Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Bog Tour, eARC Review, Excerpt & #Giveaway: Artistic Endeavor by Whitley Gray + Bonus Material

Years ago Whitley read and wrote adventure stories under the covers at night. Eventually Whitley decided to write romance—at a desk, during the day. Two heroes turned out to be twice as nice. A pot of coffee and a storyline featuring a couple of guys makes for a perfect day. Stop by www.whitleygray.com and feed your fix for heat between the sheets with erotica and M/M romance.

Release Date: January 7th, 2015

Length:118 Pages


When friends ask one-night stand connoisseur Michael Esteban to introduce college professor and virgin Cobey Miller to the joys of sex, Michael balks. Lust is his thing, not leading a twenty-five year old novice. But shy Cobey has problems meeting men, and their introduction fuels Michael’s decision to help Cobey become a gay-sex-loving guy. It’ll all be fun and games—unless someone falls in love.

Review by: multitaskingmomma
My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

This was a really, really cute story. I never expected to actually say that about an M/M book especially as this is also a bit Hot! around the edges and hehehehe, I just can't stop laughing about this. Happy laughter, mind you, for it is a bit fairy tale like but is uber romantic.

So we have Michael Esteban who finds himself becoming the tutor to virginal Cobey Miller who is all of twenty-five and a professor of art in the college. Now, that alone is enough to make me smile, that little plot, for it is quite unreal but surreal at the same time. It also meant this was going to be a fun read. And I was right!

In the end, Michael chewed more than he could swallow, pardon the pun, but 'tis true!, and he just fell hook, line and sinker, for Cobey. Their romance was truly inspiring and it made me smile. Not sure how real this could be? but it sure makes for a great, fun read!

Read down below for the Bonus Material!

In the dimly lit bar, Michael drummed his fingers on the table. “Maybe you should have let me meet him somewhere without you two along as chaperones.”
Eli chuckled. “It took me a week to convince him to meet you. He’d never go for the blind date thing.”
“Well, he’s late. Sure he’ll show?”
“Relax.” Burke massaged Eli’s neck. “He’ll be here.”
Ordinarily Michael looked forward to sizing up a new man. In fact, he’d already taken stock of every guy in the room. If Cobey didn’t show, the bartender looked like a good prospect. Prolonged eye contact, a big grin, and a wink when serving Michael’s beer. Yep, good prospect. Someone new.
Of course, Cobey would be new. Too new. Michael sighed. How was he supposed to introduce himself? Hello. I’m the guy our mutual friends have asked to be your sex instructor. How’s it hangin’?  Yippee.
“There.” Eli nodded at the entrance. “Just coming in.”
For a moment it was too crowded to see much, but the herd of patrons parted. Michael licked his lips. Well, well, well. The picture hadn’t done Cobey justice. Nicely wide shoulders, narrow hips, hair a man could get a grip on. Dark eyes. A perfect mouth—full but not too full. How was it possible this gorgeous male specimen had never been intimate with another guy? And Michael had the opportunity to be the first one.
I can certainly sacrifice myself for the greater good by teaching him.


The bonus is only available in the book. This takes place on New Year’s Eve at a party. THEN comes the never before seen, all new section called Happy New Year! Caution: flames ahead. One man who has given the gift of a spectacular New Year’s Eve, one man who can’t believe his luck, a little champagne, a large bed. Combustible, and just for you, dear reader!

New Year’s Eve

“You’re not dressed.” Michael put his hands on his hips.
Cobey scrunched lower in the couch and stared at his book. “I don’t want to go.”
Crap. Michael’s better half was wearing jeans—not the party kind—and a Christmas green sweater. A cup of cocoa sat on the table next to him. The scent of chocolate and peppermint Schnapps wafted over.
“I thought we agreed: you chose the Christmas Eve activity, and I chose the New Year’s Eve plans.”
Cobey flipped the book face down on the arm of the sofa and met Michael’s gaze. “Yeah. But I didn’t think you’d choose a sushi bar followed by Stork’s party and then Turbulence.”
Oookay. “Something going on here I don’t know about?”
“That place is a meat market. Turbulence, I mean. It smells of alcohol and sex and man sweat. That’s not the kind of atmosphere I want for a special time.”
“Oh.” It was kind of smelly. Before Cobey, Michael had considered those aromas to be an appetizer. Admittedly, he hadn’t been there in months, but Turbulence really knew how to throw a party. Michael sank onto the couch. “I wanted to go dancing. And live it up a little while you’re on break from the university.”
Cobey sighed. “I know. I just…it should be memorable. In a good way.”
Memorable equaled romantic. Like in front of the fountain at the university a couple of weeks ago. Like going caroling on Christmas Eve and then coming home to spend time with friends and feast on homemade Christmas cookies. Like a late night present exchange followed by making love in the glow of the Christmas tree lights.
Ah, yes, romance.
There had been a time when Michael would have laughed off all of that and opted for a holly-jolly one-night stand. But that was before Cobey.
Michael scooted closer. “What would you like to do?”
“You make the plan. Just something that we’ll always remember.”
“Any ideas?”
Cobey leaned in and pressed their mouths together. It made Michael warm inside, the taste of hot chocolate and peppermint and Cobey. “You know what I like.”
Great. Obviously Michael was on his own. “I’ll be back.”
“I’ll be waiting.” Cobey grinned.


Cobey couldn’t see a thing. “Is the blindfold really necessary? I feel weird.”
“You look great.” A grin tinted Michael’s words.
After Michael had disappeared, Cobey had wondered if he’d return wearing jeans and announce they were staying in. Cobey wasn’t the best at speaking up with what he wanted. Probably ridiculous not to offer an alternative when he’d shot down Michael’s plans. But Turbulence—yeesh. The place would be packed, the crowd would be drunk. The groping would be rampant.
Maybe Michael was taking him to the movies. There were a few Cobey wanted to see, and that’d be cozy. Afterward they could have a drink at that new English pub downtown. Or the Museum of Natural History had a sort of highbrow champagne dinosaur tour. Or…the college had a “Winter Wonderland” sculpture garden walk, complete with bubbly or hot buttered rum.
The car slowed, turned. “Almost there. Keep the blindfold on.”
“Are we someplace people are going to see me like this?”
Michael laughed. “Nope. Hang tight while I park.”
The window hummed as it lowered. Cold air poured into the car, carrying the smell of exhaust. A ka-ching, a snap, and they moved forward. Cobey shivered. Probably headed for a movie at that vintage theater downtown. What had been playing there? A romantic comedy, maybe.
The car turned, stopped. Cobey reached for the blindfold and Michael grabbed his wrist. “Not yet, not yet, not yet, my son.”
Cobey smirked. “First comes the blindfold, then the fun?”
“Precisely. I’ll come around and get you.”
This was unique; Cobey had to give Michael props for that.
The door opened. Michael gripped his forearm. “Pivot and step out. Watch your head.”
A leather-covered palm curled around Cobey’s neck and then into his hair. Gingerly Cobey stood, clutching Michael’s elbow. “Can I take it off now?”
“I’ll let you know when.” Michael’s arm wrapped around Cobey’s waist and pulled him forward. The car door slammed. “Let me guide you, okay?”
“I don’t want to run into anyone I know like this.” Cobey ducked his head. This was getting a little extreme, now that they’d arrived.
“I won’t let that happen.”
Cobey snorted. “No way to avoid it, I’d say.”
“Do you trust me?”
During the summer, trust had been their watchword. Cobey had trusted Michael to teach him the ropes of intimacy, and Michael had never pushed, never broken his word.
“Yeah, I trust you.”
“Then c’mon.”
They strolled–at Cobey’s speed—across the space. Their footsteps echoed, and there was the idle of an engine in the distance. The smell of concrete and mud and melting snow got stronger as they made their way.
Must be a movie.
Then why dress up? At home, following a mysterious thirty minute interval, Michael had waltzed into the living room. He cut a dashing figure wearing a black long-sleeved T-shirt, black pants, and a charcoal jacket. Cobey had whistled, and Michael had sent him upstairs with the caveat to wear what Michael had laid out.
Black pants, black long-sleeved Tee, dark pin-striped jacket. White silk briefs.
He could feel the slide right now if he concentrated on it. So soft. And Michael hadn’t gotten to enjoy them—
“Stop.” Michael’s arm tightened. “We’re at an elevator.”
“Ah. Can I take it off?”
“So impatient. Soon, I promise.”
“I don’t want a bunch of people on the street to see this.” Cobey waved a hand in front of his face.
“Mmm.” Michael nuzzled Cobey’s ear. “No worries.”
The air pressure changed and Michael tugged him forward. “Straight ahead three steps.”
Cobey hesitated. The game was getting old. This was too much cloak and dagger to attend a movie. Or…was there some solve-the-mystery thing downtown? That might be fun.
“There’s no one in the elevator, Cobe. C’mon. Almost there.”
“Okay.” He shuffled his way forward. The doors closed them in. There was a hint of floral perfume in the space. Lips nibbled along his jaw, and then Michael kissed him on the lips. And again. Cobey smiled and reached for him, teasing with a bit of tongue.
Michael pulled away. “We better stop.”
“Are we almost there?”
“Yep.” The car slowed, stopped. “Now.”
Cobey slid off the blindfold, tucked it in his jacket, and squinted at the lights. Now what? The doors slid open. Cobey’s jaw dropped. Oh my God, Michael. What did you do? He turned to Michael.
Michael had a huge grin. “Yeah?”
“I…you…wow.” Cobey exited the elevator, Michael at his side.
It was bright, but a different kind of bright; an elegant bright, the kind borne of dozens of tiny lights. Cobey directed his attention upward. And no wonder. There was a giant chandelier illuminating the area. And what an area. The space rose high above, a giant atrium. Richly patterned carpet in shades of navy, purple, and cream stretched ahead, punctuated by a round table bearing a vase of white roses which scented the air. Marble pillars, a mezzanine with arched openings, and wrought iron railings. And everywhere gold and silver: balloons, streamers, confetti, all gilded.
A band played somewhere.
It was amazing and daunting and delicious all at once.
“Michael…you brought me to the Palace?” Guilt poked at Cobey. This place cost a fortune, and they were on a budget. Assistant art professors didn’t make much, and neither did self-employed graphic artists.
“You like it?” Michael ran a hand up and down Cobey’s back.
“I love it. But it’s so pricey.”
“Ah. But look what I have.” Michael reached inside his jacket, pulled out two tickets, and handed them to Cobey.
The heavy card featured a drawing of a man in a gold mask, wearing a wicked smile while another masked man shown in profile kissed him on the cheek. The sketch was rendered in gold on a black background. Below the figures it said:

Admit One
Figlio New Year’s Gala 2014
The Palace

Who was Figlio, and why did Michael have tickets to Figlio’s gala? “Where did you get these?”
Michael’s eyebrows rose. “Do you not recognize the drawing? I’m no art professor, but it turned out well, I think.”
Oh. Yeah. The original drawing had been graphite on white. “You designed this.”
“Guilty as charged.” Michael put one hand on his chest and took a slight bow. “Mr. Figlio was so happy he invited me to his party.”
“You never mentioned it.”
Michael’s smile faded and he pulled Cobey into an alcove occupied by a confetti-strewn white buffalo sculpture. “I…didn’t think you’d want to go.”
“Why?” No way. No. Way. “This is a work event?”
Michael shook his head and leaned in. Against Cobey’s ear he said, “It’s a private party. Mr. Figlio owns Escalade Underwear.”
“That expensive brand that caters to…” Cobey swallowed. “To gay men?”
“The very same. In fact you’re wearing a pair from the new line.”
The briefs seemed to caress him and he shivered. “Thank you.”
There was a sharp nip on his ear. Cobey sucked in a breath. “Mr. Figlio is gay, Cobe. We can dance and drink champagne and kiss at midnight.”
That did sound good. Cobey pulled back and gazed into Michael’s eyes. “Lead on, Captain my Captain.”


The dancing was the best part. Michael snuggled Cobey against his chest for a slow dance. It felt so good to be in an atmosphere where no one batted an eye about men with men. The big band music was more fun than the teeth-rattling boom-boom-boom of club music. No one had shed their clothes. The restroom had an attendant and was nicer than most living rooms. No screwing in the bathroom.
Not a problem. Cobey seemed in heaven. He hadn’t been the typical shy professor tonight. Maybe it was the comfort of the circumstance, or maybe Cobey had sneaked a second flute of champagne. Whatever it was, he’d been animated and charming with Mr. Figlio and guests.
“Michael…” Cobey spoke low, against Michael’s shoulder.
He spun them and began moving them toward the tables. “What?”
“You are amazing.”
Michael laughed. Must be the champagne talking. “Mmm.”
“No really. I’m serious.” Cobey pulled back and gripped Michael’s shoulders. “This is the best New Year’s I’ve ever had. The first celebration I’ve ever had.”
Michael stopped dancing. “Seriously?”
“Yep. There was never a suitable party for me to attend.” He gave a shy smile. “And who wants to kiss a girl at midnight?”
“Gentlemen, and gentlemen.” The voice came from in front of the band. Mr. Figlio stood there with a glass. “It’s nearly time. Grab your drink and your man.”
Michael grabbed Cobey’s hand and they hustled to retrieve champagne from one of the waiters.
“Ten, nine…”
“Thank you,” Cobey whispered, eyes wide.
“Eight, seven…”
“You’re welcome.” Michael pulled Cobey in.
“Six, five…”
“This is romantic,” Cobey breathed.
Bingo. Michael grinned.
“And you are so getting laid.”
“Four, three…”
“Good thing I have a room upstairs,” Michael murmured in Cobey’s ear.
“Two, one…Happy New Year!”
Noisemakers rattled and horns blared around them. Michael pressed their mouths together. “Happy New Year,” he said, voice sultry and low.
“It is,” Cobey said with a grin. “The best.”

Happy New Year!

“Oh my God, Michael.” Cobey turned in a circle, taking in the room. Rich carpet in warm colors, a sitting area with a couch and chairs covered in indigo velvet, and a picture window with a view of the river, sparkling with lights in a spectrum from white to gold to blue. Taking center stage in the room was a king-sized bed. The creamy sheets were turned down, and a foil-covered chocolate sat on each pillow. The whole place smelled of cinnamon and pine.
“Like it?” Michael hugged him from behind.
Cobey turned to face him and wound his arms around Michael’s neck. “I love it. But you shouldn’t have.”
“Anything for you.” Michael’s smile gleamed in the low light. “Champagne?”
There had been champagne downstairs, too. “Maybe just one glass.”
Michael kissed him on the neck and pulled Cobey toward the sofa. The bubbly sat in an ice bucket, uncorked and ready to go—just like in the movies. Michael poured half a flute for each of them and handed one glass to Cobey.
“To us.” Michael’s voice had gotten a bit rough. “May this New Year’s Eve be the first of many.”
“To us.” What else could he say? “You are the best thing to ever happen to me.”
Michael’s blue eyes crinkled. “Ditto.”
Cobey clinked his glass against Michael’s with a musical ching. They locked gazes and each took a sip. The bubbles tickled Cobey’s tongue, but Michael’s frank gaze had tickled lower parts. Sensitive parts. Cobey set his champagne on the table. “I…I’d like to try out the bed now.”
Michael placed his drink next to Cobey’s and leaned in, pressing their mouths together, a couple of seconds of heat and softness. “Me too.”
“I’m just going to step into the bathroom for a minute.” Warmth filled Cobey’s cheeks. God, he sounded like a blushing virgin; probably looked like one too. You’re a sexually-experienced adult in a committed relationship. Buck up.
“Sounds good. I’ll wait here.” Michael winked at him. It was a reassuring wink, not a salacious one.
Cobey let out a breath and headed for the bathroom. Inside was more wow. To the left, a yellow-veined marble counter held two sinks, each with a golden faucet shaped like a swan. A mirror took up the entire wall above the counter. Beyond that was an alcove that held the commode. To the right was a huge walk-in shower, the kind showcased in magazines. There were multiple showerheads and a bench.
Talk about the lap of luxury. But what he really wanted was a toothbrush. More heat filled his face. And some lubricant and condoms. Supplying toothbrushes to guests was one thing; the other…well, that went beyond the necessities, didn’t it?
Cobey stripped off his jacket and shirt and hung them on the back of the door. Next, shoes and socks. Last, trousers. The Escalade briefs were sexy; soft and confining, but not hiding much of anything. First things first. He grabbed a toothbrush and made quick work of his bedtime routine.
When Cobey stepped out of the bathroom, Michael was in his boxer briefs. And they were Escalade as well. Black, low-cut, sexy. The lights were a soft glow. And lo and behold, a familiar bottle sat on the nightstand.
Cobey swallowed. Michael had thought of everything. “You came prepared.”
“Only with the essentials. Back in a jiff. Be ready.” Michael grinned and headed for the bathroom.
Riiight. He tucked his thumbs into the sides of the briefs. Mmm…no. Not yet. Better to wait. Sitting on the edge of the bed seemed too nervous. Flopping onto the sheets seemed too casual. Stripping and striking a pose seemed too cheesy. Better to sit propped against the headboard. He fluffed up pillows and crawled onto the acreage of the mattress, leaned back into feather-filled softness and closed his eyes.
“Ready?” Michael murmured.
Cobey opened his eyes. Smiling, Michael stood there sans boxer briefs, more beautiful naked than he was clothed. He leaned in and pressed his lips to Cobey’s, hot and hungry.
Michael’s kisses were to die for. Not that Cobey had a lot of experience, but from what he did have, Michael kissed in a way that conveyed sweetness and devotion and in the usual at-your-pace manner that had characterized their relationship since the beginning.
Then the kisses moved to Cobey’s forehead, then his cheeks, and finally his eyelids. Cobey shivered. He treasured those kisses. Of course, Michael had kissed Cobey on every available stretch of skin—intimate and otherwise—but the butterfly kisses on his face were his favorite. It was the feelings conveyed in the brush of his lips. Cherished; that was the sentiment…and love.
“Slide down,” Michael whispered voice husky.
Cobey did, and Michael straddled him.
Michael ran his hands down Cobey’s sides, firm and possessive, stopping at the briefs. “Can I take these?”
Wordlessly Cobey lifted his hips. The silk slid away, taking with it the tantalizing pressure. His dick bounced against his belly. Michael settled on top of him, and Cobey moved his legs apart, wriggling and accommodating his length. Their cocks slid together, a happy reunion.
This. This was what made it so good. The restraint in lieu of the rush. Feeling every touch and tickle. Michael’s mouth descended on Cobey’s, and Cobey opened to the kiss, shyly teasing as their tongues met. And now they were sharing breath in an intimate mouth-to-mouth. Hearts pounding, dicks aching, tension ramping up.
After an eternity, Cobey tore his mouth away. “Please, Michael.”
“‘Please, Michael,’ what?” Michael’s eyes were dark, his smile very white in the dimness.
“You know.”
Michael gave him a peck on the lips. “I think I know, but if you say it, I’ll be sure.”
This had been a game between them for a while, almost since the beginning. At first it had been a way for Michael to gauge Cobey’s comfort level, but now it was foreplay. Cobey tried to form words. “I need you.”
“Hmm?” Michael pushed up on his elbows.
God. Sometimes it got to the point of ridiculous. “Want you to fuck me.”
“Excellent.” Michael pulled away, rolled to the other side of the bed and retrieved the little bottle, rolled back. “Ready?”
“I will be in a minute.”
Michael flipped up the lid and held the bottle near Cobey’s nose. The stuff smelled of…vanilla? And a hint of orange. Like dessert.
“What is it?” Cobey was sure they’d never used anything that decadent before.
“Crème Brule. It’s going to make you feel so good. Inside and out.”
A shudder went through Cobey. Yes. That sounded perfect. Michael stroking outside, preparing Cobey to take him any way Michael desired. Sometimes it was scary how much Cobey wanted this. There was nothing they did together that felt bad, but tonight, having Michael fuck him sounded perfect.
Sitting back on his heels, Michael squirted the scintillating fluid on his fingers. Flat on his back, Cobey spread his legs and bent his knees. Such a vulnerable position; not very dignified, but worth it to see Michael’s face. Michael drew a finger down Cobey’s crease. A pleasurable shiver raised goose bumps on his body and he bit his lip.
More stroking. One finger breached Cobey. Intrusive, but in a good way. Slick and gentle, in and out. Michael never hurried through this—he was all about comfort over speed.
“Another,” Cobey got out.
Pressure, stretch, burn. Cobey closed his eyes, focused on keeping his breathing steady, and relaxing. After a few seconds the burn turned to pleasure. Michael twisted his fingers, pressed deeper. Closer, closer…there. Sparks went up Cobey’s spine as Michael tapped and rubbed Cobey’s prostate. In fact, he could come if Michael kept it up.
“Now, please,” Cobey panted.
Michael slowly withdrew his fingers. “Open your eyes.”
Cobey did.
In the low light, Michael was like an erotic angel: creamy skin, dark hair tousled and shining, intimate smile. He’d slicked his cock with the gel, and it shone like a scepter. Michael settled over him. That big shaft bumped Cobey’s hole. Want.
“Happy New Year…to you,” Michael sang to the tune of Happy Birthday.
Cobey laughed. “Really? Now?”
“Happy New Year…to you.”
Another bump to his ass. Cobey grabbed Michael’s hips and pulled him down.
“Happy New Year, dear Cobey…”
Pressure, a huge stretch…
“Happy New Year…to you.” Michael pushed deep inside, pressing Cobey into the compliant mattress.
Cobey managed a squeak. God, the pleasure-pain of being filled. Nothing like it. Cobey couldn’t imagine doing this with someone he didn’t care for, let alone a stranger. Only Michael.
Cobey wrapped his arms around Michael, and Michael kissed his ear. The strokes were leisurely at first, a warm-up for the main event. When Cobey sighed and lifted his hips, Michael picked up the pace and thrust harder. Each zing across Cobey’s prostate brought him closer to the peak.
Michael was panting, breath gusting on Cobey’s neck, working hard as he drove them. Electricity tingled along the outside of Cobey’s thighs and coalesced at the small of his back, a gathering storm. Sparks went off behind his eyes in time with the strikes on his gland, Cobalt Blue, Quinacridone Gold, Vermillion Red.
There was no holding back. The lightning dove to his ass and then his balls, and then…liftoff. Cobey dug his fingers into Michael’s hips and came in spumes of white. Michael held deep, then a few frantic thrusts later arched his back and with a groan came. Heat blasted into Cobey.
Michael layered kisses on Cobey’s neck and jaw and face, and gave him a hard smooch on the mouth.
Later, they lay on their sides, facing each other. Cobey whispered, “This is the best New Year’s ever.”
“I’m glad.” Michael’s eyes sparkled. “We can do it again next year.”
“I want to do something different next year, but just as good.” He kissed Michael on the nose. “Happy New Year to you.”
Michael grinned. “And many more.”



A Rafflecopter giveaway has been set up through which four lucky winners will be chosen:

1 Winner will take away a $20 Amazon Gift Card. 3 Winners will get a free e-copy of “Artistic Endeavor” each.

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