Author spotlight – Alice Raine

Today we’re joined by Alice Raine. Bestselling author of the Untwisted series and now writing another trilogy, The Revealed series will be with us shortly – book one (Unmasked) will be out tomorrow (21st November).

So, having read and enjoyed The Untwisted series, I wanted to know what the new series had in store…
all 4 books


Onni: Alice – thanks so much for joining us today. Let me start by saying how much I enjoyed the adventures of Nathan and Nicholas in The Untwisted books. What can we expect from the new series – characters, locations etc?

Alice: There are some secrets and twists discovered in the first book, so unfortunately I can’t say too much without giving them away…but the settings are something I can discuss. I like to set my books in places I have actually been, so that I can try and convey the sights, sounds and experiences as thoroughly as possible, and this is no different in the Revealed series, as we visit both the UK and the US. More specifically, Buxton in the Peak district, and Los Angeles in the United States. 

The genre is erotic romance again, and in general, the themes are love, romance, and the development of hope and trust. As always though, I mix in some darker, edgier themes to add to the characters back stories. I enjoy the challenge of adding these trickier elements, and the great side-effect is that they help me create tension, passion and drama, and let’s face it, that’s what we all want when we sit down to read a book.

I think (hope) that in this new Revealed series I’ve become better at individualising my characters to make them more ‘real’. You’ll meet Sean, Allie, Jack and Cait, but I’m going to keep quiet about how those four are related – you’ll have to read to find out!

Onni: What made you want to jump into another trilogy – did you know as soon as you had the idea for Unmasked that it would be a trilogy?

Alice: Squeezing details, plots and character development into a single book can be tricky, so I like the concept of writing a series because I can really get my teeth into the stories and characters and use the longer length to expand the ideas. Plus, I tend to like to include 4 main characters, so by using a series I can spread the relationship developments across all the books to maintain the interest for the readers.

The Untwisted series actually started off as one book featuring Nicholas and Rebecca, but then, when test readers expressed an interest in Nicholas’s brother Nathan (who was mentioned as a minor part in the first book), I began to extend the stories and created the story of Nathan and Stella. I’m actually really thrilled with the way the series developed, and am particularly fond of the seasonal short stories that I have written to link with the series.

Onni: Do you know at the beginning of writing a trilogy what you want to happen in each book, or are you character-led?

Alice: A little of both. In the very initial planning stages I use a huge sketch pad and try to plot out the rough series of events that I see happening. Of course as I write, this adapts and flexes as new ideas occur to me. Then of course there are the characters, as they develop in my mind and within the manuscripts I do often end up diverting my storylines to include new developments within their backstories.

Onni: Does the writing process for you get easier?

Alice: Perhaps not easier, as such, but certainly clearer – I feel that I’m much better at the planning stages now, which definitely helps with the flow of the actual writing process and reduces overall stress!

Onni: Who is your ideal leading man?

Alice: Gosh, that’s a really difficult question! I think it would have to be a blend: Mr Darcy (Pride and Prejudice) for his elegance and gentlemanly ways, Jesse Ward (This Man Trilogy) for his obsessive desire, Nathaniel Jackson (Untwisted series) for his intense passion and creativity in the bedroom and Tom Hardy (the actor) just because he’s gorgeous!

Onni: Pinterest or Tumblr for your inspiration?!

Alice: Pinterest. (At the risk of making myself sound really old, I don’t even use Tumblr!) I absolutely love the concept of Pinterest though, it’s like having my walls covered in countless pin boards of my favourite images, people and quotes, but without making my house cluttered! As well as using it for inspiration, it also features heavily in my planning, because I like to create boards in the initial planning stages for every book I write.

Many thanks to Alice for that peek into her head – I’ll certainly be delving into Unmasked once it’s out. If that’s whetted your appetite, here’s a snippet!

I was midway through my mammoth vacuuming session and singing along with Mika when the hoover suddenly cut off. Assuming I had pulled the cable from the wall in my exuberance I spun around to remedy it before letting out an ear-piercing shriek and leaping backwards, clutching at my chest as my heart suddenly beat frantically against my ribs.

The hoover hadn’t pulled itself from the wall. No, as I followed the trail of the cable it led me instead to the hand of a very large man, his arms folded and an incredibly angry expression on his face. Swallowing loudly, I briefly scrunched my eyes closed to make sure I wasn’t imagining him, but he was still there when I opened them again. And from the deep frown on his brow, he was still angry. Even through the shock of his sudden appearance, this man was undeniably handsome; a shock of dark hair sat in a ruffled mess on his head, his jaw was defined and lightly stubbled, his lips were drawn into a tight line of disapproval, but were infinitely tempting, and his dark eyes, although irate, seemed to somehow draw me in to the point where I felt the urge to step closer. Thankfully, I didn’t, instead forcefully making my legs stay still.

On top of all of that, it suddenly permeated my consciousness that he was only semi-clothed. Jesus. My eyes flicked over his body and I think my heart stopped for a few seconds before taking off again at such a rate that it was now booming in my chest like some badly played bongo drums. He was wearing nothing but a pair of navy pyjama bottoms.

Crikey, what a sight – so good in fact, that it really should be illegal. His legs were long, the thin cotton clinging to muscles hidden beneath, and the waistband hanging deliciously low on his hips, so it exposed a ‘v’ of muscles that led to goodness knows what splendidness below. Everything looked narrow and tight and… well, inspiring all sorts of delicious thrusting naughtiness to spring to mind.

He was, quite simply, glorious.

My mouth suddenly felt as parched as a dry river bed. Licking my lips, my eyes lingered on his well-muscled abdomen for far longer than necessary, but I couldn’t seem to pull my gaze away as I gulped desperately and absently reached to tug my earbuds out. I didn’t even know him, but the urge to step forwards and run my tongue up the centre of his chest was almost overpowering.

His appearance had definitely sent me into an instant tail spin, there was no doubt about that…

Connect with Alice:


Twitter: @AliceRaine1


Pre-order links for Unmasked: Amazon UK

About Alice…
IMG_6337 view contrastWhere to start? I’m really a lot more boring and normal than my books might suggest. It may disappoint some to know that I’ve never had an illicit affair with a domineering pianist, nor have I ever met or dated a man who frequented certain seedy clubs in London. I have however always had an overactive imagination, which may in part explain where my stories come from!
I was born and raised in London, and as such it holds a special place in my heart and is often used as a setting within my books. Some of my best times have been spent with friends wandering the markets of Camden or sipping beers in Covent Garden.
When I was eighteen I moved to Manchester to study, where I ended up living for over ten years. Originally I qualified as an archaeologist, but I soon realised that jobs in that sector were minimal and decided to put my enthusiasm to use by becoming a teacher. I taught for over seven years, but now I mostly spend my days engaging my wildly over active imagination by writing. I’ve lived in Manchester, Muscat (Oman) and briefly in France, but currently I’m in the process of moving back to London, a very exciting prospect for me. Where ever I find myself I live with my ever suffering, but hugely supportive husband, and our rescued street dog Ralph.

Spooky reads for Halloween – Lead Me into Darkness

Who likes spooky books? Paranormal? Add in a dash of sexy? THIS is what I’ll be reading this Halloween.

Lead Me Into Darkness - Ebook SmallThis anthology combines the talents of some truly outstanding indie authors. It’s FREE and it’s out…now!


Lead Me Into Darkness: Five Halloween Tales of Paranormal Romance

All-Hallows-Eve brings out the wicked in even the most reserved among us… and the lure of romance is the keenest incentive to follow a beloved into the unknown. Lead Me Into Darkness is a compilation of original tales of queer paranormal romance by five of the hottest authors of contemporary romance.

Take You Farther by Santino Hassell

Brian Watts’ boyfriend is a newly turned vampire, and he’s shouldering the blame. Watts would do anything–including offering up a vein, stripping for cash, and demanding answers from other creatures of the night–to redeem himself and save the man he loves.

Memory Hill by J.C. Lillis

Billy Hartigan’s been dead for ten years, and it’s really pissing him off. Stuck in Memory Hill Cemetery due to “unfinished business,” he fritters away the long days playing monster movies in his head, reliving the glory days of his indie band, and mourning his missed chance at love with his best friend. Then one Halloween he gets a visit from troubled teen geek Todd Racklin, the last living fan of Billy’s old band. Todd needs some beyond-the-grave help from his idol–and his visits might hold the key to Billy’s release from Memory Hill.

Grave Circumstances by J.R. Gray

Secret agendas collide with guns, ghosts and confusing erections, on a tour through a haunted graveyard. Jesse’s been carrying a secret and needs a night alone with George. But George has his own agenda, leading Jesse into darkness, the fright of his life, and a blinding release he won’t soon forget.

Boyfriends in the Boneyard by Kris Ripper

In a perfect world, Truman Jennings would be spending Halloween with both his husband and his boyfriend; alas, in this one he’s on a ghost tour with his husband, and his boyfriend is probably watching scary movies and eating pizza rolls.

The cemetery is appropriately creepy, their tour guide weaves a good yarn, and Hugh’s in a very odd (but utterly delightful) mood. When Hugh leads him away from the group Truman doesn’t know what to think, but considering his husband’s filthy, kinky mind, he’s more than willing to find out. As usual, Hugh has both tricks and treats up his sleeve.

Mayfair by Roan Parrish

Jocelyn has been secretly in love with her best friend Bethany for a year. And it’s hell. But there are other things—dark, creeping, illusory things—that are tormenting Jocelyn even more. They’ve been appearing more and more lately and Jocelyn is starting to doubt her sanity. But a Devil’s Night ritual in a Detroit cemetery may reveal more than she ever imagined…


About the Authors

J.R. Gray
When not staying up all night writing, J.R Gray can be found basking in the warm glow of the Miami sun, or at the gym where it’s half assumed Gray is a permanent resident. A dominant, pilot, and sword fighting enthusiast, Gray finds it hard to be in the passenger seat of any car. Gray frequently interrupts real life, including normal sleep patterns, to jot down nonsense. The bane of Gray’s existence are commas, and even though it’s been fully acknowledged they are necessary, they continue to baffle and bewilder.
If Gray wasn’t writing…well, that’s not possible. The buildup of untold stories would haunt Gray into an early grave or possibly a mental institution where the tales would end up on the walls in crayon and finger paint.
J.R. Gray is genderqueer and prefers he/him pronouns.
tumblr: (NSFW!!)
Santino Hassell
Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, then a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into an unlikely romance author.
Santino writes LGBTQ romance that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.
Sign up for Santino’s newsletter!
J.C. Lillis
J.C. loves koi ponds, abandoned amusement parks, and peanut butter & banana sandwiches. She hates paper cuts, cabbage, and writing bios. She lives in Baltimore and is the author of two YA novels.
Roan Parrish
Roan Parrish grew up in Michigan and lives in Philadelphia, but is always a few minutes away from deciding to move. A former academic, she’s used to writing things that no one reads. She still loves to geek out about books, movies, TV, and music—now, though, she’s excited to be writing the kind of romantic, angsty stories that she loves to escape into.
When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, wandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, and minor chord harmonies.
Sign up for Roan’s newsletter to get periodic announcements about new releases, giveaways, and, you know, general super secret stuff:
Come hang out with Roan and make social media more bearable!
Kris Ripper
Kris Ripper lives in the great state of California and hails from the San Francisco Bay Area. Kris shares a converted garage with a toddler, can do two pull-ups in a row, and can write backwards. (No, really.) Kris is genderqueer and prefers the z-based pronouns because they’re freaking sweet. Ze has been writing fiction since ze learned how to write, and boring zir stuffed animals with stories long before that.
Find Kris at:

Bleeding Heart by A.M. Hartnett

bleeding heartBook: Bleeding Heart

Author: A.M. Hartnett

Review by: Onnica

Release date: 29 October 2015


Basic story: Seth Axworthy is a busy landlord at Winsloe Court, solely responsible for the building since the death of his wife two years ago. He’s alone, not lonely – that’s his story anyway. He keeps his dalliances with women light and without any drama, despite the fact that his last hook up was with a couple living upstairs. (Read Cross My Heart.) That ended, and now he’s facing the facts. He has no social life, no nearby friends and he’s in danger of becoming a miserable old guy. With a cat.

April has just moved in upstairs. New job, new home, this is her first go at independence. She’s determined not to allow her mother to guilt trip her. The moment she meets her new landlord Seth, he starts to feature in some of her raunchier fantasies. He’s much older than her, seems like a loner, but has a body that just won’t quit.

Seth thinks that April may be too young for him – but she doesn’t seem to mind. Maybe it wouldn’t hurt to just see where things go. Although coveting your neighbour is a sin, it’s also very, very hot.

Why you should read this: If you read Cross My Heart – Evie and Ryan’s story and liked Seth, this is your chance to read his story. He’s adorable. He’s suffering through his grief, but has no idea how to address it. He’s got a very sensitive side, yet is sexy as hell. I enjoyed the dynamic between he and April. She was sweet, savvy and knew what she wanted from the get go. The slow-build between the pair was paced just right in my opinion.

What you might not care for: There was no high drama in this story – it was relatively gentle with a little bump in the road. I enjoyed that – I do not like drama for drama’s sake. At all! You may like it, or you may prefer twists and turns.

Rating: 4/5 – for a fun, sensitive and sexy read. I loved Seth’s story and the fact that it ended on a hopeful note.

The Ground Rules Rewritten by Roya Carmen


It’s day one of Roya Carmen’s blog tour and we’re stoked to be part of it! The Ground Rules Rewritten is out tomorrow and we have not only a review, but a sneak peek for your delectation!


Just Plain Dirty – Mirella and Gabe 
He catches me staring and shoots me a playful smile. He knows exactly what I’m thinking. I walk over to the bedroom door and lock it – which is basically code for ‘let’s fuck…very quietly’.
He turns off the TV and slides to the edge of the bed, pulling me to him. “Tell me you didn’t fuck him.”
“I didn’t. I wouldn’t do that to you.”
He slides a hand under my tweed skirt. “But you wanted to. You wanted him.”
I grab his face and stare into his beautiful eyes. Words escape me.
He toys with my panties and presses his fingers against the cotton. I close my eyes. I’m already so aroused, and he’s barely touched me.
He teases. His stare is intense as he studies me intently – as if he’s trying to break through, to read my thoughts. He pulls at my panties, not taking his gaze off my face. I anticipate his next move. I want him so badly.
“Take them off,” I practically beg.
His smile is playful when he obliges. He doesn’t take his eyes off mine as he slides the cotton briefs slowly down my legs and over my feet. He kisses my knee, a soft peck.
His warm hand travels up the inside of my thigh. My breath catches when he reaches my sweet spot. He glides his fingers against my sex and I whimper at the sensation. His touch is so amazing.
His eyes close. A whisper of a growl escapes his mouth. “You’re so fucking wet, you dirty girl.”


Review **Contains spoilers if you’ve not read book 1**

IMG_0047Book: The Ground Rules Re-written

Series: The Ground Rules trilogy, #2

Author: Roya Carmen

Review by: Onnica

Release date: October 20th

Basic story: After the disastrous break up between the Keates and the Hansons, Mirella has been piecing her life back together, slowly. She’s functioning once more and only thinks of Weston every other minute of the day. When he tries to re-establish contact however, she’s angry, confused, but tempted as hell.

He pursues her with the intensity only he is capable of and once Gabe reveals that he wouldn’t mind reviving their arrangement, Mirella soon finds it impossible to resist. One thing is for sure though – it’ll be on her terms this time.

Weston realises he can’t be without Mirella, but doesn’t want to upset the the status quo. Instead, he resolves they’ll stick to their rules and keep their feelings between themselves. He’ll soon learn that feelings can’t always be contained…

Why you should read it: Holy crap, this was a great sequel to The Ground Rules! Every word, every glance was loaded with heat and angst and I loved every second of it. Despite all of Mirella’s better instincts, she’s fallen under Weston’s spell once again. And it’s getting COMPLICATED! I loved the dynamic between her  with her husband Gabe and also with Weston. We get to know even more about all of the characters in this book. What makes them tick, their vulnerabilities too. I cannot rave about this book enough – I started re-reading it after finishing it!

What you might hate: Hell if I know – you may not like the route the story is going down – there are some questionable decisions made and some major ‘bending’ of the rules, but for me it just made the story more complex and more exciting. I usually hate drama, this story has plenty but it’s so well written and believable that I wanted more! I also usually dislike trilogies, but I’m so glad this saga won’t end just yet. I care about all of the characters and I honestly have no idea how it’s going to go down.

Rating: 5/5 – another stunning read by Roya Carmen. I cannot wait for the finish. Hopefully it’ll be this year that I’ll get closure on this story.

The Ground Rules Re-written is out October 20th.

About the author

Romance writer, mom, book junkie. I have been writing for over ten years, finding my passion for romance in 2008. When I’m not spending time with my family, I enjoy reading, painting, and writing – there is nothing I enjoy more than sitting down at my laptop and making up my own stories – and if those stories should include beautiful men, a little romance, and a few steamy scenes, all the better!

Facebook  Twitter  Website

Ardent 2

Spotlight on Annabeth Albert

This mini-interview with one of our contributors is brought to you in support of
Queer Romance Month.

QRM runs throughout October, celebrating love stories in all shades of the rainbow in all shades of romance. Join us, and over a hundred LGBTQ+ authors and allies, for essays, flash-fiction and much, much more.


AAnnabeth Albertnnabeth Albert


  1. Your favourite queer romance?

The Coda series by Marie Sexton is something I re-read a lot, along with Dirty Laundry by Heidi Cullinan, Moving in Rhythm by Dev Bentham, and Cost of Repairs by A.M. Arthur, and many others.


  1. A queer romance you’d recommend to a newcomer:

I started with Promises, by Marie Sexton, and I still feel it’s a great introduction to the genre. Other great ‘first’ choices: Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowens, Off Campus by Amy Jo Cousins, No Such Thing by A.M. Arthur, Hot Head by Damon Suede


  1. Recommend a book you love, but feel is under appreciated

Driving Into the Sun by Dev Bentham – I just re-read this for the third or fourth time. I’m not sure why more folks haven’t discovered Dev’s wonderful lyrical prose.


  1. Tell us about your book(s)

I’m really excited about STATUS UPDATE, my gamer geek romance coming December 7th from Carina Press. Fans who liked my quirky Portland Heat heroes should enjoy this new series starring a group of friends who all work for the same video game developer. I had a lot of fun creating the fake online role-playing game that the heroes work for and in immersing myself in the gamer geek. In STATUS UPDATE, a hipster video game designer is stranded in a tiny RV with an archaeology professor. Sparks fly as the snow falls!


  1. What do you think is the future of queer romance?

I think we’re going to see a lot more diversity. More f/f pairings, more trans characters, more ‘mixed’ series with m/m, f/f, and m/f in the same series, more characters of different backgrounds and from different backgrounds.

Annabeth’s contribution to Queer Romance Month – Dear Auto-Buy Authors – will be published on 16th October.


Thank you for struggling even when it feels like no one sees – thank you for persevering even when sales are low or reviews are mixed.”

-Annabeth Albert


About Annabeth

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all sub-genres 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.

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 toddlers.

WebsiteFacebook • Twitter


Curious about Treble Maker?

On Perfect Harmony, the ambitious competitors heat things up on stage and off…

Cody Rivers is determined to be a rock star, but couch-surfing between bar shows gets old fast. Joining an a cappella group for a new singing competition show could be his last chance at real fame – unless the college boy from the heart of the country messes it up for him. Lucas Norwood is everything gothy, glittery Cody is not – conservative, clean-cut, and virginal. But when a twist in the show forces them together, even the sweetest songs get steamy as the attraction between them lights up the stage. Lucas wants to take it slow, but Cody’s singing a different tune—and this time it may be a love song…


Blog tour & author spotlight – Catalysts by Kris Ripper

I’m really pleased to be hosting Kris Ripper today and as part of the tour I get to share some goodies with you!


The blurb:

Sometimes all it takes is meeting one person to turn your world upside down. Will Derrie likes girls but he isn’t honest with them; he wants kinky sex and lots of it. When Hugh offers to dominate him, no sex required, Will realizes it might not be so easy to separate the two.
Sometimes all it takes is a new angle on an old idea to change everything you thought you wanted. Hugh Reynolds holds the world at arm’s length. He lives alone, works alone, and he thinks he’s as happy as he’ll ever be. But Will gets under his skin and once he’s gone, Hugh realizes he doesn’t want to go it alone forever.
Sometimes all it takes is a random encounter to open your mind (and your heart). Truman Jennings hits on a cute guy at a conference and he’s smitten by the end of their first date. Hugh’s not the kindest or the easiest boyfriend Truman’s ever had, but he brings one thing to their relationship that no one else could: kinky, adventurous, sweetly submissive Will.

Sometimes you can’t find the right man till you find the wrong one. Three men. Three sides to love, and intimacy, and laughter. Three people who didn’t know what they were looking for…until they found it in each other.

I thought (having read the book) that I’d do my usual schtick and tell you why you should read it. Then I had a better idea. Let Kris do it instead. Kris wrote it and conceived these great characters, why not let Kris tell us how it came about?

The Accidental Romance

I once wrote a book called The Scientific Method.

It wasn’t a romance novel. I didn’t intend for it to be a romance novel. I’d written it (and revised it, and redrafted it, and revised that) because I couldn’t get the characters out of my head. The dynamic was something I’d never written quite the same way, or read in other books.

In fact, at the time I published it, I didn’t think there was any real romance in it. Oh, there was a whole lot of tension, yes, but I didn’t see the deep abiding romantic love that draws people to romance in novels and film.

Until I wrote book two, which featured one of the gentlemen from the first book and a new love interest. Book two had romance, sure. What surprised me, however, was that in book two the lingering tension, all that delicious dynamic I’d loved playing with so much in The Scientific Method, seemed to spark something…deeper. Something…other. Something, well, romantic.

And the romance? Wasn’t just between two characters. It was between three.

Catalysts is the book that should have been. It is ultimately the story of three men on different paths, seeking different things out of life, who end up tentatively exploring something none of them expected.

Will Derrie just wants to be normal, to get off on normal things, to not screw up all of his relationships because he can’t figure out how to want what everyone else seems to want. Hugh Reynolds thinks he can help Will without falling for him, without risking himself, because he knows absolutely that love isn’t in the cards for him. And Truman Jennings really only asks a man on a date; he has no idea he’ll end up involved in the most complex, intense relationship of his life. And that it includes all three of them.

I didn’t sit down one day and think to myself, I want to write a kinky polyamorous romance novel. I sat down one day, looked at my books, and realize I already had written that, I’d just done it in such a way that it seemed accidental.

Maybe it was.

But the story deserved a lot better than its main arc, its main love, being something of a side note. Once I realized I’d managed to bury the lede, I knew I had to rework the books into one longer, more intricate, significantly more clear novel. A romance novel, in fact. (I can hear the raucous laughter of the people who tried to convince me, over my strenuous objections, The Scientific Method was romance. Many “I told you so”s are in my future. And they’ll be right – ish.)

This book is a surprise. Bear in mind I’d drafted and redrafted a couple of times before I published it, and now I’ve redrafted it again. You’d think words I’ve been over so very (very) many times couldn’t still surprise me, but these did. I found little pockets of humor I’d never stumbled on to before. I pulled out crystal clear threads of intimacy and played with the dialogue until I could hear the voices better than I ever had.

Catalysts is a love story very much about surprise and intention and surrender. Perhaps especially about surrender. It’s not just about surrendering to your lover (or lovers); sometimes it’s far harder to surrender to the unexpected and trust that it will take you where you need to go.

Fancy winning a copy? Enter our Rafflecopter giveaway!


About Kris Ripper

portrait of the author kris ripper

Kris Ripper lives in the great state of California and hails from the San Francisco Bay Area. Kris shares a converted garage with a toddler, can do two pull-ups in a row, and can write backwards. (No, really.) Kris is genderqueer and prefers the z-based pronouns because they’re freaking sweet. Ze has been writing fiction since ze learned how to write, and boring zir stuffed animals with stories long before that.

Find Kris at:


facebook: or

twitter: @smuttastickris

Spotlight on Queer Romance month

imageEverything You Ever Wanted To Know About Queer Romance & Weren’t Particularly Afraid to Ask

What it is
Queer Romance Month is a month long celebration of romance across the LGBTQ+ spectrum. Every day in October, we publish three to four posts from a variety of readers, writers, bloggers and other brilliant people. Our contributors come from all corners of Romancelandia, united by our belief that love is love, romance is romance, and sexuality is not a sub-genre.
On the website, we’ll be showcasing essays, think pieces, flash fiction, and other good things inspired by this year’s theme: We All Need Stories.
You’ll also find us around the blogosphere all month long, bringing you exclusive interviews, audio clips and video readings from our wonderful contributors.

Why it’s awesome
Because everyone involved in Queer Romance Month is terribly brilliant and sexy.
More seriously, it’s a chance to talk about books you love or discover books you’re going to love in an exciting, diverse and enthusiastic community.
There’ll be actual, legit, brand new content from a wide range of writers who we hope you’ll already think are fabulous or will decide are fabulous after you read them.
We hope you’ll laugh and cry and think and find something that speaks to you.
Also we give away free stuff.
How to get involved
You can visit us daily at

Subscribe by email or add our RSS to your feed-reader of choice. Err, assuming people still do that. You can also follow us on Twitter at @QueerRomance, which will alert you when new posts go up.
You can also snag one of our gorgeous badges to display on your own site or use temporarily as a Facebook or Twitter icon to show your support of Queer Romance Month.
Tweet to us, leave us comments, enter our giveaways – we’re here to share our stories and we love hearing from people.

Blog Tour – Irresistibly Yours by Lauren Layne


I love a book tour. You get to read great books and shout about them from the rooftops! Today, we’re sharing Lauren Layne’s new Oxford Men series – a spinoff from the Stiletto series*, focusing on the gorgeous men who work for Oxford magazine, Stiletto’s male counterpart. Irresistibly Yours is out on October 6 and features the delectable Cole Sharpe and a newcomer, Penelope Pope. Here’s what we thought…

(* I reviewed all four books last year – they’re in the archive)

laurenlayneBook: Irresistibly Yours

Series: Oxford Men #1

Author: Lauren Layne

Review by: Onnica

Basic story: Cole Sharpe is a high-flying sports editor who, after years freelancing, is finally ready to become a staff member at Oxford magazine. He has his reasons for needing the job and has been assured he’s a shoe-in. It soon becomes clear however, that he isn’t the only contender, and his competition is the perky, diminutive and tomboyish woman he was eyeing up at a recent ball game. Cole finds her fascinating. And she’s not his usual type. At all.

Penelope Pope (isn’t alliteration great?) eats, sleeps and breathes sports. She moved to New York from Chicago for a fresh start and is desperate to land the job at Oxford. She’s not bothered about being one of the few females on staff, she’s used to a predominantly male environment. She’s always been one of the guys and is comfortable remaining in the friend zone. When she gets to know Cole, she sees no reason why this would be different. The Cole Sharpes of the world do not go for awkward, skinny women, not when there are glamazons at every turn. He’s easy on the eye and could just be her first friend in the Big Apple. So what if his sexy smiles warm her on the inside and his presence gives her goose bumps. He’s way out of her league.

Soon the pair are spending almost every moment together and the idea of friends with benefits may not be so far-fetched after all…

Why you should read it: I love Lauren Layne! If you have read the Stiletto series (which focuses on the women who work at Stiletto magazine, Oxford magazine’s sister publication) then you will definitely want to read this. Cole was a peripheral character in the series, so it’s great to see his character in greater depth. I liked Penelope, low self-esteem notwithstanding. She was fun, guileless and strong and she wasn’t the run of the mill heroine.

What you might hate: As I mentioned, Penelope lacks a bit of confidence and this could have grated a bit, but she didn’t feel sorry for herself, nor did she let herself be treated badly. Overall, there isn’t a lot to dislike. The budding relationship is hot as all get out and seeing these two fall in love will warm your heart (and possibly other places).

Rating: 4/5 for another fun and welcome return to these characters.

Irresistibly Yours is out 6 October.

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Crosstown Crush by Cara McKenna

crosstowncrushBook: Crosstown Crush

Series: Sins in the City #1

Author: Cara McKenna

Review by: Onnica

Basic story: Samira and her husband Mike have been married for five years and love each other deeply. They’ve had their fair share of challenges, chief among them being Mike’s special kink. He’s an alpha in most aspects of his life, but in the bedroom nothing turns his crank more than the idea of Sam cheating on him and telling him all about it.

It took Sam a while to get her head around Mike’s particular tastes, but seeing how much it affects him can’t help but bring her pleasure too. Sam feels it may be time to move things to the next level and involve a stranger in their games. If Mike’s fantasies of feeling inferior and cuckolded are to be followed through, she’ll need to find a man who can play it cocky and play it mean. With so much at stake, Sam needs to find the perfect male who’ll play but won’t jeopardise what she has with Mike. Can things stay simple and clear cut when dealing with such intimacy?

Why you should read it: I was excited to read this, because hello, it’s Cara McKenna! A very talented writer who is always original. I love the premise of the story – a married couple who weren’t that young, not looking to spice things up, but actually deal with their heart’s desires. It sounded  really interesting. I liked Samira – she’s a good wife who comes to the realisation that she deserves to get something out the arrangement too. The way the relationship between Sam, Mike and Bern built was believable and well executed.

What you might hate: Ok. The story is about kink and role playing, so expect a lot of sex. I mean a crap ton of sex. It’s EVERYWHERE! Usually, I’m cool with that, but I’ll admit that it did get a little repetitive at times. It wasn’t that it was badly written or that the author was relying on sex to fill in missing plotlines (as is sometimes the case with other books) – it was just a little too much. Sometimes, less is more I guess.

Rating:  3/5 for an interesting, sexy and intriguing story. I admit that I googled the whole cuckolding fantasy and blimey! I wasn’t in Kansas anymore!

Crosstown Crush is out now.