Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Blog Tour: Heart2Heart Anthology (Guest Post, Reviews + Giveaway)


May Archer * Charlie Cochet * Alison Hendricks * Sloane Kennedy *
Lucy Lennox * Ruthie Luhnow * Lily Morton * Chris Owen *
Poppy Dennison * Hailey Turner * A.E. Wasp


RELEASE DATE: 02.07.18

ANTHOLOGY EDITOR:  Leslie Copeland


Once upon a time, a bunch of authors wondered… What if a dating app that guaranteed you a love match broke down just in time for Valentine’s Day? What if you found yourself on a blind date with a random guy who might be your opposite in every single way? It could be a disaster. Or… When the code breaks down, fate just might take over.

Eleven of your favorite gay romance authors have joined forces to light up your Valentine’s Day with a collection of sweet, sexy, silly, and hot short stories, featuring a wacky cast of characters chosen from your reader suggestions! Morticians and magicians, superheroes and spies, lawyers and lobstermen, will all learn that love has nothing to do with algorithms… and sometimes you find it in the least-likely places.

And the best part? All proceeds from this collection will go to the authors’ favorite LGBTQ charities, to ensure that love in all its incarnations will be celebrated and protected every single day of the year!

It will only be available for 90 days, so Tuesday, May 8th will be the last time you can purchase this anthology.

Over 162k words total, contemporary MM romance

Charlie Cochet
The Assassin and the Dog Walker

Can you tell us a little bit about your characters?
Lymond is a gruff, broody assassin who's just trying to have somewhat of a normal life, though his hope has been slowly dwindling until he's signed up for a blind date through the Heart2Heart app by his younger brother Jerrott. Daniel is a professional dog walker who's always surrounded by furry friends. He's sweet, snarky, and looking to be swept off his feet by Mr. Right.

Was writing this story easy for you to do? Or was it a little bit outside of your normal writing zone?
It was a little outside my normal writing zone as I decided to go with first person point of views for this little story, and I generally write third. I also had to make sure I focused more on the romance than the action, which I normally try to balance out the two, but this story was more about two men finding each other under the somewhat strange circumstances. It was so much fun to write.

The characters you had to choose from were readers’ submissions, correct? Were there any other characters you considered writing about before you chose this couple?
That's write. Well, when I saw assassin, how could I not, right? As I went through the list, there were so many fabulous characters to choose from, but I needed someone who would be perfectly opposite my broody assassin, and when I saw sassy dog walker, I knew I had my couple.

What were some of the reader submissions that stood out to you, and why?
There were so many of them. Really they were all fabulous! Everything from dancers to lumberjacks. FBI agent was one I ran across before I got to my assassin, but I loved the challenge of trying to write a romance for Lymond. Keeping the story light when an assassin is involved was certainly not any easy task.

How did you come to be involved in the Heart2Heart Anthology?
I was approached by Leslie Copeland who did an amazing job bringing us all together. When she told me the premise, and some of the authors she would be asking to be involved, I was all over it. The chance to write a story for an anthology with a group of authors whose books I love? Yes, please!

Since the anthology is only available for a limited time, (90 days) do you have any plans for your story after that?
I'm not sure yet. I have had readers asking me about Crispin and Jerrott, so it's very likely they'll be getting their own story.

Have you ever been involved in a group project like this before? What were some of the challenges you had to face?
I was part of the Charmed and Dangerous Anthology. That one was a little more challenging because it was a paranormal anthology with a group of fabulous authors who all had very different voices and styles of writing. The Heart2Heart anthology was focused on romance, Valentine's Day, and the a premise of the Heart2Heart app that tied all the stories together. They were both such a great experience, and I'm so very glad I took part.

What do you think of the line-up of authors? How does it feel to be in such great company?
It's amazing. They're all authors whose books I own, many favorites of mine so it was an absolute honor to be a part of this, especially since it's for such a good cause. It's been a lot of fun, and a fantastic experience.

Is this something you'd like to be a part of again in the future?
I would certainly work with these authors again. Schedules can sometimes make things tricky, and I tend to take part in things like this when I personally know the people involved. Many of these authors I consider friends, so there really was no question.

Other than your own, do you have a favorite story (or two) in the anthology?
You want me to pick? I can't pick! There was not one story in this anthology I didn't love, but then that's not a surprise considering the authors, and the Heart2Heart app idea was just so cute and fun.

You're donating the entire proceeds to charity - can you tell us more about where the money is going?
The proceeds of the anthology is going to three charities: The Trevor Project, The Bisexual Resource Center, and One-N-Ten.

Have you ever been set up on a blind date? If yes, how did it turn out?
No, I'm not that adventurous. LOL

Have you ever set someone else up on a blind date? If yes, how did it turn out?
Oh goodness no! I think if I knew two people who I thought should meet, I would just introduce them to each other, and let them work out the rest. LOL

If Heart2Heart were to match you with someone, who do you think you'd get paired with?
If the app were looking for my opposite, probably the Math professor-who'd be thoroughly horrified by the C's I got on the subject at school, and by the blank stare on my face when they tried to explain some math formula to me. I had straight A's and a few B+'s in everything else, but Math? Nope.  


Breathe. Just breathe.

Why the hell was I so nervous? It’s not like I hadn’t gone on blind dates before. One of these days I was going to put my foot down, and Lissa might actually listen to me. I knew my best friend just wanted to help, but every date I went on ended in disaster. It wasn’t because of the guys she picked. It was me. Or so everyone told me. According to my mother, my standards were too high, and outside of a romance novel, I was never going to find the man of my dreams, so I should stop trying to find Mr. Right, and settle for Mr. Good Enough. Thanks, Mom.

All I wanted was a little romance. Was it too much to ask to be swept off my feet? To be treated like something special, and not just a hot piece of ass? Yes, my ass was fabulous, but there were other body parts attached to it. Unfortunately, the guys I had a habit of falling for weren’t interested in those parts, especially outside of the bedroom. I had a type. Big, strong, alpha dudes were my Kryptonite. A sexy voice and chiseled jaw turned me into a puddle of whimpering need, my resolve vanishing into nothingness, much like the men in my bed did the morning after. It’s like they all turned into David fucking Blaine the moment the sun came up.

I’d even caught one guy sneaking out my bedroom window at dawn. I’d asked him if there was something wrong with my front door. He’d been so startled, he lost his balance and fell into my downstairs neighbor’s rosebushes. Served him right. When I’d looked out of my window at him, he had the nerve to tell me he forgot his gym bag, and could I could bring it down to him. I said “sure”, and tossed it out the window, ignoring the manly yelp that followed shortly after.

I was done. I wanted more. I wanted someone whose idea of romance was more than a reach-around. I wanted date nights, flowers, and walks through the park. That was probably why I was so nervous. This date was different. I was being set up with someone who was my perfect match. When Lissa wore me down into accepting yet another blind date, she assured me this was it. What I’d been waiting for. The Heart2Heart app would select the guy for me, so like the hopeless romantic I was always accused of being—as if that was a bad thing—here I was standing in front of the upscale steakhouse.

The restaurant took up two floors, the outside themed in red and black with large windows so you could see the elegant décor inside. I mentally hiked up my big boy pants, and walked in, passing the cozy bar that was packed with people, to the hostess stand, and the lovely young woman who greeted me warmly when I approached. I let her know who I was, and why I was there, and she beamed at me.

“Your date hasn’t arrived, Mr. Anderson, but why don’t I take your coat and show you to your table? I’m sure he’ll be along any minute,”she said cheerfully, exchanging my black pea coat for half of a ticket. I slipped it in my pocket, and took a deep breath, smoothing down my deep blue slim-fit shirt. It had tiny polka dots with the cuffs turned up at my elbows, and was tucked into my navy-blue dress slacks. The brown leather belt I wore matched my brown brogues. It had taken me hours to get my blond hair to look perfectly disheveled. I even brought out the big guns and applied a hint of lip gloss to my lips.

As the hostess lead me toward the back of the restaurant, and down a small set of stairs to the dining area in the back, I smiled excitedly. It was just like a scene out of a movie. The atmosphere was warm, the tables lit by candlelight, the dining area filled with couples chatting and laughing, as sweeping violins played unobtrusively through the speakers. By the time we reached the table, I had butterflies in my stomach, and they were going nuts. I thanked the hostess, and took the seat facing away from the door. If I sat in the chair across I wouldn’t be able to stop staring at the door wondering if every guy that walked in was my date.


We are pleased to be donating 100% of our proceeds to 3 wonderful charities:
Bisexual Resource Centre:

We encourage all readers to learn more about these groups and consider making a donation of your own. Every little bit helps.


What began as a random idea quickly turned into a collaborative and completely voluntary effort from 11 authors, more than 130 readers, cover designer, 2 proofreaders, and one cat herder to keep it all together.

Readers were asked to submit ideas for characters, both typical and off-the-wall, and from that list, each author picked 2 seemingly mismatched guys and helped them find love.

May Archer - The Baker and the SEAL

Charlie Cochet - The Assassin and the Dog Walker

Poppy Dennison - The Electrician and the Event Planner

Alison Hendricks  - The Professional Gamer and the Paranormal Photographer

Sloane Kennedy - The Florist and the Lawyer

Lucy Lennox - The Uber Drive and the Phone Sex Operator

Ruthie Luhnow - The Lawyer and the Lobsterman

Lily Morton  - The Tattoo Artist and the Writer

Chris Owen - The Criminal and the Sommelier

Hailey Turner - The Superhero and the NSA Agent

AE Wasp - The Magician and the Mortician


(>'o')> ♥ <('o'<)웃❤유(>'o')> ♥ <('o'<)

The Magician and the Mortician by A.E. Wasp

4 Stars

This was a sweet story. I adored both Alberto and Mikey and although the story is instalove, it works.

It’s well-written and filled with romance, love, laughter, a bit of sexy time and of course a bit of magic. Recommendable!

(>'o')> ♥ <('o'<)웃❤유(>'o')> ♥ <('o'<)

The Event Planner and the Electrician by Poppy Dennison

4 Stars

This was such a cute story. First, I have to say I absolutely adored Theo. He was adorable and funny and Harvey was just a big sweet teddy bear. They had good chemistry and they were great together.

This was a well-written and fun story. It was funny, sweet and a little sexy. I also loved Theo’s boss, Danielle. An enjoyable and recommendable read!

(>'o')> ♥ <('o'<)웃❤유(>'o')> ♥ <('o'<)

The Uber Driver and the Phone Sex Operator by Lucy Lennox 

4.5 Stars 

Travis is subbing for his brother, Brody, who is an Uber driver, for the night and picks up Azrael, a phone sex operator, who happens to be in the middle of a call with a client as he gets in the car. Brody is deaf, so Azrael thinks nothing of continuing his filthy talk with his client, not realizing Travis can hear him perfectly.

This was a cute story and even though it’s short, it was well-written and felt like a complete story, something you don’t always manage to get in an Anthology.

This was definitely my favorite of the stories I read. I loved both Travis and Azrael. They were amazing and smoking hot together. The story was funny, sweet, sexy and with a bit of family drama, as well. Definitely enjoyable and recommendable!

The Set-up and The Fallout
4.5 Stars!
Bailey, the programmer in charge of the Heart2Heart app meets the handsome man cleaning his windows and who he has been checking out for the last two days when he hasn't been working on coding the app. When Ryder invites him out, he leaves work early, throwing caution to the wind and not checking that the app's algorithm is running smoothly before leaving and setting what could have been either Heart2Heart's downfall or the best thing that could ever happen to it in motion.
I adored this story, the chemistry between Bailey and Ryder was electric and it was so sweet seeing the jock being so smitten with the nerdy guy.

(>'o')> ♥ <('o'<)웃❤유(>'o')> ♥ <('o'<)
May Archer - The Baker and the SEAL

4.5 Stars!

While Cal and Ash seemed to be very different, it was lovely seeing that the baker and the SEAL had a lot in common in the end and made it work despite the misunderstandings. I loved Ash from the start, and I liked Cal, even if I wanted to kind of strangle him for jumping to conclusions about Ash so fast. They had great chemistry and were hot together and they made things work, even if I wanted Cal to grovel a bit more.

(>'o')> ♥ <('o'<)웃❤유(>'o')> ♥ <('o'<)

Charlie Cochet - The Assassin and the Dog Walker

4.5 Stars!

This was one of the most incongrous pairings in the Anthology, but Charlie Cochet sure made it work. Daniel was adorable and Lymond was all gruff and broody and somehow they complemented each other quite nicely. It was fun seeing Lymond fall for Daniel so fast and see Daniel bend a bit to accept all of Lymond. This was a very sweet, instalove story

(>'o')> ♥ <('o'<)웃❤유(>'o')> ♥ <('o'<)

Alison Hendricks  - The Professional Gamer and the Paranormal Photographer

5 Stars!

Definitely one of my favorite stories in the Anthology. I loved Lawrence and Allen and the fact that even if neither of them put too much stock on the other's profession at the start of the story, they were willing to compromise and give each other the benefit of the doubt. Never mind that their chemistry and interactions were out of this world.

(>'o')> ♥ <('o'<)웃❤유(>'o')> ♥ <('o'<)

Sloane Kennedy - The Florist and the Lawyer
5 Stars!
Another favorite! It was lovely seeing the stony lawyer Harrison fall for the effeminate florist Nate and go out of his way to romance him as he deserved. It's not easy writing a story this length that can pack as much of a punch as this one did. It was hot and a bit angsty and fun all wrapped in one fantastically written package.

(>'o')> ♥ <('o'<)웃❤유(>'o')> ♥ <('o'<)

Ruthie Luhnow - The Lawyer and the Lobsterman
4 Stars!
I will admit I wasn't too sure about this pairing at first, however, Isaac and Will won me over. Isaac was very serious and Will was a goofball, but they met in the middle and Ms. Luhnow made me see a different, deeper side of each of them that gave me a different perspective and made me fall for them. I would have liked it being longer and having a glimpse of them in the future, but other than that, I was pretty happy with what I got.

(>'o')> ♥ <('o'<)웃❤유(>'o')> ♥ <('o'<)

Lily Morton  - The Tattoo Artist and the Writer
4.5 Stars!
This story was a bit different from the others in the sense that Sage and Noah weren't strangers being paired by the Heart2Heart app, but best friends, so it was a different dynamic altogether. While the story is written from Noah's POV, the author provided enough information that it was easy getting to know Sage through Noah's eyes and see how interested he was in Noah, despite Noah being oblivious to Sage's feelings.
It was such a sweet, kind of angsty read that nearly made me cry, despite its length, so for that alone I loved it.

(>'o')> ♥ <('o'<)웃❤유(>'o')> ♥ <('o'<)

Chris Owen - The Criminal and the Sommelier
3.75 Stars

Unfortunately, even if this story is well-written, I found it difficult to connect with Phillipe, the sommelier, he was so snobbish and not all that likable, despite Angelo being impressed with his snark. The book was written in his POV, so that made it even more difficult. Angelo seemed charming, but seeing as we only saw him through Phillipe's eyes, it was harder to feel as if I got to know him.

(>'o')> ♥ <('o'<)웃❤유(>'o')> ♥ <('o'<)

Hailey Turner - The Superhero and the NSA Agent
4.5 Stars

Shane is a NSA agent and Damian is the hunky superhero cosplayer, who likes to volunteer at the hospital to entertain the kids. From the moment they meet at the hospital after Shane has an accident during an operative, they hit it off.

This story was so cute and entertaining. It was fun seeing Shane's coworkers betting on his meeting with Damian and seeing how well Shane and Damian fit together despite being so different.

(>'o')> ♥ <('o'<)웃❤유(>'o')> ♥ <('o'<) Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars!
Truly, this is an anthology you don't want to miss, from The Set-up to the Fall-out and the 11 stories in between, you'll find an outstanding collection of opposite-attract short stories written by some of the best MM authors, among which I'm sure you'll be able to find many favorites.
Highly recommendable!

No comments:

Post a Comment