Spotlight & Giveaway: A Time for Loving by Nico Jaye

A Time for Loving by Nico Jaye - CoverTitle & Author: A Time for Loving by Nico Jaye
Release Date: October 23, 2014
Publisher: Self-Published
Length: 6,565 words

Lately, I’ve really been digging historical M/M romances – there’s just something so touching about a story in which two men meet and fall in love despite facing societal norms that make their love taboo (if not outright illegal). It’s the ultimate “love conquers all” and I adore them! So, when I heard that one of my favourite authors of contemporary smuff (that’s smutty fluff to you laymen) was trying her hand at a historical short, I couldn’t WAIT to get my hot little hands on it.

Check out the book blurb and excerpt below and then make sure to enter the amazing giveaway at the bottom of the post for  a chance to win 1 ebook copy of A Time for Loving and a pretty ring with the word “love” on it!

C’mon now, you know you wanna… 😉

Book Blurb (from Goodreads):

Jack and Christopher have made it through years of campaigning and the horrors of Waterloo together—side by side by day and, by night, in each other’s arms. After the war is over, however, will the love shared between this batman and his officer survive when Christopher returns to the life of a gentleman?

Want a Taste? Check out this excerpt:

When Christopher returned to the bedchamber at the time the clock ticked its way past midnight, Jack was waiting for him. As was their routine, they locked the doors to bar any unwanted nightly visitors, such a practice explained to the household as a way to deter Christopher’s childhood habit of sleepwalking.

Little did they know he’d outgrown such an inclination years ago.

“A pleasant evening,” Christopher said mildly over his shoulder as Jack assisted him out of his well-fitted navy evening jacket.

“Was it?” Jack murmured in response. Setting aside the garment onto the clothes valet, he turned to face Christopher’s back and skimmed his hands over his shoulders. His palms, forever callused from years of campaigning, nevertheless picked up the texture of the silver-embroidered brocade waistcoat. Those shoulders were broad, carrying with them the weight of responsibility—for their regiment, for their secret, for their future—well beyond Christopher’s twenty-three years.

Lost in his thoughts, Jack startled when Christopher turned around to grasp his wrist gently. He looked up into Christopher’s familiar gaze and sighed, his heart settling into place even as his pulse began to race at the sight of the heat in those blue depths.

“It would have been much more pleasant with your company, Jack,” Christopher said, his voice warm and low.

With a hard swallow, Jack smiled up into that precious face. Tilting his head, he listened for a moment and heard the sounds of the house going to sleep around them.

This was their time—the time between days when they could be lost in their world.

“You know ’tis impossible, Christopher,” Jack whispered regretfully, searching his gaze. Jack moved to clasp his hand, drawing Christopher’s palm to his neck and curling it against the skin there. Leaning into the touch, Jack closed his eyes briefly before glancing up again. “But our time is now, and my company is yours. Yours always.”

When Christopher’s gaze dropped to his lips, Jack moved forward, touching their mouths to each other lightly…

About the Author:

NicoNico Jaye is a fan of all things HEA and has dragged her romance collection along for her moves from San Francisco to Los Angeles to Chicago to New York and back. She thinks reading is awesome and loves that she can hang out night after night with crinoline-wearing debutantes, brawny firemen in suspenders, and werewolf shifters with Scottish brogues. An overall feline enthusiast, Nico secretly (or not so secretly?) adores Hello Kitty, cat GIFs, spontaneous traveling, pretending to be crafty, emoticons, hot menfolk, and parenthetical statements (not necessarily in that order).

Website: http://nicojaye.blogspot.ca/
Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5840673.Nico_Jaye  
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/nicojaye
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nicolovesbooks
Tumblr: http://nicojaye.tumblr.com/

GIVEAWAY

Three lucky winners will receive an ebook copy of A Time for Loving and a pretty ring with the word “love” inscribed on it. To enter, press the Rafflecopter logo & follow the directions!  The giveaway will run from October 23rd to November 6th.

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Can’t wait another second to read A Time for Loving?
Purchase it NOW at Amazon or Smashwords!

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Review: To Feel the Sun by Marie Sexton

To Feel The Sun CoverTitle & Author: To Feel the Sun by Marie Sexton
Release Date: February 11, 2013
Publisher: Self-published
Pages: 8 pages

Book Blurb (from Goodreads):

Sometimes love isn’t enough…

My Thoughts:

How is it possible for an 8-page story written about two fictional characters that lived and loved and died nearly 100 years ago to hit too close to home?

You’d think it’d be impossible, but it is not.

I spent last summer interning at a war museum where I was responsible for researching a small group of First World War soldiers. I handled their medals. I helped photograph their uniforms. I sifted through their attestation papers, newspaper clippings, official dispatches describing promotions and acts of valour, and more. For the most part, these men were farmers, accountants, teachers, and the like. A very few were career military. I learned about the boy who lied about his age and enlisted at 16, the ones that transferred to the British Royal Air Force so that they could fly, and the doctor who made it his mission to save as many of the wounded as he could. I came to know the common soldier and the decorated commanders. I breathed a sigh of relief each time I found discharge papers for one of “my” soldiers, and became teary when I came across death notifications instead.

And I couldn’t help but think of the brave man who, at only 19-years-old, became the youngest person in Canada’s history to be awarded the Victoria Cross – our nation’s highest honour for gallantry. Wounded in battle, he returned home to convalesce, but succumbed to the Spanish Influenza and died only a few weeks later. It hardly seems fair.

I know that Teddy and Ben are figments of Marie Sexton’s rich imagination, but I couldn’t help but read To Feel the Sun with the memory of the real-life service and sacrifice that an entire generation of young men made during the First World War. Given that lens, it should come as a surprise to exactly no one when I tell you that my heart clutched when I saw the 1917 date in the story, and that I was outright crying shortly thereafter.

To Feel the Sun is a powerful short story about love, life, timing, and the possibility of connections that last far beyond our last breaths. Sexton’s writing is beautiful, her imagery gorgeous, her characters and their circumstances painfully real, and she absolutely nails the shifting surrealism and logic of our dreams. Every word on the page felt deliberate and the result was utter perfection.

Read this story.

My Rating:
3 Smooch2 Smooch

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Speed Dating Bibliophile Style: March (Catherine)

I Heart Books

(Probably more than is healthy.)

Last month I read a couple of books. Then I put my sassy pants on and wrote a single sentence book review* for each of them. It was kinda like the fast-food version of book blogging, but it worked out so well that I thought I’d do it again in March.

Only this time… I refuse to wear pants. Betcha didn’t see that coming, did ya?!

1. Unbreak My Heart (Unbreak My Heart #1) by K-Lee Klein: A quietly beautiful story about a drifter who falls in love with a brokenhearted cowboy musician in a way that feels both authentic and inevitable.  [4 smooches]

2. Floodgates by Mary Calmes: A fluffy popcorn read that was let down by a doormat of a main character, too many ludicrous plot points and improbable red-herrings, and an entire gaggle of extraneous characters. [2.5 smooches]

3. Charlie, Rentboy by J.P. Barnaby: A sexy short story that grabbed my attention with its narrative style and the Cockboys on the cover, but had a happy ending (get your minds out of the gutter!) that felt… hopeful.  [3 smooches]

4. Secrets, Skin and Leather (Secret Series #1) by Sean Michael: All porn and no plot, this book had little to no character development, repetitive dialogue, clunky narration, and inexcusably bad punctuation. [1 smooch – DNF’d at 33%]

5. Trouble & the Wallflower by Kade Boehme: With its three-dimensional characters, realistic depiction of a sweet but sometimes rocky opposites-attract relationship, and a bittersweet ending, this book by new-to-me author Kade Boehme far exceeded every expectation I had for it. [4.5 smooches]

6. All in a Duke (Gambling on Love #1) by Ava March: This M/M historical romance was the perfect balance between sweet and sexy, with great characters and a realistic struggle towards their happily ever after. [4 smooches]

7. Medium, Sweet, Extra Shot of Geek by R. Cooper: While the characters in this short story are familiar, Cooper makes them enough against type to feel fresh and interesting, their dialogue both snappy and mundane, and their HEA satisfying in its realistic work-in-progress nature. [3.5 smooches]

8. The Perfect Play (Play by Play #1) by Jaci Burton: I really tried to enjoy this contemporary M/F romance, but even though there’s no denying the steam level of those sex scenes, having two main characters who were nearly flawless bored me to tears. [2 smooches – DNF’d at 60%]

9. Ball & Chain (Cut & Run #8) by Abigail Roux: The eighth installment of Roux’s fantastic Cut & Run series, this book disappointed me with its beyond ludicrous plot and its startling lack of focus on the series’ main characters Ty and Zane, but gained ground in some other areas (e.g. the relationship between Ty and Nick and between Nick and Kelly) and provided a few solidly sweet/cute/funny moments to appease my mushy heart. [2.5 smooches]

10. Stripping the Pain by Kathleen Lee: A friends-to-lovers short story that deals with too many big-ticket issues (sexual abuse, BDSM, etc.) in too short a time-frame (which makes it seem a little exploitative). [3 smooches]

11. From the Ashes (Fire and Rain #1) by Daisy Harris: A great novel by a new-to-me author that gave me a main character (Tomas Perez) whose voice felt fresh and unexpected, yet entirely relatable. [3.5 smooches]

12. After the Rain (Fire and Rain #2) by Daisy Harris: One of the main characters is a firefighting cowboy, gay sex virgin, who saves puppies, and the other is a snarky French-Canadian obsessed with coffee; my ovaries never stood a chance. [3 smooches]

13. Keeping Sweets by Cate Ashwood: A solidly sweet but entirely predictable story about a wannabe porn star who falls in love with his porn Yoda (like Amy Lane’s Johnnies series but with very minimal angst). [3 smooches]

14. Doctor, Doctor (Groves Anatomy #1) by Scarlet Cox: This short story is pure fantasy that reads like the raunchiest porn you’ve ever watched (but not in a good way). [1 smooch]

15. A Fostered Love (Foster Siblings #1) by Cameron Dane: A book about two men with troubled pasts finding a home in each other  that manages to balance the sweet, the angsty, the primal, and the thrilling. [4 smooches]

16. Snowfall (Foster Siblings #3) by Cameron Dane: A sweet, gooey (and insanely hot!) glimpse four years into Jonah and Christian’s life together that made me deliriously happy to read. [4 smooches]

17. Taboo For You by Anyta Sunday: A totally adorable GFY romance told from three rotating perspectives (the two MC’s and the one MC’s teenage son) that is equal parts sweet, frustrating, poignant, and sexy. [4 smooches]

18. His Client by Ava March: Ava March sweeps you into her stories by creating characters you’ll care about, then sprinkling liberally with smokin’ hot sex, genuine affection, and a hard-won happily ever after; His Client is no exception. [4 smooches]

19. To Feel the Sun by Marie Sexton: Eight pages of poignant perfection. [5 smooches]

20. This is What a Cold Lake Looks Like by S.A. McAuley: A 4-page story that reads like the most heartbreaking poetry. [4 smooches]

21. Slide (Roads #1) by Garrett Leigh: With its unique characters and gripping story, Garrett Leigh’s Slide will break your heart but leave you wanting more. [4 smooches]

22. Marked (Roads #1.5) by Garrett Leigh: This “missing scene” from Slide was perfect – sweet and sexy and if you read this without getting just a little turned on when Ash tattoos Pete, I’d check for a pulse. [4 smooches]

23. Coffee Shops and Condoms by Eden Winters: Effectively a PSA on safe sex, this cute friends-to-lovers story about two sexually inexperienced teenage boys is sweet but purposeful. [3 smooches]

24. Blind Faith (Blind Faith #1) by N.R. Walker: Not my favourite by this author, but Blind Faith was another sweet novella with mostly likable characters (I wanted to throttle Isaac after his last temper tantrum), a few tear-jerking moments, and a gooey happily ever after. [3.5 smooches]

25. DILF by Twentysomething: The third person present tense narrative style of this Teen Wolf / #Sterek story took a little getting used to, but the dialogue was so spot on, the characters so endearing, the humour so well-written, and the sheer cuteness factor so overwhelming that I couldn’t help but adore it. [4 smooches]

26. Normal Enough by Marie Sexton: A raunchy muscle car kink/fetish novella from the same woman who wrote the adorable twisted fairy tale, Cinder: A CinderFella Story. [3 smooches]

27. Where the World Ends by Kade Boehme: This book had strong, likable characters, palpable tension, blisteringly hot sex scenes (facial cum shots – yeah, buddy!), and a setting both familiar and alien, but I found that it lost momentum in the last third of the book and not all of the conflicts were resolved in way that I found personally satisfying. [3.5 smooches]

* I sometimes use punctuation in a shameless (and often incorrect manner) to give myself a second sentence. Don’t judge.

There you have it – my picks and pans for the month of March. Is there something you’ve read lately that I need to bump to the top of my TBR pile? Please let me know in the comments section below.