Excerpt Reveal & Giveaway: Cracks in the Ice by Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood

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CRACKS IN THE ICE

by Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood


Synopsis

How can they trust love not to hurt them again?

Benny

I’ll never fall in love again.

I had my chance, and I was the happiest man you can imagine. One day, it all came to an end. The only thing left was playing hockey, but it wasn’t enough, and I became my own worst enemy.

When my old school offered me a lifeline, I took it. As a coach, I could at least be miserable in a different place.

But when I arrived, there he was—bright and warm, like sunshine. I’d lived in the dark for so long my soul was frozen, but he thawed me out. I started feeling things again, wanting things. For the first time since the dark times began, I wondered if there was a chance. I’d never thought about being with another man, but so what? Could I be lucky enough to find love twice?


Cole

I was done. No. More. Men.

I’d always made the worst possible dating choices, and one guy after another took advantage of me. Invariably, I thought I was falling in love. Once I told them, they’d show their true colors and run.

Worn out and unable to stand another heartbreak, I swore off love. I almost had my master’s degree, and playing the piano was a much safer route to happiness.

No sooner had I made up my mind than there he was—hot as a forest fire, yet very sad. When I found out why, I understood. Someday, he’d love again, but there was no reason I shouldn’t be a friend.

Then he kissed me, and everything turned on a dime. I needed to protect myself from getting pulled in again, but the harder I tried, the more I believed in him. Was I making another horrible mistake? Would this time be different, or was I setting myself up for the biggest letdown of all?

Cracks in the Ice is a gay sports romance featuring hurt/comfort, sensitive men, unexpected connections, first times, an age gap, faculty/student romance, explosive chemistry, hard-earned happiness, and a very satisfying HEA.

Content warnings for partner deaths, traumatic accidents, and alcohol abuse. While these issues happened in the past, they may still be difficult for some.

Release Date: September 14, 2022

Cover Design: Cate Ashwood Designs

Genre: M/M Sports Romance
Trope: Age-gap, opposites attract, instant connection, second chance at love, first time, hurt/comfort


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Excerpt

I didn’t know if I’d ever find anyone to love again, or if Cole was even interested in me, but there was only one way to find out.

“Benny?”

“Yeah?”

He eyed me curiously. “Are you all right? I called your name a couple of times.”

I relaxed into a smile. “Good. I’m really good.”

“Diana said she’ll call you later. Her mom needed something, and she had to run.”

When I remained quiet, Cole’s eyes darted to the side and he said, “I’m sorry.”

I focused on his plump, rosy lips again. Not to mention his pink cheeks, blue eyes, and silky, golden hair. “Sorry for what?”

“For what I almost let happen before. I don’t know what came over me, but…”

A hum started in my chest, radiating tingles around my body. “I’m the one who started it. I liked it.”

He blinked rapidly. “You did?”

My stomach flipped at how his voice squeaked.

“I did.” The humming and tingling grew stronger, and I stepped forward until I was standing in front of him. “I do.”

“Oh.” His chest rose and fell quickly, and he whispered, “Me too.”

I was tempted to back away, but fuck that. Reaching out, I stroked his chin with a thumb. My heart knocked against my ribs as I leaned over. He inclined his head, moving it toward mine. With only a hair’s breadth separating us, we caressed the space between us with our lips. Who made the final move, I’ll never know, but powerful, almost forgotten sensations washed over me—soft, warm lips against mine; electrifying surges of emotion; an overwhelming desire to hold him.

We wrapped our arms around each other, and gentle brushes of our lips led to a real kiss. I hadn’t remembered how sweet it could be, how right it could feel, how it was somehow the most intimate thing two could share.

Cole withdrew enough to lick the corners of my mouth before pressing his lips against mine again. We went back and forth, kissing lips and stubbly cheeks and jutting chins. It was a new experience for me. I loved how Cole purred when I kissed along his cheekbone. He didn’t have much of a beard, but as we moved, his short whiskers caught against mine. Even holding him was a new experience—his body firm where I’d been used to soft, defined in a different way. The moment was perfect as we returned to each other’s mouths time and again, huffing air through our noses when we had to breathe. We held each other close, and I hoped we’d never have to move again.

Time was lost, and when we eventually parted, he panted at me through swollen lips. “Oh, Benny. That was…”

“Yeah.” I gulped, already wanting to kiss him again. “It was.”

He drew his eyebrows together. “Did you mean it? Why did you do it?”

“Because I had to. I meant it more than I have anything in a long time.”

He took my hands while a grin spread across his face. “Me too, but…”

A jolt of anxiety had my heart taking off again. “What? Did I do something wrong? I never kissed a guy before.”

He erupted in a short, maniacal laugh. “Wrong? Did you do something wrong?” He sighed and laid his hand over his chest. “It was the best kiss I ever had. You did everything right.”

“Thank God.” My breath considered returning to normal. “Because it blew me away.”

Moving his hand from his chest, he trailed his fingers along my cheek. “It was the first time you’ve kissed a guy? Really?”

I nodded.

“Do you feel okay about that part of it?”

“I was nervous, to be honest, but I feel incredible. I’m hoping we can do it again.”

He tilted his head and quirked an eyebrow. “Does that mean you’ll stick around this afternoon?”

I grinned, hoping I didn’t look too dopey. “If you’ll let me.”

“Oh, I’ll let you. I have to admit, though—I never saw that one coming, Benny Caldwell.”


© CRACKS IN THE ICE by Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood. All rights reserved.



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About the Authors

Ryan Taylor met his husband and co-author, Joshua Harwood, in law school. They live in a suburb of Washington, DC, and share their home with a big, cuddly German shepherd. Ryan and Josh love to travel. In addition, Ryan also enjoys swimming, and Josh likes to putter in the garden whenever he can. They began writing to celebrate the romance they were so lucky to find with each other, and the sharing soon developed into a passion for telling stories about love between out and proud men.

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Excerpt Reveal & Giveaway: Got Me Going by Casey Cox

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GOT ME GOINGVet Shop Boys #5

by Casey Cox

Release Date: August 15, 2022

Cover Design: Wicked by Design

Genre: M/M Romance

Trope: Strangers-to-friends-to-lovers, found family, small town romance, first time sex, satire


Synopsis

Can a veterinarian lose his V-card before turning twenty-five? Oh, one hun p he can!

On the surface, I’m super sassy and just a little bit extra. But underneath, I’m hiding a painful secret from my past and one hugely embarrassing problem in my present—I’m still a…I’m still a…Dammit, I can’t even get it out.

Let’s just say it starts with V and ends in irgin.

Daly’s the new barista, and he takes Thirsty Thursdays to a whole new level. He’s drop-dead gorgeous with a sexy shaved head, ocean-blue eyes, and an insane smile that lights me up whenever he aims it my way. He’s also kind, friendly, and interesting. In other words, the perfect guy to be my first time.

A night of too much coconut tequila leads to us making a drunken pact. Daly will help me with my V-status issue, but he adds a caveat. We have to get to know each other first. Then, and only then, can the physical stuff happen.

It sounds simple enough. But the more I get to know him, the more I realize what we have is more than just a physical attraction. We share a connection. We like the same things. And stupidly, I’ve gone ahead and caught feelings for the guy.

This was never meant to be anything more than just a physical thing, so why has Daly got me going out of my mind the way he does?


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Excerpt

“What I’m trying to say is that I like you, Daly. A lot.”

“I like you, too.”

Silence descends on us, giving us both time to think, to catch up with everything that’s been said and the implications of it all.

Three months—from when Daly first made the offer to sleep with me until the night before my birthday—is a funny length of time. Twelve weeks. Ninety days. An entire season. I can’t decide whether it’s long or short. But in the past two months we’ve spent together, it feels like both a lifetime and an instant.

It’s a little confusing. We were only meant to like each other enough so that when we had sex, we felt comfortable. Friendly-ish. No feelings. No relationship was ever on the cards for us. But the truth is, we’ve gotten to know each other so well. I’m pretty sure Daly hasn’t shared his news with a ton of people. I’ve opened up to him and told him things very few people know about me, too.

And despite seeing him almost every day, I want to keep seeing him. Spending more time with him. Getting to know him better. Helping him grow his business. Just being anywhere he is. That’s where I want to be.

I avert my gaze for this next part. Heat rises in my cheeks, but I say the words anyway. I’m not going to chicken out and regret not saying something ever again. “I realize it’s not in our contract. In fact, I think there’s an exclusion clause that specifically prohibits this very thing since we weren’t meant to develop romantic feelings for each other, but…I have. I’ve gone ahead and stupidly caught feelings for you.”

Daly chuckles, then explains, “When you put it like that, it sounds like you’re talking about a disease.” He takes my hand in his. “But if that’s the case, then I’ve got the exact same disease you have.”

“Really?”

“Really. Right from the very start, you’ve blown me away. But me being me, it took me months just to work up the courage to be able to string together more than a few words to say to you.”

“But then I swanned in with that hole punch gag.”

“Gag?” Daly arches an eyebrow. “Sure, let’s go with that and pretend like it was all planned.”

“Fine by me.” I laugh, feeling some of the tension in the air thinning out.

“I haven’t had a relationship since the cancer. Just hookups. Never anything serious. It worked for a while until it didn’t.”

“What changed?”

“I tried to convince myself that casual was the way to go. I figured no one would want to be with me and my post-cancer body, so I took anything serious or long-term off the table. I told myself that it was because I was living in London and didn’t want to meet someone only to have to do the long-distance thing. Maybe that was partly true, but I see more clearly now that I was mainly interested in protecting myself. Like Fulton said, it’s hard to trust someone when your body is…different.”

“But you’re a relationship kinda guy, aren’t you?” I hedge. I know what his answer will be before he says it.

“Yeah. I am.”

All the feelings I’ve got for him get amplified by the honesty and vulnerability he’s displaying right now. I close the space between us and cradle him in my arms. “Thank you for telling me. Everything. I’m sure it wasn’t easy for you.” I work my hand up and down his back. “It means a lot to me that you trust me.”

I can hear him breathing, sensing his mind working overtime. “I do trust you,” he says softly. “I really do.”


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About the Author

Casey Cox is an Australian MM romance author whose work includes the hugely popular VET SHOP BOYS series.

Casey loves spending time at the beach and is the proud paw-rent to two utterly adorable French Bulldogs – Ralphie and Lilly.


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Audiobook Blog Tour: Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: The New Next One by Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood

The New Next One (Bethesda Barracudas Hockey, Book 2) By Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood

Narrated by Nick J. Russo

Publisher: Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood ~ Release Date: June 30, 2022

Version: Unabridged Audio ~ Whispersync – Voice Enabled ~ Length: 2 hours and 1 minute

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex ~ Pairing: Male/Male ~ Genre: Sports Romance, Contemporary Gay Romance, Romance

Tropes: New Adult, Friends-to-Lovers, Hockey, Medium-angst, Coming of Age


How much are you willing to give up for the man you love?

Best friends Nick Johnson and Tyler Jensen seem to have the world by the tail. The eighteen-year-old stars of their school’s hockey team are looking forward to playing in college and hoping for careers with the pros.

Nick and Tyler know a lot about each other, but there are a few important details they haven’t discussed. To start with, neither man knows the other is gay. Making things interesting, Nick has a massive crush on Tyler, something he’s kept to himself for a long time. And although he’s never said a word about it, Tyler has wanted to date Nick since they met.

On a cold Minnesota night after a big win, Tyler finds the courage to confess his feelings to Nick. When Nick admits his attraction to Tyler, their relationship turns on a dime. As they fall in love, they skate around the challenges of a secret romance in an all-male boarding school, but what will happen when the stakes rise dramatically in a sport not known for being gay-friendly? Will Nick and Tyler make the easy choice or the hard one?

The New Next One is a new adult, friends-to-lovers romance featuring young athletes, plenty of steam, and a lot of emotion. Besides learning the background for Nice Catching You, you will meet the main characters for the authors’ book Fire in the Ice.


Review

An enjoyable short story about Nick who we met in Book #1 Nice Catching You and Tyler who we meet in book #3 Fire in the Ice. Nick J Russo does a good job of portraying the characters in this novella, I really liked his portrayal of Nick.

Tyler and Nick have been friends for years and have hidden the fact they are gay from each other and everyone else. When Tyler takes a risk and expresses his feelings to Nick everything changes for them both, but it’s still a secret from the rest of the world. I really felt for these guys, it’s sad they felt the need to hide who they were so as to be able to play a sport. I loved their blossoming relationship and it was nice to get the background of them both, especially Tyler as his relationship with Nick and their friend Kevin really comes into play in Fire in the Ice. I’d have probably preferred to read this before book #1 as I’m all for continuity of timelines when reading a series, but it still works well reading it after.


Excerpt

“I’ve got an idea,” I said. “It’s way below freezing outside, so let’s make snow.” Tyler looked like he wanted to kiss me, and Kev gave a big Labrador grin. Really, his tongue stuck out over his lower lip.

“I’ve got an electric kettle,” Ty said. “Let’s go up to my room.”

Upstairs, Kevin spent a moment gawking at the old movie posters on Tyler’s wall and checking out his signed hockey card collection. Ty put on water to boil, and one litre at a time, we carried hot water to the window and threw it out into the polar air.

Being stuck in the woods in Minnesota, making snow was a favourite winter pastime for St. Mark’s students. As we’d learned in physics class, cold air doesn’t hold as much water vapour as warm air, so the water condenses in the cold. When you throw boiling water into frigid air, the droplets freeze instantaneously, forming crystals that look like snow.

“Woo!” Ty shouted as his latest toss turned into snowflakes and fell to the ground three stories below. “More snow. Just what Minnesota needs.”

THE NEW NEXT ONE. Copyright © 2021 Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood. All rights reserved.


Buy Links

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Giveaway

To celebrate the release of The New Next One in audio, Ryan and Josh are giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Giveaway Link


About the Authors

Ryan Taylor and Joshua Harwood met in law school and were married in 2017. They live in a suburb of Washington, DC, and share their home with a big, cuddly German shepherd. Ryan and Josh love to travel, and hockey is practically a religion in their house. Ryan also enjoys swimming, and Josh likes to putter in the garden whenever he can. They began writing to celebrate the romance they were so lucky to find with each other, and the sharing soon developed into a passion for telling stories about love between out and proud men. You can contact Ryan and Josh through their website.


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Cover Reveal, Excerpt & Giveaway: Frat Wars: Presidential Chaos by Saxon James

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FRAT WARS: PRESIDENTIAL CHAOS

Frat Wars – Book Three

by Saxon James

Cover, Blurb & Excerpt Reveal

Release Date: August 3, 2022

Cover Design: Story Styling Cover Designs

Genre: M/M College Romance
Trope: Friends with benefits to lovers, rivals to lovers



Synopsis

Zeke

Being President of a frat house means everything is on my shoulders.
Idiot brothers, epic pranks, a list of organizational duties long enough to make my eyes bleed.
None of it fazes me.
But senior year is almost over, and I’m ready to take a step back.
Until the hazing rumors start.
I might not know where they’re coming from, but I know they’re total BS.
Now, instead of dialing back the stress, we’ve broken the number one rule on the row: Don’t get the dean’s attention.
I need to find out who’s driving the lies.
And all evidence points to one person.

Charles

I never wanted to become Kappa President.
The appointment was made easier, though, when none other than Zeke Ariston took over Sigma house. I’ve always been … drawn to him. Fascinated.
And maybe a little attracted too.
Pity I’ve never been more than an afterthought to him.
But when rumors start to circulate about hazing, and the sources lead back to my house, it puts me square on Zeke’s radar.
I want to help him get to the bottom of it all.
And with his attention finally on me, I want to tell him how I feel.


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Excerpt

The door to Hush Hush creaks as I open it, then pause and strain my ears. A noise. Fuck. Breathing, and the soft scuff of feet.

Sure, the one time my nerves took a back seat and I messaged him, our hookup is going to be foiled.

Gut sinking, I’m about to back out of the room when a familiar voice fills the darkness.

“That you?”

He’s here.

He’s here first.

In all the times we’ve done this, I’ve always been the one waiting for him.

I swallow back my sudden excitement as I duck inside and close the door. Even though I’m confident with where I’m going, it’s harder to find knowing Zeke is already there waiting.

“It’s me,” I whisper, and strong hands grasp my outstretched arms. He tugs me in so my body collides with his, and a soft oomph puffs from my lips.

His gravelly hum by my ear gives away that he’s smiling. “You messaged me.”

“You said—”

“I did. And I meant it.” He releases his hold to wrap his arms around me. Warm, big hands splay over my back, and I lean in to inhale the smell of chlorine. It centers me and gives my heart that extra incentive to keep beating. “You looked so stressed today.”

I’m rendered speechless by that. We never talk about real life here, not specifics, anyway. Nothing that can remind ourselves of the person we’re actually with. No names, no details. Just a nameless body in the dark. This is all supposed to be a quick transaction before we go back to our lives and pretend this never happened. Like always.

But something’s … off.

Zeke pushes his thigh between my legs, and the contact wakes my cock up. His lips brush my ear as one of his big hands palms my ass, holding me tighter against him. I can’t place what’s changed, but something in the way he’s touching me feels different.

“I was,” I say, only just remembering to answer him. “Everything going on is … a lot.”

“I’ll say.” His voice is warm and soft, like it usually is when we’re here together. The slow, deep tone always sends tremors through me, and tonight is the same.

Instead of fighting them, I let it happen, grinding my cock into his leg as I run my hands over his chest. I’ve seen him shirtless so many times but never while I’ve been touching him. I’d retake my fucking LSATs to have that privilege. To trace his tattoos with my fingertips.

Zeke leans down to suck a spot under my ear, and I tilt my head right back so he has access. His mouth is right there on my skin, and all it would take is a short turn to the left for our mouths to connect. For us to be kissing. Could I do it this time? Have things changed that much?

Before I can do it, Zeke spins us and presses me into the wall. His body blankets mine, one hand lightly cupping my jaw while the other slowly runs from my chest to my hip. He lets out a heavy exhale, and I have no idea what he’s groping when I don’t have muscles like his.

“So tense … Relax …” he murmurs.

“Not exactly easy.”

“Isn’t that what I’m here to help with?”

I tug him closer. “You are good at it.”

“Exactly. Focus on that.”

I’m trying, but while Zeke wrings me out in amazing ways, being with him has me coiled so tight I could burst.

Relax, Chuck.”

I gasp. “Y-you said my name.”

“You said my name last time. And we talked about it yesterday. I can’t separate it now, and it’s totally your fault.”

“So … you’re, umm, picturing me? Right now?”

His chuckle is husky. “I’ll go you one better.” He shifts, and before I know what he’s doing, a light bursts between us.

I flinch at the sudden burn in my eyes, and when my vision clears, I blink up at him. His intense gray stare is trained on me, and he’s placed his phone on the shelf beside us, giving everything sharp shadows that make his face look thinner and harsher. It makes his eyes more intense.

My knees feel weak.

His lips hitch up on one side. “Hi.”



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About the Author

Saxon James unapologetically writes happy endings for LGBT+ characters.
While not writing, SM is a readaholic and Netflix addict who regularly lives on a sustainable diet of chocolate and coffee.
Member of SCBWI.


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Cover Reveal, Excerpt & Giveaway: Rogue by Eden Finley

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MIKE BRAVO OPS: ROGUE

Mike Bravo Ops #2

by Eden Finley

Cover & Excerpt Reveal

Release Date: July 13, 2022

Cover Design: Cate Ashwood Designs
Photo: Peter Henry Serres
Model: Alex

Genre: M/M Military Romance
Trope: Frienemies to lovers, found family




Synopsis

TRAV

I remember the first time I met Dylan Rodriguez. It was one sweaty encounter I’ll never forget.

The second time we met, he arrested me. I can still see the hot scowl on his beautiful face as he slapped handcuffs on me and realized I was … me.

Dylan’s main goal in life is to forget he ever met me. My goal is to make him mine.

Turns out, I’m better at this game than he is.


DYLAN

When my law enforcement career falls to pieces in front of my own eyes, I don’t know who I can trust.

I have nowhere to go. No one to turn to.

Asking Trav for help is a last resort, but I’m desperate.

If he can’t get me out of this mess, I may as well turn myself over to the guys hunting me down.

I’m not sure which will be more difficult: protecting my life or my heart.

Because when it comes to love, my heart wants what my brain doesn’t. It wants Travis West.


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Excerpt

I should give motivational speeches. Three ways to tank your career with one botched raid.

One: Sleep with your target.

Two: Find absolutely no evidence at the scene.

And three: Sleep with your fucking target.

As I stare into the interrogation room behind a two-way mirror at the man who, in my own words, fucks like a god, I want to recoil in embarrassment and shame.

Definition of irony: Newly promoted DEA agent has sex with drug smuggler.

“He’s asking for you,” Special Agent Walker says. “He knows you by name.”

And thanks to the file I was given, I know his full name. Travis West.

I’m regretting giving him my name. Then he wouldn’t be able to ask for me.

I should’ve walked away the minute he pulled his amazing cock out of my ass. No names. No words needed.

“Do you know him?” Walker asks.

Intimately. “We met once. At a bar.” Where he made me come so hard I almost blacked out. I’m not telling my senior officer that.

“Well, he’s the only one who hasn’t lawyered up, but he’s refusing to speak to anyone but you.”

I grunt. How am I supposed to go in there and act like I haven’t had his dick inside me? Worse yet, how am I supposed to stop him from spilling our history, however brief, while I’m questioning him?

My boss will be watching.

Maybe if we’d found the drugs, my unwitting tryst with a suspect could be forgiven. But that ship was clean. How could I have been so wrong when I was convinced that Jason Carter was one of the biggest drug lords in the US with ties to Mexican cartels.

I want to tell my boss I won’t get any information from interrogating Trav, but I already know what his response will be. You don’t know until you try.

Then Trav glances up and smiles at his reflection in the glass, but I know he’s actually directing it at me. Like he knows I’m about to cave.

“Okay. I’m going in.” And on my way, I’m making a new rule for myself: No more random, anonymous hookups.

I enter the interrogation room and try to stay passive, but his sexy voice immediately throws me off kilter. Not because of the deep rumble of his tone, but because of what he says.

“Do you think you could take these off?” He lifts his hands where he’s cuffed to the table by a chain. “I’m not used to handcuffs being around my wrists.”

Fucker. He knows what he’s doing. Because now all I can picture is him fucking me while I’m restrained.

“Sure.” I guess I’ve decided to play good cop. Passive and friendly, but not flirty.

I release him, and he rubs his wrists like they’re so sore.

“You weren’t cuffed for that long.”

“I know, but I’ve seen people do that in movies.” He leans back in his seat. “So how have you been? I didn’t think I was going to see you again.”

“This isn’t a social chat. I need you to tell me everything you know.”

“Find any drugs yet?” That tiny twitch of his lips tells me he’s in on the operation. He knows what’s what.

“What makes you think we’re looking for drugs?”

“You’re the Drug Enforcement Administration. I’d hope you were looking for drugs, or I have to tell you, you might not be very good at your job.”

“But I’m sure you’re good at yours. What is your job exactly?”

“Ooh, smooth interrogation tactic there, Dylan.”

“My name is Agent Rodriguez.” My stupid voice cracks on my last name, making it basically unintelligible.

“What’s that? Rogue-riguez? That sounds promising.” He leans forward. “You willing to go rogue to get the answers you want?”

Rodriguez. And no. I’m sure I could cut a deal for you and your friends, though … if you cooperate. You were the muscle, right? Hired to protect the cargo without actually knowing what you were protecting?”

“Are you implying I’m a dumbass who’s unaware of my surroundings?”

Now I lean in, locking eyes with him across the table. “Are you telling me you know more than you’re letting on?”

Trav smiles. “Damn. Your interrogation skills really are on point. I’m impressed.”

“Impressed enough to tell me what you know?”

“I know lots of things. Useless trivia, mostly. Do you like trivia nights? There’s a really laid-back bar I like to go to when they have trivia. It’s called the Aqua. You ever been?”

The Aqua doesn’t do trivia nights. I should know. It’s where he dicked me out in a bathroom stall.

“Can’t say that I have.”

It’s not like the other guys in my department are unaware that I’m gay, but I like to keep my private life, well, private at work. They all know, but I don’t want them to know details—like where I frequent. I get the feeling that was Trav’s way of gauging whether I’m out or not, so I shut him down. Maybe then he won’t hint at what happened between us.

My job depends on that staying quiet.

Trav eyes me, and I get the impression he’s trying to figure out if I’m denying it for the sake of denying it or if I’m closeted.

Trav glances at his watch and then back at me. “I want to cut a deal.”



Pre-order Link

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One of Five eARC’s for Mike Bravo Ops: Rogue

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MIKE BRAVO OPS: IRIS

Mike Bravo Ops #1

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About the Author

Eden Finley is an Amazon bestselling author who writes steamy contemporary romances that are full of snark and light-hearted fluff.

She doesn’t take anything too seriously and lives to create an escape from real life for her readers. The ideas always begin with a wackadoodle premise, and she does her best to turn them into romances with heart.

With a short attention span that rivals her son’s, she writes multiple different pairings: MM, MMF, and MF.

She’s also an Australian girl and apologises for her Australianisms that sometimes don’t make sense to anyone else.


Connect with Eden

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Excerpt Reveal & Giveaway: Nothing Special by Casey Cox

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NOTHING SPECIAL

by Casey Cox

Excerpt Reveal

Release Date: June 27, 2022

Cover Design: Wicked by Design

Genre: M/M Romance
Trope: Best friends to lovers, opposites attract, feel-good, satire


Synopsis

They don’t write romance novels about guys like me…

Benji:
Trust me, I know. Crafting swoon-worthy happily ever afters is literally my day job. Being a quirky introvert with an overactive imagination, underwhelming social skills, and a few pounds overweight, I’m no leading man.

My best friend, though? He’s total cover model, call the plumber because I just flooded my basement material. He’s also outgoing, charismatic, free-spirited, and basically the best guy ever.

I may know romance, but I’m no dummy when it comes to reality. I’m nothing special. And the truth is, a guy like Darren would never fall for someone like me.


Darren:
I’m the poster child for failure to launch. Twenty-seven, didn’t make it in Hollywood, forced to slump my sorry self back home to Australia with my tail in between my legs.

The only bright spot in my life is nabbing the apartment next door to my best friend, Benji. He’s like no one I’ve ever met. Genuine. Sensitive. Nurturing. A talented author. An amazing cook. So freaking handsome. And yeah…I am so stupidly in love with him it’s not even funny.

When Benji needs some inspiration to clear his writer’s block, I gladly help out. He wants to write a friends-to-lovers romance, and hello, I’m his best friend. This should be a cinch. It’s not as if he’s suddenly going to fall in love with me. I’m nothing special. And the fact is, a guy like Benji could do so much better than someone like me.


Nothing Special is a stand-alone best-friends-to-lovers MM romance with two lovable (yet totally clueless) besties, gray yoga pants hotness, sweet midnight walks, an apartment block filled with nosy neighbours, and one swoonariffic (and oh so special) happily ever after!


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GOODREADS LINK


Excerpt

My tongue slid past Darren’s lips and slipped into his mouth. Warm waves floated through me. Our heads bobbed together. Effortlessly, we found the perfect lower lip/upper lip groove. Moving rhythmically to a silent song only we could hear. My chest tingled. Goosebumps speckled across my forearms. I was exploring my best friend’s mouth. Holy shit. Talk about unexpected.

Tonight had produced a number of surprises. Me taking Darren up on his offer for a midnight stroll. Me answering his question on the bridge, sharing a kernel of personal information no one else knew about me. Me now swimming in the velvety heat of his mouth.

Had all these little things been leading up to this?

No, of course not. This was all part of Darren’s Project P2XZ5… Okay. Excuse me if my brain was a little scrambled at the moment. Kinda hard to concentrate when Darren’s tongue was doing this insanely hot, twisty-flicky thing inside my mouth.

His fingers traveled into my hair, forcing our heads even closer. Our mouths were fully opened now, our tongues tangling, taking turns for dominance. The kiss was deepening. My body felt like it was on fire. I was putting everything I had into this kiss, and Darren was giving as good as he got.

God, he good kissed. Shit. I meant, he kissed God good. Gah. Third time lucky—God, he was a good kisser. When did words get so hard?

Speaking of hard—we both were. I didn’t back away, crushing my body against his. He rutted against me in return. It created an intense friction, like two sticks being rubbed together to start a fire. We were combustible.

A crow squawking off in the distance startled us, and we broke apart. He looked as dishevelled as I felt.

“Whoa.” He brought his fingers to his lips, like he was checking for physical proof of what we had just done.

I licked my lips, doing the same. I could feel the imprint of his stubble as I traced the seam of my bottom lip with my tongue.

Yep. Confirmed. We had, in fact, kissed.

“Was that okay?” I asked just as Darren looked up at me and said, “That was the best kiss of my life.”

A flare of happiness erupted in my chest. “Really?” I asked, still in a daze from the kiss. Now even more unsure of everything, hearing Darren make his admission. Confession? Compliment?

Darren shuffled from foot to foot, looking almost a little apprehensive. I took a cue from his playbook from the bridge earlier, reaching down to take his hand in mine. He stilled. I hooked a finger under his chin. His blue eyes found mine. “That was the best kiss of my life, too, Dare Bear.”

His just-been-kissed lips twitched. “Really?”

I loved how we always seemed to mirror each other with words and actions. It wasn’t just a tonight thing, either. It was how we were whenever we were together. “Yeah. Well, best, or a very close second to the sloppy kiss Lucy Aitken made me give her in third grade when she bribed me for it in exchange for a lick of her Paddle Pop ice cream.”

Darren raised an eyebrow as if to say, You allowed your eight-year-old self to get bribed for a kiss?

I shot him a look back, explaining, Gimme a break. It was a really freaking hot day.

He smiled, brushing the back of his fingers against my face. I let my eyes drift shut, allowing myself to relish in this moment.

Knowing it would be brief.

Knowing it would never be repeated.

Knowing it was simply Darren’s way of helping me out with my writer’s block.



Pre-order Link

Amazon Universal


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One of Five eARC’s for Nothing Special

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About the Author

Casey Cox is an Australian MM romance author whose work includes the hugely popular VET SHOP BOYS series.

Casey loves spending time at the beach and is the proud paw-rent to two utterly adorable French Bulldogs – Ralphie and Lilly.


Connect with Casey

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Audiobook Blog Tour: Giveaway, Excerpt & Review: Ice Devils by Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood

Ice Devils (Bethesda Barracudas Hockey, Book 5)

By Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood

Narrated by Nick J. Russo

Version: Unabridged Audio – Length: 6 hours 31 minutes

Whispersync – Voice Enabled

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex – Pairing: Male/Male

Genre: Romance, Contemporary Gay Romance, Sports Romance

Tropes: Hockey, Jock/Jock, Enemies-to-Lovers, Closeted MC, Teammates, Low-angst, Out-for-You,


Review

I have enjoyed each of the books in the Bethesda Barracuda’s Hockey series and Ice Devils is no exception. An enemies to lovers story, except these guys, Mark Sakamoto and Blake Conti aren’t truly enemies, though they do at first appear to hate each other. But as they say, there is a fine line between love and hate, there’s also a fine line between scared and brave, and Mark is scared of how Blake makes him feel and not brave enough to do something about it, hence the animosity between them.

The snark between Mark and Blake is full-on to start with, but when one of them comes across the other playing a prank things start to change. OMG these two and their pranks had me in stitches, I couldn’t stop laughing, at times barely able to breathe just imagining the chaos ensuing. Yes, they were childish, but they were so funny, and gained them the name Ice Devils, though no one is entirely sure who is behind everything to start with. One prank involving sticky tape just about had me dying from laughing so much.

I really loved that these two tried to take their time to get to know each other properly before jumping straight into bed, but when they did the chemistry was hot. I liked that for the most part they communicated well and both listened to what the other had to say, the one time conclusions were drawn and things nearly fell apart was resolved fairly quickly which was good, because I’m a low angst reader and hate misunderstandings being dragged out when talking and listening would fix the problem.

I enjoyed catching up with the rest of the guys from the Barracudas and their partners, I enjoy seeing the side characters and how they are getting along down the track.

Mark and Blake made a great couple, their relationship involved some risks, but then, anything good is worth taking a chance on and these two didn’t disappoint.


Skating the line between love and hate.

When winger Blake Conti signs with the national champion Bethesda Barracudas, he isn’t looking to get involved with anyone. Still bruised from an old relationship, his focus is on playing hockey. But when one of his new teammates turns out to be the hottest man he’s ever met, Blake wonders if he should reconsider his aversion to romance.

Mark Sakamoto—Sako—one of the Barracudas’ rising young stars, is immediately smitten with Blake. Deeply closeted because he fears revealing his sexuality to his family, Sako resists his attraction by using scorn and insults to push Blake away. Hurt by Sako’s behaviour, Blake reacts in kind, and the two men are soon at war.

Just as their fighting threatens to disrupt the team, the unexpected happens, and Sako and Blake bond over a silly prank. Their newfound camaraderie soon develops into a relationship, and the men become inseparable. With “ice in public, heat in private” as their motto, they keep things secret, but as they fall for each other, Sako knows he has to tell his family the truth. He dreads their reaction, but it’s the only way he and Blake can live happily ever after.

Ice Devils is a low-angst, enemies-to-lovers romance featuring scorching athletes, light-hearted comedy, riveting hockey, sweet-steamy romance, and a beautiful HEA.


Excerpt

We won the game 5– 3, a triumph because we hadn’t beaten Seattle for more than a year. Our victory playlist was already blasting through the speakers when we reached the locker room, and we took time to savour the win. The guys made a big deal about my goal, which put a huge grin on my face. I’d signed with the Barracudas the previous summer as a free agent, and tonight’s was certainly my most impressive goal of the season.

A reporter asked for an interview, and when we finished, I turned to go to my stall. Sako stood in my way with his arms crossed over his chest and a scowl on his face. “Good goal,” he mumbled. Sounds of celebration filled the background while an awkward moment ticked by. “Score a few more like that, and you might convince me you know how to play hockey.”

“Get real. I hope you were watching. You might up your game to a professional level.”

He dropped his arms and stepped forward, too close for comfort, causing me to move back. I’ll be damned if he didn’t inch nearer until we were nose-to-nose. A shudder ran up my spine as his musk surrounded me.

“Oh yeah?” He curled his lips into the half-grin, half-sneer that had taunted me all year. “Conti, I played better than you when I was in juniors.”

While I tried in vain to come up with a smart retort, he called Nick’s name and walked away.

Bitterness washed over me as I wondered again why he hated me so much. I’d never had trouble getting along with people, but arrogant Sakoshit had taken an instant dislike to me the minute we met. Somehow, he knew exactly how to push my buttons. It didn’t take me long to figure out how to push his too, and our interactions quickly disintegrated into a series of snarky comments, glowers, and petty arguments. We both gave as good as we got, and I came to enjoy pissing him off. If he was going to be an asshole, it seemed like I was determined to be a bigger one.

ICE DEVILS. Copyright © 2022 Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood. All rights reserved.


Giveaway

(Runs 5/31 – 6/13)


Buy Links: iTunes / Audible US / Audible UK / Amazon Audio Universal / Amazon Audio US / Amazon BOOK Universal / Goodreads


About the Authors:

Ryan Taylor and Joshua Harwood met in law school and were married in 2017. They live in a suburb of Washington, DC, and share their home with a big, cuddly German shepherd. Ryan and Josh love to travel, and hockey is practically a religion in their house. Ryan also enjoys swimming, and Josh likes to putter in the garden whenever he can. They began writing to celebrate the romance they were so lucky to find with each other, and the sharing soon developed into a passion for telling stories about love between out and proud men.

You can contact Ryan and Josh through their website

Social Media Links

Ryan Taylor’s Amazon Profile / Joshua Harwood’s Amazon Profile

Ryan Taylor’s BookBub Profile / Joshua Harwood’s BookBub Profile

Ryan Taylor’s Goodreads Profile / Joshua Harwood’s Goodreads Profile

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New Release Audiobook Blog Tour: Review & Excerpt: Ice Angels by Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood

My Review

ARE YOU READY TO FALL IN LOVE WITH TODD AND DREW?

I was lucky enough to read this book and then a couple of weeks later listen to the audiobook. I loved reading it, and considering I struggle with American narrators, I actually did enjoy listening to it afterwards, I did struggle at times with the audio, keeping track of which character’s chapter it was, on listening to it it seemed much harder for me to tell the two characters apart than when I was reading it for myself.

I loved Todd (Cleevs) when I met him in Fire in the Ice and was really looking forward to his story. The tagline for this book is “Are you ready to fall in love with Todd and Drew?” and I certainly did fall in love with them both.

My heart went out to these two guys who had been together for three years but had kept it secret all that time, but the strain was starting to take its toll on both of their happiness and I completely understand. Long-distance relationships are hard, let alone when you can’t be open about them when you do catch up like these two have been doing.

It’s a shame when your sexual orientation can make or break your career, and though things over the years have changed and Drew coming out would not be the big thing it would have been 3+ years before due to there being several LGBTQI players out, he kept putting it off. But it was time for them to have a serious conversation and for Todd not to put his fears onto Drew that he might resent him if things don’t go well.

I loved that once they had the conversation, there was no procrastinating and Drew followed through with no hesitation, I really am not a fan of angsty romance books, so I like it when things run pretty smoothly.

I loved that their friends and teammates (mostly) were so supportive of their relationship and that Drew ‘coming out’ wasn’t a big deal for them (as it shouldn’t be, ever).

There were some really sweet lines between these two characters and I really hope I find my someone one day who feels about me the way these two felt about each other.

About the book

Drew and Cleevs love hockey, but they love each other more. How can the men find a way to save what matters most?

Todd Cleever and Drew Simon are crazy about each other. They started dating three years ago when “Cleevs” was a rookie defenseman for the Chicago Ice. Drew, the team’s captain, was a few years older than Cleevs. Both men were deep in the closet, but it didn’t take long for them to fall in love.

Cleevs was traded to the Bethesda Barracudas a year later, causing a heartbreaking separation. Ever since, they’ve skated around the problem with occasional stolen nights together and brief vacations under the guise of “friends,” but two years of living apart have taken their toll.

As the holiday approaches, Drew and Cleevs decide things have to change. Still, with their careers and two professional hockey teams in the way, how can they score the game-winning goal and save everything they cherish most?

If you like fierce love, low-angst, a smallish age gap, exciting hockey, and a steely determination to make things work—not to mention enough steam to fog up all your windows and a fantastic HEA—this is the book for you.

Genre: Romance, Contemporary Gay Romance, Sports Romance

Tropes: Hockey, Closeted, Secret Relationship, Low-angst, Established Couple

Length: 4 hours 19 minutes

Version: Unabridged Audio Whispersync – Voice Enabled Narrated by Nick J. Russo

iTunes Audible US Audible UK Amazon Audio Universal Amazon Audio US

Amazon BOOK Universal Goodreads

Excerpt

Nothing put me out like boring, late-night TV, so I climbed into bed and turned on the set. Relaxing back into the pillows, I ignored the talk show and thought about coming out. There was no reason not to since the league was welcoming gay players with open arms. Todd had already told people he was gay, and I needed to man up and do it too. Then we’d be able to make life a lot simpler, not to mention more rewarding, by coming out as a couple. I knew Todd loved me but wasn’t sure he was ready for that. He always changed the subject when I tried to bring it up. We had been committed for years, and I planned to talk to him at Christmas and see what he thought about taking the next step in our relationship. After a loud, frustrated groan, I turned on my side and considered jacking off, but I was too tired. If I could get Todd on the phone in the morning, maybe we’d do it together.

Snowflakes bounced off the back of my neck, leaving an icy burn behind. I pulled my coat tighter and hunched over against the wind. God only knew why we’d rented a cabin in the woods instead of going to the Caribbean, but I couldn’t wait to get inside. Todd already had a fire going, and I needed to thaw out. Odd beeping sounds made me walk faster; electronic noises in the middle of the woods had to be bad news.

“Drew, wake up.”

“Mm.”

“Drew?”

“What the fuck?” I yelled, sitting bolt upright.

“Easy, babe. It’s me.”

A man sat on the edge of the bed, silhouetted in moonlight. Two buttons were undone at the top of his fitted blue shirt, revealing a patch of pale skin that made my breath quicken. He had a beautiful angular face with sunken cheeks and a strong jaw covered by the perfect amount of stubble. His deep-set dark eyes glimmered with mischief, and his black hair was swept away from his forehead. He’d had a haircut since I saw him last, and the new style suited him.

I took a deep breath as warmth spread through my chest. “You’re a sight for sore eyes. I’ve been missing you so bad.”

“Missed you too.” His voice was soft and deep.

“I texted you twice. You didn’t answer.”

“Wanted to surprise you.”

“How’d you work it out? Aren’t you guys flying to Montreal tomorrow?”

His lips curved upward, and he took his time tracing a finger down my cheek and across my chin. “Told them I had to go see my dads for something important. Said I’d meet the team at the hotel in Montreal tomorrow night.”

“Smart.” I caressed his sides, impressed as always by the hard muscles there. They met at the front in the kind of abs most men only dream about having. “Did you warn your dads in case someone calls?”

“Of course.” He leaned forward to kiss my nose. “Pops said he was tired of lying for me and I should make an honest man out of you.”

“Okay.” I couldn’t stop the grin that worked its way across my face.

“But enough…” He kissed my right cheek. “Talking…” He pressed his warm lips against mine for a heartbeat or two. “Especially…” He licked the corner of my mouth. “About my dads.” He nibbled my lower lip and finally gave me a proper kiss.

When he wrapped his arms around me and slipped his tongue into my mouth, I didn’t even pretend to resist. Not until every nerve in my body screamed for more did I pull back. “Surely you didn’t come all this way just to kiss me. I need a lot more than kisses.”

He growled and crawled on top of me. “Exactly what I was thinking.”

ICE ANGELS. Copyright © 2021 Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood. All rights reserved.

About the Authors:

Ryan Taylor and Joshua Harwood met in law school and were married in 2017. They live in a suburb of Washington, DC and share their home with a big, cuddly German shepherd. Ryan and Josh enjoy travel, friends, and advocating for causes dear to their hearts. Ryan also loves to swim, and Josh likes to putter in the garden whenever he can. The romance they were so lucky to find with each other inspires their stories about love between out and proud men.

You can contact them through their website.

Social Media Links

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Facebook Group / Facebook Page

Ryan Taylor’s Amazon Profile / Joshua Harwood’s Amazon Profile

Ryan Taylor’s BookBub Profile / Joshua Harwood’s BookBub Profile

Ryan Taylor’s Goodreads Profile / Joshua Harwood’s Goodreads Profile

Website / Instagram / Twitter / TikTok

Audiobook Promo Tour: Excerpt & Giveaway: Fire in the Ice by Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood

Fire in the Ice By Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood

Narrated by Nick J. Russo Publisher: Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood

Release Date: 3/14/2022 Length: 8 hours 19 minutes Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male Genre: Romance, Contemporary Gay Romance, Sports Romance Tropes: Hockey, Jock/Jock, Teammates, Second Chances, Friends-to-Lovers


What if love threatened to destroy everything you’d worked for?

Hockey right winger Tyler Jensen isn’t thrilled to get the news he’s been traded to the Bethesda Barracudas. The team may be red-hot in the rankings, but there’s someone there he’d rather not have to see every day.

Defenseman Kevin Moore is one of the top-rated rookies in the country. He’s living the dream playing for the Barracudas—until he hears that his old high-school crush Tyler is joining the team. Ty was once everything Kev wanted, but their age difference got in the way. Tyler decided a three-year gap was too much and left Kevin behind.

In Bethesda, Tyler doesn’t take long to notice that Kevin has grown up into precisely the kind of man he can’t resist—brawny, brainy, and beautiful. Kev feels the pull too, and as the men become closer, they work hard to keep their budding relationship secret. Professional hockey may be welcoming gay players now, but Ty and Kev aren’t sure management would like the idea of two Barracudas taking teamwork to an entirely new level.

As the playoffs loom, news of their romance gets out. Ty and Kev, caught in a storm of controversy that threatens to destroy them, need a power play to save their careers. How will they find one before it’s too late?

Fire in the Ice delivers on the promise that second chances can work and dreams can come true. If you like exciting hockey, plenty of humour, a beautiful HEA, new adults, young athletes, and enough heat to burn down the house, this book is for you.


Audio Amazon Universal / Audio Amazon US / Audible US / Audible UK / Goodreads


Excerpt

“Want some snacks?” I asked. “Got to have snacks with a movie.”

“Wonder what they have?”

We found the room service menu but decided we were still too full from dinner to order appetizers.

Ty called downstairs. “Any chance you could bring us some popcorn and candy?”

“And sodas,” I added. “Tell them to bring sodas.”

They delivered our order quickly, and we set up camp on my bed. Instead of watching a current release, we chose the old movie Revenge of the Nerds. Room service had brought an enormous bowl of popcorn, and our hands brushed repeatedly as we dipped in for more. We sat close together, and Tyler’s heat radiated off him. After finishing the snacks, we lay down. We weren’t touching, but just as our hands had found each other in the popcorn bowl, our legs, arms, and hips made frequent contact as we shifted around.

I eventually tired of the movie and decided some conversation would be good. “How are you liking the Barracudas?”

“A lot more than I expected to. The guys are all great, and we’ve clicked as a team. It’s almost like Birky and I have been playing with you all year.”

“I agree.” I found the TV remote, turned down the volume, and then stretched. My arm bumped into Tyler’s, and not feeling like moving it, I left it there. “You’ve been playing really well since you got to Bethesda.”

He pressed his arm against mine. “Think it has much to do with you, Nick, and me playing together before?”

“I’m sure that’s a factor. We were good in prep school. We’ve all improved our skills since then, but we’re still the same people.”

He turned on his side toward me, his knee bumping my leg in the process. “We were good friends in prep school, but we can be even better now as something else.” He moved his arm and traced a finger against the side of my hand. “I like you a lot, Kev. I always did, but things weren’t right for us a few years ago. Nicky and I were breaking up, and you were just coming out of kidhood.”

I snickered. “Kidhood? Is that a word?”

“Is now.”

“I’m not a kid anymore.”

“Believe me, I’ve noticed.”

Things went quiet. The movie droned softly in the background, and just as I was trying to think of something to say, Tyler took my hand. I loved the warmth of his skin and the way our workout calluses scraped against each other. I didn’t even consider pulling away; Tyler Jensen wanted to hold my hand, and I liked it.


******** GIVEAWAY *******

Begins 3/17 (midnight); Ends 3/31

a Rafflecopter giveaway



About the Authors:

Ryan Taylor and Joshua Harwood met in law school and were married in 2017. They live in a suburb of Washington, DC and share their home with a big, cuddly German shepherd. Ryan and Josh enjoy travel, friends, and advocating for causes dear to their hearts. Ryan also loves to swim, and Josh likes to putter in the garden whenever he can. The romance they were so lucky to find with each other inspires their stories about love between out and proud men.

You can contact them through their website.

Social Media Links

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Facebook Group / Facebook Page

Ryan Taylor’s Amazon Profile / Joshua Harwood’s Amazon Profile

Ryan Taylor’s BookBub Profile / Joshua Harwood’s BookBub Profile

Ryan Taylor’s Goodreads Profile / Joshua Harwood’s Goodreads Profile

Website / Instagram / Twitter / TikTok

Blog Tour – Review & Excerpt: Sapphire Sunset by C. Travis Rice

Will saving Sapphire Cove help forge the union they crave, or will it drive them
apart once more?

Sapphire Sunset, an all new emotional and captivating MM romance from
New York Times bestselling author Christopher Rice writing as C. Travis
Rice, is available now!

For the first time, New York Times bestselling author Christopher Rice writes as C.
Travis Rice. Under his new pen name, Rice offers tales of passion, intrigue, and steamy
romance between men. The first novel, SAPPHIRE SUNSET, transports you to a
beautiful luxury resort on the sparkling Southern California coast where strong-willed
heroes release the shame that blocks their heart’s desires.

Logan Murdoch is a fighter, a survivor, and a provider. When he leaves a distinguished
career in the Marine Corps to work security at a luxury beachfront resort, he’s got one
objective: pay his father’s mounting medical bills. That means Connor Harcourt, the
irresistibly handsome scion of the wealthy family that owns Sapphire Cove, is strictly off
limits, despite his sassy swagger and beautiful blue eyes. Logan’s life is all about
sacrifices; Connor is privilege personified. But temptation is a beast that demands to be
fed, and a furtive kiss ignites instant passion, forcing Logan to slam the brakes. Hard.

Haunted by their frustrated attraction, the two men find themselves hurled back together
when a headline-making scandal threatens to ruin the resort they both love. This time,
there’s no easy escape from the magnetic pull of their white hot desire. Will saving
Sapphire Cove help forge the union they crave, or will it drive them apart once more?

Fall in love with Logan and Connor today!
Amazon
Amazon Worldwide
Apple Books
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Add to Goodreads


My Review

What a great introduction to both this author and this series. I adored both of the MCs, Connor and Logan.

When these two meet the attraction is instant, when Logan shuts down anything happening with Connor I was holding back tears for them both, but I could really feel Connor’s hurt and my heart hurt for him, he’d put himself out there and got kicked to the kerb.

When it comes time for them to meet again 5 years down the track, I was reading with my fingers crossed the whole time. Two people from such different backgrounds, but who after 5 years had not let go of the connection they shared for that one night, and who were still instantly aware of each other, I could only hope that as things spiralled back and forward and as the dramas around Sapphire Cove unfolded and played out, that Connor and Logan could manage to create something wonderful between them. While both Logan and Connor came from different backgrounds, both carried their own baggage given to them by their families, in learning to love each other, they both needed to look at their pasts and put down the baggage and see it for what it is.

While the romance and chemistry between Connor and Logan were wonderful, the villains in the story were anything but. Connor’s uncle, Rodney, who from the get-go was an awful person and a wronged widow looking for someone to blame, these characters showed how easy it is to destroy people’s lives and businesses through blackmail and the power of social media.

There was plenty going on throughout this novel and there wasn’t a moment where I felt I was bored at all, I couldn’t stop reading, needing to know what was going to happen next and whether they were going to be able to pull both the hotel and their relationship out of the fire.

I am really looking forward to the next book in the Sapphire Cove series.


Excerpt

“Wow.” Logan’s voice echoed through the rocky chamber.
Here, the sounds of the ocean surf softened into something that was more like a
gurgling brook. What whitecaps the cave’s mouth captured were filtered down into
something frothy and inviting amidst the labyrinth of low rocks within. The basic security
lights at foot level threw a soft golden light across the metal struts that secured the rock
ceiling overhead.
“I used to come here all the time as a kid with my friends,” Connor said nervously.
“There’re all kinds of caverns back here we used to play and hide in before my mom
found out and busted us. She still has no idea they don’t go that deep. She still thinks
you could get lost in here. But I’ve got an excellent sense of direction.”
“Do you?”
“Yeah, I usually know where things are headed.”
“Makes sense, I guess. Your life’s kinda laid out for you, right? You’ll probably run this
place someday, right? Heir apparent and all that.”
“Oh, God. Do they still call me the prince?” Connor turned, resting his butt against the
guardrail so he could focus on Logan.
“Kinda.”
“Is that a good thing? Should I be annoyed by that?”
“Better to be the prince than a peasant, I guess,” Logan said.
“Are those really the only two choices?”
Logan laughed, but there was relief in it. As if Connor’s snarky response had shined a
light on possibilities he hadn’t seen before now. “I guess not.”
“Whatever. I’ll let it go.”
Silence then, save for the gurgling of the sea pushing its way past them and deeper into
the cave.
Connor rested his elbows on the rail on either side of him, an attempt to look casual
even though the sight of Logan leaning against the cave wall, hands in his pockets,
studying Connor with a half smile made Connor feel welded in place. “All right, your
turn.”
“My turn for what?” Logan asked.
“I told you mine, and my grandpa’s. What’s your magic moment?”
“Okay.” Logan straightened. “So if I remember correctly, it’s like a moment when you’re
doing something you love and you feel the most satisfied by it. Is that right?”
“Exactly.” Connor was thrilled that Logan had listened so closely.
“Well, my life is kind of starting over, so I’m kind of figuring out what it is I love to do.
Kickboxing’s up there, but that’s more of a fast and furious kind of thing, and the high is
mostly when I’m done. Not sure there’s really a magic hour there. There was some stuff
about the Marines that I loved, especially once I was a staff sergeant and I was in the
zone for gunnery sergeant. But a lot of it was tough, and a lot to hold.”
“I’m sure.”
When Logan started toward him through the shadows, Connor’s breath caught. His feet
felt planted to the boards, and the sides of his face got tingly and hot.
“So if I had to pick,” Logan said, “I’d pick this one.”
“Walking rounds?”
“No. I’d pick the moment when I’m finally all alone with a guy who drives me wild, and I
know we’re about to kiss, but I’m not sure when. So there’s this tension in the air, and I
can feel it. Everywhere.”
They were inches apart now, so close Connor had to look up at him to maintain eye
contact.
“And we’re both circling, waiting for the right moment. And I’m trying to take it kinda slow
because I know one little touch”—Logan gently grazed Connor’s cheek with the side of
one finger—“and it might turn into a lot more than a kiss. But first, there’s a promise to
be kept.”
“What promise is that?” Connor asked in a squeaky whisper.
“I believe you promised me a dance.”
“Or you promised me one.”
“Either way, seems like time.”


About C. Travis Rice
C. Travis Rice is the pseudonym New York Times bestselling novelist Christopher Rice devotes to steamy tales of romance between men. Christopher has published multiple bestselling books in multiple genres and been the recipient of a Lambda Literary Award.
With his mother, Anne Rice, he is an executive producer on the AMC Studios adaptations of her novels The Vampire Chronicles and The Lives of the Mayfair Witches. Together with his best friend and producing partner, New York Times bestselling novelist, Eric Shaw Quinn, he runs the production company Dinner Partners.
Among other projects, they produce the podcast and video network, TDPS, which you
can find at http://www.TheDinnerPartyShow.com.

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