Book Review: Professor Adorkable by Edie Danford

Pete works for an agency that finds housekeepers for gay men. When he’s hired to work for genius astrophysics professor Marek, it seems like the ideal job, living in Marek’s beautiful home and taking care of a man who’s too busy and disorganised to fend for himself. But Marek’s is cute as well as clumsy, and despite his desire to keep things strictly professional, Pete soon finds himself falling for his boss. A line is about to be crossed, and neither man is sure things will ever be the same…

Professor Adorkable is a light, engaging read that takes two characters who are perfect for each other and then spends most of the book working on ways to keep them apart. It’s one of the oldest tropes in romance, but Edie Danford handles it neatly and with plenty of humour. Both Marek and Pete have troubled pasts, having been taken advantage of in different ways (and in Pete’s case, knowingly letting it happen) and through the course of the story Marek has to learn to stand up for himself and Pete to put his fear of reliving the past aside as they work towards the happy ending certain people wish to deny them.

There’s a lot of hot sex in the book, with the running joke that Marek treats everything in life like one of his science experiments, and this extends to the bedroom too. The love scenes are by turn inventive and tender, and the author has the knack of getting deep into the most intimate thoughts and emotions of the two main characters as they explore their desires for each other. If geeky but self-aware men are your thing, Professor Adorkable should hit the spot for you.

Professor Adorkable is available from Amazon US and Amazon UK. I was given a copy of the book by Indigo Marketing and Design in return for an honest review.

 

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One Knight In Muiden Is Released Today!

Photo courtesy of Rijkdienst voor het Culturel Erfsgoed

My mediaeval historical novella, One Knight In Muiden, gets its full release from Tirgearr Publishing today, and I’m really excited about my first serious foray into the world of knights, ladies and court intrigue. Like its parent series, the City Nights contemporary romances, each of these stories takes place in a different city, but there’s the added restriction that only one city per country is allowed. So why did I choose Muiden and its beautiful castle, the Muiderslot?

The Netherlands isn’t a country you immediately think of when it comes to castles. The British Isles is an obvious choice. England has many settings that are well known in myth and legends, from Nottingham, in prime Robin Hood country, to Tintagel, believed to be the home of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. Wales and Scotland have their fair share of amazing fortified buildings too (indeed, Stirling was the setting for the first City Knights book). France has its romantic chateaux, Germany its Schlösser, with their mountainous locations and fairy tale turrets. But the Muiderslot is as beautiful in design as any of those, and at the time when my story is set, the 14th century, it was of real strategic importance.

The route through North Holland played a vital part in trade across Europe, and whoever owned the castle at Muiden was able to extract hefty tolls from merchants who wanted to travel on the local roads. In the novella, this makes Swaneke, the daughter of Count Jonas of Muiden, a very eligible woman. Her father wishes to marry her to Count Reynold of Utrecht, and seal an alliance that will keep them both wealthy. Of course, at the time, someone like Swaneke would have had very little say in her choice of husband, but it doesn’t prevent her from having doubts about Reynold’s suitability as a husband. Throw in her attraction to a handsome knight who, unlike his master, lives by the concept of ‘courtly love’ and is obliged to act nobly and bravely in the service of the woman he loves, whether or not she can ever be his, and the resulting tale is a mixture of desire and deception that will change the lives of everyone living in the Muiderslot forever.

Muiden Castle has been rebuilt in recent centuries, though it’s retained its original mediaeval design, and it’s become a popular tourist attraction. You can find out more about visiting the castle here. And to read an extract from One Knight In Muiden and get details of the various online retailers where the book is for sale, check out its page on the Tirgearr website.

Oh, What A Knight!

You may remember that a while ago I posted a few images of castles and handsome, brawny knights, which were all part of the inspiration for my then-work in progress. Well, the fruit of that work is One Knight In Muiden, the second book in Tirgearr’s new City Knights historical romance series – itself a spin-off from their successful City Nights series which includes my own One Night In Brussels.

Here’s the beautiful cover for the book, created by Tirgearr’s very talented cover artist, Cora.

The idea behind City Knights is that each novella takes place in a different country, allowing the authors to delve into mediaeval history while creating a compelling romance with a knight’s adventures at its heart.

One Knight In Muiden is set in the Muidersloot, a castle which in the Netherlands of the 14th century was sited on an important trade route, and whoever controlled the castle was able to set tolls for merchants wanting to travel through Europe and beyond. Some of its history has been lost to time, which is a useful excuse for a writer who needs to take a few liberties with historical accuracy and can’t claim that a wizard did it…

The castle is home to Swaneke, whose father seeks to make a marriage that will benefit him by strengthening his grip on this toll route. He thinks he’s found a perfect match for her in Count Reynold of Utrecht, but Swaneke is frightened by the count’s reputation for coldness and cruelty and doesn’t want to be married off. Her lady-in-waiting, Mette, hatches a plan – if the women trade places, Mette can spend time with Count Reynold and report back. It sounds like fun, until Swaneke meets Count Reynold’s man-at-arms, Sir Alwin, and develops a powerful attraction to the brooding and withdrawn knight…

If you want to find out what happens next, One Knight in Muiden is currently available to pre-order from ebook retailers including Amazon US and Amazon UK, and you can get more of a flavour of the book on its Tirgearr page. It’ll give you a knight to remember!

My Favourite Song: Guest Post by Karen Botha

I have a few songs which have sentimental value, we all do I guess, we sit with the radio on in the background and then all of a sudden we are transported back to a time we thought we’d forgotten by the playing of a few bars of a tune.

One of those songs for me is Fleetwood Mac, The Chain.  It used to be the theme tune to the Formula 1 Grand Prix when I was a kid growing up. And I loved it, partly because it is a great song, even now. But also because it signified the highlight of my week was about to begin. Those first few bars still raise my blood pressure, by a few beats per minute.

I remember sitting on the floor in my dad’s lounge going through his old record collection and finding that he had this album. I couldn’t believe my luck! I took that album into my bedroom and I played it on repeat for the next year and now I love all those songs, but of course, The Chain is still my favorite.

That’s why Elliott became a racing driver in Buckle Up. I needed him to be in a testosterone heavy environment and what fits that better than motor racing? I love the way my covers have turned out, they’re so moody which for me is representative of everything that motor sport is. There are good days and bad days and no-one knows which curve ball will be thrown your way until you’re slap bang in the middle of it — just like life, and love.

Title: Commitment, A Gay Romance Series Collection

Series: Buckle Up #1, G-Force #2 & Jump Start #3

Author: Karen Botha

Publisher: Self-Published

Release Date: October 18th

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 612 pages

Genre: Romance, MM Romance

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis:

On the road of life, passion is what drives us, but love makes us stay the course.

GRS Boxset Collection.jpgElliott Judd is a superstar race car driver and hotter than hell. Men and women fall at his feet and he enjoys the easy pickings.

Kyle Beaumont, a straight mechanic with a body to die for, joins the racing team of his dreams with his mind fixed on the job.

But as the racing seasons come and go, these men realize they might be racing to the same trophy, each other. With their physical and emotional exploits driven to new depths, they face devastating disruptions when the past crashes into them. Are their feelings for each other enough to keep them on the right track?
Find how passion and lust turn to love, and whether these driven men focus on happiness in the journey or the destination in this hot, sexy three-book m m romance series.

Download your copy of this gay romance series, Commitment Collection 1 – 3 now.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:

This Commitments book is part of a fiction series of m/m gay romance books. The books included in this lgbt romance collection are the first three books; Buckle Up, G-Force and Jump Start. The rest of the mm romance books in this gay series, Ignition, Turbo Charged and Pole Position may be downloaded on kindle or purchased separately as paperbacks.

Buckle Up #1

Passion, lust and desire are the fuel that drives us. So, buckle up for the ride of your life.

Elliott Judd is a superstar race car driver and hotter than hell. Men and women fall at his feet and he enjoys the easy pickings. No one has tamed this wild stallion, but is he ready to settle down for the right person?

Kyle Beaumont, a straight mechanic with a body to die for joins the racing team of his dreams, and with his mind fixed on the job, he doesn’t realise that he is Elliott’s next trophy of choice.

As the racing season and the fight to be the world number one starts, so too does Elliott’s game of seduction.
Will Elliott crash and burn, or will Kyle succumb to this gorgeous man’s onslaught?

Buckle Up is the first book in a gay romance series by Karen Botha and a story of unlikely love.

G-Force #2

Love breeds intensity.
Intensity breeds passion.

Recovered from a life-threatening accident, Kyle Beaumont is a powerhouse who is eager to show Elliott Judd just how far he can push his hotter than ever physique. Their physical and emotional exploits are driven to a depth neither has ever experienced with anyone else.

As a racing driver superstar, Elliott loves handling power, and he’s geared up for taking everything Kyle throws his way. In fact, he craves it. But, when the past smashes into their lives, is the couple prepared to handle possibly devastating disruptions?

Set in a world of fast cars, intense love, and a burning desire to win at all costs, this is a love story brimming with unbridled lust. Join Elliott and Kyle as they race their demons to the finish line in hopes of taking home the ultimate prize-their undying love.

Jump Start #3

Falling in love is easy.
Making it work, well, that’s where the fun begins.

Falling in love with Kyle Beaumont helped Elliott Judd find a romantic piece of himself he didn’t know existed. The two men take the next step in their relationship when Kyle moves into Elliott’s place, but despite the passion he feels for his talented mechanic and lover, the scorching hot race car driver suddenly feels out of place in his own home.

Kyle adores Elliott, and thinks of him as the love of his life he didn’t see coming. But calling a mansion home and fitting into Elliott’s space is more of a culture shock than he’d anticipated.Join Kyle and Elliott as they adjust to sharing their lives with one another, both in and out of the spotlight. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll wonder if these two will ever get it right.

Purchase at Amazon

Meet the Author

Ooh, where to start? I used to work in a proper job that was KILLING me — slowly! I packed it all in and retrained as a massage therapist and reflexologist which meant I had downtime to fill and I knew just the thing.

So, now I spend more hours than I work in my office conjuring up all manner of sex scenes and scrapes. I say I’m so happy because I have whichever imaginary friends with me, doing exactly what I like, when I want. Who could ask for more? Hah!

By the way, now I have NO downtime.

Please follow me, I’m on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and I have my own website, www.KarenBotha.com. It would be great to get some interaction from you guys. Much as I love my imaginary friends, it’s great to speak to real people too.

eMail

Tour Schedule

10/22 – Divine Magazine

10/23 – MM Good Book Reviews

10/24 – The (Really) Naughty Corner

10/25 – Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author

10/26 – My Fiction Nook

Rafflecopter Giveaway!

Karen is giving a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner. Click here to enter, and good luck!

This blog tour was put together by Indigo Marketing & Design

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An Apple For The Teacher

Ever been tempted to stay behind after class? You might be, once you’ve read the stories in Teacher’s Pet 2, the second volume of stories that bring a new meaning to “adult education”.

My contribution to the anthology is Finding The Words, in which a college professor who’s been become a virtual recluse following a devastating personal tragedy rediscovers the joys of love and learning when he takes on a new student. But the authors here have taken teaching to mean more than just academia, so you’ll also find a hot personal trainer in Danielle Wayland’s Shedding Doubt, a yoga instructor in Elna Holst’s The Silent Treatment, and more than one sorcerer dealing with an unruly pupil in the tales of magical instruction from Lee Welch’s A Spell For Master Vervain and Morwen Navarre’s The Sidhe’s Apprentice.

Teacher’s Pet 2 is available to pre-order now – find out more at the NineStar Press bookstore.

Guest Interview: E.M. Hamill

My guest today is E.M. Hamill, currently on a blog tour with her tale of an ordinary woman thrown into a world of gods and monsters, Nectar And Ambrosia. She’s sharing some of her secrets and offering a chance to win a copy of Nectar And Ambrosia with a great Rafflecopter giveaway. Welcome to the Naughty Corner, E.M.!

If I were snooping around your kitchen and looked in your refrigerator right now, what would I find?

Two half-empty gallons of milk, a huge carton of eggs, homemade refrigerator pickles, an obscene amount of shredded cheese, and bratwurst.

If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?

I’d want healing powers, to heal myself and others.

If you could trade places with one of your characters, who would it be and why?

I’d change places with Callie for a shift at the bar in Nectar and Ambrosia, just to watch the clientele. Probably on Sidhe night, though. I’m not sure I could handle a Tuesday night.

If you could sequester yourself for a week somewhere and just focus on your writing, where would you go and what would the environment be like?

A cabin in the mountains, with a clear, fast flowing stream of ice-cold water behind the back porch, the scent of pine trees, and a fireplace to light at night.

What’s the one thing, you can’t live without?

My family. Beyond that, indoor plumbing.

What internet site do you surf to the most?

Twitter and Facebook.

If you had your own talk show, who would your first three author guests be and why?

Neil Gaiman, because I love his articulate way of expressing things, his sense of humor, and adore his writing.  His wife Amanda Palmer, because of her music, writing and her activism.  Finally, Stephen King, because he is the Master.

When you got your very first manuscript acceptance letter, what was your initial reaction and who was the first person you told?

The first person I probably told was my husband. I’m sure there was dancing involved on my part.

 

Title: Nectar and Ambrosia

Series: Amaranthine Inheritance #1

Author: E.M. Hamill

Publisher: Star Bard Books

Release Date: June 30, 2018

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: Male/Female, Male/Male

Length: 81576

Genre: Fantasy, urban/mythical

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40548935-nectar-and-ambrosia

Summary:

Callie, a Classics major, flees home to protect her family from a monster straight out of mythology. Visions lead her to Nectar and Ambrosia: the weirdest pub on Earth, where inter-dimensional travelers with attention seeking issues get drunk in between the A-list celebrity lives they create. They can’t pretend to be gods anymore—not since a treaty with the current Supreme Deity promising they won’t intervene in human affairs.

The Doorkeeper of this threshold, Florian, rides herd on the rowdy Amaranthine and offers her shelter and a job. Callie likes the lonely, mysterious bartender more than she should. For Florian, her presence is a ray of light in the gray monotony of his sentence behind the bar, but he keeps a cautious distance—the truth of how he became Doorkeeper could change Callie’s perception of him forever.

When angels show up for a war council over Zeus’s irrational mutters about a comeback, Callie has uncontrolled visions of an apocalypse. Ex-gods realize she’s the first Oracle Priestess in generations. All Callie wanted was keep her parents safe, and now it seems she must sacrifice her future to keep the rest of humanity safe, too. Ambrosia could be the key to harnessing her visions— or it could cost her life.

War is coming. The threshold between worlds has never been more fragile. Callie must discover who is pulling Zeus’s strings and avert the final battle—before the immortal vying to become the next Supreme Deity kills her first.

Excerpt:

Callie turned away, trying to decide if Florian and all his clientele were delusional or if it was some kind of big role-playing game for rich people. Folks could have a thing about dressing up in furry animal costumes. She supposed they could pretend to be gods and goddesses too. If it was a mythology RPG, they weren’t concerned with the classical part, except for the guy she saw yesterday afternoon. She was relieved to have a rational explanation for the horns.

Something moved outside the glass front door. Her heart seized in momentary panic. What if the monster still lurked out there?

Strange, visible turbulence seemed to ripple the panes. Callie squeezed her eyes shut to clear her sight and prayed it wasn’t the aura of an oncoming seizure. Cool relief extinguished the rising sparks of panic as the effect dissipated.

The door opened and revealed a spiky-haired, punk rock kid years too young to be in any bar. Callie was forced to squint in order see him clearly as he strode in, his outlines strangely blurred and soft. Sullen teenaged fluidity rolled in every line of his body. He surveyed the bar, narrow kohl-ringed eyes settling on the heavily intoxicated Zeus. A sneer comprised of equal parts contempt and satisfaction flickered over his mouth.

“There he is, the great king of the gods,” he muttered. He moved toward the bar, a glare of disdain sweeping over the other patrons. His eyes widened in appreciation as they passed over Callie, a little smirk growing as his gaze lingered too long on the front of her college t-shirt.

Despite her confusion on how he’d arrived, she gave him a thin smile and a cool nod, crossing her arms over her chest. He stopped short, an expression of shock on his face. Then a quick, sunny grin took over. His blurry outlines sharpened as he drew closer and she relaxed her squinted eyes, no longer struggling to focus on him. She decided it was a trick of the neon-tinted lights hanging in garish advertisement on the walls of the bar.

“My, my, my. Who have we here?” His voice, thick with Cockney vowels, dipped to an intimate tone as he approached. His body language changed to something more unsettlingly mature. He was older than he appeared. “Who do you belong to?”

“I’m Callie. I don’t belong to anybody, but I work for Florian,” she corrected him politely. “Can I get you something?”

“Well, for starters, tequila.” He smirked suggestively. “And your undivided attention.”

Callie resisted the urge to roll her eyes. No matter where she worked, the pickup lines were the same.

“I’m sorry, I’m busy working. I’ll ask Florian for your tequila. On the rocks, or a shot?”

“On the rocks, love.”

“I’ll need to see some ID first.”

“You are new here, aren’t you?” He flipped two fingers out, a driver’s license between them. She took it. No stranger to fake ID’s, this one appeared to be real, and passed him as twenty-one. Still…

“John Smith, huh?”

He captured Callie’s fingers as she returned the license and kissed the back of her hand in old-fashioned courtliness, sea-colored eyes glinting in mischief. An odd, visceral twinge from her early warning system made her startle as his lips touched her skin. Goose bumps flecked her arms. A totally alien sensation overwhelmed her senses: it was as if something crawled off her skin toward his mouth. She shivered in response and tried to pull her hand away. His grin widened as he tightened his grip, apparently delighted by her discomfiture.

“Oh, ho. That’s a lovely surprise. Don’t mind me. I’m incorrigible. Call me Puck.” He scribed an expansive circular gesture with his free hand. “Welcome to the watering hole of the damned bored.”

Callie forced a smile. “Thank you. Now, if you’ll let go of my hand, I’ll get your drink.”

Puck made a mocking bow over her hand and released it, smirking again as he backed away, still admiring her in undisguised interest. Between them, a well-dressed man stepped directly into Callie’s path. He swerved with a graceful spin and apologized as Callie’s sneakers squeaked to an abrupt halt on the concrete floor.

“Sorry, hon. Good evening, gods and goddesses!”

“Herm!” came a shouted group greeting from the room at large.

“And fairies,” the man belatedly added, nodding at the punk rocker.

Puck offered him an extended middle finger and a dangerous smile. Callie’s mouth fell open, recognizing the Armani-suited guy from the previous afternoon.

“Jeeze, homophobic much?” she muttered.

“Trust me love, I am all fairy and he is far from homophobic. Sexual orientation has nothing to do with him being a prick.” Puck glared at the man’s back with undisguised hatred before another lightning-quick mood change and a devilish grin took over. “Make that tequila a double.” He winked at her, eyes making another head to toe rake of her body before he disappeared into the clump of huge Scandinavian-looking, Corona-swilling dart players.

Callie’s hair still prickled on the back of her neck even after Puck left, and she rubbed it, troubled. She turned back to the room, stopped short, and stared. More customers sat at tables and in the shadows of the booths, each group just a little stranger than the last. None of them used the door.

And the Armani guy—he’d stepped into her path. Right out of the air.

Something intensely freaky was happening that she couldn’t rationalize away, no matter how hard she tried.

Was Florian telling the truth?

Instead of fear, a deep, visceral excitement flip-flopped in her abdomen, butterflies on steroids.

She never pinpointed exactly when wonder began to crowd out her reservations. Rushing between the cooler and the tables, she caught snatches of conversation and shouted greetings when others appeared. Having to bite back questions when she delivered their beverages replaced the urge to roll her eyes. She fought to keep a professional demeanor rather than fangirl all over herself when Florian introduced the Armani guy to her as Hermes. Hermes! One of her favorite characters in Greek mythology.

Three hours into the shift, she took a quick bathroom break. Her back against the door, Callie put her hands over her mouth and muffled something that sounded suspiciously like a shriek. Whether it was fear or excitement, she couldn’t quite say. Her breath came fast and short until she got dizzy. She spun the tap on the sink and the shock of cold water on her face helped bring her back down.

“What the hell, Callie? Are you really going to believe this?” she muttered to herself in the mirror. She grabbed a paper towel to blot the moisture away and waded back out into the crowded bar.

Purchase Links:

Star Bard Books | Amazon Kindle | Amazon Paperback |Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

Meet the Author:

Elisabeth “E.M.” Hamill is a nurse by day, unabashed geek, chocoholic, sci fi and fantasy novelist by nights, weekends, and wherever she can steal quality time with her laptop. She lives with her family, a dog, and a cat in the wilds of eastern suburban Kansas, where they fend off flying monkey attacks and prep for the zombie apocalypse.

Author Links:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | eMail

Tour Schedule

7/10 The Blogger Girls

7/11 My Fiction Nook

7/12 Love Bytes

7/13 The Novel Approach

7/14 Boy Meets Boy Reviews

7/14 The (Really) Naughty Corner

Giveaway:

You can win one of five ebook copies of Nectar And Ambrosia – simply visit the Rafflecopter site by clicking here. Good luck!

This blog tour was organised by IndioGo Marketing & Design

Tirgearr Smashwords Summer Sale

Is it really July already? Seems like only five minutes ago I was watching Rotherham play Northampton in sub-zero temperatures, and now it’s the height of summer. And that means the annual Tirgearr Summer Sale at Smashwords.

From now until the end of the month, all Tirgearr titles are half-price at Smashwords, including the whole City Nights series. That means you can get my steamy romantic suspense novella, One Night In Brussels, for £1.50. This lovely graphic below will tell you more:

You can also visit the One Night In Brussels page at Smashwords by following this link. Or click here to see the whole City Nights range.

And keep watching this space for news of a hot new twist on the City Nights series and a story I had a whole lot of fun writing…