Category: Top Picks

Teaser reveal – J.T. Geissinger’s Midnight Valentine

 J.T. Geissinger’s next novel, MIDNIGHT VALENTINE, releases February 6th and we cannot wait! Check out a few teasers below and pre-order your copy now!


Publishing February 6th, 2018

True love never dies.

Megan and Cassidy were childhood sweethearts who thought they would be together forever. Fate had other plans. Soon after they were married, Cass’s life was tragically cut short. Still grieving her soul mate five years later, Megan moves to the small town of Seaside, Oregon, hoping to rebuild her life.

Her first night there, she meets the town recluse, Theo. Withdrawn, guarded, and mysteriously silent since a terrible accident left him scarred, Theo takes an instant and inexplicable dislike to Megan. But as their paths cross again and again, Megan becomes convinced there’s more to Theo than meets the eye.

When she discovers the reason for his silence, his nightmares, and especially his pointed dislike, Megan becomes convinced of something far more astonishing.

Is a second chance at a once-in-a-lifetime love possible, or is a broken heart the cruelest kind of liar?

Add MIDNIGHT VALENTINE to your Goodreads list here!


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About J.T. Geissinger

A former headhunter, J.T. Geissinger is the author of more than a dozen novels in contemporary romance, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense.

She is the recipient of the Prism Award for Best First Book, the Golden Quill Award for Best Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, and is a two-time finalist for the RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America®. Her work has also finaled in the Booksellers’ Best, National Readers’ Choice, and Daphne du Maurier Awards.

Join her Facebook reader’s group, Geissinger’s Gang, to take part in weekly Wine Wednesday live chats and giveaways, find out more information about works in progress, have access to exclusive excerpts and contests, and get advance reader copies of her upcoming releases.

Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Geissinger’s Gang | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram

Excerpt reveal – Roya Carmen’s The Ground Rules: Undone

Hey everyone! Release day is drawing closer – but for those of you who can’t wait to see what The Ground Rules Undone is all about – check out the blurb and an excerpt below!

The Ground teaserRules were impossible to follow. It was hard not to become completely consumed by the beautiful and enigmatic Weston Hanson. The heart of a romantic was not fit for this kind of exchange. So, when it ended, I was shattered, but it was all for the better…or so we thought.

The Ground Rules were rewritten, and then bent. We lied to ourselves. We told ourselves we could handle this. Not a single one of us realized just how big this was…just how devastating it could become.

And now, there are no Rules.

Lust… infatuation…blinds you. It can tear everything apart. But sometimes, life needs to be completely torn apart before it can be mended – not just cracked at the edges, but utterly shattered, before you can truly see the mess you’ve become.

I love them both, but I can’t have them both. While one pulls me in, the other pushes me away. And when both eventually open their hearts, I must make the hardest decision of my life.

And now there are no Rules. We are Undone.



Gabe takes my hand in his. “We’ve had a great week, haven’t we,” he says. “I’m so glad we did this.”
I swallow the lump in my throat. “Me too,” I say, looking up at him. I sit up and press myself close against the length of his body, smothering him. I want to get as close as I can. I press my lips against his.
The sound of his laughter vibrates against my mouth. “You’re a frisky little bunny this week,” he breathes. “I like it when you can’t get enough of me.”

My hands are already working the tie of his checkered lounging pants. “I want to make love tonight,” I whisper against his ear. And as I explore further, I see he’s already willing and able.
He toys with the thin strap of my silk nightie. “What the Mrs. Keates wants…she gets.”
He trails his finger along the embroidered flowers lining the neckline of my slip. “This is nice,” he whispers. “It’s almost a shame to take it off.”

I smile. “But I want you to.”

He drags his hand to the hem and slides it up against my thigh. “Me too. I absolutely want you naked,” he says with a cheeky smirk.
He pulls the nightie over my head. The sensation of the smooth silk is heavenly against my skin. He pulls me to him and takes my breast in his mouth. He’s gentle tonight. I feel my body warm at the feel of his wet tongue on me. I close my eyes and bury my face in his soft hair.
Familiarity is a wicked bitch –  it makes you forget what you really love. I’d forgotten how much I desire him. I’ve taken him for granted.

I had forgotten the feel of him, the soft curls wrapping around my fingers when I rake my hands through his hair, the soft hair on his forearms, the smoothness of his skin, the feel of his hips pressing against the inside of my thighs, the sheer size of him as his length fills me deep.
He pulls me under him in one swift move and stares straight into my eyes.

But he can’t see what’s really there – all the secrets I’ve hidden from him. I pull him close, not wanting to look into his eyes. His mouth tugs at my ear softly, his hands slide up my legs… he’s being playful. I take in every detail of him with my hands… of this last time.
He tugs my panties down and plants a kiss just above my hip bone, where his name is etched on my skin.
When he makes his way back up to me, I reach again for his pants and free him.
Tucked in under the cozy quilt, his naked body finally presses against mine.

He kisses me as he sinks into me gently. The old rustic wrought-iron bed clanks against the wall and squeaks, despite the fact that he’s being very gentle. We smile at the sound, his grin pressed against mine.
I relish the feel of him against me, and I try not to think too much. This might be our last time. After all these years, my soul mate and I might be torn apart. I can’t imagine not seeing him every day, not waking up next to him, not being able to joke around with him like we do so often, and not being able to play…
I push his body away from mine gently, my hand pressed on his stomach. “I want to see you.” I want to see his beautiful body pressing against me. The contrast of his ink-covered dark olive skin against my ivory snow white flesh is so erotic.
I take a mental photograph of him, of every detail. Because I know this is the last time I’ll get a chance to appreciate this view.
He presses down against me again and stills. “I’m sorry…we need to stop,” he breathes against my ear. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me tonight…you drive me crazy.”
“Please… don’t,” I breathe. I don’t need to climax. I don’t care about that tonight.

All I want is to make love to him one last time.

The Ground Rules Undone is out February 23rd. Buy links are below:

Amazon US    Amazon UK    Amazon CA

Other books in the series:

The Ground Rules #1 Amazon US     Amazon UK     Amazon CA
The Ground Rules : Rewritten #2 Amazon US     Amazon UK     Amazon CA

royaAbout Roya Carmen

Mom, writer, book junkie, doodle addict and hopeless romantic. 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!

I write contemporary and erotic romance under the pen name Roya Carmen.

Author Links: Twitter  Web  Facebook  Amazon page Goodreads

New Year, new books!

Happy new year! I hope you had a great break. I spent the holidays relaxing and managed to read some great books (and if I’m honest) not so great books! So, I thought I’d share some of the releases that I’m most looking forward to in the next two months…



wicked Wicked Lust – Sawyer Bennett (out 5 Jan)

Cain Bonham is as big and bad as they come. After serving in the Marines, he’s returned home to Wyoming and now works as head of security at the exclusive sex club, The Wicked Horse. His job is to protect not only the patrons, but to zealously guard the secret existence of the club itself.

Sloane Preston is all about discovering secrets. As an undercover reporter, she’s determined to reveal the truth behind the facade of The Wicked Horse and expose it
for all the world to see. She just didn’t count on her pathway into the club coming at the hands of one gorgeously scarred and bad ass bouncer who manages to easily possess her body
and soul.

While Cain’s not looking for anyone to catch his eye, Sloane did it all the same, and he’s not bemoaning the fact that she’s as wickedly kinky as he is. As both get caught up in the sinful fantasies that only The Wicked Horse can create, secrets and loyalties will be tested and hearts will risk being broken.


first timeFor the First Time – anthology featuring Alessandra Torre (out 12 Jan)

You never forget your first time…

A brand new anthology of original, never-before-read stories from today’s hottest authors, including:

Alessandra Torre, Kim Karr, Jen Frederick, Alexa Riley, Lynda Chance, Sarah Castille, Nina Lane, CJ Roberts, Anna Zaires, Nikki Sloane, Cynthia Sax, Avery Aster, Pam Godwin, Skye Warren, Julia Sykes, Cynthia Rayne, Jenika Snow, Debra Presley, Shoshanna Evers, Tamsen Parker, and Nina Levine!

From young heartbreak to a virginity auction, from the chance meeting to the happily ever after, twenty-one exclusive stories explore first love in all its forms. This set includes almost 200,000 words of steamy encounters and sweet


Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00072]The Baller – Vi Keeland (18 Jan)

The first time I met Brody Easton was in the men’s locker room.
It was my first interview as a professional sportscaster.
The famed quarterback decided to bare all.

And by all, I don’t mean he told me any of his secrets.
No. The arrogant ass decided to drop his towel, just as I asked the first question. On camera.
The Super Bowl MVP quickly adopted a new hobby—screwing with me.
When I pushed back, he shifted from wanting to screw with me, to wanting to screw me.
But I don’t date players.
And it’s not because I’m one of the few women working in the world of professional football.
I’d date an athlete.
It’s the other kind of player I don’t date.
You know the type. Good looking, strong, cocky, always looking to get laid.

Brody Easton was the ultimate player.
Every woman wanted to be the one to change him.
But the truth was, all he needed was a girl worth changing for.
Turned out, I was that girl.
Simple right?
Let’s face it. It never is.
There’s a story between once upon a time and happily ever after
And this one is ours.


unconventionalUnconventional – Avery Aster (26 Jan)

They are the best of friends and the greatest of lovers. Two men and one woman, searching for fortune and fame, bound together by an eroticism their money and power can’t buy them. Luigi, the romantic alpha hunk. Rocco, the exotic
bisexual. Jemma, the insatiable beauty who possesses them both.

From their first rendezvous in Milan, the three set out on a wicked course, jet-setting from the kinky underground sex clubs of Berlin, to the lavish palaces of Moscow, to New York’s high society in pursuit of pleasure. They have only each other to care for. That is…until a baby comes along and changes their destiny. But which of them is the father? And will they continue their poly relationship or give in to convention?



A lnaked couple embracing each other in the darkness

I Wish you were Mine – Lauren Layne (2 Feb)

A year ago, Jackson Burke was married to the love of his life and playing quarterback for the Texas Redhawks. Now he’s retired, courtesy of the car accident that ruined his career—and single, after a nasty scandal torpedoed his marriage. Just as he’s starting to get used to his new life as a health and fitness columnist for Oxford magazine, his unpredictable ex shows up on his doorstep in Manhattan. Jackson should be thrilled. But he can’t stop thinking about the one person who’s always been there for him, the one girl he could never have: her younger sister.

Mollie Carrington can’t say no to Madison. After all, her older sister practically raised her. So when Madison begs for help in winning her ex-husband back, Mollie’s just glad she got over her own crush on Jackson ages ago—or so she thought. Because as Mollie reconnects with Jackson, she quickly forgets all her reasons to stay loyal to her sister. Tempted by Jackson’s mellow drawl and cowboy good looks, Mollie is sick and tired of coming in second place. But she can’t win if she doesn’t play the game.


SubmissiveSubmissive Seductions – Christine d’Abo (16 Feb)

Sometimes getting what you want…makes you crave something more

Purchasing a Dom from a charity auction was the wildest thing Liz had ever done. The chance to bring her secret fantasy to life, to be a submissive—even just for one night—was worth any price. And Gareth was everything she wanted in a Master. He touched, he taught, he tantalized. He opened her world to pleasures she’d never imagined. But was it enough?
After one night turned into a blurred-line relationship, Liz’s feelings for Gareth went beyond desire. Yet the kink, no matter how hot, had her wondering if she could ever have a normal relationship. Her Dom was a man with a tragic past and he’d put rules in place from the start.  If Liz chose to break them would she lose the intense passion she’d just discovered—as well as the man she loved?…


rule breakers

The Ground Rules #3 – Roya Carmen (23 Feb)

The blurb isn’t out yet – I’ll just have to be patient! If you’ve not read the series yet, you’re in for a real treat.

Here’s to a great year of reading!

Our Top Picks of 2014!

Yes – it’s that time of the year! Time to pause and reflect over the past year and make a bunch of resolutions that won’t make it to the end of Jan! I’m feeling festive and reflective and so this post is dedicated to the best books Judith and I picked up this year.

On the down side, only six books really stood out for us this year, which is a shame – however I know am partly to blame for some dodgy choices!

In at number 6:

Scientific methodKris Ripper’s A Scientific Method series

Judith read the WHOLE series in the space of a week and could not get enough. Every conversation started with “Have you read it yet? Did you read it yet? Why not?!” It’s a crazy good series featuring MM, MMF, MFM and the combinations go on and on. So why was Judith so enamoured with it? I quote: Will’s story is ultimately a journey of self-discovery that doesn’t start out as pure smut. We see Will transform from a weak, unsatisfied boy into a man who knows what he wants and goes after it. The sex is also ho-ho-HOT!

In at number 5:

Nana Malone’s London BoundLondon Bound

I’ll read a good book by anyone, but occasionally it is refreshing to get a perspective from a heroine or hero of colour. High quality stories dealing with interracial relationships are kind of thin on the ground, so I enjoyed this story of US girl and Brit playboy immensely. The slang and the dialogue was spot-on. I’m the first to cringe when authors shoehorn UK slang in a way we just wouldn’t use – although, it can also be hilarious too! This book had heart and was very sexy. I am patiently waiting for book two in the Chase brothers series. I hope I’ll get to read it in 2015…

In at number 4:

S.L. Jennings’ Light Shadows

I recently reviewed this book and yes I’m still of the opinion that it was a great conclusion to a thrilling series. It had everything – smut, intrigue and adventure. Three of my favourite things! There were twists, turns and some shocks along the way. Dorian Skotos continued to smoulder and he proved that there’s nothing he wouldn’t do for love. I can’t wait to re-read the entire series as it’s such a ride!

In at number 3:

BeneathBeneath the Stain by Amy Lane

Hands down one of Judith’s faves of the year! Don’t let the impressive page count daunt you (it’s 482 pages), this book will be over in the blink of an eye as it is MM at its finest. Mackey and his brothers have hit the top of the recording game even while Mackey himself is spiraling out of control. Under the heavy weight of pressure to constantly produce inspired rock music and the crippling depression of losing his first love, Mackey has let himself get addicted to drugs. When his record label sends Trav Ford to help him clean up his act, it’s the thing Mackey needs to get a new lease on life. But just as he finally comes clean and is happy for the first time in years, that old love reappears and Mackey is left wondering whether what he and Trav have found is the real deal. Their passion is intense and the will they/won’t they aspect of their relationship will keep you on the edge of your seat. The sex scenes are smoking hot and so explosive you might just need to fan yourself…or at least read out of the vicinity of others!

In at number 2:

Alessandra Torre’s Black Liesblack_lies_official_cover
I’m still reeling from this book and it’s been months since I read it! I had a few preconceptions about the plot at the beginning of the story (it sounded as though it would be a little like Tarryn Fisher’s Opportunist) but I was completely wrong. Then something happened in the plot to turn everything on its head. I sped through it as I just had to know what was going on and why she was doing what she was doing. It was clever, well-structured and sexy as all get out. I will read anything by this woman any day of the week.

And the winner is…[fanfare please]

Samantha Young’s Before Jamaica LaneBJL
One of the first books I read this year and it set the bar HIGH for the rest of the year. Nate the hero, instructs Olivia his friend, in the ways of seduction. What the pair don’t bargain for is the heat they will generate together and the fact that their friends-with-benefits deal has a shelf life. I loved Olivia – she had body issues but she wasn’t a whiner. Nate is drop-dead gorgeous and a bit of a man whore. He’s also witty, funny and a damn loyal friend. How could a girl resist? The answer is – she can’t. I love Samantha Young – I’ve read every book in the Dublin Street series and this one was one of my favourites. Pick up a copy, if you haven’t already done so.

So – what do you think? Did we get it right? Are you furrowing your brows thinking “idiots!” – well, we want to know. What was your top read of 2014?

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday and a great New Year. Happy reading!

Onnica & Judith.

Cover Reveal: Night Fever by Jessica Hawkins

It’s turning into a busy old week on the blog! Check out this new cover of one of my favourite authors and friends, Jessica Hawkins.

Coming Soon

Night Fever
by Jessica Hawkins
Night Fever Serial #1
Publication Date: October 14, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica, Novella, Romance, Serial


Lola Winters’ heart already belongs to Johnny, but for him, she’d sell the devil her soul. Unfortunately, the devil wants something else.

Beau Olivier is the kind of wealthy that buys anything—even people. When he makes Lola a proposition, she finds herself tempted into a seduction that will have her walking the line between comfort and humiliation, desire and resistance. He would own her—for one night. She would be his—for a price. It was wrong. It was scandalous. It was the opportunity of a lifetime.

Sex, music, neon on the Sunset Strip—right in the middle of it all, he would have her. Come sunrise, he would let her go. At least, that was the plan.

Add to Goodreads

About Jessica Hawkins

Jessica Hawkins grew up between the purple mountains and under the endless sun of Palm Springs, California. She studied international business at Arizona State University and has also lived in Costa Rica and New York City. Some of her favorite things include traveling, her dog Kimo, Scrabble, driving aimlessly and creating Top Five lists. She is the helpless victim of an overactive imagination that finds inspiration in music and tranquility in writing. Currently she resides wherever her head lands, which lately is the unexpected (but warm) keyboard of her trusty MacBook.

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Holiday reading – where’s a girl to start?

I don’t know about you, but at the moment my to-be-read list is out of control! It doesn’t help that I follow a LOT of other bloggers too, so am seduced by the words ‘SALE’ or ‘RELEASE DAY!’ on a regular basis. I’m busy reading the stuff I buy and my job is seriously getting in the way of my blogging responsibilities. So I thought I’d be time-efficient: here’s what I actually managed to read during the holiday break and hopefully you’ll see something you like!

Carmen's NY climaxFirst up is a fun quick read by Nikki Sex. Carmen’s New York Climax is currently free (so I thought, nothing ventured…) and I have to say that it’s a hoot! A case of mistaken identity; a disillusioned Dom facing legal troubles with an ex; a chamber maid on the run from her past and chaos ensues. Beware, this story is HEAVY on the dirty loving and I will confess that after a while I did grow a little tired of the monkey sex, but I still want to find out what happens next. A steaming, fun read – 3/5

MonsterSecond is Monster by Julia Sykes – also free at the moment (aren’t I good to you?) It’s book one in a trilogy like the previous read but completely different. It’s exciting, with a tough and dignified heroine trying to come to terms with being kidnapped in order to save the life of a stranger. It’s really well-written and I was glued to the action. What will Claudia do next? And can she ever forget about Sean? An engaging, heart-stopping 4/5.

Ruin meLastly, but by no means least, is Ruin Me by Cara McKenna. If I ever meet Cara, I’m in serious danger of embarrassing myself. She’s one of my favourite authors and she writes a damn good tale! Ruin Me is sexy as hell and should come with a warning. The heroine, Robin, is set to marry Jay but can’t get her friend Patrick out of her mind. She’s a hypocrite but so sympathetic that you’ll love her. Who will she choose? Patrick, the brooding outsider who saved her life, or Jay, the sexy, loyal and besotted boyfriend? I give this 5/5!

I  hope you’re having fun reading or doing whatever for the long weekend – I need to go hit the books! It’s a tough job…XOXO.

Happy Release Day: Forbidden Fruit vol 1

fobidden vol1 finalFINALred copy

We wanted to share this outstanding bargain with our followers. Out today is a ten-story anthology, retailing for just $1.29 (£0.77)!

From some of today’s bestselling authors comes this anthology of ten forbidden love novellas. The anthology comprises:

One Hot Summer by Lisa M Harley, Weakness by Missy Johnson, Try Me by Stacey Lynn, Educate Me by Lexi Buchanan, Inadmissible Attraction by Rebecca Brooke, Secret Obsession by Olivia Linden, Strictly Off Limits by Jessica Hawkins, Lock & Key by RS Grey, The Naughty Au Pair by Janice Baker and In Too Deep by Morgan Jane Mitchell.

Warning: Over 18+ only due to explicit sexual content. Look for Volume 2, due out April 2014. If you have one-clicked yet, what are you waiting for??

Happy reading,

Onnica x

Our Top Five Reads of 2013

Happy New Year everyone! Just looking back at all of the books we read in 2013 and I can’t believe how much we got through. The good, the bad and the downright ridiculous – it was all there. As it’s new year, we couldn’t let 2013 pass without a nod to some of the best books to cross our paths.

LickAt No.5, is Lick by Kylie Scott – how I loved this fun, sexy romp – Evelyn and David’s chemistry was HAWT! I loved the absence of angst in this book. No high drama, no broken people. Excellent. Read the full review here.

tear you apartAt no.4, is Tear You Apart by Megan Hart. One of my favourite authors, Ms Hart always puts your heart through the ringer. This book is no exception. A bitter-sweet story about two people too frightened to reach for their own happiness, it blew me away. The writing and the pathos make for a very powerful story. The review can be read here.

Dark LightAt no.3, is a paranormal – something we don’t feature a lot of on Romantic Fiction: Dark Light by S.L Jennings really appealed to me as the story was so original and is also a debut novel. Not bad for a first try eh? The battle between good and evil is not clear cut and the very dark, very sexy Dorian Skotos will have you unsure of whom to root for. We reviewed and loved this book in February and the review is here.

Run-to-YouAt no.2, is a racy little book called Run to You by Charlotte Stein. This is how all would-be erotica reads should be – full of smutty goodness, while retaining a strong story running through it. Janos Kovacs is probably my favourite hero of 2013.

Finally, at no. 1 – after much deliberation and soul-searching, myafterhours favourite read of 2013 is After Hours by Cara McKenna. An author that I’ve come to admire greatly this year, Cara has written a book with a lot of heart, intelligence and one smokin’ hot alpha who goes by the name of Kelly Robacs. The book has humour, depth – it’s set in an asylum for goodness sakes! I loved and enjoyed every.single.word. Our review is here.

Our Top Three Picks for Holiday Reading!

Yes, that season is upon us yet again and I can hardly believe it. It’s cold outside, fairy lights are just about everywhere and love is all around. Whether you love or hate the Holidays, we thought we’d check out some of the best seasonal reads on offer.

First up is Naughty and Nice – 3 Holiday Treats:

The holy trinity of awesome authors – Ruthie Knox, Molly O’Keefe and Stefanie Sloane all naughtyandniceappearing in the same collection? These three stories could not be more different – they’re all equally heartwarming, panty-melting and full of seasonal cheer. My favourite would have to be Ruthie Knox’s Room at The Inn – the tale of Carson and Julie, college sweethearts who, despite breaking up years before, can’t seem to move on from each other. Then there’s Molly O’Keefe’s All I Want For Christmas is You, a tale of a very young couple going for what they want despite the odds and plunging into marriage. Or if you fancy love in 19th Century England, try One Perfect Christmas, a story about two childhood friends who can’t seem to get their acts together and tell each other how they feel.

Second is a collection of holiday reads with a difference. Loveheating up the holidays romance, minus the schmaltz and toothache? Me too! Heating Up the Holidays is a collection of three very different tales set around Thanksgiving and Christmastime. Lisa Renee Jones, Serena Bell and Mary Ann Rivers are all exceptional writers. Where else would you find an alpha CEO, a night-blind biologist and a couple reconnecting after a quick meeting on New Year’s Eve together in one place?

Lastly, but by no means least, is my favourite as it’s a sequel to New Life by Bonnie Dee – New Yeara book that I reviewed way back in January. New Year picks up a few months down the line for Jason and Anna. Their relationship is going from strength to strength and things could not be going better. It’s the holidays and the pair decide to spend the run up to Christmas with Anna’s family. Tensions are high, as Anna’s family are a clan of over-achievers who clearly value ambition and direction in life. Anna worries that Jason will struggle in the stuffy environment and is not looking forward to the scruting he’ll be subjected to. Jason is happy to go with the flow – as long as he and Anna are together he can put up with the jabs and fake smiles for a few days. Thinking he should make a grand gesture, Jason wonders whether Christmas would be the best time to propose to Anna. Only one way to find out…

Why you should read this: I love Anna and Jason as a couple – they’ve overcome so much over the course of their relationship. Jason had a very bad car accident that left him with memory issues and he’s unable to deal with certain situations well, but together they find ways to deal with it. This was a lovely novella, bringing another slice of the pair and gives the reader a chance to see whether they’ll survive as a couple.

Rating: Easy decision – 4/5 for a short, snappy and very sexy revisiting of a great couple. If you haven’t read New Life, then you must – just to see where and how it all began.

New Year is out now.

A Vintage Affair by Josh Lanyon

Book: A Vintage Affair

Author: Josh Lanyon

Format: Kindle

Review by: Onnica

Basic story: Austin Gillespie, renowned wine expert is sent to old-world Georgia in a bid to locate four priceless bottles of wine. If he can find them and verify that they are indeed the real thing, his future will be assured. He’s desperate to step out of the shadow of his family’s success and prove once and for all that his career means something too. Once he arrives at Ballineen, a crumbling antebellum mansion, nothing can prepare him for the eccentric family living within. Carson Cashel, only daughter and last of the Southern belles, Cormac Cashel her brother, sullen and intense and then there’s Aunt Eudie – eccentric and sweet. These characters are a lot to deal with but it is Jefferson Brady who holds his attention.

Convinced that Jeff is involved with Carson, Austin brushes off his initial attraction and sets off to work. But that’s when things go from bad to worse. How’s Austin meant to get any work done when there’s a dead body in the cellar with him? Chaos and intrigue ensue and as he spends more time with the enigmatic Jeff – who intends to remain firmly at the back of the closet – Austin must decide whether his feelings for Jeff are worth the heartache.

Why you should read this: Oh man – I had this book on my Kindle for ages and have only just got around to reading it. I have no idea why I didn’t pick it up sooner. It’s so well written – it’s a novella but the pace is perfect. There’s plenty of action, there’s a mystery to be solved and there’s the romance between Austin and Jeff. It’s not fuelled by angst, which is so refreshing and it’s a simple love story. I fell for Austin’s vulnerability and his sensitivity. There’s plenty of humour too, bordering on farce when Austin has to deflect Cormac’s clumsy advances – it’s so much fun.

What you might hate: Can’t honestly think why you’d hate this – it’s a m/m romance, which may not be for everyone but it’s sexy as all get out. It’s basically a story about making peace with who you are and taking a chance on love, despite the possibility of heartache. It’s also set in the world of fine wine – which I love more than life, so for me I was in literary heaven.

Rating: Easy – 5/5 for keeping the action low-key without making it dull. The writing is exceptional, heartfelt and real. It was sexy without going for pure titillation. I loved it and I want to read more Josh Lanyon!