Posts Tagged With: Beth Bolden

Audio Tour: The Rainbow Clause by Beth Bolden + Exclusive Excerpt!

Blogger_Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt from The Rainbow Clause

by Beth Bolden

“Did you really not expect me to pick you up?” Colin asked.

Nick made a disbelieving noise. “Do you not have a PA? A hired car service?”

“Both.” Colin had the nerve to blush under his tan. “But it always seemed so rude to me. You’re not baggage to be collected. You’re here to see me. You’re going to stay with me. The least I can do is to pick you up from the airport.”

“You hate reporters,” Nick said slowly.

“And yet…you’re still not baggage,” Colin said. He paused. “And I don’t hate them. I…their methods bother me sometimes. I don’t usually trust them. But I don’t hate them.” Colin shot him a quick, pleading look, and Nick would have to be a hell of a lot dumber to not know what that look meant.

Or what it could mean, if Nick decided to forget all the rules he’d set for himself when he’d first started his career.

Don’t sleep with the athletes. Don’t like the athletes. Don’t fall for the athletes.

It had never been particularly hard to keep them, but Nick had a feeling he was about to be tested.

Nick had known he was in trouble since Colin had first stepped off that elevator into the Five Points office looking even hotter than his Sports Illustrated cover. Since LA, Nick had been walking a very fine line between winning Colin’s trust and giving his own away.

With a lot of sports stars he’d interviewed, Nick had been perfectly able to maintain a very professional distance, even while digging up all the dirt he could.

It was something he’d gotten very, very good at.

The problem was that Colin was smarter than that, and had assumed a position of pay to play. Colin wasn’t going to give without something in return. The invaluable barrier he’d been hiding behind, constructed with all those sarcastic quips he loved, was never going to work with Colin. He knew this was personal for Nick, and he wanted a front row seat to all the bruises.

Nick wanted to tell Colin, I hope you more than don’t hate me. But even if what crackled between them eventually flared into more, he needed to postpone the inevitable. Instead he said, “Hate the game, not the player.”

Colin shook his head, a chagrined but hopelessly amused smile blooming on his face. “And people say I’m a dork.”

“You are a dork,” Nick said. He couldn’t tell Colin that he had more integrity in his pinkie finger than most big shot NFL players had in their whole bodies.

Shaking everybody’s hand as soon as he entered a room. Holding doors open for women. Once leaving a sideline interview to find an umbrella for Erin Andrews. Speaking about everyone with respect, and expecting respect in return or he would immediately cut the interview off. Insisting on picking up a reporter from the airport himself. All of this combined to make Colin O’Connor who he was in the public eye, and while many might claim he wasn’t genuine, Nick thought they couldn’t have actually met Colin and believed that. While closed off and intensely private, he still radiated sincerity.

He didn’t want a rap career. He didn’t want his own clothing line. He didn’t want to get paid for attending any number of club openings. He didn’t want a chain of groupies. He wanted to play football and go home to a simple life. And to so many who didn’t understand, it looked old fashioned or dorky, but Nick had long believed it made him unique and authentic.

And that was the side of Colin O’Connor Nick was so desperate to show people.

“I wish more people were dorks,” Nick added, and Colin laughed.

“If everyone was boring like me, you wouldn’t have anything to write about.”

Colin was wrong; if everyone was boring like him, Nick would have more opportunities to write about the things that actually mattered.

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Savor Me by Beth Bolden: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Exclusive Excerpt from Savor Me

by Beth Bolden

As the cold water hit him, Xander yelped, throwing his hands up. “I take it back, I take it back,” Xander said, moving out of the way to try to dodge the spray after that first, frozen moment. Damon might have been worried, but he was laughing so hard it was hard for him to avoid the stream of water from the hose.

“I thought you were hot,” Damon teased.

Xander slipped on a patch of muddy ground, and nearly lost his balance, but his recovery was excellent. He moved with the grace of an athlete—or a dancer—and Damon never wanted to stop watching.

He only realized too late that Xander wasn’t just trying to move out of the way of the water. He was actively moving toward where Damon had plugged in one of his sprinklers. He leaned down for a second, his wet running shorts plastered to his ass like a second skin, and Damon lost track of what it was he was supposed to be avoiding. That incredible butt, toned and shapely and essentially begging for Damon to do terrible, wonderful things to it?

A cold spray of water to the face from the hose Xander had unhooked from the sprinkler had him gasping, but his thoughts hadn’t gotten any cleaner.

“You’re playing dirty,” Damon gasped through another burst of water to the face. He wasn’t going to tell Xander this, but it felt damn good after sweating all day.

Xander’s eyes narrowed, a bright smile blooming across his handsome face. “You love it,” he shot back.

He really did, and he never wanted Xander to stop. He loved every sneaky part of him, every achingly blunt part of his personality. Damon wanted it all, if only Xander would let him.

Damon turned the hose on himself, water cascading over his head. “I love this,” he teased. “But you could lean over again. Could use another firsthand bit of evidence to prove how much I love it.”

Following suit with his own, Xander turned his hose on himself, drenching every inch in water. His tank clung to every lean, muscular curve of his body, and Damon wanted to drop to his knees in the mud and beg.

I want to prove myself but I want to prove it to you first. Please let me touch you.

“Yeah,” Damon ground out, voice gruff and low, his erection growing despite the cold water he was pouring over himself, “yeah, I love that.”

Xander’s eyes sparkled with impudence as he sidled closer, letting Damon get a good look. He placed a cool palm on Damon’s bare chest, right where his heart beat hard and fast. “I love it too,” he said.

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Book Review: Savor Me by Beth Bolden

Reviewed by Nikyta

Title: Savor Me
Author: Beth Bolden
Series: Kitchen Gods #3
Heroes: Xander & Damon
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 342 pages
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: September 29, 2018
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: When Chef Xander Bridges leaves the warmth and safety of his car on a cold, stormy night and approaches a stranger, the last thing he expects to find is a future. He’s wanted to leave his job for awhile, but with no good opportunities on the horizon, he’s been stuck in a long, painful rut. But when he befriends the stranger viciously tearing up his own vineyard, Xander discovers something inexplicable. Maybe he’s not the bitter, sarcastic man that everyone, including himself, has endured for years.

Maybe, with someone like Damon in his life, he could be something more. Something better.

Damon Hess doesn’t just want more, he demands it. With his alcoholic past, there are no gray areas for him. Only black and white. In love or not. Sober or drunk. But the chance meeting with Xander opens Damon’s eyes, and gives him a vision full of something he hasn’t experienced in years: hope.

Hope that he can expect companionship and affection, hope that he doesn’t have to grapple with his family’s questionable Napa legacy any longer, and most importantly, hope that there’s a future worth believing in. But the longer he and Xander spend cultivating that future, the more Damon realizes that the key is so much simpler than he ever imagined–it’s Xander.

Savor Me is an 80,000 word contemporary m/m romance starring an irascible man with a soft, gooey marshmallow center and another who knows he likes men, but has never been with one before. It is third in the Kitchen Gods series, but can be read as a standalone. Continue reading

Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Catch Me by Beth Bolden: Exclusive Excerpt!

Blogger_Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt from Catch Me

by Beth Bolden

“I got fresh supplies,” Ryan said, pulling out a bottle of Grey Goose from the paper bag he was holding.

“Should have gotten tequila,” Wyatt said, forcing his voice to stay even and normal. “I’m making barbecued shrimp. Great with a margarita.”

“I probably have some somewhere,” Ryan said. “But Tabby was determined to drink all my vodka.”

“I was trying to make you feel better,” Tabitha said with dignity. “And I’ve been telling you for years not to call me that.”

“Someday,” Ryan said, slinging an arm around his friend, “you’re going to realize that every time you say that, it makes me more determined than ever to call you that.” His affectionate gaze was completely platonic, but Wyatt couldn’t help it; he burned with jealousy anyway.

Even if they couldn’t be a thing—fake or real or anything else in between—he still wanted to be Ryan’s friend. Not just his employee. And Wyatt was terrified that turning down his proposal had left him his job, but had demolished everything else

He couldn’t imagine how much it would burn when Ryan moved on and found someone new to pretend to date, and fuck for real.

No matter how much he needed this job or how much he didn’t want to leave, Wyatt wasn’t sure he could stick around and watch that.

“You are an asshole,” Tabitha said. “Even though you went and bought me more vodka.”

“Yeah, I’m still trying to figure out how you coming over and drinking all my booze was supposed to make me feel better.” Ryan was smiling, but Wyatt thought he could see the bad mood lurking behind his dark eyes. Present, but concealed. Just like his own.

It shouldn’t have made Wyatt feel any better, but it did, a little. If Ryan felt bad, at least that meant he’d cared. He’d really wanted it to be Wyatt, and Wyatt still felt incredulous that Ryan had cared so much. It shouldn’t have mattered. Wyatt should have been pissed as hell that he’d concealed his motives, but there had been genuine understanding in his eyes when Wyatt had told him why he couldn’t accept.

“It’s a secret talent of mine,” Tabitha said. She turned to Wyatt. “Don’t you feel better, too?”

“I’m fine,” Wyatt said stiffly, even though they all knew it was a lie. Nobody knew it more than Ryan.

“Then it’s time for me to get out of your hair,” Tabitha said, gracefully sliding off the barstool. Even though Wyatt was beginning to suspect she’d drank quite a bit of Ryan’s vodka.

“Wyatt’s making dinner, you can’t leave yet,” Ryan said. They all knew what he really meant was, you can’t leave me alone with Wyatt.

Tabitha reached over and patted him on the cheek. “I’m sure I’ll be back.”

Wyatt threw a towel over his shoulder. “I’m holding you to that.”

She batted her eyes exaggeratedly and it didn’t even make her look ridiculous, only more beautiful. “It isn’t every day that I get to enjoy the efforts of a Michelin-starred chef,” she said.

He wasn’t really Michelin-starred. That had been his boss, Bastian Aquino, but he didn’t correct her, only smiled.

“I’ll call you an Uber,” Ryan said, “you are so damn drunk.”

“Don’t worry, I already texted Calvin, he’ll be here in a minute.”

Ryan rolled his eyes. “Next time I’m not calling you.”

Tabitha’s expression was dead serious. “Of course you will. That’s why we’re friends.” She tugged Ryan into a quick, tight hug.

Wyatt turned back to his corn in the sink. He didn’t want to cry again, but he felt close and he didn’t even know why.
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Book Review: Catch Me by Beth Bolden

Reviewed by Nikyta

Title: Catch Me
Author: Beth Bolden
Series: Kitchen Gods #2
Heroes: Wyatt & Ryan
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 85k words
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: June 9, 2018
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Chef Wyatt Blake is finally ready to move on from his thankless job. He gets no wiggle room, zero praise, plenty of abuse, and on a good day, he might only spend twelve hours in the Terroir kitchens. A friend of his recommends a private chef position, but despite the boost in pay, Wyatt doesn’t want to babysit some spoiled, rich LA family.

Imagine his shock when the family isn’t a Kardashian clone, but Ryan Flores, the only professional baseball player to ever come out of the closet.

Ryan is also at a career crossroads. His team’s management wants to see his more responsible side, which means no more late night hookups and no more adrenaline-charged stunts. When his agent suggests he find a fake boyfriend to give him an air of domesticity, he’s only reluctantly interested.

Until Ryan goes to a local bar and spies the cute private chef he’s supposed to be interviewing the next day. Maybe a quieter life wouldn’t be so bad, as long as Wyatt is part of it?

Wyatt believes Ryan could be more than just a crappy boss, but he isn’t sure about leaving the kitchen for the life of a professional boyfriend. Especially when he wants the reality so much more than the fantasy.
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Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Bite Me by Beth Bolden

Reviewed by Nikyta

Title: Bite Me
Author: Beth Bolden
Series: Kitchen Gods #1
Heroes: Miles & Evan
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 357 pages
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: February 10, 2018
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Talented pastry chef Miles Costa is bored. Working at the celebrated Napa Valley restaurant Terroir is supposed to be the cherry on top to a promising career, but instead it’s a creative desert. So when he gets an offer to turn his online video series into a career, he leaves his three best friends in Napa and swaps Terroir for Los Angeles.

With the resources now at his fingertips, turning his pastry series into a hit should be easy. Then Miles meets his producer, Evan Patterson, and realizes he’s screwed. And not even in the good way.

It’s not a meet-cute . . .

Evan lives to work and loves every minute detail Miles loathes. Not only that, he seems hell bent on micromanaging every aspect of Miles’ show despite the fact he knows nothing about the culinary arts. Evan doesn’t even like sweets—until Miles seduces him with a rainbow of delectable confections he can’t resist.

. . . it’s a collision.

With every confrontation, the intensity between them flares even hotter until they’re not sure if it’s hatred they feel . . .or something else. Is it possible for two people with nothing in common to discover common ground and romance?
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Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Honorary Blogger Beth Bolden: The Best & Worst + Excerpt & Giveaway!

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The Best & Worst

by Beth Bolden

People who create things get their influences from so many different sources. I watch a lot of TV—well, not a lot, working a full time job and then trying to write and release a book every three months cuts down on a lot of my binge-watching—but it’s something my husband and I like to do together and he needs attention too, every once in awhile.

If a show messes up on their essential plotline or even worse, the romantic plotline, I get really annoyed. Because of how much I’ve learned about plotting and character development and arcs and beats, etcetera, failure on this drives me insane. But nothing makes me more frustrated and more likely to quit watching a show than when they mess up a romantic subplot.

In fact, even though sometimes the book I’m in the middle of writing has nothing to do with the shows we’re watching, I find that tiny little things will slip in and influence the book, even when I have zero intention of them actually happening.

Let’s talk about the best (and worst) developed romantic subplots on TV. (Warning for spoilers ahead!)

THE WORST

  1. The Blacklist. While this show has a fantastic plots, their main romantic plotline has been total garbage slop. Liz’s stupid husband Tom, who isn’t actually Tom but is actually (unfortunately) her husband, has made me want to pull my hair out from the beginning. It’s risky for a show to make an argument that love exists after so many lies, and one partner holding the other HOSTAGE on an abandoned ship accompanied by TORTURE. I mean, I could go on and on. But I don’t find it star-crossed or romantic. I just find Tom incredibly annoying, and Liz only annoying when she intersects with him. I was hoping (AM STILL HOPING, showrunners), that she would end up with Ressler, but I have a feeling that will never happen. What is the book lesson from this garbage dump of a love story? If one of your love interests is going to lie to the other one, and you want the other love interest to forgive him, fine. Don’t make the lie too extreme, and then don’t have them doomed to rinse and repeat this action over and over again. It’ll eventually make one character look like a douchenozzle and the other one look stupid and overly trusting. Love isn’t a blanket that forgives everything. What is the only thing that saves this show, from a romantic subplot angle? The wonderful, seasons-long, pining between Aram and Sarar. Samar is a little bitter and been there, done that, and Aram is a little naïve. And they are so god damn soft with each other. It almost, almost, salvages the ugliness that is Tom and Liz.
  2. Grey’s Anatomy. I have one problem here. Do not establish epic love stories and then kill one or both of the characters off, and then expect that the audience will be able to move on. Downtown Abbey had this problem for me. When they killed off Matthew, I was so angry, I wished I hadn’t wasted three seasons of time, begging for them to get together, and then stay together. If you put your characters and the audience through the wringer, do not expect them to be happy if it ends unhappily. Basically, do not kill McSteamy, McDreamy, etc etc. That’s bad. Don’t do it. And the other relationships you attempt to establish afterwards will always feel weak and like poor replacements for the original. You’ll never be able to get your audience re-invested again, because they don’t trust you anymore. AND THEY SHOULDN’T. I will never forgive Shonda Rhimes for breaking up Meredith and McDreamy, or killing Lexie and McSteamy, or especially, FOREVER, for breaking up Cristina and Burke, and then somehow, miraculously investing me again in Cristina and Owen, and then ruining that one too. Just don’t do it. Not being able to write people who are in relatively happy, functional relationships for the long-term is just lazy. There’s lots of places to go after two characters fall in love and agree to try that relationship thing (see Aimee Nicole Walker’s Curl up and Dye series, which is a fantastic example of writing a relationship that extends long past the initial HEA).
  3. Bones/The X-Files/Castle. This is somewhat a reiteration of my problem with Grey’s but these shows don’t kill off one of the characters to prevent writing a long-term relationship, they just taken FOREVER to get there. Lots of push and pull. Too much push and pull. Too many excuses. Too many interruptions. Too many lame love interests that you know will not last because they are a pale imitation of the couple you really want to happen. We are in the middle of binge-watching Castle currently, and yes, that particular couple did eventually get together, but for the love of god, it took way too long. Same with Bones. I actually got bored with all the shit they threw at Bones and Booth to keep them apart, and by the time they actually got together, I was done and had actually stopped watching. Do not get me started on The X-Files. I’m still too raw from this season’s revelations to think or talk about it. Some enemies to lovers books can feel like this—just because that’s the main gist of the trope: they don’t like each other. As soon as they do like each other, all the tension is out of your story, unless you can miraculously find a second well of tension to draw from. NOT EASY. No, I could not possibly be speaking from personal experience or what it was like to write Bite Me).

THE BEST

  1. The Vampire Diaries/The Originals. Is this great television? Hell no. It’s not even good television, for long stretches. And I’m not including these two inter-connected shows because of the whole Elena/Damon/Stefan love triangle because as far as I’m concerned, if I’m writing about that, it should be in the upper section, because you cannot expect anyone to best Ian Somerhalder when it comes to pure, raw charisma. Especially that guy who plays Stefan. No way. Never gonna happen. So that was a serious miscalculation on the writers—don’t make that mistake, authors. Love triangles are usually death, and should be avoided. HOWEVER, these two shows were totally, unexpectedly saved. Yes. I am talking about Klaus. (Sort of Elijah too, but mostly Klaus). Klaus is a big bad, but is he really a big bad? That, not who Elena is going to chose, because we all know who she is going to chose, it’s not even remotely a mystery, is the real question of the series. It was such a good question, that it prompted a whole other show. Klaus is so bad, he’s good. He’s so old, he’s seen it all, he’s done it all, he’s bored as fuck, while also being the most stubborn creature on the whole planet (not even an exaggeration). So who better to pair him with than Caroline, who not only is a brand new vampire, but is basically a high school teenager who prior to this, had not been shown to have much substance? Except she does, and her interactions with Klaus give them both a dimension they did not have before. Opposites attract, but are they opposites? This is a relationship and a connection that asks more questions than it ever answers, and it’s shockingly deftly done. And that is the sort of occasional brilliance that makes these shows addictive. NOW, I was going to actually stick this in the “bad” column, because you do not tempt with a relationship like this, and then never see it to fruition, because. . .that is a crime, worse than any that Klaus has committed over his very long lifetime. But the rumor (and the trailer for the final season of The Originals) heavily hint that they will be revisiting this relationship. The jury is still out, but I’m intrigued. The best romance novels take two characters who should not be together, and you would NEVER expect them to be together without possibly killing each other, and make it work. There’s a historical romance called Lord of Scoundrels, where the female MC literally shoots the male MC near the beginning of the story. AND THEY FALL IN LOVE AFTER. There’s a lot of other fantastic PNR books where one or both of the MCs could be bad, in fact, they are almost definitely bad, but they are “saved” or “redeemed,” etc etc. The key to this is not making them a different person. Klaus is still a petulant, stubborn hybrid who likes to kill things. He doesn’t magically become better. He just becomes more nuanced.
  2. New Girl. This is a hard show to watch a lot of. It can be really irredeemably silly. Sometimes I get severe secondhand embarrassment and I have to turn it off. But, at the heart of it, is two fantastic romance arcs that are sort of brilliantly done. While I love Schmidt and Cece, I’m going to focus on Nick and Jess, because that is best hookup/breakup/reunion cycle that I have seen recently. First, the showrunners were not afraid to go for it and go for it pretty early on (mid-second season, I believe, is when they kiss for the first time, and what a kiss it is). Second, they were smart enough to know that one character was not really ready for a serious, steady relationship. They had done a good job establishing that. So the breakup felt very organic. As did the subsequent moving on/growing up parts and then the beautiful reunion at the end of last season. As someone who has written a reunited lovers romance, this whole arc is not easy to pull off, and a lot of others in movies, television, and books, fail. The breakup feels forced. The reunion feels even more forced. The problems that forced them to breakup the first time are never fixed, just magically sort of disappear. A beautiful trope, if well done, but it needs to be executed well.

I have a sort of annoyingly analytical brain and I can’t turn it off, even to enjoy something as mindless as a TV show. But I’ve also learned a lot about what to do (and what not to do) from watching shows I’ve enjoyed and watching shows make epic mistakes in their romantic subplots.

What sort of TV do you like watching? Is the romantic subplot usually a dealbreaker? Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post, Published in 2018 | Tags: , , , | 9 Comments

Book Review: The Rainbow Clause by Beth Bolden

Reviewed by Susan65

Title: The Rainbow Clause
Author: Beth Bolden
Heroes: Colin O’Connor/Nick Wheeler
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 324 Pages
Publisher: Beth Bolden
Release Date: April 23, 2017
Available at:  Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Heisman winner. Member of the National Championship team. NFL Rookie of the Year. Quarterback Colin O’Connor knows he’s become the ultimate romance novel cliché: all the success he’s ever dreamed of but nobody to share it with. Too bad it’s not as simple as asking out the next girl who intrigues him – because the next girl to intrigue him probably won’t be a girl at all.

Unexpectedly, the solution comes in one neat package: Nick Wheeler, lead journalist for a leading sports and pop culture blog. Hired by Colin’s team, Nick comes to Miami to shine a spotlight on the NFL’s most private quarterback.

The heat in Miami rises when Nick discovers that Colin is nothing like the hollow personality he pretends to be in interviews and he’s even hotter in person than on his Sports Illustrated cover. Nick knows this is the story of his career, and after spending his teenage years as a bullied, closeted teen, it hits very close to home. What he needs is to help Colin share his story while keeping their growing relationship from boiling over in the press, but what he wants is to tell the world.
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Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Published in 2017, Susan65's Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment