Saturday, February 29, 2020

For What It's Worth by S.M. James Release Blitz


They say there are no rules in love, but will three be a crowd?

Rory García is terrible at making choices.

Dating Micah has been the best decision Rory’s ever made. Micah calms his wild side by bringing Rory back down to earth. They’re perfect for each other.
But when Rory’s Australian crush randomly shows up to stay with him, Rory’s torn between the boyfriend he maybe loves, and the guy he thought he was over.

Micah Holtz is the most loyal boyfriend in history.

Since the day Micah first saw Rory, he fell hard. There’s never been a moment where Micah’s doubted his feelings and when they finally start to date, Micah plans to hold on with both hands.
But then Justin arrives from Australia and Micah finds his single-minded attention starting to slip…

Justin Anderson has a plan for everything.

Showing up on Rory’s doorstep is the most adventurous thing Justin’s ever done. He’s lowkey sick with nerves, but knowing Rory’s there makes it all worth it. Until he finds out Rory has a boyfriend. Which was never part of the plan.
Suddenly Justin’s back to his usual game of second guessing everything, including Rory’s flirting and Micah’s lingering looks.

When Micah’s childhood haunt is set to be torn down, the three of them join forces to try to save the historic building. But will the teamwork add cracks to an already unstable friendship, or bring them closer than they ever imagined?

For What It’s Worth is a standalone story.

Add to Goodreads –


Book 5
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
~  Also Available with KindleUnlimited  ~




Justin pretends to shudder. At least, I think he’s pretending. “Kill me now.”

“Nah, you’re way too pretty to kill.”

Those mismatched eyes meet mine and we’re just a pair of awkward losers staring at what we can’t have. I should probably take my words back and make out like ha ha jokes but I’m not joking. I spent way too many late nights thinking about that face… before Micah, of course.

Justin being here serves to remind me that the world is a fucking big place.

We switch off the TV and I scoot closer, craving him like fucking air and I still can’t work out exactly why. “You’ll be totally fine. Just be yourself. You won Micah over easy enough, and me, and Ari.”

He scrunches up his little nose. “Sure, my friendship group has grown to three, what an achievement.”

“Excuse me Mr. Sarcasm, but how long was that group at one for?”

Justin doesn’t answer, just screws his lips up to the side like he gets my point.

“Exactly. A fucking long time. And now you’ve tripled that number in just a few short months, like are you kidding? You’re on a roll, you charismatic piece of shit.” The name calling comes naturally to me, and at first I worry Justin won’t take it in the affectionate way I mean, but he cracks a smile that brings up those little dimples on either side of his chin and damn I want to touch them. “Plus Ruby and Grace think you’re the cutest thing ever.”

Justin shakes his head like he doesn’t believe a word coming from my mouth but he’s still smiling. “Just Alexis to go then.”

“With how much I talk about you she already thinks you’re best friends so there’s nothing to worry about there.”

“Talking about me, hey?” He’s leaning against the back of the couch, head tilted toward me. The teasing that flickers across his face is just beautiful. His hazel eye is on this side and I love how he looks slightly different depending on which side I look at him from.

“When I got back from Australia, Alexis literally banned your name from conversations.”

His lips twitch. “You’re lying.”

“I’m not. She was allowed to punch me every time I said it.”

“How many bruises did you get?”

“All down both arms.” I smirk. “Totally worth it.”

A laugh hiccups from him and he opens his mouth to say something, then stops.

“No, no.” I lean in closer. “You’re not allowed to over think, remember? Whatever you were going to say, say it.”

That gorgeous tint starts to rise on his cheeks as he swallows.

“Say it or I’ll tickle you.” I’m totally lying, but I wish I wasn’t. Every time he’s around I’m itching to get my hands on him and if that means tickling him like we’re in middle school, I’ll fucking do it. But what I won’t do is make him uncomfortable.

He buries his face into his hands. “Now you’ve made it into a thing.”

“And I’ll keep making it into a bigger thing until you tell me.” The fact he’s avoiding it just makes me even more curious. And once I get my mind stuck on something, I’ve got to know.

His hazel eye peeks out at me. “I was just going to say…” His side expands as he takes a deep breath. “That if I had any friends, they would have banned your name too.” His face disappears into his hands again, but he can’t hide how his neck goes all read. “See? Dumb.”

I slide closer, until I cross that invisible barrier he keeps locked in place and lean down so my face is near his. “Justin?”

“What?”

“Look at me.”

He hesitates a second before he lifts his face, sucking in a sharp breath when he realizes how close I am. Something skitters across my chest as he pins me with his rare eye contact. I’m barely aware of my lips moving until I hear my own words.

“Nothing you ever say is dumb.”




Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Sarah☆☆☆☆
This is a very sweet and almost angst-free young adult/new adult romance. All three of the boys are interesting and engaging characters and I enjoyed the family and community that surrounds them. This is poly writing with a focus on emotions and relationships.

There is angst free romance and there’s romance that lacks conflict. And there are moments when this book actually needs a little bit more conflict. These teenagers are a little bit too selfless, a little bit too reflective, and their communication skills are a little bit too good to be convincing. The boys are sweet together but I’m not sure readers ever really feel any real chemistry between them.

I feel like the plot wanders a little in this story. The central conflict around the sale of an old church feels like an add-on and it doesn’t necessarily develop the romance element of the story at all. Lots of plot threads are introduced but not always followed through with. I’m still a little fuzzy on Justin’s touch issues and I’m not sure Rory’s high school escapades add much to a story about his relationship with two older guys. The story lacks the heat I’d expect from a new adult romance but with one of the main characters still in high school, the new adult/young adult lines get a little blurry. Even as a young adult read, the characters are probably a little bit too pure to be really believable. I’m just not sure all the parts of this book come together in a coherent whole. I enjoyed the characters and their coming of age decision making, but this book somehow lacks the tension I need in a good romance.



S.M. James writes books for teens about squishy sweet characters.

While not writing, S.M. is a readaholic and Netflix addict who regularly lives on a sustainable diet of chocolate and coffee.

Unapologetically dishing out HEAs for LGBT+ characters.


Connect with S.M.

Facebook  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads



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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of For What It's Worth (#lovehim #5) by S.M. James to read and review for this tour.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

The Students of Barrenmoor Ridge by Jackson Marsh Blog Tour


Liam has set himself a goal. To come out to his best friend, Casper, before his 18th birthday while hiking at Fellborough in the Yorkshire Dales.

Things don't go according to plan, and when a violent storm hits, the camping trip takes a potentially fatal turn. Local mountaineers, John Hamilton and his husband Gary are called to help, but it soon becomes apparent that the rescue is more than physical. Liam and Casper both have secrets that when known, have the potential break or mend their hearts.

Book two in the Barrenmoor series of MM romance stories with a mountain rescue theme. A mix of YA, romance and adventure, The Students of Barrenmoor Ridge brings back popular characters from the first Barrenmoor book in a familiar setting with love, mountaineering and the dangers of both.

The Mentor of Barrenmoor Ridge is the first book in the Barrenmoor series of MM romances with a mountain rescue theme. The Students of Barrenmoor Ridge takes place two years later, and it is better, but not vital, to read the stories in order.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51007460-the-students-of-barrenmoor-ridge


Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
~  Also Available with KindleUnlimited  ~




John was unable to sleep that night. The raging wind didn't bother him even though the roof tiles rattled, and he knew the old yew tree would be creaking as it bent towards the lean-to. He was used to it and so was the cottage. It was well built.

Gary was curled up behind him, spooned in with one arm across John's chest. The bedroom was warm, Gary's presence warmer, and the pillows were soft. There was no reason sleep shouldn't come, they were safe from the battering, cocooned in the perfect shelter of each other's arms, and yet…

The scream of the wind as it charged them from the summit of Lhotse, the vibrations of the ground when an avalanche fell, the hiss of snow stinging the tent, and the mountain's roar, all sounds he heard through the inconsequential force six doing its best to rattle the house. The bitter bite of memory gnawed at his mind for sure, but the main reason his thoughts leapt from the anesthetising approach of sleep to the worst conditions in the world had nothing to do with the past.

There were people out there now, at Everest, yes, but also on the fells. The team were over at Northpeak and they'd picked a fine night for training, but closer to home, there were hikers and climbers huddled beneath inadequate canvas hoping their pegging was sound and wishing the night would end. Daylight might bring security, but it didn’t guarantee good weather, and it was still hours away. A lot could happen. The storm had worsened to a frightening zenith before the thunder abated slightly, but still he couldn't sleep. The lessening conditions meant the eye of the storm was overhead, and there would be more, possibly worse, to follow.

He pictured the fell from above, seeing through the agitated clouds to the swamped ground a mile below. Lit by lightning bursts, he imagined it as waves frozen in mid-roll with Fellborough peak a crest and the lower terrain its ripples. Peppered around it were insignificant dots of inappropriate colour, the shop-bought, budget tents of the unwary trembling against the elements.

He had pictured the scene on many nights as he lay listening to the conditions and waiting for the MRT radio to spark into life, or for his pager to double-beep the call sign, but tonight he was seeing it more clearly, as if it was unfolding on a widescreen television in high definition. Unaffected by the storm, he floated above it, watching over its potential victims, safe at his altitude and apart. The unhinged tempest beneath blasted from one insane thought to another, swiping at anything in its path, but John was safe, hovering on a warm updraft that dulled him towards the soft paws of sleep.

Until he fell.

Security gone. No handholds, no rope, only the empty space between him and the life-taking certainty of rock.

Gasping, he opened his eyes as his body jerked. The clock glowed one-forty-seven, and Gary had rolled away leaving him exposed and vulnerable. The pager was silent, and John was safe in his bed, but a few miles away, people might be battling for their lives, and all he could do was wait.


The rain no longer stung when it swiped Liam's face, his flesh was too numb to register the pain. The torch beam was nothing more than a thread through barely penetrable blackness, but it showed him the ground a few steps at a time.

That was all he needed to do, take it slowly using common sense and exercising caution. The tent had been facing west, and he found the way down from the ledge between two large boulders with no trouble. Straight on to the south, he met the path. Over to his left, the lightning was now on the horizon, and the wind was swooping down from the fell on his right. If the storm didn’t change direction, it would keep him on course, and the path, now more like a stream, was marked here and there by cairns. With the wind to one side and the dying lightning to the other, he only needed to keep going downhill until he met the riverbed. If it was flooded, he'd wade straight through to if he had to.

It was his fault that Casper was in trouble. Whatever had made him go out unprotected in the storm, and whatever had happened next didn’t matter. There was nothing that could be done to change that, all that mattered now was finding someone who could save him. Repercussions of a bad decision would come, and Liam would deserve them – unprepared, inexperienced, thinking he knew what he was doing… Why hadn’t he just taken Casper down to the beach at home to tell him? Why drag him halfway up the country and make him climb a hill to ruin their friendship? He could have done that weeks ago had he not been such a ridiculous romantic. There was nothing romantic about destroying their friendship and leaving his best friend shivering to death on…

He yelled at himself to stop. Beating himself up wouldn't do any good. He had to concentrate on his footing, and pretend he knew what he was doing. Casper needed him to be strong, to be wise, to take only a course of action that would lead to rescue, everything else had to wait.

Not knowing how far he had descended, he stopped and took out his phone. Sheltering it as best he could against his chest, he switched it on only to find no signal and the battery bar now glowing red. The phone back in his pocket, the torch aimed at the path, his head down, he continued.

The rain was easing off, that was a blessing, but the gale roared in his ears, low and booming one moment, high-pitched the next. As uncoordinated as his frozen feet, as wild as the anger he turned in on himself, it would not leave him alone. It taunted and jabbed as it bullied, and in the cacophony, he imagined laughter, spiteful and insulting, but deserved.

Another sound grew closer on a rumbling vibration beneath his feet, and a few paces further, he came to the edge of the riverbed.

Except now there was no bed, only river as thousands of gallons of water teamed from the blackness on his right to vanish back into the night on his left. The torch lit foam spewing around rocks in untamed channels that bubbled wildly and fast across his path. There was no way to judge the depth, and no way of knowing if the rocks that stood above the surface were stable, but equally, there was no time to think about it. Squinting through dripping eyelashes and aiming his light, it was impossible to see how wide it was either, but he knew for certain that there was no way to go up and around. Downhill, it could flow east for miles and take him off his path. The only way was through, and he knew he might not survive.




Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Sarah☆☆☆☆
The second book in this series brings readers back to the mountain home John now shares with his husband, Gary. This time, the focus of the story is on Liam and Casper, two young sixth formers who get into trouble while hiking.

Liam and Casper are beautiful, anxious, and completely adorable together. Full of teenage angst, theirs is a story about friendship, coming out, and growing up. There are some wonderfully tender moments between these two and theirs is a sweet and gentle romance. Frustratingly, though, there is something slightly dated and formal about both boys and they don’t quite feel like contemporary teenagers.

I enjoyed catching up with John and Gary, but I found it a little odd that Gary had grown into a mini John in the elapsed years. Gary’s age was a bit blurry in this book – it’s mentioned a few times and the dates don’t quite add up. I enjoyed both of the romantic relationships more than the criminal drama in the story. With all the mountain climbing action, I’m not sure the slightly slapstick villains are actually necessary. This is a gentle, low heat read. The first book wasn’t exactly steamy but this one with teen characters is properly chaste.


Also Available in the Barrenmoor Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
~  Also Available with KindleUnlimited  ~

For reviews & more info, check out our The Mentor of Barrenmoor Ridge post.




Jackson Marsh is a British born author of novels and screenplays.

Jackson has a background of theatre, cabaret and music and yet holds a social policy degree. He was born on the Romney Marshes in Kent, UK, but now lives on a mountainous Greek island. During the 1980s in London he campaigned for gay rights and performed political satire cabaret, writing song and reviews, appearing at Pride events, national venues and on television.

He moved to Greece in 2002 and married his partner there in 2017. He has won awards for his gay erotic writing, and in 2007, won a European-wide award for short stories. In 2017, he won awards for his screenplay writing.

Jackson is the author of The Clearwater Mysteries, and also writes fiction under the name James Collins.

Connect with Jackson

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads



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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Students of Barrenmoor Ridge (Barrenmoor #2) by Jackson Marsh to read and review for this tour.