Tuesday, May 30, 2023

New Release-Excerpt & Giveaway: SKIP A BEAT by Ariella Zoelle (Harmony of Hearts #5)

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Skip a Beat
By Ariella Zoelle

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Harmony of Hearts, Book 5

Sparks fly when Calixto meets his rock god idol, Sir Prince. But will it lead to true love?

To say I have a crush on Sir Prince is an understatement. The legendary rock star was responsible for my sexual awakening, and my heart has been devoted to him ever since. But I’m not just smitten with him during his heyday over twenty years ago. The older man has aged like a fine wine that I’m dying to swallow.

I take my obsession to the next level by playing Sir in a Four Princes tribute band. Imagine my shock when Sir shows up in my dressing room after my latest performance! Maybe it’s my imagination running away with me, but it kind of feels like we’re flirting? Or is that just his intense sexual pheromones overwhelming my fanboy heart?

I thought that would be the end of things, but then he invites me to dinner to “get to know me better.” Fingers crossed that’s code for taking me to his bedroom to indulge his sexual curiosity.

It’s foolish to get my hopes up, but what if Sir falls in love with me?

Skip a Beat is the fifth book in the Harmony of Hearts series and part of the Sunnyside universe. This novel features an age gap, rock star, gay romance. If you love cute sweetness, sexy fun, and no angst stories that will make you laugh and swoon, you’ll enjoy this satisfying HEA without cliffhangers. Each book can be read as a standalone or as part of the series in order.

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Chapter 1: Sir Prince

To my shock, my brother was right. Nobody noticed me and Mister standing in the back of the crowded club while waiting for the Faux Princes’ show to begin. It stunned me how packed the area was. Were people so hard up for good music that they were willing to listen to some hack tribute band pretending to be the Four Princes?

Mister elbowed me to get my attention and nodded his head toward the front. The band took the stage to raucous cheering. He was right. The lead singer had a startling likeness to me, so much so that it almost gave me an out-of-body experience. It was like looking into a mirror of my reflection from twenty years ago.

Lix was all swagger and sex as he approached the mic stand. He had a thin and willowy build that was emphasized by the black leather pants he was spray-painted into and the see-through mesh shirt that showed off his bronze skin. Did I see a glint of metal nipple rings? We were too far back to be sure.

His dark hair fell around his face in angelic curls, but his blue eyes were full of devilish delight as he put on his guitar strap. It gave me a newfound appreciation for why my amazing voice and handsome good looks had helped launch the Four Princes into the rock gods’ stratosphere.

“I love you, Lix!” a woman shouted in the audience, setting off a chain of catcalls.

His grin was beautiful as he laughed. “I love me, too!”

The crowd burst into laughter and more wolf whistling. I had to hand it to the kid. His retort sounded like some bullsh*t I would have said. But why would someone as young as him know about our band, let alone care about it enough to impersonate me in a tribute band?

“I’m Lix, and we’re the Faux Princes! How are we doing tonight, Sunnyside?” His question set off a thunderous cheer from the audience. “You already know I’m Lix, aka the world’s best singer, Sir. Kinsey is the one and only Mister. Aurelius is the fabulous Royal. And Evander is everyone’s favorite Lord. Let’s start with ‘Breaking Out.’ Some of you might know this one.”

Everyone laughed and cheered before settling down as the band played one of our most famous songs. Despite my brother talking up Lix’s voice, nothing prepared me for what I heard as he sang our triumphant rock ballad.

His big and beautiful voice grabbed me by the balls, demanding my attention. Its richness filled the empty cracks within me while the teasing vocal runs raised chills on my skin. It sent me on a wild journey, and I got lost in the immensity of it, which was too big for the tiny club to contain. Lix had an enormous voice that demanded the open space of a large amphitheater arena, with an adoring crowd of thousands screaming his name the way they did for me in the band’s heyday.

I probably had unlocked a new narcissism achievement, but him looking like me at twenty made the experience even more enjoyable. He exuded a commanding confidence that captivated me, smoldering with a sexiness that stirred my lust in a way a man hadn’t done in a very long time. It gave me a better appreciation for why I had an adoring legion of fans who would happily fall to their knees and worship me until I came.

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About the Author:

Ariella Zoelle adores steamy, funny, swoony romances where couples are allowed to just be happy. She writes low angst stories full of heat, humor, and heart. But sometimes she's in the mood for something with a bit more angst and drama. If you are too, check out her A.F. Zoelle books.

For real time updates on her writing progress, please join her Facebook group for exclusive teasers or follow her on Twitter or Instagram. You can also sign up for her newsletter to gain access to bonus chapters, previews of upcoming books, exclusive visual guides, and more.

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Monday, May 29, 2023

New Release-Review & Excerpt: DON'T DATE A DILF by DJ Jamison (Rules We Break #1)

Don’t Date A DILF

(Rules We Break, Book 1)

by DJ Jamison

Publisher: Must Love Books LLC

Cover Artist: Morningstar Ashley

Release Date: May 25, 2023

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Tropes: Single dad, teacher/parent, fake dating, small town

Themes: Small town life, family, starting over, bi/pan awakening

Heat Rating: 5 flames

Length:  95 000 words

This is Book 1 in a new series. It does not end on a cliffhanger.


Buy Links - Available in Kindle Unlimited

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I have one rule to live by: Don't Date a DILF.

I've seen the consequences of blurring the boundaries between teaching and dating, and I am not about to take that kind of risk.

But I didn’t count on Hunter Rhodes walking into my school. Never expected that the broad-shouldered, stubble-jawed, absolute glory of a man would be such a sweet and caring father. Or that as a seemingly straight man, he might decide he wants me.

If my Nana has her way...I'll be in love with someone by the end of the school year, but there's only one man who tempts me.

With her matchmaking becoming overwhelming and half the single women in Granville setting their sights on Hunter, we're both feeling the pressure. Faking a relationship could get everyone off our backs.

It seems like fun and games for Hunter, but separating pretend feelings from real won't be so simple for me. And then there's that rule...

Can I date a DILF without disaster—or will all my fears come true?

Don't Date a DILF is Book 1 of Rules We Break, a spin-off series from Games We Play, set in the small, quirky town of Granville, where nosy residents meddle in one another's lives, great friendships are made, and silly innuendos are a way of life.


Clark’s voice filtered in from the hallway.

“Nana, for the last time, I was trying… Yeah, well, maybe I should run all your proposed dates through my friends first if you think Percy Helix was a good choice!”

I smirked at his sass, then had to muffle a laugh when he followed it up with, “No, I’m not being sassy. I’m sorry, Nana.”

F*ck, that was adorable.

Clark was a grown man who had his sh*t together far more than I ever would, and yet here he was, getting scolded by his grandmother. There was something so sweet and wholesome about that.

He glanced toward the classroom and caught sight of me through the doorway. He held up one finger, in the universal sign to wait a minute.

“We can talk more later, Nana. I have a parent here for a meeting, okay? But I really don’t think another setup is a good idea… Because I don’t. Because it’s uncomfortable!” He groaned theatrically. “Yes, okay, we’ll talk later.”

He lowered the phone and turned toward me.

I winced. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to eavesdrop.”

He shrugged. “Well, you were at the pub, so…not like you didn’t know already.”

“Your nana feels pretty strongly about setting you up with a date, huh?”


“My mother hassles me every time we talk too,” I said.

“Must be something in the water,” Clark said with a pout.

Still adorable.

“Yeah, I actually lost my cool at work. Yelled at Tucker about how everyone in this town wants me to date. You know what we should do?”


“Go on a date together.” I laughed. “That would shut everyone up.”

Clark’s eyes widened. “I think it would do the opposite.”

“You know what I mean though. Can’t set up a couple of guys who are already dating.” I wiggled my eyebrows. “Genius, right?”

Carra's Review

Let’s see…age gap, bi/pan awakening, fake boyfriend, small town, teacher/parent…yup, this story ticked off a lot of boxes for me that I love in a contemporary romance.  That coupled with some solid characters and great writing made for an enjoyable read.  

Clark is a great teacher, so supportive of all students and creative with the after-school program he leads.  Hunter has started over again back in his hometown after a divorce, and is trying to help his young son Toby get used to the fact that his parents won’t be getting back together.  Both men feel continual pressure from family and others to find someone new, leading to the fake relationship as they try to find some breathing room to just live their lives how they want.

While we all know how the fake relationship thing always ends up, the fun is in how the characters get there.  Clark has the added complication of not wanting to show bias in dealing with Hunter’s son, especially after an issue that arose with a fellow teacher in his previous city.  Things are also difficult enough with Clark not knowing if Hunter is just “experimenting” when things turn serious, but add on Hunter’s ex with her own issues and it’s a lot for Clark to consider.

Being set in the same small town, it was great to see characters from this author’s Games We Play series show up here so there are established supporting characters.  I wasn’t really a fan of Hunter’s ex though.  I understand she has problems, but the way she came across to me…I could have just done without that attitude (personal preference).

Don’t Date a DILF was a solid 4-star read for me, and I think anyone who is a fan of M/M contemporary romance will enjoy this first book of this spin-off series.  I’d recommend this book for readers 18+ for adult language and sexual content.

About the Author

DJ Jamison writes romances about everyday life and extraordinary love featuring a variety of queer characters, from gay to bisexual to asexual. DJ grew up in the Midwest in a working-class family, and those influences can be found in her writing through characters coping with real-life problems: money troubles, workplace drama, family conflicts and, of course, falling in love. DJ spent more than a decade in the newspaper industry before chasing her first dream to write fiction. She spent a lifetime reading before that and continues to avidly devour her fellow authors’ books each night. She lives in Kansas with her husband, two sons, one snake, and a sadistic cat named Birdie.

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Friday, May 26, 2023

New Release-Excerpt: X MARKS THE SPOT by Kit Barrie

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X Marks the Spot
By Kit Barrie

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Where there is gold, there is also blood.

Beset by bad luck and alone in the world, young Jamie Davis is taken in by widowed antiquities dealer, Squire Harrington. Trapped in debt, the squire decides to risk everything to find the buried treasure of the notorious pirate, Captain Charles Locke, and he and Jamie set off on a whirlwind adventure on the high seas!

Entranced by the handsome Captain Ambrose and befriended by the mysterious one-legged cook, Silas Cross, Jamie wonders if good fortune has finally smiled on him. But there is more to their hired crew than meets the eye. Jamie learns that not every cloud has a silver lining, and trust can be worth its weight in gold.

Will Jamie be able to escape the clutches of the pirates, find the treasure, and return home alive? And if he does, can he ever trust someone with his heart again?

X Marks the Spot is an M/M retelling of the classic tale Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.

The Queerly Classic Collection is a reimagining of classic stories, with an M/M twist. They contain adult language and situations and are not intended for children.

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The captain was a tall man, taller than the squire by a good several inches and much taller than myself. He carried himself with confidence, his chin lifted high, his back straight. He was currently dressed in a fine linen shirt, waistcoat, and dark trousers, red silk cravat at his throat, with shiny black boots on his feet, and a silk scarf with some of the finest embroidery I had ever seen wrapped around his waist. His hair was short and dark, his eyes the color of melted chocolate drops, and a fine bristle of hair covered his strong jaw. He was probably of late twenties in age, and I might have pegged him for a dandy rather than a seafarer if not for the single ring of gold he wore in his right ear. He smiled, ignoring the few curious or appreciative looks from the inn patrons he received as he strode across the room to us, holding out his hand for the squire to shake. “Good to see you again, Squire.” His voice was deep and flowed elegantly. Then his eyes turned to me, and I am rather ashamed to admit that my breath caught in my throat. “And you must be young Mister Davis.”

He held out his hand, and I took it with my own that trembled slightly, for I had never seen a man such as this. His smile was as bright as the midday sun, and his fingers around mine were warm and firm. “Yes, sir,” I managed to squeak out, and the man laughed heartily and gave my hand a solid shake.

“Miles Ambrose, Captain, at your service,” he said, spreading his arms to the side and giving a slight bow, like an actor after a performance.

“Captain Ambrose crews the MORAY, which we have engaged for our expedition,” Squire Harrington said. “And he has a fine vestment of crew members as well.”

“Indeed I do, sir,” Ambrose said, sitting down at the chair the squire proffered, close enough to me that his knee touched mine under the table. “Seeking a few more solid hands before the mast, but we shall be ready to ship out before the end of the week.”

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About the Author:

Kit Barrie (she/her) was raised by pirates in a traveling carnival where she learned how to fly and to weave fantasy into reality. She identifies as chaotic bisexual, with good intentions and questionable methods. She lives in an utterly unfantastical state in the Midwestern United States with her very supportive spouse (VSS) and at least 4 food goblins who might just be cats gobblin’ food.

Please visit www.kitbarrie.com  for more information on Kit and her other available titles.

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Thursday, May 25, 2023

New Release-Excerpt & Giveaway: PRINCE'S TIDE by M.L. Eaden (A Mythical Desires Universe Novel)

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Prince's Tide
By M.L. Eaden

Princes Tide Cover

A Mythical Desires Universe Novel

Royce’s childhood was anything but calm. As an adult with famous parents, he preferred to live away from the public eye. All he needed was a boat, a crew, and his best friend Pete. That changed when Royce made a mistake that dropped him into the Gulf. Struggling for survival, his rescue isn’t from above, instead it comes from the sea itself in the shape of a legend long thought extinct and relegated to stories.

Fascinated with life above the waterline, Troller happens upon a fishing boat with a lone person on deck. When the sailor falls overboard, he doesn’t stop to think about the consequences of rescuing the human. When he comes face to face with Royce, he’s instantly enamored, but his people haven’t shown themselves in centuries. Troller swims away, afraid he’s risked his people’s safety, unable to forget the man he saved.

A year later, Troller uncovers the secret keeping his people below the waves. That knowledge could cost him his life. He swims to the one place he might be safe and arrives on Royce’s boat, naked and exhausted. Their mutual attraction quickly becomes more as they build a life together. When their secrets threaten to separate them, will love and trust be enough to keep them together and alive?

Content Warnings: Explicit on-page sex. Capture, torture, imprisonment by antagonist.

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From Chapter 3 - The Redhead - Royce POV

“Do you have a name?” He glanced at me but continued to drink. “Nombre?” I asked. My Spanish was horrible, but that didn’t seem to spark any kind of recognition, either.

“Royce,” I said as I pointed to myself. If that didn’t work, I could make up a name for him.

He nodded and patted his chest. “Troller.”

“Hmmm. Okay.” He pronounced it as troll-er. It reminded me of trolling, which was an old form of fishing where the boat moved slowly and dragged fishing lines behind it. It wasn’t as sustainable as trap fishing and eventually it, and trawling with nets,  were phased out.

He looked at me with a blank expression. Yeah, just my luck that trying to communicate wouldn’t be easy. The tablet I used to track things for the boat and my business was on my desk. I grabbed it and moved to sit on the platform next to him. I searched for a language app, then realized that wouldn’t work. Whatever his language was to begin with, it wasn’t likely to be anything current. I opened my e-reader instead and loaded several children’s books with read-along functionality. I held out my hand for his empty cup. He gave it to me, and I set it aside, then put the tablet in his hands.

“Okay, let’s see what you can do with this.” I showed him the motions to turn pages and sat with him as he went through the first book. He stopped on the letter P and looked at me.

“Pants.” He pointed to the one article of clothing I wore, then pointed to himself. “Pants,” he repeated.

“F*ck, right. Maybe I can pilfer something from Pete’s locker. You’re about his size.” As I stood, Troller didn’t stop me. Engrossed with the images from the book, he only glanced at me as I left the room.

When I came back from grabbing some of Pete’s clothes, Troller was animated. He pulled me through the door and excitedly pointed at things. I tried to ignore the fact that he was naked and kept my eyes above his waist.

“Desk!” Troller pointed. “Pencil. Cup. Chair. Bed. Blanket. Book.” I nodded as he displayed how fast he learned.

“Shirt,” I said as I tossed it at him. “Pants.”  I tossed him the pair I had found.

He caught the items and looked them over. “Shirt. Pants,” he repeated. He looked at me as he stood there holding them.

It dawned on me that he probably knew what clothes were, though if this was his first time on land he wouldn’t know what to do with them. I thanked myself for grabbing gray sweatpants instead of a pair of Pete’s jeans.

He didn’t shy away from me as I moved toward him. I took the shirt from his hands and bunched it up, then pulled it over his head. I helped guide one arm through a sleeve, then repeated it with the other. He smiled as he looked at what he wore. The T-shirt had a band logo on it. It wasn’t fancy, but it hugged his chest like a second skin and highlighted the fact that he was nude from the waist down.

As I picked up the sweatpants from where he had dropped them, I cleared my throat and crouched down, bunching up the legs. He instinctively put his hand on my shoulder as I reached for his leg and put one foot through, then repeated the same motion with the other. I grabbed the elastic of the waistband and pulled them up his legs, holding it open wide enough that I wouldn’t brush against his groin too much, then pulled them to his waist. I pulled the strings, and he grasped my forearms as I cinched and tied the pants so they wouldn’t fall off.

Troller and Pete were pretty close in size, though Troller’s waist was slightly smaller and he was more toned versus the muscles Pete sported in his upper body. Though Troller did have abs and a defined chest, with nipples. Why would a merfolk have nipples? I was distracted from the odd thought by Troller’s voice.

“Thanks,” Troller said, in a quiet tenor voice that made me smile.

“You’re welcome.”

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About the Author:

M.L. Eaden works by day in the tech industry, but at night, she reads books, writes stories, throws axes, and is an avid gamer with a current addiction to Azul. Originally from the sunflower state, she migrated to one with a lone star—and more sun and tries desperately to keep up with two adorable cattle dogs that still act like they are five years old instead of the seniors their vet says they are.

Connect with M.L.:
Link Tree: https://linktr.ee/mleaden


Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Cover Reveal & Excerpt: LOVE ON PAGE SIX by Claerie Kavanaugh

Love on Page Six

(Entertaining Love, book 2)

by Claerie Kavanaugh 

Cover Artist: Cath Grace Designs 

Release Date: June 26, 2023

Genres: Sapphic Contemporary Romance 

Tropes: actor /performer, Celebrity/Socialite/Model, Hollywood, movie set, Friends to Lovers

Themes: Against All Odds, Character w/Disability, Coming Out, Femme/Femme

Interracial/Multicultural Relationship, Slow Burn

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 60 000 words/ 240 pages

It is a standalone book and does not end on a cliffhanger.


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An actress with a secret, a journalist with a dream, and forbidden love that could change everything.


Desperate to save her family’s dying magazine, love is the last thing on 26-year-old Daphne Fernandez's mind when she agrees to go undercover as a makeup artist to scoop a juicy story on the city’s most popular telenovela star. But a spur-of-the-moment kiss makes it more complicated. A cheating boyfriend might not be Bombshell Bridget’s only secret.

Bridget Blake has only ever wanted one thing in her life: to be herself. But her overbearing momanger insists showing the world who she really is would mean the death of her blossoming career. So when the new makeup artist fights her way under Bridget’s perfectly moisturized, paparazzi-proof skin, it’s everything she can do to keep the fa├žade in place. Until one spontaneous kiss turns her world upside down. With Daphne, Bridget is the brave, fun-loving, take-no-prisoners girl she’s always wanted to be. But embracing her new self may mean leaving behind everything she’s ever worked for. Is love really worth it?

Book two in the standalone sapphic celebrity romance series Entertaining Love.

Excerpt The Meet Cute 

A movement catches my attention as I hesitantly reach for a shimmering eyeshadow palette young woman with black curly hair and gold-rimmed glasses browses the store with ease. Her hands expertly select items from the shelves as she navigates the space in her manual wheelchair. 

She looks up a second later, and her brown eyes meet mine with a flicker of recognition. She freezes, pursing her lips before finally rolling towards me with a warm smile.

“Hi there.” Her voice is soft and melodic with a hint of a Hispanic accent.. “Welcome to the Mystic Beauty. I couldn’t help but notice you look a bit lost. Can I help you find something?”

I adopt an affected Southern drawl. The last thing I need is for my stupidity about something as simple as make-up to be splattered all over the tabloids. “I, um, I’m just looking for some makeup…” Well, duh. I mentally facepalm myself. Why else would I be here? I pluck one from a nearby display and hold it up with an exaggerated flourish. “Clearly, I’m a bit lost.” 

“Of course!” she replies, wheeling next to me and holding out her free hand. “I’m Daphne.”

“Nice to meet you, Daphne,” I say. “I’m… Sarah.”

“Sarah” is the first name that comes to mind, and I hope it’s generic enough not to invite suspicion. Daphne’s hand is warm and steady as she shakes mine, and I can’t help but be grateful for her genuine kindness.

“Alright, Sarah,” she says, releasing my hand and gesturing toward a display of eyeshadow palettes. “Let’s find you something that suits your style.”

As we navigate the aisles, Daphne explains different products and techniques easily. After a few minutes, I no longer feel like an idiot for asking one too many questions I should definitely already know the answer to after so many years in the film industry. But rather someone just trying to take the time to learn a new trade. The longer we wander through the aisles, the more. I find myself becoming intrigued by this mysterious woman who clearly has a passion for her craft.

“Can I ask about your makeup?” I ask, admiring the delicate lines of gold and silver that frame her brown eyes. “It’s stunning.”

“Thank you,” A blush colors her cheeks and I bite back a smile of my own. She’s cute when she’s flustered. “I’m an aspiring special effects makeup artist. I love playing with different styles and trying new things.”

“Wow,” I exhale softly. “That’s really amazing.” It’s not just her skill that impresses me, but the genuine joy in her expression. Just saying the word seems to light up the room, and I can’t help craving more of it from her. As we continue our conversation, I slowly lower my sunglasses, allowing Daphne to see my green eyes.

“By the way, if you ever need any help or advice in the future, feel free to reach out to me,” She hands me a small business card with her contact information. “You seem like someone who could use a friend.”

I take the card with a grateful smile.

“I may just have to take you up on that.” I wink, and we share a laugh. My heart skips a bit, and my chest as a blush pinkens her cheeks.

“Great!” Daphne smiles warmly as she expertly navigates her wheelchair down the aisles, pointing out more products and explaining their uses. I listen intently, absorbing every word like a sponge. “Primer is important for long-lasting makeup,” she explains, handing me a small tube to examine. “And don’t forget about setting powder!”

“Good to know,” I muse, turning the tub between my fingers. “You know my makeup artist was recently fired,” I confess quietly, glancing around and relieved to find out the store is mostly empty. “It’s been really frustrating trying to find someone new who understands my style.”

Daphne’s features soften with sympathy. “I’m sorry to hear that. What kind of look were you going for?”

I hesitate, dipping my head down and running my hands along my arms. “I’m… honestly not sure. I don’t know as much about makeup as I probably should.” 

Her eyes light up, and she squeezes my hand. That’s OK. We can figure it out together. I actually have some ideas if you’re interested.”

“Really?” My heart flutters with anticipation. “I would love that.”

As we continue to explore the store, Daphne’s passion and creativity spark my own. I can’t help but feel drawn to her, her talent and kindness shining through with every word. The longer we talk, the more amazed I am that this woman barely knows me has already offered me more understanding and support than most people in my life.

“Thank you, Daphne,” I murmur, briefly taking her hand in mine. “You have no idea how much this means to me.”

“Of course.” As we stand between shelves of sparkling eyeshadows and vibrant lipsticks, I watch Daphne’s deft fingers pluck an iridescent shade from its perch. The glittering powder dusts her fingertips as she swipes it gently across my hand, creating a shimmering arc of color. “This would look amazing on you,” she says, grinning. “It’ll bring out the green in your eyes.”

“Wow, that’s beautiful,” I breathe, captivated by the way the light dances across the tiny flecks of pigment. “Do you really think I could pull it off?”

Daphne smiles bashfully and flicks her hand through the air. I’m sure you could pull anything off.” She laughs, and I can’t help but feel a flutter in my chest. The way her eyes crinkle at the corners and her lips curve into a smile… it’s all so enticing. 

For the rest of the afternoon, Daphne guides me through the store, picking out different shades and colors for me to try on. 

Daphne’s face lights up as we pause by a display of elaborate prosthetics. “I love special effects makeup,” she confesses as she gently fingers one of the masks. “It’s such a powerful way to transform someone and tell a story.”

“Really? Did you study it?”

Daphne nods, but her smile dims. “I did, but finding work has been difficult, especially because of my disability. Some people just can’t see past the wheelchair.”

A pulse of anger flares through me, but I stamp it down. This woman is a stranger. I remind myself. Still, I hate how judgmental people can be. “I’m sorry, Daphne. That’s so unfair.” 

“Thank you.” Her brown eyes meet mine and my throat dries up. “But I won’t let it stop me. I know what I’m capable of, and someday, the right opportunity will come along.”

Her determination and resilience never cease to amaze me. Nodding I plant my hands on my hips. “I know it will.” Suddenly, an idea takes root in my mind. A bold, daring idea that could change both our lives. “Daphne,” I begin, my voice wavering with nerves. “I have a proposition for you.”

She tips her head to the side and I grin. 

“Would you consider being my personal makeup artist?” The words tumble out before I can second-guess myself. “I know it’s not special effects, but I think together, we could create something amazing.”

The faint scent of lavender fills my nostrils as I watch Daphne’s eyes dart back and forth. Her fingers tap the armrest of her wheelchair, betraying her uncertainty.

“I… I don’t know, Bridget,” she hedges, looking down at her lap. “I’m so honored, but… I can’t I just started down at the warehouse and I can’t just abandon my crew.”

Oh. My heart sinks. “Of course. But if you change your mind…”

“Gracias.” Daphne smiles weakly, the gold rims of her glasses catching the store’s fluorescent lights. 

“De nada,” I murmur softly, warmth blossoming in my chest. 

“Now, let’s get back to finding the perfect makeup for you, shall we?”

The corners of her mouth lift into a genuine smile, and I watch as her hands deftly select products, her fingers moving with practiced ease despite the tremors that sometimes betray her. Her passion for her craft is evident in every gesture, and it only strengthens my belief that she’s the perfect person for the job.

“Thank you, Daphne, “I say as she bags up all my purchases a few minutes later. 

She smiles, and my pulse speeds up again. “You’re welcome, Sarah. I’m just glad I could help.” She folds the last of my purchases into the bag and hands it over to me with a nod.

Daphne’s cheeks flame scarlet as I scrawl my number on her hand. “Here,” I say, trying not to let my embarrassment show. “If you ever change your mind, feel free to call or text any time.”

Her gaze flits between the numbers and me. Finally, she gives a small nod and murmurs her thanks. As I back away, feeling oddly proud of myself for taking such a risk, Daphne watches me go with an intensity that leaves me slightly breathless.

About the Author 

Claerie Kavanaugh has spent most of her life telling stories, but she never imagined herself writing romance. In fact, she used to think it should only be reserved for Hallmark movies. It wasn't until college, when she discovered fanfiction, that she learned what romance was truly about: not just fluffy relationships and happily-ever-afters, but human connection, the desire to push one another to be better, and create hope that somewhere, somehow, everyone has someone.

When she's not writing, she loves to travel and explore new cultures, helping other authors polish their works as a freelance editor, and singing while doing so. Broadway musicals are her soul-food, something her mother and sister know well. She constantly blasts the newest soundtrack through the halls of their Missouri home, much to the chagrin of her very sassy and spoiled cat.

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Monday, May 22, 2023

New Release: IN A NEW YORK MINUTE by Felice Stevens

In a New York Minute
by Felice Stevens
Release: May 22, 2023
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance
Cover Artist Reese Dante
Photographer: CJC Photography

Garrett Steiner loves his grandmother.


But when she rents a billboard in the middle of Times Square, hoping to find him a husband, he isn’t so sure anymore. Bad enough everyone at the “Crossroads of the World” thinks he’s a joke—now his face is plastered all over the news. He’s already in enough trouble with the principal of his school, who isn’t thrilled to have a gay teacher. It might be two dateless years since his divorce, but no way is he going to answer any of the thousand emails he’s received.

Except….maybe one. The long-haired man with the soulful eyes.

After the devastating loss of his husband, rock star Remi Angel has hit rock bottom. His career is in shambles and he’s spiraling. Fast.
With the media ready for the next juicy scandal, he leaves the limelight behind to return to his roots and spend time with his beloved grandfather. Seeing Garrett’s billboard ad, Remi sends him an email, figuring nothing will come of it, but hey. At least he’s trying.

Except Garrett does answer, and when they meet, both feel that special spark. It’s terrifying yet wondrous, a combination of desire and hope mixed with fear.

The fear of loving again.
Of coming alive again.
This wasn’t supposed to happen.

But anything can happen in a New York minute…even love.
In a New York Minute is a slow burn, rockstar, M/M romance filled with longing, doubt and swoony moments. There are love songs, a secret identity, a wise, bagel-loving grandpa, and an unrepentant bubbe who knows what's best for her grandson.
It answers the question: once in a lifetime can't happen twice...or can it?

“... filled with heart, emotion, a little angst, a lot of steam and filled to the brim with wonderful characters! This is an amazing story and you will not be disappointed!” ~ Readingbks
“A lovely romance with two deserving main characters who you can’t help but fall in love with.” ~ Louise R.

Felice Stevens has always been a romantic at heart. She believes that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending around the corner. Her characters have to work for it, because just like life in NYC, nothing comes easy and that includes love.
Felice is the 2020 Lambda Literary Award winning author in best Gay Romance and two time e-Lit award winner in romance. When not writing or watching reality television, you can find her in her reader group.