Book Review: Tomorrow’s Hero by Thom Collins

Fernando Inglesias is the typical Premier League League footballer, with a flash lifestyle and a girlfriend who’s famous for starring in a reality TV show. But Fernando has a huge secret – he’s gay, and he knows that coming out would change everything for him. So he keeps his man-on-man encounters swift and anonymous, until he meets Joshua on a trip to a gay club on the island of Ibiza. The two make an instant connection and the sex is unforgettable, but Joshua has reasons for distrusting closeted men, and finding out Fernando’s real identity changes everything…

Tomorrow’s Hero is Book 2 in the Success series, about the complicated lives of men in the celebrity spotlight, and while there’s a loose connection to the first book in the series, Never Too Famous, you really don’t need to have read that book to enjoy this one. You also don’t need to know anything about football as the storyline barely touches on the sport, which would be a disappointment for a huge fan of the game like myself if Tomorrow’s Hero hadn’t been such an engaging read. Thom Collins’ real strength lies in picking apart the celebrity culture that’s sprung up around the stars of reality TV shows, and how someone can have a hugely glamorous life that’s built on little more than Botox and fillers. In this book, he also has a dig at the kind of ultra-buff male action hero who’s stringing out those roles rather longer than he should, in the shape of Joshua’s father, Jason Drake.

There are reasons why there’s currently no openly gay player in English professional football, and Collins explores some of them, giving plausible reasons why Fernando has created an alter ego, Juan Carlos, for his same-sex adventures. It helps to create believable conflict between Fernando and Joshua and leaves you hoping that Joshua can overcome being lied to by Fernando and they get the happy ending they deserve.

By turns funny and tender, and with sex scenes hotter than the Balearic sunshine, Tomorrow’s Hero will have you eagerly looking forward to more books in this deliciously bitchy series.

Tomorrow’s Hero is available from First For Romance, Amazon US and Amazon UK. I was given a copy of the book by Lucy Felthouse at Writer Marketing Services in return for an honest review.

Yay For World Lion Day!

You know I can’t resist posting a cute lion picture, and World Lion Day gives me the perfect excuse. Please enjoy this pair doing what cats of all kinds do best – snoozing…

How adorable is this?

And there’s plenty of good news to celebrate on the lion front. A while ago I blogged about the lions at the Artis Zoo in Amsterdam being forced to relocate to France because the money wasn’t available to renovate their habitat. Well, according to Het Parool, a wealthy benefactor has come forward with enough cash to keep the animals in situ. It’s nice to know there are some generous lion fans out there.

And if you prefer your lions to come in shifter form and you haven’t sampled my Lionhearts MM romance series from Pride Publishing, then the fact the first book in the series, The Pride of Amsterdam, is on offer for £1.99 may tempt you. It’s available from Amazon UK and Amazon US, and it will transport you to a world where someone wants to remove the lions from Amsterdam – permanently and with extreme violence… Will the shifters prevail? Ah, you’ll have to read the book to find out!

Don’t Forget The Tirgearr Summer Sale…

Yes, the sudden bursts of sweltering hot weather followed by spectacular rain and thunderstorms (great for all you lovers of atmospheric ASMR videos) means summer is here. And that, of course, means the annual Tirgearr summer sale, when all their full-price books are available at 50 per cent more. Great for stocking up the e-reader and maybe trying out the first book in a new series.

Here’s the blatant plug – my Tirgearr City Nights hot contemporary romance One Night in Brussels is already available at Smashwords for 99p/99c, but to get the historical romance One Knight in Muiden for a bargain price, follow this link, or click on the image below:

If you want to find out more about all things Tirgearr, visit my author page at the Tirgearr site. Happy reading!

It’s Read An E-book Week!

Even if you have the biggest TBR pile in the world, it’s always hard to resist stocking up on a new title or two whenever a sale comes along. And to mark Read An E-book Week, Tirgearr Publishing is throwing one of their excellent Smashwords sales. This means all Tirgearr titles priced above 99c are available at half price until March 13th. If you haven’t read it already (and why not), you can get your hands on my historical romance novella, One Knight In Muiden, part of the City Knights series for this bargain price. If you love handsome knights and tales of innocent deception that turn into something more complicated, this is the one for you. To find the book on Smashwords, click on the link below, and don’t forget to use the code EBW50 when you check out. And keep reading those e-books!

Interview with Isabelle Lauren

My guest at the Naughty Corner today is Isabelle Lauren, who is currently on a blog tour to promote her deliciously steamy erotic romance Completely Yours.

Completely Yours

Elizabeth: Hi, Isabelle, and thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Tell me a little about Completely Yours?

Isabelle: Hi Elizabeth, thank you for having me on your blog. Completely Yours is an erotic romance about a young woman who falls in lust with both her bosses, Daniel and Caroline. During a business trip to New York, things heat up between her and Caroline—and between Caroline and Daniel—and the three of them have to face some difficult obstacles on the way to their happy ending.

Elizabeth: New York is a fantastic city, but why did you choose it as the setting for the new store in the novel?

Isabelle: New York made the most sense from a business perspective for the company. If your company is located in Toronto and you look at expanding, New York would be the next logical step. I also think it’s quite a glamorous city and I wanted Alisha to go somewhere close-ish to Toronto, but still exciting.

Elizabeth: What is your favourite genre to write in, and why?

Isabelle: I love writing erotic romance. Writing about two people falling in lust and love is amazing, as you get to take them on this intense emotional and physical journey. Romance novels are great in and of themselves, but the erotic aspect makes it a little more exciting for me.

Elizabeth: What is the best piece of advice you were given when you started writing?

Isabelle: Write without caring who reads it. I spent so much time in the beginning of my career worrying about how people would receive my books—what they’d like and what they’d hate—and it really stifled my writing. Now I write the first draft for myself and worry about my audience when it comes to editing. It often makes for a much better novel.

Elizabeth: What books are in your TBR pile?

Isabelle: What a Fun Age by Kiley Reid, Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones and Promised Land by Barack Obama

Elizabeth: What’s in your refrigerator right now?

Isabelle: Lemons, oranges, orange pepper, crab sticks and yoghurt.

Elizabeth: What is your next writing project?

Isabelle: I’m taking a break from writing at the moment, as we’ve gone into our third lockdown in the UK, so I’m busy trying to juggle homeschooling with my full time job (which, sadly, isn’t writing).

Elizabeth: What is the one thing about you that would surprise people reading this interview?

Isabelle: I have a full time job working as an accountant.

Blurb

Caroline is on top of her game. Black Goddess, her company, is opening a store in New York, and a week away from the office is just what Caroline needs. In Toronto, she has to play the role of the prim, successful business woman, romantically linked with her business partner Daniel. But in New York she can be sexually free. It doesn’t hurt that this time, her attractive project manager Alisha is coming with them.

Alisha is attracted to both her bosses, but she is determined not to jeopardise her career.  This determination is shaken when Caroline proposes a no-strings attached sexual relationship for the duration of the business trip. Unable to deny her feelings Alisha embarks upon a scorching sexual journey with Caroline.

Daniel is in love with Caroline. Knowing that their romantic relationship is nothing more than a facade with no chance of ever becoming a reality, Daniel decides to quit his job as Caroline’s business partner in an effort to protect his heart. All he has to do is survive the week in New York. But can he continue to deny his feelings, especially when Caroline needs him?

When the media makes details of Caroline’s sexual excesses public, Caroline, Alisha and Daniel must work together to save the future of Black Goddess—and their hearts.

Buy links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Completely-Yours-Isabelle-Lauren-ebook/dp/B08L17BMQY/

Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/completely-yours-isabelle-lauren/1138272680

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/completely-yours-8

Apple: https://books.apple.com/gb/book/completely-yours/id1541531014?

About the author

Isabelle has been writing ever since she can remember. She’s tried her hand at pretty much any genre, but being an incurable romantic with a filthy mind, she made erotic romance her genre. Her books combine searing sex scenes with deep emotional connections. She loves making her readers hot with her words and is always happy to hear how her books have affected them.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RomanticIsa

Website: https://isabellelauren.com

Prize Giveaway!

Isabelle is offering one lucky book lover the chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card in an easy to enter Rafflecopter giveway. Simply click here to enter via your Facebook login or email. Good luck!

This blog tour was organised by Writer Marketing Services. Click on the button below to see all the stops on the Completely Yours tour.

The Lions Will Live On!

When I visit Amsterdam, one of my favourite places to spend time is Artis, the city zoo which is one of the oldest in Europe. It’s been extensively redeveloped in recent years to give many of its animals more room to live and roam, so I was sad to read that the zoo is having to send its lions to a new home in the south of France as they can no longer afford to update their habitat.

The Kerbert Terras, home of the Artis lions – picture courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Though the lions may be leaving Artis, their shifter relatives will still roam the streets of this amazing city. If you don’t know what I mean, then you need to pick up a copy of The Pride of Amsterdam, the first book in my Lionhearts series, available from the First For Romance e-bookstore, Amazon UK or Amazon US, because we all need some big cats – and the men who love them – in our lives…

Interview with Ryan Taylor and Joshua Harwood

I’m very happy to have authors Ryan Taylor and Joshua Harwood here today. Their new holiday-hockey romance, Nice Catching You, has just been released. Ryan and Josh are not only co-authors, but they’re married in real life. Let’s get right into things, guys. Why do you write, and when did you start?

RYAN: We began writing our first book, No Brief Affair, in mid-2017, after we got home from our honeymoon. Our love story was and is a beautiful thing, and we were so incredibly proud of what we had. We wanted to honor and celebrate it. A lot of our own story is in that book.

JOSH: That’s right. There’s a lot of fiction in there, but much of it is either true or closely related to real events.

Is that true of all your books?

RYAN: Only in the sense that we can’t write without putting something of ourselves into the characters. I’m not sure any author can to be honest.

JOSH: There’s more true or somewhat-true material in Legally Bound simply because it’s the continuation of No Brief Affair.

Let’s move to the new book, Nice Catching You. What is it about?

JOSH: Nice Catching You tells the story of two lonely young men, Nick and Jacob, who find each other. Nick is a nationally known college hockey star who’s never found his way out of the closet. Jacob is a law student at Nick’s university. He’s been out for a long time but had no luck with love.

RYAN: Since Nick is a celebrity, it doesn’t take long for word of the romance to spread. Once it does, some people go nuts. National news reporters flood the college, the university administration freaks out, fans are all over the place, and Nick’s team and coaches are split in their responses.

JOSH: That’s the book’s conflict, and the story is about how Nick and Jacob deal with it. We always have happy endings, so it isn’t a question of whether the guys will get one, but how.

You’ve said the book deals with the issue of homophobia in sports. Can you explain that?

RYAN: I think the better way to say it is that Nice Catching You shines a light on the issue. There’s homophobia in organized sports, for sure. But there are also many decent, open people who support a person’s right to live an authentic life.

JOSH: People who realize that the sex of the person a player loves has nothing to do with their ability or value as a player.

RYAN: There’s never been an openly gay player for an NHL team while he was actively playing, but that’s going to change, probably soon. There are already openly gay players in college and junior hockey, and they’re outstanding.

JOSH: The smart people who run professional hockey teams aren’t going to exclude some of the best players out there simply because they’re gay.

If there are already gay college and junior players, what is the point of your story?

RYAN: Look, we’re sitting here talking about how there actually are openly gay players now. It’s something worth commenting about. Recently, a top junior hockey player came out, and it was big news. It’s still an unusual, controversial thing.

JOSH: Nice Catching You is timely and relevant because a player’s being gay is big news, and people are divided about whether it’s “right for the sport.”

RYAN: Josh and I look forward to the day when a player is no more newsworthy for being gay than for being straight.

That sounds great. What would you say to people who ask why they should read Nice Catching You?

RYAN: It’s a beautiful love story involving a great sport. The book is cute, funny, and full of hope.

JOSH: There’s a serious side, but it’s a happy book. After the year we’ve all had, people need something to help them believe it’s possible to overcome difficult situations.

RYAN: If you want something to give you lots of feels, and to bring the holiday season alive with its promise of hope and good tidings, Nice Catching You is the book to read.

One last very important question. Is there any actual hockey in the book?

RYAN: Get out of here! There’s great hockey in the book.

JOSH: Nick is the top college hockey star in the country. What kind of book wouldn’t have him playing the game?

RYAN: Read it and see. You’ll love the action!

Sounds awesome to me. I can’t wait to read it. Thanks for being with us, guys, and good luck with the book. It’s Nice Catching You: A Holiday Love Story.

Interview by Jerome Clark

Nice Catching You is available at Amazon for Kindle, Kindle Unlimited, and in paperback.

US Link: http://bit.ly/NiceCatchingYou

Universal Link: mybook.to/NiceCatchingYou

Find all Ryan and Josh’s social media through their Linktree: https://linktr.ee/ryan.josh.

Title: Nice Catching You: A Holiday Love Story

Author: Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood

Publisher:Wainscott Press

Release Date: 10/30/2020

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 84,000 words

Genre: Romance, Gay Holiday Romance, Contemporary Gay Romance, Holiday Romance

Add to Goodreads

Summary

What happens when the No. 1 college hockey star in the country falls in love—with a man?

Nick Johnson, a top prospect for a pro hockey team, has a secret: he’s gay. Tired of living in the closet for the sport he loves, he sees no way out.

Jacob Meyer’s string of bad boyfriends left him cynical about love. Instead, he focuses on his studies as a third-year law student. With a new job waiting for him, he’s eager to graduate and move on.

On a school-sponsored trip, Nick and Jacob meet in a most unexpected way. When Nick tells Jacob his secret, they decide to hang out, just as friends. But their attraction is too strong to ignore, and they soon begin dating.

Since Nick is a big man on campus, it doesn’t take long for people to notice his attachment to Jacob. All hell breaks loose when the relationship gets out. As the national media descends, university officials try to figure out how to solve their “problem.” Their efforts divide Nick’s team, inflame fans, and put Nick and Jacob’s futures in jeopardy. Will the men be able to survive a plot to destroy them without derailing both their careers?

Nice Catching You is an out-for-you romance featuring a lot of love, exciting hockey, and a beautiful holiday. There’s also plenty of steam and a very happy ending.

Excerpt

JACOB

Sunday, December 4

I haven’t been on many buses, but I was starting to think I might die on this one. The snow began falling before we left Whiteface Mountain early in the afternoon, not unusual for one of the top ski resorts in the Northeast. We were due in Syracuse before six, and I hoped the weather didn’t delay us much. The last week of classes would start the next day, and I had work to do.

The snow was coming down hard, and by the time we reached I-87, I could see very little out the window. Many of the cars had pulled over to the side, and others were creeping along with their hazards flashing. Our bus joined the traffic and immediately began slipping all over the road.

With fifty-odd college students on the trip, there had been a lot of noise when we left the resort, but nerves had soon taken over, and people were mostly quiet now. I sat alone, three rows from the back of the bus, trying to read a case for Federal Courts. With only one more semester of law school to go, I needed to do well. A big firm in Boston offered me a job right before Thanksgiving, contingent on my maintaining a 3.8 GPA. Pulling a C in Fed Courts would bring me slightly under the requirement. Although I had high hopes for a job in DC, I couldn’t risk losing the Boston offer.

Between the bus sliding in the snow and the constant chatter from the guys in the seat behind me, I couldn’t concentrate at all. They were hockey players, and they kept up a conversation about the game, other players, cars, and whatever else dumb undergrad jocks talk about. They were the only people behind me except for their friend, who was passed out on a seat in the back.

Whoa! The rear end of the bus lurched violently into the left lane. I tried to grab something to hold onto, but I was already airborne by the time I dropped the heavy casebook. Hands grabbed my shoulders but didn’t slow my momentum. Dreading the impact with the seat across the aisle, I screwed my eyes shut and held my breath. All at once, something stopped me. Rather, someone stopped me, and that someone had brawny arms and a hard body. He’d caught me in midair.

“You all right?”

“What?” On my back in the man’s arms, facing the top of the bus, I couldn’t see much. I turned my head, trying to find out who had hold of me.

“Everything okay?”

I craned my neck in the other direction just as he leaned over, and it was—shit!—one of the hockey guys who’d been sitting behind me. I’d seen him over the weekend with his buddies, at least one of whom had laughed at me the whole time. Now they’d laugh even harder, and I’d be known as the skinny little runt who couldn’t even stay in his seat—the twit who had to be rescued by a real man.

Purchase at Amazon

Meet the Author

Ryan Taylor and Joshua Harwood met in law school and were married in 2017. They live in a suburb of Washington, DC, and share their home with a big, cuddly German shepherd. Ryan and Josh enjoy travel, friends, and advocating for causes dear to their hearts. Ryan also loves to swim, and Josh likes to putter in the garden whenever he can. The romance they were so lucky to find with each other inspires their stories about love between out and proud men.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | eMail Instagram | Bookbub | Linktree

Tour Schedule

11/2 Love Bytes Reviews http://lovebytesreviews.com/

11/3 The (Really) Naughty Corner https://elizabethcoldwell.wordpress.com

11/4 My Fiction Nook https://myfictionnook.com

11/5 Two Chicks Obsessed with Books and Eye Candy http://twochicksobsessed.com/

11/6 Joyfully Jay http://joyfullyjay.com

Prize Giveaway!

Ryan and Joshua are offering one lucky reader the chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card. You can enter via the Rafflecopter page – just click here. Good luck!

This tour was organised by Indigo Marketing and Design

Have A Haunted Halloween

It’s the spookiest time of year, and that means lots of delicious ghost stories to enjoy. Two of the themes I love writing about most are the paranormal and rock bands, and in The Ghost of You, I had the chance to do both (and borrow a title from My Chemical Romance, because they kind of deserve it…)

Good evening, horror lovers…

The Ghost of You follows what happens to Casey when his lover, rock star and recovering alcoholic Fisher Kelty dies from an overdose of booze and pills. The press think it was suicide, the coroner rules it an accidental death, and Casey tries to pick up the remnants of his life. But when strange things start happening to him, is Fisher trying to get back in touch with him, and if so, why?

Here’s an extract from the story that will hopefully give you chills of the nicest kind

Stepping under the steamy spray, I couldn’t help but let out a deep sigh of contentment. I reached for the bottle of shower gel, poured a generous amount into my palm and rubbed the creamy lather over my skin. The heady scent of lavender and chamomile, designed to relax and soothe, filled the little shower stall, and the steady pulse of the water beat down on me, like dozens of fingers gently massaging my scalp and back.

I relaxed into the sensation as it grew more intense, resting my palms against the tiled wall. It really felt as if someone were kneading the muscles in my shoulders, using their thumbs to ease out the knots of tension that had built while I’d hunched over the racks in Boardwalk Sounds, sorting the recently acquired albums.

“Mmm, that feels so good,” I murmured to no one in particular, overcome with the temptation to reach down and grab hold of my cock. Go on, a seductive voice in my head whispered, do it. You need this. How long is it since you jerked yourself off?

I let my hand drop to the base of my shaft and skim lightly along its length. Pleasure rippled through my belly and my knees went weak as I gave myself over to stroking and caressing myself. I closed my eyes and lifted my head, letting the hot spray trickle down my face and neck.

It had to be my imagination, but I swore I felt the press of a body against mine. The phantom touch moved lower, gliding down the planes of my lower back and coming to rest on my ass cheeks before digging in hard. I gasped in shock and stopped playing with myself. No imagining things now. The hard length of a cock nestled between my butt cheeks and something—or someone—had squeezed my ass.

When I glanced behind me, for the briefest moment I caught a glimpse of Fisher, hair wet, broad chest bare and so insubstantial I saw all the way through it to the clear glass door of the shower stall. Then he disappeared, and so did his grip on my ass.

Shocked, I shut off the water and leaped out of the shower. As I grabbed a towel and wrapped it around me, my cock stood up hard, proof of how turned-on I’d been—still was, if I were honest.

There’s no such thing as ghosts, I told myself as my hard-on wilted and my heart rate slowed to something approaching normal. And if even if they did exist, they’d roam the halls of ruined castles, or spooky old Gothic mansions, not this modern, glass-fronted home overlooking the beach. But try as I might to make myself believe otherwise, in my heart I knew I’d been up close and personal with a specter bearing Fisher’s face.

You can find The Ghost of You at First For Romance, Amazon US and Amazon UK. Have a happy Halloween!

Happy World Lion Day!

It seems every day of the year is dedicated to commemorating some unique, quirky or bizarre event – whether that’s officially going caroling, talking like a pirate or being Ed Balls – and today just happens to be World Lion Day. Founded by the Big Cat Rescue organisation, it aims to pay tribute to the beautiful and majestic lion while raising awareness of the threats posed by poachers, disease and everything else that has led to them being placed on the endangered species list.

As you might know from reading my books, the Lionhearts MM shifter romance series in particular, I adore lions (and pretty much all big cats), so to mark World Lion Day, here’s a couple of gorgeous shots of the animals for you:

Photo by Iva Villi from FreeImages

Photo by Marcos Roberto Silva from FreeImages

The Lionhearts series is available as two box sets from the First For Romance bookstore – find out more about Part One and Part Two here. And keep loving those lions!

Book Review: Far Away by Bryan T Clark

One unforgettable summer, nerdy student Noah finds his stay at his grandmother’s home in New Hampshire enlivened beyond his wildest dreams by the presence of the handyman’s nephew, Spiro. The handsome young Greek is Noah’s opposite in just about every way, but they make an almost instant connection.

Twelve years later, unable to get his first love out of his head and tired of all his romances failing, Noah makes the impulsive decision to fly out to the tiny Greek island of Lemnos in the hope of finding Spiro. But is he heading on a wild goose chase, and what will happen if he and Spiro finally meet again after all this time.

Far Away is an interesting romance that plays with the always seductive idea of ‘the one who got away’, and the thought that when you do find closure in an unfinished relationship it will end with a Happily Ever After. The Greek island setting is nicely described, making you feel you can almost feel the waves lapping at your feet and taste the stifado, and Spiros is more than just an exotic hunk, with heart and depth. Bryan T Clark ensures that things don’t go too smoothly or predictably for Noah, who’s an unusual character in that he suffers from IBS – not a condition that often rears its uncomfortable head in romance fiction. Noah is also a twin, and the death of his brother when they were both children informs many of Noah’s decisions, as well as those of his parents. There’s a moment or two in the book when the descriptions of Noah’s mother’s behaviour make you think she might become a study in the grief caused by losing a child, which would humanise her as a character. Instead, she’s simply presented as the standard homophobic bitch – a sadly recurring fate for too many female relatives in MM romance. But that quibble aside, Far Away has much to recommend it if you’re looking to immerse yourself in the seductive vibe of a holiday love affair.

Far Away is available from Amazon US and Amazon UK and you can find out more about Bryan T Clark and his books at his website.

I was given a copy of Far Away by Lori at Indigo Marketing and Design in return for an honest review.