Thursday, December 14, 2017

Book Review: SECRET SANTA by Jay Northcote

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Length: 38,000 words approx.
Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design


Keeping secrets is never a good way to start a relationship

Theo hardly has time to date. Between work and caring for his four-year-old son there aren't many hours left over. Heís lonely though, so he joins a hook-up app and starts chatting to a guy called Luke. Luke seems friendly and they arrange to meet. Theo doesn't mention that he has a child. It's early days and he's worried about putting Luke off before they get to know each other.

Luke is currently working as Santa at the local shopping mall. He figures Theo never has to know. Christmas will be over soon and Luke will move on to a new, less embarrassing job. He's surprised when Theo and a little boy visit Santa one afternoon. Theo doesn't recognise Luke, and Luke realises he's not the only one with a secret.

Despite misgivings on both sides, they start dating, and the chemistry is amazing. But as Christmas approaches their secrets pile up like colourful packages under the tree. If they're not careful, they'll lose the best gift of all-each other.

Carra's Review

Now this?  This is exactly what I like to read for holiday romance.  A relatively quick read for me, sweet and cute with just the right touch of angst, and just a few touches of spice to heat things up—all centered around Christmas for that bit of holiday magic.

Both Luke and Theo have things about themselves they don’t want to reveal to someone new; Luke because he’s a bit embarrassed about his holiday job and Theo because he doesn’t want a potential boyfriend to bolt once they find out he has a child.  These may seem like things that have been written about before, but the author puts a fresh spin on them by weaving a little twist into it with Luke finding out Theo’s secret without Theo knowing it, adding a convoluted bit of extra secrets into the mix.

As the story progresses, I was hoping all that secrecy wouldn’t wind up blowing up in Luke and Theo’s faces—because they had such a natural chemistry between them, everything with them felt just right and I wanted to see them make it as a couple.  They had physical attraction as well as a great rapport with each other, easily feeling comfortable together even once Theo’s son Archie (who is absolutely adorable) is adding into the equation.

Secret Santa was a fun, mostly light holiday romance, and it was a very solid 4-star read for me.  I definitely recommend this story to anyone looking for a good M/M holiday romance.  This book is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and some hot and steamy sexual content. 

Author Bio

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.

One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story-just to see if he could-and found it rather addictive. He hasn't stopped writing since.

Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. He has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are now available as audiobooks.

Jay is transgender and was formerly known as she/her.

November 24 - Gay Book ReviewsMikku-chan

November 27 - Out Of My HeadMirrigold: Mutterings & Musings

December 1 - The Day Before You CameMillsy Loves BooksV's Reads

December 4 - BooksLaidBareBoys

December 6 - Drops of InkAu Boudoir Ecarlate

December 8 - My Fiction Nook

December 12 - Valerie Ullmer, Padme's LibraryNicole's Book MusingsWicked Faerie's Tales & Reviews

December 14 - Books Lovers 4EverMaking It HappenSlashsessedScattered Thoughts & Rogue WordsWicked Reads

December 16 - Jim's Reading RoomBayou Book JunkieXtreme DelusionsThe Way She Reads

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Spotlight-Excerpt & Giveaway: GRAY'S PROMISE by Anni Fife (A King Security Novel #2)

A King Security Novel, Book 2

by Anni Fife

New Release & Giveaway: THE HOLIDAY PACKAGE by Leigh Lennon (A Jake Davis Novella Part 1)

A Jake Davis Novella: Part 1

by Leigh Lennon

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Book Review & Giveaway: THREE UNDER THE CHRISTMAS TREE by Silvia Violet

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Length: 22,000 words approx
Cover Design: L.C. Chase


Ace and Gavin haven't had a threesome in far too long. When Ace meets the perfect guy to join them, he can't think of a better way to kick off the holiday season.

Jonathan is charmed by the sexy couple, and he quickly realizes that what started as a fling has the potential to be a whole lot more.

Gavin feels their connection just as strongly, but even after weeks of the three of them hanging out, he's afraid to suggest they turn their friends-with-benefits arrangement into a serious relationship.

The joy and shared experiences of the season have a way of making magic happen, if only all three men could find the courage to ask for what they want.

Carra's Review

While I’m not one for open relationships on a personal level, reading about one can really hit the spot—particularly one that turns into something more when a couple finds a third who just fits with them perfectly.  Gavin and Ace love each other, but sometimes just want a bit more outside of the two of them, either separately or by bringing in a third (Jonathan) to play.  This story shows what happens when a third becomes more, and does it quite well.

I like all three men a lot individually—Gavin with his cute Christmas quirks, Ace with his kitchen skills and alpha personality, and Jonathan who is like a blend of them both.  The three of them together physically…yeah, that’s one hell of a threesome and their sex scenes are scorching hot.  Beyond the physical, the three men also seem to connect in everyday life as well.  As almost always seems to be the case with stories that are of this length, I really wished this would have been longer so there could be more on-page relationship development.  We’re more told that the relationship progressed rather than shown for the most part, and personally I prefer to be able to read through the evolution of their connection.

That said, this story was still a very satisfying read and is getting 4 stars from me.  Thanks to the adult language and explicit sexual content, this book is meant strictly for readers 18+.  With Three Under the Christmas Tree being set during the holiday season (spanning just before Thanksgiving and forward), fans of menage holiday books—or just menage books in general—will definitely want to pick this one up.

Author Bio

Silvia Violet writes fun, sexy stories that will leave you smiling and satisfied. She has a thing for characters who are in need of comfort and enjoys helping them surrender to love even when they doubt it exists. Silvia's stories include sizzling contemporaries, paranormals, and historicals. When she needs a break from listening to the voices in her head, she spends time baking, taking long walks, curling up with her favorite books, and spending time with her family.


December 7 - BooksLaidBareBoys
December 11 - Lelyana's Book Blog

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Cover Reveal & Excerpt: BLEU BALLS by Tara Lain (Balls to the Wall #7)

Bleu Balls
(Balls to the Wall Series #7)
By Tara Lain


Double trouble. The McMillan twins, Robin and Bobby, are renowned for their talents—both as fine artists and for thrilling the various men who catch their eyes. As different in style and personality as their DNA is identical, they’re nonetheless best friends who divide and conquer, with Robin doing the serious painting and Bobby adding the sunny salesmanship.

But when their most important client decides Bobby must wield the paintbrush, the brothers revert to childhood tactics and switch places. Then along comes Micah, a handsome doctor who’s attracted to Bobby but invites Robin out to try to please his homophobic brother, and Paolo, the pain-in-the-butt client who thinks he’s wooing Bobby when he’s actually after Robin. Paolo harbors his own hidden pain that weirdly intersects with Robin’s, but pride and privacy conspire to produce what will either be a masterpiece—or end up as Dogs Playing Poker.

Available for pre-order

Also Available in Paperback

Release Date
January 9, 2018


Anson said, “This is Paolo Lind. His architectural firm designed this building and is its largest tenant.”
Robin stared right at the man. “Cool.”
Lind nodded but said nothing. He glanced up, met Robin’s gaze for an electric instant, and then shifted away. Ridiculous that a man so gorgeous should be such an asshole.
Anson said, “So, Ms. Etheridge, show us what you brought.”
Valerie stood her tablet on the table and began scrolling through photos of their projects. “As you’ll see, the McMillan brothers have the scope and grandeur to handle a project of this size but still maintain a contemporary, even leading-edge look. No kitsch that murals tend to fall into because the artist doesn’t know what to do in that large a work.”
She was doing a good job. Robin tried to listen, but his gaze kept drifting to the architectural masterpiece across the table.
She pulled out a portfolio of drawings and sketches to give them a sense of the immediacy of their work. “You can see the boldness of line and form.”
The architect stared at Robin’s portfolio with a slight crease between his dark, arched brows. Suddenly he looked up. “Excuse me, but we’ve already seen their work for others. Do you have a design to show us or not?”
Valerie paused for a fraction of a second too long, but then she dove in. “Mr. Lind, to do a design for a project of this size would require many, many hours of time—all on speculation. My clients are sought-after artists.”
Lind pushed the portfolio across the wide, slick table. “So are all the people we’re considering for this project. Obviously, your clients must not value the commission.”
Well, sh*t. Robin grabbed the portfolio. At the back were some sketches, and he ripped one from the plastic sleeve that held it. He turned it over and pulled three markers from his pocket—he didn’t leave home without them. Bold lines flowed across the paper as he drew. He glanced up at Lind, who stared at Robin’s moving hand. “So tell me. Do you design a lot of buildings on spec, darling?” Lind scowled at him. Robin looked back at the drawing and took his thumb, wet it, and smudged some of the lines. “Yeah, no, right? Because all you have to sell is your design talent. Just like me. This building we’re sitting in is a really good design. Not the best I’ve ever seen, but really good for Orange County. You need a mural that reflects that design, and you’re a good enough architect to know with one glance that I’m that guy.”
He kept drawing, slashing lines and swirling in flashes of golden yellow, but the main theme was blue, baby. With a sneer, he slid the abstract, wild, free creation across the table and stood up. “You can keep this, because no matter who else you hire, they can’t begin to do what my brother and I can do. But you’ll f*ck up your building because, for whatever reason, after an acquaintance of thirty seconds, you don’t like me. Maybe you don’t like gay guys in eyeliner. Maybe you’re just an asshole. Hell, you want reasons to dislike me? You should get to know me. I can give you a boatload of reasons, but not liking my earrings is a pretty dumbass basis on which to choose an artist, and you, of all people, should know that.” He leaned over, signed the drawing with a flourish, flicked his fingers, and made the paper jump. “Good luck with your building.”
He crossed the conference room and walked out just as the sportswear chick yelled, “You tell ’em, cutie.”

The Balls to the Wall Series

Volley Balls
Book #1

Available to purchase at 

Fire Balls 
Book #2

Available to purchase at 

Beach Balls
Book #3

Available to purchase at 

Snow Balls
Book #4

Available to purchase at 

FAST Balls
Book #5

Available to purchase at 

High Balls
Book #6

Available for purchase at

Prefer paperback?
The first and second book are now available in paperback! 

About the Author

Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 32. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Paranormal Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft.  She lives with her soul-mate husband and her soul-mate dog near the sea in California where she sets a lot of her books.  Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!

You can find Tara at Lain

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

New Release-Review & Giveaway: AN UNLOCKED MIND by K.C. Wells & Parker Williams (Secrets #2)

An Unlocked Mind
Series: Secrets Book #2
Author: K.C. Wells & Parker Williams
Genre: M/M Romance Light BDSM
Release Date: December 11, 2017 

Rob Daniels is determined to prove to himself that his brother Alex got it wrong. Alex believes he found love through BDSM; Rob is certain that’s not possible. He even makes several visits to a London club to prove his point. But when he attends the grand opening of Secrets, Rob gets a shock, one that has him fleeing, vowing never to return—until he does… and runs into the brick wall that is Dom Vic Prentiss. As first meetings go, theirs is a disaster.

The more time he spends around Rob, the more convinced Vic becomes of two things—one, something is eating away at Rob, and two, he’s looking for something. Every instinct tells Vic to help him, but trying to unlock the secrets hidden in Rob’s mind requires a key. All Vic has to do is find it. Because maybe then he’ll get to see the real Rob, the man who’s scared to let go….

While this book is part of a series it can be read as a standalone.  However, I personally recommend readers read An Unlocked Heart from the authors’ Collars and Cuffs series first to get the backstory regarding Rob’s relationship with his brother Alex first—I think it will greatly enhance your enjoyment of An Unlocked Mind if you do.

Rob and Vic’s story starts and progresses slowly; their relationship builds over time as the two get to know each other and grow closer.  Rob’s character goes through plenty of growth as the story goes on, opening himself up to what he previously looked down upon.  When I first read about him in Alex’s story, I thought he was a real jerk and I wasn’t sure after his actions then how he would be redeemed now.  But the authors did a great job at revealing the inner workings of Rob’s mind and turning his character into one I actually really liked (especially his bratty side that would come out from time to time with Vic).

Vic is a patient, intelligent man who sees the man Rob is inside and is drawn to helping him.  He may have his hands full with Rob at times, but his patience and tenacity—along with his growing feelings—help him to guide Rob to become the person he was meant to be.  I enjoyed the dynamic between the two of them, and was glad Vic had the chance to get what was missing for him as well—someone to share his life with.

I love this series so far; that we also get to see some of the characters from the original Collars and Cuffs series is a nice bonus.  An Unlocked Mind was 4.5 stars for me, and I really am looking forward to see where the authors take the series from here.  This book is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and sexual content.

Oh, and for the record…I wholeheartedly sided with Rob regarding his customer at the beginning of the book, and thought his boss was a real jackass to him about the whole situation (not to mention his boss’s attitude, period).

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K.C. Wells started writing in 2012, although the idea of writing a novel had been in her head since she was a child. But after reading that first gay romance in 2009, she was hooked.

She now writes full time, and the line of men in her head, clamouring to tell their story, is getting longer and longer. If the frequent visits by plot bunnies are anything to go by, that’s not about to change anytime soon.

Parker Williams believes that true love exists, but it always comes with a price. No happily ever after can ever be had without work, sweat, and tears that come with melding lives together.