A Paul B Review: For a Dragon’s Persuasion (Highland Dragons, #7) by Charlie Richards


Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

For A Dragon's Persuasion coverThe seventh book in the Highland Dragons series opens as Kaiser and Perth, two members of the black dragon counterintelligence caste, are trying to meet with the chieftain of the MacDuffan clan.  As they wait for the chieftain’s return the next day, Kaiser decides to get some intelligence by bedding the son of the chieftain.  Perth meanwhile, refuses the advances of Hamish, one of the MacDuffan clan’s lead warriors.  Instead, Perth decides to go to the stables to check on his horse, which has a reputation of being aggressive to people whom she does not know.

Aodhan is an apprentice to the stable master.  When Master Doohan realizes that Aodhan is more talented at handling the horses than he is, he makes Aodhan’s life miserable.  However badly Doohan treats him, Aodhan puts up with it since his father bartered his services to the stable master and feels he cannot let his family down.

When Perth gets to the stables, he sees a young man skillfully handling his horse.  As he approaches Aodhan, Perth realizes that the young man is an asda, or human compatible to mate with a dragon.  As the rules of courting asdas have recently been changing, Perth decides to try his luck in wooing the young man.  After having a late dinner with Aodhan, Perth homes his caste leader will back his claim of Aodhan as his mate.  Now he has to hope that the apprentice will accept the world of dragons.

Perth’s plans of a normal courtship are cut short when Kaiser informs him that Hamish has told the chieftain that Perth was seen near the entrance of the chieftain’s daughter’s room late last night.  Even though false, Kaiser suggests that Perth leave the area.  Not wanting to leave his potential mate with the abusive stable master, Perth convinces Aodhan to run away with him.  When Perth is forced to reveal his true form to Aodhan, the young man says dragons are only tales.  Can Perth calm Aodhan’s fears and show him that life with him would be better than the existence he now has?

While I usually enjoy the books in this series, I thought there was something missing with this one.  The romance between Perth and Aodhan was as usual for this series well done.   Readers new to the series are caught up in the author’s world building through Perth’s answers to Aodhan’s questions about dragons.  However, unlike previous books, the conflict (Hamish’s allegations) just did not seem equal to dragon fights or potential clashes between dragons and humans.  In light of the times though, Perth’s concern about Aodhan’s reputation in the clan regarding same sex couples does make sense.

The cover art by Angela Waters once again delivers.  In the foreground is young Aodhan shirtless.  In the background is Perth’s dragon.  Ms. Waters never fails to deliver gorgeous covers for this series.

Sales Links:  Extasy Books | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 78 pages
Published October 1st 2015 by eXtasy Books
edition language English

Series:  Highland Dragons

  • For a Dragons Touch (Highland Dragons #1)
  • For a Dragon’s Protection (Highland Dragons #2)
  • For a Dragon’s Treasure (Highland Dragons #3)
  • For a Dragon’s Protection (Highland Dragons #4)
  • For a Dragon’s Redemption (Highland Dragons #5)
  • For a Dragon’s Healing (Highland Dragons #6)
  • For a Dragon’s Persuasion (Highland Dragons #7)

A Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review: Ruin Porn (Resonator #1) by S.J.D. Peterson and S.A. McAuley


Rating: 5 stars out of 5   ★★★★★
Ruin Porn coverKevin Rene can’t believe his luck when he’s personally “recruited” by Miah Thade, lead singer of Resonator, a rock band on the fast track to fame. He met Miah when his band was set to be the opening act in Resonator’s first tour, Made in Americana, but when his own band members showed up drunk and high, the deal was off, and Kevin and the guys were left to languish in LA. What Kevin didn’t know is that his songwriting talent and his musical abilities did not go unnoticed and Miah wants him as the group’s fourth.

Miah Thade, Finn Reese, and Ritchie Meyer are the three young men who grew up together in Detroit and together formed the band, nicknamed Rez. Also known as the Detroit 3, the friends rely on Miah’s good judgment and welcome Kevin, now renamed Evin by Miah, into their lives.

Not willing to rely on others for promo, Miah, always the leader and most ambitious of the group, spearheads efforts to use social media to move his band to stardom. They stir up their fans in each city they visit by tweeting and using other social networking sites and getting the crazy Rezors worked up to fever pitch. But as their popularity grows, the boys start to see the lack of privacy as one of the major costs of success. At times the close quarters and differences of opinion create havoc among the guys. Miah, an outspoken homophobe, can be the worst offender sometimes, picking on the guys unmercifully.

Ritchie, the peacemaker of the group, and the man who considers Miah his best friend, takes any negativity to heart. Flinching every time he hears a homophobic remark from Miah, Ritchie worries that Miah might some day find out that he’s gay, and if that happens, he’ll lose his best friend and the man he secretly loves.

Finn, a musical genius, has been raised by Irish immigrants who only want the best for their talented son and have given him every opportunity to learn all instruments and all musical genres. Extremely talented, Finn can play anything he hears one time, and coupled with Evin’s songwriting genius and ability to play bass to Finn’s guitar in the group, it makes for a dynamic musical partnership. It also provides the opportunity for the duo to spend extra time together, and considering how hot Evin finds Finn, it eventually leads to an explosive opportunity to satisfy their lust for each other.

As time goes on, and the secret gets harder to hide, the band members realize that if Miah had any idea that Evin and Finn couldn’t keep their hands off each other, he’d flip out. And if he ever found out that Ritchie was not only aware of the attraction between the others, but had also participated in a ménage with them, the friendship between the Miah and Ritchie would be destroyed and the future of the band would be in jeopardy.

So why can’t Evin and Finn and Ritchie just say no? Why take a chance on being together? And why can’t Evin and Finn communicate their true feelings to each other? Ritchie seems to be the only one who can see that Finn and Evin have moved beyond mere sex. And what transpires if someone happens to see them? The pot is stirred with enough ammo to cause a nuclear explosion within the group, and if it blows up, will the band survive?

I appreciated the way the authors engaged the reader with the characters and created the conflict among various members of the band, first with each other, and then with the band vs the outside world. I also appreciated the setup for a sequel (and I’ll be the first in line to buy it!), and I loved the resolution of the conflict, or at least the resolution for some of the band members’ conflicts by the end of the story. Any remaining conflict will make an enticing sequel.

I certainly recommend this book for those who enjoy rocker/musician stories, but even more for those who like a story where readers get engaged in the lives of the characters, unable to predict how they’ll act, but can laugh with them, cry with them, and be happy for them when they finally work their way through the crisis and come out the other side a better person.

The cover design by Paul Richmond shows a photo of downtown Detroit with the title Ruin Porn across the bottom of the cover. Ruin Porn is a term given to photos taken of a downtown area which used to be vital and now lies forsaken in the face of the decline of the auto industry in Detroit. The term was chosen by the Resonators to be the title of their first album because it represents their hope that everyone can learn from what appears to be ruin and destruction and, rather than wallow in it, use it as a catalyst for change.

I very highly recommend this story. These two talented authors have created something special that I won’t soon forget.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press eBook & Paperback | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

eBook, Paperback, 252 pages
Published August 28th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
original title Ruin Porn
ISBN 1634764676 (ISBN13: 9781634764674)
edition language English
series Resonator #1

A MelanieM Review: Lessons for Sleeping Dogs (Cambridge Fellows #12) by Charlie Cochrane


Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Cambridge, 1921

LessonsForSleepingDogs_600x900When amateur sleuth Jonty Stewart comes home with a new case to investigate, his partner Orlando Coppersmith always feels his day has been made. Although, can there be anything to solve in the apparent mercy killing of a disabled man by a doctor who then kills himself, especially when everything takes place in a locked room?

But things are never straightforward where the Cambridge fellows are concerned, so when they discover that more than one person has a motive to kill the dead men—motives linked to another double death—their wits get stretched to the breaking point.

And when the case disinters long buried memories for Jonty, memories about a promise he made and hasn’t kept, their emotions get pulled apart as well. This time, Jonty and Orlando will have to separate fact from fiction—and truth from emotion—to get to the bottom of things.

I am always thrilled to find that Jonty Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith have returned for another mystery and here they are back in Charlie Cochrane’s Lessons for Sleeping Dogs better than ever.

With the last few stories we have been flip flopping back and forth along the time line as laid out in the novels released to date.  Lessons for Sleeping Dogs now moves that time line forward once more another year.  The men are older, their relationship more established and yet,  their love for each other has never been so deep and committed as the one we see here.  Orlando and Jonty are starting to think past their time at St. Bride’s, perhaps even into retirement age, a startling thought considering we first met them 16 years ago when their world was far more innocent (at least on the surface) and WWI was not even a faint grumbling politically.

Charlie Cochrane is easing her Fellows into the aging process with a smoothness most would envy.  Its acknowledged, through a gentle gesture or wry remark,  a memory to those so sorely missed, lost to war or old age, and then the story moves on as it should.  Its a lovely realistic touch and its inclusion makes me appreciate this author even more.

Oh the mysteries, yes, more than one.  I think this must be the most convoluted of them yet.  Shades of Sherlock Holmes!  There is an echo of an earlier story but you don’t have to have read that to get the gist of it here.  Most of that backstory is included.  There are several mysteries ongoing at several levels of importance, or so you think.  I loved them of course, but I thought that too many puzzles almost took away from the main murder mystery.  I get what Charlie was after, but this was a lot to juggle and it was hard for the reader to keep track of all of the facts, places and people while still dealing with the many emotional scenes and fallout for Jonty and Orlando.  This aspect of  Lessons for Sleeping Dogs kept it from a perfect 5 star rating, but oh it was so close.

There is so much darkness here.  The aftermath of WWI lingers on in the broken minds and bodies of the soldiers who returned, included Orlando and Jonty.  The bleakness and pain of their childhood must also be dealt with once again as parts of their case brings their memories surging back to overwhelm them.  Their past histories are  alluded to here but this remains another definite reason why theses stories should be read in order (in my opinion). You can only get the full impact of what happened to them in those previous novels not here.  Jonty and Orlando have so many issues to deal with, and they must do it using their hearts, their intelligence and their trust in each other.    What a outstanding story to have Jonty and Orlando make their reappearance!

Yes, it all works out.  We get to see some of our favorite secondary characters and Hyacinth Cottage.  I absolutely loved it.  What’s next for Jonty and Orlando?  It’s anyone’s guess and only Charlie Cochrane knows for sure.    But one thing is for certain, I will be there, waiting in line, to pick up the story and see what happens next and hoping that the author won’t tear my heart out.

I highly recommend this story and all the novels in the Cambridge Fellows Mysteries.  I have them all listed for you below.  Don’t miss out on any of them.

Cover artist:  Lou Harper.  I love these  new covers.  They are my favorite covers so  far for the series.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 243 pages
Expected publication: October 12th 2015 by Riptide Publishing




Join Charlie Cochrane as She Talks “Gary Stu” and “Lessons for Sleeping Dogs” (guest post and contest)



Lessons for Sleeping Dogs (Cambridge Fellows #12)
by Charlie Cochrane
Publisher:  Riptide Publishing
Cover Artist: Lou Harper
Buy it here at Riptide

I have long been a fan of author Charlie Cochrane and this amazing series.  Set in historical England, her readers have followed Jonty Stewart  and Orlando Coppersmith from the moment at the dining table at St. Bride’s College where they first met through times filled with confounding puzzles, multiple murderers, an ever deepening relationship that could see them to the gallows if discovered, and hidden darknesses in both men’s backgrounds that comes back to haunt them time and again.  And all brilliantly staged in Cambridge  and various locations throughout England, starting in 1905, through the tumultuous war years to 1921 where this story takes place.

 One of the many elements that keeps me and so many other readers returning is that  Charlie Cochrane’s ability to place us directly onto the cobblestone walkways and dirt paths that Jonty and Orlando are trodding.  We feel as though we are there with them, and historical Cambridge is as real to us as it would be to our Cambridge Dons.  That’s quite a gift.  Now I find maybe because its author feels herself walking there too.  Hmmm.  Let’s hear it from  Charlie herself.

Anyone for self-insertion in their own books?

By Charlie Cochrane

Authors writing themselves into their works is nothing new. Many people reading St. Mark’s gospel think the young man who slipped out of his linen clothes to elude his captors and ran away naked from the garden of Gethsemane was the Apostle Mark himself. And, in “As You Like It”, there’s a slightly dim-witted countryman called William who seems to have no real purpose in the play except to be a figure of fun – is this the Bard making game of himself?

I’m not necessarily talking Mary Sues here, although some self-inserted characters come perilously close. I find the wikipedia description of these women – or  their male equivalent, the Gary Stu – useful, that they’re “primarily functioning as wish-fulfillment fantasies for their authors”. Many of the author appearances make the feet of clay all too apparent and so wouldn’t fit into this category.

Autobiographically inspired novels clearly portray the writer and his/her friends, foibles and all, to some extent or other. Sal Paradise in “On the Road” is Jack Kerouac, Jeannette in “Oranges are not the Only Fruit” is Jeannette Winterson and Philip Carey in “Of Human Bondage” may be Somerset Maugham, more or less.

Sometimes, though, the reader sees what he or she wants. E M Forster insisted that Maurice Hall wasn’t him, although the similarities in appearance, Cambridge background and sexual awakening by a man from the lower classes has made fans of “Maurice” wonder whether that’s true. Harriet Vane is evidently based on Dorothy L Sayers – similar educational background, similar unhappy love affair – although she possesses too many faults to be a Mary Sue. Except in one thing; Sayers was infatuated with Eric Whelpton (one of the models for Peter Wimsey), but to no avail. Could Harriet’s happy ending with Peter have been a bit of wish-fulfillment?

Certainly the wish-fulfillment element looms large in the case of some authors of fanfic. In Age of Sail stories, there’ll be a young woman who’s beautiful, talented, clever, witty; a right pain in the bum, to put it bluntly. She’s the best shot on the ship and can probably outdo the officers at swordplay. She might even be in disguise as a man, some very capable second lieutenant, and nobody’s twigged yet.

Talking of Age of Sail, Dr. Maturin in the Jack Aubrey series fascinates me, as does his creator, Patrick O’Brian. It would be easy to overegg the pudding discussing similarities between the two – secrecy, dissimulation about background, a daughter with special needs – but the fact remains that Maturin at times feels like a Gary Stu, despite his faults. Brilliant shot, wonderful espionage agent, a bit of a super hero (he takes a bullet out of his own abdomen and survives torture, storms, abandonment on a scorching hot island, a night on a freezing cold mountain, etc). I can’t help wondering if O’Brian was using Maturin in part to be what he’d wished to be, (or pretended he’d been) including a spy, an Irishman and a wonderful father to his disabled child.

Self inserted characters exist today. There’s a lady in my Cambridge Fellows books, including the latest, Lessons for Sleeping Dogs, who bears more than a passing resemblance to me in terms of her appearance, interests and maternal outlook. Of course, with that in mind, the tendency is when I’m reading something to try to spot a character who might just be the author in disguise. I daren’t say anything because of the risk of a suit for libel, but might that beautiful lady in the latest book by xxxx really be her indulging in wish fulfilment and can that ridiculously sexy man, the one all the blokes fawn over truly be yyyyy? And will you share your favourite ‘self-inserted’ characters in the comments?


Cambridge, 1921

When amateur sleuth Jonty Stewart comes home with a new case to investigate, his partner Orlando Coppersmith always feels his day has been made. Although, can there be anything to solve in the apparent mercy killing of a disabled man by a doctor who then kills himself, especially when everything takes place in a locked room?

But things are never straightforward where the Cambridge fellows are concerned, so when they discover that more than one person has a motive to kill the dead men—motives linked to another double death—their wits get stretched to the breaking point.

And when the case disinters long buried memories for Jonty, memories about a promise he made and hasn’t kept, their emotions get pulled apart as well. This time, Jonty and Orlando will have to separate fact from fiction—and truth from emotion—to get to the bottom of things.

About The Author

As Charlie Cochrane couldn’t be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes, with titles published by Carina, Samhain, Bold Strokes, MLR and Cheyenne.

Charlie’s Cambridge Fellows Series of Edwardian romantic mysteries was instrumental in her being named Author of the Year 2009 by the review site Speak Its Name. She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People, International Thriller Writers Inc and is on the organising team for UK Meet for readers/writers of GLBT fiction. She regularly appears with The Deadly Dames.

Connect with Charlie:



Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for your choice of an a ebook from Charlie Cochrane’s backlist (excluding Lessons for Sleeping Dogs.) Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on October 17, 2015. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Don’t forget to add your contact information so we can reach you if you win!  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  

Cambridge Fellows Mysteries

CambridgeFellows_Series_0 (1)

If the men of St. Bride’s College knew what Jonty Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith got up to behind closed doors, the scandal would rock early-20th-century Cambridge to its core. But the truth is, when they’re not busy teaching literature and mathematics, the most daring thing about them isn’t their love for each other—it’s their hobby of amateur sleuthing.

[The Last books starting with #9 are available from Riptide Publishing]


Hit the Road Running with A Lone Stranger (The Bent Zealots MC #3) by Layla Wolfe (excerpt and giveaway)


LONE new cover

A Lone Stranger (The Bent Zealots MC #3) by Layla Wolfe
Release Date: October 12, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Quicksilver Books
Cover Artist: Jan Bowles

Buy It at Amazon



Ride on. Ride on.

HARTE: After a world-altering run-in with the guy I thought was my father, I went on the road to find myself. I patched over to The Bent Zealots MC, an out-and-proud club on the Colorado River. A cock virgin, I raced to experience all I could, eagerly sniffing every nook and cranny, a whole new existence offered up by Grindr. But when Ormond Tangier was assaulted by a rival club, I quickly got down to brass tacks, to show my new brothers I was all business.

Too bad that business involves Bond Blackburn, jailbird brother of our Prez, Turk. That guy is so far in denial he’s practically Egyptian. But he even he can’t deny what I saw with my own eyes at the gay club. Sure, I was on my knees paying homage to a Daddy Dom, but Bond can’t pretend he wasn’t getting some oral praise as well. And now they’re telling me I have to work with this hypocrite?

BOND: This club is a fucking joke. How’s a man supposed to make a new start after the joint? First, my own brother forced me to prospect. I couldn’t automatically rise to the top of the heap through my family connections. No, I’m supposed to labor in a noxious sweatshop making product for their pot dispensary. And I have to sneak downtown if I want to get some halfway decent head, because I don’t even want my gay so-called brothers knowing about my shameful hobby.

Now we’re reaching out to the cops to even the score with those Hellfire Nuts who abused Ormond. And that delicious Harte Saxonberg is getting my goat, so by the book, such bleeding heart. I just want to strangle him—or fuck him.

HARTE: I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place, one that slab of a man, Bond Blackburn. He kisses me, then punches me. Fucks me, then ignores me. He’s got me so upside-down I’ve lost the clarity I had a week ago when I rode west. Ride west, young man. I could be a steam train if I could just lay down my tracks. But the only name I’m calling out is that sexy convict’s.

Ride on. Ride on.

Publisher’s warning: This book is not for the faint of heart. It contains scenes of gay sex,  consensual BDSM, illegal doings, vaguely legal marijuana operations, and violence against men. There is no cheating or cliffhangers, and HEAs for all.


Pages or Words: 62,000 words
Categories: Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance


“Stupid kids,” was all Bond would say. “Fucking spring break.”

“You never got a chance to go to college,” I said, tentatively. I thought we’d started a good conversation the day before at Ormond’s. We could certainly continue along that tack. Bond didn’t seem to be aware that Turk had had an equally lousy childhood as he had. He seemed to think Turk was rolling with some kind of sudsy reality family where Jim Bob Duggar would dispense with fatherly advice about dental cavities and wet dreams. He somehow seemed to have gathered this vision of Turk’s adoptive home as a heavenly, squeaky clean TV set, not the lousy, dirty Party Central that it was. “But Turk didn’t, either, and he was the smartest of the bunch of us, growing up. He didn’t have the best home life, Bond. I don’t know where you get your impression of Cropper Illuminati, but Turk wasn’t playing board games and roller skating. He had it rough.”

“Sure,” snorted Bond. “Cropper docked his allowance if he didn’t eat his broccoli.”

“I doubt they ever had broccoli.” I was starting to lose patience with this man. “I doubt they even knew what a fucking board game was, Bond. That house was just as bad, if not more so, than any of your group homes. You probably played Life or Trivial Pursuit a couple of times.”

“A couple of times, maybe,” Bond grudgingly admitted. “I knew what they were.”

“Well Cropper had Turk and Ford stealing Walkmans from Radio Shack when they were ten. He was handing them hits of four-way Windowpane as rewards. Before he started Illuminati Trucking, they slept with buckets around their beds because no one could afford a new roof. They rarely even made it to school, and luckily both got their GEDs because they kept up with book learning on their own. He had them selling weed to seventh graders—their own friends! Did you know that?”

“I didn’t know squat,” Bond said, somewhat angrily. “I only saw Turk twice before yesterday. He never tried to contact me.”

“Because he didn’t know where you were! I distinctly recall about five years ago, I asked him about you, where you were. He said he didn’t fucking know, but he’d really like to fucking know.”

“He could have fucking asked! He could have fucking asked the child placement agency where I went!”

I was so livid by that time I was nearly driving on the shoulder. The sun blared high above the treeless desert, and the trailer park we were passing made it even more desolate. My hands clenched the wheel. Now I was the one white-knuckling it. “He did! He said after the last group home let you go when you were seventeen, everyone lost track. He knew you were in Colorado and that was it. He tried, Bond. He tried. Yet you knew where he was the whole time. The Bum Steer clubhouse in Pure and Easy didn’t move for fifteen, twenty years. They still use it. It’s still a bar and grill.”

“Well, what would I’ve said to him? We had nothing in fucking common. At least he lived with a real family. I lived with a bunch of other kids who’d punch you just for looking sideways at them. A bunch of degenerates. Fake ‘fathers’ visiting your bed at night.”

That last part kind of sailed right over my head. I was like a dog with a bone now, determined to worry it. “You wound up having a lot more in common than you thought, didn’t you?”

“What do you mean? We both like leather? We both ride scoots?”

“No,” I boiled. “You’d both rather smoke dick than cigars.”

Boy, that one, short pause was practically electric with emotion. Bond probably needed that pause to determine whether I’d really said what he thought I’d said. Then I guess he’d decided that yes, I’d really said it, because his hand shot out and bashed the steering wheel so badly I swerved into oncoming traffic.

“That’s it. That’s fucking it. Pull over, you motherfucking scumsucker. Pull over to the side of the road. I’m not riding with the likes of you anymore.”

Luckily there were no oncoming cars and I was able to maneuver the van to the shoulder next to an old-timey diner that was boarded up. I tried to say, “Look. I was just saying it’s interesting that two brothers who’ve been separated most of their adult life turn out to be gay, that’s all,” but Bond was having none of that shit.

He yanked on the door handle so violently I’m surprised he didn’t break it clean off. His look was murderous as well, his chestnut eyes flashing. His left hand grabbed the lapel of my cut. It was an unforgiveable sin to touch another man’s cut. But I felt in the wrong, and I did nothing to stop him. In the rearview side mirror, I saw Twinkletoes pull his white Dyna to the shoulder as well. He’d been riding back door to make sure us neophytes didn’t pull any shit. Like we were now doing.

“Listen, you fucktard. You may think you own this entire gay thing because you just came out after twenty-five years in the closet. Just because you were all over that gay stage owning it like some fairy being ogled by dozens of men with your stupid fucking cock leash. I’m here to tell you. You do not get to decide who does what, when. That’s my business.” And he slammed the hell out of the door, stomping over to the shuttered diner.

I immediately followed. Of course I did. I’d brought up the subject in the wrong way, possibly at the wrong time. But I couldn’t just let him run off next to the Sand and Rock diner.

Twinkletoes, too, was striding toward where Bond had hidden himself in the shadows by the diner’s front door. I held up a hand to tell Twinkletoes “I’ve got this.” I didn’t, really, but what else could I do?

“Listen,” I told the macho parolee, who paced in the shade with his arms folded so tightly his nipple ring was set to blow. “I’m sorry. You’re right. You get to decide when and where you come out. I was just trying to tell you you’re being fucking hypocritical thinking you can live a two-faced life. It’s going to make you unhappy, number one. Believe you me, I did that for years. I didn’t start suspecting I was gay until like my sophomore year in high school—“

Bond grabbed my T-shirt this time. He struck so quickly he was like a copperhead, the way his arm shot out to grab me. I swear my feet were off the ground while he was growling in my face. “You’re damn right it’s not your business. And I want you to fucking forget it ever happened, ‘cause it’s never happening again! As far as you and anyone knows, I’m straight, straight, straight. And the second we get back I’m gonna prove it by pushing up on at least two or three sweetbutts.” He tossed me away like yesterday’s nachos.

That pissed me off. Was he seriously going to pretend he wasn’t gay in the slightest? “What the fuck is that going to solve, Bond? It’s gonna come out eventually, you living in close proximity to other gays. Eventually you’re gonna slip up and someone’s gonna see you doing it with another guy. Believe you me, it happened to me. I was sucking someone’s cock in Flagstaff and my fucking mother saw me. Yes, my fucking mother, and it all came out then and there, and not in the way I would’ve wanted it to.” My real father, Sax Saxonberg, had also seen me inhaling Dayton Navarro’s meat, but he seemed cool with it. The point I was trying to make to Bond was that it was nearly impossible to hide it. I tried.

He yelled, “Why would I slip up if I only hook up with guys in Lake Havasu City?”

“Lake Havasu?” I sputtered. “That’s like twenty minutes from our clubhouse. Who the hell is not going to be grinding in Lake Havasu? Chances are I’ll literally run into you within the first ten days.”

“Okay, then I’ll go farther! Needles, Bullhead City!”

“That’s Assassins of Youth turf! Lock was nearly beheaded by those morons for being gay before they let him leave their fucking club. Listen, what I’m trying to say is—“

“What you’re trying to say is I’m supposed to admit something I haven’t even admitted to myself! No fucking thank you!”

We were practically standing toe to toe now, shouting at each other. Being so close, we didn’t really need to shout. But it sort of fit our moods, I think. We were both pissed as hell. “It’s going to haunt you anyway, asshole! Think how wrong it’ll feel, trying to suck some girl’s boob while the whole time you’re imagining it’s some guy’s cock.”

I don’t suck cock! I’m a fucking—a fucking—“

“Ha! You don’t even know what you are, that’s how far in denial you are. You probably don’t even know what a top or a Dom is. You’re so far in denial you’re swimming in Lake Victoria, and every time you slide your cock into a chick you’re going to be fantasizing it’s some guy’s tight ass. You’re going to be wishing that hair you’re stroking of the girl blowing you belongs to a guy, and—“

“I don’t fuck guys either! All I do is let them blow me, once in a blue fucking moon, and that’s just because they’re better at giving blowjobs than chicks are.” Bond was so close he was spitting on my face with every word.

“—and every time you kiss a girl you’re going to be pretending to yourself it’s a guy just so you can get it up—“

Oh, fuck it.”

That last was just one long groan, and suddenly Bond was kissing me.

I know, it sounds insane to say. It sounds insane to write it. In a fraction of a second, Bond went from a straight guy who only allowed men the pleasure of blowing him because they were more talented to a guy who just wanted to kiss another man. And that fucking man was me.

Me. A guy who’d never been kissed.

I was so shocked, so taken by surprise, at first I thought it was some strange kind of torture, maybe some martial arts move. I froze like a Windows computer. Abso-fucking-lutely stunned, my hands in the shape of claws, waiting for Bond to hurt me.

But he didn’t. And he didn’t stop. The kiss just got warmer, more passionate. He parted his lips and tickled mine with the tip of his tongue, snorting hot puffs against my cheek. His palm cradled my skull, pressing me to him, and he came up so close the toes of our boots touched.

No. He wasn’t going to hurt me. He was just filled to the brim with lust.

I breathed. My hands melted, and I dared to encircle his waist. I ran my hands underneath his cut, bold enough to feel his burning skin under the filmy wifebeater he seemed to have worn just to seduce me. Ah. My pheromones were responding to his essential manly scent, that mysterious, unfathomable scent that draws lovers together. I parted my lips and allowed him to tickle my tongue-tip, even relaxing enough to utter a moan that had him delving his tongue deeper.

He bent at the knees, leaning into me. With one of his hands on my hip, the other curled around the slope of my ass, pressing me into him, sort of lifting me. I gasped in his mouth, shocked to feel the pressure of his erection against mine. The delicious sensuality when he angled his hips ever so slightly sent a rush of bloodlust to my groin. In a flash, my dick was throbbing against my fly buttons.

Never in a billion years had I fantasized about this brutal, statuesque god making a pass at me, much less kissing me. And now he was thrust his pelvis against mine, dry-humping me with quick little jolts as though he meant to lift my boots clean off the ground. Our tongues twined together now, Bond lapping at the underside of mine. The tip of his beautiful, straight nose touched my cheekbone. It was much more voracious, no holds barred then the gentle kiss of a woman. So this is what it’s like to kiss a man. Already I wanted to do it over…and over…and over.

Just as he gave his most savage grunt punctuated by a stab of the hips, Bond broke away. Panting, with hands out at his side, he looked utterly stunned. He gazed at me wide-eyed as though he’d never seen me before. Oh, Lord. This is where he takes everything back again. Already I was getting to know Bond and his flip-flopping ways. He disgustedly wiped his mouth off on his forearm.

“There,” he practically spat. “Maybe that will shut you up.” He ambled past me like a Cro-Magnon man, all bulging muscles and aboriginal forehead, just like the knuckle-dragger he was. Even his stupid voice sounded dumb, a roided-out boxer who’d been bashed in the head too many times. “Let’s get this fucking show on the road. That kid ain’t waiting forever.”

I swiveled around, still trying to drink everything in. That was when Twinkletoes stepped out from behind a pillar.

“Way to not be gay, guy.”

It was so unexpected I burst out in laughter. I looked at Twinkletoes, expected him to be laughing, too, but he wasn’t. He’d meant every word. It wasn’t until he saw me busting a gut that he realized it had been funny. He, too, started chuckling, his eyes watery.

Bond had already slammed the hell back into the rape van’s passenger seat, jamming his seat belt into its buckle, so I stood next to the former Prospect.

“Strange guy,” Twinkletoes chuckled. “I busted him coming out of the Blue Oyster, but he denies being attracted to men.”

“Oh, you saw him there, too? This is what I’m trying to tell him. He’s not gonna be able to keep it under wraps for long.”

“Especially not in a club full of homosexuals. He doesn’t need to fly the colors of a unicorn riding a rainbow for those Zealots to scope him out a mile off.”

“I don’t envy you. You’ve got your hands full sponsoring him.”

Bond rolled down the manual window on the old van. “Hey! Burning daylight here!”

Twinkletoes exhaled loudly between pursed lips. “This is gonna be a tough row to hoe, for sure.”

I slapped him on the shoulder, pretending to be cheery about the whole thing. In reality, I was tweaked, thinking about the road ahead for Bond. It was hard enough coming out when you wanted to, like me. But for a guy so determined to think he was as straight as a laser beam, coming to grips with reality would be even worse.

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Meet the Author

Bestselling author Layla Wolfe is satisfied with a leather jacket, one bad-ass pink camo compound bow, and a vicarious outlaw lifestyle. Her BARE BONES MC series explores the dark, disturbing life of the biker club in Arizona. Her spinoff series THE BENT ZEALOTS MC is a gritty MM saga.

Layla Wolfe is the pen name of multi-published erotic romance author Karen Mercury. To sign up for her email list to be notified of new releases, visit: http://oi.vresp.com/?fid=c6b5ab1d41

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Parker Williams, Havan Fellows, Bayou Book Junkie, Divine Magazine, BFD Book Blog, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, My Fiction Nook, Inked Rainbow Reads, Happily Ever Chapter, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Alpha Book Club, Molly Lolly, Sinfully Addicted to All Male Romance, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My, Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy, Three Books Over The Rainbow, The Blogger Girls, Charley Descoteaux



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