Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Review & Giveaway: OLD ACQUAINTANCE by Annabelle Jacobs



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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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Review & Giveaway: CHRISTMAS HOMECOMING by L.A. Witt (The Christmas Angel Series)





Buy Links: 


Length: 24,000 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
A Soldier's Wish - N.R. Walker - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Shrewd Angel - Anyta Sunday - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Christmas Prince - RJ Scott- Amazon US | Amazon UK



Blurb

August 1939. Roger Miller and Jack O’Brien have been close since childhood. By the time they realize there’s more between them than friendship, Jack is leaving their sleepy Iowa town for college. But they console themselves knowing he’ll be home for Christmas. Right?

It is Christmas before they see each other again, but that Christmas comes six years and a world war later. Aged, beaten, and shaken by combat, they’re not the boys they were back then, but their feelings for each other are stronger than ever.

Neither know the words to say everything they’ve carried since that peacetime summer kiss, though. Even as they stand in the same room, there’s a thousand miles between them.

But maybe that’s some distance the little angel in Roger’s rucksack can cross.

This 24,000 word novella is part of the multi-author Christmas Angel series, and can be read as a standalone.

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

L.A. Witt easily captures the subdued atmosphere of the post-WWII era here in Christmas Homecoming, as well as the upsetting reality of society’s confines with which same sex couples were faced at that time.  This story was also intensely emotional and much more angsty than the previous stories in the series.  This time around, the angel brings us a second chance romance of childhood friends in a short novella that covers a time frame from 1939 to about 1950.

When we first meet Roger and Jack, it’s just before the war starts.  They’re childhood friends about to be separated when Jack is heading off to college.  It’s a short glimpse at their close connection and first kiss before everything changes drastically with the inception of World War II, and it’s sweet and innocent but also a bit heartbreaking.

When they next see each other, both have been radically changed after their time serving in the war—that innocence lost, and both of them seemingly resigned to their fates in a world that still does not accept two men together.  For me, the way their families were pushing so insistently for each of them to marry and start a family as soon as they were back really chafed—there was no regard for what Roger and Jack wanted, no allowance for what mental and emotional trauma they experienced from their time serving.  It made me frustrated to the point I wanted to step into the book and give their families a very large piece of my mind (don’t even get me started on how one of the secondary characters, Barbara, was marginalized as a woman who also served as a civilian nurse in the war).

The story was told from both Roger and Jack’s points of view, and there were several times where it was difficult to tell whose POV it was.  Maybe it was because the two men were so similar?  I’m not sure, but I did have to flip back the pages at some parts to clarify the POV which did take me out of the story a little bit when it happened.


I loved the intensity between these two, and the highly charged emotional tone of their relationship…though it was a touch too angsty at times for me, but that is one of the pitfalls of historical M/M romance that is a frustration for me.  Overall I gave this a 4-star rating and think it’s a great addition to this series, and an accurate portrayal of the time period.  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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New Release-Excerpt & Giveaway: CLAIMING MIA by BJ Wane

Claiming Mia Tour Graphic
Genre: Erotic Romance, BDSM, Spanking
Publisher: Blushing Books
Publication Date: November 16, 2018
Her betrayed heart said no; but her body pleaded yes.
Newly divorced Mia Reynolds doesn't like Chief Nolan MacGregor. His arrogance gets under her skin, but it's her body's instant reaction every time he levels that cobalt gaze upon her or hints at giving her what he keeps insisting she wants that really gets to her. After her husband's betrayal, she's sworn off getting involved with anyone, and certainly isn't going to trust her fragile heart with the town's reformed bad boy.
Nolan wants Mia and refuses to let her prickly stubbornness stand in his way. Once he entices her into an affair and shows her the benefits of submitting to him, her off-the-charts responses prove he was right all along - she is the one for him. When his investigation into an illegal drug ring implicates Mia's business, he never stops believing in her innocence.
When the Feds go around him, Mia refuses to believe he hadn't been with her just to keep an eye on her and her nursery for proof the drugs were coming in on the trucks carrying her landscaping orders.
Mia's reluctance to trust Nolan completely lands her in trouble with a drug trafficker and it isn't until she is kidnapped that she realizes what her insecurities and refusal to let go of the past might have cost her...
Publisher's Note: This steamy contemporary romance contains elements of power exchange.
Claiming Mia Teaser
Claiming Mia Teaser

Excerpt

Thirty minutes later, she stood reaching for a potted vase sitting on the top shelf in the showroom when the bell over the door pealed.  Before she could climb off the short stool, hard hands clasped her waist and lifted her down as if she weighed nothing.  Flustered, she looked up, gritted her teeth and shifted in uncomfortable awareness when her eyes met Chief Nolan MacGregor’s amused gaze.  Okay, she admitted it wasn’t the man’s physical appearance she objected to.  What woman wouldn’t look twice at a six foot two, broad shouldered, slim hipped man who wore a Stetson tipped low enough to draw the eyes to the slit of his cobalt blue gaze?  No, it was the arrogant dominance he wore like a comfortable coat that put her on edge whenever he entered her place, more so now he was crowding her against the shelves and making her even more aware of that ripped body.  She much preferred easy-going, polite men.
Wishing it was anyone but him, she stated with a huff, “You’re crowding me, Chief.” 
Those sensuous lips curved in a slow smile as he stepped back.  “I wouldn’t make you so uncomfortable if you’d let yourself cut loose with me.” 
Damn.  There went that warm flush spreading through her body when he thumbed back his hat far enough for those enigmatic, blue eyes to zero in on her with a long perusal.  He made no effort to hide the appreciative trail he took from her braided, dark brown hair to her sneaker-clad feet.  How one look from him could make her dormant body sit up and take notice when she didn’t even like the man was beyond her.  She sure as heck didn’t like it.  She’d never been one to be ruled by baser urges, instead preferring a positive connection with a man or woman before embarking on a friendship, something that was definitely lacking between her and the chief.
Shuffling behind the counter, Mia breathed a sigh of relief once she put the wide, butcher block space between them.  She glanced up, way up at the only man who’d been able to get under her skin.  There wasn’t one thing she could pinpoint that rubbed her the wrong way; instead, it seemed to be the uneasy combination of arrogance, dominance and male magnetism she objected to, and her betraying body’s response to those undesirable traits.  There was no use denying the way her pulse spiked under the slow stroke of his ice-blue eyes that was as potent as a caress, a reaction she should be used to by now since it had been occurring from the moment she first set eyes on him kissing that woman all those years ago.
 “Thanks, Chief, but I have enough on my plate right now to keep me from even thinking about being added to your long list of conquests,” she returned primly, ignoring his taunting smirk.  “Thank you for your order.  Trish has it ready for you.”  She pulled the vase forward. 
 “I didn’t peg you as the type to listen to small town rumors, Ms. Reynolds.”  He nodded at the colorful arrangement.  “Nice, thank you.  I’m glad I caught you in.”  The way he drew out Ms. Reynolds in a slow drawl hinted he knew about the finalization of her divorce.  He and every other citizen in Whitetail.
Reaching into his breast pocket, Chief McGregor pulled out two tickets and slid them across the counter toward her.  Tilting his hat back even further, he offered her a better view of his rugged face bronzed by sun and wind and capped with coal black hair tinted grey around his forehead.  “You haven’t paid these.”
 “I’m sorry, I’ve been so busy, I forgot.”  Picking up the parking tickets, she winced at the fines.  Her habit of pulling over and parking wherever it was convenient to expedite her errands resulted in a parking fine more often than not.  That was just one of Pete’s constant complaints that went along with her always being in a hurry.  “I can come in later this afternoon and take care of them.”
Leaning on the counter, he replied in that deep voice that never failed to curl her toes.  “See that you do.  Or, better yet, don’t.  Now that you’re officially free, it’ll give me a good excuse to offer you a choice of consequences.”
The corners of his mouth kicked up in another smile, but she couldn’t miss the hint of a threat behind his words that set her heart to hammering with uncertainty.  That didn’t concern her near as much as the sudden warm gush between her legs.  She didn’t even like the man, for pity’s sake, and she really didn’t care for his forward insinuations.
Claiming Mia Teaser

About BJ Wane

I live in the Midwest with my husband and our dog, a lovable Great Pyrenees/Standard Poodle. I love dogs, enjoy spending time with my daughter, babysitting dogs and kids, reading and working puzzles. We have traveled extensively throughout the states, Canada and just once overseas, but I now prefer being a homebody. I worked for a while writing articles for a local magazine but soon found my interest in writing for myself peaking. My first book was strictly spanking erotica, but I slowly evolved to writing erotic spanking romance with a touch of suspense. My favorite genre to read is suspense.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Book Blitz & Giveaway: ONLY LOVE by Garrett Leigh



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Length: 355 pages
Cover Design: Book Cover By Design


Blurb

The diagnosis of a chronic stomach condition leaves thirty-two-year-old Sergeant Jed Cooper with little choice but to call time on his Army career. Then on the dusty streets of Kirkuk, an ambush gone tragically wrong decimates his team, and he returns to the US with a shattered leg and the memory of his best friend dying in his arms.

Life in his sleepy hometown proves intolerable until he finds solace in a lakeside cabin with vivacious young carpenter, Max O’Dair. In the shadow of the epilepsy that periodically plagues Max, he and Jed form an unspoken bond. After a late night episode, Jed realizes how much Max means to him, and life has taught him not to waste time.

But the lines between contentment and complacency are blurred. Things left hidden resurface to tear through their world, and before they can repair the damage, death comes to call again. Faces, past and present, rally around them to weather the storm, but before long, they are left with only love.


About the Author

Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press.

Garrett's debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.

When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.

Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock site moonstockphotography.com with photographer Dan Burgess.




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Spotlight: THE MAN INSIDE ME by Sean Kerr



The Man Inside Me

Author: Sean Kerr

Publisher: SGK Publications
Cover Artist: SGK Publications
Release Date 31st September 2018
Genre/s: M/M Romance, M/M Historical, M/M Gothic Romance, M/M Paranormal Romance
Heat Rating: 4 flames 
Length: 202 Pages

It’s a standalone story.




  
Blurb

Victorian London is a difficult place to be when you are gay, as Henry and Gabriel know all too well.

When they were young at Oxford University, Henry and Gabriel’s love burned hot and bright, and they thought to change the world together until a devastating tragedy ripped them apart.

Now, as youth fades away, Henry can no longer stand to see his own reflection in the mirror. All he sees is a sad, tired old man whose body has betrayed him. He craves the touch of another, to feel attractive and vital once more but his obsession with finding a cure for insanity has stolen his life away, and now his work has taken on a dark and sinister dimension. How far will he go to recapture the passion of his lost youth?

Gabriel fears that Henry is losing his mind, and when a brutal killer invades their lives, they are thrust into the dark depths of Victorian London in a fight for their very lives.

As their friendship is tested to its limits, Gabriel cannot help but wonder if there is still a chance for love. Can they move beyond the friendship that has spanned over thirty years and find the love that once made their hearts beat as one?

You may never be too old to find love, but will you be able to survive it?


Buy Links - Available on Kindle Unlimited





About the Author

Hi everyone, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Sean Kerr, and I am a 49-year-old gay man living in Cardiff, Wales with my husband of 28 years, Derek. We have two cats, Rita and Harry, and a host of tropical fish.

I worked on building sites for years, and I used the money earned from that to put myself through college, specialist paint techniques etc. I trained in fine art, and then I went out and painted murals on client’s walls, and created Roman Bathrooms and fantasy hand painted bedrooms, all the rage back in the late eighties and nineties. I then became an Interior Designer for a large DIY chain. For the past thirteen years I ran my own Interiors business, and while that is no longer in existence, I am now looking for my next challenge in life!

By night I am an Author, and I am very proud to be an author for Extasy Books. It took me some years to get to this point. I spent a very long time trying to get an agent because I thought it was the right thing to do, and after a heck of a lot of refusals, I nearly gave up. I came so close to hitting the delete button on Dead Camp 1 because I thought I did not stand a chance. At the very last moment, I decided to have a go at approaching a few publishers directly, and I sent the manuscript to six. Within two weeks, I had offers of publication from three! Let’s just say that there may have been tears lol. It was my chance, at last, to become a part of a world that I have always loved and admired from a distance, and it is one of the very best things to ever happened to me.

Dead Camp is the first series I ever wrote, and then there is my short novella called Hush Little Baby. Dead Camp is my take on the Vampire genre, an MM Paranormal Romance series that is set against a backdrop of World War 2. However, the series uses key moments from History to tell one enormous saga, and I have loved every single moment of writing it. There are five books in the Dead Camp series.

Hush is a pure horror story with more than a nod towards such classic programmes as The Twilight Zone and Tales of The Unexpected. The project happened just after I completed Dead Camp 3 and it is a story that I had to get out of my system. It’s definitely a different beast to my Vampire saga, and I hope it will make you go to bed with the lights on lol!

I recently ventured into the world of self-publishing, and as such, I have just released my first independent book series, The Last Child. The Last Child is a horror series that is in 3 parts dealing with the occult. It has a definite Dan Brown vibe in that I love conspiracy stories, so I have used religion and some intriguing legends as the backdrop to this contemporary supernatural thriller that tells the story of a female protagonist trying to protect her young student. Neither of them realises how their lives, and indeed their histories, are intertwined in the most horrific and tragic ways.

My latest book, ‘The Man Inside Me’ is an MM Victorian Gothic Romance, and I think it is the favourite thing I have written so far. It deals with two men in their fifties trying to find love again, a subject that is very close to my heart as I approach that milestone. It is a very important book to me, and while it has some very ‘KERR’ twists and turns, it is, at its heart, a very romantic tale that deals with middle age. I am particularly proud of this book, and it is a very different spin on the MM genre.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I look forward to meeting you on social media.





REVIEW TOUR SCHEDULE






Monday, December 10, 2018

Review & Giveaway: THE MAGICIAN'S ANGEL by Jordan L. Hawk (The Christmas Angel #3)



Buy Links: 




Length: 27,000 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
Christmas Homecoming - L.A. Witt - Amazon US | Amazon UK
A Soldier's Wish - N.R. Walker - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Shrewd Angel - Anyta Sunday - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Christmas Prince - RJ Scott- Amazon US | Amazon UK



Blurb

Vaudeville stage magician Christopher Fiend lives for the spotlight. His chance at big time stardom awaits him in Chicago, the next stop on the circuit after the little town of Twelfth Junction.

Edward Smith wants nothing to do with his family's theater. Until Christopher catches his eye on opening night, then treats him to a very special performance during intermission.

When a dead body turns up in the middle of Christopher’s act, suspicion immediately falls on him. If Christopher and Edward can’t work together to clear his name, Christopher won’t make it to Chicago in time. Edward knows he shouldn’t get attached to a man who will be gone in two days, but his heart—and a very special angel—have other ideas.

The Christmas Angel series of holiday romances follow the travels of an angel ornament through the decades as she inspires (and sometimes nudges) lonely men to find their Happily Ever After. The Magician’s Angel is the third in series, which can be read 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


The Christmas Angel has now traveled to Iowa in 1910 as part of Christopher Fiend’s vaudeville magic act.  This time around we have a murder mystery, and honestly I’m not usually one to seek out whodunit stories.  But the author’s writing is strong and I was definitely kept guessing as to who the culprit was for most of the book.  

Christopher’s on-the-road life as a traveling vaudeville act means he’s not usually in one place for long…which makes it virtually impossible to form a solid, ongoing intimate relationship with anyone.  He loves the stage though—but finds conflict when he arrives in Twelfth Junction, Iowa and comes across Edward Smith.  Edward has no love for theater thanks to an event in his past, and he’s firmly ensconced in this town as an accountant, while his brother owns and manages the local theater at which Christopher will be performing.

Edward and Christopher have that spark together, that instant chemistry that’s not just physical.  But Christopher won’t be staying around since he’s getting ready to break into the big time with his act.  At least that’s what he’s hoping for if the murder of one of his fellow performers doesn’t derail his plans.  

Again being totally honest—I’m not a huge fan of mystery stories, so this one didn’t hold my attention on that front as tightly as I was hoping.  Not because the story wasn’t written well—the author is quite talented in that respect.  That part is totally a “me” thing with my genre preferences.  The relationship part though, for me that was spot on thanks to how well these two leads fit together, and how naturally their connection developed even given the extremely short window of time they had together…something that is not easy to do in a story of this length.  That along with the hot and sexy intimate scenes merited the 4-star rating I’m giving The Magician’s Angel, because I really did love Christopher and Edward together.  And yes, those scenes along with some adult language mean this book is meant for readers 18+.



About the Author

Jordan L. Hawk is a non-binary queer author from North Carolina. Childhood tales of mountain ghosts and mysterious creatures gave them a life-long love of things that go bump in the night. When they aren’t writing, they brew their own beer and try to keep the cats from destroying the house. Their best-selling Whyborne & Griffin series (beginning with Widdershins) can be found in print, ebook, and audiobook.