Friday, July 10, 2020

Out on the Serve by Lane Hayes Release Blitz

Roommates to friends to lovers…


I need a roommate fast. Even a temporary one. Beggars can’t be choosers. Going pro after graduation has been intense, and time is precious. Thankfully, Braden seems cool. He’s a little quirky… and very sexy. Of course, I would never get involved with a roommate. That’s a bad idea. Isn’t it?


Moving to Long Beach seems like a no brainer. It’ll be a perfect chance to wind down before grad school and a nice respite from my folks. Plus, my new roommate is a great guy. A little messy, but sweet. Gotta admit, I like him more than I should. And we’re off to a strange start when a mutual friend hooks me up with his ex. Elliot’s the one I want, but going from friends to lovers is a risk. We could end up out on the serve…or we could win it all.

Out on the Serve is a low-angst MM, bisexual awakening story starring two roommates, one neat, one messy, beach volleyball, a lot of sand, and a little summer fun. This story is part of the Out in College series but can be read as a stand-alone.

Book 7
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Ten minutes later, I tied a towel around my waist and opened the bathroom door to release some steam just as Braden opened his bedroom door.

It might have been my imagination or wishful thinking, but I could have sworn he eye-fucked me before he met my gaze.

“Mornin’,” I said in a raspy voice.

“Good morning.”

“How’d you sleep?”

“Pretty good. Are you going to the beach today?” he asked awkwardly.

“Yeah. I’m leaving soon.”

“Hmm. I heard the swell is huge,” he said in a fast, clipped tone.

I crossed my arms and leaned against the doorjamb. “Yeah, I heard that too. There’s some big storm off the coast of Mexico.”


“Want to come with me?”

“To Mexico?”

I barked a laugh. “No, dork. To the beach.”

Braden chuckled. “Believe it or not, I’m going to the theater. Sophie talked me into trying out the assistant gig. Hopefully, it’ll keep me out of trouble.”

And there was the opening I needed. I wasn’t sure how to word it, though. The hint of unease between us told me that I should proceed with caution. We had to be on the same page and willing to try something new and—fuck. My window of opportunity was closing. Braden’s cheeks reddened as he mumbled a good-bye.

I grabbed his wrist before he closed his door, ignoring the spark and sizzle that zipped along my spine. “Hang on… thank you.”

“For what?”

“The cereal.”

“Oh.” He let out a half laugh and yes… his face went a shade pinker. Fuck, that was both cute and hot at the same time. “It was silly.”

“I love silly. I’m a huge fan of all things ridiculous. Ask anyone.”

“I believe you.”

“Good. So… let’s agree that this doesn’t have to be weird. We’re grown adults. Well, you are anyway. We can call it a celebratory kiss if you want and move on. What d’ya say?”

“Yes, okay. I’m—I’m sorry about”—he circled his wrist meaningfully—“everything. I overreacted.”

“You mean the part when you yelled at me for getting sand on the floor? I forgive you.”

“No, I was serious about that part.”

“I know. But don’t worry about the other thing. Boners happen.”

Braden sputtered. “I did not have a boner.”

“Liar. We both did. Might have been your mom’s fudge,” I teased.

“You think my mother’s homemade fudge gave you a hard-on,” he repeated incredulously.

“Dude, chocolate totally gives me wood. Or maybe she added a chemical substance that made us too relaxed.”

“Like what?”

“I don’t know… weed?”

Braden snickered. “Unlikely. My mom is very proper. I don’t think she even knows what weed looks like.”

“Hmm. You seem kind of proper too. Do you take after her?”

“Maybe, but I know what weed looks like,” he assured me. “My roommate in the dorms my freshman year was very fond of the stuff. We didn’t get along at all. He was a total—”

“Slob?” I supplied, quirking my brows.

“Yeah.” He shrugged carelessly. “I was probably overbearing, but in my defense, I come from a super rigid household. I’m an only child, and I was sick a lot when I was little. I had colic and sensitivity issues. I’d break out in rashes if I was in the sun for five minutes or if I ate citrus. My asthma was off the charts. I had a nebulizer at home, and I carried inhalers everywhere I went.”

“That’s a lot of information,” I said with a laugh.

He winced, then sucked in a deep breath. “Sorry. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. My geek is showing.”

“Ha. Nothing wrong with that. You like me, eh?”

Braden chuckled. Like I’d hoped he would. “What makes you think that?”

“You kissed me. Twice. We might as well get married and pick out His and His towels. Thoughts?”

“Great idea. Just don’t tell my mom. She’d have a heart attack. She was already worried I’d moved in with you because you were my…”

“Boyfriend,” I supplied.

“Yeah, except she has a hard time saying that word, so it comes out in a strained whisper like… boyfriend.” Braden modulated his voice to sound like a scared woman. He grinned when I busted up laughing, and I could have sworn a ray of sunshine burst through the wall of our apartment.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Out on the Serve is the seventh installment in the Out in College series. It can easily be read as a standalone title, with little to no confusion. However, readers met Elliot in a previous installment.

After years of rooming together, Elliot's roommate is ready to move on, and she was nice enough to find him a new roomie, keeping the fellow a suspenseful surprise. No longer in college, ready to embark on a professional career...

The novel starts out smooth and easy, quick to hook me. Elliot is fretting over his roommate situation, only to have a blip from his past breeze back into his life. Braden, a member of an opposing volleyball team, when Elliot wasn't the nicest when focused on the win – they were always curious of the other.

I'm a sucker for all the tropes that sprung up within the novel. Elliot and Braden were past rivals, unexpected roommates, a slow-burn friendship that evolves into a sexual relationship turned romance.

Complete opposites in all ways, except for their love of volleyball – the attraction magnetic. The guys slowly meander on their way toward one another, with plenty of laughs and warm and fuzzy emotions. I got more than a chuckle or two out of the chaos created by a messy Elliot driving an OCD Braden up a wall. Elliot needs to be more serious, and Braden needs to relax, their personalities balancing out each other's flaws.

A lovely book to escape into for a hot afternoon, or a steamy evening (it was 95 in the shade today, but the book also made this lady blush).

Highly recommend to fans of MM Romance, especially those who enjoyed the previous installments by Lane Hayes.

4.5 stars of sizzling summer awakening

This is the seventh book of the series, and I think it may be my favourite! It can be read as a standalone, although there are characters in the book who we have met before, including Elliot.

Maybe it is because the guys have finally finished college, the sun is out and Elliot is playing volleyball professionally, and currently on the beach... but this is a lovely light story, with little angst and lots of happy, fun, and very sexy times. It also is rounded out perfectly by the development of a romance that we are shipping from the beginning.

Braden is indulging himself in a summer of freedom before starting his postgraduate studies. He auditions for a play and is found digs by his friend, Sophie. Turns out these are with Elliot – a man that he met across the volleyball court and had a definite attraction to last year. That said, when he discovers just what a messy flatmate Elliot is, Braden wonders, if only briefly, if that will cure his interest. Not to be, but such fun seeing the two of them skirt around each other, and Braden deal with the mess which is both driving him to distraction and forcing him to mellow at the same time.

There is a lot to this story, which comes through the interactions of the guys and their friends. It is cleverly written, so we experience it with them, and get blindsided and (let's be honest) turned on as the friendship veers into sexual partners, and eventually they admit that lust has turned to love. Makes for very enjoyable reading – ideally with a chilled drink to hand!

Both the mums play important roles in this story, which I think worked so well. Elliot's was so open and overly involved, and Braden's mum was so upset and unkind, until she finally got how her son really felt, then was prepared to open her mind and her heart – beautifully written scene.

Thank you, Lane Hayes, for a lovely summer read!

Also Available in the Out in College Series
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Lane Hayes loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and were winners in the 2016, 2017, and 2018-2019 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in a newly empty nest.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Out on the Serve (Out in College #7) by Lane Hayes to read and review for this tour.

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