Book Review: Behind the Lights by T.L. Travis

Reviewed by Astros

Title: Behind the Lights
Author: T.L. Travis
Series: Social Sinners #1
Heroes: Joey & Ricky
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 166 pages
Publisher: Sapphire Publishing
Release Date: December 23, 2019
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Joey Hayes and his best friend Ricky Branson have been together through the good times, as well as the bad. Attending their first concert as teens set the path for their futures in motion. Shortly after, the pair joined band class where they meet Ethan and Mick and the foursome formed the metal band, Social Sinners.

Things were going according to plan until Lucas Shane entered their lives, disrupting the flow and testing the strength of their friendship.

When Joey spirals down a dark path after catching his cheating boyfriend, this tasked the other three band members with making a difficult decision that could end his career as their lead singer.

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Categories: 3.5 Star Ratings, Book Review, Guest Reviewer, LGBT, Published in 2019 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Third One by Roe Horvat: Exclusive Excerpt (NSFW)!

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Exclusive Excerpt from Third One (NSFW)

Only one last thing to do. After this, he wouldn’t have to see Marcus ever again unless he chose to. Luke needed the break. He would see the whole mess from a completely different perspective after a month or two. He’d be healthier for sure. This part of his life was over; he needed to say good-bye and start fresh. After I sleep for a day or five, that is.

He climbed the stairs. There was a sunroom up on the first floor. Sometimes at these parties, people would go there to rest and talk, take a break from the loud noise downstairs. Liam had always had a bar set up there and a group of lounge furniture.

But all doors were closed this time.

It was somewhere on the left, Luke remembered. The first or second door. He heard voices from behind the first door and paused. He knocked. Another sound but muffled by the door.

“Marcus?”

Oh, what the hell. He needed to get this over with. He grabbed the handle.

Luke burst through the door and froze.

For the ever-loving… Fuck!

Close your eyes. Go away. Run. Don’t look. Run!

He couldn’t move. His eyes wouldn’t close. Run! His feet were glued to the floor. He stood and stared like a mouse at a snake.

They didn’t notice him at first. Why would they? They were consumed by each other, kissing over Marcus’s shoulder, Liam’s hand on Marcus’s throat.

Marcus was naked, braced against the wall on his forearms, hands fisted. His back was curved beautifully, torso rippling with strain. Luke was, for the thousandth time, struck by the perfection of Marcus’s form, the grace, control, power… Luke had watched him, mesmerized, for years, fascinated with the defined muscles on his arms, his hands. He’d fantasized about exploring the base of Marcus’s throat, where the tendons met the collarbones. He’d worship the hollow between them, just that tiny spot… And now he saw Marcus just two meters away, naked but for one sock halfway off his left foot. Silly and oddly hot. The hollow between his collarbones was hidden underneath Liam’s palm. Looming over Marcus’s exposed, smaller body, Liam still had his open pants on, but he was shirtless, his tanned skin glowing. He held his man with one firm hand on Marcus’s hip, the other around his throat, and he pushed forward slowly, a powerful but controlled movement, until his hips were flush against Marcus’s ass cheeks. He stayed there, buried inside Marcus, and rocked them both, joined.

Marcus’s loud exhale echoed in the room, which seemed to darken with their passion. Luke should have hated seeing them. He should have been hurting, even nauseous. Maybe he would be in a second. But of all the things he’d ever seen in his short life, they were the most beautiful.

Luke stared at Marcus’s profile, hypnotized by the face of the man he loved, features warped by mindless pleasure. And he stared at Liam, long body all ropes and bones, sharp angles, hardened and defined by age, his every movement self-assured. A body of an immortal.

Liam retreated and slammed back inside, fucking harder, the muscles on his shoulders bulged, and Marcus moaned.

The door shut behind Luke with an earsplitting bang. Later, he would understand the simple, stupid detail that turned his world upside down and inside out. Draft. The door banged shut because of a draft. In that moment, he felt like someone shot him in the chest.

He stumbled backward, his head hitting the oak with a thud, and his shaking hand reaching behind for the handle. He fumbled, encountering only empty air.

That was when his and Marcus’s gazes met.

Luke felt his whole body catch fire. He was painfully hard, his nipples tingled, and his mouth flooded with saliva. He felt his blood pulse in his brain. Any second, he’d explode. Somehow, his gaze drifted to Liam’s black eyes, and he lost self-awareness. Because Liam’s eyes were hungry. It was like looking at his own desire impersonated. Liam’s magnetic gaze pulled him into the snake’s mouth.

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Release Blitz: In Over Our Heads by CJane Elliott + Excerpt & Giveaway!

In Over Our Heads by CJane Elliott

A second chance for romance on a scuba diving vacation plunges Anthony and Walter into deep waters—will they use love’s lifeline or go under alone?

Party guy Anthony Vallen believes in happy endings—just not for himself. He hits Key West for a vacation with friends, ready for some fun in the sun. To his horror, the owner of the local scuba dive shop is Walter Elkins—former scientist, meticulous control freak, and the guy who broke Anthony’s teenaged heart. Anthony throws up his shields with jokes and banter, but Walter draws him in by admiring him and listening to him like no one else has. Despite their painful past, Anthony’s defenses soften and his reasons for shunning romance no longer hold much water. But whether Walter will come on board remains to be seen. Walter has never gotten over brilliant, fun-loving Anthony, but he’s compelled to keep Anthony safe—not just from the ocean depths but from himself.

Soon Anthony and Walter are in over their heads, their love as unstoppable as the hurricane they find themselves in the middle of. To prevent their fears from pulling them under, Anthony needs to get serious—about his worth and his heart’s true desires, and Walter needs to trust—in himself, in fate, and in Anthony.

2nd in Series but can be read as a stand-alone.

Second Edition, revised and expanded.

Available at: Amazon

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Zero Divergence by Aimee Nicole Walker: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Exclusive Excerpt from Zero Divergence

by Aimee Nicole Walker

The shrill alarm pierced Royce’s turbulent sleep a few hours later. Sawyer reached over him and quickly shut it off before resting his head on Royce’s chest.

“I feel like roadkill,” Royce groused, trying to open his heavy eyelids.

Sawyer kissed his cheek, then rolled out of bed. “You look like it too.”

Royce found enough energy to lift his right arm and flip Sawyer off, earning a chuckle. “My eyes feel gritty, as if someone buried my face in sand.”

“It was Bones’s litter box,” Sawyer quipped. Someone was full of piss and vinegar this morning. “I think you should skip the workout and stay in bed longer.” His voice grew softer as he walked away from the bed. Seconds later, water splashed into the sink basin in the master bathroom, and Royce figured Sawyer was brushing his teeth. Then his sainted boyfriend returned to their bedroom and draped a warm, damp rag over his closed eyes.

Royce sighed as the soothing heat had an immediate effect. “That feels good.” Not as lovely as Sawyer’s mouth working his dick or even the first sip of morning coffee, but it was what he needed most.

“Sleep, Ro. I’ll wake you up in plenty of time to shower and wash the kitty litter out of your hair.”

“Asshole,” Royce groused before he drifted back to sleep.

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Release Blitz: Why Can’t Life Be Like Pizza? by Andy V. Roamer + Excerpt & Giveaway!

Why Can’t Life Be Like Pizza? by Andy V. Roamer

RV is a good kid, starting his freshman year at the demanding Boston Latin School. Though his genes didn’t give him a lot of good things, they did give him a decent brain. So he’s doing his best to keep up in high school, despite all the additional pressures he’s facing: His immigrant parents, who don’t want him to forget his roots and insist on other rules. Some tough kids at school who bully teachers as well as students. His puny muscles. His mean gym teacher. The Guy Upstairs who doesn’t answer his prayers. And the most confusing fact of all—that he might be gay.

Luckily, RV develops a friendship with Mr. Aniso, his Latin teacher, who is gay and always there to talk to. RV thinks his problems are solved when he starts going out with Carole. But things only get more complicated when RV develops a crush on Bobby, the football player in his class. And to RV’s surprise, Bobby admits he may have gay feelings, too.

Available at: Amazon

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Give Me a Hand by Gwen Martin: Exclusive Excerpt!

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Exclusive Excerpt from Give Me a Hand

by Gwen Martin

“Want another?” Jude asked from in front of the fridge, raising an eyebrow. Cam’s brain was still fuzzy from the exam he had taken an hour before. He tilted his head up from the couch and blinked owlishly at Jude.

“Wha’?”

Jude chuckled softly and nodded. “That’s a yes.”

Cam watched Jude shuffle through the small number of drawers in their dorm kitchen, muttering something to himself, the back of his shirt scrunching up as he scratched the base of his spine. Cam chewed on the side of his lip as he remembered the way Jude looked without any clothing.

He’d never seen Jude naked before, but now Cam had that mental picture with the bonus of how Jude looked when he was coming.

He took a deep breath and shook his head. He can’t be sporting a boner when they’re supposed to be having movie night, Jesus.

Cam rolled his head to face the paused movie on the small, flat-screen TV. It was a Christmas gift from Cam’s parents, and with the impressive backlog of Vudu movies that Jude had collected between himself and his older brother, they have a legit set up.

“Dude, Brie Larson is so hot in that suit,” Jude said, handing Cam a beer bottle as he settled to his left onto the too-squishy loveseat.

The dorms seemed to have cheaped out on furniture despite the monstrous amount they charged for rent. Most of the items looked like they came out of an abandoned house that was used two decades before.

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Late Night Poetry by Nell Iris: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Exclusive Excerpt from Late Night Poetry

by Nell Iris

Thursday, November 5, 1990. 06:14 PM

“I thought about you today. When it snowed. About how much you love the snow. I wondered if you tried making snowballs, even though the snow was too loose. And if you made a cup of hot cocoa afterward. Then I saw the weather report and they said it will be warmer tomorrow and the snow will melt, and I know you’ll be so disappointed. I’ve never met anyone who loves snow as much as you do.”—Throat clearing to cover the crack in his voice—“I got a library card yesterday. I checked out a couple poetry books. Can you imagine what my dad would say if he knew? ‘Don’t read that shit, Lou. It’s for sissys and fags.’”—disgusted snort—“Anyway. I wanted to read something to you. Are you ready? ‘When we two parted, In silence and tears, Half broken-hearted, To sever for years, Pale grew thy cheek and cold, Colder thy kiss; Truly that hour foretold, Sorrow to this.’ I probably didn’t read that very well.”—Long silence broken by the roar of a passing truck in the distance—“Take care.” 

I don’t listen to his message again but I don’t delete it either. Instead, I walk over to the window and look out at the snow still glistening on the trees and shrubbery on the street outside my apartment building. I shove my hands into my pockets and lean my forehead against the cold glass, letting my long curls fall across my face, hiding me from the outside world, wishing the chill penetrating from outside was enough to freeze all the memories of him out of my head.

Our first date-that-wasn’t-officially-labeled-a-date was on a snowy December day almost two years ago, when he laughed at what he called was my child-like enjoyment of the snow slowly sailing from the sky. We strolled side by side—at a respectable distance so anyone watching us would think we were just two friends hanging out—through the Christmas market, me carrying a steaming cup of hot chocolate and him sipping from a mug of coffee that smelled so bitter even at a distance I almost grew hair on my chest. 

Our walk was littered with awkward silences and sideways glances at each other. It was the first time we hung out alone—we’d only seen each other in the company of others, his friend Bill knew my friend Lyle—and even though neither of us had said the d-word out loud, we both knew this was more than a friendly outing. 

He was so handsome that day, in faded black jeans, a denim jacket that accentuated his broad shoulders and that looked far too cold for the weather. His usually wild, wavy brown hair was flattened by his hat and he wore a gray scarf around his neck, pulled up to the bright red tip of his nose. His blue eyes glittered more brightly than the cloudless winter day, and two red spots glowed high on his cheeks. I still don’t know if it was due to the brisk, nippy air or the fact that it was his first date-not-a-date with a man. 

He wasn’t out—hence the respectable distance between us—but he told me his dream was to be able to be open about himself one day. I understood his reluctance—still do—because it’s not easy being out. Not even in our fairly liberal town. 

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Release Blitz: Tainted Tales Anthology + Giveaway!

Tainted Tales Anthology

Some stories paint us sweet, told to children as they fall asleep.

Mother Earth she weaves the world with a whirl of her magic, and her kind embrace shapes us all. Father Time keeps us all, ever constant, ever moving onwards, for time never stands still.

Icy hands and a frozen touch, Jack Frost ushers in the cold snap, coating the earth with sparkly delights. If Jack brings cold, May Queen brings warmth, her delicate touch bringing forth the spring.

Follow the rainbow and maybe you’ll find, a Leprechaun with his lucky pot of gold.

The watchful eyes of Man in the Moon keeps all of the secrets of the night, shining down on us with his silvery light. The Sandman is here to soothe you to sleep, bringing all to slumber with a pinch of magic dust. Shhh, sleep now. Beware the Boogeyman lurking out of sight, waiting under your bed, to catch naughty children in the night. Be good little children, for Santa is watching, and he knows if you’ve been naughty or nice.

Tales of lore, fair music to our ears. Can you hear it? Did you know? Not every tale is sweet. The truth is darker, our stories more twisted, unlike the rhymes that children hear.

All proceeds will be donated to Save the Children.

This is a mixed M/F and M/M anthology that contains trigger warnings for its dark content. 

It is intended for a mature audience of 18+.

Available at: Amazon

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Forgotten by Colette Davison: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

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by Colette Davison

“I’m falling in love with you,” Kyrone said.

“You’re…” Jared shook his head. “I don’t even know what being in love feels like.” He had no clue what kind of relationships he’d had before the accident, but since it, this thing with Kyrone was the longest he’d spent with one man.

“I can tell you how I feel about you, if that would help?” Kyrone suggested.

Whether it would or not, Jared was too curious not to let Kyrone speak, so he nodded.

“I get butterflies in my stomach whenever you smile,” Kyrone told him. “I feel giddy when you kiss or cuddle me. I feel insanely happy when you’re around, and I miss you when you’re not. I love the feel of you.” He rolled them over again, this time straddling Jared so he was pinned beneath him. Then he kissed him, a slow, deep kiss that made Jared’s toes curl. “I am in awe of how brave you are and of how together you are for a guy who literally lost everything eighteen months ago. You amaze me. Being with you makes me feel fulfilled.”

“You’re pretty filling yourself,” Jared said, needing a joke to make the air around him easier to breathe.

He’d been holding his breath through most of Kyrone’s words. Each statement had made his heart swell a little more, and his head too. 

Kyrone nuzzled his neck. “I like filling you up,” he whispered, before looking up with a grin plastered on his face. 

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Honorary Blogger Geoffrey Knight: The Pathfinders + Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Mood Swings

by Geoffrey Knight

Welcome to our strange new world. As of writing this post, most of us are in isolation. Most of us have stopped venturing outside altogether and some of us are even in forced lockdown, unable to leave our homes at all.

This kind of isolation is going to cause mood swings.

We’re going to have our good days and bad days, we’re going to get frustrated and anxious, and at other times we’re going to look for something to help cheer us up.

I know as a writer I write where my mood takes me. Sometimes I’ll be in the mood to write something easy and fun and I’ll throw myself into an adventure story, full of over-the-top action sequences and impossible escapes. Sometimes I’ll be in the mood to write a thriller full of twists and turns and nasty villains. Sometimes I’ll be in the mood for a good old-fashioned mystery that needs solving. Sometimes I’ll be in the mood for a laugh and I’ll write a rom-com and pack it with as much snarky dialogue as I can muster. And sometimes I’m in the mood for something steamy and I’ll write a sexy romance, trying my damnedest to fill it with as much off-the-charts chemistry as I can.

The result is a back catalogue that is full of my mood swings. But the great thing about that is, I pretty much have a book to suit whatever mood you’re in.

So I thought I’d dedicate this guest blog post to five books of mine that suit a different mood, depending on what takes your fancy.

1. IN THE MOOD FOR SOMETHING SEXY?

I’ll start with my new book The Pathfinders which is the whole reason I’m here today. When I want to write something steamy, I’ll often dive into something a little taboo. I find taboo books instantly sexy simply because of the risqué nature of them. Taboo relationships demand characters to take a chance, to step out of their comfort zone to fulfil their desire, and that automatically raises the sexual stakes in the story. Having said that, I strive to write more than just porn-without-plot. While the sexual stakes are higher in a taboo book, so too are the emotional and psychological stakes. There’s a lot to unpack in a taboo book, so I hope you give The Pathfinders a go and take the journey with Jack and Hux, two best friends and cousins who need to find their path together.

2. IN THE MOOD FOR A GOOD LAUGH?

I think I’m going to be writing a lot more comedy in the coming months. Laughter is one of the most important things we need right now to help cheer us up and get us through this. The book I’m writing at the moment is a new rom-com, but if you want to read one of my back-catalogue rom-coms then perhaps give The Billionaire’s Boyfriend a go. It’s the story of Matt, a flower-delivery guy who inadvertently ends up saving the life of Calvin Croft, a lonely billionaire in need of finding someone down to earth to love. Hilarity and romance are sure to ensue!

3. IN THE MOOD FOR ADVENTURE?

My very first foray into gay fiction was my adventure novel The Cross of Sins, the first in my Fathom’s Five series. The Cross of Sins was best described by one reviewer as “Gay Raiders of the Lost DaVinci Code” which sums it up perfectly. My aim was to create an action-packed adventure in the vein of Indiana Jones or James Bond (I’m a big fan of both) except I wanted my heroes to be gay. And so Fathom’s Five was born, a team of five gay adventure-seekers on the hunt for relics and treasure around the globe. It’s fun, it’s unapologetically over-the-top and my heroes always get their man in the end… in more ways than one!

4. IN THE MOOD FOR MYSTERY?

One of my favorite ever character creations is my 1920’s gumshoe Buck Baxter, a private detective who’s tough-guy exterior hides a man who desperately wants to find real love in a world of prohibition, gangsters and nior-ish mysteries. I utterly adore Buck and his first mystery Buck Baxter, Love Detective where—with the help of a zany cast of support characters—Buck learns more about himself than he expects as he unravels a mystery that reaches deep into his own past. With Buck, it was my quest to inject as much humor into his story as I could to hopefully bring you something that’s as funny as it is compelling.

5. IN THE MOOD FOR DARK THRILLS?

Sometimes all I want to do is write a book that’s as dark and gripping as I can create, and Harm’s Way is exactly that. It’s the story of a Zach Taylor, a successful businessman who’s very in-control world falls apart when he learns his biological father was in fact a notorious serial killer. He begins to question whether such darkness flows in his own veins when his biggest client turns up dead. At the same time he begins to fall in love with a mysterious stranger who could be his savior or his downfall. It’s a tale full of twists and turns and the climax is one of my all-time favorites!

So there you have it, five of my books that I hope will entertain you no matter what mood you’re in as we stay locked in our homes in search of something to keep us sane in these insane times.

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