A good reason to be cocky!!

Cocktales – A Romance Anthology

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Firstly let me say that I absolutely, 100% support the reason these authors quickly put together this anthology and even if I didn’t know a single author who I contributed I would have bought this collection regardless. But I was lucky enough to know quite a few of the authors and so I’ve chosen to read and review their stories below (and hopefully get around to reading the other contributions at some stage as well).

Overall rating
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Cock and Balls – Amy Daws

This story is pure perfection. I’m a die-hard fan of the Harris family and getting to see Indie and Cam’s secret wedding was so so so so good!! It was perfectly them and the little insights we got of the rest of the Harris family made this an absolutely highlight of the anthology. My only criticism (and this will be an recurring theme I’m sure) is that it wasn’t long enough lol
I will forever be a #HarrisHoAndProud

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Fight or Flight – Meghan Quinn

Meghan Quinn has given us a little look into the fighter pilot world in which her upcoming duet is set and I could’ve be more thrilled. This was fabulous and I’m desperately hoping we get to see more of Stryder (because the books will be about Colby who we also met) as I have a feeling he has a very intriguing back story.

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Until the Cock Crows – Sierra Simone

Sierra Simone does hot, erotic taboo like an absolute master!!! And this short story of a preacher and the woman who works alongside him at their Methodist Church is all kinds of steamy, sensual and downright sexy!! I love Corabel’s sass, I love Mark’s cockiness and I love these two together.

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The Golden Sombrero – Kate Stewart

Yay! More Alice and Rafe and Ren and Erica 😁⚾️ I haven’t got around to reading Kate’s “Balls in Play” series but I met this motley crew in Kate’s contribution to the Team Player anthology last year. And as I’m always a fan of romance novels that include married couples – this story totally hit the mark. Flirting, seduction, a ridiculous baseball superstition about no sex and you have a recipe for an incredibly awesome story. Another winner!!!!

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Baseball romances that hit a home run

Rounding Third: A Baseball Anthology

This was a fantastic anthology which a great mix of stories. For an Aussie I sure learnt a lot about Baseball – especially that it is a much sexier sport then I’d ever given it credit for 😉

I’ve read all the stories by the authors I love as well as those I was keen to read an I hope to get to the rest ASAP!

For now, here are the individual reviews for the novellas I have read!

Overall rating:

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Safe by Jess Bryant

I’ve been desperate to read this story ever since I fell in love with Trent Thorne in Jess’ story Stay a Little Longer and discovered he had a baseball playing twin brother Trevor who was also gay and hadn’t come out. And I’m so glad this is the story I started with because it has everything I could want in a romance: two sexy, hot, athletic heroes, friends to lovers, steamy sex scenes that will make you blush in the best way and a believable romance with a touch of conflict. Jess is a must read author of mine and this only cements that.

“Finally, finally, Trevor understood what his brother had been saying. Anything that kept him from being with Cruz wasn’t worth it.”

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In My League by Kelsey Kingsley

This was the first story of Kelsey’s I have read (despite having her other two books sitting on my Kindle 😬) and I absolutely loved it. Taking the view of “sports players are dumb jocks” and personifying it in Mackenzie, while having Minor League Baseball Player Brett break through the stereotype was a fabulous take in this posers romance genre. I loved that there was real, genuine chemistry between the two leads, as well as some realistic and interesting conversations had between the two. And the steamy sex scenes – well they just added to what was already a wonderful story. I hope we get to see more Brett and Mackenzie because I have a feeling that this was only their beginning.

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The Change Up by Maren Lee

I enjoyed this story so very much. Clay was one super hot yet so super kind and considerate baseball player. And Samantha was full of sass and spark and had that motherly love down pat. The story flowed well, the sex was hot and Maren continues to impress me with her talent. I can’t wait to read more by her (…. reckon we can get more Cash and Samantha because there’s one hell of a story between the last chapter and that FABULOUS epilogue!!)

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Wild Pitch by Kathryn Nolan

Every time I read something by the phenomenally talented Kathryn Nolan I always feel as if my review will never do it justice. And Wild Pitch is no different. To take MMF and make it relatable and realistic and make me so incredibly jealous of Darcy because I want Cash and Sawyer too … I can’t begin to describe how awesome this story is. This is slow burn in the best possible way and by the time sparks fly and fireworks explode between the three of them, you can feel that this is more than just sex. In saying that, the sex is 😮🔥😍 (emojis say it better than I could!). I swear Kathryn Nolan could write my grocery list and make it sound sexy and fabulous!! If you only read one story in this anthology – READ THIS ONE!!

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Sliding Home by Lynsey M. Stewart

It’s been a while since I read something by Lynsey and I was looking forward to her contribution to this anthology – and knowing it’s about a British baseball player, I was keen to see this Brit tackle an all-American sport.

I was not expecting a meet cute that made me smile, a fabulous fake engagement story, chemistry in spades and a twist at the end I didn’t see coming. Brad and Jess had great back stories and for a novella, I felt that I connected with these two really well and that’s a credit to Lynsey’s ability to write realistic, relatable characters who you can’t help but fall in love with.

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One click now:
Amazon

Release Day Blitz – EXPOSED: A Romance Anthology

Title: EXPOSED: A Romance Anthology

Publisher: Karen Stivali

Release Date (Print & Ebook): March 13, 2018

Length (Print & Ebook): ~400k words

Subgenre: contemporary romance/mixed pairings

Of note: This collection contains m/f, m/m, f/f and menage stories, some of which contain BDSM

new exposed cover

Buy now:

Amazon http://amzn.to/2C8PkWV
iBooks https://apple.co/2BR74KR
Barnes & Noble http://bit.ly/2Bln8U3
Kobo http://bit.ly/2nWp6lz

Book blurb:

Hot. Naked. Guys. Reading.
When the sexiest Top 30 Under 30 men agree to pose naked for the “Expose Yourself To A Good Book” charity calendar, their hot bodies aren’t the only thing that gets EXPOSED. Nine brand new romances with M/F, M/M, F/F and menage pairings from bestselling and award winning authors, there’s something for everyone in this limited release anthology.

Annabeth Albert
LEVEL UP
When Landon, a genius physicist, is picked for a charity calendar, he must deal with an inconvenient attraction to Bailey, his rising-star photographer. Can he slay enough demons from his past to ensure a future together with him?

Karen Booth
WISHING
Jobless and painfully single, Samantha agrees to drive musician Duncan to a photo shoot. He’s in town for only five days, so sexy, and she’s eager for a no-strings fling. But Duncan shoots straight for the heart, making her unsure how she’ll ever survive his goodbye.

Amy Jo Cousins
KATE LIKES GIRLS
Garden center manager Kate Rhee is on a mission. No more hook ups with women or second-guessing her recent break up with an unavailable man. Too bad the foxy, pink-haired bar owner she meets at a naked calendar photo shoot has sworn off girlfriends. Because Kate isn’t doing casual. She can totally resist that temptation. Totally.

Robin Covington
GHOST
Oliver Burns publicly bragged he’d sign the reclusive artist “G”- creator of the First Nations graphic novel, Ghost Warriors – to his comic publishing company. But that gets tough when “G” is Gareth Rain – the man he pulled a post-one-night-stand runner on years ago and the man he’s never forgotten.

Vanessa North
RIGGED
For Kaitlyn, seeing her best friend Gordon naked is no big deal—until watching Sean tie him up changes everything.

Tamsen Parker
THROWN OFF TRACK
Teague has been License to Game’s bassist for over a decade, during which time he’s slept with almost everyone in his path. But it’s always felt like going through the motions. Until he sees his bandmate Christian naked at a charity photoshoot and suddenly, he knows what it is to want.

Roan Parrish
NATURAL ENEMIES
When buttoned-up botanist Stefan Albemarle meets freewheeling urban gardener Milo Rios, it’s hatred at first sight. But hatred quickly turns to lust as Milo shows him how exquisite it can feel to lose control. When opposites attract, love blooms in unexpected places.

Tiffany Reisz
THE WATERMARK
Jason “Still” Waters’ life looks perfect from the outside—money, fame, and the words “World Champion Bull-Rider” after his name. But Jason has a secret, one he never planned on telling anybody…until he meets Simone. She’s the kinky girl of his dreams…and his conservative family’s worst nightmare.

Karen Stivali
LEGAL BRIEFS
When organizing a naked charity calendar puts Rose’s tenure bid in jeopardy, the last person she wants help from is Michael, the gorgeous, arrogant lawyer she butted heads with during his shoot. He’ll defend her for free, but if their secrets come out they could both pay with their hearts.

 

“The authors of this anthology are hoping to show readers that romance series, like the real world, should reflect our society and should feature the stories of people falling in love without regard to their gender and sexuality. That is why you’ll find m/f, m/m, f/f and menage stories all within this collection.” –Karen Stivali, Curator and Publisher, Exposed: A Romance Anthology

One of my favorite things about my friends in the romance community, aside from their stellar writing skills, is their passionate commitment to having romance novels depict healthy, loving relationships featuring people of all orientations falling in love in varied combinations. The premise for this anthology is that indie bookstore owner Emma Davis and her best friend, college professor Rose Everheart, both owe a debt of gratitude to the literacy foundation that changed their lives. When they’re trying to come up with an idea to raise money for the foundation, they combine the viral popularity of Hot Dudes Reading with the enormous success of the Naked Rowers charity calendars and the idea for Hot Naked Guys Reading is born.” –Karen Stivali, Curator and Publisher, Exposed: A Romance Anthology

“The calendar will feature men who are not only irresistibly sexy, but have been named to Top 30 Under 30 lists in their respective fields, posed in famous libraries throughout the country. The Expose Yourself to a Good Book campaign draws the attention of photographers, reporters and other professionals. People often find love where they least expect it, when they’re not looking for it, so this anthology explores the journeys of not only the models but the crew, the organizers and all the people brought together in the creation of this charity calendar. Readers will find m/f, m/m, f/f and ménage stories, told by award-winning and bestselling authors from the romance community in this limited-release collection.” –Karen Stivali, Curator and Publisher, Exposed: A Romance Anthology

Teaser from Karen Stivali’s LEGAL BRIEFS:

“I missed you.” He murmurs the word as he kisses his way back up to my neck and latches on, his erection pressing into me, making me wish our clothes would magically disappear.

His phone rings and I feel the vibration against my hip.

He fumbles to grab it and glances at the screen. “Shit. I have to take this.” He swipes at the screen looking worried and barks, “What?”

I can’t hear the other side of the conversation, but his face quickly relaxes.

“No, it’s fine. I just can’t talk. I have a…pressing matter to attend to.” He rolls his eyes and I can see him willing the other person to stop talking. “Okay. Call you tomorrow.”

“Everything okay?”

He slides the phone onto the counter and returns his hands to me, grinding against me again. “Yes. Just my brother. Nothing important.”

“Did you refer to your dick as a ‘pressing matter’?”

He grins and kisses me, rubbing against me again. “Is it pressing?”

“Yes,” the word comes out as a groan as he hits just the right spot.

“Does it matter?” He swivels again, and I sigh, dropping my head against his chest.

“Yes.”

“I rest my case.”

 

About the authors:

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.  The #OutOfUniform series joins her critically acclaimed and fan-favorite LGBTQ romance #Gaymers, #PortlandHeat and #PerfectHarmony series.

To find out what she’s working on next and other fun extras, check out her website: www.annabethalbert.com or connect with Annabeth on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify! Also, be sure to sign up for her newsletter for free ficlets, bonus reads, and contests. The fan group, Annabeth’s Angels, on Facebook is also a great place for bonus content and exclusive contests.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter.  In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two active children.

Connect with Annabeth: Twitter | Facebook  | Facebook Group | Newsletter | Instagram | Website

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Karen Booth is a Midwestern girl transplanted in the South, raised on ‘80s music, and forever envious of Judy Blume. She is the author of more than twenty sexy contemporary romances.

Connect with Karen:

Website https://karenbooth.net

Twitter https://twitter.com/karenbbooth

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/karenboothauthor/

Pinterest  https://www.pinterest.com/karenbbooth/

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Amy Jo Cousins writes contemporary romance and erotica about smart people finding their own best kind of smexy. She lives in Chicago with her son, where she tweets too much, sometimes runs really far, and waits for the Cubs to win the World Series again.

Connect with Amy Jo:

Website: http://amyjocousins.com/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/AmyJoCousins/

FB reader group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1583199461964237/

Newsletter sign-up: http://amyjocousins.com/newsletter/

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/amy-jo-cousins

Twitter: https://twitter.com/_AJCousins

GR: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/259275.Amy_Jo_Cousins

***

A USAToday bestseller, Robin Covington loves to explore the theme of fooling around and falling in love in her books. Her stories burn up the sheets. . .one page at a time. When she’s not writing she’s collecting tasty man candy, indulging in a little comic book geek love, hoarding red nail polish and stalking Chris Evans.

A 2016 RITA® Award finalist, Robin’s books have won the National Reader’s Choice and Golden Leaf Awards and finaled in the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice, and the Book Seller’s Best.

She lives in Maryland with her handsome husband, her two brilliant children (they get it from her, of course!), and her beloved furbabies, Dutch and Dixie Joan Wilder (Yes – THE Joan Wilder)

Drop her a line at robin@robincovingtonromance.com – she always writes back.

Connect with Robin:

Email: robin@robincovingtonromance.com

Website: http://www.robincovingtonromance.com

Facebook Profile: http://on.fb.me/YSW9n3

Facebook Page: http://on.fb.me/1fCyWuQ

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RobinCovington

Tumblr: http://robincovingtonromance.tumblr.com

Instagram: https://instagram.com/robincovington/

Pinterest: http://bit.ly/1c1Tm5u

Amazon Follow: http://amzn.to/1L2PrAG

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5812874.Robin_Covington

Street Team: http://on.fb.me/1hZdeEu

Book+Main Bites: https://bookandmainbites.com/users/1756

Bookbub Follow: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/robin-covington

Newsletter sign up: http://bit.ly/1hde9GD

***

Vanessa North is a romance novelist, a short fiction geek, and a knitter of strange and wonderful things living her own HEA in Northwest Georgia with her husband, twin boy-children, and a very, very large dog.

Connect with Vanessa:

Website: vanessanorth.com

Facebook profile page: facebook.com/AuthorVanessaNorth

Twitter: @byVanessaNorth

Goodreads: goodreads.com/VanessaNorth 

Patreon: http://patreon.com/vanessanorth

***

Tamsen Parker is a stay-at-home mom by day, USA Today bestselling erotic romance writer by naptime. Her novella CRAVING FLIGHT was named to the Best of 2015 lists of Heroes and Heartbreakers, Smexy Books, Romance Novel News, and Dear Author. Heroes and Heartbreakers called her Compass series “bewitching, humorous, erotically intense and emotional.”

She lives with her family outside of Boston, where she tweets too much, sleeps too little and is always in the middle of a book. Aside from good food, sweet rieslings and gin cocktails, she has a fondness for monograms and subway maps. She should really start drinking coffee.

Connect with Tamsen:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tamsenparker

FB: https://www.facebook.com/tamsenparker/

FB Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1585025098209507/

Website: http://tamsenparker.com/

Newsletter Sign-Up: http://eepurl.com/8GBJX

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/tamsen-parker

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Tamsen-Parker/e/B00PMCWTDC/

***

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

Connect with Roan: website | newsletter | facebook group | twitter | instagram | pinterest | bookbub | amazon | goodreads | book+main bites

***

Tiffany Reisz lives in Lexington, Kentucky with her husband, author Andrew Shaffer. She has won a RITA Award (The Saint), a Lambda Award (The King), and two RT Booklovers Editor’s Choice Awards (The Siren and One Hot December). Find her online at TiffanyReisz.com.

Connect with Tiffany:

TiffanyReisz.com

facebook.com/littleredridingcrop

instagram.com/tiffany_reisz

***

Karen Stivali is the multiple award winning author of over twenty straight and LGBTQ+ contemporary romances. She writes novels about love…like real life, only hotter.

Connect with Karen:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/karenstivali

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/karenstivali

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/karenstivali/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5170527.Karen_Stivali

Reader group: Stivali’s Steam Team https://www.facebook.com/groups/671373056322979/

Blog: http://karenstivali.com

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/csUiGr 

B+M: https://bookandmainbites.com/KarenStivali

Giveaway information:

Prize: Enter to win one of three e-copies of any backlist books by any of the contributing authors.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Sports Romance at its best!!

Team Player – Anthology

This is a whopping anthology with 11 authors contributing decent length short stories about sports romance. To be honest, I only bought it because a few of my favourite authors were taking part and so I’ve read all the stories I’ve wanted to and I hope to (someday) get to the others but for now the set of stories is going back on the bookshelf.

Read my reviews for the stories I read below.

Overall rating

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Switch Hitter by Sara Ney

In my opinion, Sara writes the best college based romance novels (see the Douchebag series) and this one, even though it’s short, hits a home run 😉 It made me laugh, it gave me some feels and it left me like this 😮 I loved the lead characters, loved the plot and I want more!!!!

One Good Man by Emma Scott

This is my first experience of Emma Scott’s work but it won’t be my last. I did not expect an absolutely heartfelt romance set in Paris, France under the backdrop of the Vietnam War in the 70s. But this story was absolute perfection – a football, a journalist and a whole lot of emotion ❤️❤️

Back in the Game by Meghan Quinn

I love everything Meghan writes so I knew her contribution to Team Player would be awesome!! And it was everything I could have hoped for:

Super sexy male lead who has a sweet and sensitive side – CHECK

A female lead who is funny, caring and hot – CHECK

A best friend we want to know more about – CHECK

Too many laugh out loud moments to count – CHECK

A fabulous story with the best text message conversations I have ever seen – CHECK

The End Zone by L.J. Shen

I’ve heard so many good things about Leigh Shen and I have big plans to read all her books this year. But starting with this short novella was perfect and has cemented why everyone raves about her. A friends to lovers romance, Sage and Jolie have a beautiful history together which makes their romance all the more sweeter. Yes the story takes place in a sport context but this is a romance that’s so much more than that. It’s about the couple and boy do they fit together … in steamy, sweet and swoon worthy ways.

Sweeping the Series by Kate Stewart

Kate Stewart is an author I’ve heard so much about and just haven’t got round to reading yet. But after this short story I know she’s going to end up high on my tbr! This was a fabulous story of second chance love, of redeeming past mistakes and of discovering that love and baseball can sit hand in hand. I’m keen to read more of Kate’s work – because if it’s as fabulous as Sweeping the Series I know I won’t be disappointed.

A great premise and a good mix of stories

Tales of Vixen Falls – Anthology

I was keen to read this anthology after hearing that two authors I know (and one I like) were contributing. I started with the stories by those familiar authors and they set a high bar that really wasn’t reached by the other novellas I read. I’ll admit I didn’t get around to finish the whole anthology as I got caught up reading other books – but I do hope to get back to it some day.

Overall rating

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Binding Incantations by Brandy Slaven

This was my first witch/warlock based paranormal romance and I have to say I quite liked it. Myra is a witch struggling to not use her powers as she believes she is cursed and Zane is a warlock sent to protect and help this young woman. My only difficulties with the story was wrapping my head around some “witch based” terms that weren’t fully explained and the fact that the story ended on a WHOPPING cliffhanger 😮😮 Other than that, this was a great short story with two likeable leads and a very intriguing paranormal context.

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Start of Something New by Cathy Johns

A nice, steamy romance about a couple who stumble into one another and realise that perhaps it was meant to be. I could tell that Cathy is a new author as this novella lacked some of the finesse of a more experienced writer; there was some repetition of the character’s thoughts and the plot line was interesting but not particularly compelling. In saying that, it was a lovely story to read and I enjoyed seeing Jake and Melanie come together.

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It’s Always Been You by Bella Emy

A sweet story of friends to lovers that happens when Chase and Riley go on a road trip to Vixen Falls so Chase can propose to his girlfriend. Best friends since they were kids, Riley has loved Chase forever but Chase only sees Riley as a friend. The story is sweet and the flashbacks were fabulous. But I felt the ending was rushed and a little cheesy – which was disappointing after such a good build up.

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Full Contact by Emily Reed

I really enjoyed this sweet love story between Austen the football player and Jess his physical therapist. It had all the hallmarks of a good story – relatable characters, some conflict, steamy sex scenes and a great location. While I definitely enjoyed the story and read it all in one sitting, I did think that both Austen and Jess were a little underdeveloped as characters – whether it was the word limit constraint (of being in an anthology) or inexperience from the author, I’m not sure. Despite this, Full Contact is one of my favourite stories from this collection

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Scarred by Elizabeth Knox

This story was absolutely incredible. I loved that Vixen Falls was just a simple setting in what was a hard hitting motorcycle club based story that managed to squeeze in your typical MC life, a sad case of domestic violence and the beginnings of a beautiful love story. Roxy and Tex have a history and unfortunately made choices that didn’t lead them done a happy path. But every day is a chance to start again and rewrite your story, and Elizabeth Knox does a brilliant job of demonstrating what can happen when you’re ready to make a change.

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Could it be Love by Stacey McCoy

I’m already a huge fan of Stacey’s so I was keen to read her contribution to this anthology and I was not disappointed. I loved Cara – the feisty, independent woman – being dragged to a health retreat that just happens to be near the mystical Vixen Falls. When she meets tour guide Ethan, her lifelong stance of “love is not for me” starts to crumble. Is it the Falls or is it more? A hot, steamy and hilarious romance, Stacey delivers a great story yet again.

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