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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

PERMANENT JET LAG by A.N CASEY: BLOG TOUR, EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW, EXCERPT AND GIVEAWAY.


Title:  Permanent Jet Lag
Author: A.N. Casey
Publisher:  NineStar Press
Release Date: May 29, 2017
Heat Level: 1 - No Sex
Pairing: No Romance
Length: 87000
Genre: Contemporary, literary, Student, family, coming of age, alcohol use, illness/disease, tear-jerker

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Synopsis

Nineteen-year-old Lucas Burke prefers being alone. He likes the silence, and he loves not having to care about anyone else’s problems: the less he’s forced to feel, the better. But after a year of college-induced isolation from everyone he used to know, the wedding of a former classmate sends Lucas back home, and that means reconciling with a group of friends that now might as well be strangers. His sister hardly knows him, his “genius” best friend is nothing more than an addict, and his ex-boyfriend is still in a coma. All the while, wedding preparations send Lucas head first into a relationship with the groom’s best man—a recently cancer-free ex-Olympian who can’t stop talking. Lucas knows that if he wants to survive the summer, he’ll have to learn to be a friend again, but it doesn’t come easy, and it might already be too late.



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Meet the Author A.N. Casey is a Californian born and bred writer with very few interests beyond the literary. As a former copywriter and a current freelance writer and editor, Casey was asked what he likes to do outside of writing for work and responded only with: “write more”—much to the disappointment of his colleagues who had hoped he might be more interesting. His few attempts to leave his computer or notebooks behind have led to an interest in camping, traveling, and very bad attempts at cooking. He is currently studying to become a teacher where he hopes his fondness for the red pen will not make him too many enemies. Above all, Casey believes that storytelling has the power to shape lives, and that young people deserve to see themselves represented on the page in every shape and form until no one is left feeling alone in this wide and confusing world. You can find A.N. on Tumblr.

We are very lucky, because we have a great exclusive interview with this amazing autor!


What’s harder, naming your characters, creating the title for your book or the cover design process?

Naming my characters. I’m terrible with names and usually rely on friends to help me name them. I do like this part though, as it’s fun to play God for a bit and design a whole person: should their name have symbolic meaning, should it be ironic and mean something terribly different than who they are, etc. At the end of the day, a character’s name has very little to do with them and a lot to do with the people who gave them their name (parents, guardian, etc.), and so in giving them a name, you’re setting the scene for their childhood and their upbringing and taking your first step into their backstory. I often find that I have to change characters’ names after the story begins and I learn more about them.



How do you answer the question “Oh, you're an author...what do you write?"

“Books for LGBT youth” has become my quick go-to answer. It’s weird when you write contemporary because you don’t really have a quick answer like “medieval fantasy” and for the longest time I just said “I write about people” but I do believe I’ve found my “calling” of sorts, which is LGBT youth. Those are the readers I want to reach the most, the representation I want to see in literature.



What does your family think of your writing?

I don’t let my family read most of my writing. Don’t get me wrong, they’re incredibly supportive, and they’re always asking to read, but I’m always too nervous to show them. Mostly, this is because my mom has a tendency to assume everything is real and that any woman in any story is some representation of her (it never is). I keep trying to explain “fiction” but so far, no luck.



Tell us about your current work in process and what you’ve got planned for the future.

The book I’m working on now is called Count to Zero and is about three high school students who meet at a Youth Grieving Center. Basically, it’s all about loss: what it means to lose someone, what grieving looks like, in what ways is it acceptable to grieve—and how you’re supposed to handle all of that and still go to high school. I’ve just wrapped up the first draft of that and am diving into editing. I also have a book still rattling around in my head that I’m very excited to start writing which will be a modern love story between Icarus and Apollo (the sun he fell for).



We wish you the best from here, hoping to hear from you and your success soon, very, very soon. Good luck with this release, N.A Casey!



Tour Schedule

5/29    MM Book Escape       
5/29    MM Good Book Reviews       
5/30    Reviews for Book Lovers      
5/31    Divine Magazine        
5/31    millsylovesbooks      
5/31    Love Bytes Reviews   
6/1      Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words           
6/2      Sharing Links and Wisdom    
6/2      Happily Ever Chapter
6/2      Bayou Book Junkie    



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And here, dear reader, you have an excerpt of this amazing book:

Excerpt
Permanent Jet Lag A.N. Casey © 2017 All Rights Reserved
Chapter One
96 Days Before On the last day of my freshman year of college, my parents—dressed head to toe in the obnoxious green and gold colors of my school—arrived on the threshold of my dorm room with five extra-large boxes for packing, a tin of mom-baked chocolate chip cookies to cure my assumed “home sick blues,” and two snippets of hometown gossip for my ears only. When you leave home for college, there’s a certain assumption that says you will learn to be independent. You do your own laundry, you buy your own meals, and your parents never come knocking on your door to ask if you’ve done your homework or to ground you for coming home past curfew. You’re alone—blissfully independent and free. My mother had other ideas. Ideas that filled the voicemail on my cell phone until I could no longer receive friends’ missed calls. Ideas that left a pile of cookie tins in the corner of the room and a dozen more care packages under the bed. Even now, as I finished the bulk of my packing, a poorly knit mom-made sweater hung limp over the side of the latest care package, threads unraveling and fraying in every direction with a note pinned to its sleeve with words I could not remember—words I likely never read. My roommate sat on the other side of the room upon his stripped-down bed, munching away at the first cookie handed to him. He wore a thick pair of headphones that flattened his usually unruly brown hair. Though the cord was not connected to anything, my mother seemed pleased with this sense of security and began her “top secret” gossip. As though my roommate would care at all about the small-town news of Franklin Creek, California. “Rylie Graham is getting married!” she squealed. Despite her rising age, my mother’s face still lit up with all the excitement and energy of the young woman I could just barely remember from the photographs on the walls at home. Today, my mother was plump and nearly always flushed in her cheeks. The freckles on her nose were faded underneath a splotchy tan that extended only to the bottom of her neck, and her clothes, though neatly pressed, still appeared crumpled by her slouch and the endless movement of her limbs. She went on and on about the wedding, the beautiful invitations, and the color schemes she hoped they’d use, how she could still remember Rylie as a baby, crawling around at the neighborhood block parties. I was already aware of this news, of course. The invitation had arrived in the mail two days ago, vividly pink with a handful of red hearts and almost a dozen purple and green flowers decorating the edges. Unless the groom was a botanist, there was no inkling of his presence in the design. To top it off, at the very bottom of the paper, beneath the RSVP notification, was a dried crimson lipstick mark. Nine months since I’d seen her, and I could still vividly imagine Rylie prepping her mouth with that darkened color she had so adored in high school and kissing each invitation one by one. The invitation was now crumpled up in my suitcase with the rest of my belongings, but the image of it had not left my mind for a second. “Isn’t it great, Lucas?” my mother asked, and I nodded. “She’ll look so beautiful as a bride.” Another nod. “Just wait until you meet the groom. What a charming young man.” At this, I fidgeted with the zipper on my luggage and forced a smile. My father, lounging lazily upon my still-sheeted bed, gave me a knowing smile over the top of his third cookie. My mother promptly smacked it out of his hand. “That’s enough, Tim. Didn’t you hear a word the doctors said? I think one heart attack is quite enough for one year, don’t you?” “I thought two would make a more interesting story at this year’s Christmas party,” my father replied, grinning. And so began an argument that lasted through the remainder of my packing, the long trek downstairs, and into the oversized van waiting for us in the parking lot. It continued as my father stabbed the key into the ignition, as my mother pulled on her seat belt, and as I peered through the window and watched San Francisco—all its big buildings and bustling bridges—disappear into the night. By the time we pulled into the driveway of my childhood home, my parents were just progressing toward the makeup phase of their disagreement, or, as I’d dubbed it over the years, the honeymoon period. They sat, arms tangled in the front seat, kissing and whispering loving platitudes into each other’s mouths with such nauseating enthusiasm that sitting through it was quite like staring at the sun: tolerance came in small doses. I left the car and dragged my luggage up the porch steps alone. I had come home exactly twice since leaving for college, once for spring break and once after my father’s heart attack, and I was greeted the same each time. Homecoming generally went like this: my oldest sister, now sixteen, would nod her head in my direction over the top of her cell phone, give me a hug if I came close enough, and then resume her texting. My brothers, identical in all but their clothing, would rush in for the tackle. And my youngest sister would wave from the couch—a simple twist of her hand—and then return to her TV show. Today it was an old rerun about a teenage spy, and because the theme song was particularly catchy, the wave was even shorter than normal, barely a twitch of her fingertips. I disappeared into my room. From the window of my dorm room in the mornings, I could see the wide expanse of the San Francisco landscape for miles, a hundred buildings huddled together against the fading fog, life bustling below. From the window of my hometown bedroom, I could see the neighbor’s pool. A thoroughly unexciting, lifeless pool. As summer had not technically begun, the water that would soon promise endless good times and relief from the heat was still currently abandoned. A heavy pile of leaves covered much of the surface, but through the spaces between, I could make out a glimpse of the water—a murky, untouched green. Rylie called at half past eleven while I was cleaning the windowsill for the second time. Her voice was shrill and rushed as she screamed into my ear, “Why didn’t you tell me you were home? I had to hear it from my mom, who heard it from your mom, and I feel like I’m in a weird stupid sitcom, because I’m not supposed to be hearing gossip from your mother, Lucas. You’re supposed to tell your friends when you come home. Clay is pissed.” As she spoke, I tucked the phone between my shoulder and ear. Downstairs, my mom was yelling at the twins, and Dad was swearing about the score of a baseball game. I retreated farther into my room and closed the door. “Sorry,” I said. “Sorry?” Rylie let out a long, exasperated sigh, and I thought I could hear her nails tapping against the back of her phone. “Will you meet me somewhere? I haven’t seen you in ages, and everyone misses you. Please?” “Okay.” “Is this how this is going to be now? One-worded conversations?” “Probably.” Rylie laughed, a deep, chest-rattling sort of sound that in no way matched the high, squeaky pitch of her voice. It was for reasons like this I’d stopped trying to understand her in the third grade. “You’re an ass, Lucas. Meet me at the flower shop across from the grocery store, okay? Ten minutes, don’t be late. Oh, and Todney is going to be there. I can’t wait for you to meet him. Don’t be late.” “We have a grocery store?” “Goodbye, Lucas.”

Thursday, May 25, 2017

BOYS DON't CRY: BLITZ DAY!



Title:  Boys Don't Cry
Author: J.K. Hogan
Publisher:  J.K. Hogan
Release Date: May 25th 2017
Heat Level: 4 - Lots of Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 70,000 words
Genre: Romance

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Synopsis

Mackenzie Pratt is having the worst luck of his life. His apartment building is being torn down, and since he’s jobless and just weeks away from graduating college, he can’t find anywhere else he can afford to live that isn’t a critter-infested dump. As he’s lamenting the very real possibility of job hunting while couch-surfing, he gets an offer from the coworker of his best friend. An in-demand mobile app developer and heir to his parents’ fortune, Laurent Beaudry is literally an eccentric billionaire. Even though Mackenzie realizes he’s basically living the plot of a cheesy romance novel, he takes the proffered room in Laurent’s Baltimore mansion. He finds his new housemate to be grumpy, brooding, and, at times, incredibly kind and endearing. Raised by his brother after their father’s death, Mackenzie spent his formative years plowing headlong through school, focusing on little else beyond earning his teaching certification. He’s never taken the time to explore love and relationships, much less sexuality, so when he finds himself being courted by another man, he has no idea what to do. And when he realizes he might actually return those feelings, his life takes a whole new direction.

Excerpt

The house was dark so I couldn’t see much, but what I could see was immaculate, contrary to what Taylor had said. The hardwood floors gleamed in the moonlight, the furniture looked expensive and perfect, and there wasn’t a dirty dish or dust bunny in sight. “I thought you said it was a sty,” I whispered. “Oh, this? Not this. He only uses a fraction of the house, the suite with his bedroom, living room, library, and office. All of this is just for show,” he said with a sweeping gesture toward the big empty parlor we were facing. “And why are you whispering? He knows I’m coming.” “I don’t know. It seems so quiet and…undisturbed.” Taylor’s chuckle had an evil ring to it. “You want disturbed? Follow me.” He cupped his hands around his mouth and yelled. “Mr. Beaudry! It’s me, Taylor. Morrison. From Mindstream. The place you work.” He made his way down a dark corridor with me dogging his heels. “He doesn’t remember who you are? Where he works?” “Oh, he knows. But when he’s been staring at code for hours on end and not sleeping, sometimes basic stuff slips his mind. Details like that can be hard for geniuses like him.” Genius? I didn’t think I’d ever heard that term used to sincerely describe someone. “What does he do again?” “He’s a mobile app developer. Highly sought after, but right now he works exclusively for us. That was a huge coup for the company.” He stopped in front of a heavy, ornately carved door made of some kind of dark hardwood. He rapped his knuckles on it three times before barging on in, while I hovered in the doorway. So this was the suite. Taylor had been right. What a mess. We stood in what I assumed was the living room, but it was hard to tell because every available surface was covered in wrinkled clothing, pizza boxes, and empty dishes. A huge fireplace was installed in the far wall, surrounded by shelves and shelves of books. More books than I’d ever seen in one place outside a library. The fire blazed in the hearth, and I was honestly surprised there wasn’t any garbage close enough to it to catch fire. As beautiful as the house was, the mess made my skin crawl. I usually lived in shitty apartments, so I was a bit of a neat freak to balance the universe. “Beaudry? You in here?” Taylor called. There was no answer. “He must be in the bedroom suite.” He headed to a door on the left, like it was no big deal. “Wait! You’re just going to barge into the guy’s bedroom?” Pausing in his tracks, Taylor looked over his shoulder. “This is no ordinary bedroom. Just because there’s a bed in the corner doesn’t mean it’s some intimate setting. It’s just a giant workspace.” With that parting shot, he burst through the door, once again calling the man’s name. Trembling from too much alcohol and not enough nerve, I stepped inside the room. I was stunned speechless by the scene before me. Taylor had one thing right—it was no ordinary bedroom. It was the size of three average rooms lined up in a row and probably had double the square footage of the apartment I was getting booted out of. There was indeed a bed, a California king canopy bed off in one corner of the room. A fire was blazing in this suite as well, only I realized that it was the same fire in the same fireplace, which apparently connected the two rooms. Taylor stood next to what had to be the man’s workspace. There was a giant U-shaped desk adorned with four widescreen computer monitors and various other gadgets typical of an office. However, on one leg of the U, there was a collection of what looked to be every tablet, PDA, smartphone, and any other mobile device known to man. I supposed he had to test his software on each gizmo that was likely to employ it. Behind the office area was a ginormous TV screen—at least seventy inches—that looked like it would be more at home in a movie theater. Several fluffy couches were set up in a semicircle facing it. It would be amazing to have a movie marathon in this place. And of course, there was every gaming console imaginable to go along with the screen yardage. But…despite all the cool stuff, there was some very weird stuff about the place as well. Besides the office setup and the movie area, all the furniture in the suite looked like it had been bought from a garage sale at Versailles. It was expensive-looking, obviously, but very gilded and frilly. There were also several racks flanking the giant TV that displayed the man’s sword collection. And then, the murals. The murals were creepy. On at least a couple of the walls above the wainscoting, there were huge, garish wall paintings of nudes in various scenes. Men and women, sometimes in sexual situations, sometimes just hanging out or whatever. But they weren’t like Renaissance or fine art nudes or anything; they seemed to be done by just some random modern artist. I had no idea how the guy could manage to look at them all day every day. Though if it weren’t for those, I’d never leave a place like this either. Speaking of the guy, though, there was no sign of him. “Where is he?” I was whispering again. It just seemed like the thing to do when you snuck into someone’s bedroom at night. Not that we were really sneaking, but still. As if in answer to my question, we heard a toilet flush, and a door to my right that I hadn’t even noticed swung open, startling me. The person who came through was pretty much just as unbelievable as the house he lived in. He was tall—very tall—and lanky, but with wide shoulders and well-defined musculature. His hair was just a little too long, like maybe he’d forgotten his last couple of haircuts, and very dark, shot through with a tiny bit of gray. It had to be premature because I doubted he was much more than ten years older than me. His facial features—though thrown in deep shadow because of the low light in the room—were chiseled and angular, too handsome to be fair to the rest of the world. Wire-rimmed glasses perched on the tip of his straight nose, slightly askew. Despite the handsomeness, he had dark circles under his eyes and frown lines around his mouth, as if he hadn’t slept in weeks. And he was wearing Angry Birds pajamas. When he saw me, his deep-set blue eyes widened and he flinched like I’d snuck up on him. “Who the hell are you?” I let out a squeaky gasp and backed away toward Taylor because the guy looked fucking scary when he turned on the full force of that scowl. “Jesus Christ, Beaudry, relax,” Taylor said. He picked up his briefcase and pulled out a legal-size envelope. “This is my friend Mackenzie. I was driving him home, and I just popped in to drop off these contracts from Harrelson.” Beaudry grunted and crossed the room to sit at his desk. He waved a hand in the vague direction of a stack of shelves. “Just put them in the inbox. I’ll deal with them later.” “If you look them over now, I can take back any questions or return them…” He glared at Taylor over his shoulder, and Taylor wisely shut his mouth. Then the man’s gaze settled on me. It wasn’t the scowl he’d given me earlier, but it wasn’t exactly a…nice expression either. It was more of an assessing glare than anything. “Welcome to Chatham House, Mackenzie. What do you think?” he asked. I had no idea what he meant. What did I think of the house? The room? Him? “It’s…impressive. The artwork is…unusual.” He let out a belting laugh that I hadn’t been expecting, so I jumped, but then the rich baritone of it made my toes curl. It was an odd reaction, as I wasn’t usually affected by such things. “Unusual is a kind way of putting it. The artwork came with the house, along with much of the furniture. I just haven’t gotten around to redecorating.” “Oh, that’s…” . “How long have you lived here, then?” Beaudry turned back to his computer and began typing furiously. “About five years,” he answered without turning back around. I choked on air, and Taylor snorted. “I think by ‘haven’t gotten around to it,’ you mean ‘just don’t give a shit,’” he muttered. “TouchΓ©, Mr. Morrison. Is there anything else you need?” Taylor sighed, probably realizing that the man was not going to look at whatever was in the envelope while we were still there to relay any messages back to Mindstream. He clamped a hand around my wrist and started dragging me toward the door. “All right, we’re going. Remember, drinks at the King’s Shield next Friday.” “I don’t think I’m going to be—” Taylor spoke right over Beaudry’s muttering. “You already said you would. No backsies. I can pick you up.” “I think I’d enjoy driving my shiny Lotus instead, but thank you very much for the offer,” Beaudry growled. “Nice meeting you, Mack,” I heard him call through the open door. “Nickname basis already?” I laughed to Taylor. “That has nothing to do with nicknames and everything to do with your name being too long for him to remember.” “I heard that, Morrison!”

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J.K. Hogan | Amazon



Meet the Author

J.K. Hogan has been telling stories for as long as she can remember, beginning with writing cast lists and storylines for her toys growing up. When she finally decided to put pen to paper, magic happened. She is greatly inspired by all kinds of music and often creates a “soundtrack” for her stories as she writes them. J.K. is hoping to one day have a little something for everyone, so she’s branched out from m/f paranormal romance and added m/m contemporary romance. Who knows what’s next? J.K. resides in North Carolina, where she was born and raised. A true southern girl at heart, she lives in the country with her husband and two sons, a cat, and two champion agility dogs. If she isn’t on the agility field, J.K. can often be found chasing waterfalls in the mountains with her husband, or down in front at a blues concert. In addition to writing, she enjoys training and competing in dog sports, spending time with her large southern family, camping, boating and, of course, reading! For more information, please visit www.jkhogan.com.

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Monday, May 22, 2017

In the Wreackage (Metahuman Files 1) by Hailey Turner: My Review


BLURB:

A Marine with honor.

After surviving a horrific chemical attack that turned him into a metahuman, Captain Jamie Callahan got a second lease on life. For three years he’s been working for the Metahuman Defense Force and leading Alpha Team—all against the wishes of his family. The job requires his full dedication, so it’s no surprise Jamie doesn’t have time for a relationship. An enticing one-night stand with a gorgeous stranger is all it takes to show Jamie exactly what he’s been missing. When a mission to take down a terrorist cell brings that same stranger back into his world, Jamie’s life gets complicated.

A soldier with secrets.

Staff Sergeant Kyle Brannigan was only looking to relieve some stress after a long mission. He didn’t know the hot guy he picked up at a bar was the leader of the MDF’s top field team. When Kyle and his partner get seconded to Alpha Team to help fight a terrorist threat, he has to balance his desire for Jamie against his duty to keep his secrets safe. That gets harder and harder to do amidst regulations both are tempted to break.

Two men trying to survive.

Giving into passion could cost both their careers. Abiding by the rules will only result in heartache. An attack on MDF headquarters brings with it a choice Jamie and Kyle can’t escape—duty, or love?


In the Wreckage is a 100k word steamy m/m sci-fi military romance with a HFN ending. There is military violence within the story that may not be suitable for everyone, as well as explicit intimate scenes not suitable for readers under 18.

MY REVIEW:

In the Wreckage (Metahuman Files, #1)In the Wreckage by Hailey Turner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What an awesome read! What a great recommendation! How can a book be so entertaining, suspenseful and dirty at the same time? This is a good one. Believe me. It has everything you want in a Science Fiction book, with the add of some of the dirtiest sex scenes I've ever read. Yes. Everything.

This is a perfectly written MM Romance. A Sci-Fi novel that takes place on an alternative and very fascinating year 2284.
The world building is fantastic but I don't want to reveal too much, just that something happened that turned some humans in metahumans with different powers: telepathy, telekinesis, shape shifting, ultra strength...



Science fiction fans (myself included) are used to ordinary men becoming  superheroes because of radioactive accidents, chemical, or nuclear physics related. We have read about  that kind of DNA alteration, wherever it comes, but here the explanation is brilliantly exposed. It's very, very interesting and perfectly settled and, I insist, the world building is extremely well done and appealing.

Apollo, Icarus, Bones, Reaper, Inferno... Are some of their code names. Are they cool, or what? These guys rocks!

I'm not an action girl. Ironically, action bored me to dead if it lacks of another necessary things (necessary to me, I mean, there is nothing wrong in action itself). But the way these guys work together is hot and entertaining as hell. I enjoyed it so much I can't put it in words.

About our hot and incredible great MCs. Well, I don't want spoilers here, leaving you this pleasure for your reading. I just want to say these two are scorching hot together (HOT with capital letters). But they are also a great couple outside the bedroom. They talk and they are funny.

"Fight or fuck," Kyle gasped out, eyes closed, sweaty hair sticking to his flushed face. "See. Told you that you could do both at the same time"

Jaime Callahan is a loyal ex-marine, and a honorable and incredibly hot alpha male. In fact, he is in charge of the the Metahuman Alpha Team. It couldn't be other way. He knows what he wants, he is caring and super dirty (sexually speaking)
"He never thought he´d find someone he was willing to risk his career for until Kyle come along. A single night of passion was enough to make Jaime be selfish and reckless and damn the consequences"



And about Kyle? Kyle Brannigan is the shit too! Well, there's no need of spoilers here either, so I just gonna say he is incredible, he faced his shitty early years becoming a great and loyal guy. He is hot, he likes it hard (oh yeah!), he is strong and also pursues what he wants. He is the perfect match for our Jaime.


"Wonderful, Kyle thought tiredly. Guess I get to cross of buried alive on my Situations I have Been In And Wished I Wasn´t list. Sadly, it was a long list"

Writing a book is a very difficult thing (and a very terrifying process, as well). Writing a good book? A tremendous and enviable accomplishment. But writing a great sci-fi book? To me, it's something so superb and so unlikely that I don't have words (again) to describe the gratifying sensation it made me feel.

I have a kind of Sci-Fi radar (it works with fantasy too) that let me know if the book is being good enough to me, and it involves two things:
First: when I'm not reading the book I spend much time day-dreaming about it. Time I should spend doing other things, of course, but a girl has her priorities ;-)
Second: When a team fight starts and I feel the same level of hotness I usually feel with the sex scenes... And in this book, when someone is using pyrotechnic power, another guy is building a protector shield with his mind, while another is joking about something... Oh yeah, I was totally feeling it!
Well I can't talk here about the same level of hotness because the sex scenes in this book...they are something else. But I must say (and probably is the only "but" I have for the book) that sometimes that scenes  were a little too long.

I'm gonna start book two, as soon as I get some sleep. Priorities or not, I still have necessities... I'm not a metahuman, after all.

Thank you, Ralu, for this recommendation and thank you Wendy, for the description you gave me: (I'm quoting here) "it's like X-Men going down and dirty" oh hell, girl, it was. But it was more than that and I am really thankful.


This review has been posted on Dirty Books Obsession

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Friday, May 19, 2017

BELIEVE IN THE WISH BY CHRISTI SNOW: BLOG TOUR, INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY AND REVIEW

G
Title:  Believe in the Wish
Author: Christi Snow
Publisher:  Self-Published
Release Date: May 11, 2017
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: ~55,000 words
Genre: New Adult, enemies to lovers, forbidden love, twins, contemporary romance, mourning death


Synopsis

I buried my twin sister six months after she found out she had cancer. Her funeral was three months ago. Today is our birthday and it started with delivery of letters from her.

It seems she didn’t trust me to move on after her death. She knows me too well. But how can I go on when my other half is just...gone? That’s not something I can recover from with a snap of my fingers. But I also can’t ignore her instructions even though I’d be perfectly content to cuddle up with my buddy, Johnnie Walker, and call it a year.

She has a list of things for me to do and there are rules attached.

There’s one major problem besides the fact it’s been three months since I left the house. I have to do all these things with her jerk of an ex, Hawk Simmons. He abandoned her shortly after she found out she was sick. If that wasn’t enough to make this a really bad idea, the fact that he makes an appearance in all my nighttime fantasies probably does.

I don’t think I can do this, but I owe it to my sister’s memory to try.

**********This is a stand-alone male/male contemporary romance novel.**********





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I really love this book. I enjoyed it so much and here you can read MY REVIEW

One of the best books I've read this year. I loved it! I loved every single page of it! so I rounded up my 4.5 stars, to 5.

In his 25th birthday, Ethan Roberts (drunk and hurting) receives a letter from Emma, her recently dead twin sister, with a list of things he must do, assignments to accomplish with the help of Hawk Simmons, her ex and the hot, sexy man Ethan hates more than anyone in the world.

Ethan is mourning his sister death and, in the first page, we can read the really sad motto he wants to follow in that right moment:
"Sleep, that beautiful place where pain didn't exist. Where memories didn't exist. His goal in life now is to spend as much time in that space as possible"

And even if it sounds depressing as hell, it's not. This whole story is far from it.This is not a story of death. This is not a book about cancer and loss. This is the complete opposite. This is a love story. A story of life. A perfectly well written book, about how people can connect in life and be happy getting over the bad things, getting past the sad parts anyone, unfortunately, have to experience. A story of people who deserves happiness.

And after that super long introduction, if you are still with me ;) let's start with our MCs. And here, I don't want to say too much because this is a book you have to read and, discover by yourself, who Ethan and Hawk really are.

Ethan is a graphic designer whose twin has died four months ago and he doesn't seem to find his way out the hole he is in. And he doesn't want to, either. So when the help comes from Hawk, the sexy motorcycle designer who broke his twin's heart before she died, things gets complicated.

Ethan is hot, hot, hot (three times because I'm gonna give Hawk a fourth hot, a bit more, just a little bit). He is sweet, shy and he doesn´t know how to handle his life without Emma.

Hawk, on his behalf, is dealing with his own problems and loss. He is much more than Ethan thinks, much more than you reader could imagine in the first moment. He has a hard life to live too. It's not just Ethan who is mourning someone. Hawk has issues tormenting him, unresolved things hunting him.

As I said Hawk is hot, hot, hot, hot (there is four, right?) and both characters together are incredible, sexy, funny and the attraction between them is a constant turn on.
This is a couple you want to meet and know. They are full of surprises and I really love them both.

Emma deserves a special mention here, because she brought perfection to this story. She is the one who makes everything possible. She is dead, yes, and it´s very, very sad because she was young and full of life but, you are going to smile thinking about her and her fixing from the grave. This caring and beloved person, makes you believe in the wish.

This is a beautiful story you must read, nothing more and nothing else.

****An advanced reading copy of  this book  was generously provided to me   via Indigo Marketing & Design****



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And Now, We can meet the autor and read some interesting things about Christi Snow. Thank you Christi!

As an avid reader her entire life, Christi Snow always dreamed of writing books that brought to others the kind of joy she felt when she read. But…she never did anything about it besides jot down a few ideas and sparse scenes.

When she turned 41, she decided it was time to go after her dream and started writing. Within four months, she’d written over 150,000 words and hasn't stopped since.

She's found her calling by writing about sexy, alpha heroes and smart, tough heroines falling in love and finding their passion. She's truly living the dream and loving every minute of it.

Her tagline is… Passion and adventure on the road to Happily Ever After. She's loving this adventure!

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We are super lucky here, in Reviews For Book Lovers, because Christi has answered some awesome questions. Enjoy it!

If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
Ooh, I don’t think I’ve ever had to answer this question, but wow it’s a good one. I’m female so if I’m a superhero that means I have to look badass in the spandex outfit, right? I’m thinking that right there would be amazing. But let’s see...superpowers. I actually have a dystopian paranormal series called Through the Veil where most of the characters developed various superpowers when the world “changed”. The heroine of the first book has the ability to manipulate matter. She can change a stick into a knife, throw up walls just by changing the ground, go through locked doors by changing the locking mechanism. I’m thinking that could be a pretty handy ability...as well as I want to look super-hot in the spandex (because that’s really important for a superhero, you know?)

If you could trade places with one of your characters, who would it be and why?
Mac from Found at the Library. He’s this huge bestselling novelist that lives in a mansion in Denver with a to-die-for library inside. The visuals in my head from that book of his house and his hero, Tommy’s store (which is also focused on books) are Nirvana. Visually that book is magnificent for a book-lover and I’d love to live within those pages for a few weeks or months.

If you could sequester yourself for a week somewhere and just focus on your writing, where would you go and what would the environment be like?
I’m a mountain cabin girl. I’d love to have two full weeks in the middle of winter where I could rent a cabin stocked with firewood, cozy rooms, and close to a coffee shop where I could simply immerse myself in writing and nothing else.

What's the one thing, you can't live without?
Books

What internet site do you surf to the most?
Facebook, although I could meander through Instagram and Pinterest for hours just salivating over all the pretties. But Facebook is where all my writer/reader friends congregate. They are my tribe.

If you had your own talk show, who would your first three author guests be and why?
Wow, no hard questions here are there? OMG. Okay, let me think...
  1. Megan Erickson/Santino Hassell...I’m putting them together because I love them both individually and as a team for writing. I love watching them interact on Twitter and would just love to have them sit around and chat writing and their experiences...both as a writing duo and with their individual books.
  2. Jenn Burke and Kelly Jensen...another writing duo that I adore. Unlike #1, I feel like I know these girls because I have chatted books with them so much online. These girls always write phenomenal stories AND give me incredible reading recommendations. But they both write in such a vast number of genres and tropes within m/m...although Felix and Zander, from the Chaos Station series will always be favorites of mine...I would love to just sit and chat book loves with them.
  3. Amy Lane...I’ll admit I don’t know anything about her personally, but her books speak to me. They are so emotional and many of them rank up there in my favorite books of all time (hello...Beneath the Stain). I’d love to simply chat with her about her writing process and her thoughts as she wrote various books. She can write deeply emotional to fun and light and I love that about her. She’s definitely one of my favorite authors.

When you got your very first manuscript acceptance letter, what was your initial reaction and who was the first person you told?
No acceptance letters here because I’m mostly a self-published author, but there have been many pivotal moments in my career...holding that first paperback, many release days, my French contracts, etc. My mom is a huge romance reader and she shared her love for books with me way early in my life. So, for me, those early days especially when everything was new, she was the first one I shared anything about my writing career with. While she won’t read my m/m stories or any of the sex scenes I write (hehe), she’s still one of my biggest cheerleaders.

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Excerpt

Katya ended her call and promptly pushed the ‘away’ button for receiving phone calls. “I’m sorry. No more calls. They may not think so, but they can survive without me for an hour or so while we have our chat.”

Ethan’s stomach rolled over. That brought them to the question of the hour...chat about what? But he was almost afraid to ask at this point. Instead, he redirected. “Do you have your own firm, or do you work for someone else?”

She raised an eyebrow at him, but with a slight tilt of her head she must have seen something in his expression because she answered, “I own my own firm. When I graduated from law school, I went into a partnership that was later dissolved when I bought my partner out. It’s all mine now, which keeps me very busy.”

He grimaced. “And that’s further complicated by hermits like me who refuse to answer phone calls or mail deliveries. Sorry about that.”

No.” She shook her head. “It’s time for you to stop apologizing. This is a hard time for you and that’s okay. To a certain extent, that’s the way it should be...”

She hesitated for a moment. “At least for a little while. You’re allowed to grieve. But Emma knew this would be an issue for you, so she made plans.”

What kind of plans?”

Katya reached into her briefcase and pulled out a file. She reached inside and pulled out an envelope that she handed to him. On the front was his name, written in Emma’s handwriting. Suddenly it was hard to breathe.

What is this?” he whispered.

The first of your instructions. You need to open and read it.”

He didn’t want to. He didn’t know why, but he really didn’t want to. “I’d rather wait until I’m at home.” At his house, if he fell apart, he could do it without witnesses.

She shook her head kindly. “No, that won’t work. She was very specific in how she wanted this all to go. I need you to open it now.”

Ethan swallowed against the huge lump in his throat as he tried to find air to breathe. His heart pounded in his chest. Surely, everyone around them could hear that.

It’s okay,” she said softly. “I promise.”

That’s where you’re wrong.” He glanced up at her. “It’s never going to be okay again.” His voice cracked.

She lowered her lids, and her lips compressed into a tight line as if his grief was too much for her.

His hands shook as he turned the envelope over, lifting the sealed flap. It had to be his imagination, but he could have sworn that he smelled a faint whiff of the strawberry lotion Emma always liked to wear.

For just a moment, he shut his eyes and tried to calm down his emotions going haywire. He didn’t know whether to be angry that she’d done this to him, sad that she wasn’t here to tell him whatever information this letter held, or scared at whatever Emma had cooked up for him.

Throughout her life, she’d kept him hopping. As the exuberant, outgoing twin, she’d always dragged him into trouble when all he’d wanted to do was stay home. In that regard, this whole scheme of hers was very apropos.

He took a deep breath and pulled out the single sheet of paper and unfolded it. At the very first words on the paper, his eyes filled with tears.

Happy Birthday, baby brother.

He glanced up in disbelief at Katya. “It’s May fifteenth?”

At her silent nod, he gazed down at the paper in his hands, his eyes filling with tears. It was their twenty-fifth birthday. The first birthday he’d ever celebrated without her. She’d only been twenty-four when she’d died. How unfair was that? To her. To him. To the world that missed out on everything she had to offer it.
Emma’s handwriting wavered in front of his eyes, but he continued to read, not knowing what else to do. His other option—sobbing in the middle of the restaurant—would be mortifying.

I’m sorry I’m not there to go out partying with you. Remember when we were little and you didn’t want to share your birthday with me? Now you get your wish.

He’d been a horrible person. The tears overflowed his eyes. He’d made that wish more years than he even wanted to remember. How selfish was that? How could he have wished for a life without her in any way? She’d been his light.

Katya shoved a tissue into his hand.

Right. He was in public. Time to get it together.

My bad. It was probably too soon for a joke like that.

I love you, Ethan.

I know I didn’t say that enough—you know emotional displays and I didn’t mix—but beyond anything else that happens over the next few weeks, KNOW THAT. I love you, and if I could have figured out a way to stay, I would have...for you.

But God obviously had different plans for me, so now I’ll just have to content myself with being your guardian angel for the next seventy-five years. I’ll have your back, bro. I promise.

And in the interest of having your back, that’s why Katya is here.

I know you. You’re stubborn, and right now, I imagine that you’re more than a little sad. I get that, but that doesn’t mean you stop living. My death means you have to live twice as much because you have to do it enough for both of us. I’m counting on you.

But, again, I know you, so I’ve enlisted some help from my friends just to get you going.

Make a Wish, Ethan. Believe in it. It’s time to live.

~Emma

When Ethan finished reading, he took several deep breaths. The sobs had welled in his throat, and it was all he could just to hold them inside.

You okay?” Katya asked.

Yeah.” His voice sounded husky, but he’d managed to say the word, so he figured that for a win.

Then it’s time for step two.”

He looked up just as she held a flaming lighter to the candle on top of a cupcake. She pushed it in front of him. “Make a wish and blow. All you have to do is believe.”

As he sat there, looking at the flickering candle, it occurred to him at just how sad this was. His twin was dead, and he was at some bizarre birthday celebration with someone he’d never even met before. Even from the grave, Emma was working to pull him out of his shell.

So he closed his eyes and blew as he made his wish.

I wish I wasn’t so alone.

But when he opened them, nothing had changed. He was still sitting in a restaurant with a woman he didn’t know, mourning the twin sister who’d died. Not that he expected a miracle, but Emma wanted him to believe.

Believe.

How was that even possible? She’d been the one who believed in the magic of things like wishes and fairy tales. What had that gotten her? She’d died before she’d even had the chance to live. What kind of magic could he possibly believe in with that kind of reality?

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

"COMING IN" BY MICHELLE OGILVY: BLOG TOUR, INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY AND REVIEW

Title:  Coming In
Author: Michelle Ogilvy
Publisher:  NineStar Press
Release Date: May 15, 2017
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 70100
Genre: Contemporary, bi, blue-collar, cisgender, coming out, contemporary, explicit, gay, in the closet, romance



Synopsis

Jay and Adam have been sharing a flat, and a bed, since they moved down to Adelaide after high school a couple of years ago. Neither man considers himself gay or mentions the sexual nature of their friendship to anyone else.

Their arrangement doesn’t stop Jay from casually dating random women he meets through work and both men seem happy with the way things are. That is, until Adam meets April, a damsel in distress that latches herself onto Adam in a way that he doesn’t mind at all. Jay sure does, though.

As Adam gets closer to April, the friendship between the two men starts to unravel and for the first time in years, Jay is facing a life without Adam. If he wants to save their friendship, he will have to offer Adam a lot more than a spot in his bed. There’s only one problem, Jay doesn’t believe in love.



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My Review
Coming In by Michelle Ogilvy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Coming in by Michelle Ogilvy is a book about two friends trying to figure out who they are.

This is the story of Jason Porter and Adam Pearson. Best friends since childhood, actual flat mates and regular fuck buddies. But this "lovers status" is something that the world doesn't know. Out of the semi-bubble, they have built around them, they are just friends.
But it's not like the sex thing is Jay's and Adam's little dirty secret. Nope. They are not really conscious of the significance of their non-discussed relationship. Or the magnitude of it. They have been together like that for years and we are not talking just about sex. They sleep together every night, with cuddling and everything. But they don't label their sexuality or relationship.

The thing is, Jay dates random women constantly and it "seems" both of them are ok with this agreement, at least until the harpy among all harpies comes into their lives.
Her name is April and I hated her so much that I don't want even to talk about her. She is Adam's obnoxious girlfriend. A total bitch.
I know some of MM romances has one of those, but this insufferable girl is a bit over the top.I HATED HER! And sadly, I hate Adam every time she is in the picture with him because everything seems fake, and she is evil incarnated and the main source of the angst here. Nope, nope not talking about this girl or the stupidity of my (usually) smart and sweet Adam.

For those who don't tolerate infidelity in their readings I have a Warning: There is cheating in this book. Not on page, and not between our main characters, but the fact is that they can't avoid to be together, and they have been doing it for years, even though they were in a relationship or not.

"Whatever had been between the two of them over the last few years, it wasn't healthy"

It is difficult for me to review "Coming in" in a few sentences because I perceive two completely different parts in the book, and I feel the need to explain it:

The first half was ok. The conversations are simple, not deep at all. The sex is off page and there is no explanation about how and why Jay and Adam get where they are. Too many things are took for granted.
I was a bit out in this first 50%(the percentage is nearly literal). It bothered me not knowing them. I was enjoying it, but I needed to feel them, together and separately, and the story wasn't deep enough either. Angsty? Yeah. Uncomfortable? Very. But not deep. The characters were not giving me what I was wanting and needing.
They didn't talk about their sexuality, about their attraction. They just seemed to need each other, and even though I liked the concept of that dependence I needed to know why, how, when...Come on guys! Talk to each other! Talk to me! Argh...

And then:


Everything changes. The plot starts taking shape and the characters start to feel and to talk about these feelings.

"I'm not gay" Adam replied.
"No, you're just a hypocritical son of a bitch"


In this second half we get to know Jay and Adam deeply and, as the author deepens in them, and in their friendship, I start loving both characters (though I must say Jay was my favorite. He is a cynical jerk but I love him).

Here, at last, they show their fears and insecurities, and both have a lot of them, because they are young and a little lost.
It seems that Adam and Jay have never stopped to analyze their relationship, until hateful April comes. And when they do, we could say everything changes between our guys and their bubble blows up.
They seem lost and miserable outside this bubble and without each other, and they need to be clear, to be honest, to say what they really feel.

"It wasn't like Adam doesn't know the goodbye was coming. But it supposed to be him leaving, not Jay. And he hadn't realized it would hurt this much"

So, I would say this is a great friends to lovers story, I really enjoyed it. No doubt I will read the author again.

****An advanced reading copy of this book was generously provided to me via Indigo Marketing & Design****



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Meet the Author

Michelle Ogilvy was born and bred in Adelaide, Australia. In primary school, to alleviate the boredom of putting spelling list words in sentences to explain their meaning, she started weaving them all into stories. She hasn’t been able to shake this writing thing ever since.
Her day job involves working on health data collection tools, which resulted in her first publication, in a medical journal. For about a year, she worked as an editor for the department, but eventually she realised that her writing at home was enough time spent alone concentrating on words on a computer screen and she went back to her old job. It’s still a lot of time spent staring at a computer, but there’s at least more interaction with actual humans. You can find Michelle on Twitter

We have an awesome guest post where Michelle talks about  she being a writer (a good one I must add) and about her  future work that you probably won´t miss, once you read this interview!


What’s harder, naming your characters, creating the title for your book or the cover design process?

Definitely creating the title. When I was sent the mock-up for the cover of Coming In, I had no complaints or changes at all. That was the easiest part of the whole process. The only difficult thing was trying to stop staring at how pretty it was and actually get some work done before I could leave my job for the day.

The title on the other hand — I usually have scrawled thoughts all through my notes when writing a manuscript. Nothing seems quite right until you hit on the one that just fits.

How do you answer the question “Oh, you're an author...what do you write?"

The one time I was asked this, I said romance. Now I say ‘my first novel comes out in May’ and proceed to try and talk them into wanting it.

What does your family think of your writing?

They don’t really understand the ambition to be a writer, but they’re trying to sound enthusiastic.

Tell us about your current work in process and what you’ve got planned for the future.

My next piece of writing out will be a short story prequel to Coming In, being published in a local romance anthology in August.

I have a finished urban fantasy manuscript about a young woman, a toddler, superpowers, and a mysterious destiny. It also includes a gay vigilante that she looks up to as a mentor. He was a favourite with half my beta readers.

I’m currently revising a women’s fiction manuscript about a twenty-something trying to fix a friendship betrayal by meeting the celebrity who she thinks is the source of all her problems. Not that she has a plan beyond go to the country where he is and... ah, she didn’t really think it through beyond that.

Do you have any advice for all the aspiring writers out there?

Give yourself permission to take your writing seriously. If you aren’t, no one else will.

Then actually finish what you write. Don’t just think about writing or talk about writing. It won’t get finished unless you take the time and sit and actually write.

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And here, you can read an EXCERPT of the book. Enjoy it!

Coming In

Michelle Ogilvy © 2017

All Rights Reserved



Chapter One



Jay knew it was going to be a hard night. Adam had come by the store to pick up something for dinner, and he’d been mumbling to himself again. It was becoming a habit with him. Ever since Adam had started the new semester, he’d been complaining about this one subject. It didn’t seem to make any difference what Jay said or did. There was only one thing that could distract Adam. Not that Jay had a problem with providing that kind of distraction—it was the bitching and moaning that preceded it that had him dawdling to get home.



This would be the third year that he and Adam had been flatmates in Adelaide, and Jay could picture exactly what he would find when he walked through the door. He pasted on a smile and braced himself. Sure enough, Adam was sitting in the middle of a pile of textbooks and handwritten notebooks spread across most of the floor space with various highlighters and pens strewn throughout the mess.



The more stressed Adam got, the less likely Jay would be to see the floor, or the bench in the kitchen area, or pretty much anything in Adam’s room. Jay always drew the line at any of that shit ending up in his own room. His aim for the night was to get Adam in there where the other man couldn’t torture himself over whatever went wrong that day.



At least now Jay didn’t have to worry about Adam literally pulling his hair out from stress. Adam had starting cutting his hair short after he’d started at uni. The new hairstyle had broken the stress-pulling habit, so Adam had kept it. The muttering had gotten worse, though. Jay wasn’t even sure that Adam knew he was doing it half the time.



So, what sludge have we got for dinner tonight?” Jay asked, making sure to keep his tone light. Adam didn’t look up. “It was your turn to cook, remember?”



Oh, right. I forgot. I bought some stuff.” Adam gestured vaguely towards the kitchen area. Jay couldn’t bring himself to call an area bounded by benches rather than walls an actual kitchen, like it was a separate room.



What are we in for? Pizza? Lasagne? Reheated puke?”



It was rice.”



In puke?”



In… I don’t know.” Adam finally pulled his head up from his books and looked at Jay. “It was weeks ago. When are you going to let that go?”



Jay shrugged. “When it stops being amusing.”



I’m too tired to joke around, Jay.”



Fridays.” Jay shook his head and sighed dramatically. “I’ll just go ahead and nuke us something then.”



It’s my turn,” Adam said, not moving from his position on the floor.



I’m not sure you’re trusted with the microwave, Adam. Do we really have to have the reheated puke joke twice in one night?”



That wasn’t my fault, bakeboy.”



Bakeboy? Maybe you should take a break from the study. I think it’s fried your brain. That’s the lamest insult I’ve ever heard. Come on, Obsesso, come get some grub.”



Obsesso?” Adam was trying not to laugh. Jay could tell.



I think that’s about at the same level as bakeboy. Figure I’ll keep all my best insults until you’re feeling more up to it.”



Adam huffed but got up off his butt and onto the stool at the kitchen bench. He watched as Jay put the dinners in the microwave.



You shouldn’t stand in front of those, you know,” Adam said. “They’ll give you cancer.”



The sad thing about that is that you wouldn’t cry at my funeral,” Jay replied.



What do you mean?”



The way you’re going, you’ll die from an ulcer long before I die of cancer.”



Jay moved away from the thing anyway. Their microwave was large, old, and temperamental. Or just plain mental, depending on how generous they were feeling towards it on the day. The clicking noise it was making was certainly a new development.



Adam heaved a large sigh, and Jay turned his attention back to his friend.



Do I dare ask what the evil wench did today?” Jay asked.



It’s just that she expects so much,” Adam replied.



I hear ya.”



Where did she get such high expectations anyway?”



Germany.” Jay’s comment barely rated a glance.



It’s not like we’re all overly efficient geniuses.”



I’ve always been partial to lazy dimwits, myself.”



It’s like that stupid subject is supposed to be the centre of our universe.”



Unhealthy, that.”



If we don’t spend at least three times as much effort as we do in other subjects, we barely pass.”



That’s what I’ve heard.”



I just don’t have that amount of time.”



Another credit?”



I never got a C in anything before I took her class.”



Well, there was PE. You weren’t real good at PE.”



I know it’s a big joke to you, Jay, but it’s my life.”



I don’t think uni’s actually counted as life.” Jay was trying for a smile, but all he got was a glare. “Geez, if it bothers you that much, do something.”



Like…?”



Hmm. Leave it with me. I’ll think of something,” Jay said as the microwave beeped. “And dinner is served. Enjoy your cancer in a bowl, Obsesso.”



Adam didn’t say anything, but he was finally smiling. The first step in Jay’s plan. The crucial point would be after dinner when Adam would want to go back to studying. If Jay could prevent that happening, at least for the night, Adam might have time to get over whatever issues he’d had that day and look at the problem afresh in the morning. Otherwise he would be obsessing over it all night.



When Adam had finished eating, he dumped his dishes in the sink and started making motions towards the pile of papers and other paraphernalia in the lounge. Jay threw out the first distraction he could think of to prevent a return to study mode.



Hey, it’s Dan,” he said, directing Adam’s attention to the window and a view of their neighbour. “Out for another night of debauchery.”



I don’t know how he does it,” Adam said, coming over to stand next to Jay at the window.



Of course not. You barely leave the flat for anything but uni. Practically a hermit. You’ll end up one of those old men who stay at home all day waiting for some kid to kick a ball into your yard so you can yell at them from the porch.”



Fuck you.”



If you insist.” Jay grinned and pressed his lips to Adam’s.



My assignment. I have to go over the comments,” Adam mumbled around Jay’s tongue.



Jay ignored him. Adam needed this way more than he needed to chastise himself over comma placement or whatever minor issue the professor was cracking down on that week.



Jay had never been afraid of hard work, but Adam made everything harder than it needed to be. Including Jay. Which is how they had started this little dance of theirs in the first place. Now, it was simply a part of life.



Everything about Adam was familiar now, from his long, slightly crooked nose and deep brown eyes to the toenails that he never seemed to trim frequently enough. No matter how many times they did this, though, Jay didn’t get tired of looking or touching. The women that shared Jay’s bed on occasion, they never lasted long. But Adam was his mate. That was something completely different and lasting.



Yet, each time Jay leaned in for a kiss with Adam, there was always a moment as their lips met when he wondered if this would be the night that Adam pushed him away. When Adam finally questioned why the hell they were doing this. Whether this really was a ‘mates’ thing to do. But Adam never questioned.



Jay was glad of it. The guy needed a release, with all the pressure he put himself under. Jay didn’t mind providing a helping hand. And by this point, he knew all the right buttons to push until Adam let go and surrendered to the demands of sensation and impulse. Just the way Jay liked him.



The alarm went off at 3:30. As usual, Adam had latched onto Jay like a drowning man while they were sleeping, but Jay had learnt how to extricate himself enough to roll out of bed.



Turn it off,” Adam moaned, pulling the sheet over his head.



Jay leaned over and switched the alarm off. Then he yanked the sheet from Adam’s head, put his mouth to Adam’s ear and said, “You could always sleep in your own room.”



Adam groaned and pulled the sheet back up again. Jay grinned and sauntered out of the room to have a shower. A typical Saturday morning.



The early morning shifts usually meant that Jay had a long afternoon nap so that he’d be functioning on Saturday night. On this particular night, though, Jay kind of wished that he was sleepier. It was the only thing he could think of that would have made the night more endurable.



It felt like Tammy had been yapping in his ear ever since he’d picked her up a few hours ago. You would think that somewhere in all that noise, he would have found some commonality to latch on to, some topic to discuss rather than talk at each other. Even some peace and quiet during the movie would have been welcome. But no.



He had not anticipated the night going this way when he’d asked her out earlier in the week. Of course, his attention might have been slightly lower than her mouth when he’d thought that a good idea. She was hot, for sure. He was starting to think that he might need to expand the criteria for a date, though.



Maybe he should just offer to take her home and end the misery. On the other hand, she was the one who’d suggested going back to his place. Maybe they could find some commonality there. Like a shared need for less clothing.



He was in two minds about which option to choose, but when driving, a destination is usually a pretty good idea, especially seeing as the two options were in opposite directions. For the moment, his little mind was winning.



What made you want to be a baker, anyway?” Tammy said. It took Jay a second to realise it was an actual question and he should respond. By that point, she’d moved on. “You don’t seem like someone who’s into looking after people. The smell must be just delicious, though. I love the smell of baking. Is that what it was, the smell? I know that—”



There’s less traffic in the morning,” Jay interrupted.



Huh?” the girl said.



That’s what I like about baking. We start early so there’s less traffic when I go to work.”



Tammy just looked at him for a few beats. Then she shrieked in his ear. Startled the hell out of him.



Isn’t it gorgeous?” she exclaimed, staring out of Jay’s window. “Spunky.”



Spunky?” People still used that word? Jay grimaced. He glanced over and saw one of those dumb hatchbacks that looked as if the tail had been lopped off.



You know, cute, zippy, sporty, lush—”



It’s crap.” He cut her off before she could think of another twenty or thirty adjectives.



What do ya mean it’s crap. It’s not crap.”



Zero to a hundred takes a month,” Jay explained. “It’s got average suspension. Understeers. You’d pay through the nose for petrol. And a mate of mine said his air-conditioning barely cooled his left… hand.”



Seats looked comfy, though.”



God. If the seats looked comfy, it must be roadworthy. Obviously cars were not going to be their common ground. Jay was still betting on nakedness.



Jay had told Adam that he’d be bringing someone home. He’d hoped it would force Adam to rein himself in a little. Even so, Jay held his breath as he opened the door to the flat. Adam was back to studying, sprawled across the lounge room floor again. It appeared to be his usual level of overachievement, though, rather than the disaster area from the night before so Jay figured a mental breakdown wasn’t drastically imminent.



Can I use your bathroom?” Tammy asked.



Through the hall, on the right,” he replied.



Tammy smiled and headed through. While she was gone, Jay went over to the fridge to grab a couple of Cokes, leaving boot prints on several sheets of paper on the way. When he turned, Adam was right behind him. He offered Adam one of the Cokes before he got any grief about how important the papers had been.



How’s it going?” Adam asked.



Jay leaned in conspiratorially. “My advice: don’t engage. She’ll go into an hour-long monologue about her long-term goals, then segue into what yours should be.”



I don’t know. She looked in a pretty big hurry to me.”



Adam’s statement prompted a grin from Jay.



I bought the biggest Coke they had and kept shoving it at her. She must have a bladder the size of an elephant,” Jay said.



What was she? Talker? Toucher? Popcorn hogger? Not…” Adam widened his eyes, “a mobile phone answerer?”



Talker. Through the whole movie. I swear she didn’t even close her mouth to sip. How is that possible?”



Could explain the whole elephant bladder thing, though.”



I gotta start dating out of Woolworths.” Jay shook his head mournfully, and Adam laughed.



Jay made this statement frequently but never took his own advice. Adam always maintained that this was due to laziness on Jay’s part. But it wasn’t laziness, it was practicality. Why bother looking for girls when they threw themselves at him on a daily basis at work?



Neither man noticed Tammy coming back.



Got any Coke?” she said from the other side of the kitchen counter.



Adam just drank the last of it, but I’m sure we can find you something.” Jay turned to the fridge, mouthing “elephant” to Adam. Adam hid a smirk and headed to the lounge area.



So, you want it here or in my room?” Jay asked when he emerged from the fridge with a can of Solo. “It’s a little overcrowded in here.”



Tammy looked over into the lounge area and saw Adam step into the small circle he had made inside of all the junk he had around the room. It might have been less than the night before but was still a remarkable amount of junk for a normal person.



And then Adam started mumbling to himself. They heard “the internet,” said scornfully, with a snort of disbelief. Jay frowned. Maybe it was worse than he’d thought.



Yeah. Okay,” she said.



Jay led her to his bedroom. He was still frowning as he closed the bedroom door, his mind half on Adam. He should probably check in on Adam later, make sure the guy wasn’t stressing out too much again. The frown dissipated a little when he turned around and found a bare-chested Tammy waiting for him on his bed.



Not one for small talk?” he said. That surprised him.



Just come over and show me what you’ve got, big boy.” She patted the bed, and Jay went over and kissed her. Hard and long, savouring the silence. Then he started to kiss down her neck.



Kinda sparse in here. Don’cha even have a picture of your mother?”



Jay groaned inwardly and made his way back to her mouth.



Jay was lying peacefully in bed after Tammy left when he felt a body slide in behind him. Then breath warming the back of his neck.



Well?” the body asked. “It couldn’t have gotten worse with elephant bladder, surely.”



Ugh. If she would’ve shut up for more than three minutes at a time, it might have helped.”



Adam laughed, and Jay would have hit him with a pillow if they hadn’t been lying on both of them. He tried a palm instead, but Adam still snickered.



She seemed…” Adam paused. “Inquisitive.”



Inquisitive?” Jay said. “Was she quizzing you on the way out? God, what did she ask? It wasn’t ‘do you have a picture of your mother’ was it? You probably would have liked that.”



Showing her pictures of my mother? I don’t think I want to hear about the kinky shit you get up to, Jay. Actually, she saw the cans there for recycling and asked me why we use Heinz baked beans instead of SPC. I’d never really thought about it.”



“‘Cause SPC are crap. Now go to sleep, ya big wanker.”



That probably would have been a shorter conversation,” Adam acknowledged. “Going to Ash this weekend?”



Gotta work.”



You have to go down there sometime, you know.”



No. I don’t,” Jay said. He felt Adam turn away and knew Adam was disappointed.



Adam was always more disappointed when Jay didn’t go than Jay’s own family was. Strange boy. Jay had never understood his friend’s attachment to their lame-ass hometown. Jay would be completely fine going the rest of his life without setting foot in Ashdon Harbor.



Adam?” Jay murmured.



Mmm?”



Why is it that I only seem to attract women that I have absolutely nothing to say to these days?”



Dunno. Maybe you just attract women with bad taste in men,” Adam replied.



Jay slapped Adam again, using the opportunity to pull Adam towards him so that Adam’s front was right up against his back.



You still feeling stressed?” Jay asked.



Adam sighed, burrowing his forehead against Jay’s shoulder.



Take that as a yes,” Jay said.



Thanks for reminding me about it,” Adam mumbled.



Oh, you were looking for distraction? I can do distraction.” Jay nudged Adam off his shoulder and rolled around so they were facing each other. “Besides, I think I’ve come up with a solution to your problem.”



Oh yeah?” Adam said, as Jay started with the promised distraction, slipping his leg between Adam’s thighs.



You know I always come through for you,” Jay said, his hands wandering over Adam’s body.



Mmm. What’s your solution?”



I’m gonna buy you a watch.”



Which will…?”



You’re always saying time gets away from you. Can’t do that if it’s strapped to your wrist. Only logical.”



Adam made a noise somewhere between a groan and a laugh, mixed with a little arousal as Jay’s wandering hands found a particularly sensitive spot. “That may be the stupidest joke you’ve ever made,” Adam said.



Doubt it. But stick with me, kid. They’ll only get worse.”



Jay could feel Adam laughing, probably against his better judgement. But he wasn’t tense anymore. Mission accomplished. Still, while Jay was there, he might as well finish what he started.



He pulled Adam closer, hot skin against his, Adam’s erection evidence that tonight wasn’t going to be the night Jay would be pushed away. Emboldened by the encouragement, Jay grabbed the back of Adam’s head and kissed him stupid.



He fully intended to lick his way down, tracing the path his hands had already made on Adam’s body, and do something with that hard-on that Adam had so graciously supplied for him. But, for the moment, he was content staying right where he was, Adam’s tongue playing with his and Adam’s fingers digging into his cheeks, keeping him close.



He didn’t have to work in the morning so there was no need to speed things up. They had all the time they could want. And there was nothing Jay wanted more than to replace the taste of Tammy with Adam’s familiar flavour.





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