Book Title: Full O’Festive Spirits
Author: Zakarrie Clarke
Genre/s: Contemporary romance
Heat Rating: 4 flames
Length: 40 000 words
Release Date: December 16, 2018
Author PageGabriel is staggered, upon overhearing two old dears declare that only 21 shopping days remain ’til Christmas. He hadn’t even noticed that December had dawned, far too busy being grim ‘n’ grumpy to be bothered. This, after losing his job—again—leaving him too fed-up of enforced thriftiness to differentiate days that did not. Let alone recall the date on the calen— A thought that sends Gabriel scuttling off the bus, in a belated bid to secure his favourite part of the festive season…an advent calendar. If they have any left. Upon clattering into the nearest shop, he finds himself coshed by the most splendid sight he e’er did see. A Christmas Feast for the eyeballs so sublime, it seemed—for a hectic heartbeat—that they’d all come at once. As the latter was a feat so improbable in said company, they definitely had not. Dylan is much dismayed by the ramshackle litter of limbs and belongings that trips into the off-license, halfway through his shift. It being way too early for the drunk and determinedly irritating to come staggering in. In the wake of arriving too late to audition for a role he’d set his heart on, Dylan is no mood to deal with a human hatstand—doe-eyed and demented—intent upon purchasing a bloody advent calendar. On the third of December. For himself. Strewth. Could fate have possibly dumped a less welcome portent of festivities doomed to disaster on the doorstep? Excerpt Dylan’s trip down misery lane was rudely interrupted by the teeth-gritting jangle of the bell that heralded the entrance of each customer. Reason enough to want to bolt the bloody door to ensure that no one could set the damn thing off. “Oh, bugger…” Christ, no. It was way too early for the pissed-up and perennially irritating to start staggering in. Dylan glared at the ramshackle onslaught of limbs and belongings that clattered into the shop. This, with a godawful racket reminiscent of a one-man band, created by what appeared to be: one person, a single guitar, and some plastic bags. The latter were either full of saucepan lids, tambourines and stray cats…or, the customer could cause chaos in a broom cupboard. On his own. Neither of which boded well for the duration. He would no doubt browse for fifteen minutes, knock Dylan’s painstaking display of colour coordinated decorations off the shelf—then insist on arguing about fuck-all—before finally purchasing a cheap lighter, some Rizzla papers and a Snickers bar. Dylan had, clearly, been working in an off-license far too long. This had been true about an hour into his first shift, despite the fifteen percent staff reduction that had clinched the deal in the first place. Dylan watched, incredulous, as the litter of limbs and baggage rearranged itself into something that resembled a human figure. Albeit, a far too…extravagant one. Then, he lifted his head. How simple that sounded. The customer’s face had formerly been obscured by the brim of his hat; a battered black trilby, barely a shade darker than eyes as bottomless as they were huge. Framed by excessive eyelashes and skin so pale, he could have played Pierrot, sans make-up. A fact not helped by lips so wind-chapped, they looked kiss-bitten. Or, he’d earned enough to buy more than a packet of bloody Rizzla and a Snickers in the very recent past. If he hadn’t already blown it on his next fix. Get a grip. Who the hell would cart a guitar around with them, while out pulling punters? Punters, f’fucksakes? “Hiya.” His little-boy-lost features lit up in a smile as startling as his voice; coming from a body comprised of far too many corners. Dylan had expected clipped cockney tones or a harsh estuary drawl. The ‘hiya’ had scarce classified as a word, it had been but a wisp of melody. This particular nugget of nonsense was followed by the belated awareness that Dylan was standing like a lemon, dumbstruck. Ensnared in the dark spotlight of a gaze akin to a steel-jaw trap…
About the AuthorAfter moving to London at eighteen and flitting about for far too long, Zakarrie settled, as blissy as can be, by the sea. ’Twas here that her castaway dreams re-surfaced and she began to write; stories that are, in truth, better at being her than she’s ever been. Her one hope now is that someone, somewhere, will enjoy the misadventures of her miscreants as much as she adores writing them.
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Book Title: Kink Aware (Kiss of Leather 9)
Author: Morticia Knight
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Genre/s: Gay/Genderqueer BDSM Contemporary Romance
Heat Rating: 4 flames
Length: 58 500 words/184 pages
It can be read as a standalone story, although part of a series.
If it is part of a series are the other books also available for review? Yes
Release Date: December 18, 2018
Buy LinksWorking at Rogue Ink is a dream job for Cruella, especially being around the hunky co-owner, Ray. Even though the money isn’t great, the eye candy and Ray’s caring heart make it all worthwhile. When Cruella risks rejection by inviting Ray to be their partner for a shibari class at Kiss of Leather, they’re thrilled when Ray accepts. Cruella’s invitation both excites and terrifies Ray. He wants Cruella, but does he also want to become more kink aware? Still, he could kick himself for not making a move yet on the sweet and beautiful Cruella, so maybe this is his chance. His protective instincts have gotten him into serious trouble before, so he’ll be sure not to make the same mistake with Cruella. They’ve made it clear they can take care of themself. Cruella fears that Ray won’t accept their genderqueer identity and Ray aches to be the strong man Cruella needs. However, when Cruella’s dark past intrudes on their blissful present—Ray’s definition of strength might turn out to be harsher than Cruella is willing to accept.
Excerpt I don’t know why I torture myself like this. Cruella slid each delectable garment along the new arrivals rail in the Rags & Rhinestones vintage clothing store, almost drooling over the spectacular collection of goodies that Heath had picked up at an estate sale over the weekend. Their rather limited clothing allowance of the past couple months had gone to purchase rope for the shibari class. They sighed. It would be so worth it if Ray would let them tie him up in bed. It certainly seemed to turn him on the other night when I suggested it. If they were being honest, the idea had them rather hot too. When they had originally signed up for the class, the eroticism of the art hadn’t been the strongest attraction to learning shibari. At least not in terms of tying up a partner for sex. Their thought process had been more along the lines of the visual appeal, not necessarily using it as a prelude to, or as part of, making love. They stepped behind a round rack to conceal their arousal as their mind wandered to Saturday morning when Ray had kneeled before them in the shower and sucked them to completion. While they’d never viewed themselves as someone who wanted to dominate a partner, they’d begun to consider that the desire to do so had been there all along but hadn’t been allowed to flourish. That sure as hell was the case with Tucker. Ray on his knees, Ray tied up and at their mercy, Ray beneath them as they fucked him into the mattress—all those scenarios had been playing on a loop in their head ever since they’d last seen him. They knew one thing for sure, when they got together with Ray that night to finally work on their class project, they were going to get a little rope action in bed if nothing else. “Hey, Cruella. See anything you like?” Cruella glanced up at the shop owner, Heath. “Hi, hon. Trust me, I see plenty I like.” Cruella let out another mournful sigh. “But I’m broke this month.” Heath tsked, shaking his head. “I keep telling you, come work for me. You have a better sense of style than anyone who’s ever worked here, and you’d get an employee discount.” Cruella barked out a laugh. “And never come home with a paycheck. No, they pay me well at Rogue, at least a couple more bucks an hour then I would get for that type of job. Especially since I’m not a manager or anything.” “I’ll match what they’re giving you right now, with an eye toward making you a manager here eventually.” Cruella blinked repeatedly as they stared at the tall, blond-haired cutie they’d come to know over the past few years of being a regular at the shop. Heath had teased them more than once about coming to work for him, but had never made such a serious offer. Cruella hadn’t been kidding, though, about never coming home with a paycheck. The killer clothes, shoes and handbags that regularly filled the shop to the brim would suck the cash right out of their pocket. Their buyer resistance was next to non-existent. “You can’t be serious, hon. Why would you do that? And why do you need a manager?” Heath draped an elbow over the rail and leaned against the rack. “So fucking serious, doll, you have no idea. Look, to begin with, most of the staff who come through here are either clueless and couldn’t give two shits about fashion or chose this job by wandering down the street until they spotted it and thought, ‘gee, this looks like a great place to steal from.’ I can’t even with these losers anymore.” Heath glanced around the shop, the few other customers in the large, rectangular space seemingly lost in their own perusing. He leaned in closer. “I love this shop. I’m flippin’ proud of what I built up over the past five years. But damn, honey. I haven’t had a social life since I turned twenty-two.” Heath huffed. “And I was only out and proud for two years before that, so this girl hasn’t had nearly as much fun as she should’ve by now.” Cruella fingered the nineteen-twenties mauve velvet coat that they could totally picture themselves in and considered Heath’s words. “Wow, I guess I never thought about how much work it must take to run this place on your own. Although, the owners of Rogue seem to work nonstop. But at least there’s three of them to handle the responsibility.” Heath furrowed his brow. “Is that little sweetheart who was kidnapped still doing okay?” After the dust had settled from the horrible events surrounding Liam’s kidnapping, Cruella had been able to work out that Heath’s shop was where Neal had called the police from. “He’s doing fine. I think in his case having the responsibility of a new business has done wonders at keeping him distracted and dwelling on what happened.” Cruella chuckled. “Of course, his fiancé keeps him more than distracted enough anyway.” Heath smiled. “That’s good to hear.” Heath glanced over his shoulder as someone approached the register. “Listen, you think about what I said.” He squeezed Cruella’s arm. “I meant every word.” Cruella let their finger run down the beaded edging of the coat until they found the price tag. They sucked in a sharp breath as they absorbed the amount of the vintage item. Two hundred and twenty-five dollars. They whimpered. I wonder how much of a discount?
About the AuthorAuthor Morticia Knight spends most of her nights writing about men loving men forever after. If there happens to be some friendly bondage or floggings involved, she doesn’t begrudge her characters whatever their filthy little hearts desire. Even though she’s been crafting her naughty tales for more years than she’d like to share—her adventures as a published author began in 2011. Since then, she’s been fortunate enough to have several books on bestseller lists along with titles receiving recognition in the Rainbow Book Awards, Divine Magazine and Love Romance Café. Once upon a time she was the lead singer in an indie rock band that toured the West Coast and charted on U.S. college radio. She currently resides on the North Oregon coast and when she’s not fantasizing about hot men, she takes walks along the ocean and annoys the local Karaoke bar patrons.
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Book Title: Little Harbour
Author: Sophia Soames
Cover Artist: Miriam Latu
Genre/s: M/M, contemporary romance
Heat Rating: 4 flames
Length: 135 377 words/468 pages
It is a standalone story and is the first book in series of stories set in Scandinavia.A story of love and grief, second chances, and family life. An M/M GFY-ish romance, featuring a hoard of feral children, a stolen pram, a Midwifery blog and an ill advised stint on TV. Oh yes and a Man who has lost hope and another who never gave it up. Blurb This is a story about life and death. Because there has never been anyone else for Jens. He had been with Sofie almost all his life, from the day they met at school when they were fifteen, until the day she took her final breath against his chest. She was always everything to him. As he was to her. He never doubted that. Not for a minute. This is a story of hope, where Axel Kleve keeps himself too busy to even stop and think. Work, sleep, eat, repeat. He loves his job as a Midwife at Oslo’s University Hospital, He’s good at lecturing and training, and now he has somehow been pushed into running “Ask Axel,” a midwifery blog on PNN.no, the parenting-site everyone in Norway trusts. This is a tale of second chances. Jens, he doesn’t let himself think of Axel. He doesn’t think of Axel at all. And Axel needs to stop longing for that one crush he’s never been able to leave behind. It’s just plain ridiculous. He should have got over Jens Sommerfeldt years ago. A song about family and love and happiness found in small doses. Of trying to parent when you don’t know how. Of finding love where you always knew it lived. This is the story of a little harbour. The place in your heart you didn’t know was there.
Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited“Can I have a hug? Please?” Axel asks. He can’t help it. He needs one. He needs to know that Jens is still Jens. His Jens. The one who hugged him every time they met up all those years ago. Jens always hugged him to say hello. Always hugged him goodbye. Always. He needs Jens to still be Jens. Jens doesn’t hug him. Jens body slams him, so hard Axel thinks he might fall over. Stumbling backwards while Jens’ arms are squeezing him, so hard he can’t breathe, and there is hot breath against Axel’s neck and it is so Jens. All-consumingly Jens. All him. “I fucking missed you so much.” Jens whispers, his voice hoarse and quiet. I’m all yours.” Axel whispers back. “I always was.”
About the AuthorSophia Soames should be old enough to know better but has barely grown up. She has been known to fangirl over tv-shows, has fallen in and out of love with more popstars than she dares to remember, and has a ridiculously high-flying (un-) glamourous real-life job. Her long-suffering husband just laughs at her antics. Their children are feral. The AuPair just sighs. She lives in a creaky old house in rural London, although her heart is still in Scandinavia. Discovering that the stories in her head make sense when written down has been part of the most hilarious midlife crisis ever and she hopes it may long continue.
Facebook: Sophia Soames
Tumblr: sophia soames
Come and enter a super chilled Scandinavian style laid back competition. Just sit back, follow Sophia on social media if you wish, and enter to win a cozy Little Harbour inspired ‘Hygge’ pack featuring a Little Harbour printed tea towel and an Amazon £10 gift card. And it wouldn’t be Scandinavian without FIKA, so I will throw in a $5 Starbucks gift voucher too. How is that for a relaxing prize?
Competition ends December 22 and 3 (yes 3!) lucky winners will be drawn to win a Hygge pack each. Good luck!
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Book Title: Omega Defiant
Author: Dessa Lux
Cover Artist: Mara Williams
Release Date: November 29, 2018
Genre/s: Paranormal, Werewolf, A/B/O, Mpreg
Heat Rating: 4 flames
Length: 119 000 words/350 pages
It’s the second book in the series but can be read as a standalone.
Omega werewolf Casey Niemi has grown up in the safety of his adopted pack. He can’t remember what took him from his original family–and he doesn’t want to, even if it might explain why getting too close to an alpha makes him panic. He’s moving on with his life and totally has it under control–until a new alpha shows up and throws Casey’s world completely off kilter.
Alpha werewolf Adam Vinick wants to improve the lives of omegas through the power of rigorous scientific research. After the death of his omega dad, he left his father’s pack and has never looked back. But he’s been having a hard time finding omegas for his study, and his life’s work may be cancelled if he can’t show results soon. When he turns to the Niemis for help, he’s not expecting an omega like Casey.
Adam and Casey have instant chemistry–the kind that explodes on contact. When the Niemis send Casey to assist Adam on his research trip, enemies become reluctant allies and it doesn’t take long for them to argue their way into each other’s beds.
But can their long road lead them to each other’s hearts?
Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited
About the Author
Dessa Lux also writes fanfic as Dira Sudis and has one novel published as Dira Lewis through Less Than Three Press. She is a confirmed Midwesterner, a librarian, and a Diet Coke addict, but she does not own a cat. You can find Dessa on Twitter @DessaLux, or at www.dessalux.com
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Book Title: Pain and Promise
Author: Lazlo Thorn
Publisher: MLR Press
Cover Artist: Melody Pond
Genre/s: Gay Romance / Erotica / Historical
Heat Rating: 4 flames
Length: 73 000 words/230 pages
It is a standalone book
Blurb June, 1981: The small town of Frentana on the Adriatic coast of Italy was the last place Bobby would have suspected that his titanic struggle with being gay would come to a head. But then he hadn’t reckoned on the town’s evil secret weapon – Dario, a Michaelangelo man with a missionary zeal for sex with men and the tightest trousers that Bobby had ever set eyes on. But then Bobby wasn’t the first Englishman in that bright land where the olive trees grew, to be dazzled and beguiled by a local boy. For there was another love story that had yet to be told. A hidden affair separated from Bobby and Dario by almost forty years. An inspiring tale of a great war time romance between two very special young men and one with which Bobby would become strangely linked. Excerpt August, 1969 Florence, Italy As the short, strong stranger drew level with Bobby, this young man, still engaged in deep conversation with his friends, nonchalantly reached down and pulled at the front of his trousers, as if scratching an itch in his groin. For a split-second, time seemed to freeze, and Bobby became lost in a moment of furtive fascination as this Florentine beauty continued touching and prodding himself between his legs. Then, in complete disregard for the very public place in which they stood, he suggestively adjusted the contents of his trousers, in much the same way a shopper in a supermarket might casually rummage in a heavy bag of vegetables. The encounter lasted only a few seconds, and then the young blood and his equally attractive gang of friends were gone, leaving Bobby strangely crushed at the thought that this beautiful creature hadn’t even noticed he was there. The clock on the tower above his head struck eight, and time started up again. When Bobby glanced back at his family, his father was pointing enthusiastically toward the corner of the square where, having finally spotted their destination, they went on to spend a very enjoyable evening at the restaurant, and he thought no more about it. Bobby found coming home to England after such a great holiday in Italy quite depressing, particularly when he realised that school would resume the following week. So once again, he turned his attention to more mundane matters like his unfinished holiday homework, and all too quickly, the glittering streets of Italy seemed just a distant memory. Until that day when he made his bitter discovery. It was early evening, not long after returning home. Alone in his bedroom, he gazed out of the window at their back garden. The red summer roses were dying back, and the rain was drizzling down. Why the memory came to him then, he wasn’t sure. Perhaps he heard the clock in the hallway downstairs chime eight. But come it did and, for whatever reason, he suddenly remembered the attractive young men in the street outside the restaurant in Florence. In particular, the one with the very tight trousers and the bulging fly. The one who couldn’t have been less like a girl. And then the penny dropped. He had been admiring a man, and, he suddenly realised, it hadn’t been the first time. These days, he was often looking at men that way and in particular at the contents of their trousers. Furthermore, when he thought about it, he always had. The picture by his bed, the rugby players in the park and the rough cowboys on television, and, yes, he was marvelling at men because he liked the look of them and the way they made him feel when he captured them in his sights. He wanted them. He had gazed at those men in the street back in Italy the way other boys at school or indeed his brother Charlie talked about looking at girls. So, there in the bedroom that evening at the end of the summer, staring into the back garden through the window, Bobby finally made the connection. A moment forever fixed in time. There was a name for this. He was a homosexual.
About the AuthorLazlo Thorn published his first novel (The Signal Box) in 2018. In his work he explores themes about life, death, love and sexuality, set against the social mores and prevailing attitudes to gay sex at different times and in different places. Pain and Promise is his second novel and takes the reader to a small town on the Adriatic coast of Italy where two love stories, separated by almost forty years, become linked in an unexpected way. The author has lived and worked in various countries and travelled widely in Europe and beyond. Today, he lives in England with his husband, in a quiet seaside town on the south coast.
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