~Cover Reveal~ A World Apart (Loving Again Book One) by Mel Gough

COVER REVEAL

Book Title: A World Apart (Loving Again series, Book 1)

Author: Mel Gough

Cover Artist: Black Jazz Design

Genre/s: Contemporary romance

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 51 000 words/197 pages

Release Date: January 25, 2019

It is the first book in the series but can be read as a standalone.

Add on Goodreads

Blurb

Ben’s life appears perfect. He has a career to shine in and a beautiful family. But his marriage has broken down, and being a small-town cop is turning into a dead-end job.

Hot-headed troublemaker Donnie is used to being side-eyed by the fuzz. Getting dragged into the station for a crime he didn’t commit is no big surprise – but a cop who gives a damn sure is.

Ben has no clue how much a second encounter with the secretive redneck will shake up his life. Donnie’s sullen vulnerability arouses a passion Ben hasn’t felt for a long time. Soon, nothing matters but helping Donnie fight his demons. Can they carve a new life together out of the ashes?

Pre-Order Link

Universal Amazon Link

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Book 2 and 3 are due to be released in February and March 2019

About the Author

Mel was born in Germany, where she spent the first twenty-six years of her life (with a one-year stint in Los Angeles). She has always been fascinated by cultures and human interaction, and got a Masters in Social Anthropology. After finishing university she moved to London, where she has now lived for ten years.

If you were to ask her parents what Mel enjoyed the most since the age of six, they would undoubtedly say “Reading!” She would take fifteen books on a three-week beach holiday, and then read all her mom’s books once she’d devoured her own midway through week two.

Back home in her mom’s attic there’s a box full of journals with stories Mel wrote when she was in her early teens. None of the stories are finished, or any good. She has told herself bedtime stories as far back as she can remember.

In her day job, Mel works as PA and office manager. No other city is quite like London, and Mel loves her city. The hustle and bustle still amaze and thrill her even after all these years. When not reading, writing or going to the theater, Mel spends her time with her long-time boyfriend, discussing science or poking fun at each other.

Author Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Twitter

Giveaway

Sign up to Mel Gough’s mailing list

for a chance to receive one of 50 free ebook copies of A World Apart

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions


LUBR banner

Advertisements

~Release Blitz~ An Alpha for Christmas by Charity Parkerson

 

 

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 12,000 words approx.

Blurb

Christmas Eve night with a sexy new friend turns into the perfect Christmas. But Austin never expects his dream holiday to ruin his life.

Hoping to avoid another yearly gathering of the worst people Austin knows—his family—he volunteers to play Santa’s little helper at the department store where he works. That’s where the sexiest Santa on the planet comes to his rescue.

Will plays Santa every year at his grandfather’s department store. It’s something he oddly enjoys. This year is twice the fun when he’s paired with a mouthwatering elf. When Will finds Austin stranded in the parking lot, he’s more than willing to help. A ride turns into an amazing night together. The night turns into a weekend that changes both their lives forever. Not necessarily for the good.

It’ll take more than a good time in bed to fix Austin’s life. For the first time, Will might have to put someone else first.

This is a short and steamy story, featuring a character from Charity Parkerson’s Low Blow series. It was written to be a complete standalone, separate from the series.

Charity Parkerson is an award winning and multi-published author with several companies. Born with no filter from her brain to her mouth, she decided to take this odd quirk and insert it in her characters.

*Eight-time Readers’ Favorite Award Winner
*2015 Passionate Plume Award Finalist
*2013 Reviewers’ Choice Award Winner
*2012 ARRA Finalist for Favorite Paranormal Romance
*Five-time winner of The Mistress of the Darkpath

Connect with her online:

–Website: charityparkerson.com
–Facebook: facebook.com/authorCharityParkerson
facebook.com/TheMenofSin
–Twitter: twitter.com/CharityParkerso

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

 

cropped-lubr-banner.jpg

~Release Blitz~ All that has Flown Beyond (Natural Magic #2) by Marina Vivancos

 

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 78,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Natasha Snow

Natural Magic Series

Book #1 – In This Iron Ground – Amazon US | Amazon UK

Blurb

Kaiyo’s bloodline has been part of the Garrow pack for generations. He has been destined to be shaman, to anchor the werewolves to the land, and lend aid with the force of his Ousía. When Kaiyo is fourteen, however, an attacking group kills all of the adults in the pack, leaving young Ahmik, only fifteen, as leader.

Their worries don’t end there.

Smelling blood in the water, enemies hunt the decimated pack from all sides. Kaiyo grows increasingly reckless in his desperation to defend his pack, to finally grow into his shaman powers, and to protect Ahmik: the boy he loves.

In the end, Kaiyo loses his pack anyway.

Packless, landless, Kaiyo drifts. For ten years, he fights to remake himself into the shaman, and the man, he was meant to become. One phone call from his old pack, though, and he is forced to return.

Something is killing children and Kaiyo is the only one strong enough to stop it.

Kaiyo never thought his journey would take him back to his old land, his old pack, and to Ahmik. Forced to face his past, and the wounded love that still aches for Ahmik, Kaiyo will be tested like never before.

Content Warning: This story contains themes of depression and associated thoughts and behaviours. However, as always, it focuses on recovery and strength.

This book takes place in the Natural Magic world but can be read as a standalone.

Author Bio

When Marina was a child she couldn’t sleep. Night after dissolving night she just couldn’t sleep. Nothing much worked – until she started making up stories in her head. Suddenly, the transition into unconsciousness was a smooth dive into calm waters.

Marina is currently in a period of sleepless upheaval, and she hopes writing down the stories in her head will cast the same spell it did decades ago.

Marina hopes to write in a variety of romance sub-genres, from contemporary to supernatural to sci-fi. Her style, however, tends to focus on character-centred stories that explore different facets of the human experience, such as mental health. She also enjoys writing explicit, drawn-out sex scenes, so expect those to be a prominent feature of her stories.

Marina tends to keep to herself unless prompted, so don’t be shy in approaching her!

 

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

cropped-lubr-banner.jpg

~Blog Post & Review~His Hart’s Command (Nothing Special VI – SWAT Edition)

#nothing special6-ebook-complete

Guest Post

IT’s ABOUT THAT TIME AGAIN!

I’m so happy to be back with the next installment from my Nothing Special series. It’s been a while since I visited with my guys and let me tell you it was one helluva ride they took me on. This title has all the guys you love from the previous stories and some new that I’m sure you’ll adore. Which can make this title stand on its on. Since my last two novels, my alpha lovers have asked for more action and hotter romance. I hope I delivered.

I’m doing a guest post on each stop of my limited tour and each one WILL BE DIFFERENT. I never know what to talk about or say for a post – not wanting to do the usual – so I’m gonna talk about my many experiences I had over the several months of writing this book. Some will be funny quips, cute tales, people I spoke to, emotions I experienced, etc.

What I wanna talk about on Love Unchained Book Reviews today is how I tried to learn how to cook while in the midst of writing a book. I know. Not a brilliant idea. Sometimes I’m in my office for so long, and so many days at a time that I’ll go days without cooking. Don’t make the mistake of thinking I’m a horrible mom to my practically grown teens. I let them order take out whenever they ask. LOL. But typically the hubby cooks. Anyway. Thought I’d surprise him and have dinner cooked when he got in. Even the kids were shocked. The meal looked nice – my mini meatloaf patties (don’t ask) – if I may say so myself. It was the tomato paste I spread on top that ruined it. I was so close to making a half-way edible dinner. I’ve learned to accept that you have to stink at something. And mine is being creative in the kitchen. Neither of my MCs could cook either. (tehehehe. See how I did that).

Thank you for listening and thank you so much for stopping by. Definitely leave me a comment below on your thoughts, (SO CAN YOU COOK? Or if you’re like me… what’s the last dish you destroyed?), and enter a chance to win some of the kickass prizes that correlates with my computer-guru, MC. That means sweet gadgets.

Book Details

Author A.E. Via

Title:  Nothing Special VI (SWAT Edition)

His Hart’s Command

Series: Nothing Special

Book Six

M/M ACTION/ROMANCE

Edited by: Sue Laybourn

Cover Artist – Jay Aheer

PAGE COUNT – 250

Official Release Date: November 30, 2018

#NSVI 5

Synopsis

Lennox Freeman (Free) is one of the best hackers in the world which has caused him to spend most of his life on the run. Never able to put down roots, he couldn’t trust anyone not to take advantage of him, even his own family. If it wasn’t for his best friend, Tech, shielding him, Free’s father would’ve sold him and his skills to the highest bidding crime family when he was still a student at MIT. Free owed Tech his life; so when his friend called for him to come to Atlanta to work with him, he couldn’t say no. However, he wasn’t expecting the overprotective group of detectives that made up Atlanta PD’s most notorious task force. And he certainly wasn’t prepared for the large-and-in-charge SWAT Captain that was responsible for their safety.

Ivan Hart has lived and bled one creed all of his life: To Serve and Protect. His intense focus and determination in law enforcement has led him to finally commanding his own team. He’d worked hard to put together a squad of badasses capable of backing up a very dangerous team of detectives. Being God and Day’s last line of defense came with a lot of responsibility that he took very seriously.

After his divorce was final Hart turned right around and remarried his job. He had his good friends there in the office with him every day, so it was easier to ignore the few quiet hours he spent at home alone each night. He’d settled well into his new routine and was comfortable with it. Then God decided to disrupt everything by hiring another tech specialist for his department. A man whose brains, trendy looks, and voice would leave Hart tongue-tied and captivated at their first introduction.

Free quickly awakens a passion in Hart that he long thought was dead. An attraction he didn’t know existed. He couldn’t fathom that the sexy cyber genius could be interested in an over-sized, big-bearded brute that served criminals the bottom line for a living. No matter what his best friend, God said.

A future with Hart could be potentially dangerous and often times full of terrifyingly close calls; but little did he know that so could falling for the most hunted hacker in the world. All Lennox Freeman wants in life is security, love and protection… Hart had all that to give and more.

 

This novel is a part of a series and contains previously mentioned characters, but CAN BE read as a standalone. No cliffhangers.

Exclusive Excerpt

 

“So, Cap. What exactly did you do for Ms. Maryanne last night that made her so damn appreciative?” Fox asked him.

Hart didn’t bother to look at his lieutenant. He was sure Fox had that annoyingly sly smile on his face, and he wasn’t in the mood to slap it off. “You’re all animals, including you, Dinah.”

“Hey. I didn’t ask the stupid question, Fox did. But, inquiring minds do wanna know,” his sergeant chimed in. Dinah was a beautiful black woman with long black and blonde dreadlocks that she kept pulled up into a large, complex bun at the base of her neck. She was a gorgeous scorpion with a vicious sting. And Hart fully relied on her and his lieutenant to help him manage a high-demand SWAT team.

“Inquiring minds? More like nosy minds wanna know. Trifling minds wanna know. Crass minds wanna—”

“Oh come on. We’re not any of those things,” Fox said from the rear. “But, you can’t expect a woman to confess those kinds of sentiments in front of all of us and we not ask about it.”

“True. You were in her boudoir for a long time, Cap.” Dinah chuckled, pushing the diesel truck hard down the interstate.

“‘Boudoir’?” Hart laughed.

Dinah rolled her brown eyes, “You know what I mean. In her bedchamber.”

“I wasn’t in her boudoir or freakin’ chamber. I was in the witness’s room comforting her.”

A loud round of cheers and “ohs” followed.

“Sometimes I wonder how old you all are,” Hart grumbled. “I didn’t mean that kind of comfort.”

“She sure was comfortable putting her hands on you,” Fox added.

“He’s so big and cuddly,” Dinah said, trying to reach over and squeeze his shoulder.

“Okay, enough. Just get us home safely, Dinah,” Hart ordered. He knew his team was giving him shit, they often did, but he didn’t want to joke about what had happened last night.

The woman had recently lost her husband and child. He’d provided her with nothing more than a friendly ear and a shoulder to weep on. The trial was over and she’d needed a long, cathartic cry. It hadn’t been until Maryanne had wept herself to sleep on his chest that he’d finally pulled the covers over her and slipped out of there at four in the morning. He’d ignored the disapproving glances he’d gotten from the two agents posted outside her door as he made his way back to his team’s area of the safe house.

Dinah pulled the truck into the station’s underground garage a little after ten a.m. They were all exhausted from having been up most of the night, then traveling for the last five hours. But, there was no rest for the weary. They had to get all their gear catalogued and stored in their armory. Get showered and be back in uniform and at their desks, ready to report. Then the commander would make his way over and demand an immediate debriefing. All this was to be done before he’d even be allowed to eat breakfast. It was the life of a SWAT officer.

His team came through the precinct doors, still in full gear with their special operations assault rifles laid across their chests. The bullpen came alive with shouts as fists pounded on desks, and chairs squeaked as the precinct stood to welcome them back. Hart nodded at a lot of the officers as they made their way to the elevators, even accepted hugs from a few of the female staff.

“Glad you guys are back, Hart!” Captain Myers called from his office. “Damn good job out there.”

More cheers rose from the officers.

0AE Author Pic

AUTHOR BIO:

A.E. (Adrienne) Via has been a best-selling author in gay romance for five years now, but she’s no stranger to MM. She’s been an avid reader of gay lit for over twenty years before she picked up her laptop to place her own kiss on this beautiful genre. She’s also the founder and owner of Via Star Wings Books, having published a couple of great new up and coming MM authors.

A.E. has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Virginia Wesleyan College that she used to start her own paralegal firm after she graduated in 2008. She spent five years preparing and filing bankruptcy petitions for struggling blue collar workers who couldn’t afford to file with a lawyer. It was a rewarding and satisfying career… but another path called to me. Writing.

A.E.’s writing embodies everything from hopelessly romantic to adventure, to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.

Now that she’s gotten over her 10 books published hump, she’s kind of known now for her play rough and love hard, bad boy, alphas. However, I do like to push myself to step out of my comfort zone and explore with different tropes, but I never push myself into a whole other genre. I’m head over heels for gay romance and I have tons of more hot stories to tell.

Be sure to visit Adrienne on her social media pages and subscribe to her newsletter to never miss another release date! https://goo.gl/GbfCyk or Go to A.E. Via’s official website http://authoraevia.com  for more detailed information on how to contact her, follow her, or a sneak peek on upcoming work, free reads, VSWB submissions, and where she’ll appear next.

0AEVia-Logo-JayAheer2015-white-black-Large - Copy

Links

 

Amazon Link: https://goo.gl/UyXtTK

Smashwords: https://goo.gl/6Z7kdc

Goodreads: https://goo.gl/27H23k

Author Official Website: http://authoraevia.com

A.E. Amazon Author Pagehttps://goo.gl/AVpOeJ

A.E. Newsletter: https://goo.gl/hrfifS

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/aeviaauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorAEVia

cropped-lubr-banner.jpg

His Hart's Command (Nothing Special #6)His Hart’s Command by A.E. Via

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This series is by far one of my favorites – for a lot of reasons – and this 6th book (but the 1st SWAT edition) definitely did not disappoint. To see a big brute of a man like Hart struggle with self-esteem and image issues was, well, different and refreshing (sorry Hart). With God and Day, Syn, Ruxs & Greene all so alpha, cocky and confident, it was a breath of fresh air to see a man just as big, just as alpha, just as strong as the others and yet worn down by years of verbal abuse. And Free, who has both confidence and his own hidden issues, was simply beautiful. Together they could light fire to the sheets but also balanced each other out so perfectly, reading this was like watching a perfectly choreographed ballet or listening to an incredible symphony. So many pieces, so many parts, so much chaos that somehow melds together into something amazing.

View all my reviews

~Review Tour~ Neutral Zone (A Christmas Railers Novella) by RJ Scott & V.L. Locey

 
 
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
 
Length: 40,000 words approx.
 
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 US | Amazon UK
Book #5 – Last Defense – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #6 – Goal Line – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb
 

Tennant Rowe has it all, a boyfriend he adores, a loving family, and a career on the rise. He’s sure of his place in the world, and the future can only get brighter. Then one night, in a flash of skates and sticks, life changes forever. Getting back on the ice is Ten’s priority, and experts tell him that it’s just a matter of time.



Jared watches his lover fall in more ways than one, and when tragedy strikes, even the strongest of relationships are tested. Ten is strong, but Jared has to be stronger to help the man who holds his heart. Only, he has to admit that maybe it isn’t just him who can make Ten whole again.



Jared and Ten’s love is forever, but the rocky path to the romantic Christmas Jared had planned may be hard to travel.



Excerpt



Ten



Karma. It’s a real bitch. Just ask anyone.



I’d left my man and my team behind in Harrisburg and flown to—get this—fucking Tucson, Arizona, to begin treatment for my traumatic head injury.



The same city the Raptors played in.



I could open the blinds in my room here in the Draper Neurological Rehabilitation and Performance Center and see the glistening mirrored sides of the Santa Catalina Arena. Funny shit right there. Four blocks over, the Raptors were on the ice for morning skate, and I was here, trying to get my brain healed enough so I could maybe play my game again someday.



Shit, right now I’d be happy to be able to speak or read normally.



“Ho, ho, ho,” I growled, closing the drapes, then pulling my sunglasses off and tossing them to the bed. Living behind sunglasses and blinds sucked. Headaches sucked. Slurred speech sucked. Seeing the pity in the eyes of my boyfriend and family and teammates sucked. Christmas with sand and cactus sucked. I wanted to cry. I wanted to be back home with Mads, decorating our tree and shaking my presents. I wanted to be shopping for gifts for my boyfriend, my mother and father, for my brothers, and for Stan and Adler and all the Railers. I wanted things to be the way they had been before that night. Tears threatened, but I held them in. Crying only made my head hurt worse.



So, I padded out of my room and made my way to breakfast and the first of several rounds of rehab I’d be facing today. I’d been here one day and had come to realize that my brain was now as well-known with the neurologists here as my face was back in Harrisburg. This was the place for athletes to come when they were battling CTE-related brain issues. Most of the men here were older, retired players, lots of football players. I mean lots of them. I’d met three other hockey players so far, all retired, all fighting to keep a step ahead of the disease taking over their brains. Sometimes, late at night, when I was lying in bed, I’d get scared for myself and all the other guys on my team. I worried about Mads. God knows how many concussions he’d had when he was playing. Add that to his heart shit and… well, I worried about stuff now. Lots more stuff than I had before the night my head met the ice, sans helmet.



The facility held a hundred and fifty people, and not all of us were athletes. Lots of patients had come here after car accidents or other catastrophic injuries. There were head injuries and spinal cord injuries being healed. The staff seemed nice, confident in their ability to nurse me back to my old self or as close as we could get. The halls were bright and airy, the food excellent, and the medical staff top-notch. And yes, it was expensive and elite and the cream of the crop. Which was why Mads had stubbornly pushed me into coming here after my initial rehab had been completed. Two weeks at the facility, a couple of weeks back home for the holidays, then back for another four weeks. Then maybe we’d talk about hockey.



“Hey, you’re Tennant Rowe, right?”



I skidded to a halt outside one of a dozen sun-rooms. As though people in Arizona didn’t get enough sun just stepping outside? They needed to make rooms for sun? A tall, burly black man about my age ran at me, hand out. I smiled up at him, trying to pull some information about him from my cloudy memory banks.



“I’m Declan Fidler, cornerback for the Temple Owls.”



“Ah, cool, hey man.” We shook hands. God, he was cute. Short hair and a flashy smile, big wide shoulders and inkwork all over his arms. “Sorry to see you here though, dude.”



“Yeah, I know that.” He ran a hand over his hair. “First game of the season too.”



“That sucks,” I said, then released his hand. “I was on my way to the dining hall.”



“I could eat if you want some company.”



“Totally. Be nice to have someone to talk to who’s under forty.”



“I feel that.”



He joined me on the walk to the dining hall, which looked nothing like the hospital cafeteria I’d been expecting when I first saw it yesterday. This place was upmarket. Round tables with cloth covers, thick royal-blue carpeting, windows that ran floor to ceiling, flowering plants in the corners, and a wait staff.



“I don’t think I’ll ever get used to this place,” I murmured as I followed Declan to a table by the windows.



“I feel the same way,” he said as we took our seats. “I mean, I grew up wealthy, my father’s the chief justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and I was still blown away.”



“That’s impressive. Did he…?” My brain went totally blank, and I scrambled to find the proper word. “Push. Yeah, did he push to get you in here?” I winced at the slip.



Fuck this shit. Really. Push? How fucking hard it is to recall a word like push?



An older woman in a tidy uniform filled our water glasses, then asked if she could have our room numbers. All the meals here were prepared by nutritionists with an eye to the patients’—athletes in my case—unique needs.



“Big-time. He was adamant about me coming here after the initial rehab. Said that this place would do things to counter the damage that no regular rehab could do. You here for CRT?”



“I uhm…” and that skip again. Fuck. “Dude, sorry, I’m like…” I tapped my temple.



He reached over the table to take my hand. “Ten, man, do not sweat it. You should have seen me when I got here. Barely able to string four words together. Sometimes I still trip up, just like that. But it’s all good. We’re tough motherfuckers. We’ll train our brains.”



“Yeah, train the brains. Cool.”



He gave my hand a squeeze and then released it. “So CRT?”



Our food was served, my platter loaded with scrambled eggs, fresh fruit, a bowl of oatmeal, and chocolate milk. My meds also sat on my tray. Declan’s food was similar, as were the meds in tiny cups lined up for him.



“Cognitive rehab therapy,” he said before shaking out his napkin and laying it over his lap. I did the same and tossed down the pills. I had no idea what they were pumping into me, and I truly didn’t care. As long as they got me back on the ice, they could be dumping Soylent green into my body via the milk. Man, that old movie rocked. What I wouldn’t give to be curled up on the couch with Mads watching it again. “Speech, occupation, and physical therapy. You don’t have any big physical issues, do you?”



“Some weakness on the left side, my arm, but it’s getting better. I hardly drop anything now.”



“That’s good. Once the swelling goes down, things tend to get better.” He took a bite from a slice of whole wheat toast. “I can’t believe I’m sitting here eating with you. Cup winner, LGBT crusader. Thanks for doing that, coming out, being proud and gay. I know how hard that is. My family and team have been amazing about my being queer.”



“Excellent. Glad they’re… fuck, I just. Give me a sec. Yeah, uhm, glad it’s good for you. I’m sorry. Sometimes I can go, like, whole days and barely fuck up, and then I’ll hit this patch where my brain glitches out and… shit. Fuck. Okay, I’m going to shut up for a minute and let my neurons… fire or something.”



“It’s fine. I understand.” And he did. I could see it in his eyes. He totally got it because he was living it too.



I wished everyone else in my life could get it as Declan did. We ate in amiable silence, not that heavy, cloaking pity blanket of quietude that my family draped over me every time I fumbled.



Therapy followed that pleasant breakfast, hours of it. Doctors and nurses, therapists, reading and tests and poking and prodding. Weights and treadmills and medicine balls. Shoving tiny pegs into tinier holes, pet therapy which was actually cool because who didn’t love a dog kiss? Speech therapy was last, and I tanked at it. Totally blew it to shit with my inability to recall one simple phrase. It made me so mad I flipped the table, sending papers and pencils flying. Then, because I had no clue where that outburst had come from, I felt even shittier.



“Tennant, it’s okay,” the woman, who was some fancy kind of advanced speech therapist, said as we picked up the mess I’d made. “Temper flare-ups are common. It’s frustrating not to be able to express yourself. We see that frequently in stroke victims.”



“That was uncool. Just so uncool. I didn’t… it wasn’t… shit.” I dropped to my ass, hands full of work sheets that looked as if a four-year-old had scribbled them down, buried my face in the papers, and wept.



Julie. Yes! That was her name. Julie sat down beside me, rubbed my back, and told me all kinds of reassuring things.



“I’m kind of done for the day,” I told her, and she let me go. I walked the halls, feeling discouraged and sickened with myself. Once I got back to my room, I called home, needing to hear Jared’s voice. As soon as he picked up, I kind of began babbling. A lot of it wasn’t sensible, and it was garbled because I’d have to stop, think, and then restart. But through all of that, Jared listened and never interrupted. When I was done, I fell back onto the bed, exhausted, battling a headache, and sick to death of myself and my stupid brain.



“Sounds like a rough first day,” Jared said. I rolled to my side, tucking my knees up, my gaze on that shiny arena where the Raptors were playing hockey right now. “Are you sure you don’t want me to come out? I can get a hotel room.”



“No, you need to work. The team needs you.”



“You need me as well, Tennant.”



“No, I got this. You can’t do this for me, Mads. Neither can Ryker or Brady or Jamie or my mother. It’s just…” I exhaled through pursed lips. “It’s so much harder than I thought it would be. I mean, I knew it would be hard but fuck sake, I couldn’t recall simple words. How will I ever be able to play if I can’t…” I stopped and calmed myself down. “I hate that this happened. I hate Aarni so much for doing this to me, Jared. I never thought I could ever hate anyone.”



“I know, babe. I wish you’d reconsider and let me come out there.”



He sounded as sick at heart as I was. And truthfully, in that moment, I was close to telling him to fly out. I so needed his arms around me.



“Tell me you love me.”



“I love you.” He drew in a shaky breath. “Do you want me to come out? Just say the word.”



I sat up slowly to avoid a head-rush and the pain that went along with those. “No, I’m good.” I pushed to my feet and went to the window. The sun was setting now, the mirrored sides of the Santa Catalina Arena glowing scarlet and pink. “I’m a tough camper. My Mom said that to me the first time I went to hockey camp.”



“Yeah? How old were you? Five months old or so?”



That made me chuckle. “Nah man, I was like six. And this camp was in Buffalo. I wanted to go so bad. I mean, I can be kind of stubborn when I want something.”



“I’m well aware of that fact,” he replied. Was he sitting down or pacing? Probably pacing because he was tension-riddled over me. “You were persistent about us.”



“Damn right I was. I knew we’d be good.” I touched the pane of glass as a smile of remembrance played on my lips. “I went to that camp, and as soon as my folks dropped me off, I wanted to come home. But Mom wouldn’t let me. She said I had to be a tough camper and that once the homesickness wore off, I’d be glad I stayed.”



“Were you?”



“Yeah, I loved it. Scored my first goal against Tommy Wayfarer. He got mad and cried.” The lights of Tucson began to flicker to life. Someone walked by my door humming Santa Claus is Coming to Town. “I’ll be okay. I just have to score my first goal here.”



“You will.”



“Yeah, I will. So, tell me about morning skate. How did the lines look?”



We talked about the Railers and about Ryker and Declan, my new therapy buddy. We talked about old movies and new songs. We talked for hours. Darkness had blanketed the city when I dozed off on him. I woke up a second later, phone still to my ear, my boyfriend chuckling.



“Wow, you snored yourself awake,” Mads said, then groaned, rising to his feet I assumed.



“Shit, yeah, I fell asleep.” A yawn rolled out of me. I flopped to my side on the bed, my sight on the desert sky over Tucson.



“I need to turn in too,” he said around a yawn.



“Yeah, you’re a couple of hours ahead of us. I’ll call you tomorrow at the same time. I love you, Mads.”



“I love you too, Ten. And your mother was right; you are a tough camper. You’ll begin to see improvement, I know you. You won’t stop until you do.”



“Thanks, Coach.”



“Wiseass.”



“I miss our goodnight kisses.” My eyes were so heavy I could barely keep them open.



“You’ll get plenty when you get home.”



“Mm, loving sounds good.”



“Yes, it does. Get some rest. Heal. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”



“Night,” I mumbled, ended the call, and then fell into an exhausted but fitful sleep. The bed was too hard, too narrow, and far too lacking in Jared Madsen’s big, broad body.

USA Today bestselling author RJ Scott writes stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, a happily ever after.

RJ Scott is the author of over one hundred romance books, writing emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men 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.

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

USA Today Bestselling Author V.L. Locey – Penning LGBT hockey romance that skates into sinful pleasures.

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, Torchwood and Dr. Who, 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, a pair of geese, far too many chickens, and two steers.

When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in one hand and a steamy romance novel in the other.

 


 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

LUBR banner

~Release Blitz~ Neutral Zone (A Christmas Railers Novells) by RJ Scott & V.L. Locey

 
 
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
 
Length: 40,000 words approx.
 
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 US | Amazon UK
Book #5 – Last Defense – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #6 – Goal Line – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb
 

Tennant Rowe has it all, a boyfriend he adores, a loving family, and a career on the rise. He’s sure of his place in the world, and the future can only get brighter. Then one night, in a flash of skates and sticks, life changes forever. Getting back on the ice is Ten’s priority, and experts tell him that it’s just a matter of time.



Jared watches his lover fall in more ways than one, and when tragedy strikes, even the strongest of relationships are tested. Ten is strong, but Jared has to be stronger to help the man who holds his heart. Only, he has to admit that maybe it isn’t just him who can make Ten whole again.



Jared and Ten’s love is forever, but the rocky path to the romantic Christmas Jared had planned may be hard to travel.

 
Excerpt



Ten



Karma. It’s a real bitch. Just ask anyone.



I’d left my man and my team behind in Harrisburg and flown to—get this—fucking Tucson, Arizona, to begin treatment for my traumatic head injury.



The same city the Raptors played in.



I could open the blinds in my room here in the Draper Neurological Rehabilitation and Performance Center and see the glistening mirrored sides of the Santa Catalina Arena. Funny shit right there. Four blocks over, the Raptors were on the ice for morning skate, and I was here, trying to get my brain healed enough so I could maybe play my game again someday.



Shit, right now I’d be happy to be able to speak or read normally.



“Ho, ho, ho,” I growled, closing the drapes, then pulling my sunglasses off and tossing them to the bed. Living behind sunglasses and blinds sucked. Headaches sucked. Slurred speech sucked. Seeing the pity in the eyes of my boyfriend and family and teammates sucked. Christmas with sand and cactus sucked. I wanted to cry. I wanted to be back home with Mads, decorating our tree and shaking my presents. I wanted to be shopping for gifts for my boyfriend, my mother and father, for my brothers, and for Stan and Adler and all the Railers. I wanted things to be the way they had been before that night. Tears threatened, but I held them in. Crying only made my head hurt worse.



So, I padded out of my room and made my way to breakfast and the first of several rounds of rehab I’d be facing today. I’d been here one day and had come to realize that my brain was now as well-known with the neurologists here as my face was back in Harrisburg. This was the place for athletes to come when they were battling CTE-related brain issues. Most of the men here were older, retired players, lots of football players. I mean lots of them. I’d met three other hockey players so far, all retired, all fighting to keep a step ahead of the disease taking over their brains. Sometimes, late at night, when I was lying in bed, I’d get scared for myself and all the other guys on my team. I worried about Mads. God knows how many concussions he’d had when he was playing. Add that to his heart shit and… well, I worried about stuff now. Lots more stuff than I had before the night my head met the ice, sans helmet.



The facility held a hundred and fifty people, and not all of us were athletes. Lots of patients had come here after car accidents or other catastrophic injuries. There were head injuries and spinal cord injuries being healed. The staff seemed nice, confident in their ability to nurse me back to my old self or as close as we could get. The halls were bright and airy, the food excellent, and the medical staff top-notch. And yes, it was expensive and elite and the cream of the crop. Which was why Mads had stubbornly pushed me into coming here after my initial rehab had been completed. Two weeks at the facility, a couple of weeks back home for the holidays, then back for another four weeks. Then maybe we’d talk about hockey.



“Hey, you’re Tennant Rowe, right?”



I skidded to a halt outside one of a dozen sun-rooms. As though people in Arizona didn’t get enough sun just stepping outside? They needed to make rooms for sun? A tall, burly black man about my age ran at me, hand out. I smiled up at him, trying to pull some information about him from my cloudy memory banks.



“I’m Declan Fidler, cornerback for the Temple Owls.”



“Ah, cool, hey man.” We shook hands. God, he was cute. Short hair and a flashy smile, big wide shoulders and inkwork all over his arms. “Sorry to see you here though, dude.”



“Yeah, I know that.” He ran a hand over his hair. “First game of the season too.”



“That sucks,” I said, then released his hand. “I was on my way to the dining hall.”



“I could eat if you want some company.”



“Totally. Be nice to have someone to talk to who’s under forty.”



“I feel that.”



He joined me on the walk to the dining hall, which looked nothing like the hospital cafeteria I’d been expecting when I first saw it yesterday. This place was upmarket. Round tables with cloth covers, thick royal-blue carpeting, windows that ran floor to ceiling, flowering plants in the corners, and a wait staff.



“I don’t think I’ll ever get used to this place,” I murmured as I followed Declan to a table by the windows.



“I feel the same way,” he said as we took our seats. “I mean, I grew up wealthy, my father’s the chief justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and I was still blown away.”



“That’s impressive. Did he…?” My brain went totally blank, and I scrambled to find the proper word. “Push. Yeah, did he push to get you in here?” I winced at the slip.



Fuck this shit. Really. Push? How fucking hard it is to recall a word like push?



An older woman in a tidy uniform filled our water glasses, then asked if she could have our room numbers. All the meals here were prepared by nutritionists with an eye to the patients’—athletes in my case—unique needs.



“Big-time. He was adamant about me coming here after the initial rehab. Said that this place would do things to counter the damage that no regular rehab could do. You here for CRT?”



“I uhm…” and that skip again. Fuck. “Dude, sorry, I’m like…” I tapped my temple.



He reached over the table to take my hand. “Ten, man, do not sweat it. You should have seen me when I got here. Barely able to string four words together. Sometimes I still trip up, just like that. But it’s all good. We’re tough motherfuckers. We’ll train our brains.”



“Yeah, train the brains. Cool.”



He gave my hand a squeeze and then released it. “So CRT?”



Our food was served, my platter loaded with scrambled eggs, fresh fruit, a bowl of oatmeal, and chocolate milk. My meds also sat on my tray. Declan’s food was similar, as were the meds in tiny cups lined up for him.



“Cognitive rehab therapy,” he said before shaking out his napkin and laying it over his lap. I did the same and tossed down the pills. I had no idea what they were pumping into me, and I truly didn’t care. As long as they got me back on the ice, they could be dumping Soylent green into my body via the milk. Man, that old movie rocked. What I wouldn’t give to be curled up on the couch with Mads watching it again. “Speech, occupation, and physical therapy. You don’t have any big physical issues, do you?”



“Some weakness on the left side, my arm, but it’s getting better. I hardly drop anything now.”



“That’s good. Once the swelling goes down, things tend to get better.” He took a bite from a slice of whole wheat toast. “I can’t believe I’m sitting here eating with you. Cup winner, LGBT crusader. Thanks for doing that, coming out, being proud and gay. I know how hard that is. My family and team have been amazing about my being queer.”



“Excellent. Glad they’re… fuck, I just. Give me a sec. Yeah, uhm, glad it’s good for you. I’m sorry. Sometimes I can go, like, whole days and barely fuck up, and then I’ll hit this patch where my brain glitches out and… shit. Fuck. Okay, I’m going to shut up for a minute and let my neurons… fire or something.”



“It’s fine. I understand.” And he did. I could see it in his eyes. He totally got it because he was living it too.



I wished everyone else in my life could get it as Declan did. We ate in amiable silence, not that heavy, cloaking pity blanket of quietude that my family draped over me every time I fumbled.



Therapy followed that pleasant breakfast, hours of it. Doctors and nurses, therapists, reading and tests and poking and prodding. Weights and treadmills and medicine balls. Shoving tiny pegs into tinier holes, pet therapy which was actually cool because who didn’t love a dog kiss? Speech therapy was last, and I tanked at it. Totally blew it to shit with my inability to recall one simple phrase. It made me so mad I flipped the table, sending papers and pencils flying. Then, because I had no clue where that outburst had come from, I felt even shittier.



“Tennant, it’s okay,” the woman, who was some fancy kind of advanced speech therapist, said as we picked up the mess I’d made. “Temper flare-ups are common. It’s frustrating not to be able to express yourself. We see that frequently in stroke victims.”



“That was uncool. Just so uncool. I didn’t… it wasn’t… shit.” I dropped to my ass, hands full of work sheets that looked as if a four-year-old had scribbled them down, buried my face in the papers, and wept.



Julie. Yes! That was her name. Julie sat down beside me, rubbed my back, and told me all kinds of reassuring things.



“I’m kind of done for the day,” I told her, and she let me go. I walked the halls, feeling discouraged and sickened with myself. Once I got back to my room, I called home, needing to hear Jared’s voice. As soon as he picked up, I kind of began babbling. A lot of it wasn’t sensible, and it was garbled because I’d have to stop, think, and then restart. But through all of that, Jared listened and never interrupted. When I was done, I fell back onto the bed, exhausted, battling a headache, and sick to death of myself and my stupid brain.



“Sounds like a rough first day,” Jared said. I rolled to my side, tucking my knees up, my gaze on that shiny arena where the Raptors were playing hockey right now. “Are you sure you don’t want me to come out? I can get a hotel room.”



“No, you need to work. The team needs you.”



“You need me as well, Tennant.”



“No, I got this. You can’t do this for me, Mads. Neither can Ryker or Brady or Jamie or my mother. It’s just…” I exhaled through pursed lips. “It’s so much harder than I thought it would be. I mean, I knew it would be hard but fuck sake, I couldn’t recall simple words. How will I ever be able to play if I can’t…” I stopped and calmed myself down. “I hate that this happened. I hate Aarni so much for doing this to me, Jared. I never thought I could ever hate anyone.”



“I know, babe. I wish you’d reconsider and let me come out there.”



He sounded as sick at heart as I was. And truthfully, in that moment, I was close to telling him to fly out. I so needed his arms around me.



“Tell me you love me.”



“I love you.” He drew in a shaky breath. “Do you want me to come out? Just say the word.”



I sat up slowly to avoid a head-rush and the pain that went along with those. “No, I’m good.” I pushed to my feet and went to the window. The sun was setting now, the mirrored sides of the Santa Catalina Arena glowing scarlet and pink. “I’m a tough camper. My Mom said that to me the first time I went to hockey camp.”



“Yeah? How old were you? Five months old or so?”



That made me chuckle. “Nah man, I was like six. And this camp was in Buffalo. I wanted to go so bad. I mean, I can be kind of stubborn when I want something.”



“I’m well aware of that fact,” he replied. Was he sitting down or pacing? Probably pacing because he was tension-riddled over me. “You were persistent about us.”



“Damn right I was. I knew we’d be good.” I touched the pane of glass as a smile of remembrance played on my lips. “I went to that camp, and as soon as my folks dropped me off, I wanted to come home. But Mom wouldn’t let me. She said I had to be a tough camper and that once the homesickness wore off, I’d be glad I stayed.”



“Were you?”



“Yeah, I loved it. Scored my first goal against Tommy Wayfarer. He got mad and cried.” The lights of Tucson began to flicker to life. Someone walked by my door humming Santa Claus is Coming to Town. “I’ll be okay. I just have to score my first goal here.”



“You will.”



“Yeah, I will. So, tell me about morning skate. How did the lines look?”



We talked about the Railers and about Ryker and Declan, my new therapy buddy. We talked about old movies and new songs. We talked for hours. Darkness had blanketed the city when I dozed off on him. I woke up a second later, phone still to my ear, my boyfriend chuckling.



“Wow, you snored yourself awake,” Mads said, then groaned, rising to his feet I assumed.



“Shit, yeah, I fell asleep.” A yawn rolled out of me. I flopped to my side on the bed, my sight on the desert sky over Tucson.



“I need to turn in too,” he said around a yawn.



“Yeah, you’re a couple of hours ahead of us. I’ll call you tomorrow at the same time. I love you, Mads.”



“I love you too, Ten. And your mother was right; you are a tough camper. You’ll begin to see improvement, I know you. You won’t stop until you do.”



“Thanks, Coach.”



“Wiseass.”



“I miss our goodnight kisses.” My eyes were so heavy I could barely keep them open.



“You’ll get plenty when you get home.”



“Mm, loving sounds good.”



“Yes, it does. Get some rest. Heal. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”



“Night,” I mumbled, ended the call, and then fell into an exhausted but fitful sleep. The bed was too hard, too narrow, and far too lacking in Jared Madsen’s big, broad body.

USA Today bestselling author RJ Scott writes stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, a happily ever after.

RJ Scott is the author of over one hundred romance books, writing emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men 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.

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

USA Today Bestselling Author V.L. Locey – Penning LGBT hockey romance that skates into sinful pleasures.

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, Torchwood and Dr. Who, 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, a pair of geese, far too many chickens, and two steers.

When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in one hand and a steamy romance novel in the other.

 

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

LUBR banner

~Review Tour~ Better Not Pout by Annabeth Albert

REVIEW TOUR

Title: Better Not Pout

Author: Annabeth Albert

Pages: 288

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Male/Male, Holiday

Imprint: Carina Press

On-sale Date: November 12, 2018 (ebook), November 27, 2018 (MMP)

Price: $4.99 (ebook), $8.99 USD (MMP)

Format: ebook, Mass Market Paperback (MMP)

ISBN: 9781488038686 (ebook), 9781335924841 (MMP)

Add on Goodreads

 

Buy Links

Publisher

Amazon US

Amazon UK

 

Blurb

One hard-nosed military police officer.

One overly enthusiastic elf.

One poorly timed snowstorm.

Is it a recipe for disaster? Or a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for holiday romance?

Teddy MacNally loves Christmas and everything that goes along with it. When he plays an elf for his charity’s events, he never expects to be paired with a Scrooge masquerading as Santa Claus. His new mission: make the holiday-hating soldier believe he was born to say ho-ho-ho.

Sergeant Major Nicholas Nowicki doesn’t do Santa, but he’s army to his blood. When his CO asks an unusual favor, Nick of course obliges. The elf to his Kris Kringle? Tempting. Too tempting—Nick’s only in town for another month, and Teddy’s too young, too cheerful and too nice for a one-night stand.

The slow, sexy make-out sessions while Teddy and Nick are alone and snowbound, though, feel like anything but a quick hookup. As a stress-free holiday fling turns into Christmas all year round, Teddy can’t imagine his life without Nick. And Nick’s days on the base may be coming to a close, but he doesn’t plan on leaving anything, or anyone, behind.

 

 

About the Author

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer. Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Her critically acclaimed and fan-favorite LGBTQ romance series include the #OutOfUniform, #Gaymers, #PortlandHeat, #RainbowCove and #PerfectHarmony series.

To find out what she’s working on next and other fun extras, check out her website: annabethalbert.com or connect with Annabeth on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify! Also, be sure to sign up for her newsletter for free ficlets, bonus reads, and contests. The fan group, Annabeth’s Angels, on Facebook is also a great place for bonus content and exclusive contests.

 

REVIEW TOUR SCHEDULE

 

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

LUBR banner

Better Not PoutBetter Not Pout by Annabeth Albert

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m not a huge fan of holiday romances but I loved this story. Teddy was just one of those characters that you couldn’t help but love. And Nick, well, I love his stubborn broodiness too because hidden behind it was a beautiful heart. Teddy’s family was pretty damn amazing too. I definitely recommend this one.

View all my reviews