Hi guys! We have Katey Hawthorne popping in today with her new release Poor Little Rich Boy, we have a brilliant short guest post from Katey, a great excerpt and a fantastic 2 x £10 Amazon GC giveaway, so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤️ ~Pixie~
Poor Little Rich Boy
Ted MacTaggart’s overbearing father is still trying to control his life, even from the grave. His will insists that, in order to inherit the family company, MAC Superior, Ted must be married by his twenty-fifth birthday — and the marriage has to be “real.” As in the board of MAC has to sign off on it.
Ted could fight the will, but then the handsome, artistic Ryan Costa, an old friend from school days walks back into his life, offering to be his groom-of-convenience. Ted draws up the contracts and Ryan, who has family medical bill problems, agrees gladly to the terms. Ted, emotionally walled off and afraid of his attraction to Ryan, also suggests they should keep their relationship strictly professional. Caring for people has always proven a weakness for him. Now isn’t the time to start.
It’s not long before Ryan’s charm breaks through Ted’s walls, but Ted isn’t his own worst enemy in this case. Other forces are vying for MAC Superior, and even when their relationship is becoming the real deal, its shaky foundations land Ryan and Ted in trouble.
Inadvertently tumbling through the border after Fenn and then thrown into the middle of the internecine political disputes of their people, Sergeant Will Grant of the Metropolitan Police has spent three months in prison in the Underhalls of the Frem. When Fenn comes to free him and return him home through the border, he has very little time to work out what’s going on before the sudden appearance of Fenn’s missing younger sibling, Keren, throws Fenn for a loop.
Instead of returning them to London as planned, the trio step through the border to the Egyptian desert. Once they work out where they are, it’s a two week trip back to England with the possibility of pursuit both onboard ship and when they reach home.
Will the journey give Fenn and Will time to resolve the feelings they have been dancing around since the day they met? How will they keep Keren from recapture by the faction who tried to persuade Fenn they were dead? And has Will’s friend Alec forgiven Fenn for lying about their motives when they first traveled to London four months ago?
The Hunted and the Hind is the third and final book in the 1920s ‘Lost in Time’ trilogy. The books need to be read in order.
“Can I ride the one over there, please, Will Grant?” Keren called across the yard, pointing at creature with a white stripe down it’s face that they’d become enamored of earlier.
Will Grant nodded and came across the courtyard toward them. “You may. That was my intention, anyway.” They looked at Fenn. “Do you have animals you ride in the Outlands?” they asked.
Fenn stroked Olive’s nose. “Not like these,” they said. “These are beautiful creatures. We sometimes ride the antacas we use for pack animals. Some people breed them for meat, too. They have horns and a very sharp spine. And are extremely bad tempered. They’re smaller than these, though. Bumpy.”
Will Grant leaned against the stable door next to Fenn, as Keren took themselves across the yard to quiz the horse-keeper. He rubbed at Olive’s ears absently. “You’re not bumpy, are you girl? No-one would dream of accusing you of such a dreadful thing!”
The horse shook its head and buffeted Will Grant’s stomach. He staggered a little against Fenn’s side and blew out a laugh. It was very strange to see them like this, out of their city clothes, in what Fenn assumed were special clothes for riding. The humans seemed to have a variety of different clothes for each task, rather than sensible clothing that would serve for most things. Here in private, both Fenn and Keren had donned the extra clothes made for them in Port Said, patterned more or less on their usual loose trousers and robes.
It was even stranger to see Will laugh like this. After the conversation with their parent this morning, Will had seemed to let go of a little of the tension that had gathered round them since this trip had been mooted. It was a nice look on them, Fenn decided. Underneath it all was the tension and sadness that was Will’s permanent signature. But a little of that had eased. Fenn wondered what it would take to ease the rest of it.
“Come on, then,” Will Grant said, straightening. “Let’s get Keren up and we can go out for a wander through the woods and down to the lake. And once we’re there we can try our kias out near the water. We’re lucky Mama has kept the stable going, with no-one but her here to ride.” He glanced around. “The men coming home needed the work.”
Fenn nodded. “Your parent is a good person,” they said, cautiously. “They reminded me of Ana. Very…,” they searched for an accurate, polite word.
Will Grant laughed. “Very, yes,” they said. Their eyes had softened. “I haven’t done right by her,” they said. “I’ve been too wrapped up in my own head. I should have come home before.”
“It doesn’t sound like you were ready,” Fenn replied. “Home is a difficult place to be, sometimes.”
Will Grant shook their head. “But still. She’s my mother and she lost all of us. Father died a few years before the war and she missed him dreadfully. It was a love match, I think. They spent a lot of time together, anyway.”
Both of them were leaning against the stable door now, talking quietly whilst they watched the bustle as the horse-keepers got animals out for them all to ride.
“Is that not always the case, here?” Fenn asked, curiously.
Will looked at them over Olive’s nose. “For Mama’s generation, not always. Sometimes, marrying well is more important than whether you have strong feelings for your potential partner. Making the marriage and producing children is the thing, you see.”
Fenn looked at him.
“Not for me,” they hastened to add. “Mama has given up trying to marry me off. She made it clear this morning that she has no expectations in that direction at all.” They hesitated. “She said, you are welcome to visit here, too. She knows that I…have feelings…for you.”
Fenn was silent for a moment. “I would be honored to visit them,” they said. “Whether or not you have feelings for me, Will Grant.” They felt the shiver of embarrassment in Will’s kias. Humans did not talk about this sort of thing, apparently. Probably because most of them didn’t have kias and had to articulate everything verbally. It was very graceless and left a lot of room for misunderstanding. How did people without any kias at all between them manage?
They gently opened the edges of their kias to Will Grant and allowed their own feelings to be felt. Admiration, friendship, desire, love. All of it. Will glanced over and smiled, clearly picking some of it up without even trying to reach back.
The two of them stood against the door in amicable silence until the chief horse-keeper called across the yard, “Ready, Mr William? I’ve got Peter tacked up for you, here!”
Writer of queer, paranormal, historical, romantic suspense. Lives in the South West of England with Mr AL, two children, a badly behaved dachshund, a terrifying cat and some hens. Likes gardening but doesn’t really have time or energy. Not musical. Doesn’t much like telly. Non-binary. Chronically disabled. Has tedious fits.
Everyone hopes his road to happily ever after will be carefree and smooth, but too often hair-pin turns and detours seem to get in the way.
Having thought he was on the road to forever before, former Silicon Valley programmer Dan Lassiter is leery about pedaling down it again. His elderly companion Charlie urges him to get to know Rick Reardon whose bakery is across the street from Dan’s bicycle shop.
Under the watchful eye of Charlie, Dan and Rick take tentative steps towards each other, all the while trying to avoid potholes such as exes, homophobes, and family problems.
As summer turns to fall and then winter, they hope that the road will be smooth going from their first date and first kiss to having what Rick’s sister euphemistically calls their “sleep overs”. At each step, though, they are tripped up and wonder why there seem to be so many bumps in their road.
Maybe Dan and Rick should heed some of Charlie’s sage advice or maybe they should listen to their hearts instead of the warnings from their pasts.
One of the delights of the holiday season is a cookie exchange with friends and coworkers. True, it’s going to be a little light this year, what with COVID restrictions and all. But that makes it all the better to devise a game plan for next year and the one after.
Why a game plan?
Because you don’t want to be the person whose cookies smash and break before they are exchanged. You want to be the one with the perfectly delicious looking stack of an array of different cookie types, each cookie looking enticing in its own right.
But how can you do that with a stack of cookies?
Glad you asked.
You need to come up with your cookie tiers. Or you can steal mine.
The bottom tier for my cookie exchange plate is a pan cookie—usually chocolate chip bars or pecan pie bars—anything with enough internal heft that they can withstand a stack of cookies on top of them and still not be squished.
Stay away from lemon bars or cheesecake bars, which while yummy will yield like sinkholes, making them and the cookies stacked on top into one mega-cookie.
True, that’s great for the person who picks up the top cookie and finds them all stuck together in the jackpot of the holiday season.
Still, if you get caught with the mega-cookie, you are stuck with it and can’t pry one off and leave the rest for another hapless eater.
So be kind and plan a sturdy, non-sinkable bottom tier.
The middle tier is the traditional colorful cookie tier—gingerbread people, cut-out and frosted cookies, and shaped dough goodies.
The key to this layer is color, lots and lots of color. For example, blue, white, and silver for Hanukkah or green and red for Christmas or black, red and green for Kwanzaa or red, green, brown, and white for Solstice. Whatever you celebrate, make sure the colors pop at the mid-level of your cookie tier.
Remember that frosting and piping are your friends at this tier.
Finally, add the touch de resistance to the top tier: light, airy meringue delights and chocolate chip clouds.
Make these small, bite-sized treats so that you can use them to place around the decorated cookies to highlight their colors and decorations. Or you can use them to stack into a pyramid to support the cling-wrap or other protective layer you’re using to transport your exchange plate.
Whether you call them biscuits (like the Great British Baking Show does) or cookies like Americans do, edible exchanges are the highlight of any season, but particularly of those holidays in the winter.
Do you participate in a cookie exchange either during the holidays or during the rest of the year? If so, what’s your favorite cookie type?
Give yourself a gift of cheer with four HEA romances to take the edge off 2020:
Blame It on the Fruitcake where a motorcycle shop owner and a location scout bond over a grandmother’s holiday recipe;
The Orpheum Miracle in which a squatter in a revival theater meets the man of his dreams;
Making the Holidays Happy Again that sees a blacksmith forge a future with a chemist; and
Heart of the Holidays where a bicycle repairman and a baker travel down the road to love.
And whatever you do, remember that Every day is a good day for romance.
The kids and their mom arrived after lunch, right about the time Charlie usually turned in for a nap. He gave them the once over as they got out of the car, nodded to me with raised eyebrows, and ambled back toward the house. I guess he figured he’d meet them sometime, probably sooner rather than later, so he didn’t have to knock himself out now. It was the siesta part of his day.
After the kids tumbled from the car and jumped on Rick, he pointed at my open garage and waved at me. I waved back, and they galloped across the street.
“Hi, I’m McKinsey! You can call me Mack.” The red-haired boy danced in front of me. His hair blazed in the sun and was as bright as his green eyes and freckles. He didn’t look anything like his uncle. “So these are all the bikes I can ride? Can I try them out first?”
“Yeah, but don’t go very far. I’ve got an app keeping an eye on them.”
He didn’t wait for me to explain further, but ran toward the racks so fast that I thought he would barrel into them. A small hand on my arm stopped me from chasing after him.
“Don’t worry. He’s careful. He won’t hurt the bikes. We won’t go far because of mom.” Since I wasn’t worried about the bicycles, I looked down into brown eyes, a solemn face, and curly sable hair. “I’m Leslie. Everyone calls me Lee. My brother throws himself into his activities. I don’t. Can we choose any of the bicycles?”
I glanced up at their uncle who shrugged at me. The small hand let go of my arm, so I looked down at Lee again.
“Yes. You have three choices. One, you can select a bike and ride it the entire time you’re here. Two, you could come back to the garage and pick another one to ride for the day, the half-day, the hour, or however long you want it. That means if you wanted, you could ride every bike in this place in one day. Or your third choice, you could stay at the bakery and not go bike riding at all.” I winked at her. “I would choose the bakery except then I’d look like a human lead balloon if I did.”
She giggled and put her hand on my arm again.
“I like you, Mr. Dan. I think we’ll get along fine.” She nodded and gave me a long assessing once over. “Don’t worry. You don’t look like a balloon at all. Not at all.”
If she’d been in her teens, I would have thought she was flirting. But Lee seemed as if she was merely making an observation.
I liked both kids and their approaches to life. I’d be willing to bet Charlie would like them too when he got up from his nap and met them.
Unlike her brother, Lee sauntered over to the bikes, many of which were now askew thanks to Mack’s unsorting process. She carefully started to right those tossed aside. She stopped at a turquoise bicycle, hopped on, and waved to me and her uncle as she sped away. Her brother was long gone. The bike rack still needed straightening which would give me something to do while Charlie snoozed.
I started toward it. Rick had surged across the street and was striding up to me.
“Here. I’ll help.” He stood staring down at the mishmash of bikes. “If you show me how to untangle them without making things worse.”
“I don’t get it. Aren’t you afraid people will just take off with your bikes and you’ll never see them again?”
I watched him bend over to pick up one on the ground. My groin tightened at the sight. We were going out to dinner. Together. Soon. My heart and dick lifted as my mind piled up image after image of dinner and afterward. It was about time for me to get back in the saddle as it were.
Pat Henshaw, born and raised in Nebraska, has lived on the U S’s three coasts, in Texas, Virginia, and now California.
Before she retired, she held a number of jobs, including theatrical costumer, newspaper features reporter and movie reviewer, librarian, junior college English instructor, and publicist.
She also loves to travel and has visited Canada, Mexico, Europe, Egypt, Thailand, and Central America as well as almost all fifty US states.
Now retired, she enjoys reading and writing as well as visiting her older daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren on the East Coast and playing havoc with her younger daughter’s life in NorCal.
She thanks you for reading her books and wants you to remember that every day is a good day for romance.
Blurb: Their leap of faith could unleash magic — or plunge them into darkness.
Henry Thorn has worked at Larkin’s since graduating high school. He likes it — especially when he can use his secret skill of hiding inside shadows so his boss can’t find them. Without that talent, he would never had survived growing up different.
When a hire enters the store, Henry’s other latent talent kicks in. He can smell an emotional response even before he lays eyes on the redhead.
Jamey Currey came out, and his conservative parents promptly kicked him out. He, too, is different — he senses Henry’s attraction the moment they met. The first time they kiss, torrential rains fall from skies split by lightning.
Their kiss also awakens the Watchers, diabolical hunters who will stop at nothing — even extermination — to keep magic suppressed. With the help of a friendly coven of friendly witches, the boys embark on a quest to discover an ancient key to restoring magic to the world, and to understand mysteries of their own hearts.
The question is, will this quest cost them their lives?.
Review: An interesting story about two young men, Henry and Jamey. One is comfortable with who he is the other is not. I found Jamey lashing out at Henry at times to be irritable as Henry did not make him fall for him. But Henry was always there for him no mater what.
I did not like Jamey’s parents and found their motives questionable at times. Despite the obstacles and twists and turns Jamey and Henry were faced with throughout they persevered at the end.
I enjoyed the unique twist on the paranormal in this story and found the overall book riveting.
All in all an enjoyable book about two young men who find love, courage and themselves in a time when the world needs them the most.
Warren Rochelle has a new collection of gay fairy tales out:
“The Wicked Stepbrother and Other Stories.”
And there’s a giveaway!
Fairy tales. We all know the traditional stories, right? Prince Charming, the hero, fights evil, wins the princess, happily ever after. Three sons, three wishes, witches, dragons, a quest, and happily ever after.
These stories are part of our cultural fabric. We retell them, over and over, and the stories change in the retellings, to reflect contemporary culture, such as Princess Charming, heroes and heroines as people of color. It has been only relatively recently that queer folk have found their way into the retellings, as they have here, in this collection of stories, stories that grew out of questions:
What if the prince falls in love with Cinderella’s gay stepbrother?
What if Rumpelstiltskin doesn’t really want the Queen’s child? He wants his old boyfriend back, the King.
What if Beauty and the Beast were two men?
As fairy tales do, these stories explore the human condition, human experience, through the metaphors of magic and the magical, exploring what it means to be human. After all, all fairy tales are true. But this time, with a gay perspective.
In these tales, retellings and original ones, readers are asked to consider what price must be paid for happily ever after—which is not guaranteed. Love, on the other hand, without a doubt. These tales are love stories.
“You want to make the ugly orange-haired brother feel better? Ease your conscience for being the favored one? You feel sorry for me?”
“Calum. I didn’t mean it that way—I only meant—I mean—I’m sorry.”
She never tried to be friendly to me again. Father slapped me for my rudeness at the dinner table that night, of course in front of everyone. Conor tried to stop him but that only earned Conor a verbal slap. I just stared at him, the print of his hand on my face a bright red. Elena said nothing; her mother just looked smug.
The dark plague came to Colomendy two weeks later.
It was the night of the midsummer ball and Father, or so I had heard, was going to announce Conor’s engagement to Elena. And—according to what my footman bedfellow whispered to me—I was to be denounced as illegitimate because Mother had used her magic to seduce him and the marriage was null and void. A horse, a bag of gold, a cage of his doves, and the bastard would be sent on his way to start a new story somewhere else.
Father would wait, of course, to send me off. The engagement party was not to be spoiled. I was ready, thanks to Mary Grace. One drop from the vial in my pocket into the after-dinner tea and they would all die in a lot of pain, writhing, screaming, their bodies contorting as their skin turned black. Neither Elena nor her mother would be so beautiful then.
But a messenger from the king arrived—a human one. That meant the message was of extreme importance. The man was shown in before the engagement announcement was made, as the beautiful couple spun around the inlaid star in the center of the ballroom with Father smiling. I stood by the long white-lace-covered table, decked out with all kinds of desserts and sweets.
Father, compelled by law to immediately read a sovereign’s message, waved his hand for silence. The dark plague. The first cases, already in the capital. The greenwitches and healer witches were desperately seeking a cure, a vaccine. We were to stay calm, to carry on. The engagement announcement was postponed. I closed my fist around my vial and said nothing.
A week later a scullery maid took sick. She died gasping for breath, the sight in one eye already gone. Colomendy lost fully half of the house servants, and a third of the estate staff. Then, Conor got sick. Elena. Her mother. Father.
Her mother died first. By then, Mary Grace was working day and night to come up with anything that would help and I was beseeching all the gods for Conor. I loved him and I knew if he died that I’d lose one of the few people who loved me back. Mary Grace called me to her herbarium the day after Elena’s mother died to hand me another vial, with one dose of a long-sought-for cure. It was like a vaccine, too, she said. The sick would get better and those not sick would stay well.
I told myself I would have given Father a dose if there had been enough. I knew that wasn’t true. So did Father, who called me to his room the next day. I could barely hear him speak. I knew he could barely see me.
“So, the ugly man-loving bastard wins. You will be Lord Culver, ninth Baron of Colomendy.”
“I’m not a bastard, Father. You just wanted to make me one.”
“You killed your mother. Having you killed her,” he gasped and with what energy he had left, he pushed back against the head board, and lifted his right hand to scrawl a warding sign in the air.
“You should be afraid of me,” I hissed, and he was gone. I was the new Baron. I was eighteen-going-on-nineteen.
Mary Grace was among the last to die. She had raised me. She had shown me my silver blood; she had helped me learn how powerful I could be. She had taught me magic, despite the magic control laws.
I still grieve for her.
Right now, I am working on completing Fletcher and Sam’s story. Fletcher is in Faerie, now he has to find Sam and bring him back. This task will test Fletcher. I think their story could a novella, but I am not sure. I keep thinking of more things, of more story. The other project, which might be a novella, or at least along story, is a sequel to my first novel, The Wild Boy, and takes place two hundred years later, as humanity is recovering from the Long Nightmare of the Lindauzi conquest. When can you expect these novellas? Next year, I hope. I also want to revisit a novel I have rewritten a few times, The Golden Boy, set in alternate history, in the world of the Columbian Empire.
Warren Rochelle lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, and has just retired from teaching English at the University of Mary Washington.
His short fiction and poetry have been published in such journals and anthologies as Icarus, North Carolina Literary Review, Forbidden Lines, Aboriginal Science Fiction, Collective Fallout, Queer Fish 2, Empty Oaks, Quantum Fairy Tales, Migration, The Silver Gryphon, Jaelle Her Book, Colonnades, and Graffiti, as well as the Asheville Poetry Review, GW Magazine, Crucible, The Charlotte Poetry Review, and Romance and Beyond.
His short story, “The Golden Boy,” was a finalist for the 2004 Spectrum Award for Short Fiction. His short story “Mirrors,” was just published in Under A Green Rose, a queering romance anthology, from Cuil Press. “The Latest Thing,” a flash fiction story, is in the Queer Sci Fi anthology, Innovation.
Rochelle is also the author of four novels: The Wild Boy (2001), Harvest of Changelings (2007), and The Called (2010), all published by Golden Gryphon Press, and The Werewolf and His Boy, published by Samhain Publishing in September 2016. The Werewolf and His Boy was re-released from JMS Books in August 2020. The Wicked Stepbrother and Other Stories is forthcoming from JMS Books in late September 2020.
Hi guys! We have K.L. Noone Popping in today with the tour for her new release Steadfast, we have a brilliant sneak peek of Cinnamon and Strawberries K.L.’s holiday novella (releasing in December), we have a great excerpt and a fantastic $10 Amazon GC giveaway so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤️ ~Pixie~
(Character Bleed 03)
A love story for the ages! An intimate confession! An epic quest! And happily ever after on the horizon…
Jason Mirelli loves Colby Kent. And Colby loves him. They’ve told the world. And Colby’s recovered from injury, so they’re back at work and back on set. Jason just might have everything he’s ever dreamed of, with a serious leading role, an epic love story, and Colby safe and happy in his arms—but they only have two weeks of filming to go. He’s afraid of the dream falling apart, and he knows Colby has a secret to confess—one that could transform both the ending of their movie and their future together.
Colby never got around to telling Jason his final secret before the accident on set. Now that he’s recovered, he wants to share his writing and his silent script doctor work with the man he loves. Besides, he’s rewritten this script to give their characters a proper happy ending. But he’s nervous about making changes to a classic novel, and he wants the author’s approval.
Colby’s hoping to seek out the famously reclusive author in question, but first he’ll need to trust Jason with this last piece of himself. If he can, he and Jason might finally find their happily-ever-after both on screen and off—for their characters and for themselves.
Hi guys! We have Warren Rochelle stopping by today with the tour for his new release The Werewolf and His Boy, we have a great interview of Warren interviewing himself, a great excerpt and a brilliant $25 Amazon GC giveaway so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤️ ~Pixie~p.s. keep an eye out for Shorty’s review coming soon!
The Werewolf and His Boy
Their leap of faith could unleash magic—or plunge them into darkness.
Henry Thorn has worked at Larkin’s since graduating high school. He likes it—especially when he can use his secret skill of hiding inside shadows so his boss can’t find them. Without that talent, he would never had survived growing up different.
When a hire enters the store, Henry’s other latent talent kicks in. He can smell an emotional response even before he lays eyes on the redhead.
Jamey Currey came out, and his conservative parents promptly kicked him out. He, too, is different—he senses Henry’s attraction the moment they met. The first time they kiss, torrential rains fall from skies split by lightning.
Their kiss also awakens the Watchers, diabolical hunters who will stop at nothing—even extermination—to keep magic suppressed. With the help of a friendly coven of friendly witches, the boys embark on a quest to discover an ancient key to restoring magic to the world, and to understand mysteries of their own hearts.
The question is, will this quest cost them their lives?
Hi peeps, we have Pat Henshaw stopping by with the blog tour for her newest re-release Redesigning Max, we have a fantastic guest post from Pat, a great excerpt, a brilliant $10 JMS Books GC giveaway and Prime’s review, so check out the post and enter that giveaway! ❤️ ~Pixie~
(Foothills Pride 02)
Renowned interior designer Fredi Zimmer is surprised when outdoorsman Max Greene, owner of Greene’s Outdoors, hires him to revamp Max’s rustic cabin in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Fredi is an out-and-proud Metro male whose contact with the outdoors is from his car to the doorway of the million-dollar homes he remodels, and to Fredi, Max is a typical straight man’s man.
When Max blatantly and clumsily flirts with Fredi, Fredi’s stereotypical view of Max is shattered. Is this a build-up to a gay bashing? Cautiously believing Max is closeted and is trying to come out, Fredi decides he’s game to put a little spice into Max’s life, whether it’s in the colors and fixtures he’ll use to turn Max’s dilapidated cabin into a showplace or over one of the many lunches and dinners they share talking about the remodel. Who can blame a guy for adding a little sensual pleasure as he retools Max’s life visually? Besides, Fredi has a backup plan if he’s wrong about Max’s intentions.
Life would be all wine and roses if it weren’t for Max’s former friends and their conservative families. Alarmed with Max’s obvious infatuation, they make it their business to save him from sliding into hell.
With the battle on, will Fredi and Max win the fight for a life of happiness together?
Hi guys! We have Pat Henshaw stopping by today with her new re-release What’s In A Name?, we have a brilliant guest post from Pat, a great excerpt and a fantastic $10 Amazon GC giveaway so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤️ ~Pixie~
What’s In A Name?
(Foothills Pride 01)
On his 30th birthday, barista Jimmy Patterson decides to get rip-roaring drunk after his roommate-boyfriend abandons him at a bar in the tiny California foothills town of Stone Acres where they have relocated from San Francisco. Jimmy is immediately rescued by the burly owner of Stonewall Saloon, who has had his eye on Jimmy since the first time he came in months before.
Jimmy’s fine with being saved but wants to know the bartender’s real name since the guy has worn name tags with an assortment of names every time Jimmy has spoken to him. After Jimmy nicknames him Guy, the bartender decides to turn guessing his first name into a game, giving Jimmy a guess a day for a week and promising to wine and dine him during that time. If Jimmy’s guess is wrong, he owes Guy a zing-zow, knock-your-socks-off kiss. Jimmy agrees since this sounds like a slam-dunk, win-win deal.
While he searches for cringe-worthy given names, Jimmy is distracted by the destruction of his shopping mall coffee shop. He is also beset by the town council that doesn’t want him to buy an historic bank building in Old Town Stone Acres to set up another coffee shop. The celestial high of being romanced by Guy and the abyss of business worries don’t seem like the road to happily ever after. However, Jimmy and Guy might be in for a big surprise.
Blurb: Harley Green has never been lucky in love, but after yet another unfortunate date, he doesn’t expect to encounter a fight between a malevolent spirit and Connor Bowman, a man who claims to be a soul collector. Due to Harley’s untimely interference, Connor loses his grip on the evil spirit, who immediately escapes from the scene. Now, Harley has the responsibility to help Connor recapture that wicked spirit, and it’s difficult when he’s often distracted by how attractive the soul collector really is.
Connor has been a soul collector for more than six thousand years, but he has never been affected by a mortal’s presence until Harley. He has no idea what it is about Harley he can’t seem to shake off. Harley somehow feels really familiar to him, but he can’t remember ever meeting that man. It doesn’t matter, though. All he needs to do is remain by Harley’s side until he catches that malevolent spirit. Then he will return to the underworld. However, that’s easier said than done, and it becomes so much worse when he starts developing feelings for Harley.
Can Harley and Connor discover the link between them and work things out somehow? Or is happily ever after nothing but a fairy tale?
Review: Now and Forever is a standalone paranormal romance by Casper Graham.
To be perfectly honest, Casper Graham is an author that I feel that I’m still finding my feet to decide whether I like their novels or not. I don’t want to say it’s a love-hate type of thing, but I have felt that so far it’s been a bit hit and miss for me, especially when wanting to relate in order to feel a connection to the characters. I think in earlier works I wasn’t satisfied with character development but that is always something that can change and depending on the connection I get from the MCs.
The story follow Harley Green, who is exactly as the blurb describes. He’s unlucky in love but things change when he encounters someone struggling with an evil spirit his luck doesn’t seem to be improving. Not knowing what he’s stumbled across, his distraction leads Connor Bowman to lose the spirit that he is after. And what seems to be the ideal situation to rectify this? Harley now has to join Connor on his hunt. Connor is six thousand years old and can feel that there is something different about this mortal and their hunt for the spirit throws them into close quarters and feelings begin to develop. Their relationship seems doomed from the start – after all, Connor does belong in Hell – but this is love and we want a HEA!
While I did enjoy Now and Forever and was, generally satisfied with the overall feel and romance between the two MCs, I can’t say that I “loved” the book. Its one of those books where I was happy with the book and the ending but I don’t think it’s one that I will revisit again in the future when I’m feeling nostalgic for the comfort of a book that I know and love.
I think this book would be good for those that love their paranormal romances with demons and hunters and a dash of insta-love.
Blurb: Quinton Mann and Mark Vincent – still as dangerous, intelligent, and perceptive as they were when they started playing mind games with each other, and still in love. With Quinn having inherited the Mann family estate in a state of serious disrepair, he and Mark with the help of their family and friends decided to fix it up and then live there, together. But when a mystery from the Mann family past intersected with the death that led to Quinn inheriting the estate, Mark and Quinn were determined to solve it, and see Quinn’s cousin DB and his ladies safely married. But there are always eyes watching two such dangerous men. Would they be able to continue their relationship without nosy, judgmental people trying to put an end to it?
Review: This is third book in series and it shows. This time we got both Quinn’s and Mark’s POV as the story continued from where previous book left off.
The story focuses heavily on Mark’s and Quinn’s interactions, through other characters weave their way in or out. While I liked the story, I didn’t enjoy it as much as previous books. The plot was loose – the story changed tracks several times and while events had their own charm I wasn’t hell bent of getting to the end the way at was with previous book. The impression I got is mostly of placeholder in the series – it deals with leftover ends from previous books and sets a stage for the next one. There is also more humor in this one. It’s more relaxed and easy-going.
It’s hard to give summary for this one, as it mostly focused on characters. Mark’s and Quinn’s banter is lively as ever, and their charm kept my attention on the book. It’s perhaps somewhat of a break from previous books, which bridled with action.
Blurb: Hunter Beaumont doesn’t understand his grandmother’s deathbed wish: “Destroy Beaumont House.” He’d never even heard of the place. But after his grandmother passes and his first love betrays him, the family house in the Wisconsin woods looks like a tempting refuge. Going against his grandmother’s wishes, Hunter flees to Beaumont House.
But will the house be the sanctuary he had hoped for? Soon after moving in, Hunter realizes he may not be alone. And who — or what — he shares the house may plunge him into a nightmare from which he may never escape.
Sparks fly when he meets his handsome neighbor, a caretaker for the estate next door, but is the man salvation…or is he the source of Hunter’s terror?
Review: A Demon Inside by Rick R. Reed is a rather spooky novel and not for the faint of heart. For anyone who has read the first edition of this book, I have to admit that I never read the first edition, so I’m not entirely sure what has changed since.
The story itself has left me with some rather mixed feelings. This book isn’t a romance, means that any romance is not front and centre of the plot, and what romance there was throughout the story was really nicely done. However, it is not that aspect that has bothered me. The horror was fantastically written and I really enjoyed it. In hindsight, though, I think that there was some sort of spark missing with the horror that connected all the dots for me in my head. But mostly, I found that after the build up in the horror and the terror felt by Hunter, the ending was a little too flat and a little too quick for my liking.
Nonetheless, this book does the creepy and poltergeist things perfectly, so on the surface this is a fantastic horror story which may well leave you with chills running down your spine.
The story follows Hunter Beaumont and finds his life at loose ends when in a tumultuous short period of time his beloved grandmother dies and his boyfriend dumps him. In a move that is something like a classical gothic horror, Hunter decides to live in Beaumont House after being told by his grandmother on her death bed to burn it down. Beaumont House has no end of secrets (which leads Hunter to uncover the memory of when his parents had died when he was a child) and some of them are quite deadly (this is one house with a bad history).
The subplot featuring the neighbour of Beaumont House, Michael, is where the romance comes in. Michael is a sweet guy and matches well with Hunter. However, Hunter seems to spend a lot of time doubting his new relationship and I’m not entirely sure whether or not this is actually to do with the “demon” of Beaumont House or just Hunter being insecure. This adds a nice, lighter plot to the otherwise dark/horror we otherwise get.
Despite my conflicted feelings, this is a good book and anyone into horror and anything that is generally just creepifying (in the words of Joss Whedon) stories will at least enjoy this read.
Blurb: Love at first sight can work for dogs as well as humans.
When Aaron finds Mavis, an emaciated and timid Boston terrier, at a pet adoption fair, his heart goes out to her — irrevocably.
When Christian, who is manning the adoption fair for the Humane Society that fateful autumn Saturday, finds Aaron, his heart goes out to him — irrevocably.
I Heart Boston Terriers is all about embracing love, whether it’s for someone who walks on four legs or someone who walks on two. The Boston terrier Mavis’s journey back to wholeness and finding her forever home runs parallel to the story of two men finding each other at that perfect moment — a moment that defies logic, propriety, and common sense.
But then when do the dictates of love follow a rational course?
Come along for a journey about a man and his dog and see how that journey teaches him the truth about love and making a caring connection that just might last a lifetime.
Review: He lost his boyfriend, his car and his home. Now he is living with his nutty sister who is trying to talk him into adopting a pet. When he meets Mavis, his heart just says this is the perfect dog. Mavis is a cute Boston terrier who has been abused. To top it off the cute guy from the Humane Society might just be willing to help him.
I will say that at first I thought his sister was pretty cool, but that did not last long. She is a royal bitch, if I must say so. But the guys together, well they rocked. It is a cute little story made even better with a dog. I think the author could have given it a better ending but it was still pretty good. Felt like a longer story but it turned out to be perfect for a break time read.
I will admit that it is not one of those stories I would read more than once though. It is still a pretty nice story with some cuteness to it. I would recommend it.
Blurb: Personal chef Beau St. Clair, recently divorced from his cheating husband, returns to the small Ohio River town where he grew up to lick his wounds.
Jack Rogers lives with his mother, Maisie, in that same small town, angry at and frightened by the world. Jack has a gap in his memory that hides something he dares not face, and he’s probably suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Maisie, seeking relief from her housebound and often surly son, hires Beau to cook for Jack, hoping the change might help bring Jack, once a handsome and vibrant attorney, back to his former self. But can a new face and comfort food compensate for the terror lurking in Jack’s past?
Slowly the two men begin a dance of revelation and healing. Food and compassion build a bridge between Beau and Jack, a bridge that might lead to love. But will Jack’s demons allow it? His history could just as easily tear them apart as bring them together.
Review:This story is part of a series but can be read as a stand-alone.
When Beau gets divorced from his cheating husband there’s only one place he thinks of going to lick his wounds, to the small town he grew up. Not sure what to do now Beau spots an ad for a personal chef and decides to check it out, it leads him to a man he never thought he’d see again.
Maisie is desperate when she posts an ad for a chef, her son has retreated into himself and is often snarly and surly, and she hopes that good food will tempt her son but the first visit doesn’t go too well.
Jack can’t remember anything of the night that changed his life, he’s terrified to leave his room and he hates the man he’s turned into. When his mom hires a chef in a desperate attempt to get Jack to engage in life, Jack is resentful but Beau begins to chip away at Jack’s blocked memories.
This is a great story that fits in perfectly with the other Romance with Recipes books (Dinner at Home, Dinner at Fiorello’s), it’s a touching story of budding love and healing. Beau is a fantastic character who is feeling slightly wounded after his divorce, when he gets a challenge in Jack he’s determined to bring Jack back to the land of the living and to being the man he knew one magical evening many years before.
Jack is suffering, he’s scared to live, there’s something lurking in his memories that has him terrified and has taken him from being a man who embraces life to one who shuns it. Jack isn’t a very nice character when we first meet him, in fact he’s downright nasty but as we learn what he has been through we understand that it’s a coping mechanism so he doesn’t have to re-join the world. When he meets Beau his behaviour doesn’t chase the man away and Jack soon learns that maybe that’s a good thing.
The story is really well written and the storyline is great, it’s a story that surprised me as I figured that the story would be straight forward and the blurb covered everything, and yes that’s true but there’s a little bit more that had my breath catching and a twinge of sadness struck me for what was lost by an act of hatred and bigotry. Rick R. Reed writes in such a way that even the expected comes as a surprise and he can tease feelings from you that you don’t expect.
While there is a touch of romance developing between Jack and Beau there is a lot of healing and facing the past before we get to that point, so don’t expect a lovefest because there’s a lot of ground to cover especially for Jack. On a side note Jack’s mother Maisie and Beau’s father Niles are great characters and it was so sweet to see their little romance play out as well.
I recommend this to those who love stories that have a little meat to them, characters who know sorrow and pain, men who have suffered but who begin to heal and bloom, and a romance that is just beginning.
Hi guys! We have Nell Iris popping in today with her new release Four Christmases, we have a great excerpt and a fantastic giveaway so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤️ ~Pixie~
Will a decade-old family feud and long held secrets stand in the way of love?
Auden Whipple is searching for a bit of peace and quiet from his loud family when he stumbles across the neighbor, Porter Eldin. Porter is scorching hot on a freezing Christmas Day, and nothing like Auden expected. A moment shared by the creek begins a relationship that surprises them both.
As the Christmases pass, Auden and Porter’s relationship deepens. But the obstacle of the unresolved conflict between the Whipples and the Eldins makes Auden worried. Worried to tell his family of his new-found love, worried that the conflict will come between them.
Can two men truly in love help mend fences that have been broken for too long? Can the holiday spirit help Auden and Porter find their happily ever after?
Blurb: Henry Appleby has an appetite for life. As a recent high school graduate and the son of a wealthy family in one of Chicago’s affluent North Shore suburbs, his life is laid out for him. Unfortunately, though, he’s being forced to follow in the footsteps of his successful attorney father instead of living his dream of being a chef. When an opportunity comes his way to work in a real kitchen the summer after graduation, at a little Italian joint called Fiorello’s, Henry jumps at the chance, putting his future in jeopardy.
Years ago, life was a plentiful buffet for Vito Carelli. But a tragic turn of events now keeps the young chef at Fiorello’s quiet and secretive, preferring to let his amazing Italian peasant cuisine do his talking.
When the two cooks meet over an open flame, sparks fly. Both need a taste of something more — something real, something true — to separate the good from the bad and find the love — and the hope — that just might be their salvation.
Review:This story is part of a series but can be read as a stand-alone. Henry knows what he wants to do with his life now that he’s graduated from school and it isn’t what his wealthy father has planned for him, but he doesn’t know if he will be brave enough to go after what he wants until he spots a help wanted ad for a little Italian restaurant called Fiorella’s. Vito was blessed with a good life until a tragic turn of events took what he loved most, now he lives quietly, keeping to himself and working as the chef at Fiorella’s. For over a year nothing has breached the shell he lives in until a blond ‘bubble dancer’ begins to crack his shell, but Vito doesn’t want his safe shell shattered and Henry’s life is falling apart around him. Will either man take a chance on something more or will they retreat to the safety or the world that they know.
Fiorella’s is another wonderful story from Rick R. Reed that touches our hearts. Henry is the typical rich kid who has had everything offered to him on a platter except the love of his parents, his mother is cold and distant and his father is a powerful attorney who has Henry’s life mapped out for him. Henry wants to take a chance of grabbing his dream though, a dream that would have him cooking for other people, a dream that his father would look down on but with only the summer free before he starts collage he decides to grab the chance he is offered. Vito is perfectly with his lonely life working as the chef at Fiorella’s, at least that’s what he wants everyone to believe, the loss of those he loved the most still weighs him down and he never wants to open is heart to that kind of hurt again. Having Henry come into his life has Vito tempted to live again. As Henry’s life begins to fall apart and he turns to Vito, but cracking Vito’s secretive shell isn’t easy.
Henry is a young man who doesn’t want to be caged into a life he won’t enjoy, but going against his father’s wishes isn’t easy especially when he gets no support from his mother. As Henry moves into the world of adulthood he learns that life isn’t easy or going to fit into what he wants, it’s a hard world with realities he might not like and he has to grow up. Vito knows that life is far from easy; he now keeps himself to himself with no interest in love. We don’t get an easy romance, in fact Vito seems to barely tolerate Henry, what we get is a young man on the verge of making his own adult decisions and a jaded man who has turned his back on life.
This is a beautifully written story, we are made to feel both men’s pain in this story, Henry’s pain as his life changes and his solid family base is shaken and Vito’s bleeding pain as he tries to let go of the past. There are some poignant moments as Vito loses himself in his dreams and memories and as he begins to open up to Henry but we also have his anger as he feels that he’s being forced to let go of the past. With Henry we get his excitement of beginning his life, the fear of going against his father, the devastation of his family not being what he thought and the twisting feelings he has for Vito. These two men need each other and it takes a large part of the book to get to that stage, but it fits as we get to know both Vito and Henry, it’s the pace that suits both of them.
I recommend this to those who love stories of embarking on your own path in life, of being poked back to life and the living, of a tentative new love blooming, of grabbing life with both hands and facing the fall out, and of two men who embark on a new stage in their lives.
Blurb: It only takes a few days for Ollie D’Angelo to lose his boyfriend, his job, and his home. Instead of mourning what he doesn’t have, Ollie celebrates what he does: the freedom to pursue his real passion—cooking. He begins Dinner at Home, a home-catering business, and it takes off.
Late one night, Ollie catches Hank Mellinger, a streetwise hood down on his luck, about to rob his car. Ollie soon discovers that appearances aren’t necessarily what they seem. Hank isn’t a criminal caught red-handed, but a hungry young man trying to make a life for himself and the four-year-old niece he’s trying desperately to take care of.
Instead of calling the cops, Ollie offers Hank a job and a way to pull himself up by his bootstraps. Together, they discover they can really cook… and that their shared passion for food just might lead to a passion for each other.
Review: Ollie wakes up one weekend thinking everything is perfect, he has a loving boyfriend, a wonderful home and a great job and then reality strikes as his boyfriend dumps him, he has to find a new place to live and he gets laid off from work. Ollie moves his focus to his freedom to do what he now wants: cooking. Hank fell in with drugs but after a stint in jail is trying to get back on his feet, when he finds himself having to take care of his niece, Addison, it becomes a struggle just to earn enough to buy food. Starving he goes looking for some quick cash but is surprised and ends up finding his saviour, Ollie, who offers him a job and a safe environment for his niece. Both Ollie and Hank discovered more on that dark night, they discover a shared passion for food and each other.
This is an amazing story of a man with a huge heart who, instead of wallowing in self-pity, embraced the opportunity to change his life and invited others to do the same. Ollie is an incredible character, he suffered the blow of being dumped by his boyfriend followed quickly by losing his job and he began to move forward with his life instead of stewing on what had happened. Hank is, amazingly, a character that you come to admire; he dabbled with drugs but cleaned himself up and genuinely wants to make something of his life and he keeps trying no matter what obstacles are thrown in his way. They might both come from different walks of life but their core is very similar, a love of food and the need to help and share with others.
While it might seem that food has a lot to do with this story (just wait till you get a load of the amazing recipes at the beginning of some chapters) it’s the love and comfort that is represented by the food that really shines through, a quite meal for two in the comfort of their own home, a lonely man needing a meal for one and a bit of company or even a family meal where the entire family attends and can relax, and for Ollie and Hank it’s the comfort of working together to make those meals that draw them together. It isn’t a rushed ‘oh my god he’s hot, lets jump into bed’ relationship, it’s one that is built up between them without them really realizing it and which is pushed into the forefront of their minds by a sudden burst of jealousy.
The entire story is wonderful; you have Hank and Ollie building a family unit with Addison and Rosa (another young person in need), then you have the sudden loss of a member which rocks the boat and nearly tears them all apart but they work to accept the changes. Hank and Ollie are beautiful together, they make a great couple for all that they seem so different and their love will get them through anything that life might throw at them.
I recommend this to those who love stories of dragging yourself up from the cesspit and making a new life for yourself, who love men with huge hearts who will hold a hand out and offer help, finding love when you least expect it, building your own family to love and getting your happy ever after through sheer hard work.
Blurb: Two of W.S. Long’s best-selling gay romance stories are now available in a box set! Fall in love with Pad and RJ’s love story. Contains the stories:
Ask and I’ll Tell: Raised by his aunt, after his mother died, Pad McLaughlin enlisted in the Air Force to see the world, and save money for college, but he didn’t expect to fall in love with his supervisor, RJ Davis, a handsome, dashing officer. Rather than return home right away after his tour of duty in Saudi Arabia, Pad gambles on love by joining RJ in Bangkok, despite the government’s policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” When Pad realizes RJ doesn’t love him, he returns home broken-hearted only to be distracted by Wayne, another hunky airman, who keeps secrets from Pad.
When RJ finally realizes after Pad’s gone what Pad means to him, is he too late? Will Pad choose the officer or the airman? Set in 2008, this love story takes place before the end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” when gay men who loved each other were forced to remain in the closet and deny themselves happiness.
Splendidly Ever After: Seven years after they meet, and more than four years since RJ initially proposes, RJ and Pad are back. The wedding invitations have been sent again and the date is set. This time, both men are more committed than ever to each other and willing to make their relationship work.
But old issues surface that cause conflict before their big day. Will RJ’s recent diagnosis of sexual addiction disorder tear them apart? Can they weather the growing disapproval from their families over same-sex marriage before they walk down the aisle? Will RJ and Pad finally tie the knot?
Review: Forbidden in Uniform Box Set is the collection of the two books that make the Forbidden in Uniform series, Ask and I’ll Tell and Splendidly Ever After, by WS Long. This is my first encounter with WS Long, so I had no idea what to expect, but I was attracted by the fact that this was a military type romance. I’m a bit of a sucker, even when (or especially because) of those based around DADT, where the romance holds a forbidden element (hence the name of the series, I suppose).
I’m going to give a quick review for both the novel and the novella which is featured in this collection. However, I’ve not rated them individually because for me they both get the same rating, whether individually or bundled together.
To me they weren’t really individual stories as such, the second book carries on from the first (about the same couple) and is completely dependent on the reader having read book 1 first (lucky it’s a box set). With that in mind, I find it really easy to make a number of overall comments about the story and treating it as one.
The first book starts when your two MCs meet. This is the romance between enlisted Air Force person, Pad McLaughlin, and Pad’s supervisor/commanding officer, RJ Davis. Pad has had a crush on his supervisor while they have been both stationed in Saudi Arabia, but DADT means that Pad could never act on his feelings. Not only that, he has no idea if RJ would be receptive. A little bit of scheming on Pad’s part and they end up in Thailand, indulging in a wild time of sex. But things get messy when emotions become involved. RJ, as an officer is in a difficult place, too, as any misstep could spell the end of his career. Meanwhile, Pad is moving to the base in Tampa, Florida and desperately wants to make a relationship with RJ work. However, when Pad realises RJ doesn’t love him, he goes back to Florida alone and picks up the pieces. Obviously the story doesn’t end here, because RJ has to get his shit together and the bumpy journey to a full fledged relationship continues.
The second book, Splendidly Ever After, picks up seven years later. RJ and Pad are still together and they are on their way to get married, with the stressful lead up wreaking havoc on their relationship. They’ve already been engaged and almost married once, but they broke up and got back together and (I hope) they’re stronger than ever. This is another serving of angst. Once again it seems that RJ is the cause of conflict, he suffers from sexual addiction disorder and his addiction to porn put a strain on their relationship.
I’m going to be upfront. While I didn’t dislike the book and didn’t have any trouble finishing it, I felt a little disappointed by the general feel of the book. I’m not sure if it is writing style or if it comes down to the details that were given to the reader throughout the book. However, I really struggled to feel the emotion between the two men, as well as struggling to get a firm hold of the attraction between them. Don’t get me wrong, the attraction was there but I felt there was something missing. I don’t think the fact that this is very much an insta-love type of situation helped, because I felt as though a lot of emotions, besides anger and heart break, were being muted by the fact that things seemed to be glossed over and told. In the end I feel I didn’t know the MC’s all that well.
The other thing is, I think it’s an interesting angle and I liked the struggle between the characters. However, I felt that it was a missed opportunity that the author did not go into further detail. The disorder wasn’t explained properly and the mental issues that RJ has gone through were not really brought out well. I know that sounds like an odd criticism, BUT I recently listened to an audio book of an MC who suffered sex addiction and used his work as an escort to help his treatment, that was pretty awesome.
TL;DR: I easily felt all the negative emotions and struggled to feel more out of the positive emotions.
This is probably the type of book for someone that likes insta-love, angst, heart break all rolled up into a military romance.
Hi guys! We have Terry O’Reilly stopping by today with his new release Love Or The NFL, we have a great excerpt and a brilliant giveaway so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤️ ~Pixie~
Love Or The NFL
Gymnast Frank Bethune arrives on campus already enamored with the star tight end, Bill Billingsly. Although the chances of them meeting are slim, fate draws them together, and their friendship turns to love.
Ever since childhood, Bill has dreamed of playing professional football. Though high risk to his potential career, Bill would seek out clandestine encounters with other guys when and where he could, but the first time he spots Frank, Bill knows he is someone special, someone he could possibly share a life with. If he’s drafted, will Bill and Frank be able to continue their closeted relationship, running the risk of discovery? Or will they have to part company for the sake of Bill living out his dream?
Bill knows he’ll need to use all his considerable skills learned on the field to score the life he wants off of it, too. Either way, is happiness even possible when it’s the NFL vs. love?
Hi guys! We have Nell Iris popping in today with her new release Team Luker, we have a great excerpt and a fantastic giveaway so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤️ ~Pixie~
What if this is the last time we lie like this?
Uncertainty is keeping Ellery Luker awake at night and robbing him of his appetite. It’s been five days since the love of his life and partner of twenty-five years, Jools, went to the doctor. Five days since the biopsy. Five days of going crazy with worry and what ifs?
What if Jools suffer from the same disease that stole Ellery’s mother when he was just eleven? What if all Ellery’s worst fears come true?