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.

 

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A sweet little snippet…

Hello & thanks for visiting my snippet! I spent last weekend working so this is my long weekend—four days of, well, so far mostly of doing errands and trying to get my vehicle diagnosed. But I’m done with that for now & am going to do my best to relax a little bit over the next couple of days.

I decided to snip from my MM Romance Directing Traffic today mainly because I got some good news from my bloodwork—quitting diet soda & cutting WAY back on red meat has resulted in a significant reduction in all of my cholesterol levels! I’m super stoked, because after six months I still really miss Diet Dew. But it’s working, so I’ll keep doing what I’ve been doing. If I’m really lucky I won’t have any more injuries for a while & will be able to start exercising again too!

The point is that hopefully I won’t be having a heart attack anytime soon—like one of the characters in the story.

But, none of that is what you came here for. This snippet takes place right outside the main character’s hotel room. Neil is visiting the coast to complete a ritual that he and his deceased lover used to do on their yearly vacations. Ben is Neil’s best friend, and maybe it’s obvious but Ty is the love interest. The first line is Ben’s.

 

“I know what you’re doing out here, you’re wallowing and—”

Ty poked his head out the door, gave Ben an appraising look, and then disappeared back inside. The door didn’t close.

“It’s not what it looks like.”

“I hope for your sake that it’s exactly what it looks like.” Ben grabbed Neil’s shoulders in his hands and squeezed gently; his dark eyes, that had been full of alarm moments ago, showed only encouragement and love. Ben sighed and then clapped Neil’s shoulders and wiggled his eyebrows. “You enjoy that sweet little cupcake and call me tomorrow.”

 

Thanks for reading!

If you’d like to read the whole story, it’s free for subscribing to my newsletter.

Follow this link to sign up now!

 

To find links to more snippets, visit the Rainbow Snippets FB Group. It’s a public group and everyone is welcome to join.

 

Directing Traffic CoverA new love was the last thing on his mind . . .

Neil Sedwick expects to spend his vacation in a sleepy tourist trap mourning his late partner’s death. Instead, he puts his recently acquired CPR certificate to use and saves an elderly resident’s life. But it’s the survivor’s nephew, sexy middle-school teacher Ty Bigelow, who causes Neil to reevaluate his routine and consider reopening his heart.

Though the electricity between them is undeniable, Ty is struggling with his own feelings of inadequacy, and Neil is moored to the past. Even the healing peace of an old man’s garden and the ever-changing waters of the Oregon coast may not be enough to prepare Neil to overcome a crisis of the heart.

 

Have a lovely weekend!

onlytherose

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.

Charley Descoteaux's signature rainbow rose

End of Summer Sale!

Buchanan House Series graphicBeach season is almost over here in the Pacific Northwest & that’s a great reason to have a sale. I don’t really need a reason, but that’s a good one!

I’m also celebrating getting my Buchanan House series back out into the world. For a few years I’ve been a hybrid author but now I’m 100% Indie. While that’s been challenging, it’s also been kind of fun.

But back to the sale! The Buchanan House series will be on a Kindle Countdown Sale through September 2nd. Prices will be the best for the first two days–Aug. 27-28. If you’re looking for a nice long read over the lovely long weekend, this might be the one for you!

Visit the Buchanan House Series Page on Amazon!

One thing, though. Because of a glitch (haha, read: user error) Art House won’t join in the sale until  Thursday, Aug. 29. I’ve learned a lot over the past two months, mainly that it’s all up to me now. So I want to thank all of the readers who have tried one of my books–I appreciate you all!

If you’d like to see just how much I appreciate my readers, subscribe to my newsletter and get a free ebook! Just click this link.

One more thing–I’ve just re-released my noir with witches, The Pinch of the Game, only on PayHip, for those of you who would like an epub version, or if you’d just rather not buy from Amazon. Pinch will be available on PayHip through September 29th, at a savings from first edition prices. On October 1 this book will go into Kindle Unlimited, in time for Halloween. I can’t believe I’m already talking about Halloween!

Learn more about The Pinch of the Game here.

 

Thanks for reading & have a great day!

Charley Descoteaux's signature rainbow rose

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

Dev’s newsletter sign-up

Sign up for Charley’s newsletter and get a free ebook!

 

A tasty dish of a snippet…

Hello Snippetteers! I’m early this week, which is what a week off that includes some social time and a bunch of hermiting gets me.<3

The month of August has been a busy one and this weekend will continue that theme when I head out to celebrate Bookstore Romance Day in my old neighborhood! You could probably find an event near you by searching the hashtag. ❤

This snip is from the recently re-released Buchanan House (the first in the series 😊). It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon and Eric and Nathan are watching Tim come out of the ocean after surfing. It’s more than six sentences, but I couldn’t find a good snip that fit the limit. I’ll go back to following the rules later. Maybe. 😉

 

Eric thought he should stop spying on Tim but couldn’t bring himself to lower the binoculars. Tim seemed more relaxed than he was at Buchanan House, his walk more athletic, graceful. On workdays, Tim wore comfortable, almost loose jeans, and T-shirts either under a flannel or over a thermal. He almost looked like a different man. Eric had tried to get a feel for what the body beneath the clothes looked like, without being caught staring, but hadn’t enjoyed the level of success he’d hoped for. After seeing Tim in a wetsuit, Eric knew his fumbling guesses hadn’t even been close. The suit clung to Tim’s broad shoulders and chest, tapering to trim hips, only to bulge again over his defined thigh muscles. He looked like a god.

“Mm-mm-mmm. That is a tasty dish.” Nathan bumped his shoulder into Eric’s.

Before Eric could respond to Nathan’s teasing, Tim unzipped the top of his wetsuit. Eric stood, transfixed, as Tim peeled the top half from his body and let it hang around his waist like the bib on a pair of overalls. It was like watching a live-action ad for Men’s Fitness. Tim’s upper body was sculpted to lean perfection—he looked strong and athletic, but not bulky. His hair sent drops of water sliding down his chest, and Eric thought about licking the salt water from his warm skin, peeling the rest of the wetsuit away, and—

Nathan’s soft laughter interrupted Eric’s fantasy.

 

Thanks for reading!

To find links to more snippets, visit the Rainbow Snippets FB Group. It’s a public group and everyone is welcome to join.

 

Buchanan House & Pride Weekend are available in a single volume (for less than the first edition of Buchanan House sold alone), only at Amazon!

Amazon Universal Link

Every ending is a beginning…

Eric Allen, thirty-three-year-old line cook, moved in with his grandmother, Jewell, after a disastrous coming-out when he was in middle school. She raised him, and he cared for her when she fell ill. When Jewell died she left everything to Eric—angering his parents and older brother. The inheritance isn’t much, but Eric and his bestie Nathan pool their money and buy an abandoned hotel on an isolated stretch of the Central Oregon Coast. The hotel isn’t far from Lincoln City—a town with its own Pride Festival and named for a president—so they christen it Buchanan House after James Buchanan, the “confirmed bachelor” president with the close male friend.

Eric and Nathan need a handyman to help them turn Buchanan House into the gay resort of their dreams. Eric finds Tim Tate in the local listings and over the months leading to opening weekend Tim reveals himself as a skilled carpenter with many hidden talents. Eric falls hard for Tim, but before he can see a future with the gorgeous handyman he has to get over twenty years of being bullied and shamed by his birth family. It would be much easier if Eric’s brother Zach weren’t trying to grab part of the inheritance or ruin opening weekend. 

Sign up for my newsletter and get a free ebook!

Have a lovely weekend!

onlytherose

Plan B?

Hello Snippetteers! I finally have a desk in my “new” home that’s set aside just for writing & related fun. The corner of my dining room is pretty spare at the moment, but hopefully that won’t last long & I’ll be able to decorate it in a way the cats will tolerate (one of my guys likes to pull things off shelves & walls! :)) AND get some writing done!

This snip is from the recently re-released Buchanan House (the first in the series 😊). It’s opening weekend and the weather isn’t cooperating for the outdoor activities they’d had planned. Eric has just asked what Nathan has in mind to entertain the guests.

 

The kitchen door opened, and a deep voice projected easily to where Eric stood. “Yes, what is Plan B?”

Nathan shivered, but when he turned to Shane St. Cloud, only the hostess with the mostest in him showed. “Shane. I thought we’d start off with a movie sing-along, and watch some fireworks on the big screen starting at Dark O’clock Eastern Time.”

“What movie are we singing?”

The pure delight on Shane’s face prompted Nathan to start the movie sing-along sooner rather than later.

 

Thanks for reading!

To find links to more snippets, visit the Rainbow Snippets FB Group. It’s a public group and everyone is welcome to join.

 

Buchanan House & Pride Weekend are available in a single volume (for less than the first edition of Buchanan House sold alone), only at Amazon!

Amazon Universal Link

Every ending is a beginning…

Eric Allen, thirty-three-year-old line cook, moved in with his grandmother, Jewell, after a disastrous coming-out when he was in middle school. She raised him, and he cared for her when she fell ill. When Jewell died she left everything to Eric—angering his parents and older brother. The inheritance isn’t much, but Eric and his bestie Nathan pool their money and buy an abandoned hotel on an isolated stretch of the Central Oregon Coast. The hotel isn’t far from Lincoln City—a town with its own Pride Festival and named for a president—so they christen it Buchanan House after James Buchanan, the “confirmed bachelor” president with the close male friend.

Eric and Nathan need a handyman to help them turn Buchanan House into the gay resort of their dreams. Eric finds Tim Tate in the local listings and over the months leading to opening weekend Tim reveals himself as a skilled carpenter with many hidden talents. Eric falls hard for Tim, but before he can see a future with the gorgeous handyman he has to get over twenty years of being bullied and shamed by his birth family. It would be much easier if Eric’s brother Zach weren’t trying to grab part of the inheritance or ruin opening weekend.

 

 

Have a lovely weekend!

onlytherose

A Happy Pride Snippet!

Hello and welcome to my snippet! It’s been a while but I think I remember how this is supposed to work. 😀

In honor of Pride Month, here’s a little snippet from Always Forward! Never Straight, in which Cay and Bry are making plans for after the Festival grounds have closed. We’re in Cay’s POV and the first line is his.

 

“I have Mac until six. After that, how about we go dancing?”

He laughed and rested both hands on my hips. “I’m not much of a dancer.”

“I don’t care.” I leaned in to whisper in his ear, and he shivered. “I want to rub against you for a couple of hours and then go somewhere and get naked.”

 

Thanks for reading!

To find links to more snippets, visit the Rainbow Snippets FB Group. It’s a public group and everyone is welcome to join.

 

Always Forward! Never Straight is available now, only at Amazon!

Amazon Universal Link

Love isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.

Baxter Bryan is the nerdy half of BaxCo, a start-up in Portland’s Silicon Forest creating cutting-edge high-tech toys. He’s also a hermit. When BaxCo sponsors the Portland Rock and Roll Half Marathon, Bryan decides to break out of his comfort zone and do more than listen to the music with a beer in hand. The race has barely started when he bumps into a fit, handsome man, causing sparks to fly. But the long hours needed to make BaxCo a success aren’t the only reason Bryan spends most of his time alone in his apartment.

Cay Nissen runs every day to stay in shape. He would love to run away from his job in a Silicon Forest cube farm, but keeps returning to support his teenaged daughter. His true love is music. Cay writes songs for the band he helped form in high school but doesn’t see any way to turn music into a career. The half marathon seemed like a decent way to pass a Saturday, make his boss happy, and catch a performance of his old band all at the same time. When he meets a man who sparks his interest, the safety of his cubicle isn’t the only part of his life that’s in jeopardy of changing.

 

Have a lovely weekend!

onlytherose

A restrained snippet… (no, not *that* kind of restrained :))

Hello and welcome to my snippet! For some reason I feel like I’ve shared part of this one before but couldn’t find any evidence of that so here it is now.

This is from Always Forward! Never Straight, our heroes are at Pride with Cay’s daughter. We’re in Cay’s POV.

 

The three of us walked up and down each aisle checking out the booths while commenting on everything and everyone, and I restrained myself admirably. Not one word of anti-capitalist or anti-assimilationist rhetoric crossed my lips in three whole hours. Finally, Mac turned to me and squinted.

“Who are you and what have you done with my dad?”

For the first time since he’d arrived, I released Bryan. My side felt cold, even though the day was a balmy seventy-nine degrees.

“I’m being nice, so shush.”

“Don’t shush me. Don’t you think Bryan deserves to know what he’s gotten himself into?”

I said “no” at the same time he said “doesn’t matter.”

“Ugh. You two are giving me cavities. Speaking of food, I saw a Mexican place near the stage. Let’s go.”

 

Thanks for reading!

To find links to more snippets, visit the Rainbow Snippets FB Group. It’s a public group and everyone is welcome to join.

 

Always Forward! Never Straight is available now, only at Amazon (and is on sale for a couple more days as I write this)!

Amazon Universal Link

Love isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.

Baxter Bryan is the nerdy half of BaxCo, a start-up in Portland’s Silicon Forest creating cutting-edge high-tech toys. He’s also a hermit. When BaxCo sponsors the Portland Rock and Roll Half Marathon, Bryan decides to break out of his comfort zone and do more than listen to the music with a beer in hand. The race has barely started when he bumps into a fit, handsome man, causing sparks to fly. But the long hours needed to make BaxCo a success aren’t the only reason Bryan spends most of his time alone in his apartment.

Cay Nissen runs every day to stay in shape. He would love to run away from his job in a Silicon Forest cube farm, but keeps returning to support his teenaged daughter. His true love is music. Cay writes songs for the band he helped form in high school but doesn’t see any way to turn music into a career. The half marathon seemed like a decent way to pass a Saturday, make his boss happy, and catch a performance of his old band all at the same time. When he meets a man who sparks his interest, the safety of his cubicle isn’t the only part of his life that’s in jeopardy of changing.

 

Have a lovely weekend!

onlytherose

A relaxed snippet…

Hello  welcome to my first snippet of 2019! I meant to snip last weekend but caught a stomach bug instead & spent Saturday watching Marie Kondo between naps. Now that that’s over (the bug, not my infatuation with the KonMari Method ♥), here’s more from Always Forward! Never Straight!

I might regret this, but since some folx asked how Bryan’s coming out was received by his father, I thought I’d share that. This is from Cay’s POV in case that’s not clear from the get-go and is a little longer than six sentences but some of them are short. 😀

 

When you told your dad you had a boyfriend, what did he do?”

“Yelled. A lot.” Bryan winced, but when he leaned against my side, he still seemed relaxed. “Especially after I told him I was bi. He tried to convince me I’d be much happier if I found a nice girl. I wished I had a sibling then, to take some of the pressure off me. The rest of the time I lived at home I was under a microscope.”

“Must not have been fun.”

He shrugged and then rubbed his arm against my side and sighed. “I missed you.”

 

Thanks for reading!

To find links to more snippets, visit the Rainbow Snippets FB Group. It’s a public group and everyone is welcome to join.

 

Always Forward! Never Straight is available now, only at Amazon (and is on sale for a couple more days as I write this)!

Amazon Universal Link

Love isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.

Baxter Bryan is the nerdy half of BaxCo, a start-up in Portland’s Silicon Forest creating cutting-edge high-tech toys. He’s also a hermit. When BaxCo sponsors the Portland Rock and Roll Half Marathon, Bryan decides to break out of his comfort zone and do more than listen to the music with a beer in hand. The race has barely started when he bumps into a fit, handsome man, causing sparks to fly. But the long hours needed to make BaxCo a success aren’t the only reason Bryan spends most of his time alone in his apartment.

Cay Nissen runs every day to stay in shape. He would love to run away from his job in a Silicon Forest cube farm, but keeps returning to support his teenaged daughter. His true love is music. Cay writes songs for the band he helped form in high school but doesn’t see any way to turn music into a career. The half marathon seemed like a decent way to pass a Saturday, make his boss happy, and catch a performance of his old band all at the same time. When he meets a man who sparks his interest, the safety of his cubicle isn’t the only part of his life that’s in jeopardy of changing.

 

Have a lovely weekend!

onlytherose