Saturday, 28 November 2015

FRANKIE & AL by Sue Brown

FRANKIE & AL by Sue Brown
Pages: 158
Date: November 28, 2015
Details: No. 1 Frankie’s Series
Own / Kindle

The blurb:

Dumped by his boyfriend, Frankie Mason goes out with the girls, gets totally trashed, and ends his night by falling in front of a taxi. He’s rescued by a man with beautiful green eyes who takes care of him until he’s put into an ambulance. Frankie curses himself as he realizes he doesn’t have the man’s phone number. Still in pain a few days later, he is dragged out to a club only to be saved by Green Eyes once more. This time, he isn’t letting the man go.

Unfortunately Frankie has to attend a team-building exercise, nicknamed Womb Weekend, organized by his company. Al is working so he doesn't mind, until he discovers who the team leader is. Al has a lot of explaining to do!

My thoughts:

Anybody following my reviews will realise that only yesterday I shared my thoughts on Jordan & Rhys, the fourth title in Frankie’s Series. Yes, I am a ‘bad’ girl for only now reading the first book in that quartet, but it is most definitely a case of better late than never. J

Frankie and Al was sweet, fun, quirky and very enjoyable. It is hard not to fall like a ton of bricks for accident prone Frankie, even if most if not all of his mishaps are of his own making. How can you not develop a soft spot for this charmer, who wears his heart on his sleeve and has no problem making fun of himself and his antics? It is hardly surprising Al gets captured the very first time they run into each other, even if that first meeting is far from pleasant.

Where Frankie comes across as flighty and whimsical, Al is a solid rock of calm and restraint and, as a result, exactly what Frankie needs in his life. Sure, their getting together may be a prime example of insta-love, but it works so very well it is hard, if not impossible, to take issue with that. And while the attraction may be immediate, their coming together takes a while longer, which means they get to know each other before it all gets hot and steamy, and the reader is given the same opportunity.

This is a more or less angst-free story, always a big plus for me. Sure, Frankie goes through more than his fair share of set-backs but given his attitude he never comes across as a martyr. Al has to face a major trauma too, but for both men the problems they encounter are unconnected to the developing bond between them. In fact, it is fair to say they both find their issues more manageable because they other is there to help them through them.

This book came with a fair amount of laugh out loud moments which balanced more or less perfectly with the more emotional side of the story. Sue Brown once again gave us two characters who were easy to fall for and told their story in her usual flowing rhythm. The Frankie Series is most definitely a favourite of mine.

Friday, 27 November 2015

JORDAN & RHYS by Sue Brown

JORDAN & RHYS by Sue Brown
Pages: 128
Date: November 27, 2015
Details: No 4 Frankie Series
Own / Kindle

The blurb:

“Eight months after the assault in which his sub and lover was killed, Jordan Nicholls isn’t making much progress in his recovery. Marchant and Ed, Jordan’s friends from the BDSM club, stage an intervention. 

They employ a carer to look after Jordan. Rhys may be a sub, but he’s forceful, making Jordan eat and exercise rather than live on coffee and cigarettes. Despite Jordan’s protests, Rhys slowly forces him back to life. 

But Rhys wants to be Jordan’s sub, and despite being protective of Rhys, Jordan’s not sure he can ever return to the BDSM lifestyle. In order for their relationship to continue, they’ll need to find a compromise that meets both their needs.”

My thoughts:

To say this book starts with a bang would be a gross understatement. What happened in the prologue didn’t come as a surprise and yet still left me shattered. Of course it also had me 100% invested in the story right from the get-go.

This book could have been written just for me. It is a gentle story. Jordan’s lack of progress up to the point when Rhys starts caring for him, makes perfect sense, as does Jordan’s reluctance to Rhys upsetting the (bad) routine he’s slipped into. I loved watching their relationship grow while neither of them seemed to be aware that was exactly what was happening. I’m so glad there was no miraculous turn-around and recovery for Jordan and that Rhys wasn’t all saint and self-sacrificing.

These two characters and the situation they find themselves in were realistic. I often finish a book feeling that I actually know the characters in it on a personal level. I guess that’s the way I read; total immersion. It went further in this book though. Rhys and Jordan and the way they interacted struck a chord deep inside me.

It was wonderful to read a story without huge fights, people storming off or other grand gestures of anger and/or frustration. When it does appear that going their separate ways might be the best idea, it is a calm—if very hard—decision rather than a dramatic eruption of emotion. I was also delighted that this issue between them resolved itself organically, even if it did involve a heart stopping moment.

And of course it was delightful to reconnect with the main characters from the previous books: Frankie & Al, Ed & Marchant and Anthony & Leo. It was wonderful to see the three couples still going strong and getting stronger as time goes by. The interactions between these friends went from endearing to hilarious and left me feeling joyous. It also reminded me that I still haven’t read Frankie & Al; there are no prices for guessing what’s next on my reading schedule. J

I’m afraid I’m not doing a very good job reviewing this book. It’s funny how I become less coherent about a book the more I love it. The paragraphs above are a clear indication that I adored this book, the characters in it, the way the story was told and how it unfolded. Sue Brown shot this one straight into my personal bull’s eye. 

Sunday, 22 November 2015


What Happens at Christmas, by Jay Northcote

Title: What Happens at Christmas
Author: Jay Northcote
Publisher: Jaybird Press (self published)
Length: 37,000 words
Genre: Contemporary gay romance
Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh
Release Date: Thursday 19th November 2015
Series info: This book is a standalone


When two friends pose as boyfriends, could what happens at Christmas turn into something more?

Justin is recently and unhappily single. Christmas is coming, and he doesn’t want to face his ex alone at their office party. So Sean—Justin’s best mate and long-time secret crush—volunteers to go with him and pretend to be his new flame.

Sean has always lusted after Justin from afar, but there’s never been a good opportunity to ask him for more than friendship. Posing as Justin’s boyfriend isn’t a chore, and if Justin wants to rebound onto him, Sean’s more than willing. At the party pretence and reality blur, and a kiss on the dance floor leads to a night of passion.

In the aftermath, they both assume it was a one-time thing until fate intervenes. Stuck together in London over the holidays, they give in to temptation again. But what happens at Christmas stays at Christmas... right?

Buy Links: Amazon US            Amazon UK

Goodreads link: What Happens at Christmas


Justin’s phone chimed with a text, interrupting Sean’s train of thought.
Justin picked up his phone to read the message. “Ugh.” He put the phone back down without typing a reply and ran his hands through his hair.
“What’s up?”
Justin sighed. “It’s our work Christmas party next weekend. I’ve already got a ticket, and nearly everyone in the office goes, but it’s for partners as well. One of my co-workers, Jess, is bugging me to come, but I can’t face it. I bet Andy’s going to bring his new boyfriend. I know he’s a shit and I shouldn’t let him get to me, but the thought of him parading around with my replacement, and me being there on my own, isn’t very appealing.”
“Is it too late to find someone to take?”
“No, they don’t need final numbers till Monday.”
“Well, then. Take someone else and flirt like crazy in front of him. Show him you can do better and that you’ve already moved on.”
“But I’m not ready to date. It’s only been two weeks, and I’m still at the feeling-sorry-for-myself stage.”
“I’ll go with you,” Sean offered. “I could be your date. We could pretend we’ve got together and are a couple now.”
“Yeah?” Justin looked thoughtful. “Are you sure?”
Duh. It would hardly be much of a sacrifice to flirt with Justin all night. It would actually be a relief not to have to hide the way he felt for a change.
“Sure,” Sean replied. “I think I can manage to fake that I’m arse-over-tit infatuated with you. As long as it’s only for a few hours.”
“Gee, thanks.” Justin rolled his eyes. “You really know how to make an already-wounded ego feel better. But if you’re up for it, we should totally do it. Andy was always jealous of you before you went away. He saw you as competition because we lived together and were so close. I’d love to see his face when I walk in with you on my arm. I think he’ll hate it even if he’s moved on.”
“Okay.” Sean rubbed his hands together, excited at the prospect of getting to piss off Andy. “Let’s do it! Text your friend Jess back and tell her you’re in—with a hot date.”

Author Bio:

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with her husband, two children, and two cats.
She comes from a family of writers, but she always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. She spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content. One day, she decided to try and write a short story–just to see if she could–and found it rather addictive. She hasn’t stopped writing since.   Twitter         Facebook profile   

My Thoughts:

There is a reason why I keep on returning to Jay Northcote’s books, and if I had to summarise that reason in one word it would be: comfort. That wouldn’t be entirely fair though. While it is true that Jay’s books are mostly light-hearted, charming and comfortable, she always manages to give both her characters and the story they live through real depth. Combine that with her smooth writing, vivid descriptions and life-like characters and you’re on to a winner.

As with previous books by this author I felt as if I personally knew these characters shortly after starting the story. I was immediately invested in their struggle to move from friends to lovers and came very close to shouting at them when I wanted them to just get their act together and talk to each other already. Nobody (that I’m aware of) writes friends to lover stories quite like Jay Northcote. The dynamics between Sean and Justin make it perfectly clear they’ve been friends for ages. It’s in the little details, like the Christmas present they buy for each other (I’m not giving it away, but boy did I love that).

Of course, being as close as Sean and Justin are, has one major disadvantage too. They are afraid to tell each other how they really feel because the risk of ruining a long and close friendship is just too great. I adored how happy both of them were just to pretend at being boyfriends and the antics they get up to together. The morning they spend playing in the snow, had me grinning from ear to ear. If we ever have enough snowfall in Ireland I’m gonna build me one of those as well. J

I think it’s fair to say that Christmas stories don’t come much better than this. Cute, delightful, funny, comfortable, charming and very sexy ‘What Happens at Christmas’ is pretty much an avid reader’s Christmas wish come true.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Rule Breaker by Lily Harlem: Promo Post

I’m delighted to welcome Lily Harlem and her new book, Rule Breaker, to my blog today. Sit back and enjoy while Lily tells you all about the book and herself and treats you to a juicy excerpt in the process.

Rule Breaker by Lily Harlem

Rule Breaker, a dark erotic romance novel by Lily Harlem, is out now from Totally Bound and all other good ebook retailers including Amazon Amazon UK ARe Kobo B&N Sony ibooks.

Set between London and France this novel pushes boundaries and will take you on an adventure and keep you in suspense. Falling in love with the wrong person is easily done, getting carried along in a whirlwind of passion is hard to resist. Join Lacey and Miller on a wild ride of lust, desire and fighting to be with the person you can’t live without, even if the rest of the world is against it.

Back Cover Information

Locks, keys and prison bars can’t contain a love that’s meant to roam wild and free, but when that love is let loose, will Lacey be able to handle what’s heading her way?

Rules are meant to protect the innocent and keep danger at bay—except for me. The lines blur, and it all started when I met the ultimate bad boy. But is he? Miller Davenport might be big, bad and brimming with sin but he’s confessed his crimes and for ten years he’s served his time and walked the line.

Everyone deserves a second chance, right? And as his nurse—the one person who understands him—I can’t help but count the days till we can be together properly, without guards watching over us and without every look and word we share censored.

When that day comes, though, will our desire for each other explode and take me to the new heights he’s promised? And if so, how will I survive such intensity?
One thing is for sure. With Miller I’ll be whisked up in a whirlwind of his dark energy and a tornado of his lust, and likely taken to the very edge of what I can handle. I can’t help a few nerves, though, as release day approaches, because if it all comes crashing down, who can I depend on when I’ve ridden into the sunset with a man who’s broken all the rules? Will I be saved or will I have pushed everyone and everything too far?

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of exhibitionism, anal play and light restraint.


“Yeah.” He nodded. “Yeah, you’re right. I’ll just go with the first one they show me. Fuck it, it’s a cake shop. They’ll all be bloody nice.” He glanced at Miller then back to me. “Do you mind if I make a call while you—?”
“Not at all, go ahead.” I waved him to the seat. “This is my last time with Miller anyway, so I’m sure he’ll behave.”
Miller’s jaw was tense. His eyebrows drew low and a small muscle flexed in his cheek.
Barry pulled out his phone and, without glancing at me again, dropped his bulk into the chair—the legs scraped on the hard floor. He started scrolling over the screen.
“Come on,” I said to Miller.
He followed me into the clinical room.
I walked up to the counter and reached for my tray of equipment.
I startled. He was right behind me.
He set his hands on the work surface, one either side of my body, trapping me against it with his torso.
“What?” I whispered, glancing at the door, my head brushing his.
“Tomorrow,” he murmured, his mouth right against my ear.
A thrill and a chill went through me as my neck and scalp tingled and tightened at his nearness.
“What about it?” I placed my right hand over his, cupping his hard knuckles. It was a bold move, but touching him was what I craved—I couldn’t help myself.
I heard him pull in a breath. “Meet me.”
“Anywhere you fucking want. Just be there.” He paused and pushed a little harder against me.
His groin, the outline of his cock, semi-hard, nestled against the crack of my buttocks.Lust blazed through my veins. Damn it, tomorrow was too long to wait.
But we had to.
“There’s a pub, round the corner from here,” I said. “The Cow and Slipper.”
He turned his hand and gripped my forearm. His fingertips pressed over my pulse points, his fingers were big and dark against the delicate veiny underside of my wrist.
“I’ll be there at noon,” he said.
“So will I.”
“Thank you.” He pressed his cheek against my ear. The weight of his head was heavy against mine.
I leaned into him. The daring, risky move heightened all of my senses. His chest against my shoulders, his breath on my cheek and his stubble against my temple. And damn, his body shoved into mine, his cock pushing through clothes against my arse. I wanted it. All of it.
“We’ll take it slow,” he whispered. “Get to know each other without a boss watching over us. Speak freely about what we want. I’m not in it for a lay. What we have is special. I’m doing this because I want you—always have, from the first time I saw you.” He paused. “But you know that.”
I swallowed and turned. I did know that.
He released my wrist.
I looked up at him. This was the closest we’d ever been. I was surrounded by him, wrapped up in him. It was where I wanted to be.
He leaned a little closer and his chest brushed against mine.
My nipples drew into pinched peaks, scraping against the inner cups of my bra.
“I thought of you last night,” he said. He lifted his hand and caressed my cheek. The small hard patches of skin, from where he banged weights, scratched against my flesh.
“What did you think?” I asked, my hands hovering. I wanted to touch him but didn’t dare, for fear that I wouldn’t be able to stop.
I glanced at the door again.
“Shh, it’s okay. I can still hear him talking,” he said.
“Maybe you should tell me tomorrow, when we don’t have to rush.” My heart was racing, adrenaline swamping my system. The thought of Barry catching us like this had me on a knife’s edge, but I couldn’t push Miller away. Barry had been instructed to behave like Miller might be a danger to me, yet I’d never felt safer than at this moment with Miller’s full attention—with Miller, big, bad now-tamed Miller, looming over me.
I knew what he was, what he was capable of, but he’d been reformed. He was being let out. The judge, the crown, had decided he’d paid for his crimes and he was no longer a danger to society.
Which meant he wasn’t a danger to me.
“I’ll tell you tomorrow then,” he said, lowering his head. “If that’s what you want.”
I stared into his dark eyes, at the way his lashes pointed slightly downward. They weren’t curled, and he had a tiny freckle like a teardrop under his left eye. I hadn’t noticed that before. Hadn’t been close enough.
“I’ll look after you, hen,” he whispered. “Don’t ever be afraid of me. I’m not violent. I’m a good man now. I’ll be your good man for as long as you’ll have me. I promise. I won’t hurt you.”
“I’m not…scared, that is.”
“Good.” He leaned closer still. I looked at his lips. I could see every tiny dent and crease on them, his top one was thinner than the bottom and with stubble peppered right up to the outline.
Fuck, is he going to kiss me?
We couldn’t.
Not here.
Not now.
“No,” I mouthed.
He pressed his closed lips to mine. They were dry, yet soft. He held my head in both of his hands and pushed his hard body forward, trapping me against the counter.
I whimpered and clung to his forearms. Terror and desire warred within me. I’d lose my job. He could lose his good-behavior privilege and be held for the remainder of his sentence.
It was the most reckless kiss I’d ever experienced, yet also the gentlest, sweetest connection I could ever remember.
He pulled back.
I opened my eyes.
His were still shut.
He furled his tongue over his bottom lip, as though tasting me there.
“Jesus,” he said quietly. “How the hell am I going to get through this last night without you?”
“Stop.” I rested my hands on his chest and pushed. “Please, save this for tomorrow.” Again I threw a glance at the door.
“Okay.” He opened his eyes, released me and stepped back. He held up his palms as if surrendering. “This last bit is the hardest though. I guess it’s like running a marathon. It’s all shit but the last mile? The last hundred yards? That’s what really gets you here.” He banged his chest. “It’s the shitiest bit.”
“I suppose.” I rubbed the tip of my index finger on my lips, reliving the sensation of his mouth on mine.
“Fucking genius you are, Lacey,” Barry said, walking in.
A flash of surprise went over Miller’s face.
Alarm must have crossed mine too.
Neither of us had heard him finish his conversation or been aware of him approaching the clinical room.
Bloody hell. If he’d come in ten seconds ago…no, make that five seconds ago.

First Reviews

5* “It's been a while since I read anything by Lily Harlem, and as always, I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It may seem like this is going to be your typical good girl falls for the bad boy, but she's thrown in a few surprises that had me turning the pages as quick as I could to find out what was going to happen. I definitely recommend this bad boy romance!”

5* “I finished reading this book a few days ago and it is still playing on my mind!”

Add Rule Breaker to your Goodreads shelf

About Lily Harlem

Lily Harlem lives in the UK and is an award-winning author of contemporary erotic romance. She writes for publishers on both sides of the Atlantic including HarperCollins, Totally Bound, Pride Publishing, Evernight Publishing, Xcite, and Sweetmeats Press. Her work regularly receives high praise and industry nominations.

Before turning her hand to writing Lily Harlem worked as a trauma nurse and her latest HarperCollins release, Confessions of a Naughty Night Nurse draws on her many experiences while nursing in London. Lily also self-publishes and The Silk Tie, The Glass Knot, In Expert Hands and Scored have been blessed with many 5* reviews since their release.

Lily writes MF, MM and ménage a trois, her books regularly hit the #1 spot on Amazon Best Seller lists and Breathe You In was named a USA Today Reviewer’s Recommended Read of 2014. Her latest MM novel is Dark Warrior.

Lily also co-authors with Natalie Dae and publishes under the name Harlem Dae - check out the Sexy as Hell Box Set available exclusively on Amazon - The Novice, The Player and The Vixen - and That Filthy Book which has been hailed as a novel 'every woman should read'.

One thing you can be sure of, whatever book you pick up by Ms Harlem, is it will be wildly romantic and down-and-dirty sexy. Enjoy!

Find Lily on the Web