Monthly MM Romance Round-up

Since MM Romance is a genre I read a fair bit of but don’t always publish a blog post for my reviews, I thought I might do a monthly round-up of any I have read for those who are interested.

Sink or Swim (Shore Leave #2) by Annabeth Albert

I absolutely loved book 2 in the Shore Leave series, Sink or Swim was another winner for me, after Sailor Proof which I also loved, I was really looking forward to Calder’s story.

Calder is a big gambler and when he wins a ski cabin in a poker game and heads up there to see what it’s like, he finds out he’s been taken for a ride in a divorce dispute with Felix’s ex-husband.

Calder and Felix make a fabulous couple, and despite both not wanting anything at all when they first meet, that changes when they both realise what they’ve been missing and what could be. They both had lots of issues to work through, but I liked that they communicated and didn’t get bogged down in misunderstandings. I loved that Calder was the braver one, willing to fight for what he wanted all the way through, realising that despite not looking for love or ‘feelings’, what he had found was worth keeping. Their intimate relationship builds and is different in the bedroom compared to many, I really appreciated that Felix and Calder were so on the same page and that they both understood each sexual relationship is unique to that couple. I could really feel the closeness and emotions that passed between these to MC’s.

Felix’s nieces, Madeline and Charlotte were both great additions to the story and added a lot to their relationship. I especially enjoyed Charlotte, she was such a wonderful character and I felt I got to know her better than her quieter sister.

I did like catching up with Derrick & Arthur and seeing how their relationship was going. This can easily be read as a standalone, but you’ll be missing out if you don’t read Sailor Proof too. I look forward to seeing what Annabeth Alberth brings us next.

Thanks to NetGalley and Carina Adores for a digital copy in return for an honest review.


The Trouble With Trying To Date A Murderer by Jennifer Cody

I didn’t quite know what to expect with this, it was definitely a unique concept and being a Jennifer Cody novel that is a given, and the verdict, I LOVED this so much. Full of humour and heart, I just adored Romily (who wouldn’t) is non-verbal and I fell for Fox too as he fell for Romily. I loved how Romily who was non-verbal, was able to convey so much with just a look and loved that Fox got him straight away. With body parts flying and blood getting Romily’s clothes messy, these two were made for each other, and as Romily notes from the get-go, Fox is his ‘Future Husband’ for sure. This book is too good to give anything much away, so I recommend you pick it up and find out all about how hard it is trying to date a murderer. This was a great read and I can’t wait for more.


Egotistical Puckboy by Eden Finley & Saxon James

Egotistical Puckboy (Puckboys #1) was a really enjoyable start to a new series. I really enjoyed these authors’ previous collaboration with the CU Hockey series and this new one didn’t disappoint.

Click here for the full review.


Wicked Heat by Ella Frank

Wicked Heat is book 1 of 2 about MCs Ryan and Jameson in a 4 book series. Wicked heat is a spin-off series from a couple of Ella Frank’s other series, I’ve met several of the characters before and now want to go back and meet the ones in the books I’ve missed.

Ryan, a sunshiney, outwardly outgoing PA for Prime-time news anchor Alexander (from the Prime TIme series), is a character I immediately loved. Jameson a firefighter (at the same precinct that Keiran from Dare to Try series recently left) who prefers to keep himself to himself and not make friends or have relationships is taciturn in his nature towards everyone.

Click here for the full review.


Code Blue by N.R Walker

Wow, I didn’t want to put this novel down. Following on from Code Red, this book focuses on band member Jeremy and Atrous’ head of security Steve. The story is told from Steve’s perspective and what a story it is. I really enjoyed Code Red, but I enjoyed Code Blue even more. And the fact it’s over 400 pages is just awesome, I do enjoy a long book I can really sink my teeth into.

Steve is gay but has kept this undercover, he’s had a thing for Jeremy for a while, but Jeremy is straight and why would he look at Steve, except he does and Jeremy is confused and angry about what he is feeling and he takes it out on Steve for a while as well as some self-destructive behaviour, as he tries to work through what is going on. Oh, I did love these two, they worked so well together, I loved Jeremy to bits and Steve was my hero.

Click here for the full review.


Capture (Shattered Pawns #2) by Jennifer Cody

I am loving this series just as much as The Diviner’s Game series which is set in the same universe with many of the same characters. Capture, the second book in the Shattered Pawns series was brilliant, I really don’t know how Jennifer Cody manages to come up with the storylines, theme and plot, so amazingly twisted and intricately orchestrated, each story though happening at the same time frame, building on to the previous one, giving us more information without rehashing everything that happened with the other characters.

I adored Qis and Monet, these two were definitely made for each other and though I don’t understand the whole pain/pleasure/comfort kink, I know there’s a kink out there for everyone, and Monet was made for showing Qis what it was he needed. There are some very hot and interesting and kinky sex scenes that had me wondering whether they were actually possible, I’m assured they definitely are and I have a fabulous imagination so I didn’t need to check it out for myself.

I love the whole Aquino family and enjoy my time with them every novel. You do need to have read Pass (read my review here) before reading Capture for maximum enjoyment as they each build on to the story. There are gods, fighting, intrigue and danger for everyone and these guys are going to learn who they really are and what they are capable of when it all hits the fan.

I can’t wait for book 3 when we find out how it all ends and we get to see how Kim and Ryan get together.


Restored Ruins by G.R Lyons

This turned out to be a fun and original read which pulled at my emotions at times and had me grinning at others. In my first book by G.R Lyons, I enjoyed his writing and I enjoyed the characters and the world he has created in this new paranormal/speculative fiction MMM romance series Gentleman Hackers.

I really liked Connor, a young man who has been rejected all his life, he is of a different race, one who has the gift of telepathy/telekinesis and also the ability to change himself on a genetic level. Connor was a lonely soul who hid behind his computers as a way of protecting himself from more rejection. He also had a fun sassy side to him which comes out after he is kidnapped by Brendan after he finds he has hacked into his webcam.

For the full review click here.

New Release Book Review & Excerpt: Restored Ruins by G.R Lyons

Review

This turned out to be a fun and original read which pulled at my emotions at times and had me grinning at others. In my first book by G.R Lyons, I enjoyed his writing and I enjoyed the characters and the world he has created in this new paranormal/speculative fiction MMM romance series Gentleman Hackers.

I really liked Connor, a young man who has been rejected all his life, he is of a different race, one who has the gift of telepathy/telekinesis and also the ability to change himself on a genetic level. Connor was a lonely soul who hid behind his computers as a way of protecting himself from more rejection. He also had a fun sassy side to him which comes out after he is kidnapped by Brendan after he finds he has hacked into his webcam.

Brendan was a bit of a conundrum, once a talented pianist, after losing the love of his life Frankie to an accident and then losing his fingers in a drunken state, he has become a hermit all alone except for his staff on an island (in a house I can only dream of). He wasn’t particularly likeable at first, and he beats himself up internally for being attracted to Connor because of the strong feelings he still has for Frankie. Because of this, he didn’t treat Connor very well.

Frankie is both a sad and fun character, he is a ghost and Connor is the first person to truly see him since he passed 3 years ago. I really enjoyed Frankie, he was an emotional character who wanted the best for Brendan but didn’t really want to let him go.

I liked the way things played out once Connor meets Frankie, I enjoyed their escapades and their scheming and I enjoyed the emotional connection between them. I really liked the ending in this short novel, I was hoping it would play out the way it did and I wasn’t disappointed. I look forward to the next book and hope we get to catch up with how these characters are going.

Blurb

Connor Jenkins is sick of rejection. Now, instead of getting close to anyone, he lives
vicariously through other people’s phones and webcams. Thanks to his skills, he always gets
away with it.
Until he hacks his idol.
Brendan Shyth is haunted by loss. First, the death of his boy. Then the end of his music
career thanks to a grief-induced drunken accident. Fringe science regrew his fingers, but he
still can’t bring himself to play again. Avoiding his fans, the media, and his manager,
Brendan hides in his mansion, determined to be left alone.
Until he finds his webcam on and realizes someone is watching him. Someone other than
the ghost of his dead lover, that is.
Brendan has Connor tracked down and kidnapped, meaning to teach him a lesson. But the
teasing brat gets under his skin in a way that no one has in years.
A boy in need of security. A ghost in need of acceptance. A man in need of faith. With a
career, sanity, and hearts on the line, can these men overcome their fears before it’s too
late?
Restored Ruins is the first book in the Gentleman Hackers series. It features a boy whose hair
colour never stays the same, a daddy who puts him in serious time-out, a ghost desperate to
be seen, and an MMM HEA ending. No pianos were harmed in the writing of this romance
(though they do make good horizontal surfaces).

Tropes: Age gap, second chances, hurt/comfort, found family, celebrity/commoner
Themes: Faith/belief/acceptance (not religious) of self and possibility, love

Excerpt

Had he really been kidnapped?
First of all, rude.
He tried to blink the haze from his vision while he processed this strange, new reality.
Someone had actually managed to catch him.
Well, shit. Well done.
Connor started to sit up, then paused. Two things occurred to him at once. Three things,
actually. One, it was somehow morning already. Two, he was in a bed. With some amazingly
soft sheets, by the way. Damn. He was going to have to figure out what they were made of
and get some for himself.
Not that he could probably afford them, but, hey, a boy could dream.
And, three…
He was naked.
Connor raised an eyebrow. Huh.
He stared up at the ceiling as he took stock of his body. The soft sheets cascaded over his
naked skin, making him hyper-aware of every tiny movement he made. A slow inhale made
the fabric brush teasingly over his nipples, and a slight shift of his leg had the sheets drifting
over his groin. Connor squeezed his legs together. Holy fuck. Much more of that and he
would be a horny mess, though it was already almost too late for that.
Connor paused, wondering if his kidnappers were watching him.
He bit back a moan at the idea, then muttered a curse and shook his head. He had to focus.
Connor drew his arms out from under the sheets. He wasn’t restrained in any way. There
was nothing stopping him from getting out of bed and exploring the room. And he didn’t
feel pain anywhere. Other than where the needle had gone in. That still stung.
Again. Rude.
Connor rubbed the spot and slowly sat up. At least his kidnapper had been kind enough to
keep the ground from punching him in the face. That would not have been fun.
He paused, then probed all over his face with his fingertips, just to be sure.
Nothing hurt there. Connor: one. Ground: zero. Ha! Take that.
Chuckling to himself, he glanced around the room, trying to guess where he might be. It
looked like a normal bedroom—bed, dresser, nightstands, lamps—but way more high-end
than he was used to. Spacious. Elegant. Obviously expensive, but tastefully so. And it didn’t
have the rubber-stamp feel of a hotel room. Connor had seen plenty of those—from casual
hookups with businessmen just passing through town—so he would know.
But this was different. This was custom. Unique. This was someone’s home.
He looked to one side and saw a pair of glass doors leading out to a balcony, the view
obscured by some gauzy curtains. Across from him was an open doorway into a washroom.
Connor blinked. Holy shit. Even from that angle, the washroom looked enormous, and he
was sure he wasn’t even seeing half of it.
On the nightstand beside him was a small computer tablet. When Connor started to reach
for it, the device detected his proximity and illuminated the screen, showing him a home
control panel. There were options for room temperature, dimmed lighting, and blackout
window shades, amongst other things.
Connor smirked. Don’t worry, darling. I’ll play with you later.
He grabbed the sheets, meaning to toss them aside and get out of bed so he could explore
the room more thoroughly, then stopped when he heard the snap of a key in a lock.
Connor spotted the door—fancy double doors, in fact—and watched them slowly open.
He blinked stupidly and almost laughed as a butler appeared in the widening gap. An actual,
real-life butler. White gloves and all.
Before Connor could voice his mirth, though, the butler stepped aside and bowed his head
deferentially, revealing another man who’d been standing behind him.
The second man took a few steps into the room, glaring directly at Connor.
Connor’s jaw dropped.
Holy shit.
Vesad Stromos. Right there. In the flesh.
He’d been kidnapped by Vesad Stromos. Forget just spying on the man through a hacked
webcam. He was actually inside the famous musician’s house.
Day. Fucking. Made!

It is a standalone story and does not end on a cliffhanger. It has a HEA ending.
It is the first book in a new series.
Goodreads
Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU


About the Author
G.R. Lyons stumbled into writing as a form of trauma recovery when traditional therapy
wasn’t working.
Then the story ideas just kept on coming.
Pulling from a vivid imagination as well as real-life experience as a trans man, a sexual
assault survivor, and a person living with mental illness, Lyons has written multiple,
interconnected series set within his fictional world of the Shifting Isles.
When not writing, Lyons can be found belly dancing around the house, studying anarchocapitalist philosophy, buried in his never-ending TBR pile, or working out at the local
CrossFit gym.


Social Media Links
Blog/Website | Facebook Group | Instagram
Newsletter Sign-up | Pinterest

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

Monthly MM Romance Round-up

Since MM Romance is a genre I read a fair bit of but don’t always publish a blog post for my reviews, I thought I might do a monthly round-up of any I have read for those who are interested.

His Fresh Start Cowboy by A.M. Arthur

I really enjoyed this first book in the new Woods Ranch series which is a spin-off from Clean Slate Ranch. I liked Hugo a lot and really felt for him, all he’d been through with his family and having to leave because the situation became untenable. When he applies for the job back in Texas at his old friend’s ranch, he knows returning home after a decade away will be hard, I thought it was a brave move, both to try and rebuild a relationship with his mother, knowing it might not go as he hoped and facing his teen crush who would now be his boss.

I liked Brand also, he’s been hiding his sexuality from everyone but a couple of people his whole life and Hugo’s return could put that in jeopardy, or it could free him to live a better life. There’s a bit of toing and froing about whether they would get together or try to have any sort of relationship that isn’t boss and employee and at times I wished they’d both just wake up to themselves, especially Brand because Hugo knows what he wants.

There was some off-page (past) and on-page family abuse, mainly emotional and verbal and I really felt for Hugo at these times. It is during these times he will find out who his true friends are and it will help with the decisions about where his life is going to go.

I liked the chemistry between Hugo and Brand and enjoyed them getting to know each other and seeing what happened between them.

I’m looking forward to the next book.

Thanks to NetGalley and Carina Press for a digital copy in return for an honest review.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

HIS BOY TO RIDE (Naughty Or Nice: Season Two)

This was a really sweet read and my first in this Naughty or Nice series. Orson and Gentry were meant for each other, you could tell that from the start, each searching for the perfect person to complement their needs. Orson made such a sweet Daddy for Gentry and Gentry was the perfect boy for Orson. I thought the way Gentry’s mother took Orson into her family was lovely too, he needed that even if he didn’t realise it beforehand. I liked that their roles in bed weren’t usual for this type of relationship (well, from the books I’ve read so far anyway). There was so much to like about this book, a lovely feel-good romance with no angst (which I loved). I loved all of the characters in this book and hope Jamie will write Gentry’s brother’s stories at some point.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Mountain Topped

I enjoyed this sweet, steamy read. I really liked all three of the characters, but maybe Aldis a smidge more if I had to pick a favourite. I liked the way these three worked through their feelings, both emotional and physical. I thought Hawthorne came to terms with his new feelings for Bowen very quickly, but at the same time liked that he didn’t angst over them too much. Maybe if we all took things like this in our stride we wouldn’t have as many hangups. It was good to read another take on a poly relationship, and I liked the way Aldis wanted Bowen to be happy even if it might mean him losing him to Hawthorn. Things moved quickly and smoothly from the first hookup through to the end, but this is fiction and I’m ok with that

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Roommate Arrangement (Divorced Men's Club, #1)

The first in the Divorced Men’s Club series, I really liked Payne and Beau and really loved this feel-good, low angst story. Both of these characters are older than many of the romance novels out there, Beau in his late 30s and Payne who was 40, which I liked, it’s nice to see life goes on and you don’t have to be in your 20s to find true love.

Payne who has split with his husband and returned to his hometown to get over it, lacking a place to stay, ends up staying with Beau, his brother’s best friend who has had a crush on him since they were teens (Payne has no idea)

I really enjoyed the friendship and connection these two complete opposites formed and that was allowed to morph into much more without either realising what was happening. I liked the way they worked through things together and communicated, (something so many novels seem to avoid and something that drives me nuts) talking things through and working things out so that things didn’t implode between them. The chemistry between them was hot and they were so sweet with each other, that I finished the book with a happy feeling for this odd couple who worked so well together.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

To Love and Protect

Oh, I did enjoy this novel. It had everything, humour, snark, action, bad guys and two MC’s who were imperfectly perfect for each other.

I really liked both Marcus and Adrian. Marcus’ job as a Marshall was one he took super seriously, as was his rule of not getting into emotional entanglements, both of which he’s managed very well until he meets Adrian. Adrian is under his protection, in hiding from an ex who is part of organised crime.

I really enjoyed their interactions, from where Adrian was doing all he could to push Marcus’ buttons to when they took the chance on something unexpected.

There were plenty of action scenes, violence and shootings, and I liked how these two worked together to try and get through everything that was thrown at them.

This was a book I didn’t want to put down and one I finished with a smile on my face.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

As the Tallgrass Grows (Wild Ones, #4)

Another great book in the Wild Ones series, I really enjoyed Johnny and Owen’s romance and I loved catching up with Dylan and Bo, now in their 70s and 50 years odd into their relationship and still totally in love, we get a chance to see how they have been travelling since we finished their story in book #3.

I really liked getting to know Johnny Robbie’s brother whose story we read in books #1 & #2 where we meet him fleetingly, so it was nice to finally get to know him and what he’d been through and what has led him to Dylan and Bo’s ranch beside the fact he is their long lost nephew. He has certainly been through a lot and I liked he was able to show his true self to Owen.

Owen is an honorary nephew of Dylan and Bo’s and though he is at first dismayed to find Johnny at the ranch, as he gets to know him, things develop and grow between them. I really enjoyed seeing them learn about each other and in turn learn about themselves and gain confidence in who they were and what they deserve. Owen’s parents certainly weren’t the sort of people I would wish on anyone.

There are plenty of emotional moments as Johnny, Owen, Dylan and Bo get to know each other and a few secrets to uncover that change some things and explain others for Johnny and Owen.

I personally would read this series in order, but you can jump in with this one, though I think you’ll get more from it if you read the others, you’ll want to read them after anyway.

New Release Book Review & Excerpt : Code Red by N.R Walker

Code RedLately, most romances I read are written from both main characters points of view in alternating chapters, so it took me a while to get used to only having Roscoe’s point of view, but once I did, I was pulled into the sweet, slightly angsty blossoming relationship between Roscoe and Maddox, manager and rock star.

We get a good look at the toll being famous, especially from a young age, can take on the people involved. Maddox is struggling with anxiety which he has been doing a good job of hiding for a while now. Roscoe has been his manager for years and has been falling for him for at least half of that time. When Maddox needs him emotionally, and he offers his support, this is the catalyst for the change in the dynamics of their relationship.

This is a relationship that is against all the rules, but the feelings they have for each other stop them from wanting to follow the rules anymore. I loved Maddox and the way he would ambush Roscoe when he was trying to be strong and keep their relationship professional, and I loved the way Roscoe unknowingly touched Maddox, whether it be on the arm or his lower back, offering support and his presence. Their friendship and attraction were a great foundation for their romantic relationship.

Maddox’s struggle with anxiety was painful, I suffer myself and my heart went out to him. Roscoe’s support was everything for Maddox and while this was a good thing to start with,  it did become a problem and I liked that the author covered both aspects.

Maddox’s bandmates and the other managers, along with Steve, the head of security were fabulous supporting characters and I enjoyed getting to know them and their relationship with Maddox and Roscoe. The management, well, business before the health and wellbeing of the people making you the money is nothing new.

The role the public and media play in making or breaking a band, in supporting or harassing the people in the band, seemingly forgetting these are human beings who have feeling and lives that don’t need to be fully disclosed all the time, I felt for all the people involved, but especially Maddox and Roscoe and the toll it played on them, individually and as a couple.

N.R Walker has certainly done a lot of research on what goes on behind the scenes in the music industry, at times I felt this information bogged the scene down a bit, but I did appreciate the detail she put into setting the scene.

I loved the ending of this novel, it certainly had all the feels.

Thanks to the author for providing me with a digital copy in return for an honest review.

Excerpt:

“Roscoe Hall,” I answered my phone, out of time and patience. It didn’t dawn on me that it was Ryan’s number until after I’d said my name. It was my twentieth call this morning already.

“Just confirming ETA for 9:00 am.”

I checked my watch. It was 7:30 now and I’d already been up for far too long. It was a big day, and I could take a moment to breathe once we were all together.

“Yeah, Ryan. Will be there, thanks.”

There was a brief pause. “Is Maddox with you?”

“On my way to get him now.”

“See you there.”

I pocketed my phone and did one last check. Phone, wallet, passport, tickets, keys. I grabbed my carry-on, locked my front door, and wheeled my suitcase down to the waiting car. I hadn’t even greeted the driver when my phone rang again, and it beeped again on my way to collect Maddox.

I was organized and efficient, aggressively so.

It’s what made me good at my job. Being the personal manager for one of the world’s biggest boy bands was every minute of my life.

These boys didn’t accept second best for anything, and neither did I.

And I should clarify that while they were classified as a boy band, they were men. They might have started out as boys—they were just kids in high school when they formed their first band. But they were twenty-three now. They’d done the small local gigs, needing their parents’ permission to play in bars and clubs around LA when they were underage.

The story of how the band called Atrous made it to the big time was well-known.

The five boys came from nothing. A garage band that crossed pop with rock and rap, playing small gigs wherever they could, when a well-known radio DJ saw them and uploaded footage to his social media. Platinum Entertainment, one of America’s biggest entertainment management companies, signed them, and they’d been on the top of the world music stage for the last four years.

To the outside world, these guys were the ultimate success story.

They had no idea what went on when the lights went out.

Saying I was the personal manager of the whole band wasn’t true either. Personal assistant, handler, manager. It was all the same. But it wasn’t just me. I was one of three. Ryan Morten, Amber Seratt, and I were the personal managers of Atrous, as a whole. While the three managers looked after the five band members, I was, however, the unstated personal manager of one of them in particular.

Lead vocalist and rapper, main dancer, bad boy, Maddox Kershaw.

Ryan and Amber took care of Jeremy, Wes, Luke, and Blake. But Maddox was mine.

Well, not mine. But mine.

God, how I wished he were mine . . .

Over the last four years, Maddox and I’d just gelled. He didn’t trust easily, and for some reason he’d put his trust in me. And the truth was, he needed his own personal manager more than the other four guys.

Maddox was the face of Atrous. Unwilling, but the face, nonetheless.

He carried the weight of their reputation, their brand. He was the one they hounded, the one they chased, the one they followed, the one that made headlines every other day.

He wore black, he had a full sleeve of tattoos, perfect skin, and he had attitude to spare. His motto was to burn down the institutions, to stand tall for those who had to kneel, and to speak for those who had been silenced.

He resonated with the youth around the world.

He was also incredibly good-looking.

When I say good-looking, I mean hot. Sexy, enigmatic, ethereal, even.

His heritage had been talked about a million times. So much of his life was public. His grandmother on his mother’s side was Japanese, and his grandparents on his father’s side

were Dutch. He was a second generation American, a very talented musician, and he was incredibly smart.

He sang like an angel and danced like the devil.

And he answered the door looking like a mix of both. His hair was wet from the shower, he smelled warm and clean, he wore black cargo pants, a black T-shirt, and combat boots. It was his standard attire. Seeing him like that made my heart feel far too big for my chest. “Forget your key?” he asked. He even almost smiled.

It had been so long since I’d seen him smile . . .

Yes, I had a key to his house. But that was for emergencies only. I followed him inside. “You ready? The others are meeting us there.”

He grumbled something that sounded like assent. His house was still dark, open and vast, mind-bogglingly expensive, and it felt empty. It was in Beverly Hills, worth a reported twelve million with incredible views of the canyon and the city, but Maddox had the blinds drawn.

He plucked a black hoodie off the back of his sofa and pulled it on. I ignored how his T-shirt lifted a little, exposing a sliver of pale skin above his waistband. I’d seen him shirtless a thousand times. Hell, I’d even seen him in his underwear. It was nothing new, but it still managed to warm my blood.

I grabbed his two suitcases, wheeling them toward the door. He picked up his black backpack. “Got my passport?”

“Yep,” I replied. “We’re all good. Your mom’s got her key and security numbers?”

“Yeah,” he said with a shrug.

His mother was going to come look after his place while we were gone. We’d be gone for almost seven weeks. Seven long, grueling weeks.

“Come on, I have an iced coffee waiting for you in the car.”

He pulled up his hood, but I swear there was the beginning of a smile before the shadow stole it.

My phone buzzed again, and I pulled it out of my pocket and groaned at the screen. Another message that could wait until we were in the car. I pulled the door shut behind us, made sure it was locked, and wheeled the luggage to the waiting car. I opened the car door for him, I closed the door for him, I loaded the bags into the trunk—it was my job to do these things for him—and finally I got into the back of the car with Maddox.

My phone buzzed again, and I thumbed out a quick reply. We’d been driving for about ten minutes when I realized Maddox hadn’t said a word. He’d sipped his coffee but not much else. I looked at him then, really looked at him, and underneath the killer good looks was a tired man.

“You sleep okay?” I asked.

He scoffed as his answer, then glanced pointedly at my phone. “Did you? Has your phone stopped yet?”

I didn’t need to reply because we both knew the answer.

He nodded because he knew he was right and proving his point, I replied to some more emails and messages on the drive downtown. Yes, we all lived in LA, and yes, we were staying at a hotel in LA because when the tour began, the band and the whole crew would stay together. Mostly for logistical and security reasons, but also for bonding. We were one unit from day one, regardless of location.

As the car pulled into the hotel’s underground parking lot, Maddox’s eyes trained on the people rushing about. “The guys are already here?” he asked.

“Yep. Arrived five minutes ago.”

His shoulders relaxed a little, and for that I was glad. He and his bandmates were like brothers; they’d been through everything together. He was closer to Jeremy than the others, but the bond between the five of them was clear. I was relieved that he’d be with them again. I was pretty sure he’d spent the last few days by himself, holed up in his house. I’d spoken to him on the phone, even came to see him a few times, but getting ready for a tour was a busy time for me.

Before we came to a complete stop, he was quiet and chewed on his bottom lip. I wanted to ask him if he was okay, but there wasn’t time. I doubted he’d even answer that question, or answer it honestly, anyway.

“You excited?” I asked instead. “Sellout stadium tour, twenty-three concerts. You ready for that?”

He met my gaze and didn’t look away. His smile was as brief as it was beautiful. “Yeah. Of course.”

I didn’t believe him, and it was devastating how he could look right at me with those dark, dark eyes and speak so sincerely while he lied.

I spent almost every day with him. I knew him. I knew the real Maddox Kershaw, not the Maddox he showed the world. The private one, the quiet one, the intellectual one . . .

The miserable one.

The Maddox I’d been secretly in love with for years . . . the Maddox I could never have.

“Maddox,” I said, but his door opened from the outside, and people were getting luggage from our car and giving directions, and there was no time.

The commotion had begun. These seven weeks were going to be brutal.

He lowered his head, pulled up his hood to hide his face, and got out of the car.

Blurb

Maddox Kershaw is the main vocalist of the world’s biggest boy band. He’s at the top of every music chart, every award show, every social media platform, and every sexiest-man-alive list. He’s the bad boy, the enigma, the man everyone on the planet wants a piece of.

He’s also burned out and exhausted, isolated and lonely. Not in a good headspace at the start of a tour.

Roscoe Hall is Maddox’s personal manager. His job is high-flying, high-demand, high-profile, and he loves it. Maddox has consumed his entire life for the past four years. Roscoe knows him. He sees the real Maddox no one else gets to see.

He’s also in love with him.

When the tour and stress become too much, when the world begins to close in, Roscoe becomes Maddox’s lifeline. But as Maddox knows already, and as Roscoe is about to learn, the brighter the spotlight, the darker the shadow.

Tag Line: The brighter the spotlight, the darker the shadow

N.R. Walker Bio

N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance. She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way.

She is many things: a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who live in her head, who don’t let her sleep at night unless she gives them life with words.

She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things… but likes it even more when they fall in love.

She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.

She’s been writing ever since…

For more about N.R. Walker you can find her at:

Website    Facebook      Facebook Reader Group     Twitter     Instagram     Amazon    Amazon AU     Audible      Bookbub     Newsletter     Email

 

 

New Release Book Review: Pass (Shattered Pawns #1) by Jennifer Cody

Pass (Shattered Pawns, #1)I thoroughly enjoyed the Diviner’s Game trilogy, so I was thrilled that this world and its characters continue in a new trilogy.

Pass was a great start to the new series and the three main characters who make up the polyamorous relationship were so sweet together. Tio, a chaos eater, who we were introduced to in the first series gets his own story in this one, it was great getting to know him as a full character and not a background one. In Pass, Tio is super cute, very excitable and a much better being than he believes himself to be. Luca, a detective who was investigating The Hub in the previous trilogy, makes up the second of the partnership, he is only just starting to learn about the magical world that exists alongside the human world, and he’s definitely in for some major surprises. Luca’s roommate Auggie is an absolute sweetheart too, he’s quietly been in love with Luca for a long while (and Luca with him) and I loved seeing these two and Tio become a thruple. Their relationship was very sweet, moved very quickly (when you know you know), had no angst (thank goodness), and Tio’s tentacle arms, well, use your imagination.

The events in this newest novel happen just after the events in the Diviner’s Game trilogy and while Jennifer Cody has done a great job of writing it so it can be a standalone, I personally advise you to read that series first.

War is coming to Houston and Tio is caught up in the middle of it due to his father being the one who is starting it. There are gods, fighting, intrigue and danger for everyone and these guys are going to learn who they really are and what they are capable of when if all hits the fan. There were a few surprises at the end and I am really looking forward to the next book, which can’t come quickly enough because I need to know about the other two couples and what else happens.

I loved revisiting this world and the characters from Diviner’s Game and seeing how things are playing out with them all. Tio and his brother Qi finally meet Deejay properly and I loved that relationship. I love all the relationships and all the characters, except for the bad guys, roll on book #2.