Saturday, September 23, 2017

Book Spotlight on United in Love, a Charity Anthology Edited by Lucy Felthouse


With all the adversities befalling others worldwide right now, it’s important to do a little good in support of others.  Keep reading to get a tempting glimpse of United in Love with its nine stories of second chances and unexpected couplings from some of today’s favorite authors.  With all the proceeds going to the British Red Cross’s UK Solidarity Fund, make sure to add this delightful collection to your bookshelf too!

The world could use a lot more love, which is why being united in love is the theme of this short story collection. Each of the characters are dealing with horrific and heartbreaking situations—loss, grief, war, divorce, dementia, disputes over land and more, but what they all have in common is that, with the help of love, of unity, they come through. It may not be all happily-ever-after—since life just doesn’t work that way—but positivity and solidarity shine through in each of the tales and will warm your heart.
So enjoy these stories of unexpected companionship, old lovers reuniting, second chances and creative problem-solving, with the knowledge that the proceeds from your purchase will also have a deeply positive effect—with every penny going to the British Red Cross’s UK Solidarity Fund.
Featuring stories from Gina Wynn, Lily Harlem, Rebecca Chase, Rosie Jamieson, Skye MacKinnon, M H Heyer, Alyssa Drake, Arizona Tape and Lucy Felthouse.

EXCERPT FROM WHAT’S PAST IS PRESENT BY GINA WYNN...

Connie always believed she’d know it was summer when the rain got warmer. And that meant summer was today.
She ran along the pavement, trying to dodge the drops as they fell in big splats on her bare arms like sloppy kisses, hunching as she attempted to shield the package of fish and chips she carried. The aroma of the hot food and warm paper tickled her nose, and she could almost taste the contents. Declan would be lucky if she arrived back with anything more than soggy, empty wrappings at this rate.
Picking up her pace as the smell of rain-splashed tarmac filled the air, she hurried the rest of the way back to the house. His house. She shook her head. It would take a while to see the house as anything but Mr Pearce’s place—an adjustment it felt like she’d only just made. Now, it was Dec’s. Just Dec’s. In her head, it’d only just stopped being his place where he lived with his dad. Glancing at the windows in hopes of glimpsing him inside as she walked past had been a habit for a very long time.
When her doorbell had rung the previous night, she hadn’t expected to find a very crumpled, travel-weary Dec in the dingy entryway to her bedsit. In fact, he was probably the last person she hoped to ever find gracing the stoop of what she not-quite-laughingly referred to as her hovel.
She’d barely had chance to move, or slam the door in his definitely unwelcome face, before he wrapped his arms around her, folding her into a perfect bear hug of long-ago familiarity. Caught off-guard and unprepared to see him, she rested her cheek against the soft brushed cotton of his shirt, listening to his heartbeat, as his fingers splayed over her cheek, and she pretended not to notice the rough gasps of air he drew or the silent tears landing in her hair. Her chest hollowed, her heart breaking both for him and over him anew, and a lone teardrop of her own slid noiselessly down her nose.
Of course, she’d promised to help him today because she could never deny him anything, even though she’d spent the past five years regretting him. Getting over him. The bastard. She’d never stopped loving him.
Five years had crept by in a lazy blink of his beautiful brown eyes. And now, in the place where she’d spent so many of her stolen days and illicit nights, she could almost imagine the clocks had rolled back and he’d never left. She’d certainly wished for it enough times.
Short of pressing the doorbell with her nose she had no way to attract his attention, so she pushed on the door handle with her elbow and shouldered her way through the unlocked door into the narrow hall. The same worn carpet, lending a musty smell to the house these days, ran straight ahead to the kitchen and up the stairs. She walked towards the kitchen, ignoring the grime of a house where the owner hadn’t cared as much for the fabric of the building over the years as he did the family members within it. Framed portraits and holiday snapshots of Dec and his dad lined the walls, but she brushed past each of them. She could describe the position and content of each—perhaps accurately pinpoint the date of a few if she appeared on Mastermind with ‘The early life of Declan Pearce’ as her specialist subject.
But as she turned to push through the door into the next room, she caught sight of some new pictures and swallowed down a mixture of envy and bitterness at the juxtaposition of Declan’s life before and after—the part where he’d moved on without her. Even after Dec left, his dad must have continued to hang pictures of him because there he was, framed with as much care as anything that gone before.
Dec in an office of black leather and gleaming chrome—a vista of New York spread like a map through the huge picture window behind him; Dec beside an aeroplane bearing his name—sunglasses on, wide grin in place, and a suit that must have been expensive but one he wore without effort and made it look good.
Dec behind a podium.
Dec in an apartment so swish she’d have believed someone had Photoshopped him into it if she didn’t know better.
Dec… Dec… Dec. Just him.
Her gaze skimmed the remainder of the newest frames, and her thoughts stalled. She leant closer. No. They weren’t photographs. They were pictures that had been cut with great care from glossy magazines and newspaper articles, as if someone was reduced to simply scrapbooking a loved one’s life rather than being part of it.
Regret flashed through her. It didn’t show the future—the life together— she and Dec had planned in all those late nights that somehow turned into seeing the dawn. If she was honest, it didn’t show any sort of life she’d ever imagined for anyone she knew, let alone someone she loved. And especially not for Dec. She’d always believed they were the same type of person. But maybe not now she could see his life through someone else’s eyes.
She shrugged, trying to throw off her sudden melancholy. The fish and chips wouldn’t eat themselves.


FIND AT GOODREADS here.

BUY LINKS:  AMAZON (UNIVERSAL LINKS)  |  BN  |  iBOOKS  |  KOBO  |  SMASHWORDS

Friday, September 22, 2017

Book Cover Reveal for Miss Fix It by Emma Hart

A woman breaking stereotypes finds herself breaking the rules when it comes to her heart and the sexy single dad raising twins.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Miss Fix It by Emma Hart, with its sweet and sexy storyline, then count down the days until this book releases on October 31st!

One handywoman.
One single dad.
One set of twins.
And the wall isn’t the only thing being drilled...
I learned the hard way that being a handywoman isn’t easy. The questions, the stares—the assumption I’m the proud owner of a cock and balls. Not that it matters. I’ve proven over and over that I’m ready for anything the judgmental asses throw at me.
Except the hot, single dad of twins who just moved to town.
Brantley Cooper gets the shock of his life when I show up on his doorstep to fix up his kids’ new rooms. His son is confused why ‘the pretty lady has a drill,’ and his daughter has a new obsession—me.
On paper, my job is easy. Go in, do their bedrooms, and leave.
In theory, I’m spending eight hours a day with a guarded, sexy as hell guy, and I’m staying for dinner more often than I’m eating it alone, on my couch, with Friends re-runs.
I shouldn’t be staying for dinner. I shouldn’t be helping him out with the twins. I shouldn’t be falling in love with tiny toes and dimpled cheeks.
And I most definitely should not be kissing my client.
Oops…


FIND AT GOODREADS here.

PRE-ORDER LINKS:  AMAZON (US)  |  AMAZON (UK)  |  AMAZON (AU)  |  AMAZON (CA)  |  iBOOKS  |  BN  |  KOBO

AUTHOR INFO:

By day, New York Times and USA Today bestselling New Adult author Emma Hart dons a cape and calls herself Super Mum to two beautiful little monsters. By night, she drops the cape, pours a glass of whatever she fancies—usually wine—and writes books.
Emma is working on Top Secret projects she will share with her followers and fans at every available opportunity. Naturally, all Top Secret projects involve a dashingly hot guy who likes to forget to wear a shirt, a sprinkling (or several) of hold-onto-your-panties hot scenes, and a whole lotta love.
She likes to be busy—unless busy involves doing the dishes, but that seems to be when all the ideas come to life.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Book Tour for March Wind by Mari Carr (REVIEW)

Readers will be put through the wringer with this epic love story between a woman living on borrowed time and the man supporting her every step of the way.  It's a romance of highs and lows , sweet and sexy, with memorable characters.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of March Wind by Mari Carr, along with my impressions of it, then make sure to add this third installment in the Wilder Irish series to your bookshelf!

Even if I’d known I would lose Sunday McCormick Collins so early, I would have married that beautiful woman. What we shared is all I’ve ever wanted for my children and my grandchildren. Love isn’t about the happy ending. It’s about the happiness found each and every day you’re together. – Patrick “Pop” Collins
Padraig Collins loves his bartending job at Pat’s Pub, the Baltimore hangout owned by his equally beloved family. He’s young, carefree, filled with starry-eyed hopes and dreams for his future…which are irrevocably thrown off course when patron Mia Curtis comes into the bar, visibly upset. When she leaves in tears, Padraig follows. He hopes to give the young woman comfort and assurance. What he gets in return is a massive dose of reality.
Mia has a ticking time bomb in her head, an inoperable tumor, with a diagnosis of only six months to live. As Padraig lets her cry on his shoulder, listens to her heartbreakingly detail the things she’ll never get to experience, he’s forced to face some hard facts about the way he’s lived his own life up to this point. Meandering through each day as if youth means immortality, and he has all the time in the world.
An evening of soul-searching leads to a life-changing decision—Padraig will help Mia accomplish everything on her bucket list. He won’t let her die with a single regret. But that goal transforms into something far deeper when Padraig falls in love with the courageous woman. His once endless future shrinks to months instead of years, accompanied by a crushing sense of desperation.
Until they realize life isn’t measured in time. It’s measured in moments...
This story will hopefully widen your definition of a traditional happy-ever-after. Not all of us get the luxury of a lifetime…but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a lifetime’s worth of love in the time we’re given.

EXCERPT:

Padraig came home from the bar. It was well after midnight, but he wasn’t surprised to find Mia sitting in the dark on the couch.
She had taken up residence there right after the visit to see Dr. Richards, and she’d remained there for three days. No amount of cajoling from him, his mom, Kelli, Colm or Pop Pop could budge her.
Mia had gone to a very dark place in her head, and Padraig was starting to fear she’d never come back out again.
“You’re up late,” he said, trying to adopt a casual tone, trying to drag them back to something tolerable. Seeing her like this, quiet, numb, defeated, killed him. Every morning, he woke up and died a little more inside.
He wanted to rage, to scream at her, tell her to snap the fuck out of it, but he couldn’t. Jesus. He wouldn’t.
She was dying.
Padraig had put himself in her shoes countless times over the past two months, and every single time he found himself exactly where she was right now.
Broken. Hopeless. Alone.
He could stay with her 24/7, surround her constantly with his family and friends, and Mia was still going to be alone.
His physical presence, his love, his desire to hold on to her wouldn’t change that. Mia was on a journey that he simply couldn’t take with her. He might drive her to the train station, but that was it. He’d go back home, and she’d go...
Mia seemed to have run out of tears, but Padraig hadn’t. He felt his eyes filling up. He used to pride himself on his strength, his ability to control pain.
Turned out he just hadn’t felt true pain. Until now.
“Want to go to bed?” he asked, unable to hide the huskiness in his voice that betrayed his sadness.
She shook her head but didn’t reply. The past few nights, Padraig had left her alone, let her sleep on the couch, thinking he was respecting her privacy.
He couldn’t walk away from her again.
Dropping down to the couch next to her, he blew out a long breath. “How about a bedtime story?"
She looked at him—really looked at him—for the first time in days, and he latched onto that response as hope.
She didn’t give him a yes or no, but he forged on anyway.
“My Pop Pop always used to tell me this one about St. Patrick. I was named after my grandfather, but he was named after the saint."
Padraig hadn’t thought about the story in years.
“Once upon a time, there was a man named Patrick, and he lived in this magical place called Ireland."
The corners of Mia’s lips tilted upwards at his dramatic fairy-tale voice. “I’m pretty sure Ireland is just a country. No magic."
Padraig pretended to be horrified. “I beg to differ. Ireland is the most magical place in the world—full of fairies and unicorns and leprechauns."
“I stand corrected. Sounds like a wonderful place. Maybe I should move there. I could use a little magic.”

FIND AT GOODREADS here.

BUY LINKS:  AMAZON  |  BN  |  KOBO  |  iBOOKS

MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:

Not many authors would write this kind of romance, but that's why it's so powerful and so memorable.  It's not your usual romance, but it still pulls at the heartstrings as it makes its own definition of HEA.  It's a definition that's true-to-life, empowering, and requires a box of tissues.  From the first page to the last Ms. Carr crafted an epic love story, unconventional but no less satisfying despite its outcome, and it's a story I wouldn't have missed for the world.

Padraig Collins has a good life, lots of friends and family, and is content working behind his family's bar.  When it comes to his love life, he's happy to play the field but has yet to find "the one".  Over a few weeks he became an acquaintance of a young woman visiting his bar, but one particular night's revelations changes their lives irrevocably.  From that one moment Padraig finds out what true love really means.  With what little time he has with Mia he embraces life to the fullest, relishing every moment, in gestures both big and small.  Throughout his time with Mia each word and deed endeared him to me.  His relationship with her started out as friends, but the more time they spent together the closer their hearts became.  Once they decided to become lovers he was an intriguing dichotomy of gentle and rough in scenes that had had me feeling warm fuzzies as well as making me me blush.  He was everything Mia needed him to be.  He was sweet and supportive, making every one of her wishes come true, and for all that he's another addition to my list of book boyfriends.

Mia was born to an uncaring mother and an absent father.  The only love she ever had came from her grandmother and once she left this earth Mia found that she only had herself to count on.  It's been a solitary existence until she started spending nights at Pat's Pub.  Time there meant being with a family, a group of people who through fate and circumstances became a family to her.  On the day she received the worst news possible she found Padraig's shoulder to cry on and from that moment on they became a formidable force in living life to the fullest.  Each day she overcame the things that used to scare her.  She no longer held off until tomorrow as for her there weren't that many tomorrows left.  Her journey through the stages of dying were realistically depicted, she had good days and bad, and with each high and low I found myself experiencing the same.  In a journey that could've been all about her she made sure to leave behind a legacy that was heartbreaking as well as heartwarming in pushing Padraig to fulfill all his own dreams.  It was an expression of true love and had me clapping my hands, while wiping away my tears.

This was an epic love story, featuring powerful emotions and characters you quickly came to care about.  Mia and Padraig's journey as a couple was unconventional, but no less satisfying.  While living life to the fullest they took time out to smell the roses.  Heartfelt talks, scorching encounters, and quiet moments of introspection were nicely balanced with the reality of Mia's time coming to an end.  Although I kept hoping the outcome would change I still found myself dragged along by the beautifully nuanced storytelling and a couple whose love will never die!

My rating for this is an A+

*I received a copy of this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.

PREVIOUS INSTALLMENTS IN THE WILDER IRISH SERIES...

JANUARY GIRL (BOOK #1)
The wildly popular Wild Irish series by New York Times bestselling author, Mari Carr, is back and hotter than before!
She's sleeping with the enemy...
After a nasty breakup, Caitlyn Wallace is giving her love life an extended break to focus on her career. The hiatus suits her just fine, until she comes face-to-face with a cutthroat businessman who’s used to getting everything he wants. Now he wants Pat’s Pub—and he’s not taking no for an answer. Caitlyn should despise the arrogant man for threatening her beloved family’s business, but there’s something about Lucas’s dominant nature that has the hidden submissive inside her trembling…and in the sexiest way possible.
What should be a run-of-the-mill real estate acquisition goes off the rails quickly when Lucas Whiting meets the beautiful granddaughter of pub owner Patrick Collins. Lucas never mixes business with pleasure, but that rule is broken the moment he meets Cait. One date turns into two, and soon the couple is thrust into a steamy, life-altering affair for which neither is prepared. One that will ultimately force them to choose between family loyalty and love.

FIND AT GOODREADS here.

BUY LINKS:  AMAZON  |  BN  |  KOBO  |  iBOOKS  |  GOOGLE PLAY

FEBRUARY STARS (BOOK #2)
“No show, no contest, nothing. Nothing is more important to me than you."
Ailis Adams couldn’t be more dissimilar from Hunter Maxwell. Quiet to his loud, calm to his frantic, bookish to his street smart…they have no common ground. Except for the fact that Ailis’s boyfriend just ran away with Hunter’s fiancĂ©e. So no one is more surprised than Ailis when a friendship flourishes. Pat’s Pub’s resident wallflower discovers she actually enjoys spending time with the bar’s gregarious, attention-seeking musician.
When Hunter lands a spot in February Stars, his big shot at breaking into the music scene, who better to guide him than his new bestie? She’s a sharp businesswoman who grew up on her famous parents’ tour bus. Ailis isn’t keen to leave her quiet life in Baltimore, but she knows the ins and outs of the biz, and even she grudgingly admits no one will have Hunter’s back better than a friend.
However, with one impulsive kiss, everything changes. Ailis’s friendly feelings toward Hunter turn to serious lust…and more. But falling for a musician isn’t a good idea. Fame comes with a price, one Ailis isn’t sure she’s willing to pay. She’s already left behind a life on the road once before, in favor of planting roots close to her family and their beloved pub. Though, her family will always be there…and four walls can’t love her back...
So is home really a place? Or is it where her heart resides…with her gorgeous bad boy rock star?

FIND AT GOODREADS here.

BUY LINKS:  AMAZON  |  BN  |  KOBO  |  iBOOKS  |  GOOGLE PLAY

GUARDIAN ANGEL (BOOK #2.5)
You met Rory in February Stars. Now read the rest of her story.
Rory Summit should be sitting on top of the world, now that she’s set herself up for super stardom. At the moment her dream comes true, she questions if this is what she really wanted. Life implodes at the unexpected death of her sister, and soon she’s on a plane to Hope Falls to care for her orphaned niece with the help of a man whose heart she broke a year earlier.
Kevin Sanders fell in love with his brother’s new sister-in-law at the wedding. What should have been a one-night stand turned into a casual affair, whenever Rory breezed back into town. There was no denying the two of them were perfect for each other, but for six years they maintained the status quo–neither of them seeking more. That changes when one night…it all goes wrong.
Now they’re forced to put the past behind them for the good of their niece, Angel. Playing house with Rory stirs up those same desires in Kevin, but he’s been down that heartbreak road with her before. And Rory isn’t sure how to convince him that her dreams and her feelings changed the night she made the biggest mistake of her life and walked away from him.

FIND AT GOODREADS here.

BUY AT AMAZON here.

AUTHOR INFO:

Writing a book was number one on Mari Carr’s bucket list and on her thirty-fourth birthday, she set out to see that goal achieved. Too many years later, her computer is jammed full of stories — novels, novellas, short stories and dead-ends and she has nearly eighty published works.
Virginia native, Mari Carr is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestseller of contemporary erotic romance novels. With over one million copies of her books sold, Mari was the winner of the Romance Writers of America’s Passionate Plume award for her novella, Erotic Research.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Book Spotlight on A Vampire's Tale by Maya Tyler

Readers looking for a unique romance will get just that with this paranormal tale of a woman who writes about vampires but doesn't believe in them.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of A Vampire's Tale by Maya Tyler, then add this sensual tale to your bookshelf!

READER'S IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK...

“…I have truly enjoyed reading Corgan and Marisa’s story. I loved all the new twist that the author created for the way vampires live and the magic things they are capable of doing. A Vampire’s Tale puts a whole new twist on vampires. I would recommend A Vampire’s Tale to anyone who loves reading about vampires."
--The Avid Reader

“… A Vampire’s Tale is a unique type of romance. It is essentially a slow burn for most of the story, a deep and progressive tale of love between our intrepid heroine Marisa and the enigmatic vampire Corgan. For me this book was reminiscent of Interview with a Vampire, a tiny smidge of Misery (you’ll get the reference once you read it), a little bit Twilight mixed with a whole lot of originality, romance and drama, with the intimate scenes being softer and more fade to black than vampire books often portray..."
--Emerald Book Reviews

“… This novel is a paranormal romance unlike any other I have read before. I must confess I was a little worried about the writer-vampire relationship. Probably because I thought the romance will be a little cheesy and not too much action or plot development into it, but I am glad I was wrong. The story ended up being a sweet and heartwarming romance mixed with a good enough dose of action and mystery.  This book is quite a specimen because it's worth isn't just in the romance development but in the stories behind our hero and heorine. I highly recommend this novel to those searching for something much fulfilling, interesting and enchanting than your typical romance..."
--Two Girls Book Reviews

A paranormal romance author who doesn’t believe in vampires? An ancient vampire who wants to tell the world his story?
A Vampire’s Tale
What happens when Marisa Clements, writer of vampire stories, non-believer of vampires, meets Corgan Halton, an actual, real “live” vampire? The unexpected, of course. Picture a cascading journey which propels Marisa into a world she never believed in and exposes her to a danger she never imagined existed. Picture an untold tale about the non-Hollywood vampire. Are you ready to uncover the truth?

EXCERPT:

... My heroine Marisa faces two would-be assailants before my hero Corgan valiantly swoops in and saves her...
Lost in thought, the last half of her coffee had grown cold, and she didn’t want more, anyway. The coffee shop was deserted except for the lone attendant. It must be later than she realized. Her stomach churned, and something akin to fear gripped her. She had the strangest notion she had to go home. Now.
Leaving the mug on the table, she walked out of the restaurant without a second glance. Her step quickened as she heard frightening sounds in the darkness. Almost home. She sighed.
Two strange men, with dark hoodies concealing their faces, stepped out of the shadows.
“Where are you off to in such a hurry, pretty lady?"
She ignored the speaker and continued walking.
“Hey, we're talking to you."
The largest man of the duo blocked her path while the other grabbed her by the back of her neck and yanked her into the alley.
Every fiber of her being wanted to flee. “Let go of me,” Marisa demanded.
“Not until we've had some fun."
She tensed and clenched her fists. “Maybe you didn't hear me clearly before, asshole. I said let go!"
The man in front of her pulled out a knife, the metal reflecting in the dim light of the moon.
Heart racing, she struggled against her attacker, trying to kick her way free.
“The lady doesn't want to play tonight, fellas. I suggest you find a new friend."
The man behind her released his grip, and the two thugs inched away from her. “Hey, man. We didn't mean any harm."
Corgan stepped in front of her and waved his hand in the air. “You were never here. You never saw me. If you ever see this lady again, you will run away from her and won't know why. Am I clear?"
They nodded blankly.
“Then go, before I change my mind."
Marisa fell into Corgan’s arms as her would-be assailants dashed down the street. Sobs racked her as she shivered uncontrollably. “You saved me."
“I should've been here sooner.” Holding her tightly, he stroked her hair. “Nothing will ever harm you again."
Surrounded by the safety of his strong arms, she had complete faith in him. She leaned into his embrace and sighed.
“Do you trust me?” he asked.
“Yes."
“Hold on."
He scooped her up in his arms and floated into the air. His black cape swirled around him as they rose higher. Then they soared over the city, high above the buildings.
“Wow. I had no idea.” As he flew through a wet cloud, she snuggled closer. “Don't drop me, okay?"
He chuckled, a deep and throaty sound, as if she amused him. “I'll try not to, little one."
“Well, try hard, mister. I'm too pretty to fall from the sky and smash on the sidewalk."
“Yes, it would be a shame to mar your pretty face."
Returning below the clouds, he lowered them onto a curved, marble balcony. With a wave of his hand, the double French doors swung open. Light from many flickering candles illuminated the room.
“Where are we?"
“My place.”


BUY LINKS:  AMAZON (US)  |  AMAZON (UK)  |  SMASHWORDS  |  iBOOKS  |  KOBO  |  BN


AUTHOR INFO:

Maya Tyler, wife and mother of two boys, writes paranormal romance with a twist. Her debut novella Dream Hunter was released in December 2014. Her second novel A Vampire’s Tale released on March 22, 2017. She’s a romantic and believes in happily-ever-after. Being an author is her lifelong dream. She enjoys reading, music (alternative rock, especially from the 90’s), yoga, movies and TV, and spending her free time writing and blogging at Maya’s Musings.

WEBSITE  |  BLOG  |  TWITTER  |  FACEBOOK  |  FACEBOOK FAN PAGE

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Blurb Blitz for The Promise of Hope Shelter by Sarah Hadley Brook (Review & GIVEAWAY)


Two men try to start their lives over in this m/m-fueled romance that will keep readers fully invested from the first page to the last.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of The Promise of Hope Shelter by Sarah Hadley Brook, along with my impressions of it, then learn even more about this book by visiting the other sites hosting this tour.  In honor of this emotionally intense read make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a $25 bookstore GC too!

Jacob Baumgardner is struggling to get his nonprofit shelter for gay teens up and running. The old building needs a lot of help in order for it to pass inspection. Raised by his grandparents for part of his life, the shelter is his chance to honor them. Unfortunately, someone is making his dream difficult. An anonymous extortionist is determined to ruin his late grandfather’s good name which could mean the end of the shelter.
Luka Smith is fairly new in town and willing to work hard at any job available. He is struggling to find his place in the world after a traumatic event in his teen years pushed him to run. When Jacob hires him to help with repairs at the shelter, Luka falls hard and fast. He wants nothing more than to be part of his world and help him with his dream, if Jacob will let him.
As they work together to ensure The Promise of Hope Shelter gets off the ground, their feelings only grow. But will a calculating blackmailer close the shelter before they even have a chance?

EXCERPT:

Jacob was torn between being embarrassment of being caught in the middle of a panic attack and the safety he felt while wrapped in Luka’s arms. Technically this was the second time this man had rescued him in less than…two…maybe three hours. Okay, the first time was not really rescuing, but he’d still helped him during a bad situation.
He squirmed a little and tried to pull away, but Luka’s strong arms tightened around his waist.
“Give it a few more minutes."
Jacob nodded and slumped back against the wall of muscle behind him. His heartbeat sped up and he realized he could feel Luka’s beating hard into his back. Had Luka been worried about him?
It felt so natural to be in the man’s arms. Jacob hadn’t dated in quite some time, mainly due to his grandparents’ death and trying to start this new shelter, but he also hadn’t met anyone that had piqued his interest. And Luka definitely piqued his interest. Unfortunately, he was pretty sure he hadn’t made the best impression on Luka, although he was just as confident that Luka wouldn’t soon forget meeting him.
“I’m okay,” he whispered.
“Okay,” Luka replied, pulling back. “No quick moves."
Jacob nodded and waited for Luka to stand before he tried to push himself from the floor. His legs felt like jelly, so he was glad when Luka reached down like a lifeline. He grabbed onto the hand and let Luka pull him to a standing position.
They faced each other, Jacob eye level with Luka’s chin. He was too embarrassed to say anything and too wobbly to move, so he concentrated on the cleft in Luka’s chin.
“Jacob?"
Luka’s voice washed over him and brought him warmth. He caught himself before he leaned his forehead into Luka’s perfect golden skin. “Mmm?"
Luka’s thumb gently nudged up his chin until Jacob looked into his eyes. Dark chocolate eyes full of concern. “Are you okay?” Luka whispered, his hot breath caressing Jacob’s flesh. He shivered and nodded.

BUY AT AMAZON here.

MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:

Readers looking for a story that pulls at the heartstrings will get just that with this m/m tale that deals with small town prejudices, issues of teens and coming-out, and an unexpected romance between two people trying to deal with their pasts.  As bits of melodrama balance with an increasingly sensual romance readers will find themselves furiously turning the pages to see what happens next.

Jacob was thrown out the day his father discovered he was gay which left him with only his grandparents to care about him.  With his grandfather's passing he can think of no other way to honor him then by starting a home to help other teens dealing with issues of homosexuality and abandonment.  Unfortunately Jacob's got the town's preacher and the city's housing council breathing down his neck and putting his dream in jeopardy.  Add in being blackmailed over his grandfather's legacy and Jacob's in need of help.  Luckily he gets introduced to Luka who seems to be the answer to his prayers...in more ways than one.  It's love at first sight in a relationship full of teasing moments and scorching encounters that has both of them leaning on the other in moments of great need.  And when everything comes to a head their connection is the only thing that will help them reach their HEA.  Jacob has a kind heart, is a bit shy, but very likable.  He's devoted to the teens in his charge and their pains clearly become his as he frets over everything having to do with the shelter.  He's drawn to Luka immediately but worries keep them moving slowly throughout their evolving relationship which sometimes frustrated me.  Another issue that frustrated me was his handling of the blackmailer.  He easily fell into the trap, despite all the silly evidence sent to him, and I cringed when the story dealt with it.  Ultimately though, and despite these few annoyances, I truly liked Jacob and was rooting for him every step of the way.

Luka's had an unconventional life moving from one place to the next as a member of a gypsy family doing whatever they could to survive.  His father's plans for him, and a tragic event, had him running from home though and he's never looked back.  Because of his past he was leery of making a connection again until the moment he meets Jacob.  Their first moment together is full of sexual tension as well as a moment of solidarity against those in the town seeking to force them out of town.  From there on it's Luka who's the more dominant in their relationship.  He sets the pace, and it's a frustratingly slow pace early on, and takes charge in and out of the bedroom.  There's an air of mystery about him with a past that's intriguing, as is his friendship with another former-gypsy Patrick.  Like Jacob, he's unconditionally supportive and would do anything to see Jacob's dream come true which had me cheering for them from their very first meeting as they're a perfect match.

This was a quick read full of heart and soul as it presented readers with a charming romance while dealing with some very heavy issues.  Those issues were depicted in a manner that sometimes went over the top though and diminished their overall impact.  The blackmail of Jacob also felt a bit silly and became a distraction to the sweet and sensual romance growing between him and Luka and easily could've been omitted.  Despite those small quibbles I still found this an engaging read and am hoping to see more of the men of Hope Shelter as well as the burgeoning romance between Patrick and Garrett just hinted at here.

My rating for this is a B-

*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.

AUTHOR INFO:

Sarah Hadley Brook lives smack-dab in the middle of the Heartland and is the mother of two wonderful young men, as well as two cats. During the day, she works in the non-profit world, but reserves evenings for her hobby-turned-passion of writing, letting the characters she conjures up in her mind take the lead and show her where the story will go. When not working or writing, she can be found reading, working on dollhouses, trying her hand at new recipes, or watching old movies and musicals. In her ideal world, Christmas would come at least twice a year, Rock Hudson and Doris Day would have co-starred in more than three movies, and chocolate would be a daily necessity to live. She dreams of traveling to Scotland some day and visiting the places her ancestors lived. Sarah believes in “Happily Ever After” and strives to ensure her characters find their own happiness in love and life.


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