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Release Blitz: A Box of Wishes by Jackie Keswick

A Box of Wishes | Jackie Keswick

A Words & Wishes Story #1

BANNER

Release Date Paperback: October 20th, 2022

Kindle Unlimited: November 10th, 2022

Cover Artist: Covers by Jo

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 64,000 words / 244 pages

Amazon US | Amazon UK

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COVER

Blurb

You build a house from walls and beams. You make a home with love and dreams.

Does Fate Grant Wishes?

Ryan O’Shaughnessy, owner of the Top o’ the Morning Coffeehouse, is convinced of it. Besides brewing the best coffee in Rothcote and baking delicious pastries and cakes, he helps Fate with her errands, never minding that it’s always someone else’s turn to catch a bit of happiness. Not until he meets a man who takes his breath away.

Detective Sergeant Ben Hobart has made a career of helping others. He never asks help for himself. Not even when a bad breakup leaves him lonely and with only his cat for company. Until he sets foot into Ryan’s coffeehouse to investigate a break-in and finds what’s missing from his life.

Fate may grant wishes, but she doesn’t hand them out for free. Can Ben let go of the past? And will Ryan find the courage to make a wish of his own?

A sexy, slow-burn, mm coffeeshop romance with a touch of magic and a cat.

PROMO 1

Excerpt

When the party thinned out, Ben found Ryan, and they escaped from the cheerful uproar into the dark courtyard where the white tree with its single red bauble glowed and glittered.

Ben poked the bauble with a fingertip and watched it swing back and forth. “The first time I saw this, I wondered if it was a signal.”

“I knew you were a clever man.”

“You mean it is a signal?”

“Of course. It’s our way to say that everyone is welcome, whether you’re like everyone else or one of a kind, whether you’re in a crowd or on your own. That’s what hospitality is all about. We always make room for one more. Or two.”

Ben swallowed past the lump in his throat. He reached for Ryan and smiled when Ryan leaned against him with a deep sigh. “Tired?”

“You said it. I could happily sleep standing here.”

“Recovering from exposure isn’t pleasant. And if you fall asleep right now, you’d miss… this.” He didn’t give Ryan a chance to ask. He wrapped his arm around Ryan’s shoulders, drew him close, and kissed him.

Ryan’s lips were dry, and a little rough, but he leaned into Ben’s hold and kissed him back, sharing the taste of cinnamon and custard, and the elusive flavour of Earl Grey tea.

It was the most perfect end to a perfect day.

Ben hadn’t forgotten that they stood in front of a lit Christmas tree, that anyone who cared to peer out into the courtyard could see them, wrapped around each other.

He didn’t mind.

About the Author

Jackie Keswick head

Jackie Keswick was born behind the Iron Curtain with itchy feet, a bent for rocks and a recurring dream of stepping off a bus in the middle of nowhere to go home. She’s worked in a hospital and as the only girl with 52 men on an oil rig, spent a winter in Moscow and a summer in Iceland and finally settled in the country of her dreams with her dream team: a husband, a cat, a tandem, a hammer and a laptop.

Jackie loves unexpected reunions and second chances, and men who write their own rules. She blogs about English history and food, has a thing for green eyes, and is a great believer in making up soundtracks for everything, including her characters and the cat.

And she still hasn’t found the place where the bus stops.

For questions and comments, not restricted to green eyes, bus stops or recipes for traditional English food, you can find Jackie Keswick in all the usual places

jackie-keswick-logo

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A wonderful vibe to this gentle romance from Jackie

55968599._SY475_A Box of Wishes by Jackie Keswick

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Jackie Keswick has a wonderful ability to drop a magical quality that feels completely believable in her contemporary romances.

Here it’s more an element of what feels like it could be part of old folklore, a man who sees auras and knows when people need help.

Ryan’s struggled with his gift, his whole extended family of Irish origin each have their own unique character trait that seems to have an otherworldly feel but theirs manifest in simpler ways.

He’s fought accusations of being a freak, been blamed for his uncle divorcing his cheating wife, and he feels physical pain when someone needs his Box of Wishes gift so he’s not in the most receptive of moods when his path crosses that of Ben, the Detective sent to investigate a break in at his coffeeshop.

There’s an interesting secondary plot running alongside the romance which brings its own sense of mystery to and I only really got an idea of where it was going just before the big reveal.

Throw in a fabulous tabby cat who knows his worth and hints that Rhys’ cousin Alistair is in need of his own happiness, and this is a great read for this time of year.

While it’s light on the steam, it doesn’t miss out on the emotional side of the relationship, although there are moments when I wanted to thump them both 😁

This was a read in one sitting book for me and I’m looking forward to reading Alistair’s next.

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

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Unfortunately this one wasn’t quite what I expected

61377807Hot Lips by Tara Lain

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Unfortunately, while I came to enjoy the romance between Tito and Ari overall, there were a couple of things which didn’t sit right with me.

I’ll get to them in a bit and they will be spoiler tagged.

My biggest issue I think with this one overall, and compared to the previous three books, is that it kind of only felt Canali-adjacent.

Yes Tito is a cousin not a brother, but he’s still been hanging around the series quietly in the background but here, he’s removed from that setting to live with the other MC through a set of circumstances that aren’t really given full weight.

The basic premise is that Tito was sent here after a mugging which we learn in this book was more of a hate crime. He’s lived with them for a few years and has been working away in the garage apartment keeping to himself.

After a couple of drag Queens at a local club are victims of a similar hate crime, we discover Tito has been receiving threats from someone he thinks is connected to his New York mugging and to Tito’s online drag Queen persona Tina, who has a YouTube channel featuring advice and make-up tips etc.

So far, so good. Tito gets involved with the club both to assist out with their website and with a charity fundraising event, but also to help Detective Ari Cohen – (who we’re bluntly informed in a bit of an expository Prologue) is a gay Jewish man who likes men dressed as women both in drag and not – with investigating the recent crimes.

Now, the chemistry between them was off the charts from their first meeting at the Canali compound when Ricky brings Ari to meet Tito and find out more about his stalker threat.

But, and here’s where I felt more work needed to be done, they jump from attraction but ‘we should stay away from each other, we’re too complicated because of our love of Drag’ into a physical lust driven couple of encounters and then came the scene I found pretty troubling.

***SPOILER***

Having only had a couple of sexual interchanges and without any discussion about being in a relationship, Tito ends up sleeping in Ari’s bed after a scary incident and Ari wakes up fully aroused with Tito riding him.

Now in a fully committed relationship, waking your partner up by mutual pleasure wouldn’t be a big deal, neither would it seem out of place if you were just having a hook-up.

At this point in time though both have had internal thoughts of love but there’s not been any conversation about what they’re doing or where they’re heading in the long term.

So this, imho, is borderline sexual assault as there’s been ZERO discussion or consent given over fully penetrative sex in the middle of the night while one partner is asleep or even if they’re actually in a relationship at this point, and it just felt off.

If this had been in an MF book I’m pretty sure the reaction to it would have been damning. Ari is on board with it but, for me, the whole tone just felt icky. YMMV.

***END SPOILER***

Following this, the pacing then shoots off all over the shop without settling down as we get a copycat crime that’s not connected; Tito worries over his appearance as Tina at the club’s fundraising event; Ari’s parents tell him they’re heading to visit; Tito and Ari go on a house decorating and remodelling spree and eventually the villain strikes.

***SPOILER***

I really liked the idea of there being two completely separate people involved in the kidnapping for quite different reasons, again there wasn’t enough build up given to either of their reasons imho.

The obsessed character had only appeared in the book a couple of times and the violent attempted murderer’s justifications needed more page time for his twisted rage to feel like it was a true threat.

Ari shows up to save the day after Tito has partly escaped and then there’s a weird scene in which as many Canalis as possible turn up to say they don’t care Tito has a drag queen personality.

***END SPOILER***

Overall though I liked Tito and Ari both individually and as a couple. Ari’s cat Moshe is a cute addition and all ends with a suitability happy future on the cards.

This isn’t a horrible book by any stretch, I think i was just left a bit disappointed in comparison to others in the series.

Uncle Ricky’s book is definitely my favourite and the one which seems to be the most rounded out but I also enjoyed the other two pairs.

I’m not sure if this is the last in the series or not but on the whole I’ve enjoyed reading about the Hot Cannolis.

#ARC kindly received from GRR Reviews in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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