audiobook, Book Review, Books, New Release, Romance, series

New Release! Roommate, True North series, by Sarina Bowen

Brand new M/M release from Sarina Bowen!

Wanted: One roommate to share a 3-bedroom house, split the rent, and ideally not be the guy I can’t stop thinking about.  

I’m a man with too many secrets, so the last thing I need is a new roommate with a sexy smile and blue eyes that see right through me. Eight years ago, Roderick left town after high school. We’re not friends. I owe him nothing. But back then, I let one of my secrets slip, and he’s the only one who noticed. 

Part of me knows I should run far, far away. But the other part wants him to come upstairs and spend the night. But if I let him in, I could lose everything.

Seeking: a room to rent in town. I’m tidy, have no pets, and I will feed you homemade bread. 

I should probably add: Gay AF, and has no filter. It’s no wonder my new landlord is so wary of me. 

A smarter man would ignore those hot glances from Kieran Shipley. The broody lumberjack wants more from me than another fresh-baked pretzel. But if I push my luck, I’ll end up back on the street.

Too bad I’ve never been smart with my heart… 

My Review: I love Sarina Bowen’s books, especially the True North series, which was my introduction to this author. I’ve read all but one of the books in this series, and this is one of my favorites. Perhaps you might not pick this book up because you haven’t read a M/M story and you’re not sure you would like it. My advice is to go for it, give it a chance, ESPECIALLY if you listen to the audiobook instead of reading the ebook.

I love audiobooks, but I’m pretty particular about my female narrators. No need to worry about that here! This audiobook is read by two terrific narrators: Teddy Hamilton, who is in my top three narrators of all time, and Stephen Dexter, who I first heard as Dan the Security Man in Penny Reid’s Knitting in the City series (so I kind of miss his Boston accent in this.) If you’re unsure about M/M, listen to the book. I think if the story doesn’t hook you right away, these guys will. One hot guy reading an audiobook is great, but two hot guys? It doesn’t get any better.

There is so much depth to this story. It hooked me right from the first chapter, because I love a couple with a complicated history. We’ve met Kieran Shipley in the other True North books, and learning his story made me want to go back and re-read the other books, which is always a sign of a good addition to a series. Roderick is a new character, and he is just delightful. They each have family issues, and job issues, and relationship issues. In essence, super relatable. It goes without saying that this book deals with LGBQT issues, but they are handled with great care and love.

I love love loved this couple, and this book, and I really wish they were going to get a sequel, because I would love to see Kieran and Roderick growing old together and living happily ever after.

Thanks to the author for the opportunity to read and review this book.

Release week excerpt:

Back at home, I do all the chores and then some. 

First I put the cows in the north pasture. Moving cows is easy enough in good weather. It only requires me to move the portable fence and wave them through the opening. “Go on, enjoy,” I say as they file past me eagerly. Our herd is grass fed, and they don’t need to be asked twice. The long, seedy grass and corn stalks I’m offering are like a recently freshened, all-you-can-eat buffet.

Let’s face it—the cows are easier to handle than any of my family members. They go where they’re needed, no questions asked. But my dog—Rexie—gives the cows a nice loud woof just to pretend he’s working hard. 

After the cow parade, I close up the fence and turn the electricity on. After that, I spend forty-five minutes raking cow shit out of the lower farmyard in the dark. 

It’s boring drudge work, and my mind starts to wander. And, fuck, it wanders right to Roderick Waites—the guy who climbed out of a blue Volkswagen and right back into my brain.

I wish I could say I haven’t thought about him since high school, but that would be a lie. And if I were a more spiritual person, I’d probably interpret Roderick’s reappearance in town as a sign. A wakeup call.

Nobody knows all the tangled things in my brain, but for a split second when I was a teenager, Roderick came close to learning one of my biggest secrets. 

The first time I saw him on his knees in front of another guy, it was an accident. 

It was autumn then, too. I’d been at a high school football game. It was chilly that night and, last second before leaving for the game, I’d grabbed my dad’s jacket from the hook by the door. After shoving my hands into the pockets while standing on the windy sidelines, I’d found a flask of whiskey. My father must have last worn the jacket when he was sitting out in the deer blind with his pals. Bonus

But, of course, I’d had to sneak around to find a place to take a taste. 

Leaving the crowd and the game, I ducked inside the door to the school’s gym. Under the cover of the bleachers, I drew out my dad’s flask, and unscrewed the top. Just as I raised it to my lips, I froze at the sound of whispered voices. Whoever was speaking had entered the gym at the other end of the bleachers. 

Their shadowy figures weren’t easily visible. But I guessed it was a couple looking for a little privacy for a make-out session. And since a couple sneaking off together wasn’t a threat to me, I stood my ground. 

I took a swallow of my father’s hooch. My first sip wasn’t life-changing—it burned going down and made my eyes water—it’s what happened next that changed everything. 

After screwing the lid on the flask and pocketing it, I ducked out of the gym and into the hallway. Feeling nosy, I walked toward the gym’s other entrance, noiseless in my Nikes. When I reached the door, I eased into a position that allowed me to spy on the couple I’d heard whispering to each other. They were silent now, and I wanted to know why. 

When I saw who it was, I swear my heart almost stopped. A varsity soccer player—Jared Harvey—stood beneath the bleachers, bracing his hands on a tread overhead. Roderick Waites knelt in front of him, unzipping Jared’s jeans. 

You can bet I didn’t even blink for the next five minutes…

Find all the links to purchase here: https://shor.by/roommate

#roommate #sarinabowen #truenorthseries #gayromance #kieranandroderick #vermont #coffeeshop #fivestars #audiobook #audible #teddyhamilton #stephendexter

Books, New Release, Romance, series

New Release – Heartland, True North series #7, by Sarina Bowen

CREDITS: Photo by David Vance, Design by Sarah Hansen at Okay Creative

HEARTLAND BY SARINA BOWEN

A standalone romance in the USA Today best-selling True North world.

January 28, 2020

Goodreads: https://geni.us/HeartlandGoodread

Expect: cute goats, college parties, caramels, a hot, broody farm boy and a broken girl who can’t stop loving him.

An emotional friends to lovers romance full of risky secrets and late-night lessons in seduction.

Dylan is my best friend, and the only person in my life who understands me. He doesn’t mind my social awkwardness or my weird history. The only glitch? He doesn’t know that I’ve been hopelessly, desperately in love with him since the first day we picked apples together in his family’s orchard.

But I know better than to confess.

Now that I’ve joined him at college, I’m seeing a new side of him. This Dylan drinks and has a lot of sex. None of it with me.

Until the moment I foolishly ask him to tutor me in more than algebra…and he actually says yes.

One crazy night sets our friendship on fire. But now my heart lies in ashes, and nothing will ever be the same again.

Heartland is a standalone college romance set in the True North world. Expect: a young, broody farmer, a giant crush, tasty caramels, cute goats and late night confessions.  

RELEASE DAY EXCERPT FROM HEARTLAND

“So why were you having a bad day, anyway?” Ellie asks. “Man trouble?”

“Not exactly. It’s more like a lack of man trouble. I kissed my hot algebra tutor. And I wasn’t supposed to.”

Her big eyes widen. “Which hot algebra tutor? You never said.”

“He doesn’t work at the lab,” I say hastily. “He’s a friend. And he wants to stay that way.”

“Oh.” She looks deflated. “That is a bummer.”

“Do you have a boyfriend?”

“No.” She makes a face. “It would be nice, though. This year is kind of lonely. My roommate is a total bitch.”

“Oh, I have one of those, too.” 

“Yeah?” Ellie’s eyes brighten. “Does yours steal your clothes and then lie about it?”

“Um, no. She wouldn’t want any of my things. We have singles, anyway. Just a common bathroom.”

“Lucky! She must be easier to stand, then.”

“You’d think.” I take a gulp of mint tea. 

“My roommate took my brand-new scarf. With the tags still on! And when I called her out on it, she tried to gaslight me.”

“Gaslight?” I feel my cheeks flush like they sometimes do when I don’t understand the idioms that people use.

“You don’t know Gaslight? It’s a movie from the forties.”

“Ingrid Bergman,” says Dylan’s voice. “We haven’t got around to the classics yet.”

I startle, sloshing my tea over my hand. And when I look up, Dylan is right there. Clear brown eyes. Tousled hair. Tight, muscular body that’s clothed in a nice sweater and ripped jeans. A handsome face that I finally kissed.

Pain slices through me. Because I’m never going to get over him. There will never be a day when I look at Dylan and don’t wish for more.

“Can I talk to you for a quick second?” he asks, taking the mug and grabbing a napkin off the table. He wipes the tea off my hand.

“Now is not a good time,” I say quickly. Because I don’t want to cry in the coffee shop in front of my only new friend.

Dylan actually rolls his eyes. “Fifteen seconds, Chass. Give a man a break.”

I’d talk to you.” Ellie raises her hand like a school girl. “Pick me.”

And that’s just what I need—another girl in my life who’s swooning for Dylan. Because that always turns out well. 

“Fine. Fifteen seconds.” I jump to my feet. Let’s get this over with.

Dylan takes my arm and tows me gently over toward the bulletin board, where nobody is currently reading the flyers for meditation circles and ski equipment sales. 

“Look, I’m sorry,” is his opener. “You’re avoiding me. Not that I blame you. I’m sorry things got so out of control.”

“Which things?” I ask warily. Because I don’t want an apology for fooling around with me.

“Pick one!” Dylan raises his hands. “All the things. I shouldn’t have been so inappropriate.”

“But…” I know Dylan was in a serious state of drunken depression when he kissed me. It’s not like I was expecting to hear those kisses made him as happy as they made me. But would it kill him to be a little less patronizing? “Dylan, I’m not twelve years old. It was just a kiss or two. I don’t think I’ll need a full course of therapy to recover.”

He blinks. “Okay. Good?”

“So did you really need to drag me over here to apologize a third time? Did you apologize to all the girls you kissed during Spin the Bottle in seventh grade?” 

I heard about Spin the Bottle and Seven Minutes in Heaven only last year, by eavesdropping on Debbie and her buddies at another bonfire. I’d been transfixed by their tales of who’d kissed whom over the years and how often. 

At thirteen, Spin the Bottle would have sounded like heaven to me. Seven minutes in a closet with a boy? I would have lobbied for eight. I was always the most inappropriate girl in the bunch. 

Yet somehow Dylan sees me as some kind of innocent child. 

“No. Good point.” He crosses his delicious arms and smiles at me. “You are in a feisty mood today.”

“Is that so wrong?”

“No.” He shakes his handsome head. “Not at all. Are we going to hug it out?” He opens his big arms wide.

Oh boy. I can’t resist stepping into them. And when he pulls me in, I experience the familiar hormone rush that always happens when I’m close to him. Rapid heartbeat? Check. Goosebumps? Check. My nose lands against his flannel shirt. 

My mouth is mere inches from his, of course. But this time he has no interest in kissing me. It takes all my willpower to give him a squeeze and then step back.

“Be well, Chass. I’ll leave you to your tutoring session, even if you’re basically cheating on me right now. But we’re still making caramels this weekend, right? I told Griffin we could use six gallons of goat’s milk. Don’t make a liar out of me.”

“I won’t,” I say quickly. I might be slightly irritated at him, but it will blow over. My capacity to forgive him for not loving me back is basically infinite. “We’ll leave right after Friday classes?”

“You got it. And this is for you. Share it with your friend.” He pulls something out of his pocket. “More market research.”

He puts a little box in my hand and then walks away.

As always, it takes me a second to get over my hormone rush. I stand there blinking for a long moment until I realize Ellie is grinning at me from the sofa. So I go back over to her and sit down.

“Wow…” she says, stealing a glance at Dylan’s retreating backside. “Is that hot hunk of Vermont male your algebra tutor?”

“Yes.” My voice is gravel.

“And your future ex-boyfriend?”

“Nope. I’ll never get that chance. He’s my best friend, but…” There’s no tidy explanation.

“But you want more. I would if it were me.”

I nod, miserable. 

VENDOR LINKS

Amazon https://geni.us/HeartlandAmazon 

Apple https://geni.us/HeartlandApple

Kobo https://geni.us/HeartlandKobo 

Nook https://geni.us/HeartlandNook 

Google https://geni.us/HeartlandGoogle

Books, Historical Romance

Review of: The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox

Witch of3.5 out of 5 Stars

A debut novel, Hester Fox weaves a suspenseful tale of how a young girl maneuvers family dynamics, personal relationships, and learning about her true self. 1800s Massachusetts sets the stage for scandal, romance, and self-discovery. I enjoyed this book a great deal! At one point I just had to keep reading to find out how it all unfolds! I found myself rooting for some characters, and hoping the villains get what they have coming.

A great Fall read to get you in the Halloween spirit.  Due out October 2, 2018.

Buy on Amazon