#DGRFave, Geri & Lana’s Review: Down By Contact by @santinohassell

DOWN BY CONTACT
Series: The Barons #2
Genre: MM Romance, Contemporary, Sports
Author: Santino Hassell
Release Date: January 16, 2017

Two rival football players begin a game with higher stakes than the Super Bowl in this steamy romance from the author of Illegal Contact.

Simeon Boudreaux, the New York Barons’ golden-armed quarterback, is blessed with irresistible New Orleans charm and a face to melt your mama’s heart. He’s universally adored by fans and the media. Coming out as gay in solidarity with his teammate hasn’t harmed his reputation in the least—except for some social media taunting from rival linebacker Adrián Bravo.

Though they were once teammates, Adrián views Simeon as a traitor and the number-one name on the New Jersey Predators’ shit list. When animosity between the two NFL players reaches a boiling point on the field, culminating in a dirty fist fight, they’re both benched for six games and sentenced to joint community service teaching sullen, Brooklyn teens how to play ball.

At first, they can barely stand to be in the same room, but running the camp forces them to shape up. With no choice but to work together, Simeon realizes Adrián is more than his alpha-jerk persona, and Adrián begins to question why he’s always had such strong feelings for the gorgeous QB…

AMAZON | iBOOKS


LANA’S REVIEW

All this time, I’d not only been starving for his body—I’d been deprived of his kisses. Now I couldn’t get enough.

When Santino Hassell puts two rival football players together, the enemies to lovers trope turns from delicious to downright addicting. This book was EVERYTHING. And I truly mean EVERYTHING. You get the enemies to lovers combined with a GFY and one blissed out reader. This series only seems to be getting better and better and this girl simply can’t get enough!

I thought I loved Illegal Contact, but that was nothing compared to my love for this book. There’s just something so magnetic and captivating about these characters that Santino creates that I absolutely devour with a sense of glee that gives me butterflies in my stomach. Being a fly on the wall while these men figure out their relationships, life and themselves while falling in love is unlike anything I’ve experienced in books I read. I just love it.

I already knew I’d love Simeon after getting introduced to him in the previous book. If it’s at all possible, I fell even harder for him in this one. His rough exterior hides a heart of gold. A devoted friend. A loving son. A dedicated and driven athlete. A man that yearns for love but doesn’t believe he’ll find the real thing. A man that goes for empty meaningless hookups because that’s all he feels is possible for a gay man in his profession. Ridicule and sneers are not something he isn’t used to. They roll right off of him. He knows who he is and he’s not ashamed.

With his book bag hanging off one shoulder and his sweatpants hanging off his ass, he was ridiculously fuckable. Too bad he was also over-the-top hateable.

Adrián Bravo is his biggest rival, but at one point he used to be his teammate. Now that Simeon plays for the Barons, Adrián is a source of publicity that he’s simply tired of. Never hesitating to throw shade and subliminal homophobic comments during his interviews, Adrián is the last man he wants in his orbit. Until they’re both forced to make amends after an altercation on the field and perform community service where they have to deal with the animosity that brews between them.

There was a hardness and a sweetness to Simeon that intoxicated me with every touch. It made me pant for him, salivate for him, and think of nothing but my aching need to feel his body completely bared against my own.

As much as I wanted to hate Adrián in the beginning, the more you find out about the man, the more impossible it gets. He’s not a closeted gay man. He’s a man that simply didn’t realize what or who he really is until Simeon. His feelings for the man are foreign to him and something he’s never experienced for another guy. Watching him fight through that confusion and fall harder and harder for Simeon was incredibly satisfying. You understand his hesitation in the beginning. You get his struggle and why it’s so hard for him to wrap his mind around. It makes him incredibly endearing.

And as for the two of them together?
Absolutely explosive!

Down By Contact was a sizzling MM sports romance that I couldn’t get enough of. It was completely unputdownable. I’m simply addicted to this series and I can’t wait for more.


GERI’S REVIEW

This book!

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Two hot-as-sin football players from two rival teams fall in lust and then love with each other in the second installment of Santino Hassell’s Barons series. I just can’t say enough about how awesome this series has been for me. I really enjoyed the first book, Illegal Contact, so my expectations were pretty high. Fortunately for me, Santino Hassell delivered a heartfelt, emotionally charged love story between Simeon Boudreaux and Adrián Bravo.

I had my reservations going into this book. The Predators were set up as the Barons’ rivals since the first book. In fact, one of the inciting incident in that book involved Simeon. And let me just say that the Predators aren’t exactly a cuddly team. They’re clearly set up as antagonists, and Adrián being a predator made me wary especially since he’s done some things that really made me mad. So yes, even though I love some enemies-to-lovers stories, I was worried, Adrián won’t be redeemed.

Image result for I was wrong gif

Santino Hassell not only redeemed him, he managed to endear Adrián to me. I was falling in love with Adrián at them time as Simeon. He was, for all his bravado at the beginning, showed real vulnerability. He went above and beyond in proving himself worthy of Simeon’s love.

And Simeon of course was just as endearing and vulnerable as Adrián. I’ve loved his character since Illegal Contact and I don’t think it was possible to love him even more but in this book, I did. He was the same confident guy in Illegal Contact but Down by Contact showed a different side to him. His love for his mother and football and his friendship with Marcus and Gavin are some of the most beautiful elements in this book. Their banter and the way they were there for Simeon was my favorite thing.

But what really makes this book special was the romance between Simeon and Adrián. It was sweet and hot and so swoony. Their banter was hilarious and that grand gesture towards the end made me go…

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If you’re going to pick up one MM book this month, choose Down by Contact. And while this can be read as a standalone, I really, really would recommend reading Illegal Contact first. There are so many gems about Simeon there. Plus, you get to meet Gavin and Noah as well.

Seriously, you guys need to get on this series NOW!

Spotlight & Exclusive Excerpt: Relay by @LaylaReyne

RELAY
Series: Changing Lanes #1
Genre: M/M Contemporary Sports Romance
Author: Layla Reyne
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date (Print & Ebook): January 8th, 2018
Length (Print & Ebook): ~ 63,000 words

Captain is not a title Alejandro “Alex” Cantu takes lightly. Elected by his teammates to helm the US Men’s Swim Team, he proudly accepts the role, despite juggling endless training, team administrative work, and helping out on the family farm. And despite his ex-lover, Dane Ellis—swimming’s biggest star—also making the Olympic Team.

Dane has been a pawn in his celebrity parents’ empire from crib to pool, flashing his camera-ready smile on demand and staying deeply in the closet. Only once did he drop the act—the summer he fell in love with Alex. Ten years later, Dane longs to cut his parents’ strings, drop his too-bright smile, and beg Alex for another chance.

Alex, though, isn’t ready to forgive and forget, and Dane is a distraction he doesn’t need on his team, until an injury forces Alex to accept Dane as his medley relay anchor. Working together, their passion reignites. When Dane’s parents threaten reprisal and Alex is accused of doping, the two must risk everything to prove Alex’s innocence, to love one another, and to win back their spots on the team, together.

RIPTIDE PUBLISHING

Dane climbed out of the car, squinting against the bright midday sun. Dressed in jeans and a wrinkled tee, hair a red rat’s nest, auburn scruff matted along one side of his jaw, and the rest of his face somewhere between flaming red and sickly green, Dane looked a sleep-deprived mess, worse even than Alex.

Alex stepped back, not forward.

And met his mom’s hand, pressed lightly against his spine. “I think you know what he wants now.” Alex could hear the smile in her knowing voice.

“Isn’t that Big Red?” Carla asked, drawn from the back porch by the commotion.

Alex nodded, still speechless.

His mom gave him a firmer push, and he stumbled down the first porch step. No going back now. Putting one foot in front of the other, he descended the steps and came to a stop in front of Dane.

“What are you doing here?” he asked, voicing the only question that mattered in this present world gone mad.

Clear blue eyes stared back at him, full of the same affection he’d seen there Saturday night, had seen for the first time ten years ago across a pool. Together with Dane’s shy, self-deprecating smile, the real one, it was a beautiful and dangerous combination.

And beautiful, dangerous words followed. “I came here for you.”

Author Layla Reyne was raised in North Carolina and now calls San Francisco home. She enjoys weaving her bi-coastal experiences into her stories, along with adrenaline-fueled suspense and heart pounding romance. When she’s not writing stories to excite her readers, she downloads too many books, watches too much television, and cooks too much food with her scientist husband, much to the delight of their smushed-face, leftover-loving dogs.

 Author Tagline: Adrenaline-Fueled Romance

 

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Release Blitz, Review & Excerpt: Illegal Contact by @santinohassell

ILLEGAL CONTACT
Series: The Barons #1
Genre: Contemporary, MM Romance
Author: Santino Hassell
Release Date: August 15, 2017

The rules of the game don’t apply off the field in this first Barons novel. 

New York Barons tight end Gavin Brawley is suspended from the team and on house arrest after a video of him brawling goes viral. Gavin already has a reputation as a jerk with a temper on and off the field—which doesn’t help him once he finds himself on the wrong side of the law.

And while he’s been successful professionally, he’s never been lucky when it comes to love.

Noah Monroe is a recent college grad looking for a job—any job—to pay off his mounting student debt. Working as Gavin’s personal assistant/babysitter seems like easy money. But Noah isn’t prepared for the electrifying tension between him and the football player. He’s not sure if he’d rather argue with Gavin or tackle him to the floor.

But both men know the score, and neither is sure what will happen once Gavin’s timeout is over…

AMAZON | iBOOKSCLICK HERE TO READ THE ILLEGAL CONTACT_Excerpt

Gavin Brawley was one of the most unlikeable people I’d ever met, and yet my brain had no problems conjuring images of us naked, sweating, and doing the unmentionable.

Is it any wonder that I’m obsessed with everything Santino Hassell writes? The man weaves literary magic with his newest series. A grumpy football star with a chip on his shoulder and an anger management problem meets his match with a preppy Clark Kent looking nerd and his newest PA and sparks fly! A witty, swoony and ridiculously sexy romance, Illegal Contact was pure perfection!

New York Barons tight end Gavin Brawley has a chip on his shoulder a mile wide. Growing up dirt poor orphan in the system ensured his anger management problems and football provided him his sanity. He’s focused all of his anger, all of his desire and drive into being the very best, and he certainly is. Football loves him, but the public hates him. It the court of public opinion, he’s violent, dangerous, and a menace to society. After a recent fight lands him on house arrest and out of the sport he loves so much, his agent insists that he gets a PA to get his life in order. The last thing Gavin wants is somebody in his business 24/7. Only his closest two friends know of his bisexuality and he doesn’t need a meddling assistant interfering with his life. He likes it as it is.

Noah Monroe is up to his nose in school loans and when a scandal costs him a job he loved and his father gets laid off, he’s desperate. So desperate that he allows his friend into interviewing for a position he has no interest in. Noah has no interest in football nor does he like the grumpy giant glaring at him from the couch during his interview. Letting his smart mouth and frustration get the best of him, he thinks he’s blown his chance at the only decent job on his horizon, he gets the surprise of a lifetime when Gavin himself calls to offer him the job.

Noah and Gavin are polar opposites. Noah is openly gay and Gavin hides his bisexuality from the public in fear of losing his football contract. But beyond that, Noah is sunny to Gavin’s dark clouds. Noah dislikes football and football has been Gavin’s life and sanity. They shouldn’t get along. But beyond the snarky barbs and insults, they begin to form an unwilling friendship that sizzles with an electric sexual chemistry.

Illegal Contact is very much a slow burn romance, and it was utterly delicious. I loved seeing Noah slowly but surely unwittingly work his way under Gavin’s skin. I loved the way he wove his way into Gavin’s soft side and got to see a side of him that only his two closest friends have ever seen. But what I loved most of all was slowly getting to that warm and fuzzy center hidden beneath a concrete wall of anger and muscle of Gavin’s.

As for the chemistry between these two? Through. The. Roof. HOT.

Nobody,” he whispered. “You ruined me for anyone else.” I wanted to cry, but I power-fucked him instead. I was relentless. I was goddamn ruthless. And he loved every second. With his elbows pressed into the bed for leverage, Noah rocked up to meet me every time I pulled out and rammed back into him.

This is easily the most romantic book that Hassell has written to date and I loved every page of it. It was angsty, emotional, with a splash of his signature grit, and absolute perfection. I simply cannot wait for more in this series!

Review: Hello Forever by Sarina Bowen

HELLO FOREVER
Series: Hello Goodbye #2
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance
Author: Sarina Bowen
Release Date: July 14, 2017

A SINGLE BASKETBALL GAME CHANGES EVERYTHING…

When they were only teenagers, Axel and Caxton were caught making out in the woods at church camp. And afterward, Cax had disappeared from all the youth group activities.

Six years later, Axel is astonished to spot his first love’s face in the crowd of a college basketball game he’s watching on TV—at a school which has just offered him a job. It’s a thousand miles away, in a tiny rural town. But suddenly, he can’t wait to get there.

Cax can’t believe his eyes when Axel appears in the same Massachusetts town where he now lives. And he’s still just as drawn to Axel as ever. But he can’t let himself go there again, because loving Axel will mean giving up everything else he holds dear.

Both men have so much to lose. But as far as their love is concerned, it’s Hello Forever.

Hello Forever is a stand-alone novel with no cliffhangers. Readers of Goodbye Paradise will get to check in on Caleb and Josh and their clan.

AMAZON

Axel had walked into my life holding a basketball when I was eight. And without even knowing it, he’d made my life at home more bearable.

Oh le swoon. Sarina Bowen brings the swoons one more time with book two in her Pay It Forward series. Hello Forever was previously published as It’s Never Over and while I never read the original, I enjoyed this one so much!

Axel and Caxton were childhood friends. Finding each other at a time when they needed the other the most, they became instant best friends. But over the years that friendship began to transform into something…more. Until a kiss at church camp gets them caught and everything changes.

Not having seen each other in over six years, they now lead very different lives. Axel is openly gay and has an amazing mother that loves him no matter what. After his recent relationship fail, he takes a chance on job at a small town, but there’s more to it than that. In his research of the college, he spots a very familiar face in one of their online videos. A face that never fails to ramp up his heart rate. A face that he needs to see again because it’s one he’s never forgotten or gotten over.

He tasted of everything I ever wanted. His tongue slid warm and wet across mine, and I wrapped my arms around him to get as close as I could.

Caxton is rocked to his very core to see Axel in his town. Deeply closeted with a mean bigot of a father, Caxton has put his life on hold to be a solid presence in his younger brothers’ lives. But Axel is one person that he’s never forgotten and the years did nothing to dilute his feelings.

They slowly pick up where their friendship paused all those years ago but it’s not long before their feelings for one another become too strong to ignore.

Caxtastrophe and Axeldental were absolutely adorable together. They were so sweet in a tentative and romantic sort of way. There’s no guessing game to how they feel about each other. The only angst come from outside factors like Cax’s a-hole of a father and keeping his sexual orientation a secret.

We get to catch up with Josh and Caleb, which I loved getting more of. Hello Forever was sweet and sexy and I simply loved Axel and Cax together. It brought the feels and the swoons and a dollop of angst and I loved how everything wraps up at the end. It was such a treat to finally see Cax grow into his own and not hide from who he is. There’s also a secondary character that was introduced here that I’m seriously hoping will be getting his own book.

Review & Exclusive Excerpt: Heart of the Steal by Avon Gale & Roan Parrish

HEART OF THE STEAL
Genre: MM, Contemporary Romance
Authors: Avon Gale & Roan Parrish
Release Date: July 11, 2017

Responsible, disciplined William Fox channeled his love for art and his faith in the rules into being an FBI Art Crimes agent. Right and wrong, justice and injustice—the differences are clear, and Will has spent his career drawing a line between them. Maybe his convictions have cost him relationships, but he’s not willing to compromise what he knows is right. Until the night he meets Amory Vaughn.

As the head of his family’s philanthropic foundation, Vaughn knows very well that being rich and powerful can get him almost anything he wants. And when he meets endearingly grumpy and slightly awkward William Fox, he wants him more than he’s wanted anything. Vaughn is used to being desired for his name and his money, but Will doesn’t care about either.

When Vaughn falls back on old habits and attempts to impress Will by stealing a painting Will admires, their nascent bond blows up in his face. But Vaughn isn’t willing to give up on the glimpse of passion he saw the night he took Will apart. Before Will knows it, he’s falling for the man he should have arrested, and Vaughn has to realize that some things can’t be bought or stolen. Love has to be given freely. But can a man who lives by the rules, and a man who thinks the rules don’t apply to him, ever see eye to eye?

Heart of the Steal is a standalone romance with a happy ending. It features a Southern gentleman who thinks he’s always right, a buttoned-up FBI agent who secretly likes his buttons unbuttoned, and wall sex. And desk sex. And picnic blanket sex.

AMAZON | B&N | iBOOKS

 

I followed him up the stairs and down a hallway carpeted in thick brown shag, then through the last door on the right. Once inside, he dropped our overnight bags on the floor and began fussing with the bedcovers, the line of his shoulders tense.I slid a hand up his back and leaned over him.

“I’ve been cooking up a fantasy while sitting with your family and watching football, William.”

“Oh?”

“Oh, yes.” I crowded him, bending him forward over the bed, spread with a navy blue comforter trimmed in red. “We’re in your childhood bedroom,” I murmured into his ear, kissing the skin behind it until he shivered in my arms.

“Mmhmm?”

I slid a hand under his sweater and splayed my palm against his warm stomach. His back was pressed to my chest and I could feel his heart beating. “We’re in high school. You’re a junior and I’m a senior. You invited me over to do homework, so we brought our books upstairs.”

I licked a line up the side of his throat and pulled him more firmly against me so he could feel the evidence of what this fantasy was doing to me.

“What subject?” he asked, pressing his hips backward.

“History. The Revolutionary War.” I gave his earlobe a nip and saw the corners of his mouth draw up. “You’re very studious. Serious. You’re concentrating.”

“Mmm, and what are you doing?”

“I…am being very distracting.”

I slipped a hand inside his dark jeans and ghosted my fingers over the ridge of his hard cock.

“I keep bumping your knees with mine. Touching you. I can’t help myself. You’re so damned hot.”

He moaned softly, shuddering as I took a firmer grip on him. He made no attempt to turn around, just ground his taut ass back against my hips, teasing my swollen flesh. I pulled my hand from his pants and he gave a plaintive whimper. I kissed the back of his neck, feasting on soft skin until his hands clutched at me.

“What,” he gasped. “What do you do next?”

“Well, that all depends.” I dropped my voice low, knowing how much it turned him on. “You’re a junior, William. Are you a virgin?”

He gasped and craned to look at me. He nodded, sunk fully into this game. Lust shot through me at the idea of being Will’s first; of sliding inside his body where no other man had been, opening him, owning him.

“Well then,” I murmured. “I’ll have to be very.” I kissed his neck. “Very.” The skin under his jaw. “Gentle,” I whispered against his mouth, and felt his moan.

I pushed him forward enough to pull off his sweater, then pressed against him again.

“The first time I touch you,” I told him, “you aren’t sure what to make of it. Am I teasing? Should you react? Or am I just being friendly?” I ran my hands up his sides, tracing his ribs. “But then I touch you here.” I circled his nipples with my fingers, plucking them until he arched against me. “And you know I’m not just being friendly anymore. You know that I’m going to do things to you no one has ever done before.”

Will shuddered and I drank his reactions like the finest whiskey.

“Have you thought about them, William? Alone in your room, in your bed. Have you thought about what it would feel like to have another boy’s body against yours? A man’s hand around your dick instead of your own? The sensation of a man kissing your mouth, kissing you everywhere?”

Will shook his head, mouth open.

“No? You haven’t thought about it? Or you haven’t wanted to?”

He froze in my arms.

“It’s okay, love. I’ve got you.”

I wanted to overwhelm him, take him out of himself and everything he recognized and give him a mirror that would reflect him back to himself the way I saw him. Beautiful, brave, and scared.

This book was nothing like I normally gravitate to. It has zero angst. It’s not twisty and unpredictable. And it also doesn’t have hot man abs on the cover. What? Don’t you judge me. Like you haven’t made those ill fated purchases because man abs lure you on. God. Judgy much? As a matter of fact, if I let my inner cover wh*re do the picking, she’d merrily click right past this book. And what a shame that would be. Because this is a classic case of not judging a book by the cover.

I wondered where in the world William Fox felt completely, totally comfortable. Absolutely himself. And damned if I didn’t want to see what it was like to be there with him.

Heart Of The Steal was a super sweet romance between two men that couldn’t be more opposite of each other. You have Will, an FBI agent for the art crimes division that wears poor fitting suits and couldn’t flirt to save his life. Will is not a man that does one night stands but he’s not exactly great at relationships either. After a disastrous end to his last one, he’s not exactly swimming in suitors, but he’s perfectly content with that too. Being forced to go to an art show that his twin sister and budding party planner dragged him to isn’t his ideal way to plan the evening, but at least he can enjoy some art.

Amory Vaughn is the exact opposite of who would normally catch Will’s attention. He’s a rich philanthropist who’s not unused to people only being interested in him for his money. So why does that man that blushes when Amory catches him staring and then runs away before talking to him completely steal his attention?

Can an uptight and proper FBI agent and flirtatious, rich, would be philanthropist thief have anything beyond sizzling hot chemistry in common?

Sparks fly immediately with these two. But when Will learns of Vaughn’s art theft, he knows he can’t cross that professional line with him. He may let him walk away from a deserved arrest, but he can’t fall for his flirty smiles and smart mouth. Too bad the chemistry between them proves too strong to deny for even a stuffy FBI agent.

On Monday morning,” I said into his ear as I reached around and took him in hand. He cried out, knuckles white where he grabbed the desk. “I’m going to sit there and imagine you just like this. Legs spread, open and begging for me.”
I licked a stripe up the side of his throat.
“I’m not…begging…” Will gasped, and I smiled against his damp skin.
“No,” I conceded. “No. Not yet.”

Once these two get past their…uhem…differences, the book takes a different turn. It goes from a slightly enemies to lovers vibe to just lovers. It shows two people slowly but surely falling in love as they get to know each other. Admittedly, this would normally bore me, but in the case of this book it was just adorably endearing. I simply loved these two together. I loved their individual quirks and I absolutely loved watching Vaughn fall deeper and deeper for Will. I loved watching Will lose more of his stuffiness in the presence of the enigmatic Vaughn. And I simply loved the sides of each other that they brought out when they were together. It was sweet, and swoony, and at times just ridiculously sexy.

My only quibble is Amory’s description and comparison to Lucius Malfoy, which didn’t inspire the sexiest of images. But after a while, I’ll admit that it really suited Vaughn and I looked right past it. I loved the differences between him and Will, but not as much as I loved the two of them together.

There was no crazy drama, no angst, no twists or action. It was beautiful in it’s simplicity, actually, and I adored every page of it.


Roan Parrish lives in Philadelphia where she is gradually attempting to write love stories in every genre.

When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, meandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and self-tattooing. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique.

She is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan of Handspun Literary Agency.

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Avon Gale wrote her first story at the age of seven, about a “Space Hat” hanging on a rack and waiting for that special person to come along and purchase it — even if it was a bit weirder than the other, more normal hats. Like all of Avon’s characters, the space hat did get its happily ever after — though she’s pretty sure it was with a unicorn. She likes to think her vocabulary has improved since then, but the theme of quirky people waiting for their perfect match is still one of her favorites.

Avon grew up in the southern United States, and now lives with her very patient husband in a liberal midwestern college town. When she’s not writing, she’s either doing some kind of craft project that makes a huge mess, reading, watching horror movies, listening to music or yelling at her favorite hockey team to get it together, already. Avon is always up for a road trip, adores Kentucky bourbon, thinks nothing is as stress relieving as a good rock concert and will never say no to candy.

At one point, Avon was the mayor of both Jazzercise and Lollicup on Foursquare. This tells you basically all you need to know about her as a person.

Avon is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan of Handspun Literary Agency.

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Review: Damaged Like Us by Krista & Becca Ritchie

DAMAGED LIKE US
Series: Like Us #1
Genre: Contemporary, MM Romance
Author: Krista & Becca Ritchie
Release Date: June 27, 2017

Don’t date your bodyguard.
It was the one rule he had to break.

Maximoff Hale is a force of nature. A ship unwilling to be steered. Headstrong, resilient, and wholly responsible — the twenty-two-year-old alpha billionaire can handle his unconventional life. By noon, lunch can turn into a mob of screaming fans. By two, his face is all over the internet.

Born into one of the most famous families in the country, his celebrity status began at birth.

He is certified American royalty.

When he’s assigned a new 24/7 bodyguard, he comes face-to-face with the worst case scenario: being attached to the tattooed, MMA-trained, Yale graduate who’s known for “going rogue” in the security team — and who fills 1/3 of Maximoff’s sexual fantasies.

Twenty-seven-year-old Farrow Keene has one job: protect Maximoff Hale. Flirting, dating, and hot sex falls far, far out of the boundary of his bodyguard duties and into “termination” territory. But when feelings surface, protecting the sexy-as-sin, stubborn celebrity becomes increasingly complicated.

Together, boundaries blur, and being exposed could mean catastrophic consequences for both.

The Like Us series is a true series, one continuous timeline, that follows a family of wealthy celebrities and the people that protect them. Damaged Like Us can be read and enjoyed without reading any of Krista & Becca’s other novels.

AMAZON | iBOOKS

I broke the unbreakable rule. Don’t fuck your client.

So….confession time…
*whispers*
This is the first book I’ve read by these authors.
*ducks head in shame*
Yes, yes, I’m wearing the cone of shame as I write this, mkay? So quit looking at me with those judgy eyes already. I realize what I’ve been missing out on and currently kicking my own ass. Cut me some slack here.

I have all of their books on my TBR but for some unknown to me reason just never got around to reading them. I can tell you that I will be rectifying that HUGE mistake immediately but devouring their entire backlist. But enough about that. Let’s talk about this book.

Firstly, let’s address something right off the bat. I could clearly see that I was missing quite a bit of backstory with the secondary characters here as this is a spin off from Calloway Sisters series and Addicted series. As a matter of fact, Maximoff is the son of Lily and Lo. This series introduces all of the children and I was absolutely smitten with it. It took me a bit to wrap my mind around all of the connections, but the authors did a fantastic job really introducing all the secondary characters so that I never felt lost.

Born into one of the most famous families in the country, Maximoff Hale is pretty much American royalty. His father is just as known for his past alcoholism as his business, and his mother is just as famous for being a sex addict as her family’s business, he’s used to living his life under a microscope.

Fame is my friend and foe. It’s a part of me. A tangible thing that lives inside of me. This is the only life I’ve ever lived . It’s the only life I know.

Privacy is a luxury that he’ll never have and a real relationship is something that he’ll never experience because he’ll never expose someone to what he goes through on a daily basis. A life of NDAs and meaningless one night stands is what he’s used to.

When he learns that he’ll be getting a new bodyguard, he’s not exactly thrilled. The Hale bodyguards are more then employees, they’re a 24/7 presence and friends and confidents. When he finds out that his new bodyguard is the star of all his teenage fantasies, a crush he never got over, and a man that he’s still uncontrollably attracted to, life becomes a little more complicated.

He’s made permanent camp in my cerebral cortex and cock, and I don’t know how to extract him.

The more time they spend together, the more difficult it becomes to deny the overbearing sexual tension that brews between them. Admittedly, that delicious tension was one of my favorite parts about the book. Every time these two so much as had a conversation, you could feel the chemistry crackle and burn. And their first kiss? Holy mother of god! It was hotter than any sex scene. Swear.

Farrow returns the aroused, taut sentiment. Our short breaths are the only true noise.
The headiest exchange of my life.
Undeniable.
He leans forward, his lips an inch from mine. And very deeply, very huskily, he whispers, “What do you want, Maximoff ?”

There’s a lot that happens here that goes beyond the main couple. While the romance is absolutely the center focus, you get introduced to a slew of secondary characters. While usually this may cause me to struggle, I felt like it just connected me to these characters even more. I loved the bond that these siblings and cousins share.

But Maximoff and Farrow most definitely stole the show. I loved these two together. I loved Maximoff’s intensity and Farrow’s easy going flintiness. He’s such a fan chapter. His presence totally sucks you in. The authors created such a vivid character with him. All of his aneurism, eye brow quirks and gum popping served to endear me to him more and more. And when these two guys get together? Yowza!

We’re like lightning and thunder, inherently different but alike enough to share the same sky.

It was the perfect blend of swoon and steam. I adored these two together and I already can’t wait for more. The parents have quite a bit of redeeming to do after what happens at the end of this book. I love that we get a satisfying HFN to tide us over until the next book. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to binge the Ritchie’s entire backlist.

Jenn’s Reviews: Sutphin Boulevard by @santinohassell

SUTPHIN BOULEVARD
Series: Five Boroughs #1
Genre: MM Romance
Author: Santino Hassell
Release Date: July 31, 2015

Michael Rodriguez and Nunzio Medici have been friends for two decades. From escaping their dysfunctional families in the working-class neighborhood of South Jamaica, Queens to teaching in one of the city’s most queer friendly schools in Brooklyn, the two men have shared everything. Or so they thought until a sweltering night of dancing leads to an unexpected encounter that forever changes their friendship.

Now, casual touches and lingering looks are packed with sexual tension, and Michael can’t forget the feel of his best friend’s hands on him. Once problems rear up at work and home, Michael finds himself seeking constant escape in the effortless intimacy and mind-blowing sex he has with Nunzio. But things don’t stay easy for long.

When Michael’s world begins to crumble in a sea of tragedy and complications, he knows he has to make a choice: find solace in a path of self-destruction or accept the love of the man who has been by his side for twenty years.

AMAZON

There once was a dude named Santino……..

…..who wrote like a badass motherfucker.

The End.

Ok. I can’t just stop there. Santino, you make my heart….beat. It beats for your words. It beats for these characters. I lapped up this book like it was my oasis in the Sahara. Where have you been all of my life?

Reading Santino Hassell is a delicious, mouth-watering, guilty pleasure (not guilty, just pleasure).

à la Mode St. » fashion

”Go to bed,” he whispered. “Before I fucking rape you.”

Yep. Felt that one in my ovaries.
à la Mode St. » fashionEverything that came out of Nunzio’s mouth, I just want to frame on my wall. This whole book consisted of me squeezing my legs together and holding my breath.

Nunzio!!!!! Gah! What dream boat. Sarcastic. Snarky. Italian. He has loved Michael his whole life, even though Michael has no idea. I mean, Michael is in the dark for most of this book. We watch through Michael’s eyes, as Nunzio pines for him through everything. I kinda wish there were flashbacks to when they were younger because I would have eaten all of it up. There is a reason why Michael doesn’t see Nunzio’s love for him. They have been best friends their whole life, and Michael has some serious personal issues that he has to deal with. I actually really enjoyed the last 25% of the book….Fuck it, this entire book just surprised the hell out of me.

I thought it was brilliant that this whole book is written from Michael’s pov. I could feel Nunzio’s longing the whole book, and it was just so heart-breaking, and fulfilling at the same time, hoping beyond hope that Michael would wake the fuck up and see how much Nunzio felt for him!

And the writing is so smart. An intelligent author is my everything. I love how he pushes the boundaries of….everything. Love. Relationships. And you don’t even see it coming.
THE FEELS! All kinds of unrequited juicy-ness. I don’t even like angst, and you made me looooove it, Santino!!!
à la Mode St. » fashion

He couldn’t be the crutch I held on to only when I felt unsteady.

à la Mode St. » fashionI could go on….. 🙂

New Release & Review: Mature Content by @MeganErickson_ & @santinohassell

MATURE CONTENT
Series: Cyber Love #4
Genre: Contemporary, MM Romance
Authors: Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell
Release Date: June 2, 2017

My life plan is to be brutally honest all the way to the bank. Don’t believe me? I run a popular YouTube channel called TrashyZane, and my claim to fame is oversharing about every aspect of my personal life. Sometimes while tipsy. Not everyone loves my style, but I have a long history of icing out people who can’t handle me. I have no time for judgmental foolishness.

Except, apparently, when it comes to Beau Starr. His channel is the polar opposite of mine, and so is he. Wholesome, inspirational, and clean-cut. Everything about him should turn me off, but when we hook up following a confrontation at a convention, my world flips upside down.

Not only does Beau Starr turn me on, he uses the exact combination of dirty talk and roughness needed to turn me out.

But we still hate each other. I think.

AMAZON | B&N | KOBO | INDIGO | ANGUST & ROBERTSON BOOK WORLD | MANDORI STORE

“Look, if I go clean up are you going to run out the door?”“Would it bother you if I did?”

Beau frowned. “If I say yes, is it guaranteed you’ll do it just to bother me?” My mouth twitched. He rocked against me. “I’m serious.”

“Fine.” I sighed exaggeratedly, like he was really hassling me. “I’ll stay for a few.”

“Good.” Beau stood up, and I was suddenly eye level with his taut, sculpted stomach. “There’s another bathroom in my bedroom. And…you can grab some shorts from the chest if you don’t want to sit around naked.”

I almost asked him what the hell we were going to be sitting around doing, but kept my mouth shut. He went to the bathroom between the living room and kitchen, and I explored the rest of his apartment while slathered in jizz. It was almost as nice as mine, but nowhere near as artsy. My grandmother had helped me furnish it after shopping at thrift stores and refinishing furniture, but Beau’s apartment was kind of like a showroom. Eerily perfect.

Either way, his bathroom was on point with the lighting and shower, so I jumped in quickly after tying my hair in a knot. I rinsed off, wrapped myself in a super-plush towel, and then snagged a pair of cut off shorts and a T-shirt that had his fucking face on it, which was too funny to not wear.

I waltzed out in my new outfit and found him on the phone with…a menu in his hand. Freezing, I fucked up my entrance and gaped when he waved it in my face.

“Do you like Mediterranean food?”

“Uh. What?”

Beau looked at me like I was an idiot. “Zane. Tell me what you want to eat.”

“Oh. Um. I don’t know. I don’t not like any foods.”

He rolled his eyes and rattled off enough food to feed an entire family. When it was done, and he told them to charge his account, he pointed at the shirt I’d procured.

“Just so you know, I didn’t have that made.”

“Uh-huh. But before I mock you relentlessly, why are you ordering food? Like, just because you’re trying to make up for being a dick doesn’t mean—”

Beau grabbed the front of the shirt and a ripping sound filled the room. He didn’t even pause. Just jerked me against him and kissed me so hard I lost my train of thought. Fuck, I lost my sense of self. Fell headfirst into the intensity of his kiss and then wrapped my arms around his neck because… I really could not get enough.

His soft lips were perfect, his tongue lashing at mine with such finesse my dick started to swell again. Especially when he tangled his hand in my hair and tugged just hard enough to make my knees weaken.

“Fuck me before the food gets here,” I blurted.

Beau pressed our foreheads together, panting against my face. “We just washed up. And I want to talk to you.”

“We can talk later.” Fuck, was I whining? I was whining. “Please, Beau?”

He squeezed his eyes shut, muttered a very clear fuck it, and then backed me into his bedroom. We were on his bed, clothes discarded, so fast my head was spinning with delight. How Beau Starr was the best kisser I’d ever been with was a mystery, but, damn, the guy’s tongue was magic.

You’re right, Zane,” he whispered in my ear. “I’m not Beau Starr right now. But I am the guy who’s going to fucking torment you until you beg to be used. Beg to be my slut.”

Sweet.
Mother.
Of.
Ovaries.

Holy hell. I mean, holy hell!!! How am I only now discovering this series? What is wrong with me? Wait! Don’t answer that. That was a rhetorical question. God. But I digress as usual, so back to the topic at hand; this book. *fans ovaries*

Seriously. I’m still trying to calm my entire reproductive system down. Good grief.

If you know me or follow my reviews then you already know that enemies to lovers is my catnip. And this book? It was the crack laced catnip! Not that I’d know what that’s like, but I’m hypotheticaling you here. Just go with it, mkay? And yes I know hypotheticaling isn’t a word. Just go with that too. Sheesh.

Opposites (and I mean OPPOSITES) attract in this sizzling MM Romance of a guy that’s trying to run as far away from all things messy as he can and maintain his picture perfect image and a guy who makes messy his brand.

There was a part of me, a large part, that wanted him to fuck me until I sobbed. Trouble was… I absolutely despised him. And I’d hate myself after.

Beau Starr recently got out of a messy relationship that almost cost him everything. With over a million viewers on his YouTube channel, his image is everything. And with a LT deal pending that has a morality clause attached, that isn’t something that he takes lightly.

TrashyZane is the polar opposite of Beau. He gets off on splashing all of his dirty laundry on his channel; the bad, the good and the kinky. He doesn’t care and his subscribers love him for it. Beau and Zane have never gotten along, but when a poorly thought through barb from Beau lands him on Zane’s radar, it’s really on. What starts as thinly veiled insults and sharp barbs of witty banter, soon begins to unveil an undercurrent of so much sexual tension, it’s impossible to resist.

And when these two get together? WOWZA. Their kinky-ness was utterly delicious. Beau is a beast in the bedroom and when this man takes the reins, he SERIOUSLY takes the reins. As for Zane? Even when the guy submits, he still doesn’t take it easy on Beau. I loved the way he made him work for it. Man, but these two had some of the best chemistry I’ve read in a long while. And when their hate sex slowly begins to turn into something deeper? All of the swoons!

And in this car with Los Angeles spread out before us, I didn’t want to think about anything but the messy, long-haired boy who’d managed to loosen my tongue and just about every other part of me. “I kinda like you, Zane. A lot.”

I loved this book. I loved these characters. I’m obsessed with this series. I’ll be going back and reading every book before this. I don’t know how it flew under my radar but I plan on rectifying it immediately.

ABOUT SANTINO HASSELL

 

Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, then a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into an unlikely romance author.

Santino writes queer romance that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.

Website | Amazon | Goodreads | Twitter | EmailFacebook

 

ABOUT MEGAN ERICKSON 

Megan Erickson is a USA Today bestselling author of romance that sizzles. Her books have a touch of nerd, a dash of humor, and always have a happily ever after. A former journalist, she switched to fiction when she decided she likes writing her own endings better.

She lives in Pennsylvania with her very own nerdy husband and two kids. Although rather fun-sized, she’s been told she has a full-sized personality. When Megan isn’t writing, she’s either lounging with her two cats named after John Hughes characters or… thinking about writing.
For more, visit meganerickson.org

Website | Amazon | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook Group | Facebook | Pinterest

 

Review: Enemies Like You by Annika Martin & Joanna Chambers

ENEMIES LIKE YOU
Genre: MM Romance, Suspense, Erotic
Authors: Annika Martin & Joanna Chambers
Release Date: May 15, 2017


They’re dangerous men. Absolute enemies. And totally hot for each other.

Will has never met anyone like Kit. He’s arrogant. Gorgeous. Lethal.

The most expensive bodyguard money can buy. And Will can’t seem to resist him.

A simple command in Kit’s cut-glass accent makes Will want things he’s never wanted, do things he’s never done. Their red-hot chemistry is off the charts.

Just one problem: Will has vowed to kill the billionaire that Kit is hell-bent on protecting.

And Kit has secrets, too—his own reasons for sacrificing his soul, piece by painful piece, to keep one of the worst men on earth alive.

 

This is a stand-alone contemporary M/M romance.

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DOWNLOAD ENEMIES WITH BENEFITS FOR FREE!

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I like my sex like I like my grenades: simple, fast, and furious. One-time use.

That. Was. So. Freaking. HOT.

No seriously. That was SO FREAKING HOT. I don’t think I even bothered to read the blurb for this book before jumping at the chance to read it. While I haven’t had a chance to read anything by Joanna Chambers prior to this (which I’ll be rectifying quickly), Annika Martin has been an auto-buy for me for years. But really, this book couldn’t have been more custom written for me if it had my name on it.

Enemies to lovers? Check!
Sizzling hot MM? Check!
Suspense interspersed with smoking hot sexy times? Check and CHECK!

Will is a man on a mission. With the CIA at his side, he knows that he’s on a suicide mission that no one expects him to come out of alive. But he also knows that he’ll stop at nothing to kill the man that’s responsible for the single event that still haunts him to this day. Nothing short of feeling his blood seeping through his fingers will make Will rest. There’s only one thing in the way; his target’s ruthless and unstoppable bodyguard.

Their attraction is unexpected. Their connection is dangerous. And their inability to stay away from each other just may cost both of them their lives.

He takes my mouth again, snarling against my lips as his hips pump. His strong fingers intensify their grip. It’s wild and animalistic. And I love it. Kit’s civilized demeanor has fallen away completely, exposing the passion that lies beneath the cool, icy surface.

Enemies Like You was one twisty and sexy ride. I didn’t expect what I got and what I got was entertaining as hell. I don’t want to give you any spoilers, but not everything is what it seems and man did I love that particular twist to the story. But the twists don’t stop. The authors hit you with them from every corner, until your mind is spinning so hard you feel like the lid will explode.

There were a few points that I felt were underdeveloped but it wasn’t anything that took away from my enjoyment of the book. And boy did I enjoy it. THOROUGHLY. It was deliciously naughty and full of action and suspense and with two characters that I couldn’t get enough of. This book is like GI Joe and James Bond came together to make a sexy MM baby. Does that even make sense? Whatever. Just go with me here.

 Joanna Chambers always wanted to write. She spent over 20 years staring at blank sheets of paper and despairing of ever writing a single word. In between staring at blank sheets of paper, she studied law, met her husband and had two children. Whilst nursing her first child, she rediscovered her love of romance and found her muse. Joanna lives in Scotland with her family and finds time to write by eschewing sleep and popular culture.

Connect with Joanna:

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Blog Tour, Excerpt & Review: Tease by Ella Frank

TEASE
Series: Temptation #4
Genre: Contemporary, MM Romance
Author: Ella Frank
Release Date: May 9, 2017

Tease – verb: to tantalize especially by arousing desire or curiosity often without intending to satisfy it….unless your name is Tate Morrison.

It’s been four years since Logan Mitchell walked into Tate’s life and irrevocably changed it. Four years since the sexy as sin lawyer dared him to try, and four years since Tate won his love.

Now, as they approach the next chapter of their lives Logan is determined they won’t end up like many of their friends. Settled. Domestic. Boring. However, that’s easier said than done. With busy careers and working odd hours, finding time for one another is becoming increasingly difficult.

But that sh*t isn’t going to fly with Logan or Tate.

The two of them are determined to compromise to get what it is they want, and what they want is each other.

Tease is the sexy, tantalizing continuation of the two men who stole your heart…and popped your cherry.

(Free in Kindle Unlimited)

AMAZON

Four years ago I met a man

who forever changed my life.

He dared me to try.

I dared him to love.

And while that’s where our story began, it’s certainly not where it ended.

-Tate Morrison

Excerpt:

“Hello, counselor. How’d the big case go today?”Tate had been eyeing the clock all afternoon waiting to hear the outcome of the Berivax trial, and while he was happy it was finally going to be over, he also hoped all of Logan’s hard work had paid off.

“When was the last time we had sex?” Logan’s question was so blunt and unexpected it had Tate stumbling over his response for a second, and when he didn’t answer, Logan continued, “You don’t know, do you?”

The side of Tate’s mouth twitched at Logan’s disgusted tone. “Well, to be fair, you caught me off guard. I had to think for a minute.”

“And now that you’ve had time to think?”

“Umm…”

“Oh my God. You can’t remember,” Logan said, and Tate couldn’t stop his laugh then. “That’s fucking shameful.”

“We’ve just been—”

“Don’t say it—”

“—busy.” Tate headed over to the door that separated the bar from the tiny foyer and stairwell that went up to their loft, shut it behind himself, and took a seat on one of the steps. “Well, we have been. This case of yours has taken up most of your time, and with the bar hours we just got…busy.”

“Yeah? Well, that shit needs to stop. Right now.”

Tate leaned his shoulder against the wall and shut his eyes, picturing Logan with his jet-black hair, those piercing blue eyes, and that full, sensual mouth. Tate had barely had time to say goodbye to him this morning, and no matter how much he was laughing it off, Logan was right—this not seeing one another was bullshit. They needed to sit down and work something out, now that Logan’s schedule would be returning to something more manageable.

“Agreed,” Tate said. “Something needs to change.”

“Good. How about we discuss it at dinner?”

Tate winced. “I’m here until one.”

“Can’t you beg Amelia to stay and come meet me?” Logan asked, and if he hadn’t sounded quite so desperate, Tate might not have caved.

“Depends.”

“On?”

“What am I going to get if I come to you?”

Logan’s voice lowered to a tone that never failed to make Tate hard. “Me. All night. And maybe again in the morning. I’m in a giving kind of mood.”

Tate swallowed and stretched his legs out in front of himself, suddenly needing a little more room in his jeans. “All night, huh? It’s been a while since that happened.”

“It has. So come find me and I’ll rectify that little issue you’re having with remembering our weekend away at the cabin. That was the last time my cock was inside you.”

“Jesus, Logan.” Tate pressed a palm to his erection, recalling the weekend trip they’d made around three weeks ago. Or maybe it was four. Shit, okay. They did need to work something out if he was having trouble remembering that. “Let me get things settled here and I’ll be at your office in”—he checked his watch—“an hour? Hour and a half?”

“Perfect,” Logan said. “I’ll be waiting.”

 

I love you so damn much. I can’t believe there was ever a time when I didn’t.”

Mother.
Effing.
Swoon.

This couple! I can’t even form words right now. I fell hard for both these men Try and I haven’t looked back. I loved being a part of their journey and couldn’t get enough of them. But I also have a confession to make. When I find out they’ll be getting more books? I wasn’t so excited. Now now, before you start throwing tomatoes, allow me to explain. See, I’m what you’d call an ADD reader. I’ll be reading along just fine and then…
SQUIRREL!

Yeah. That. Basically what I’m trying to say is that I’m not a reader that enjoys trilogies or long standing series about the same couple because I find myself getting bored or losing my steam and enthusiasm about the characters after a while. If I feel like they got their HFN or HEA, I’m good with it. I want to move on to something else. And since we got a satisfying HEA for Tate and Logan in Trust, I moved on. I was terrified that we’d get some drama thrown into the mix that will totally kill their HEA for me in this book, but you know what? I couldn’t be more wrong and I’ll gladly eat a slice of crow as I write this review.

Tease takes place four years after Trust. Logan and Tate are as happy together as they were but life is always getting in the middle. Between both of their successful careers, they find they don’t have as much time for each other and Logan is determined to fix that.

You’re always here when I need you the most.”
Logan let his hand fall away so he could take hold of Tate’s, and once their fingers were entwined, he brought them to his lips, kissed them, and said, “Where else would I be? You’re where my heart is. So that’s where I stay.”

Have you found yourself wondering about a few of the loose ends after Trust? I know I have. I wanted more from Tate’s family and to truly get some closure on that side. I love the route that Ella Frank chose to take in this book in getting the reader just that. It isn’t perfectly wrapped in a bow for you but it’s real, and it was touching, and I absolutely loved it.

As for the rest? I loved catching up with my boys. They’re just as sizzling together as they were in the last books, only they’re more swoony now because there’s nothing taking away from their love for each other.

So why not a higher rating? While I loved getting to catch up with the boys and the rest of the gang; Rachel, Cole, and a surprising appearance from someone else (who I’m hoping will be getting a book), it just wasn’t enough to keep me glued to the pages. I found myself skimming some of the sex scenes, as hot as they were, hoping for a little more meat to the story (no pun intended). The story began to get overshadowed a bit by the (crazy hot) sex scenes, and while I’m actually ashamed of myself for complaining about this, I can’t help the way I feel. I appreciated that there was no crazy drama or conflict to take away from anything. It was simply a look into one of my favorite couples and what happens after the HEA. It gave the reader a chance to catch up with the boys and to see where their lives are now four years later. This book was very appropriately titled, because it’s exactly what it was. A tease. A tease of a peek into Tate and Logan’s life and what’s to come.


Start the Series Today!

(Free in Kindle Unlimited)

Try (Temptation #1)

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Take (Temptation #2)

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Trust (Temptation #3)

Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

 

Ella Frank is the USA Today Bestselling author of the Temptation series, including Try, Take, and Trust. Her Exquisite series has been praised as “scorching hot!” and “enticingly sexy!”

A life-long fan of the romance genre, Ella writes contemporary and erotic fiction and lives with her husband in Portland, OR. You can reach her on the web at www.ellafrank.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ella.frank.author

Some of her favorite authors include Tiffany Reisz, Kresley Cole, Riley Hart, J.R. Ward, Erika Wilde, Gena Showalter, and Carly Philips.

Connect with Ella:

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Twitter – @EllaFrank2012

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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