Tag Archives: small age gap

Release Blitz: Code Red by N. R. Walker

Code Red | N. R. Walker

code red banner

Release Date: June 24th, 2021

Universal Link: http://mybook.to/codered

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58276804-code-red

READ MY REVIEW

code red cover

Blurb

Maddox Kershaw is the main vocalist of the world’s biggest boy band. He’s at the top of every music chart, every award show, every social media platform, and every sexiest-man-alive list. He’s the bad boy, the enigma, the man everyone on the planet wants a piece of.

He’s also burned out and exhausted, isolated and lonely. Not in a good headspace at the start of a tour.

Roscoe Hall is Maddox’s personal manager. His job is high-flying, high-demand, high-profile, and he loves it. Maddox has consumed his entire life for the past four years. Roscoe knows him. He sees the real Maddox no one else gets to see.

He’s also in love with him.

When the tour and stress become too much, when the world begins to close in, Roscoe becomes Maddox’s lifeline. But as Maddox knows already, and as Roscoe is about to learn, the brighter the spotlight, the darker the shadow.

code-red-tagline

Excerpt

“Roscoe Hall,” I answered my phone, out of time and patience. It didn’t dawn on me that it was Ryan’s number until after I’d said my name. It was my twentieth call this morning already.

“Just confirming ETA for 9:00 am.”

I checked my watch. It was 7:30 now and I’d already been up for far too long. It was a big day, and I could take a moment to breathe once we were all together.

“Yeah, Ryan. Will be there, thanks.”

There was a brief pause. “Is Maddox with you?”

“On my way to get him now.”

“See you there.”

I pocketed my phone and did one last check. Phone, wallet, passport, tickets, keys. I grabbed my carry-on, locked my front door, and wheeled my suitcase down to the waiting car. I hadn’t even greeted the driver when my phone rang again, and it beeped again on my way to collect Maddox.

I was organized and efficient, aggressively so.

It’s what made me good at my job. Being the personal manager for one of the world’s biggest boy bands was every minute of my life.

These boys didn’t accept second best for anything, and neither did I.

And I should clarify that while they were classified as a boy band, they were men. They might have started out as boys—they were just kids in high school when they formed their first band. But they were twenty-three now. They’d done the small local gigs, needing their parents’ permission to play in bars and clubs around LA when they were underage.

The story of how the band called Atrous made it to the big time was well-known.

The five boys came from nothing. A garage band that crossed pop with rock and rap, playing small gigs wherever they could, when a well-known radio DJ saw them and uploaded footage to his social media. Platinum Entertainment, one of America’s biggest entertainment management companies, signed them, and they’d been on the top of the world music stage for the last four years.

To the outside world, these guys were the ultimate success story.

They had no idea what went on when the lights went out.

Saying I was the personal manager of the whole band wasn’t true either. Personal assistant, handler, manager. It was all the same. But it wasn’t just me. I was one of three. Ryan Morten, Amber Seratt, and I were the personal managers of Atrous, as a whole. While the three managers looked after the five band members, I was, however, the unstated personal manager of one of them in particular.

Lead vocalist and rapper, main dancer, bad boy, Maddox Kershaw.

Ryan and Amber took care of Jeremy, Wes, Luke, and Blake. But Maddox was mine.

Well, not mine. But mine.

God, how I wished he were mine . . .

Over the last four years, Maddox and I’d just gelled. He didn’t trust easily, and for some reason he’d put his trust in me. And the truth was, he needed his own personal manager more than the other four guys.

Maddox was the face of Atrous. Unwilling, but the face, nonetheless.

He carried the weight of their reputation, their brand. He was the one they hounded, the one they chased, the one they followed, the one that made headlines every other day.

He wore black, he had a full sleeve of tattoos, perfect skin, and he had attitude to spare. His motto was to burn down the institutions, to stand tall for those who had to kneel, and to speak for those who had been silenced.

He resonated with the youth around the world.

He was also incredibly good-looking.

When I say good-looking, I mean hot. Sexy, enigmatic, ethereal, even.

His heritage had been talked about a million times. So much of his life was public. His grandmother on his mother’s side was Japanese, and his grandparents on his father’s side were Dutch. He was a second generation American, a very talented musician, and he was incredibly smart.

He sang like an angel and danced like the devil.

And he answered the door looking like a mix of both. His hair was wet from the shower, he smelled warm and clean, he wore black cargo pants, a black T-shirt, and combat boots. It was his standard attire. Seeing him like that made my heart feel far too big for my chest. “Forget your key?” he asked. He even almost smiled.

It had been so long since I’d seen him smile . . .

Yes, I had a key to his house. But that was for emergencies only. I followed him inside. “You ready? The others are meeting us there.”

He grumbled something that sounded like assent. His house was still dark, open and vast, mind-bogglingly expensive, and it felt empty. It was in Beverly Hills, worth a reported twelve million with incredible views of the canyon and the city, but Maddox had the blinds drawn.

He plucked a black hoodie off the back of his sofa and pulled it on. I ignored how his T-shirt lifted a little, exposing a sliver of pale skin above his waistband. I’d seen him shirtless a thousand times. Hell, I’d even seen him in his underwear. It was nothing new, but it still managed to warm my blood.

I grabbed his two suitcases, wheeling them toward the door. He picked up his black backpack. “Got my passport?”

“Yep,” I replied. “We’re all good. Your mom’s got her key and security numbers?”

“Yeah,” he said with a shrug.

His mother was going to come look after his place while we were gone. We’d be gone for almost seven weeks. Seven long, grueling weeks.

“Come on, I have an iced coffee waiting for you in the car.”

He pulled up his hood, but I swear there was the beginning of a smile before the shadow stole it.

My phone buzzed again, and I pulled it out of my pocket and groaned at the screen. Another message that could wait until we were in the car. I pulled the door shut behind us, made sure it was locked, and wheeled the luggage to the waiting car. I opened the car door for him, I closed the door for him, I loaded the bags into the trunk—it was my job to do these things for him—and finally I got into the back of the car with Maddox.

My phone buzzed again, and I thumbed out a quick reply. We’d been driving for about ten minutes when I realized Maddox hadn’t said a word. He’d sipped his coffee but not much else. I looked at him then, really looked at him, and underneath the killer good looks was a tired man.

“You sleep okay?” I asked.

He scoffed as his answer, then glanced pointedly at my phone. “Did you? Has your phone stopped yet?”

I didn’t need to reply because we both knew the answer.

He nodded because he knew he was right and proving his point, I replied to some more emails and messages on the drive downtown. Yes, we all lived in LA, and yes, we were staying at a hotel in LA because when the tour began, the band and the whole crew would stay together. Mostly for logistical and security reasons, but also for bonding. We were one unit from day one, regardless of location.

As the car pulled into the hotel’s underground parking lot, Maddox’s eyes trained on the people rushing about. “The guys are already here?” he asked.

“Yep. Arrived five minutes ago.”

His shoulders relaxed a little, and for that I was glad. He and his bandmates were like brothers; they’d been through everything together. He was closer to Jeremy than the others, but the bond between the five of them was clear. I was relieved that he’d be with them again. I was pretty sure he’d spent the last few days by himself, holed up in his house. I’d spoken to him on the phone, even came to see him a few times, but getting ready for a tour was a busy time for me.

Before we came to a complete stop, he was quiet and chewed on his bottom lip. I wanted to ask him if he was okay, but there wasn’t time. I doubted he’d even answer that question, or answer it honestly, anyway.

“You excited?” I asked instead. “Sellout stadium tour, twenty-three concerts. You ready for that?”

He met my gaze and didn’t look away. His smile was as brief as it was beautiful. “Yeah. Of course.”

I didn’t believe him, and it was devastating how he could look right at me with those dark, dark eyes and speak so sincerely while he lied.

I spent almost every day with him. I knew him. I knew the real Maddox Kershaw, not the Maddox he showed the world. The private one, the quiet one, the intellectual one . . .

The miserable one.

The Maddox I’d been secretly in love with for years . . . the Maddox I could never have.

“Maddox,” I said, but his door opened from the outside, and people were getting luggage from our car and giving directions, and there was no time.

The commotion had begun. These seven weeks were going to be brutal.

He lowered his head, pulled up his hood to hide his face, and got out of the car.

NR Walker Logo

About The Author

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

Website

Facebook

Facebook Reader Group

Twitter

Instagram

Amazon

Audible

Bookbub

Newsletter

Email:

nrwalker@nrwalker.net

insta

This rock star romance breaks away from the usual trope and brings a rollercoaster of feels

code red coverCode Red by N.R. Walker

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Absolutely one of Nic’s best books for me, this is a rollercoaster of feels that runs through the pressures of being in a globally successful boy band.

The way the plot slowly develops along two distinct strands is exceptionally well paced.

As Maddox and Roscoe’s friendship deepens into love, after they’ve both been mutually pining for years, we see the rest of their lives begin to unravel.

The romance between them is lovely, it’s soft and soothing, supportive and caring. There’s a seven year gap between the 23-year-old frontman and his manager but it doesn’t feel like it.

Maddox definitely reads more mature than your typical young adult, but him and his four bandmates have been famous since they were 16, so it’s no surprise he’s more self aware.

What I liked best about this story is that it never runs into overly dramatic interactions.

Roscoe is a really lovely guy, he’s just genuinely trying to do his best for all the band’s members.

Maddox is a sweetheart, he’s falling in love while his band goes on another sell out stadium tour and it’s not an easy ride.

There are moments of humour, the friendships between the five young men, and all three of their managers, are also richly woven in to the feeling of them living lives isolated from the wider world.

As pressures mount up, Maddox and Roscoe get even more involved, the commitment they have for meeting each other’s needs is sweetly represented.

Sex isn’t just a passing thing, they take time to explore each other’s desires, although the steam level is medium.

Not that it detracts, the narrative doesn’t need to have loads of smexy times for you to get a sense of how they feel.

There isn’t a real villain here, either than the expectation of paparazzi and fans to have 24/7 access to someone just because they have a talent which brings them fame.

It’s a salutary warning about treating people as commodities as well as a delightful romance.

The pressures of fame are laid out with an ever-increasing awareness that something has to break, and it might just be Maddox.

There’ll be no spoilers here, but I felt everything which happened was justified and definitely possible.

The conclusion and Epilogue are seriously cute too, and made me smile.

I’m not sure if this is a standalone or whether there’ll be more in the series, but I’d be happy to venture into their world again.

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

View all my reviews

Release Blitz: Following The Rules by Lane Hayes

Following The Rules | Lane Hayes

The Script Club #1

Following The Rules Banner

Release Date: May 7, 2021

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 50k

Universal Link: mybook.to/Following-the-Rules

Add to Goodreads

READ MY REVIEW

Following The Rules 500

Blurb

The geek, the jock, and a new set of rules…

Topher-

My friend’s brother needs an academic assistant and I need a job. Problem…jocks are my weakness. Seriously. I lose my ability to speak coherently around muscle-bound hotties. Oh yeah, I lose my inhibitions too—not a good look for a guy with a genius IQ. So what am I going to do about Simon?

Simon-

Finishing college isn’t high on my list of priorities, but my future in professional football is looking bleak. I need a plan B or C, and I could use some help navigating life as an undergrad. Topher is perfect. He’s also a little strange…but in a good way. And I like the way I feel when I’m around him—as though anything is possible. Maybe if we follow our hearts, we’ll find what we’re looking for. But that means changing the rules…

Following the Rules is a MM, bisexual awakening romance starring a lovable nerd, a cool jock, and some extracurricular fun.

teaser

Excerpt

I served us both a slice of each kind of pizza and slid a plate his way, gesturing for him to help himself to the cheese or whatever else he might want.

“I don’t care about money,” I said around a mouthful of food. “Eat up. This is tasty, but it won’t be as good when it’s cold.”

Topher flashed an anxious sideways smile and took a mouse-sized nibble. “Mmm, that’s delicious.”

I washed down my pizza with a healthy swig of wine, nudging his knee as I swiveled to face him. “Are you okay?”

He wiped his hands on a napkin and drained half his water, setting it on the island with a decisive thud. “Yes, I’m just a little nervous.”

“Nervous? Oh. I’m sorry.” I frowned and before I could rein my tongue, blurted, “You seemed fine when we were joking about tiny gorilla penises, and hell…you saw my dick and—”

“I wasn’t joking. I was reciting a fact and as far as your penis is concerned…”

I twisted to face him, unable to contain a mischievous grin.

“Yes? I’m waiting,” I singsonged, biting into the ham and pineapple pizza.

“I told you, Simon…I was simply doing the math,” he replied matter-of-factly. “Six and a half inches.”

“Nine.”

Topher narrowed his eyes, his features softening in amusement. “Six and three-quarters, max.”

I scoffed and hooked my thumb under the elastic waistband of my sweats. “Wanna see?”

“No! Geez. You know, it’s very difficult to stay on topic with you. And staying on topic is the only way this will work.”

“Okay, fine. Back to dick size. What animal has the biggest schlong on the planet?”

He gaped at me for a hot second. “The blue whale. It’s estimated to be seven to ten feet long.”

“Whoa!”

“Although I don’t know that it’s ever been measured during intercourse. Or if that’s even possible.” He reached for his pizza with his brow knit in concentration as though pondering whale dick…as one does.

“Whales are huge. It makes sense. What about land animals?”

“Elephants. They’ve legitimately measured specimens in excess of thirty-nine inches.”

“You’ve got to be kidding.” I snort-laughed. “Christ, I’m feeling very inadequate with my mere twelve inches.”

“Six,” Topher scoffed. “Look, before we get sidetracked again, I just want to—”

“I’ll pay you double.”

“What? Why?”

I sighed as I picked up my wineglass. “I don’t want to fail. No…it’s more than that. I need to look smart. I can’t come across as the fuckup wide receiver who got dumped from the NFL and blew the cushy back-door admittance to a prestigious university by failing his first semester. I thought I might be able to muddle through with a few pointers from George, but it’s going to take more than that. I need a real assistant.”

Topher widened his eyes, then blinked in disbelief when I named an exorbitant salary. I had a hard time keeping my own expression. What the hell was I thinking? Did I really need an assistant?

I didn’t know, but I needed…something.

“Oh, that’s a lot of money,” he whispered breathlessly.

“It’s the going rate for a personal assistant. Ironically, I never had one while I played ball, but I need the help now. I want the best, and George says that’s you.”

Topher smiled. “George didn’t say he was the best?”

“Actually, he did. But we can’t be in the same room for an hour without wanting to take a swing at each other.”

“You and George fight?”

“Not as much now that we’re older, but…yeah, I guess we still fight. We don’t have much in common.”

“You and I have even less in common,” he replied.

“That’s a good thing. Trust me, it’s better for me that you don’t know that I slept with a teddy bear until I was thirteen…or that I still have that damn bear for reasons unknown.” I gave a self-deprecating chuckle, then sipped my wine and set it on the island. “So…are you in? Make me smarter, Toph. I need your brain!”

He stared at me for a long moment, inclining his head. “Okay.”

“Yes!” I fist-pumped the air as if I’d just scored a touchdown and held out my hand for a high five.

Topher left me hanging for a few long seconds before gently tapping his palm to mine. I grabbed his wrist to hold him steady for a redo. The contact was light and breezy…and spontaneous. But that was how I rolled. For a guy who played professional football, it was nothing.

However, this didn’t feel like nothing.

About the Author

Lane Hayes

Lane Hayes loves a good romance! An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to a well-told love story with beautifully written characters.

Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and were winners in the 2016, 2017, and 2018-2019 Rainbow Awards.

She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in a not quite empty nest.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Bookbub

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Button 2

Following the Rules Teaser Graphic

« Older Entries