A MelanieM Review: Consorting with Dragons by Sera Trevor

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

At last, the novel-length expansion of the award-winning novella!

Lord Jasen of Grumhul, an impoverished young nobleman, has come to the Draelands to find a rich husband to help pay his father’s debts. To the shock of everyone, he ends up attracting the attention of King Rilvor himself, and the dragons who control the magic in the land. Becoming royalty wasn’t something Jasen either expected or wanted, but he can’t control his growing feelings for kind and handsome king. Scheming factions at Court conspire to keep him from Rilvor’s side, and now Jasen has to decide if the chance at true love with Rilvor is worth the burden of being the husband of a king.

This sweet and funny Cinderfella romance is complete at ~85000 words and ends in a solid HEA. After all, true love always wins in fairy tales!

Well, as someone who loves all things dragons, Consorting with Dragons by Sera Trevor was a novel I couldn’t wait to start into.  It has all the elements guaranteed to pull me in.  A King looking for a new consort, dragons who play a major element, and a young man throwing his fate to the winds because of the misdeeds of his father.  Yes, yes, and yes!

Sera Trevor let me know right at the start I was in splendid “narrative” hands when, for starters, it came to the father/son dynamics.  Jasen’s reprobate of a father is a drunk, a gambler, and a total loss when it comes to handling money.  He’s run through the considerable estate Jasen’s mother had left him and his father, their castle or mansion, or whatever is left is in a sad state of disrepair, and the what money is left is sliding fast through his father’s fingers.  So Jasen hates him, right?  No.  Bitter perhaps, but he loves his father, while understanding exactly who he is, extreme faults and all.  Trevor doesn’t make a villain out of him where others would have. Instead we get the realistic complicated relationship of a father and son trying to love each other giving the current state of affairs (albeit directly due to the father’s actions).

The author, though, also lets us in, immediately, into a secret.  Jasen is special.  When he spies the dragons soaring in the air above near the castle, his heart heats up.  Something new and different.  And magical.  Oh the anticipation that starts to build for the reader!

From there on out, we walk next to Jasen as he (the bumpkin at the court), finds two friends, makes a magical connection, and a connection quite unexpected.  I just enjoyed the fun and joy that seems to rise out of this character! I often found myself smiling along with whoever was in his company because as written, he’s downright charming and endearing.

So too are the other characters.  They make their mark on you.  Whether it is King Rilvor,  Jasen’s new friends, or even his court enemies, they are so well written, that they leave quite the impression.  This includes the King’s many children too.  I wouldn’t have minded a game of mudball with them myself.

This is a world I would happily return to and a couple I would love to see more of down the road.

If you love fantasy, dragons, and romance, Consorting with Dragons by Sera Trevor is a  novel not to be missed.  I loved it and highly recommend it.  And will probably end up reading it again.

Cover art is lovely and works for the characters.

Sales Links:   Amazon

Book Details:

indle Edition, 2 edition, 295 pages
Published April 7th 2018 (first published July 28th 2014)
Original TitleConsorting with Dragons
ASINB07BHHTFXZ
Edition LanguageEnglish

 

A Caryn Review: Surprise Delivery (Hearts & Health #5) by DJ Jamison

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Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

This is the 5th book in the Hearts and Health series, and I am so invested in it now!  Once again, it is a stand-alone that does have cameos of characters in the earlier books, and I appreciated the look forward to Paul and Zane, who had previously been my least favorite couple in the series.  I don’t know how long the author can continue the series before she runs out of gay men in Ashe’s medical community, but I am hoping that a few more will move into town so the series can keep going!

Eric Holtz is the administrator of the hospital where many of the characters work.  In the previous books, he was introduced as a workaholic who was a little cool and distant, but still a good guy.  He’d been lonely after his long term partner left him a few years ago, due in great part to the tremendous number of hours he put in at the hospital.  He recognized that his job didn’t really give him much satisfaction any longer, but he didn’t know what else to do with his life and just continued on with it.

When his 16 year old niece showed up unexpectedly on his doorstep and announced that she was pregnant and needed his help, he didn’t even hesitate before he agreed, even though her parents had cut him out of Olivia’s life long ago because of his sexuality.  Her presence made him realize how empty his house and his life had been, and he started looking forward to the change she and her “peanut” would bring to his existence.  It was all good until Olivia told him who she’d chosen to be her obstetrician.

Dr. Caspar Rollins worked at the hospital for several years, and Eric had a crush on him from the beginning – a crush that “turned Eric into a blushing, wide-eyed idiot” to the point that he went out of his way to avoid Caspar.  When Eric accompanied Olivia to her first appointment (which led to some amusing and understandably awkward assumptions before their relationship was clarified) Caspar decided that breaking down Eric’s aloof facade was going to be his next challenge.  Caspar was all about challenges and excitement, but not about commitment.

While I did enjoy the contrast between the two men – Eric older, more settled and focussed on finding a serious relationship, Caspar younger and looking for thrills and challenges – the connection sometimes felt a little bit forced.  Caspar was endlessly analyzing his thoughts about his first boyfriend, and the guilt that kept him from moving forward, and it felt overdone to me.  I thought with all that scrutiny he should have come to his epiphanies a lot earlier than he actually did.  Eric was more believable and consistent, and though I thought more than once that he gave Caspar too many chances, it was clear that was just his natural generosity and not an attempt to drag the story out artificially.  I was also dissatisfied with the outcome of Olivia’s situation, but I think that was just a matter of personal preference rather than any defect in the story itself.  Eric’s final career decision, however, was perfect.

Although I did not like this book as much as some of the others in the series, I am still looking forward to the next one, as well as rereading them.

Cover art by Lucas Soltow features models that fit well with the character descriptions, although I would not have expected Eric to be hotter than Caspar….

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1 edition, 222 pages
Published March 22nd 2018 by DJ Jamison
Original Title Surprise Delivery
ASINB07BJ9CWVD
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesHearts and Health #5

 

An Alisa Review: The Contingency Plan by Addison Albright

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

A sheltered prince. A sudden death. An unexpected choice. How will Prince Marcelo react to discovering he’s The Contingency Plan?

For eighteen years, there has been peace between Sheburat and the kingdom of Zioneven. The untimely death of a princess throws the marriage arrangement — the final phase to complete the terms of the treaty — into disarray, and the contingency plan is put into motion. Now the Crown Prince of Zioneven gets to make his own choice from among the princess’s younger siblings.

As a rare royal son in the matriarchal sovereignty of Sheburat, Prince Marcelo grew up knowing he would never marry. Never. Royal sons did not marry. Period. Except, Prince Efren isn’t from Sheburat, and he has other plans.

I really enjoyed this story.  Marcelo was drastically sheltered in his life and doesn’t know much outside the castle and not even much there.  Prince Efren throws his entire world for a loop.

I was happy and angry for Marcelo throughout this story, angry that his family hadn’t allowed him to know about the work or even their own history and happy that Efren is more than willing to give him the world.  Seeing the relationship he had with his family it’s likely that he wouldn’t see them again after he leaves with his husband but I think that may be for the better.  I just wish this story were longer and I would have been able to see how Marcelo and Efren build their life together.

The cover art by Written Ink Designs is typical for a romance but I love the setting within the words.

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 30 pages

Published: April 14, 2018 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781634866118

Edition Language: English

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: A Daring Ride (The Bullriders#2) by Andrew Grey and Narrator: John Solo

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

This review is of the audiobook version of this book, and as such, narrator John Solo deserves a shout-out at the beginning for bringing this sweet tale of a young bull rider to life.

In typical Andrew Grey fashion, this story is a sweet romance that focuses on Simon “the Frizz” Frizzell who wants to be a bull rider more than anything.  His ultra-conservative Christian parents, however, want to keep him under their wing.  They own and operate a string of Christian bookstores and have plans for Simon that include marrying the “right” girl and taking over management of one of the bookstores. 

But Simon, who just snuck away for the weekend and garnered a top prize for seating his bull, is gay and he just knows that when his parents find out they are going to flip out and then kick him out.  As it happens, he’s not far wrong. In the meantime, Simon has written to Dante Rivers, the well-known bull rider, to ask if he can have a job at Dante’s ranch and apprentice with him so he can refine his riding skills.  Having met Dante and his partner, Ryan, and Ryan’s friend Jacky at the last event, he’s hopeful the man will remember him and agree.  It’s Ryan who actually contacts him and offers him a job and Dante reluctantly goes along with it. But it’s Jacky who seals the deal as he and Simon rekindle their spark of desire and go all the way toward making Simon’s dreams a reality—and not just the dreams of riding the bull. 

As expected, the parents don’t understand, and as expected, there are plenty of misunderstandings.  To be honest, it was a bit cliché and I’m getting pretty tired of the nasty mother and/or father who beat the Bible into the ground trope.  This one relied heavily on those clichés so it wasn’t more than a three star read for me.  And as it was, it’s really only a three star due to John Solo’s narration. He did an outstanding job with all the voices—both male and female—and his storytelling was very easy to follow.

If you like a sweet romance, love cowboys, and don’t mind some Bible-banging, I can recommend this one.

~~~~

Cover art by LC Chase features two young men, one muscular, in the upper panel and a bull in the ring in the lower panel. The cover is bright and colorful and aptly portrays the characters and theme of the story.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Release Date Mar 23, 2018
Type Novels
Length 7:00 hrs.

Amy Lane on Making It Work and Crocus (Bonfires, #2) (author guest blog and tour)

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Crocus (Bonfires, #2)  by  Amy Lane
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Reese Dante

Sales Links:  AmazonDreamspinner Press |  Kobo 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have one of its favorite authors back to talk about one of its highly recommended series and stories Crocus, the second story in the Bonfires series from Amy Lane. Welcome, Amy.

♦︎

Making it Work

By Amy Lane

*Note—If you follow my blog, you know these people—ZoomBoy is my 14 YO son, Squish is my 12 YO daughter, Chicken is my 23 YO daughter and Big T is my 25 YO son. Mate is my long suffering mate.

So, Wednesday night was dance lessons. It’s always dance lessons, since Chicken was in dance and it’s in our blood by now. We’re coming up on recital and the kids missed some time for our trip back east, and they absolutely had to make dance lessons.

Wednesday night was also Open House, which I didn’t find out about until we were leaving for dance lessons, but dammit, recital, and ZoomBoy couldn’t have at least told me that this was why he had a minimum day which I also didn’t know about until I was packing to go to the gym and ZoomBoy texted me and said he needed a ride home which meant I didn’t go to the gym and I didn’t get a shower until one in the afternoon either!

So, dance lessons, and I might have wanted to go to Open House but Mate had a soccer meeting—his second this week, and he’s got practice with Squish Tuesday and Thursday as well. But in a week filled with helping Chicken with her sick cat and driving ZoomBoy to her nanny job so he can help with the little kids so she doesn’t lose her mind, and getting Big T so he can do laundry at our house so he doesn’t go broke, and needing to get the car serviced and my own cat to the vet and a dentist appointment, dance lessons are sort of the cherry on the sundae that is a typical week at our house.

So anyway—Mate calls up while I’m driving the kids and says, “I’ll come sit with you and chat while the kids are dancing.”

And my entire body lights up.

Because he’s been tired—he’s fallen asleep in front of the TV at ten twice this week.  I’ve been busy—I’ve crawled into bed after two a.m. a couple of times, and I’m a joy to be around without sleep as well. So, he’s going to drive across town to sit in a car with me for an hour and share a snack and talk about our week and—maybe—hold my hand and kiss my cheek.

So he can be with me.

And all those thoughts I’ve had about running away to join the circus so I can at least read a book backstage disappear. My Mate is going to be with me. That’s really all I’ve needed all week.

The primary complaint about Bonfires was that it was too “busy”—and I’m gonna tell you, Crocus is busier—but I can’t apologize. I mean, I’m a writer for a living—walking the dogs and going to the gym are the highs of my workweek and having a 4,000 word day just doesn’t have the thrill of having a kid go berserk in your class or tazing a perp as he crosses the street. But my days are full—full—and finding time to be with my Mate, to talk to the person who makes me light up inside and lets me know that I’m not alone on the ferocious hamster wheel of raising kids and having a productive life can be a brutal exercise in time management.

And, like I said, I’m a writer.

Larx and Aaron are a Sheriff’s Deputy and a high school principal, and their lives make mine look like I’m sitting still. (Well, I often am.)  And their kids are busy, even the grown ones, and they’re trying to be good parents and their ferocious hamster wheel is powered by giant feral mutant gerbils on speed.

So I can’t apologize for the busy-ness, or the lack of sleep or the terrible struggle to find an hour, or forty-five minutes, or a heartbeat alone with the love of your life—because that’s what life is at this stage in the game. That’s what a relationship is when your kids and your careers and your digestive track are all at a certain age and you have to put in double-time to take care of each and every one.

Crocus and Bonfires are going to be busy.

But hopefully, there will be moments–hushed moments in a parked car, tender moments in a bed, full-body moments under the sky—when the world falls away, and two people can touch soul deep, and two hearts can draw strength from each other to sustain themselves for the race that tomorrow brings.

Blurb

Bonfires: Book Two

Saying “I love you” doesn’t guarantee peace or a happy ending.

High school principal “Larx” Larkin was pretty sure he’d hit the jackpot when Deputy Sheriff Aaron George moved in with him, merging their two families as seamlessly as the chaos around them could possibly allow.

But when Larx’s pregnant daughter comes home unexpectedly and two of Larx’s students are put in danger, their tentative beginning comes crashing down around their ears.

Larx thought he was okay with the dangers of Aaron’s job, and Aaron thought he was okay with Larx’s daughter—who is not okay—but when their worst fears are almost realized, it puts their hearts and their lives to the test. Larx and Aaron have never wanted anything as badly as they want a life together. Will they be able to make it work when the world is working hard to keep them apart?

Excerpt

Larx’s phone, sitting on the table next to him, buzzed, and he was damned grateful.

Hello, Principal—are you being a good boy and getting your work done?

Larx groaned. Sort of. Olivia showed up on the doorstep this morning. Oh hell. He didn’t even want to ask Aaron about using his house.

Is she visiting for the weekend?

No.

The phone rang. “Are you kidding me?”

“Sorry, Aaron.” He sighed and sipped his tepid coffee, then took a deep breath. “I don’t know what’s going on. She came in talking a mile a minute, tripped over the dog—”

“Is Dozer okay?”

Larx had to laugh. “Your dog is fine, Aaron.”

“He’s your dog,” Aaron protested weakly. Yes, the puppy had been a gift for Larx when his oldest cat passed away, but Aaron—big, solid, strong—had apparently been waiting for Dozer for most of his life.

Larx wasn’t going to argue that the dog was definitely Aaron’s, but it was true. Dozer—a mixed breed somewhere between a Labrador retriever and a German shepherd—was fine with Larx, answered to him just as well as he did Aaron, appreciated the hell out of the full food bowl, gave plenty of sloppy, happy kisses, and pranced about on spindly legs and feet the size of dinner plates.

But when Aaron came home, Larx watched the dog melt, roll to his back, offer up his tummy in supplication, and beg for pets.

Larx couldn’t object or be jealous—he felt the same way. Except Larx wanted Aaron to pet more than his belly.

“That dog’s your soul mate from another life,” Larx said now, scratching Dozer behind the ears. “Yes, you are. Yes, you are. But you can’t have him. He’s mine.”

“Wow. Just wow.”

Larx chuckled, because the distraction had been welcome, but now… now grown-up things. “She’s asleep on the couch,” he said softly. “Aaron… she’s not sounding….” He took a big breath. His ex-wife had suffered from depression after a miscarriage, and he remembered coming home from work bringing dinner once so she didn’t have to cook or clean up because she’d been so sad. She’d yelled at him—didn’t he think she was capable of cleaning her own kitchen? Then she’d burst into tears for an hour, while Larx had fed the girls and tried to calm her down.

It had been like standing on the deck of a ship in a storm—and Larx had that same feeling now, with his daughter, when his children had always been the source of peace in his heart.

“Pregnancy?” Aaron asked hesitantly. They were so new. Larx hadn’t spoken about Alicia more than a handful of times. Nobody talked about depression or mental illness.

Nobody knew what to say.

“Yeah.” Larx didn’t want to talk about it right now. He just couldn’t.

“Baby….” Aaron’s voice dropped, and considering Larx had gotten him at work, where he had to be all tough and manly and shit, that meant he was worried.

“Later,” Larx said gruffly. “Just not, you know….”

“When the whole world can hear. I get it.” Aaron blew out a breath and then took the subject down a surprising path. “Larx, do you have a student named Candace Furman?”

Larx stared at the paperwork in his hand, shuffling back to where he was right before Olivia had knocked.

“Yeah. Not one of mine, but… huh.” He reached over to his laptop and accessed the school’s portal site. “Hm….”

“That’s informative. Want to tell me what you’re looking at?”

“It’s sort of privileged, Deputy. Want to tell me why you need to know?”

Aaron’s grunt told him he was being annoying, but Larx couldn’t help it. He didn’t want to just divulge information on a kid if it wasn’t necessary. It went against everything he’d ever stood for as a rebellious adolescent.

“I just got…. It was weird. We got a domestic call to her house—her parents answer, and it’s all great. ‘No, Officer, we have no idea why somebody would call in screaming or a fight in the snow.’ We take a look inside, house is okay—but really clean.”

“Like somebody just swept up all the pieces of all the things?” Larx hazarded.

“Yeah. Either that or just… unhealthily antiseptic. And Candace and her sister—”

“Shelley,” Larx supplied since he had the file open on his computer.

“Yeah. Anyway—the girls are fine. ‘Yessir. Nossir. It’s all okay, sir.’ But they’ve both got these… like, girl masks on?”

“Makeup?” Larx said, trying to picture it.

“No… like… face goop. Like… whatwazit? Mrs. Doubtfire stuck her face in the cake ’cause she didn’t have her makeup on?”

It took Larx a minute to process all that. “A facial,” he said, blinking hard because the movie was that old, and the antitrans messaging had been so strong that Larx forgot he too had been part of America who’d laughed their asses off at a man in a dress with flammable boobs.

“Yeah. That. And that shit could be hiding anything, right? Their eyes were red, but then, for all I know the facial goop did that. So I’m not sure if they’re hiding shiners or if their neighbors just got hold of some bad weed—”

“Did you knock on their door?” Larx asked. Between him and Aaron, they really did know most of the town. “Who’s their neighbor?”

“Couple of brothers,” Aaron said thoughtfully. “Just moved at Christmas. Youngest one goes to Colton High—”

“Jaime Benitez,” Larx said promptly. “Junior.” He pressed the right link and there was the master schedule. “He and Candace are in some classes together.”

Aaron grunted. “Well, the older brother had been lighting up pretty hard—but it doesn’t seem like Jaime’s the type to indulge.”

“You didn’t bust them?” Larx asked curiously. He’d done his share of weed in college—but Aaron had been off fighting and bleeding for his country when Larx was in college. This was something they’d never talked about.

“Hell,” Aaron muttered. “Unless they’re growing to distribute, it’s mostly legal. Not for minors, of course, but both boys were functional, polite, and their eyes were clear. Roberto—who’s twenty-one, by the way—actually produced a prescription for anxiety without being asked. I could have made a stink about it, but I couldn’t see the point.”

“I love you so hard,” Larx breathed. “Seriously. I can’t think of a sexual favor good enough for you. I’ll have to make something up.”

“I’m sorry?”

Larx couldn’t articulate it. It wasn’t that he’d smoke it now unless it was prescribed, and he didn’t want his kids—or his students—indulging without cause. But something about knowing Aaron, for all his law-and-order propensities, didn’t push rules just for the sake of there being rules made Larx even prouder of him.

“Just you’re a good guy. Jaime Benitez is getting good grades. He’s part of the local service clubs, including one where he tutors eighth graders in trouble. Nice boy.”

“In your class?” Aaron wanted to know.

“Senior year, like Kirby. Christiana is sort of—”

“Special,” Aaron said fondly. “Yeah. I know.”

Well, Larx’s youngest was the girl with the flower—her brightness and sparkle was coupled with a quiet good sense. Irresistible. She was also razor-sharp, which was why she was taking Larx’s class in her junior year.

“So what about Candace?” Aaron prompted.

Larx sighed. “She’s… well, she was a straight-A student, but no involvement in anything.”

“Nothing?”

Aaron might well be surprised. It was a small school in a small town. Activity involvement wasn’t mandatory, but if a kid wanted any sort of social life, being part of a club or a sport was pretty much the only thing going on after school.

“No—that’s odd. And that’s probably why I can’t place her. Her sister’s in grade school, so I wouldn’t know her. But Candace is just… not involved.”

“Was,” Aaron prompted, and Larx rested his chin on his fist and looked woefully at his paperwork. Ye gods, the pile wasn’t getting any smaller.

“Yeah. Was getting straight As. Is no longer. Is veering off into C and D territory. And I have in front of me, waiting for a signature, her very first referral for behavior.”

He stared at it, wondering how the pieces fit.

“What’d she do?” Aaron asked patiently.

“Well, it says she got to class late and then ran out a few minutes after the bell rang. It was her first-period class, and when she came back—looking pale—the teacher asked if she was okay. Apparently she laughed hysterically and told the teacher to fuck off.”

“Uh….”

Larx sighed. “Yeah. That’s why I’m up to my eyeballs in paperwork, Aaron—so I can look for kids like this and ask them what happened. I’m on it.”

“That’s my boy,” Aaron praised softly. “Good. Keep me in the loop, okay? I don’t know if the girls were being abused, and frankly I didn’t have enough evidence to so much as make them wash their faces. I don’t know the story behind the boys living together without parents, and I don’t know why one of them would be anxious enough to get a prescription for a ton of weed. These are things I would like to know before I go venturing in there with CPS and the DEA to make sure everything is kosher, you understand?”

“Got it, Deputy.” Larx looked at both kids’ files again and wondered at the puzzle. “Aaron, I’m serious. You’re a good man. These kids—there’s pieces missing here. Yanking them away from their homes, dragging them into the fray—I’m not sure if that’s the best thing here.”

Larx was starting to know Aaron’s grunts—this one was the respectful disagreement grunt. “Some stuff needs to see light, Mr. Larkin,” he chided gently. “If something’s festering in that girl’s life, it’s our job to make sure she’s okay.”

Of course.

“Roger that.” Larx tilted his head back and pinched the bridge of his nose.

“Have you eaten?” Aaron asked.

“Uh….” He’d gotten a sandwich for Olivia, but he’d put off getting his own.

“Eat, Principal. Work on your paperwork. And maybe take a nap on the couch before I get there. Save up your strength.” He gave a chuckle that was absolutely filthy. “You’re going to need it.”

Larx whined. “But… but Olivia—”

“If hearing us have sex gives her reason to move out, more’s the better,” Aaron intoned darkly.

Oh shit. “She… uh… she sort of hinted… never mind.”

“My house. Yes. We’ll move her tomorrow.”

Larx groaned and rested his forehead on the paperwork on the table. “God. You’re the perfect man. Where’s the rub? Where’s the flaw? There’s got to be something here that makes me want to smack you—where is it?”

“Mmm….”

Oh yeah. That conversation they weren’t having because of all the conversations they were.

“Understood.” Larx sighed. “I’ll see you when you get home.”

“Eat, dammit.”

Larx smiled, reassured. “Sure. Take care of what’s mine.”

“Always do.”

“Love you.”

“Thanks for the info.”

Aaron signed off, and Larx’s text pinged thirty seconds later.

Love you too.

Yup. Too good to be true.

Larx’s worry about his daughter—and about Aaron’s input into the situation—doubled down in his chest.

Please, Olivia—please. Don’t make me choose between you two. Please.

About the Author

 

Amy Lane has two grown kids out of college, two half-grown kids in high school and middle school, three cats, and two Chi-who-whats at large. She lives in a crumbling crapmansion with some of the children and a bemused spouse. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and gay romance–and if you accidentally make eye contact, she’ll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She’ll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.

Book Blast – Omega Required by Dessa Lux (excerpt)

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BOOK BLAST

Book Title: Omega Required

Author: Dessa Lux

Publisher: Self Published

Cover Artist: Morgan Wilcox

Genre/s: M/M Paranormal/Werewolf Romance (no mpreg onscreen)

Length: 136,000 words/430 pages

Release Date: April 4, 2018

Blurb

An alpha werewolf chasing his dream meets an omega fighting for his life in a strictly temporary marriage of convenience…

Alpha werewolf Beau Jeffries has been going it alone ever since he was cast out of his pack as a teenager for trying to help a human and endangering the pack’s secrets during the tumultuous years when the wider world was learning the truth about werewolves. He hasn’t lost his drive to help others, and he’s about to begin a prestigious medical residency–only to learn that, as the first werewolf the program has knowingly accepted, he’ll have to follow special rules, including the one that requires him to be married when he begins his residency.

Omega werewolf Roland Lea is just trying to survive. After escaping the last and worst in a string of abusive relationships that left him scarred and unable to conceive, he’s found safety in a refuge for homeless omegas. But despite the help he’s getting at the refuge, he just keeps getting sicker instead of better, further and further from being able to make it on his own. When he’s offered the opportunity to sign up with a mate-matching agency, he figures he has nothing to lose. No alpha is ever going to want an omega like him.

When Beau sees Roland’s profile, he knows at once what’s making the omega sick, and he’s determined to help. If he can persuade Roland to marry him, he can save Roland’s life while Roland helps him get through his residency. But will their hasty partnership be enough to bring them both through what’s ahead–and can temporary necessity lead to a forever love?

Excerpt

He did sleep a little, or at least his thoughts drifted into quiet blankness for a while. He came back to himself when the car’s front doors closed, leaving only him and Beau inside. Roland opened his eyes to find Beau’s face closer than he expected.

Close enough to kiss.

His breath caught, and he felt that dangerous little thrill of anticipation, when he should have known better, should have been far past wanting anything like that ever again.

Beau just smiled. “Ready for our wedding day?”

Roland looked toward the window, and beyond it, the uninformative front of the refuge. “They didn’t… plan something, did they? It’s not gonna be, like…”

A tumble of images played through his head, mostly human weddings he’d seen on TV and in movies, elaborate and protracted events that always involved someone being terribly humiliated or disappointed or otherwise reduced to tears.

“I think they know you well enough to know you won’t want anything huge and exhausting,” Beau said quietly. “I suspect there’s going to be cake, though. You think you might be able to eat a little cake?”

Roland bit his lip, and his stomach squirmed uneasily. “Do you have any more of those ginger candies?”

Beau smiled and brought one out of his pocket, unwrapping it before holding the candy to Roland’s lips. He closed his eyes and opened his mouth for it, and the first sharp bite of the ginger made his mouth water alarmingly and his eyes sting. Beau stayed steady at his side, keeping one arm around him all the time, and after another moment Roland said, “I guess we have to get out of the car eventually.”

“Not really where I’d pictured us living for the next few years,” Beau agreed, but he didn’t make any move to get Roland out of the car until Roland picked his head up and twisted toward the door.

When they got inside there was cake, and Susan and Ms. Dawson and Dr. Hanek who ran the refuge and was, as it turned out, both a registered officiant for weddings and a notary public. He had Beau and Roland sign the pre-nup first, getting it notarized and witnessed across several copies.

Which meant Roland had to write his name when he couldn’t read it.

“It’s okay, take your time,” Beau murmured, and laid his finger down on the page. “Right along there. Right above my finger. When you’re ready.”

Roland took a few breaths, trying to make his fingers fit comfortably around the pen, to remember the motions of signing his name. He couldn’t remember when he’d ever done it that meant anything, but it couldn’t be that hard. He’d learned cursive in school. He knew how to write his own name, and that was all it was, really. His own name, in cursive, saying that he agreed to be married to Beau with all these conditions.

He squinted at it when he was done; it looked a little crooked and wobbly, but that seemed to be his name. Roland Lea. He’d done it.

And then he had to do it three more times.

“I’ll put one of these on file here,” Dr. Hanek explained, “and send one to the state Omega Rights Initiative. They hold a lot of these types of documents, just to be on the safe side.”

“Of course,” Beau said easily. “And Roland will have his own copy to keep as well.”

One was duly put into an envelope for him, and Roland held it, along with his birth certificate, while they did the rest of the wedding formalities. It was all so calm and matter of fact, just sitting on a loveseat beside Beau in one of the refuge sitting rooms, with Susan and Ms. Dawson and Dr. Hanek gathered around on other chairs. Roland barely realized the questions he was answering were his wedding vows, even when he automatically responded, “I do.”

But then there was a tiny round of applause, and Roland turned to meet Beau’s eyes.

Beau raised his eyebrows, asking some silent question, and Roland nodded a little, and then—oh, oh—Beau dipped his head and touched his lips to Roland’s, soft and chaste. A kiss. Their first kiss.

They were married.

There was another paper to sign for that, but Beau let Roland sign along his finger again, and his hand didn’t shake any worse than the first four times.

“Excellent. We’ll put the appropriate date on this and send it in tomorrow to be filed, but you are now officially married. Congratulations, both of you.”

“Thanks,” Roland murmured, and then looked up at Beau, who squeezed him a little closer.

“We’ll eat some cake first,” Beau said. “Then we’ll figure out everything else.”

 

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About the Author

Dessa Lux is a librarian living in the Midwest, running on Diet Coke and Adderall. She’s a geek who loves reading and writing romance, including the fanfic kind, and you can tell her apart from the others of her kind because she does not own a cat.

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