Tag Archives: NineStar Press

COZZI COVE: Moving Forward by Joe Cosentino

Today we hope you’ll help us welcome Joe Cosentino and his brand new Cozzi Cove story, Moving Forward. He’s here to share his thoughts on why he wrote it, and we can’t wait to see what he has to say. We’re in love with this new series and hope you will be too! Welcome, Joe!

GUEST POST: WHY I WROTE COZZI COVE: MOVING FORWARD
a novel published by NineStar Press
by Joe Cosentino

After Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back released, many readers and reviewers praised its romantic, humorous, dramatic, mysterious style, and interwoven captivating stories. Having received countless requests for another visit to Cozzi Cove, I wrote Cozzi Cove: Moving Froward. As with the first book, nothing is what it seems in book two, and romance is everywhere with a happy ending.

Also after my novella A Shooting Star was released, many readers wanted more time with two of the leading characters, college theatre majors Jonathan and Barry. So two of the guests at Cozzi Cove this summer are loosely based on how Jonathan and Barry might be as middle-aged men. I call them Rodney Maxwell and Dennis O’Halloran.

My leading character is Cal Cozzi.  Cal, on the left on the cover, dabbled as a professional football player then restaurant owner, but neither was a good fit. After Cal’s parents died in an automobile accident, he found his calling: managing Cozzi Cove in the New Jersey shore town named after his great-grandfather.

Cal’s new young lover, Michael Rodgers, is an African American college student with exotic eyes and a toned body. After going through tough times, Michael landed at Cal’s doorstep and the two have never looked back.

Connor, the college student assisting Cal, is packed with muscles and hormones. He revels in Cozzi Cove, and in checking out each resident for a possible fling on the cove—which he occasionally enjoys.

Tommy, the bald, muscular, tattooed resident of Cozzi Cove who owns the local bar has held a torch for Cal since high school. Carla Mangione who runs Carla’s Seafood Restaurant holds a similar torch for Cal’s sister.

Cal’s sister, Taylor, drops in from Rome, Paris, Wall Street, or Palm Springs. As a tough as nails top one-percenter, the world revolves around her, which makes her hysterically funny. I also admire her devotion to her brother. Taylor is in for a huge surprise in this book.

This summer the vacationers include Rodney Maxwell and Dennis O’Halloran, a Tony Award winning actor and his estranged producer/husband with their two hired bodybuilder studs, Jarek and Zeus. Computer analyst, Sam, enlists his best friend Chase in a scheme to attract Sam’s hunky, unsuspecting best friend, Raul. Hunter, a female gay romance novel enthusiast, hoping to experience gay life off the page. Middle aged Gil Van Truren wants to end it all—until he sees a vision of his first love from college. Cal also has his hands full with Michael’s study buddy the gorgeous and muscular Carlo, and resident man of mystery George Valis who seems to know a great deal about Cal’s past. What secrets, humor, tragedy, mysteries, and passions lie in the magical place called Cozzi Cove this summer? You have to read the novel to find out! And let me know what you think. I love hearing from readers. Please contact me at: http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com.

So grab your Speedos, suntan lotion, and shades and head to Cozzi Cove. I hope to see you there again!

ABOUT THE BOOK:

COZZI COVE MOVING FORWARD COVER
Cover Design: Arai Tan

On Cozzi Cove at the New Jersey Shore, handsome Cal Cozzi’s seven bungalows are once again open for summer and love. The vacationers include Rodney Maxwell and Dennis O’Halloran, a Tony Award winning actor and his estranged producer/husband with their two hired studs, Jarek and Zeus. Computer analyst Sam enlists his best friend Chase in a scheme to attract hunky Raul. Middle aged Gil Van Truren wants to end it all—until he sees a vision of his first love. Cal also has his hands full with college student Michael—his new young lover—Michael’s study buddy Carlo, man of mystery George Valis, and Connor, the houseboy packed with muscles and a wondering sponge. All the while Hunter, a female gay romance novel enthusiast, experiences gay life off the page. What secrets, humor, tragedy, mysteries, and passions lie in the magical place called Cozzi Cove?

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PURCHASE A COPY: NINESTAR PRESS / AMAZON / BARNES & NOBLE / ARe 

Publisher: Nine Star Press
Book Length: 60,000 words
Release date: April 18, 2016

OUR THOUGHTS:

Oh, Cozzi Cove, you are fast becoming a favorite vacation destination with your action and excitement! Joe Cosentino once again wins his way into your heart and soul with this fun, flirtatious romance. Love, laughter and smoldering intimacy await all who dare to venture to the clear blue waters of the Cove.

In this second installment, the cast of characters continues to get more and more colorful at Cozzi. They’re all tied together by a common bond – moving forward. (Aptly titled then, eh?) But seriously, each couple – and some of the singles – at Cozzi are trying to figure out where things go from here. Some will have an easier path than others, but none are clear cut. Cosentino reminds us that while love is grand, it requires hard work and dedication to keep the fire burning.  It’s easy to get busy living life and take the one you love for granted.

RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS

EXCERPT:

Cal Cozzi sat on the white sandy beach like a king on his throne. The thirty-one-year-old thought about his great-grandfather, Calvin Cozzi III, who had built the eight bungalows, seven of which Cal’s father, Calvin Cozzi II, had rented to guys like Cal when Cal was a boy. With both men long gone, Cozzi Cove was Cal’s heritage, lifeblood, and oasis. As he gazed out at the ancient lighthouse near the horizon, Cal filled his lungs with salty sea air. He was happy to be home.

A familiar yawn and warm breath on his neck caused Cal to turn around and throw his arms around the stocky young man who plopped down next to him. Over a decade younger than Cal, Michael Rodgers rubbed his fingers over dark eyes. Resting his head with its chestnut-colored locks on Cal’s chest, Michael said, “I missed waking up in your arms.”

They shared a long kiss and then rose and stood at the water’s edge, watching the seagulls fly across shades of amber, violet, and flame that were fading to reveal a bright-blue sky. With Cal’s Italian and Scottish heritage and Michael’s Swedish and African lineage, Cal thought their skin glistened in the sun like jewels.

Shorter than Cal, Michael licked Cal’s neck.

“Hey, stop licking. I don’t have any pets.”

“You do now.”

Cal took the boy in his arms and smothered his youthful face with kisses. Though Cal would never forget Lance, the soul mate he’d lost to cancer two years prior, he couldn’t escape the fact that he was growing more and more in love with Michael every day they lived together. Michael’s high-energy zest for life and brutal honesty in speaking his mind both infuriated and delighted Cal. And Cal was well aware that his straightforward, hardworking masculinity still made Michael weak at the knees after living together in the main bungalow for nearly a year.

“Let’s get some breakfast.” Cal ran his fingers through Michael’s curly hair.

Michael kneaded the muscles in Cal’s back. “What are we having?”

“I’m having the honey buckwheat pancakes I made. What are you having?” Cal slapped Michael’s firm buttocks playfully, and then ran away as Michael chased him, laughing.

As they headed for the main bungalow, Cal scanned the row of seven guest bungalows on the cove. Cozzi Cove itself was a quiet stretch of beach with waves tickling jagged rocks perched on white sand only a mile away from the open ocean. Though he was excited about the start of the summer rental season, Cal knew he’d miss the tranquility of having the cove to himself—with Michael.

Michael followed Cal into the kitchen. As Cal gazed at the lantern-shaped kitchen clock on the wall, he admired his grandfather’s taste in decorating all of the bungalows with wood-carved, nautical-themed furnishings.

Sitting at the table, Michael said, “When do the guests arrive?”

“Check-in starts at eleven a.m.”

Michael giggled. “Do I have to check in?”

Cal kissed the top of his head. “Yeah, into my bedroom.” He served the pancakes and orange juice before sitting next to Michael. “What time do you have to leave for school?”

Michael answered with his mouth full. “College! I’m taking a summer class at State, not going to morning kindergarten. I’m a junior.”

“Okay, Junior.”

“Very funny. In the fall I’ll be a senior, like you.” He kissed Cal’s wide nose.

“Hey, your lips are covered in honey.”

“So they tell me.” Michael continued eating.

“Does your study buddy tell you that?”

Michael raised his eyes to the mermaid-shaped lighting fixture as if gathering patience. “Carlo is my partner.”

“Really?”

“In my advanced photography class.”

“Is that what they call it at State?”

“Maybe in your day.” Michael’s eyes gleamed devilishly. “Hey, did they have college back then?”

“I’ll put you over my knee, young man.”

“Promises, promises.” Michael swallowed his last piece of pancake and then gulped down the rest of his orange juice. “Carlo is coming here before our class. We’re taking some shots of the cove.”

Cal felt his expression harden. “I thought you were going to mow the lawn, rake the pebbles, and hose down the sidewalk around the bungalows.”

“Done.” Michael put his plate, glass, and fork in the sink.

“When?”

“Last night, when you were in the shower.”

“That’s why you didn’t come in with me.”

Michael wrapped his arms around Cal. “Can I take a rain check for tonight?”

“Maybe you should ask Carlo.”

“Carlo doesn’t shower. He takes baths.”

Cal did a double take. “And you know this how?”

“He told me.” Michael ran into the back bedroom, the home of his computer and photography equipment.

Cal felt his blood boil. Taking in some deep breaths, he told himself to calm down.

Michael came back holding a number of prints and placed them on the kitchen table. “What do you think?”

Cal looked down at photographs. “Nice composition, proportions, and shading.”

“Thanks!”

He pointed at the dark-haired, dark-eyed, olive-skinned, very muscular young man with a stoic Roman nose, dimples like craters, and a cleft chin like the San Andreas Fault. “Your professor brought in an Italian porn star?”

“Watch many Italian porn films, do you, Cal?”

“Obviously you don’t have to.”

“That’s Carlo. I took them in class.”

Cal offered a weak smile, trying hard not to let the anger and jealously he was feeling show on his face.

Michael ran his finger over the photographs. “Our professor complimented me on the line and shape.”

“I can see why.”

“And the contour and shading.”

“Yup.”

“I’m really proud of them. Tommy loved them too.”

Cal rose and put his breakfast things in the sink. “When did you show these to Tommy?”

“Yesterday afternoon when I was working at Tommy’s bar. The pictures of Cozzi Cove are for our next assignment.”

“‘Hot Italian guy on the beach’?”

“‘Summer magic.’ ” He hugged Cal’s neck. “And there’s no place more magical or more romantic than Cozzi Cove in the summer.”

After Michael headed into the bathroom, Cal heard Connor’s jeep pull up into the parking lot.

A minute later, Connor’s voice rang out. “Hi, boss. Private Connor O’Riley reporting for duty.”

Cal met Connor in the living room. “Hi, Connor. Good job cleaning the bungalows yesterday. I aired them out last night. Do me a favor. Get some fresh towels from the bin outside and put them in the bungalows.”

In his usual skintight white T-shirt and short-shorts, the freckled twenty-year-old saluted. “Aye, aye, Capitán.” Connor licked his red lips, which matched his frizzy hair. “Where’s Michael?”

“In the shower.”

“Does he need more towels?” Connor headed toward the bathroom.

Cal grabbed his muscular arm. “Down, boy. And keep it in your pants when the guests get here.”

Connor feigned shock. “Me? Make a play for a guest? Never! Cal, you wound me to the heart.”

“You must have studied dramatics at the college this year.”

Connor batted the long lashes over his sky-blue eyes. “How else could I have dated all the gay dudes?”

Cal laughed. “I’m sure you dated them.”

“I did.” Connor revealed his pearly-white teeth. “It was the football team last year who went straight, pardon the pun, for the touchdown.”

Cal put his arm around the boy’s wide shoulders and walked him to the front porch. “Please get straight to work so everything is ready when the guests arrive.”

Connor said with the eagerness of a child at Christmas, “I can’t wait to see our pick of the litter.”

“Look, don’t touch.”

Connor opened the front door and bumped into Carlo, whose crimson dress shirt had enough buttons open to reveal impressive pectoral muscles. “Welcome to Cozzi Cove!”

As he entered the front porch, his dark eyes glistened in the morning sun. “I’m Carlo. I’m looking for Michael Rodgers.”

Cal shut the door behind him and shook Carlo’s hand, noticing the bulge in Carlo’s black slacks. “Please come in.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Bestselling author Joe Cosentino wrote Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back & Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward (NineStar Press), Drama Queen and Drama Muscle  Nicky and Noah mysteries (Lethe Press), In My Heart/An Infatuation & A Shooting StarA Home for the HolidaysThe Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press), Paper Doll & Porcelain Doll & Satin Doll (Wild Rose Press) Jana Lane mysteries, and The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (Eldridge Plays and Musicals). He has appeared in principal acting roles in film, television, and theatre, opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor, and Jason Robards. Joe is currently Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married. His upcoming novels are Drama Cruise Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press) and China DollJana Lane mystery (Wild Rose Press). Joe was voted 2nd Place for Best MM Author of the Year in Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards for 2015!

CONNECT WITH JOE:

WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / TWITTER / GOODREADS / AMAZON

GIVEAWAY:

Post a comment about why you love the sand and sea. The one that rides our wave the most will win a copy of Joe Cosentino’s hit e-book novella, AN INFATUATION, published by Dreamspinner Press, from the author.

You Are the One by Scott D. Pomfret

You Are the One

You Are the One by Scott D. Pomfret

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: April 4, 2016

Genre: Literary

Pairing: MM

Length: Novel, 155 pages

Cover Artist: Aria Tan

Purchase Link: NineStar Press

Blurb:

Gay lovers find temporary respite from adversity in this collection of stories by Scott D. Pomfret. Ranging from a cocaine-fueled rampage to the blind eye of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell to the submission of a dick-dock orgy, these stories depict the bonds gay men forge when political unrest, drugs, HIV/AIDS, the Church or a demanding T-ball schedule put their commitments to the test.

Excerpt:

Your head was full of sacred places like land mines, IEDs on the roadside of our conversation. Every once in a blue moon, you lapsed into a moment of particular silence (as opposed to your garden variety clamped-mouthedness) while some procession in your head passed that only you saw or heard. You woke me up at midnight with a knife at my throat and demanded in Arabic to see my pass.
You talked about the first tour exactly once. Your tone was so reverential that we were instantly in a chapel full of incense and sweat and raw knees and desperation. You said that Iraqi hospitals were filthy and overrun by the limbless. You said how strange it was to hear the ka-chunk of chambered rounds in this place where civilization began. You mentioned the twenty-year-old soldier under your command who took some shrapnel and begged you to just not let him die. You held his hand and pretended that a grown man had not pissed himself. You helped him die.
I knew it was wrong, but some puny, twisted, black part of my soul was jealous of the dying soldier. Jealous of every man and woman you met on that first tour, because they are in some inviolate place in your head I must not go—a mausoleum.
Though I knew I shouldn’t, and I knew it drove you crazy, I could not help myself. I asked over and over, “Do you really want to go back to that?”
You kept saying, “This is what soldiers do.”
I seized you. I shook you. At first, you let me have my way. Then you grew bored, pried me loose, threw me to the bed, and took a position by the window. You scanned the perimeter. You seemed to need an imaginary sniper out there on West Twelfth Street that you could take out. Nothing else would calm your nerves.
“Do you really want to go back to that?” I asked again.
“Shut up.”
“Do you really want—”
You jumped across the room, pushed me to the wall, and drew back your fist. Now, you grew up in a home where your daddy hit you and your mother. You fought back from time to time, and you lost and got bloodied, and yet made your daddy proud that he had a son who was full of spunk and going to grow up into a real man one day. You swore you would never be such a man yourself. But we often swear to go in one direction and the next moment chart a course toward another end entirely. So you bulked up on protein, lifted your weights, joined the service, and learned martial arts. You filled yourself with flint and fire, piss and vinegar, stoking a hair-trigger temper with too many days of mortar fire and too many nights on patrol.
“Ever consider taking yoga?” I asked. “That might make it simpler to avoid becoming your dad.”
Good and evil warred in your face. I was on the front lines. You struck the wall next to my head. You released me on the brink of being the kind of man you did not want to be.
“I love you,” I said.
“More dangerous than Ali Baba set loose in the souk with a bomb strapped to his chest.”
“I love you.”
“You’re saying that to make me stay.”
“No. I really love you.”
“Yes. Just to make me stay.”
“OK. Yes,” I snapped. “Will you stay?”
You looked away. You muttered, “My country needs me.”
When you and I first met those fifteen months ago outside the chow hall, I prepared myself for a short life on the down low. I figured secrecy was another one of these inevitable humiliations of homosexuality, the price one pays for finding a good man. Someday no doubt, I’d stalk away in disgust, crushed and proud, full of dignity, and lonely as hell.
But the down low was not your MO. From that very first day when you dared to speak to me in front of your men, you never shied away from me. You introduced me only by name. You did not explain me. You did not label me. You did not encourage questions. Your quiet was ominous. Your medals were a dare. Ditto your stars and bars, your aviator glasses. They all mutely challenged each soldier in the platoon to utter a goddamn word of objection.
Conversations dried up. Tongues went still. Words failed. You were as ramrod straight as you ever were. You nodded, saluted, and asked, “Isn’t this a fine day, gentlemen?”
Their faces became blank and unreadable. Their eyes searched beyond me. They were looking at a tomorrow without me, a day when your betrayal could be forgotten and your sins forgiven. They were like a squad of soldiers who agreed to pretend a pitched battle in the fog of war, that leaves blood on your hands and men you loved splitting open a child’s head with a gun stock or shooting a mother point-blank, never happened. They were looking toward a simpler and more moral time, when men could be expected to act according to the laws that God had made.
Not that the men ever looked down on you. They still jumped when you barked, which gave me a thrill, a delight in your power and a laugh at their expense. But you took it deadly serious. You expected nothing less. Your men owed you this obedience, just as you owed them the obligation of leadership.
Maybe I should have been proud of your stubborn refusal to pretend I did not exist. But this middle ground, somewhere between coming and going, between sunshine and shade, between closet and freedom, ultimately proved intolerable. My delight was always short-lived. Every road leads to war.

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Meet the Author:

Scott D. Pomfret is the author of Since My Last Confession: A Gay Catholic Memoir, The Second Half: A Gay American Football Novel, and dozens of short stories in literary and not-so-literary journals. With his longtime partner Scott Whittier, he is coauthor of the Romentics series of gay romance novels and the Q Guide to Wine and Cocktails. Scott and Scott reside in Boston and Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Email: scott.pomfret@gmail.com
Website  •  Twitter  •  Facebook

Our thoughts:

You Are The One is a collection of short stories that span decades and deal with different facets of life. Some of the stories involve men in the Armed Forces, some are family men, couples, or those fighting against disease but the commonality is their orientation.

What I enjoyed about these stories, was the protagonists voice. Literally like a snapshot of their life at that moment. We rarely have protagonist names or make meaningful connections with the narrator. It’s like sneaking a glimpse of their diary or journal as they walk us through an important moment in their life. For instance, the man who is struggling with the knowledge he is likely HIV positive. Instead of taking the test to confirm, he goes back to the nefarious, dark spot under the pier where the infection likely happened. Propelling the cycle again.

Or the partner that’s emotional over his soldier leaving to fight in the damn war once again. Hoping beyond hope that his lover will stand up and say he’s gay so he can just get out and stay safe. The complex rollercoaster of emotions the partner feels. Betrayal. Selfishness. Fear. Helplessness. The greatest of them all is anger at being abandoned for duty and honor.

Scott Pomfret really captures the essence of life and the daily struggles with this collection. The shorts are compelling and leave one feeling a bit raw, slightly bitter and a lot sad. Win! At least we feel something!

A unique collection that is perfect in one large dose or broke up into small doses over time. A truly captivating collection.

RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS!!

GUEST POST: COZZI COVE: BOUNCING BACK by Joe Cosentino

Today we’re happy to welcome back author Joe Cosentino to share with us his new series Cozzi Cove. The first book, Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, is out now from NineStar Press. Learn more about what inspired Joe to write this series and see our thoughts on the first installment. Enjoy!

The start of a new MM romance series
COZZI COVE: BOUNCING BACK, a novel published by NineStar Press
by Joe Cosentino

Okay, so we’re all feeling claustrophobic, overworked, and generally cranky from the winter. Like a rainbow in the sky (no pun intended), I’m here to remind everyone that summer is just around the corner. To that end I’ve written the first book in a new MM romance beach series, COZZI COVE: BOUNCING BACK published by NineStar Press.

Last summer I was vacationing with my spouse on the New Jersey shore and it hit me like a ton of seaweed. I imagined this little beach town, built by Calvin Cozzi I with eight bungalows on a private cove called Cozzi Cove. Upon inheriting Cozzi Cove from his father, Calvin Cozzi II sensed his son’s sexual orientation and rented the bungalows each summer to men like his son. As Calvin Cozzi III (Cal) inherits Cozzi Cove, my series begins.

Cozzi is a quaint beach town with the main beach, bay, miniature golf course, trampoline emporium, salt water taffy shop, local bar, and a sumptuous seafood restaurant. Each bungalow at Cozzi Cove is furnished with hand-carved nautical furnishings, and has a stunning view of the bay and lighthouse in the distance.

Don’t you just get lost in that book cover? That’s exactly as I picture the cove. A cove is formed when softer rocks are worn away by the sun and salty water faster than the harder rocks surrounding them. This creates a gorgeous bay of turquoise water shielded by large rocks in the distance and smaller rocks near the water’s edge. It is amazingly beautiful, and I love sharing that view in the book.

My leading character is Cal Cozzi.  Cal, short for Calvin, is thirty years old, tall, and muscular. His Italian and Scottish heritage left him with striking auburn hair and a strong nose. He dabbled as a professional football player then restaurant owner, but neither was a good fit. After Cal’s parents died in an automobile accident, he found his calling: managing Cozzi Cove.

Cal shares Cozzi Cove with a number of regulars and a large group of guests in intercut stories. Lance is twenty-four, short, stocky, African American with dark hair and dark eyes and amazing dimples. He grew up poor, and worked hard getting scholarships and maintaining good grades throughout school. As a second grade teacher, Lance is off during the summers, his favorite time of year. This leaves him more time to do what he loves most: being with Cal for the last five years.

Connor, the college student assisting Cal in running Cozzi Cove, is packed with muscles and hormones. He revels in Cozzi Cove, and in checking out each resident for a possible fling on the cove.

Tommy, the bald, muscular, tattooed resident of Cozzi Cove who owns the local bar has held a torch for Cal since high school. Carla Mangione who runs Carla’s Seafood Restaurant holds a similar torch for Cal’s sister.

Cal’s sister, Taylor, drops in from Rome, Paris, Wall Street, or Palm Springs. As a tough as nails top one-percenter, the world revolves around her, which makes her hysterically funny.

The guests are quite an eclectic group. After my two Bittersweet Dreams novellas, An Infatuation and A Shooting Star (In My Heart Series) published by Dreamspinner Press, were released, countless readers begged me for more time with one of the characters from An Infatuation (Divine Magazine Readers’ Choice Award 2nd Place for Best MM Romance). So that character and his brother are the first guests at Cozzi Cove.

So the vacationers are two brothers/college students who look alike, but couldn’t be more different. Mario is searching for love, and Harold is searching for lust. A wealthy older couple, Josh and Greg, play matchmakers for their gorgeous son Christopher. Opposites attract as multifaceted Tim meets shy Mark, and porn star Chuck Caliber connects with Sean, a virgin romance novelist. Finally computer game designer Arthur has a midnight sea rendezvous with a merman. Even Cal faces an emotional upheaval when a gay bashing turns into something quite unexpected for him.

The novel is full of humor, tragedy, mystery, and romance. Everyone has a secret at Cozzi Cove. However, nothing is what it seems at the magical place called Cozzi Cove.

The second book, COZZI COVE: MOVING FORWARD, is set for release by NineStar Press on April 18. Move over Melrose Place, I can also see COZZI COVE as a television series. Make me an offer, producers!

So grab your Speedos, suntan lotion, and shades, and head to Cozzi Cove. A bungalow and a beach towel are waiting for you!

ABOUT THE BOOK:

cozzicovebouncingbackOn Cozzi Cove at the New Jersey shore, handsome Cal Cozzi’s seven bungalows are open for summer and love.

Mario and Harold are brothers and college students who happen to look alike, but couldn’t be more different: Mario is searching for love, and Harold is searching for lust. Josh and Greg, a wealthy older couple, are matchmakers for their son, Christopher.

When it comes to Connor, the maid, packed with muscles and a roving sponge, anything can happen. Opposites attract as wild Tim with the secret past meets shy Mark, and porn star Chuck Caliber connects with Sean, a virgin romance novelist.

And what will happen when computer-game designer Arthur has a midnight sea rendezvous with a merman? Even married Cal faces an emotional upheaval when a gay bashing turns into something quite unexpected.

What secrets and passions lie in magical Cozzi Cove?

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PURCHASE A COPY FROM AMAZON / ARe / B&N

EXCERPT:

As Lance rested in bed and Cal was putting on jeans, sandals, and a canary polo shirt, they heard Connor enter the living room and call out to Cal. After giving Lance a kiss on the cheek, Cal begrudgingly left his lover, shut the front bedroom door after himself, and then met up with Connor, who was standing next to the living room sofa.

Connor said, “It’s good to be back at work.”

“How were your grades at college this year?”

Connor shrugged his muscular shoulders. “Pretty average.”

Cal thought, If average is getting Cs and Ds. “I’m guessing you were quite involved with extracurricular activities.”

“One or two.” He giggled. “Maybe, three.”

Cal had a soft spot for the kid. “You did a nice job preparing the bungalows yesterday.”

“I aim to please.”

Cal thought the nineteen-year-old looked like an American flag in cutoff blue jeans that matched his eyes, a T-shirt and sneakers that matched his red hair, and pale skin with freckles.

“How can I be of service to you today, boss?”

Cal ignored Connor’s obvious double meaning.

“Just the usual routine.” Cal wasn’t immune to Connor’s charm, but Connor was a kid, and Cal was a one-man man. “Carry their luggage into the bungalows when the guests arrive. Turn down beds at four p.m.” He attempted to look sternly at the boy. “… Without you in them.”

Me come on to a guest?” Connor feigned surprise.

“Yes, you, Connor. This is a vacation resort, not the baths.” Cal moved behind his desk. “After today, make up the rooms late mornings and early afternoons. Leave the sheets and towels in front of the garage for the laundry pickup. And don’t forget to sweep out the parking area.”

Connor saluted. “Aye, aye, Capitán .”

They heard a knock at the front door. Cal shouted, “It’s open.”

“Is this the office?”

“We’re informal here,” Cal explained. He typed into his computer, and then motioned for the young man to join him.

“I’m Mario Ginnetti.” He placed a piece of luggage at his feet. “Is it okay to park in the lot?”

Connor seemed to nearly salivate at Mario’s arms in his violet short-sleeved shirt. “You can park anywhere you like.”

Ignoring Connor, Cal said, “Yes, that’s the lot for the bungalows.” Cal handed Mario a key. “You’re in Bungalow One. I’ve got your credit card, so you’re all set.” He took a map from the topmost desk drawer. “The ocean beach is open to the public and is only minutes away. You can swim, surf, snorkel, or go on a glass-bottom boat there.” He pointed to various black dots on the map. “You’ll want to get some groceries here. Tommy Malone’s is a good bar, and Carla’s is my favorite seafood restaurant. This place has killer ice cream, which you can work off here at the gym.”

Connor interjected with, “If you need help finding anything, just ask me. I’m a native.”

“Or you can come into the office and ask me.” Cal handed Mario the map and then pointed outside. “The cove is private property. You can sit out there all you like. The bay water is calm and warm. As you can see, the view is amazing.”

Connor added with a grin, “Nude sunbathing is permitted.”

Mario was visibly trying to take it all in.

“Any questions?” asked Cal.

Mario’s dimples appeared. “Will the weather always be this nice?”

“From your lips to the sea gods’ ears.” Cal smiled. “The weather report calls for rain, so that means it’s going to be sunny all week. Connor will take you to your bungalow.”

Connor looked like the wolf meeting Little Red Riding Hood as he took Mario’s luggage. “Follow me, Mario.”

OUR THOUGHTS:

At risk of dating myself,  Cozzi Cove reminds me a little bit of Fantasy Island – a colorful cast of characters all looking for a little escape from reality in paradise. Cozzi Cove’s coastal views and serene setting certainly provide the backdrop for a refreshing getaway, and at first glance all indeed seems to be cozy. It’s not until we get to know the guests and staff that we realize paradise isn’t always what it appears to be.

Cosentino tells the stories of the guests and owners at Cozzi Cove as separate yet intertwining stories, a delivery style that’s genius. It’s a bit like watching segments unfold in soap opera fashion. Each plot gets its due focus with Cosentino always keeping the overall arc in view, making it simple for readers to see how each piece fits into the larger puzzle. I’ll admit at first I had some difficulty keeping track of who was in which bungalow, but don’t get discouraged – as you get to know each guest better, it becomes easier to remember who’s behind Door #3. ;)

While the story is rife with the humor and lighthearted romance I’ve come to associate with Joe Cosentino, it also addresses several serious topics associated with the gay community: homophobia, stereotyping and coming out. I appreciate the way Cosentino pokes fun at social issues and stigmas through lighthearted exchanges. For example, in one scene a couple staying at Cozzi Cove console one another over the fact that their son might be straight. They worry he’ll be shunned and they’ll be ostracized by their friends. It’s dialogue like this that plainly demonstrates how ridiculous those attitudes are in the first place.

I’m already looking forward to what’s coming next to Cozzi Cove – gI have a feeling it’s much more than meets the eye. Book two is already on the horizon, and I know I’ll be back to visit.

RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Joe Cosentino BNAmazon Bestselling author Joe Cosentino wrote Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back (NineStar Press), Drama Queen and Drama Muscle Nicky and Noah mysteries (Lethe Press), An InfatuationA Shooting StarA Home for the HolidaysThe Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland(Dreamspinner Press), Paper Doll (Whiskey Creek Press) and Porcelain Doll (Wild Rose Press) Jana Lane mysteries, and The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (Eldridge Plays and Musicals). He has appeared in principal acting roles in film, television, and theatre, opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor, and Jason Robards. His one-act plays, Infatuation and Neighbor, were performed in New York City. He wrote The Perils of Pauline educational film (Prentice Hall Publishers). Joe is currently Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married. His upcoming novels are Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward (Nine Star Press), Drama Cruise Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press), and Satin Doll and China Doll Jana Lane mysteries (Wild Rose Press). Joe was voted 2nd Place for Best MM Author of the Year in Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards for 2015!

CONNECT WITH JOE:

WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / TWITTER / GOODREADS / AMAZON

Review: There’s Something About a Kilt by Schuyler L’Roux

There’s Something about a Kilt by Schuyler L’Roux
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: February 15, 2016
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: Novella
Purchase Links: NineStar  •  Amazon

Blurb:

It’s a hellaciously hot day in Minneapolis and all Thom wants to do is enjoy his ice cream and forget about the stacks of essays waiting for him back in his stifling apartment. Until he meets Gerry, a kilted, tattooed Welshman. The conversation is smooth and the attraction immediate, but Gerry is only in town for the night and isn’t down for anything quick and forgettable. When they meet again, hours later, Gerry knows there’s something in the air and all bets are off. Including his kilt.

Our Thoughts:

Thom is casually enjoying an ice cream when he sees the kilt. His eyes move up. The body and face that are paired with that kilt aren’t too bad to look at either! Thom’s gawking and Gerry’s forwardness lead to a conversation. Both men are a bit cheeky but enjoy the banter. They part ways only to bump into each other again at a club while dancing.

A little bump and grind on the dance floor and they’re both revved and ready to continue this impromptu date somewhere else. The chemistry between Thom and Gerry is explosive. They’re relaxed and in the moment. Enjoying anything and everything. Giving and taking. Their one night is one for the books. One that will be embedded in their memories for some time.

Of course, it has to end. Gerry must leave to go back home, out-of-state.  As he walks away from Thom, it’s obvious that these two will meet up again. I’m sure they’ll be just as fun during their second romp and ‘date.’

I love a short story that makes me laugh, smile and overheat. This one achieved that in abyndance! I’m anxious for more of Thom and Gerry. They sizzle and smolder together but their ease and comfort with each other brings everything up a notch. The chemistry and banter were perfection. They pulled me into their little tryst and left me wanting so much more for them. According to the author, their story isn’t finished. Woot! I truly hope that is true!

RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS!

Excerpt:

Schuyler L’Roux © 2016
All rights reserved
The redhead sat down with a fluid grace, sweeping the kilt under his ass and keeping his knees demurely together. The knees dropped apart when he scooted back in the chair, dropping the kilt between his legs. He licked his cone with a tongue even pinker than his lips, though his thick, flexing forearm distracted Thom. The left arm was covered from wrist to elbow in a splash of water, colored wings on fire, and streams of blue.
“I’m Gerry, by the way.”
Thom wrenched his eyes away to look at Gerry’s expectant expression. “Thom.”
“Short for Thomas?”
“Nope, just Thom.”
“Damn, I always had a thing for Thomases.”
Shit, Thom thought.
Gerry looked him up and down, a question sparking in his eyes. “Strange name for an Italian boy.”
Thom shook off the rust and pushed himself along for the ride. No expectations, he reminded himself. “It’s spelled even stranger.”
Gerry blinked in surprise. “With an ‘h’?”
“My mom loved the Scots.” Thom pointed down to Gerry’s kilt. “Must be genetic. You popped up like a fantasy from when I was thirteen.”
Gerry laughed, waggling his cone like a warning. “Oh, careful there boyo. I’m Welsh. We don’t take kindly to mistaken identity.”
“At least I didn’t call you English.”
Gerry grinned. “Fair enough.” He pointed at Thom’s forgotten ice cream as he took another lick. “Aren’t you worried about that melting?”
Thom shrugged and shot Gerry a sly smile. “I’m easily distracted.” He bit into a large chunk of ice cream and cone, shivering at the burst of cold. “What brings you here?”
“Just a little treat before I get to business.”
“Oh, what do you do?”
“Architecture.”
Jesus, Thom thought. This guy is a walking hard-on with my name written all over it. Thankfully, he managed to say something else. “Which firm?”
Gerry shook his head. “I’m from L.A. Just in for the day.”
Thom nodded, hiding his disappointment in another bite. “I don’t want to keep you,” he said before catching himself with a smile. “Sorry, that’s a lie. I do. What are you up to after work?”
“More work,” Gerry said after a lick. “I’ve got an overrun project and frayed nerves to placate. They’ve tied me up in meetings from now until midnight.”
Thom looked skeptical. “Now? You’ve got a strange definition of ‘now.’”
Gerry laughed. “Like I said, frayed nerves. I’m hoping that by the time I roll in, tragically indisposed by inexplicable summer traffic, everyone will be desperate for a solution.” He smiled again, and Thom’s stomach flipped. “Anyway, I never come into Minneapolis without stopping by Sebastian’s.
“Look who’s talking,” Gerry continued. “What’s your excuse for skipping work on a Friday afternoon?”
Thom arched a dark, plucked eyebrow. “Priority number one for a small business owner is the sanity of his employees.”
“Oh?”
“My air conditioning’s broke,” Thom said with a shrug. “My place is like a sauna. I had to get out of there.”
“So, ice cream instead of the library?”
“Like you said, who can come downtown without stopping by?”
Gerry swirled his ice cream. “What do you do?”
“I teach and write.”
Gerry considered Thom with a light smile. “So, I’m trying to think of a more interesting question than the obvious.”
“What’s the obvious?”
“Hmm…I’m guessing the popular choice is ‘have I read anything of yours?’”
“Basically. Want to guess the second?”
Gerry narrowed his eyes, rolling them up to think. He shook his head.
“I’ll give you a clue,” said Thom, leaning over his ice cream. “It was one of the first questions my mama asked me when I told her I landed a writing gig out here.”
Gerry barked a laugh. “‘Do you write for a gay magazine?’”
Thom cocked his finger like a gun and ‘shot’ Gerry. “Hers was more heavily inflected with disappointed sighs, but pretty much.”
They smiled at each other as their laughter faded. Gerry broke the spell, looking at his wristwatch. He looked up with apology evident in his suddenly knit eyebrows.
“Gotta go?” asked Thom.
“Sad to say,” said Gerry, standing up. “It was fun chatting.”
Thom’s heart stammered. He licked his suddenly dry lips. “I know you said you’re busy with work. But if you get out early, I’m going dancing with some friends.” Keeping his eyes on Gerry was near impossible with his heart hammering so hard, but he kept it up. “Can I give you my number?”
“I leave tomorrow, Thom.”
“Okay.”
“And I’m not looking for a fuck and run.”
“Who says I am?” Thom asked, more out of reflex than honesty.
Gerry placed a hand on his surprisingly slim waist. “You’re saying if I wasn’t down, you wouldn’t mind coming with me and then never again?”
Thom couldn’t help the smile that danced over his lips. He leaned back in his chair to look up at Gerry. “I wouldn’t mind coming, sure. But I may very well regret the never coming again part.”
Gerry grinned. “Clever boy.”
“I try.”

Meet the Author:

A Southern boy deeply proud of his Welsh heritage, Schuyler L’Roux is a writer who passionately believes in the power of sex—funny, world-changing, scratch-the-hell-out-of-my-back sex. He’s a new author and cannot wait to join the world of erotica with his own brand of thoughtful characters engaged in meaningful interactions and entertaining situations. With lots and lots of sex, of course. When he’s not traveling, Schuyler currently calls Germany home.

Email: schuyler.l.roux@gmail.com
Website: www.salacioushands.tumblr.com (nsfw)
Twitter: www.twitter.com/SchuylerRoux