There’s only about 11 books in the M/M LGBT Romance Giveaway but I haven’t seen most of them offered elsewhere before, so grab these free titles before Sept. 15.
While the title of this blog is Hella Gay YA, I’ve never been good at staying on topic. And as an author of gay romances, I figure the important part is ‘gay’ anyway. So I’m going to share my thoughts on the novella Realigned by Becca Seymour.
The cover needs a special shout-out. GORGEOUS, GORGEOUS, GORGEOUS COVER. Yes, I needed to say it three times because it can’t be said enough. BEAUTIFUL, GORGEOUS COVER. Especially in the gay romance genre, this is one of my favorite covers ever.
Quick Summary: When Shaun returns home to the Australian outback, he must decide what to do when his vacation ends, either go back to his life in the United States or stay and start a relationship with police officer Mitch.
Tropes and Book Details: best friends, friends to lovers, small town romance, second chance, short story, contemporary, sweet, steamy
My thoughts: Realigned is fun, fast novella if you want a cute read with a little steam. This is one of the books I picked up in a giveaway and I’m glad I got the opportunity as I hadn’t ready any Becca Seymour before, but it won’t be the last book I read from her.
Plot: Some old author guy once said ‘you can’t go home again,’ but eight years is a pretty long time to stay away. So Shaun returns to the small-town he left behind, his loving family, and the best friend he’s always wanted more from. And if their relationship evolves, can he be convinced to turn his vacation into a permanent change of address?
This is the question the plot revolves around, but it’s more there in the background while the focus is on the relationship between the guys. And their relationship is the best part, so this works out just fine. There is some drama about how Shaun left and revelations from the past, but most of the angst is in the past.
Characters: When people say it’s not rocket science, they aren’t talking to Shaun because he is a rocket scientist. Yet it’s the heart he has trouble with. Isn’t that the way it goes? And also, I am not a rocket scientist, so I’m not totally sure about his job. He works for NASA and does something with the earth, but I’m rounding to ‘rocket scientist’ anyway.
Shaun’s childhood best friend Mitch is a sexy sweetheart who put Shaun’s own happiness first in the past, but now thinks they can be happy together. What else could you want from a fictional boyfriend?
Both grew up in a small Australian community that feels authentic to me and will to you too, unless you are actually from a small Australian community, and then I can’t say whether the experience will ring true for you, but it’s probably close enough for a short story.
Final thoughts: For me, this story is super interesting, very cute, and even a bit steamy. It’s an entertaining read from start to finish. If you enjoy reading standalone novellas about sexy dudes with Australian accents, best friends becoming more, or gay romance in general, you’re good to go and will love every second.
I’m the person who finds something good and wants more of it, so I wish the book was longer, but I also think that’s the mark of a quality story when you’re left wanting more. And as someone who takes forever to read, I do see the value of shorter fiction, though this one felt more like a snippet than totally complete to me. So the perfect time to read this is when you’re in the mood for a quick, feel-good read.
They say time heals all wounds. Do not ask me who ‘they’ are, but this is probably true. The trouble, however, is what happens when the wound is fresh. Waiting for the cut to heal isn’t easy. Especially if the injury is a broken heart and you’re a 17-year-old and these feelings are new, wonderful, and terrible.
We’ve all been there, right? To add insult to injury, the memories from the love spell haven’t faded yet. Okay, maybe that’s the part where things get less normal.
But this is what happens in my latest paranormal romance Instalove.
In Avery Ward’s case, he’s a regular guy who happens to come from a long line of witches and warlocks who bring real magic into the world. He’s just learned magic might be the reason he’s totally crazy about soccer player and smartie Chris Reyes.
But knowing a spell is happening and being free from its effects are two different things. And he hasn’t really begun the healing process yet. This scene is Avery sitting in his family garden, trying to process the new revelations in his life while his mother checks on him.
Mom found me outside and sat with me on the bench next to the aster.
“The gardenias are coming in nicely,” she noted.
As a licensed therapist, she’s usually all about healthy communication and sharing feelings. I had zero desire to share, so I watched her for the trick but found none.
“Really, that’s all?” I asked.
“You don’t want to talk. You don’t want me to talk at you.” She shrugged. “What else is there to say?”
Huh. I relaxed as we enjoyed the relative quiet together.
This was my happy place. Okay, time to feel happy. Anytime now. Go. I looked around. The garden was a lovely place, but it depended on one’s current prerogative.
The nearby larkspur meant lightness, yet it also meant fickleness or haughtiness. And talk about fickle, there were carnations in the next row over, and they had about 93 meanings attached to them depending on the color.
The daffodils over Mom’s shoulder needed company. Several meant happiness and joy while a solitary flower meant misfortune. That was probably a metaphor.
“Sure you don’t want to talk?” she asked quietly.
“There’s nothing to talk about.”
As she rose to leave, Mom placed a hand on my shoulder. “The spell will be undone, and you’ll laugh about this someday.”
“But not today.” There was a fountain just to the right of center in the garden. When we were quiet, I thought I could hear it.
“Not today,” she agreed quietly.
The iris grew next to me on my right. I was afraid to look at it. Irises symbolize hope.
— the rest is available here.
Here’s a few of the free books available in the LGBT Romance Giveaway.
Who is Avery Ward, you might ask as you read the title of this post. Because that’s what the post says.
Well, thanks for asking!
If you wanna get literal about it, he’s the main character of the gay paranormal romance Instalove. He’s also the 17-year-old protagonist who thinks the magic in his family doesn’t affect him, until he finds out that the thing he holds most dear may be the result of a spell.
From an author standpoint, I enjoy writing prose in his special angst-y yet practical perspective. I don’t make characters exactly like me but sometimes I give them something of mine. Avery has my taste in music. And he’s sort of a pessimist who’s trying to be more optimistic, which we also share.
Otherwise, I’ll let Avery tell you about himself in his own words. All you need to know for the following excerpt is that Stella is Avery’s little sister.
When given the choice, most people would rather learn about my sister than me. Stella Ward is the Witch, the girl wonder who can move objects with her mind and turn the laws of the natural world inside out.
Avery Ward is the junior who runs track, the guy who gets supporting roles in the school plays with a good audition. Enough about him, let’s hear more about this sister. Yeah, yeah. I get it.
I’m normal. My sister isn’t.
Witchcraft seems so cool and interesting to people who grew up without it. When someone close to you has powers and you don’t, it’s mostly extremely annoying. But siblings can be that way.
–Check it out here. You can buy the book or read it on KU.
In an announcement I’m totally not late in making at all, I have a new book out. The novel Instalove is a gay paranormal romance set in a modern world where real magic exists.
Avery Ward is the main character. He’s an ordinary high schooler who lacks the magic all the witches and warlocks in his family wield. He thinks the supernatural world doesn’t involve him much until learns that a spell might be responsible for the best thing in his life.
The book also reached number one in one of its categories! Thanks so much to everybody who’s supported the novel so far.
I’ll share some scenes from the novel later, but I’m trying to do something new and stay on topic. And that topic is announcing the new book, yay! Yes, the ‘yay’ is included. Here’s the cover and description.
Can instant love truly last? Or will a witch’s spell lead to a broken heart?
Avery Ward doesn’t have magic powers. Get used to it. He has. Yes, his illusionist father can transport readers to beloved novels, and his sister can turn him into a toad when he hogs the bathroom. Avery prefers normal. As he nears his 4-month anniversary with boyfriend Chris, his regular life is looking pretty fantastic. Except according to his little sister, a spell she cast last week created his relationship.
All spells end sooner or later. So it’s better to steer clear of Chris and his sister until the dust settles. But when an evil wizard begins tormenting his high school, only the trio can stop him before anyone gets hurt…
To keep people safe and combat the fear taking over his school, Avery needs more than magic. He needs a miracle. If he succeeds, maybe he’ll receive a miracle of his own. Maybe he can keep Chris.
But when love and magic combine, how do you trust your heart?
Instalove is a gay romance novel about the power of ordinary magic and what it means to be the one who doesn’t fit in, even when fitting in means flying and performing spells like the rest of your family. While Avery appears in Black Cats and Bad Luck, that story focuses on different characters, so this book can be read on its own.
Grab your copy of this enchanting coming-of-age novel today to fall in Instalove!
These free stories and more are available in June for the Sweet and Steamy MM Romance giveaway. As the title says, these are all free M/M novels that are sweet, steamy, or both.
This is to celebrate the release of a new contemporary gay romance from me. One Big Decision is the hilarious and heartwarming final novel in the One More Thing series which follows a small-town couple as they navigate fake relationships, first loves, high school, and making everything more difficult than it needs to be.
Here’s a quote and little scene from the novel. In this scene, everything has worked out for the best. Hooray? Not so fast. All Ryan and Luke’s problems are solved, it’s time for the happily ever after, but Ryan is acting weird.
Huh, Ryan babbling about unimportant matters was hardly new, but… he seemed regular and tired. How strange. He wasn’t even bouncing on his feet or making odd, accidental noises from his throat.
“You’re acting weird,” I realized.
“How dare you, sir!” he jumped right into outrage mode. “Let us fight, not to the death, but to the making out.”
“I kinda expected a shower of confetti or—” No. In case the excessive displays of excitement were coming later, I shouldn’t give him too many ideas. Still, “I kinda expected you’d be shouting your happiness from the rooftops.”
–The book is available here, so grab your copy or read on Kindle Unlimited today.
ONE BIG DECISION DESCRIPTION
In the conclusion of the One More Thing Series, Ryan and Luke face prom, college decisions, and what happens to their relationship when high school ends.
Despite the fierce competition over who can pull off the best prom proposal, Ryan and Luke are ridiculously in love high school sweethearts. But high school is drawing to a close, and the boyfriends have very different ideas for college.
While the guys want to stay together, they know young love doesn’t always last. Especially when one of them is thinking more about them than him, and the other isn’t being entirely forthcoming about his future goals. Will their love be enough to ensure a happy ending, or will they go their separate ways for good?
The Wards aren’t your average family. They’re magical. And also, technically, fictional. In the new adult fantasy novel Black Cats and Bad Luck, Avery is excited and scared for his family vacation because life in a magical family can be intense. He’s used to errant spells and the occasional hex, but he wasn’t expecting evil spirits, exploding statues, and a naked man arriving at his door.
In this quote, Avery discusses life as a Ward.
My family is great. I love them, but at the last reunion, well. We never mention the wendigo incident. I rarely even thought about it. Oh, when I say we never mention it, I meant we were literally forbidden from speaking of it. Seriously, I swore a blood oath and everything, so yeah… things could get intense when the Wards were around, and the more of us there were, the more intense it could get.Black Cats and Bad Luck