Tag Archives: Yorkshire setting

Release Tour: Three’s Company by Kristian Parker

Three’s Company | Kristian Parker

Village Affairs #2

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Release Date: September 6th, 2022

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They’re the perfect throuple…if only the rest of the world agreed.

Will Johnstone’s father is desperately ill, and he races home from London to the Yorkshire village of Napthwaite to be with him. Almost immediately he meets cute postman, Hardeep and mysterious newcomer, Andrew. There weren’t handsome men like this in Napthwaite when he lived here…

Heat flares between the three very different men, passion they have no intention of resisting, or denying. But having their roots deep and their lives entwined in a small village is not like living in a bustling metropolis. And with domineering mothers, problem teenagers, sick fathers and someone’s past knocking at the door, the path of true love is anything but smooth.

Can Will, Hardeep and Andrew, three very different people, steer their relationship past the rocks and find a way into uncharted territory…together?

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Steam swirled in the air as Will Johnstone took the lid off the bone marrow broth that had sold like proverbial hotcakes since he’d insisted it went on the menu.

“Smells delicious,” Stacey, the new waitress, said with a wink.

Will smiled weakly. She had been flirting with him ever since she’d started. He would have to get one of the waiters to fill the poor girl in. She didn’t stand a chance.

To the untrained eye, the kitchen seemed to be in total pandemonium, but Will understood every move of this dance. He should. He’d been sous chef at Haven in Shoreditch for three years.

Serving under renowned chef, Anton Romano, he’d learnt all the foibles that his cantankerous boss preferred. As usual, Anton patrolled the pass where the plated meals waited to be served. If they stayed there longer than three minutes, he would scream at the restaurant staff until he went hoarse.

The month of August meant the traditional lull while valued customers enjoyed time on the beach in some far-flung place. Haven had that reassuringly expensive air that meant the clientele was more London’s high society rather than tourists. Will had decided to use this time to test out new dishes before the inevitable surge in September that built steadily to Christmas.

“Are you going to let all the air get to that fucking broth?” Anton shouted across the room. Will realised Anton meant him and dropped the lid with a clatter.

He didn’t even bother replying. Anton would be on to something else by now. That appeared to be the mousy new waitress whom he seemed determined to drive out of the door in less than two days. Will couldn’t remember if that would be a personal best for Anton or not.

These days, he didn’t even bother getting to know the wait staff unless Gustav, the maître d’, tipped him off that they’d lasted the first month. They would tend to stay on then.

Will hated kitchens in August. The heat outside made it unbearable. He’d often tried to persuade Anton to reduce the number of hot dishes they served but Anton wouldn’t have any of it. He didn’t seem to feel the heat or the cold.

The intensity of the kitchen had started to lessen, the orders coming in slower. Anton stalked past him towards his office.

“Anton, could I have a—?” Will started.

“You may not,” came the reply.

The staff regarded Will with amusement. They loved it when Anton treated him like shit. Anton liked to play a divide-and-rule game in his kitchen. He ruled with a culture where he positively encouraged climbing on top of colleagues, and at least three people were eyeing Will’s position.

The smell of the duck main being prepped at the next station filled Will’s nostrils. Anton might be a bastard, but he was an absolute genius too.

It had gone eleven and there would be no more orders. His body ached, but he had that adrenalin rush he loved after a mad shift. It would be hours before he could even think about sleep. As the staff scrubbed everything in sight, he made his way through to the office.

Anton sat with his feet up on the desk, engrossed in a recipe book that could have dated to Noah’s time on the ark.

“That looks interesting,” Will said. Ever the optimist, he could almost imagine one day the ice thawing, and Anton bothering about their working relationship.

Anton snapped the book shut with a bang and put it in his drawer. He scowled at Will, daring him to speak. Tonight clearly would not be that night.

As a concession to his seniority, Will had the honour of being able to hang his coat and bag up in Anton’s office rather than the changing area. Instead of engaging with a riled Anton, he chose retreat.

He could visualise the cold bottle of Sancerre in the fridge at home if bloody Angela hadn’t stolen it.

“This came for you,” Anton said.

Putting his jacket on, Will turned around to see Anton holding up a letter. Will frowned. Who sends letters these days?

“It’s from head office,” Anton continued. His expression suggested he was passing something toxic to Will.

Head office was Anton’s kryptonite. People only mentioned it if they absolutely had to. Anton had this fantasy that Haven was his own personal restaurant. He didn’t want to accept that they were really being bankrolled by a Chinese investment firm. Most of the communications with head office were done by Will. It was nice to know he came in useful for the boring stuff.

“Weird they didn’t just email,” Will replied.

Anton stood and wandered to the drinks cupboard they had in the office, that Will had been warned on pain of death to never touch.

“Fancy a whisky before you go?” Anton said, trying to come across as friendly which really did not suit him.

Will could have been knocked down with a feather. “Erm…fine. Just a small one.”

He poured a generous slug of Will’s favourite, Hibiki. His mouth started to come alive in anticipation.

Anton raised his glass. “To Haven.”

“Haven,” Will replied.

He took a sip. His tastebuds exploded with all the different flavours of honey, orange, sandal and oak. They fought and danced together as he took a second to enjoy it.

“Good stuff,” Anton said, smacking his lips.

“Amazing. My absolute favourite.”

“A man of taste,” Anton said, walking to his chair and sitting. He gestured to the chair in front of the desk.

Will lowered himself and waited. This Hibiki had more strings attached to it than a double bass.

“It seems one of the little shitcans out there has made a complaint,” Anton said.

Everything slotted into place now. Anton didn’t want to lose face in the kitchen but didn’t mind trying to curry favour behind closed doors. What a wily bastard.

Anton pushed the bottle to his side of the desk. Will sank in his seat with a feeling of gloom coming over him. This was going to be a long session.

* * * *

An hour later and an exhausted Will let himself into his apartment, the remains of the bottle of whisky gurgling around in his backpack and his ears still ringing from Anton’s rant.

Angela lay on the sofa with the TV blaring out a repeat of a soap opera. She opened her eyes as he put his bag down. “What time is it?” she said, stretching.

“Just gone two.”

She frowned. “You’re late.”

“Ugh. Anton needed a friend.”

“I thought he hated you.”

Will stared out of the floor-to-ceiling windows at the view of Canary Wharf. He had to take three Tubes to get to work but he’d bought this place when he’d got his first professional job and wouldn’t give it up for anything.

“One of the waitresses has made a complaint. I’m getting dragged into it. Lucky me.”

Angela sat up and leant across to retrieve her half-drunk glass of wine. “And he wants you to defend his honour I suppose,” she replied, taking a sip.

Will couldn’t even be bothered to get a glass for himself, instead just holding his hand out. Angela gave him the glass, still staring at him.

“Got it in one.” He took a sip. “Hey that’s my bloody Sancerre.”

Angela crawled across the velvet couch to his end and snuggled up to him.

“You’re the best friend a girl could wish for.”

“And you’re a bloody thief.”

“But you love me.”

Will gently swatted her on the head. “Just as well, isn’t it?”

Angela had been a waitress at Haven when he’d first started. It hadn’t taken long until someone had seen her potential and she’d soon made a name for herself in the world of PR. He’d tried to get her to help the restaurant, but she despised Anton and refused to put her name to making him a success.

“It was only a matter of time before someone took that wanker on,” she said, yawning.

He couldn’t even argue. Anton played a dangerous game with his sexist comments. Will didn’t know if he would cover Anton’s arse yet again or gamble by telling the truth.

Whatever happened, it would have to wait for another time.

“How was your day?” he asked as he drained the glass. Sometimes he forgot about the world outside Haven.

“Oh, you know, went to the gym, had a few meetings, applied for a job in New York.”

“Whoa, what?”

“Relax. I won’t get it. They want someone to run a massive campaign for a baking show over there. Everyone is going for it. I’ve got no chance.”

He thought about life without her. It didn’t seem very appealing. He extracted himself from Angela and stood.

“I’m having a shower then bed. I’m knackered.”

“You know, if you came out from behind those bloody cookers once in a while, bed might be a more exciting option.”

Not this again. He walked over to his bedroom door. “Change the record before the morning, please. Good night.”

As he closed the door, she shouted, “Your penis is begging to be released, William Johnstone.”

He stripped down and threw his uniform in a heap in the corner, catching sight of himself in the mirror. At thirty-five years old, he still had his looks. The six-pack he’d crafted so diligently in his twenties might have disappeared, but he didn’t brush up too badly.

He tried to remember the last time he’d had sex. Ah yes. Brian. The guy from the gym. He frowned—that had been his birthday treat to himself. His birthday was in April. It was now August.

Perhaps Angela had a point.

Another task for tomorrow then.

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About the Author


I have written for as long as I could write. In fact, before, when I would dictate to my auntie. I love to read, and I love to create worlds and characters.

I live in the English countryside. When I’m not writing, I like to get out there and think through the next scenario I’m going to throw my characters into.

Inspiration can be found anywhere, on a train, in a restaurant or in an office. I am always in search of the next character to find love in one of my stories. In a world of apps and online dating, it is important to remember love can be found when you least expect it.

Social Media

Website & Newsletter – www.kristianparker.com

Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/kristiansworld

Facebook, Twitter & Instagram: @kparkerwriter

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To celebrate Three’s Company, Kristain is giving away a signed paperback copy of the release with some author swag

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Blog Tour: Lluck by Tim Rayborn

Lluck | Tim Rayborn

Qwryk Tales #2


Release Date: December 26th, 2021

Buy Links:

Publisher | Amazon US | Amazon UK Barnes & Noble

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COVER - Lluck


All Qwyrk wanted was a few winter days of rest of and relaxation in the small town of Knettles in Yorkshire, but of course, it all goes wrong immediately. She wants to spend time and with her young human friend, Jilly, but Jilly and her not-so-imaginary friend blip have just met a remarkable boy named Lluck, who seems to be able to bend events to his favor.

Lluck is on the run from some awful and obnoxious goblins. On top of that, Qwyrk meets a mysterious and beguiling woman, who’s also looking for the boy. And in the dark, something wants Lluck for itself, but why?

MEME1 - Lluck


“I’ll be dead in a few seconds… or worse.”

Still, he kept running, plowing through snowy lanes, stumbling more than once on wet cobblestones blanketed in a thin sheet of slippery ice and powder. His breathing was furious, his heart pounded, and he knew he was running out of time. He sprinted back out to a main street and worked his way through thronging crowds of holiday shoppers, trying to hide in their numbers.

“Blend in, shake them off!” But he knew his pursuers weren’t interested in these people; they were only after him. He ducked into another alleyway, sped for the exit on the other side, and almost crashed into a padlocked gate.

“No!” He slammed the bars with his fists.

They were near; he could smell them, like bad fast food and garbage, with a hint of cheap cologne. But he tried pulling on the lock, and sure enough, it came loose. He laughed and opened the gate. Dashing through, he shut it behind him and relocked it.

“Have fun with that, you knobs!”

He turned around and there they were: grotesque, lumpy goblin creatures with mottled grey skin, bulbous noses, and large, pointy ears. They were mostly bald, except for some wiry black curls under said ears. Their snarling grins revealed bared, off-white crooked teeth. Beady yellow eyes completed the horrific ensemble.

“Well, well, what ‘ave we got ‘ere?” the larger one grumbled.

“Looks like a lost waif in need of some assistance to get to where he’s goin’,” the other replied.

“I’m not going with you, you tossers!” he shouted, defiant. He raised his fists in front of him. They just laughed.

“You gonna take us on in a fist fight, little boy?” the big one mocked. “That oughta be entertaining. Maybe I’ll even let you get in a blow or two in before I mash your pretty face into the pavement!”

“Oh, I won’t fight you, you miserable troll! I’m just getting ready.”

“Ready for what, lambkin?” the smaller one sneered.

“For this!” He threw his open hands forward in one jerking motion, and at once, both fell on their behinds, slid on the ice, and smacked their heads on the stones. They groaned, but didn’t get back up. He stepped over them (well, on them really, just to make a point; he might have even dug his boot heels in a bit) and made his way back to the crowds.

Once on the main street, he looked around and saw the town hall in the distance, with its multitudes packed in to celebrate the holiday festivities.

“All those people milling about; you can lose them there. Then get the hell out of here and head south.”

He paused, took a deep breath, and ran again.

* * *

“I do love a good festive celebration!” Blip announced. Resembling a bipedal frog sporting a handlebar moustache and a proper Victorian-style mutton chop beard, he strolled along the pavement in his Regency riding boots, while swinging an ornate walking stick, every so often accidentally hitting a passerby and eliciting an astonished yelp. A red, woolen scarf wrapped snugly around his short, froggy neck completed the ensemble.

“I love it too! It’s so much grander than the one in Knettles,” Jilly Pleeth said in a hushed voice. She looked down at him, quite grateful that a magical two-foot creature who liked to expound on nineteenth-century philosophy couldn’t be seen or heard by anyone over the age of thirteen, give or take a bit. Of course, there were plenty of children about, a few of whom gasped and stared; but most ignored him, being far more fascinated by the lights of the Leeds Christmas market, the aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg, and chocolate, the sounds of carols and stall hawkers, and the general merriment of the season. It was all rather like one of those displays in a department store window, but larger, louder, and less garish.

“We’ll have to keep an eye on the time, though,” she continued. “I need to meet mum and dad back at the train station in about an hour. They’ll be done with their stupid real estate meeting and keen to get back home before it gets too dark.”

“Come, come, my dear, no need to be so reserved, at least not in this instance! It’s the holidays, and the day of your birth is also upon us—twelve years!—so just this once, it is entirely satisfactory that we kick up our proverbial heels and live a bit. The holiday market is splendidly arrayed in front of us, a fine old tradition that I am glad to see being kept alive. So, throw caution to the wind, and embrace the revelry!”

“Oh, it’s not that,” she whispered. “It’s just, since most people can’t see you, I look like I’m talking to myself, like I’m a bit mad.”

“Hm, well yes, I do suppose that could cause some to think that you are a suitable candidate for admission to Bedlam, but again, this is the time for inversions of the social order in a controlled way, don’t you know? The Feast of Fools! The Boy Bishop! Saturnalian silliness! So I say, let them think that you are singularly odd and be done with it! And other children can see me, so what does it matter?”

“Yeah, but they probably just think you’re one of Father Christmas’s elves, anyway,” she said with an impish grin.

“Do not mention that reprobate in my company!” Blip admonished. “You know very well that the Father Christmas affair is a bone of contention with me!”

“Are you ever going to tell me what happened between you two?” she asked.

“A gentleman does not duel and tell, I’m afraid.”

“You fought a duel with Father Christmas?”

About The Author

AUTHOR PIC - Lluck - Tim Rayborn

Tim Rayborn is a writer and internationally acclaimed musician. He plays dozens of unusual instruments that many people of have never heard of and often can’t pronounce, including medieval instrument reconstructions and folk instruments from Northern Europe, the Balkans, and the Middle East.

He has appeared on over forty recordings, and his wanderings and tours have taken him across the US, all over Europe, to Canada and Australia, and to such romantic locations as Marrakech, Istanbul, Renaissance chateaux, medieval churches, and high school gymnasiums.

On the writing side of things, Tim lived in England for nearly seven years and has a PhD from the University of Leeds. He has written books and magazine articles about music, the arts, history, and business. He currently lives amid many books, antique music reproduction devices (that is, CDs), and instruments, and with a demanding cat. He’s also rather enthusiastic about good wines, single-malt Scotch, and cooking excellent food.

Social Media

Website: https://www.timrayborn.com

Facebook Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/TimRaybornMusicandWriting

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Tim_Rayborn

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rayborn.esoterica

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3160656.Tim_Rayborn

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Tim-Rayborn/e/B00DWY5J8E/

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Tim is giving away an Amazon gift card with this tour

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I am so in love with Sebastian and Wesley

Proper Scoundrels CoverProper Scoundrels by Allie Therin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely adored Allie’s Magic in Manhattan Collection: Spellbound / Starcrossed / Wonderstruck with its 20s setting and a unique system of paranormal abilities and its Film Noir evoking mystery.

But this spin-off? OMG this spin-off is EVERYTHING. I am so in love with Sebastian and Wesley Collins aka Lord Fine.

Both men have been through some serious traumas and are dealing with the fall out. Sebastian was kept for three years as a prisoner through the use of blood magic and forced to use his abilities to harm others, he’s suffering with serious PTSD (accurately referred to as Shell Shock here in this world) that he can’t even acknowledge.

Wes was an officer during the War and a sharpshooter, he’s done things, and ordered his men to do them, that he cannot forget.

On top of that, Wes was dumped by his lover Arthur (see Spellbound) for an antiquarian half his age (Rory you are utterly delightful) and he’s only the Viscount Fine because his older brother was killed in the conflict.

He’s prickly, rude, entitled, snobbish and oh so very much in need of someone to love.

Thrown together almost by accident, these two former “villains” of the previous series both feel like they can never atone – in Wes’ case he really doesn’t want to atone for kissing Arthur in front of Rory either 😁 ) but both will find that fate has other ideas in store.

Allie takes the reader to my part of the world – beautiful Yorkshire, York and its imposing Gothic Minster firmly on the horizon – and then leads them into a high-paced, tension-filled ride of an adventure which also brings some old faces along with it.

It was lovely to see Jade and Zhang too, both as committed to each other as they were in the previous books, and we get to catch up with Seb’s cousin Isabel and her lover Molly, now both ensconced in Paris for the World’s Fair.

The villain is truly villainous, his sidekick is mad as a box of frogs, and I loved how Allie took a mythology which has a very strong Yorkshire connection – that of Dracula – and made it into the basis for a twisted paranormal’s very deadly power.

I won’t spoiler anything about the actual plot itself, only to say that it had everything I want to read in a romantic suspense, and the relationship element of this book is even stronger than Arthur and Rory’s.

It’s also more steamy and I was so grateful for that. My one criticism of the previous series had been how the intimacy between Arthur and Rory was never seen on page, other than odd kisses and the beginnings of their amorous encounters, before fading to black.

Here we not only get some of the best UST I’ve read in a long time, but Wes is also a bit of a secret Dominant (not in a true kink way though, but he has a very powerful personality and a need to “take care” of someone) and Sebastian is all for giving himself over to someone else to make decisions for him.

Wes is an arse, he’ll tell you that quite proudly, but his growth and change once he meets Sebastian is a wonderful thing to read. He doesn’t change FOR him but BECAUSE of him.

Sebastian is the biggest (and most dangerous) cinnamon bun with a marshmallow soul, he’s so desperate to atone for things which were beyond his control that you want to wrap him up in a fluffy blanket and never let the world hurt him any more.

The first time they finally kiss is stunningly effective in the narrative. It’s an understandable slow burn but oh my lord, is it worth the wait! There aren’t loads of sex scenes, the story doesn’t really need it, but when they happen, they’re beautifully written.

As you can tell, I absolutely adored this book. Allie has such a grasp on her plots that before you can blink, you’ve read half the book and it’s gone midnight 🤣 I did not want to put this one down from the minute I started reading it and that’s the mark of a wonderful writer.

I hope this isn’t the end of this wonderful world Allie has created. I would happily while away more hours with this bunch of disparate people time and time again.

#ARC kindly received from the author via Carina Press on NetGalley in return for an honest and unbiased review

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