Checking it Twice – Release Day!

CheckingItTwiceFS_v1.jpgCloseted professional hockey player Eric Belanger is falling hard for an out-and-proud male model. He’s unable to resist Dorian’s charm and pushing personal boundaries he never thought he’d cross. But Dorian is the kind of guy who deserves someone who isn’t afraid to be himself. Eric’s fears about what coming out will do to his career clash with the future he hopes to build with Dorian. He knows he’ll eventually have to make a choice.

Dorian Carlisle knows better than to date a man who wants to keep him a secret, but there’s something about Eric he can’t ignore. So he’ll take the risk, and it’ll be all right, because this isn’t a forever romance. He’s happy to live in the moment. But somehow, at some point, feelings sneak up on him and he’s not okay anymore. At a breaking point, Dorian must also make a decision. Their time together will either be the start of something wonderful or nothing more than a happy memory.

Cover by Reese Dante / 75k words / Contemporary, sports / 3rd in the Carlisles Series

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Somehow Dorian’s name got tossed into the ring for a winter clothing line spread in some sports magazine, and now he’s on a set in downtown New York City with five big, hulking hockey players. A few of whom are pretty damn hot, and the majority of whom aren’t American. He can admit he’s a sucker for an accent, and it’s a little distracting.

Jackson, his brother, flicks his nose. He stops staring at the tall European guy who’s talking to the tall French Canadian, who has his shirt off and an abdomen that Dorian would pay to be able to lick. He scrunches his face up at his brother, mimicking the judgey look being thrown his way. He can’t believe Jackson took this job. Isn’t it bad enough that he has to work with Denver—his twin—more often than not?

“What was that for?” he asks, gaze already trying to return to the guys. He can’t help it. He’s innately wired to appreciate beautiful things.

“I’m trying to do your makeup, and you’re making it difficult. Stop looking at the toys you can’t touch and look at me.” Jackson grabs his chin and tilts his head just so, wielding eyeliner in his other hand like it’s a weapon.

Dorian pouts, sticking his bottom lip way out. “You don’t know. I could touch them.” In my dreams.

Jackson gives him a stern look, which is ridiculous since he’s a year younger. Dorian should be the one giving the parental stare-downs. “Hands to yourself. Professional athletes are never a good idea. Now open your eyes wide and don’t blink.”

It takes a lot of self-control to not sneak glances at the hockey players while they get dressed and their makeup gets done. And well, he just doesn’t have that control. So he manages a peek or two. The whole process is a lot of clothes coming on and off, muscles flexing, watching stylists run their hands through gorgeous hair. It’s like being in a candy shop and getting told you can’t have anything. So not fair.

Dorian can list on the fingers of one hand the things he knows about sports, and all of it mostly has to do with what the balls look like and the overall purpose of them: score goals. It’s not that he’s not interested—well, okay, he is—but he just doesn’t have the attention span for it. He’s done jobs with plenty of athletes, both male and female, and their sports sound interesting enough when they talk to him about them. It just doesn’t translate to him watching it.

His lack of interest isn’t normally a problem, but athletes are a peculiar lot, and sometimes that makes working with them difficult. They have a hard time understanding the shoot isn’t about them. It’s about the photographer’s vision. The designer’s vision. It’s about serving a purpose. And then there are the times where it’s like they’re speaking a whole other language.

Like now.

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Available at:

Dreamspinner / Kobo / All Romance / Barnes and Noble / Amazon

*Enter to win your choice of Ebook from my backlist*

Follow the guest post tour:

November 21 – MM Good Book Reviews 
November 28 – Dreamspinner Press Blog 
November 29 – Gay Book Reviews 
November 30 – My Fiction Nook 
December 1 – Alpha Book Reviews 
December 2 – Love Bytes

 

 

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One week and counting!

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A Carlisles novel

Jackson Carlisle has rotten luck with men and women, and after an especially bad situation, he takes a step back from romance. But with a two-week family reunion in Hawaii looming, his mom is determined to set him up with one of the sweet singles she knows would be perfect for him. A normal person would tell her no and be done with it. Instead, Jackson tells her he has a boyfriend. The only problem? He doesn’t.

Aaron Wilkes is an escort. He’s a little surprised when a friend’s girlfriend hires him to date her brother, but he’s had stranger jobs. Jackson is cute, and he thinks a fling with Aaron might be just the kind of no-strings-attached fun he needs to get over his dry spell. As they explore the islands together, their carefully laid plans begin to get away from them. Feelings aren’t supposed to come into play, but that shouldn’t be a problem. After all, you can’t fall in love in two weeks….

68k / Cover designed by the amazing Reese Dante / Published by Dreamspinner Press

 

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Releasing on October 14th, Will You Be My Escort is the second novel in a series of four. Haven’t read the first one and want to find out what it’s all about? You can enter to win a paperback copy of Dinner for One at the link below!

Giveaway: Paperback copy of Dinner for One

You can pre-order Will You Be My Escort at the below retailers

Dreamspinner  

Barnes and Noble

All Romance

Amazon

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What readers had to say about Dinner for One

“As for the plot, there wasn’t one thing I didn’t love about it. From the description of the baking/cooking, the detail of the small but important things and the fact that we actually got to watch the relationship between Bastien and James grow meant that it was a solid 5 star for me.” – Elaine White, Divine Magazine 

“Let’s get straight to the point, shall we? I fucking LOVED this book. It is steamy, romantic, refreshing perfection.” – Gigi, Gay Book Reviews

“Dinner for One was a sweet, sexy and succulent romance. I adored the hell out of both men but have to give a hug to my fellow ginger Bastien for making James fall head over heels with all his wonderful ginger traits. I loved everything about this and hope that if you give it a try, you’ll love it too.” – Sara, Oh My Shelves

 

 

Release Day: Dinner for One

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Bastien isn’t used to bad reviews. His French restaurant is the toast of the town, and when a well-known critic insults it, he’s left off-kilter. Luckily for him he’s found a distraction. He’s just met an attractive writer at his niece’s school bake sale. He’s into food, into Bastien and the touch of kink they share, and there’s a chemistry between them that might make the perfect recipe.

James isn’t expecting to meet a good-looking French chef at a bake sale, but he’s not going to let the chance slide. It comes as a surprise when the chef turns out to be the owner of a place he knows—and has reviewed—and it puts James in a sticky situation. So he might have to omit some pertinent information to make it work… at least for now.

 

Published by Dreamspinner / Cover art by Reese Dante / 200 pages 

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What readers have to say about Dinner for One

“As for the plot, there wasn’t one thing I didn’t love about it. From the description of the baking/cooking, the detail of the small but important things and the fact that we actually got to watch the relationship between Bastien and James grow meant that it was a solid 5 star for me.” – Elaine White, Divine Magazine 

“Let’s get straight to the point, shall we? I fucking LOVED this book. It is steamy, romantic, refreshing perfection.” – Gigi, Gay Book Reviews

“Dinner for One was a sweet, sexy and succulent romance. I adored the hell out of both men but have to give a hug to my fellow ginger Bastien for making James fall head over heels with all his wonderful ginger traits. I loved everything about this and hope that if you give it a try, you’ll love it too.” – Sara, Oh My Shelves

Find it at: 

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2a9m8Tu
All Romance: http://bit.ly/28Q7eQV
Dreamspinner Press: http://bit.ly/29nFdn9

Weds Review: A Kind of Romance – Lane Hayes

a-kind-of-romance.jpgZeke Gulden is a ruthless Wall Street exec. His hard-edged, no-nonsense attitude has served him well in the cutthroat business world, but less so in his personal life. When he finds out his ex-boyfriend cheated on him with a coworker, Zeke can’t let go—not until he finds a way to get even. However, his meddlesome father has other ideas. The new hire at the family-owned bagel store is somewhat colorful, but his dad is sure he’s the perfect man for Zeke.

Benny Ruggieri is a fiercely proud New Yorker who dreams of making it big as a costume designer in the theater. In the meantime, he’s working two part-time jobs in the food biz. When his new boss sets him up with his successful son, Benny has zero expectations. If nothing else, he figures he can entertain himself by making the uptight businessman squirm. Instead, the two become unlikely friends with an inexplicable attraction they can’t ignore. Benny might be the one to help Zeke set aside his quest for revenge, if he’s willing to let go and forgive what he can’t forget… and give in to an unexpected kind of romance.

Published by Dreamspinner Press / Cover art by Aaron Anderson / 234 pages

Review

This was my first time reading anything by Hayes, and I went into it having heard many good things about her writing. I wasn’t disappointed. Zeke is… somewhat unlikable. At the same time, though, he was easy to relate to and it was clear why he had the issues he did. Benny is the opposite, he’s the eternal optimist, and it’s not hard at all to fall for him. So it makes sense Zeke – who is in desperate need of someone to show him the half full glass – would find himself tangled up in feelings for the man.

Benny helps Zeke learn how to move on from his past and shows him that being different isn’t a bad thing. Some of Zeke’s hangups come in the form of his perception of what his ideal partner looks and acts like (not Benny) and the rest come in the form of his family. Which, you might need tissues. As someone who is very close to their mom, this hit me smack dab in the feels. It’s probably what tipped me over into Zeke’s favor.

This was a sweet story about moving on and letting go of old hurts. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

5 Stars

Find it Here:

Dreamspinner Press / Amazon / All Romance 

Wednesday Review: Practice Makes Perfect – Jay Northcote

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Blurb

 Getting experience with the guy next door seems like a great idea—until the lines blur.

Dev, a geeky first year physics student, has zero sexual experience and he’s determined to change that ASAP. After a bad time in halls of residence, he’s starting the summer term with different housemates and a new plan of action.

Ewan lives in the house next door to Dev. He’s young, free and single, and isn’t looking to change that anytime soon. When awkward circumstances throw them together, Ewan offers to help Dev out in the bedroom in return for maths tutoring, and Dev jumps at the chance.

They work their way through Dev’s sex-to-do list, but what starts as a perfect no-strings arrangement gets more complicated as their feelings for each other begin to grow. If they’re going to turn their lessons in lovemaking into something more permanent, they need to work out how they feel about each other—before they get to the end of Dev’s list.

Publisher: Jaybird Press

Length: 54,000 words

Genre: Contemporary gay romance

Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh

Release Date: Wednesday 22nd June 2016

Series info: #3 in the Housemates Series but may be read as a standalone

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Review

I’m a fan of Northcote. I went into this with high expectations, and I came out of it with them having been met. I really enjoyed this book and the dynamics between Dev and Ewan. I found it to be a refreshing and different read from a lot of what’s out there right now. The drama is minimal, the problem is small and easily solved once the two get their act together, and the focus is on the two of them learning and figuring out what they want both as individuals and together. It’s very sweet.

This was an easy read for me, but one that had me skipping work and errands so that I could keep turning pages and finish it. I thought about it when I wasn’t reading it. I wanted to know when Dev and Ewan would finally have an honest conversation with each other, and I felt for them when they kept putting it off. Because those conversations are hard. Northcote did a great job of portraying college students falling in love and trying to figure things out.

On a side note, as someone with OCD, I really liked Dev. He’s a very honest portrayal of someone who thrives on order and who over thinks to the max.

5 Stars

Find it at: 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01H7V027A
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01H7V027A
Universal Amazon link (will open in your region) http://mybook.to/PMP_JayN

Excerpt

Sitting on his bed, Dev yawned, his full stomach making him sleepy. He stared at his phone as he contemplated calling home but decided he couldn’t face it tonight. He loved his mum, but she did tend to bang on. Once she got him on the line, she’d end up talking for ages and asking him a million questions he was too tired to answer. Instead, he sent his mum a quick text.

All moved in, everything’s good. I’m shattered now so I’m going to have an early night. I’ll call you tomorrow.

She replied within seconds as though she’d been waiting for him to call.

Okay sweetie, glad you’re settled. Sleep well xxx

He picked up his notepad and crossed off phone home. Texting counted. He also crossed off everything else on his list for today. That was Saturday done.

Dev set his notepad aside, opened his laptop, and pulled up his lists app. He liked his notepad for day-to-day organisation; it gave him a certain satisfaction to cross out the things he’d done and to get to the end of the day with all the tasks completed. But for longer-term planning, he kept his lists on his Mac, synced to his phone.

For the first time in six months, Dev could breathe again. Finally he had a safe place where he could get back on track and look to the future. He began to type.

Things To Do This Term

Make some friends

Learn to cook

Research sex stuff

Join Grindr

Get some experience

Find a boyfriend

He stared at the words on the screen and sighed. That seemed like a lot of things to aim for. But it was good to have goals, right? Jez and Mac seemed really nice, so hopefully Dev was already on his way to achieving the first objective. And that bloke Ewan… Dev’s mind conjured up the image of the flame-haired hunk who lived next door. Ewan had been friendly.

Maybe there was potential there too.

Author Bio:

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with her husband, two children, and two cats.

She comes from a family of writers, but she always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. She spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content. One day, she decided to try and write a short story–just to see if she could–and found it rather addictive. She hasn’t stopped writing since.

www.jaynorthcote.com

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Wednesday Review: Power Play – Avon Gale

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Written by: Avon Gale

Third in the Scoring Chances Series

Length: Novel

Published by: Dreamspinner Press

Released: May 9th, 2016

Blurb:

A freak accident during the Stanley Cup Playoffs put an end to Max Ashford’s hockey career. Despite everything, Max gets back into the game he loves—only this time behind the bench, as an assistant coach of the Spartanburg Spitfires, the worst team in the entire league. But nothing prepares him for the shock when he learns the new head coach is Misha Samarin, the man who caused Max’s accident.

After spending years guilt-ridden for his part in Max’s accident, Russian native Misha Samarin has no idea what to do when he’s confronted with Max’s presence. Max’s optimism plays havoc with Misha’s equilibrium—as does the fierce attraction that springs up between them.

Not only must they navigate Misha’s remorse and a past he’s spent a lifetime trying to forget, but also a sleazy GM who is determined to use their history as a marketing hook. But when an unwelcome visitor targets a player, Misha revisits his darkest days, and that might cost him and Max the beginning they’ve worked so hard to build.

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I honestly don’t know where to start. I’m a big fan of the first two books in this series (especially the second one, Riley Hunter makes me feel things okay), but this one blew me away. And I honestly didn’t think I could like one more than I liked Hunter’s story. Don’t get me wrong – Hunter’s still my favorite character (closely followed by one in this novel). So the point of this: To me this was like  Harry Potter, except when it was all said and done, I liked it. Weird analogy right? I’ll explain. Gale lured me in with minimal angst, socially and emotionally inept men, and lots of humor and fluff. And then she released Max and Misha’s story, and she went to town on the angst. Holy hell did she ever. It was a complete turn around, something I hadn’t expected out of the series. But it worked. Gale pulls it off fabulously. And she promises nothing but more angst.

I’m excited. Simple as that. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next novel. Tomorrow would be nice, but still not soon enough.

Max and Misha are something else, and they remind me of the ying and yang symbol. Max is all happy and bouncy (and so unbelievably forgiving and rational) while Misha is all doom and gloom and glorious Russianness. I can’t decide which of the two men I like more. I CAN say that one of my favorite things about this series is how the relationship drama is actually minimal. The characters band together to fight outside issues, while steadily working through their own without big fireworks. It’s refreshing. And I’m not going to lie, Misha’s being Russian was a huge plus for me. I LOVED it. Don’t know why. But I did.

But now… the thing that sealed the deal. There’s a certain goalie in this novel, and I’m head over heels for him. This felt like part of a prequel to his story. He’s perfect in a totally not perfect way. He gave me all the feels. So many of them.

This book will do that. So be prepared.

5 Stars

Find it at:

Amazon

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Dreamspinner Press

Cover Reveal for Dreamers’ Destiny: Tempeste O’Riley

I’d like to welcome Tempeste O’Riley to Onwards, Upwards today to share the cover for her upcoming release Dreamers’ Destiny. It’s a gorgeous cover, and she’s got a giveaway and excerpt for you guys as well.

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People don’t just materialize into reality simply because you want them to so desperately that waking up breaks your heart. 

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Dreamers’ Destiny
by Tempeste O’Riley
a Standalone story

M/M Erotic Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Release Date: May 13, 2016 (ebook/print)
Length: Novel
PreOrder:

♥ ♥ ♥ Dreamspinner Press ♥ ♥ ♥

Add to: Goodreads

 

 

 

 

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Liam Grady is the owner of the Feathered Quill, a quirky little bookstore in Asheville, and—though he doesn’t realize it yet—a dream walker. His last relationship failed almost a year ago, and he’s not had the interest or nerve to pursue anyone he’s met since.

Cameron Danu is a tattoo artist from rural Georgia. Cameron is left without a job after his boss, Jose, is forced to close the shop after a heart attack. When Cameron learns Jose has set up an interview for him at a small tattoo parlor in Asheville, he hopes for a fresh start in a new town.

Fate brings Cameron and Liam together, and they realize they’ve met before—in their dreams. A chance encounter and a winged tattoo might lead them to their destiny—if fear doesn’t turn their dreams into a nightmare.

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Excerpt:

Liam walked beside Cam, noting every nuance of the man he’d been with most of his life, even if they’d never met while awake before. He was entranced with how Cam moved. He thought of the way Cam had spoken using his hands to emphasize and punctuate his voice when they were inside the tattoo shop, and even the little sidestep to separate them didn’t surprise or bother Liam any. Liam had expected it, truthfully, but he’d needed to feel Cam, to know he wasn’t imagining all this, either—that fleeting touch in the tattoo shop hadn’t been nearly enough.

Working with Nosha the last couple of weeks had been interesting, and he’d started to believe Cam might be real. However, seeing and touching Cam was very different from trying to willfully take control of his dreams or debating Cameron’s possible existence. And touching him? Liam suppressed a shiver as he opened the door for Cam to enter the little coffee shop.

“Thanks,” Cam murmured. “You always do things like this in the dreams too,” he added so softly Liam almost missed it.

Liam smiled, hoping Cam could adjust to this new knowledge and glad he’d noticed how Liam acted both in their dreams and now.

Thankfully, it wasn’t busy right then, so they got their coffees and were seated at the farthest table from the other patrons in a few minutes. Liam waited, watching Cam as he fidgeted with his cup, steadfastly refusing to meet Liam’s eyes.

Liam cleared his throat and asked, “Will you look at me, please?”

Cam raised his head slowly before finally meeting his gaze. “I don’t understand how you’re here. You’re supposed to only exist in my head. Well, in my dreams, anyway.”

Liam chuckled, thinking of how he’d made the same argument with Di and Nosha not that long ago about his seeing Cam at the club. “I’m still not entirely certain how all this works, but I’m quite real. As are you, it seems.”

The silver eyes before him flashed a moment before Cam snorted softly, then smiled, almost. “Why don’t you seem more, I don’t know, upset? I mean, this should be just as much of a shock for you as it is for me. Or do you go around invading people’s dreams and doing all those things with others you do with me all the time?”

He blinked hard as he thought about what to say and which questions to even answer.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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“I found it a beautiful tale of unhappiness changed to romance and then love with a happy ending.”

—Rainbow Book Reviews, on “Designs of Desire”

Designs of Desire is a tough realistic book that is touched by violence countered by the growing love between the two heroes.”

—Sensual Reads, on “Designs of Desire”

“It paints a stunning image of rebirth as Deacon and Kaden’s relationship begins to unfurl, like a rose as it opens its petals to the sun.”

—Carly’s Book Reviews, on “Caged Sanctuary”

“This is my favorite in this series so far. I love seeing how these characters are growing, all of them. As individuals, as couples, as friends, and as a family.”

—MM Good Book Reviews, on “Desires’ Guardian”

“The writer did an excellent job with the characters, they are likable and perfect. Not perfect in the way that they have no flaws, but in a way that they grab you and complement each other.”

—Love Bytes Reviews, on “Temptations of Desire”

“Tempeste created an amazing world for these paranormal species. I got lost in the story and wondering how all the pieces wove together.”

—Molly Lolly, on “Whiskers of a Chance”

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Designs of DesireSimple Desires*+ – Bound by Desire* – Desires’ GuardianTemptations of DesireTruth in Lace* – Desires’ Pride* – Signs of Desire

Micah’s Medicine+ – Caged SanctuaryWhiskers of a Chance

*shorts in series +shorts in anthologies

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Tempeste O’Riley is an out and proud pansexual genderfluid whose best friend growing up had the courage to do what they couldn’t—defy the hate and come out. He has been their hero ever since.

Tempe is a hopeless romantic who loves strong relationships and happily-ever-afters. They has done many things in their life, yet writing has always drawn them back—no matter what else life has thrown their way. They counts her friends, family, and Muse as their greatest blessings in life. They lives in Wisconsin with their children, reading, writing, and enjoying life—especially now that they have joined the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence® (as Novice Sister Eroti-Quill… can’t imagine where that name came from).

Tempe is also a proud PAN member of Romance Writers of America®, WisRWA, and Rainbow Romance Writers. Tempe’s preferred pronouns are they/them/their/theirs/themselves. To learn more about Tempeste and their writing, visit http://tempesteoriley.com.

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