Friday, December 15, 2017

Love Happens Anyway by R.J. Scott - Blog Tour with Review, Excerpt and Giveaway



Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 42,500 words approx.

Blurb

Hiring a boyfriend for Christmas; what could possibly go wrong?

Derek is facing yet another Christmas where his life feels out of control. He has a new career that doesn’t feel like his, and parents who would just love to see him settled down. All he needs is a temporary buffer for the parties he has to attend, and for his parents to leave him alone. Enter, Luke.

Luke is twenty-thousand dollars short for the renovations on Halligans; his family’s bar in New York’s Financial District. A favor for a buddy has him agreeing to play the part of boyfriend to a guy with more money than sense.

But when the spirit of Christmas works its magic on the two men, and they begin to fall for each other, Derek runs scared, and Luke needs space.

It doesn’t matter what obstacles you throw in the way of love, or how much you run in the other direction, because, when you’re least expecting it, whether you want it or not, love happens anyway.



4.25 out of 5 stars

Love Happens Anyway is a standalone contemporary holiday m/m romance. 

So it's that time of year again, close to the holidays ...and you know there are a plethora of holiday themed romances for your reading pleasure. Now some of these make the cut as re-reads after the holiday.  Love Happens Anyway is going to end up on your re-read list for sure! 

This is a cute, yet very sweet tale featuring the boyfriend for hire theme. Although I'll admit the couple in this story are probably one of the most relatable duo I've seen in this particular theme. Yes, Derek was raised in a wealthy family but that doesn't stop him from having self-esteem issues and feeling like people either kowtow to him because he's the boss or avoid him for the same reason. He wants to be liked as just another person on staff, and not as the boss. To that end .. he creates a almost too perfect firefighter boyfriend named Marcus, who even, ironically, 'rescues' kittens from a burning building. Until Derek is caught between a proverbial rock & a hard place when his family and friends want to meet this mysterious Marcus. 

Enter Luke, the possible solution to Derek's dilemma... Luke is actually a now disabled firefighter who's taken over the family bar with his sister. They need an infusion of cash in order to finish the renovations on the bar in order to reopen it...but they're stuck and unable to come up with the remaining $20,000 to finish. Luke's friend Al ropes him back into his business to help with Derek's need for a 'real' Marcus. Of course you know things are never that easy, especially when feelings become involved and reality enters the picture. 

The romance develops rather quietly between these two, with a lot of getting to know each other and also boosting the other person up type of interactions. It honestly worked very well for this story and set the perfect mood and setting for Derek and Luke. I really enjoyed the story the author crafted for these two characters in a short novella. The story even had a good solid backstory for both characters that managed to enhance the story vs detract because it wasn't complete. The story itself was well written, paced evenly, with solid primary characters and good secondary characters that just gave that little extra realness to the tale. 

I highly recommend this one as a perfect little holiday interlude to take you out of the crazy family/work/shopping time that is upon us. You're going to want to have time to read this one because you'll do it in one sitting. Definitely pick up this tale for your reading pleasure. 




December 6 - Xtreme Delusions, Valerie Ullmer, The Way She Reads, Gay Media Reviews
December 8 - Lelyana's Book Blog
December 11 - Hearts On Fire Reviews, Millsy Loves Books, My Fiction Nook
December 13 - Mirrigold:Mutterings & Musings, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, BFD Book Blog, Nicole's Book Musings, MM Good Book Reviews
December 15 - Jim's Reading Room, Making It Happen, Padme's Library, Sexy Erotic Xciting, Wicked Faerie's Tales & Reviews
December 20 - Dog-Eared Daydreams, Book Lovers 4Ever, Au Boudoir Ecarlate, Wicked Reads
December 22 - A Book Lover's Dream, Bayou Book Junkie



Excerpt

I knew Marcus was six-two, just a little taller than me. I knew he had blue eyes, and dark hair with red tones in certain light. He had a brother, but they didn’t see each other much, being that his brother was in the Navy. His parents were retired in Florida, but they’d had Marcus and his brother Adam late in life. Marcus was twenty-nine, same as me with only a few months separating our birthdays, and he was a firefighter. Oh, and he was a good, kind man who was thoughtful all the time and treated me like a prince.

“That’s such a shame. Anyway, how are Marcus’ kittens?” Mom asked. I pulled myself back to what she was saying. It was never good to not pay full attention to anything Mom said, otherwise you’d end up agreeing to all kinds of things she’d throw at you when your defenses are down. I loved her dearly but she was sneaky like that.

Which is how I got myself into this mess with Marcus in the first place.

“They’re fine.”

“Did he find good homes for them?”

“Absolutely, the last of them went to a widowed grandmother in his apartment block.”

“Socks? The dark one?”

I glanced at my notes. “No, you remember Socks went to his uncle; Spider went to the old lady.”

“Oh yes, of course, although why someone would name a kitten Spider I don’t know.”

“There were spiders in the house where Marcus found the kittens.”

“I still don’t understand how there could be spiders in a burned-out house.”

Shit. “Spiders are hardy.”

“You said the house was razed to the ground, dear.”

Now I was losing the will to live. “Well, maybe the spider was outside. Mom, I need to go, Moira is at the door and she needs me to sign off on the new AbbaLister raisins account.”

“Of course dear, just, please tell Marcus he is welcome at any time. We so want to meet him and thought it’d be better at the house.”

“I will, I know he’s keen to meet you.”

“Oh good,” she said, and I knew I’d fucked up and somehow given her an opening. I’d never mentioned once that Marcus wanted to meet them, because that would just give them the impetus to take matters into their own hands. My worst fears were confirmed. “Oh, I’ve had the most wonderful idea.”

Oh God, what?

“Your dad and I are coming into the city on Monday; book us dinner on any night, or lunch, breakfast, anything. I want to meet this young man of yours and if it has to be in a restaurant then so be it.”

“I’m not sure—”

“Derek, he can’t be busy every night next week, and every lunchtime, goodness me, we’ll even take a quick coffee if that is all he can manage.”

Shit. Shit. And double shit.

“I’ll see what I can organize.” I kept my tone regretful, to at least give the impression I would try to organize them meeting Marcus, but that it would be unlikely.

We finished the call, and I replaced the handset in the cradle, fighting the urge to throw it against the wall, sit and cry at my desk, or maybe, less drastically, move to Montana and become a cowboy.

So many lies.

There was no Moira standing at my door. It was still closed and I’d lied to my mom.

There were no kittens, I made those up, and the spider story. The word spider came about because when I’d been talking to my mom about Marcus and the kittens, a tiny spider had crawled over my notes.

I closed the notebook in which I had the names of five kittens with their various characteristics listed.

Mom wanted to meet Marcus, any night, any lunch, anytime.

Which sucked big hairy balls.

Because that was another thing I had made up.

There was no Marcus either.




RJ Scott is the bestselling romance author of over 100 romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men and women who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn't with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn't like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.

mailto:rj@rjscott.co.uk
Website
Facebook
Goodreads
Twitter
LibraryThing


Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions


Thursday, December 14, 2017

An Unlocked Mind by K.C. Wells and Parker Williams - Release Tour with Deleted Scene and Giveaway


Title: An Unlocked Mind
Series: Secrets Book #2
Author: K.C. Wells & Parker Williams
Genre: M/M Romance Light BDSM
Release Date: December 11, 2017 



Rob Daniels is determined to prove to himself that his brother Alex got it wrong. Alex believes he found love through BDSM; Rob is certain that’s not possible. He even makes several visits to a London club to prove his point. But when he attends the grand opening of Secrets, Rob gets a shock, one that has him fleeing, vowing never to return—until he does… and runs into the brick wall that is Dom Vic Prentiss. As first meetings go, theirs is a disaster.

The more time he spends around Rob, the more convinced Vic becomes of two things—one, something is eating away at Rob, and two, he’s looking for something. Every instinct tells Vic to help him, but trying to unlock the secrets hidden in Rob’s mind requires a key. All Vic has to do is find it. Because maybe then he’ll get to see the real Rob, the man who’s scared to let go….





a Rafflecopter giveaway


*****DELETED SCENE*****

This scene was changed in the final copy of the book, but it speaks to Rob’s needs and how he is feeling about Vic.

*****

Rob glanced at the clock and smiled. Vic should be home in fifteen minutes. Rob's heart thundered. He wasn't sure how what he'd done would be received. It wasn't as if he and Vic were...
The key in the lock startled Rob. Vic was early. He rushed to the door and pulled it open. “Hi,” he said breathlessly. “Can you... um... stay in here for a few minutes?”
Vic grinned. “Care to tell me why?”
“Please. Just... Please?”
Vic reached out and stroked Rob's cheek. He pressed into the warm touch, then realized what he was doing and pulled away.
“Yes, I'll stay in here. Go ahead and do what you have to.”
It was silly, Rob knew. It wasn't like Vic wasn't aware he was up to something. He hurried back to the dining room and put down some plates he'd found in a hutch that contained what appeared to be for special occasions. He sighed to himself, once again realizing how stupid this was. He lit two tapered candles, the glow casting a warm light around the room. He dished up the dinner and went back to find Vic lazing on the sofa.
“Okay, I'm ready.”
Vic stood, and Rob's breath caught. He wished what they'd shared could be something more than just convenient sex, but Vic treated him so well, Rob would take what he could get. When Rob took his hand and led him to the table, Vic stopped in the doorway.
“What's this?” he asked.
“I... I got paid today,” Rob whispered. “I wanted to do something nice for you, you know, to thank you for everything you've done for me. I know it's not much, but...” Rob's voice trailed off. Now he felt supremely stupid. Vic had money, so what was burgers and chips to him? “I'm sorry, I didn't think... Never mind. It was stupid. I'm sorry.”
The sting in his eyes told him the tears were close to the surface. When had he gotten so sappy? It had only been since he’d met Vic. Rob tried to pull away, but Vic held on tight to his hand.
“Hey, look at me.”
Rob shook his head.
“I said look at me, boy.”
Rob turned his gaze up and found Vic smiling at him.
“Why are you upset? Can you tell me?”
“I just realized how stupid this was. I mean a nice dinner to you is probably some fancy restaurant with food I can't pronounce, and a bottle of wine that costs more than what my check was. I didn't even think about how this must seem to you.”
“Do you want to know? Why not ask me? You might be surprised.”
Rob tried once more to draw his hand away.
“No, you're not going anywhere. Ask me, Rob. Please.”
Taking a deep breath to steady his nerves, Rob asked, “Does this seem stupid to you?”
Vic chuckled. “I'm glad you asked.” Vic swept a hand toward the table. “This? It's...I can't even begin to tell you. No one has ever done anything like this for me before. I'm the one who takes care of people. I'm the one who goes out and buys them dinner. You surprised and thrilled me with this. The table looks beautiful, and the fact you did this for me? It makes me happier than I can say.”
“You... you don't mind?”
Vic bent down and kissed Rob on the forehead. “No. In fact, I'd like us to sit down and eat, because I'm famished. Then, after, we can go into the lounge and watch a movie. Your choice.”
Rob's stomach quivered at Vic's sultry tone. But it wasn't a movie he wanted. “Could we...would it be okay if...”
“Tell me what you want, Rob. Say the words.”
“Could you take me to bed? I mean we don't have to do anything, but I'd like to be close to you. And if you wanted to hold me, that would be good, too.”
“I think that would be the perfect dessert,” Vic whispered to him.





4.5 out of 5 stars

An Unlocked Mind is the 2nd book in the Secrets series. While this could be read on it's own, I personally don't recommend it. This is part of a storyline that was started back in Alex and Leo's story, An Unlocked Heard, part of the Collars and Cuffs series. I recommend reading that series and then continuing into this series. 

I'll admit I was worried about who this book was about prior to reading it. Rob caused no end of grief to his brother Alex in An Unlocked Heart. Between his 'blackmail' efforts and going to his mom, Rob's actions caused a huge rift between him and Alex. So, yes I was worried because Rob seemed to be one of those irredeemable assholes. Well I should have known better between the two authors of this book, they were able to pull a once self-centered, highly closeted young mad out of his own head and make him someone you were hoping would happy by the end of the book.  

There were moments at the beginning of the story where I wanted to gleefully smack Rob if not outright throttle him. As the story progressed and Rob meets Vic, and Vic sees something in Rob that makes him want to help Rob become a better person, I started to see glimmers of the man that Rob would grow into. Of course his journey is not easy because Rob has to realize that he IS a worthy person, and he needs more in his life than what he started out the book with. 

Then there's Vic, who is a full time Dom, but is currently without a sub when he meets Rob. Now at first he doesn't see the potential in Rob. He just sees the sassy, smart-mouthed brat who has no control over himself and lashes out constantly. The first meeting is a fluke, the second draws Rob back to Vic time and again but he doesn't know why, nor does Vic understand why he's drawn to Rob. As they get closer, things change, Vic wants Rob for his sub but isn't sure that is what Rob wants. As the book progresses they work things out, Rob accepts his place with Vic, and they both realize that they are meant to be together. 

I loved seeing Rob change from the spoiled brat he was into the young man with unlimited potential by the end of the book. His acceptance of Vic as his Dom, their life together, and that Rob can happy is a large part of the direction of this story. It's not as filled with the BDSM lifestyle or scenes as some of the other books in both series are, but what is in there works for this story. Did I miss the scenes that could have occurred between him and Vic, maybe a little but they wouldn't really have enhanced the story unless it allowed Rob to free another piece of himself. Where the few scenes that they did have in the book did give Rob that bit more acceptance and freedom he needed at that point in time. 

Overall An Unlocked Mind was a surprising favorite in the series, maybe not as much as Jared's story or Peter's but I did love seeing the turn around in Rob. I have to say that Vic was a growly bear  of a Dom and I loved that about him. He was the perfect foil for Rob. I do highly recommend this book as one to pick up immediately for fans of the series. If you haven't read the previous books, I'd definitely recommend reading them in order to work your way to this book. Trust me...if you haven't read them you need to! 













K.C. Wells started writing in 2012, although the idea of writing a novel had been in her head since she was a child. But after reading that first gay romance in 2009, she was hooked.

She now writes full time, and the line of men in her head, clamouring to tell their story, is getting longer and longer. If the frequent visits by plot bunnies are anything to go by, that’s not about to change anytime soon.



Parker Williams believes that true love exists, but it always comes with a price. No happily ever after can ever be had without work, sweat, and tears that come with melding lives together.




HOSTED BY:

Short Order by Pat Henshaw - Release Blitz with Excerpt and Giveaway

RELEASE BLITZ

 
Title: Short Order
Series: Foothills Pride #8
Author: Pat Henshaw
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publication date: December 13, 2017
Price: $3.99
Format: eBook
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance
Cover Design: AngstyG
Length: 28,400 words/89 pages
Add on Goodreads
 
Buy links


Blurb

When recent horticulture graduate Dr. Fenton Miller arrives in Stone Acres, California, he thinks his only concern is which job offer to accept after spending the holidays working at his cousin’s plant nursery. But after he rents a room from another shorter-than-average man, sous-chef John Barton, Fen falls in lust.

While he’s attracted to Fen, John’s got bigger concerns when two men from his past arrive in town and pressure him to return to San Francisco. Although John tries to stop Fen from getting involved, Fen realizes his lover is in trouble and is determined to protect him.

As the holidays get closer and Fen makes his own enemy, the joy of the season gets lost in the ill will around them. To ensure love triumphs, Fen and John must stand tall to show that short, dark, and handsome is a recipe for love.  

 

Excerpt

That night I stood freezing at Barton’s door, admiring Blue Cottage. The snow drifts piled on the lawn made the house look greeting-card perfect. I searched for a doorbell. Instead, a lion-headed knocker snarled at me. I grinned. Every house needed an intimidating guardian, right?

A man who looked about my age and height opened the door and slipped out, shutting it behind him. I was curious to see inside, but I got that the guy wanted his privacy. No problem.

“Hi. I’m Fen.”

He looked me over, then turned to the left along the shoveled porch. As he walked, he played with the keyring, bouncing a key in his hand. Did I make him nervous? If so, was that a good thing?

“This way.”

Okay. I took a breath and followed his pert ass and brisk steps as we rounded the porch to a steep staircase. From my brief glance at his face, he seemed okay. I was still slightly put off by his brusque manner. But hey, I reminded myself, I was renting from him, not fucking him.

In silence I followed him up to a small porch and a solid-looking back door, which he opened after only a little fumbling.

I was greeted by the stuffy, closed-up odor of a place long left undisturbed.

“You’d be my first renter. It’s furnished, but I can store anything you don’t want.” He made quick eye contact with me. The words erupted from him like I made him uncomfortable or something. Maybe it was my piercing and the tattoo, or maybe the hair color. I tried a smile, but he blushed and turned away, gesturing to the rooms.

Even though the air inside was chilly, I looked around and fell even more in love than I had when I’d first seen the house. The 1940s era furniture and knickknacks turned what could have been sterile rooms into my kind of home. I exhaled, letting the ambience settle in my soul as I wandered through a country kitchen, tiny dining room, sitting room, two bedrooms, and a classic bathroom, ending eventually at a circular tower room. I fell even deeper in love along the way as I touched the scratched kitchen table, a velveteen-covered parlor settee, a solid-looking four-poster bed, and the needlepoint-cushioned window seat in the tower.

If I were Barton, I’d charge thousands a month for this place. I prayed he wasn’t me and was relieved when my prayers were answered.

“You want to keep the furniture?” He still didn’t look at me as he bent over the kitchen table to fill out the rental agreement. Who needed him staring? I could live with letting his voice pour over me and seeing his kissable lips.

“I can’t imagine living here without all of it.” Or maybe even you, I thought, eyeing his pert butt wiggling at me as he wrote.

He stopped, stood, and eyed me for a few seconds before bending and going back to writing. I hadn’t said that about his butt out loud, had I?

As I was daydreaming about his ass and the scarred table, he stopped writing, looked over the form, and finally twisted it toward me. “Sign here, initial here, and date it. Then I need your rent for the month.”

I was signing before he changed his mind. The rent was ridiculously cheap. “No deposit?” There had to be a catch, right?

“No.”

I glanced up. He was gazing down at the table, or maybe at my hands. Or my groin? I signed as fast as I could and wrote a check to John Barton, the name on the rental agreement. So he had a first name, and we had a deal.

I drove back to my cousin’s house whistling. Within an hour, and with Beth and Kate’s help, I was moved in. Having only clothes and electronics made the move a one-trip job. Then I went food shopping for breakfast stuff and frozen dinners. We all celebrated by eating a late dinner outside town at a diner called the Rock Bottom Cafe. Renting a place with a wonderful kitchen hadn’t automatically taught me to cook.


Even with an enigma for a landlord, my life was perfect.

Rafflecopter Giveaway
Enter to win one of THREE $10 Coffee Gift Cards



 
About the Author

Pat Henshaw, author of the Foothills Pride Stories, has spent her life surrounded by words: Teaching English composition at the junior college level; writing book reviews for newspapers, magazines, and websites; helping students find information as a librarian; and promoting PBS television programs. Pat was born and raised in Nebraska where she promptly left the cold and snow after college, living at various times in Texas, Colorado, Northern Virginia, and Northern California. Pat enjoys travel, having visited Mexico, Canada, Europe, Nicaragua, Thailand, and Egypt, and Europe, including a cruise down the Danube. Her triumphs are raising two incredible daughters who daily amaze her with their power and compassion. Fortunately, her incredibly supportive husband keeps her grounded in reality when she threatens to drift away while writing fiction.  

 
Author Social Media Links:
 

RELEASE BLITZ SCHEDULE

December 13
December 14
December 15
~

The Beast Within by S.C. Stephens - Release Day Launch


S.C. Stephens’s THE BEAST WITHIN is available TODAY and paranormal lovers won’t want to miss this one! Be sure to pick up your copy today!

 

About THE BEAST WITHIN

Nika Adams has had a challenging year. She gave her heart to Hunter Evans, only to have him break it. But Nika refuses to give up hope. Not when there's a chance she can save her true-love—even if she must save him from himself. Julian Adams finally knows what he wants, and is truly happy. But when he gets mixed up in Nika's suicide mission to save her wayward boyfriend, he begins to wonder if his dream girl can handle the dangerous life that comes with being an Adams

Add THE BEAST WITHIN to your Goodreads shelf here!    

Get your copy of THE BEAST WITHIN now!

Amazon / iBooks / Kobo

   

 

Don't miss the other books in the Conversion series!

Books in the Conversion series

Conversion / Bloodlines / 'Til Death / The Next Generation / The Beast Within / Family is Forever

 

About S.C. STEPHENS

S.C. Stephens is a bestselling author who enjoys spending every free moment she has creating stories that are packed with emotion and heavy on romance. Her debut novel, Thoughtless, an angst-filled love triangle charged with insurmountable passion and the unforgettable Kellan Kyle, took the literary world by storm. Amazed and surprised by the response to the release of Thoughtless in 2009, more stories were quick to follow. Stephens has been writing nonstop ever since. In addition to writing, Stephens enjoys spending lazy afternoons in the sun reading fabulous novels, loading up her iPod with writer’s block reducing music, heading out the movies and spending quality time with her friends and family. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her two equally beautiful children.