A Stella Review: Composing A Family (Mannies Incorporated #6) by Sean Michael

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RATING 4 out of 5 stars

Tenor Abriole has just finished his stint as nanny for the Wilsons. He was with the family for twenty-one years, ever since he was eighteen. Now he’s looking for a new family, but finding that at thirty-nine, many people think he’s too old, and those who don’t think that’s a problem are balking at the fact that he’s a man, or that he’s gay, or both. He finally turns to Mannies Inc. for help finding a new position.

Daniel Thorpe is a well-known composer who lives and breathes music. He very much wants to be a father, so he goes the surrogate route, and winds up with triplets on the way. He turns to Mannies Inc. well before his girls are born, but so far has not been happy with any of the men who have applied, until Tenor shows up for an interview. Tenor’s experience being nanny to five children, as well as the fact that he stayed with a single family that long are both pluses in Daniel’s book.

Could it be that Tenor is the last note Daniel needs to compose his greatest work yet – his family?

Sean Michael is one of my favorite authors in the mm genre and being a sucker for stories with children in the plot, his Mannies Incorporated series has always been a winner to me. That’s why I was enthusiastic as soon as I saw he had a new installment coming out.

Composing a Family was a joy to read, sweet and light and cute just how I like books like this. The author presented well done characters, I found Tenor and Daniel well defned, what I knew about their lives was enough for me to like them a lot and then to like them as a couple. I saw how they trusted each other, how they could count on each other and how much they completed each other, and finally when the babies were born, how they made a lovely family. And then there were the second characters, the people all of us should have by their side, supporting and caring.

The reading flew easily because the story is well written, no surprise because Sean can write and deliver excellent works, as he has done in all his previous books I read. His name is definitely a guarantee to me and I am satisfied with this new release.

For your information, although Composing a Family is part of the Mannies Incorporated series, it can be totally read as a standalone, so don’t miss it. I feel to recommend it.

The cover is lovely and simple, I like it

SALE LINKS  AMAZON 

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 157 pages

Published December 18th 2017 by Sean Michael

ASIN B078H9VJ7Z

Edition Language English

Series Mannies Incorporated #6

An Ali Review: A Purple Winter (Nick & Derek #4) by Mel Bossa

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Derek O’Reilly was never good at reality. After twenty years of adulthood, he’s disenchanted with his life but his husband, Chef Nick Lund, is still chasing success. Then a near-fatal motorcycle accident brings everything to a halt and opens a door to a time Derek thought he’d never experience again.

As Derek sinks into a coma, his mind returns to the winter he first fell for Nick, the bad boy with arctic blue eyes. But in this coma-fantasy, Derek isn’t a helpless child anymore. No — this time, he’s older and making Nick Lund stutter and swoon for a change.

While Derek slips away, Nick sits by him in the hospital, devastated. To pull his lover back from the land of dreams, he must say what he’s never said before.

Derek has a choice — remain lost in his imagined world, or return to Nick in the here and now where forever truly exists.
This was a really well written and creatively told story.  I’m not going to get too much into the plot as I think the blurb does a good job of explaining the plot line.  This story is angsty and shows that love is not always perfect.  Sometimes you can love someone but there can still be issues and problems in the relationship.  Things are complicated between these two men and the author does an excellent job taking the reading along on their journey. The author breaks the reader’s hearts a bit but she puts them back together by the end of the book and it’s well worth it.
My only complaint has nothing to do with the book itself.  This is a follow up book to the Split.  This was not shown by the publisher in the ARC blurb and I thought this was a standalone.  I was a bit annoyed when I realized it was not.  Fortunately I already owned the first book so was able to go back and read it.  I have looked at some other reviews of people who also had not read book one and they said they felt it worked fine as a standalone.  There is no way I could do that (weird self imposed book rules).  So be aware should you be interested in this story.
Overall this was a very good read.  It was very uniquely done and I enjoyed it a lot.  It is a book I would definitely recommend. 
Sales Links:  JMS Books LLC | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook
Published December 16th 2017 by JMS Books LLC
ISBN139781634865289
SeriesNick & Derek #4

A Caryn Review: Lost In Time by A.L. Lester

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Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

A.L. Lester is a new author to me, and I was looking forward to reading a historical set in post WWI Britain.  Warning:  this book is the first in a series (the blurb didn’t say that) and it’s a cliffhanger.  The blurb, also, is a little misleading.

Lew is introduced just as he is looking for his sister Mira, who disappeared while working The Border, Pulling for her perfect job.  He set up the ritual in the usual way, but the result was disastrous, and he found himself waking up in London in 1919.  With just the clothes on his back, and no way to get home, he was lucky to witness an accident that allowed him to assume another man’s identity and belongings, and he got a job as a photographer covering the police beat for a local paper.

Two years go by, and Lew is still looking for Mira, when things finally start coming together.  His friend and fellow Worker Archie introduced him to another Worker and they Pulled again, and found Mira.  Why it took two years, or why the author felt it was necessary for it to take two years, I have no idea.  At the same time, the Creature who followed him across The Border from the Outlands also started killing, leading to grisly murders where the victim’s brains were liquified, confounding the police and the medical examiner.  Why the Creature didn’t start killing immediately is also not satisfactorily explained.  When the Creature kills Archie, Detective Inspector Alec Carter is assigned to the case, and it is very clear to him that Lew is hiding something.

As the killings continue, Alec and Lew keep being thrown together, and ultimately Lew is forced to tell Alec that magic really does exist, that it brought the Creature into London, and only magic will allow them to kill it.

The first 30% or so of the book was painfully slow, and annoyingly poorly written.  I probably would have DNF’ed the book if I wasn’t reading it for review.  There were abrupt, disjointed changes from Lew’s point of view to Alec’s, as well as skips to months and years ahead, and I really couldn’t see why all the time was necessary.  Secondary characters were introduced as if they would become important, only to be dropped.  I really had no idea where the plot was going, the characters were kind of boring, and though the world building for The Border, those who Worked it, and the creatures of the Outlands was interesting, it always felt unfinished.  I was all set to give this book a low rating and assign the author to my “don’t bother” list, when finally, FINALLY the plot picked up.  The writing improved, the characters became much more three dimensional and interesting (including poor Archie – it was only after he was dead that I learned enough about him to be sympathetic to him), and the relationship between Alec and Lew actually developed.  There is actually very little romance in the book (I would have liked more) and sex was all fade to black (which I am OK with).

And then I came to the cliffhanger ending.  I hate cliffhangers.

I am invested in the story now, and I do want to see how it works out, so I will probably read the next book.  I am just hoping that it will be better written.  This is not the author’s first book by a long shot, so I was surprised that it wasn’t a lot smoother, with a more consistent pace and better editing to eliminate all the extraneous loose ends.  The plot was interesting enough to bring up my final rating to a 3, but for those who get the book, be prepared to slog through a lot of junk to get to the good stuff.

Cover art by Written Ink Designs is actually very nice.  I liked the mysterious brick alley.

Buy Links: JMS Books | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book Details:

ebook, Second Edition, 173 pages
Published January 6th 2018 by JMS Books, LLC (first published January 31st 2017)
ISBN139781634865319
Edition LanguageEnglish
settingLondon, England (United Kingdom)
England

BLITZ Tour for Beneath the Surface (The Outsider Project #1) by Rebecca Langham (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  Beneath the Surface

Series: The Outsider Project, Book One

Author: Rebecca Langham

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: January 15, 2018

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 93700

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Sci Fi, interspecies, captivity, teacher, politics

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Synopsis

When a change in collective conscious sends the Outsiders, a group of aliens, to the shadows below the city, humans reason that the demonization of their peers is simply more “humane.” There’s no question, nor doubt. Just acceptance.

Lydia had embraced that sense of “truth” for as long as she can remember. The daughter of a powerful governor, she has been able to live her life with more comforts than most. Comforts can be suffocating, though, and when the opportunity to teach Outsider children in their private, “humane” community becomes available, she takes it.

What she finds beneath the city is far from the truth she had grown to know. There she meets Alessia, an Outsider with the knowledge and will to shake the foundation of all those who walk above ground. The two find a new and unexpected connection despite a complete disconnect from the technological world. Or perhaps in spite of it.

Still, it takes a lot more than an immutable connection to change the world. Lydia, Alessia, and a small group of Outsiders must navigate a system of corruption, falsehoods, and twists none of them ever saw coming, all while holding on to the hope to come out alive in the end. But it’s a risk worth taking, and a future worth fighting for.

Excerpt

Beneath the Surface
Rebecca Langham © 2017
All Rights Reserved

Prologue
Alessia’s mother roused her from a peaceful sleep. “Darling,” Rey whispered. “They’re coming for us. We need to move.”

Alessia blinked several times, forcing the tiredness from her eyes as she looked about the dimly lit cave. Outside, an owl hooted and tree branches fought back against a gust of wind, but she heard nothing else.

“We’ve talked about this,” her mother said, guiding her up from a nest of blankets and cushions. Alessia had never heard Rey so concerned. “You need to get moving.”

“But I want to stay with you,” Alessia replied. Her mother, and the reality of the situation, were coming into focus.

“I know, Lessi. But if you do, it’s more likely they’ll track us all down. Start down the eastern tunnel. Go carefully and try to stay as quiet as possible. You know where to meet us when they’ve left.”

Living in a cave may not have been especially comfortable, but at least they knew their way around in the area closer to the cave mouth. Within minutes of leaving her mother’s side, she felt lost, having no experience of navigating this area of the system.

Alessia slid a hand along the smooth, slime-covered rock of the cave wall. Shuffling along at a snail’s pace, she played a life-threatening game of hide-and-seek. The edge of her shoe acted as a poor guide, but it was all she had to help her avoid any sudden drop-offs. A depression in the stone could be anything from a small trench to a gaping hole one could fall through for hundreds of metres. Caves were like wild animals. They could protect you, take small bites out of you, or swallow you whole. For a moment, she wasn’t sure what was more terrifying: being captured, or trying to find a place to hide.

She inched along the wall as quietly as possible, until the echo of hurried footsteps brought her to a halt. Her legs felt like hollow reeds, liable to snap at any moment. Be calm. It’s just how sound works down here. The humans could be anywhere. You’re safe, she told herself, it’ll be all right.

The footsteps faded, leaving only the steady dripping of water from stalactites. Alessia put a hand to her chest and willed her heart to slow its exhausting pace. She didn’t want to pass out before she had moved deep enough to avoid detection. It took all her strength not to call out for her parents, to see if they had been rounded up, or if they’d managed to find somewhere to hide.

Get moving. She probed forwards with her foot once more.

No matter how many times she blinked, Alessia’s eyes would not adjust to such thick darkness. Her family rarely ventured so deep underground, and for good reason. Supplies were scarce, reserved for passages closer to the surface, and not to be wasted in such labyrinthine zones. With no food, water, or even so much as a torch, she had to move far enough into the tunnels to hide, but not far enough to lose all hope of finding a way back out.

The ground gave way, and her leg plunged through the earth, taking her courage with it. Her arms flailed as she fell, seeking something to stop her fall, but they found no purchase. Alessia cried out as her backside hit the wet rock, her leg lodged in the hole she had fallen through.

An icy sense of fear stabbed at her chest. They’d probably heard her. With eyes clenched shut, she forced herself to take slower, deeper breaths. One. Two. Three…she counted to twenty before she let herself believe no one was running towards the sound she’d sent reverberating through the space.

Finding the ground, she pushed herself up. A bolt of pain shot through her thigh. The unpleasant sound of fabric tearing frightened her more than the warm blood gushing over her knee. Alessia bit her lip to hold in another cry.

Damn it to hell! The thought screamed its way through her body. She felt the waxy indignation of it in every muscle. She pictured her mother’s face, paler than ever, as she had pulled Alessia to her just before they parted ways; a tight hug goodbye before tossing their wrist-lights to the ground. Alessia shook her head, banishing the image. Rey, her mother, was fighting her own battle somewhere else. She couldn’t even hazard a guess as to why her father wasn’t there when she’d been roused. She was on her own.

Alessia needed to focus on reality. It was pointless to wish they’d stayed together.

Trying to pull her leg out again might cause more damage, and then she might be unable to walk, which meant death. If she didn’t, though, she would be trapped in that spot, left to her own thoughts until her body gave out. There wasn’t a choice. She had to free herself and it was going to hurt.

A flash of light swept across the wall in front of her. The sudden severity of it burned her eyes and she clenched them shut. When she opened them again, two more beams of light joined the first. She had been walking towards a dead end draped in sand-coloured sulphurous flowstone. And now they’d cornered her. It was over.

“Boss! I’ve found one!” came a bombastic voice. “Down there. Looks like a teenager.”

Heavy footsteps moved closer, dashing through puddles and navigating uneven ground. They’d found her. The human government had changed its mind about her family’s freedom, as they’d been bound to do eventually, and they’d hunted them down. Her fear evaporated with each outward breath, with each jump or sweep of the torchlights. The terrifying darkness that enveloped her had been broken, and for the moment, that was all that mattered.

“It’s the daughter,” said another voice, more mature than the first. Alessia glanced at the dancing beams of light, two of them growing larger and rounder as the United Earth Alliance’s bounty hunters closed in on her.

Alessia’s leg throbbed. She bent her elbows, leaning back to rest on her forearms. Tightness had taken hold of her body, and it brought on a manic kind of exhaustion. Two men approached and stood before her. The older of the two, a sweaty beast of a man, took another step forwards. He bent down and examined what could be seen of her leg before dimming the light and turning it towards her. After the dense darkness, it was too bright, and she turned away.

“Well, then. Premier Abel will be pleased we found you all alive, Alessia.” His voice dripped with pleasure at his own achievement. She released a soft sigh. The UEA had gone back on its promise to her family. They’d get nothing from her.

Dropping the light between his legs, he leaned forwards and rocked on the balls of his feet. Stale remnants of musky cologne made Alessia’s stomach clench, but she kept her face as still as she could. Her discomfort belonged to her alone.

“It’s for the best, girl,” he told her. “This isn’t exactly an ideal way to live, is it? In the dark. Now, let’s see about getting you out of this hole.” The man stood, removed a handkerchief from his pocket, and then wiped the condensation from his glistening forehead.

“You’re not going to kill me?” Alessia asked, her mouth dry.

“Kill you?” he laughed. “Of course not! We’re not monsters.” He faced the other man. “Spray the wound and get her out of there, Mick. Let’s see about taking these people somewhere safe and protected.”

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the Author

Rebecca Langham lives in the Blue Mountains (Australia) with her partner, three children, and menagerie of pets. A Xenite, a Whovian and all-round general nerd, she’s a lover of science fiction, comic books, and caffeine. When she isn’t teaching History to high schoolers or wrangling children, Rebecca enjoys playing broomball and reading.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

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Review Tour and Giveaway for Lost In Time by A.L. Lester

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Buy Links: JMS Books | Amazon US | Amazon UK


Cover Design: JM Snyder


Publisher: JMS Books


Length: 54,000 words approx.


The Gate (a FREE short story introducing the characters from Lost In Time) 
Amazon US | Amazon US | JMS Books


Blurb

Lew’s life is pleasantly boring until his friend Mira messes with magic she doesn’t understand. While searching for her, he is pulled back in time to 1919 by a catastrophic magical accident. As he tries to navigate a strange time and find his friend in the smoky music clubs of Soho, the last thing he needs is D etective Alec Carter suspecting him of murder.


London in 1919 is cold, wet, and tired from four years of war. Alec is back in the Metropolitan Police after slogging out his army service on the Western Front. Falling for a suspect in a gruesome murder case is not on his agenda, however attractive he finds the other man.


They are both floundering and out of their depth, struggling to come to terms with feelings they didn’t ask for and didn’t expect. Both have secrets that could get them arrested or killed. In the middle of a murder investigation that involves wild magic, mysterious creatures, and illegal sexual desire, who is safe to trust?


January 7 – Book Review By Virginia Lee
January 8 – The Novel Approach – Blog Post
January 9 – Valerie Ullmer
January 10 – Alpha Book Club – Blog Post
January 11 – Mirrgold: Mutterings & Musings
January 12 – Love Bytes -Blog Post
January 13 – Padme’s Library
January 15 – Drops Of Ink, Bayou Book Junkie, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, MM Good Book Reviews
January 16 – Diverse Reader – Blog Post
January 18 – MM Good Book Reviews – Blog Post





Author Bio

A. L. Lester likes to read. Her favorite books are post-apocalyptic dystopian romances full of suspense, but a cornflake packet will do there’s nothing else available. The gender of the characters she likes to read (and write) is pretty irrelevant so long as they are strong, interesting people on a journey of some kind.


She has a chaotic family life and small children, and she has become the person in the village who looks after the random animals people find in the road. She is interested in permaculture gardening and anything to do with books, reading, technology and history. She lives in a small village in rural Somerset and is seriously allergic to both rabbits and Minecraft



Website: http://www.allester.co.uk/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CogentHippo
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ALLesterAuthor/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cogenthippo/
Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/A.-L.-Lester/e/B01MZ6R1QR/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/allester

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Release Blitz for Life After Humanity (Thorns and Fangs #3) by Gillian St. Kevern (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  Life After Humanity

Series: Thorns and Fangs, Book Three

Author: Gillian St. Kevern

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: January 15, 2018

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 119000

Genre: Paranormal, vampires, supernatural beings, werewolves, alternate universe, cliffhanger ending

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Synopsis

Ben is a recovering vampire determined to pick up the pieces of the life that came to a halt when he was murdered over a year ago—even if that means distancing himself from his few remaining friends. Nate, struggling to navigate his new identity as a Class 3 Unknown paranormal, knows it will take more than mastery of his affinity with plants to convince Ben they belong together.

When Ben’s application for human status is denied, he must fight to leave the paranormal world behind him while Nate’s generous impulses drag him into conflict with a werewolf pack with designs on ruling New Camden. As Ben’s vampire family draws closer to finding him, his vampire instinct awakens—throwing his continued existence into jeopardy. The hunt for the missing werewolf continues, and Nate and Ben become pawns in Councilor Wisner’s plans to take control of the city. Their only hope is each other—if they can see that before all is lost.

Excerpt

Life After Humanity
Gillian St. Kevern © 2017
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
Someone had broken in.

Ben stood in the doorway of his New Camden apartment. The door swung open at his touch, even before he’d fished his key out of his pocket. Beneath his feet, the protective wards laid around the apartment throbbed like an open wound. Someone had forced their way past Ben’s carefully laid defenses—someone who was still there.

Damnit. Ben set his briefcase down noiselessly beside the door. Just one day. One day without anything supernatural happening. Is that too much to ask?

He didn’t move, using his senses to probe the darkness beyond the door. Vampire—or werewolf? He hadn’t felt any interference with his wards until he’d reached his apartment. That ruled out a magical practitioner or any lesser supernatural being that would have needed to unpick the spell piece by piece. Please, not another demon. None of the boxes dotted around the living room were big enough to hide an intruder. Unless they crouched behind the sofa or pressed against the wall in the shadows, they weren’t in the living room.

Keeping his attention focused on the apartment, Ben fished for his umbrella stand and the cane leaning against its back. It looked benign, as if it had been forgotten by an elderly visitor, but when Ben twisted the handle, he released the long blade hidden within.

Not Ben’s first choice of weapon—the blade was too long and too dainty—but it was a weapon, able to stand up to vampire or demon. If this is a werewolf, I am in serious trouble. The stale air of his apartment lacked the distinctive ripe odor of werewolf. Still, Ben couldn’t rule it out.

Why would a werewolf break into my apartment? True, Ben had a past as a supernatural investigator for ARX and had killed a few werewolves in his time—but that was the past. There was nothing linking his life now to ARX—was there?

Ben slipped noiselessly into the dimly lit living room, heading for the sofa. Nothing there—or in the shadows. He scanned the room, but everything looked as it had that afternoon when he’d stepped out to meet his accountant. All I did was my taxes! Where’s the harm in that?

But bringing his financial records up-to-date for the year he’d been dead had taken all of the afternoon. Ample time for whoever it was to find a hiding place. Ben stood motionless in the living room, straining with his senses for any clue to the intruder.

The open doors of his apartment were in deeper shadow than the rest of the living room. Reaching for the light switch was tempting, but Ben’s eyes were now accustomed to the dark. Readjusting would cost seconds he wasn’t sure he had. His eyes fell on the stacks of paper on his living room table.

At first glance they seemed undisturbed, but a closer look revealed a few papers had drifted to the side. Disturbed by a breeze? Ben turned to the kitchen door. A sliver of light was just visible through the crack beneath.

A trap. There was nothing of interest to any supernatural being in the kitchen, so it would be the last place he searched. His guard down, his senses dull, he’d be unprepared for whatever waited beyond. Or—Ben frowned as he approached the door—was there another explanation?

A faint sizzling sound emanated from beyond the door, followed by the heavy smell of garlic.

Ben’s nose twitched. A werewolf would not cook an enemy dinner. A demon wouldn’t know how. A vampire might—but a vampire would not use garlic.

I’ve got a bad feeling about this. Taking a deep breath, Ben slowly levered the handle down and let the door drift open. His fear was confirmed.

Nate stood at the counter, his back to the door. The strength implicit in his broad shoulders and muscular arms was softened—but not disguised—by the domesticity of his actions. As Ben watched, Nate lay down the knife and used the chopping board to slide his neatly diced peppers into the frying pan. At his elbow a pot boiled merrily.

Far more dangerous than any werewolf. Ben swallowed, finding it hard to speak. He felt as if he were caught in a spell, unable to do anything but watch.

Absorbed in his task, Nate seemed unaware of Ben’s presence. He was dressed down, wearing a faded T-shirt that hugged his torso. The edges of his jeans were frayed, hanging down over his bare feet. His hair hadn’t been styled, and it curled up at the base of his neck. Finished adding the mushrooms to the pan, he stirred its contents and then stretched out a hand to the basil growing in a pot on the windowsill. The window reflected his smile, inward and alarmingly personal.

Ben swallowed. Nate had broken in—so why did he feel like the intruder?

Dangerous. Ben dug his fingers into his arm. Focus! Casual worked annoyingly well for Nate, made more effective by the knowledge that Nate made a point of looking good. There were few people who got to see Nate dressed down. But Ben couldn’t think about that, or how right Nate looked in his kitchen. He had to get Nate out of his apartment before it was too late.

“What happened to seeing less of each other?”

Nate started, snatching his hand back from the basil. He turned, and Ben’s initial flash of triumph gave way to alarm. Nate’s eyes were a great weapon. Hazel and framed by dark, almost decadently soft lashes, they radiated whatever Nate felt with an immediacy that was hard to resist.

“Jesus, Ben! You scared the shit out of me—” He came to a halt. “Is that a sword?”

Ben looked down at the blade in his hand. It wouldn’t help him now. “It’s a family heirloom. Used to be my grandfather’s.” He turned back toward the front door.

“And you just keep it there by the door?” Nate followed Ben to the kitchen door to watch.

“In case of intruders.” Ben sheathed the sword and dropped the cane back in the stand. He shut the door. His heart raced. Ben took a moment to summon all his anger. I was this close to a day without anything supernatural happening! “You’d better have a good reason for breaking into my apartment.”

“I do.” Nate stood in the kitchen doorway, one hand resting against the frame.

“Let’s hear it then.”

“I had a bad feeling this afternoon. A premonition.”

Not this again! “It wasn’t a premonition.”

“It felt really real. I was just watching TV and all of a sudden, these words popped into my mind. You were gone and I wasn’t going to see you again. It really freaked me out.”

“Enough to add breaking and entering to your criminal file?”

Nate radiated hurt. He wrapped his arms around himself. “I had to see you. No one answered the door, so I tried calling. When it had been a couple of hours and you hadn’t answered your phone, I—well, I got worried.”

“And that’s when you broke in?” Ben pulled his phone out of his pocket, tapping in his pin.

“That was an accident. I had my hand on the door, and I was thinking about how much I wanted to be on the other side, and the door just…relaxed.”

Eight missed calls… Ben jerked his head up. “Relaxed?”

“I tried the handle and it opened.” Nate’s eyes settled anxiously on Ben’s. “Did I break anything?”

Ben looked down at the welcome mat beneath his feet. He didn’t need to lift it to know what he would find. His runes, intact but faintly smudged. “Only the natural laws regarding the magical properties of runes.”

Nate scratched the back of his neck. He dropped his gaze, shuffling his feet, but was unable to keep from looking up to check Ben’s expression. “Are you mad?”

Embarrassment looked wrong on Nate. Ben was reminded of a dog caught doing something he knew he shouldn’t be—and felt the tight knot of anger in his stomach undo. Curse him! If Ben was going to get out of this encounter unscathed he needed his anger. “Of course I’m mad. My apartment is my place. Coming home to find someone’s forced their way in is…not good.” Not good? That wasn’t going to convince anyone—least of all anyone with Nate’s perceptive nature.

It was hard to read Nate’s expression. “I made dinner. As an apology.”

At least he realized he needed to apologize— No! I have to be firm. “I think your apology is burning.”

“Shit!” Nate ducked back through the doorway to attend to the frying pan.

Ben took the opportunity to escape.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the Author

Gillian St. Kevern is spending Christmas in her native New Zealand, where the seasonal festivities include pavlovas, walks on the beach, and a distinct lack of sweaters, seasonal or otherwise. She will almost certainly get sunburnt at some stage.

Gillian reads and writes a variety of genres. She’s a huge fan of paranormal with an emphasis on vampires. The third and fourth books in her vampire series, Thorns and Fangs, are due for release in January and February 2018. She also explores Welsh Mythology in the on-going Deep Magic series. In 2018, she plans to explore another beloved genre―vintage mysteries. She loves discovering new books and authors, so please get in touch if you have any good book recommendations to share!

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