Tour: Charlie’s Hero (Heroes #1) by Nic Starr *Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*

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Charlie’s Hero (Heroes #1)
by Nic Starr

An M/M Romance
From Dreamspinner Press
Released June 17th 2015



Schoolteacher Charlie Matthews returns to his hometown, looking to regain a sense of community, reconnect with friends, and settle down. It looks like his dreams have come true when paramedic Josh Campbell attends an accident at the school. It’s love at first sight, and a romance begins.

But Josh’s reluctance to come out to the brother who raised him, puts pressure on their fledgling relationship. While Charlie understands Josh’s concerns, he can’t help growing impatient. After all, Charlie came out years ago.

It’s not until Charlie confronts his own parents and realizes he hasn’t come to terms with their rejection that he fully understands what Josh has to lose. But Josh is Charlie’s hero, and Josh will do anything to prove to Charlie that to be part of a family, he doesn’t need his parents.

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4 stars

It’s been over a year since Charlie returned to his hometown. Everything is going well, except his love life. Wanting to find something more he hasn’t taken the chance to play the field. Until Josh walks into his life and knocks his breath away. Josh is everything Charlie wants in a partner–caring, loyal and sexy as hell. Both men want something lasting and believe the other is what they have been waiting for in their lives.

This is my first book by Nic Starr and it certainly won’t be my last. I enjoyed the subtle complexity of the characters and the overall lightness of the story. The emotions felt by the characters were spot-on but not overwhelming and the romance flowed nicely from sweet to sexy and back again. I loved that Josh and Charlie had great rapport. Their interactions were entertaining and ranged from the most candid to the most intense always managing to emphasize how deep the connection was between them. But for me, Josh and Charlie’s time together passed by too quickly. Although their connection was palpable, I feel like it was rushed or at least not explored fully on the page.

That said, I still believe that the story is worth consideration. The concept, although not unique, was brought to the page in a way that enticed the reader to keep on going–to see what the future held for these men. As the first in a series, it worked in establishing the cast of characters and the overall ‘feel’ of the series. The secondary characters played an integral part of the story, especially Josh’s brother. Believe me, that’s one story I don’t want to miss.

That leaves us with the best part–the sex! I loved that the intimate scenes between these two were varied. There weren’t a lot of them, but the few that made it to the page were worth the wait. The intensity. The overwhelming passion. I loved it when they lost themselves in each other. Every gasp, every touch only added to my enjoyment of this story. Well done. 😉

All in all, a wonderful start to a series that promises to get better (if the ending and the excerpt of the next book included in my copy was anything to go by). Sweet and sexy–a great combination!

*I received a copy of this title in exchange of my honest opinion.



HE WAS in love. Totally, wonderfully, head over heels in love. Love with a capital L, hell, love in full uppercase. All it took was one look, one simple glance, and he was a goner. Of course the object of his admiration was classically handsome—tall and athletic, glowing with good health. Bright eyes, wide smile, waves of shining hair tucked behind perfect ears. He was like all Charlie’s dreams come true, with golden skin hugging strong muscles that strained on long limbs. But even if Charlie hadn’t been attracted to the man’s spectacular good looks, there was no way to overlook his actions.

When Charlie first saw him, he was kneeling on the schoolyard ground, tending to a little girl who was lying prone on the soft-fall rubber surface under the play equipment. She was one of Charlie’s second graders. Her right leg, bent at a strange, unnatural angle, gave a big clue as to her injury. Charlie hoped the leg was the worst she was hurt.

An efficient auburn-haired paramedic was treating her injured leg while the gorgeous guy knelt by her head, hands on either side of her blonde curls, keeping her still. He whispered into her ear, the words obviously having a calming effect—the little girl stared intently up at him, the hitch in her breathing the only evidence of any distress. There was a gentleness to his touch, despite the large hands, and caring in his tone as he concentrated on his patient. How could Charlie not fall in love with this glorious combination of caring, masculine beauty?

“Mr. Matthews. Mr. Matthews.” The urgent high-pitched voice and persistent tugging on his hand drew his attention reluctantly away from the scene unfolding in the playground. Shit, he thought, what the hell am I doing just standing here staring when I should be taking care of the other children, who are no doubt worried and scared? Dropping to one knee and looking Jennifer in the eye, Charlie gave her his full attention. “What is it, Jenny?” he asked, knowing she was going to voice her worry about her small friend on the ground.

“Is Alison going to be all right, Mr. Matthews?” she asked in a low and quavering voice. He replied in a way he hoped would calm her fears, by keeping his voice even and low.

“She’ll be fine, Jenny. Her mummy and daddy will meet her at the hospital, and Miss Bryant is going to go stay with her until they get there. Alison is in very good hands. See those paramedics?” He pointed toward the action under the monkey bars, and she looked across at the small group on the ground and nodded gravely. “Well, they’re very good at their jobs. They’re going to take Alison to the hospital so the doctors can put a cast on her leg. I’m sure she’ll be back at school in no time.”

“But she won’t be able to play,” she whispered, obviously still worried for her friend.

“No, she won’t,” he admitted. “At least she won’t be able to run around for a while, but she will be able to draw and play board games. I know you love to draw, so maybe you can play with Alison to make her feel better. I bet you’ll be able to write your name on the cast too.”

At that, Jenny met his gaze and finally smiled. “Really!” she said with excitement. “That’d be totally cool!”

They looked up as the paramedics wheeled past with the gurney. Little Alison was tightly strapped aboard. She was lying still, no doubt in shock, and holding tightly to the hand of Charlie’s hero. He only glanced their way for a second, obviously reluctant to take his attention away from the little girl who needed him, but that was enough. Their gazes connected, his warm brown eyes seeming to look straight into Charlie’s soul. The surge of emotion that flooded through him took him by surprise. The paramedic blinked and the spell was broken. They moved swiftly past Jenny and Charlie, then loaded the gurney into the back of the ambulance.

Charlie stood frozen to the spot, still holding Jenny’s small hand in his, and watched the ambulance leave. Finally he took a deep breath, turned back to the schoolyard, and started to round up any children still in the playground.

“Come on, everyone,” he called. “It’s time to get back to class.”

As the last stragglers made their way into the single-story building that housed the small group of classrooms, he knew he would be spending the afternoon reassuring the children. He decided that making get-well cards for Alison would be the best way of distracting the group of second graders.


About the Author

Nic Starr lives in Australia where she tries to squeeze as much into her busy life as possible. Balancing the demands of a corporate career with raising a family and writing can be challenging but she wouldn’t give it up for the world.

Always a reader, the lure of m/m romance was strong and she devoured hundreds of wonderful m/m romance books before eventually realising she had some stories of her own that needed to be told!

When not writing or reading, she loves to spend time with her family-an understanding husband and two beautiful daughters-and is often found indulging in her love of cooking and planning her dream home in the country.

You can find Nic on Facebook, Twitter and her blog. She’d love it if you stopped by to say hi.

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Now Available in Print! Sideswiped (Off the Map #2) by Lia Riley *Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*


Sideswiped (Off the Map #2)
by Lia Riley

A New Adult Contemporary Romance
From Grand Central Publishing – Forever
Print Release June 30th 2015



It was only meant to last the summer…

Talia Stolfi has seen more than her share of loss in her twenty-one years. But then fate brought her Bran Lockhart, and her dark world was suddenly and spectacularly illuminated. So if being with Bran means leaving her colorless SoCal life for rugged and wild Australia, then that’s what she’ll do. But as much as Talia longs to give herself over completely to a new beginning, the fears of her past are still lurking in the shadows.

Bran Lockhart knows that living without the beautiful girl who stole his heart will be torment, so he’ll take whatever time with her he can. But even though she has packed up her life in California and is back in his arms for the time being, she can’t stay forever. And the remaining time they have together is ticking by way too fast. Though fate seems determined to tear them apart, they won’t give up without a fight-because while time may have limits, their love is infinite . . .


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Sideswiped picks up right where Upside Down left off with Talia back in the States and getting ready to return to Australia to move in with Bran.

The honeymoon is set to continue with Talia and Bran living together and working on their careers, but real life is a bit more complicated and worries, insecurities and ghosts from the past threaten to tear Talia and Bran apart.

As with the first installment in the series, I loved this story because of the range in emotions the author brought to the page. However, I was a bit disappointed that some of Talia and Bran’s camaraderie–that thing that made Upside Down such an enjoyable read for me–was lacking.

I understand that this was more of an exploration of how hard it is to make a relationship work. It dealt with the ups and down of a relationship and how real life can get in the middle of it. So yes, I understood that the funny moments and the banter would be kept to a minimum. But for me, that easy camaraderie, the bickering and the easy way Talia and Bran related to each other was what made their relationship so strong. They could deal with the emotional and the obstacles thrown their way and still keep their easy-going rapport.

That said, I still enjoyed this story. Lia Riley didn’t hold any punches in bringing the emotions to the page or in challenging Talia and Bran’s relationship from all sides.

This time around Talia struggles with the uncertainty of her future in terms of her career and how her decision will affect her relationship with Bran. Thankfully, she has matured enough to recognize that she must follow her own path and has grown confident that what she and Bran share is more than a passing emotion. But her struggle is made more complicated as she tries to get a handle on her disorder and when her biggest obstacle becomes the man she loves.

Bran is stubborn and refuses to compromise. His fear of abandonment, coupled with his previous experience in a relationship, make him reluctant to accept his dream position. A man used to going for what he wants, he struggles with being with Talia completely or pursuing his dream assignment.

As the story progresses, Their love continues to grow but the obstacles thrown their way take their toll on their will to make their relationship work. Talia and Bran confront their demons, withdraw from one another but ultimately decide to go for what they truly want.

Sideswiped is the second book in the Off the Map series and recounts Talia and Bran’s the journey of trying to find their place in the world–as individuals and as a couple. Although it can be read as a stand alone, I wouldn’t recommend it. This story would not have been as satisfying or heart-warming if I couldn’t have experienced how these two came to be together.

All in all, a wonderful story of how two individuals find themselves while still holding on to one another.

*I received these titles through NetGalley in exchange of my honest opinion.



Talia passes out hard from the travel and epic reunion sex. I’m too amped for sleep, so I lie in the dark and trace her spine. Can you love someone too much? No point being afraid, might as well jump in it with both feet. I press my mouth to her neck and she undulates, responsive even from her dreams. If miracles were real, I’d swear we were designed to fit together.

I loop my arm around her waist and hold fast, until our breathing syncs. I’m drifting off when she jerks—hard—once, twice. Her body recoils as she unleashes a lung-tearing scream.

“Talia, wake up. Come on, sweetheart, talk to me.” I clamber over her, hunching protectively. “Open your eyes. It’s Bran. I’ve got you. I’m not letting go.” I keep talking while she flays my chest like she’s drowning under ice, desperate to find a break in the surface.

“Can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I…where am…oh God. Bran.”

“I’m right here.” I cradle her while she draws another unsteady gasp. Her hair plasters her forehead in sweaty wisps.

“Give me a minute. I’ll be fine.” She pushes herself to a half-sit and sways with disorientation. “This…this happens sometimes…panic attacks or night terrors…whatever. They seem to come when I drop my guard. Or, I don’t know, maybe it’s the meds. Those pills make me feel like a toxic waste dump.”

“Have you been bad this summer?” The muscles in my neck cord. It shreds my guts to see her hurting. I’d do anything, any fucking thing, to carry her pain. I don’t fully understand the inner workings of OCD but she’s explained that for her, the condition comes in waves. Everything will be rolling along fine, more or less, and then bang—a giant squid grips her brain. She fights hard for recovery, a warrior even when she believes she’s nothing but a coward.

“No, not really.” She grinds her eyes with the backs of her hands. “I kinda danced around the edge of the rabbit hole a few times but never fell inside.”

My muscles release some tension. “Try to go back to sleep. You need the rest. Don’t worry, I’ll keep watch, okay?”

“I’m sorry to be such a psych job. It’s totally shaming.”


Her chin tips down. “Can you talk to me for a little while? Get me out of my fuckball head?”

“Hey now, I got mad love for that head, Captain.” I kiss her brow, acting chill even though I’m scared. How can I get her to settle? Then it hits me. “I want to take you surfing again.”

“Mmmm, that’d be nice.”

“Picture yourself out there, in the water, on a board, under the shooting stars.”

“With sharks eyeballing me from the depths?”

“Nah, they’re all busy hunting sea lions or some bloody mischief. This is you, the sea, and the sky. A set rolls in. You can’t make out the wave. The board lifts and you feel the momentum building. There’s fear deep in your belly, sensible, because you can’t see what’s coming or where you’re going. You fight the self-protective instincts, give yourself over, and the next thing you know—you’re having the ride of your life.”

“Thank you.” She flips in my arms so we’re belly to belly. “I mean it. That was beautiful, really, really beautiful. I’m so excited to be here, for right now—to live in the moment. But it’s like I have this…this weird mental stutter. My thoughts keep skipping over the same annoying question like a scratch on vinyl: What will we do?” Tears spill from the corners of her eyes, course silently toward her chin. “My visa.”

Talia’s been granted a three-month student visa to complete her senior thesis in history. In all its benevolent generosity, the Australian government expanded her time in the country by an extra month.

Four months—the sum of our allotted time.

“They’ll make me leave.”

“Don’t believe everything you think.” I wipe her damp cheeks.

“Can you tattoo that on my forehead?”

Maybe it’s my imagination, but the brass alarm clock on the dresser clicks louder.

Another second gone.

Another second gone.

“I’m not losing you to some shithouse immigration policy, Captain. We will be all right in the end.” I’ve no idea how the hell I’m going to solve this drama but I will figure it out. “We have to hope, otherwise we’re sunk.”

She jerks with surprised laughter.


She hiccups and covers her mouth with her hand, shoulders shaking. It takes me a second to realize she’s giggling.

“I’m funny to you right now?” This girl drives me every sort of crazy.

“I’m not laughing at you.” She works her lips together and unsuccessfully smothers the smile. “It’s—”

“Forget it.” I instinctively stiffen.

“Bran the Optimist.” She grabs my wrists, lifts my palms to her face, and plants a kiss in the center of each one. “I like this side of you.”

“Never mind. I was being dumb.”

“You were awesome.” She pecks the tip of my nose. “And for the record, I love your stupid face.”

I give her a begrudging kiss back. “I love yours too.”

Love isn’t enough of a word.

I wasted almost an entire year of my life implementing a scorched earth policy, not caring who I left burned and broken in my path.

Talia was my oasis. My salvation.

“Don’t give the visa a second thought.” I nestle her against me, rubbing her lower back in easy circles. “I’ll sort this out, I swear to you.”

Even if I don’t have the first fucking clue.



The Off The Map Series

upside downUpside Down (Off the Map, #1)

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About the Author

Lia Riley_Photo Credit Kitti Homme

Lia Riley writes offbeat New Adult Romance. After studying at the University of Montana-Missoula, she scoured the world armed only with a backpack, overconfidence and a terrible sense of direction. She counts shooting vodka with a Ukranian mechanic in Antarctica, sipping yerba mate with gauchos in Chile and swilling fourex with stationhands in Outback Australia among her accomplishments. A British literature fanatic at heart, Lia considers Mr. Darcy and Edward Rochester as her fictional boyfriends. Her very patient husband doesn’t mind. Much. When not torturing heroes (because c’mon, who doesn’t love a good tortured hero?), Lia herds unruly chickens, camps, beach combs, daydreams about as-of-yet unwritten books, wades through a mile-high TBR pile and schemes yet another trip. She and her family live mostly in Northern California.

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Tour: Falling Fast (Falling Fast #1) by Tina Wainscott *Excerpt and Giveaway*


Falling Fast (Falling Fast #1)
by Tina Wainscott

A New Adult Contemporary Romance
From Loveswept
Released June 16th 2015



Raleigh West works in an auto shop day and night, trying to put his broken past out of mind. It’s been seven years since the fiery crash that landed his teenage sweetheart in the hospital . . . and him in jail. In an instant, he lost everything: his passion for racing, his hope of escaping his father’s shameful legacy, and the only girl he ever loved. Raleigh hasn’t seen her since that awful night. Never got a chance to apologize. And never forgave himself, either.

When brave, beautiful Mia Wentworth returns to the Florida coast for the first time in what seems like forever, it’s not to see Raleigh. Even so, the moment she arrives she can feel his presence like a gust of wind that gives her goose bumps. Opening her heart to him again seems impossible. But staying away? That might be harder still. Lucky for them both, Mia’s never been the kind of woman to take the easy way out.



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Raleigh looked up, and his eyes softened in a way she knew, and felt, right down to her bones. He didn’t smile, but he stood, his body tensing as he took in her approach. Friendly or hostile? He was no doubt trying to figure it out. She tried to smile, to let him know that she wasn’t here to yell at him, but her face felt frozen. Paralyzed. Hell, was she going to freeze up again?

She tried to utter a greeting, but her dry throat prevented the words from emerging. She waved instead.

Raleigh stepped out from behind the stone, coming toward her. His eyes hungrily roamed over her, skipping from her face down her body, then quickly back again. Not lustily but as if sating a deep thirst. And there, beneath the question in his eyes, lay a hint of a smile. Suddenly she was transported back to that first time she’d gone into the garage just to see him. To ask him more about the races. He’d looked both pleased and surprised.

“Mia,” he said, her name loaded with more than she could interpret.

For a moment, she forgot about the scars that would be visible in the bright sunlight. She forgot to breathe. “Raleigh,” she said. She thought she was smiling, but it might look more like a grimace. Gawd, get hold of yourself. You’re just here to let him know you don’t hate him. “I—”

“Mia! We have to go!” Her mother’s voice pounded harshly from behind her.

Mia turned, spotting her mother duck-walking over in spiked heels that kept sinking into the earth, hands fisted at her sides. She turned back to Raleigh. “I just wanted to say . . . I don’t —”

“Mia,” her mother ground out.

“Blame you,” Mia managed, and quickly walked toward her mother, not wanting her anywhere near Raleigh. He would probably think she was still that timid seventeen-year-old who was afraid her parents would find out that she was sneaking out at night. But she wanted to protect him from all the angry, imprudent things that would gush from her mother’s mouth.

“What are you doing?” she hissed as Mia hooked her arm through hers and spun her back toward the casket.

“It’s called closure, Mother. The last time we spoke, he’d called to see how I was doing, and I hung up on him.”

“Well, he deserved it,” she shot back, flicking a glance backward.

Mia fought not to do the same. She didn’t want to see what expression he might have. Disgust. Sympathy. Regret. Or, even worse, just dismissal. “No, he didn’t.”

“She was talking to him,” her mother said when they reached her father. “She went to him.”

Mia met her father’s curious and disconcerted expression. “I just wanted him to know I wasn’t angry at him.” Though, dammit, she hadn’t gotten that part out.

“Why do you care what he thinks?” her father asked in his low, emotionless voice.

“Or do you care?” her mother asked. “You’re not still—”

“Of course not.” Even uttering the words in love was preposterous. Mia couldn’t help herself, glancing toward Raleigh. He was kneeling in front of the stone again, but his eyes were on her. “It was just a summer romance. Teenage hormones.”

They seemed gratified by that last declaration, even though it sounded hollow to her ears. “We should go,” her father said, nodding toward the people now milling by the limousine.

Once they reached it, she shot one more look toward Raleigh. She wanted to believe her recent declaration, but she felt exactly like that girl who had fallen fast and hard for the boy who’d made her a woman.


About the Author


USA Today bestselling author Tina Wainscott has always loved the combination of romance and suspense, because nothing complements falling in love better than being hunted down. The author of more than thirty novels and novellas, Wainscott creates characters with baggage, past hurts, and vulnerabilities. They go through hell, find love, and, at the end, find peace in who they are and everything they’ve gone through. And isn’t that what everyone wants?

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New Release! Strictly Professional by Iyana Jenna *Excerpt and Giveaway*


Strictly Professional
by Iyana Jenna

Found in Just Desserts: A Collection of Bite-Sized Delights
From Secret Hungers Publishing
Expected for release June 22, 2015

As the only senior graphic designer at Downey Handbags, Zane Kotsky expected to become the head of the creative art department when the company planned to expand its business. His hope crashed when it turned out that the company wanted someone from outside to be the manager. Knowing that, Zane planned to leave the place at once, but that was before he met the man who would become his boss, Joachim Wessling.


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“I don’t know, but…” He sighed and began telling her everything that was said in the meeting, including his own thoughts and self-promise not to go. He also asked her not to tell anyone.

“Of course I won’t. But I agree with you. You can’t leave. You have to show them how good you are and how wrong they are not to pick you.”

“Thank you, love.” He sniffed and sank his fork into his warm, moist muffin. It looked tasty enough that it helped him forget about the meeting though only for a second.

“Still, there’s a chance you might like this new guy.”

Huh? Zane’s head whirled up so fast he got dizzy. “I thought you were on my side.”

“I’m not taking sides. I’m just thinking of what’s best for everyone. For you, for the company.”

“Then you must think I’m not good enough to be the art department manager.”

“I never said that.”

“No, seriously.” He set his muffin aside and folded his arms on the table, facing her straight on. “What do you think I need to improve? Like I told you earlier, the management people thought I wasn’t mature enough.”

“I don’t think there’s something wrong with you. I said something about the new person because I think finally you’ll get someone equal to you. Someone you can argue with about a design and who can argue back. You realize that no junior designers dare say anything against you, right?”

“I, err…” Zane didn’t know what to say. He always thought he treated them fairly. He wasn’t a tyrant.

“You can be childish sometimes.”

“See? You think there’s something wrong with me.”

Mira sighed. “Come on. It’s for your own good. If you behave properly, management will see that you’re serious. That newcomer is an outsider anyway. He won’t know shit about our company.”

“Whoa.” He had never heard dirty words out of her mouth before. Then he shrugged and took a sip of his caramel macchiato.

“You promised yourself you’d show Downey they couldn’t get rid of you easily.”

Zane still said nothing. She nudged at him, almost tipping over the contents of the cup he was holding.


“Promise me.”

“Okay, okay.”




About the Author

Iyana writes M/M short stories and novellas. Her works have been published by Evernight Publishing, JMS Books, Books to Go Now, Torquere Press, Bitten Press, Leap of Faith Publishing, Breathless Press, and Alfie Dog Fiction.

Iyana lives in Jakarta, a city famous for its traffic jams, a lot of cars and motorcycles, and people selling stuff on the roads. You can spend two hours on the road going to a place you can reach in half an hour in a normal situation. Thanks to the traffic jams, though, Iyana can come up with a lot of stories, mostly shorties, as she prefers to spend the time during her trips writing into her cell phone rather than sleeping.

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Tour: My Cowboy Promises (The Cowboys #4) by Z.A. Maxfield *Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*

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My Cowboy Promises (The Cowboys #4)
by Z.A. Maxfield

An M/M Contemporary Romance
From InterMix
Released June 16th 2015



A real man needs a real love…

To become the man he’s meant to be, one cowboy will have to be the man he never wanted anyone to know he was…

Ryder Dent is a true-blue cowboy. A devoted son, husband and father, but one who is living a costly lie. When they were both young, Ryder and his closest female friend Andy thought they’d found the perfect solution to both their problems—she was single and pregnant, and he was secretly gay—so they got married and raised Jonas together.

When Ryder gets hurt at a party, his son’s new pediatrician comes to the rescue. The connection between Ryder and Dr. Declan Winters is sudden, powerful, and undeniable. Ryder loves Andy and the family they’ve created together—but they both need more. Can they pursue their hearts’ desire without destroying the life they’ve built and losing the son they love?


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4 stars
3.75 stars

As a follower of the series, I admit that this story was not what I expected. While the other books centered around the main characters’ lives, Ryder and Declan’s story encompassed a lot more. It was slow-going in the beginning what with the wife, the son and the people of the town all there in Ryder’s business. It certainly didn’t help matters that I disliked Andi or that Ryder’s thoughts were borderline angsty. Thankfully, a storm blew into town moving things along a bit.

Ryder and Declan made such an enticing pair. I loved watching Ryder discovering the intricacies of being with a man and letting himself be led by his body instead of his mind. And I loved that Declan was understanding of Ryder’s conflicting emotions about what was developing between them. I loved that Ryder found solace in Declan. Something he needed at the time.

Although their connection was instant, it took me a while to fully see it. Their time together was limited due to Ryder’s situation, but the author made sure that their interactions showcased that connection. It also helped that they had great chemistry. I don’t think their story would have the same impact without their fierce chemistry. It was a mix of desperation and unbridled lust whenever these two got together. That first hook up was intense and worth the anticipation!

In truth, I wouldn’t have minded more time with these two. Ryder and Declan truly had something worth exploring. Like I said before, they were great together. But for me their story felt unfinished. In the end Ryder and Declan’s future seemed uncertain and I was left with more unanswered questions that I would have liked.

*I received a copy of this title in exchange of my honest opinion.



The hottest guy I ever saw was playing “Pop Goes the Weasel” on the piano while fifteen cagey preschoolers circled fourteen chairs. My father-in-law’s annual Fourth of July shindig—the biggest event of the year—was a family picnic. We’d set aside a play area for the littlest kids and I’d volunteered to supervise, but the piano man blindsided me and I nearly missed an outrageous hair- pulling incident.

Like a too bright pair of headlights on a moonless night, he was all I could see.

Mayor Calder Hamilton—a cartoon bear of a man with a white handlebar mustache—snuck up on me with one of those painful backslapping man hugs.

“Ryder Dent, you son of a bitch. Which one is your boy?”

“That’s Jonas.” I pointed out my son. “Blue plaid shirt, cowboy hat. Crass determination to win?”

“I know that look, I see it every day when I look in the mirror. But how can that be him? Last time I saw him he was half that size.”

Why do people always say that? Is it some rite of passage? Am I going to be surprised kids grow someday too? “We had to buy him a new pair of cowboy boots just last week.”

“He’s a fine-looking boy. Where’s Andrea?”

“She doesn’t come to these things to hang around with me.” I glanced toward the windows. “You’ll find her wherever there’s dancing.”

“She leaves you in charge of Jonas?”

“Gosh, yeah. Andi’s the social one. She likes to kick up her heels and I don’t mind if she wants to have some fun.”

“So have you met our new doctor yet? Isn’t he something? I have never seen anyone play piano like that.”

That’s Doctor Winters?” The doc had started playing “Pop Goes the Weasel” like a Russian folk dance, all the while yelling Hai! Hai,! Hai! Hai! The music stopped and the chaos started. Jonas ended up on another chair.

“Go, Team Jonas!” I pumped my fist like a goofball.

“Yeah. Go, boy, go!” Hamilton was already tipsy enough to be unaware he was shouting right in my ear. It didn’t matter; I was going deaf from all the kids squealing anyway. “I’d like to ask your help with something.”

“Sure thing, Mayor. Shoot.”

“I need you and your family in a campaign ad”

“My family?” Good grief. Bitterroot’s founding fathers would shit in their graves at such an idea. “I don’t think we’d make a very good ad.”

“C’mon.” He punched my arm. “You and Andrea are both attractive. Jonas is a cute kid. You had to make some tough choices in the beginning, but look where you are now.”

“Uh . . . I don’t think—”

“I need a family exactly like yours to represent my campaign to the twenty-somethings. I need them to believe they’re important to me.”

Me and Andi? My stomach did a full 360, front to back, as if I was on a Six Flags ride. Mayor Hamilton wanted some picture-frame perfect family, and we were not it. Plus, we hadn’t exactly voted for him. “I’ll ask Andi about it, but—”

“Andrea’s dad just told me he’s backing me all the way again this next election.”

“Is he?” That figures. Her dad likes politicians to owe him.

“So you just tell her you’re doing it, okay?”

“Sure, I’ll mention it, but—”

Hamilton’s wife, Sally, came up to collect him. “C’mon Cowboy. There’s someone I want you to meet.”

She grabbed his hand and, after a good-natured tug-of-war, they left together. I breathed again. Andi’s dad ran one of the most successful ranches in the area. If he wanted to see my family on a billboard, I’d have to figure a way to get out of it or learn to say “cheese.”

It was pretty hard to say no to Sterling Chandler. I’m not sure he understood the word.


The new doc managed to make “Pop Goes the Weasel” sound like a funeral dirge and the children all lurched around like little zombies. Then he turned it into a raucous honkytonk song.

Who was this guy?

Jonas got eliminated fourth from last but he wasn’t crushed by the loss. His attention shifted right away to the buffet, where the cater-waiters had installed several trays of Texas-sized cookies, all colored with red, white, and blue sugar crystals in honor of the holiday.

Musical Chairs, the Survivor edition, came down to two particularly crafty-looking femme fatales. One wore a jeans skirt, cowboy boots, and a pretty white blouse, and the other had on a daisy-printed sundress with lacy socks and jelly shoes. Lacy socks girl won by body-checking white blouse girl out of the way and pouncing on the last chair. She gripped the seat so tight with both hands no one could get her off it.

The new doc consoled the runner-up with a box of big-block Legos and gave the winner a play set with pink and purple Ponies but it seemed she thought she was getting the chair as her prize. Eventually her mom pried her up and they all wandered off to join the party outside.

Doc Winters was left to tidy up. I figured I ought to help, being family and all. Plus, it might get me out of small talk outside.

But the doc was the best looking man I had ever seen up close. I was bound to mess up and say something super stupid, and Andi was going to hear about it, and then she was going to tease me for the rest of my life, because she was just waiting for me to lose my shit over some guy.

And Doc Winters, M.D., The Yankee Doodler?

He could be the guy.


The Cowboys series

The Cowboys series Collage

My Cowboy Heart (The Cowboys, #1)
My Heartache Cowboy (The Cowboys, #2)
My Cowboy Homecoming (The Cowboys, #3)
My Cowboy Promises (The Cowboys, #4)

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About the Author

Author Picture

Z. A. Maxfield started writing in 2007 on a dare from her children and never looked back. Pathologically disorganized, and perennially optimistic, she writes as much as she can, reads as much as she dares, and enjoys her time with family and friends. If anyone asks her how a wife and mother of four manages to find time for a writing career, she’ll answer, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you give up housework.”

Her published books include Crossing Borders, Drawn Together, and the St. Nacho’s and Brothers Grime series from Loose Id, ePistols at Dawn and The Pharaoh’s Concubine from Samhain Publishing, and Notturno, Vigil, Stirring Up Trouble, and All Stirred Up from MLR Press.

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Tour: The Deep of the Sound (Bluewater Bay #8) by Amy Lane *Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*


The Deep of the Sound (Bluewater Bay #8)
by Amy Lane

An M/M Romance
From Riptide Publishing
Released June 15th 2015


Cal McCorkle has lived in Bluewater Bay his whole life. He works two jobs to support a brother with a laundry list of psychiatric diagnoses and a great uncle with Alzheimer’s, and his personal life amounts to impersonal hookups with his boss. He’s got no time, no ambition, and no hope. All he has is family, and they’re killing him one responsibility at a time.

Avery Kennedy left Los Angeles, his family, and his sleazy boyfriend to attend a Wolf’s Landing convention, and he has no plans to return. But when he finds himself broke and car-less in Bluewater Bay, he’s worried he’ll have to slink home with his tail between his legs. Then Cal McCorkle rides to his rescue, and his urge to run away dies a quick death.

Avery may seem helpless at first, but he can charm Cal’s fractious brother, so Cal can pretty much forgive him anything. Even being adorkable. And giving him hope. But Cal can only promise Avery “until we can’t”—and the cost of changing that to “until forever” might be too high, however much they both want it.



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If there ever was a character who my heart went out to within pages of meeting him, it was Cal. Poor guy couldn’t catch a break (no pun intended!). Caretaker to his uncle and his brother, Cal spends his mornings fishing and his nights working just to make ends meet. With a non-existent love life, Cal settles for the occasional hook up with his boss. His life has no room for anything else, so when Avery walks into his life his world is turned on its axis.

Avery is everything Cal isn’t looking for, but the very man who manages to bring him back to life. He’s funny, quirky and determined to make it on his own in Bluewater Bay. Things don’t work out as planned, initially. But regardless of the circumstances he’s enjoying the time spent with Cal. Especially since Cal isn’t judgmental of Avery’s ways, out to get something from him or indifferent of his presence.

But with everything that’s going on in their lives, can these two meet somewhere in the middle to make something of the connection they share?

*sigh* It’s been a while since I read an Amy Lane book and with this story I scolded myself for being a fool. With her trademark mix of humor, emotions and complex characters, Amy Lane made The Deep of the Sound my favorite book in the Bluewater Bay series so far.

I loved Cal. His life was not an easy one, but he remained stoic through it all–even at his expense. It was easy to admire him for his dedication to family and even easier still to cheer him on once he met Avery. Those few moments when he allowed himself the chance to live for himself showed how remarkable a man he was and how much weight he carried around because of his responsibilities. That is why having Avery come into his life when he did was a treat to read for me.

Avery was a fun character to get to know. He felt deeply, yearned for something more and had an amazing caring heart. He complemented Cal in every way–understanding his needs and adjusting his role accordingly. And he did this while dealing with his own plethora of problems. How can I not love him too?

Of course, this wouldn’t have been such a fantastic read without the connection and chemistry the author made sure to develop between the Cal and Avery. Their every interaction showed that they had something worth exploring. Be it the awkward moments were neither one knew how to proceed, the smexy ones where they let loose or the honest ones where they confessed their deepest fears–every single interaction worked to strengthened their initial connection. So when the time came for emotions to come up to play, both Cal and Avery were deeply invested in their ‘friendship’.

All in all, a wonderful romantic read that reminded me how much I enjoy Amy Lane’s work.

*I received a copy of this title in exchange of my honest opinion.



We don’t always know when the end of a relationship is coming.  When I was in college,  two different guys broke up with me while I was totally concentrating on something entirely different.  Boy, did I look stupid when I kept thinking we were together, and it turned out I was just counting a drawer at McDonald’s, or waiting for my cue line offstage, and my boyfriend was telling me we were better off as buddies.

In this case, Avery thinks he’s making a move to change his relationship for the better.  What he doesn’t see is that there’s no walking away from the train wreck that happens when he flies off the rails.


“Are you going out today, Avery?”

Avery Kennedy rolled over in bed and glared at his phone on the charger. “You’re asking me that now?” Christ. Six a.m.? Was that even legal?

“We need milk, Avery, and food—you got a problem going shopping or are you too ‘busy’ with your ‘job’?”

Avery sat up in bed and put on his glasses, the better to squint at Billy Rivera—current boyfriend and giant fucking tool. Yeah, he was still good looking—square jaw, blue eyes, dark-blond hair, square shoulders, swagger—but Avery wasn’t nearly as impressed with a good-looking guy in a suit anymore.

“My ‘job’ is paying for that ‘food’ you want so badly,” Avery said, letting some of his irritation burn through his exhaustion. “And the rent on this shitty apartment—which you are conveniently living in while you go to your ‘job’ that requires you to buy suits you can’t afford and really fucking nice shoes.”

Billy jerked, obviously stung. “Look, A—we talked about this. I’m in an internship for the business and I got to look the part—”

“Whatever,” Avery grumbled, not wanting to lose sleep over fighting. He took off his glasses and grabbed his phone, making sure it was set for 8 a.m. “You go look the part—I’m going back to sleep so I can wake up and finish the article that’s going to buy your groceries.”

“You didn’t finish last night?” Billy asked idly, going to the closet for one of the really awesome ties Avery had bought from Nordies to celebrate the stupid internship. Oh yeah—they’d been happy at first because sure, it didn’t pay as much as getting a job right out of college might, but the possibilities! They’d seemed endless—six months ago they’d seemed endless. Now Avery was wondering when there was an end to the possibilities and a beginning to Billy getting a freaking job.

Which was hilarious, because the more Billy sat and ate lunch (which he bought with Avery’s money because his check barely paid for utilities in the little apartment in North Hollywood), the more he complained to his new work friends about Avery getting a freaking job.

“No,” Avery mumbled, wondering why Billy was so interested in him all of a sudden. God, where was Billy when Avery wanted to talk? Well, usually Avery wanted to talk around one, two in the morning, so that wasn’t really fair, but geez, didn’t it suck to be woken up and told you weren’t good enough. Again. “I was waiting for some data from the company. It’ll be here by eight.”

“So what was all that typing I heard last night?”

Avery blinked and widened his eyes, playing for time. “You were up? Sorry, babe. Didn’t mean to keep you up.”

“No—I mean, I was sort of thinking about coming to . . .” Billy raised his eyebrows above his blue eyes and nodded his head in the classic C’mon baby, gimme sumpn sumpn gesture, and Avery smiled a little, remembering that Billy’s charm and his humor had attracted him in the first place

“Yeah, well—” he yawned “—next time come ask. I was writing some fanfic while I waited for a response. Got a whole story done, was—”

Billy’s curled lip radiated disgust. “You mean you’re all complaining about being tired and you were just fucking around?”

“I was on the computer getting some crucial data!” God, he was pissed now, and there went any hope of going back to sleep. Urgh, he hated that—fucked his day all up, because first he’d get up and work, then he’d take a nap, then when the rest of the world was on the fucking road or in the grocery store or at the post office, that’s when Avery got to run errands. “I was working, and I took a break and did something I enjoyed. You know, like when you read Buzzfeed at work and send me six thousand stupid links about shit I don’t care about?”

Billy’s look of hurt was unmistakable. “I thought we were connecting,” he said, and Avery sighed and ground his face into the pillow.

“You’re right. We were. But you go sit and eat lunch with all your friends and tell jokes, and me and my friends make GIF sets and write stories about Wolf’s Landing. It’s my chance to play, that’s all. I’ve been working on this piece about fracking for a week—I’m pissed, I’m depressed, and I feel like the world’s gone to hell in a fucking handbasket. Let me have my heroes, okay?”

“Yeah, yeah, whatever,” Billy muttered in disgust. “Are you going to submit it and get paid today? Because tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day and I’d really like to go out to dinner—”

“With me this time?” Avery asked suspiciously, because last time it had been to take the boss out to dinner, and there went half a commission in expensive scotch.

“Yeah, with you this time! And with Sandy and Anthony, because I sort of owe them from—”

Avery buried his head in the pillow and growled. “Oh my God. Billy, could you, I don’t know, maybe stop spending my money long enough to hear what I was planning to do with it?”

Billy’s jaw dropped. “What’s it to you, A? Man, the money just appears in the account anyway—why do you care how we spend it?”

“Because I am saving money for a trip to Washington in March, do you remember that?”

“For what? So you and your friends can all wax your knobs about Wolf Hammer and Greg Sandford or what the fuck ever?”

Wolf’s Landing and Gabriel Hanford,” he snarled. “And he’s played by an out actor, so maybe show a little respect. And you know what? Go to work, impress your friends. But I want to split our accounts again, okay? You are so not hearing me when I talk about finances.” Oh yeah, Billy thought he was just going to let that “appears in the account” thing slide. Avery busted his ass too hard to have his boyfriend spending his money without respect.

“Yeah, fine, you do all that paperwork shit,” Billy scoffed. “But when you want sumpn sumpn, you make sure you flash that wallet, big man, because that’s the only way a guy like you can get some.”

With that he threw on his expensive suit coat and slammed the door, leaving Avery wide-awake and fuming.

He knew he wasn’t that great a prize to look at—tall, narrow, all angles, elbows, and ears, with a thatch of dark hair he’d rather comb than cut—but Jesus, that didn’t mean he had no pride, right?

It took him half an hour in his boxers with his phone and the computer to disentangle his and Billy’s finances. It was just a . . . a pulling back, right? A . . . a disentangling, to find something else that worked. They’d done pretty well when they hadn’t been living out of the same bank account, right?

Avery remembered those first couple of months, being so very careful about who had which refrigerator shelf and making sure he treated for movies at least half of the time. Billy had pulled his weight then, hadn’t he?

They used to use Avery’s spending money for shared trips to the movies and weekend getaways to the beach. Nothing too extravagant—Billy had been starting his internship and Avery had been establishing his reliability as a freelancer, but it had been nice. Simple. Avery had liked it that way.

Maybe splitting their finances would get things back to where they’d been at the beginning. Before Billy had decided he was too good to be seen with a guy who looked like a walking haystack and would rather hang with his fanfic forum than people who worried about the shine on their shoes.


About the Author

Amy Lane exists happily with her noisy family in a crumbling suburban crapmansion, and equally happily with the surprisingly demanding voices who live in her head.

She loves cats, movies, yarn, pretty colors, pretty men, shiny things, and Twu Wuv, and despises house cleaning, low fat granola bars, and vainglorious prickweenies.

She can be found at her computer, dodging housework, or simultaneously reading, watching television, and knitting, because she likes to freak people out by proving it can be done.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Amy Lane Anonymous | Goodreads



Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for an eBook package of all of Amy Lane’s backlist titles with Riptide! (Excludes The Deep of the Sound and anthologies.) Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on June 20, 2015. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Don’t forget to add your email so we can contact you if you win!

New Release! Redemption (Nashville Nights, #3) by Robin Covington *Excerpt and Giveaway*


Redemption (Nashville Nights, #3)
by Robin Covington

Released June 15th 2015



Holding on never felt so good.

Emory Cabell is leaving the lies behind her.
Finding out that huge chunk of your life has been a lie and that you’re the half-sister to America’s country music queen is game changer. Determined to meet the sibling she never knew and compelled to pursue the music career she’s always wanted, Emory leaves her small town and heads to Nashville. Thrown by the bustle of Music City and the cutthroat dealing of the business, she finds unexpected shelter in a musical partnership with country music’s baddest bad boy.

Zane has his eyes set on the prize.
Known as a man who never stays the night, Zane is reliable only when it comes to his music. Years of paying his dues has gained him the coveted lead guitarist spot on the “must see” music tour of the year. Hoping this gig will lead to his own single recording contract, he agrees to write a few songs with Emory but he’s blown away by the sexual chemistry sizzling between them and leveled by his feelings for this quiet woman with the beautiful soul.

Can love be more than just a line in a song?
Darkness and light…they should not work. But one night in her bed proves they’re hotter than the number one single they wrote together. When the spotlight sheds light on all of Zane’s past sins, Emory struggles with trusting him with her heart. When a duo-only recording contract threatens everything Zane has worked towards and challenges everything he thought he knew about himself, he recklessly betrays her trust. With his life at a crossroads, will he choose the music or the future with a woman whose love might just be his redemption?


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Performing on stage is amazing but I think I love jamming with the guys even more.

Kit says that people are either born performers, like Zane, or someone who learns how to do it. I am definitely in the second group and I know how lucky I am to get to tour with this amazing group of people and watch them do it right show after show. I’m getting the hang of it but I feel like I really hit my groove when it’s just a bunch of people sitting around and playing our favorite songs, both old and new.

Like right now. We have a show tonight but we’re packing up and leaving on the buses as soon as it’s over in order to hit the road and make the next city. So, no hotel rooms for us but lots of downtime at the stadium in between the PR stuff, sound check, and showtime. So Kit surprised us all with a cookout in the parking lot. Ribs, BBQ chicken and enough baked beans, coleslaw, and corn-on-the-cob to choke a horse, spread out before us by the catering company she hired.

Now the food is gone and we are all so full that all we can do is sit around in a circle in the afternoon sunshine and play music. I grabbed a spot on a small hill of grass in between Zane and Mac and now I’m watching and learning from the more experienced musicians. I add my guitar and my voice to the mix when I can.

Country. Rock. Folk. You name and we’ve played it, jumping from Jerry Lee Lewis to Green Day in the span of a few chord progressions. When the bass player, Ty, starts to play Freebird everyone groans and throws empty soda and beer cans at him until he stops with a loud “fuck you” aimed at all of us.

“He’s such an asshat,” Mac says, his smile softening the blow in his words. These guys are like a family right down to the pranks and the constant taunts.

“Sometimes you guys make me glad that I’m an only child,” I joke.

Zane nudges me with an elbow. “You were an only child. You’ve got a big sister now to boss you around, steal your diary and put Nair in your shampoo bottle.”

“Do sisters really do that to each other?” I ask, shuddering when they both nod. “Well, then I better start locking up my make-up on the bus.”

“You guys should play that song you were working on the other day. It is so ready primetime,” Mac says, his abrupt change of subject catching me off guard.

I shake my head. “It really isn’t.”

I look at Zane for support and I’m not thrilled by the mischief in his dark eyes.

“I knew you’d say that. This is my ‘not shocked’ face,” Mac says at the same time he signals to Kit and points at me and then Zane. “Zane and Emory have a new song they want to sing.”

“We do not!” I punch Mac in the arm, the embarrassment from suddenly being the center of everyone’s attention adding extra heat to my sun-drenched skin.

“Come one Little Bird.” Zane’s voice, low and husky tickles my ear as he leans in close. “Just say yes. This is what you left home to do.”

I groan and dip my head as the crowd around us starts doing that chant thing, rounds of “sing, sing” punctuated by guitar strums and laughter.

“Em! Zane!” Kits yells out over the noise and I look up to meet her eyes. She gives us the “go ahead” gesture and I know I’m giving in. Apparently everyone else does too because the chant becomes cheers and Zane chuckles beside me.

“This is gonna be so good,” he says, his fingers poised over his guitar as he flashes me a triumphant smile. I let my eyes roam over his face for a moment, the memory of how soft his goatee was against my skin making me shiver a little. “You ready?”

I nod and listen for his soft count as we both launch into the driving beat and Zane takes the first half of the first verse.

When I met you, twenty-two, blown away by the fire in your eyes/You took my hand and led me into the night/the sparks between us the only light/I knew it would be life or death/Love or lies/You and me for now or never.

My turn comes and for a split second the butterflies have a free fall in my stomach but Zane’s smile makes me bold. I open my mouth and I sing like my next breath depends on it.

When I met you/twenty-two/in love with the fire in your eyes/Your hand in mine was my lifeline, my spark/Your touch the kickstart to my heart/ Reckless/Fearless/Love or lies/You and me now or never

By the time we hit the chorus the band is picking out their parts and playing along. When we get to the bridge the entire thing explodes in a wall of sound that makes me laugh with the pure joy of it. Zane is right, music is seductive and addictive. I could do this forever and I hope I will.

I look at him as we launch into the last chorus and the connection between us ignites, rivaling the summer sun in its intensity. Our voices blend in perfect, edgy harmony, sliding together as if they were made for each other. Zane’s gaze is onyx, backlit with a copper fire and the “I-told-you-so” smile on his lips is pure seduction. I want nothing more to lean over and take his mouth as we drive through the last few notes.

My heart is pounding in my head and my chest so loudly that I don’t notice that the entire area has gone silent for a few seconds. Zane reaches out and wraps his big hand around the back of my neck, drawing me to him with sexy intent in his eyes. I lean in, licking my lips and ready to taste him again when the area around us erupts in applause. We both jerk at the sound but instead of pulling away immediately, he touches our foreheads together for the briefest second.

He holds me there long enough for him to growl in a voice just loud enough for me to hear, “That wasn’t just the music.”


The Nashville Nights Series

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About Robin Covington

Robin Covington loves to explore the theme of fooling around and falling in love in her bestselling books. A Night of Southern Comfort, her debut novel was nominated for the RT Book Reviewers Choice Awards for Small Press and was touted by RT Book Reviews as bringing a “fresh, modern feel to the genre while still sticking to the things that get our adrenaline pumping — sex and danger”. Her books were also nominated for the Bookseller’s Best Award and the National Reader’s Choice Awards.

When she’s not writing sexy, sizzling romance she’s collecting tasty man candy, indulging in a little comic book geek love, and stalking Joe Manganiello. You can find Robin at her website (, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Don’t send chocolate . . . send eye candy!

Robin lives in Maryland with her hilarious husband, brilliant children (they get it from her, of course!) and her beloved furbabies

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Tour: Zack (Cold Fury Hockey #3) by Sawyer Bennett *Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*


Zack (Cold Fury Hockey #3)
by Sawyer Bennett

Contemporary Romance
From LoveSwept (Random House)
Released June 9th 2015



New York Times bestselling author Sawyer Bennett goes for a hat trick with the latest romance in a sexy series about cool-as-ice hockey players and the women heating up their lives.

Warning: The following contains spoilers from a cliffhanger in Garrett.

Rising star Zack Grantham has been stuck in a downward spiral of grief that has put his career on hold. Back on the road with the Carolina Cold Fury, still crippled by emotional baggage, and now a single dad, he’s in need of some serious help with his son. But while the nerdy new nanny wins his son’s heart, Zack isn’t sure he’s ready for a woman’s touch—even after getting a glimpse of the killer curves she’s hiding under those baggy clothes.

Kate Francis usually keeps men like Zack at a distance. Though his athlete’s body is honed to perfection, he refuses to move on with his life—and besides, he’s her boss. Still, the sparks between them are undeniable, tempting Kate to turn their professional relationship into a personal one. But before she makes a power play for Zack’s wounded heart, Kate will have to open him up again and show him that love is worth the fight.



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“GAH! Zack’s story!” This was my first reaction when I noticed this book on NetGalley.

As a follower of the series, I have come to love these hockey players and the women that tame them. This time around I knew a little bit more about Zack’s backstory and had an idea of what he would be confronting in this new chapter of his life. However, I was not prepared for how truly enjoyable Kate turned out to be.

While Zack was your typical brooding male, Kate was lively yet shy with a caring nature and a huge heart. She was also funny and protective of Zack and his son–a trait I came to admire about her.

Of course, Zack was also a great character. He was more complex than I had anticipated, which only added to my interest in him finding someone who inspired him to commit further down the road. It helped that he was a fantastic father and an amazing lover. Oh yes, that man had it going on in every aspect–if you disregard his fear of commitment. 😉

As expected, the writing was superb with the right mixture of emotions, humor and romance. I loved that the emotions were spot-on with whatever the situation called for and that the they ranged from the most subtle to the more intense. Of course, it only added to my enjoyment that all those emotions were well-balanced with Sawyer Bennett’s trademark humor–a bit sarcastic, a little witty and a load of fun!

However, what truly made this a five-star read for me was the romance element itself. I especially enjoyed the pace and how the romance developed. It was great to see Zack and Kate’s initial interactions and watching them transition into friends and later lovers. I loved watching as what started as a tentative friendship between employee and employer soon developed into something more intimate. It gave me a chance to get to know them as individuals before their emotions came into play.

It helped tremendously that Zack and Kate’s interactions were very entertaining. They ranged from the most candid–where their connection made itself known–to the most heated where the sizzling chemistry they shared had me anticipating their every move. But then there were also my favorite moments. Those honest, emotional ones where they allowed the other into their lives, which ultimately brought them even closer together.

And this why I’ve come to consider Sawyer Bennett one of my favorite contemporary romance authors. Her characters are easy to relate to yet complex and intriguing. Plus she always goes out of her way to show the couple’s connection in a way that allows the reader to believe that the relationship is viable and lasting. And I won’t lie, she rocks when it comes to sex scenes! Especially in her ability to infuse the physical attraction of her characters with true emotions. This in a nutshell is what keeps me coming back to her books and why I loved this Zack and Kate’s story so much.

Keep in mind that although this is the third book in the series, it can be read as a stand alone. Although I must insist that those who have not read the previous books get them as soon as you can. Especially if you enjoy watching a rugged, sexy man unravel at the hands of the woman he loves. Y-U-M-M-Y!

All in all, a fantastic addition to the series and an amazing second chance story in its own right. It’s a fact, I want more Cold Fury men!

*I received a copy of this title in exchange of my honest opinion.



My heart feels like it’s going to leap out of my chest as I stand at the sink and wash the griddle clean. It’s actually kind of a pleasure to clean up in a kitchen like this. I’ve never been in a home this nice, and it’s hard not to stare around in wonder at all the shiny. His kitchen is übermodern, with sleek blond-oak cabinets and stainless-steel handles. The counters are done in black granite with flecks of gray throughout and the sink is a massive single bin made of some type of stone.

Zack sits at the table on the opposite side of the L-shaped kitchen counter with Ben as they eat their breakfast. His eyes remain pinned on me, a mixture of anger and confusion.

He clearly doesn’t like me and I have no clue why. I expect him at any moment to just fire me. I can see it in his eyes…That’s what he wants.

There was a moment when Ben hurtled his little body at me that I cut a glance at Zack, and I saw fury wash over him. It scared me so bad, I almost ran out of the house right then. But I didn’t because I really, really, really need this job. Without it, I’m just one bus ticket away from being forced to return home to live with Daddy in our dingy tin can of a trailer in the backwoods of eastern North Carolina. And I promised myself when I left home five years ago, as much as I adore my daddy, I would never let that happen.

So I pulled on all of my available confidence that I’ve built up over the years along with my sheer will to survive and promptly ignored Zack and his dirty looks and started to clean his kitchen. He didn’t say a word, just watched me as I worked and sometimes would make conversation with Ben.

I’m just wiping down the counters when Zack picks up the empty plates and walks over to put them in the dishwasher. When he’s finished, he turns to Ben and says, “Why don’t you go upstairs and play in your room a bit? I need to talk to Kate about a few things.”

“Can I watch TV?” Ben asks.

“Sure,” Zack says, and Ben jets from the table and pounds his way upstairs.

I rinse out the dishcloth in my hand, wring it, and then fold it over the faucet. Turning to Zack, I find him leaning a hip against the counter with his arms crossed defensively over his chest. His gaze is frosty when he says, “What exactly did Delaney tell you the job would consist of?”

Man, he intimidates the hell out of me. He towers over me, and even though he has the face of an angel with dark brown hair and whiskey-colored eyes perfectly supported by a strong jaw, so much animosity is radiating off him that I think he may be the devil.

I know all about Zack Grantham. That’s because I love sports. All kinds of sports, but in particular, Cold Fury hockey. When North Carolina got its first professional ice hockey team, I had just started sixth grade. But I remember sitting on the ratty green corduroy-covered couch in our trailer, and Daddy and I rooting for the Cold Fury. Of course, often he’d be drunk and passed out by the third period, but at least for two periods we’d have a good time bonding over our mutual love of the sport.

I’ve followed the team closely ever since. Of course, I’ve never been to a live game, that being an absolute luxury I could have never afforded, but because every game is broadcast locally, I rarely miss one unless I’m studying for an important test or something. And because I follow the team so well, I know exactly who Zack Grantham is.

He’s an amazing player and, truth be told, if I could afford a jersey, I’d probably get one with his name on it. Or maybe Alex Crossman’s. Or even Garrett Samuelson’s. About four months ago, Zack was in a terrible car accident that killed Ben’s mom, Gina, and caused him to be kept out of the first half of the season with a fractured wrist. That has apparently healed enough that he’s ready to return to the team, and thus the need for a nanny for Ben.

I was utterly stunned when I got a call from his sister, Delaney, for an interview. I had posted my résumé and qualifications on a website for nanny services, knowing it would be a long shot because most of my experience came from helping my sister, Kelly, with her three kids, and other various babysitting jobs. But at this point, I needed work, so I was applying to every place I could think of.

“Now you seem to have nothing to say,” Zack growls, and my body jerks over the derision in his voice.

“Sorry,” I mutter. “Um…Delaney said you needed a live-in nanny for Ben. That the position would be full-time until he started school in the fall, and then part-time after that. She said I’d be responsible for his care when you weren’t here and that I’d have to do basic household chores and stuff.”

Zack nods at me, unfurls his arms from across his chest, and rubs his chin thoughtfully. “Delaney thinks you’re right for this job. I’m going to have to trust her on that.”

“I am,” I tell him earnestly. “I’ll take very good care of Ben.”

“You’d better,” he growls at me so menacingly, I take an involuntary step backward. “If you harm one hair on my child’s head, I will make you regret it. Do you understand?”

The scared country girl inside me wants to curl into the fetal position and just shrink away from the threat in his voice. But I’m not that young girl anymore. I’ve pulled myself out of crappy circumstances and made a new life for myself. I’ve worked hard over the years to build up my self-esteem, and I’m not about to let this man tear it down.

Squaring my shoulders at him, I give him a stern look. “I appreciate your protectiveness of Ben, and I’d feel the same way about my own child. I can assure you, you have nothing to worry about. But I have to insist that you treat me with some type of respect for the position I hold. At the very least, you don’t want to teach your son it’s okay to threaten and intimidate women, do you?”

Zack stares at me, his amber-colored eyes turning almost a dark brown. He blinks a few times and shakes his head. “Are you always this blunt?”

“I’m always this honest,” I clarify for him.

Cold Fury Series

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About the Author


USA Today and New York Times Best-Selling Author, Sawyer Bennett is a snarky southern woman and reformed trial lawyer who decided to finally start putting on paper all of the stories that were floating in her head. Her husband works for a Fortune 100 company which lets him fly all over the world while she stays at home with their daughter and three big, furry dogs who hog the bed. Sawyer would like to report she doesn’t have many weaknesses but can be bribed with a nominal amount of milk chocolate.

Sawyer is the author of several contemporary romances including the popular Off Series, the Legal Affairs Series and the Last Call Series. She will be releasing her third book in the Cold Fury Hockey Series with Random House Loveswept, June 2015.

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Tour: The Dom Around The Corner (Escape #1) by Christine d’Abo *Review and Giveaway*


The Dom Around The Corner (Escape #1)
by Christine d’Abo

An BDSM M/M Romance
From Riptide Publishing
Released June 15th 2015



Simon is jaded. His bookstore is failing, his personal life is nonexistent, and he’s tired of the local scene. He’s desperate for a change, and hopes to find it at Escape, the hot new BDSM club in town.

What he finds there is Gavin. One look at the sexy submissive is all he needs to know that his trip to Escape was the right decision. And their night of no-holds-barred kinky sex feels like only the beginning . . . until his promising new sub vanishes with the dawn.

Then Gavin walks through the door of Simon’s bookstore—for business, not pleasure. To both of their surprise, he’s the consultant Simon hired to help save the store. As they work together, Simon realizes that he might have another shot at happiness, if only he can convince Gavin that he’s worth sticking around for.

Publisher’s note: This title is a heavily revised re-issue of a prior story, Commanding Acquisitions, originally released in 2010.



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4 stars

Simon is out of sorts. His business is failing, his love life none existent. But most of all, he can’t seem to find a sub to satisfy him. He wants the best of both worlds–the kink and the connection. He’s just about to give up when his cousin hands him the number of the new club in town. With nothing to lose and with a need to unwind, Simon heads out to Escape.

Gavin’s past has kept him from the BDSM lifestyle for three years. He’s hesitant about getting into it again fearsome of the memories it will bring, but the time has come for him to move on. Little does he know that with this visit to Escape will come to mean to him.

For just over a 100 pages of content, The Dom Around the Corner has the right amount of elements to make it a significant read. It has the right amount of emotions without the angst, some humor and some very smexy scenes. But what truly made it special for me, was the journey of the characters throughout.

Simon and Gavin were great characters to get to know. I loved that Simon yearned for something more in a sub than the shared kink. This had me anticipating what would develop with Gavin as the story progressed. I would have loved to have seen them interact more with each other during their time out of scene, but in all honesty I don’t think it took away from the story. Christine d’Abo made damn sure that the reader could experience the connection these two shared–in and out of scene. With every stolen touch, hidden look or slight tremor that connection skyrocketed. I loved it!

There’s not much that I can say without giving too much away, but if you take anything from this review let it be my recommendation for you to give this story a try. It was a fantastic mix of short, sweet and sexy!

*I received a copy of this title in exchange of my honest opinion.


About the Author

A romance novelist and short story writer, Christine has over thirty publications to her name. She loves to exercise and stops writing just long enough to keep her body in motion too. When she’s not pretending to be a ninja in her basement, she’s most likely spending time with her family and two dogs.

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Tour: Secret by Kindle Alexander *Review, Playlist and Giveaway*


by Kindle Alexander

An M/M Romance
Released June 9th 2015



Tristan Wilder, self-made millionaire and devastatingly handsome CEO of Wilder-Nation is on the verge of a very lucrative buyout. With tough negotiations ahead, he’s armed with his acquisition pitch, ready to launch the deal of a lifetime. There’s just one glitch. The last thing he expects is to fall for the hot business owner he’s trying to sway.

Dylan Reeves, computer science engineer and founder of the very successful social media site, Secret, is faced with a life-altering decision. A devoted family man with three kids and a wife, Dylan has been living a secret for years. Fiercely loyal to his convictions, his boundaries blur after meeting the striking owner of the corporation interested in acquiring his company. For the first time in his life, reckless desire consumes him when the gorgeous computer mogul makes an offer he can’t refuse.



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4 stars

Dylan Reeves lives for his work and his family. A successful business owner, Dylan is looking to sell his company which leads him to a meeting with Tristan Wilder. A meeting that will surely change the course of his life not only business-wise but personally too.

Tristan’s main focus is his work and now he has one goal in mind–acquiring Secret. With occasional hook-ups and a stand-by booty call to scratch any itch that arises, Tristan is not in the lookout for a relationship. A loner and happiest when he’s engrossed on a project, he figures his chance at finding Mr. Right has passed. To his surprise, not only does Tristan admire Dylan’s keen sense for business when they meet face to face, but also his amazing good looks and caring nature. Which leads to Tristan’s top priority–making Dylan his.

Once of the main things I loved about this story was that the characters were older yet so ‘innocent’ when it came to love. I enjoyed watching them come to terms with their attraction and the way they risked their emotions in an effort to explore the connection that had developed between them. I loved that they each had their doubts, but never once denied what they shared.

I admit that it took me a while to get into the story, especially before Tristan and Dylan met each other. However, Kindle Alexander made sure that as a reader, I’d get a chance to connect with Dylan–to understand his situation, to see what was at risk and to discover what it was that he needed. This came in handy when the time came for Tristan and Dylan to meet. By the end of that business meeting, I was already cheering them on!

One of the things I’ve come to expect from this author is the way the different elements in the story flow as the story moves along. There were different aspects to consider when telling this story and Kindle Alexander delivered. There was Dylan’s role as a father and a business-owner which both played an intricate part in the story. But there was also Dylan’s role as a gay man finally allowing himself the opportunity to explore what he had given up. And this of course brought about a whole other set of intricacies and some delicious moments too.

With a mix of intriguing characters, conflicting emotions and undeniable chemistry, Tristan and Dylan’s journey is what I call a true love story where we get to see the characters grow and come together. All in all, the sex was hot, the emotions on point and Dylan and Tristan’s connection a real entity. All things I’ve come to expect from this author.

*I received a copy of this title in exchange of my honest opinion.


Teaser 12-2



About the Author

Best Selling Author Kindle Alexander is an innovative writer, and a genre-crosser who writes classic fantasy, romance, suspense, and erotica in both the male/male and male/female genres. It’s always a surprise to see what’s coming next!

I live in the suburbs of Dallas where it’s true, the only thing bigger than an over active imagination, may be women’s hair!

Usually, I try for funny. Humor is a major part of my life – I love to laugh, and it seems to be the thing I do in most situations – regardless of the situation, but jokes are a tricky deal… I don’t want to offend anyone and jokes tend to offend. So instead I’m going to tell you about Kindle.

I tragically lost my sixteen year old daughter to a drunk driver. She had just been at home, it was early in the night and I heard the accident happen. I’ll never forget that moment. The sirens were immediate and something inside me just knew. I left my house, drove straight to the accident on nothing more than instinct. I got to be there when my little girl died – weirdly, I consider that a true gift from above. She didn’t have to be alone.

That time in my life was terrible. It’s everything you think it would be times about a billion. I love that kid. I loved being her mother and I loved watching her grow into this incredibly beautiful person, both inside and out. She was such a gift to me. To have it all ripped away so suddenly broke me.

Her name was Kindle. Honest to goodness – it was her name and she died a few weeks before Amazon released their brand new Kindle ereader. She had no idea it was coming out and she would have finally gotten her name on something! Try finding a ruler with the name Kindle on it.. It never happened.

Through the course of that crippling event I was lucky enough to begin to write with a dear friend in the fan fiction world of Facebook. She got me through those dark days with her unwavering support and friendship. There wasn’t a time she wasn’t there for me. Sometimes together and sometimes by myself, we built a world where Kindle lives and stands for peace, love and harmony. It’s its own kind of support group. I know without question I wouldn’t be here today without her.

Find out more by visiting or email me at

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