying to be serious. “Just the usual crew. It’s just a small thing. You know how we are.”

I nodded. I did know. They were good people. My kind of people: quiet and studious.

I filled out the tutoring information, and we chatted a while. I liked Rafe. He was chill and nothing fazed him much.

But I couldn’t put off going back to my room forever.

Cobey was alone in our room when I got back. “Oh, hey,” I said. “Your folks gone already?”

“Yeah, they had to go back home,” he replied and nodded to the window. “Dad fixed the blinds.”

I sat on my bed, trying not to let things get awkward. “So is, uh, is home far?”

Great job, Vincent. Don’t make it awkward by asking a straight-up personal question.

“Nah,” he said effortlessly. “San Diego. What about you?”

“San Luco.”

“Ah, sweet. This is your hometown.”

Not far enough for me.

“My parents just wanted to make sure I moved in okay,” he added. “I was in Mundell last year and my grades tanked.” He sighed. “It’s a catch-22. My grades were shit because of football. You know, games, training, the social side of it. It takes up so much of my time and studying isn’t a real priority for me. But if I don’t maintain at least a 2.0 GPA, I can’t play football. It’s part of my scholarship deal. I just scraped through. Coach was pissed, but my parents went kinda nuclear. And here I am. In the dorm.”

Plenty of guys maintained a football and school ratio, and they managed just fine. I didn’t doubt it wasn’t a difficult seesaw of commitment, but I had to wonder if there was more to Cobey’s story.

“It’s not so bad here in the dorm,” I said. “Not as much fun as the Mundell house, I bet. But that’s probably the point.”

“That’s exactly the point. Apparently.” His grin was something special, and it was easy to see why people liked him.

He’d put up some posters and pictures on his side of the room above his bed. There was a vintage Coca-Cola poster that was kinda cool, and there were some group photos, team photos, all smiling faces. There was a poster of Post Malone wearing a dress and a poster of Jesus . . . no, Mary . . . no, wait. “Is that Adam Driver?”

Cobey burst out laughing. “Yep. It’s funny as fuck.” Then he stopped, his eyes quickly finding mine. “Uh, if you don’t like it, I can take it down. I didn’t mean to offend you, or anyone. Shit. Sorry.”

I snorted. “No. I’m not offended. It is kinda funny.” Then I nodded to a small rectangular flag stuck with the photos. “Is that the bi flag?”

His gaze shot to mine. “Do you have a problem with that?”

“Oh, no. Absolutely not,” I replied quickly, trying not to panic. The last thing I needed was for him not to like me just two minutes into the year. “No problem. Actually, I kinda like it. That you . . .”

Shut up, Vincent.

Just shut up.

“That I’m what?”

Gawd.

I wanted to die. I certainly didn’t want to answer, but his stare was drilling into me. It made my mouth dry. “That you’re, you know, out and proud.”

“Oh.” He was clearly relieved, but then I could almost hear the penny drop. He stared. “Oh.”

Panic struck me. “No, it’s not like that,” I said. Except it was. “I’m not . . . I’m not . . .”

He tilted his head. Patient. Curious. “You’re not what?”

“Out,” I blurted. “I’m not out.”

Way to go, Vincent. Announce that to a complete stranger. Something you’ve never told anyone, and you just blurt it out to Cobey freaking Green. Of all the people. One of the most popular sophomore guys at college.

Way to fucking go.

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About the Author

NRWalker Logo

N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance. She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way.

She is many things; a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who live in her head, who don’t let her sleep at night unless she gives them life with words.

She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things…but likes it even more when they fall in love.

She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.

She’s been writing ever since…

Social Media

https://smart.bio/nrwalkerauthor/

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To celebrate the release of Learning Curve, N.R. Walker is giving away an eBook of the Winner’s choice from her backlist and a $10 Amazon Voucher

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Release Blitz: Bet You by Neve Wilder

Bet You | Neve Wilder

Franklin University #4

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Release Date: September 15th, 2022

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Blurb

Spencer

Whose brilliant idea was it to build university housing next to one of Franklin U’s most notorious party frats?

I’m a real student—the kind who actually came to college to learn, not some dumb frat bro who sees Franklin U as a four-year challenge to consume the most booze and throw out the best pick-up line.

Their all-hours lifestyle is driving me crazy. Not to mention, the jerks keep taking my assigned parking spot.

But the worst offender might be Cory Ingram. Sure, he has a smile that could melt a polar ice cap, but no way will I ever be one of his minions. I’m pretty sure I made that clear when I blew my top at him. So I have no idea why he’s suddenly everywhere around me, turning on the charm like I might actually fall for it.

Nope. Not gonna happen.

Cory

From the first day I set foot on Franklin U’s campus, everything has been golden. I have a ton of friends, endless parties to be the life of, and whoever I want in my bed on any given night. Sure, I’m a shameless party boy, but I’m not a jerk. Ask anyone. Seriously.

Even the crotchety old groundskeeper waves and smiles at me when I pass.

Then there’s Spencer Crow. I’ve never seen a guy’s face get so red over a parking spot. Even when I try to make it right, he proceeds to give me the tongue-lashing of a lifetime—which is about the moment I notice that, in addition to being irrationally irate, he’s also crazy hot.

My friends think I’ve finally met the one person I can’t seduce…

Bet you I can.

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Excerpt

Damn, this dude is fired up. And while I hear the words coming out of his mouth, it’s the visuals that strike me. Dark brown hair swept back from his forehead in a way that catches the sunlight in threads of warm gold. His eyes are a crystalline blue and what I’d consider penetrating if they weren’t filled with so much fury that I’m convinced he’s trying to laser me to ash on the spot. And a mouth that, well, if it wasn’t currently spewing venom at me, would leave me curious about how it’d feel wrapped around my cock.

How have I not noticed this guy before?

Or have I?

Shit, have I slept with him?

Maybe that’s why he’s so pissed over a parking spot? Who the hell gets this butthurt over a parking spot without some background motivation? I mean, I’m always up-front with my hookups that I am in no way relationship material, but that doesn’t mean feelings don’t get hurt sometimes. Maybe this guy is a ghost from hookups past?

“Have I slept with you?” I blurt, interrupting him while he’s saying something again about a dumpster on Lee Street.

His jaw snaps shut, then opens again, bewilderment wrinkling his forehead. “What? Of course not,” he growls as if I’ve mortally offended him by the suggestion, which in turn kinda offends me.

Look, my body count is pretty high, but like I said, I’m always up-front with my partners, always get consent, and am dedicated to their pleasure as much as mine. I mean, Jesus, I once went down on a girl for two hours because she’d never had an orgasm from oral before, and it took us that long to figure out what combination of lips, tongue, and fingers was the winning ticket. But by god, we fucking found it. And then celebrated after with a two-hour nap before she blew me a kiss as she left. I never heard from her again, but I like to think she’s out and about these days tugging the roots of guys’ hair as they bring her to multiple orgasms.

God, he’s still going. I zero in on his mouth, the plump Cupid’s bow and the thinner lower lip—which gives him a stern look that’s really working for me. I shake my head, trying to focus on the words coming from those sexy lips.

“…not if you were the last man alive.”

Okay, so he’s gay. Or bi. I squint at him, still confused. “I’m sorry, but I need to ask again: Is this amount of aggression really warranted over a parking space?” When he purses his lips, I can’t help it—I have to fight back a grin. It’s just… he’s so fucking indignant. “Look, I’ve said I’m sorry about your space, and I’m moving the car now.”

“Which would only help me if I could time travel back to an hour ago to before you parked in the spot.”

“How about I drive you to your car?” I figure that’s a considerate offer and the best olive branch to offer that I can think of at the moment.

He blinks in surprise before his mouth pulls into another scowl. “No, thanks. I’ll walk.” He stalks past me and starts down the street.

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About the Author

Neve Wilder Logo

Neve Wilder reads promiscuously, across multiple genres, but her favorite stories always contain an element of romance. Incidentally, this is also what she likes to write. Slow-burners with delicious tension? Yes. Whiplash-inducing page-turners, also yes. Down and dirty scorchers? Yes. And every flavor in between.

She believes David Bowie was the sexiest musician to ever live, and she’s always game to nerd out on anything from music to writing.

And finally, she believes that love conquers all. Except the heat index in July. Nothing can conquer that bastard.

Social Media

https://www.nevewilder.com/social-links

Newsletters: nevewilder.com/subscribe

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/neve-wilder

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Facebook Readers’ Group: facebook.com/groups/WildersWildOnes

FB Page: facebook.com/nevewilderwrites

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Release Blitz: The Dating Disaster by Saxon James

The Dating Disaster | Saxon James

Franklin University Series #2

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Release Date: Sept 1st, 2022

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Blurb

Felix

One date.

That’s how long it takes for Marshall Harrows to end up on my bad side.

Luckily I have no plans to see the giant teddy bear again. Except, when he shows up as my new housemate, I can’t escape him, and he’s just as irritating as I thought he’d be.

He leaves cupboards ajar and puts empty milk cartons back in the fridge. His bedroom door is always open, I find his underwear on the laundry floor, and he has this whole bashful sweetheart thing going on that I just … can’t … stand.

But the most completely, horribly irritating thing about him, is that he’s totally my type.

And my friends won’t stop setting us on blind dates.

Marshall

One date.

That’s how long it took for Felix Andrews to steal my heart.

The sparky little spitfire is everything I’m not. Confident, adorable, and completely outspoken.

He also wants nothing to do with me. Which is a real problem when I want to give him everything. Including my virginity.

But the more I try to gain his attention, the more I see the real him. The one who doesn’t feel worthy of being treated like anything other than a one-night stand. So I decide to take matters into my own hands.

A total do-over. One night. One date. Where hopefully I can steal his heart too.

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Excerpt

“Okay, then what about this”—I wave a hand over myself—“would you change to not be disappointing?”

“We are so not playing that game.”

“Why? You’ve never been worried about offending me before.”

He cocks his head in surprise, and then, as though making a split-second decision, he turns his chair to face me too. Our knees have an inch of space between them, and for some reason, I’m overly aware of the distance. “Fine. You shouldn’t have worn black because you’re basically screaming that you either want to cover sweat patches or are anxious about your body.”

He’s right about the sweat patches but not the rest. I might not be some jacked gym bro, but I’m happy with who I am. “Gotta keep them guessing about that six-pack,” I say dryly, patting my soft stomach.

Felix snorts. “Six-packs are overrated.”

“You have one,” I point out. He’s not overly muscled, more thin and lean than anything, but I definitely noticed his abs when he was wearing that crop top last weekend.

“Barely, and only because it’s everyone else’s type, but it’s not mine.”

“You like big guys, right? You don’t want them ripped?” The guy he was with last weekend looked muscly.

“No.”

“Then you prefer …”

His eyes drop, slowly running over me, before he jerks them away. Interesting. If I didn’t know better, I’d think maybe I’m exactly Felix’s type. The way he kissed me supports that theory.

Before he can get up and leave—or go back to ignoring me—I ask, “So what color should I have worn, then?”

“Royal blue.” There’s no hesitation in his answer.

“I don’t think I own anything that color.”

“Yes, you do. That button-up with the subtle pineapple pri—” He cuts off, and I lift my eyebrows. That got specific.

“Pineapple shirt for my next date. Got it.”

He reluctantly meets my eyes.

“Anything else?” I ask. “To make sure my date shows up.”

“Yes, don’t slick your hair back like that. You remind me of my dad.”

I bark a loud laugh that sounds closer to my brother’s usual laugh than mine. “I look like a dad, got it.”

“And …”

“Yeah?” Might as well get it all out there.

“Well … maybe don’t shave. Possibly. Just my opinion.”

I reach up and run my hand over my smooth jaw. It’s not something I normally do, but it grows fast and looked too long for meeting someone for the first time. “I didn’t want to look like a mountain man.”

His exhale is short and shaky. “Some of us like mountain men.”

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About the Author

saxon-james

Saxon James is an author from Aus who’s obsessed with writing queer characters.

She has a range of books from YA to adult and they all have one thing in common: swoony, sweet love.

When not writing, Saxon exists on a diet of coffee and chocolate while putting her KU subscription to the test.

Social Media

Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/groups/saxonssweethearts/

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/thesaxonjames/

Newsletter: www.subscribepage.com/saxonjames

Amazon: www.amazon.com/Saxon-James/e/B082TP7BR7

Bookbub: www.bookbub.com/profile/saxon-james

Instagram: www.instagram.com/saxonjameswrites/

Tiktok: https://www.tiktok.com/@saxon.james

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Giveaway

To celebrate the release of The Dating Disaster, Saxonis giving away an eBook of the Winner’s choice from her backlist

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