Saturday, December 15, 2018

New Release-Excerpt & Giveaway: OPERATION TOY RESCUE by Sarah Hadley Brook



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Length: 29,000 words approx.
Publisher: JMS Books


Blurb

When Jules Evergreen lands in trouble at the North Pole and gets shipped off to Snow Hope Island for ninety days, he never expects to take up the cause of the forgotten toys waiting for new homes. Falling for his new boss is not on the agenda either, but his heart has other ideas.

Felix Winterson has grown up on Snow Hope Island and now runs the place. He isn’t thrilled when party boy Jules arrives, and Felix tries hard to ignore the man’s charms. He has other problems, anyway. For years he’s tried to get Santa to look at the growing inventory of damaged toys in the warehouse, to no avail.

When Jules comes up with a plan to save the toys, the men find themselves working closely together. As Christmas Eve looms, there’s a lot at stake. Can they save Snow Hope, convince Santa to rescue the toys, and fall in love all at the same time?


Excerpt

He was surprised that no one else was in the building yet. Unless they were upstairs in the loft, or locked away in an office. He thought he’d seen Eve’s coat hanging from a peg up front.

Jules opened the laptop and logged in, ready to get started. He really wanted to take that trip to the warehouse with Felix and the quicker he finished logging things in, the quicker that could happen. As he carefully opened a rather large box, he heard a door open and turned to see Felix, Eve, and Zuzu hurry out of Felix’s office. All wore a look of panic and his heart jumped.

“What’s wrong?” he asked as Eve grew closer.

“The Big Guy is coming for a visit three days before Christmas! We just found out. He never does this. Never, Jules.” Her voice rose as she spilled the news.

Jules glanced at Felix and caught his eye, holding it for a moment. “Isn’t Santa coming a good thing?” he asked, confused.

“We don’t know. He never does this. Never,” Eve reiterated.

“She’s right. He doesn’t. What if he wants to make major changes? Or move us to the North Pole?” Felix asked.

Jules crinkled his brow. In his mind, moving to the North Pole would be great. Felix would be closer to Jules. “You don’t want to live at the North Pole?”

All three of them looked at him in shock, their mouths gaping open.

“What?” he asked.

“The North Pole is headquarters. It’s chaos,” Zuzu explained.

Okay, I’ll give them that. But there were good things, too.

“But you’d be closer to ...” he flicked his gaze to Felix and felt his cheeks heat up. “The main operation,” he finished lamely.

“But we like it here. Our island is beautiful and we’re like a family. What if we’re torn apart?”

“I don’t think Santa --”

“You don’t know, Jules,” Eve broke in. “Maybe he thinks we don’t do enough to help these toys.”

Felix was vigorously nodding his agreement, so Jules shut his mouth and sat down in front of his laptop, considering the possibilities. He finally glanced back up, his lips curving up into a small smile as he eyed all three. “Then I guess there’s only one thing to do, guys. We need to show Santa how important the island is to children all over the globe.”

“How do we do that?” Eve asked quietly, her brow furrowed.

“By developing a kick ass plan to get these ‘inadequate toys’ into the hands of kids,” he explained, using air quotes. It was really just expanding what he and Felix had talked about last night. But calling it a plan made it feel more real. More promising.

Again, they gaped at him. Well, all but Felix. He was grinning. Happiness filled Jules’s chest and his heart raced as he grinned back, warmth spreading through him. Their gazes held and Jules felt like Felix was peering inside of him. Like he was seeing the real Jules. Not the guy that always screwed up. Not the guy that only thought of himself. But the one that finally -- finally -- wanted to do something worthy. Something that would bring others joy.

“Jules is right. We need to work together to show Santa we can handle the responsibility of taking care of the toys on this island. To prepare them for new homes. To convince him to take them with him on Christmas Eve.” Felix straightened his shoulders as determination flitted across his face and hope flashed in his eyes.

Jules couldn’t look away. The man was beautiful in every way.


About the Author

Sarah Hadley Brook lives smack-dab in the middle of the Heartland and is the mother of two wonderful young men, as well as two cats. During the day, she works in the nonprofit world, but reserves evenings for her hobby-turned-passion of writing, letting the characters she conjures in her mind take the lead and show her where the story will go. When not working or writing, she can be found reading, working on dollhouses, trying her hand at new recipes, or watching old movies and musicals. In her ideal world, Christmas would come at least twice a year, Rock Hudson and Doris Day would have costarred in more than three movies, and chocolate would be a daily necessity. She dreams of traveling to Scotland some day and visiting the places her ancestors lived. Sarah believes in “Happily Ever After” and strives to ensure her characters find their own happiness in love and life.





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Book Release & Giveaway: WOLF'S CHALLENGE by Christina Lynn Lambert (Stranger Creatures #1)

Wolf's Challenge Tour Graphic
Series: Stranger Creatures Book 1
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Suspense
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Publication Date: November 2, 2018
Will Sydney and Derrick find their happily ever after or will the unhinged woman stalking them destroy their chance?
When Sydney left Seattle two years ago, she was scared, traumatized, and done with men for good. Now she has a good job, a hobby that's fast becoming a second career, and best of all, she's adopted a little girl named Angel. Life is good and Sydney's not about to let charming lawyer Derrick mess that up, no matter how sexy he is, or how sweet he seems.
Things aren't always as they appear in the town of Great Oaks, Virginia. Derrick isn't the ladies' man Sydney thinks he is, but he does have a few secrets, such as his ability to transform into a powerful wolf at will.
Can Derrick convince Sydney to give him a chance, something more than her elusive maybe? More importantly, should he? He's still trying to forgive himself for being at the wheel during the accident that killed his son. Losing Sydney when she learns the truth might break him, but he's pretty sure not having her in his life would be just as bad.
A troubled woman running from her guilty conscience has Sydney and Derrick in her crosshairs, and she'll do whatever it takes to win her game. Will Sydney and Derrick survive long enough to be together?

Purchase Links

Other Books by Christina Lynn Lambert

Welcome to the town of Great Oaks, Virginia, where nothing is as it seems. Will the sexy shapeshifters of Wolf's Challenge and Bear's Edge survive long enough to find a happily-ever-after with the women they love?
Don't miss Book 2 of the Stranger Creatures series!
Bear's Edge
Bear's Edge (Book 2)
A boss can't date her employee-simple as that. No matter how much Shayla wants to unravel a few of Grant's mysteries and take her friendship with the shy, sarcastic man to the next level, she's determined to keep her fantasies of him to herself.

After bear shifter Grant lost his girlfriend and three best friends in a fire, he did his best to shut himself off from everyone around him. Falling for Shayla wasn't part of his plan, but after a kiss that leaves them both speechless and hungry for more, Grant can't keep his desire for his boss under wraps any longer.

When things between the two of them get hotter than he could have imagined, Grant wonders if some of his darker desires will be too much for Shayla or will she embrace the needs he's kept hidden for so long?

An obnoxious reporter and Shayla's bitter ex have teamed up to chase down conspiracy theories that could destroy Shayla's business and worse, put her life in danger. To find their happily ever after, Shayla and Grant will have to trust in each other and find a way to crush all the obstacles standing in their way.
Buy Link: Amazon.com

About Christina Lynn Lambert

A few years ago, I read my first romance novel and I was hooked, so much so that I decided to give the idea of writing a story a chance. My style is more gritty than sweet and I look forward to writing many more stories with strong heroines and imperfect but determined characters. Love, courage, hope, and second chances are a few of my favorite themes. When I'm not writing, I enjoy spending time outside and finding ways to avoid cooking. I live in beautiful Virginia with my husband, two daughters, and a sweet, hairy monster of a dog.

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Friday, December 14, 2018

Review & Giveaway: A SOLDIER'S WISH by N.R. Walker (The Christmas Angel Series)




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Length: 55,000 words approx.
Cover Design: Meredith Russell

The Christmas Angel Series


Christmas Angel - Eli Easton - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Summerfield's Angel - Kim Fielding -  Amazon US | Amazon UK
The Magician's Angel - Jordan L. Hawk - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Christmas Homecoming - L.A. Witt - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Shrewd Angel - Anyta Sunday - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Christmas Prince - RJ Scott- Amazon US | Amazon UK



Blurb 

The year is 1969…

Gary Fairchild is proud to be a hippie college student, and he protests the Vietnam War because he believes in love and peace. To him, it isn’t just a counterculture movement—it’s a way of life. When tickets to the Aquarium Exposition—3 Days of Peace & Music, or Woodstock, as it was better known, go on sale, there’s no way he isn’t going.

Richard Ronsman is a sheltered farm boy who lives in the shadow of his overbearing father. He’s hidden his darkest secret to earn his father’s love, but nothing is ever good enough—not even volunteering for the Vietnam War. And with just a few days left before he’s deployed, he’s invited by a striking hippie to join him at a music festival.

Three days of music, drugs, rain, mud, and love forged a bond between these two very different men that would shape the rest of their lives. They share dreams and fears, and when Richard is shipped off to war, they share letters and love. For Richard’s first Christmas home, he is gifted a special angel ornament that just might make a soldier’s wish come true.

This story is one of seven stories which can all be read and enjoyed in any order.


The Christmas Angel Series

In 1750, a master woodcarver poured all his unrequited love, passion, and longing into his masterpiece—a gorgeous Christmas angel for his beloved’s tree. When the man he loved tossed the angel away without a second thought, a miracle happened. The angel was found by another who brought the woodcarver True Love.

Since then, the angel has been passed down, sold, lost and found, but its magic remains. Read the romances inspired by (and perhaps nudged along by) the Christmas angel through the years. Whether it’s 1700s England (Eli Easton's Christmas Angel), the 1880’s New York (Kim Fielding’s Summerfield’s Angel), the turn-of-the-century (Jordan L. Hawk’s Magician’s Angel), World War II (L.A. Witt’s Christmas Homecoming), Vietnam-era (N.R. Walker’s Soldier’s Wish), the 1990’s (Anyta Sunday’s Shrewd Angel), or 2018 (RJ Scott’s Christmas Prince), the Christmas angel has a way of landing on the trees of lonely men who need its blessing for a very Merry Christmas and forever HEA.


Carra's Review


I really hope you like your stories filled with emotion, because A Soldier’s Wish has ALL the feels!  From the wonder Richard experiences at Woodstock as he gets to try so many things that are new to him—including his first physical encounter with a man—to the heartache of having to leave newfound friends behind to head off to war, to the worry and fear Gary goes through while Richard is deployed, then to the recovery afterward…and imagine during all of this the two are falling in love with each other.  Like I said—ALL…THE…FEELS.

Until Richard meets Gary, he’s led a sheltered life with a strict upbringing, with the requisite homophobic parents and no idea of the limitless possibilities out in the world.  His fascination with everything he experiences while taking that detour to Woodstock before he heads to Vietnam is endearing, especially given the innocence he exhibits in the face of all he comes across—not the least of which is the immediate bonding and loss of one aspect of that innocence with Gary.  The two just clicked together from the moment Gary introduced himself, one of those “meant to be” moments.

I really liked how the format of the story switched to the two of them writing letters to each other while Richard is in Vietnam.  It really let the emotions of the characters shine through quite strongly, and for me it made for a richer reading experience as I watched the two of them falling ever deeper for each other through those letters.  The author did a brilliant job in setting the mood for the time period and keeping things historically accurate.

There were several points in the story where I was reaching for the tissues, and so many times I just wanted to wrap Richard up in my arms to give him comfort and protection.  Gary was so supportive of him, continually making him feel wanted and loved, and showing him that the things he wants are valid—even if that means being with a man.  And speaking of supportive, there are some great secondary characters, but I wanted to give a special shout out to Gary’s friend Kat.  She’s a strong female character who’s compassionate and encouraging, someone both Gary and Richard can lean on.

The angel’s appearance in this book comes later on in the story, and is does not figure as prominently…but she’s still there in the spirit of bringing luck and happiness to the guys before she moves on again.

This is by far my favorite book in this series to this point, and gets the full 5-star rating from me.  Since it’s set from 1969 through 1977 I’d still consider it a historical, especially considering the laws that were still in effect at the time.  Like the rest of the books in this series it can be read as a standalone, though I’m finding I am really enjoying reading the books in order to see how things change through the years.  This book is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and sexual content, and some readers may find the aftereffects of the war on Gary might hit a bit more close to home now that we’re getting closer to present day in the series.



About the Author

N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance. She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn't have it any other way.

She is many things; a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who she gives them life with words.

She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things...but likes it even more when they fall in love. She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.

She’s been writing ever since...





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Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: HOME FOR CHRISTMAS by RJ Scott (A Texas Story)



Buy Links: 


Length: 45,000 words approx.
Cover Design: Meredith Russell

Texas Series

Book #1 - The Heart of Texas - Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #2 - Texas Winter - Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #3 - Texas Heat - Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #4 - Texas Family - Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #5 - Texas Christmas - Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #6 - Texas Fall - Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #7 - Texas Wedding - Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #8 - Texas Gift - Amazon US | Amazon UK


Blurb

Can Connor show River a real family Christmas?

When Connor finds River on the roof of the campus admin building, he doesn't know what to do. His friend is drunk, and shouting into a snowstorm, a bottle of vodka in his hand. The easy part is getting River down; the hard part is insisting River comes home with Connor for Christmas.

River doesn't have a family, or any place outside of college that he calls home. Not that it matters to him; he's happy being alone for Christmas in his budget motel, watching reruns of Elf. Only, Connor keeps telling wildly improbable stories of the perfect family celebrations at his parents' ranch in Texas, and it's wearing River down. He didn't ask to be kidnapped. He didn't want to fall in love with the entire Campbell-Hayes family. But he does.

From one Christmas to the next. This is Connor's year to rescue River, and himself, for them both to mess things up, make things right, fall in lust and finally, for Connor to show the man he loves what being part of a family can mean.


Excerpt

Chapter 1

Connor skidded to a stop.

The cold December wind whipped around his face, ice and snow knifing into his skin, and at first, he couldn’t make sense of what he was seeing. 

Maybe he should have stopped, called 911, shouted for help, but it could’ve been too late, so he’d acted on instinct alone. He’d taken the four flights of stairs at a run, reaching the roof and throwing the door open. His lungs burned from the freezing air and his voice had gone. What now?

Why was River on the roof in nothing but jeans and a T-shirt, clearly drunk? Why was he standing on the ledge, his feet spread, his arms wide, and a bottle of vodka in his hand?

When the girl from his floor told him she’d seen River go up to the roof, he thought she’d meant something else. He often went up there to read or watch life go by. But not in a snow storm. 

He didn’t expect to see River standing on the ledge in the snow.

Don’t scare him. He’ll stumble and fall. He might jump. 

A gust of air slapped Connor. River swayed to the left but righted himself with the casual grace of a gymnast. River wouldn’t fall by accident. Hell, Connor had seen him balance on one hand on a diving board, perfectly still, before falling gracefully and accurately with spins and pikes into the water below. He’d never seen River falter.

“River?” Connor asked, only an inch from grabbing River’s shirt and holding him tight. He saw River tense, but he didn’t wobble in surprise or slip and fall to the ground.

“I canbalance. Look at me.” River sounded so damn proud of himself. 

Connor took a small step forward, finally being able to hold River’s shirt, hoping to hell that would be enough to stop River from falling.

“Come down, buddy.”

River lifted the bottle over his head, sloshing alcohol over his hair, his tongue flicking out to catch any that ran over his face. 

“F*ck,” he shouted.

Connor tugged at him, not knowing what else to do. “Come back,” he said, loud enough that River actually looked at him. 

“Leave me alone,” he said.

“I’m not leaving you on the roof,” Connor snapped and got a better hold of River, hooking a finger into his belt. River wasn’t a big guy, a diver’s body, no more than five ten and a buck sixty soaking wet, but if he fell, would Connor be able to hold him long enough to save him? 

River pulled against Connor’s grip, and for a second the world stopped turning as Connor had to use his entire body weight to keep him upright. Something about the action must have scared River. He cursed and rocked backward, but he still wouldn’t come down.

“Come down,” Connor pleaded. “You’re scaring me.”

“You think you gotta save me? Huh?” River threw his arms wide again, more alcohol sloshing over the top of the bottle. “I don’t need saving.”

“I want you to come down.” Connor tried for calm. What was he doing? He should have called the cops immediately when he spotted River. Or firefighters, negotiators? Or whoever the hell should’ve been here. He’d seen things like this on the television, the mediator knowing all the right things to say and do, standing by River and connecting him to his family or childhood or his faith. All Connor knew was that he needed to pull River down, use the only thing he had going for him; the fact that he was bigger and stronger. 

“I like it up here!” River explained with another wide gesture. He wobbled a little but righted himself immediately.

“Come down, Riv.”

“Saint Connor tries to save everyone,” River shouted, ending with a hysterical laugh. He was clearly losing control of himself, and even if Connor did have the words to talk him down, he thought maybe he’d just yank River back onto the concrete roof of the building and worry about injuries later.

But River wasn’t finished. “Even if they don’t need saving!” 

“River!”

“Who the hell cares if I can balance, huh?”

“I care,” Connor shouted back. This was so out of character. 

“Yeah, right, telling me what Christmas and family is like for you, making me see it in my head, and then leaving me here alone.”

“River, please.” Connor tugged him, but River wouldn’t move back. 

“Leaving me here, alone, because that’s all anyone ever does. They f*ck off, leave me, and what happens when college is over, huh? What happens when I lose that?” He lifted one clenched fist to the sky. “F*ck you!”

Connor had never heard River curse like this, and he was done with holding on to him. So evaluating where they would end up if they fell backward and not caring how much it hurt, he yanked, hard. River tumbled with him, arms flailing and the vodka bottle slipping from his grasp and falling into the tub of snow-covered plants on the roof patio. The two of them fell onto the roof, Connor using his body to cushion River’s descent, getting his arms full of an icy cold man, the breath forced from his lungs when they hit the ground.

Connor enveloped him in his arms and locked his hands in place, fighting a frozen, wet, drunk River. He wouldn’t get free. Connor had his pappa’s height, a rancher’s build, and he was a solid anchor in the wind and snow. There was no point in River fighting, and somehow he must have realized he couldn’t get free and went still in Connor’s arms. 

All Connor could think was that he’d wanted River back in his arms for a long time now, but he’d expected soft lighting and mood music, not driving winds and snow.

“What the hell are you doing?” Connor demanded. 

“Let me the f*ck go.”

“Jesus, are you trying to kill yourself?”

River attempted to wriggle free. Connor’s grip didn’t falter in his hold. With his arms securely around River, he shuffled them back so they were protected by the low wall. He wanted to get them back inside, but he wasn’t ready to let River go yet, and the door was at least ten feet away. What if River wriggled free and ran for the ledge? The idea of River on the ground, twisted in death, blood… Connor didn’t want to think about it. He opened his coat, one-handed, and then pulled River closer, trying to get as much of the material to go over him, attempting to keep them both warm. River’s skin was like ice. How long had he been standing up there? 

“What were you doing?” he demanded, but River didn’t reply, only burrowed deeper into Connor’s hold. This was stupid. He needed to get them off the roof, or he needed help. His phone was in the car. The campus was emptying for Christmas. It was ten a.m., snowing. What the hell was he going to do now? 

“I have no one,” River muttered, then laughed and buried his face deeper.

“What do you mean? Talk to me, River.”

“No.”

“We need to get inside.” 

How the hell do I get River inside?

He imagined struggling with River’s weight, trying to get him down four flights of stairs and across to his room. Maybe if he could just get him to the car, with its heated seats and the warm air blower and the coffee in a flask that Connor had made for the start of his journey back to Dallas. Then he could call someone, the cops or a doctor? That seemed like a plan, a focus. He scrambled to his feet, bringing River with him, and stumbled inside. As soon as the door shut, warmth hit them, prickling at his exposed skin, and he moved toward the radiator, still gripping River’s belt. He let go of him long enough to remove his jacket and place it around the shivering man’s shoulders. 

River buried himself in the coat, and Connor went into disaster assessment mode. He’d seen hypothermia back home at the D, and it wasn’t pretty. He remembered his pappa saying there were signs to look for, and when Jack spoke, Connor always listened. He pulled up the facts he could remember. Did River have hypothermia? His teeth weren’t chattering, and he wasn’t talking at all, so it wasn’t obvious if he was slurring. Then, even if he did talk and his speech was slurry, how could Connor tell how much vodka he’d drunk? Connor tried to remember the symptoms. The college hospital wasn’t far away. He could drive there, and they would help. 

Why the hell did I leave my phone in the damned car?

“It’s okay. I’m okay.”

“No, you’re not.”

“You can go,” River said dully. He wriggled closer to the radiator. 

“I’m not going anywhere.”

“But you are,” River murmured. “You kissed me, you got me off, and now you’re leaving today.” Then he hid his face in his hands. “Sh*t, sh*t, sh*t.”

Wait. Was this about what happened at the thanksgiving party? 

Is this my fault?

Connor didn’t usually drink that much, but he’d had one beer too many at the party, to the point where he had all the courage he needed to wait for River to come out of the bathroom.

“Can I kiss you?” he’d asked, and River had stared at him, stone-cold sober and narrow-eyed. 

But then, holy sh*t, River had pushed him back into the nearest bedroom, shut the door, and the kiss had turned into something more, hands tangled in hair, the two of them kissing and rutting against each other until they were coming in their jeans. Really unromantic. Nothing more than getting off, and River had left before Connor could even get his breath back. Not the best of outcomes. Then River had ignored him. Not returning texts, no more study sessions in the library, and he’d even missed the last lecture of the semester.

All of that told Connor on thing: River wasn’t interested in anything more with him. But that didn’t mean they weren’t still friends. They sat in silence for a few minutes, River’s face still buried in his hands, and he was clearly crying. 


What the hell should I do now? 


Carra's Review

It’s almost hard to believe that this is the ninth book in the Texas series, but it’s so easy to lose yourself in the Campbell-Hayes family.  And while this could realistically be read as a standalone, I would highly recommend reading the series in order, if for no other reason than to understand the closeness of the family and their dynamics.  

Connor does seems like he has it all, and doesn’t want for a thing—which is something that River can’t relate to (and maybe even resents a bit).  Connor also tends to turn into a pretty chatty guy around River, while River is quite the opposite and seeks quiet and order.  Connor’s protective side shines bright when it comes to River, at times to River’s chagrin.  They are wonderfully well-matched though, and balance each other out.  

I felt bad for River’s childhood, but also proud of him for rising above.  He’s intelligent and caring, but his defense of his actions at the start of the story felt a bit off to me.  I felt just like Connor with a need to protect River after I heard his full story, and loved how he was so easily accepted into Connor’s family…a place River is not at all familiar with but still craves so badly.


I really enjoyed getting to hear Connor’s story after spending so much time with this family throughout this series.  Home for Christmas is another excellent addition to the Texas series, and was a solid 4-star read for me.  It did get a bit angsty at times, but all of the happy parts more than balanced that out.  This book is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and sexual content.


About the Author

USA Today bestselling author RJ Scott writes stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, a happily ever after.

RJ Scott is the author of over one hundred romance books, writing emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn't with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a week's break from writing she didn't like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn't defeat.

She's always thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers. Please contact via the links below:

Email RJ | Facebook | Twitter | BookBub | Instagram | Pinterest


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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Review & Giveaway: OLD ACQUAINTANCE by Annabelle Jacobs



Buy Links: 


Length: 50,000 words approx.
Cover Design: Natasha Snow


Blurb

There are two sides to every story, even those buried in the past.

When Sam spots the hot guy moving in next door, he’s all for going round to introduce himself. That soon changes when it turns out his new neighbour is in fact an old school acquaintance, Charles Whitmore. Sam didn’t like him back then, and fifteen years haven’t altered that.

Splitting up from his long-term boyfriend means a move across the city for Charlie. As luck would have it, his immediate neighbour is a guy he went to school with, Sam Gellar. While Sam is less than welcoming, his best mate is more than happy to invite Charlie into their social circle. Whatever problem Sam has with Charlie, Charlie resolves to get to the bottom of it, because, frosty beginnings aside, Charlie likes him.

With Christmas just around the corner, fate thrusts them together, and they get on so much better than they ever did at school. Despite his efforts not to, Sam develops feelings for Charlie, and they appear to be reciprocated. If Sam wants to take things further he needs to either confront Charlie about their past--a past Charlie seems to have forgotten entirely--or let it go and move on. Sam knows deep down that he can’t let it go, but it never seems the right time to bring it up. Until it is.


Carra's Review

Old Acquaintance has a touch of enemies to lovers…I say a touch since only Sam has this notion, and honestly he wavers about that pretty quickly once he and Charlie are around each other more.  This story is relatively low angst, and of the bit there is it actually resolves pretty quickly once brought to the surface.

Sam was basically a nice guy, though his old grudge against Charlie grew a little tiresome after a while.  Once that’s resolved, and a little later in the book when Sam is finally reassured of his place in Charlie’s life, I felt more at ease with his character.  Charlie is very sweet, he was definitely my favorite of the two.  Putting Sam’s whole grudge thing aside, everything else between them was great and they did fit well together.

Some other things I liked about this story: There are some good, solid secondary characters here, especially Sam’s best friend Dave.  There’s not really any major conflict in the book, which is exactly how I prefer holiday romances—less crazy and more cozy.  The epilogue made for a nice revisit to Sam and Charlie a year later, with a feel-good ending that made me smile.


Though you might feel a little put out with Sam’s mostly internalized grudge, Old Acquaintance is still a good holiday romance that deserves a slot in your library and was somewhere between 3.5 and 4 stars for me.  The physical intimacy is pretty light, but even so there’s enough along with the adult language to make this one for readers 18+.


About the Author

Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with three rowdy children, and two cats. An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories. They're usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it—fighting enemies and adversity—but they always find love in the end.



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