~Release Blitz~Redeem (Under My Skin #4) by Christina Lee~Review, Excerpt & Giveaway~

 

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43883032Title: Redeem
Author: Christina Lee
Series: Under My Skin #4
Cover Artist: Kanaxa
Page Count: 240 pages
Genre(s): M/M, Romance
Release Date: February 28, 2019
Guest Reviewer: ~Judith~
Rating: ✮4 Stars✮

~Synopsis~

Successful financial analyst Michael Walsh leads a picture-perfect life that anyone would envy—unless they caught a glimpse beneath the surface. Haunted by failed relationships and self-doubt, Michael harbors a soul-deep loneliness that no number of casual hookups can fulfill. So why can’t he stop thinking about his New Year’s fling with a man whose quiet desperation matched his own?
Barista Stewart Jenkins has an abysmal track record with relationships, and no matter how hard he tries to keep things tightly under wraps, his life is spinning out of control. His hookup with the gorgeous Michael was only supposed to be sex—hot, dirty, uncomplicated—but that small taste leaves him yearning for more.
Every no-strings encounter that follows between Michael and Stewart peels away more layers, blurring the lines, until they’re left with a raw tenderness and acceptance they both crave. A relationship seems out of the question—they come from drastically different lives and are plagued by inexcusable sins. Being vulnerable is sure to reveal old wounds, and forgiveness seems out of reach, unless they can find a way around their fears on the road to redemption.


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~Review~First Light (Heartsville #2) by Christina Lee & Felice Stevens~

 

42951429Title: First Light
Authors: Christina Lee & Felice Stevens
Series: Heartsville #2
Page Count: 269 pages
Genre(s): M/M, Romance
Release Date: November 24, 2018
Reviewer: ~Wendy~
Rating: ✮3.5 Stars✮

~Synopsis~

Two years after the death of his wife, Aubrey Hendricks is still weighed down by grief. He can’t focus on anything beyond working at the family farm, First Light. At the urging of a friend, he takes a step toward resuming a normal life and reopens the bakery his wife once ran. He places a Help Wanted ad in the local paper, and to his surprise, an applicant shows up the next day. 
When Oliver Hansen gets a second chance at life, he grasps it with both hands. Leaving his stressful life in New York, he plans to enjoy the simpler things. Driving to Heartsville in the Pocono Mountains to thank his heart donor’s widower is a top priority. But the brusque man with the melancholy eyes strikes a chord in Oliver. So when Aubrey mistakenly believes he’s there to apply for the bakery job…Oliver takes him up on the offer. 
As Oliver busies himself with the grand reopening, he and Aubrey establish a tentative friendship, which soon shifts to blazing attraction. Oliver falls hard for him, yet he can’t help but wonder if Aubrey’s feelings are an attempt to maintain a connection to the wife he’s still mourning. And Aubrey is unsure if Oliver will tire of the slow pace in Heartsville and go running back to the city he loves. The two must successfully navigate the stormy waters of grief, doubt, and their very different lifestyles, or they risk losing both their hearts—again. 
Please note: This is in the same world as our MMM, LAST CALL, except FIRST LIGHT is MM and a complete standalone.–


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~Release Blitz~Review~Excerpt & Giveaway~Of Sunlight and Stardust by Riley Hart & Christina Lee~

 

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41949295Title: Of Sunlight and Stardust
Author: Riley Hart & Christina Lee
Cover Design: JAY AHEER/ Simply Defined Art
Cover Image: Strangeland Photography
Page Count: 269 pages
Genre(s): M/M, Romance
Release Date: September 20, 2018
Reviewer: ~Wendy~
Rating: ✮4.5 Stars✮

~Synopsis~

After the death of his wife, Tanner Rowe takes a step toward making her dream come true and buys the house with the dilapidated barn she’d been inexplicably drawn to in the picturesque Upper Peninsula. But after a year, he still can’t get past his grief long enough to make the repairs he’d promised. 
Recently out of prison, Cole Lachlan has little to his name. Homeless, broke, and without many options as a felon, Cole heads to Red Bluff with hopes of a second chance. There he meets Tanner, whose loneliness mirrors his own, and soon Cole is trading room and board for rebuilding the burned-out barn on Tanner’s property that hasn’t been touched in seventy years. 
Turns out, the barn holds more secrets than either of them could have imagined. After unearthing a hidden journal from 1948, Cole and Tanner spend their evenings poring over the pages, reading about a young man pining after his best friend. The deeper they delve into this forbidden affair from the past, the more Cole and Tanner’s own relationship shifts—from acquaintances to friends…to undeniable attraction. 
But as they begin to deal with the newness of falling in love in the wake of Tanner’s loss and Cole’s past, they also become more determined to unravel the mystery of the young lovers who’ve captured their hearts, the rumors about the fire, and what really happened that fateful night.


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~Release Blitz~Reawaken (Under My Skin #2) by Christina Lee~

 

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36394029Title: Reawaken
Author: Christina Lee
Series: Under My Skin #2
Cover Design: KANAXA
Genre(s): M/M, Romance
Release Date: November 2, 2017

~Synopsis~

Losing his adoring husband shattered Tristan Rogers’s world. For the past few years, he’s been going through the motions, running their dog grooming business while hiding the loneliness he feels down to his bones. When he witnesses an ugly breakup between a pretentious customer and his boyfriend, Tristan can’t help but intervene. Something about the unassuming younger man calls to him, and he can’t help wondering if he’s experienced some heartache of his own.

Life took a tragic turn for Jonas “West” Hollis as a teen, and he’s felt indebted to his overbearing lover ever since. Tristan’s kindness draws him from the start, but with his dreams finally in reach, West can’t risk getting close to someone else. Not now that he can live his life and stand on his own merit.

From innocent texts to companionable rides on Tristan’s boat, what starts as an unexpected friendship between the men sparks into undeniable attraction. Neither are ready for anything deeper than a couple of passionate nights wrapped in each other’s arms but their connection becomes too intense for either to ignore. If Tristan and West want to heal their broken hearts, they’ll need a considerable amount of trust and courage—not only in themselves but also each other.


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~Read Review~

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   ~Purchase Links~

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~Pre-Release Review~Reawaken (Under My Skin #2) by Christina Lee~

 

36394029Title: Reawaken
Author: Christina Lee
Series: Under My Skin #2
Genre(s): M/M, Romance
Release Date: November 2, 2017
Reviewer: ~Wendy~
Rating: 4 Stars out of 5

~Synopsis~

Losing his adoring husband shattered Tristan Rogers’s world. For the past few years, he’s been going through the motions, running their dog grooming business while hiding the loneliness he feels down to his bones. When he witnesses an ugly breakup between a pretentious customer and his boyfriend, Tristan can’t help but intervene. Something about the unassuming younger man calls to him, and he can’t help wondering if he’s experienced some heartache of his own.

Life took a tragic turn for Jonas “West” Hollis as a teen, and he’s felt indebted to his overbearing lover ever since. Tristan’s kindness draws him from the start, but with his dreams finally in reach, West can’t risk getting close to someone else. Not now that he can live his life and stand on his own merit.

From innocent texts to companionable rides on Tristan’s boat, what starts as an unexpected friendship between the men sparks into undeniable attraction. Neither are ready for anything deeper than a couple of passionate nights wrapped in each other’s arms but their connection becomes too intense for either to ignore. If Tristan and West want to heal their broken hearts, they’ll need a considerable amount of trust and courage—not only in themselves but also each other.


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I really enjoyed reading the first book in this series “Regret”, so I was very excited about this second installment.

After reading the blurb though, I got a bit worried, because this book contains a pet peeve of mine…a deceased spouse.

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Thankfully, even though Tristan is still grieving his late husband…I didn’t feel that West had to fight some kind of perfect ghost…It is quite the emotional story though…

Tristan was introduced in the previous book (Brin’s boss at Doggy Styles), but no worries for those who haven’t read that one yet…this book can be read as a standalone…Tristan has been existing for the last three years. I say exciting because he hasn’t been fully living his life, ever since he lost his husband. He is still very much grieving.

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~Release Blitz~Living Out Loud by Christina Lee & Nyrae Dawn~

 

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36046796Title: Living Out Loud
Authors: Christina Lee & Nyrae Dawn
Page Count: 250 pages
Cover Design: X-Potion Designs
Cover Photo: Wander Aguiar Photography
Cover Model: Brook
Genre(s): M/M Romance
Release Date: September 8, 2017

~Synopsis~

Ben Emerson has lived by his minister father’s rules most of his life. Born into an ultra-conservative church community, he’s finally brave enough to break free and move to San Francisco. Distancing himself certainly helps create a new mindset, but living as an openly gay man takes some getting used to. When he reaches out to Xavier, a childhood friend who lives in the city, Ben isn’t sure how he’ll respond given their thorny history. Ben hopes the familiar connection will help him right some wrongs as well as provide the solace he’s been craving.
Xavier Ramos is who he is, and he doesn’t give a damn what anyone thinks. Whether it’s eyeliner, nail polish, tattoos or his love of hooking up, he uses his body as a form of self-expression but doesn’t let anyone get too close. When Ben reenters his life, Xavier helps him experience the city and feel comfortable in his own skin. Seeing the world through Ben’s eyes, he begins to wonder if he’s also not living as freely as he thought. 
When Xavier challenges Ben’s beliefs about sex, it becomes explosive—for both of them. Xavier breaks apart Ben’s sheltered world and shows him what it’s like to live out loud. The more time they spend together, the more Xavier begins to long for Ben in a different way—one that both surprises and scares him. But real life doesn’t fade into the background, so when Ben’s past comes knocking, old habits are hard to break. Testing the foundation of their deepening connection will take a trust that will either bind them…or tear them apart. 

Riley Hart writing as Nyrae Dawn
Ben is from PAINT THE STARS and Xavier is from A HUNDRED THOUSAND WORDS, but LIVING OUT LOUD can be read as a complete standalone.


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~Release Blitz~Regret (Under My Skin, #1) by Christina Lee~

 

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and grab your copy today!

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35281797

Regret by Christina Lee
Series: Under My Skin, #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: June 26, 2017
Page Count: 235 pages
Cover Design: Kanaxa
Genre(s): M/M, Contemporary Romanceimageedit_44_8150275859c01f1-goodreads-button


~Synopsis~

When Brian “Brin” Schubert’s condo floods, he takes his co-worker up on the offer to stay on his crappy futon for a while. The last thing he expects is for his friend’s roommate to be the one guy he despises the most. The same guy who stomped on his heart senior year of high school. And by the looks of the girl on his arm, the same man who’s still deep inside the closet.

Nicholas Dell never predicted that eleven years later, one of his greatest regrets would show up on his doorstep down on his luck. Nick has made some terrible mistakes—story of his life—and he’s been paying for them ever since. And if the guilt and shame aren’t enough, his first crush had to turn into one of the sexiest men he’s ever laid eyes on.

Nick and Brin have weeks to steer clear of each other. Weeks to avoid strangling each other. But when stubbornness leads to skyrocketing sexual tension, hate-sex doesn’t seem like such an awful way to work through their frustration. Except hate is a powerful emotion, especially when it’s turned inward. And in Nick’s case he’s been drowning in a sea of self-loathing for so long, he can’t see his way out.

As Brin reconnects with Nick, his perception of what really happened in their past begins to change. He’s finally ready to forgive him and take a second chance on the one guy who stirs him like no other. But Nick’s demons are complicated, heart-wrenching…demanding. So devastating, he might never allow himself true happiness—even with the one man who’s always owned his heart.


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~Purchase Links~

 Amazon US  | Amazon UK  

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~Excerpt~

Excerpt
*****

“Brin, let me introduce you to my roommate,” Elijah said as I followed him through the short hallway to the living room. “This is Nick and his friend, Sarah.”

Sarah’s curly locks were nearly as blond as mine and Nick’s black hair was mostly tucked beneath a worn blue baseball cap. The two of them were cozy on the couch, Sarah sitting with her legs tucked under her and Nick with his ankle crossed over his knee. They were eating Chinese food off paper plates resting in their laps. Sarah simply waved as her mouth was full from a bite of food but Nick responded, “Hey, how you doing?” after swallowing a piece of what looked like an egg roll.

The smell of fried rice hit my nostrils and when my stomach rumbled in response, I realized just how famished I was. I was dying to dive right into the second brown bag resting on the coffee table that more than likely contained my food, but I didn’t want to be rude.

When Nick leaned forward with an outstretched hand, for some reason I zeroed right in on the neatly groomed scruff on his chin. When he tilted his face to look directly into my eyes, I froze, our fingers interlocked. A startled gasp sprang from my lips, and Nick’s eyebrows slammed together in confusion right before they lifted straight to his hairline.

The same cherry-colored lips, with a center dimple drilled into his chin. Those sad, amber-colored eyes that shuttered out the world.

Holy fuck. Elijah’s roommate was Nicholas Dell.

The same Nicholas Dell from Jefferson High who practically ruined me for other guys.

The same Devil’s third baseman that begged his math tutor to suck his cock in the locker room after practice.

And given the female nestled up beside him, it was the same Nicholas Dell who was still deep in the closet.

*****


~About the Author~

Christina  LeeMother, wife, reader, dreamer. Christina lives in the Midwest with her husband and son–her two favorite guys. She’s addicted to lip balm, coffee, and kissing. Because everything is better with kissing.

She writes MM Contemporary as well as Adult and New Adult Romance. She believes in happily-ever-afters for all, so reading and writing romance for everybody under the rainbow helps quench her soul.

~Social Links~

FB FAN GROUP: THE SWOON ROOM

WEBSITE|INSTAGRAM|NEWSLETTER

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Posted in ****4 Stars****, ARC Review, By Rating, DBO ARC, Home, LGBT Books, M/M ARC, Promotions, Release Day Reviews, Review by~Wendy~

~Release Day Review~Regret (Under My Skin, #1) by Christina Lee~

 

35281797Title: Regret
Author: Christina Lee
Series: Under My Skin, #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: June 26, 2017
Page Count: 235 pages
Genre(s): M/M, Contemporary Romance
Reviewer: ~Wendy~
Rating: 4 Stars out of 5

~Synopsis~

When Brian “Brin” Schubert’s condo floods, he takes his co-worker up on the offer to stay on his crappy futon for a while. The last thing he expects is for his friend’s roommate to be the one guy he despises the most. The same guy who stomped on his heart senior year of high school. And by the looks of the girl on his arm, the same man who’s still deep inside the closet. 

Nicholas Dell never predicted that eleven years later, one of his greatest regrets would show up on his doorstep down on his luck. Nick has made some terrible mistakes—story of his life—and he’s been paying for them ever since. And if the guilt and shame aren’t enough, his first crush had to turn into one of the sexiest men he’s ever laid eyes on. 

Nick and Brin have weeks to steer clear of each other. Weeks to avoid strangling each other. But when stubbornness leads to skyrocketing sexual tension, hate-sex doesn’t seem like such an awful way to work through their frustration. Except hate is a powerful emotion, especially when it’s turned inward. And in Nick’s case he’s been drowning in a sea of self-loathing for so long, he can’t see his way out. 

As Brin reconnects with Nick, his perception of what really happened in their past begins to change. He’s finally ready to forgive him and take a second chance on the one guy who stirs him like no other. But Nick’s demons are complicated, heart-wrenching…demanding. So devastating, he might never allow himself true happiness—even with the one man who’s always owned his heart.


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I don’t really know how I would classify this story…”Second change love”, “friends to lovers” or “enemies to lovers”…

So I am going with “frenemies to lovers”. What I do know is that this book isn’t exactly “lighthearted”. It didn’t make me burst into a full out sobfest, but it did hurt my heart a bit.

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This story starts off with Brin needing a place to stay, because the pipes in his apartment have burst, leaving his place flooded…His friend Elijah offers him a place on the futon in the apartment he shares with his roommate. Since the roommate seems fine with Brin crashing for a while, Brim happily accepts the offer.

But imagine his surprise when Elijah’s roommate is none other than his high school crush…Crush seems to be the proper name in this case since that is exactly what he did to Brin’s heart back then…

...He crushed it…

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Nick had never expected to see Brin again. He is happy and sad at the same time. Happy because Brin always meant so much to him…and he still does. Sad because he is so sorry and so ashamed of his behavior back then. He tried to get Brin to listen to him afterward, but Brim wanted nothing more to do with him, which he totally understood.

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In the beginning of the story, I was totally on Brin’s side…

I understood why he felt so angry and betrayed and I wanted him to stay far away from Nick. But the more I got to know of Nick and what was plaguing him…the more my heart broke for the guy. Nick had such a low opinion of himself…He was so filled with grief and guilt, I was surprised that he was even functioning at all…

“I couldn’t have what I wanted and still, make up for what I did at the same time. I didn’t deserve it and I’d been paying for it my whole life.”

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He hates himself for everything that has happened in his past and he thinks he doesn’t deserve to be loved. He really wasn’t a bad guy, he was just so young and messed up when things went down with Brin and he didn’t know how to handle things. He is carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders and he just needs someone to show him that he is worthy to be loved…

And Brin is the perfect man for the job.

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I also want to give some credit to Nick’s mom who really came through in the end… Awesome lady, though it took her a bit longer. 😛


I really enjoyed this book, though I would have really liked an epilogue.

Epilogs give me closure and I really wanted to see how things turned out for the two of them. Nick spent most of the book being drowned by feelings of guilt,…

So a glimpse of their future would have been nice. 😛imageedit_7_5186139266

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Posted in ****4 Stars****, By Rating, Home, LGBT Books, Review by~Wendy~

~Review~The Sweetest Goodbye by Christina Lee~

 

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The Sweetest Goodbye (Roadmap to Your Heart #3.5)

by Christina Lee

****4 Stars****

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After re-reading “The Deepest Blue”, I figured it was time to read Billie’s story.

I loved Billie in book 2 and I really wanted a happy ever after for him.

Those who have read the previous books, know that Billie has been struggling with Epilepsy his whole life. This is were his therapy dog comes in…Bullseye, what an awesome friend he was to Billie. I loved that dog !!

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Billie is now in his early twenties, working at his own bakery with his friend Dylan. Dylan hasn’t had it easy growing up with an alcoholic father, who kicked him out because he was gay. Thankfully the “Montgomery’s were there, to pick him up, when he needed it. He has been a part of the family ever since and Dylan and Billie are the best of friends.

Dylan, however, is feeling a bit more than just friendship for Billie. Too bad that Billie is still hung up on his first love Leo.

He is convinced Leo will come back and they will be together again…

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One drunken night at a club leads to more than platonic friendship and once things get started…

…they are hard to stop…

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But Dylan knows that Billie wants to be with Leo… and Billie knows that Dylan isn’t looking for anything more than fun…


I really enjoyed this little novella,…

…though I have to say that Billie’s pining over Leo frustrated me at times.

Dylan, however, was an amazing character.

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Posted in *****5 Stars*****, By Rating, Home, LGBT Books, M/M Book, Review by~Wendy~

~Review~The Faintest Spark by Christina Lee~

 

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The Faintest Spark (Roadmap to Your Heart #1.5)

by Christina Lee

*****5 Stars*****

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I loved book 1 in this series and I absolutely adored this little gem !!

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It was short, it was sweet and it was HOT.

Mal is president of the Disciples. The same MC club, Smoke (book 1) is a part of. He takes very good care of the men in his club and lately, he has also been taking care of Sawyer….

Sawyer is part of the Scorpions MC and he has been on an undercover assignment within another MC club, to earn his patch and prove his worth. This assignment also has to do with the storyline of book 1.

I don’t think it’s completely necessary to read book 1, but it would give you more understanding as to what this assignment was about.

Anyways, this undercover gig has left Sawyer a bit fucked up and in his time of need, he turns to Mal, who is a good listener and most importantly…he cares.

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His caring, however, soon turns into something more.


The two of them grow very close and so does the sexual tension. For Sawyer, these feelings aren’t so strange because he is bi and everyone within his club knows this. But for Mal, this is the first time he has felt any attraction towards a man. Him being club president also complicates things, not to mention that they are also from different clubs.

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But again….the heart wants what it wants and boy does these two want each other !!

“Such a greedy little hole. Sucking on my finger like this.” “Don’t want your finger. Want your cock.”


I was very proud of Mal for not doubting himself too much and going after what he wanted !! Sawyer was the perfect man for him and he helped Mal express his wants and needs.

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I fell in love with Sawyer’s bravery, his beauty, his unflappable dignity and given any alternate version of reality….I still would’ve chosen him.

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