Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Case Of The Sexy Shakespearean by Tara Lain - Release Day Blitz with Excerpt, Giveaway, and Review

A cozy mystery with a tongue-tied nerd of a history professor tempted by a gorgeous graduate student and millions of dollars if he can solve one of history's greatest mysteries -- who was Shakespeare really?

The Case of the Sexy Shakespearean
by Tara Lain


Dr. Llewellyn Lewis leads a double life, as both an awkward but distinguished history professor and the more flamboyant Ramon Rondell, infamous writer of sensational historical theories. It's Ramon who first sets eyes on a gorgeous young man dancing in a club, but Llewellyn who meets teaching assistant Blaise Arthur formally at an event held for wealthy socialite Anne de Vere, descendant of Edward de Vere, seventeenth Earl of Oxford-who some believe was the real Shakespeare. Anne wants Llewellyn to prove that claim, even though many have tried and failed. And she's willing to offer a hefty donation to the university if he succeeds.

It also means a chance for Llewellyn to get to know Blaise much better.

Not everyone thinks Llewellyn should take the case-or the money. Between feuding siblings, rival patrons, jealous colleagues, and greedy administrators, almost anyone could be trying to thwart his work... and one of them is willing to kill to do it.

When Anne de Vere turns up dead, the police believe Blaise is the murderer. Only the shy, stuttering professor who has won his heart can prove otherwise...

Available for purchase at


Well, damn. He slowly released a breath and took another as Blaise Arthur appeared in the kitchen doorway.
Blaise looked from Llewellyn’s face to his hand, just inches from grasping the handle of a butcher knife. “Whoa. Hang on, Jim Bowie. Sorry to scare you. Your door was standing open, and I was a little worried that you’d decided to run for Alaska or hang yourself by one of Van Pelt’s neckties.”
A laugh bubbled up from Llewellyn’s belly. That description so perfectly described his options, he just kept chuckling until all three cats looked at him like he was nuts. Marie relaxed her puffed-up fur seemingly one hair at a time, flicked her tail, and returned to her chicken dinner.
Finally he managed to stop laughing. “Uh, how d-did you know w-where I live?”
Blaise cocked his grin to the side. “I followed you, and I must say, I had to move pretty fast to do it.”
What the hell? “W-why?”
“I told you. Suicide prevention.”
Was he disappointed in that answer? He spread his arms. “A-as you see.”
“Feline-feeding duty.”
“I’m a cr-crazy cat lady.”
Blaise leaned against the door, arms crossed, one nicely muscled leg cocked over the other, and a sexy-as-hell grin on his face. “Neither crazy nor a lady so far as I can see.”
“S-so what do you want?”
“There’s a challenging question. Just accept my mother-of-compassion routine at face value and offer me a drink.”
He still frowned. “B-beer? Wine?”
“Beer would be great.”
Llewellyn loved craft beers and took two bottles of Red Headed Stranger from his cooler.
He opened and poured them into pilsner glasses and handed one to Blaise, who stared at the bottle. “Whoa, exotic.” He sipped. “Delicious.”
“From R-Reno.”
“I’ll remember it.”
Llewellyn gestured to the hall and led Blaise back to the big living room with its high ceilings, elaborate crown moldings, and polished oak floors. He sat in an easy chair and indicated that Blaise should sit on the comfortable couch.
Blaise sipped and gazed around. “This is quite a house. How old is it?”
“N-nineteen twenties or thirties.” Why was he chitchatting? What’s he doing here?
“Is it a family home?”
“S-sort of.”
“Are you gay?”
“What?” Llewellyn frowned. “Uh, y-yes. E-everyone knows th-that.”
“Yes, I read it, but I wanted to ask.” He grinned.
The cats padded in, Marie making a straight shot to Llewellyn’s lap, where she turned and stared at Blaise while washing her face and paws.
“She’s the formidable one.”
“Oh y-yes.”
“What’s her name?”
“Marie Antoinette.”
He laughed. “Perfect. Marie, I’ll make it my personal objective to woo you to my side.”
That implied some long-term association.
Blaise took another big mouthful. “It looks like you have a nice life.” He set the still partly full glass on the coffee table and stood. “I’m glad. Thanks so much for the beer.” He walked toward the door. What the hell?
Llewellyn stood, getting a squawk from Marie. “W-why did you ask if I-I’m gay?”
Blaise glanced back over his shoulder. “Because I am.”
“I-I know.” Jesus, why did I say that?
“Am I that obvious?” But he smiled.
Llewellyn shrugged. “No. So?”
Blaise laughed. “See you at work.”

4 out of 5 stars

The Case of the Sexy Shakespearean is a new contemporary cozy mystery style m/m romance. This is the first book in a new series by this author. 

The premise for this story  a sexy,yet shy/introverted history research professor  is given the task of proving that a specific person was actually the writer behind William Shakespeare. Needless to say the professor is highly reluctant to attempt this mystery. Along the way various things happen to the main character that add bits of depth and create conflict causing character growth for Llewellyn. Also along the way a new English TA introduces himself to Llewellyn and sparks fly between him and Blaise as they go along attempting to solve the mystery that has been added in to the story. 

I generally enjoy all of this author's books but I will admit that I had some trouble getting into this one from the start. I still did enjoy the story in the end it was just a little bit of a slower read for this author's usual books. I was truly engaged by the main character, Llewellyn from the beginning of the story. It was the situation itself around the character that made the story feel a little too plot heavy. That's not to say it didn't all work in the end, but it was generally a bit much to wade through at the start of the book. 

I also feel like I never got a true picture of Llewellyn outside of his height and slimness. Where I feel that his alter ego Ramon was almost a bit larger than life even when he was just a small part of the storyline. None of this added up to making the book a problematic read, it was just a bit slower paced. Again, still an enjoyable story with engaging characters and a fun and different plot line for a m/m romance with combining the feel of the cozy mystery to the romance. It's a plot line that hasn't been done to the point where it's formulaic. It's still a fresh and unique storyline to keep you reading through to the end.  

For those of you that enjoy a good mystery in your romance, The Case of The Sexy Shakespearean definitely delivers on that plot  point. While I did have those few issues, I highly recommend this story as a fun, light romance with a decently crafted mystery woven into the story. Pick this one up for yourself and take a read. 

About the Author

Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Erotic Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance,  Best Gay Characters, and more. Readers often call her books “sweet,” even with all that hawt sex, because Tara believes in love and her books deliver on happily-ever-after. In addition to writing dozens and dozens of romance novels,  Tara also owns an advertising and public relations firm. Her love of creating book titles comes from years of manifesting ad headlines for everything from analytical instruments to semiconductors. She does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. Together with her soulmate husband and her soulmate Dog, she recently realized a vision to live where there were a lot more trees and a lot fewer cars by moving to Ashland, Oregon. She hasn’t stopped smiling since. 

You can find Tara at Lain

Exercising Restraint by Tamir Drake - Release Blitz with Excerpt and Giveaway

New Release Blitz: Exercising Restraint by Tamir Drake (Excerpt & Giveaway)

Series: Different Dynamics, Book Two
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: July 30, 2018
Heat Level: 5 - Erotica
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 16800
Genre: Contemporary, ABO world, personal trainer, erotica, knotting, dirty talk, barebacking

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Pierce may have a crush on Steve, his sweet, funny personal trainer, but he doesn’t plan to act on it. They have a great relationship in the gym but are also friends outside of it, and Pierce has no intention of jeopardizing that. Besides, he may be an omega, but he’s got a good handle on his body’s biology. He’s not worried he’ll accidentally take things too far.

Steve may have a crush on Pierce, his smart and incredibly hot client, but he’s definitely not planning to say anything anytime soon. Pierce can do way better than Steve, and anyway, Pierce is a pretty casual dater. What Steve wants is anything but casual. And that’s not just the alpha in him.

When Pierce goes to Steve’s gym one snowy afternoon to work out, he thinks nothing of the fact that he’s in heat. He’s taken his libido inhibitor and is wearing his odor blocker, so there’s no chance of bothering Steve. Except, then the blocker wears off.

Steve wants nothing more than to keep himself under control, keep himself from doing something Pierce might not want. But Pierce might have something else in mind…


Exercising Restraint
Tamir Drake © 2018
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
Pierce walked into Steve’s studio, the bell jingling cheerily as the door swung open and closed, and hung up his coat. He pulled off his boots, switched them out for his sneakers, and then stepped out onto the empty matted area.

“Steve?” he called.

“Coming! Pick some music!”

Pierce shrugged and headed over to the speaker system and fiddled with the iPod Steve kept plugged in there, scrolling to one of his playlists. Steve kept music for all his clients on it, which was one of many personal touches that made him the best personal trainer ever.

By the time Pierce had settled on a playlist, Steve had come into the studio. He was barefoot today, and Pierce winced. Bare feet meant it was going to be a hard-core cardio day.

Plus side to cardio: he was often so focused on what he was doing, time passed fairly quickly.

Downside to cardio: it made him kind of want to die.

“Hey,” Steve said, smiling. “How you doing today?”

“Not bad. Almost done with a couple of projects.”

“Awesome. Is one of them the book covers?”

Pierce couldn’t help but smile. Another reason Steve was so great was that he truly cared about his clients and remembered the details of their lives. “Yeah, the publishing company and I have pretty much settled on everything.”

Pierce was a graphic designer, and he worked primarily from home, which was one of the main reasons he’d found Steve and his studio. Because he spent most days sitting, he needed the exercise, and a reason to leave his house unrelated to getting groceries.

He did have friends he socialized with of course, but working from home was a lot of time to spend by yourself. Hence seeing Steve three times a week.

“So let me guess.” Pierce sighed. “We’re focusing on cardio first.”

Steve laughed. “What gave me away?”

Pierce stared pointedly at Steve’s feet.

Steve laughed again and wiggled his toes. “All right, all right. Sounds like I don’t have to introduce the program. Shall we get started?”

Pierce groaned and went to the center of the mat.


NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble

Meet the Author

Tamir has the tendency to write feelings into everything, no matter how filthy. He’s not all that sorry about it.

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