Blog Tour Giveaway: Employing Patience by Saxon James

EMPLOYING PATIENCE: Divorced Men’s Club – Book Four by Saxon James



When it comes to regrets, I have none. My life is perfect. I own a bar, work hard, party harder, and smother my niblings in all the love they deserve. I don’t need to settle down, as much as my sister might want me to.

But then Joey Manning walks into my office and leaves me all but begging to give him a job … and wanting to give him so much more.

The self-professed straight man is in my head and while I know that I need to move on from him, my body isn’t getting that message. It doesn’t help that Joey is a grade A flirt who can banter with the best of them.

I’ve never had regrets. Not until Joey Manning.


The bills keep piling up and the pressure to get my sisters through college before we’re evicted is always on the back of my mind. Whoever said life was for living, clearly forgot that living’s expensive.

My default mode is stressed AF and working myself to the bone, and there’s only one person who gives me a break from all that.

Art de Almeida.

My boss.

The one man I shouldn’t flirt with, but I can’t seem to stop. I want to get under his skin. To leave him panting for me. Which wouldn’t be such a bad thing except that he thinks I’m straight, and I’ve never bothered to correct him.

I need this job.

But some days I worry that I need Art more.

Click here to read an excerpt

I’ll be adding my review to this post next week if you want to come back and take a look.

Genre: M/M Later-in-Life Romance
Trope: Bi-awakening, employer/employee, rich/poor, small-town

Cover Design: Story Styling Cover Designs / Photo: Xram Ragde / Model: Marko Ilkic

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Other Titles Within this Series




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.

Connect with Saxon

Website / Newsletter Sign Up

Facebook Author Page / Facebook Reader Group

Goodreads Author Page / Twitter

Instagram / Tiktok

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Blog Tour, Exclusive Excerpt, Review & Giveaway: Kicking it With the Best Man by Riley Long

Out and Kickin’, Book 1

I’ve been out and proud for years, happily living my truth. Never did I imagine I would be asked to step back into the closet.

Until that night at the club.

After one too many cocktails, I ended up in a bathroom stall enjoying a hot and steamy tryst with a super sexy guy named Nate. We exchanged numbers and indulged in some spicy sexting.

But when I asked him to meet up again, he ghosted me.

I tried distracting myself by acting as a friend’s plus one to a wedding. Who do I see standing next to the groom, looking like a snack? Nate. He claims no one knows he’s gay and asks me to be discreet. Still, my years of hiding are behind me. Can I help him find the strength to come out to his family and friends? Or will his reservations be too big an obstacle to overcome?

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Exclusive Excerpt

Something in me broke, and I stepped closer to Theo, closing the gap between our bodies in an instant. I wrapped my free arm around his waist and hauled him against me, a little grunt escaping him as I did. Without waiting, I dipped my head down and pressed a hungry, desperate kiss to his mouth.

He kissed me back, groaning into it. The rumble of his chest sent shivers down my spine. His hands found the back of my neck and held fast as we kissed, wild and desperate and so, so needy. I only had one hand touching Theo and it wasn’t enough. I tossed my beer bottle aside, letting it land in the undergrowth nearby with a soft rustle, and slid my newly empty hand along his waist and under the back of his suit jacket.

I fumbled, tugging at the tucked-in dress shirt until it came free of his slacks, and I slid my palm along his strong, lean back. As his muscles shifted and moved under my hands, I groaned. I’d never felt anything like it and it was intoxicating. I wanted more, so much more. I wanted everything.


This was a short and sweet read with 2 MCs that I really liked. Theo and Nate connect instantly in a bathroom hookup that quickly leads to the beginning of feelings via texting and sexting.

Theo is out, Nate isn’t. I liked that while Theo didn’t pressure Nate to come out, he stayed true to himself in not wanting to go back into the closet. Nate while wanting to come out and live his truth is afraid.

Nate made a few mistakes along their journey, but the instalust/instalove connection they both forge is a good incentive for Nate to take the step he needs to in order to both be true to himself and not lose Theo.

While there was some will he won’t he, should I shouldn’t I, it all leads to a happy ever after with support from everyone who matters.


“I’m so sorry about that,” the hot guy said. “I was coming over to talk to you and I bumped into that guy who crashed into you and spilled your drink all over your shirt.”

I turned to face him and looked into his crisp blue eyes. “It’s, um, it’s totally fine.”

“It’s not fine. Can I buy you another drink?” He glanced down. “Or, shit, another shirt?” Before I could answer, he forged ahead. “Is there anything I can do to make it up to you?”

Fuck, could he ever. We were so close to one another, I could smell his cologne, musky and woodsy. His arms and chest were straining the limits of his shirt and his artfully ripped jeans hinted at thickly muscled thighs. I bit the side of my lower lip. “I, um…” Heat crept into my face, starting at my neck and spreading up to my ears.

He cleared his throat and took a tiny step closer to me, closing in on my personal space. “I’m Nate.” His voice was low and husky. He licked his lips and his gaze traveled down to my chest.

“Theo,” I murmured. “Nice to meet you.”

Nate’s gaze leaped from my chest to my eyes and then down to my lips. He swallowed, his sharp Adam’s apple bobbing in his throat. “I’m really sorry about your shirt,” he said again, barely a whisper.

The heat roiled between us and I spoke without second-guessing myself. “Do you want to…” I tilted my head in the direction of the nearest bathroom stall. Lust coiled in my stomach and groin.

“Yes.” His response came out sounding raw and eager. Nate dipped down and pressed his lips to mine fiercely, wasting no time in plunging his tongue into my mouth. I couldn’t stop the needy groan that escaped me as we stumbled into the bathroom stall. As soon as we cleared the entrance to the stall, I stuck out my hand and slid the lock home.

Enter the Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Kicking It with the Best Man, Riley is giving away 3 e-copies of the release!

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About the Author

Riley Long is an author of gay romances novels spanning many genres from contemporary to paranormal. They live a quiet life in Virginia, with their husband, son, and two very silly pit bulls.

They spend their evenings writing, reading, and watching bad television (or not so bad television).

For fun, Riley participates in NaNoWriMo, GISH, and reads with her book club, the BAMFs.

They like things with silly acronyms.

Riley can tell you two different stories about getting covered in dairy products for a hug.

Connect with Riley
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Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway: The Realist by Riley Hart

THE REALIST The Vers Podcast Series – Book Three by Riley Hart



To listeners of The Vers, a queer podcast I host with my three best friends, I’m known as The Realist—I accept life the way it is, believe in honesty over sugarcoating, and okay, I can maybe be a little bossy.

If you asked The Vers guys, they’d tell you I’m a caretaker who’s always thinking of others, but they also give over-the-top hugs and don’t believe me when I say feelings are the worst.

It’s why I have no business offering Kai Lewis a place to stay when he’s in need. He’s a flirt who makes no secret about wanting in my bed…somewhere I’d like to have him if he wasn’t the employee of one of my closest friends. But, he’s too trusting and leaps before he thinks, so at least he won’t get taken advantage of if he’s with me.

Now he’s always around, wearing shorts that leave nothing to the imagination and saying he wants to take care of me because I’m always doing it for others. It’s not long before I can’t resist him—a man who likes listening in the bedroom but is stubborn in other situations.

Kai is sweet and funny. He gets me to open up to him. Maybe this whole relationship thing wouldn’t be so bad…if he wasn’t nine years younger…and leaving Southern California soon…or if I had any idea what I was doing.

The Realist is an age-gap, forced proximity romance with a bossy realist and a sunshiny flirt who has Marcus wrapped around his finger.

Genre: MM Romance
Trope: Age-gap, forced proximity

Cover Design: Cate Ashwood Designs
Photo: Kevin D. Hoover

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I’ve adored Kai, the flirty young guy who works in Declan’s bar since book 1 The Loner, so it was nice to see him find his HEA. It was nice to finally get to know Marcus better too, other than knowing how much he cares about his friends and that he’d do anything for them, I didn’t feel I knew him very well at all.

While neither is looking for a relationship, both are drawn to each other and though Marcus fights it for a while, he couldn’t possibly fight off Kai’s flirting and innuendos forever. I enjoyed the banter and the chemistry between these two, they were complete opposites, which worked well for them.

It was good to have two main characters who were POC and I liked the way the author wove some of their experiences into the storyline without making it a big issue, even those small snippets were confronting for someone who isn’t a POC and who doesn’t live in America which seems a much more dangerous country to live in than Australia and we have our own issues in this regard.

I like that all the other Vers guys and their partners still play important roles in the story since they are essentially each other’s family. I’m looking forward to Corbin’s book and him realising what a great person he is and that it’s not about his looks.


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About the Author

Riley Hart’s love of all things romance shines brightly in everything she writes. Her primary focus is Male/Male romance but under various pen names, her prose has touched practically every part of the spectrum of love and relationships. The common theme that ties them all together is stories told from the heart.

A hopeless romantic herself, Riley is a lover of character-driven plots, many with flawed and relatable characters. She strives to create stories that readers can not only fall in love with, but also see themselves in. Real characters and real love blended together equal the ultimate Riley Hart experience.

When Riley isn’t creating her next story, you can find her reading, travelling, or dreaming about reading or travelling, and spending time with her two perfectly snarky kids, and one swoon-inducing husband.

Riley Hart is represented by Jane Dystel at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret Literary Management. She’s a 2019 Lambda Literary Award Finalist for Of Sunlight and Stardust.

Connect with Riley

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New Release Book Review: Broken Bridges by Tania Joyce

Once again Tania Joyce has delivered an emotional read, pulling on the heartstrings from the very start.

After meeting the guys from the Flintlocks in Scarred Strings and knowing what they had been through with the loss of one of their bandmates, it is now time for them to find someone to fill in the space that he left in the band. It’s not only hard for them to replace him, but hard for the person coming into the band to feel they belong and to live up to expectations. And so it is for Lewis who is given the opportunity to play with them and make his dreams come true.

Lewis fits with the guys immediately, but he’s given goals he needs to achieve to keep moving on with them and he’s terrified of messing up. Then he meets Cole’s sister Tia, who has returned to LA after an accident ended her stunt career. Not only does he not want to mess up by getting involved with her, but Lewis has always known he was gay and has never been attracted to a woman before. I felt his struggle as he tried to come to terms with the attraction he was feeling that grew stronger the more time they spent around each other. I read a lot of MM romance novels, where a guy who has always believed he was straight, is suddenly attracted to another man, and they go through their own struggles with this, so it was interesting to read from a different angle. I believe sexuality isn’t always static and can change throughout our lives, for me it is also the person, not the gender that is necessarily the thing that is attractive. But I fully empathised with what Lewis went through when confronted with this totally off-the-wall attraction for Tia.

While I really liked and empathised with Lewis, I didn’t take to Tia as well in this story. I couldn’t connect with her as I did with Lewis and the previous characters in Tania’s books. Even when she said she’d step back and give Lewis space, I felt she didn’t do this and she pushed him in her own way with all the little things she did to flirt with him. I did feel for her that she’d lost the job she was passionate about and now needed to figure out where her life was going, this is a hard thing to come to terms with and when you’ve only ever had one dream, well to lose it would be devastating.

The relationship between Lewis and Tia once they decide to pursue something was full of off-the-chart chemistry, fun times and serious times, while being an emotional up and down ride for them both to achieve their HEA. I’m glad they both had the support from the guys in the band, I really loved how they fully embraced Lewis as one of theirs and stood by him through everything.

I’m looking forward to Cole and Slip’s stories in future books.

About the book

He’s lost his band, his lover and his grandfather – the friends and family who’d accepted his lifestyle choices.
She’s lost her career, the love of her life and after a freak accident has to accept she’ll never be the same.

A chance audition for The Flintlocks could change his life.
A move across the country could be the fresh start he needs.

She needs to find her way in the world again.
But she’s stuck in a new TV show…in a city that she never wanted to return to.

When these two broken souls meet, will they cause more havoc to their damaged hearts? Oh…hell yeah!

This is a love-is-love, gay-to-bisexual romance. The majority of the story is a MF slow burn, angsty, steamy, sexy heart-wrenching rockstar romance. If you aren’t open-minded to all forms of love and you can’t handle intense emotion with all the feel this book may not be for you.

Genre/Tropes: Rockstar. New Adult. Opposites attract. Bisexual. Fish-out-of-water. Forced proximity. Broken souls.


NOTE: Paperbacks will hopefully also be live by release date and will be available via Amazon.

New Release Book Review: Come Fly With Me by Felicity Snow

I really enjoyed Felicity Snow’s first full-length novel. A second chance romance between two childhood best friends and former boyfriends, it was really lovely to see Wesley and Cooper reconnect and work through their past and present issues.

It certainly wasn’t smooth sailing to get to their HEA and just like in real life, both needed to put some effort into making things work, face their problems and work through them with professional help in order to build a strong foundation for their future. But the biggest issue for Wesley and Cooper is communication, or lack of, so much of their past drama could have been erased if only they had communicated back then. Wesley had good intentions for doing what he did, but Cooper’s decisions were tied up with childhood issues, ones he needed to recognise before he could deal with them.

We get to uncover their past friendship/relationship and its end through flashbacks told from both POVs, though mainly Coopers. Their teenage love was so sweet, I loved the way they explored everything new between them and learned what they liked and what they didn’t. They certainly knew more about kinks than I knew at their age.

Wesley’s family was great, very supportive of both of them and I loved the way they embraced Cooper and his mum back into their lives so wholeheartedly. Cooper’s mum’s illness was very sad and I don’t think Cooper realised just how strong he was taking on the responsibility of caring for and providing for her during her illness. Cooper’s lack of belief in himself was something I could connect with as I struggle with this too.

I had my fingers crossed the whole read hoping these two would come to their senses and realise they had never stopped loving each other.

Come Fly With Me is now live and available on the author’s payhip website

Get it for the sale price of $3.99 through June 16th

You can check out her unlocked Pinterest storyboard and you can follow her and view it here ☺️

Come Fly With Me is a contemporary mm romance featuring

🚗 childhood best friends to lovers/enemies to lovers

🚗 a fake relationship

🚗 forced proximity

🚗 size difference

🚗 only one bed

🚗 demisexual rep

🚗 first times

🚗 mild kink exploration

🚗 hurt/comfort

🚗 supportive family and friends

CW: explicit teen sex, including mild kink exploration, lingerie, spanking, light bondage, death of a parent due to cancer, mentions if parental abandonment

Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway: Swimming Against the Tide by Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood

SWIMMING AGAINST THE TIDE by Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood



I wanted what I thought was the ideal college experience—an excellent school and a great fraternity. Since I was a legacy, it was Zeta from the get-go. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy it. In fact, I had so much fun I didn’t pay enough attention to one very important thing—the culture. The very conservative, closed-minded culture. The culture that welcomed no one who wasn’t a carbon copy of everyone else. The culture where a gay man has only one option: live in the closet and survive on occasional anonymous hookups.

I made it work until I saw a gorgeous guy jump into the bushes one night after a party. I went after him, and my life was never the same.


After my best friend ditched me at a frat party, I had nothing to do but drink away the time and wait for my own Prince Frat Bro to rescue me. Yeah, right. I was pretty sure I was the only gay guy there, and I finally gave up and left. Then, the night took an interesting turn on my walk home.

I guess you can’t find love when you beat around the bushes.

Swimming Against the Tide is a romance between two very different young men: a closeted frat bro sophomore and an out-and-proud freshman. Neither can resist the connection made at the most awkward, incredibly sweet, and impossible-to-forget meet-cute ever. How can they get what they want without being swept away by the tide?

This gay college romance features themes of Greek life, a secret relationship, undeniable chemistry, and steamy moments full of delightfully dirty talk. There are also tough decisions, coming out, and a HEA that will pull at your heartstrings every time you read it.

Genre: M/M College Romance Novella
Trope: Friends with benefits, secret relationship, HEA

Cover Design: Kate Farlow @ Y’all That Graphic

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Purchase Link

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This novella tells a sweet, low angst story between Connor and Zach, but also tells Zach’s emotional struggle with being true to himself or staying in the homophobic frat house he joined and having to hide for the rest of his time at college.

I really liked both MCs a great deal and I enjoyed their instant connection and hoped that Zach would be strong enough to leave the frat house and pursue a relationship out in the open with Connor. I thought Connor was understanding about Zach’s situation, but he knew he didn’t want to be in a long-term relationship that would involve him not being able to be with his boyfriend in public.

Most of the guys in the frat came across as ass****s and I struggle to understand the mentality behind their behaviours. I was glad that Zach found his inner strength to be true to himself before it became an even more toxic environment for him to live in.


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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.

Connect with Ryan and Joshua

Website / Shop Merch

Facebook Group / Facebook Page

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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

Release Tour, Review, Excerpts & Giveaway: Teacher of the Year By M.A. Wardell

Love: Not as easy as ABC.

They were supposed to keep things casual. Who’d expect they’d be schooled in love?

Those who can, teach. Marvin Block is one of the best kindergarten teachers out there. And despite his anxiety, Marvin’s life is sweet. He knows what he wants. And what he wants is the Teacher of the Year Award. Not just for himself – his school needs him to win.

Returning from break, the New Year finds Marvin all set to welcome a new pupil to his class. But when Illona walks in with her cute-as-hell single dad beside her, Marvin’s focus starts to slide.

Sure, his students always come first, but he deserves to have a life outside the classroom, too, right?

As their friendship starts to deepen, Marvin realizes Olan has the potential to teach him things about love he never thought possible. But with the Teacher of the Year award and his school’s future on the line, now’s not the time for anything complicated.

Education has always been Marvin’s world. And he needs to keep a cool head if he wants to win the award and save his school. But will it be worth it if he loses Olan in the process?

With Olan’s past and Marvin’s present colliding, their experiment in love hangs in the balance. Marvin knows what he wants out of life. But now he’s forced to consider what he wants out of love.

Will Marvin chalk the relationship up to experience? Or can they revise their story into a textbook romance?

Teacher of the Year is a steamy open door friends-to-lovers gay romance novel that explores the balance between friends, family, career, and relationships while overcoming trauma and dealing with anxiety.

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I enjoyed Teacher of the Year, Marvin was cute, though plagued with anxiety and trauma from his mother’s alcoholism when he was younger, this causes problems later on with Olan, some of which I thought were a bit of an overreaction and I was glad when his best friend Jill serves him a few hard truths and tells him to get his head out of his backside.

Because this was a single-point-of-view read, we only get to know Olan through Marvin, I would have liked to have read the story from both POVs, as I feel I get a better all-rounded story, but what we did get about Olan was still enough to make it enjoyable.

Olan has had his own battles and a recent divorce has ended with him moving to the small town where Marvin becomes his daughter Illona ends up in Marvin’s kindergarten class. I liked the text messaging which was Olan’s way of flirting, but felt he jumped from flirting to I really like you super quickly seeing as I didn’t feel they’d had much interaction, but I rolled with it anyway. I liked that once Olan decided he was interested in Marvin, despite it being his first male love interest, he is all in and there wasn’t any angst about it. Illona was a cute kid and added a good dynamic to the story, both in the classroom and for Olan as a single father.

Jill and her husband Nick, as secondary characters were fun, I enjoyed the banter between Marvin and Nick and Jill was a great friend.

Work/life balance was an important theme throughout, determining if and why someone might work too much is an individual thing but I liked that Olan realised how much teaching meant to Marvin, but was going to be there to make sure he got the balance he needed after he himself had burnt out by not maintaining that balance.

Overall, this was a fun and cute read and I look forward to reading more by this author in the future.

Exclusive Excerpt from Teacher of the Year

“Princess, did you have a good day?” The moment Olan sees his daughter, a shift takes place. He lifts her up and gathers her in his arms, and she wraps her legs around his waist, causing his burgundy fleece to ride up just enough to show a sliver of skin. Damn. There I go wanting to lick him again.

“I had so much fun! We went to Art, and I made a sculpture with clay, and we played games inside for recess because it was too cold, and I played Candy Land, and I won, and I made a new friend, and she held my hand and read me a story, and I have the book in my backpack, and everyone was so nice, especially Mr. Block.”

“Wow, sounds like you had a busy day.”

“She’s probably going to be exhausted tonight. I know I will be.” I chuckle at my own joke. Olan glances my way and gives a little grin. That punim. And that smile. Can I bottle it up and keep it for times I’m anxious or sad or just need a pick-me-up?

“Illona, can you share the book with your dad tonight?”

“She nods quickly.

“I’ll see you in the morning.” I throw her a wave.

“Hey, thank you. For everything.” Olan puts his hand out for a shake.

And there it is. Another chance for skin-to-skin contact. Clumsily, I wipe my hand on my pants and reach out. Our hands touch, and he wraps his long, strong fingers around my palm and squeezes just hard enough to show me he’s a master at the art of the handshake.

“I truly appreciate it.”

His eyes home in on mine, and I feel a warmth coming from his hand and entire body. He holds on a second or two longer than I expect, and my insides take a little tumble. I’m keenly aware of the gaggle of moms watching us, and I pull my hand away a little more abruptly than I want to.

“Okay, I will see you tomorrow, Illona,” I interrupt, hoping he’ll be back again too. “There’s some paperwork in her blue folder for you.” I glance up at him quickly, stealing one more look.


Rushing in, I pee quickly and proceed to wash up. I position my hands under the automatic faucet. Nothing. Out and back under. Still nothing. While the tree-hugger in me understands these sinks are meant to conserve water, their inability to function in a timely and reasonable manner often leaves me wanting to scream with frustration. As I’m fighting with the damn sink, about to actually yell, a blur zooms toward the urinal.

Hurrying to finish, I throw my hands under the faucet one last time, and it erupts to life. A stream of water sprays my arms and gushes all over the front of my gray joggers. And now I appear to have thoroughly pissed myself. Lovely.

Glancing over at the urinal, I see that the man peeing clearly isn’t a white, short, rotund redhead. Jerry wouldn’t be at school this early anyway. From the back, I can see he’s almost as tall as me, with rich brown skin and hair springing from his head in tight coils. The urge to escape embarrassment washes over me, but I also need the bathroom’s air dryer to attempt to rectify the large splash on the front of my pants.

“It’s water from the sink. Be careful. They’re automatic. And relentless. And well…” I move my hands away, revealing the source of my mortification.

Without a word, he slowly places his hands under the sink, and the faucet magically comes to life with no histrionics or fanfare. He looks at me, gives the faintest grin, and washes his hands.

I turn to the air dryer and do my best to position myself under it, thrusting my hips forward to get the airflow right. I’m now gyrating in the bathroom in front of a handsome stranger like a complete putz. The man finishes and, as I’m bogarting the dryer, wipes his hands on his pants and gives me a nod and exits. Standing there, hot air blowing my nether regions, I wonder, who was that gorgeous man, and why am I so damn flushed?”

Enter the Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Teacher of the Year, M.A. is giving away 3 e-copies of the release.

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!

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About the Author

I write steamy queer rom-coms.​​

My goal is to tell adult gay love stories with a diverse representation of flawed and damaged characters who find healing through love.​

I love rom-coms and have always wished there was better representation, so I’m writing the stories I wish existed. The gay men in my stories are flawed and messy. Helping them find their HEA is my passion.

Connect with M.A.

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Release Tour, Excerpts, Review & Giveaway: Free Me By Beck Grey

Love in the Pacific Northwest, Book 4

A gender-fluid cutie, a workaholic hottie, and a hookup gone right.


No romantic relationship could ever compete with my dream job. Sure, it gets lonely, but that’s what occasional hookups are for. Work-life balance? Who cares? I certainly don’t. Until chest pains bring me to my knees and land me in the emergency room.

It’s a wake-up call I can’t afford to ignore.

When my well-meaning family encourages me to make some major life changes, like hiring a meditation and physiotherapist, whatever that is, I’m worried enough to agree.

Imagine my surprise when my practitioner turns out to be the hookup I haven’t been able to forget.


What’s a fabulously vivacious gender-fluid beauty to do when stress is high and Prince Charmings aren’t lined up at their door? Head to the club to recharge my sparkle on the dance floor. I have no intention of hooking up with anyone. Hookups are not my thing.

Then I see the slightly older hottie in the Tom Ford suit, and all my self-restraint goes up in a blast of glitter.

When it turns out he’s my new meditation client and my friend’s older brother, I’m sure the universe is messing with me.

Because mixing business with pleasure is a huge no-no.

So why does my heart keep shouting yes?

Free Me is a low-angst, opposites attract, worlds collide, LGBTQ contemporary romance. It contains no cheating, and a guaranteed HEA.

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Check Out the rest of the Series


“He looks ridiculous. Men aren’t supposed to wear makeup or dress like that.”

I close my eyes and breathe deeply, letting the words flow through and past me. The same two women from the other room are on the other side of the display, and I know I’m meant to hear their comments. Rather than give them the satisfaction of a reaction, I continue to take pictures of the plants and ignore them.

Blake’s hand grips my arm and I glance up from my phone. I swear he’s about to crash through the ferns and throttle the woman, so I stand up and take his hand, lacing our fingers together. “Ohhh! Blake, look! These are so beautiful. So many colors!” I pull him toward some vibrant flowers and read the small sign. “Guzmania. Can you tell me about this one?”


There’s anger in his voice, but also concern, and I adore him for that—but it’s ultimately unproductive, so I ignore it. “My favorites are the coral ones. So beautiful!” When he doesn’t say anything else, I walk further into the room. “Oh yikes!” I point at a vicious-looking plant. “These are scary.” I make a production of reading the little plaque. “Dyckia.” I snort. “I’m all about the dick, but that’s too much.”

Blake relents and huffs out a small chuckle. “They are rather sharp looking.”

“They are.” I press against him, brushing the tip of my nose along the edge of his ear. “I prefer a softer touch.”

He pulls me into him, resting his forehead against mine. “You’re amazing. You know that?”

“Yes, I do.” I grin, and Blake sighs and tries to smile. I cup his jaw with my palm and gently urge him to look at me. “Let it go, Darling. They’re speaking from a place of fear and ignorance.”

“You shouldn’t have to put up with that.”

Before he says anything else, I cut him off with a kiss. “I could try to educate them. I could be angry, or hurt, or have any number of reactions, but nothing I’d say or do would change their minds. Not here. Not coming from me. And trying would only damage me. They wouldn’t care.” His scowl says he clearly doesn’t agree. “Blake, trust me. I’ve been dealing with this for years. As a flamboyant, brazenly out gay boy, I was harassed, threatened, spit on, punched, and called every name you can imagine by bullies at school. As an adult, it’s been easier, but there are still vocal bigots.” I gesture in the direction of the snarky women.

“It’s been more difficult as I’ve embraced my gender fluidity, but I am who I am and I won’t let their negativity rule how I live my life.” I look into his eyes and smile. “It’s a choice I’ve made. If I wanted to, I could blend in. I could probably pass. But doing that would crush my soul. So to spite every close minded bigot, I live loud and proud and authentically. And most times it works out fine.” He holds my gaze, not saying anything, but I can see the wheels turning in his mind. I appreciate that he’s thinking about things rather than acting on his anger. I kiss him on the cheek, grab his hand, leading him around the row and back the way we came. “Let’s go see the other two rooms.”

Excerpt 2

I walk out to the bedroom balcony and look down at the patio. Blake is lounging by the pool in swim trunks and sunglasses, reading a book. He looks incredibly relaxed, and it makes my heart happy. “Hey, handsome.” He glances up and his face breaks into a wide grin. Okay, yes, we’ve been together for a few months, but his smile still makes my insides all melty and warm. “You want to come in and eat, or should I bring the food out?”

“Put on a suit and come down. This is my big plan for the day.” He gestures to the pool area and waves his book.

I lean my elbows on the railing and grin down at him. “If you’re trying to seduce me, it’s working.”

“Excellent. Step one in my evil plan is complete. Now come down here. I missed you.”

“Be down in a sec!” I hurry inside, strip out of my work clothes, then lather myself in the sunscreen that smells like coconut. Blake loves the scent, and I love how he nuzzles my neck when I use it. I pull on my tiniest black and white print swim briefs, grab a beach towel from the closet and the food bags from the kitchen counter, and hurry down to the game room and out to the patio. “Should we eat at the table or on the loungers like heathens?”

Blake glances up from his book and his eyes lock on my tiny swimsuit. I do a slow spin, giving him a good view of my ass. “Like?”

He pulls his sunglasses to the end of his nose and peers over them. “That’s new.” His voice is thick with lust. Oh, yeah. Mission accomplished.

“It is! And it’s so adorable!”

Blake licks his lips. “And so tiny.”

“I had a feeling you might like it.” I skip past him to the table and deposit the bags.

Blake practically growls and grabs my hips the moment I put the bags down. “Come here.”

I laugh as he manhandles me, hauling me close and inhaling my skin. He drags his nose across my abdomen and my cock stirs, eager to join in the fun, but my stomach growls with hunger. “Mmm. I’m fully on board with whatever you’re planning here, Darling, but we should eat before the food gets cold.”

Blake bites my hip. “We can heat it up.”

My laugh quickly turns to a gasp as his tongue teases above the edge of my suit. It’s all I can do not to press his head a few inches lower. “Blake, Darling, I have souvlaki and Greek salad.”

He hums and sits back, waggling his eyebrows at me. “You know I love Greek.”

I snort at his double entendre. “As do I, my darling. So let’s eat.” I wink at him. “Then we can eat.”

His chuckle warms every part of me. He pushes to his feet with a sigh. “If we must, we must.”

“We must.” I press up on my tiptoes and pucker up.

He obliges me, but turns my expected quick press of lips into a lingering kiss that curls my toes and has me second-guessing my stance on eating first. As I’m about to give in, he lets me go and pats my backside. “C’mon. Let’s feed you so we can move on to other enjoyable things.”


4.5 Stars

I loved this novel, Stef and Blake were perfect for each other.

I actually forgot I’d met Stef in Choose Me and that I found them a bit over-the-top, but that was more for the sake of their brother Jules who has bad anxiety and I wondered how on earth he managed to cope with their very outgoing nature. In Free me, I got to know Stef properly and I am so glad I did because behind that outgoing nature of theirs and their obvious fabulousness is also hiding an insecure part of them that wonders if they are too much for anyone to truly love. They’ve had past partners who have told them this and after a while a small part of them has started to believe it.

Blake was a workaholic who loved his family, most of who I remember from past books but who had no one to share his life and thought he didn’t need anyone. Until Stef, from their first combustable meeting in a club that was supposed to be a one night stand, to their business arrangement when Blake hires Stef to help him with meditation and relaxation after a health scare, they both know there is something special between them.

I adored both Stef and Blake and really loved seeing their relationship develop. Stef was a great character and I liked and appreciated learning more about gender fluidity, binary and non binary and the forms it can take. I loved how Blake was both eager and willing to learn more about Stef’s gender fluidity and how easily he accepted everything about them and wanted them to embrace every part of themselves including encouraging Stef to dress exactly as they felt on the day regardless of if they thought others might not approve. If only more people in the world could be so accepting of others and their differences it would be a much nicer place to exist.

This was a really lovely low angst romance that I thoroughly enjoyed. While it can definitely be read as a standalone, I encourage you to read the rest of the series and meet the other great characters. I can’t wait for the next book.

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Beck is a non-binary writer of sweet, sexy, LGBTQ happily ever afters. They live in the Northeastern United States with their two adorable dogs. Weekdays are spent working their day job, but nights and weekends are devoted to writing stories involving hot characters, favorite tropes, and happy endings. Any additional time includes reading, laughing with friends, drinking red wine, and playing D&D. If there’s cake involved at any point it’s a win!

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Release Tour, Excerpt, Review & Giveaway: Foxy Tails By Natalina Reis

Join a witty fox, a divine healer, and their companions on a voyage filled with danger, magic, romance, and surprises in a world where nothing is what it seems in this stunning MM fantasy romance by best-selling author Natalina Reis.

Unloved and broken, Huli knows nothing but hate. Born a nine-tailed fox in a world that hunts demons like him, he does what he must to survive.

Until the day fate throws him right into the arms of the Healer.

Xiao Ying grew up in a family of divine healers. But when he comes back to find his whole family murdered, he vows to bring them the justice they deserve. Xiao Ying chooses a lonely life, gathering the evidence he needs, and not allowing anything to get in his way.

Until the day his life crosses that of a nine-tailed fox and changes forever.

Brought together by fate and united by love, Huli and Xiao Ying embark on the adventure of a lifetime. One that will either answer all their questions or reveal truths they should’ve left buried.

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3.5 stars

Foxy Tails was an interesting story, seemingly based around chinese mythiology, I found that part very interesting.

This book took quite a while to pull me in so as I was fully engaged, probably over the 40% mark, if the first part of the book had engaged me as well as the second part it would have been a solid 4 star read for me. It really wasn’t until they set off on their quest to find Healer’s source that I was fully invested in the lives of Healer, Huli and Ling LIng oh and of course the dog Ye Ying.

There was magic, shifters and spiritualism along with danger and intrigue.

I enjoyed finding out about their pasts and how they all finally connected, the romance between Huli and Healer was a fated mate kind of connection and was very sweet. I liked the intrigue behind all the events and the book ended leaving me hoping that there will be a sequel so as I can find out more about their fight for justice.


Behind him the barking continued relentlessly. They’d be upon him soon unless he figured out a way of retracting his tails. Once his tails were out of sight, they’d lose his scent.

Húlí rushed toward the wooden door, hoping it was unlocked and that whoever lived there had vacated the place. Once he was inside, he’d be temporarily protected from the hounds’ sense of smell long enough to calm down and get rid of his tails. At least that’s what he hoped.

Busting through the unlocked door, Húlí uttered a quiet thank you, the momentum almost throwing him into the roaring fire in the hearth directly across from the entrance.

“Who the hell are you?” a voice exploded behind him.

Shit! The house was not empty after all. Awesome. Now I have to deal with this human too.

“Close the fucking door,” Húlí begged, bracing his hands on his knees and trying hard to regain his composure. Even a fox like him got winded after such an intense chase.

“Not unless you tell me who you are,” the human male said.

Húlí turned halfway to look at him. Couldn’t he see his red tails, gloriously—and unwisely—unfurled behind him? Right, he couldn’t. Húlí had no control over the scent his tails exuded but he could glamour them from humans.

“I’m being chased,” he sputtered, trying to catch his breath. “Please, can you close the door? I will tell you everything afterward.”

The male, a tall young specimen with a mop of dark curly hair carelessly gathered into a high ponytail hesitated for a heartbeat before doing as he was asked.

“Thank you,” Húlí whispered, a sigh of relief escaping his lips. Now, he could slow his heart down and cut the trail of his scent. Brushing off the dust from his clothing, he took deep breaths and checked for damage caused by the chase. His arms and hands were scratched and bleeding, leaving a trail of red stains on his light blue long tunic. “Shit. Now I will have to trash my clothes. I liked this shan yi.” His outrage only grew when he found a large rip on his left side where one of the hounds had sunk its teeth in. “Damn dogs.”

Húlí shook himself off, his tails swooshing as he moved. Good, they’re retracting. The sound of his pursuers was getting closer, but he wasn’t as worried anymore. In a few more seconds, his scent would be back to human only and the hounds would lose his track. He lifted his gaze to the other man and was surprised to meet a pair of intense lavender eyes studying him.

“Who are you?” the man asked, crossing his arms over his chest. He cocked his head to the side. “Why are you being chased by the hounds?” There was sharp intelligence in those beautifully shaped eyes; they were finely cut jewels that glinted in the dim light of the fire.

Not jewels. Petals of a lotus flower. Exquisite.

“It’s a long story,” Húlí muttered, one last swoosh telling him his tails were finally fully hidden. “I don’t want to bore you with it.”

The stranger anchored his feet solidly on the ground and twisted his full lips into a half smile. “I have all day and nothing interesting to do.”

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About the Author

Natalina Reis is an international bestseller who wrote her first romance at the age of thirteen. Since then she has published thirteen romances that defy the boundaries of her genre. She enjoys writing all kinds of rebels and outcasts into her stories and she always roots for the underdog.

After earning a degree in tourism and foreign languages, she worked as a tourist guide in her native Portugal for a short time before moving to the United States. She lived in three continents and a few islands, and her knack for languages and linguistics led her to a master’s degree in education. She lives in Virginia where she has taught English as a Second Language to elementary school children for more years than she cares to admit.

Natalina doesn’t believe you can have too many books or too much coffee. Art and dance make her happy and she is pretty sure she could survive on lobster and bananas alone. When she is not writing or stressing over lesson plans, she shares her life with her husband and two adult sons.

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New Release Book Review: With You in Wild Orchards by Rania Battany

Back at the end of 2019, I read my first novel by Rania Battany, Fleeting Moments, in which I found one of my now favourite authors. In Fleeting Moments, I could see so much of myself and some of my relationships, in Maya (the main character), it was quite confronting, it also gave me so much to think about and work on in my own life. As her bio states, “She creates relatable characters and explores real issues while engaging her readers with stories that tug at the emotional core.” she has continually done that for me with every new book she has released. Her books are heartfelt and emotional, tackling important issues and themes that make me think and feel, as well as allowing me an insight into things people around me deal with every day.

In her newest novel With You in Wild Orchards Rania has once again wowed me with her ability to write a character I related to deeply while putting my emotions through quite a bit for the 5 or 6 hours it took me to read it.

Grief, it’s an emotion that most of us will experience in one form or another over the years, whether it’s from losing a loved one, losing a dream, the end of a relationship, leaving our homeland or home town and many other big and small things. Grief is a complicated emotion and no one person will have the same reaction or deal with it in the same manner, for some it might last a minute, and for others an eternity. The people we meet in With You in Wild Orchards; Luna, Jamie, Juliette, Annie, and Alan, each one has lost something, a dream, a friend, a loved one, and each one has dealt with it in a different way. Juliette’s grief caused her to make decisions that in turn affected the lives of those she loved, decisions that changed the course of other people’s lives and left secrets in their wake.

With her Aunt Juliette’s passing Luna is set on an emotional journey of grieving, remembering the past, searching for answers about her aunt, opening her heart and letting go, so she can realise a future she’d forgotten she wanted.

When Juliette dies, she leaves behind a minefield of secrets for Luna to discover and unpack, secrets which have affected many parts of both her and her mother’s lives and their relationship with each other. Juliette was the person Luna felt the closest to, she was constantly in awe of her aunt and the way she seemed to live such a full and adventurous life. But Juliette also continually left, off exploring the world leaving Luna in a cycle of loss and though she hasn’t really acknowledged it, essentially a feeling of being abandoned. Now Luna is forced to deal with those feelings she’s done such a good job of pushing down (I’m not ready to deal with my own feelings around that subject, but then, are we ever really ready?).

It is amazing how our hearts and minds work, how we perceive people and events one way only to look at them years down the track and realise that we only saw a part of the picture or only one aspect of a person, whether by choice because we didn’t want to see or because others didn’t want us to see.

Luna is a character who carries a lot of pain inside, deep inside, buried deep so she doesn’t have to look at it or deal with it, she’s done a good job of squashing painful thoughts and feelings inside, (something I know how to do well also), but by doing this she purposely hasn’t allowed herself the opportunity to love or be loved and has lost her spark and passion for life, even going so far as to forget what those passions once were.

The town of Edens Valley is as much a character as the people and plays an important role in Luna remembering the things she’d forgotten and the feelings being in that beautiful place gave her. Rania does a wonderful job of bringing the town and its surroundings to life and if I could I’d want to go and visit it myself, spend time under the willow tree by the river, sit on the hill overlooking the wild orchard, taste the food the locals put so much time and effort into producing.

It is in Edens Valley that Luna also meets Jamie, a man who is hurting, guarded and suspicious of what it is Luna is doing there. Jamie is also a caregiver and though he doesn’t want Luna around and doesn’t trust her one bit, he can’t help but do small things to take care of her needs while also pushing her to leave. Jamie, unlike Luna, hasn’t forgotten what his dreams and passions are and slowly, as Luna worms her way unintentionally into his heart, he starts to share what those dreams would look like. I could really feel Jamie’s internal struggle, of wanting to dislike Luna, his mistrust of her and his desire to not allow himself to be emotionally vulnerable to anyone whilst being pulled towards her every step. I really liked Jamie, I could feel his goodness along with his hurt, I understood his dreams of not conforming to his family’s expectations and following his own path, and I loved how he cared even when he didn’t want to; sometimes it’s the small things we do for others that can have the biggest impact.

At the same time, I could feel Luna’s confusion about the feelings and emotions Jamie elicits from her, feelings and emotions she’s never felt or allowed herself to feel before. I loved how once Luna makes a decision she jumps in with both feet, not allowing others to steer her off her path and I loved that by returning to Edens Valley in search of one answer, she finds so much more.

Through Luna, Rania has also managed to explore and cast a light on type 1 diabetes, a chronic disease I admit to not knowing much about. I had no idea just how dangerous it can be on so many levels to a person’s health if it isn’t managed correctly. I have a friend whose son has it and I’ve seen them constantly monitoring his levels, making sure he eats when he needs to and watching what he eats as best she can, but Luna’s mother, Annie, takes all these steps to the next level, maintaining a rigidity that Luna as a child and a teenager, found stifling and caused resentment for her growing up and I can understand Annie’s fear after reading about it. As an adult, we would have much more of an understanding of the dangers than a child and even then, many adults I know would struggle to make the right decisions for their health all the time. Young children are often the ones who it most commonly appears and depending on how it is managed and how their parents manage it with them, I can only imagine how it could feel terribly suffocating, limiting and a barrier to friendship and fun.

With You in Wild Orchards is a story about grief, love in its many guises, finding yourself and finding and following your dreams, about secrets and choices and their consequences. A story about living with an illness that affects your life and the choices you make, good and bad. A story that has made me wonder what I’m truly passionate about and whether there is a way for me to follow those passions once I figure them out. Rania has once again made me look at myself and the way I cope and manage my emotions and challenges (I guess I need to be reminded occasionally about this) and whether they are really working for me. It’s a story with real, slightly flawed characters who are trying to live their lives the best they know how while dealing with the ups and downs life throws their way, just like all of us.

Thank you to the author for providing me with a copy of this wonderful novel in return for an honest review. Thanks also to the author for once again giving me so much to think about and work on in my own life.

About the book

Twenty years ago, Luna’s aunt Juliette convinced Luna and her mother to write down their deepest secrets. She hid those secrets in a box. Then, in a pine forest far from from home, Juliette buried what they wrote.

Luna never planned to go in search of that box. Whatever secrets her mother and aunt wrote that day, Luna had wanted to remain buried.

But when Juliette dies unexpectedly, Luna discovers her aunt was hiding more than the secret she buried twenty years earlier. Searching for answers, Luna returns to the small town Juliette had once loved; to the trees guarding their secrets.

There’s one problem.

The pine forest is on private land. That land belongs to the sexy-but-guarded Jamie.

The more Luna chases Juliette’s ghost, the more uncertain Jamie becomes of her intentions, but the more time they spend together, the more their chemistry builds.

It’s complicated. And scary.

Especially since the last thing Luna expected to find was love … or herself.

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