~Review~ On His Knees by Adira August

On His Knees (The Hunter Dane-Camden Snow Origin Story)On His Knees by Adira August

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For a shorter story – this was surprisingly robust and deep. Usually when I read a novella/shorter story, I’m left feeling slighted, feeling like I wish there were more. I didn’t feel that way with this book. Would it have been nice if it were longer? Sure. But I didn’t feel like it needed to be longer. Hunter & Cam were both multi-layered, beautiful and this story didn’t leave me feeling empty…..it left me craving more. I can’t wait to read the next one in the series.

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WRAPPED WITH LOVE

A FIVE POINTS NOVEL

BETH BOLDEN

M/M ROMACE

RELEASE DATE: 11.14.17

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BLURB

NFL player Jordan Christensen walks into Reed Ryan’s restaurant without a reservation. It isn’t the most serendipitous of meet-cute’s and they certainly aren’t the likeliest of romances, but over venison steaks and crème brûlée, they fall in love anyway.

Flash forward two years . . .

Jordan isn’t a football player anymore.

Reed sold his restaurant.

But even more drastically, they’ve lost each other.

When Reed moves to Los Angeles take a new job, he doesn’t realize Jordan now works at the same company. But Jordan definitely realizes how precious the second chance fate has bestowed on them is. He’s determined to make up for everything that fell apart the first time around, and it turns out he’s not the only one scheming to right old wrongs.

Starting a new career is always difficult but sharing office space—and big projects—with an old lover is particularly rough. Between impromptu Secret Santa exchanges, Christmas light viewings, and more tacos than even Reed can eat, the two former lovers have an eventful holiday season to navigate.

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EXCERPT

“You work here?” Reed asked incredulously.

Jordan could lie again, but that was only going to buy him a few hours, and in the end Reed would just be angrier. No, as hard as it was going to be to come clean, he needed to. He’d just wished he could have had a little more time before Reed discovered the truth.

“I do,” Jordan admitted.

Landon glanced from Jordan to Reed and then back again. “Well, crap,” he said. “Reed, I guess I’ll see you upstairs at our meeting.” And because he knew exactly what was about to happen, he split and headed for the elevators. One of Landon’s smarter decisions.

Reed didn’t have much of a temper, but he really didn’t like being lied to. Jordan had known this when he’d agreed to the ridiculous plan that his friends had cooked up. He’d only agreed in the first place because he hadn’t known how else to get Reed into his vicinity for the foreseeable future. And he’d thought that Reed would be perfect for the job Nick wanted to offer him.

But Jordan didn’t think any of that was going to buy him brownie points.

“You lied,” Reed said predictably, a crease forming between his brows. “Why?”

Jordan thought about telling him the complete truth. Now that he knew Reed had missed him just as much, it might be easier to say how much he still cared about him. But then Jordan remembered all the guilt he’d felt when he’d realized that he shouldn’t have let Reed get away. When he should have stopped him or gone after him when he’d left LA. After he’d let too much time go by after. When he’d composed about a hundred emails and deleted them all. Just as many text messages. When he’d almost hit dial on Reed’s number, more times than he could count over the last sixteen months.

He’d chickened out, every single time. He’d thought he’d get over Reed eventually, but to his own surprise, the breadth of his sadness had only deepened until he’d known for sure that what he felt for Reed was the kind of love you don’t get over.

The kind you hold onto with both hands and don’t let go.

The kind you pull all the stops out for if you’re stupid enough to let it get away.

But he could be a little bit honest, at least. “Because the job was perfect for you and I didn’t think you’d take it if you knew I worked here,” Jordan said.

The crease deepened. “Did you get me the job?”

That much was easy to say and also completely true. “No. Quentin actually suggested you to Nick.”

Reed shoved his hands in his pockets. “I don’t know if I can believe you.”

That was the hardest thing Jordan had heard yet. Harder than watching Reed escape last night. Harder than Reed turning him down, even though it had been for good reasons. Losing Reed’s trust–and Jordan knew exactly how tough it was to build with him–was a killer.

“You can ask Quentin. You trust him.”

Reed nodded slightly. “What did you say when Nick asked you about me?”

It was impossible to be honest now. Yes, the idea had initially been Quentin’s, but then Landon had latched onto it as a way to get Reed back around Jordan again. It was hard to discern where one plan started and the other ended. What had he genuinely thought the first time Landon had suggested it?

He’d wanted to laugh and to cry, both at the same time. He still wasn’t sure which he felt more strongly. Probably wouldn’t know until he and Reed figured out what they wanted from each other.

“I thought it could be terrible, but that it could be great too,” he said.

“That sounds pretty honest.” Reed still sounded doubtful, but then doubtful was his normal MO. Reed Ryan was very much a look first, leap second kind of guy, and Jordan had always loved that about him.

He loved that Reed took forever to get comfortable around people. Loved that the first time they’d ever met, Reed had casually insulted him completely by accident. He was endearing and adorable and real. There was nothing on earth more attractive than authenticity.

“I know I should have told you last night,” Jordan admitted.

Reed glanced down at his watch and motioned to the elevator, because of course he couldn’t be late. He wasn’t really in danger of being late, but then he wasn’t going to be early either–all because Jordan had distracted him. Jordan bit his tongue and forced himself not to apologize that he’d interfered with one of Reed’s most ingrained habits.

“You should have,” Reed agreed. They stepped into the elevator and it shut behind them. Jordan reached over and hit the button for the Five Points floor.

Reed took a deep breath that Jordan might not have heard if he wasn’t so intently focused on the man next to him. “What would you have done if I’d said yes?”

Jordan turned to him in surprise. “If you’d said yes?”

Reed flushed, which was also adorable. For someone rather uninhibited in the bedroom, he could still be shy. Another thing Jordan loved. Another thing he’d missed so much that seeing it again made his heart clench. Please tell me I can fix this, he thought desperately.

“If we’d had sex last night.”

Jordan reviewed and discarded all the flippant replies he could think of. Usually Reed wasn’t such a stickler, but he’d screwed up by not telling the truth and the last thing he needed was to not take this question seriously. “Then you probably would have been angrier with me.”

“But you asked me anyway,” Reed stated incredulously. The elevator dinged and the doors opening, announcing their floor.

Jordan could see Nick and Jemma and some others coming towards the reception area, ready to greet their new employee. He should get lost. But he still didn’t think Reed got it.

“It would have been worth it,” Jordan said. “Just a kiss would have been worth it.”

His bomb dropped, Jordan slipped out of the elevator, leaving Reed in the foyer, fish-mouthed as his new boss and co-workers arrived to greet him.

Yeah, he was probably going to have to apologize for that too.

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Beth Bolden lives in Portland, Oregon with her supportive husband and their beloved cat. She wholly believes in Keeping Portland Weird, but wishes she didn’t have to make the yearly pilgrimage up to Seattle to watch her Boston Red Sox play baseball. She’s a fan of fandoms, and spends too much of her free time on tumblr.

Beth has been writing practically since she learned the alphabet. Unfortunately, her first foray into novel writing, titled Big Bear with Sparkly Earrings, wasn’t a bestseller, but hope springs eternal. She’s published three novels and two short stories, with her next novel, The Rainbow Clause, releasing in April 2017.

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~Review~ The Long Way by May Archer

The Long WayThe Long Way by May Archer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You don’t expect the second book in a series to be better than the first. You don’t expect the characters to be more alive, more vivid. You don’t expect the story to suck you in so much that you can’t put it down until you’ve reached the last page. You don’t expect things between the two main characters to be a perfect blend of sweet, snarky, funny, romantic and incredibly hot. You don’t expect any of this with a book two. But you should. Because that’s exactly what you get with this amazing book.

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~Review~ Clipped by Devon McCormack

Clipped (The Clipped Saga, #1)Clipped by Devon McCormack

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is not your mother’s romance. Now that I’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk creativity. When you pick up a book, a fallen angels/heaven and hell book that has you blinking in surprise, thinking ‘I’ve never thought about putting that twist on things, it would never even occur to me to do that’ that’s when you know you’re dealing with a whole lotta creative magic going on. This book was so refreshing, so different, so new while at the same time so brutal, so raw, so eye-opening. I can’t wait to see what the next book brings….

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The Hideaway
A Lavender Shores Novel
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Lavender Shores’s resident tattoo artist, Connor Clark, looks the part—six foot six, musclebound, and covered in ink—and most definitely doesn’t blend in. Grafted into the Bryant family as a teenager to escape his abusive father, the Bryants saved his life, but Connor has never truly felt a part of the founding family royalty. And if his heart’s desire were revealed, it would betray everything the Bryants have done for him.

 

Micah Bryant was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He’s always had everything he ever wanted—save the one he desires most. Even moving to New York City for a few years didn’t dampen his passion. Not that Micah had expected it to. He’s known his destiny since he was nine years old, the moment it had walked through his door.

 

After years of longing, years of secrets and stolen moments of passion and love, Connor weakens enough to allow the town to see how he feels, and let the Bryants know his love for Micah is anything but brotherly. But no sooner had the decision been made than Connor’s biological family returns and shatters it all. Still, Micah holds on to the belief that their romance was written in the stars, but maybe he’d been wrong all those years…

 

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Rosalind Abel grew up tending chickens alongside her sweet and faithful Chow, Lord Elgin. While her fantasy of writing novels was born during her teen years, she never would have dreamed she’d one day publish steamy romances about gorgeous men. However, sometimes life turns out better than planned.
In between crafting scorching sex scenes and helping her men find their soul mates, Rosalind enjoys cooking, collecting toys, and making the best damn scrapbooks in the world (this claim hasn’t been proven, but she’s willing to put good money on it).
She adores MM Romance, the power it has to sweep the reader away into worlds filled with passion, steam, and love. Rosalind also enjoys her collection of plot bunnies and welcomes new fuzzy ones into her home all the time, so feel free to send any adorable ones her way.

 

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~Release day review~ The Hideaway by Rosalind Abel

The Hideaway (Lavender Shores, #5)The Hideaway by Rosalind Abel

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Some books, if you’re truly lucky, pull you in. Their words grab you with an invisible hand and suck you into the pages, holding you, keeping you safe within their pages as you explore the beauty within. This was one of those books. From the very first time you meet Connor and Micah, you’re not only falling in love with them, you’re rooting for them, pulling for them to get the happily ever after they deserve despite the situation that throws them together and is a seemingly insurmountable obstacle. Both of these men wove their way into my heart in such a way that I wanted to help, I wanted to speak to these pages and say ‘you can do this….it’s okay….you can do this’ When a book and its characters feel so real that you feel like talking to them? That’s when you know that what you’re reading is special, it’s real, it’s raw, it’s right, it’s…….beautiful.

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9781335906946
“Sexy, sweet and heartfelt, Annabeth Albert’s Out of Uniform series is a fresh take on Navy SEALs that will delight and entertain romance readers.”
–Layla Reyne, author of the Agents Irish and Whisky series.

Title: Wheels Up

Series: Out of Uniform #4

Publisher: Carina Press

Release Date (Print & Ebook): November 6th, 2017

Subgenre: M/M Contemporary Military Romance

Links: Amazon | Apple | B&N | Kobo

Book Blurb:

Their love is forbidden, but their hearts aren’t listening to rules and regulations…
Lieutenant Dustin Strauss is a reformed man. No longer a twentysomething hell-raiser, he’s his SEAL team’s new XO—and a man with a secret. Or seven. He’s kept his bisexual identity under wraps for years, along with his kinky side and a fondness for the military-themed semi-anonymous hookup website Joe4Joe. His latest chat buddy is more than a sexy online distraction—they’re taking their very not-safe-for-work relationship into real time.
Petty Officer Wes Lowe has a smart mouth, a take-charge attitude and an uncanny ability for making things go boom. The life of an enlisted man isn’t always enough to satisfy him, but one wild, no-questions-asked weekend with his online love comes close. When a transfer order comes in, Wes feels ready and centered. He’ll make a good impression on his new SEAL team and keep his growing feelings for Dustin on the down low.
But as they log more time online and some very real emotions surface, Dustin and Wes struggle to pretend they’re just a harmless fling. And when his commander introduces Dustin to his team’s newest member, they’re in for the shock of a lifetime…and a crushing disappointment: their difference in ranks means even a friendship without sexual contact could end their navy careers for good.
With their hearts on the line, Dustin and Wes may not survive their next mission, let alone find a way toward a future together.

Short excerpt #1: Dustin wasn’t nervous. Just because Wes had put it out there that they could go back to his room didn’t mean they had to. Didn’t mean his pulse had to rev like a personnel carrier, all loud and roaring in his ears. Didn’t mean his fingers had to suddenly have nothing better to do than shred napkins. And it definitely didn’t mean he needed to keep up the idiotic rambling. Damn it, Strauss, remember who and what you are.

Short excerpt #2: I’m not sure how much longer I can do this. Dread, sick and sharp, pierced him right in the gut. He simply wasn’t prepared for dealing with this avalanche of emotions, this overwhelming need to ensure Wes’s safety. He’d done his duty for well over a decade now, and never, not once, had he been as freaked out as he was right then. Something’s got to give.

Excerpt #1:

“So?” Wes prompted after she’d left again. “You don’t want me to hook you up with someone, even hypothetically, but what would you like tonight? Burger and watch the game? Or…”
“Or?” Dustin sounded more curious than off-put, which was good.
“Or…and I’m just throwing this out there…I’ve got a hotel room close to here. We could go hang there after we eat. Just talk. And stuff.”
“Define stuff.” Dustin fiddled with his paper napkin, but he hadn’t said no. And he was cautious, which was a good thing, smart. Another trait all the marines Wes knew had—they were wary, always ready for the next threat.
“Talk. Like how we usually do on Saturday nights.” Wes raised his eyebrows and nodded, telegraphing that he knew perfectly well how those nights usually ended, both of them drenched in sweat and spunk, yawning goodnight into the phone.
Dustin hissed in a breath. “And you’d be good with that? Just our usual?”
“Oh trust me—” taking a risk, Wes leaned across the table, putting his lips against Dustin’s ear “—there’s nothing usual about what I want to do to you. And absolutely nothing boring about a live-action version of our regular game.”
He sat back down in time to watch Dustin’s eyes light up at the mention of game. Yeah, Wes knew how to get him going. And the equal measure of trepidation and anticipation in his eyes made Wes’s pulse speed up. He wanted this, far more than he was willing to let on.
“I…” Dustin glanced around again. “I’m not…”
“Shh. You don’t have to give me an answer yet. We can enjoy our food. And the game. Hopefully UVA loses spectacularly so I can gloat about that when I call home tomorrow, and my dad will be in a better mood.”
“Okay.” Dustin sighed, and Wes knew he wasn’t imagining the relief on his features. Darn it. “How’s your sister doing?”
Wes had told Dustin a little about Sam’s heart condition on a night a few months back when he was feeling particularly down. Dustin remembering how close he was to Sam made warmth spread through his chest. “She’s good. Always got to be on the lookout for infection though. Hopefully this year’s cold and flu season isn’t too rough. She made me a new playlist today. I’ll forward you the link.”
“More of that alternative-country?” Dustin made a face. They might share a taste in movies and TV, but in music they differed, almost comically so.
“Yup. Be glad you’re not riding back with me.” His insides gave a little twinge at the reminder that all he had with Dustin was this one night. And that’s why he needs to say yes. If all they had was tonight, then Wes was going to make it one they both remembered for a long, long time.
Excerpt #2:
He’d seen Wes’s chest before on camera, but the camera was fuzzy, missing key details like how Wes’s nipples were the exact color of Dustin’s favorite butterscotch toffee and how his collar bones looked made for biting. And the camera had never captured the force of Wes’s stare, the way he seemed to see past Dustin’s soul to his most secret of desires.
“Think you could get your cock out for me?” Wes’s voice was as seductive as a kiss, and his eyes never left Dustin.
Using his left hand, Dustin got an awkward grip on his cock, drew it out, waited for the next command.
“You’re doing so good for me,” Wes praised. “Pinch a nipple for me, nice and hard, and I might let you touch your cock.”
“Oh fuck.” Dustin absolutely loved when Wes played like his, and being able to look at his intense face while he made such dirty commands was the best head trip ever. Following orders, he used his left hand to pinch his right nipple, hard enough to make himself gasp.
“Twist it. More.” Wes leaned forward, arms resting on his knees.
“Hurts,” Dustin panted. He’d had worse pain, of course, but somehow deliberate pain like this was a far different beast than the ordinary wear and tear he took over the course of training or a mission.
“That’s right. Doing good.” Wes’s blue eyes were almost black now. “You’ve earned a stroke, but slowly.”
“Yes. Thank you.” Dustin’s eyes squished shut as his hand connected with his throbbing cock.
“No, look at me,” Wes commanded, and Dustin’s eyes snapped back open.
He stroked himself with a firm grip, but slowly like Wes wanted. He had to squeeze hard on the base because he was that close to the edge. “Oh God.” His voice broke.
“Yeah? Tell me what you want.” Wes was breathing hard, the only sign that he wasn’t immune to Dustin’s show.
“I’m close.” Dustin’s whole body trembled as he repeated the slow stroke upward on his cock.
“No, you’re not.” Wes’s voice was stern, his eyes like granite chunks. “Tell me. Tell me what you want.”
Usually this was where Dustin would start begging to come, admitting to progressively kinkier fantasies, but instead the truth tumbled out. “Touch me. Oh, God, touch me please.”
Excerpt #3:
“You making me your blanket?” Wes’s smile was so tender that Dustin’s heart pinched—he wanted this for every damn night of his life. He wanted so much more than his sorry ass deserved.
“Don’t go. Not yet.” He wasn’t ready for this to be done, wasn’t ready for the inevitable goodbye and avalanche of guilt.
Wes didn’t answer, smile turning sad and aching, before he kissed Dustin again. And everything was in that kiss—all the feelings they dared not give name to, all the longing, all the wishes and regrets and needs, all piled together.
“I can stay awhile,” Wes whispered against his lips. It wasn’t enough, wasn’t ever going to be enough, but the boulder in Dustin’s throat wouldn’t let him speak, would only let him pull Wes even closer, kiss him that much more desperately.

Author Bio:

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. The #OutOfUniform series joins her critically acclaimed and fan-favorite LGBTQ romance #Gaymers, #PortlandHeat and #PerfectHarmony series.
To find out what she’s working on next and other fun extras, check out her website: http://www.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.
Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two active children.
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