Wednesday, January 16, 2019

New Release & Giveaway: ONE-ON-ONE by V.L. Locey (Cayuga Cougars #5)



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Length: 57,000 words approx.



Cayuga Cougars Series

Book #1 - Snap Shot - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 - Open Net - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 - Coach's Challenge - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #4 - Overtime - Amazon US | Amazon UK


Blurb

The past few years have been a bit chaotic for Cougars new associate coach, Lancaster Hart. After an amiable divorce he began living his life as the gay man he’d kept closeted for far too long. With the recent move to Cayuga, he’s away from his support system and properly made sweet tea. Despite a roster filled with new friends and associates, he’s spending his nights alone.

As his team gears up to make a run at the Calder Cup, Lancaster discovers that not everything in upstate New York is wine, woodlands, and chilly conservative ideals. At a summer music festival, he first lays eyes on Townsend Harris, folksy/blues singer by night and mayoral office assistant by day. Lancaster is enraptured with the man’s powerful sultry voice. Also, Town just might be the most beautiful man he has seen in all his forty-one years.

The two hit it off at an informal meet and greet after the show, where they spend the night talking and sipping wine. One evening of conversation and an incendiary goodbye kiss leads them into a scorching love affair that might be exactly what Lancaster has been searching for his whole life. Can his team pull off professionally what he’s hoping to do privately as well? Or will capturing their dream evade both the Cougars and Lancaster?



About the Author

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, Dr. Who, Torchwood, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, two Jersey steers and a flock of assorted domestic fowl.

When not writing lusty tales, she can be found enjoying her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand.




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Monday, January 14, 2019

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: IS IT OVER YET? by L.A. Witt



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Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited

Length: 60,000 words 
Cover Design: Lori Witt


Blurb

Rhys Powell and Derek Scott are divorcing. Mistakes have been made, lines have been crossed, and there’s no going back. Both men are exhausted and ready to move on.

But their daughter is getting married soon. In the name of not putting a damper on her wedding, Derek and Rhys agree to keep the divorce on the down-low and show up as the happy couple everyone still believes they are.

And between a roller coaster of a road trip and the love and joy surrounding the wedding… Derek and Rhys just might remember why they fell for each other in the first place.

Are they only kidding themselves? Or can a rekindled spark really light the way to forgiveness?


Excerpt

Chapter 1

Rhys

The suburban Chicago house I’d lived in for the past six years came into view, and my stomach knotted tighter. It was the same feeling I’d had on my way to a job I’d hated a lifetime ago, when pulling up to the building made me groan out loud at the prospect of another shift in that godforsaken place. Didn’t seem right to feel that way coming home, but there it was, same as it had been for the past two months.

By the time I pulled into the garage beside the familiar red Corolla, my jaw ached from clenching my teeth. Probably because that’s what I’d been doing every night this week at the same time. Ugh. If I didn’t move out of this place soon, my dental bills were going to be astronomical. That was a good enough reason to step things up, wasn’t it? So I didn’t grind my teeth to dust?

As if I didn’t already have a laundry list of reasons why I needed to get out of here.

With an ache in my jaw and a sour feeling in my throat, I collected my coffee cup, lunch bag, and briefcase, and got out of the car. On the way inside, I couldn’t help limping a little, which added to my festering annoyance. It wasn’t unusual for my leg to be sore by the end of the day, especially after I’d been coaching basketball, but it wasn’t doing much for my sh*tty mood. I couldn’t think of much that would, though. Nothing short of substances that would get me fired. Or maybe finding a note on the counter that said I moved out. There wasn’t a plant on this earth that would get me higher than reading those three sweet little words.

But unless my soon-to-be ex-husband had won the lottery since this morning, he was just as stuck here as I was.

At the door, I paused for a deep breath to steel myself, then went inside. The kitchen and living room were empty. Derek’s car was here, so it was a safe bet he was home, but he was somewhere else in the house. Good enough for me. If I was lucky, he’d stay that way long enough for me to wind down.

I went through my usual motions—cleaning out my lunch bag, rinsing the Tupperware dishes, checking the cats’ food and water, perusing the mail. For years this routine had soothed me. Helped me shift from work to home so I could relax. Not so much these days.

Our long-haired calico, Lucy, hopped upon the counter and chirped at me, and I managed to crack a smile as I scratched her back the way she loved. She arched under my hand and purred. I chuckled, and I didn’t even mind that she was kicking the mail everywhere as she strutted back and forth on the counter.

“Hey, sweetheart. You miss me?”

More purring.

I kept scratching and petting her for a moment, trying not to think about the future. Or the fact that Derek and I still hadn’t come to a custody agreement about the cats. They were littermates, and though they could fight almost as loudly as we could, they were inseparable. There was no “you take Lucy and I’ll take Chico.” When this was all over and we finally went our separate ways, someone was taking both cats, and someone would be living without them.

I scooped Lucy into my arms, and I hugged her tight, which just made her purr louder and my conscience burn hotter. Guilt had been a constant friend for the past couple of months, and every time I thought about either losing my cats or taking them away from Derek, I wanted to cry. As if I hadn’t done enough of that recently.

I’m so sorry, guys. I buried my face in Lucy’s plush fur. I f*cked everything up.

The click of a door at the opposite end of the house made my spine stiffen. Lucy tensed too. By the time Derek was halfway up the hall, she’d stopped purring. As he cleared the corner into the living room, she wriggled in my arms, and I sighed as I set her back down on the counter. She jumped to the floor and trotted out of the room, probably to the office where Chico was likely watching birds.

I watched her go, fresh guilt gnawing at me. Things had really gone to sh*t when even the cats didn’t want to be in the same room with the two of us.

Without the cat to hold my attention anymore, I turned to see where Derek was headed so I could make my own escape. I still needed to change clothes anyway, not to mention take off my prosthetic and sit for a while to give my joints a rest. If he was going to hang out in the living room, then I could go into my bedroom or join the cats in the office.

But Derek wasn’t heading into the living room. He was coming into the kitchen. And from the way his gaze was fixed on me, he wanted to talk about something.

I swallowed. “Hey.”

“Hey.” He slid his hands into the pockets of his jeans. “Do you have a few minutes?”

I struggled to hold his gaze. He didn’t seem like he was looking for a fight. There was some tension in his features, but it didn’t read as hostility or anger.

I shifted my weight, wincing at the vicious ache in my hip. “Yeah. Do you mind if we sit, though?”

“Sure. Yeah. Living room?”

“Okay.” I followed him out of the kitchen, and we sat on opposite ends of the sofa. As soon as I was seated, I leaned down, rolled up my pant leg, and disconnected my prosthetic. Derek didn’t speak while I removed it; for all our inability to coexist lately, he was still in the habit of giving me a minute to get situated, particularly when I needed to kick off the prosthetic after a long day on my feet.

I leaned the prosthetic against the end table and sat back, releasing a relieved sigh. Everything ached, especially my hips, knees, and right ankle, and taking some weight off them felt so good. I might’ve even relaxed if not for Derek waiting a cushion away to have a conversation. Ugh. God. What now?

Schooling my expression, I twisted toward him. I stole a second just to look at him. There would come a time in the very near future when all I had left of him was pictures, and even with the constant tension hanging between us, it hurt to imagine not seeing him anymore. Seeing him like this hurt too. The dark eyes that had tongue-tied me on day one were cold now. Beside his eyes and mouth were lines that deepened whenever he smiled or laughed, and they were barely visible now. The near-black hair I’d run my fingers through millions of times, the soft lips I’d tasted more times than I could count, that spot on his neck where a single kiss could make him shudder all over—it was all out of my reach now.

Maybe it was time to take my sister up on the offer to come stay with her. I wasn’t sure how much more of this I could handle.

Forcing back my emotions, I tried to sound casual. “All right. What’s up?”

He mirrored me, pulling his knee up onto the cushion and drumming his fingers on his inseam. “Um.” He stared down at his hand. “So, I talked to Vanessa this morning.”

My gut clenched. Instantly my mind was filled with a million worst case scenarios. I’d expected him to have something on his mind about us, not about our daughter, and panic shot through me. Had something happened? Was she hurt? Sick? “What’s going on? Is everything okay?”

“Yeah. Yeah. Everything’s fine.” He made a calm down gesture. “Nothing’s wrong.”

“Okay. Good.” I exhaled, my heartbeat coming back down. It wasn’t unusual for her to call him, but the whole “we need to talk” thing had me on edge. “So…” I raised my eyebrows. Oh God, had he told her? Did he finally tell her we were divorcing? He’d been dancing around that for two months.

Derek cleared his throat, and to my surprise, he smiled, though he still seemed guarded. “She’s, um… She’s getting married.”

I blinked. “She is?”

He nodded. “Corbin proposed last night.”

“Oh. Wow.” I actually laughed because I was so relieved that instead of something horrible, he was breaking the news that Vanessa was engaged. “That’s great!”

“Yeah. It is.” He met my gaze, but then he broke eye contact, and his smile faltered.

How could a conversation be this much of a roller coaster after thirty seconds? Oh, right, because it was us and we were a disaster. A disaster our daughter still didn’t know about.

Derek took a deep breath and sat up a little. “Here’s the thing—they want to get married sooner than later. Corbin is going to be transferring within the next year, and he’ll probably deploy at some point. So they want to get all their ducks in a row quickly.”

I nodded. “Makes sense. How soon is soon?”

“They’re thinking February.”

I whistled. “Really not letting the grass grow, are they?”

He laughed quietly. “No. But it’s still three months away. It isn’t like they’re eloping next week.”

“True.” And why was this line of conversation making me apprehensive? Like it was going somewhere I really didn’t want it to go? I was thrilled for our daughter and her husband-to-be, but something about this discussion with Derek…didn’t feel right. After nine years together, I knew him, I knew his tells, and I knew there was more to this than just telling me Vanessa was getting married.

Chewing his lip, Derek dropped his gaze and watched his fingers drumming on his knee again. There was definitely something on his mind. Something he needed to say, but either couldn’t figure out how to or couldn’t quite work up the nerve.

“Derek?” I nudged. “What am I missing here? You’re happy about this, right?”

“Yeah. Of course. I’m… There’s just…” He closed his eyes. Finally, he met mine again. “Vanessa still doesn’t know about, um, us.”

I winced. In the two months since we’d decided to split up, we’d debated more than once when and how we should tell her. The holidays were almost upon us, so that hadn’t seemed like the right time, and we’d agreed to keep a lid on it until after the New Year. She couldn’t make it out for Thanksgiving, and she was spending Christmas with her mom, so it wasn’t as if we’d have to play happy husbands right in front of her. Just keep up the illusion on social media and on the phone. Easy. Except for the part where it meant we’d had to keep it quiet from almost everyone else so no one accidentally let it slip on Facebook. And we were still stuck living together anyway because neither of us could afford to move out yet, so the whole f*cking world thought everything was quiet on the home front. The closest we’d come to letting it slip was when a friend noticed our wedding portrait wasn’t on the mantle anymore. Derek had quickly said the frame had broken, and the subject had dropped. For now.

“Right,” I said. “So what does that have to do with her getting—” I tensed, then inclined my head. “Derek, please tell me you’re not going where I think you’re going.”

He looked at me plaintively. “It’s her wedding, Rhys. The next couple of months are going to be stressful as hell for her, and I’d rather all that stress be about planning her wedding. Not worrying about her dads splitting up.”

Closing my eyes, I pushed out a long breath through my nose. We’d been married for seven years, and even though our happier days seemed like a lifetime ago, I remembered the stressful months leading up to the wedding like it was yesterday. The thought of my parents dropping a bomb like that in the middle of all that chaos? Of trying to enjoy my damn wedding while I worried myself sick about making them be in the same room? Okay, yeah, I got what he was driving at. But…f*ck.


Carra's Review

I’m conflicted.  Not because of the writing or characters—if there’s one thing I can count on, it’s this author’s solid writing and characters who are flawed and have depth, and that’s still in evidence in this book.  It’s the line that’s crossed that has brought Derek and Rhys to their breaking point, which is something that in my personal life would be a diamond-hard limit and not something I could move past.  Once it became obvious what the “mistake” was that crossed a line, I took a deep breath and put it aside to see exactly how things were going to be resolved—or not—with their relationship.

I liked the characters well enough individually.  Their pain was evident, as was guilt, regret, and remorse.  And while Rhys may have triggered everything by crossing that line, those emotions were shared between both men.  For a large majority of the story, Derek seemed dead set on where things were heading, and even when doubts started to creep in, he still eventually came around to the same conclusion of the end of their marriage.  With his steadfast view that things could not be repaired for most of the book, it made it harder for me to accept how things eventually turned out.

I understood where both Rhys and Derek were coming from, and the reasoning behind their thoughts and words.  However, the only reason I was able to finally accept how the story ended was because Derek was not completely blameless (I’m attributing that to his behavior once he found out what Rhys did)…two wrongs don’t make you right or even.  


This story does not go how you might expect, and the tension level runs high through most of the pages.  While my own personal standards for relationship behavior were violated beyond measure, I know not everyone thinks as I do and I’m basing my 4-star rating on the writing, character complexity, and how I’d view the story if I didn’t base it on my personal relationship principles.  This book is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and sexual content.


About the Author

L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut…



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Saturday, January 12, 2019

New Release-Excerpt & Giveaway: AWAKENINGS & FRENCH SONGS by Nell Iris



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Length: 11,000 words approx.
Publisher: JMS Books


Blurb

Iggy Wilker never expected his 36th birthday to turn into an existential crisis. When Iggy’s friends celebrate him with his usual favorite pastime -- drinking, dancing, and willing guys -- he suddenly wants nothing to do with any of it. He’s fed up and ready for something else. The question is what?

Ronan Clenney has had his eye on his neighbor forever, but as a single father of a precocious eleven-year-old, he’s never believed he stands a chance. But over a late night cup of tea, it seems circumstances have changed. Is this the right time, finally?

Iggy has never believed in romance, but can Ronan show him he’s wrong? That love is a real thing?


Excerpt

“Iggy?” A slow smile blooms on his face and his eyes brighten. “What are you doing up this early? What happened to no knocking on my door before ten on weekends, young Miss Emery?” he asks, imitating my words perfectly.

“I grew old, that’s what happened.”

“Awww. Poor Iggy.”

“Hey! Be nice or I won’t share my breakfast.” I hold up the bags to show him what he’d be missing.

His eyebrows shoot to the heavens. “You brought breakfast?”

“Um, yeah. You gonna let me in, or ...?”

“Of course. You just about shocked me to death, that’s all.” He pretends to clutch his pearls.

“That seems to be my theme this week,” I mutter and follow him to the kitchen.

“I was just about to start breakfast --” he points at a carton of eggs, “-- but I guess I don’t have to?”

“Nope. Coffee would be good though. I didn’t buy any.”

“Sure.” He leans over to the machine and pushes the button. “All done.” He grins at me and takes a seat at the table. “Show me what you got.”

He watches as I unload my purchases. Baguettes. Croissants. Pain au chocolat. A box of pastel colored macarons I bought only because they’re so pretty and I thought Emery would appreciate the pinks and purples and yellows. Three tiny, fancy-looking jars of French jam; black cherry, fig and walnut, and raspberry. And finally, a box of huge, dark red strawberries the bakery sold for some unknown reason.

Ronan’s mouth falls open as he takes in everything. “What brought this on?”

I take my usual spot at the table. “I’ve had that song on my mind ever since the other night. I have no idea what it’s called or what the guy was singing about, but I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. So when I walked past Knead It and they had a French flag hanging in the window, I couldn’t help myself.”

“Which song?”

I hum a few bars, hoping I don’t butcher it too much so he won’t recognize it, but he nods.

“‘Ne me quitte pas’ by Jacques Brel.”

I repeat the title in a terrible French accent. “What does it mean?”

“It means ‘Don’t leave me.’”

His words make my heart stutter in my chest. “It’s great. So emotional,” I rasp out.

“I didn’t know you were a fan of old French songs.”

“I’m not. But it’s really beautiful.” The explanation feels inadequate, but I don’t know how to express myself better.

He doesn’t talk for several seconds, and then he says, “Huh.” His gaze is full of questions he’s not asking, and he doesn’t let up the intense scrutiny for even a moment. Inside, I’m squirming like a maggot on a fish hook, but I hope I manage to present a calm exterior.

For the first time ever, things are weird between us. The conversation is stilted, and the silences awkward. I know why, of course. By showing up like this, I changed the dynamics of our relationship. I’ve never been one for socializing in the mornings. And while I’ve brought the occasional pizza or six-pack, I’ve never brought anything like this before. Something meaningful. Something that shows I’ve been thinking about him and the time we spent together. Something serious.

I can’t blame him for wondering what’s going on. He listens to that French stuff all the time and I’m sure he’s played that song a million times before, but it’s like I heard it for the very first time on Wednesday.

I can’t stand his close examination any longer, so I get up and start setting the table with plates and cups and cutlery. “What’s the deal with you and all the French stuff anyway?” I ask with my head buried in the refrigerator, looking for butter and something for Emery to drink since she’s not allowed coffee.

“My grandmother was from France. She always used to sing the old songs to me and teach me the lyrics.”

I place a cutting board and a bread knife on the table. “Oh. What was her name?”

“Celeste.”

“That’s a beautiful name.”

“Yes.”

I look around for something else to do. “Do you speak French?”

“Iggy?”

I gulp, knowing what’s coming. “Yes?” Reluctantly, I retake my seat at the table.

“Why are you really here?” His voice is soft and caring and I’ve heard him use the same tone when he speaks to Emery about important matters.

I line up the jam jars in a perfect row, needing something to do with my hands. “I ... uh ... want to spend more time with you and Emery.”


About the Author

Nell Iris is a romantic at heart who believes everyone deserves a happy ending. She’s a bona fide bookworm (learned to read long before she started school), wouldn’t dream of going anywhere without something to read (not even the ladies’ room), loves music (and singing along but, let’s face it, she’s no Celine Dion), and is a real Star Trek nerd (“Make it so”). She loves words, poetry, wine, and Sudoku, and absolutely adores elephants!

Nell believes passionately in equality for all regardless of race, gender, or sexuality, and wants to make the world a better, less hateful, place.

Nell is a forty-something bisexual Swedish woman, married to the love of her life, and a proud mama of a grown daughter. She left the Scandinavian cold and darkness for warmer and sunnier Malaysia a few years ago, and now spends her days writing, surfing the Internet, enjoying the heat, and eating good food. One day she decided to chase her lifelong dream of being a writer, sat down in front of her laptop, and wrote a story about two men falling in love.

Nell Iris writes gay romance, prefers sweet over angst, and wants to write diverse and different characters.




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Friday, January 11, 2019

New Release-Excerpt: STAY by K.M. Neuhold

stay rdb banner 

STAY
K.M. NEUHOLD
M/M PUPPY PLAY ROMANCE
RELEASE DATE: 01.11.19



BLURB

What happens to a couple when one of them discovers a new kink that he’s not sure his partner will be into?

Dear Art,

I’m sure you get messages like this all the time, but I feel like I don’t even know who I am anymore. I suppose I should start from the beginning… Three weeks ago, I saw puppy play for the first time, and now I can’t stop thinking about it. Wait, no, that’s not really the beginning… Ten years ago, my best friend who I’d been in love with my entire life told me he loved me too.

For ten years, I’ve been living in complete bliss with Lars, the man of my dreams. Don’t get me wrong, we have our fights and disagreements (mostly because I do irritating sh*t, and every once in a while, he reaches the end of his patience), but he is my other half in every way. I didn’t know I could love someone the way I love him.

Then, the puppy thing happened. It’s not so different from when I realized I was gay; there was a moment where everything sort of clicked into place, and my whole body was like “Yes, that’s what we’ve been trying to figure out all this time.” At first, I thought maybe I should just let it go because it’s not the kind of thing I can imagine my partner being into. But last week I went into a kink shop and ended up walking out with a puppy hood. I stashed it in our guest bedroom closet and haven’t even had the courage to take it out and try it on again, let alone show it to Lars. I don’t know what to do. How do I bring this up to him? And what if he isn’t into it? I feel like I don’t recognize myself anymore, and I don’t know where to turn. Please help.

Sincerely,
One Lost Puppy




stay teaser 1

EXCERPT

I turn away from him, heading deeper into the shop, and there it is, hanging innocently on the back wall alongside a number of other accessories—collars, knee pads, mittens, toys—but right now, the only thing I can see is the hood. My heart gives one of those odd flutters again, my hands shaking as I slowly make my way toward the display.

I glance around to see if anyone is watching me and realize no one else is in the store right now. I look back at the employee and find him leaning against the counter, thumbing through his phone like he couldn’t care less about what kinky sh*t I’m here looking for. And I’m sure he can’t. He works in a sex shop for f*ck’s sake; I’m sure he’s seen it all.

The pleasant scent of leather lingers in the air around the display as I near it. When I come to a stop in front of it, my knees tremble, practically knocking together, and my breath is coming so fast I’m a little concerned I’m about to pass out from lack of oxygen.

I reach out an unsteady hand and when my fingers brush against the smooth material of the hood, a rush of excitement zips through me like an electric shock. To my surprise and slight horror, my c*ck begins to perk up as my fingertips dance along the muzzle and around the eyeholes, mapping the topography of it.

“You can try it on if you want.” The voice makes me jump, nearly knocking the entire display off the wall.

KM Neuhold Logo 2

Author K.M. Neuhold is a complete romance junkie, a total sap in every way. She started her journey as an author in new adult, MF romance, but after a chance reading of an MM book she was completely hooked on everything about lovely- and sometimes damaged- men finding their Happily Ever After together.

She has a strong passion for writing characters with a lot of heart and soul, and a bit of humor as well. And she fully admits that her OCD tendencies of making sure every side character has a full backstory will likely always lead to every book having a spin-off or series.

When she's not writing she's a lion tamer, an astronaut, and a superhero...just kidding, she's likely watching Netflix and snuggling with her husky while her amazing husband brings her coffee.




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New Release-Excerpt & Giveaway: THE HIGHLAND RENEGADE by Amy Jarecki (Lords of the Highlands #5)

The Highland Renegade Tour Graphic
Series: Lords of the Highlands Book 5
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Hachette/Forever
Publication Date: January 8, 2019
Meet Robert Grant, the Fiercest Highlander in Scotland
She is the daughter of his sworn enemy.
Famed for his fierceness, Laird Robert Grant is above all a loyal Highland clan chief. But when redcoats capture his rival's daughter, he sets aside their feud and races to her rescue. Aye, Janet Cameron is beautiful, cunning and so very tempting, but a Cameron lass is the last woman he should ever desire.
He is her one hope for happiness.
Janet refuses to meekly surrender, not even when surrounded by foes. She takes every chance to escape, first from English soldiers and then from the wickedly handsome Robert. Yet with each day they spend together, his unexpected gallantry chips away at her will little by little. As danger and treachery loom, can she trust him enough to choose love over vengeance?

Excerpt

“We could wager kisses.”

Covering her mouth with her fingers, Janet turned scarlet. “Sir, you are brash.”

“We’ve kissed before. I rather enjoyed it, and if I had to guess, you enjoyed kissing me as well.”

“I’ll not lie, but we mustn’t.”

He slid a finger along her forearm. “Whyever not?”

Her breath caught as those brilliant blue eyes met his gaze. He took her chin in the crook of his finger. “A wee kiss never hurt a soul.” His heart thrummed faster while he slowly savored her beauty, dipping his chin until plied her mouth with a single peck. “See,” he growled, “That was not so wicked.”

“I beg to differ. I daresay even a simple kiss from you is unquestionably wicked.” Her eyelids fluttered closed as she pursed her lips, clearly wanting more.

But she might be even more tempted if they played the game he planned—one he couldn’t lose.

Other Books by Amy Jarecki

The Lords of the Highlands takes you on an epic adventure through the perils of Jacobite Scotland. Passion and danger sear the pages of each stand-alone book with gripping love stories and action-packed plots. For detailed info, visit https://amyjarecki.com/series/lords-of-the-highlands/

The Highland Duke

The Highland Commander

The Highland Guardian

The Highland Chieftain

About Amy Jarecki

Multi-Award winning and Amazon All-Star author, Amy Jarecki likes to grab life, latch on, and reach for the stars. With a black belt in karate, she's married to a mountain-biking pharmacist and has put four kids through college. Reinventing herself a number of times, Amy sang and danced with the Follies, was a plant manager, and an accountant for Arnott's Biscuits in Australia. After earning her MBA from Heroit-Watt University in Scotland, she dove into the world of Scottish historical romance and hasn't returned. Become a part of her world and learn more about Amy's books on amyjarecki.com.

Giveaway!

WIN THE HIGHLAND RENEGADE SIGNED PRINT
The Highland Renegade Giveaway Graphic
Prizes up for grabs:
Five (5) Signed Print of The Highland Renegade
Contest runs from January 9 - 15, 2019.

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Tuesday, January 8, 2019

New Release-Excerpt & Giveaway: IS IT OVER YET? by L.A. Witt



Buy Links: 


Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited

Length: 60,000 words 
Cover Design: Lori Witt


Blurb

Rhys Powell and Derek Scott are divorcing. Mistakes have been made, lines have been crossed, and there’s no going back. Both men are exhausted and ready to move on.

But their daughter is getting married soon. In the name of not putting a damper on her wedding, Derek and Rhys agree to keep the divorce on the down-low and show up as the happy couple everyone still believes they are.

And between a roller coaster of a road trip and the love and joy surrounding the wedding… Derek and Rhys just might remember why they fell for each other in the first place.

Are they only kidding themselves? Or can a rekindled spark really light the way to forgiveness?


Excerpt

Chapter 1

Rhys

The suburban Chicago house I’d lived in for the past six years came into view, and my stomach knotted tighter. It was the same feeling I’d had on my way to a job I’d hated a lifetime ago, when pulling up to the building made me groan out loud at the prospect of another shift in that godforsaken place. Didn’t seem right to feel that way coming home, but there it was, same as it had been for the past two months.

By the time I pulled into the garage beside the familiar red Corolla, my jaw ached from clenching my teeth. Probably because that’s what I’d been doing every night this week at the same time. Ugh. If I didn’t move out of this place soon, my dental bills were going to be astronomical. That was a good enough reason to step things up, wasn’t it? So I didn’t grind my teeth to dust?

As if I didn’t already have a laundry list of reasons why I needed to get out of here.

With an ache in my jaw and a sour feeling in my throat, I collected my coffee cup, lunch bag, and briefcase, and got out of the car. On the way inside, I couldn’t help limping a little, which added to my festering annoyance. It wasn’t unusual for my leg to be sore by the end of the day, especially after I’d been coaching basketball, but it wasn’t doing much for my sh*tty mood. I couldn’t think of much that would, though. Nothing short of substances that would get me fired. Or maybe finding a note on the counter that said I moved out. There wasn’t a plant on this earth that would get me higher than reading those three sweet little words.

But unless my soon-to-be ex-husband had won the lottery since this morning, he was just as stuck here as I was.

At the door, I paused for a deep breath to steel myself, then went inside. The kitchen and living room were empty. Derek’s car was here, so it was a safe bet he was home, but he was somewhere else in the house. Good enough for me. If I was lucky, he’d stay that way long enough for me to wind down.

I went through my usual motions—cleaning out my lunch bag, rinsing the Tupperware dishes, checking the cats’ food and water, perusing the mail. For years this routine had soothed me. Helped me shift from work to home so I could relax. Not so much these days.

Our long-haired calico, Lucy, hopped upon the counter and chirped at me, and I managed to crack a smile as I scratched her back the way she loved. She arched under my hand and purred. I chuckled, and I didn’t even mind that she was kicking the mail everywhere as she strutted back and forth on the counter.

“Hey, sweetheart. You miss me?”

More purring.

I kept scratching and petting her for a moment, trying not to think about the future. Or the fact that Derek and I still hadn’t come to a custody agreement about the cats. They were littermates, and though they could fight almost as loudly as we could, they were inseparable. There was no “you take Lucy and I’ll take Chico.” When this was all over and we finally went our separate ways, someone was taking both cats, and someone would be living without them.

I scooped Lucy into my arms, and I hugged her tight, which just made her purr louder and my conscience burn hotter. Guilt had been a constant friend for the past couple of months, and every time I thought about either losing my cats or taking them away from Derek, I wanted to cry. As if I hadn’t done enough of that recently.

I’m so sorry, guys. I buried my face in Lucy’s plush fur. I f*cked everything up.

The click of a door at the opposite end of the house made my spine stiffen. Lucy tensed too. By the time Derek was halfway up the hall, she’d stopped purring. As he cleared the corner into the living room, she wriggled in my arms, and I sighed as I set her back down on the counter. She jumped to the floor and trotted out of the room, probably to the office where Chico was likely watching birds.

I watched her go, fresh guilt gnawing at me. Things had really gone to sh*t when even the cats didn’t want to be in the same room with the two of us.

Without the cat to hold my attention anymore, I turned to see where Derek was headed so I could make my own escape. I still needed to change clothes anyway, not to mention take off my prosthetic and sit for a while to give my joints a rest. If he was going to hang out in the living room, then I could go into my bedroom or join the cats in the office.

But Derek wasn’t heading into the living room. He was coming into the kitchen. And from the way his gaze was fixed on me, he wanted to talk about something.

I swallowed. “Hey.”

“Hey.” He slid his hands into the pockets of his jeans. “Do you have a few minutes?”

I struggled to hold his gaze. He didn’t seem like he was looking for a fight. There was some tension in his features, but it didn’t read as hostility or anger.

I shifted my weight, wincing at the vicious ache in my hip. “Yeah. Do you mind if we sit, though?”

“Sure. Yeah. Living room?”

“Okay.” I followed him out of the kitchen, and we sat on opposite ends of the sofa. As soon as I was seated, I leaned down, rolled up my pant leg, and disconnected my prosthetic. Derek didn’t speak while I removed it; for all our inability to coexist lately, he was still in the habit of giving me a minute to get situated, particularly when I needed to kick off the prosthetic after a long day on my feet.

I leaned the prosthetic against the end table and sat back, releasing a relieved sigh. Everything ached, especially my hips, knees, and right ankle, and taking some weight off them felt so good. I might’ve even relaxed if not for Derek waiting a cushion away to have a conversation. Ugh. God. What now?

Schooling my expression, I twisted toward him. I stole a second just to look at him. There would come a time in the very near future when all I had left of him was pictures, and even with the constant tension hanging between us, it hurt to imagine not seeing him anymore. Seeing him like this hurt too. The dark eyes that had tongue-tied me on day one were cold now. Beside his eyes and mouth were lines that deepened whenever he smiled or laughed, and they were barely visible now. The near-black hair I’d run my fingers through millions of times, the soft lips I’d tasted more times than I could count, that spot on his neck where a single kiss could make him shudder all over—it was all out of my reach now.

Maybe it was time to take my sister up on the offer to come stay with her. I wasn’t sure how much more of this I could handle.

Forcing back my emotions, I tried to sound casual. “All right. What’s up?”

He mirrored me, pulling his knee up onto the cushion and drumming his fingers on his inseam. “Um.” He stared down at his hand. “So, I talked to Vanessa this morning.”

My gut clenched. Instantly my mind was filled with a million worst case scenarios. I’d expected him to have something on his mind about us, not about our daughter, and panic shot through me. Had something happened? Was she hurt? Sick? “What’s going on? Is everything okay?”

“Yeah. Yeah. Everything’s fine.” He made a calm down gesture. “Nothing’s wrong.”

“Okay. Good.” I exhaled, my heartbeat coming back down. It wasn’t unusual for her to call him, but the whole “we need to talk” thing had me on edge. “So…” I raised my eyebrows. Oh God, had he told her? Did he finally tell her we were divorcing? He’d been dancing around that for two months.

Derek cleared his throat, and to my surprise, he smiled, though he still seemed guarded. “She’s, um… She’s getting married.”

I blinked. “She is?”

He nodded. “Corbin proposed last night.”

“Oh. Wow.” I actually laughed because I was so relieved that instead of something horrible, he was breaking the news that Vanessa was engaged. “That’s great!”

“Yeah. It is.” He met my gaze, but then he broke eye contact, and his smile faltered.

How could a conversation be this much of a roller coaster after thirty seconds? Oh, right, because it was us and we were a disaster. A disaster our daughter still didn’t know about.

Derek took a deep breath and sat up a little. “Here’s the thing—they want to get married sooner than later. Corbin is going to be transferring within the next year, and he’ll probably deploy at some point. So they want to get all their ducks in a row quickly.”

I nodded. “Makes sense. How soon is soon?”

“They’re thinking February.”

I whistled. “Really not letting the grass grow, are they?”

He laughed quietly. “No. But it’s still three months away. It isn’t like they’re eloping next week.”

“True.” And why was this line of conversation making me apprehensive? Like it was going somewhere I really didn’t want it to go? I was thrilled for our daughter and her husband-to-be, but something about this discussion with Derek…didn’t feel right. After nine years together, I knew him, I knew his tells, and I knew there was more to this than just telling me Vanessa was getting married.

Chewing his lip, Derek dropped his gaze and watched his fingers drumming on his knee again. There was definitely something on his mind. Something he needed to say, but either couldn’t figure out how to or couldn’t quite work up the nerve.

“Derek?” I nudged. “What am I missing here? You’re happy about this, right?”

“Yeah. Of course. I’m… There’s just…” He closed his eyes. Finally, he met mine again. “Vanessa still doesn’t know about, um, us.”

I winced. In the two months since we’d decided to split up, we’d debated more than once when and how we should tell her. The holidays were almost upon us, so that hadn’t seemed like the right time, and we’d agreed to keep a lid on it until after the New Year. She couldn’t make it out for Thanksgiving, and she was spending Christmas with her mom, so it wasn’t as if we’d have to play happy husbands right in front of her. Just keep up the illusion on social media and on the phone. Easy. Except for the part where it meant we’d had to keep it quiet from almost everyone else so no one accidentally let it slip on Facebook. And we were still stuck living together anyway because neither of us could afford to move out yet, so the whole f*cking world thought everything was quiet on the home front. The closest we’d come to letting it slip was when a friend noticed our wedding portrait wasn’t on the mantle anymore. Derek had quickly said the frame had broken, and the subject had dropped. For now.

“Right,” I said. “So what does that have to do with her getting—” I tensed, then inclined my head. “Derek, please tell me you’re not going where I think you’re going.”

He looked at me plaintively. “It’s her wedding, Rhys. The next couple of months are going to be stressful as hell for her, and I’d rather all that stress be about planning her wedding. Not worrying about her dads splitting up.”

Closing my eyes, I pushed out a long breath through my nose. We’d been married for seven years, and even though our happier days seemed like a lifetime ago, I remembered the stressful months leading up to the wedding like it was yesterday. The thought of my parents dropping a bomb like that in the middle of all that chaos? Of trying to enjoy my damn wedding while I worried myself sick about making them be in the same room? Okay, yeah, I got what he was driving at. But…f*ck.


About the Author

L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut…




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