Analog to Digital – Posy Roberts
All Ethan wants for Christmas, and the rest of his life, is Toby.
For years, Ethan and Toby have said they’ll never marry, despite Ethan’s secret wishes. So leaving sunny California for snowy Minnesota to witness his sister’s vow renewal is not how he wants to spend his Christmas Eve. It’s the second time she’ll say “I do” in less than a year, when Ethan saying those words to Toby even once is hopeless.
In the run-up to the ceremony, Toby seems to avoid Ethan, and doubts grow in his absence. Ethan can’t help noticing Toby spends more time with Ethan’s family than with him. Little does Ethan know, Toby has desires of his own. But if Toby doesn’t find a way to reveal them, Ethan could leave for home without him.
LOOKING UP from the doodle I’d started on a cocktail napkin, I ordered. “Surly Furious. Two, please.” It was the beer I’d begged my sister to ship to me from back home. I wanted to give my employees a taste of Minnesota, even if they relentlessly teased me about my accent and “unfathomable” work ethic. I didn’t end up owner of a top-rated design house by the time I was in my midtwenties by phoning it in, so I never let their jibes bother me much.
The server reached for glasses after cracking each large can with a pfft and pfft, but I waved him off. “We’ll drink ’em right from the can, thanks.”
I slipped a ten in his tip jar and turned to the center of the distinctive ballroom, where people were dancing. His thanks trailed after me as I made my way over to Toby, who looked ready to blend into the leather couch while the room buzzed around him.
I pressed the chilled beer into his warm palm. “Here. This is the one I told you about.”
He took a sip and looked at me with dark eyes before taking another few swallows. He smiled when he finally set the can down. “It’s good. Real good.”
“Told ya.” I leaned in and kissed the beer foam that clung to his mustache. His beard brushed my chin, and as much as I wanted to get lost in his kisses, I was there as the boss tonight and couldn’t really let go like I wanted.
“Look at you two! So in love.” Stella, my right-hand and necessary coconspirator in most projects, plopped herself in the chair next to me and sipped at a neon-pink drink garnished with at least three fruit kabobs. Her eclectic style, mostly latent punk rocker meets Vargas pinup girl, was in full bloom. She would’ve fit perfectly on the nose of an Air Force plane or at any dance club in the city.
I smiled at her as I leaned against Toby’s shoulder. The sparkle in her lined eyes made what she was about to ask obvious.
“When are you two going to finally tie the knot?”
“We’re not,” Toby said without a second’s hesitation.
I crossed my feet at the ankles to ward off any evil as I lied through my teeth. “It’s not something either of us has ever wanted. No need to be tied down to a person. God knows I’m tied down by enough strings to this business, which grows busier by the day.”
Stella studied me out of the corner of her eye, skeptical. I talked shop to shake her focus.
Posy Roberts writes about the realistic struggles of men looking for love. Whether her characters are family men, drag queens, or lonely men searching for connections, they all find a home in her stories.
Posy is a Jill of all trades and master of the drill and paintbrush. She’s married to a partner who makes sure she doesn’t forget to eat or sleep during her writing frenzies. Her daughter, a budding author and cinematographer, helps her come up with character names. For fun, Posy enjoys crafting, hiking, and singing spontaneously about the mundane, just to make regular life more interesting.
Ethan secretly wishes that he could marry Toby, his partner of few years. But from the beginning, Toby said that he would never marry even if he loved someone very much. When Toby buys a plane ticket for the two of them to go to Minnesota to attend Ethan’s sister’s renewal vow ceremony, Ethan is faced with an internal conflict of wanting to have that for himself and worrying that if he pushes too far, his relationship with Toby will end.
At the same time, Toby seems to be absent most of the time, going with Ethan’s family instead of spending their ‘vacation time’ with him … and this forces Ethan to evaluate that he might sometimes takes Toby’s presence for granted.
I always love stories about established couple because as much as the initial progress of becoming lovers or a couple is wonderful, I often wonder about the “happily ever after” part. I don’t believe that a relationship with one person will stay smooth for the rest of your life, right?
Posy Roberts’ Analog to Digital offers a glimpse of that – a phase when you realize that even after a couple of years that maybe, just maybe, you don’t really know your partner as much as you think. I loved how Ethan realized that maybe he should appreciate Toby more – sometimes Ethan was too busy with his job! There was moments of angst too when Ethan wondered if he can ever put a ring on Toby’s finger.
Don’t worry, this story ends in a spectacular sweet way that made me a little choked-up and teary eyed. Even if it was probably a bit too cheesy for some readers 🙂
The ARC is provided by the author for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.
Title: Analog to Digital
Author: Posy Roberts
Genre: MM Contemporary Romance
Word Count: 13,655 words
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 1, 2016
Author: K.A. Merikan
Publisher: Acerbi&Villani ltd.
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Release Date: 24th of January 2017
Heat Level: 3
Length: 50,000 words
Genre/Tags: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, M/M Romance, Hipsters, sex work, friends to lovers, bisexuality, post-break up issues, coming out, first time, alternative lifestyles, lumbersexual bear, commitment
— The lumberjack of his dreams is now available for rent. —
Mr. B has always been a safe guy for Jo to crush on. He’s the cutest bearded lumber-god to salivate over. Add to that his friendly, outgoing personality, and Mr. B might just be the first guy Jo would be willing to kiss. Fortunately, Mr. B has been in a relationship for years, and Jo is no home-wrecker.
But when Mr. B breaks up with his partner and all of a sudden is single, available, and talks about his plans to be sexually adventurous, Jo isn’t so sure anymore if he has the guts to come out as bisexual.
After a sour breakup, Mr. B wants to show his ex that he’s independent, exciting, and can do very well without him. His best friend Jo is there to the rescue, and they come up with a great new business venture. One thing they lack to start their own line of artisanal boozy jams – money for the investment.
After a drunken brainstorming session, Mr. B finds a way to both gather the cash and show the middle finger to his ex. He will create a one of a kind Hipster Brothel – The Lumbersexual Experience – offering wood chopping lessons, pipe smoking, and a reclaimed wood bed where the magic would happen. It’s bound to be a success… if only Mr. B can go through with it, because the mixed signals from Jo are making him wonder if his best friend is as straight as he always seemed.
WARNING: Explicit content, strong language. A shameless amount of buzzwords. May cause second-hand embarrassment.
Meet the Author
K.A. Merikan is the pen name for Kat and Agnes Merikan, a team of writers, who are mistaken for sisters with surprising regularity. Kat’s the mean sergeant and survival specialist of the duo, never hesitating to kick Agnes’s ass when she’s slacking off. Her memory works like an easy-access catalogue, which allows her to keep up with both book details and social media. Also works as the emergency GPS. Agnes is the Merikan nitpicker, usually found busy with formatting and research. Her attention tends to be scattered, and despite being over thirty, she needs to apply makeup to buy alcohol. Self-proclaimed queen of the roads.
They love the weird and wonderful, stepping out of the box, and bending stereotypes both in life and books. When you pick up a Merikan book, there’s one thing you can be sure of – it will be full of surprises.
More information about ongoing projects, works in progress and publishing at:
K.A. Merikan’s author page: http://kamerikan.com
Twitter (run by Kat): https://twitter.com/KA_Merikan
Agnes Merikan’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/AgnesMerikan
Bullet (Blue Boy Studio #1) – Garrett Leigh
Levi Ramone entered the gay porn market for one reason, and one reason only: he needed the cash to pay his momma’s spiraling gambling debts.
Seven years later, he’s a veteran with a reputation as one of Blue Boy Studio’s most ruthless tops, and when his boss suggests it’s time for a change, he finds himself staring down the barrel of a gun. Figuratively speaking, at least.
Enter Sonny Valentine, a go-go dancer at Blue’s sister club, Silver’s. Levi has secretly admired Sonny from afar for years, but there’s a problem. He can’t stand Sonny and the feeling is entirely mutual. When Levi learns Sonny is to play the third part in a scene he already considers his worst nightmare, he figures things can’t get any worse.
But when preparations for the scene from hell collide with tragic events in his personal life, he finds his fast-growing, red-hot attraction to Sonny just might be the only thing left between him and a bullet.
Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press.
Garrett’s debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits is a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.
When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.
Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com and co-owns the specialist stock photography company M O O N Stock Photography.
Hanukkah Gifts – Jacob Cheyenne
Twenty-five year old TV producer Jared Greenfield loves his New York City life—his trendy neighborhood, high-profile job, and window-shopping for high fashion on Fifth Avenue—along with a whole city of available men. But even with all the fun of big city life, he feels a longing for something—or someone—more. Going through the motions takes him uptown on December night, where, on the first night of Hanukkah, he spots a handsome, sweaty, player on the basketball court of the Jewish Community Center.
Tall, dark, and Orthodox, the young and athletic Shai Goodhart strikes up an easy friendship with Jared, only to discover that Jared has very little appreciation for his own Jewish heritage and religion. Determined to enlighten this “Bad Jew”, Shai invites him over for a family Hanukkah celebration to remember. But Jared’s easy fascination ends when he discovers that Shai has a house full of tangled secrets that threatens their romance before it even begins. Both young men feel they can help one another, but over the eight days of Hanukkah, deeper emotions propel them closer and closer. Can they ever reach across the divide of their shared culture and fall in love?
Jacob Cheyenne is an author of M/M Romantic Fiction. His characters and stories are often inspired by real historical events, figures and scenes from classical art, or from old black and white portraits he collects in antique stores. His debut novella “Hanukkah Gifts” focuses on the turmoil between two young Jewish men with very different ideas about how to reconcile their faith and sexuality.
When not writing, the author loves swimming, hearing live music, reading fat books on empty beaches, and drinking anything coconut-flavored. When not traveling, he lives and works in the bustling heart of New York City.
Title: Seasonal Sentiments
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: December 23rd
Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex
Genre: Romance, Erotica, Fantasy, Science Fiction, 10 short stories, multiple holidays represented, gay, cisgender, ace, bi, pan,
NineStar Press 2016 Holiday Anthology
Hearts Alight by Elliot Cooper
Dave Cunningham hates the rampant consumerism that’s come to dominate his family’s Hanukkah celebrations. But a chance to bring a bit of a holiday happiness to his long-time crush, Amit Cohen, helps put him in a more festive mood.
In the quest to craft the perfect gift, Dave tries to urge a few personal details out of stoic Amit. Unintentionally, he learns the Cohen family’s secret: Amit is a golem. But Amit has a problem that runs deeper than his magical origin, and a Hanukkah miracle might be the only thing that will keep the budding flame between him and Dave from going out.
2 Days Later by CM Corett
Nate Beckett doesn’t expect much from life, and he definitely doesn’t believe in New Year’s celebrations or resolutions. A happy New Year? Not likely. As the manager of McGee’s bar, the best he can hope for is a drama-free night. One glance at the sexy young man on the dance floor and that hope is long gone. Once again, his young neighbor Justin is back to tempt and torment him. Despite the undeniable attraction, Nate knows he’s too old and jaded for someone like him, so the time has come to reject Justin. It’s for his own good!
Justin may be young and inexperienced, but he knows what he needs. His New Year’s resolution—to tempt and win Nate over. One lame seduction attempt later, and he’s on his way home in a cab. Alone. But later that night, Justin wakes up battered and bruised on Nate’s doorstep, and Nate insists that Justin stay with him. The big, beautiful man’s protective and caring instincts are definitely kicking in.
Maybe, just maybe, there’s a chance for a happy New Year after all!
Of Christmas Past by Teryn Day
Jonathan Barthes has always been able to see—and speak to—the dead. Unfortunately, restless spirits tend to be somewhat needy, and his “gift” has cost him everything from a promising acceptance into med school to a long string of failed relationships. Unable to find a purpose after a terrible autumn semester, he accepts his aunt’s offer to become the caretaker of one of the estates his great-uncle left her over the holidays. He expected the restless spirits: the little girl, the mean governess, and he especially expected the ghost of the vindictive young man who calls himself Cecil.
Cecil’s handsome enough when he’s not making the mirrors bleed or the radios speak in tongues. As the year crawls on and reaches its end, however, Jon begins to help Cecil uncover the mystery of his life—and his tragic death. Jon had a dream of helping the living—but maybe, just this once, when he helps a ghost, that ghost will help him back.
Tow Trucks & New Year’s Kisses by Lila Leigh Hunter
A Jag with out-of-state plates is the last car Scott DeLaney expected to find when answering a tow call as a favor to his drunken godson. But, the tall man in the fedora seems like a nice reward until Scott finds out the stranger’s destination. Yes, he’d take care of the brooding man, but he has a selfish reason for it.
Finding himself in a ditch after dodging a deer is the least of Patrick Samuels’s problems when his rescuer arrives, wearing a tuxedo and driving a hot pink flatbed. Perhaps his older brother’s scheme will benefit Patrick after all.
Who knew that a New Year’s kiss is far more efficient than any boardroom strategy to seal a deal?
New Year’s Eve Unzipped by J.C. Long
Colby, a caterer, is working New Year’s Eve at the Crestview Hills Country Club, a place full of rich, uppity people, promising a boring night. The night becomes a lot more interesting when he starts receiving erotic messages on Unzipped, a hook-up app, from someone who happens to be at that very party.
Stone and Shell by Lloyd A. Meeker
Eight-year-old Howie Evinger is convinced that his dad would be happier if he found a new husband. Howie would be happier, too. And somewhere out there in the city of Vancouver, there’s the right man for his dad to love. But how to find him? That’s a problem, especially if you’re just a kid and your dad says he doesn’t want another husband.
With the help of his quirky aunt, Shanna, who calls herself a Buddhist Wiccan, Howie builds his very own solstice altar with cool symbols to support his search. It has a candle, a feather, and a twisty stick, plus an agate for his dad, and a scallop shell for his new husband. Share Howie’s solstice adventure as he learns how real magic requires courage and patience as well as symbols.
One Wish by Caitlin Ricci
Christmas is supposed to be a time of happiness and family, but after a tragic accident the year before, Callen is left feeling the complete opposite. He’s sad, miserable, and angry at everyone and everything.
Harry is an elf sent to bring Callen some joy. It’s one thing when a child stops believing in Christmas—that happens all the time—but Callen loved everything about Christmas, and Santa needs him back. Harry is there to grant Callen one wish in the hopes of making him feel better. One wish to bring Christmas back to a man who hates the very thought of it.
Ibiza on Ice by Gillian St. Kevern
Tired of being ridiculed as the man dumped in favour of an ugly Christmas sweater, Aston is determined to get revenge–by having his dream vacation at Ibiza’s hottest clubs! He’s even planned a social media campaign to make sure his ex, Dan, knows exactly what he’s missing.
When a snowstorm strikes, and Aston’s media campaign takes off before he does, he finds himself propositioned by his unwelcome roommate Mike: trade vacations, or Mike will out Aston as a fake. Desperate to save his reputation, Aston finds himself in Finland–and falling hard for a man with a sweater almost as terrible as Dan’s. Worse, Laaksonen cares as little about impressing people as Aston cares about being nice. Aston knows he has too much self-respect to fall for a man so hazardous to his reputation. But the long Polar Night poses the ultimate test to his Ibiza club dreams…
Epiphany by L.A. Stockman
Khafra has spent more than three thousand years wandering the Earth, fascinated by humanity and its many rises and falls. When he meets a young student at Cambridge, he is utterly unprepared for the effect Alfie has on him. Eager and open and full of wonder, Alfie is perhaps the perfect submissive.
While the sex is spectacular, the real surprise for Khafra is his growing love for Alfie. Such unions are grand while they last, but inevitably doomed to time and mortality. Can he open his heart one more time, for a beautiful young man whose defiance of custom and courage in the face of danger are so captivating? Or will he continue as he has for so long, living on the fringe?
Everything depends on the outcome of Epiphany.
A Christmas for Oscar by Alex Whitehall
Oscar has never liked the holidays and all the surrounding rigmarole, but that doesn’t stop his best friend from dragging him along for her Black Friday shopping spree. The only perk of the day is that he meets Nathan while he’s there.
With sparkling blue eyes, curly blond hair, and a smile that won’t stop, Nathan is a Christmas elf in the flesh. He even spends his days in a workshop! But Nathan is more than his bright smile, and he may be just the right person for Oscar. Assuming, of course, Oscar doesn’t drive him and his holiday spirit away first.