Thursday, August 31, 2017

Release Blitz, Giveaway & Review ~ Magnetic by Avylinn Winter



Buy Links: Pride | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 14,000 words

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Treacherous Chemistry Series

Volatile (Book #1) - Pride | Amazon US | Amazon UK
Toxic (Book #2) - Pride | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Blurb

He’d been afraid of me, and I had used fear to keep him away until I couldn’t stand to be anywhere but close.


Dante Heron has lived a life surrounded by pointless affection and impossible demands. Driven to the brink by his parents in pursuit of fame and fortune, he has learned to circumvent anything that would force him to feel more than he can stand. Until Chris. But then, he drove away Chris just as surely as he’d chased off everyone else.



Lost and afraid of the truth of that rejection, Dante pines from afar—more used to suffering than facing his problems. However, his feelings continue to torment him and no matter how many times he wants to leave the past behind, it won’t let go.



Publisher's Note: Magnetic is a companion book to the Treacherous Chemistry series and should be read after Volatile to appreciate the story.


Excerpt


The spotlight nailed me to the parquet, blinding as I faced an audience I couldn’t see. Drops of sweat ran in rivulets down the nape of my neck, caught by the white starch collar before they could travel farther. The steadfast rhythm from the orchestra pulsed through my blood, holding me grounded while my fingers pressed against the harsh strings of my violin, moving from place to place in a dance my mind barely followed. I simply played, pouring out every last shred of emotion I had from the bottom of my core. Emptying myself of everything.

As always, I was close to losing control. One slip, one finger misplaced, and the night would be ruined.

I could hear Mother’s voice in the back of my mind. Don’t fail us. We have sacrificed so much for you. I opened my eyes and saw her sitting on the front row, a frown on her forehead. Father sat beside her, clasping her hand as if to soothe her annoyance. They were never content, never proud. I wondered if they ever would be.

The cello section initiated the final build-up, stroking their strings with utmost care. I banished Mother from my thoughts, letting myself be swept away, carried in the moment. I had to succeed—and I would. The beast was mine to temper, reined in with the tips of my fingers.

You can do it. This time it was Chris’ voice, gentle and reassuring. Inhaling a rugged breath, I almost lost my focus. I couldn’t think about him. Not now.

The conductor moved the orchestra into the last part of my solo and I followed, clinging to the sounds beneath my bow. It was a desperate chase to the finish—a chase that had been thrilling in the past, but everything had changed since Chris had left after those disastrous days in Athens. I had been so angry. I’d felt betrayed and abandoned with emotions I hadn’t been able to handle.

Pushing myself to the limit, I held on until the audience broke out in applause. It was a tame response, not the wild cheers from a delirious crowd.

I had failed.

At any other time, it would have been mortifying. My stomach would have dropped and my heart would have thumped loud and scared. But I couldn’t feel a thing once the music had ceased. I was already numb.

* * * *

“You have got to take this seriously, Dante,” Mother snapped as she caught me off-stage. Lara, my sponsor or manager, or whatever it was she called herself these days, trailed behind and winced at my dear mother’s tone.

“I am,” I replied, even if I knew it was far from the truth. I didn’t care anymore.

“I heard you miss several notes. Do not disappoint us like that again.”

“I won’t.” It was an automated response, designed to avoid conflict.

“I know you’re still sulking about that boy, but don’t you understand now why I told you to get a grip of yourself?” She folded her arms across her chest. “He’s meant nothing but trouble and he would have ruined your career.”

“Mrs. Heron, please, not here,” Lara interjected.

Mother pursed her upper lip but said nothing. She knew it was foolish to cause a scene while the members of the orchestra still lingered around us. Keeping up appearances was everything to her. Producing a loud huff, she took my arm and steered me through the narrow corridor, aiming for my private dressing room. Not for the first time, I wished it was truly private and not a room where Mother, Father and Lara could enter at will.

After finding out about Chris, my parents hadn’t let me out of their sight. It hadn’t mattered how many times I’d asked them to go home. They’d refused, bringing up painful memories of what I had lost. Lara had tried to persuade them to leave me alone, but even she balked when it came to my parents. I resented her for it, almost wanting her gone, as well, but she still made herself useful by cushioning their attacks.

I was old enough to shut the door in their faces if necessary, but some part of me still wanted their approval, an approval I’d never gained as a child.

Lara opened the tall door, letting us inside the dimly lit room. Scattered candles gave it a muted glow but there was nothing warm about the atmosphere. Rooms like these evoked unpleasant memories, at least if I discounted those moments spent with Chris.

I clenched my fingers around the fragile neck of the Stradivarius. I had to move on. It had been Chris’ choice to leave—even Lara had said so. In my desperation to save him from my parents’ wrath, I had pushed him too far away from me, and now he was gone. Swept away like dust in a harsh wind.

I was the wind, and it pained me. I was poison, destroying everything in my path, something he should have known from the start.

The door shut with a loud bang behind me.

“You know we do this because we love you,” Mother said, her voice laced with forced maternal care. She excelled at the act, but I knew better. It had taken years to understand that she only said these things to pull the strings even tighter around me, and when Chris had opened my eyes to real love, I had finally thought that I could break free. But he’d left and she remained.

“You don’t do it because you love me,” I replied, strengthened by Chris even if he wasn’t around. It came out of nowhere, pushed forward with rush of adrenaline.

“What did you say?” Her tone screeched and bellowed at my conscience.

I turned toward her, meeting her harsh glare. “I said that you don’t do it because you love me.”

“How dare you!” She shook with anger, her face pinched into a sneer. The carefully crafted mask of makeup cracked at the edges and she raised her arm as if to slap me. She had done it before. Many times. Red marks left by harsh fingers, bruises around my wrists where she’d held me. Years of living in fear of unjust discipline.

Breathing deep, I straightened my shoulders and stared her down, daring her to take that last step. She lowered her arm, perhaps realizing that in a physical fight she didn’t stand a chance against a grown man. I had never done anything in retaliation, but maybe she understood that this time would be different.

I was sick of her. I was sick of Father. I was sick of them ruining the small scraps of happiness I felt while playing the instrument I loved. It was the same every time—they would point out the mistakes, always saying that I should have played better. However, they’d never been able to take my passion away, no matter how hard they pushed me. It was the only reason I’d managed to keep playing. I had learned to accept their anger and disappointment. I had even learned to expect it, but their disapproval had ultimately taken Chris from me and that was a different story altogether. I should have been stronger. I should have stood my ground to keep Chris by my side when they’d flown all the way to Athens simply to break us apart.

“Be glad that we’ve supported you all these years. You would be nothing without us.” She waved me off, approaching the side table to pour herself a glass of chilled champagne. Even angered, she would only drink one serving—too controlled to loosen up.

Lara gave me the smallest of nods, almost imperceptible to avoid Mother’s detection. She knew how hard this was for me, and more than anyone else, she wished that I would break free from my parents. In many ways I already had. When Lara had taken me in as a fragile thirteen-year-old boy to nurture my talent, my life had changed for the better. But she’d never had the power to protect me completely. My parents were always around in one way or another. Their words echoed across oceans.

I wiped off my instrument, handling the beauty with the reverence it deserved. It was the only relationship in my life that still worked, but a violin didn’t keep me warm at night. That role had been given to endless girls, but the vicious cycle of dead affection had dragged me down even further. I hadn’t noticed until Chris had entered my life and changed everything.

The reflection of a candle flame glimmered on the dark screen of my phone which stared at me from the table as if urging me to pick it up. I wanted nothing more than to call him, but it had been weeks and the more time that passed, the harder it became.

The first time I’d dared to call, desperate to hear his voice, Mother had entered the room, staring at me while Chris had uttered my name as if he’d been waiting for my call but had feared it at the same time. I hadn’t been able to say anything and her presence had reminded me of why I should just let it be. It was useless to stir up emotions when nothing would come out of it.

The second time I’d called, he’d never picked up.


Reviewed by:


4.5*

Magnetic is a look through Dante's eyes after reading Treacherous Chemistry: Volatile, book 1. 

The first book I said Avylinn's writing is like poetry and it still holds true in this short story. There's just something about Dante. He's broken and trapped and just wants to be loved, but is almost too afraid to reach out. 

The best part of this story is his and Chris's reunion. I recall from book 1 that scene being so vivid. Chris seeing him on stage, the snow falling, Dante coming down the stairs, the kiss. What we don't know is what's going on in Dante's head...and now we do. I was actually very surprised by it. No matter, he always seemed to have such confidence. In this story you get to see Dante's internal struggle, the unease and and insecurity. It makes him feel a little more human to me and it makes this series that much better. 

I loved revisiting these two and coming back to their world, even being a short story, it still broke my heart, only to sew it up again.


Author Bio


Raised in one of the cold corners of the world, Avylinn spends her days either wrapped up in a blanket or basking in the precious sunlight. When she can’t choose herself, she’s holed up in an office working with climate research that has little to do with the worlds and characters she creates in her vivid dreams.



Always the emotional one, she has found her outlet in writing, voicing thoughts, emotions and fears through her characters that feel very much alive to her. And, what began as a hobby soon took more and more time in her life until she realized that she had left her old life behind and entered a new one where her emotions turned into a super power—ready to launch at her poor readers.



She recharges with the help of coffee, cinnamon buns, popcorn and occasionally a healthier alternative.






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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Blog Tour ~ Encore by Ruth Clampett

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Encore, an all-new sexy and emotional M/M love story from Ruth Clampett is coming available now!

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Encore by Ruth Clampett Publication Date: August 17th, 2017 Genre: Contemporary Romance
When shy programmer, Charlie, is dragged to a Hollywood male revue by his co-workers, the last thing he expects is to be pulled onstage. But when he’s approached by Ramon, a dancer whose only focus is to bring him pleasure, something awakens in Charlie that can’t be denied.

Heated attraction only goes so far when one man dreams of true love and a life finally fulfilled, and the other is still grieving the one he lost, and the mistake that cost him everything.

Can a realist and a dreamer from two different worlds move forward and build a future together, or will their painful pasts keep them from fulfilling their destiny?

Excerpt:

There’s another round of cat-calls from the pent up audience when the dancers step to the front of the stage and dance provocatively to amp up the viewers. Suddenly they split apart again and move toward us.
My mind is momentarily jumbled, and when the images sort themselves I realize that instead of the woman, the male dancer is approaching me. I can’t help but stare at his incredible body as my gaze slowly works it’s way up from his muscular thighs, to his abs, built chest and shoulders and when I get to his face I realize I’m blinking repeatedly.
The confusion that must be evident in my expression apparently is amusing, because he nods at me before leaning in closer and I feel a flush from his hot breath against my ear. “Hey, Prince Charlie … ready to have some fun?”
I can feel my eyes bug out and a lump form in my throat. It is him. “Ramon?” I ask in a strangled voice.
“The one and only,” he answers with a wink. “I thought you could use a little loosening up.” He widens his legs and steps closer, straddling me and running his fingers through my hair while he slowly rotates his hips.
“You’re gay?” I ask, my mouth gaping open.
His bold laugh makes my cheeks feel hot. “Oh, baby,” he whispers. “You’re so damn cute. Ask me again when I’m done with you.” He gives me a sexy smile and then slowly rocks his hips forward making me want to rip his briefs off.
“Oh God, oh God, oh God.” I whisper, feeling like my face is on fire.
He backs away again to dance around me, brushing his hand over my shoulders and down my thighs while he moves. Every sweep of his touch excites me until I’m sizzling like a lit fuse.
I’ve never seen anyone other than on music videos who could dance with such a natural rhythm and sexual vibe. He turns toward the audience partway through the dance and then bends forward so his ass is presented to me and I’m in agony not to touch it. He has the most perfect gorgeous ass I’ve ever seen. I get harder thinking about what it would be like in this moment if we were alone, and he wasn’t wearing the tiny briefs. Oh God. I think with a sigh.
I’m trying to hide as best I can how turned-on I am. Has there ever been more proof that it’s not a woman that I want in my bed, but a man like Ramon?
I’m having trouble catching my breath when he straightens and swivels, then straddles my legs as he thrusts his hips bringing his bulge tauntingly close to my face.
Shifting back until he’s almost sitting on my knees, he slowly drags his way up my thighs until his ass is against my crotch and he sinks down firmly enough to know I’m painfully hard for him.
The edges of his mouth turn up with delight. “Damn, Charlie,” he says. “You feel so fucking good.”

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About the Author:

Ruth Clampett, daughter of legendary animation director Bob Clampett, grew up surrounded by artists and animators. A graduate of Art Center College of Design, she has been VP of Design for Warner Brothers Studio Stores and taught photography at UCLA. Today she runs her own studio and as the Fine Art publisher for Warner Brothers Studios has come to know and work with some of the world’s greatest artists in the fields of animation and comics. Ruth lives and works in Los Angeles, strictly supervised by her teenage daughter, who helps plan their summer around their yearly pilgrimage to the San Diego Comic Con.

Ruth Clampett


Connect with Ruth:

Twitter: @RuthyWrites
Stay up to date with Ruth by signing up for her mailing list:

Release Day Blitz & Giveaway ~ The Highlander by Kasia Bacon

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Book Title: The Highlander (The Order series #2)
Author: Kasia Bacon
Cover Artist: Marek Frankowski
Release Date: August 31 2017
Genre/s: Fantasy/Paranormal M/M Romance
Length: Words: 16K No. of Pages: 65

Buy Links

Available on Amazon and KU. Amazon US Amazon UK

Goodreads Link

Blurb


I, Lochan of the famed Féyes clan, know all about fighting.

As a half-breed Elf, I have struggled against prejudice and feelings of inadequacy.

A recluse by nature, I have battled my aversion to touch and interaction with others.

To become an assassin of The Order, I have learnt to overcome the limitations of my mind and body.

But denying the power Ervyn Morryés holds over me might be the one fight I lose. The truth is—damn it all—the relentless Highlander brings me to my knees.

Note: This novelette is the second in the Order Series and not a standalone installment. Reading The Mutt is crucial for its full enjoyment.


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Excerpt


I knew my insomnia worried him. Elven Army regulations regarded bedtime as a serious matter. A soldier's body—well-honed, fed and rested—served as their primary weapon. A tired soldier made errors. And errors claimed lives.
To escape further scrutiny, I backed towards my cot and hopped under the blankets.
Of course, Ervyn took it as an invitation. Not that he ever acted as if he needed one. He shrugged out of his heavy leather jerkin and pulled off his boots.       
“Come now.” In the near darkness, I heard a smile in his voice. “Let me tuck you into bed, mu'hrōnye.”
He’d fallen into the habit of calling me that. I asked the meaning of it once, but he simply laughed and distracted me by biting on the shell of my ear.
Ghor still hadn’t stirred. For once, I didn’t mind his snoring.
The narrow cot made for a tight fit for Ervyn and me.       
Something else felt tight, besides. The crotch of my trousers.       
Ervyn’s hand immediately rose to brush my cheek and jaw line. “I missed you,” he murmured.       
My pulse jumped a notch.       
He tended to say things like that, nonchalant, as if betraying one’s thoughts cost nothing. His impulsivity meant he rarely bothered to conceal his wants and intentions. Such a barefaced approach shocked the hell out of me, although I partly admired, partly envied his readiness to show emotion.     
My eyes slid closed at the warm, rough feel of his thickened fingertips: the draw hand of the archer. Somehow this heightened my pleasure. The smell of pine needles, leather and horses hit my nostrils.
His thumb skimmed my bottom lip.
I moaned, already so aroused I could kill with my hard-on. Which, in fairness, would be a handy skill to have for an assassin.

Mountain Forest Covered By Fog

Reviewed by:


4.5*

The only downfall to this book is that it's too short!! :D

A follow up to The Mutt, which is told in Ervyn's POV about meeting Lochan Féyés
Lochan is a half breed, half human/half elf,  assassin and part of the Queens Guard. Ervyn feels a strong pull to Lochlan and decides to just go for it, inserting himself into the reclusive Lochlan's life. 

Ervyn decides to try out for the Assassin's Guild Archer, but he doesn't tell Lochan his plans which will make for an interesting twist in The Highlander...

The Highlander is told in Lochan's POV and it is months after The Mutt ends.
Ervyn, this conundrum of an Elven warrior. So fair-haired for a Northerner. The story of his mom and dad is one of intrigue. 

Lochan is having trouble with his feelings for Ervyn. Still unaware of Ervyn's secret plan, Lochlan knows he will be taken away on a secret assignment for 5 years and decides that distancing himself from Ervyn is his best bet. Although it makes him feel like a coward, he feels he best let Ervyn to his assumptions. It will make saying goodbye easier. 

Lochlan just needs to wait for the tournament to end so he can take the winning Archer and go. While he is waiting, he gets asked to go hunting for the cooks. Lochlan almost misses the Archer trials, thankfully he doesn't, or he and Ervyn would have missed an epic opportunity. 

All I can say as that these two books, though short, are fantastically written and I can not WAIT for The Elven Vice. We'll get caught up in an Elven world. So many territories, so many races of elves, I simply need this next book!




Meet the Author

Kasia Bacon Pic Bio

A linguist and an avid reader with a particular fondness for fantasy and paranormal genres, KASIA BACON lives in London with her husband. When not tearing her hair out over a translating project, she writes stories about the shenanigans of emotionally constipated assassins and sexy Elves.

Otherwise, she can be found shaking her loins at a Zumba class, binging on anime or admiring throwing knives on Pinterest. She has a mild coffee and lemon tart addiction. A lover of MMA and Muay Thai, she also enjoys nature and the great outdoors. She dreams of becoming independently wealthy, leaving the city and moving into her wooden mini-manor—located in the heart of stunning forests resembling those of the Elven Country depicted in her tales.

Social Media Links



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Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway to win an ebook from Kasia Bacon’s backlist, including The Highlander.

Release Blitz Schedule

Highlander SCHEDULE






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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Virtual Blog Tour, Spotlight, & Giveaway - The Glamour Thieves by Don Allmon


Howdy y'all. I'm Don Allmon and I got a debut book name of The Glamour Thieves. It’s the first of a three book series called The Blue Unicorn. It's a grim kind of fantasy, a cybernetic near-dystopia, a rough-edged romance with few promises except for the ones that matter. Ain't nothin' worth earnin' that wasn't hard won. Join in on the comments and win yourself some loot.


About The Glamour Thieves

JT is an orc on the way up. He’s got his own boutique robotics shop, high-end clientele, and deep-pocketed investors. He’s even mentoring an orc teen who reminds him a bit too much of himself back in the day.

Then Austin shows up, and the elf’s got the same hard body and silver tongue as he did two years ago when they used to be friends and might have been more. He’s also got a stolen car to bribe JT to saying yes to one last scheme: stealing the virtual intelligence called Blue Unicorn.

Soon JT’s up to his tusks in trouble, and it ain’t just zombies and Chinese triads threatening to tear his new life apart. Austin wants a second chance with JT—this time as more than just a friend—and even the Blue Unicorn is trying to play matchmaker.

Available now from Riptide Publishing. http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/the-glamour-thieves


Reviewed by: 

This is Don's debut novel and I think he did a might fine job and I am excited to see him grow more as an author. 

This is like World of Warcraft characters come to life in some sort of dystopian new age society. 

What I like most about this story was JTs "implants". He could connect mentally with all his toys. By toys I mean cars, drones, cameras,etc.. He controlled them with his mind, but if he really wanted to, he could also feel what they felt. Like the wind blowing across the surface, etc... 
That last scene was kind of ludacris,  but I loved it anyways. 

What I wasn't to thrilled about with this story was JT and Austin's "relationship". It confused me. Were they in love, were they not? What is happening now? Is Austin a liar? Am I the only one who feels awkward when Buzz is around?

Even by the end of the story I still feel kind of unsure about these two. Will there be more in the next book? I hope so.

Let's give a little shout-out to  JTs apprentice, Dante. I'm excited for her story. She seems like she's going to be pretty badass...and I'm wondering what the ghost will lead her to. 



About Don Allmon

In his night job, Don Allmon writes science fiction, fantasy, and romance. In his day job, he’s an IT drone. He holds a master of arts in English literature from the University of Kansas and wrote his thesis on the influence of royal hunting culture on medieval werewolf stories. He’s a fan of role-playing games, both video and tabletop. He has lived all over from New York to San Francisco, but currently lives on the prairies of Kansas with many animals.

Connect with Don:
     Website: www.donallmon.com
     Twitter: @dallmon
     Pinterest


Giveaway


To celebrate the release of The Glamour Thieves, one lucky winner will receive a $20 Riptide gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 2, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info! 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Virtual Blog Tour & #GIVEAWAY ~ Midlife Crisis by Audra North


About Midlife Crisis

Cam McGhee grew up like any other small-town Texas farm boy: he played football, went to church every Sunday, and married his high school sweetheart. But thirty-five years after he said "I do," Cam finds himself nursing a beer in a gay bar, thinking about what might have been.

Dave Montoya is confident, self-assured, and cautiously single. But when he meets shy, uncertain, and clearly-still-not-out Cam in a coffee shop in Austin, his reservations about getting seriously involved again disappear. Cam is everything he’s looking for in a partner . . . almost, anyway.

No matter how much Dave wants him, and how good they are together, Cam can't bring himself to openly embrace the life he was meant to live. After all, when his secret finally gets out, he faces the very real possibility of losing everything that kept him going for the first fifty years of his life, just like he’s feared for so long. But with a little faith—and a lot of love—his dream of living fully, truly, as himself might finally be within reach.

Available now from Riptide Publishing. http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/midlife-crisis




About Audra North

Audra North is a contemporary romance author of more than twenty romances, including the Stanton Family series, the Hard Driving series, and the Pushing the Boundaries series. She is the owner and publisher of Pink Kayak Press, which focuses on the publication of diverse romance works. Winter Rain, a Pink Kayak Press anthology, won a gold medal in the 2015 Independent Publisher Awards.

Audra enjoys speaking to writing groups and at industry conferences. She is also an avid jogger and loves running marathons. She has three children and lives with her family outside of Boston.

For more about Audra, and to sign up for her newsletter, visit audranorth.com.

Connect with Audra:
     Website: audranorth.com
     Twitter: @AudraNorth
     Facebook


Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Midlife Crisis, one lucky winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 2, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!



Friday, August 25, 2017

Release Day Blitz & Giveaway ~ Without a Compass by Helen Juliet

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Book Title: Without a Compass
Author: Helen Juliet
Publisher: Self Published
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Release Date: August 24 2017
Length: Words: 80K
Genre/s: Contemporary Romance, New Adult,
Fish Out of Water, Gay For You, First Time Gay, Opposites Attract

Blurb

Riley Anderson isn't an outdoorsy guy. He's a desk jockey, office by day and couch by night. So when his family insists on a camping trip for his father's 50th birthday he's hardly thrilled. Things only get worse when Kai shows up, too.
Kai Brandt's more than eager to go camping with his best buddy, but his buddy's little brother Riley is all grown up now, and hotter than hell. Kai's willing to help him pitch more than just a tent… Which is weird, because Kai never swung that way before.
Events conspire to out Riley's secret AND leave him stranded in Kai's care for longer than they'd planned for. Trapped together in the wilderness, they're going to have to face a few hard truths if they're going to make it back to the world.
But even if they manage it, the experience will leave them forever changed.
Without a Compass is a steamy, standalone gay romance novel with a HEA and no cliffhanger.

Without A Compass

Excerpt

He’d only just managed to get his boxers on in time when the outer door swung inwards and let in a burst of light. For a moment he couldn’t see and he threw his hand up to shield his eyes. “Hello?” he squeaked.
“Oh, hey,” a deep voice replied.
Riley froze as the door swung back and he was left looking at a sweat-soaked Kai. His vest and very short shorts clung to his damp, muscular body. The vision it offered up made Riley gulp.
The tattoos on his arms appeared to gleam under the sheen of sweat from whatever workout he’d just completed. Amongst the varied designs, Riley could make out a bear and a skull surrounded by roses. The colours were muted. His artist had used subtle shades to create tone. The overall effect was powerful but not overwhelming.
Plus, it didn’t hurt that the arms carrying the decoration were huge and chiselled to perfection. Riley had almost died of happiness the couple of times Kai had casually draped one of them across his shoulders the night before.
He remembered where he was. He needed to do or say something before the moment stretched out any further and became weird.
His natural instinct was to snatch his towel up and cover his body. That would definitely make things awkward though. So Riley used all his self-control to merely pick it up as casually as he could and started drying off his hair. Just like you’re at the gym, he told himself.
“Morning,” he said brightly. “You go for a run too?”
Kai blinked a couple of times. It was obvious he was looking at Riley’s almost totally naked body and Riley tried his best not to shy away in shame. No, he wasn’t nearly as ripped as Kai was, but he knew he didn’t look too bad. This was probably awkward for Kai too, especially after last night. But if they could just move past it, it would be fine.
As if coming out of a daze, Kai shook his head and walked forward. His towel was slung over his shoulder and he had a simple all-in-one shower-gel-and-shampoo bottle clutched in his hand. “Oh yeah mate,” he said cheerfully, answering Riley’s question. “It’s beautiful around here. It would be rude not to go exploring.”
Riley chuckled and thankfully found himself dry enough to pull on his shorts. He felt slightly less vulnerable with that small amount of clothing protecting him.
“I had to sweat out the hangover. How are you feeling?”
He didn’t just mean after the alcohol. But he wondered if Kai would pretend nothing out of the ordinary had happened. He wouldn’t blame him if he did; in fact, it would probably be best for both of them if that’s how they moved forward.
“I’m good,” he said, stopping at the sink next to where Riley’s products were littered. “Can I borrow some of that?”
Riley nodded and offered up his toothpaste. Kai pulled a toothbrush from his back pocket and got to scrubbing.
As Kai was unable to talk for the moment, Riley applied his deodorant in increasingly awkward silence. He should think of something to say, something funny! Something that wasn’t ‘So, do you regret that kiss last night? Because I don’t.’
Instead, he chewed at his lips and began picking up his various tubes and tubs to collect them back into his wash kit.
“Whereabouts did you-”
“How did you-”
They both looked at each other, then laughed. Kai spat out his toothpaste and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “I was just wondering how you slept.”
“Oh, fine thanks, fine.” Riley paused as Kai began peeling off his vest. “Uh, you?”
Kai rubbed his face. He seemed a bit sheepish for some reason. Riley hardly noticed though as he was focusing extremely hard on not staring at his pectorals.

“Yeah, fine,” he grunted. But he offered up a smile that cancelled out whatever had bothered him.

Buy Links


Goodreads Link

Meet the Author

Helen Juliet is an M/M author currently living and working in London. She’s been writing stories since she was young, and got her start publishing fanfiction of sites like Wattpad. Fifteen years and over a million words later, she discovered the world of M/M fiction and found it was just as good as the fanfiction she was reading. She fell head over heels in love with the genre and became determined to try her hand at a book herself. On December 31st, 2016, she rang in the new year by publishing her first original novel, and hasn’t looked back since.

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Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of five copies of A Ballad of Confetti, Cake and Catastrophes with swag. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Release Blitz Schedule

WITHOUT A COMPASS SCHEDULE

August 24

August 25

August 26


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TODAY'S SPOTLIGHT

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