~Review Tour & Review~ Goal Line (Harrisburg Railers #6) by RJ Scott & V.L. Locey

 
Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 54,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
 
Harrisburg Railers Series
 
Book #1 – Changing Lines – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – First Season – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – Deep Edge – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #4 – Poke Check – Amazon UK | Amazon UK
Book #5 – Last Defense – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb
 

Fear and sadness mark Bryan’s life, can Gatlin show him that you have to trust before you can love?



Gatlin Pearce is creeping up on thirty-eight and is still single. It’s not that he wants to be alone, it’s just that he’s too damn old to be in clubs filled with glittery gay boys who can’t even tell him who the Rolling Stones are.



Better to just spend his evenings at Hard Score Ink – his tattoo and artwork shop – creating masterpieces on human flesh, listening to the Railers games, and nursing a cold beer.



His solitary life is about to end when Bryan Delaney, the new Railers backup goalie, shows up at his shop looking for new artwork for his helmet. There’s some sort of sad story in those beautiful eyes of Bryan’s, and Gatlin finds himself more than a little infatuated with the tender new goalie.



Bryan Delaney leaves home at fifteen to live with a billet family. He just wishes that he could have escaped his alcoholic father and strictly devout mother earlier. Drafted to the Arizona Raptors he finds a new family, and his first love affair even if that relationship is marked with violence.



Being traded to the Railers is a shock to the system but the team isn’t like any other he’s ever played on and they truly seem to care about him. It’s only when he meets artist Gatlin, with their shared love of music and hockey, that he realizes how hard it is to escape the past.

 



August 8Jessie G, OMG Reads, Gay Media Reviews, We Three Queens, Urban Smoothie Read, Xtreme Delusions, Reading In Sarah’s Corner, August 10Love My Reads, Mainely Stories, The Geekery Book Review, August 15Love Unchained Book Reviews, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, MM Good Book Reviews, August 17Making It Happen, Nerdy Dirty & Flirty, Bookaholic & Kindle, August 20Open Mind For A Different View, My Fiction Nook, Wicked Faerie’s Tales & Reviews, August 22Drops Of Ink, Padme’s Library, Sarandipity, August 27MM Midnight Cafe, Wicked Reads, August 29Book Lovers 4Ever, August 31Mirrigold, Bayou Book Junkie, Lillian Francis



Excerpt

Keep your eye on Ten, he’s trouble.

That was all the text said, and I re-read it a few times as if more words would suddenly appear.

I don’t know why I looked for affection in any text that Aarni sent me because, in my kind-of-boyfriend’s own words, he wasn’t the demonstrative type. And he would always point out that someone could get hold of my phone. Then they would know that Aarni Lankinen, the villain of the Arizona Raptors, wasn’t everything he made himself out to be, that he wasn’t the playboy who fucked every woman within his reach. That he had a boyfriend on the side, and that it was me.

The phone rang, and I answered as soon as I saw his name. Aarni wasn’t the most patient guy on earth, and he liked it when I was fast to respond.

Did you get my text?” Aarni asked without preamble.

“I did.”

“Don’t let me down now.”

I got the feeling, as he laughed, that he expected me to do that very thing. I still wasn’t sure what would count as letting him down. But given the kind of person I was—clumsy, quiet and only really focused when I was dressed for hockey—I kind of expected to fuck up.

The Arizona Raptors had chosen me in the 2014 draft, not long after my eighteenth birthday. I was the second highest ranking goaltender drafted that year, something to be proud of, I guess. But I’d not managed to stay up at NHL level, spending the rest of the time in the Raptors’ development team in Tucson. Until last year, when I’d actually been a starting goalie after both main goalies had been injured.

I hadn’t been stellar, and Arizona put me on waivers, leaving me vulnerable to being picked up by who the hell ever. My confidence had been rocked. I was a solid goalie for the development team, but the minute I got up to the primary team, NHL level, I choked. Why the hell did the Railers even want someone who hadn’t lived up to their early promise? I assumed I’d attend this training camp, and that would be it. They’d push me down to the Railers’ development team, and there I would stay.

Which wasn’t a bad thing, except they’d taken me from Arizona and from Aarni and it was the first time I’d been really on my own.

“Hello? Are you even listening to me?” Aarni snapped.

“Of course, I won’t let you down,” I lied.

I’m a good goalie, I stop pucks, I can be strong and focused and stay in my own head to track the plays in front of me.

Still, Aarni knew about me what I knew about myself; I’d choke at NHL level just as I had for the majority of my time with the Raptors.

I’m not ready. I should go back down to the minors.

“Also, don’t get comfortable there. They’re not going to keep you for long.”

“I know.”

“And don’t forget what assholes the Railers are. Don’t trust them, particularly wonder-boy Rowe. Arrogant fucker.”

I didn’t see Ten as arrogant at all, but then I was basing my assessment on TV interviews, including the one he’d given with Jared when they’d announced their relationship. I’d been proud of Ten and Jared for doing that, and part of me, the dark, hidden, ruined part, was green with envy that they were able to be open with the world.

I’d said that to Aarni, but he’d reacted badly and hadn’t talked to me for three days. His disappointment was a knife in my gut, and I hated every second of it. That was not happening again. He was right. Ten was a Stanley Cup Champion, a superstar, and if there had been NHL players at the Olympics, then he would undoubtedly have been on Team USA. No team would ask him to leave just because he had a boyfriend. It didn’t seem to be hurting the Railers, and they had a growing reputation as being LGBT-friendly.

“Jesus Christ, Bryan, are you even on this phone call?”

I pulled myself back from the edge. Aarni had said something about Ten being arrogant.

“I won’t forget,” I spoke with confidence so he’d realize I was listening.

“And remember I’m not there to watch your back.” He sighed deeply. “I worry there’s no one to look after you when you attract trouble. Especially from defenders like Max van Hellren. Asshole should have been thrown out of that game against us for what he did to me. Fucker lost us the chance at a championship. So fucking pleased he ended up collapsing. He deserved it.”

My chest tightened. Max wasn’t part of the Railers anymore. He’d retired after the cup win, but Aarni was right. There would be other guys there to step up in his place. Aarni had been furious, with a side order of mean, over what Max had done to him, checking him into the boards. But he’d finally calmed down, said he’d show Max what was what the next time the two teams met. He’d been so disappointed when Max had retired.

But Aarni was a good guy. He was the one who’d gotten involved when the bullying on the Raptors had gotten to be too much for me to handle. When the guys in the toxic locker room got on my case. I’d only played a few games at that level with the Raptors and had fucked every single one of them up. They’d hated it, but Aarni had been there for me.

He seemed to know the point when the rest of the team pushed it too far, always stepping in just before I was going to run from the room. He’d helped me so much, but he was back in Arizona, so far away.

“I’ll be okay,” I murmured, fear gripping me again about the kind of things I needed to face with this new team.

“I doubt that.” He sighed. “But you weren’t enough of all that for the Raptors to keep you, so you have no choice, and there’s nothing we can do about it, can we?”

“No.”

He must have heard the desperation in my voice. I hadn’t wanted the Raptors to give up on me, but that was hockey. One day I had woken up in Arizona as the backup to the backup, fucking things up, and the next day, the team had put me on waivers, and I was suddenly in snowy Pennsylvania.

“Good boy,” was all he said, but it was enough.

He hung up, but those two words gave me a shot of steel to my spine, and I settled my breathing before opening the car door. Security had let me right through to the player parking lot, and my Toyota sat right next to a sexy red Porsche. My salary had taken a hike, up to three million for the two-year contract I had here, so I probably needed a new car.

Even if the Railers saw through me and sent me packing, I’d still have enough money to buy a car.

“Hey,” someone called from behind me, and I immediately assumed that I was standing somewhere I shouldn’t have been. The man was in a guard’s uniform, tall, built and smiling at me benignly.

“I’m sorry. They told me to park there.”

“Of course. Bryan Delaney, right?” he asked and extended his hand for me to shake, which I did immediately after wiping the sweaty palm on my jeans.

“Yeah, Bryan,” I said when I realized I hadn’t answered his question.

“Welcome.” He thumbed at himself. “Name’s Pete. They said I needed to keep an eye out for the new guy.”

He dropped my hand, and I forced a smile onto my face, even though my stomach was churning. “Thank you.”

“This way.” He chatted on about the weather, life, hockey and something about his sister who lived in Arizona. By the time he dropped me outside an office, I knew enough about Pete to write a book. Thing is, his chatter stilled my nerves, and I wasn’t going into this room blind. I knew the name on the door, Alain Gagnon, former goalie for Vancouver, and one of the best goalie coaches in the business. I’d skyped with him once in his capacity as Goalie Coach for the Railers after they’d claimed me off waivers. He’d seen me coming to the Railers as a positive thing, a great thing. All I’d seen is my failure at NHL level hockey with the Raptors, and I remembered going back to Aarni and needing to be held.

Of course, Aarni had said he didn’t need to hug me, but he’d reassured me that, however I played, he would always have my back. I’d needed the comfort. His words of advice stayed with me even now.

I just want you to realize what you are and what your place on the team will be. Ten acts friendly, but he won’t care about you like I do. Stan? He’s had some lucky saves, and as for that fucker Van Hellren? You saw what he did to me in our last matchup. I wish you weren’t so naïve, Bryan. It’s unlikely you’ll get many starts, so don’t be disappointed when you get sent down to the minors.

I won’t be disappointed. I’d promised Aarni, and I’d made a vow to myself not to get too excited and involved.

RJ’s goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.



RJ is the author of the over one hundred novels and discovered romance in books at a very young age. She realized that if there wasn’t romance on the page, she could create it in her head, and is a lifelong writer.



She lives and works out of her home in the beautiful English countryside, spends her spare time reading, watching films, and enjoying time with her family.



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



She’s always thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers. Please contact via the following links below:



Email RJ (rj@rjscott.co.uk)

 

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, Dr. Who, Torchwood, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, two Jersey steers and a flock of assorted domestic fowl.



When not writing lusty tales, she can be found enjoying her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand.

 

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My review:

Goal Line (Harrisburg Railers #6)Goal Line by R.J. Scott

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I flew through this like a player flying down the ice. Held my breath like i was watching a championship. Couldn’t put it down. Cringed. Gasped. Gulped. Swooned. Boy did I swoon. A lot.  Gatlin and Bryan were beautiful, flawed and perfect. What a beautiful series. Can’t wait for more.

View all my reviews

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~Release Blitz~ Bitten by Her (Regent’s Park Pack #5) by Annabelle Jacobs

 

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 43,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Natasha Snow
 
Regent’s Park Pack Series
 
Book #1 – Bitten By Mistake – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – Bitten By Design – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – Bitten By Desire – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #4 – Bitten By The Alpha – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb
 

Brought together by fate, torn apart by family.



Rachel Tregarrak, Penwith pack beta and daughter of the alpha, has always called the rugged Cornish coast her home. With its beautiful landscapes, bracing sea air, and vast spaces to run, she can’t imagine living anywhere else.



After years of living with her mother in her grandfather’s pack, Sara Gallen returns to Penzance to be with her alpha father and her brothers. She wants to build their relationships, get to know the rest of her family better than occasional visits allow.



When their paths cross on the full moon, the attraction is immediate and instinctive. But Sara’s father refuses to allow such a union and forbids any further contact. Sara finds solace with her grandmother in her alpha council residence, and Rachel is sent to a London pack to keep her out of trouble. Both women feel the desperate ache of an uncompleted bond, but unless they find a way to be together, it’ll fade to nothing and their connection will be lost.

Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with three rowdy children, and two cats. An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories. They’re usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it—fighting enemies and adversity—but they always find love in the end.

Twitter – https://twitter.com/AJacobs_fiction

Website – www.annabellejacobs.com

Email – ajacobsfiction@gmail.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ajacobsfiction 

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~Release Blitz~ Goal Line (Harisburg Railers #6) by RJ Scott & V.L. Locey

 

 
Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 54,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
 
Harrisburg Railers Series
 
Book #1 – Changing Lines – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – First Season – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – Deep Edge – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #4 – Poke Check – Amazon UK | Amazon UK
Book #5 – Last Defense – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb
 

Fear and sadness mark Bryan’s life, can Gatlin show him that you have to trust before you can love?



Gatlin Pearce is creeping up on thirty-eight and is still single. It’s not that he wants to be alone, it’s just that he’s too damn old to be in clubs filled with glittery gay boys who can’t even tell him who the Rolling Stones are.



Better to just spend his evenings at Hard Score Ink – his tattoo and artwork shop – creating masterpieces on human flesh, listening to the Railers games, and nursing a cold beer.



His solitary life is about to end when Bryan Delaney, the new Railers backup goalie, shows up at his shop looking for new artwork for his helmet. There’s some sort of sad story in those beautiful eyes of Bryan’s, and Gatlin finds himself more than a little infatuated with the tender new goalie.



Bryan Delaney leaves home at fifteen to live with a billet family. He just wishes that he could have escaped his alcoholic father and strictly devout mother earlier. Drafted to the Arizona Raptors he finds a new family, and his first love affair even if that relationship is marked with violence.



Being traded to the Railers is a shock to the system but the team isn’t like any other he’s ever played on and they truly seem to care about him. It’s only when he meets artist Gatlin, with their shared love of music and hockey, that he realizes how hard it is to escape the past.



Excerpt



Keep your eye on Ten, he’s trouble.



That was all the text said, and I re-read it a few times as if more words would suddenly appear.



I don’t know why I looked for affection in any text that Aarni sent me because, in my kind-of-boyfriend’s own words, he wasn’t the demonstrative type. And he would always point out that someone could get hold of my phone. Then they would know that Aarni Lankinen, the villain of the Arizona Raptors, wasn’t everything he made himself out to be, that he wasn’t the playboy who fucked every woman within his reach. That he had a boyfriend on the side, and that it was me.



The phone rang, and I answered as soon as I saw his name. Aarni wasn’t the most patient guy on earth, and he liked it when I was fast to respond.



“Did you get my text?” Aarni asked without preamble.



“I did.”



“Don’t let me down now.”



I got the feeling, as he laughed, that he expected me to do that very thing. I still wasn’t sure what would count as letting him down. But given the kind of person I was—clumsy, quiet and only really focused when I was dressed for hockey—I kind of expected to fuck up.



The Arizona Raptors had chosen me in the 2014 draft, not long after my eighteenth birthday. I was the second highest ranking goaltender drafted that year, something to be proud of, I guess. But I’d not managed to stay up at NHL level, spending the rest of the time in the Raptors’ development team in Tucson. Until last year, when I’d actually been a starting goalie after both main goalies had been injured.



I hadn’t been stellar, and Arizona put me on waivers, leaving me vulnerable to being picked up by who the hell ever. My confidence had been rocked. I was a solid goalie for the development team, but the minute I got up to the primary team, NHL level, I choked. Why the hell did the Railers even want someone who hadn’t lived up to their early promise? I assumed I’d attend this training camp, and that would be it. They’d push me down to the Railers’ development team, and there I would stay.



Which wasn’t a bad thing, except they’d taken me from Arizona and from Aarni and it was the first time I’d been really on my own.



“Hello? Are you even listening to me?” Aarni snapped.



“Of course, I won’t let you down,” I lied.



I’m a good goalie, I stop pucks, I can be strong and focused and stay in my own head to track the plays in front of me.

Still, Aarni knew about me what I knew about myself; I’d choke at NHL level just as I had for the majority of my time with the Raptors.



I’m not ready. I should go back down to the minors.



“Also, don’t get comfortable there. They’re not going to keep you for long.”



“I know.”



“And don’t forget what assholes the Railers are. Don’t trust them, particularly wonder-boy Rowe. Arrogant fucker.”



I didn’t see Ten as arrogant at all, but then I was basing my assessment on TV interviews, including the one he’d given with Jared when they’d announced their relationship. I’d been proud of Ten and Jared for doing that, and part of me, the dark, hidden, ruined part, was green with envy that they were able to be open with the world.



I’d said that to Aarni, but he’d reacted badly and hadn’t talked to me for three days. His disappointment was a knife in my gut, and I hated every second of it. That was not happening again. He was right. Ten was a Stanley Cup Champion, a superstar, and if there had been NHL players at the Olympics, then he would undoubtedly have been on Team USA. No team would ask him to leave just because he had a boyfriend. It didn’t seem to be hurting the Railers, and they had a growing reputation as being LGBT-friendly.



“Jesus Christ, Bryan, are you even on this phone call?”



I pulled myself back from the edge. Aarni had said something about Ten being arrogant.



“I won’t forget,” I spoke with confidence so he’d realize I was listening.



“And remember I’m not there to watch your back.” He sighed deeply. “I worry there’s no one to look after you when you attract trouble. Especially from defenders like Max van Hellren. Asshole should have been thrown out of that game against us for what he did to me. Fucker lost us the chance at a championship. So fucking pleased he ended up collapsing. He deserved it.”



My chest tightened. Max wasn’t part of the Railers anymore. He’d retired after the cup win, but Aarni was right. There would be other guys there to step up in his place. Aarni had been furious, with a side order of mean, over what Max had done to him, checking him into the boards. But he’d finally calmed down, said he’d show Max what was what the next time the two teams met. He’d been so disappointed when Max had retired.



But Aarni was a good guy. He was the one who’d gotten involved when the bullying on the Raptors had gotten to be too much for me to handle. When the guys in the toxic locker room got on my case. I’d only played a few games at that level with the Raptors and had fucked every single one of them up. They’d hated it, but Aarni had been there for me.



He seemed to know the point when the rest of the team pushed it too far, always stepping in just before I was going to run from the room. He’d helped me so much, but he was back in Arizona, so far away.



“I’ll be okay,” I murmured, fear gripping me again about the kind of things I needed to face with this new team.



“I doubt that.” He sighed. “But you weren’t enough of all that for the Raptors to keep you, so you have no choice, and there’s nothing we can do about it, can we?”



“No.”



He must have heard the desperation in my voice. I hadn’t wanted the Raptors to give up on me, but that was hockey. One day I had woken up in Arizona as the backup to the backup, fucking things up, and the next day, the team had put me on waivers, and I was suddenly in snowy Pennsylvania.



“Good boy,” was all he said, but it was enough.



He hung up, but those two words gave me a shot of steel to my spine, and I settled my breathing before opening the car door. Security had let me right through to the player parking lot, and my Toyota sat right next to a sexy red Porsche. My salary had taken a hike, up to three million for the two-year contract I had here, so I probably needed a new car.



Even if the Railers saw through me and sent me packing, I’d still have enough money to buy a car.



“Hey,” someone called from behind me, and I immediately assumed that I was standing somewhere I shouldn’t have been. The man was in a guard’s uniform, tall, built and smiling at me benignly.



“I’m sorry. They told me to park there.”



“Of course. Bryan Delaney, right?” he asked and extended his hand for me to shake, which I did immediately after wiping the sweaty palm on my jeans.



“Yeah, Bryan,” I said when I realized I hadn’t answered his question.



“Welcome.” He thumbed at himself. “Name’s Pete. They said I needed to keep an eye out for the new guy.”



He dropped my hand, and I forced a smile onto my face, even though my stomach was churning. “Thank you.”



“This way.” He chatted on about the weather, life, hockey and something about his sister who lived in Arizona. By the time he dropped me outside an office, I knew enough about Pete to write a book. Thing is, his chatter stilled my nerves, and I wasn’t going into this room blind. I knew the name on the door, Alain Gagnon, former goalie for Vancouver, and one of the best goalie coaches in the business. I’d skyped with him once in his capacity as Goalie Coach for the Railers after they’d claimed me off waivers. He’d seen me coming to the Railers as a positive thing, a great thing. All I’d seen is my failure at NHL level hockey with the Raptors, and I remembered going back to Aarni and needing to be held.



Of course, Aarni had said he didn’t need to hug me, but he’d reassured me that, however I played, he would always have my back. I’d needed the comfort. His words of advice stayed with me even now.



I just want you to realize what you are and what your place on the team will be. Ten acts friendly, but he won’t care about you like I do. Stan? He’s had some lucky saves, and as for that fucker Van Hellren? You saw what he did to me in our last matchup. I wish you weren’t so naïve, Bryan. It’s unlikely you’ll get many starts, so don’t be disappointed when you get sent down to the minors.



I won’t be disappointed. I’d promised Aarni, and I’d made a vow to myself not to get too excited and involved.

RJ’s goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.



RJ is the author of the over one hundred novels and discovered romance in books at a very young age. She realized that if there wasn’t romance on the page, she could create it in her head, and is a lifelong writer.



She lives and works out of her home in the beautiful English countryside, spends her spare time reading, watching films, and enjoying time with her family.



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



She’s always thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers. Please contact via the following links below:



Email RJ (rj@rjscott.co.uk)


V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, Dr. Who, Torchwood, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, two Jersey steers and a flock of assorted domestic fowl.



When not writing lusty tales, she can be found enjoying her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand.


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~Release Blitz~ Goal Line (Harrisburg Railers #6) by RJ Scott & V.L. Locey

 

 
Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 54,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
 
Harrisburg Railers Series
 
Book #1 – Changing Lines – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – First Season – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – Deep Edge – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #4 – Poke Check – Amazon UK | Amazon UK
Book #5 – Last Defense – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb
 

Fear and sadness mark Bryan’s life, can Gatlin show him that you have to trust before you can love?



Gatlin Pearce is creeping up on thirty-eight and is still single. It’s not that he wants to be alone, it’s just that he’s too damn old to be in clubs filled with glittery gay boys who can’t even tell him who the Rolling Stones are.



Better to just spend his evenings at Hard Score Ink – his tattoo and artwork shop – creating masterpieces on human flesh, listening to the Railers games, and nursing a cold beer.



His solitary life is about to end when Bryan Delaney, the new Railers backup goalie, shows up at his shop looking for new artwork for his helmet. There’s some sort of sad story in those beautiful eyes of Bryan’s, and Gatlin finds himself more than a little infatuated with the tender new goalie.



Bryan Delaney leaves home at fifteen to live with a billet family. He just wishes that he could have escaped his alcoholic father and strictly devout mother earlier. Drafted to the Arizona Raptors he finds a new family, and his first love affair even if that relationship is marked with violence.



Being traded to the Railers is a shock to the system but the team isn’t like any other he’s ever played on and they truly seem to care about him. It’s only when he meets artist Gatlin, with their shared love of music and hockey, that he realizes how hard it is to escape the past.



Excerpt



Keep your eye on Ten, he’s trouble.



That was all the text said, and I re-read it a few times as if more words would suddenly appear.



I don’t know why I looked for affection in any text that Aarni sent me because, in my kind-of-boyfriend’s own words, he wasn’t the demonstrative type. And he would always point out that someone could get hold of my phone. Then they would know that Aarni Lankinen, the villain of the Arizona Raptors, wasn’t everything he made himself out to be, that he wasn’t the playboy who fucked every woman within his reach. That he had a boyfriend on the side, and that it was me.



The phone rang, and I answered as soon as I saw his name. Aarni wasn’t the most patient guy on earth, and he liked it when I was fast to respond.



“Did you get my text?” Aarni asked without preamble.



“I did.”



“Don’t let me down now.”



I got the feeling, as he laughed, that he expected me to do that very thing. I still wasn’t sure what would count as letting him down. But given the kind of person I was—clumsy, quiet and only really focused when I was dressed for hockey—I kind of expected to fuck up.



The Arizona Raptors had chosen me in the 2014 draft, not long after my eighteenth birthday. I was the second highest ranking goaltender drafted that year, something to be proud of, I guess. But I’d not managed to stay up at NHL level, spending the rest of the time in the Raptors’ development team in Tucson. Until last year, when I’d actually been a starting goalie after both main goalies had been injured.



I hadn’t been stellar, and Arizona put me on waivers, leaving me vulnerable to being picked up by who the hell ever. My confidence had been rocked. I was a solid goalie for the development team, but the minute I got up to the primary team, NHL level, I choked. Why the hell did the Railers even want someone who hadn’t lived up to their early promise? I assumed I’d attend this training camp, and that would be it. They’d push me down to the Railers’ development team, and there I would stay.



Which wasn’t a bad thing, except they’d taken me from Arizona and from Aarni and it was the first time I’d been really on my own.



“Hello? Are you even listening to me?” Aarni snapped.



“Of course, I won’t let you down,” I lied.



I’m a good goalie, I stop pucks, I can be strong and focused and stay in my own head to track the plays in front of me.

Still, Aarni knew about me what I knew about myself; I’d choke at NHL level just as I had for the majority of my time with the Raptors.



I’m not ready. I should go back down to the minors.



“Also, don’t get comfortable there. They’re not going to keep you for long.”



“I know.”



“And don’t forget what assholes the Railers are. Don’t trust them, particularly wonder-boy Rowe. Arrogant fucker.”



I didn’t see Ten as arrogant at all, but then I was basing my assessment on TV interviews, including the one he’d given with Jared when they’d announced their relationship. I’d been proud of Ten and Jared for doing that, and part of me, the dark, hidden, ruined part, was green with envy that they were able to be open with the world.



I’d said that to Aarni, but he’d reacted badly and hadn’t talked to me for three days. His disappointment was a knife in my gut, and I hated every second of it. That was not happening again. He was right. Ten was a Stanley Cup Champion, a superstar, and if there had been NHL players at the Olympics, then he would undoubtedly have been on Team USA. No team would ask him to leave just because he had a boyfriend. It didn’t seem to be hurting the Railers, and they had a growing reputation as being LGBT-friendly.



“Jesus Christ, Bryan, are you even on this phone call?”



I pulled myself back from the edge. Aarni had said something about Ten being arrogant.



“I won’t forget,” I spoke with confidence so he’d realize I was listening.



“And remember I’m not there to watch your back.” He sighed deeply. “I worry there’s no one to look after you when you attract trouble. Especially from defenders like Max van Hellren. Asshole should have been thrown out of that game against us for what he did to me. Fucker lost us the chance at a championship. So fucking pleased he ended up collapsing. He deserved it.”



My chest tightened. Max wasn’t part of the Railers anymore. He’d retired after the cup win, but Aarni was right. There would be other guys there to step up in his place. Aarni had been furious, with a side order of mean, over what Max had done to him, checking him into the boards. But he’d finally calmed down, said he’d show Max what was what the next time the two teams met. He’d been so disappointed when Max had retired.



But Aarni was a good guy. He was the one who’d gotten involved when the bullying on the Raptors had gotten to be too much for me to handle. When the guys in the toxic locker room got on my case. I’d only played a few games at that level with the Raptors and had fucked every single one of them up. They’d hated it, but Aarni had been there for me.



He seemed to know the point when the rest of the team pushed it too far, always stepping in just before I was going to run from the room. He’d helped me so much, but he was back in Arizona, so far away.



“I’ll be okay,” I murmured, fear gripping me again about the kind of things I needed to face with this new team.



“I doubt that.” He sighed. “But you weren’t enough of all that for the Raptors to keep you, so you have no choice, and there’s nothing we can do about it, can we?”



“No.”



He must have heard the desperation in my voice. I hadn’t wanted the Raptors to give up on me, but that was hockey. One day I had woken up in Arizona as the backup to the backup, fucking things up, and the next day, the team had put me on waivers, and I was suddenly in snowy Pennsylvania.



“Good boy,” was all he said, but it was enough.



He hung up, but those two words gave me a shot of steel to my spine, and I settled my breathing before opening the car door. Security had let me right through to the player parking lot, and my Toyota sat right next to a sexy red Porsche. My salary had taken a hike, up to three million for the two-year contract I had here, so I probably needed a new car.



Even if the Railers saw through me and sent me packing, I’d still have enough money to buy a car.



“Hey,” someone called from behind me, and I immediately assumed that I was standing somewhere I shouldn’t have been. The man was in a guard’s uniform, tall, built and smiling at me benignly.



“I’m sorry. They told me to park there.”



“Of course. Bryan Delaney, right?” he asked and extended his hand for me to shake, which I did immediately after wiping the sweaty palm on my jeans.



“Yeah, Bryan,” I said when I realized I hadn’t answered his question.



“Welcome.” He thumbed at himself. “Name’s Pete. They said I needed to keep an eye out for the new guy.”



He dropped my hand, and I forced a smile onto my face, even though my stomach was churning. “Thank you.”



“This way.” He chatted on about the weather, life, hockey and something about his sister who lived in Arizona. By the time he dropped me outside an office, I knew enough about Pete to write a book. Thing is, his chatter stilled my nerves, and I wasn’t going into this room blind. I knew the name on the door, Alain Gagnon, former goalie for Vancouver, and one of the best goalie coaches in the business. I’d skyped with him once in his capacity as Goalie Coach for the Railers after they’d claimed me off waivers. He’d seen me coming to the Railers as a positive thing, a great thing. All I’d seen is my failure at NHL level hockey with the Raptors, and I remembered going back to Aarni and needing to be held.



Of course, Aarni had said he didn’t need to hug me, but he’d reassured me that, however I played, he would always have my back. I’d needed the comfort. His words of advice stayed with me even now.



I just want you to realize what you are and what your place on the team will be. Ten acts friendly, but he won’t care about you like I do. Stan? He’s had some lucky saves, and as for that fucker Van Hellren? You saw what he did to me in our last matchup. I wish you weren’t so naïve, Bryan. It’s unlikely you’ll get many starts, so don’t be disappointed when you get sent down to the minors.



I won’t be disappointed. I’d promised Aarni, and I’d made a vow to myself not to get too excited and involved.

RJ’s goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.



RJ is the author of the over one hundred novels and discovered romance in books at a very young age. She realized that if there wasn’t romance on the page, she could create it in her head, and is a lifelong writer.



She lives and works out of her home in the beautiful English countryside, spends her spare time reading, watching films, and enjoying time with her family.



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



She’s always thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers. Please contact via the following links below:



Email RJ (rj@rjscott.co.uk)


V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, Dr. Who, Torchwood, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, two Jersey steers and a flock of assorted domestic fowl.



When not writing lusty tales, she can be found enjoying her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand.


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~Review~ Imperial Stout by Layla Reyne

Imperial Stout (Trouble Brewing, #1)Imperial Stout by Layla Reyne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Whew! What an insane ride. This was not slow and sweet. This was fast and delicious. Get in, hang on and shut up intenseness. Grab you, shove you up against the wall and kiss you until you forget your own name hotness. In other words, wow what a great ride. Cam and Nic were…..I swear I could feel the chemistry between them, could feel the pull that they had to each other. I found myself leaning in my seat, like you sometimes do when you’re watching an intense movie scene and you’re worried that things might not work out – your body instinctively leans to try to help the characters out. My body did that with Cam and Nic’s story – a lot. But it was all wonderful and perfect and good and well worth the jolt to my heart.

View all my reviews
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~Audio Review Tour~ The Master Will Appear by L.A. Witt

 

 
Length: 12hrs 59mins
 
Narrated By: Michael Ferraiuolo
 
Blurb
 

Dr. Mikhail “Misha” Budnikov takes one look at fellow fencer Ryan O’Connor and instantly knows his type. The undisciplined hothead is all ego with no finesse and even less control. In short, Misha’s pet peeves personified. To put the arrogant kid in check, Misha challenges him to a sparring match, which he predictably wins.



Not so predictably, Ryan asks him to be a mentor and show him how to fence. Startled by the moment of humility, Misha agrees.



What begins as fencing lessons becomes something much hotter, and before they know it, Misha is giving Ryan an entirely different kind of education. Dominance, submission, pain, pleasure-at the hands of an older, experienced man, a whole new world is opening up for Ryan.



As the trust deepens and their bond strengthens, though, Ryan retreats because that sham called love left him jaded long ago. Cynical beyond his years, he’s not letting his guard down, least of all for a thrice-divorced man twice his age.



Now Misha has to find a way to crack through those defenses…or accept defeat and walk away from the submissive who might just be the love of his life.


August 1Dog-Eared Daydreams, Mainely Stories, Gay Book Reviews, August 6Gay Media Reviews, August 8Kimmers’ Erotic Book Banter, Love Unchained Book Reviews, August 10Lillian Francis, Momma Says To Read Or Not To Read, Bayou Book Junkie, Xtreme Delusions, Two Chicks Obsessed, Wicked Reads, United Indie Book Blog, BFD Book Blog, We Three Queens



About The Author



L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut…

 

Website: http://www.gallagherwitt.com

E-mail: gallagherwitt@gmail.com

Twitter: @GallagherWitt

Blog: http://gallagherwitt.blogspot.com

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~Blog Tour & Giveaway~ Hard to Hold by Jaclyn Quinn

Hard to Hold Tour

HARD TO HOLD

HAVEN’S COVE SERIES BOOK 2

JACLYN QUINN

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 07.24.18

Hard to Hold Cover

BLURB

Perfect, happy, “Jonah the Savior”, that’s how most people see Jonah Taylor. What they don’t always see is how incredibly overwhelmed he is with his new business or how lonely he is. When a painfully shy man enters his wellness center, all Jonah wants to do is help break him out of his shell. The problem is, the attraction he feels to the nervous, timid man is undeniable.

Cameron Vaughn has let most of his life be decided for him. A traumatic event from his past has caused him to doubt every decision he makes. When he’s forced into a new, anxiety-ridden situation, his first instinct is to run. So, what is it about the owner of the wellness center that has him questioning everything he’s ever been told?

Can one man convince the other he’s worth saving? Can the other realize he’s strong enough to save himself? Together, can they prove that what they’ve found is worth holding on to?

US: https://amazon.com/dp/B07FTCRFZZ/
UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07FTCRFZZ/
CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07FTCRFZZ/
AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07FTCRFZZ/

Hard to Hold Teaser 3

Hard to Hold Teaser 4

 

EXCERPT

It was still pretty light outside, but Cameron was standing in mostly darkness, the only light now coming from the stairs. Taking a deep breath, he once again reminded himself of the promise he’d made to Dr. Sampson and to himself to face things head on. Time to find out what the hell I did wrong. He took the stairs slowly, steadily breathing in and out as he got to the landing in front of Jonah’s door. He glanced down the stairs to the exit, then took one last chest filled breath, lifted his hand, and knocked on the door.

“Come in,” Jonah called out and with a shaking hand, Cameron opened the door.

Hesitantly, Cameron walked in, scanning the small space for Jonah who was standing across the room by a table with his back to the door.

“Don’t tell me the lock is sticking again. I’ll have to complain to my land…” Jonah turned around, and the smile left his face, “lord. Cameron… Sorry, thought you were Gabe, who also happens to be my landlord.” Jonah gripped the back of his neck and gave a small laugh. Was he nervous?

Panic flooded Cam. What the hell he was thinking? The uneasy look on Jonah’s face reminded him, though. He cleared his throat, rubbed his palms on his jeans and said in a shaky voice, “Didn’t mean to bother you so late. I just… Well, I have a question.”

Jonah plastered the fake smile on his face that Cameron was starting to hate. “What’s up?”

Cameron looked back toward the door, his need to find the exit in any situation like a thorn in his side and a comfort at the same time. He opened and closed his trembling hands, took a deep breath, and finally asked, “What did I do?”

Jonah was clearly confused. “I’m sorry?”

Balling his hands into fists, Cameron drew strength from the tightness and asked again. “What did I do wrong?” He looked down at his fists, slowly uncurling his fingers, and began fidgeting with his hands. “I mean, I obviously did something wrong because you’ve been really weird with me for days. In fact, you’ve been pretty quiet, but for the life of me, I can’t figure out what I did.” Holy shit. Did all of that really just come out of his mouth? It suddenly hit Cameron that Jonah treating him differently was bothering him more than he realized. Enough to actually speak up for once in his goddamn life and ask why.

Jonah’s look of shock confirmed that…yes, he really had just said all that. He ran the hand that had been gripping the back of his neck up through his blond hair then back down to his neck. Jonah walked over to the couch and sat down. Slowly, he leaned over, resting his elbows on his thighs then looked back up at Cameron. The desperate sadness in Jonah’s gaze definitely threw Cameron off.

“Shit, Cam, I’m sorry. I was trying to not make you feel uncomfortable, and instead, I went completely to the other end of the spectrum.”

“Huh?” Jonah had used his nickname, the same one Ali had used only days before. He hadn’t liked when Ali called him Cam, but when Jonah said it, it made him feel warm. It felt…intimate. Jonah patted the cushion next to him, and Cameron found himself walking over and sitting down without a second thought. “Why would you think you were making me uncomfortable?” he asked, still completely confused.

“Because you’re always so nervous around me. You… Do you know you barely look at me? I thought― Ah, it’s so stupid when I think about it now. Just ignore me. You’ve done absolutely nothing wrong…a bit of a distraction…but nothing wrong.”

32531858_371057093414136_548962524838494208_o

I have been an artist from a very young age. From drawing cartoon characters and evolving into portraits, making jewelry, photography, and now writing. I have an amazing support system in my family and friends and couldn’t be more grateful.

I live in central New Jersey, love summers at the Jersey Shore, rock music, wine, sexy men, and laughing a lot with my amazing friends and family. Sunday dinners at my parents’ house are crazy, hysterical and you can count on a movie quote…or ten…being thrown out. Insults between siblings is how we show our love for each other!

When I’m not creating, you can find me reading books from my favorite authors. I’m a hopeless romantic, starving for passionate characters and always craving that happy ending, whether in reading or in writing my own books.

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