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Book Blitz: Their Discovery by Rebecca Grace Allen

Mirrigold:


Their Discovery | Rebecca Grace Allen

Legally Bound #3

Publication date: April 29th 2019

Genres: Erotica, Romance

Exploring their fantasies could save their marriage…or push it over the edge

Samantha Archer’s life has hit a wall. Her world is housework, homework and reminding her husband—the biggest kid in the family—to help out at home.

Once she felt confident, powerful and sexy, but Brady doesn’t seem to notice her anymore, and now all she feels is invisible.

Brady has tried being the goofy guy who stole Sam’s heart, but it’s not working. He’s losing the woman he loves and doesn’t have a clue how to fix it. He’s keeping his darkest fantasies hidden too, sure they’re not what Sam wants, and his inability to please her cuts him deeper than she knows.

When Sam lands a new job at a law firm, Brady still won’t pick up the slack, and one…

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Mini review: BRUSH STROKES

brush strokes

Wishing a happy release day to debut author E.S. Karlquist!

Publisher: Interlude Press

Blurb:

Todd Navarro is halfway through college, trying to juggle his art studies with extra hours at work and finding time for his friends. Things aren’t exactly easier with the feud going on between the gallery he works at and the one next door. Or the fact that his dad just doesn’t seem to understand that art can be more than just a hobby—not everyone can be an accountant, dad!

So when his best friend Mela invites him to a frat party, he only accepts because he needs a breather from everything regarding his future. So, really, he doesn’t expect to meet Daniel Berger, who might just be his future. Well, until he finds out that Daniel has a lot more to do with the future of the gallery than Todd would have ever guessed.

Rep: Mexican, hard of hearing, bisexual, homosexual, Indian (secondary character), Black (secondary character, minor character)

Content warnings: underage drinking, ableism, sibling estrangement, unspecificed anxiety disorder

Rating: 4.25 stars

Thoughts:

We enjoyed this slowest burn semi-romance (you’ll see) with strong friendships and exquisite cover art by C.B. Messer. The dialogue was amusing at times, and though the protagonist Todd could be frustrating at times, he balanced well overall with Daniel, an absolute sweetheart of a character. We wouldn’t be opposed to a follow-up book about these two and/or their lovely besties, Mela and Jesse.

Buy:

Indiebound

Barnes & Noble

Book Depository

Apple

Amazon

An interview with Rhys from REND!

It’s a special day here at SFS, folks – and that’s because we have our first ever visit from a book’s MC. We’re so pleased to bring you a few questions with Rhys Nyland, the Nordic sweetheart from Roan Parrish’s wonderful/heartbreaking Riven sequel, Rend.

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Special thanks to A Novel Take PR, Annie’s team at From Top To Bottom Reviews (where you can find an equally awesome feature on Rhys’ husband Matt), and of course Roan herself for making this post possible.

*****

What are three things you admire about your husband?

Matty’s amazing. I admire everything about him. He’s the strongest person I know. He lived through things that could have broken him and instead he’s an incredibly sweet, giving person who works to try and help people who went through similar things. He’s a wonderful listener and he asks questions if he doesn’t understand instead of making assumptions. He might now always agree with me, but he always hears me out. How many is that? Well, however many it is, also he’s the greatest kisser in the history of kissing. Like, for real, you’ve never had a better kiss. Also, don’t go getting any ideas. Hands and lips off my husband. *winks*

What is one habit Matt has that irritates you?

He dismisses his feelings because he thinks they don’t matter.

What’s your favorite (g-rated) activity to do as a couple?

I love taking a walk with him every night. It’s like we can reconnect after being apart for the day, get back into the rhythm of being together. I love hearing about Matt’s work and his clients. Uh, I mean, not in a confidentiality-breaking way, of course! And sometimes when we’re walking he takes me hand and then he never lets go, for the whole walk. Even if he needs to, like, twist awkwardly to use his other hand, he still never lets mine go. I love that. Fuck, I love him so damn much.

What is something we would be surprised to learn about you?

I hate pudding. No, seriously, this is significant because I am not a picky eater. I even eat Matty’s cooking, so. But pudding, man! It’s like … is that food? Is it snot? Is it alive? I don’t even know!

How has your relationship/marriage influenced the songs you write?

Every song is about Matt now, even when it’s not. I’m not sure how to explain it. It’s like, he’s … there. In me. Present all the time. And so when I write he’s just … yeah, there.

(Rapid-fire, one word answers please!)…

You go out together with a group of friends, who is the one *not* offering to pay the bill?

Haha, Caleb.

Holiday movies, yes or no?

Yes!

Something that relaxes you?

Matty.

*****

Related links:

REND on Goodreads

Buy @ Barnes & Noble

Buy on Amazon

Release day review: THRALL

Thrall Graphic 1

Happy Thursday, book friends!

Today we’re celebrating THRALL, the brand new collaboration between two of this blog’s individual favorite authors, Avon Gale and Roan Parrish.

Here’s what it’s about…

Happy couple Mina Murray and Lucy Westenra have begun to garner national attention for their quirky New Orleans true-crime podcast, Shadowcast. When Lucy’s brother Harker disappears while researching the popular new dating app Thrall, they’re thrown into a real-life mystery. Aided by their social media expert, Arthur, and Harker’s professor, Van Helsing, they follow the trail, hoping to find Harker before it’s too late.

When their investigation crosses the path of a possible serial killer, the line between fantasy and reality begins to blur. And as they race against the app’s countdown clock, so does the line between friendship and love. What starts as a flirtatious rivalry between computer-savvy Arthur and techno-averse Van Helsing becomes much more, and Mina and Lucy’s relationship is tested in the fires of social media.

As they get down to the wire, the group discovers that nothing on their screens is as it seems—including their enemy.

And here’s what we thought…

A hearty 4 stars * * * * 🙂 to this alternately sweet and scary, vampire-free take on Bram Stoker’s classic (which, FYI, we have not read). We loved the established relationship between Mina and Lucy, and how they were always trying to support one another in healthy ways, even if that meant saying the difficult things.

The romance of Arthur and Van, on the other hand, came off as sort of quick and shallow; at times, it was almost distracting from the (quite good) mystery of Harker’s whereabouts.

There was also A Thing with cats – you’ll see – that we did not understand at all, but as a whole, THRALL was a fun and sharp read that we’re happy to recommend to fellow fans of queer suspense-y books.

Representation…

~Black, lesbian, bisexual, gay, interracial, immigrant (Amsterdam)

Content notes…

~Horror themes, mention of dead animals, professor/student roleplay, minor knife violence

CLICK HERE to purchase on Amazon or HERE for other vendors!

CLICK HERE to enter a back catalog giveaway!

 

THE HEIGHTS release blitz w/ giveaway!

Hey book friends!

Today we’re celebrating a new release from Toronto-based author Amy Aislin. THE HEIGHTS is a self-published m/m contemporary novel featuring a professional dancer, a grumpy woodworker, and the child kidnapping mystery that has haunted their small town for two decades.

Check out this beautiful autumnish teaser image, then read the excerpt and head over to the giveaway!

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Preview #2…

“That’s also the most I’ve heard you talk since we met.”

He removed his stick from the fire and let his burned marshmallow cool. “I talk.”

“Not much.” Quinn assembled a second s’more and ate it in short order. “But that’s okay. You talk when it matters.”

Nat froze with the marshmallow halfway to his mouth.

Aloof. Uncommunicative. Grumpy. Words that had been used to describe him at various times in his life by people who hadn’t made an effort to get to know who he really was.

Quinn had him pegged in only a couple of weeks?

He ate his marshmallow, chewing slowly, half an eye on Quinn. Quinn, who was adorable and sweet and charming but who Nat had judged as flaky and immature. Turned out he was smart and exceptionally astute.

Quinn assembled yet another s’more, his foot tapping in tune to whatever song played in his head. Jesus, did he never sit still? The fingers of one hand drummed on his thigh as if playing a mental piano even as he attempted to eat a s’more one-handed.

He was like a coiled spring, tightly wound. What did Quinn do to expel all that energy besides dance? Soccer? Running? Hockey?

Sex?

Nope. Not going there.

Except now that his brain had gone there, it didn’t want to go anywhere but there.

***

Thanks to A Novel Take PR for allowing us to participate in this release tour. CLICK HERE to enter the giveaway for a really cool THE HEIGHTS prize pack!

Review: ROOMIES by Christina Lauren

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Published: December 5, 2017 by Gallery Books.

Blurb:

Rescued by Calvin McLoughlin from a would-be subway attacker, Holland Bakker pays the brilliant musician back by pulling some of her errand-girl strings and getting him an audition with a bigtime musical director. When the tryout goes better than even Holland could have imagined, Calvin is set for a great entry into Broadway—until he admits his student visa has expired and he’s in the country illegally.

Holland impulsively offers to wed the Irishman to keep him in New York, her growing infatuation a secret only to him. As their relationship evolves from awkward roommates to besotted lovers, Calvin becomes the darling of Broadway. In the middle of the theatrics and the acting-not-acting, what will it take for Holland and Calvin to realize that they both stopped pretending a long time ago?

Rating: 4.25 stars

Thoughts:

This was fun, charming, and just about everything I could want in a romantic comedy. There were a few dropped or shallow plot points – like when Holland goes running down a flight of stairs the morning after breaking her arm – but overall, I liked it a bunch and will definitely be reading more Christina Lauren books.

This book has: A wacky plot tempered by two relatively calm MCs, a Black gay side character married to a white dude, and a representation of toxic friendship that was as appreciated as it was infuriating.

Bonus quote because hello, pretty prose:

“…the richness of the music gives me that odd sense of deja vu, of something far away that’s suddenly so close again, and I’m smothered by it in this way that makes me turn my face to the ceiling, trying to inhale it, swallow more.”

CW: Brief instance of body shaming, ableist vocabulary, assumed heterosexuality.

THRALL cover reveal!

Happy hump day, reader friends! We’re so excited today to bring you the very first look at the cover for Avon Gale + Roan Parrish’s (queer, of course) contemporary Dracula re-tellling, THRALL…

Thrall_6x9HiRes

THRALL will be released September 27 by Philtre Press. Read on for the blurb and a brief excerpt…

***

Happy couple Mina Murray and Lucy Westenra have begun
to garner national attention for their quirky New Orleans true-crime podcast, Shadowcast. When
Lucy’s brother Harker disappears while researching the popular new dating app Thrall, they’re
thrown into a real-life mystery. Aided by their social media expert, Arthur, and Harker’s
professor, Van Helsing, they follow the trail, hoping to find Harker before it’s too late.
 
When their investigation crosses the path of a possible serial killer, the line between fantasy and
reality begins to blur. And as they race against the app’s countdown clock, so does the line
between friendship and love. What starts as a flirtatious rivalry between computer-savvy Arthur
and techno-averse Van Helsing becomes much more, and Mina and Lucy’s relationship is
tested in the fires of social media.
 
As they get down to the wire, the group discovers that nothing on their screens is as it
seems—including their enemy.

***

A. Van Helsing

I…no. You know you’re young enough to be one of my graduate students? Though much better dressed. But if your flirting is sincere, then I welcome it. I can’t deny that I felt something between us this morning.

Arthur Quincey

I, uh, definitely felt something

Ugh, sorry, that was a terrible joke—you should be impressed, I never get this nervous. but seriously, so did I. It’s definitely sincere.

A. Van Helsing

I am also nervous. I…I suppose I don’t quite know what to say next. I’ve never attempted to flirt on a—what is this, chat?

Arthur Quincey

OMG, Gus. (I’m…look, that name reminds me of the musical Cats, which I loathe so can I call you Van?)

It’s kind of hot you just said you were nervous btw (and yeah, it’s chat)

A. Van Helsing

I got the feeling you were calling me Professor on purpose, no? Yes, I suppose I can suffer through Van, if you must.

Ah, well, I’m very gratified you think so.

Arthur Quincey

Yeah, because I like it. The professor thing is totally a turn-on. And I like the idea of making you like that name, Van. Just because no one else has.

 

Quick review: WORTH FIGHTING FOR by Wendy Qualls

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Published: August 14, 2018 by Lyrical Shine

Blurb:

In college, an “are you sure you’re gay?” experiment with his (female) best friend left Sterling Harper married with a baby on the way. Eleven years later, his life is flipped upside-down—his wife has died, his “little boy” is transitioning to her new life as a girl, Alexa, and his embittered in-laws have proven too transphobic to babysit for the summer like they’d planned. They’re fighting for custody of Alexa, though, so Sterling can’t afford to give them more ammunition. If only there were a nice, conservative, trans-preteen-friendly nanny available on short notice . . .

Jericho Johnston doesn’t do “conservative,” but Alexa takes to him immediately. He’s got a teaching job lined up for the fall, a killer smile, and loads of charisma . . . but he is not going back in the proverbial closet. It doesn’t take long for the two men to go from comrades-in-arms against their rarified community to two men in love. This kicks off the looming custody battle with Sterling’s bigoted in-laws, though, and the idea of two gay men raising a trans daughter isn’t going over well with anyone. Now, with so much to lose, Sterling and Jericho must fight harder than ever—for themselves, for Alexa, and for their future.

Rating: 4.5 enthusiastic stars

Thoughts:

Can I be blunt?

There are like…practically no queer fiction books about raising a trans child. As in, this is the only one I can name. If you have a different rec, feel free to send it my way.

Given that lack, I’d probably have enjoyed WORTH FIGHTING FOR even if the characters had been just alright, and the rep had been merely acceptable…but the cast was great, and the marginalizations were depicted with care and respect (IMO), so I’m basically a big Wendy Qualls fan now and will be reading her backlist ASAP.

*

This book has: a multi-lingual gay Black man with very dark skin + a widowed white single dad of an AMAB 10 yo child on the autism spectrum. Side characters include a Black adult trans woman, two Black adults who work with neuroatypical kids, and various queer men of undetermined ethnicity.

Content notes: pervasive misgendering and deadnaming (challenged), discussion of class differences, intolerance disguised as religion, mentions of white privilege and racial inequality.

Dislcaimer: I received an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for my honest and fair feedback.

 

Release day blitz: SYNCOPATION by Anna Zabo!

 

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Today we’re celebrating the story behind the gorgeous cover above; happy book birthday to the first in the Twisted Wishes series, Anna Zabo’s SYNCOPATION!

Synopsis:

Twisted Wishes front man Ray Van Zeller is in one hell of a tight spot. After a heated confrontation with his bandmate goes viral, Ray is hit with a PR nightmare the fledgling band so doesn’t need. But his problems only multiply when they snag a talented new drummer—insufferably sexy Zavier Demos, the high school crush Ray barely survived.

Zavier’s kept a casual eye on Twisted Wishes for years, and lately, he likes what he sees. What he doesn’t like is how out of control Ray seems—something Zavier’s aching to correct after their first pulse-pounding encounter. If Ray’s up for the challenge.

Despite the prospect of a glorious sexual encore, Ray is reluctant to trust Zavier with his band—or his heart. And Zavier has always had big dreams; this gig was supposed to be temporary. But touring together has opened their eyes to new passions and new possibilities, making them rethink their commitments, both to the band and to each other.

About The Author:

Anna Zabo writes contemporary and paranormal romance for all colors of the rainbow. They live and work in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which isn’t nearly as boring as most people think.

Anna grew up in the wilds of suburban Philadelphia before returning to their ancestral homelands in Western Pennsylvania. As a child they were heartily disappointed to discover that they couldn’t grow up to be what they wanted (a boy, a cat, a dragon), so they settled on being themself whenever possible, which may be a combination of a boy, a cat, and a dragon. Or perhaps a girl, a knight, and a writer. Depends on whom you ask. They do have a penchant for colorful ties and may be hording a small collection of cufflinks.They can be easily plied with coffee.

To purchase:

Barnes & Noble

Books-A-Million

Carina Press

Google Play

iBooks

Kobo

Amazon

We here at SFS can’t wait to read and review this kinky rock star story with aromantic and pansexual rep!