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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Top 2015 Reads and Then Some



Aside from these books published in 2015 a few of my favorite reads this year published pre-2015 are (in no particular order):

Frog by Mary Calmes
In the Company of Shadows series by Sonny and Ais
PsyCop Series by Jordan Castillo Price
Dark Soul by Aleksandr Voinov
Spectr by Jordan L. Hawk
Roads series by Garrett Leigh
Plan B and Splintered by SJD Peterson
(Watch Me) Break You by Avril Ashton




Sunday, December 13, 2015

Release Day ~ IT'S NOT YULE, IT'S ME ~ by Michael P. Thomas


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Title: It’s Not Yule, It’s Me
Author: Michael P. Thomas
Genre: Gay Romance, Holiday themed, Comedy
Length: 15,700 words
Publisher: JMS Books

Synopsis

Shannon hates Christmas. Mostly because Christmas hates him. It sure seems like it, anyway: every crummy thing that’s happened to him since high school has befallen him at the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. Every humiliating break-up, every high-rise hotel fire—heck, a few years back, one guy he had the hots for up and died. Which goes a long way toward explaining why he’s a whimpering mess when he meets Ben the barista one Christmas morning at his neighborhood coffee house. It doesn’t completely excuse his using Ben’s T-shirt as a handkerchief—while Ben’s still in it—but Ben’s nothing if not a good sport. Ben’s such a bright spot that after a while Shannon wonders if maybe his Christmas Curse hasn’t been lifted. And what better place to test this theory than at Ben’s family festivities? It’s not like Christmas is actually cursed.
Is it?

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Excerpt

“I’m Shannon, by the way,” he eventually says. “Have we done that already?”
“I don’t think so. Not officially, anyhow. I’m Ben.”
“You don’t sound French.”
“You should hear me arguing on the phone with my mom.”
“I mean ‘Ben.’ Doesn’t sound like a very French name.”
“Maybe not, but Benoît is more trouble than it’s worth.”
“Ben-what?”
“Exactly.”
I was born in France, but raised in Colorado; I’ve only been to France a handful of times, none of them recent. My mother was born in this country and raised in Washington, DC, but by French parents. Her mother is ethnically Gujarati, but French by virtue of being from Réunion. We’re still parsing the extent of my French-ness when Seth rolls in, only fifteen minutes late.
“Hiya, Benny-Boy” he warbles, planting a kiss on the top of my head as he swoops by; Seth enjoys flaunting his straight-but-not-narrow status. “What’s goin’ on?”
“What you get is what you see,” I tell him.
“Zis what Santa brought you?” He jerks his chin at Shannon, makes a show of sizing us up as a party of two. “You musta been a pretty good boy this year.”
Shannon groans.
“Ix-nay on the Anta-Say,” I scold Seth, although we’re all three laughing. I get up from the table and bus it clean by way of making preparations to call it a day.
“Rough trip down the chimney, eh?” Seth says, waggling his eyebrows.
“Pretty much the worst euphemism ever,” I assure him as I shrug into my jacket.
He laughs, offers me a fist bump and a “Peace out,” both of which I return.
“So …” I say to Shannon, sidling up to him. “I’m done here. You wanna get a drink or something?”
“It’s like noon.”
“Lunch, then?”
“It’s Christmas Day.”
“Dude, how hard are you gonna make me work for this? What, you never had Chinese food?”
“It’s just, I’m supposed to go to my aunt and uncle’s … it’s not that I don’t want to … maybe another time?”
I shrug. “You know where to find me.”

Review

 What a cute little Christmas story. 
Surprisingly, given how short it was, there was a lot packed in to it. 

Ben works at a local coffee house. He always volunteers his Christmas days so that everyone else can celebrate, as his family celebrates the night before. 

While on his shift, he comes across a sullen stranger in the coffee shop who doesn't look quite so "festive". Their first encounter is one for the record books. The mysterious stranger ends up having an emotional meltdown on him and things get a little....snotty. 

Fast forward another year and the mysterious stranger shows up again, same curse, different boyfriend. 

Shannon, our mysterious stranger, has a Curse of the Christmas Boyfriends. His tales of traumatic breakups are kind of devastating, but actually kind of hilarious. Every Christmas since he was 15 has been nothing but heartbreak, until he takes a chance on Ben.

This may sound all very dramatic, but it was actually quite funny and just a pretty feel good story. I think Ben is awesome and Shannon, maybe a little Emo, but in a cute way. Just a fun read to get you in the Christmas mood. 

About the author

Michael P. Thomas is a flight attendant whose writing is continually inspired by his work with the flying public, who flatly refuse to be boring. The author of three novel-length gay romances and a number of romantic and erotic shorts, he writes gay fiction because when he was coming out he sure was glad to have it to read. After misspending his youth in San Francisco, he now lives in his native Colorado with his husband.
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Friday, December 11, 2015

A Review ~ Sunset Park by Santino Hassell


Raymond Rodriguez's days of shoving responsibility to the wayside are over. His older brother wants to live with his boyfriend so Raymond has to get his act together and find a place of his own. But when out-and-proud David Butler offers to be his roommate, Raymond agrees for reasons other than needing a place to crash.

David is Raymond’s opposite in almost every way—he’s Connecticut prim and proper while Raymond is a sarcastic longshoreman from Queens—but their friendship is solid. Their closeness surprises everyone as does their not-so-playful flirtation since Raymond has always kept his bicurious side a secret.

Once they’re under the same roof, flirting turns physical, and soon their easy camaraderie is in danger of being lost to frustrating sexual tension and the stark cultural differences that set them apart. Now Raymond not only has to commit to his new independence—he has to commit to his feelings for David or risk losing him for good.




EXCERPT


David settled on the bed and looked around my room. He’d been over several times in the past couple of months, but only when Michael was staying with Nunzio. They didn’t know a lot about our friendship, and I liked it that way. David seemed to understand. Maybe he knew Michael would question how we had gotten so close, and act weird about it. 
“You wrecked your room again. Good job, Ray.” 
“Wrecking shit is what I do best.” 
“How dramatic.” David went back to petting my hair. “When’s the last time you did laundry?” 
“I dunno, Mother. Like, two weeks ago? Feel free to get on top of that shit.” 
“Am I going to be paid for my services?”
“Getting to touch me is payment enough, to be honest. Do you know how many people get to lounge around in my bed like they belong here?” 
David looked at me, intrigued. “How many?”
“It’s between the numbers negative one and one.” The response put a smile on his face that could have given me cavities. David was a sap, but it was infectious, and I grinned back.
“I knew you liked me best.”
I closed my eyes. “Uh-huh.” 
David inched closer until we had no space between our bodies. He pressed a kiss to my jaw. It was brief, innocent, but the feel of his soft lips was enough to send Nunzio’s comments flooding back into my head. The chaste peck burned against my skin, searing down to thicken my morning chubby. I kept my eyes shut, not letting my expression so much as twitch, even as I pressed my crotch harder against the mattress.



Reviewed by
Sunset Park (Five Boroughs, #2)Sunset Park by Santino Hassell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Can this dude even write a bad book? Seriously!!
Even when I am mad at him for making me ugly cry, it's still fantastic. Thankfully this book didn't make me cry!

I loved the first book, it was raw, angsty and full of ups and downs. This book...this book, I think, was even better, but in a different way. It's like comparing apples to pineapples ((yeah, I switched it up)) It was a completely different feel. Raymond was this laid back stoner type who liked to kick it at the courts, smoke his weed, and play his video games. ((which actually reminded me of my ex's brother who's name happens to be Raymond. I'll drop some irony here, the ex's name is David HAHA, awks!!!))

Anyways... Everyone seems to think one way of Raymond, as this laid back kind of "I do what I want" guy. The only one to really see beyond that and care is David. David treats him differently and sees so much more to him when no one else does. He doesn't handle him with kid gloved or act condescending to him.

The dynamic between these 2 is so unique to me. They are like night and day and it works so well for them. When you look at Ray you see this tall Puerto Rican badass with tatts and long hair. Then there's David, the blond haired all-American, professional twinky. No one would think they would have anything in common, but their chemistry just works. They're so natural together and David brings out the best in Raymond. I adored how Ray would just let David crawl on him, cuddle up to him and be his clingy self and not care one bit. The easy smiles that passed between them and the general camaraderie just made you feel good. It was very endearing to read.

About a little over halfway through though I was shaking my kindle saying "get with the program already you 2!!" They kept skirting around the relationship they could have had. In the end though, i think it needed to be done as they both had growing up to do. Ray was still finding himself and where he wanted to go as an adult and David needed to let go of the past.

Of course, what's a book without a little drama, right?? That's where Caleb comes in. I am not exactly sure what to think of him. I felt bad for him in a way, but the way he was treating David, almost as a thing or a son or mentor, and not as a boyfriend, really irritated me. What was worse was, he wouldn't listen to what David was trying to say about how they wouldn't work. Here he is, supposed to be all grown up and professional, but he couldn't handle the truth of it all. Dare I ask if we will see Caleb in a future book?? He seemed to be pretty heavy in this one.

There is another side character, Oli, that I wouldn't mind getting to know either! I guess we will have to see what the evil genius has planned in the next installment ((I am totally assuming there will be one, seeing as it's Five Boroughs))

Have I rambled on enough? Yes ok good. So, the overall consensus is: This book rocks. Raymond is a cool ass mofo and David is a-freaking-dorable, and you will LOVE this story, even if you haven't read the first! Which I still recommend because, well, NUNZIO!!! ;)

5 freaking stars *****

View all my reviews



Buy the Book:

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Amazon US

Book 1


Sutphin Boulevard (Five Boroughs, #1)Sutphin Boulevard by Santino Hassell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is very raw. The story was equal parts hot and heavy to angsty and sad.
I love a broken boy who needs to be fixed. I also loved the best friends to lovers aspect of it.

Nunzio and Mikey have been friends for over 20 years, and it takes 2 decades and tons of heartache for Mikey to realize what's been in front of him the whole time. I'm not sure how Nunzio held on that long, keeping it quiet as long as he did, he's a better man than I, oh, wait....
There were some major downs and a lot of misunderstandings in this story. I can't even tell you how often I had tears in my eyes. Or how much I wanted to shake them when things didn't go the way I wanted them to (lol), But it was so beautiful at the same time.

I think Santino did an awesome, awesome job on his first contemporary book. If you've read ICos, you know it has that underlining "darnkness" or "grit", you can feel that in this book still. I thought it was beautifully written and the characters are well developed. Nunzio and Mikey are high on my list. I also may have a major case of penis envy right now.

In the end, I wanted to see more of their relationship as it grows as a couple, but all good things must end. Hopefully we get to see more of them in Sunset Park, the debut of David and Raymond. That is really going to be an interesting story, I can't wait to see where he is going to take them.

All and all, I give this a 4.5 stars
***Given as an ARC for my honest review***

and a HUGE thank you and mad love to Santino for allowing us over at man2manTastic to review it!!
View all my reviews


Buy Book 1

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About the Author:
Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, then a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into an unlikely romance author.

Santino writes LGBTQ romance that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.

To learn more about Santino you can follow him on:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/santino...
Twitter: @santinohassell
Facebook: theonlysonnyhassell | santinohassellbooks
Instagram: santinohassell
Newsletter:http://santinohassell.com/newsletter/

And at his official website: http://bit.ly/16sgcSu

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY ~ My Hero:The Olympian (My Hero Series #2) by Max Vos




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AboutTheBook
TheOlympian_FS
TITLE: My Hero: The Olympian

SERIES: My Hero Series #2

AUTHOR: Max Vos

COVER ARTIST: Alex J. Corza

LENGTH: 129,600 words approx

RELEASE DATE: November 15, 2015

BLURB: After a romantic evening, Rich and Johnny face the light of day as a couple. Johnny’s coming out forces them to face some serious repercussions as the world of collegian jocks adjust to their first openly gay football player.

Rich is still working towards the World Diving Championships with his hopes and dreams set on the 2012 London Olympic Games, while as a couple they deal with concerns closer to home.

With the support of friends and family, the young couple grow closer together, but with prejudices and adversity at every turn will Johnny and Rich be able to tackle the world together?

No matter what, Rich will always be Johnny’s hero.


Excerpt

“No, I’m not going to and there is nothing you can say that will make me either.” Johnny crossed his arms, a defiant look on his face, his eyes narrowed slits.

“Oh come on, John, I wear them.” Rich held up the skimpy black racing briefs. “For me?”

Johnny looked away. “No. I said no and I mean no.”

Rich leaned in close to Johnny so only he could hear. “If you wear this, I can guarantee you some of the best sex in your life. If you think I get turned on by jock straps…”

Johnny glared down at Rich. “You don’t play fair.”

“Wasn’t it you who recently said that all is fair in love and war?” Rich smirked as he dangled the tiny briefs in front of Johnny.

“It better be the best ever.” Johnny let his arms drop. “Okay. But you promised.”

Again, Rich leaned in close. “Maybe even join the mile high club.”

Johnny’s eyebrows shot up and a grin blossomed on his face. “Deal.”

“Are we done here?” Dan called to the two college men. He was standing at the counter, credit card in hand.

“One more thing, Dad.” Rich hurried over to him. “This.”

Dan raised his eyebrows slightly. “Oookay then.”

Rich snickered when he saw Johnny blushing.

“I think this will be all,” Dan said to the clerk.

“I’m going to give you a discount,” the young woman said as she rang it up. “It isn’t every day that we can say an Olympian wore some of our gear.”

“I’m not an Olympian yet,” Rich commented.

“Rich Miller, I’ve known you my entire life, and if anyone is going to be an Olympian, it’s you.” Michelle Stubbon smiled at Rich as she started putting the pile of swimsuits, track suits, shorts, and other things that he and Johnny needed for London in a bag.

“Thanks, Michelle. I appreciate the confidence everyone has in me.”

“Just remember us lowly folk when you come home with Olympic gold,” she laughed as she handed Dan the receipt.

BuyLinks



AuthorBio

Author_Pic
Max Vos is the bestselling author of My Hero. He is loved by his readers for his ‘inappropriate’ side, bringing hot and steamy sex to his writing. Not hemmed in by a single genre Max has the ability to woo you with sweet romance, move you with the power of his words and make you question your definition of love. 

Having retired in 2011 after more than 30 years as a chef, Max turned his creativity to writing. You can always find wonderful Southern charm, well rounded and vibrant characters with a good meaty story line in a Max Vos book. Each book will give you something new and amazing to love.

::  Facebook  ::  Twitter  ::  Website  ::  Blog  ::  Google+  ::

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Winner’s Prize: E-copies of My Hero and My Hero: The Olympian

Runner Up’s Prize: E-copy of My Hero: The Olympian


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November 15: Bike Book Reviews




November 19: Cia’s Stories || Drops of Ink




November 25: Bayou Book Junkie

November 26: Divine Magazine


November 30: Gale Stanley




December 4: Sue Brown || Jessie G Books

December 7: Diverse Reader


December 9: BFD Book Blog




December 15: Loving Without Limits

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY ~ JINXED by Sandrine Gasq Dion





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AboutTheBook




JinxedFS
TITLE: Jinxed 

SERIES: The Rock Series #2 

AUTHOR: Sandrine Gasq Dion 

PUBLISHER: Skull Blaster Publishing 

COVER ARTIST: Kellie Dennis 

LENGTH: 52,000 words 

RELEASE DATE: October 30, 2015 

BLURB: Jinx Jett is a rock superstar. As such, the hunky Skull Blasters drummer thoroughly enjoys the many perks of willing groupies, earning him a reputation as the band slut. Making it big and scoring hot women is something Jinx never expected. There's a little voice in the back of his mind constantly reminding him of how he used to be -- shy, overweight and acne prone. One night in a gay bar turns life upside down when Jinx runs into Jayden Dempsey, a kid he's been fantasizing about since giving him his autograph at a mall. Long-held insecurities keep Jinx from fully committing to anyone, and he may lose Jayden if he can't put his past behind him. 

Jayden Dempsey always wanted out of his life in small-town Alabama. When his parents kicked him out after he told them he was gay, Jayden decided the time was right to move on. He crosses the country to try out for 'Singers!', a show that propels unknowns to stardom. In a twist, producers choose him and three others as winners and form a boy band called London Boys.This season, the show brings Jayden and the guys back for the finale. Surprise! The contest's heavy metal finalist will be singing with Skull Blasters. 

Jinx and Jayden's initial meeting doesn't go so well, and Jayden's stunned when the guy he's crushed on for years turns out to be a total jerk. It doesn't stop him from falling into Jinx's arms every time they're alone, but Jayden didn't sign on for one nighters. He wants Jinx Jett, baggage and all. 

Can a former teen outcast put rejection behind him and embrace the acceptance standing right in front of him? How much will one boy bander put up with from his rock idol before enough is enough? Can they make it work? Or are they jinxed in love?



Excerpt


“Can I get some clothes?”

“I like you in a robe.” Jinx waggled his brows.

I started for the door and Jinx jumped up and grabbed my hand. He pushed me into the wall and gently pinned my hands above my head.

“Jinx …”

I gasped as his thigh insinuated itself between my legs, rubbing my balls.

“Yeah?” his breath caressed my lips.

“I … fuck … stop doing that,” I panted.

“This?” Jinx raised his knee higher and rubbed my dick.

My God, my mouth actually started watering as Jinx leaned in closer to me, letting his tongue trail my bottom lip. I wanted to taste him so fucking bad my whole body hurt. I wanted him. I couldn’t deny it.

“Fuck, you are sexy as sin,” Jinx rumbled against my lips. “Love your lips, your eyes, even your fucking hair turns me on.”

I clenched my eyes shut and tried to stay in control.

“Yeah? Even if I’m a talentless pretty boy?”

Jinx stiffened. He pulled back slowly and searched my eyes.

“I’m sorry I said that.”

“Yeah? Why did you say it? What’s your problem with me being in a boy band?”

Jinx sighed and let my hands go. He rubbed his hands down his face and exhaled slowly. I continued to speak because by that time, my word vomit had begun.

“I don’t even like boy bands, but you know what? This is where I am and fuck it! I’m successful. Do you know I auditioned with one of your band’s songs?” Jinx’s gasp was very audible in the room. His eyes widened. “Yep, that’s right. I sang Manwhore; the song fits you.”

“I deserve that.”

“Are you going to tell me what your problem is?” I placed my hands on my hips, glaring at him.





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I will be leaving a short but sweet review here.


I think this book has a 5* steam level!! Jinx and Jayden burn these pages up. 

While the book is quite steamy, the guys are super sweet...well, once Jinx gets over the whole "boy band" thing.  Until then, he's actually kind of a prick. Which brings me to, I felt they were a bit immature at times, and it kind of got on my nerves. They both def had some growing up to do. I think in the end they did get to where they needed to be to be comfortable in their relationship and with each other. 

I am super intrigued about Achilles and Harley, and can't wait for the next installment. 

5* for steam
4* for rocks and penguins
3* for cavity inducing sweetness
2* for STDs



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AuthorBio


AuthorPic
Best-selling author, Sandrine (Sandy) was born in Inglewood, California. Raised by "Old School" French parents, she later moved to Tucson, AZ. It was there that writing became a hobby. Always told she had a great imagination, Sandy wrote short stories for her friends in High School. In college, she took more writing classes while working on her Criminal Justice degree, but it wasn't until a soap opera caught her eye that she got involved in male on male romances. On the advice of a friend, Sandy dipped her toes into the world of M/M Romance. Sandy takes the writing seriously and has had countless conversations with gay men as well as hours of research. She's been involved with the military in one way or another for over twenty years, and has a great deal of respect for our men in uniform. She's traveled the world, but has finally returned to Arizona.




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Winner’s Prize: Swag pack of a key-chain, bracelet and hoodie with t-shirt!


TourSchedule








November 9: Drops of Ink



November 12: MM Good Book Reviews


November 16: Jessie G Books

November 17: Love Bytes Reviews


November 19: Rainbow Gold Reviews


November 23: RJ Scott

November 24: Sue Brown || My Fiction Nook


November 26: Loving Without Limits



December 1: Man2ManTastic