Ambitious fashionista Perry Goodwood lands the project of his dreams-track down a celebrity family's missing brother in the Scottish Highlands and bring him back to London for a TV reality show. But first he must transform the rugged loner into a glamorous sophisticate.
Greg Ventura has no use for high fashion. He lives on the isolated island of North Uist to escape the reminder that he's nowhere near as handsome as his gorgeous brothers and avoid the painful childhood memories of being bullied.
Greg wants nothing to do with city life, and Perry's never been outside London. When Perry is stranded on North Uist, this conflict seems insurmountable. But Greg is captivated by the vivacious Perry, and Perry by both the island and his host. However, Perry's one heartfelt wish remains: that ugly duckling Greg fulfill his potential as a swan.
I love stories like this. The contrast of characters with their settings, the bit of opposites attract, a character setting out to change someone but finding himself changed instead…coupling all this with the sweetness, the wonderful backdrop, and the host of quirky supporting characters…oh yeah, I definitely loved this one too.
Perry is just adorable. He’s a city boy through and through, and has aspirations of doing more than just being a stylist at a PR company. He’s thoughtful and bright, with the kind of personality where everyone likes him, and can quickly adapt to just about any situation. He’s sent to retrieve and polish up Greg for Greg’s brothers…a task that is a challenge for even the most successful team of PR folks—which he doesn’t have to back him up.
Perry sets off with the best of intentions, reading for the challenge—and then life happens. Crazy wilds-of-rural-island-of-Scotland life. And it’s sweet and funny watching Perry try to win over Greg to his side, while all the while it’s really Perry that’s being won over to Greg’s way of life instead. I loved watching these two fall for each other, and with it set against the quaint backdrop of this Scottish isle, I found myself wishing I was there right along with them (at least I now have more ideas for vacation time!).
With a bit of drama thrown in for good measure, this story really captured my heart and had me falling for Greg and Perry. It’s kind of hard not to—they’re kind of like the odd couple, and they’re a wonderful example of a couple really complementing each other with each making the other better and happier. There’s a bit unresolved at the end with Perry’s personal situation in London, but the rest of the story makes this something I can put aside.
5 sweet stars for Romancing the Ugly Duckling, this is one that I highly recommend to any M/M romance fan. While things don’t get too naughty, there’s still enough here to make this an 18+ read with some adult language and M/M sexual content.
Clare London took her pen name from the city where she lives, loves, and writes. A lone, brave female in a frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home, she juggles her writing with her other day job as an accountant.
Sheís written in many genres and across many settings, with award-winning novels and short stories published both online and in print. She says she likes variety in her writing while friends say she's just fickle, but as long as both theories spawn good fiction, she's happy. Most of her work features male/male romance and drama with a healthy serving of physical passion, as she enjoys both reading and writing about strong, sympathetic, and sexy characters.
Clare currently has several novels sulking at that tricky chapter three stage and plenty of other projects in mind... she just has to find out where she left them in that frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home.
I gave up everything for her, and she never even knew it. When I saved her from the mafia, I traded my freedom for hers. I’ve never regretted it. Never looked back. I cut her out of my life to keep her safe. I did everything I could to protect her from the retribution of the Italian Mafia, but it wasn’t enough. They’re after her again, and all that’s standing between her and the darkest fate imaginable is me.
It’s scary the things you can close your eyes to. Even after I was rescued from men who wanted to do the worst things to me, I went on with my life. I forgot all about the threats of the mafia, about what they forced me to do, and even the man who saved me from them. But now, my hero has returned, and just in a nick of time. Because the mafia is coming for me, and this time, I don’t know if we’re going to get out of this alive.
The orange afternoon sun is on my back when I bring my car to a stop about a block away from the well-to-do little store on the corner of the street. When I turn my ignition off, I lean back and just stare at it, letting out a deep breath.
How long has it been?
The light playing off the glass window panes make it impossible to see inside the shop, but the sign outside is clear as ever: Bathing Beauty. I feel a smile on my face. As many mixed memories as it stirs up in me, there’s something comforting about knowing it’s still there, unchanged as ever. Maybe even a little nicer.
All thanks to her.
I catch a glimpse of myself in the car mirror. I’ve changed so much over the years. It feels like a lifetime ago that I was just a teenager, freshly landed in America. I kept my hair cut short back then, and my face was clean-shaven. I run a hand through the long locks that hang nearly to my shoulders now. It’s grown out thick and wavy. Even I have to admit it’s unkempt, and the short, coarse black beard on my face matches.
My voice sounds different, too. I think back to the thick accent I had in those years that I was still learning English, fresh from the old country. I’m so used to it now that English almost sounds as natural as my native Italian on my tongue. I might as well be a different person.
Better that way, I think. When I look into that mirror, I’m not sure I even see myself anymore. What I do see is the face of a man who’s done terrible things. A “made man,” they call us in this country. Mafioso.
What are you really doing here, Bruno?
My mind flashes back to her face, that gorgeous face that’s kept me going all this time. A bright candle in the darkness.
That face doesn’t need to know fear ever again. It doesn’t need to know me.
So why am I here, coming to risk dragging the past back? I don’t dare turn the ignition and drive off. I’ve made my decision, and I’m a man of my word.
After all, I tell myself, I’m not here just to see her, to remind myself that she’s alive and living happily, that what I did for her was all worth it. I’m here to make sure she’s safe.
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Alexis Abbott is a USA Today & Wall Street Journal bestselling author who writes about bad boys protecting their girls! Pick up her books today and find yourself transported with super steamy sex, gritty suspense, and lots of romance. She also writes as Alex Abbott for her erotic thrillers and contemporary romance. She lives in beautiful St. John's, NL, Canada with her amazing husband.
Tony De Luca is a simple guy. He works for his uncle’s Brooklyn-based construction firm. And he knows from experience that keeping his head down and doing his job is the best way to deal with the meddlesome family members he sees daily. They think he’s quiet and maybe a little awkward but the truth is more complicated. Tony has a secret he isn’t ready or willing to share. He’s an expert at avoiding familial scrutiny. At least he was until the sexy guitar player showed up.
Remy Nelson is a small-town, free-spirited guy looking for a new life in the big city. He stays busy playing his instrument on a busy Manhattan street corner during the day and bartending at night. Remy is more interested in finding steady employment than a mate, but he can’t deny his attraction to the dreamy construction worker with soulful eyes, a kind heart, and a unique way with words. Falling for Remy wasn’t what Tony expected, but keeping him will require courage. And an end to keeping secrets.
“Yeah, that’s no fun. But it’s good to make new friends.” He gave me a sideways grin. “Like us.” “Yeah, except you make me sweat,” I admitted with a half chuckle. Then I added, “In a good way. I like you.” Remy hummed softly and sidled closer to me, resting his thigh against mine. “I like you too, Tony. You make me smile.” We stared at each other for a long moment. All those funny details came rushing at me. Things I never noticed about other people. The gorgeous halo of curls, the shape of his eyes, the freckle on his cheek and those luscious lips. The lone bulb above the back door illuminated him in a yellowish light that shouldn’t have been flattering but I had a feeling Remy would look good with a paper bag on his head. Wait. That didn’t make sense. I furrowed my brow and cocked my head just as Remy set his arm over my shoulder and pulled me forward. My heart raced when the tips of our noses brushed and our breath commingled visibly in the cool air. With a courage I didn’t know I possessed, I angled my head and slowly touched my lips to his. Just a touch. He had room to pull away. Hell, he even had room to punch me if I got this totally wrong. But when he purred softly and licked the corner of my mouth, I knew we were on the same page. I cradled the back of his head and gently threaded my fingers through his hair. I held him like he was a fragile flower or something. Then in my typical bull-in-a-china-store style, I plunged my tongue between his lips. Remy gasped at the onslaught but he didn’t miss a beat. He wrapped both of his arms around my neck, drawing me close as he glided his tongue over mine, twirling and sucking feverishly. I didn’t know how long we made out on that stoop but I could have done it all damn night. He tasted incredible and he felt even better. I loved the way he pressed his chest against mine and those sexy noises he made drove me wild. I wanted more than we were able to do on a cigarette break. Much more. We broke for air and eyed each other, looking for clues. Or maybe that was just me. I couldn’t be the one in charge of directing traffic here. I was out of my depth. He had to tell me what came next. I’d never figure it out on my own. Remy caressed my cheek and smiled before leaning in to nibble on my bottom lip. “I have to go,” he whispered. “Okay. I’ll see ya ’round.” My huskier than usual voice didn’t mesh with the casual vibe I was going for. Remy pulled back with a smirk. “That’s all you’re going to say? “See ya”? Don’t you want my number or something?” “Um yeah. Yeah, I do.” I pulled out my cell and handed it to him. “Put it in. My hands are shaking.” This time when he smiled, I felt it deep inside me. The butterflies in my stomach fluttered like crazy but in a good way.
I was so excited when the Memories with the Breakfast Club Kindle World was announced, and A Way With Words is the first of the novellas that I’ve read. Guess what? I LOVED it! This story was just the right amount of sweet and sexy, and even though it is novella length I still felt like I read a full story and didn’t miss out on anything…it just fit into a very quick couple of hours which was perfect for me.
Tony is just a wee bit in the closet—he’s well aware he’s gay, figuring that out as an early teen, but doesn’t want to risk alienating his HUGE Italian family, many of whom he sees every day, or at least every week at work or family gatherings. When he meets Remy—a super sweet, easygoing, talented man—he’s intrigued, and quickly realizes he likes him..likes him quite a lot actually. Remy understands why Tony is not out, and he’s okay with not pushing him to go public before Tony is ready.
But Tony’s family keeps pushing him to “find a nice girl”, and they’re not at all subtle about it. It keeps wearing on him, and they really are not the type of family to take no for an answer…or at least if Tony says no, they just gloss over it and keep pushing. That’s the only part that irritated me, because no matter what Tony said, they paid no attention and just kept on at him, and he just wasn’t at a place yet to push back and tell them the truth.
Tony and Remy together—wonderful, sweet, hot as heck…and everything felt right and comfortable. Their chemistry is obvious, and just the thought of that coming apart if Tony didn’t come out in the end was troubling to me. It made for some good tension, along with the anticipation of Tony finally admitting who he really is to his family.
A Way With Words is a perfect story for the Memories with the Breakfast Club Kindle World, and you don’t need to have read the Breakfast Club series to enjoy this story—it is a true standalone. I’m giving this one 4.5 stars, and I highly recommend this to any fan of coming out M/M romance…or just M/M romance in general. This story is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and M/M sexual content.
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 were winners in the 2016 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in an almost empty nest.
Cover Design: Emily Witting, Emily Witting Designs and Photography
Release Date: July 22nd, 2017
I don’t know what I want to do with my life. The only thing I am sure of is that this is not what I imagined my life to be. So, instead of staying and trying to figure out what is wrong, I choose to run away. I choose the unknown. I choose the adventure.
My name is Anabel Majer, and I’m lost.
I have it all—well, almost all: family, health, money, fame, career, women, you name it. The only thing I am missing is a Super Bowl ring—or so I thought until the night everything changed. One night, a small Tinkerbell collided with my life, and I am gone.
My name is William Price, and I found her.
She is everything he wanted.
He is everything she needed to stay away from.
What happens if at the end of the journey you lose more than you find?
Anna B. Doe is an indie author of the contemporary romance novel Lost & Found, book one in the New York Knights series. She is also a college student at the University of Zadar in Croatia where she is studying education science and Spanish. When she isn’t studying (which is most of the time), she’s reading books, watching TV shows, or traveling the world working as an au pair. She is addicted to coffee and a big lover of dogs. Anna writes what she loves to read, which is romance. She is currently working on the second book in the New York Knights series and the first book of her new YA series.