Category Archives: British

What’s Up Pussycat by Louise Lyons Excerpt & Free Read

What’s Up, Pussycat?
Release date: July 7, 2017
Length: 24,300 words
Cover Design: Simon Searle

Blurb
Finley Harrington despairs of ever being able to move on after the death of Andrew, the love of his life. When he spots an advertisement for auditions for Cats, the last musical Andrew performed in, Finley acts on the spur of the moment and calls for an appointment to audition.
Much to Fin’s surprise, he gets the part he hopes for, but during his struggles with stage-fright, and the teasing of a fellow actor, Karl Rogers, he wonders if he’s made a huge mistake. But Karl’s irritating persona hides a different person inside, and when Fin gets to know him, he develops a surprising attraction to him.
Could Karl be the person to help Fin move on from the past, or is he destined to remain alone?

Excerpt:

The members of the cast began arriving half an hour later when the three of us were warming up, and my impression of the first man through the door was one of shock. I’d seen Karl Rogers who played Rum Tum Tugger from a distance a few times when I attended the shows in Leicester, but never without his cat costume. He was tall—at least six feet—and his shock of peroxide hair and startling green eyes drew everyone’s attention. His lycra leggings emphasized a large package, and a bright orange cropped T-shirt and matching ballet shoes completed his outfit. He charged into the room like a whirlwind.
“So! Who do we have here?” he shouted, looming over Annette and me, where we stood stretching our hamstrings. “You look weirdly familiar.” He jabbed a finger in my direction, before turning his attention to Annette. “What a pretty kitty. What’s your name, then, darling?” He pronounced the endearment “dahling” and I cringed. I hoped the rest of the cast weren’t like Karl. I’d met a couple of them, but I preferred to keep my distance and monopolize Andrew when the shows were over.
“Annette,” the girl said. “And that’s Finley. The other guy is James.”
Karl spun around to look at James, gave him a cursory nod, then turned back to me. He took a step closer, forcing me to look up.
“Cute!” Karl exclaimed. “Cat got your tongue?” He proceeded to shriek with laughter at his lame joke, and my face heated under the scrutiny.
“I’ve not had the chance to get a word in,” I blurted, and immediately cringed. My voice tended to sound more refined when I was irritated. I couldn’t help my parents or the school I’d gone to, but for the past few years I’d done my best to shake off the accent and sound more like everyone else. I knew Karl would say something, even before he opened his mouth again.
“Ooh, someone swallowed a silver spoon, didn’t they? Wait. Finley? Finley Harrington? Golly, I’m surprised Mummy and Daddy let their little boy do something as lower class as performing on the stage. Shouldn’t you be a lawyer or a doctor or something?” Karl spoke in an exaggerated tone, and my face burned.
“Wow, someone loves himself.” James moved to my side and cocked an eyebrow at Karl.
“I have a sense of humor. You should try it some time.” Karl laughed, and James scowled at him. The boisterous dancer ignored him, and draped an arm around Annette’s shoulders. “You never told me your name, Kitty.”
“Yes, I did. It’s Annette.”

Free Download Links

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Whats-Up-Pussycat-Louise-Lyons-ebook/dp/B072YWVR78
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Whats-Up-Pussycat-Louise-Lyons-ebook/dp/B072YWVR78
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/731063
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/whats-up-pussycat-louise-lyons/1126618738?ean=2940154421666
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/what-s-up-pussycat

Author Bio

Louise Lyons comes from a family of writers. Her mother has a number of poems published in poetry anthologies, her aunt wrote poems for the church, and her grandmother sparked her inspiration with tales of fantasy.
Louise first ventured into writing short stories at the grand old age of eight, mostly about little girls and ponies. She branched into romance in her teens, and MM romance a few years later, but none of her work saw the light of day until she discovered FanFiction in her late twenties. Posting stories based on some of her favourite movies, provoked a surprisingly positive response from readers. This gave Louise the confidence to submit some of her work to publishers, and made her take her writing “hobby” more seriously.
Louise lives in the UK, about an hour north of London, with a mad dog called Casper, and a collection of tropical fish and tarantulas. She works in the insurance industry by day, and spends every spare minute writing. She is a keen horse-rider, and loves to run long-distance. Some of her best writing inspiration comes to her, when her feet are pounding the open road. She often races home afterward, and grabs pen and paper to make notes.
Louise has always been a bit of a tomboy, and one of her other great loves is cars and motorcycles. Her car and bike are her pride and job, and she loves to exhibit the car at shows, and take off for long days out on the bike, with no one for company but herself.

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Email: louiselyons013@gmail.com

 

Bear Among the Books by TJ Masters

Reviewed by Kiwi

TITLE: Bear Among The Books

SERIES:

AUTHOR: TJ Masters

PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
RELEASE DATE: September 2 , 2016

BLURB: Forty-eight-year-old Ben Thompson is a librarian, a passionate book lover, and a man who embodies the definition of a bear. He’s also lonely after the loss of his long-term partner. Young ex-gymnast Jason Barnes piques his interest, but Ben quickly realizes there’s more to Jason than his good looks. While Jason visits the library almost every day, he never checks out a book.

With gentle persistence, Ben befriends Jason and learns the nineteen-year-old’s tragic secrets. After years of abuse at his father’s hands, Jason was kicked out of his family home for being gay. And despite his apparent love of books, Jason never learned to read. Ben offers to teach him, and the two men bond over their lessons. Ben can’t deny his attraction to Jason, but he wonders if Jason is too young and too handsome to return his interest. With the help of the close-knit library team and Jason’s growing self-confidence, they move beyond the books and into the bedroom, where their own story is just beginning.

REVIEW: I didn’t think that this book would hold my interests hen it was first presented to me but I was pleasantly surprised. Very much so.

Here you have this young man, Jason, who at nineteen doesn’t know how to read. He’s a sweet young man, bright but had learning difficulties where left him illiterate. Let’s talk about him a bit more. This young man was in no way lazy or uninterested in learning, he was quite the opposite. He was passionate about books and his thirst for knowledge was obvious. There was just never anyone who actually took the time to take a vested interest in helping him learn until he meets Ben.

Ben. Sweet, gentle, intelligent, soft spoken Ben. He’s a librarian, a gentlemen of 48, whose just decided to live his life as it is. He has his books, his colleagues that he likes in a job that he loves. You get the sense that he wasn’t not looking to fall in love that he’s just sort of put that part of himself away after the passing of his husband/long term partner.

I think initially, when he notices Jason, he’s intrigued and notices how attractive he is in passing; it wasn’t overwhelming. But once he discovers the young man’s secret, he wants to help him.

I really like this book. When many think of a May/ December or older man/younger man romance, there’s a tendency to tell the story with certain slant. I was really glad to see that it wasn’t the case with this book. Ben genuinely cares about Jason, he has a vested interest in helping this young man live up to his full potential. It’s actually sad that people in the education system failed this young man.

The romance aspect wasn’t as believable as I would’ve expectedly to be. I just couldn’t see these two as a couple not because of the age difference but because of the tone of the relationship. Oh, don’t get me wrong, Ben does in no way take advantage of Jason, I just felt that the relationship was driven by feelings other than love and attraction. I think for Jason it was more of an attraction to his mentor and for Ben it was driven by loneliness and a bit of lust. But it was in no way disgusting.

This aside, I think the book was well very written. There wasn’t any heat between the two characters in my opinion but then again, that’s quite alright because I think these two men made better friends than lovers. The chemistry between the two was a slow burn that never truly turns into a raging fire and that is okay.

All things considered, I think the story worked out rather nicely.

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
BUY LINKS:

Amazon

 

Dreamspinner Press

 

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Believing Blue (Manchester Ménage #3) Nicole Colville

 

Reviewed by Kiwi

TITLE: Believing Blue

SERIES: Manchester Ménage #3

PUBLISHER: Hidden Pleasures

RELEASE DATE: April 20, 2016

BLURB: Is there a fated path we follow, or is it simply a series of coincidental events?
Police officer Kellan Howard is rumoured to have spent too much time in sub-zero temperatures, leaving him with a block of ice for a heart and women lining up to help thaw it. Mountain climbing is his only love, leaving no time for a relationship, and although meaningless sex satisfies his physical need, it’s empty. When he attends a fatal traffic accident, he didn’t expect his entire life to change. Along with a final message, Kellan is offered something else from the dying man: the chance to fall in love. Kellan’s never considered being with a man, but when he meets Valentino, he’s instantly drawn to him.
Suffering from crippling agoraphobia, talented Italian artist Valentino has a solitary existence, only experiencing life outside the house through his partner Stuart. When their relationship comes to an abrupt end, Kellan helps ease his suffering. A deep bond binds the two men together, and the sexual tension can’t be denied, but Valentino questions if the distance between their very different lives is too much, and if they can bridge the gap by themselves.
Ballet dancer Blue has a vibrant personality which demands attention, but his humour and courageous attitude are a shield. Blue’s good at making others believe in themselves, but what he needs is someone to believe in him. He could be the bridge both men are looking for, but Blue’s never allowed anyone to get too close, and when Kellan and Valentino enter his life, he desperately tries to protect his heart and his secrets.
When all three meet, the chemistry is undeniable, but each have fears about moving forwards. Together, they learn love comes in many forms. It can’t be restrained or labelled, and it doesn’t always appear in the way you first imagined.

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EXCERPT

“Blue!” both Things screeched at the same time and Blue cringed. “You’re a bunny?”
“Yeah.” Blue sighed. He’d explained this to his sisters, like, four times over the past two days what he’d be wearing for their charity event. If he wasn’t related to them and knew both his mum and dad, then he’d so guess inbreeding was the cause of the Things. “You look awesome!”
Both twins smiled that same bright smile and turned around simultaneously. They always dressed the same, ever since they were born, well, ever since they were conceived really, so it was no surprise both Things insisted on wearing Alice’s blue dress. They looked adorable though. With their flaxen hair tied back with a black ribbon and their pale skin seemingly airbrushed over, Blue was sure they’d get tons of donations.
No one could turn down the mentally handicapped, could they?
Okay, they’d never been diagnosed with anything, but Blue was confident it would happen one day soon.
Porsche and Mercedes gave him a kiss on each cheek, then just stood there… waiting, looking right at him. Expressionless. Serene in their obliviousness.
“What?” Blue looked through narrowed eyes at them.
“So—” Porsche…
“What do we—” Mercedes…
“Do?” Both!
They were living proof aliens existed! Seriously, one day some secret government agents would turn up, Area fifty-one-ing the place and taking the twins away for special tests.
Blue turned his nose up. “You’ve worked here, like, almost every day for the past year. What do you mean, what do we do? Work! Do the things you do every day.”
Both Things cocked their heads to the left, and Blue shuddered internally seeing their Children of the Corn vacant look. One of us…
“Okay… so…” Blue stepped back and looked around at all the complicated coffee machines. “You know, do stuff. Coffee shop stuff!” Oh, yes, he was awesome at this managing thingy. “Make coffee!” Yes! He totally knew what he was doing. His one-month experience at Costa was coming back to him.
Unfortunately, he’d been fired from that job… Something about blowing up one of the machines or something — Blue wasn’t really listening because he was covered in sugary foam, and that shit was hard to get out of your hair. Luckily, most of the customers and all of the staff were covered in it too, so Blue didn’t stand out as being odd.
It could have been anyone’s fault. Just because he was the one standing next to the machine and pushing all the buttons didn’t mean it was him who caused it to explode.
It totally was his fault, but still…
That machine was like some sort of bomb just waiting to go off. BOOM! No warning or nothing. Well, there’d been some sort of flashing lights and buzzing, but Blue had ignored them and continued playing around with the knobs and switches.
He failed to mention that part to Shayne though.
For no reason at all.
None!
Considering his duties as supervisor done, he decided to set up three big bright yellow buckets and signs for people to leave donations in, then had some cheese on toast and a coffee. It was actually alright, so the twins had learned something in their year there. There was a constant stream of customers and Blue had to leave his coffee to help serve. Before he knew it, the morning rush was over and he set the twins up in the kitchen so they could start preparing the sandwich fillings for the next wave of hungry vultures.
As he quite obviously didn’t know what he was doing with the coffee machine, when it needed refilling, he called Thing One to come sort it out, and he took her place with Thing Two.
It was while Blue was stuffing his face with a chicken tikka toasted pita that he snuck a peek at Porsche to check she was okay. Left alone to her own devices she could do anything, or more likely, nothing!
He leaned against the door, peeking through the gap in the frame, watching her secretly. He found her standing still, vacantly lost in her own little world while she waited for another customer to come in. He was about to throw a slice of cucumber at her face to see if she was still with them, when the ringing of the doorbell chimed and she came back to reality, smiling pleasantly at whoever walked through the door.
Blue stuffed another huge helping of pita in his mouth, then choked on it seeing who had just come into the shop, coughing up chunks of un-chewed chicken tikka, and making Mercedes run to him, slapping his back really hard! Like too hard.
Crazy bitch was trying to kill him!
She must have some sort of hidden strength because she practically knocked Blue through the open fire door and into the yard outside with one hit. He was choking more because of her help. They ended up in the yard, taking part in some sort of teenage girl slapping fight while he struggled to get her off him, and she tried to save him. Blue was acting like some deranged wild blue bunny fighting for his life, and her like some crazed Alice who’d taken too much coke and was off her face, attacking random innocent bunnies.
He could see the headlines of tomorrow’s papers: Alice in Wonderland Charity Event Tragedy. Two dead and more injured. How did it happen!
“For the love of God, stop it. You’re making it worse.” Blue leaned against the wall, rubbing his back and breathing hard. “What the hell is wrong with you? Do you take steroids, have you been working out, what about some sort of alien powers which have appeared as you got older? I knew you were the evil twin. I just knew. Right from birth.”
Mercedes, AKA, Thing Two, stroked his back, cooing at him like some dove. “Feel better now?”
“Feel better? You crazy cow! You just nearly gave me a serious spinal injury. I’m lucky I can still walk. I may need corrective surgery later in life and it will all be your fault, Xena Warrior Princess.” She sagged her shoulders, toying with her hair and looking sheepish. Blue hugged her tightly and gave her a kiss. “Oh, get back inside and finish those fillings before our Shayne gets back. I need to snoop on Porsche.”
His only saving grace was that no one had seen him. So after grabbing a cloth to wipe his face down, he took up his secret position again, spying on his sister and the customer.

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REVIEW: This is the third book in this wonderful series and gives us Blue’s story. I absolutely adored Blue’s personality. He and Kellan’s interactions with each other in the beginning had me in tears from laughing so hard.

The beginning of the book was sad; it started off with a heartbreaking tragedy. That tragedy however, is what brings these men together. The connection that these men make was fate and Ms. Colville as usual, tells this story in the most beautiful way.

Kellan is a man whose life is flowing along familiar lines. On the outside, he appears content with his life, but lately, he’s feeling unsettled and unsatisfied with the predicable paths his life is taking. An accident changes his outlook and an odd request from the man involved changes everything for him.

Blue’s character had so many layers to him. His personality takes on these interesting juxtapositions that I found fascinating. He’s flighty, yet grounded, confident and tough, yet self-conscious. He’s intelligent and funny and has a wicked tongue. He’s surrounded by friends and family who loves him yet he’s lonely.

Valentino is an artist who hasn’t been out in the world for quite some time, relying on a friend and his lover to bring the world to him. He’s content with this until his world is shattered.

Three men all on different paths in their lives. We as humans are all connected; it only takes Fate to bring us together.

This author masterfully takes her characters through every emotion: fear, longing, sorrow, grief and happiness. And she takes the reader along for the ride.

This author is absolutely brilliant. I love to read and I can honestly say that there are few masters in this genre and Nicole Colville is definitely one of them.

Take a bow, Ms. Colville. You have as usual, given the readers another masterpiece.

RATING: 🌟🌟Amazing🌟🌟

Author Information

                                      Nicole Colville

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Welcome to the home of bittersweet M/M romances which will leave you craving more

Nicole Colville was born and currently lives in Leeds, England. She is a wife to her very understanding hubby and mother of two young girls who somehow manages to fit in being a full-time author of m/m romance and erotica into her busy home life.

She loves writing complex characters in bittersweet romances which will leave you addicted and craving more from her men

Although best known for her popular series, Hidden and Knights to Remember, she also enjoys writing with friend, and fellow author, E.M Leya. Together they have published two books in their Sinful Temptation Collection with more planned.

Her new ménage collection based in the popular city of Manchester, England is her first solo full length novel outside of The Hidden Series and has three books planned for release in 2015 & 2016.

Facebook

http://www.facebook.com/The.Hidden.Series.Nicole.Colville
http://www.facebook.com/nicole.colville.the.hidden.series

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Nicole-Colville/e/B00C75T3R2/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_2

Twitter

twitter.com/NikkieColville

Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7045302.Nicole_Colville

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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For a Rainy Afternoon Audiobook by RJ Scott Narrated by Ian Gordon

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7026

ForaRainyAfternoonAUDLGBlurb

Robbie MacIntyre manages a small post office in the old Station House on the outskirts of sleepy Barton Hartshourn northwest of London. He’s stunned when the owner, Maggie, a close friend, bequeaths him not only the post office, but also Station House.

The rest of her estate is left to an American writer, Jason Young, and when he moves to the village, Robbie is thrown by the attraction he has for the man who has more of a claim on the Station House than he does.

Then there is a box that holds several rare first editions and a cookbook. Only when the secrets of the ingredients in a particular recipe are finally revealed does everything begin to make sense, and a love cut short seventy years earlier is finally discovered.

Review

Robbie is a rootless artist who is gifted a benefactor in the form of 80 year old Maggie. She and her ladies read and drink tea at the Post Office/Library she sets up in an old train station. Robbie runs the place and lives in the apartment above it – giving him time and space to paint. This works excellently for 10 years until Maggie dies. She then gifts the entire place to him in her will along with some enigmatic papers and instructions.

Jason, an American, is a long lost distant great-grand-nephew to Maggie. He’s gifted her house and the other half of the enigmatic papers and instructions. Under suspicious circumstances the house he inherits needs massive renovations and he’s forced to seek shelter with Robbie.

Well, it’s a match made in heaven… literally? The two get along great and end up solving Maggie’s “mystery” and living HEA.

**

RJ is a great writer and this short little story is a wonderful example. It’s sweet, very British: full of tea, cold weather and old things! Though the romance between them is quick, and I wish that there was more character development and maybe some more smexy times, but I enjoyed the setting and the sentiment very much.

Audio

Ian Gordon is a lovely British narrator.  It really suited the story and since it’s placed in England I think choosing a British narrator was wonderful.  I did chuckle a bit at his “American” accent.  But it was really cute and it didn’t detract at all.  I loved it!

This is absolutely the best way to appreciate this story.

4.5 of 5 hearts

4.5

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Cold Feet Audiobook by Jay Northcote Narrated by Matthew Lloyd Davies

Dreamspinner Presents
http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Cold-Feet-Audiobook/B016J9TQXM/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1446220523&sr=1-1

cold feet audioBlurb

Best friends snowed in together. When the heat rises, will they get cold feet?

Getting snowed in at a remote cottage in Wales with someone he’d fancied for ages isn’t exactly how Sam expected to spend Christmas. His feelings for Ryan are pointless. Ryan’s straight—or so he thought.

Until now, Ryan’s kept his feelings for Sam buried. Why ruin a friendship over what might only be gay experimentation? Playing it cool seems safer, until a cold snap makes sharing body heat vital. In their Welsh safe haven, anything seems possible.

As Ryan’s reserve melts away, Sam wants more than stolen kisses under the mistletoe. But a sudden thaw means making decisions. They could face the New Year together—unless one of them gets cold feet.

Review:

(From book previously on this site)

Sam and Ryan are best “mates” (I love the British!) from university planning on a holiday in the country when the snow comes. Instead of being a casual thing with four roommates – now it’s an intimate stay between the two.

Sam is openly gay and has known he’s had feelings for Ryan forever. Sam knows those are pointless as Ryan is straight. (We’ve heard that before, right?!)
Ryan has had feelings for Sam pretty much since Sam came out and made Ryan look at sexuality in a different light. But Ryan doesn’t have the fearlessness Sam does, so he hesitates from jumping in the “gay” pool and watches for a while. Being snowbound forces those feelings to the surface and he and Sam begin to explore their feelings (and each other!).

**
This is a lovely short-story perfect for the holidays. The set-up for forcing Ryan to confront his feelings felt natural and their easy, slow start into moving things physical also fit the age and the setting. There is a bit of steam and smolder, but most of this is about their changing feelings and their emotions. Though we do get a very HEA ending, it also left us feeling that this was really the beginning of their relationship and we were just glimpsing its origins.

This isn’t as angsty as some of Jay’s other novels, certainly not as steamy, but it is every bit as sweet and sentimental – full of all the wonderful “feels” that she is great at delivering.

Of course, I’m always a sucker for the GFY theme, coupled with the British and the friends to lovers… it hit all my buttons in a big way!

Audio

Matthew Lloyd Davies is wonderful! He does all the voices so well, including the women! I love the varieties of accents he uses to give the speakers a local flavor. Very nice narration.

I highly recommend this holiday treat and give it 4.5 of 5 hearts!

4.5

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