Audio Tour w/Review – Leaning Into The Look

 
TitleLeaning Into the Look
Series: Leaning Into Stories, #6
Author: Lane Hayes
Narrator: Nick J. Russo
Publisher: Lane Hayes
Original Release Date: March 23, 2018
Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 8 hours and 20 minutes
Genre: Romance, friends to lovers, San Francisco, humor, businessmen
 

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Synopsis:

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Grant Kostas made a career based on his looks before joining his family’s real estate firm. He may not love his job but he’s better at sales than he thought. And when he’s poised to bring in the biggest account of the company’s history, even his father is impressed. Unfortunately, the extra attention highlights Grant’s personal life. His parents accept that he’s gay. They just wish he’d meet a nice Greek man.
 
Miles Harrison is a fabulous red head going through a rough patch. Between getting dumped by his long-term boyfriend and finding a new place to live in the city, he’s nearing his wits end. He’s not sure why he thought rooming with his boss’s friend was a good idea. Miles has had a crush on Grant for years. However, he knows attractive people aren’t always pretty on the inside. As the two men grapple with external problems, they form an unexpected bond of friendship and trust that feels like the real thing. The only way to know for certain is to let go of fear and lean into the look.
 

 

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Excerpt:

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I stopped short when we reached the other side of the street and then backed him against the brick façade of a bank building and pressed my lips over his. It was a bold move and not one I’d ever tried on any man in public before. But I couldn’t help myself. It felt oddly freeing to share one of the bleaker parts of my past with him. I wanted to thank him somehow but that seemed awkward so I kissed him instead. I held his head and glided my tongue alongside his, loving the moment when he flung his arms over my shoulders and responded with fervor. When we broke for air, I rested my forehead on his and grinned.
 
“Your ass is pretty spectacular too, Mi.”
 
He chuckled good-naturedly. “Thanks.”
 
“No really. I think I’m love with it.” I lowered my hands down his back and squeezed his cheeks as I molded his pelvis to mine.
 
“That’s kind of romantic. But if you’re thinking about falling in love with me too…don’t.”
 
I backed up slightly to get a better look at him. “Okay. I won’t.”
 
“Pinky promise.” He held up his right hand and wiggled his fingers.
 
“What makes you think you’re so irresistible?” I asked, wrapping my pinky finger around his.
 
“I’m not and you’ll figure it out sooner or later. But I like you and I want you and…”
 
“And what you’re really saying is you don’t want to fall for me.” I kept my tone light, hoping a jocular vibe would steer us from turning this into an uncomfortable conversation.
 
“Maybe.”
 
“Look, Mi. I’m not—”
 
“No. Listen. Don’t make this into a big deal. It’s not. We’re going to have a grand adventure. Just me and you. We’ll do incredible things and have amazing conversations and lots of sex. And when it’s time to say good-bye, we won’t ruin it by pretending we were ever in love. What do you say?”
 
Nothing. I had nothing to say. All I could think was maybe he really was crazy because who said shit like that?
 
But when I looked past the lighthearted swagger I saw the cracks in his armor. He was scared and battered and raw on the inside. Kind of like me. And somehow I had a feeling it wasn’t an ex-lover that made him so cautious. I only knew he was right. We were a couple of oddballs who unexpectedly found ourselves inhabiting the same circle. Temporarily.
 
But love? I should have walked away. Or at the very least, laughed at his wild leap. Instead I cocked my head and squinted. “What kind of adventures?”
 
Miles grinned. A slow-moving, gorgeous upturn of the lips that morphed into something celestial. He literally took my breath away. I hoped the dizziness faded before I gave him a reason to think it was a good thing he’d issued a warning about getting too attached.
 
“All kinds! We’ll turn this town upside down being one hundred percent ridiculous.”
 
“Okay…” I gave a half laugh and pushed a stray lock of hair behind his ear. “What do you have in mind? Dancing, parties—”
 
“No. More like Trivial Pursuit marathons, Netflix binge-watching fests in our Pjs, the compare and contrast game and—”
 
“The what?”
 
“Don’t worry. We’ll have fun. You’ll see,” he assured me earnestly as he laced our fingers together and pulled me away from the wall.
 
I glanced down at our joined hands and briefly thought about joking that he should be careful about giving me mixed signals. But I knew my limits. My comedic timing was crappy and the last thing I wanted was to push him away. I might not love Miles but I liked him. A lot. And holding his hand while we wandered through town under a sea of rainbow flags on a random Sunday felt special. The way new beginnings sometimes did.
 
 
 
 

Leaning Into the Look (Leaning Into,, #6)Leaning Into the Look by Lane Hayes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is book #6 in the Leaning Into series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. For reader understanding, and too avoid spoilers, I recommend reading this amazing series in order.

Grant & Miles know one another through mutual friends. One night, when Grant is at a party for friends, he needs Miles help. Following that night, he realizes how much Miles really could be.

Miles has always wanted Grant for himself. When he gets his chance he goes with it like a freight train without brakes. Later, when he and Grant discover there could be more, he wonders if he should have looked at this with caution.

Nick J Russo has the narration by storm. I love his voice, it is very soothing. I also love the changes in inflection and nuances that just make it more than just reading would have been. What a great edition!

The long awaited story about Grant was not just everything I wanted. It was really just a great read. There is humor, heat, & happenings. I love how Miles is the perfect balance to Grant. I loved it so much and it fits so well with this series. I also really loved the audio narration.

***This audible version was provided for an honest review only.

View all my reviews

 
 
 
 

Meet the Author:

 

Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full-time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and won first prize in the 2016 and 2017 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in a newly empty nest.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

 

 

Meet the Narrator: 

Nick is an award winning narrator with a fan following for his work in fiction, specifically in the romance genre. His performances in two of Amy Lane’s books, Beneath the Stain and Christmas Kitsch, made him the recipient of Sinfully M/M Book Review’s Narrator of the Year – 2015. When he’s not in the booth, Nick enjoys spending time with his wife, Jessica, and kids, (aka their beagle Frank and cat Stella), drumming in his cover band, exploring rural back roads with his wife on his motorcycle, or being enthralled in a tabletop role playing game with his friends.  

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Release Blitz – Strong Hold

 
 
Once their passion unleashes, there’s no going back…
Strong Hold by Sarah Castille is AVAILABLE NOW!
 

 

Amazon → https://amzn.to/2LrrU4P

Kobo → http://bit.ly/2MatOqm

iBooks → https://apple.co/2s3OWqF

Nook → http://bit.ly/2J4qLSz

Google Play → http://bit.ly/2GJ1SXi

 

 

 
 
 
Excerpt:
 
“Shayla?”

 

For the longest moment Zack’s brain couldn’t process the sight in front of him. Seven years, ten months and twenty-seven days. That was how long it had been since he’d seen her. That was how long it had been since he’d lived a life without regret.

 

Fight promoter Zack Grayson is on the prowl for a rising star. As the top recruiter of a prestigious MMA promotion company, he wants to take someone where he was never able to go: the top of the professional league. He didn’t expect that someone to be the woman he loved…and left.

 

Top-ranked MMA amateur fighter Shayla “Shilla the Killa” Tyler built walls around her heart when Zack left her seven years ago—and again when her husband turned violent. Now, seeing Zack is nearly enough to send those walls crumbling. But she can’t risk the exposure of the limelight, and she definitely can’t risk another heartbreak.

 
As Shayla and Zack grow closer, though, business turns personal. And once their passion unleashes, there’s no going back…
 
 

About the Author: Sarah Castille is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Redemption Series, Sinner’s Tribe Motorcycle Club series, Legal Heat series and the Ruin & Revenge series. A recovering lawyer with a fondness for dirty-talking alpha males, she now is a full-time writer, who lives on Vancouver Island. Sign up for her newsletter to hear about new releases: http://sarahcastille.com/subscribe/

 

Find her at:

 

Website: http://www.sarahcastille.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sarahcastilleauthor

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Excerpt Reveal – The Protector

 

Today we have the excerpt blitz for The Protector by HelenKay Dimon! Check it out and preorder your copy today!

 

 

 

Title: The Protector

Author: HelenKay Dimon

Genre Romantic Suspense

Release Date: July 31st!

 

 

About The Protector:

 

Salvation, Pennsylvania. The commune located in the small town was advertised as a modern Utopia: a place to live, share, and learn with other like-minded young people. Cate Pendleton’s sister was one of them. Now she’s dead—and Cate won’t rest until she finds out who killed her. Stonewalled at every turn, she approaches a DC Fixer for help and ends up with Damon Knox, a mysterious man with a secretive past. But Cate soon discovers that she not only needs Damon, she wants him, which isn’t good—for the attraction brewing between them will only lead to complications that can turn into danger . . .  

 

Damon has tried to erase the hellish memories and the evil that happened in Salvation ever since he left a long time ago. Still, he can’t turn his back on Cate. As Damon works with Cate to uncover her sister’s killer, he finds himself drawn to her more and more. But how will she feel about him when she learns about his connection to the place?  

 

Joining forces to uncover the truth, they must stay one step ahead of a cunning killer who’s bent on not being exposed.    

 

Preorder Your Copy Now:

 

 

The Protector:

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Exclusive Excerpt:

 

He appreciated every inch of her, including that big brain that she didn’t hesitate to use to best him whenever possible. That was some pretty sexy shit right there.

 

“Are you not a meat eater? Because that’s something I should know up front.” The kind of thing Wren should put in her file. Damon didn’t think that was too much to ask.

 

As predicted she frowned at him. Shot him one of those you’re-wasting-time looks that she’d been using on him nonstop since they met. “Are you serious right now?”

 

“Because I eat a lot of burgers and if that’s going to offend you, I can eat something else. I won’t like it, but I will.” Her fidgeting must be rubbing off on him because he picked up his fork then set it down again.

 

She leaned across the table. “How many burgers?”

 

Now this was a topic he could handle. Especially since she asked the question in a soft voice, as if they were sharing a secret. “Every day.”

 

She sat back hard in her seat again. “You do not eat a hamburger every day.”

 

He ignored the horror in her voice. “True. Some days I mix it up and order a cheeseburger. If I’m feeling particularly frisky I’ll have a steak sandwich.”

 

“That seems like an invitation to heart disease.” And she was back to shifting around. She crossed and uncrossed her arms before she grabbed for her napkin again.

 

He could not stop watching her. Energy buzzed off her. He found the mix of tough talk and nervous fidgeting unexpectedly hot. “You’d think, but no.”

 

“I’m going to pretend you’re kidding.”

 

“I’m not.”

 

She cleared her throat. “Shauna.”

 

They could circle back to food because she had his attention now. He refused to joke about this topic. “Your sister.”

 

“She’s three years older.”

 

He noticed she didn’t use the past tense. Shauna died ten years ago and Cate still saw her as an “is.” For Damon, that meant treading carefully. “And you are . . . ?”

 

“Twenty-nine.”

 

He knew that answer before she said but thought keeping her to facts might help her emotionally wade through the next part. He’d helped Wren with other cases and this piece—dealing with the grief—never got easier. Damon had a load of grief and guilt of his own piled on top of hers, so he got it.

 

He nodded to her. “Go ahead.”

 

“The questions you ask don’t seem that pertinent.”

 

“I’m going to be honest with you.” He started to lean forward when the waiter came by and dropped off their food. The smell of grilled hamburger filled his senses as he reached for his folded napkin and threw it across his lap.

 

She didn’t move. “That would be a good way to start.”

 

“Wren already gave me a file he had on you. The man is an expert at collecting information and then making Garrett put it together in a nice big, easy-to-understand breakdown of what happened and when.”

 

For a few seconds she sat there, quiet, as her gaze moved over his face, studying him. “Then why are we here doing the get-to-know-you thing?”

 

He popped a french fry in his mouth. “I’m hungry. That happens a lot. The need-to-eat thing. So, you’ll need to get used to it.”

 

 

Catch Up On the Series!

 

 

The Fixer:

Kindle | Nook | iBooks | Google Play | Kobo | Avon Digital

 

The Enforcer:

Kindle | Nook | iBooks | Google Play | Kobo | Avon Digital

 

The Negotiator:

Kindle | Nook | iBooks | Google Play | Kobo | Avon Digital

 

The Pretender:

Kindle | Nook | iBooks | Google Play | Kobo | Avon Digital

       

About HelenKay Dimon:

 

HelenKay Dimon spent the years before becoming a romance author as a…divorce attorney. Not the usual transition, she knows. Good news is she now writes full time and is much happier. She has sold over forty novels and novellas to numerous publishers, including HarperCollins, Kensington, Harlequin, Penguin Random House, Riptide and Carina Press. Her nationally bestselling and award-winning books have been showcased in numerous venues and her books have twice been named “Red-Hot Reads” and excerpted in Cosmopolitan magazine. She is on the Board of Directors of the Romance Writers of America and teaches fiction writing at UC San Diego and MiraCosta College. You can learn more at her website: www.HelenKaydimon.com

 

Connect with HelenKay:

 

Twitter | FB page | Tumblr | Instagram | Pinterest

       

 

 

Book Blitz – Alpha

Alpha
Jus Accardo
(The Infinity Division #3)
Published by: Entangled: Teen
Publication date: July 3rd 2018
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

“A fun YA sci-fi story with a compelling cast of characters.” —Kirkus Reviews on Infinity

Sera is the obsession of a killer chasing a ghost. G is a soldier with too much blood on his hands.

Dylan lost the only person he ever loved—and will stop at nothing to get her back.

In a whirlwind chase that takes them back to where it all started, Sera, G, and Dylan will have to confront their demons—both physical and mental—and each other, in order to win their freedom.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

 

 

 

EXCERPT:

 

The rain stopped, and the wind outside had settled, leaving an uncomfortable silence in its wake. I didn’t have a problem with the quiet. I liked it, in fact. But this was something a little different. This was uncomfortable. The kind of stillness that came from forced proximity to someone or something that made your skin itch and your stomach roil. The kind of hush that usually set in right before a devastating storm or a natural disaster.

 

He did this sometimes. Just sat across from me and stared. He usually wouldn’t even say anything. I didn’t think he expected me to say anything, either. He just looked. Sometimes it lasted a few minutes, just long enough to send that chill skittering up and down my spine. Other times it would go on for hours. He’d blink and breathe and fidget, but his eyes…those remained locked on me, his unhealthy mix of sadness and lust and greed and anger crushing me to the point of breathlessness.

 

We were at it again, and I was just about out of patience. It was one thing to have been ripped away from my home, from my life, by that madwoman, Cora Anderson. It was another to have her poke and prod and use me as a science experiment. She’d altered my mind. Made me forget most of my life before the day I woke up a prisoner on the floor of her cold, dank cell. Those things were all bad, but having been “rescued” by this bastard and forced to stay by his side at all times? That was an entirely new level of torture.

 

“You’re thinking about him again, aren’t you?” His tone was acidic and his jaw tight. He had a temper, this guy. I’d seen it multiple times. He’d never done anything more than scream at me, but it was only a matter of time with people like this. I wasn’t sure how I knew that, but I felt it in my bones. Maybe I’d known someone like him at home. Maybe it was just intuition.

 

“Yes,” was all I replied. I found that simple, one-word responses went over the best. Or, more accurately, the worst. When I said too little, he grew agitated. He wanted me to talk to him, yet the things that came out of my mouth weren’t ever what he wanted to hear. I didn’t act like he’d hoped I would, didn’t say the things he longed to hear. Some days he was determined to change me. Others, he was rabid, blaming me for not behaving like myself and demanding that I wake up.

 

Forget that I had no idea who I was.

 

“While it’s not okay, I understand.” He offered me a smile—a small, tentative twitch of his lips and gentle shrug of his shoulders. He was making an effort to be kinder today, going out of his way to speak softer and move slower.

 

That made me even angrier.

 

“You understand? Then my life is complete. All I’ve ever wanted was the understanding of a serial killer.” Even if I hadn’t been thinking about…someone else, I would have lied. The fact that I wasn’t focused on him, and him alone, drove Dylan—my savior, my captor—crazy. But the truth was, I was thinking of him. That other him. How could I not? Even if I didn’t find myself missing him every moment of every day in an almost physical way, I wouldn’t be able to put him out of my mind because he was technically sitting here across from me.

Author Bio:

 

JUS ACCARDO spent her childhood reading and learning to cook. Determined to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps as a chef, she applied and was accepted to the Culinary Institute of America. But at the last minute, she realized her true path lay with fiction, not food.

Jus is the bestselling author of the popular Denazen series from Entangled publishing. A native New Yorker, she lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband, three dogs, and sometimes guard bear, Oswald.

 

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Blog Tour w/Review – Julien

SBPRBANNER-Julien-bT.jpg

 

Confessions: Julien, book two in the steamy contemporary MMM Confessions Series from Ella Frank, is available NOW!

 

 

Confessions JULIEN AMAZON copy.jpeg

 

 

Synopsis:

 

People are complex.

Love a double-edged sword.

And when it comes to a broken heart, there are no rules, only time…

 

For the past eight years, Julien Thornton has been living with a secret. One that only a handful of people know about.

 

To the outside world, he has it all.

A thriving career. A loving husband. And a face that the American public fell for by the millions, on a reality show that inadvertently saved his life.

 

But behind the shine of celebrity, behind the easygoing nature, a crippling truth fills Julien with pain and self-loathing. It’s a truth that he fights to overcome daily with the help of his husband, Joel Priestley, and now their boyfriend, Robbie Bianchi.

 

But unlike Priest, Robbie doesn’t know what he’s helping Julien to fight. He doesn’t know what Julien did all those years ago. And with the anniversary of his sister’s death fast approaching, the time for explanations is running out.

 

And thus the question: will the princess be able to forgive the prick as the priest once did?

 

Only time will tell.

 

 

 

Excerpt:

 

Chapter One

 

CONFESSION

 

 

Those who are meant to be yours will always find you. “WE MEET again, Mr. Thornton.” A shiver of awareness raced up Julien Thornton’s spine as he stood in the jail cell of a downtown L.A. police station where he’d been thrown around an hour ago for public intoxication. He didn’t need to turn to know who was on the opposite side of those steel bars. That voice was the one he’d been hoping to hear when he’d made his “one call” and left a message after a generic voicemail. That voice? It had been on his mind since the last time he’d heard it, nearly two weeks earlier when he’d met—and attempted to steal the car of—a man who called himself Priest.

 

Julien pivoted on his heels, and when he did, he realized that he’d grossly underestimated the impact that Joel Priestley had had on him the first time around. Oui, he hadn’t been able to stop thinking about him, that was true, and oui, he might’ve purposely provoked the police officer tonight hoping he’d end up needing a lawyer. But Dieu, he’d forgotten the way Priest made his body respond. Like an inferno was licking through his veins. With auburn hair, stormy eyes, and a presence that Julien gravitated toward like a magnetic force, he didn’t think anything could prepare a person for the powerful energy Priest exuded. Not to mention that cool, judgmental stare of his. But Julien had no one to blame for that judgment but himself. Maybe if they didn’t always meet at the end of one of his week-long benders, he could have the upper hand with this man for once. And wouldn’t that be délicieux, he thought, as he looked at the lawyer who’d dropped him home two weeks before, instead of at the police station like he’d originally threatened. Priest was as put together now, at three in the morning, as he had been that afternoon in the alley. Suited up in a tailored navy number that framed his broad shoulders and emphasized the rich color of his hair, he looked sharp, controlled, and dangerous to Julien’s already unstable state of mind as he stood there sizing him up with an unreadable expression.

 

“I’m curious,” Priest finally said, as he clasped his hands behind his back and took a step closer to the cell where Julien had spent most of the night sobering up. “Did you not understand me the last time we spoke?”

 

Julien clenched his jaw and wondered if Priest realized how condescending he sounded when he spoke—or just how much it turned Julien on. “Non. I understood just fine.”

 

“Then what part of ‘I won’t be so lenient next time’ made you think that calling me to bail you out of here was a good idea?” Julien was still trying to work that out himself, but thought it might have something to do with the fact that he was drawn to this man. There was something about Priest that made him feel alive, when all he’d felt for months now was dead inside.

 

When Julien didn’t respond, Priest cocked his head, studying him closely, the disapproval rolling off him in waves. “Are you that hard up for a date that this was the only way you could think to get one?”

 

Putain, the man was arrogant. But for reasons Julien couldn’t explain, that seemed to make him all the more appealing. “You’re the one who gave me your card the last time we met. Perhaps it’s you who are hard up for a date, monsieur. Giving your number out to—”

 

“Criminals?” Priest frowned. “No. That’s called smart business acumen, considering I’m a criminal attorney.”

 

Julien scoffed. “I’m hardly a criminal.”

 

“Really?” Priest said, and took his time examining the six-by-eight space Julien currently stood in. He then leaned forward and said in a lowered voice, “Your current situation tells a different kind of story.”

 

Despite his “current situation,” and the reason he’d gotten himself into it, Julien felt his lips curve, and he realized exactly why he was drawn to Priest. He possessed the one thing that Julien had been looking for—the ability to take his mind off the black hole his life had become. “Maybe it’s le destin.”

 

“And what does that mean? Destiny?” Priest straightened and brought his arm around to check the time. “I doubt destiny has anything to do with it. A more likely scenario is that I was your only option.”

 

“Even if that’s true,” Julien said as he wrapped his fingers around the bars, “you came anyway.”

 

“As I said before, it’s my job.”

 

“At three in the morning?”

 

“At any hour of the morning,” Priest said, and then looked down the hallway that was devoid of anything other than dreary off-white tiles and horribly bright fluorescent lighting. “I’m going to go and see if I can get you out, and then you and I are going to have a talk.”

 

Something about the way Priest said you and I made Julien’s pulse race, and as Priest went to walk away, Julien whispered, “J’ai vraiment hâte,” and the ever-so-serious lawyer stopped in his tracks and looked back. This time when those eyes roamed over Julien, his breath caught. There was nothing cool about that stare now. There was heat, interest, and an intensity that made Julien’s fingers tighten around the bars before Priest cut the connection and walked away.

 

Julien watched him go until he disappeared around the end of the hall, and then he released his breath on a rush. Merde. He’d never been so attracted to someone in all his life, and as he stood there waiting for Priest to save him yet again, Julien knew he needed to stop what he was thinking. There was no way in hell he deserved someone like that. Non, no way at all. That didn’t, however, stop him from counting down the minutes until Priest returned to him…

 

 

Julien-AN.jpg

 

Download today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2LYB8Wq

Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/ConfessionsJulien

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Julien (Confessions #2)Julien by Ella Frank
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is book #2, in the Confessions series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. To avoid spoilers, and have a better understanding of the series, I recommend reading this series in order.

Julien has past that still haunts him. The family parts, the career decisions, and more. Now, with his relationships with Priest & Robbie this year may have a silver lining in it. Now, if only he can find it before he loses all that he has gained.

This book moves quickly. The story is so compelling, both with the relationships and the pain from before that must be overcome. I love watching these characters come together and learn to be in sync. I cannot wait to see the next installment about Priest!

***This ARC copy was given in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews

 

 

 

 

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Start the series with Confessions: Robbie today!

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EllaFrank.jpg

About Ella:

 

Ella Frank is the USA Today Bestselling author of the Temptation series, including Try, Take, and Trust and is the co-author of the fan-favorite contemporary romance, Sex Addict. Her Exquisite series has been praised as “scorching hot!” and “enticingly sexy!” Some of her favorite authors include Tiffany Reisz, Kresley Cole, Riley Hart, J.R. Ward, Erika Wilde, Gena Showalter, and Carly Phillips. 

 

Connect with Ella:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ella.frank.31/

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Website: https://www.ellafrank.com/portfolio

 

 

Book Blitz – Clutch

Clutch
Lisa Becker
Publication date: Original 2015; Re-release 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

** Now with five new bonus chapters **

Clutch is the laugh-out-loud, chick lit romance chronicling the dating misadventures of Caroline Johnson, a single purse designer who compares her unsuccessful romantic relationships to styles of handbags – the “Hobo” starving artist, the “Diaper Bag” single dad, the “Briefcase” intense businessman, etc. With her best friend, bar owner Mike by her side, the overly-accommodating Caroline drinks a lot of Chardonnay, puts her heart on the line, endures her share of unworthy suitors and finds the courage to discover the “Clutch” or someone she wants to hold onto.

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EXCERPT:

 

Mimi Johnson was casually dressed in a brightly-colored blouse with enormous turquoise jewelry and equally-oversized glasses. Despite that largesse, the only thing truly bigger than her personality (and her bosom) was her handbag. Always perfectly matched to her clothing, shoes, and jewelry, she was like a walking Chico’s advertisement, if you added forty years, forty pounds, and a Virginia Slims cigarette. From her Mary Poppins-like bag, she pulled out a box, impeccably-wrapped in glossy pink paper with a white grosgrain ribbon bow. A cigarette teetered between her two fingers while she produced a lung-hacking cough.

 

“Open it… <cough, cough> …sweetie. Open it,” she said to her seven-year-old great niece, Caroline, a beautiful and vibrant girl with long blonde hair and oversized blue eyes.

 

Alive with anticipation, sweet young Caroline eagerly took the box and smiled up at Mimi. She gingerly removed the ribbon, planning to save it for later. The glossy paper was of less interest and she ripped through it quickly. She opened the box and gently lifted out a hot pink purse, adorned with pale pink flowers and rhinestones. An enormous smile overcame her. Caroline nearly set her own hair on fire from Mimi’s cigarette as she bounded into her aunt’s arms.

 

“Oh, thank you, Aunt Mimi. It’s lovely.”

 

And that was when Caroline’s love of handbags began. From big and loud ones that would make Mimi proud to unimposing wristlets, from bowler bags to satchels; it didn’t matter if they were made of canvas or calf-skin leather, were distressed or embellished with metal studs. Hell, she didn’t care if you called them pocketbooks or purses. She just loved them all – almost as much as she loved Mimi.

 

By the time she was a junior in high school and well on her way to being class valedictorian, it was the hundreds of bags Caroline owned that helped her conceptualize her ticket out of her suffocating small Georgian town. She would design handbags. And it was Mimi who was her steadfast cheerleader.

 

“Caroline, sweetie… <cough, cough> …you find something you love and you just hold onto it.” It had never mattered if Caroline was asking Mimi’s advice about a friend, lover, or career. The advice was always the same: “Find something you love and hold onto it.”

Mimi’s words ever-present in her mind, Caroline headed to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and spent four years in Los Angeles learning everything there was to know to pursue her passion. Then, right out of college, she spent three years working in the design and marketing departments of two of the world’s leading, high-end handbag designers.

 

She was schooled in beauty and how to accessorize the perfectly-coiffed women on the way to their Botox appointments. But Caroline was pulled by the nagging feeling that the very person who had inspired her career, Mimi, could never afford the bags she designed, even if Caroline used her generous employee discount on Mimi’s behalf. And God forbid Mimi would ever accept one as a gift, always preferring to give rather than receive. But Caroline believed there was no reason for anyone to be denied the ultimate in accessories. She saw an untapped market of designing beautiful and affordable bags, but she just wasn’t sure she was start-up potential. Again, it was Mimi who nudged her to learn the business side of things and apply to MBA programs. When Caroline was accepted to Harvard Business School, Mimi, of course, encouraged her.

 

“You’ve got this, sweetie. <cough, cough>,” she said. “It’s in the bag.”

 

 

•••

 

 

Caroline was sitting in Financial Reporting and Control on her first day of Harvard classes (and yes, the class turned out to be as boring as it sounded). That’s when she first eyed Mike, who was wearing a faded pair of Levi jeans, a washed-out vintage Rolling Stones T-shirt, and Converse sneakers. He oozed charisma. Turning her head away from him and back toward the front of the lecture hall, Caroline thought that if he were a handbag, he would be a grey leather tote – confident and dependable, but not trying too hard.

 

Mike surveyed the large lecture hall as he walked in, a Starbucks coffee cup in each hand. After descending the steps slowly, he took a seat next to Caroline and planted one of the white and green cups on her desk.

 

Flashing a wide, dimpled smile, which she mused he reserved for getting girls to drop their panties, he said, “Here. You look like you’re going to need this.”

 

“Thanks,” she replied in a suspicious tone, turning her head sideways to look at him and raising an eyebrow.

 

“I’m Mike,” he said, again flashing a smile and reaching out for a handshake.

 

“I’m Caroline. Thanks for the…”

 

“Latte.”

 

“Latte,” she confirmed. “Thanks. But just so you know, I’m not gonna sleep with you,” she said in an apparent attempt to establish up front she wasn’t taken in by his obvious charm.

 

“I know,” he replied matter-of-fact.

 

Before she could respond, Professor Beauregard, a stout man with excessive eyebrows, spoke up. “Please take note of where you are seated. I will send around a seating chart for you to mark your spot. This will be your seat for the remainder of the semester.”

 

“Looks like we’ll be seatmates,” Mike said, grinning at her.

 

“Looks like it.”

 

 

•••

 

 

About three months into the first semester, Caroline learned that her fun-loving, easy-going, new best buddy Mike wasn’t exactly who he appeared to be.

 

A blanket of white snow dusted the Harvard grounds and it was a particularly slow day in another mutual class, LEAD – Leadership and Organizational Behavior. Professor Moss, a frail man who weighed less than his years, was droning on and on about establishing productive relationships with subordinates or something to that effect. He initiated a discussion about what works better – the carrot or stick approach.

 

“Mr. Barnsworth,” he called, referring to his seating chart and scanning the room until he found Mike in the fifth row. “What are your thoughts?”

 

“Well, it seems to me that good management is all about empathy and being able to enthuse and inspire your staff. You know, appreciating them and respecting them. Showing you care,” he said, placing his hand over his heart in a gesture of true compassion and concern. “And if they can’t get that through their thick skulls, you fire ‘em,” he continued, drawing his finger across his throat.

 

Several students sitting around them started to chuckle while Caroline stifled a laugh. Mike looked around the room and nodded his head, soaking in the appreciation of his sense of humor.

 

“Mr. Barnsworth,” said Professor Moss in a menacing tone, “I would have expected a better answer from you, considering your family history.”

 

Confused by the conversation unfolding before her, Caroline leaned over and whispered to Mike, “What is he talkin’ about?” Mike put up a hand to quiet her.

 

“Later,” he hissed.

 

Twenty minutes later, the two shared a bench outside Baker Library, the chill of winter causing Caroline to pull her scarf closer around her neck.

 

“What was that all about?” she asked, scrunching up her nose in confusion.

 

Reluctantly, Mike began to speak. “My full name is Michael Frederick Barnsworth the Third. My family owns a large brokerage firm in New York,” he confessed, unsure of how Caroline would react.

 

Caroline listened as she took in just how old money his family really was. Mike’s great, great, great, great – actually it was hard to keep track of how many “greats” it went back – grandfather ran the first Bank of the United States, which Congress chartered in the early 1800s. His family had advised presidents, dined with royalty, and amassed a fortune that continued today through the Barnsworth Brokerage Firm.

 

“I’m the seventh person in my family to attend Harvard including my father, uncle, three cousins, and grandfather, who was a classmate of Professor Moss,” he continued.

 

Surprised by this unexpected news, she joked, “So you’re just slummin’ with a simple Southern girl like me – and makin’ me pay for drinks, mind you – until you go join the family business and marry someone named Muffy…”

 

“That’s my family’s plan,” Mike laughed. “There’s even an office in the Woolworth Building owned by my family, sitting empty, until I finish business school,” he said reluctantly.

 

“But…” she pressed, touching his hand gently, sensing the family plan may not actually be Mike’s plan – though they had never discussed his plans before.

 

“I want to open a bar,” he said, matter of fact and looking her square in the eye.

Caroline’s head leaned back as she let out a raucous laugh. “You want to own a bar?” she questioned, her shoulders shaking from laughter. “Now I get your goal to drink at every one of the six hundred bars in Boston before you graduate.”

 

“Yup, it’s research,” he said emphatically.

 

“Research?”

 

“Yeah. Every time my parents call, which isn’t very often – they are usually off with their snobby society friends or at Met Balls – I tell them I’m working hard and doing research.”

“Gotta give you credit. That’s pretty clever,” she replied, nodding her head.

 

“And true. If I’m going to open the best bar ever, I need to know what works and what doesn’t.”

 

“Okay. I get why you don’t want to be a wizard of Wall Street. But why a bar?” she asked, not understanding his desire for the life of a bar back.

 

“My parents weren’t around a lot growing up. My father spent more time in the office than my mother spent jetting between boutiques in Paris and ski chalets in Switzerland. And believe me, that was a lot,” he confessed. Caroline looked down in her lap, her heart sinking at the thought of the small boy with the winning smile being ignored by his family.

 

“I was pretty much raised by a series of au pairs. My favorite was Linnea who was nineteen when she came from Sweden to live with our family. She was obsessed with Tom Cruise movies and we would watch them all the time,” he explained, a wistful look on his face as he recalled fond memories.

 

“Cocktail!” Caroline exclaimed.

 

“Yup, I want to be the sole proprietor of a place where you can shake margaritas bare-chested,” Mike laughed. “It’s going to be called The Last Drop,” he stated, not looking for her approval.

 

“Great name,” she admitted, nodding her head. “Especially when your folks drop kick you out of the family.”

 

“I know. I’m preparing to be disowned, which is why I’m getting you used to buying the drinks,” he said, flashing her a smile.

 

“Well with any luck my business will allow me to continue payin’ for drinks.”

 

“The purse thing?”

 

“Yes. The purse thing,” she said, mocking him. “I aim to start a line called Clutch, because it’s one of my favorite handbag styles, and in honor of my aunt Mimi. She always says ‘Find somethin’ you love and just hold onto it.’”

 

“Sounds like a smart lady.”

 

 

 

Author Bio:

 

Lisa Becker is a romance writer whose previous novels include Click: An Online Love Story, Double Click and Right Click. The books, about a young woman’s search for love online in Los Angeles, have been called, “a fast read that will keep you entertained,” “a fun, quick read for fans of Sex and the City,” and “hard to put down.” The first in the series was optioned for a major motion picture.

 

Her latest novel, Links, is a second chance romance that explores what happens when two high school classmates have a chance encounter after 15 years. #1 New York Times bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken called Links, “Witty, heartfelt and emotionally satisfying. Everything I want in a second chance romance! Once I picked it up I couldn’t put it down!”

Lisa’s writings about online dating have been featured in Cupid’s Pulse, GalTime.com, Single Edition, The Perfect Soulmate, Chick Lit Central and numerous other book blogs and websites.

 

As Lisa’s grandmother used to say, “For every chair, there’s a rush.” Lisa is now happily married to a man she met online and lives in Manhattan Beach with him and their two daughters. So, if it happened for her, there’s hope for anyone!

 

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Book Blitz – The Boyfriend Experience

The Boyfriend Experience
J.A. Huss
(Jordan’s Game, #3)
Publication date: May 30th 2018
Genres: New Adult Romance Comedy

From NYT Bestselling Author, JA Huss, comes a new sexy standalone in the Jordan’s Game series.

 

I NEED A BOYFRIEND… and I need one now…

 

WANTED
One bad-ass man with boyfriend experience.
Must be willing to fight dirty and work weekends, nights, and overtime.

Bad attitude a must. Bonus points if you’re hot, athletic, and sporting tattoos.

 

When I asked Jordan Wells for a Boyfriend Experience game I didn’t expect to get stuck with billionaire real-estate agent, Lawton Ayers. He doesn’t exactly fit the job description.

 

 

WANTED
One professional woman with business experience.
Must be willing to build a future together.

Successful entrepreneur a must. Bonus points if you’re a crazy local legend.

When Jordan Wells offered up Oaklee Ryan a last-minute business partner to seal a deal I’ve been working on for years, I didn’t expect beautiful, sexy, and multi-orgasmic to be on her list of qualifications.

 

But that’s what I got. And she’s perfect just the way she is.

Too bad she doesn’t want me to be HER boyfriend. Because she bought me for someone else…

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EXCERPT:

 

She’s smiling up at me, her brown eyes turned slightly yellow from the glow of the lights, her cheeks pink. Flushed from the exertion of sex. Her breathing slower now, but not her heart. Because I can feel it underneath me.

 

Still pounding.

 

Waiting for more.

 

Trying to match mine.

 

So we can keep time together.

 

I think that’s what hearts do. Keep time. Keep everything together. Keep this crazy thing called life in perspective.

 

“One more time here,” I say. “Then I’ll take you inside so I can get you naked.”

It’s too cold to make her take her clothes off. Even though I know she’d do that if I asked her to. I can already feel the chill of her beneath me. But my body heat will help. Will protect her from the cold.

 

The deluxe package includes a boyfriend blanket on a cold night.

 

She opens her legs, reaches down between them to pull her panties aside, and my hips adjust enough to allow my cock to slide up to her opening. Her fingers are grabbing my shoulder now. And even through the leather I can feel them dig.

 

I want to take the jacket off so she can leave marks on me. I want there to be nothing between us. But I want her to be on the bottom at least once. So she can look up and see the surreal fantasy version of the underside of her water tower just like I did. So we can share that special feeling of being with someone you adore in a way that can’t be repeated.

 

No one will ever make love to her like this again. Not even me. Because this is a moment and moments pass into other moments and no two are ever alike.

 

She thrusts her hips upward, trying to force me to enter her. I just grin, because not gonna happen. Not until I say so, at least.

 

“Come on,” she whispers, watching me intently. “Let’s go.”

 

“We’ve got time. There’s no rush.”

 

She thrusts upward again. “There is a rush. A rush I want to experience again. Don’t make me beg, Lawton Ayers.”

 

“Begging?” I ask playfully. “Is that something you do?”

 

She giggles, then gets serious real quick. She frowns. Pouts her lips. Widens her eyes. “Please,” comes out like a whimper. Like she’s been wounded and needs relief. Relief only I can administer.

 

“Just take a moment, Oaklee. Feel it with me.”

 

Her eyes narrow slightly. Like she’s trying to figure out what I’m asking.

 

“The game is over,” I say. “That’s what I want you to feel. We passed it by some time ago. I’m not sure when, exactly. But the game is over.”

 

“OK,” she says, her face relaxing. The pout is gone. The confusion is gone. And all her expectations seem to melt away. “We’re real,” she whispers.

 

 

 

Author Bio:

 

JA Huss is the New York Times Bestselling author of 321 and has been on the USA Today Bestseller’s list 21 times in the past four years. She writes characters with heart, plots with twists, and perfect endings.

 

Her books have sold millions of copies all over the world, the audio version of her semi-autobiographical book, Eighteen, was nominated for a Voice Arts Award and an Audie Award in 2016 and 2017 respectively, her audiobook, Mr. Perfect, was nominated for a Voice Arts Award in 2017, and her audiobook, Taking Turns, was nominated for an Audie Award in 2018.

She lives on a ranch in Central Colorado with her family.

 

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Book Blitz – Royal Service

Royal Service
Leslie North
(Royals of Danovar)
Publication date: May 24th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

King Phillip is a real life Prince Charming. Golden haired with a Danovian accent, and a solid gold crown sitting on his head, he’s every girl’s daydream. He’s a good man and an even better king, but the one thing he’s been terrible at is choosing a royal wife — fearing a marriage that’s more about policy than passion. But when his mother invites all the eligible maidens to The Summer House Party, Phillip is trapped in a real-life Bachelor where he won’t have the option of quietly splitting from the girl after the party is over — he’ll be wed to her for life.

 

Ella Fernstone is tired of being the family servant. After her father died, Ella was receded to the basement as her stepmother began a full court press to cultivate her own daughters. Ella’s ready to escape the hot mess of a home that she grew up in by finally pursuing her dream of competitive riding: something she’s been preparing her whole life to do. All she has to do is marry one of her step sisters off to the King of Danovar to finally find her freedom. It couldn’t be that hard right?

 

That was until Ella was the first to fall for the King’s dashing good looks and an offer to ride off with him into the sunset. Ella is hesitant — a Queen’s life was still one of servitude, but it’s hard to ignore the pull of a handwritten love letter and a skillfully delivered kiss. Phillip too is caught up in seducing what he never expected to find: an eligible woman he might just learn to love. But when the reality of a royal marriage comes crashing down, Phillip and Ella must decide if they can risk their hearts, or their freedoms, on the chance of true love.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

 

 

EXCERPT:

 

King Phillip Gregory Humbert Alcott knelt beside his favorite vintage Indian motorcycle, grease coating his hands, and wished he could stay there forever. Or better yet, finish fixing it up and then just ride off into the sunset. Unfortunately, the sun’s current angle in the mid-afternoon sky put the kibosh on that plan—not to mention the gaggle of women halfway down the drive, any one of whom he was supposed to marry.

 

Phillip loosened the rear axle nut with a grunt, putting more effort into it than was strictly necessary. A strand of his long blond hair swung loose and he pushed it aside with his forearm. Fixing up his motorcycles usually brought him peace, but lately, with his thirtieth birthday looming, there was hardly any peace for him in the whole of Danovar. According to his country’s law—not to mention his mother’s insistance—he was supposed to choose his queen by the time he turned thirty. And seeing as he’d managed to successfully ignore that law for the last twenty-nine years and nine months, now he had exactly three months left to pick a bride. His mother’s way of “helping” him achieve that goal was to gather all the eligible ladies for a weeks-long party at the Summer House, so that he might pick one to marry before the impending deadline.

 

The ladies had been arriving all day, and the group at the other end of the drive was among the last of the bunch. Dressed in their jewel-toned finery, they looked like a flock of peacocks, fluttering around and clucking amongst themselves while they assessed the Summer House with openly calculating gazes, not even noticing him kneeling there covered in oil and engine grease.

 

His mouth twisted. One of those oblivious women might well be his future wife.

It wasn’t that he didn’t want to get married. In fact, he’d always been enamored with the idea of growing old with a woman he loved—but that was the problem. During this party he wasn’t so much picking a wife as he was choosing a queen, someone who was capable of ruling Danovar at his side. That meant he would never marry for love, and having seen his parents and grandparents live through loveless marriages, he knew it was nothing to look forward to. He wished there was a way for his duty and love to go hand in hand but it just wasn’t in the stars, and being king meant putting his country

before his own desires.

 

He allowed the rear wheel to slide in the swingarm a bit, blowing out a breath and rolling his shoulders to try to get the tension out of his muscles as he returned to his bike. It wasn’t what he wanted that mattered, he reminded himself. It was what his people needed. And if his people needed one of these scheming peacocks to be his wife, then that’s what they would damn well get.

 

But that didn’t mean he couldn’t enjoy himself a bit first. Sneak off, spend a few hours on the road, just him and the sunset and the cherry-red bike roaring beneath him. Once he could manage to focus long enough to get the damn drive chain tightened, this beauty would ride like the wind. He’d be sure to get back in time to give the opening speech tonight, of course—shirking his duties was no way to start his search for a queen—but he just needed a little freedom, a little time to himself.

 

One last limo pulled in, carrying the final load of ladies who were here to vie for the royal engagement ring. Two women who looked like sisters climbed out and stared up at the Summer House, but at least they looked more like they were appreciating its beauty than calculating how much money the crystal chandeliers and extravagant stables were worth. These two were attractive enough, he supposed, and in other circumstances he might not have minded flirting with them. In fact, maybe he could simply pretend he was his brother Eric tonight—then he could flirt with anything in a dress and it could all be fun and games, rather than the official business of the crown.

 

The women’s servant was standing at the rear of the limo, efficiently unloading the designer luggage. Now with her, he’d love to do more than flirt. She was sexy as hell from behind, clad in a crisp outfit that screamed personal assistant. It also screamed I have a nice ass. Her golden hair was caught up in a bouncy ponytail, and the second he saw it he couldn’t stop thinking about what it would feel like to wrap those golden locks around his hand, tug her head back and angle her just right for a scorching-hot kiss, to run his other hand across those delicious curves and then down, down, down even further, until she was panting and trembling and neither of them could remember their own names.

 

He tightened the axle back in place and set his tools in their box, wiping his hands on a rag as he contemplated her. It had been a long time since a woman had affected him this strongly, this quickly—but judging from the efficient, completely un-self-conscious way she was juggling her bosses’ luggage, she had no idea she was drop-dead gorgeous. Her innocence was refreshing after all the stuffy gold-diggers he’d watched drive up, who he’d now have to spend the next few weeks courting.

 

He stood, dropped the rag, and straddled his bike. He’d just been thinking he needed an escape, and now he couldn’t conceive of a better one than shirking tonight’s duties to spend some quality time with the gorgeous creature in front of him. Usually his flings had to go through layers of security checks before he was alone with them, but he was feeling restless and reckless, and the beauty in front of him would be the perfect cure for that.

 

Decision made, he revved the engine.

 

 

 

Author Bio:

 

Leslie North is the pen name for a critically-acclaimed author of women’s contemporary romance and fiction. The anonymity gives her the perfect opportunity to paint with her full artistic palette, especially in the romance and erotic fantasy genres.

 

The truth of the matter is she loves her fictional persona, Leslie North, more than her normal, day-to-day persona! Her bestselling books focus on strong characters and particularly women who aren’t afraid to challenge an alpha male. Inspired after years of travel, her stories are set all over the world, from the tough streets of Russia to the beautiful beaches of the middle east.

 

Leslie fell in love with romance when she first picked up a scrappy, dog-eared romance book from her local library. She began writing soon after and the rest, as they say, was history. She now lives in a cozy cottage on the British coast and enjoys taking long walks with her two Dalmatians, George and Fergie.

 

She LOVES reader feedback, and if you have any comments, don’t hesitate to contact her via e-mail: leslie@leslienorthbooks.com.

 

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Review Tour – One Baby Daddy

   

 

 

 

“What are you doing now that your team is out of the running for the Stanley Cup?”

 

Forget. I need to forget.

 

I need an escape.

 

Only one person isn’t falling for my reputation as the NHL’s Golden Boy; she captured my attention the minute she called me out for snooping through my best friend’s house. She didn’t want to hear my reason–she only wanted to playfully give me a hard time.

 

Adalyn is bold, sassy–and the perfect escape. She’s everywhere. In town and in my dreams, and suddenly I need to spend every waking moment with her.

 

And I do, making this summer the best off-season I’ve ever had. But in the midst of getting lost in Adalyn, what I don’t expect is to get her pregnant. And what I definitely don’t expect is having to fight for her affection.

 

 

Purchase Links:

 

Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ Amazon AU ~ Amazon CA       

 

 

 

 

EXCERPT :

“Would you mind zipping up the back of my dress?” She walks toward me, her flowery scent floating in my direction, spiking my yearning into overdrive.

“Uh, yeah . . . sure.”

 

She turns around, and looks over her shoulder. The back of her dress is completely open, the zipper undone to just above the curve of her beautifully round ass.
Shit, all that smooth, tan skin, covered by nothing but the velvety fabric of the dress. Is she wearing underwear? She’s not wearing a bra and I see no panty line.

 

Clearing my throat, I ask, “Are you wearing underwear, Adalyn?”

 

From over her shoulder, she smiles shyly. “Yes, it’s small though.”

 

Of course it is. Why wouldn’t it be?

 

Not being able to stop myself, I take a second to float my fingertips up her spine. From the initial touch, her back arches and a small gasp releases from her lips, but before I can think about stopping, she melts into my touch. Stepping closer, I place my hand on the back of her hip, my thumb pressing into her ass while the other hand explores the bare expanse of her back. Her head falls to my shoulder. Her lips part, and when I snake to the front of her dress, her breath hitches.

 

Eyes closed, I take in ragged breaths, my fingers inching closer and closer to her front, my cock painfully hard.

 

It’s been so goddamn long—and being with Adalyn has only spurred on my need—but I want to make sure we’re in a good place before we commit to anything. I want to make sure she’s ready emotionally because the minute I bury myself deep inside her, I know there will be no turning back. She will be mine forever.

 

But maybe for now, I can just have a little touch . . .

 

My cock pressed against her butt, she expertly grinds her backside into me, her hands moving to my neck, pulling my head down to hers. I kiss the side of her neck, using the hand that’s gripping her hips to guide her with her grinding in just the right place.
Fuck, that feels good.

 

I grunt, the sound vibrating over her sleek neck. My hand on her stomach, she arches wanting more of my touch, silently asking me to move north.

 

And I fucking comply. Inch by slow inch, I guide my hand to just below her breasts. When I halt my pursuit, a displeased groan escapes her.

 

“Hayden, please.”

 

I squeeze my eyes shut, trying to find the willpower. Her fingernails dig into my scalp, spurring me on as she turns her head and finds my lips.

 

She kisses me.

 

Hot.

 

Wet.

 

Needy.

 

Her lips gliding across mine, her tongue diving into my mouth, her moans are vocal and sexy. Her delicious ass, pressing, grinding, undulating against my rock-hard cock makes me want to do so much more, makes me want to taste so much more.

 

Moving my hand higher, my fingertips graze the bottom of her breast. Soft. Round. Smooth. I caress her right below her nipple, never touching, just teasing . . . tempting.        

 

 

 

 

One Baby DaddyOne Baby Daddy by Meghan Quinn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is #3, in the Dating By Numbers series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. For reader enjoyment and understanding, I recommend reading these in order.

Hayden meets Adalyn at a mutual friends party. The attraction to her attributes is instantaneous. Only he is not allowed to act on it – unless he wants to lose his oldest friend.

Adalyn is sassy and sexy, and her quick wit is very attractive. She is surprised to find she enjoys talking with the hockey player she is meeting for the first time. While surprises seem to be the name of the summer, she is not sure what to do when the next big thing hits.

This book was so full of emotion! I loved what a great installment this was for the series. The characters were sarcastic, hot, and really funny. I enjoyed this story right down to the last page.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

 

Born in New York and raised in Southern California, Meghan has grown into a sassy, peanut butter eating, blonde haired swearing, animal hoarding lady. She is known to bust out and dance if “It’s Raining Men” starts beating through the air and heaven forbid you get a margarita in her, protect your legs because they may be humped.

 

Once she started commuting for an hour and twenty minutes every day to work for three years, she began to have conversations play in her head, real life, deep male voices and dainty lady coos kind of conversations. Perturbed and confused, she decided to either see a therapist about the hot and steamy voices running through her head or start writing them down. She decided to go with the cheaper option and started writing… enter her first novel, Caught Looking.

 

Now you can find the spicy, most definitely on the border of lunacy, kind of crazy lady residing in Colorado with the love of her life and her five, furry four legged children, hiking a trail or hiding behind shelves at grocery stores, wondering what kind of lube the nervous stranger will bring home to his wife. Oh and she loves a good boob squeeze!

 

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Release Blitz – Level Up

 
TitleLEVEL UP
Series: loosely related to the #gaymers series, but stands alone
Author: Annabeth Albert
Publisher: Annabeth Albert
Release Date: May 17, 2018
Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 40,000 words
Genre: Romance, contemporary m/m romance, gay romance, geeks, nerds, friends-to-lovers, gamers, gaymers
 

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Synopsis:

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Landon can’t believe he’s let himself get roped into participating in a charity calendar, let alone one that features tastefully photographed nudes. The genius physicist is hardly model material and he’s dreading the nude part of the photoshoot. Amid his reluctance, the one bright spot is his emails back and forth with the photographer.
 
However, Bailey ends up being not quite what Landon expects, and their first meeting is decidedly awkward. Bailey’s persistent though, and gradually Landon warms to the burly photographer, and they discover they have a shared love of gamer culture.
 
A tentative friendship is born, but the road from friends to lovers isn’t easy. Landon’s battling past trauma and must decide how much of a risk he’s willing to take. A sexy connection may not be enough to keep them together unless both are willing to put their hearts on the line.
 
Approximately 40,000 words. Previously released as part of the EXPOSED anthology, and loosely linked to the #Gaymers universe, this friends-to-lovers, hurt/comfort story stands alone with a guaranteed happy ending. Contains a brief mention of a prior assault, but no on-screen violence or flashbacks.

 

 

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LEVEL UP EXCERPT—This is their first kiss, because I absolutely love writing first kiss scenes!
 
***
 
Bailey was the type who moved a lot as he gamed, biceps flexing, knees wiggling, shoulders jostling. Landon always liked people who got so into gaming, but it was more than a little distracting. His body was quickly coming to associate that orange scent of Bailey’s with good things, and other parts of him apparently liked Bailey’s nearness, which was a novelty because instead of intimidated, as he would have expected, he was more than a little turned on.
 
“Oh man, that was a rush.” Bailey laughed as both of their health meters dipped to zero. “I’m almost wishing I’d gone into game art, not photography. Amazing how these graphics have held up over the years.”
 
“Totally. And speaking of art, let me find the Space Villager stuff.” Landon reluctantly stepped away from the game. He headed to the nearby kitchen, where he was pretty the papers were buried with a stack of mail. Paper control was not his strong suit. “You’ll go nuts at the latest screen shots and promo teasers.”
 
“Cool.” Rather than follow Landon, Bailey went to sit on the couch.
 
“You want a drink while I’m in here?” Landon called to him after he found the papers under a pile of pizza ads. “I’ve got four flavors of Snapple, soda, and water.”
 
“Surprise me with a Snapple flavor.” Bailey looked right at home on Landon’s couch, lounging back.
 
He really did not look at all like any photographer Landon had ever met, and curiosity had him asking, “So why photography? You said you could have done game design?”
 
“Yeah, I had plenty of friends at the art institute go that direction. But I’ve been in love with photography ever since I worked on our middle school yearbook. I figured out quickly that taking pictures of events and sports was far more fun than trying to do the sports myself, so I did yearbook all through high school, got a photography scholarship to the art institute in Portland.”
 
“So you don’t play a sport?” Landon had a hard time believing that. With Bailey’s height and breadth, he totally looked like he lived for weekend games of some type.
 
“Nope. Hopelessly uncoordinated.” Bailey shot him an endearing smile when Landon handed him the bottle of tea.
 
“Me too.” Landon clinked bottles with him, then held up the papers. “Found the codes. But can I show you some stuff on the TV screen while you have your drink?”
 
“Absolutely.” Bailey took a long swig of tea, and Landon had to look away before he got mesmerized by Bailey’s full mouth, how it looked when his tongue chased a stray drop of moisture, how pink it was in contrast to his paler skin and brown beard.
 
Landon queued up the pre-release trailer Josiah had sent him a link to. Bombastic music filled his small living room as on the screen, and a spaceship pulled in for a landing on a planet filled with ruins of a once-powerful civilization. The narrator had an iconic voice and detailed all the special features of the expansion pack. Landon had already watched this a half-dozen times, and it still gave him happy chills.
 
“Wow. I can’t wait.” Bailey looked suitably awed. “This is even cooler than when War Elf added the mystic raids.”
 
“I know, right? Now look at the in-game screen shots.” He brought up another video, body relaxing more and more despite Bailey’s nearness. It was just so awesome to have someone new to share this with. He’d been hyped about this all week, but Pike was distracted by his boyfriend Zack’s deployment, Savannah didn’t game much, and the rest of his regular crew seemed to have other things occupying their attention.
 
Somehow, as he shared more video clips, he drifted closer to Bailey, so that their knees were almost rubbing. It wasn’t a giant couch, so there wasn’t a ton of room to move back, but even so, Landon wasn’t looking for an escape. He was aware of Bailey, very much so, but not nearly as freaked out as he’d been a few hours ago. Instead, his senses seemed to soak up Bailey’s scent and nearness, and it wasn’t until the fourth or fifth video that he realized that he was aroused.
 
Clink. Somehow Landon’s left hand, holding his drink, and Bailey’s right hand tangled.
 
“Oops.” He tried to extricate himself without spilling both beverages. Bending to put his on the floor, he hadn’t realized that Bailey had also leaned down until their heads collided.
 
“Ow,” they said simultaneously.
 
“Oh my gosh. I’m so sorry.” Bailey reached out, feeling around on Landon’s head. “Did you see stars? Break the skin?”
 
“I’m fine.” Landon didn’t pull away. Bailey’s hand felt damn nice. Gentle. Soothing more than just the bump on his head. Their eyes met, and he really needed to move back, break this spell, but he didn’t, instead leaning into to the touch. Bailey’s eyes darkened, and he stroked down Landon’s jaw. God, that felt so good, like an extra blanket on a chilly night, warmth he hadn’t realized he was missing. How long had it been since he’d been touched like this? Hugged, sure. He’d hugged Savannah goodnight, and hugged and wrestled around with his best friend Pike at the last LAN party, but neither of those things was touch like this. Caring. Sweet. Arousing.
 
Bailey leaned in again, way slower this time, all the time in the world for Landon to stop him. But he didn’t. Bailey’s beard tickled an instant before their lips met, a soft slide of mouths. Not aggressive at all, not the on-a-tight-schedule rush of a hookup, Bailey kissed like they had a sleepy Sunday afternoon to kill, like each reaction of Landon’s mattered, like he was trying to memorize something important and was going to take his time learning the lesson.
 
Landon was the first one to take things further, mouth opening on a sigh, welcoming Bailey’s agile tongue. He tasted sweet, like tea, and minty like the gum he’d popped after the pizza, familiar yet new at the same time. How had he managed to forget how awesome kissing could be? A laugh bubbled up in his chest, but quickly transformed to a groan of pleasure as Bailey nipped at his lower lip.
 
Not content to let Bailey be the one exploring, Landon sent his own tongue on a quest, tracing Bailey’s full lower lip, delving inside to rub tongues, retreating playfully to earn another nip. Fuck. This was nice. The video switched over to something random, and he barely registered it. He couldn’t say how long they kissed, just that he didn’t want it to ever end.

 

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Level UpLevel Up by Annabeth Albert
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Landon absolutely did not want to do this calendar shoot. If the photographer had not known how to coax him out of his shell, it could have been a disaster. Afterwards, he realizes he is attracted to the quiet photographer and wants to spend more time with him.

Bailey is immediately attracted to Landon. He appreciated the qualities that make him the shy almost recluse of a professor that he is. After spending time gaming together – they realize this could be worth a shot. Now if they can just put past pain and hurt behind them.

I felt like these characters were a great mix. I loved the reference to the amazing Gaymers series also! This story unfolds at a rather steady pace. The heat is obvious, but the solution is not. As always, this author brings us a book that makes us smile. Even after the storm.

***This ARC copy was given in exchange for an honest review.

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Meet the Author:

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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: 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.

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Annabeth’s Newsletter | Annabeth’s Angels

 

 

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