A Stella Release Day Review: Alpha Unit One, New York by Chris T. Kat

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RATING 5 out of 5 stars

The cat’s out of the bag….

In a world that accepts shifters as normal and thinks nothing of human/shifter couples, baby shifters and small shifters are treated as subpar. They are not allowed into the more dangerous professions, and their mates have legal control over what they can and cannot do.

Nicholas Reed is about to challenge the established rules. At twenty-eight, Nick has just been accepted into New York’s Alpha Unit One—an elite law enforcement team, composed equally of humans and shifters, that specializes in drug crimes. It is Nick’s dream job. But if they find out what he’s hiding, his career could be destroyed.

Enter a huge complication in the form of Sam Black, an older lion shifter who is the leader of the unit… and Nick’s mate. Nick wants Sam, and he wants to keep his job, but he can’t have them both. He also can’t choose between them.

I can confess I was over the moon when I saw Chris T. Kat had a new book coming out soon, I’m a huge fan of her works and was very sad when she decided to take some time off from writing. This new release was a fabulous surprise.

I read Alpha Unit One, New York in one night, I devoured it, I fell into the novellas from the start. The writing was so good, I was caught into the plot and couldn’t put down the kindle for a minute. Nothing new to me, this has happened every time I read this author books.

I adored Nick and Sam story, I soon felt the connection between them, the chemistry was so clear and strong it was unevitable for them to act on it, even if it seemed some circustances were agaist their union. But they are mates and this can’t be fought. Altough I liked them both, I particularly cared for Nick, he was cute and funny, his worries about being where he actually couldn’t be,  made me cringe and sometimes laugh too. I liked how he easily found new friends among his new colleagues, some of them had more than one secret in common.

This is the kind of paranormal books I love to read, I am a sucker for the destined mates thrope, but I need something more too and here the author developed a new world that it felt me very realistic. Plus a solid plot with interesting second characters and couples I would so hope to have their stories in the next future; there is action, and then sex, sweetnesses, friendships.

I simply loved  Alpha Unit One, New York and I already reread it, so of course I feel to recommend it.

The cover art by Cate Ashwood is lovely, well done and fitting in every detail.

SALE LINKS       Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 161 pages

Publication Date July 27th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN13 9781640805132

Edition Language English

A MelanieM Review: The Eye of Ra (Repeating History #1) by Dakota Chase

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Repeating History: Book One

Both Aston and Grant have a talent for finding trouble—it’s what landed them at the Stanton School for Boys—but this time, their mischief might send them to a completely different world.

When they accidentally destroy their teacher’s priceless archaeological artifacts, he demands they replace them. And since the teacher in question is Merlin, refusing isn’t an option for the two boys. Thanks to Merlin’s magic, they’re about to become time travelers.

The first piece on their list is the Eye of Ra, a mystical amulet belonging to the young King Tut. Ancient Egypt is nothing like Aston and Grant expected, with its war, disease, and lack of modern technology. To survive, they must befriend King Tut and learn to trust him—and each other. In a primitive world, where death and danger wait around every corner, one thing is clear: revisiting history could cost someone their life.

From the moment you meet Aston fidgeting away in a juvenile courtroom, he’s instantly identifiable from his jumbled emotions and thoughts.  Trying to be brave, on the cusp of breaking down in tears as he sits next to a father giving him no support other than his presence, he none the less recognizes the role he’s played in getting himself in this situation.

Yes, he takes absolute responsibility for all his actions, including the stealing the car and joyriding.  The hints as to why Aston is acting up comes later…the anger and pain that’s launching many of his bad decisions and actions stemming from the death of his mother and his abandonment issues.

All these feelings and thoughts are bubbling up inside of him…some clear, some not.  All speaking to his age and maturity levels.  And it makes him so easy to relate to in his fear and brashness.

Even when he lands his third chance and old patterns lead to yet more bad decision making, we get him. And Grant.  When they are pulled into Merlin’s class and circle of control, it’s at their own doing. Or is it?

A fight, a fire, a loss of precious objects of Merlin’s sends the boys on flights through time to retrieve them and return them safely back to Merlin.

Chase has crafted a highly adventurous tale, full of well researched details that add to the journey of Aston and Grant back to ancient Egypt.  The author brings the boy King Tut and his times vividly to life as Ash and Grant precariously befriend the boy Pharaoh, try to change history, and still retrieve the Eye of Ra which hangs around Tut’s neck.  It’s exciting, entertaining, and in many ways bittersweet for us and the boys to find that history can’t be changed no matter how much we wish it too.

Add to all this a burgeoning sort of attraction between Ashton and Grant, and you have the makings of a fantastic series and relationship.  I can’t wait to see where this all goes.

Cover Artist: Anna Sikorska, thought it captures the rush of adventure and the magic of the era.  Great job.

Sales Links:  Harmony Ink Press | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 151 pages
Published May 16th 2017 by Harmony Ink Press (first published May 15th 2010)
ASINB06ZYHBBRK
SeriesRepeating History #1

A Lucy Review: Erik the Pink by Matthew J. Metzger

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

While this is a love story, it is more the story of a first year with a new baby and how much it can take for someone to bounce back from it.  Andreas and Erik are an established couple who, as the book starts, are having their first baby.  A girl, named Beatriz.  Both of them have some trauma in their past.  Erik is very English and was abandoned by his mother at 18 months and then bounced around foster homes until he aged out; Andreas is from Spain and was verbally abused and kicked out of his home when he came out to his family as trans.  These two couldn’t be more different.  Erik is a red-headed giant of a man who has wanted nothing more in his life than a family he could call his own. “He’d waited his entire life to be here, and the enormity of it threatened to burst him right out of his own body.”  Andreas is slim, fashionable and has wanted nothing for than for his body to match who he really is and while he wanted a baby, the consequences to himself were really horrible.  “Nine months of absolute hell-unimaginable hell, from the horrifically persistent misgendering to the disgusting betrayal of his own body.”  His dysphoria was out of control, “…nine months of hating himself for hating being pregnant…” 

Beatriz is everything Erik has dreamed of, except he’s too terrified to touch her.  “She’s too small.  I’ll break her.”  Despite what he had to go through, Andreas does as well.  “He’d been so scared it wouldn’t be worth it. But here she was.  And despite all of his fears, he already know he loved her.”

There are a lot of baby details here so those who don’t like to read about children should be aware.   There is sweetness to the point of overload at times, but for me it matched the enormity of what Erik was feeling.  “Erik didn’t care it he looked a bit bonkers, having a cry while holding his baby and hugging his partner.  He’d wanted her for his entire life – he was allowed to have a bit of a meltdown now she was actually here.”

What made the book more balanced in terms of the sugar was the incredible struggle Andreas was going through to try to get back to himself.   He had already been struggling with dysphoria and now genital dysphoria has been added.  “The dysphoria had taken everything from him – the gym, his job, the spa, Saturday mornings in coffee shops while Erik was at work, even going to the pub for an evening meal to walk home with Erik after he’d closed up for the night.  Everything.  And it had been a struggle to remember it hadn’t been Beatriz taking it all away, but himself.”  I can’t even imagine the pain he had to go through to have this baby he’s always wanted so desperately that turns him into something he’s hated.  He has always called the worst days his “dizzy days” and the pregnancy and aftermath are nearly all dizzy days.  Erik knows he can’t understand but he tries so hard to make things easier for Andreas.  He doesn’t look at just Beatriz as what he spent a lifetime waiting for but Andreas as well. He knows how much Andreas has struggled since starting to show.  “And I miss you, and I know I can’t make it better because it’s all tangled up with your body and how it makes you feel, but I love you and I hate seeing you down, so I want to make you feel good for a bit, even if it’s just surface good.”

They have some great friends in Jo (a former foster sister of Erik’s), her husband, Mike, and Lauren.  The airport broke my heart for Erik, I have to admit it. I know it was always to help Andreas but once in a while Erik’s feelings should be considered too.  The dysphoria did affect him during the pregnancy as well.  “It had been nine months of juggling his excitement with his partner’s horror.  It had been nine months of trying desperately to navigate when he could be excited, when he had to pretend it wasn’t happening and when he had to consider the possibilities of termination without outright begging Andreas not to do it.”  While maybe not as painful as what Andreas is going through, still painful. 

The writing is very realistic and even without the added trauma of being trans, I appreciated the attitude toward being pregnant.  Despite what some would have us believe, not everyone enjoys being pregnant.  Some people hate it.  That doesn’t mean hating the baby, Andreas shows that very well, but hating the process, what it does to your body, the aftermath of trying to get that body back while you are exhausted and trying to adjust to having this new person in your care.  As a cisgender person I can’t speak for how much it would affect a trans man but I definitely was in the not loving pregnancy group.   There were a few baby things that made me say “huh?” but those were minor.  The major focus of this book was adjustments.  Adjusting to a new life for all of them.  Getting back to the real him for Andreas.  I loved the reason for “Erik the Pink”, probably the sweetest thing in the whole book for “An abandoned, unwanted, unloved survivor.”  The book is sweet without being overly fluffy.  It ends on a high, hopeful note and I can only wish the best things for all of them.

Cover art, showing a baby held in gentle hands, conveys the feeling of the book well.  Soft and sweet.

Sales Links:  JMS Books LLC  | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 212 pages
Published June 30th 2018 by JMS Books LLC
ASINB07DK7MFG1
Edition LanguageEnglish

Kim Fielding on Story Settings and her new release ‘Blyd and Pearce’ (guest blog and giveaway)

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Blyd and Pearce by Kim Fielding 

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Tiferet Design

Sales Links:

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Amazon

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Kim Fielding here today talking about her latest story Blyd and Pearce.

♦︎

Hi! Kim Fielding here, and I’m so excited to be sharing my newest release—my 21st novel!—with you. Blyd and Pearce is a fusion of some of my favorite genres: m/m romance, medieval fantasy, and noir private eye. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Today I’d like to talk about story settings—specifically, settings for noir stories. In case you’re unfamiliar with noir, here’s a quick definition from Merriam-Webster:

crime fiction featuring hard-boiled cynical characters and bleak sleazy settings

Notice how the setting is integral to the description? Some literary genres can take place nearly anywhere, but some, like noir and its cousin, gothic, almost require a very particular type of place. In the case of noir, that place is a city, preferably a large one, and the neighborhoods are not the ritzy ones. Noir characters live in seedy apartments and hang out in rough bars and dirty back alleys. Not only that, but most of the action takes place at night, with fog or cigarette smoke distorting the shadows and hiding secrets.

There are some notable exceptions to the urban setting requirement, such as one of my favorite films, Fargo. But in Fargo, those lovely shots of forlorn, snow-covered fields and parking lots serve the same purpose that the empty streets of nighttime Los Angeles do in other noir films: emphasizing the alienation and despair of the characters.

In films, noir has a signature cinematic style, drawing from expressionism, with lots of angles and odd perspectives that add to a sense of unease. The films are usually dark of course—that’s why they’re called noir (French for black or dark)—but they don’t necessarily have to be in black-and-white. Again, Fargo achieves an almost monochrome aspect by utilizing winter scenery in the North. Blade Runner uses claustrophobic buildings and constant rain.

In Blyd and Pearce, I’ve transplanted noir from modern American cities to Tangye, a city more typical of medieval fantasy. Tangye is preindustrial, and it’s also home to river wraiths, wizards, necromancers, and other characters we’d be unlikely to see in New York or LA. Yet it also retains many of the characteristics of typical noir settings. Daveth Blyd lives in the Low Quarter, the slums, where the inhabitants scrape out desperate livings and often drink (ale) or drug themselves (with trance drops) to dull their misery. Tangye has surly tavern-keepers, wily street waifs, and crooked cops. And of course it has our private-eye hero and the homme fatal who leads him into trouble.

Do you have a favorite noir setting? Please comment!

Blurb:

Born into poverty and orphaned young, Daveth Blyd had one chance for success when his fighting prowess earned him a place in the Tangye city guard—a place he lost to false accusations of theft. Now he scrapes out a living searching for wayward spouses and missing children. When a nobleman offers him a small fortune to find an entertainer who’s stolen a ring, Daveth takes the case.

While Jory Pearce may or may not be a thief, he certainly can’t be trusted. But, enchanted by Jory’s beauty and haunting voice, Daveth soon finds himself caught in the middle of a conspiracy. As he searches desperately for answers, he realizes that he’s also falling for Jory. The two men face river wraiths, assassins, a necromancer, and a talking head that could be Daveth’s salvation on their quest for the truth. But with everyone’s integrity in question and Death eager to dance, Daveth will need more than sorcery to survive.

Excerpt:

The narrow stairway rose steeply, each step creaking under our feet and taking us into increasing darkness. I smelled onions and fish—a bit strong, but better than my apartment’s odors—and blindly held on to the banister. It occurred to me that Pearce was in a good position to attack me, since I’d have trouble defending myself in the blackness of unfamiliar territory. But I wasn’t afraid of him. Maybe some of his enchantment lingered.

We climbed four flights to the top floor, where he unlocked another door. A few scattered spiritlights flared to life at once, but he lit two lanterns as well.

It wasn’t a large apartment, and the roof angled steeply on both sides so that he had to stoop a little when he hung his lute and midnight-colored cloak on a hook. Bright fabrics adorned the walls—silks and embroidered cottons—and a thick mat and pile of pillows were heaped in one corner. Rag rugs and pillows for seating covered the wide floorboards. The apartment held little else other than a dry sink, a few shelves, a little stand with a chamber pot, a painted wardrobe. But it was a cozy space, and two pottery vases of flowers squatted on the windowsill.

“Do you want some wine?” he asked.

It wasn’t what I expected, so I didn’t answer at once. “Uh, yes. Sure.”

He took a green glass bottle from the shelf, pulled the cork, and poured a red liquid into a pair of plain clay cups.

He was no longer wearing the gauzy silks he’d performed in, but his current outfit was hardly understated. Embroidered snakes—matching the bright blue of his chausses—trimmed a sunshine-hued tunic, and instead of sensible boots, he wore scarlet stockings and yellow slippers with curled, pointed toes. On another man, the clothing would have been gaudy, but it suited him well.

I remained near the closed door. With a tiny quirk to his lips, he prowled closer. He held out one cup of wine, which I took, and when I hesitated to drink, he took a dainty sip of his own. “It’s mediocre, I’m afraid.”

Not being able to distinguish good wine from bad, I swallowed a mouthful. It tasted fine to me.

“What shall I call you?” he purred, standing quite close. He was older than I’d thought, but the fine lines at the corners of his eyes didn’t make him any less beautiful.

“Daveth Blyd.”

“It’s a pleasure, Citizen Blyd.”

“I’m not a citizen.”

He tilted his head. “Oh?”

He wore a scent—something spicy and warm—that made my head swim. And his voice….

When I was newly signed on as a city guard, my duties had included carting my captain’s soiled uniforms to the laundry. It wasn’t one of my favored tasks. But she’d been a showy woman and had her capes trimmed not with dyed wool but with velvet. I’d rarely felt anything so soft, and I used to give the velvet surreptitious little pets as I carried her clothes.

Jory Pearce’s voice was like that velvet: soft and rich and plush. And, I reminded myself, expensive.

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Kim Fielding is the bestselling author of numerous m/m romance novels, novellas, and short stories. Like Kim herself, her work is eclectic, spanning genres such as contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, and historical. Her stories are set in alternate worlds, in 15th century Bosnia, in modern-day Oregon. Her heroes are hipster architect werewolves, housekeepers, maimed giants, and conflicted graduate students. They’re usually flawed, they often encounter terrible obstacles, but they always find love.

After having migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States, Kim calls the boring part of California home. She lives there with her husband, her two daughters, and her day job as a university professor, but escapes as often as possible via car, train, plane, or boat. This may explain why her characters often seem to be in transit as well. She dreams of traveling and writing full-time.

Follow Kim:

Website: http://www.kfieldingwrites.com/

Facebook: http://facebook.com/KFieldingWrites

Twitter: @KFieldingWrites

Email: Kim@KFieldingWrites.com

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bau3S9

Davidson King on The Power Of Readers and the new release ‘A Dangerous Dance’ (guest post, excerpt, and giveaway)

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A Dangerous Dance Tour Banner

A Dangerous Dance

Haven Hart Series, Book 3

Davidson King

Publication Date: July 17th

M/M, Romance, Suspense, Drama

 A-Dangerous-Dance---EBook-Cover-Only 

Cover Design: Morningstar Ashley @ Designs by Morningstar

AMAZON US: https://amzn.to/2uEiJr5 

AMAZON UK: https://amzn.to/2mw2wzC

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Davidson King here today on   tour for A Dangerous Dance, the latest in the Haven Hart series.  Welcome, Davidson.

♦︎

The Power Of Readers and How The Made This Book Possible by Davidson King

Truth is, I never planned on Bill having a book. That’s right. After Snow Falling released – my first book in this universe—so many readers asked me if Bill was going to have a book. Each person that asked me I was like, “Um, I don’t know?”

It was while I was writing Hug It Out, book two, I saw it happening. Mace was born, he teamed up with Bill, and the idea came to fruition.

These two were like oil and water. Now I had to come up with their plot while mingling it into this universe I was building.

The power of reader’s is what inspired this book and took it to the heights it did.

I wrote Snow Falling not one hundred percent sure there would be more. I knew I’d write more but where this universe was going wasn’t clear until this book. Readers pushed this universe to new places. Now, yes there is an end game for it, but we aren’t there yet.

There are so many characters to meet and loved ones to get their happily ever afters, and that is thanks to readers. They are powerful and inspire. Perhaps they are wizards?

 

Synopsis

Finally working for a man he can trust has given Bill a new purpose. His boss, Christopher Manos, commands respect and absolute loyalty, and Bill has proven himself worthy of a seat at Christopher’s table. Becoming best friends with Christopher’s husband, Snow, has further proven his allegiance and cements a place for him in the Manos family. When Snow’s life is in danger, Christopher places his full trust in Bill to destroy anything and anyone that poses a threat to his husband. But hunting and wiping out the enemy for the safety of everyone Bill cares about means partnering with the one person he has vowed to never see again.

Mace wears a mask of vain cockiness and uses his model good looks to his full advantage. Known to many as Without a Trace Mace, he’s a deadly assassin well known for wiping out whole families and getting away without a trace. With a dangerous past and an unknown future, Mace uses his veil of conceit to keep others at a distance, rarely trusting anyone. When his boss, Black–the one man he trusts above all others—gives him his next assignment, he learns his newest partner is none other than Bill, the man he’d do anything to avoid.

With the safety of the Manos family on the line at the hands of a brilliant maniac, Bill and Mace begrudgingly put their differences aside to ensure Snow, and his loved ones, are protected from harm.  With their lives in grave danger and the clock ticking towards zero hour, they navigate deathly perilous situations and uncertain outcomes, hoping they survive long enough to keep the Manos family safe.

Bill and Mace’s traitorous hearts draw them closer together no matter how hard they fight the inevitable. With the lives of their loved ones hanging in the balance, they find themselves in the middle of a dangerous dance. But when the music stops, will they both be left standing?

Amazon Exclusive/KU

Length: 57,400 words

Good Reads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40663791-a-dangerous-dance

A Dangerous Dance Teaser 4

A Dangerous Dance Teaser 3

Excerpt

“Billy Boy!” Mace said loudly with a clap, making Snow jump.

“Well, if it isn’t fuck face Mace.” Watching Mace’s smile fall and morph into anger made my entire week. If I was going to find any joy in this job, it was going to be repeatedly knocking that pretty boy off his self-made pedestal.

“Let’s put the pissing contest off for a later date.” Black’s gravelly, booming voice was powerful enough to make you snap to attention. But I couldn’t help myself. I shot Mace a wink and joined Snow when he sat on the couch.

“I’ll rip those eyes from your head while you sleep, fucker,” Mace whispered so only Snow and I could hear. I knew Snow was about to go rabid, so I beat him to it.

“You assume I sleep.”

Mace wanted to say something else, but when Christopher slapped a folder on the coffee table between us, it was all business.

Davidson King Logo

Davidson King, always had a hope that someday her daydreams would become real-life stories. As a child, you would often find her in her own world, thinking up the most insane situations. It may have taken her awhile, but she made her dream come true with her first published work, Snow Falling.

When she’s not writing you can find her blogging away on Diverse Reader, her review and promotional site. She managed to wrangle herself a husband who matched her crazy and they hatched three wonderful children.

If you were to ask her what gave her the courage to finally publish, she’d tell you it was her amazing family and friends. Support is vital in all things and when you’re afraid of your dreams, it will be your cheering section that will lift you up.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17286464.Davidson_King

Twitter: @DavidsonKing11 https://twitter.com/DavidsonKing11

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2MCMD5r

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/davidsonkingauthor/?hl=en

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/DavidsonKingAuthor/

Facebook Group: King’s Court: https://www.facebook.com/groups/DavidsonKingsCourt/

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Release Day Blitz for Risk Taker (Mixed Messages #3) by Lily Morton (excerpt and giveaway)

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Risk Taker

Mixed Messages Series, Book 3

Lily Morton

M/M Romance

Release Date: 07.22.18

Risk-Taker-Generic 

Cover Design: Natasha Snow

AMAZON US: https://amzn.to/2Oal9WI

AMAZON UK: https://amzn.to/2LD9u0F

 

BLURB

Being in love with your best friend is hard.

Henry’s the odd man out. All his friends are settling down, and his reputation as the Hook-Up King of London seems more like a curse than a blessing these days. Especially when it keeps photojournalist Ivo, his best friend and the brilliant man he’s loved since they were fifteen, at arm’s length. But that’s where Ivo wants him, right? Putting aside his feelings, Henry decides to give up casual sex and look for the real deal. After all, he has no chance with Ivo – or does he?

Henry is everything to Ivo. Best friend, soul mate, the one person who has never let him down. The one person he is loyal to above everything and everyone. But Henry’s in a box marked best friend and that’s where Ivo’s kept him for nearly twenty years, despite steadily falling in love with the gentle man. And besides, why would Henry want to date Ivo? Burned out and injured, he’s the walking embodiment of damaged.

Distance has helped Henry and Ivo keep a lid on their attraction, but when they find themselves in the same city for a change—Ivo hurt and needing assistance, and Henry more than willing to provide it—the two best friends grow closer than ever, forcing a realization, and a decision. Risk their friendship for their hearts? Or can they have both?

From the bestselling author of Rule Breaker and Deal Maker comes a tender love story about two best friends who are perfect for each other, and always have been – if only they knew it.

This is the third book in the Mixed Messages series, but it can be read as a standalone.

RiskTaker-Teaser1

RiskTaker-Teaser2
 

EXCERPT

The bell in the shop rings as the door opens, and I smile as I feel his presence behind me.

“Is there a particular reason, Henry, why I am standing in an art supply shop rather than sitting in a perfectly good restaurant eating lunch?”

I shift the basket over my arm and turn to face one of my best friends. “Gabe, you really should be a bit more highbrow. Otherwise, you’ll never keep that pretty totty you’ve got.”

His perfect-looking face scrunches up in disgust. “Totty. What an utterly disgusting word.”

“I know,” I say cheerfully, turning back to the shelf I was perusing and chucking in another tube of Rose Gold oil paint.

“Makes you sound like your father,” he says snippily, and I nudge him.

“Now that’s petty. Anyway, I’m nothing like him. I have all my own teeth, and my complexion is milky-white perfection, if I do say so myself.”

He snorts. “Apart from those freckles.”

I shake my head and touch a finger to my face and my bête noire, the multitude of freckles that span my nose. “I wish that cream I got off the internet at uni had worked,” I say forlornly, and he laughs loudly, making it echo around the shop.

“I did so enjoy the way your face turned that shade of green. Made you look like Grotbags from The Rod Hull and Emu Show.” He reaches over and grabs a tube of paint. “It was this shade precisely. Hmm, Pistachio Green.” He chucks it into my basket, and I patiently remove it and put it back on the shelf.

I toss a couple of tubes of Prussian Blue into the basket while he leans casually against the shelf looking like the perfect picture of a lawyer in his dark grey, hand-tailored suit.

“Why are we here, Henry? Because if you’re thinking of giving up the law and becoming an artist, I really will have to stage an intervention.”

I laugh. “I think I’d make a very good artist.”

“Piss artist, more likely,” he says, poking my arm with one long finger. “So, if we’re not shopping for what would be the shortest career in art history, who are we shopping for?” His gaze sharpens, and I mentally groan because aside from Ivo there is no one who knows me better. “Hmm. Would we be shopping for a six foot four blond photographer who a certain red-headed lawyer has had the hots for, for years?”

“That’s such a non-Gabe expression,” I sneer. “Has Dylan been influencing you?”

He looks startled and shakes his head. “Those fucking phrases of his and Jude’s. They’re messing up my vocabulary. Yesterday one of the senior partners asked me if I was okay and I said I was cool. He went out and asked his assistant to tell maintenance that the building heating needed to be turned up.”

I laugh helplessly, and he gives me a rueful grin. “Don’t distract me, Henry. Is Ivo back?” I nod slowly and his expression darkens. “Is he okay?”

I shrug, picking up a brush and studying it intently so I don’t have to look at him. “Not really. He’s got a hole from a fucking bullet in his side, and broken ribs and bruises all over him from being near a car bomb when it went off.”

“What?” he says instantly. “Is he okay?” Gabe has always had a complicated relationship with Ivo. He loves being with him, and they can talk for hours, but he hates the effect that he unknowingly has on my life.

“He’s fine. Silas checked him over.”

He checks with his hand out to grab the brush from me. “Henry, isn’t Silas a vet?”

I shrug. “He was very good at biology at school.”

“I was good at it too. You don’t see me turning up at St Bart’s Hospital and performing a few appendectomies during my lunch hour though, do you?”

“The only biology you were any good at was the male anatomy kind,” I say tartly, and chuck the brush in the basket.

He smiles. “That I was. I’m a very learned man in that area.”

I snort. “You’re practically PhD material.”


Lily Morton Logo

Lily writes contemporary romance novels, and specialises in hot love stories with a good dose of humour.

Lily lives in sunny England with her husband and two children, all of whom claim that they haven’t had a proper conversation with her since she bought her first Kindle.

She has spent her life with her head full of daydreams and decided one day to just sit down and start writing about them. In the process she discovered that she actually loved writing, because how else could she get to spend her time with hot, funny men!

She loves chocolate and Baileys and the best of all creations – chocolate Baileys! Her lifetime’s ambition is to have a bath in peace without being shouted by one of her family.

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