Tag Archives: workplace

Allison hits all the right notes with this fake boyfriend romance with a twist

53716254._SY475_Boyfriend With Benefits by Allison Temple

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I do love a good fake boyfriend romance and this novella from Allison offers up one which hits all the right notes.

Bailey took a bit of warming up to, which I really appreciated.

This book twists some of the usual plot steps to give the reader a pretty neurotic character who is pretty much a workaholic and occasionally a bit thoughtless.

Gordo, on the other hand, is a bit of an enigma and I loved his chilled way of life. Bailey’s nemesis Jake was a slimy creep and I liked how his plotline ended.

Overall this was an enjoyable and easy read and I wouldn’t mind catching up with Bailey and Gordo again!

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

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Release Blitz: Natural Disaster by Erin McLellan

Natural Disaster | Erin McLellan

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Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht

Release Date: October 11, 2019

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 50,000 words/190 pages

It is a standalone story.

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https://books2read.com/naturaldisaster

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Blurb

When two tornado chasers form a reluctant team, the pressure between them builds…

Human-interest reporter—and son of a famous storm chaser—Guthrie Gale wants nothing to do with severe weather. But his station’s director insists he join the storm chasing team, or else, and worse yet, she pairs him with hotshot rookie chaser Luke Masters.

All Luke wants is to be a part of the KTTY family, and he won’t let prickly Guthrie Gale spoil his chance. Little does he realize Guthrie’s anxiety around storms is more than justified.

As Oklahoma’s unpredictable tornado season picks up, Guthrie and Luke strike up a turbulent working relationship that shifts between lust and bickering. But when they are forced to outrun a dangerous twister, their trust is tested and the desire between them flashes quick as lightning, threatening to burn more than just their careers.

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Excerpt

Guthrie Gale hated spring in Oklahoma almost as much as he hated meetings right after lunch.

Rain spattered against the windows of the KTTY news station, the sky a deep and ominous blue. Clouds darkened the city skyline, casting a murkiness over the land.

Guthrie had read the forecast and weather maps this morning. They weren’t expecting anything but rain, but he was still on edge.

He jumped as Debbie Debarr cleared her throat to bring the news team’s attention back where it belonged—on her, the boss.

“We’re expecting an active tornado season, as always, and we’re short-staffed. That means some changes are coming down the pipeline. With Mack out on maternity leave, we’d like someone to do double duty.” She paused dramatically before dropping her bombshell. “Guthrie, guess what, bub? You’re up.”

Guthrie fought a frown. He glanced around the room at the anchors, reporters, writers, weather team, and storm chasers. No one was surprised he’d been picked. Most of them knew his history. His dad’s history.

But he wasn’t part of the weather team. He was a field reporter, for heaven’s sake. Not a storm chaser.

“Me?”

“Yeah, you. You’ve got the experience we need out there. Plus your down-home country charm is evidently soothing to viewers.” Debbie said that in a way that made it obvious she did not find his slight twang soothing at all. “At least that’s what the focus groups say.”

Being stuck in a truck in the middle of a tornado was the last thing Guthrie wanted. Maybe that charm would come in handy now.

Throwing on his best fake smile, he said, “But I’m a pretty face for the camera. I’m not a storm chaser.”

He’d happily let Debbie believe his reticence stemmed from his own vanity at not being on-screen as opposed to the reality—tornadoes scared him shitless.

She rolled her eyes. “Your ego will live.”

Not if a tornado got him, it wouldn’t.

He’d figure out another way to fight this when he didn’t have an audience.

“Whose truck will I be in? Johanna’s?” Mack had been paired up with Johanna last year, spotting and filming while Johanna did the driving and reporting.

“No, I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Debbie said, tapping a bright red fingernail on the table.

Guthrie heaved a discreet sigh of relief. Johanna was KTTY’s veteran storm chaser and the most likely to be in the middle of the action, exactly where he never wanted to be again.

Debbie snapped her fingers. “I know. We’ll put you with the rook. You can give him a big ol’ Okie welcome, show him the ropes, help him settle in.”

Crap on a cracker.

The rook was Luke Masters—KTTY’s newest storm chaser. Guthrie had seen Luke around the station a few times since he’d been hired a month ago after an old-timer retired. Luke was from California of all places. Who’d ever heard of a Californian storm chaser? Guthrie disliked Luke on principle. He was a thrill-seeking newbie, for one. Worse, he was hot.

Luke had the type of face the KTTY brass would have loved to force in front of a camera, but the guy evidently wanted to chase giants, not smile and read from a teleprompter. Plus they’d probably make him cut off his man bun, which would be a right shame.

Guthrie had to force himself not to glance at the beautiful man in question. “Shouldn’t Luke shadow one of the veteran teams for a while?” Guthrie asked. “He’s pretty green.”

Luke sat up abruptly from a sprawl and drew Guthrie’s eyes like greedy little magnets. The muscles of Luke’s arms bunched as he shifted, and his smile was ornery as a rattlesnake’s.

“I spent three years with a team monitoring and chasing coastal tornadoes and hurricanes. And I even have my learner’s permit.” He winked at Guthrie, which incited a rumble of chuckles around the room.

That wink kicked Guthrie’s heart rate up a notch. Made him angry and turned on in equal measures.

“Those coastal twisters ain’t got nothin’ on the ones here. It’s different.”

Debbie grinned and her gravity-defying blond hair ruffled in the draft from the air conditioner. “And that, Guthrie dear, is why I’m pairing you together. It is different here. Who better to teach Luke that difference than someone who knows firsthand what an Oklahoma tornado can do? You have more experience than anyone in the room. Now, let’s talk editorial strategy….”

Guthrie tuned Debbie out as he got his thoughts in order. Luke was staring at him, an eyebrow raised, so Guthrie stared back. Such pretty brown eyes on such an infuriatingly arrogant man. Normally, Guthrie liked men with a bit of arrogance.

Not today.

The only thing worse than being in the field during a tornadic weather system would be babysitting an irresponsible, hotshot Californian while in the field during a tornadic weather system.

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About the Author

Erin McLellan is the author of several contemporary romances, all of which have characters who are complex, goodhearted, and a little quirky. She likes her stories to have a sexy spark and a happily ever after.

Originally from Oklahoma, she currently lives in Alaska and spends her time dreaming up love stories set in the Great Plains. She is a lover of chocolate, college sports, antiquing, Dr Pepper, and binge-worthy TV shows. Erin is a member of Romance Writers of America and its Alaska chapter.

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Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win your choice of ebook from Erin McLellan’s backlist, plus a small paper swag pack (bookmarks, postcard, bookplate, etc.)

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Book Blast: Penetration Test by Thursday Euclid & Clancy Nacht

Penetration Test by Thursday Euclid & Clancy Nacht

The Phisher King #3

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Publisher: Eine Kleine Press

Cover Artist: Clancy Nacht

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 83,000 words/316 pages

Buy Links:

Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

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Blurb

Sequel to Rainbow Award-winning gay romantic thriller The Phisher King and its sequel False Flag.

For years, brainy, charming FBI techie Sam Dupre has helped Hunter Walsh and Cal Riggs solve their cases. He’s also become one of Hunter’s closest friends, someone Hunter counts on when things get tough.

After the events of False Flag, Riggs is no longer the agency’s golden boy, so when Hunter suspects a gay couple has been murdered in a hate crime in an exclusive gated community in Olympia, he takes the tip to Sam instead. While Riggs and Hunter contend with workplace politics and Riggs’s recovery, Sam Dupre drives the case forward, even securing a partner for his undercover fieldwork: handsome, popular recent transfer Rob Crawford.

Crawford’s a seasoned field agent who doesn’t bat an eye at posing as a gay married couple, but Sam can’t help feeling like Crawford’s mocking him. They rub each other in all the wrong ways in private even as they pretend to be a doting married couple in front of the neighbors…at least, until they start rubbing each other the right way.

Sam’s dysphoria-and his HIV status-has held him back, but as he bonds with Crawford, he starts to feel seen for who he truly is. Surrounded by mystery and danger, now is not the time to blur professional lines, but how can Sam help himself?

Authors Note: An #ownvoices trans character feeling his oats, a dreamboat foreign terrorism agent trying his hand at a domestic (teehee) case, and a supercute adopted housecat. With a special appearance by Callum Riggs, excessive trolling by Hunter Walsh, and, of course, a happy ending!

Excerpt

Meeting Crawford’s piercing green gaze, Sam steeled himself and said quietly, “We suspect religiously motivated White Nationalists could be involved. Whitewoods Olympia’s mission statement is one big conservative dog whistle for ‘old fashioned family values’ and my insider once toured the area looking for a home only to be given the cold shoulder when introducing a black family member to the mix. You may know Olympia is eighty-plus percent white with a two percent black population. Combined with its status as state capital and a cultural center, it’s an ideal location for racial purists to establish a religious enclave close to the seat of power.”

How Crawford took that news would speak volumes. Often the foreign terrorism agents didn’t take domestic terror as seriously, too wrapped up in their administration-sanctioned Islamophobia to acknowledge the clear and present danger of far-right extremists.

“Sounds like a case for Riggs.” Crawford sat back, brows furrowed again as if assessing the situation. Then he nodded seemingly to himself as if the pieces were coming together. Crawford was sufficiently political to understand why Riggs wouldn’t or couldn’t take the case right now.

“So you think someone in the enclave did away with the Millers? Sounds more like old fashioned neighbor murdering than domestic terror, but we do consult on cases of the murdered or the missing. Could just be some nutjob who somehow thinks queers in the neighborhood could lower property values.”

Sam bristled at Crawford using the word “queers” like it was his word to use. Sure, that was often how Sam described himself, but Crawford was a bro. He had no business using it. He bit back a keep that word out of your mouth and grunted instead, acknowledging the probability.

“Riggs is still recovering from the white nationalist attack from the group Weisse Drache, or I’m sure he’d be all over this. It’s definitely his wheelhouse.” Sam kept his voice as even and authoritative as he could, despite his urge to lash out. It was that self-control that had allowed him to climb so high in the Seattle office. “Even if it’s not White Nationalistic domestic terror—which I’m not theorizing; it’s what my anon suggested—it sounds very much like a hate crime. But…”

Sam trailed off, studying Crawford and doing his best to mask his irritation. Then he asked, “The other disappearances… What’s behind those?”

“Inconclusive.” Crawford stared, almost seeming to challenge Sam. “At least per the local PD. We could go in, see if we can draw some conclusions. If you really think it’s a hate crime, we could go in undercover. Either way, if we infiltrate the community, we can see what’s what.”

“We go in undercover,” Sam echoed, disbelieving. “We ‘infiltrate the community’.” Really, that was Crawford’s go-to?

After a beat, Sam grimaced, letting it all sink in. “That would be one way to access their information infrastructure and surveil the environs. The family is maintaining the house for the missing Millers, and from what I’ve heard they’d cooperate and let us use it as a base of operations for our efforts. You’ve got the green light to pursue this?”

“I was told to check it out, so that’s what I’m doing. Checking it out.” Crawford turned to his computer and put in his password along with the security dongle code. “Doesn’t need to be really deep cover. We could claim to be part of the family, housesitting, but make ourselves really at home. See what we can see.”

“Have you tapped someone to partner with you in the field?” Sam pulled out his phone, ready to plug in their third’s data, and looked up to meet Crawford’s eyes expectantly.

“We,” Crawford gestured between the two of them. “Can check this out. I really just need you there to give the appearance of a gay family. You can come in to work as usual if you need. The rest of my crew’s still in Turkey. It could take weeks to get another agent—if they’d assign another at all right now. By then, I may be off again.”

“You want to pretend we’re a gay couple?” Sam’s voice came out much squeakier than usual, and he cursed internally, hating how pubescent he sounded. “You want to replicate the Millers’ situation and see if there’s a bite?”

Technically Sam could do most of his work remotely, but pretending to adore Crawford was not a viable career choice. What the shit?

Then he thought of Hunter’s worried face, remembered how hollow Riggs seemed at Sunday dinner. They weren’t in any place to investigate this, even if Riggs could get the go-ahead, and the last thing Hunter needed was to be separated from Riggs right now. Or rather, the last thing Hunter needed was to go undercover himself, because he’d done enough of that, and Sam was over it, officially.

“Is that coffee done yet?” It sounded more plaintive than Sam had hoped, like he was in desperate need of caffeination, but he was. God, he really was.

“Sure.” Crawford turned and moved the press closer and pushed the plunger down steadily, big meaty hand on the top. “Listen, as a field agent who often works undercover, it’s not my first gay rodeo. Though, I’ll admit, it’s why I can’t just call just anybody in to help. You know, some people around here…”

Crawford leaned in as if taking Sam into his confidence, also implying that he was a cool kid somehow for not being squeamish about doing his job. “Particularly lately. We can just go in say we’re more or less housesitting until the Millers come back, leave it open ended but make ourselves at home, if you know what I mean. See what the mood is. If it’s nothing, we’ll just leave, no need to make a big deal of it until there’s something actionable.”

He pushed the finished coffee closer. “Sound like a plan?”

About the Authors

Thursday Euclid is a strange and elusive creature dwelling in the Texas Gulf Coast region. Frequently mistaken for Bigfoot, Chupacabra, or the monster of the week, he is, in fact, a 30-something black sheep with a penchant for K-pop, geekery, and hot and sour soup.

When he’s not playing Dragon Age or SWTOR, he’s probably watching B-movies or talking to his best friend and frequent collaborator Clancy Nacht. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, or email him at thursdayeuclid at gmail dot com.

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Clancy Nacht is a bisexual genderqueer person who lives in Austin. Clancy has published several bestselling romances. Many of her books have been honored with Rainbow Awards; Le Jazz Hot won for Best Bisexual/Transgender Romance & Erotic Romance.

In 2013, Black Gold: Double Black was a runner-up for a Rainbow Award. In 2015, Gemini won an Honorable Mention for Gay Erotic Romance and in 2016, Strange Times won an Honorable Mention for Science Fiction.

Wyatt’s Recipes for Wooing Rock Stars was a finalist in the highly competitive William Neale Award for Best Gay Contemporary Romance. The Phisher King won second place in the Rainbow Award for Romantic Suspense, 16th for Gay Book of the Year.

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Follow the tour and check out the other blog posts and reviews here

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