12 Tropes of 2020 Challenge – Better Not Pout by Annabeth Albert

May/December from
12 Tropes of 2020

Refers to a romantic relationship where there is a drastic difference in age between the two participants.

Taken from TV Tropes

“Some say I’m robbing the cradle, but I say she’s robbing the grave!”

Hubert FarnsworthFuturama

Better Not Pout
by Annabeth Albert

One hard-nosed military police officer.

One overly enthusiastic elf.

One poorly timed snowstorm.

Is it a recipe for disaster? Or a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for holiday romance?

Teddy MacNally loves Christmas and everything that goes along with it. When he plays an elf for his charity’s events, he never expects to be paired with a Scrooge masquerading as Santa Claus. His new mission: make the holiday-hating soldier believe he was born to say ho-ho-ho.

Sergeant Major Nicholas Nowicki doesn’t do Santa, but he’s army to his blood. When his CO asks an unusual favor, Nick of course obliges. The elf to his Kris Kringle? Tempting. Too tempting—Nick’s only in town for another month, and Teddy’s too young, too cheerful and too nice for a one-night stand.

The slow, sexy make-out sessions while Teddy and Nick are alone and snowbound, though, feel like anything but a quick hookup. As a stress-free holiday fling turns into Christmas all year round, Teddy can’t imagine his life without Nick. And Nick’s days on the base may be coming to a close, but he doesn’t plan on leaving anything, or anyone, behind. 

Blurb taken from Goodreads

My thoughts

Better Not Pout has been on my reading list for a while now, I remember making grand plans to read it all the way back in December 2017… it only took me two years to read it. I am very glad that I did eventually read this book as I found it to be quite a sweet and tender hearted novel.

Continue reading “12 Tropes of 2020 Challenge – Better Not Pout by Annabeth Albert”

Tough Guy by Rachel Reid

Tough Guy

by Rachel Reid.

They have nothing in common—so why does Ryan feel most like himself whenever he’s with Fabian?

Pro hockey star Ryan Price may be an enforcer, but off the ice he struggles with anxiety. Recently traded to the Toronto Guardians, he’s determined to make a fresh start in the city’s dynamic LGBTQ Village. The last thing he expects to stumble upon in his new neighborhood is a blast from his past in the fabulous form of Fabian Salah.

Aspiring musician Fabian loathes hockey. But that doesn’t stop him from being attracted to a certain burly, ginger-bearded defenseman. He hasn’t forgotten the kiss they almost shared back in high school, and it’s clear the chemistry between them has only intensified.

Fabian is more than happy to be Ryan’s guide to the gay scene in Toronto. Between dance clubs and art exhibits—and the most amazing sex—Ryan’s starting to feel something he hasn’t experienced in a long time: joy. But playing the role of the heavy on the ice has taken its toll on his body and mind, and a future with Fabian may mean hanging up his skates for good.

Taken from book blurb.

Release Date: January 13, 2020.

Length: 262 pages.

Series: Game Changers #3.

Genre: QUILTBAG. Romance. M/M Romance.

Read as: an eBook.

Sourced: NetGalley.


My Thoughts

Rachel Reid continues to blow me away. Not only does she make me want to know more about Hockey but she compels me to read her books in one session with her engaging characters and dynamic relationships. Although it is the start of the year, I feel like I have found a 2020 favourite in Tough Guy.

Continue reading “Tough Guy by Rachel Reid”

Cover Reveal: Shots on Goal by Amy Aislin

Shots on Goal

by Amy Aislin

Recently traded to the newly formed Vermont Trailblazers, professional hockey player Roman Kinsey needs to focus on helping the team win games and filling the stands, not on the blond, bespectacled part-timer who works at the library he volunteers at. He knows all too well that outing himself equals heartache and ridicule…or worse.

Cody Evans, psych major and grad school hopeful, notices everything and thinks too much. But he doesn’t know what to think when he sees Roman reading to kids. The rugged hockey player just doesn’t look like the type. But it stirs something in him, something he’s never felt before.

When the library is threatened with closure, Cody enlists Roman’s help. As they get to know each other better…much, much better…they realize that they have more in common than books. But Roman’s keeping a big part of himself from his team, and giving in to his feelings for Cody might be more than he’s willing to risk.

Book Blurb

Series: Stick Side #3

Release Date: January 7, 2020

Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance


Excerpt

Getting to know Roman Kinsey was going to be all kinds of interesting.

“Mr. Kinsey, this is Cody Evans,” Eileen said. “Cody’s one of our part-timers and he’ll be running Tiny Tot Storytime on the Tuesdays you’re unable to make it.”

Roman nodded once. “Thanks.” It was so grudging that Cody’s smile widened.

Roman’s lips pinched.

Holding out a hand, Cody said, “It’s nice to meet you, Mr. Kinsey.”

“It’s just Kinsey. Or Roman. Whatever.” His voice was pitched low, almost rough from thirty minutes of reading aloud.

“Which do you prefer?”

Something flickered across his face, and his hand jerked in Cody’s before he pulled back. “Roman’s fine.”

“Let me grab your things from the staff lounge, Mr. Kinsey,” Eileen said with a pat on his arm.

“Oh no, I can . . .”

But Eileen was already walking away, her old lady loafers with the buckle on the side silent on the carpet. Leaving Cody alone with Roman Kinsey. He bit the inside of his lip to conceal a grin.

Roman parked his butt against the hip-high bookshelf and crossed his arms. Silent. So, not one to fill awkward silence with inane chatter then. Cool. Except Cody, for some reason he couldn’t name, itched to get him talking.

“Good game last night,” he said.

That startled Roman, surprise crossing his features before he schooled them again. “We lost.”

“Only by one point, and you guys put up a hell of a fight. And Mr. Hannigan was right, you know.” Cody jerked his chin toward Mr. Hannigan, trailing his twin boys out the door. “Ritz is a left shooting center.” Meaning that on rushes down the ice, he tended to pass to his right winger more often than his left winger. “And you’re now the strongest right winger on the team. You really would be well-matched. Oh, and Mr. Mulligan’s right too—you guys really do need more shots on goal.”

Surprise crossed Roman’s face again, and this time it stayed there. “You know hockey?”

Cody shrugged. “Some.”


Author Bio

Amy Aislin’s lived with her head in the clouds since she first picked up a book as a child, and being fluent in two languages means she’s read a lot of books! She first picked up a pen on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class had to stay inside for recess. Tales of treasure hunts with her classmates eventually morphed into love stories between men, and she’s been writing ever since. She writes evenings and weekends—or whenever she isn’t at her full-time day job saving the planet at Canada’s largest environmental non-profit.

An unapologetic introvert, Amy reads too much and socializes too little, with no regrets. She loves connecting with readers. Join her Facebook Group to stay up-to-date on upcoming releases and for access to early teasers, find her on Instagram and Twitter, or sign up for her infrequent newsletter here.


Giveaway

Amy Aislin will be giving away an e-ARC of Shots on Goal to celebrate this cover reveal!

Follow this link to enter.

Anticipated Arrival: Tough Guy by Rachel Reid

Anticpated arrivals

What is it?!

Tough Guy is the third book in the Game Changers series by Rachel Reid.

I have previously read the first two books, Game Changer and Heated Rivalry, and quickly fell in love with not only the characters of the books but the intricate and emotional stories told by Reid.

According to Reid’s website, the third book will feature Pro Hockey Star Ryan Price and a Fabian Salah who is from Ryan’s early hockey days when he was billeted with Fabians family. Reid’s description of Ryan as a tall, shy, red head, who doesn’t like flying, has jogged my memory and I think I remember this character, if only slightly (hello re-read).

When is it coming out?!

January 13, 2020.

We still have a few months to wait for this book but I am looking forward to starting the year off with another book of Reid’s from her Game Changer universe.

Why do you want it?!

I became really immersed and emotionally involved in the story telling from Reid’s first two Game Changer books and look forward to reading another story of hers from this universe. Plus, I have a very small knowledge of hockey, so it is always interesting to find out more about this game and professional sport.

Also as far as I am concerned Carina Press can do no wrong – I am always satisfied with the stories and books that are published through them. It is so great seeing more diverse content as well!

Why does everyone else need it?!

Um, because the first two books were amazing. Don’t believe me? Check out my two resews of the series and try not to be swayed into reading them. Plus who doesn’t like reading romances with shy characters?


Anticipated arrival comment

Blog Tour: The King’s Dragon by W.M. Fawkes & Sam Burns

The King’s Dragon

by W.M. Fawkes & Sam Burns

Lord Tristram Radcliffe has a secret—he is the only dragon at the king’s court in Llangard. It’s a secret he’s kept from the knights he’s fought beside, from the ladies who bat their lashes at him, and from his closest companion, Prince Reynold. If it were to get out, he’d be banished to the Mawrcraig Mountains along with the rest of his kind, but the kingdom of men is the only one he’s ever known, and his heart lives in the stone halls of those who’d count him an enemy.

When the old king dies and Prince Reynold takes the throne, two visitors from the north throw Tristram into the middle of the ancient conflict between dragons and men. They put him on a collision course with the king’s shadow, Bet Kyston, a dangerous assassin who may want him dead or may want more of Tristram that he’d ever thought to give.

With the eyes of dragons upon him and a threat from the north creeping toward the home he loves, Tristram must weigh his allegiances before his dual legacies tear him apart.

Taken from Book Blurb

Series: Fire and Valor #1

Release Date: September 26, 2019

Genre: QUILTBAG, High Fantasy, Romance.


Excerpt

When he glanced up to meet Bet’s eyes, they were wide, the whites showing all around them. He wondered, for a moment, if he’d earned a stabbing, but then those eyes dropped to his lips, and Bet’s own parted a fraction.

As was his most unfortunate habit, Tris dove in head first.

Their mouths crashed together, a clash of tongues and teeth that started out anything but good. Tris tasted blood in his mouth, and he wasn’t sure whose it was.

In a flash, Bet turned them so that Tristram was the one with his back to the wall. He wrapped a hand around the side of Tristram’s neck, thumb coming up to hold his jaw in place in a grip that felt downright dangerous. Then he turned his head a fraction, opening up a little space between their noses and allowing himself full access.

Not to stab anyone, thankfully, though he pushed his way into Tris’s mouth as though convinced he’d be rebuffed and wanted to taste his fill before that. Tris just tilted his head up to meet the onslaught, eyes sliding shut and fingers scrabbling against the tapestry on the wall.

Bet kissed like he fought: hard, fast, and with no intention of taking prisoners. His free hand fell to Tristram’s trousers, as though he would strip them off right there in the hall, and slowed to press against his growing arousal. It seemed he appreciated what he found there, because he let out a growl that reminded Tristram of his own nearly inhuman one.

What he’d have done, Tris would never know, because a giggle echoed down the hallway, and Bet pulled back as though he’d been slapped. He turned to see a couple of ladies’ maids enter the hall, and before Tristram could so much as say his name, Bet turned and melted into the shadows.


Author Bios

W.M. Fawkes is an author of LGBTQ+ urban fantasy and paranormal romance. She lives with her partner in a house owned by three halloween-hued felines that dabble regularly in shadow walking.

Sam lives in the Midwest with husband and cat, which is even less exciting than it sounds, so she’s not sure why you’re still reading this.

She specializes in LGBTQIA+ fiction, usually with a romantic element. There’s sometimes intrigue and violence, usually a little sex, and almost always some swearing in her work. Her writing is light and happy, though, so if you’re looking for a dark gritty reality, you’ve come to the wrong author.


Giveaway

Win one of 2 e-copies of any book from the Lords of the Underworld series by Sam Burns & W.M. Fawkes!

Follow this link to enter.

Long Lost Review: Snakes Among Sweet Flowers by Jason Huffman-Black

Long Lost Reviews Icon

Snakes Among Sweet Flowers

Jason Huffman-Black.

Two-time ex-con Camden Sanders has decided that Hog Mountain—an isolated community on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia—is the perfect place to continue running small scams without the threat of more prison time. But there are a few problems with this plan. One is the neighbourly citizens of Hog Mountain thwarting his dirty dealings at every turn with their kindness. Another is Jackson Rhodes, a closeted Hog Mountain police officer who can see right through Cam’s good ol’ boy act and plans to catch him red-handed despite the attraction they both can feel. But the biggest problem of all is that Cam’s past is threatening to catch up with him, and it could mean trouble for more than just himself.

Taken from book blurb

Okay so I had always intended to review this book because I loved it. When I first read Snakes Among Sweet Flowers, it was a highlight of the year and I gave it a re-read last year and it stood the test of time because I still loved it.

I am a big sucker for stories that feature down trodden, poor, or struggling characters. I do not know why I love them so much but I really enjoy seeing characters suffer (omg I am terrible) but still manage to fall in love. I especially love the stories where the problems of a character aren’t magically fixed by falling in love, they just have someone else to share the struggles.

Continue reading “Long Lost Review: Snakes Among Sweet Flowers by Jason Huffman-Black”

Book Bingo Update 8 (DOUBLE BINGO)

DOUBLE BINGO

It’s September and I have done it! I’ve hit bingo, not once but twice! I’m still going to carry on and try and fill the rest of the card. So you’ll still see this monthly update. But in the mean time:


Paranormal

Dragon’s Hoard by M.A. Church

I bought this book ages ago from Dreamspinner Press and somehow never got around to reading it. After I found this gem in my digital bookshelf I quickly spent a day reading and loving it!

The book marks off not only my paranormal square but also one of my 2019 goals which was to read a Dreamspun Beyond book.

Continue reading “Book Bingo Update 8 (DOUBLE BINGO)”

Lord of the Last Heartbeat by May Peterson

Lord of the Last Heartbeat

by May Peterson.

|| Publisher || Goodreads || || Amazon || Kobo ||

Stop me. Please.

Three words scrawled in bloodred wine. A note furtively passed into the hand of a handsome stranger. Only death can free Mio from his mother’s political schemes. He’s put his trust in the enigmatic Rhodry—an immortal moon soul with the power of the bear spirit—to put an end to it all.

But Rhodry cannot bring himself to kill Mio, whose spellbinding voice has the power to expose secrets from the darkest recesses of the heart and mind. Nor can he deny his attraction to the fair young sorcerer. So he spirits Mio away to his home, the only place he can keep him safe—if the curse that besieges the estate doesn’t destroy them both first.

In a world teeming with mages, ghosts and dark secrets, love blooms between the unlikely pair. But if they are to be strong enough to overcome the evil that draws ever nearer, Mio and Rhodry must first accept a happiness neither ever expected to find.

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

Taken from book blurb.

Release Date: 2 September, 2019.

Length: 351 pages.

Series: The Sacred Dark #1.

Genre: Fantasy. Romance. QUILTBAG.

Read as: an eBook.

Sourced: NetGalley.


My Thoughts

Lord of the Last Heartbeat is a detailed fantasy story focused around Mio, a sorcerer whose power lies in his voice. When pushed to his limits by his power hungry mother, Mio escapes to the first place they would look, but the one he would be safest – the house of Rhodry, a cursed Moon Soul.

Focusing on Mio and Rhodry the story follows of the pair as they fight their attraction to each other and the mysterious force at work within the house. Expect twists and turns as the intricately weaved love story of Lord of the Last Heartbeat takes you on a journey filled with mystery and magic.


Continue reading “Lord of the Last Heartbeat by May Peterson”

Favourites: Family of Lies: Sebastian by Sam Argent

Family of Lies: Sebastian

by Sam Argent.

Publisher: link.

Goodreads: link.

Please note that due to issues with Dreamspinner Press slowly going out of business, there are are very few places you can purchase this eBook. Please check out the authors page though, as they are looking to self publish.


Sebastian Orwell did the only thing a smart wizard could do when he stumbled upon the wounded Crown Prince: he healed him and dumped him in a tavern where he could continue not being Sebastian’s problem. Unfortunately, the prince isn’t content with being alive, and he hunts Sebastian down to thank him personally. Not only is Sebastian stuck with the prince’s unwanted affections, he’s also confronted by growing evidence linking the assassination attempt to someone from his father’s past.

Lord Orwell is a lot of things: thief, liar, drunk, and all around horrible father, but Sebastian knows he’s no murderer. In order to prove it, Sebastian has to keep the prince alive long enough to discover the truth—a task made considerably harder because the idiot prince prefers wooing Sebastian over securing his own survival. On top of everything, Sebastian needs to save the day without revealing his magical powers and the real reason he hides his appearance.

Sebastian had no intention of playing the hero, but whoever is stirring up shit in his country will pay for destroying his quiet life.

Taken from book blurb

Length: 324 pages

Series: Family of Lies #1

Genre: Romance. Fantasy. QUILTBAG. M/M Romance.

Read As: Paperback.


Why is it a favourite?

Family OF Lies: Sebastian is such a breath of fresh air! The first time I read it, I DEVOURED it! I fell in love with the characters, the setting, and the romance between the main characters.

Not only is this book an amazing example of the fantasy genre but my god, the characters just jump from the page! Honestly I think Sebastian and Prince Turren are my favourite romantic pair 💕

There is snark.

There is sarcasm.

And there is a hard won happy ending, I may as well stop reading other books because Family of Lies: Sebastian is the perfect book for me.

Continue reading “Favourites: Family of Lies: Sebastian by Sam Argent”

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

Heartstopper

by Alice Oseman.

Publisher: link.

Goodreads: link.


BCharlie, a highly-strung, openly gay over-thinker, and Nick, a cheerful, soft-hearted rugby player, meet at a British all-boys grammar school. Friendship blooms quickly, but could there be something more…? 

Charlie Spring is in Year 10 at Truham Grammar School for Boys. The past year hasn’t been too great, but at least he’s not being bullied anymore, and he’s sort of got a boyfriend, even if he’s kind of mean and only wants to meet up in secret.

Nick Nelson is in Year 11 and on the school rugby team. He’s heard a little about Charlie – the kid who was outed last year and bullied for a few months – but he’s never had the opportunity to talk to him. That is, until the start of January, in which Nick and Charlie are placed in the same form group and made to sit together.

They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn’t think he has a chance. But love works in surprising ways, and sometimes good things are waiting just around the corner…


From the author of Solitaire and Radio Silence comes a bind up of the first two chapters of Heartstopper, an ongoing webcomic.

Length: 288 Pages.

Series: Heartstopper #1

Genre: YA. M/M Romance. QUILTBAG. Graphic Novel.

Read as an: Paperback


My Thoughts

Okay so first up I loved this book(!) but you need to know the emotional journey I went on while reading it.

  • I had a Bubble bath and read Heartstopper.
  • I needed to read more of Heartstopper.
  • I researched and found out it is a web-comic.
  • I read all that is available of the web-comic.
  • I needed to read more of Heartstopper.
  • I preordered the fuck out of the second book.
Continue reading “Heartstopper by Alice Oseman”