Monday, February 3, 2020

Candy Hearts (So Over the Holidays #2) by Erin McLellan ~ Book Review with Excerpt, Author Q&A and GIVEAWAY

I had the pleasure of Interviewing Author Erin McLellan for an exclusive Q&A be sure to check it out!

Candy Hearts by Erin McLellan

Series: So Over the Holidays #2

Publisher: Erin McLellan

Release Date (ebook): Feb. 3, 2020 

Length: 50k word

Subgenre: contemporary romance, holiday romance, erotic romance

Warnings: explicit sex and language

Book blurb:

Mechanic Benji Holiday is so over Valentine’s Day and men who don’t get him. A weekend getaway with friends to escape the holiday hubbub is exactly what he needs. But William O’Dare—a stern and silent nightclub owner with “Be My Valentine” practically stamped on his forehead—throws a wrench into Benji’s plans.

William has spent years focused on his career, and it has cost him friendships and love. Inexperienced in the business of romance, he’s on the hunt for the perfect partner, and he’s armed with specific criteria to guide him. But William didn’t expect a hunky mechanic wrapped in satin and lace to show up on his doorstep.

Unable to resist their attraction, Benji and William agree to be secret fake valentines for the weekend, but secrets have a way of getting out. William gets struck by Cupid’s arrow, and as the weekend winds down, he doesn’t want fake or secret. He wants Benji to be his valentine for real and for keeps.

Candy Hearts is a male/male Valentine’s Day novella featuring a house party power outage, meddling friends and siblings, naughty lingerie and naughtier toys, homemade Valentine’s Day cards, and a happily ever after.

Praise for Candy Hearts: 

I highlighted the holy heck out of this freaking amazing book.

Eloquent, I know, but damn. Erin McLellan's Candy Hearts sent me into a sugar high with how much I loved it! My recommendation? Read it. - Michaelene, reviewer


I loved everything about this story and can’t wait to read more of this author’s work....although I’m worried nothing will come close to the love I have for Benji and William and all their quirks and kinks. LOVE.  - Kate Olson, reviewer


Erin McLellan keeps delighting me with these queer holiday romance novellas. Candy Hearts is perfect for those who maybe kind of hate to love Valentine's Day but would absolutely embrace it with their own sexy "fake Valentine". - B and her books, reviewer

This was a HOT quick read that I devoured in one afternoon! I Loved Benji and his love for lacy, silky, sexy undergarments as well as sex toys, and he was the perfect opposite of William which made things so interesting. William is a total workaholic and he's finally realized that he's at a place in his life where he feels comfortable enough to step back a bit from his business and start dating, what he doesn't expect is for the perfect person to knock on his door during a power outage.

If you have read the first book, STOCKING STUFFERS, then you have met Benji because that book was about his sister Sasha and he made a few appearances in it, if you haven't no worries because this can be read as a standalone. I loved Benji in that book and couldn't wait to get my hands on his, I'm glad I didn't have to wait to long. Benji is a people pleaser and always conforms himself to fit the mold of what others want him to be but now he is taking control of his own life and not letting others dictate how he should act. 

William is about 8-10 years older then Benji, and a bit stuffy but I guess that's what happens when you're all work and no play. This Valentine's Day William is having a bunch of his longtime friends over for the weekend and Sasha invited Benji to join them. Things don't go according to plan because he looses power at his lake house, but you know sometimes the best times are not planned at all!

If you are looking for a HOT MM read that will get you into the holiday mood or just get you in the mood ;) I would recommend you grab a copy of this book, cozy up in front of a fire with a glass of wine and enjoy.

Happy Reading!!!


Benji’s legs were covered in black filmy stockings, and he was wearing a long silky navy T-shirt with a loose open neck. A nightie, William’s brain provided out of nowhere. The getup wasn’t that revealing, but William about swallowed his tongue regardless. He couldn’t wait to feel the cool silk under his fingertips. To lift the shirt slowly up Benji’s body, unveiling him bit by bit.

In the dancing candlelight, the silk looked like moving water and Benji’s legs looked a mile long and the sex toys scattered next to him looked like …

Holy shit, sex toys. So many sex toys.

Q&A with Erin McLellan: 

NB: What did you edit OUT of this book?

EM: This book originally started with Benji and William meeting at a fancy wine bar. In the initial meet-cute, Benji is eye-flirting with a man across the bar but accidentally spills his wine on William. I liked this scene A LOT. It was really hard to cut it, but I couldn’t figure out a way to get them from their meet-cute at the wine bar to a Valentine’s Day house party. I ended up editing out that first scene and starting the book at the house party, but I still mourn it a little. It had incredible banter.

NB: What are some books that you enjoyed recently?

EM: Some books that I’ve enjoyed recently include:

  • Adam Only by Roe Horvat because it manages to be incredibly sexy, earnest, and heartfelt all at once.
  • A New Empire by Layla Reyne because it’s an awesome ending to a twisty and exciting suspense trilogy
  • Private Eye by Katrina Jackson because it has the sexiest spies and an amazing heroine.

NB: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

EM: Writing this book was so fun! This is a Valentine’s Day story at it’s core, so I played on some of my favorite romantic clichΓ©s, like a bed covered in rose petals, secret valentines, bubble baths, sunrises on a lake, and lingerie. But I wanted to put my own spin on it by adding a fun ensemble of queer friends, a power outage, and a house party.

NB: How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

EM: This is the second book in this series, and the concept for the series was decided with Book 1 (Stocking Stuffers). I knew this would be a Valentine’s Day book, as all the books will be set at different holidays, and that the main character would be one of the Holiday siblings. When I figured out that Benji is into lingerie, the rest of the story started to click into place. I was able to create a hero in William who complemented Benji and shape their emotional conflicts around each other. From there, I thought about series themes, like use of sex toys, sexual discovery, queerness, found family, sibling relationships, and emotional reactions to particular holidays, which helped me plot out the rest of the story.

NB: To get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?

EM: I currently live in Alaska. I’m originally from Oklahoma, so Alaska is a very different environment from where I grew up. I love living here. It always feels like an adventure. So while I don’t have a pet, I do see moose very often, and it is probably my favorite thing in the entire world. It is not uncommon to see them in my yard. Here is a moose eating vines near one of my windows.

NB: Personally for me Alaska is to cold but I have to admit I would love to wake up in the morning and see a beautiful sight like that!!!

About the author: 
Erin McLellan is the author of several contemporary romances, all of which have characters who are complex, goodhearted, and a little quirky. She likes her stories to have a sexy spark and a happily ever after. Originally from Oklahoma, she currently lives in Alaska and spends her time dreaming up love stories set in the Great Plains. She is a lover of chocolate, college sports, antiquing, Dr Pepper, and binge-worthy TV shows.

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