Daily Archives: July 1, 2015

A Casual Thing by Annabelle Jacobs

Dreampsinner Presents http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6602

CasualThing[A]LGBlurb

Patrick Mason travels to Bristol to spend the summer with his brother, Ben. He’s cat sitting for the first two weeks while Ben goes on holiday. But Ben neglected to tell him he wouldn’t be doing it alone. Will Adams—Ben’s mate and Patrick’s long-time crush—is staying in Ben’s guest room while he waits to move into his new house after a breakup.

Against his better judgment, Patrick convinces Will that a little no-strings fun is just what they need. Patrick doesn’t want to get involved with a guy on the rebound, and Will isn’t interested in starting something serious with a student. But Patrick’s never been good at separating sex from feelings, and this time is no exception. As their weeks together draw to a close, they need to decide if they have something worth pursuing or if it’s really just a casual thing.

Excerpt

Patrick stopped, the words dying on his tongue as he noticed Ben wince.

“No.” He jumped off the bed, fisting his hands in his hair. “No fucking way. Ben, please tell me you’re not leaving me alone for two weeks with the guy I have a huge unrequited, and frankly, embarrassing, crush on?”

Ben shrugged. “He needed somewhere to stay. I’d sort of forgotten you had the hots for him.”

“How could you forget?” Patrick paced in front of the bed. “The last time I was here, I tried to climb into his lap and told him how hot he was. In front of his boyfriend.”

“Oh yeah.” Ben grinned, and Patrick stopped his pacing to punch him on the arm.

“It’s not funny.”

“It was hilarious.” Ben ducked out of the way when Patrick tried to punch him again. “Look, you were drunk. We all were. He doesn’t hold it against you.”

“But he won’t have forgotten.” The whole thing still made Patrick cringe every time he thought about it. He may have been drunk, but sadly not drunk enough to wipe the horrifying experience from his brain.

“Sit down. I think you might be overreacting just a tad.” Ben even used his finger and thumb to demonstrate how much he thought Patrick was overreacting before grabbing Patrick’s arm and yanking him back down onto the bed.

Patrick sighed. Fine. Maybe he was being overly dramatic, but come on. This was Will. Tall, dark, and handsome, and as easygoing as Ben. He oozed charm and made you want to curl up with him somewhere warm and never ever move. Well, that last part could just be Patrick.

Fuck.

He was going to make such an arse of himself. He flopped onto the bed and covered his face. “I hate you. You are the worst brother ever.”

Author Bio

Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with her three rowdy children, and two cats.
An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories. They’re usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it—fighting enemies and adversity—but they always find love in the end.

http://www.annabellejacobs.com

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Review

This is a very low angst love story between a slightly older and wiser Will and the still in university Patrick. Will has been burned in the past and is leery of younger men and long-distance relationships, especially with the brother of a friend, so he resists Patrick’s obvious adoration until it becomes apparent that he can’t anymore. When he gives in, it’s with the (this never works out) idea that they can somehow be fuck buddies and no strings.

Of course Patrick is already having feelings before they begin, so Will’s already set up to fail. When Patrick does ask for more – even vaguely – and is summarily rejected – everyone is heartbroken, including Patrick’s brother for having been caught in the middle.

Ultimately the story ends with a solid HFN and a happy enough ending and certainly Patrick deserves it, though Will… I’m not so sure. He was mostly a jerk throughout the entire book and he didn’t do much to redeem himself even by the end.

I really liked Patrick’s character, he was earnest and sweet and besides the obvious chemistry didn’t see how Will deserved his goodness. I wish that we got to see them a little later down the road, maybe a year or more, so that I could feel good about their HEA.

All in all this was a nicely written, relatively light hearted romance with some nicely developed characters. 3.5 of 5 hearts

3.5

 

Imposter in Zebra-striped Briefs by CC Dado

Dreamspinner Presents
http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6601

ImposterinZebraStripedBriefsLGBlurb

When recent college graduate Nathan Harris makes a life-changing move out from under his mother’s thumb and into his own place, he is determined to take some risks. He is tired of not being good enough, tired of allowing his fears to control him.

What he thought would be an exciting adventure ends up being one jaw-dropping mishap of embarrassment after another, leaving him with a life he doesn’t even recognize anymore.

His once boring, lonely existence has been replaced by a brownstone filled with colorful friends, a rough around the edges, tattooed bad boy best friend, and a stripper for a boyfriend who’s not even sure he’s gay.

Review

This turns out to be two stories in one!
From Grand Adventures, an anthology, CC Dado gave us Brandon and Josh, two seemingly disparate men who end up perfect for one another.
(Link to full review here: )

The review for that story (Chapter 12, The place across the hall) :
A really cute short story about a guy who falls in love with his neighbor.

Josh has a (typical-for-him) one-night-stand-guy in his apartment when someone (his June Cleaver-eque) neighbor bangs on his door to invite him to a party for one of the other tenants. John isn’t a joiner. He has tattoos. He sleeps around. He doesn’t do relationships.

Brandon is all about relationships and has “fancied” John since day one.

The brief meet and greet at the party leads to a complete change in John’s thinking and Brandon manages to capture the heart of the lone wolf.

We start the story with Nathan aka Nate aka Nathaniel, moving out from under his mother’s domineering thumb (she refuses to be called “mom” insists on being called by her first name, Aurora and she has refused to his “coming out speech” three times now and he claims he’s autistic when every mental professional she drags him to ends up prescribing HER the medication, not him.) He is very bright (3 points below genius level) and has just recently finished school and is working a dream job at a lab working on Alzheimer’s.

Nate sees an ad for a sublet, thinks it’s fantastic, but in his completely virginal and socially inept way, totally misinterprets Josh’s overtures of friendship as a come- on and nearly dies of embarrassment.

This merely serves to make them instant best friends.

So now, Josh, Brandon and Nate are bonding and so we get to see not only Nate’s story but a continuation of Josh and Brandon’s story.

There ends up being a party thrown again on the roof of their apartment and a stripper is ordered. The original stripper is sick, so a replacement (his brother) is called in a pinch. Neither the original nor the replacement stripper is gay, but willing to dance for men as they pay more.

Something happens when David – the stripper’s brother – sees Nate from across the room and the two end up in clench. David is shocked and runs away. Nate is horrified – again.

The rest of the story is Josh and Brandon navigating the changes in their relationship while helping Nate to come out of his shell and while helping David learn how to trust his instincts.

It’s a very sweet, touching story, low, to no steam, but sexy nonetheless. I loved that we got to see such a satisfying conclusion to the Josh/Brandon story and though we didn’t see as much of David and Nate as I’d like, I’m hopeful we’ll see them in the next? installment.

The writing is excellent and grabs you from the start.

I sincerely hope we see more from this author and this couple in the near future.

4.5 of 5 hearts

4.5

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A Casual Thing by Annabelle Jacobs Blog Tour with Excerpt and Giveaway

RC

Excerpt:
Ben raised an eyebrow. “I see living with Sean all these years has done some good after all.”
“Ugh,” Patrick groaned. He wasn’t that bad. “He’s my roommate, not my mum. He doesn’t make me do chores you know.” Sean was also his best friend, and three years of living together at university had made Patrick more self-sufficient, but he wasn’t about to admit it. “Anyway,” he said, walking down the hall as he spoke. “I’m assuming you’ve cleared out all your shit from the spare room?” Patrick looked back over his shoulder as he opened the door. Ben usually shoved anything he didn’t use in there until he either gave it to charity or took it down to the rubbish tip.
“Yeah, um… about that….” Ben let the sentence hang there as Patrick opened the door to the spare room and stopped in his tracks.
Okay, so it wasn’t full of Ben’s stuff, but it wasn’t empty either. The bed looked recently slept in, the quilt pulled up sort of straight but the pillows at odd angles, as though it had been made in a hurry. A couple of shirts hung on the wardrobe door, and the desk had a laptop on it and some toiletries that definitely belonged to a guy.

Ben appeared behind him, scratching at the back of his neck, but not looking particularly bothered. Patrick waved a hand around the room and raised his eyebrow. “I guess I’m not staying in here, then?”
“Sorry, it only happened a couple of weeks ago, and I forgot all about it. But he’s only here for another two weeks, so you can sleep in my room while I’m away.” Ben gestured to the door opposite and picked up Patrick’s bags again. “I’m off in the morning, so you only have to sleep on the sofa for one night.”
Patrick followed him, trying not to feel disappointed at not having the place to himself. He collapsed on Ben’s bed, making sure to hang his shoes over the edge. “So, who is it, then? Do I know him?” He narrowed his eyes, watching as Ben dropped both bags in front of the wardrobe and turned to face him. “It better not be someone old and boring who’s going to judge everything I do. Christ.” He threw his arm over his face and let out a put-upon sigh. “I might as well have stayed at home.”
“He’s not old. He’s a year older than me.”
“You’re old.”
“Shut the fuck up, or I will send you back home.” The bed dipped as Ben sat down. “And yes, you know him. He’s a good guy—I wouldn’t leave my little brother alone for two weeks with someone I didn’t trust completely.”
Patrick sat up and leaned on his elbows, taking in the slightly shifty expression on his brother’s face. Nothing normally fazed Ben, and he’d said that Patrick knew the guy and that Ben trusted him, so Patrick didn’t see what the problem could be. He liked to think he was pretty easy to get along with. He maybe had a lot of energy, which irritated some people, but he tried to tone it down with anyone other than close friends or family. Ben’s mates all knew him pretty well anyway—Patrick usually came down to Bristol for at least a few days every time he had a break from uni.
“Well, I’m assuming it’s one of your friends, and honestly, Ben, they’re a great bunch of lads, so I don’t get why you’re being weird.”
“I’m not being weird.”
Patrick gave him his best “yeah right” look and sat up a bit. “Seriously, I won’t have a problem sharing with any of them,” he said, nudging Ben with his shoulder. “Well, except Will maybe, but that’s only because—”
Patrick stopped, the words dying on his tongue as he noticed Ben wince.
“No.” He jumped off the bed, fisting his hands in his hair. “No fucking way. Ben, please tell me you’re not leaving me alone for two weeks with the guy I have a huge unrequited, and frankly, embarrassing, crush on?”
Ben shrugged. “He needed somewhere to stay. I’d sort of forgotten you had the hots for him.”

Sales Links: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6602

About the author:

Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with her husband, three rowdy children, and two cats.

An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories. They’re usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it—fighting enemies and adversity—but they always find love in the end.

Where to find the author:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ajacobsfiction
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Annabelle-Jacobs-Fiction/458768424158896?ref=hl
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJacobs_fiction

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25692969-a-casual-thing
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anna Sikorska

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