Tag Archives: slow burn

Review Tour: Rat Park by Marina Vivancos

Rat Park | Marina Vivancos

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 71,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Natasha Snow

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Blurb

Dominic has lived with an empty ache inside him for as long as he could remember. Maybe it started when he was six, hiding beneath his blankets as the wild animal noises of one of mom’s parties echoed in his head. Maybe it began the first time an adult plied him with drinks just to watch him stumble about.

Or, maybe, it was that he couldn’t even imagine what being loved should feel like.

Drugs washed all that away. It didn’t cure the ache, but it made him forget it for a while. Anything was better than being conscious. Than being himself. But life had another hard lesson for him: With drugs, the only way is down.

Dominic hits rock bottom when he’s twenty-three. Turns out, rock bottom looks a lot like the bars of a jail cell. With little left but his own thoughts, Dominic has to decide: Is this what I want for the rest of my life?

The world has never been kind to Dominic, but when he meets the Romeros, he wonders if that is about to change. Officer Catalina Romero seems to see something in Dominic that he is sure isn’t there. The more she pulls him towards her family, however, the harder it is not to go.

All his resistance disappears under the force that is Flor Romero. Spitfire, stubborn Flor—even at sixteen, he refuses to be taken lightly. As he grows older, putting a stop to what Flor obviously wants to happen between them is harder than Dominic would ever want to admit.

Dominic knows that he has too many demons to let anybody get too close. But life doesn’t prepare him for Flor, who just might be ready to fight tooth and nail for a place in Dominic’s life—and his heart.

The question is, will Dominic’s past keep him from his future?

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January 28 – OMG ReadsAmy’s MM Romance ReviewsFebruary 6 – Scattered Thoughts & Rogue WordsWicked Faerie’s Tales & ReviewsFebruary 8 – Diverse ReaderBoys Meets Boy ReviewsMirrigold: Mutterings & MusingsBayou Book Junkie

Author Bio

When Marina was a child she couldn’t sleep. Night after dissolving night she just couldn’t sleep. Nothing much worked – until she started making up stories in her head. Suddenly, the transition into unconsciousness was a smooth dive into calm waters.

Marina is currently in a period of sleepless upheaval, and she hopes writing down the stories in her head will cast the same spell it did decades ago.

Marina hopes to write in a variety of romance sub-genres, from contemporary to supernatural to sci-fi. Her style, however, tends to focus on character-centred stories that explore different facets of the human experience, such as mental health. She also enjoys writing explicit, drawn-out sex scenes, so expect those to be a prominent feature of her stories.

Marina tends to keep to herself unless prompted, so don’t be shy in approaching her!


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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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READ MY REVIEW

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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

“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 logo 2

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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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bethboldenauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/beth_bolden

Website: www.bethbolden.com

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Release Blitz: Rat Park by Marina Vivancos

Rat Park | Marina Vivancos

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 71,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Natasha Snow

Rat Park Cover.jpg

Blurb

Dominic has lived with an empty ache inside him for as long as he could remember. Maybe it started when he was six, hiding beneath his blankets as the wild animal noises of one of mom’s parties echoed in his head. Maybe it began the first time an adult plied him with drinks just to watch him stumble about.

Or, maybe, it was that he couldn’t even imagine what being loved should feel like.

Drugs washed all that away. It didn’t cure the ache, but it made him forget it for a while. Anything was better than being conscious. Than being himself. But life had another hard lesson for him: With drugs, the only way is down.

Dominic hits rock bottom when he’s twenty-three. Turns out, rock bottom looks a lot like the bars of a jail cell. With little left but his own thoughts, Dominic has to decide: Is this what I want for the rest of my life?

The world has never been kind to Dominic, but when he meets the Romeros, he wonders if that is about to change. Officer Catalina Romero seems to see something in Dominic that he is sure isn’t there. The more she pulls him towards her family, however, the harder it is not to go.

All his resistance disappears under the force that is Flor Romero. Spitfire, stubborn Flor—even at sixteen, he refuses to be taken lightly. As he grows older, putting a stop to what Flor obviously wants to happen between them is harder than Dominic would ever want to admit.

Dominic knows that he has too many demons to let anybody get too close. But life doesn’t prepare him for Flor, who just might be ready to fight tooth and nail for a place in Dominic’s life—and his heart.

The question is, will Dominic’s past keep him from his future?

Author Bio

When Marina was a child she couldn’t sleep. Night after dissolving night she just couldn’t sleep. Nothing much worked – until she started making up stories in her head. Suddenly, the transition into unconsciousness was a smooth dive into calm waters.

Marina is currently in a period of sleepless upheaval, and she hopes writing down the stories in her head will cast the same spell it did decades ago.

Marina hopes to write in a variety of romance sub-genres, from contemporary to supernatural to sci-fi. Her style, however, tends to focus on character-centred stories that explore different facets of the human experience, such as mental health. She also enjoys writing explicit, drawn-out sex scenes, so expect those to be a prominent feature of her stories.

Marina tends to keep to herself unless prompted, so don’t be shy in approaching her!


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Incredible story about love and addiction and finding your family

rat park coverRat Park by Marina Vivancos

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was a bit apprehensive going into this book, given the nature of the story but I should have known that what I was given by Marina Vivancos would be so much more than just a book about addiction.

She weaves the reader so deeply into Dominic’s life that each of his hurts, each of his relapses, each poor choice and each fighting moment when it becomes too hard to keep going, become our own.

And then, as in each of her books, she brings hope, a found family, one with only kindness and no expectations other than the offering of love.

Dominic is an incredible character, Flor even more so, but Cat and Esteban, they’re the real heroes at the heart of this amazing journey. A couple willing to see beyond the addiction, beyond the prison record and offer up a way forward.

Not to take the steps for Dominic, but to give him a solid foundation to strike out against. A truly beautiful story.

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

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This book made me cry and it was so worth it

Terrible ThingsTerrible Things by Beth Bolden

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I cried. Like an actual tear rolling down my face cried, that doesn’t happen often to me but this book, oh my word this book – so many feels!

It’s difficult to review it without spoiling the journey so I’ll just say it’s nothing like your usual “rock god/musicians” romance, it’s sort of just out of young adult/new adult feel in tone with characters in their mid 20s but sometimes sounding a bit younger due to the emotional hit they all took five years earlier – and don’t get me wrong, it completely works and feels utterly relatable.

Leo and Caleb, what a pair. There are a couple of what are essentially flashbacks to the first time they met and then the final couple of days five years earlier before everything imploded, and they work to bring some serious depth to the narrative.

This book was utterly absorbing to me, I was drawn deeply into it and was invested 100% in the lives of this former boy band and the journey each had to take to be able to move on into a new future.

There’s great exploration of the pressures of a life in the public gaze, the lengths those behind the scenes are willing to go to when they have a cash generator on tap as it were, and my heart broke for Leo and Caleb many times when reading.

This is a serious slow burn, but please don’t be put off by that because, believe me, the eventual payout is more than worth it.

Now, Benji and Diago next please Beth yes? (And Max and Felix right after!)

#ARC kindly provided by the author in return for an honest and unbiased review

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Release Blitz: His Uptown Guy | Felice Stevens

His Uptown Guy | Felice Stevens

The Landmarks Series #1

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Genre: MM Romance

Release Date: January 24, 2019

Hosted by: Buoni Amici Press, LLC.

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43386703-his-uptown-guy

Buy links

Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2FOsDNj | Amazon UK: http://bit.ly/HisUptownGuyUK

Amazon CA: http://bit.ly/HisUptownGuyCaAmazon AU: https://amzn.to/2CD5Ssd

READ MY REVIEW:

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Blurb

When Jesse Grace-Martin loses his father on 9/11, his charmed life is gone forever. People look menacing, and the streets no longer seem safe. After experiencing a brutal mugging, Jesse retreats to his apartment in the landmark Dakota building.

Five years later, his first attempt to walk outside those famous gates again is a disaster—except for meeting the gorgeous maintenance worker who helps him through his crushing panic attack. Jesse can’t stop thinking about the guy but hesitates to reach out, knowing he has little to offer.

Dashamir Sadiko has big dreams. Money in the bank tops his list, and his peek into the life of the uber-wealthy at his job at the Dakota is all the incentive he needs. Struggling to work full-time and go to college, Dash desperately wants to break the cycle of poverty his parents had hoped to leave behind in Albania.

When the two men become friends, Dash isn’t sure what to expect but can’t help his growing attraction to sweet and sexy Jesse. It’s nice to see how the other side lives, but his affections can’t be bought; Dash wants to be his own man.

Defying the Dakota’s co-op rules, the two share lunches, their hopes and dreams, and ultimately their hearts. Jesse slowly regains his courage, but he’s worried he’ll never be the person he once was and that he’s not good enough for Dash.

And Dash isn’t convinced the son of poor immigrants’ has a place at the table with a blue-blood, trust-fund man. Jesse needs to realize that money can’t buy happiness and love, while Dash must learn to trust that what they have is real, that he’s more than Jesse’s walk on the wild side with an uptown guy.–

Excerpt Teaser

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Felice Stevens has always been a romantic at heart. She believes that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending around the corner, Her characters have to work for it, however. Like life in NYC, nothing comes easy and that includes love.

Felice has written over twenty books in the gay romance genre. Her books have been translated into German, French and Italian. Her novel One Call Away, part of her Soulmates series, was mentioned in Buzzfeed as one of the best Out for You gay romances of 2017.

Felice lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Her day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. She recently retired from the practice of law and now daydreams of a time when she can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love.

Although there are bound to be a few bumps along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

Website: https://www.felicestevens.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/felicestevensauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FeliceStevens1

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/FeliceStevens/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8432880.Felice_Stevens

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Olzcs2

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/felice-stevens

 

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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

mybook.to/terriblethings

Terrible Things Cover.jpg

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.

old incarnations now available.png

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.

beth bolden logo 2

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.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bethboldenauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/beth_bolden

Website: www.bethbolden.com

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