A Free Dreamer Release Day Review: Love is Heartless (Love Can’t Series #2) by Kim Fielding

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

love-is-heartless-by-kim-fieldingSmall but mighty—that could be Detective Nevin Ng’s motto. Now a dedicated member of the Portland Police Bureau, he didn’t let a tough start in life stop him from protecting those in need. He doesn’t take crap from anyone, and he doesn’t do relationships. Until he responds to the severe beating of a senior citizen and meets the victim’s bow-tied, wealthy landlord.

Property manager and developer Colin Westwood grew up with all the things Nevin never had, like plenty of money and a supportive, loving family. Too supportive, perhaps, since his childhood illness has left his parents unwilling to admit he’s a strong, grown man. Colin does do relationships, but they never work out. Now he’s thinking maybe he won’t just go with the flow. Maybe it’s time to try something more exciting. But being a witness to a terrible crime—or two—was more than he bargained for.

Despite their differences, Colin and Nevin discover that sparks fly when they’re together. But sparks are short-lived, dampened by the advent of brutal crimes, and Colin and Nevin have seemingly little in common. The question is whether they have the heart to build something lasting.

“Love is Heartless” is part two in the “Love Can’t” series, but works perfectly fine as a standalone. The MCs from book one don’t show up very often in this book.

I had very high expectations of “Love is Heartless”. Part one of the series was simply brilliant, so I’d hoped for a brilliant sequel. “Love is Heartless” was definitely good, but not quite as brilliant as “Love Can’t Conquer”. This book was definitely far less angsty and gritty than part one. It was still intense, but not as dark.

Nevin is hard to like. He’s very prickly and doesn’t let anybody get too close. Honestly, his “fuck off” attitude was a bit over the top at times.

Colin is his complete opposite. He’s sweet and kind and lovely. Again, maybe a bit too much so. They did both have depth and weren’t just reduced to those character traits, so that’s definitely a plus.

The love story was slow to unfold, what with Nevin’s commitment phobia. I’m not a huge fan of the opposites attract trope, but it was well done here. The ending didn’t really work for me, though. Too cheesy.

I liked Nevin’s job. There are plenty of cops in our m/m romances, but most of them work in flashy departments like homicide or drugs. Nevin is responsible for helpless people – the elderly, disabled and children. Experiencing Nevin during his work was wonderful. It really shows that there is a soft core under all those thorns.

The crime solving part was a bit weak, but I’m not a big fan of crime novels anyway, so I didn’t mind too much.

The sex was absolutely smoking hot. Nevin and Colin definitely know how to have a good time. And I loved that they were versatile in the bedroom.

The best part of the whole book was Colin’s cat Legolas. Kim Fielding gave him his own personality and it was brilliant. I love that cat to bits!

Long story short, “Love is Heartless” was good, but not as brilliant as part one in the series. The MCs seemed a bit over the top at times and the love story was a little too cheesy. It was still an enjoyable read and I’m absolutely looking forward to book three in the series.

Cover: I really like the cover by Brooke Albrecht. The colours are beautiful.

Sales Links

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Book details:

ebook, 254 pages
Expected publication: January 13th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1635332141 (ISBN13: 9781635332148)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesLove Can’t Series #2

An Ali Review: Doll Baby by Kayleigh Sky

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Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
27b90-dollbaby_400x600_ebookTodd Rifkin has sworn off love and romance forever—until he loses his heart to a badly scarred rent boy and stumbles into a deadly game of cat and mouse with a brutal stalker out for revenge.

Struggling to make enough money to buy a friend’s bar and grill to fulfill a promise, Todd Rifkin vows to let nothing stand in his way. Nothing, that is, until a friend’s call for help. Bailing his friend out of trouble might cost Todd his dream. Now he is scrambling to make up the loss and reluctantly takes on the job of errand boy for his boss’ spoiled ex-lover.

Bliss Busby has no memory of the attack that scarred his face. Scared and reclusive, he has no interest in Todd’s intrusion into his life. No interest, that is, until somebody starts scattering cinnamon hearts at his door. Now Todd is the only one standing between Bliss and a mysterious stalker.

Years ago, Todd lost the love of his life in a violent twist of fate. After a night with a knife-wielding maniac, Bliss lost everything. Thrown together by circumstance, Todd and Bliss must unite to battle a hidden force from the past. As Bliss struggles to remember the assault that wrecked his life, and Todd struggles to solve the mystery of an attacker that is closer than either of them realizes, their reluctant friendship becomes a passionate and erotic love that just might have the power to heal their wounded hearts.

If they live.
This was a new author to me and unfortunately I did not click with her writing style.  Some of it is abstract and I struggled to understand what was going on in some scenes.  I found myself rereading many parts because suddenly a character would appear and I wasn’t sure when they came in or they would reach for something but I didn’t know how that item came around them.  It reminded me of the story telling style for Fight Club. I got the general gist of the story but was constantly trying to play catch up on the details and wondering how we got from place A to place B in the story.
I also struggled with the characters.  I like that she made them non-traditional but it went a little too far for me.  I actually disliked them all.  They were way too morally ambiguous for my liking.  Todd was the best of the bunch but even he was kind of gross.  I’m ok with morally bankrupt characters in other genres but I really like my romance characters to be decent people. 
Unfortunately this did not work for me and I can’t see myself recommending it.  If you like stories that are pretty outside the box though this might be one for you to try.
Cover:  I like the cover and it fits well with the beginning of the story and a major plot point.
Sales Links

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 330 pages
Published January 7th 2017 by Kiss Drunk Books
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Edition LanguageEnglish

A MelanieM Recent Release Review: Ash into Fire by Tully Vincent

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

ash-into-fireAsh, misfit son of a clan warrior-chief, has reason to fear his coming of age ritual—no one expects him to survive.

In a matter of hours, Ash must walk into the sacred fire, where he will transform or die. But the fire is not what the clan believes, and it may be the least of Ash’s troubles.

Tully Vincent creates a dark tale of a post apocalyptic world and a boy about to face his coming of age ritual.  Vincent creates her own mythology, one I would love to see revisited in a larger storyline, both as a prequel (although that would be very hard to read knowing what’s coming) and a sequel to this short story.

The character of Ash is carefully laid out, we can see who they are and guess at Ash’s history and upbringing.  It also makes the horrors that are to come all the more shattering.  This is not just dub con, but actual rape that happens here.  So please take note of the warnings.   I found it very difficult to read.

However, getting past those scenes, the powerful images and the remainder of the story, including the ending, pulled everything the author hoped to achieve together, giving Ash a transformation you will not only love but want to know more about.

Cover art works beautifully with the story and character.

Sales Links

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Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 54 pages
Published January 1st 2017 (first published December 2016)
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Edition LanguageEnglish

Genre: post-apocalyptic, paranormal

Warnings: bondage, dub/non-con

An Alisa Review: Night of the Blue Moon by Cassandra Pierce

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

 

night-of-the-blue-moon-by-cassandra-pierceScot North is intrigued when he is invited to a New Year’s Eve celebration on a private island. But his host is a mysterious man who seems to know a little too much about him…

 

In late December, Scot North is mysteriously summoned from his London home to a private island to ring in the new year with an unknown host. As midnight and the highly anticipated Blue Moon approach, Scot grows more and more baffled as to exactly why he’s been invited…and what is the connection between this New Year’s event and the bizarre encounter he experienced in an underground club the month before?

 

This book’s blurb left just enough questions to be intrigued.  Scot has been really out of it since his encounter a month ago.  He has also been having a mysterious man following him around and every time he tries to approach the man turns and disappears.

 

It’s a long road for Scot to find the answers to his questions, but he continues to hope that his host may have those answers.  Brendan is intriguing and does really well talking in circles when they meet.  You can just sense their loneliness; Scot has been trying to find someone while Brendan has kept himself hidden away.  They have a great connection and you can see the opportunity for the future.

 

The cover art by E Connors is nice and gives a nice setting for the story.

 

Sales Links: Dark Hollows Press | Amazon | ARe

 

Book Details:

ebook, 43 pages

Published: December 2, 2016 by Dark Hollows Press

Edition Language: English

Lynn Lorenz Shares Her Thoughts on Writing, Inspiration and her release David’s Dilemma (guest post)

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David’s Dilemma by Lynn Lorenz
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reamspinner Press
Cover Artist: AngstyG

Available for Purchase at

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Lynn Lorenz here today, sitting in our author’s interview chair.  Welcome, Lynn!

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First, thank you to the people at Scattered Thoughts for hosting my release, David’s Dilemma! I truly appreciate it!

I’m answering some of their questions about me and my writing and I hope you’ll find it interesting, funny and give you an insight to me, my writing and my life.

  • Where do you normally draw your inspiration for a book from?  A memory, a myth, a place or journey, or something far more personal?

     Usually from real life like the news, or a retelling an old tale, but also personal.  For David’s Dilemma, it was my father’s slip into Alzheimer’s Disease that led me to write the book, as a homage to him and to honor the caretakers.

     For Pacific Nights, not currently in circulation, I wanted to tell the South Pacific story, only with gay characters. Remember those guys who went to the island to spy on the Japanese? Those guys.

     For Soul Bonds, I took the story from the sex slave industry thriving in Houston and reported on the news.

  • Are you a planner or a pantzer when writing a story? And  why?

     I started out as a pantzer, but found I was writing way too many stories at one time to keep it up for long. Most writers who are pantzers will have a number of stories – with anywhere from 1-5 chapters – then they hit a wall and get stuck. We have no problems with the beginning and ends, it’s the damn middle that’s the hardest.

     So I developed what I call a “loosey goosey” method of plotting – very brief and short chapter descriptions. It enabled me to veer off, to move chapters and timelines and to not feel so trapped by a fully plotted story. With this method, I can create all the chapters, what will happen in them, and then write the ones that I’m feeling – non-linear. So, if I know the ending, I can write it whenever.

     I actually teach an online course on this method.

  • Contemporary, supernatural, fantasy, or science fiction narratives or something else?  Does any genre draw you more than another when writing it or reading it and why does it do so?

     If you look at my list of books and the genres, I span the gamut from contemporary, historical, paranormal, fantasy, sci-fi, and even inspirational. My favorite is paranormal, because I get to create a world, inhabit it with characters and play Goddess. But I do love to mix them up, fantasy and paranormal, contemporary and paranormal.

     I write primarily gay romance under my Lynn Lorenz name, and het romance under Theodora Lane. Both of us write across genres. And by the way, I don’t consider gay romance as a genre, I consider it the genre (like historical) with gay heroes.

  • If you had a character you’ve written you would write differently now at this time in your writing career, who would it be and why?

     Now that I think of it, not really. I think my characters are true to who they are, from the moment I conceive them to writing them down. Since my stories are character-driven, those characters goals, motivations and conflicts define the plot. If I changed them, I’d change the plot and so it’d just be better to write a new book with that changed character. He wouldn’t be who he first was anymore.

     In David’s Dilemma, who would I change? David, a gay man struggling with his father who has Alzheimer’s? Travis, his love interest, a gay cop who’s come to grip with his age and what he really wants in his life, or David’s father, an elderly man sinking into a dark place he doesn’t understand? Any of those changes would change the book.

     In No Good Deed, my main character is Dan Chan, a gay Chinese cop in rural Texas. He’s bisexual and struggling with it. If I removed his bisexuality, it’d be a different story. I love him and his doubts, his struggle to understand himself and who he loves.

     For me, who the character is defines the book, the story I need to tell about that particular person.

  1. Can an author have favorites among their characters and do you have them?

     Sure. We have favorite kids, right? Uh…I wasn’t supposed to say that, was I?

     Anyway, I do have a few favorites. I love David, in David’s Dilemma. He’s so torn between what he sees as his duty to his father, a man he loves, but doesn’t really like, and doing the hard thing about his dad.

     I loved Edward, from Edward, Unconditionally. He’s all about learning to love himself, about acceptance, about loving and being loved unconditionally.

     Drake, my hero from The Mercenary’s Tale, is special because he’s was my first published book hero. He’s on a journey of sel-discovery, as much as any gay medieval mercenary can be in the 1300’s.

     One of my favorites is Jason from Best Vacation That Never Was. He’s a wild, adrenaline junky fire fighter with a rescue complex. He’s all heart and love and “watch this, bubba!” I loved mixing that good old boy with frat boy with the responsibility of a fire fighter.

     I think I love Dan Chan from No Good Deed for his self-depreciating humor, his love of cowboy boots, his dry, witty, make you think twice comebacks and his struggle to claim who he is and loves.

  • If you were to be stranded on a small demi-planet, island, or god forbid LaGuardia in a snow storm, what books would you take to read or authors on your comfort list?

     God, don’t let it be LaGuardia!! And as long as the island or the planet have working bathrooms and toilet paper, I’m good.

     I’d bring a collection of Shakespeare’s sonnets, mystery books from Tony Hillerman, James Dos, and Faye Kellerman, all of Lois Bujold-Masters works, Tolkein’s hobbit books, and a few classics, like How Green was My Valley, To Kill a Mockingbird, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

     (Notice I didn’t really name any romance books? Well, I’m not going to name any because I know too many of the authors and wouldn’t want to miss anyone and have them feel bad.)

     Truthfully, until I started writing gay romance, I never read romance books at all. Ever. I still can’t understand it. But in my gay romance books, you’ll find all the elements of the books I love to read, like mystery, cops, crime, danger, action and suspense. My books rarely depend on the “misunderstanding” or “guys can’t talk” pretending to be a plot. I love to take my guys through a lot – I want them to really struggle and fight for their happily ever after. My tagline is Everyone Deserves a Happily Ever After. And I believe it.

  • How early in your life did you begin writing?

     I remember writing poetry in junior high. About all sorts of things. I don’t have any of it and don’t remember a single poem. I write poetry again in college, full of angst and sexual desire. But I was more of an artist, painting, drawing, printmaking. I went to college for Fine Art and have a degree in it. With English as my minor, so a lot of writing there, but all for school.

     I did art for years, then as I got older, I move to gardening. I loved it so much I’d planned to be a Master Gardener, but my knees when bad and I couldn’t do much anymore. So I started reading. I’d always been a reader, but this was in my early 40’s and I wanted to read stories that had dragons and heroes and sex. Lots of sex. But they were hard to find.

     My husband listened to me complaining about not finding books and he said, “Shut up and write one.” So I did. I wrote my first book, over 250K, which he informed me was what they call a “Trilogy”. I then wrote about 6 books before I decided to publish.

  • Were you an early reader or were you read to and what childhood books had an impact on you as a child that you remember to this day and why?

     Oh, yes. I read all the Dr. Suess books. I read most of the child classics like Winnie The Pooh, and I remember falling in love with Belinda and the Dragon. When I hit about 11-12, I hated the Nancy Drew books, but ate up all the Trixie Beldon books. She had curly hair like me and was horse crazy like me.

     At about 13, I spend most of my time in my local library. Nix Library on Carrolton Avenue in New Orleans. They let me take out books way above my pay grade, but I devoured books. I especially love Mary Steward, Shirley Jackson, and any gothic book, like Daphne du Maurier. All of H.P. Lovecraft. All of Sherlock Holmes. All of Edgar Allen Poe.

     Then during and after college, I discovered horror, reading all of Stephen King, Robin Cook, Dean Koontz, and Thomas Harris. I also read a lot of true crime books. But then I had kids, and reading horror just didn’t sit well with me. And my husband worried about all the true crime stuff, like “How I Killed My Husband” stuff. So for everyone’s sanity, I move off it.

     And onto mystery, detective stories, police procedurals.

     But never romance. Not until my mid to late 40’s.

     Now, if you read a lot of my books, you can see where all of these early reads had a big influence on how and what I write about. I can go light and funny or very dark and gritty. I love adding action, mysteries, or suspense to my books. 

     And sex. Lots of sex. Hot, hot sex.

  • If you were writing your life as a romance novel, what would the title be?

     Good Lord! Well, I’d definitely be filed under the erotic romance section. I need to think about this for a bit. My life has been fairly usual. Sort of boring in its last half. Married, with children. Working a corporate job, 9-5.

     I’m not sure – maybe chicklity like Strong, Steady, and Sexy

     Or for a literary turn, The Electrician’s Daughter

     Maybe something southern, like Fried Okra, Grits and Men.

  • 10.What question would you ask yourself here?

     What are you working on next?

     My answer – I’ve got three books to series I need to finish. A new WereWolf Fight League book. This is going to be a menage (m/m/m) set in the dark, gritty world of werewolf slaves and cage fighting. This is for Loose Id.

     Another is the next Locke and Blade book. It’s set in a magical world torn away from the non-magical. They are a team of Inspectors who serve the Patrol, their world’s police force. This is for MLR Press.

     And I’ll be working on a new Rougaroux Social Club book, the last in the series. I plan on figuring out who Maman’s black cat really is and why he’s found a home in the bayou. Another for Loose Id.

    And I’m working on a…wait for it…gay inspirational story for Dreamspinner, if they take it. It’s the first in a series, so we’ll see, but I have hopes for it.

    Anything more than that will be for my het pen name, Theodora Lane.

Thanks again to Scattered Thoughts!!

And a big thank you to my publisher Dreamspinner, my editors, and my cover artist for David’s Dilemma, AngstyG.

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About David’s Dilemma

2nd Edition

When is it the wrong time to find Mr. Right? For David, that time is now. He’s caring for his homophobic father, who has Alzheimer’s, and his personal life is the last thing he has time to focus on. But when his father wanders off, David is forced to reach out to the police, in the person of Detective Travis Hart. Travis is gay, tired of the club life and twinks he can’t keep up with, and longs for a real relationship with a man who wants the same—maybe someone remarkable like David. In fact, David is exactly who he has been looking for, but Travis isn’t sure he can be the man David needs during this difficult time.

Because as David’s father sinks deeper into the disease that’s robbing him of his memories, David really needs a friend, not a lover. Though Travis is determined to support David in whatever way he can, David’s decision could lead both men into a situation with no possibility of a happy resolution.

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About the Author

Lynn Lorenz is an award-winning and bestselling author who grew up in New Orleans but currently lives in Texas, where she’s a fan of all things Texan, like Longhorns, big hair, and cowboys in tight jeans. She’s never met a comma she didn’t like, and enjoys editing and brainstorming with other writers. Lynn spends most of her time writing about hot sex with even hotter heroes, plot twists, werewolves, and medieval swashbucklers. She’s currently at work on her latest book, making herself giggle and blush, and avoiding all the housework.

In the Spotlight: Painted On My Heart by Kindle Alexander (excerpt, playlist and giveaway)

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Title: Painted On My Heart
Author: Kindle Alexander
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: January 2, 2017
Artist Kellus Hardin let love and loyalty cloud his past decisions, a mistake he definitely won’t make again. Now, lost and alone, he’s left to pick up the shattered pieces of his broken heart while facing the truth of his reality. 

Arik Layne exudes power, confidence, and determination. But when an encounter with the guarded artist shakes him to the core and alters all his future goals, he finds more than just his heart on the line. 

For Kellus, opening himself to love isn’t an option. 
All Arik wants is to make the artist his. 
Can love create a masterpiece when it’s painted on your heart?

Painted on My Heart by Kindle Alexander from Bibliophile Productions on Vimeo.

“Arik and Kellus captivated me and kept me glued to my kindle.” – 5 Star Shh Mom’s Reading

“Another fabulous book that will steal a piece of your heart. Loved Arik and Kellus.” – 5 Star Becca the Bibliophile

Chapter 1

The shrill ring of his phone should have startled him awake, but Kellus Hardin was just too damn tired to do much more than roll in the direction of the irritating sound and throw a hand out to half-ass search around his mattress for the device. When he came up empty handed, he managed to turn the other way and do the same. By the time his exhausted sleep-hazed brain identified the phone wasn’t anywhere around him, he heard the chirp indicating a voice mail. He cracked an eyelid and lifted his head enough to look over at the alarm clock. Four thirty in the morning. Seriously? Nothing good could come from a call that time of night. He collapsed back to the bed with an annoyed groan. He’d been asleep less than an hour after working the fifteen before on the pieces he had due for the art gallery opening.
“Fuck,” he growled out, turning over again. He tucked a soft pillow into his side and decided he’d deal with that call in the morning. His exhausted state gave a solid thumbs-up on the plan, and he easily drifted back to sleep. What had to be a mere second later, the ringing started again. Stupid cell phone.
Kellus threw the covers away from his body and darted off the bed, angrier than he’d been in a very long time. He was fucking tired—tired of his fucked-up life and tired of this motherfucker who wouldn’t leave him the fuck alone.
Fuck!
With a vengeance, he zeroed in on the location of the noise. He marched to his laundry basket by the bedroom door and began tearing through the clothes to find the stupid phone, no doubt still inside his paint-spattered coveralls where he’d dropped it not fifty-three minutes ago before he’d finally managed to crawl into bed.
Palming the device, he glared at the caller ID. John. Of course. Who else would call in the middle of the fucking night?
“What?” he shouted as he connected the call.
“Come get him.” A deep masculine voice with a Spanish accent had him pulling the phone from his ear to look down at the screen in confusion.
Wait. Great. Even fucking better—John’s dealer.
“No,” he said firmly as he stood tall and fisted his free hand at his side. His chest bowed in defiance as if the guy on the other end of the phone were right there in his darkened bedroom. “You give him that shit, you deal with him.”
The harsh laugh on the other end of the line held what might have been genuine amusement. “I deal with him and it won’t end well.” The line went dead. Kellus shoved his fingers through his hair to help push the long strands out of his eyes.
“Fuck!” he bellowed to the empty room, spinning in a complete circle, gripping his phone in his hand and punching his fist through the air. Thank God he was alone, because if anybody had witnessed that little outburst he’d have been carted off to the nearest mental facility. He was just so fucking sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Breath heaving as anger and dread coursed through his veins, Kellus stood there, staring absently at his bed. The fatigue of the day settled heavy on his shoulders. He had responsibilities. He couldn’t take on more of John’s bullshit. He jammed the heels of his palms against his tired eyes and released an exhausted sigh. After so many hours holding a brush for the fine details of his painting, his hands cramped with the movement, and the muscles in his neck and back protested the long hours he’d put in today. He needed sleep. More than the fifty-three minutes he’d gotten.
“I’m not fucking doing this again. I warned him the last time. I made it clear. No more!” Kellus sliced the hand still holding his cell through the air with finality. With that decision made, he stalked across the room and tossed his phone on the nightstand. He climbed back in his bed, whipping the covers over his exhausted body.
He hadn’t heard from John in six days.
Six glorious, productive, happy days.
Staring up at the ceiling, unable to get his mind to shut off, he told himself he’d made the right decision. John needed to stay away. Kellus forced his eyelids closed. At this point, he’d still get a few good hours sleep before he had to start his day. The longer he lay there, the more guilt crept in.
It always did.
Images of his best friend came to mind. Happier times. Memories of his and John’s younger days and all the trouble they’d managed to get into. Those thoughts actually calmed his breathing. His mind drifted to the summer of their senior year. He hadn’t thought about that time in so long. He and John had gone to the lake with some friends. A healthy, glowing, handsome John had teased him unmercifully until he had finally agreed to skinny dip…
“Fuck!” Kellus whipped off the covers and rose, angry and worried.
He couldn’t leave John in that place.
Kellus stopped dead center in his bedroom, fuming; he was so pissed at himself, at his own indecision, at John. What the fuck was wrong with him? John had destroyed both their lives, shit on him over and over with absolutely no regard for his feelings whatsoever. He’d lost everything because of John. He swore he’d never do this again.
But he couldn’t leave John there.
Not there.
Dejected, Kellus ran a frustrated hand over his face, sighed, then went for his closet to dress.
~~~
Topping out at max speed, Arik Layne flew down the Dallas North Tollway. Being the only one on the highway might have been the only benefit of flying home in the middle of the night from his Escape Del Mar property.
God, he was past exhausted.
Less than five minutes later, Arik parked and wearily made his way through the private entrance of his downtown Dallas high-rise, shrugging out of his hand-tailored suit jacket before he reached the elevator. At the elevator, he tossed the garment over his arm and entered his exclusive security code into the wall-mounted keypad, effectively locking the car for his personal use. The doors opened immediately. The technology didn’t require him to do anything more than step inside before the doors closed and the overhead floor-indicator light displayed each passing floor, a soft ding sounding repeatedly as he traveled non-stop up the forty or so floors to his penthouse. Arik rested against the back wall, forcing a finger into the knot of his necktie to loosen its tight hold. He then removed each cuff link at his wrist and absently dropped them into his slacks pockets. The more he removed now, the faster he could hit his perfect Vera Wang mattress and shut his tired eyes.
The entire building was quiet. Another benefit to relocating to this area. Well, sort of. Dallas as a whole was quieter than any place he’d ever lived. He walked the few steps to his front door, pulling out his wallet to wave in front of the security pad when the doors didn’t unlock at his arrival. Strangely, the key card inside his wallet didn’t trigger the lock to release. Arik let out a yawn as he entered his code into the attached keypad. He’d have to remember to check his card in the morning.
The overhead lights automatically lit as he entered his front door, and the motion sensors continued lighting his way the deeper he ventured inside his home. Arik absently tossed his suit jacket on a chair in the living room, never straying from the direct path to his bedroom. He pulled his shirttails from his slacks, his level of sheer exhaustion rising with each step he took. Honestly, that had to be the only reason he didn’t register the glow of lights coming from underneath the closed door until he’d already turned the handle.    
“What the fuck?” His heart almost leaped out of his chest when he stepped inside his bedroom to find someone sprawled across his bed in what probably qualified as a seductive pose. Recognition took another second to seep in.
“Surprise!” A small pop sounded and confetti flew into the air, scattering across his bed.
Arik’s brows snapped together. Oh hell no. He loved that bed.
“What the hell are you doing?” Arik asked as he moved farther inside the room. He registered the slight look of indignation and the flip of that long, black, silky hair before Boy Toy’s face morphed again into a pleasant smile.
“I came to surprise you.” BT wiggled his sexy ass and gave a cheeky little smile.
Even as tired and annoyed as he was, Arik experienced a stir below his belt. He was human after all, and this particular BT was especially skilled. He stopped at his dresser, reached inside his front slacks pockets and casually tossed the contents on the small tray. He didn’t like surprises of any kind, and BT, short for boy toy number one hundred and—hell, he’d lost count of the willing men he’d bedded—had just shocked the hell out of him.
This one was way too pretty and so deliciously tempting that for a split second he almost gave in…almost.
No, he had to stay firm. This was utter bullshit. He couldn’t have random BTs breaking into his home, surprising him at every turn, desecrating his perfect bed with confetti.
“How did you get in here?” he asked, leaning against the dresser, casually crossing his arms over his chest.
“I’ve been planning this since you left me last week. I swiped your card from your wallet when you were in the shower.” Boy Toy lost the erotic pose, probably too much strain for his delicate body.
“I guess I need to keep a closer eye on my wallet in the future.” Arik shoved away from the dresser and headed toward his closet.
“I’m beginning to think you’re not happy that I’m here. You know I’d look good on your arm for the opening of Escape Dallas.” BT hopped up from the bed and trailed after him, following him into the closet.
“Are these your things?” he asked, nodding toward the garment bag hanging in his closet with luggage settled beneath. Arik’s things had been pushed aside and replaced with BT’s, as if the guy planned to stay awhile. First the bed, now the closet. He didn’t allow anyone to breach his private space. That crossed every line he had.
Fuck, he’d known when he first saw this guy he’d be trouble. The gorgeous ones always were. Arik shook his head.
“Yes, I put them next to yours. I arrived late and didn’t have time to unpack.”
Arik abandoned his silk tie on the built-in dresser and began to grab BT’s things. The level of pissed off coursing through him now superseded any desire he might have mustered.
“You can’t ever do this again. I told you from the beginning,” Arik said, shoving the garment bag toward BT as he went for the two suitcases, then he tossed the strap of one over his shoulder and grabbed the other by the handgrip. How long had he even planned to stay that he needed all this?
“Be careful with that. It’s got my mink inside!” BT carefully draped the bag over his arm, allowing Arik to take him by his other arm and forcefully guide him from the closet.
“Why in the hell would you bring a fur coat to Texas?” Arik kept his grip tight, even when BT tried to worm his way out.
“Why would I leave home without… What are you doing?” BT actually held on to the doorframe to keep Arik from removing him from the bedroom.
“You’re going to the guest room, BT. We’ll talk—”
A solid outraged screech cut him off.
“Stop calling me that! I hate that. I have a name.” The guy went into full-on diva mode right there in the middle of his hall.
“You’ve known the deal from the beginning. I don’t like these kinds of surprises. I was very clear,” Arik said. When he realized it might take two hands to deposit BT into the guest bedroom, he went for that door, pushed it open wide, and tossed the suitcase in his hand across the room. For a second there, he’d thought the guy planned to go back to Arik’s bedroom which would have turned things pretty shitty real quick. Luckily, BT came toward him with a very calm, patient look on his face.
“If you would just go with it, we could have a very special relationship,” BT said, placing a delicate hand on Arik’s dress shirt, letting his fingers trail down Arik’s chest as he took a step closer. “I’m good at attending events with you. I look good on your arm. Besides, I’m tired of modeling. It takes up so much of my time. And if we came to some sort of arrangement, with all my extra free time, I could take care of you any way you saw fit.”
“Not gonna happen.”
BT’s words couldn’t have been better deterrent for giving in and indulging in a quick hook-up. Arik preferred his fun with no strings attached. Not that he had anything against the whole finding Mr. Right concept. But the boy toy currently groping his ass was not anywhere close to his idea of relationship material. Arik stopped the hand at his waistband and shrugged the case off his shoulder, dumping it right inside the guest bedroom door. He left the gorgeous but clearly crazy man standing there as he headed back toward his bedroom.
“I need to leave here by eight in the morning. Be ready.’’
“Seriously? You’re just leaving? I stretched myself to be ready for you.”
Arik looked back to see BT stomp his foot for good measure, his now flaccid dick swinging in the process. BT was certainly beautifully put together, tall, lean, chiseled abs, a perfect body that Arik knew from past experience could bring a lot of pleasure.
No, Arik. That was how he’d gotten in this situation in the first place. Stop. No. Walk away.
“Goodnight, BT. Don’t come back to my room,” he said at the door.
“Stop calling me BT! I’m not just your boy toy! My name is Steffan.”
Steffan—yeah, he remembered that now. Steffan twirled around and stalked into the guest bedroom, that long hair floating out around him. The door slammed shut in his wake.
Arik closed his door and reached down to twist the lock when he heard something crashing against the guest room door. Arik chuckled at that one and quickly opened his door again.
“Be ready by eight in the morning. I won’t be happy if you make me late,” he yelled before closing and relocking the door.

He staggered to the bed. His bed. Even with taking the time to rid the bedspread of the confetti and change the pillowcases where that overly strong cologne lingered, he’d still, hopefully, get at least a couple hours’ sleep.

Best Selling Author Kindle Alexander is an innovative writer, and a genre-crosser who writes classic fantasy, romance, suspense, and erotica in both the male/male and male/female genres. It’s always a surprise to see what’s coming next!

I live in the suburbs of Dallas where it’s true, the only thing bigger than an over active imagination, may be women’s hair!
Usually, I try for funny. Humor is a major part of my life – I love to laugh, and it seems to be the thing I do in most situations – regardless of the situation, but jokes are a tricky deal… I don’t want to offend anyone and jokes tend to offend. So instead I’m going to tell you about Kindle.

I tragically lost my sixteen year old daughter to a drunk driver. She had just been at home, it was early in the night and I heard the accident happen. I’ll never forget that moment. The sirens were immediate and something inside me just knew. I left my house, drove straight to the accident on nothing more than instinct. I got to be there when my little girl died – weirdly, I consider that a true gift from above. She didn’t have to be alone.

That time in my life was terrible. It’s everything you think it would be times about a billion. I love that kid. I loved being her mother and I loved watching her grow into this incredibly beautiful person, both inside and out. She was such a gift to me. To have it all ripped away so suddenly broke me.

Her name was Kindle. Honest to goodness – it was her name and she died a few weeks before Amazon released their brand new Kindle ereader. She had no idea it was coming out and she would have finally gotten her name on something! Try finding a ruler with the name Kindle on it.. It never happened.

Through the course of that crippling event I was lucky enough to begin to write with a dear friend in the fan fiction world of Facebook. She got me through those dark days with her unwavering support and friendship. There wasn’t a time she wasn’t there for me. Sometimes together and sometimes by myself, we built a world where Kindle lives and stands for peace, love and harmony. It’s its own kind of support group. I know without question I wouldn’t be here today without her.

Find out more by visiting http://www.kindlealexander.com or email me at kindle@kindlealexander.com

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