Free Book Rec: New In Town by Annabeth Albert!

With these Wednesday budget fiction features I’ve had two goals: to highlight some great free fiction and to read outside of my comfort zone. So far, so good on both counts!

I don’t usually read military Romances, or stories that feature kids, but couldn’t pass up the chance to read New In Town by Annabeth Albert. I’ve read some of her work so I knew the writing would be excellent, and I wasn’t disappointed. As an added bonus, we get some kids at Halloween!

“I love princesses,” Ethan volunteered. “They’re not just for girls.”

 

I loved New In Town, the writing was tight, the characters very real, and the story pulled me in so that I almost felt like I was getting a warm welcome to a new home and town along with Alex & Marco & the kids. The blurb warns that the side characters are from her Out of Uniform series, so they weren’t as fleshed out as the main couple. I didn’t mind not knowing their backstory but I’m sure it would make this sweet story even more enjoyable if you have.

 

“Mattress on the floor. No sheets. I’m flashing back to college right now.” Alex laughed, but Marco growled.

 

New In Town isn’t Albert’s only Prolific Works Exclusive story, but it was the farthest from my comfort zone so I chose it. I’m glad I did. If you’ve read it & liked it too, let me know in the comments (please remember this is a rec blog, not a review blog 😊).

Annabeth Albert has more books on Prolific Works, including series tie-ins and holiday shorts & you can find them all here.

 

If you’re a fan of MM Romances that are part of a larger story world, you might also like my books. Subscribe to my newsletter and get a free ebook so you can decide for yourself! Click here to subscribe.

For more of my budget book recs click here.

New In Town

A sexy stand-alone short featuring married couple Alex and Marco, who are facing a cross-country move and all the challenges that poses for their little family. But with a little help from some fan-favorite Out of Uniform heroes, the couple will learn that good things can sprout from fresh starts. (New in Town is a steamy addition to the Out of Uniform universe, but stands-alone with a new couple for fans to meet and cameos from some existing favorites too! 10k words!)

 

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Free Book Rec: Synchronicity by Keira Andrews

Cover ArtI haven’t read many sports Romances and after reading Keira Andrews’s Synchronicity, set at the Olympic games in Canada, I’m not sure why that is! Romances with more going on than the romance itself are my favorites and Synchronicity has an exciting plot to go along with the love story. For only 46 pages both plots—the Olympic competition and the M/M Romance—are nicely fleshed out and don’t feel rushed at all. By the end, I felt like I knew both men and could guess what would happen later in their lives and relationship.

The story begins with both main characters performing a dive and that pace propels the reader along from one chapter to the next. More than once I consciously tried to slow down and savor the story, but found myself getting caught up and reading fast again anyway.

“When it was time, Aiden gave the command to walk and they turned to hang their heels  over the edge of the platform.”

This story is structured perfectly for maintaining the tension in both the personal and the public portions of the plot. Each chapter begins with one dive the pair make in the competition and also includes a scene off the Olympic stage, on their way to becoming a couple. Some of the personal scenes are funny and some are sweet and they all give insight into who each of the men are, and what they truly want.

“God how he wanted to wrap his arms around him and feel his powerful body from head to toe, press their lips together and…”

If you like the Olympics, stories with a lot of sexual tension but low angst, hot swimmers, and stories set in Canada, you might enjoy this sweet (and hot) short.

Keira Andrews also has historical and paranormal free reads in her catalog and I’m sure I’ll be checking those out too! You can find her Amazon Author Page here.

 

If you’re a fan of MM Romances with more going on than the love story, you might also like my books. Subscribe to my newsletter and get a free ebook so you can decide for yourself! Click here to subscribe.

For more of my budget book recs click here.

 

Cover ArtSynchronicity by Keira Andrews

Perfect unison in the pool. Scorching desire in the locker room.

It’s the opportunity of a lifetime for young Tyler Bourne to compete in Olympic synchronized diving with veteran Aiden Oxford. The last thing Tyler expects is to fall head over heels for his gorgeous partner, and he struggles to keep his attraction under control.

Polite but undeniably distant, Aiden keeps him at arm’s length, and Tyler feels like a disappointment to Aiden, who’d been favored to win gold with his disgraced former partner. Tyler knows his feelings are hopelessly one-sided and that the podium is likely out of reach. Yet as the Games begin, he learns nothing is certain until the final dive…

This gay sports romance from Keira Andrews features Jane Austen levels of pining, an age difference, hot guys in Speedos, shower sex, and of course a happy ending.

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Free Book Rec: Like & Subscribe by Jay Bell

Book Cover

Like & Subscribe by Jay Bell has been around since 2013 and if you haven’t already read it (or even if you have :)) it’s worth your time to check it out. Maybe you weren’t reading MM Romance back then, or maybe (like me) you just didn’t hear about it when it was released. Many good books are released every week—every day—so it’s nearly impossible to keep up with them all.

 

“…Evan’s obsession had started the way it did for the other half-million subscribers. He’d discovered one of Tony’s videos on YouTube, lured in by the little thumbnail image of a searing hot guy without his shirt on.”

 

This free story is 54 pages of fun escapist Romance. I don’t know about you, but I’ve watched YouTube videos and wondered what the person behind the persona was really like. In Jay Bell’s book, his main character gets to find out—and doesn’t exactly get what he was expecting!

Of course, it’s more fun when things and people aren’t what they seem. If they were, there wouldn’t be any mystery, and very little conflict, in stories. I like to keep guessing how the characters are going to get their HEA until the very end—I know they’ll get it, but the journey is the fun part, the reason I read any kind of Romance, and M/M Romance in particular. I don’t read a lot of comedies, but this one had me chuckling (and groaning 😊) out loud a few times.

“I was fat, had no sense of style, and probably smelled like Doritos.”

 

If you like awkward main characters, brutally honest gal pals, great pacing and snappy but realistic dialogue, you might enjoy Like & Subscribe by Jay Bell.

 

Check out Jay Bell’s author page here.

If you’re a fan of MM Romances with real characters who don’t always get what they expect, you might also like my books. Subscribe to my newsletter and get a free ebook so you can decide for yourself! Click here to subscribe.

For more of my budget book recs click here.

 

Book CoverRemember that hunky guy on YouTube who caught your eye? The one with the awesome pecs and killer smile? I bet you couldn’t stop watching his videos. Just imagine if you had a chance to meet him and all your fantasies started coming true. There’s only one catch: Between you and your dream guy is his less-than-pleased boyfriend. They say that love conquers all, but can love conquer love?

Like and Subscribe is a new short story by Jay Bell, the author of Something Like Summer.

 

This book is free as of the publication date of this article.

 

Free Book Rec: Best of Both Worlds by N.R. Walker

Best of Both Worlds cover

Most MM Romance books are similar—in focus, in plot, in theme—but this little gem is different. I’m always happy to find a book that breaks the mold, that challenges the way a good story can be told. Best of Both Worlds is that kind of story.

The bulk of Best of Both Worlds is told in a single first-person point of view. We do hear from the love interest late in the book, and he has his own fully-realized character arc, but the story belongs to Sebastian. Boy meets boy in a club, they cross paths in their workday life, become friendly, and go on from there. The difference is the minimal style—each chapter is only 100 words long. The prose isn’t bogged down with descriptions or long passages about how Sebastian is feeling or the details of his everyday life. Only the most important bits make it onto the page. The best possible news is that Walker manages to convey what Sebastian is feeling with a few choice words, so the reader can follow along easily.

“I see him and he looks at me with those blue eyes that have owned me every Friday night for the last four weeks.”

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy reading well-written descriptions and the sense of place they evoke. This book inspires the reader to fill in the blanks, to create the appearances of people and locations in their imagination. And you might not even realize you’re doing it because the story will pull you along from one short chapter to the next.

“I lead the way to my bedroom and he has a lazy smirk—a post-orgasm smirk—and he’s beautiful.”

A lot of Romance readers like it that books are similar, and I get that. When I pick up a book I only want to be surprised in a good way. If you’re in the mood for something different, maybe outside your comfort zone, that still delivers a lovely Romance, you might like Walker’s book Best of Both Worlds. This was my first N.R. Walker read, but definitely won’t be my last!

 

Check out N.R. Walker’s author page here.

If you’re a fan of MM Romances that are a little different, you might also like my books. Subscribe to my newsletter and get a free ebook so you can decide for yourself! Click here to subscribe.

For more of my budget book recs click here.

 

Best of Both Worlds cover**This 20,000-word story is told in drabbles: each chapter consisting of only 100 words.**

Sebastian Gilman meets a guy on a dance floor every Friday night. He knows nothing about him, not even his name, only to find one day this familiar stranger turns up on his building site and they need to work together.

Ryland Keller knows better than to get involved. Alone and half a country away from home, he revels in isolation until a handsome man in a gay bar turns his world upside down.

Sebastian wants to help Ryland recover from a horrible past, but only if Ryland can let his guard down long enough to see that he can have the best of both worlds.

This book is free as of the publication date of this article.

 

Book Rec: L.O.V.E. and The Truth About Everything by Suki Fleet

This past weekend I re-read a book I’d loved the first time around. L.O.V.E. and The Truth About Everything by Suki Fleet is another of her trademark angsty Gay Romances. The story is about a young man at uni, on the cusp of his adult life. Of course, he has more than one question to answer, the story is delightfully complex for a novella of 127 pages.

Full disclosure: I was fortunate enough to beta read this story before it was published. I’m not a huge re-reader, but when I was searching Amazon for a free or $0.99 read to last me a couple of hours on a lazy Sunday and saw it, I clicked it immediately.

 

“The Black Sheep was a dark little building in the center of the village, so old and listing, it looked as if it had been formed from the landscape or had perhaps grown out of the rocks beneath.” –Jamie

 

The story is very well-written. The loving descriptions of “the Valleys” in Wales made me feel as though I were there.

Like many MM Romances, the story begins before the main character is out. In Oscar’s case, before he’s out to anyone at all. He feels isolated in his small village and afraid of his overbearing and critical father. He has a great friend at uni, Leah, who helps him get comfortable with himself. I just love her.

 

“At some point you’ve got to start driving the car instead of sitting in the passenger seat.” –Leah

 

This is Oscar’s story but we come to know Jamie well by the end too. He’s also coming into his own and finding out who he is and who he wants to be. Jamie has had some setbacks in his young life, but also is more privileged than Oscar. It’s mainly his privilege that makes me glad Jamie is the love interest and not the main character, because both Jamie and Oscar are likeable and relatable guys and either one of them could have carried the story. It’s refreshing to focus on the character who’s not from the more affluent family. To me, that makes for more interesting stories and deeper conflict. If the main problem can be solved by simply aiming some money at it it’s just less interesting to me, and not only because that happens a lot in stories about folx who are on the upper end of the socio-economic spectrum.

 

“The stuff that scared you wasn’t ever as terrifying in reality as it was in your head.” –Oscar

 

As with all Suki Fleet stories there are many quotes I could share, lines that resonated with me and made me glad I read (and re-read) this book. But a lot of those would be spoilery so I’ll leave you to find them on your own. I know, in a Romance you know how it will end, but getting there is the fun part. Doubly so with this novella.

L.O.V.E. and The Truth About Everything by Suki Fleet is a five star read for me, and at the time of this posting it’s also free on Amazon. So what are you waiting for? If you’ve never read anything by Suki Fleet it’s a great place to start, and if you have, then you don’t want to miss it.

He’s hidden his heart from everyone, but most of all from his best friend, Jamie–who also happens to be the boy he’s in love with.

But when a film Oscar makes about love and acceptance is chosen to be in the finals of a national competition, everything he’s hidden about himself threatens to be revealed.

Now Oscar thinks he must make the choice between the life he knows and the people he loves, and the life he wishes he had.

But life holds far more secrets and promises than Oscar expects.

 

Check out Suki Fleet’s Amazon Author Page here.

If you’re a fan of angsty MM Romances, you might also like my books. Subscribe to my newsletter and get a free ebook so you can decide for yourself! Click here to subscribe.

For more of my budget book recs click here.

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Book Rec: Little Gay Romances: Vol. 1 by Dev Bentham


Dev Bentham’s Little Gay Romances: Vol. 1 is a collection of the flash fiction she sends out every month in her newsletter, Dev’s News Flash.

As a long-time newsletter subscriber, I encourage you to grab this book and also sign up for Dev’s News Flash. I look forward to seeing Dev Bentham’s email every month, with a dose of her wonderful writing. The stories are short, some shorter than others, but they don’t skimp on the substance we all read Romances for. Every one I’ve read has made me feel the tension and spark of a first meeting or the delicious anticipation while I wait to see how the story will play out, and the satisfaction of a complete story by the end.

These are perfect stories to read anywhere—because they’re all low on the heat scale you won’t have to worry about getting too worked-up while reading. 😉 This book would also be good to rec to that friend who’s curious about reading some Gay Romance but not sure where to start, or even whether they would be interested in the genre. By the time they reach the sexy short at the end, they’ll be ready for it!

But, in the immortal words of LeVar Burton—you don’t have to take my word for it! Check out the blurb below. Buy the book and sign up for Dev’s newsletter, and get ready for some lovely Romances!

Blurb:

Sometimes a little romance can leave a big smile on your face. A little love, a little sweetness, a little magic to brighten the day.

This collection of flash fiction from Dev’s monthly newsletter can be read around and between your busy schedule. Plus, it features two longer pieces for when you have time for just a little bit more. Meet sailors and waiters and farmers and tattoo artists—each one searching for that special man who will make his dreams come true. And finding him where they least expect it.

Jordan Castillo Price has said of Dev Bentham’s newsletter flashes, “I love my monthly Dev flash fic!”

Readers looking for low-angst stories with happy endings—who love meet-cutes and chance encounters—will adore this collection of bite-sized sweet gay romances.

 

Buy Little Gay Romances: Vol. 1

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