Friday, December 18, 2020

T.A.G. Family Christmas by A.G. Carothers Release Blitz

T.A.G. Family Christmas by A.G. Carothers Release Blitz. Gay Book Promotions.

Happy Holidays from everyone at T.A.G. Your one-stop shopping source for all your killing needs.

It isn’t all stabbings, poisonings, and shootings here at The Assassins’ Guild. We decided to pause that and take a little time to celebrate being alive, and for some, being in love.

This is your friendly communications agent, Mr. No, here to tell you about the holiday fun Mr. H and his boys got up to this one Christmas.

Once upon a time, there was a Bob. This Bob got tasked with three missions. Not just any old ordinary missions, but missions of love…

Between guarding Connor, being stalked by Enrique, and being his usual sneaky self, Bob must put into motion three big surprises for his chosen family.

But it’s not all snowman contests and catching Mr. Ti in potentially embarrassing situations while they vacation in a chateau outside of Paris. Oh no, something is afoot. Mr. H won’t let the new problem code-named The Poacher interfere with family time.

So, take a little time out of your busy schedule and join us for a T.A.G. Family Christmas the likes of you’ll never forget.

Attention: This story contains adorableness taken to a whole new level. There are adult situations, language, kinky snowmen, and all the churros you can eat.

Author’s Note: The Assassins' Guild Series are enclosed stories, but they are all connected and best read in order.

Don’t miss our reviews of the rest of The Assassins' Guild series!
For book one, T.A.G. You're Seen, click HERE.
For book two, T.A.G. You're Heard, click HERE.

 

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T.A.G. Family Christmas by A.G. Carothers

Book 2.5
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
~  Also Available with KindleUnlimited  ~

 

 

Excerpt



Connor

Paris, France

Sixteen Days till Christmas

Lights twinkled, making the bare trees that lined the Champs Elysée seem full once more in the early evening darkness. This far north, the sun was long set by five. My breath puffed in the chilly air in front of me as I looked down the wide avenue with the Arc de Triumph behind me. The sound of the cars zooming around the large roundabout was dim to my ears as I stood in awe of the sight before me.

Ice glistened on the branches as the smell of—a sharp elbow jabbed my bicep. “Are you going to stand here all evening gaping? I’m freezing my nuts off here, and you promised me lots of mulled wine and fresh churros.”

I side-eyed Yoshi with a huff. “I was imprinting this moment to my memory. Plus, look how pretty it is. Besides, I told you to wear a thicker jacket.”

“Well, if we move, I won’t be so cold, and I didn’t want to look like a marshmallow man.”

“At least I’m warm and fashionable.” I’d worn a poofy teal coat that went to mid-thigh, toasty flannel lined jeans with fleece-lined boots. I topped off my outfit with matching earmuffs that had cat ears on them and a pair of our special cold weather gloves that kept my hands perfectly warm while not losing any dexterity nor the ability to operate any of our touchscreen electronics.

Yoshi pogoed on his toes, and I looked back over to Bob, who shrugged. “Well, at least let me get some photos first.”

“Fuck. It’s cold.” Yoshi blew into his hands.

“Well, I offered you earmuffs, but you scoffed at me. Dmitry told you to at least take a scarf and you scoffed at him. I think you just like suffering and complaining about it.” I took the opportunity to pull my scarf over my nose to try to warm it. The wind by the Arc was a bit too much for my comfort.

Yoshi laughed heartily. “Of course I like suffering.”

“That’s not what you said this morning. You were begging for Dmitry to stop torturing and fuck you,” I quipped.

“Damn thin walls in that place.” Yoshi blushed a little then shrugged it off. “I’m not the only one who’s loud. How tight is your Daddy’s hole? I don’t think I quite heard.”

I grinned wide and licked my lips. “Mmmmm, so tight. He hugs my cock—”

Yoshi shoulder checked me, nearly making me stumble into someone walking in the opposite direction. “And he’s so hot and the way he flexes—” I dodged Yoshi and caught up to Bob, who had taking point. He arched an eyebrow at me as I used him as a shield.

“Brat.”

“You’re just jealous.” I stuck my tongue out at him.

“I do not want to know what Oz’s ass even looks like, much less feels.”

I fell back in step with Yoshi. “Eww, no, of course not, but I meant that you never get to fuck Dmitry.”

Yoshi shrugged. “Eh, it’s not something I need. Sometimes it’d be nice but I’m good.”

We were finally topside again. So many people were out shopping or having dinner. There were many tourists as well, but it was the Champs Elysée, so that was expected. The next day they were going shopping in the fashion district. I wasn’t a clothes whore by any means, but if you’re going to come to Paris, you must at least do some clothes shopping.

“Do you want to stop for a coffee?”

“No, let’s go to Tiffany’s like you want first.”

A nervous excitement bubbled in my gut as we got closer to the store. “Are you sure you don’t want something too?”

“Yeah, I’m sure. We do a lot of things together, but I think we can skip this one.”

“Don’t you want to marry Dmitry?”

“Sure, someday, but it’s not something I really think about. He’s not going anywhere. He promised and he has my key.”

I nodded as I walked through the door that Bob held open to the multilevel shop. “Maybe you can get him like a diamond-encrusted cock ring?”

“Nah, do you know what a pain that would be to clean?”

 

 

Reviews


Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team


Angie☆☆☆☆☆
I love this series and this book was just as great as the first two! Paris at Christmas? Yes, please! I loved everything about this book. I love these guys and all I can say is I need MORE Bob!!! Great holiday read and I can't wait for the next installment.


Ruthie☆☆☆☆
I have just read all three of these books in a row – what a lot of fun. Rather dark books #1 & #2, but this is pure Christmas joy – and as well as a lot of loving, a rather exciting surprise, which will be fun to follow in a future installment.

The T.A.G. top tier go off to a Chateau near Paris for a 'family' Christmas. Both Connor and Yoshi are with their men enjoying the holidays, making grand, if somewhat kinky gestures of love! Bob, Connor's shadow since he saved his life, has an interesting exchange with the Haitian, and reveals more of himself before the story is over. Mostly though, it is a lot of fun in Paris at winter... something most of us could get behind!

Hooked on this series and looking forward to the next one coming out already!

 

 

Author Bio



A.G. CAROTHERS is actually a dragon very cleverly disguised as a human. They are a non-binary author of LGBTQIA Romance and Urban Fantasy, who enjoys writing original and entertaining stories. They are very excited to share the worlds they've created with you.

A.G. currently lives in Tennessee with their platonic life partner, who is not a dragon. They yearn to live back in Europe and will some day. In their spare time they are addicted to losing themselves in the lovely worlds created by other authors.

A.G. is committed to writing the stories they see in their head without restrictions. Love is blind and doesn't see gender, race, or sexuality.

Connect with A.G.

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Facebook Group: Dragon's Hoard  ~  Patreon

 

 

Giveaway


 

I picked up the ball and pressed more snow together. “Be careful. Too much pressure applied will cause the ball to crack.” Enrique’s joyous voice tittered in a way that warmed my blood. “We can’t have cracked balls now. That would put a damper on things. But a little soft squeezing never hurts.”

 

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of T.A.G. Family Christmas (The Assassins' Guild #2.5) by A.G. Carothers to read and review for this tour.

The Call of Fire by Sloane Calder Blog Tour

The Call of Fire by Sloane Calder Available Now.

The only thing more dangerous than their love?
Thinking they might actually survive it...

Elspeth Lennox arranges the Natura world’s most powerful unions every day. But her own love life? That’s way more complicated. Her bloodline (and lack of elemental powers) ensures that she won’t get a fairy tale ending. A mutually beneficial arranged marriage is probably the best she can do. And she’s mostly OK with that… until she meets her inconveniently sexy new bodyguard.

Fire elemental Aleron Foussé will have his revenge. Protecting Elspeth will give him the cover he needs to finally bring down his father’s murderer. Elspeth is just a pawn. He knows that. But knowing doesn’t stop him from wanting. Love, family… things he hasn’t dreamed of in years. Now he wants it all. He wants her. Too bad a union between them is as forbidden as it is ill-timed…

Enemies are circling. The threat of civil war looms large. Only one thing is certain—there’s a lot more at stake than Elspeth and Aleron’s happily ever after. Because when all is said and done, lives will be lost.

They can only hope it’s not theirs...

 

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The Call of Fire by Sloane Calder

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
~  Also Available with KindleUnlimited  ~

 

 

Excerpt



Elspeth came awake slowly. A low voice pushed through the fog in her brain, something about two seconds and going in, followed by clipped replies.

Several knocks sounded, harder than usual.

She tore back the covers.

“One second,” she yelled, struggling to get her bearings.

Light streamed through the windows. She looked to the clock. Noon? Good Goddess, she’d missed two conference calls, but oddly, she didn’t care. She’d call Egan and have him reschedule, if the warlock extraordinaire hadn’t already handled the issue.

She got out of bed, her head a little spinny, her stomach a tad angry. It all came back, blaring like the sunlight through her windows. Rosewater lightning.

Blessed nectar of the universe. With a morning after sucker punch.

Heading for the door, she swiped a hand across her face, caught a whiff of hangover breath, and did her best at finger combing the mass of tangles in her hair. Nothing her guards hadn’t seen before.

Another series of knocks, less patient this time. She thought briefly of the lie she’d spun—and her guards had bought. Well, not bought, but hadn’t been able to prove otherwise. I went to get gum had somehow worked.

And she’d had a fantastic night out with the one person tied with Lach for Most Awesome Person Ever.

More pounding. Goddess, maybe she should take her entire detail to Freddy’s so they could chill the hell out.

She yanked on the handle.

Looked up.

Big. Unknown. Badass.

She flinched before calling on years of never-let-’em-see-you-sweat self-training.

“Can I help you?”

His gaze drew down her, holding at her legs, and he swallowed hard.

“I’m Aleron Foussé, your new guard from Elite One.” His attention shifted to something behind her.

She looked down at her thighs. Her thighs. Crap.

The sweatshirt barely covered her. Her thoughts spiraled, trying to recall last night when she’d undressed and gotten into bed. The previous evening seemed to end right after she’d given her guards the “I went to buy gum” line. She dared not look down again, so she concentrated on detecting what was beneath the sweatshirt. No bra, but yes! A scrap of material had crept into the wedgie zone.

“Ms. Lennox, the clause in your marriage contract calls for increased security. I need to begin my safety checks and go over your new protocol. It would be best if we begin immediately.”

She locked gazes with the rock-wall man in front of her, wondering why her skin felt like static electricity filled the room. None of the four guards in her regular safety rotation, all of whom had been dealt from the deck of badassery, straight-lined her hackles or launched her pulse into orbit.

“It’d be best, Mr. Foussé, if you waited in the hallway until I’m ready.”

Big frown, and a scowl that threatened to singe her.

“Are you not alone?” He leaned to look behind her.

Great Goddess above, she had so little privacy. He could do his job without digging into her personal life.

“That’s none of your business.”

“It’s most definitely my business. Your safety’s my responsibility, even if it includes your own reckless behavior.”

The door smacked the wall, and he barged in, moving past her with speed and stealth a man his size shouldn’t be capable of.

She followed, hell hot on his biker boot heels as he stormed into the living room, stopping at the entrance to her bedroom. “If you’re not powerful enough to sense another Natura, then I question my grandfather’s use of elite in reference to your guarding capabilities.”

He turned, and something flashed in his eyes. If she’d had element energy, she’d know for sure whether it was anger or reluctant admiration at her challenging him. The moment was too brief, and she didn’t want to dwell on her powerlessness.

“There’s not a Natura within five miles of here,” he scoffed. “I’d suspected a human male.”

Judgmental jerk. So sleeping with humans was frowned upon and viewed as a waste of time since they couldn’t recharge Naturas. She couldn’t either so—

“You’re not going to dictate who’s in my bed. If I had a human male tucked away in my room, it’s definitely not your business.”

She looked to the fireplace, swearing she’d heard a crackle, but the logs weren’t lit. Maybe his arrogance had fried the last of her patience.

“Just so we’re clear, any guests have to be approved by me.”

“I’ll let you know who’s stopping by, but they don’t require your approval.” And they never will.

He folded his arms behind him. “If you want to make this difficult, that’s your choice.”

The. Nerve. Of. This. Man.

"You just accused me of having someone in my apartment.” She closed the distance between them, standing just off his boots. “There’s no one here, big boy. Satisfied?”

His gaze locked with hers, challenge ablaze in his eyes. “You need to get dressed so we can get started.”

“Was there a ‘please’ in there somewhere?” She shot him her super-saccharine smile. “I think I missed it.”

He didn’t bite, but he also didn’t budge.

For her part, she wasn’t remotely impressed. Concrete Column Foussé didn’t realize she’d spent her entire life refusing to be intimidated by arrogant Naturas. But she also hadn’t gotten to where she was by being unreasonable.

“I didn’t think anyone would be assigned this fast.” She’d give him that much. “I’ll be ready in ten minutes.”

He moved an inch closer, and she realized her mistake. He intended to take a mile.

“Just so we’re clear, I didn’t think I’d have to worry about a sneaking-out problem. You certainly don’t want the Russians getting wind of it, or you won’t be dealing with just one extra guard.”

Her stomach did an oh-shit dip.

He reached inside his leather jacket and held out a large, shrink-wrapped package of… gum. “I’ll order a case, for both here and the office. That way, you won’t need to go on any more unsanctioned scavenger hunts for vending machines.”

So. Busted.

Sure, she was down, but not out, and he wasn’t going to tarnish one of the best nights out she could remember.

“That won’t be necessary. I’ll just make sure to get your approval before I go on a candy run. Sometimes, I need a little sugar.”

 

 

Reviews


Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team


Erica☆☆☆
3.5 stars

The Call of Fire is the first installment in the Natura Elementals series. However, there are two prequel novellas, The Mistake and The Birthday, that provide all the necessary background information on the magic system and the traumas of both main characters, Aleron and Elspeth.

The Natura contain water, fire, air, and earth, their sole existence to balance Mother Nature and keep the planet safe. Natura either have one or two elements within them. However, there are those who have three, which puts the Natura out of balance. Such as air stoking fire, but if water is introduced it puts the fire out.

The magic system was intriguing, the world building interesting. The Natura were meant to balance the ecosystem. While I found that an interesting premise, I didn't think that occurred on the pages. I'm also not sure if this is part of the plot for later, or if the author didn't realize it contradicted the world building.

The Natura were too busy fighting amongst themselves, blaming ignorant humans, but never once took care of a natural disaster. It was more of a chicken/egg situation. Were the Natura cleaning up the messes of humans with an increase of natural disasters due to their not taking good care of the world, or were the Natura using natural disasters as an excuse to cover their own tantrums... because all I saw was their tantrums and no balancing of the ecosystem.

The entire reason for Natura existing was to balance the ecosystem, but all they did was use it as an excuse to cover up their crimes.

Set to the angsty backdrop of Elspeth agreeing to an arranged marriage to gain information to save her brother from the torment of having three elements. Aleron is filled with grief and shame, suffering from being disowned from his family due to the death of his father at the hands of the Lennox patriarch, something he would have done himself to save them from the Lennox family. More angst, a slight love-hate feel for a chapter or so, Aleron loathes the Lennox family, yet gets forced to be the granddaughter princess's bodyguard to make sure she ends up at the altar to hold up her end of the bargain.

Aleron and Elspeth have an instant connection, neither speaking of their deepest desires and fears. I had a hard time feeling the connection the author told us was there, because Elspeth discovers Aleron's origin with joining the family, along with the burden he carries, and they never speak of it. It's a conversation that would have bound them closer together, but it never occurs. It's one of those instances where it sounded good on paper but I didn't "feel" it. There was no progression of the romance, just that it was suddenly soul mate level, without any interactions to build up to it.

The magic system was interesting, but sometimes it felt chaotic to absorb the information, where I was never sure if it was incomplete or if I had a strong grasp on it. I explained above how the world building contradicted itself over why the Natura exist in the first place. I never did understand how witches and mages truly fit into the magic system—they just showed up to create havoc. How did Mother Nature fit into it, because Aleron kept saying he had to commune, but he never did, neither did Elspeth.

There was an issue with the magic system, how it was written to be firm but altered to suit the shift in the plot, which is a huge plot hole no-no for me. At age 12, the magic presents itself but won't come into maturity until age 24. These were the rules the author put into place. Yet Aleron presents elements at different ages, and then there is Elspeth. So I felt this odd that there were firm rules put in place, rules that didn't apply to the narrators, so the rules probably didn't apply to any other Naturas either. Just as the issue with those with three elements dying young, but at least two Natura shown on the pages lived to an elder age.

I'm curious to read more in the series if it isn't centered around Aleron or Elspeth, since I never connected to either of them, even after reading their prequel novellas. I'll hold judgment on whether or not I'll continue on with the series depending on whether or not I become emotionally invested in the outcome of the main characters in the next in the series, whom I assume will be Flora. That sparked my interest at the end of the novel. Another reason I'm holding out until the next book to make my decision is whether or not the author gets a firm grasp on the world building, sticking to the rules created, versus changing it simply to fill plot holes and progress the story forward.

 

 

Author Bio

SLOANE CALDER has been an accountant for transformers (not the cool kind), paint ovens, and lingerie before becoming a marketer for baked goods, mincemeat, soft drinks, and fertilizer.

An avid reader all her life, she still thinks there’s no better escape than a good book, especially if hot heroes and superpowers are involved.


Connect with Sloane

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Facebook Group: The Natura Nexus

 

 

The only thing more dangerous than their love? Thinking they might actually survive it...

 

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Call of Fire (Natura Elementals #1) by Sloane Calder to read and review for this tour.

Feisty Red by Stacey Kennedy Blog Tour

Feisty Red by Stacey Kennedy Blog Tour. Can he prove to her that a second chance with a cowboy is worth the risk?

From USA Today bestselling author Stacey Kennedy comes a second-chance romance featuring a cowboy hero who needs some serious redeeming, a serious heroine who needs some cowboy lovin', and a mischievous little boy who needs his parents to find their happily-ever-after.

She's prepared for anything... except for the second chance with her cowboy ex she never saw coming.

Clara Carter is the brains behind Three Chicks Brewery. The oldest and most responsible of the Carter sisters, she doesn't have time for anything but taking care of her son and making sure her family's top beer, Foxy Diva, gets into bars across North America. Which means getting the brew in front of Colorado's biggest beer distributor. Unfortunately, that becomes tricky when the man in charge of distribution is none other than Sullivan Kenne, the cowboy who ran out on her seven years ago.

Sullivan's life has been one wrong move after another. First, he tried to prove himself to his bastard father by signing a contract to play professional baseball, a choice Sullivan still regrets. Then he bailed on Clara, the only woman he's ever loved. Seeing her again makes Sullivan determined to right his wrongs. Unfortunately, he wasn't counting on one of those wrongs being a six-year-old son he never knew about.

Reuniting with Clara and meeting his son is a shocking--and amazing--experience. But as much as Sullivan tries to return to his roots and be the stand-up cowboy of Clara's dreams, the reality is, she's having trouble trusting him. Luckily, Sullivan knows the way to Clara's heart, and he'll prove to her that a second chance with a cowboy is worth the risk.

Don’t miss our reviews of the rest of the Three Chicks Brewery series!
For book one, Sassy Blonde, click HERE.

 

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Feisty Red by Stacey Kennedy

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

 

 

Excerpt



“How long has it been since you’ve done something like this?” she asked.

“Seven years.”

“Seriously? Seven years?”

The light from the fire was impressively bright, revealing the chiseled lines of his cheekbones. “Life is different in Boston,” he explained, gaze on the sky. “Not so quiet. And when we travel for games, we always play in big cities. I don’t get the chance to get out to places where the city lights don’t hide the stars.”

She looked to the sky herself, spotting the milky way. Over the years, many of her old high school friends had moved away with big city dreams. She’d never had those dreams herself, loving small-town life. The old Sullivan she knew would have hated the big city too. She figured she better get to know this Sullivan. “Do you like the big city?” she asked.

“Parts of it,” he said. “Some parts, I don’t.”

She smiled, dropping her head to the side to watch his expression. “Like the bars?”

The side of his mouth curved before he glanced her way, lifting an eyebrow. “You saw the tabloid article, then?”

She nodded. Everyone saw all the articles about him. Every week, on a new issue in the grocery store line. “What’s going on with all of that? The bar fights and stuff?” And, of course, by “stuff,” she totally meant women.

Obviously picking up on that, Sullivan’s mouth quirked up at the corner again. “Does the stuff wear dresses and high heels?”

She sent her gaze to the fire. “It’s none of my business. You don’t have to talk about it. It’s just…”

“Just what?”

She felt his stare. “You were always a one-woman type of guy. What changed?”

“Nothing,” he said in a quiet voice. She dared to look at him then, and his jaw was clenched, tension creasing the lines around his eyes while he watched the fire burn. “The women, they’re a distraction.”

“From?” she pressed, not even sure why she wanted to know the answer so bad.

The heat from the fire became all-encompassing as he drew in the longest, deepest breath then blew it out through his nose. “From the shit that gets heavy in my head.”

She froze, shocked by his answer. Of all the things she had expected him to say, that certainly wasn’t it. For fun. Because I don’t want anything serious. Something like that, not anything deep.

At the silence, he turned his head to the side, watching her closely. “Distractions help me take a break from that.”

“I suppose they would,” she agreed gently. She had seen the guy she loved fade when his mom passed away, but he was lost forever when his father’s abuse started. But right here, right now, she could almost see the guy he’d been when his mother was alive. The good guy, the guy who wouldn’t simply vanish from someone’s life so cruelly. “What about this bar fight that got you suspended?”

“It never should have happened,” he said, looking back to the sky with a heavy sigh. “I’m careful not to drink too much, to always stay in control, but that night, my control slipped.”

She took a guess. “Because of your dad dying?”

“I suspect my dad’s death had something to do with it, yeah.” The shame on his face was more punishment than anyone should endure, and the orange hue from the fire detailed every bit of it. “We were leaving the bar, me and a bunch of teammates, and we came across an asshole fighting with his girlfriend. He was screaming at her, and then he pushed her, and she fell.” He stopped to take a deep breath before continuing. “I didn’t know them. I had no business interfering. But something in my head snapped, and I acted before I even knew what was happening.”

“Wait,” Clara said, trying to understand. “Why didn’t you say that the guy was hurting his girlfriend? I’d say that’s forgivable. You were protecting her.”

“Because I’m no better, Clara,” Sullivan said, dryly. He turned his head then, revealing many years of pain in his eyes. “I put my hands on someone in violence, in rage. That is unforgivable.”

She tried to see it his way, but failed. “No, you were giving the guy a taste of his own medicine. Seriously, Sullivan, people would have sided with you.” She watched him for a moment, looking for a single flicker of agreement with her on his expression. Trying to understand, she asked, “So, instead of explaining that, you took the suspension?”

“That’s right.”

She processed, scenting the piney aroma from the trees hugging the firepit. Nothing felt… right. Something was missing. She sat up straight, scooting to the end of her chair to face him fully. “Why are you home, Sullivan?” she asked.

His brows drew together. “You already know why. To get my head right.”

She considered all this again, but something seemed off. “I know what you told me. A bar fight led to a suspension, and you came home to deal with your past because of the fight. But to avoid all of that, all you had to do was tell the truth about what happened. So, again, why are you here?”

Their gazes held before he looked back at the fire. It seemed like he wasn’t going to answer her, but then she almost wished he hadn’t. “When I sobered up that next day at the police station, I knew I was on my way to becoming him.”

“Your father?”

“Yes,” he said slowly.

Clara’s heart squeezed painfully, her breath all but gone.

Before she could even think up a reply, he added, “Of course, not completely. I still think the guy I hit deserved it. But I realized I became the very thing I hate. I pushed all the bad shit down deep enough that I felt nothing. Just rage. Until it all exploded.” He turned his head again, torment swirling in the depths of his eyes, and said oh-so softly, “My dad did that until there was nothing left of him, until only rage lived in the spots that were once good. So, that’s why I’m here, Clara. To face the shit that makes me feel uncomfortable so that doesn’t happen to me.”

The world seemed to slow as coldness swept across her. Not knowing what to say, she looked to the fire because, just like that, the years vanished. This was the Sullivan she did know, and she, behind all the hurt and worry for Mason’s well-being, loved this man. But he was drowning in the dark misery and desperately wanted a way out, but unable to find it.

“Clara.”

His soft voice pulled her focus to his warm, gentle eyes.

“I’m sorry for leaving you the way I did.” His voice blistered. “I’m sorry I wasn’t strong enough to be what you needed.”

Tears welled in her eyes, and nothing could stop them from rolling down her cheeks. For as long as she could remember, she’d wanted an explanation, an apology. Now she had those things, but only one truth remained: they’d both done their best in a terrible situation that no one deserved. As much as she wanted to blame Sullivan for leaving and breaking her heart, she couldn’t. Her aching heart reached for him. “I’m sorry I wasn’t strong enough to help you.”

 

 

Reviews


Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team


Avid Reader☆☆☆☆☆
4.5 stars
M/F Second-Chance Romance
Triggers: Click HERE to see Avid Reader’s review on Goodreads for trigger warnings.

Clara is the responsible sister. She is the planner, the one who can get stuff done. So, while she and her sister are working especially hard to open and promote their new brewery, she isn't expecting to see the one person who might make her world tilt.

Sullivan is back in a town he hates and left without looking back. But now that he sees his father's behavior in his own, he knows that it's time to face the past. What he doesn't expect is to find the one woman he left behind hasn't lost any appeal. Rather, she has gained it in spades.

The past that melded these two together also tore them apart. Now, they will have to decide if what they had is worth fighting for. Mason is the one variable that doesn't waver. They will both do whatever it takes to protect Mason.

This is a great second-chance romance story, but it's so much more than that. It's a story of healing, forgiveness, and love. Sullivan and Clara have great chemistry and their history only helps to add to their relationship. It was great to see them work through their pasts, look towards their futures, and heal from their mistakes.

I can't wait to see the next sister's story – the teaser is amazing!


Sarah☆☆☆☆
4.5 stars

I love the bond between the three sisters at the heart of this series and I love watching them build a seriously cool family business. The men they fall for are pretty great too. Clara’s story is a little bit darker than Maisie’s but it is impossible not to love the confident, capable eldest sister and her beautiful son.

I have to admit that this book really wasn’t what I was expecting. I love that the author refuses to create drama for Clara and Sullivan. It would have been far too easy to play up miscommunication, secrets, and mistrust but instead, Clara and Sullivan work through their problems calmly and quietly – like grownups with their child’s best interests at heart. Sullivan’s childhood nearly destroyed him. Clara understands Sullivan’s struggles and she encourages him as he faces his demons and begins to work through his issues. The book addresses difficult topics but never feels too heavy.

This second book isn’t as playful or as fun as the first but Clara and Sullivan both feel heartbreakingly real. I love the sense of community between the sisters and the people in their small town. There is a glorious sense of place in this series – rural Colorado is celebrated in lush descriptions and the sister’s experiences. I’m already looking forward to Amelia’s story.


Ruthie☆☆☆☆
This is the second book in the series, and I would definitely recommend that you read book one, as it is fabulous and gives you the set up at the brewery – and introduces Clara, who is the serious business-minded sister and lead in this lovely second-chance romance.

Whilst the affairs and success of the brewery are part of the story, there is less emphasis than there was when Maisie was running around festivals in the last book. It is a good backdrop though and reminds us of how serious minded Clara is, even if the book is mostly a lot of fun.

I loved how this story acknowledged the past, helped both Clara and her high school sweetheart, unknowing father of her son, and famous baseball player, Sullivan, move forward and give them a chance at a new future. He had so many demons that needed slaying and finally, he got the chance. So many little things which were so vital to their getting a second chance make this book really special. It was the detail, the way that her sisters and their friends rally round and support them both.

Mason is a sweet little boy, without being too cute. He is important, but not the focus of the story, even when being very endearing! Sullivan really dealt rather well with being an instant dad of a 6-year-old, it was pleasant surprise, which certainly helped Clara see that there was a chance of something special between them all.

Very easy writing style, with lots of good humour, reconciliation with the past, a chance to lay some difficult family times away, and look to a much brighter, happier, and loving future. Absolutely perfect reading, thank you, Stacey Kennedy... and the set up for a fantastic new story, which I hope is coming soon!

 

 

Author Bio



STACEY KENNEDY is a USA Today bestselling author who writes contemporary romances full of heat, heart, and happily ever afters. With over 50 titles published, her books have hit Amazon, B&N, and Apple Books bestseller lists.

Stacey lives with her husband and two children in southwestern Ontario—in a city that’s just as charming as any of the small towns she creates. Most days, you’ll find her enjoying the outdoors with her family or venturing into the forest with her horse, Priya. Stacey’s just as happy curled up indoors, where she writes surrounded by her lazy dogs. She believes that sexy books about hot cowboys or alpha heroes can fix any bad day. But wine and chocolate help too
.

Connect with Stacey

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Facebook Group: Stacey Kennedy's Book Club

 

 

She's prepared for anything... except for the second chance with her cowboy ex she never saw coming.

 

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Social Butterfly PR


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Feisty Red (Three Chicks Brewery #2) by Stacey Kennedy to read and review for this tour.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

He Sees You When You're Sleeping by Sara Dobie Bauer

He Sees You When You're Sleeping by Sara Dobie Bauer

We met when you were just a child, but you’re a man now and need my protection.

With Christmas Eve approaching, I’ll watch over you.
Whether you know it or not.

Because no one is allowed to hurt you.
No one but me.

He Sees You When You’re Sleeping is a twisted take on Santa, featuring M/M romance, horror, and the holiday season.

WARNING: This story contains child abuse, extreme violence, explicit sexual content, dubious consent, and attempted suicide.

 

Add to Goodreads

 

He Sees You When You're Sleeping by Sara Dobie Bauer

Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
~ Also Available with KindleUnlimited ~

 

 

Reviews


Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team


Shannan☆☆☆☆
He Sees You When You're Sleeping is a darker take on a Christmas. It's a super quick read, but it really is filled with so much emotion. Kris has done a horrible thing in his past and is made to walk the earth, protecting children and bringing presents on Christmas Eve to those that believe. The number of those who believe in Christmas and Santa drop drastically year after year, so Kris is met with a lonely existence. He meets Jack when he is ten, in an abusive foster home. Kris knows he needs to protect him and does repeatedly for years. When he starts to care for the man he met twenty-five years prior, things change.

I enjoyed seeing this take on Christmas and Santa. Even though it's a novella, you can connect with the characters instantly. I wondered where the author would take me with this read, but was pleasantly surprised at the ending. Highly recommend this super-quick darker read!!

 

 

Author Bio

SARA DOBIE BAUER is a bestselling author, model, and mental health/LGBTQ advocate with a creative writing degree from Ohio University. She lives with her hottie husband and two precious pups in Northeast Ohio, although she’d really like to live in a Tim Burton film.

Connect with Sara

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Facebook Group: Sara Dobie Bauer's Sexy Circle

 

 

No one is allowed to hurt you. No one but me. Now Available! Stalker Santa. M/M Romance. DARK. Christmas. Sara Dobie Bauer dot com.


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of He Sees You When You're Sleeping by Sara Dobie Bauer to read and review.

The Relationship Pact by Adriana Locke Blog Tour

The Relationship Pact by Adriana Locke Blog Tour

How hard can it be?

That was the question rolling around Larissa Mason’s mind just before she asked Hollis Hudson to be her fake boyfriend.
It was only supposed to be for five minutes, after all.

Granted, that was also before she felt his hand on the small of her back as he charmed the heck out of her family.

And it was definitely before she saw the football god shirtless. Otherwise, she would’ve had an idea of just how hard some things could be.

It turns out that pretending to be in love with a crazily handsome, somewhat enigmatic, and absolutely unforgettable tight end (that has an amazing tight end) is easy.

Reminding herself that just because opposites attract doesn’t mean they’re forever is much harder.

What they have isn’t love—it’s a relationship pact. Right?

AUTHOR'S NOTE: The Relationship Pact is a fun and flirty college sports romance with lots of heart. No cliffhanger.

Don’t miss our reviews of the rest of the Kings of Football series!
For book one, The Revenge Pact, click HERE.
For book two, The Romantic Pact, click HERE.

 

Add to Goodreads

 

The Relationship Pact by Adriana Locke

Book 3
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
~  Also Available with KindleUnlimited  ~

 

 

Reviews


Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team


Ruthie☆☆☆☆☆
This is the third in this excellent series, each written by a different author, one of the trio of friends headlining in each book, but ties across all and a common starting place – a disastrous final football season, on the tail of a winning one, and their status from hero to near zero. As we have had their stories revealed, we have understood far better why their year tanked, but we also know that they are truly the best of friends, even in adversity. I have really enjoyed everything about these books, but this one maybe just pipped the others to the post, or cumulatively it entered five stars for me.

Hollis Hudson has been invited to Georgia to receive an award, and has been able to stay for the week. He has no ties, no family, and no one to support him when he is honoured. Both Crew and River are dealing with their own issues, and home for the Christmas holidays. We soon learn that Hollis has never come clean to them, and is used to relying only on himself. Sadly, he learned the hard way, and far too young, that it is safest to keep his distance, and has no intention of ever having a proper relationships. Then a meeting in a bar, and coming to the rescue of Larissa, who needs an instant boyfriend to keep her mum happy, leads to life changing discoveries.

This is such a lovely, heartwarming, as well as at times, a rather heartbreaking story. I loved all the side characters – Judy is fab, but so are all the people he meets through Larissa, such as Bell and Boone. There are some really funny bits, and the text exchanges and chats between Crew, River, and Hollis scream of the fellowship between them, it is lovely. These guys had such high hopes of an NFL career but have, over this series, grown up and understood that there are other priorities and options. This was possibly most difficult for Hudson, as he felt so bereft of family and unable to share that fact, even with his besties.

The growth of the friendship between him and Riss is hugely enjoyable to watch, and there is definitely some super-strong chemistry playing out between them. I loved that they both had revelations as they came to realise what they meant to each other, and what that inevitably meant in terms of changing their views and preconceptions.

A lovely finale to the series – although I would be very happy if we did get more from them. Thank you, to all three talented authors, for a set of very readable romantic tales.


Mary☆☆☆☆☆
This is the third and final book in this series and is Hollis and Larissa's story – and it is the best one. Hollis is the one that has the tortured soul, feels he is not worthy of love or good enough. Football is his thing but when he meets Larissa, he thinks things may be different. A chance meeting at a bar, Larissa needs a pretend boyfriend for five minutes to make her ex leave her alone. Hollis is all too happy to help.

When Hollis needs a date for dinner, he calls Larissa and she makes the dinner even better, but his past interferes with his thinking and he misses a lot of the conversation. Then Larissa needs a date for a function her stepfather is putting on, to keep her mother happy and not trying to set her up again.

With all the time they are spending together, Hollis and Larissa are getting closer and the feelings are growing. But Hollis's past keeps creeping up and making him feel he is not worthy of her love.

Will these two see their love is what keeps them strong? Can Larissa make him see that they have a chance at forever? Will Hollis see that Larissa is all he needs, along with his BFFs?

I loved the others in this series, but I have to say that this couple is my favorite; the pain, heartache, and past of Hollis is hard to comprehend, and to have Larissa come along and love him no matter what. This series is worth reading, in order, just to get to this one. Each story has its own problems and solutions, but this one is the one that will tug at your heart. So read them and I hope you love them, too.

 

 

Author Bio



USA Today and Washington Post bestselling author ADRIANA LOCKE lives and breathes books. After years of slightly obsessive relationships with the flawed bad boys created by other authors, Adriana has created her own.

She resides in the Midwest with her husband, sons, and two dogs. She spends a large amount of time playing with her kids, drinking coffee, and cooking. You can find her outside if the weather's nice and there's always a piece of candy in her pocket.


Connect with Adriana

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Facebook Group: Books by Adriana Locke

 

 

It was all fun and games until someone fell in love.

 

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Candi Kane PR


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Relationship Pact (Kings of Football #3) by Adriana Locke to read and review for this tour.

Smoke by Eden Butler Blog Tour

Smoke by Eden Butler  Available Now.

Smoke Carelli lived by his own rules.

He wasn't interested in normal.

He didn't care about things like love and commitment, damn sure not marriage and forever.

But the second Maggie Ramirez parked outside his family’s restaurant, his life became a series of distractions he was learning to love. Maggie and her kid have shaken up his world and dislodged every hard and fast rule he’d ever made.

And when the demons from her past resurface, Smoke and Maggie may have to break more than their own rules to win their freedom.

But will it cost them everything and everyone they love?

 

Add to Goodreads

 

Smoke by Eden Butler

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

 

 

I missed her like a first love. Like a dream on repeat that always came back, it never ended.

 

Reviews


Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team


Avid Reader☆☆☆☆
M/F Romance
Triggers: Click HERE to see Avid Reader’s review on Goodreads for trigger warnings.

Smoke is part of the Carelli family, and his family is amazing. They are warm, fierce, loyal, and above all, protect their community. Smoke has lived his life in the gray areas of society. He was groomed to take over the business and while they are no longer in the bad business, the gray areas leave some wiggle room for Smoke to rule the city with some power.

Maggie is a single mom who found herself engulfed in the Carelli family. She really wasn't given much choice and now, several months later, she is part of their family and the community. Her past is something she tries hard to forget, but when it comes knocking on her door, she can't help but want to run again.

The relationship between Smoke and Maggie is somewhat stunted. You are kind of dropped in the middle of their already started relationship and you just have to hope to catch up and figure out where they are. While they try to be discreet, everyone knows they have something going on. Smoke gets to be different when he's with Maggie. She gets to see the softer side of him. They have a great chemistry and I truly love that you get to see Smoke with Maggie's son.

While Maggie worries about what's to come, Smoke knows that he'll protect her and her kid with everything he has. Smoke is fighting the business side of someone who is trying to steal from him, Maggie is fighting her past. Together they will form an unbreakable bond and come out swinging. I absolutely loved this story and can't wait for the next book. My only issue is that you are kind of dropped in the middle of something that has already started. It felt like I should go back and re-read something, but there wasn't anything to re-read in order to catch up.


Ruthie☆☆☆☆
This is the first in a new series – and I was a little nervous as I am a bit of a mafia-lite only fan, but this had the perfect mix of nasty and nice! There is some very effective world building, which slides us into the Carelli domain very cleverly. I am looking forward to Dario's book already.

Maggie and her baby son were more or less adopted by the Carelli family. Given a flat, a job, and access to the support and friendship of the whole family. Smoke, the eldest son and boss of his retired father's 'grey' side of the business, is in spite of his rules, falling for Maggie. They have a discreet physical relationship and believe that their secret is safe. Hilariously though, everyone knows that she has changed him, and Mateo, her little boy, has completely captured his love and care.

There is an ugly underbelly to the business that the brothers run, and there are threats and dangers to all around them. As Smoke realises that Maggie is now in need of his protection, little does he know that she has dangers of her own. As they work together to find a solution to their problems and a way to have the future that they desire and deserve, we get a good romance with plenty of danger.

 

 

Author Bio



Eden Butler is an editor and writer of Fantasy, Mystery and Contemporary Romance novels and the nine-times great-granddaughter of an honest-to-God English pirate. This could explain her affinity for rule breaking and rum.

When she’s not writing or wondering about her possibly Jack Sparrowesque ancestor, Eden patiently waits for her Hogwarts letter, edits, reads, and spends way too much time watching rugby, Doctor Who, and New Orleans Saints football.

She is currently living under teenage rule alongside her husband in southeast Louisiana. Please send help.

Connect with Eden

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Facebook Group: Saints & Sinners

 

 

I grabbed Maggie’s hands pulling her to me… “Don’t take your hands off me.”

 

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Smoke (The Carelli Family Saga #1) by Eden Butler to read and review for this tour.