Wednesday, October 25, 2023

New Release-Excerpt & Giveaway: THE SCORE by Beth Bolden (Charleston Condors #3)

The Score

Author and Publisher: Beth Bolden

Cover Artist: The Book Brander Boutique

Release Date: October 25, 2023

Genre: Contemporary MM sports romance

Tropes: bad boy reformed, forced proximity, fake boyfriend, roommates to friends to lovers

Themes: found family, trust issues, mental health, love versus lust

Heat Rating:  4 flames    

Length: 100 000 words

It is book number three in a spinoff series. 


Buy Links - Available in Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK


Carter Maxwell knows he’s a screwup. Four teams in three seasons tells the story, as much as he wishes it didn’t.

But finally, he’s landed in a good place, where he likes the team and the team actually likes him. Even the Condors' current rebuilding mode suits him. There’s a new owner. New coach. New players. New rules.

But one rule hasn’t changed: don’t seduce your agent-appointed c*ckblocker.

Ian Parker agrees to live with Carter and keep him on the straight and narrow for one simple reason: Alec, the agent in charge of cleaning up Carter’s reputation, has promised him something Ian wants very, very badly.

Even more badly than Carter naked above him and below him and next to him.

A chance for Ian to become an agent.

But Ian didn’t take into account just how persuasive Carter is—or just how desperately he desires to be persuaded. Or how, while spending time with Carter, they’ll somehow stumble into a fake relationship that begins to feel all too real.

It doesn’t matter that Carter’s never fallen in love or that he’s never been in a real relationship. It doesn’t matter that Ian’s risking his future as an agent.

He’s determined to score the impossible and reform the bad boy—only after encouraging Carter to misbehave one last time. But this time, only with him.


“Wait a sec,” Ian said, standing too, but reaching out and casually catching Carter’s arm. “I know this is going to be awkward, me being around all the time. I just wanted to acknowledge that, first off.”

“Is it?” Carter really hadn’t thought much about it; honestly, he’d been too busy trying to figure out how to get around rule number one.

“Well, yeah, in my experience it is. Most people who run into us together are going to want an explanation. Your friends. The players here. The coaches. The staff. Anyone you meet.”

“And what? I shouldn’t tell them why you’re really around?”

“I’m…” Ian hesitated again. “I know what my previous clients and I would do. We’d discuss ahead of time what role I’d be playing. Often, since I was in LA, they were well known, so it was easy to pass me off as a personal assistant or a friend. But here—”

“Nobody’s gonna have a personal assistant around them all the time,” Carter said. “Especially not me.”

Ian looked surprised again.

“What,” Carter retorted, “I’m not an idiot, okay.”

The frost in Ian’s expression melted a little more. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to imply that you were.”

“You wouldn’t be the first,” Carter said wryly. “Why can’t we just tell people what you really are?”

“You’d be okay with that?”

Carter realized with a jolt that the person who was really worried about this wasn’t him, the way Ian was concerned about, but Ian himself.

Wasn’t that interesting?

“It’s hardly like people don’t know my reputation,” Carter said.

“Oh. Alright. Well, that’s your choice.”

“We can just say you’re my what…companion?”

“If that’s the word you want to use,” Ian said.

But as they walked out of the conference room, Carter couldn’t shake the feeling that Ian was the one who was preoccupied with not only what to call himself, but maybe even what kind of position he’d be occupying in Carter’s life.

As they walked down the hall, and Carter pushed the down elevator button, to take it to the lower level and the team cafeteria, Ian turned to him and said, “Well, you getting shut down by half the team is pretty good news for rule number one.”

Carter rolled his eyes. “Not when I could go to the Pirate’s Booty or any other bar or restaurant or coffee shop in the city and find someone to pick up in point five seconds.”

“Modest, much?”

“Listen, you wanted honesty, that’s the honest truth right there.” Carter had sex because it was easy, yes, and it also helped stem the tide of his temper. Maybe if sex had been harder for him to come by, he’d have found something else to use.

But sex was easy, for him, so sex it was.

Or at least it had been sex.

Carter mournfully poured one out for all the great sex he wasn’t going to be having in the next few months.

About the Author 

A lifelong Pacific Northwester, Beth Bolden has just recently moved to North Carolina with her supportive husband. Beth still believes in Keeping Portland Weird, and intends to be just as weird in Raleigh.

Beth has been writing practically since she learned the alphabet. Unfortunately, her first foray into novel writing, titled Big Bear with Sparkly Earrings, wasn’t a bestseller, but hope springs eternal. She has published over forty novels and novellas.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2023

New Release-Review & Excerpt: LIGHT FROM THE GRAVE by Sara Dobie Bauer - Includes Giveaway!

Light from the Grave

by Sara Dobie Bauer

Publisher: Carnation Books 

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow Designs

Release Date: October 24, 2023

Genres: Paranormal M/M romance 

Tropes: witches, anti-hero, age gap

Themes: grief, mental health, redemption, family

Heat Rating: 2 flames

Length: 94 000 words/374 pages

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


Buy Links - Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

I’m what nightmares are made of, but I’m not sure who’s more dangerous: him or me.


In the world of witches, Keller Rex is a legendary monster—a dark sorcerer with a gift for suffering. He has long been the protector of the Zayne coven and their ancestral home in Charleston, South Carolina. When the family matriarch, Vivian Zayne, dies under mysterious circumstances, he is tasked with finding the only person who can open her sealed Book of Shadows: the son no one knew she had.

Dylan Quinn has never bothered to figure out why cats follow him everywhere, but it’s been that way for as long as he can remember. After the unexpected passing of his adoptive mother, he had to make a new home for himself in small-town Ohio. Things have been quiet ever since, but lately, there are strange voices in his dreams and a sense of being watched.

When a striking Southern gent appears in town, Dylan welcomes the distraction. Keller is handsome and charming, but Dylan can tell there’s something else, something eerie about him. And he discovers he's right, as Keller goes from being Dylan’s seducer… to his abductor.

Now back in Charleston, Dylan’s newfound family is shocked when it’s discovered his magical affinity is for death itself. Despite his fears, he’ll need to learn to control his terrifying powers in order to open the Zayne Book of Shadows. He also needs to keep his coven safe, and time is running out. The estate's protective wards expire on Halloween, and power-hungry witches from all over are ready to pounce.

While Dylan’s awakening darkness threatens to overwhelm him, Keller finds himself confronted by feelings he thought long dead. Keller will do anything to protect his young necromancer and open Vivian’s Book of Shadows, but the Zaynes are in for a surprise when Dylan resurrects someone he shouldn’t.


Dylan stood by his kitchen island drinking a glass of water and froze at the sudden arrival in his home. Keller moved with inhuman speed. He appeared right in front of Dylan, who gasped and dropped his glass, which shattered on the wooden floor at their feet. Taking hold of Dylan’s shirt, Keller shoved the smaller man against the fridge.

“What are you?”

Dylan’s chin trembled. “What?”

Keller clenched his teeth. “What are you?”

“I-I don’t understand, but I’d really like you to leave please.”

Keller let go of Dylan. He chuckled and paced halfway across the small apartment and back. He was tired of playing games, tired of trying to work his magic on someone who seemed impervious to his influence, so Keller chose truth. “Your family is waiting,” he said. “Long story short: your biological mother is dead. She was a bitch who won’t be missed, and there is no time to spare. Several lives depend on you, so we need to go. Now.”

“What the f*ck, man?” His words shook. “I don’t know who you think I am, but my biological mother died giving birth to me. That’s why my adopted mom agreed to give me her family name.”

“Zayne,” Keller said.

Dylan took a startled step back and again rammed right into the fridge. “How do you know that?”

“Because your biological mother did not die giving birth to you. She died a week ago.”


Keller snorted. “That’s up for debate.”

“I don’t—”

Keller held up a hand between them, a silent but visible order for Dylan to listen. “Your biological mother’s name was Vivian Zayne, and she was a very powerful witch. We, as her coven, didn’t know you existed until the reading of her will. Imagine our surprise.”

Dylan’s eyes widened. “What?”

“You come from a family of witches.”

“Witches aren’t real.”

“Are you sure?”

Dylan didn’t look sure of anything. He looked like a frightened child.

Keller leaned his elbows on the kitchen island. “How long have cats been following you?”

“They’re just … cats,” Dylan said. “They follow everyone.”

“They follow you. How long have they been following you? Your whole life, I assume.”

Dylan glanced at the row of cats watching from his bedroom doorway.

“We call them familiars.” Keller clicked his tongue and stood. “Now, you may continue to have an internal crisis on the drive to Charleston. You’re coming with me. You don’t have a choice.”

“I’m not going anywhere with you.” He reached for the chain around his neck—a nervous tic Keller had noticed before—but his fingertips found nothing.

With that, Keller leaned his head back and roared with laughter. He didn’t have much time to enjoy his dark amusement though, because even if Dylan didn’t believe in witches, he did believe in that necklace. 

When the boy charged for his bedroom, Keller sprung into action. He wrapped his arms around Dylan’s upper body and held him captive against his chest, but Dylan still struggled against him, struggled to reach the necklace Keller saw hanging on the lamp by Dylan’s bed.

Keller spoke with his lips against Dylan’s ear. “All you had to do was wear that necklace, and I couldn’t control you. What a day to forget to put it on, hmm?”

In his arms, Dylan gave up fighting but did tremble with silent tears.

“Shh,” Keller whispered. “I’ll only hurt you if you make me.”

Dylan started shouting. He called out for help, but Keller covered his mouth with his hand and subdued his screams. The dampness of Dylan’s warm breath mixed with the saltwater of his tears against Keller’s palm.

Then, something strange happened. Keller found himself thrown backwards. He landed with a thud against Dylan’s bedroom wall. Dylan was no longer in his arms. Dylan was also no longer screaming. Keller, recovered from the invisible attack, raised his head to find Dylan standing in front of him—Dylan, but not Dylan. His eyes had gone black, just like they had in the coffee shop. Tiny black veins appeared around his eyes and spread down his cheeks.

Keller stared in wonder while cats hissed from Dylan’s windowpane but came no closer. “There you are, gorgeous,” Keller said.

Carra's Review

I’ve read a few other books by this author and have enjoyed them all, so when I saw this one come up with witches but on the darker side, I was immediately intrigued.  The interesting array of characters, particularly once Dylan arrives in Charleston, made for a great ensemble cast surrounding him and Keller.

From Keller’s introduction, it was difficult to see how a dark character such as him could be someone Dylan could be involved with.  But a central theme to this story is grief and its transforming power.  Not just its ability to devastate you, but also to heal, to give strength, and to let go.  Dylan isn’t the only one who has grief to work through, and we get to see how multiple characters handle their own grief, either by coming to terms with it, letting it drive them to find love again, or even to so much despair that it in order to live, it must be erased.

I loved the view of the darker side of magic shown here.  It is eventually balanced out, and Dylan’s character is a great example of the internal battle between the light and the dark.  He’s always been a ray of light, full of sunshine and smiles—until his magic is finally revealed as the darkest of them all, and the juxtaposition and that resulting internal battle made for a brilliant read.

There are twists and turns, and definite unexpected elements popping up, and characters doing the unexpected.  Drama, plotting, betrayal, epic battling…you’ll find it all here in this book.  The romance is not at the forefront, instead seeming to develop on the side.  It is there though the physical scenes are mostly fade to black.  Honestly?  That was fine with me, as all the other elements of the story were plenty to keep my attention, especially with such a character-driven plot.

Light from the Grave was a 4.5-star read for me, and if you’re a fan of paranormal M/M romance, I’d definitely recommend adding this one to your library!

About the Author  

Bestselling romance author.

Bisexual witch.

Feminist. Pro-choice. Anti-censorship.

Timothee Chalamet freak.

Horror movie aficionado.

Vampire mermaid in a past life.

Sara Dobie Bauer somehow survived her party-hard college years at Ohio University to earn a creative writing degree. She lives with her precious Pit Bull in Northeast Ohio, although she’d really like to live in a Tim Burton film.

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Monday, October 23, 2023

New Release-Review & Excerpt: RECALLING MY DEMON by Colette Davison (Possessive Love) - Includes Giveaway!

Recalling My Demon 

(Possessive Love)

Author and Publisher: Colette Davison

Cover Artist: Charli Childs

Release Date: October 19, 2023

Genre: Paranormal M/M Romance

Tropes: Age gap, Daddy kink, human and demon relationship

Themes: acceptance, trust

Heat Rating:  3.5/4 out of 5

Length:  45,000 words

It’s part of a multi-author series. All the books standalone and this book doesn't not end on a cliffhanger.


Buy Links - Available in Kindle Unlimited

Universal link  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

I'm told Nethermire House is haunted, but the truth is even stranger.


Nethermire is home to an eccentric 80-year-old and the young man she claims is her great-nephew.

Except he's not.

He's a demon.

Brin's chaotic, bratty ways draw me to him. When he calls me Daddy, I'm a goner. I want to protect him, take care of him, and call him mine.

But when he gets summoned to hell, our happiness is shattered.

Can I recall him to my side, or will I lose him forever?

Recalling My Demon is a standalone MM paranormal romance in the Possessive Love multi-author series. It has an age-gap relationship between a bratty demon who needs someone to love him more than he realises and an ex-priest who's now a Daddy.


“Nurse Ian.” He raises his thick, dark brows a fraction, his eyes sparkling as he smirks. “Mo—Martha has told me all about you.” His voice is soft, light, and playful.

“You’re her grand-nephew?”

“Brin.” He flicks his gaze over me. “You are gorgeous.”

I take a half step back. “Uh—”

“I shouldn’t have said that, should I?” He runs his thumb over his bottom lip. “I’d apologise, except it’s true. Hm, you are one gorgeous man.”

So is he. I swallow, needing to maintain my composure and remain professional. “Martha is through here.” I gesture to the lounge.

“She likes that room. Have you seen the rest of the house? I could give you a tour.”

“No, I haven’t.”

Brin flounces into the house, kicks his boots off, and wanders into the lounge. I follow in his wake. He leans down to kiss his great-aunt on the forehead, grabs a cake off the plate, and sits in a chair with one leg looped over the arm. He peels the case away from the cake and takes a big bite. Crumbs drop onto his chin, so he flicks his tongue out to lick them off.

“Ian is here to do my welfare check,” Martha explains.

“I guessed.” Brin stares at me as he devours the rest of the cake.

I can’t take my eyes off him.

“Don’t let me stop you from doing your job. I love watching a man in uniform work.” He winks.

“You’ll have to forgive him. My grand-nephew is a terrible flirt,” Martha says.

I scrabble to get the blood pressure monitor out of my bag and kneel beside Martha.

“A man in uniform on his knees. Sexy.”

“Brin,” Martha says, her tone not as sharp and short as I’d expect for a true admonishment.

“What? It’s true.”

Carra's Review

Brin is absolutely a naughty one.  But in his defense, he really doesn’t know any better given his situation.  He’s forthright and goes for what he wants.  Ian is a bit more reserved, particularly given his background, but once he finally gives himself the green light, it’s a whole other ballgame.

I did find Brin to be a perfect fit for the role of a boy given his somewhat bratty nature, plus his relatively sheltered upbringing.  Ian is just the right Daddy for him though, and while some may feel like things moved quickly for them, the story actually plays out over time .  The two of them make an excellent match, both in the bedroom and out.

This story is pretty lighthearted and an easy, quick read.  The bit of excitement comes in the last third once Brin is pulled back to hell, and Ian has to figure out how to get him back.  If you go into this without the expectation of anything deep or profound, you’ll find yourself enjoying a playful boy and a Daddy trying to keep him in line.  

At just over 200 pages, I read Recalling My Demon in an afternoon and found it to be a fun story.  If you’re looking for something light and love a bratty, straightforward boy then this book will fit the bill.  Recommended for readers 18+ for adult language and sexual content.

About the Author 

Colette’s personal love story began at university, where she met her future husband. An evening of flirting, in the shadow of Lancaster castle, eventually led to a fairytale wedding. She’s enjoying her own ‘happy ever after’ in the north of England with her husband, two beautiful children and her writing.

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Monday, October 16, 2023

New Release-Review: SECRETS WE FIGHT by Kimberly Knight & Rachel Lyn Adams (Forbidden #2)

Secrets We Fight
by Kimberly Knight & Rachel Lyn Adams
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: October 16, 2023
Cover Designer: Nicole Blanchard at IndieSage
Cover Photographer: 6:12 Photography by Eric McKinney

★★★★★ “If you are on the fence about MM romance, Secrets We Fight is just the story to illustrate how beautiful the genre can be. The story, being a forbidden romance, just makes it even better for me.” ~ Trudy D.
★★★★★ “The chemistry between these two men is absolute fire.” ~ Michelle

Rhett Davis, a dedicated Secret Service agent, has always aspired to protect the president of the United States. But destiny has a wicked sense of humor. Instead of guarding the commander-in-chief, he’s assigned to the president’s magnetic son, Fallon.

Fallon Donnelley is a law student determined to forge his own path, and strives to create his own legacy beyond his family name. Even with his grueling school schedule, Fallon can’t help but be distracted by the man tasked with keeping him safe.

The more time Rhett and Fallon spend together, it becomes harder to deny their attraction for one another. Despite the risks to both their reputations, their flirty banter sparks a sizzling secret affair.

While their relationship deepens, a weekend trip to celebrate a friend’s upcoming wedding changes everything. It’s there they learn Fallon’s identical brother has a secret of his own, one that will cause Rhett and Fallon’s world to shatter.

As their forbidden love story unravels, Rhett and Fallon’s love for one another becomes the ultimate test of loyalty, and they must decide if it’s worth risking it all to follow their hearts.

Or die trying.

Carra's Review

I love a good bodyguard romance and I enjoyed this author pair’s previous book in this series, so I was definitely interested when I read the synopsis for Secrets We Fight.  I mean come on, the son of the President and one of his Secret Service agents?  Yup, sign me up please!

I really liked both Fallon and Rhett.  I admired Fallon’s dedication to his schooling; he comes across as very responsible and hardworking…even once temptation is introduced.  Rhett seems quite competent as an agent for the most part.  My one hesitation is how easily he gives in to him and Fallon being together.  I would’ve expected much more professional restraint given his position and how highly his superiors consider his talent and competence.  

There is no doubt about the chemistry between the two men.  Initially it’s physical, but eventually they develop an emotional connection as well.  It does make things tricky since there is a whole team of agents for Fallon, all trained to be exceptionally observant, so Rhett and Fallon have a tricky balancing act going on so as not to arouse suspicion.

If the stress of law school, being the President’s son, and a hidden relationship with someone tasked with protecting his life isn’t enough, Fallon’s identical twin brother has his own secrets that encroach on Fallon’s life in unexpected and even dangerous ways.  This amps up the drama, and causes chaos for everyone.

Now, I’m going to be honest—for me, the concept of suspension of disbelief played a bigger role than usual while I was reading this.  It was hard for me to fathom someone in Rhett’s position breaking the rules like he did, and even allowing for that, once certain other people in their orbit find out it’s hard to imagine the secret not getting to his superiors.  And even once everyone knows, the final decision on what will happen felt unlikely to me.  

It says a lot about the overall story that even with that, I’ve still given this 4 stars.  I guess I’m just a sucker for a happy couple with their happy ending.  Plus, I’m intrigued for the next book in the series.  The authors have a strong cast of supporting characters that have captured my interest, so I’ll be following along to see where everyone winds up.  Secrets We Fight was a good story, and is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and sexual content.

Kimberly Knight is a USA Today Bestselling author who lives in the Central Valley of California with her loving husband, who is a great research assistant, and young daughter, who keeps Kimberly on her toes. Kimberly writes in a variety of genres, including romantic suspense, contemporary romance, erotic romance, MM romance, and paranormal romance. Her books will make you laugh, cry, swoon, and fall in love before she throws you curve balls you never see coming.

When Kimberly isn’t writing, you can find her watching her favorite reality TV shows, including cooking competitions, binge-watching true crime documentaries, and going to San Francisco Giants games. She’s also a two-time desmoid tumor/cancer fighter, which has made her stronger and an inspiration to her fans.

Rachel Lyn Adams is a USA Today Bestselling author who was born in Southern California and currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, five children, and a crazy number of fur babies. In 2017, she took a chance and published her very first book. Little did she know just how much that decision would change her life.

Rachel writes a wide variety of both MF and MM romance, including MC romance, sports romance, and contemporary romance. All of her books focus on powerful family and friend bonds.

When Rachel isn’t busy writing, she loves to travel and spend time with her family. On quiet nights, you’ll usually find her with a book in her hand or watching reruns of Friends.