A Stella Release Day Review: Galen’s Redemption (Links in the Chain #2) by Parker Williams

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RATING 4,5 out of 5 stars

A Links In the Chain Story

A rich man is about to set foot into an unknown world, while a Good Samaritan fears he’ll have to close the charity he’s spent his life building. Poised to lose it all, they might find what they need most in each other.

Son of a wealthy importer, Galen Merriweather lives to broker deals, and he’s damn good at it. But it’s getting harder to ignore the kind of man his father is—a man who would pay Galen’s brother’s lover to leave… a man who’d demand Galen retrieve a quarter-million-dollar check from a struggling homeless shelter.

Robert Kotke knows the money is too good to be true, but it’s a godsend that could help so many people. Still, he hands it over when Galen shows up. But he isn’t done with Galen yet, and he’s going to challenge everything Galen ever believed.

Galen will face an impossible decision: the redemption he’s come to realize he wants, or the life he’d always dreamed of.

I was so ready for Galen and Robert’s story. I have to say I was a huge fan of Robert and his big heart, the way he cared for Noel in Lincoln’s Park, showed me the amazing person he was. I so hoped for him to find someone with the same inclination. And he found it in Galen, apparently so different from Robert, actually so alike. The journey Galen started was the right one toward a better life for himself and for a future together with an awesome man. His redemption was truly beautiful, I easily fell for Galen too, as soon as I saw how a good man he was and how much he was suffering.

As always Parker Williams has delivered a lovely novel, I was so happy to meet these two men and see how hard they worked for their HEA. Plus, I got to see more of Noel and his devotion to his soon to be husband, Lincoln. And then there were Andy, who could have resisted him? Not me. Andy was a true friend, fierce, protective, ready to open is arms and his little huuse to Galen. There was a surprise for him too in this book, he totally deserved it.

That said, I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready for the next installment in the Links In The Chain series, it will surely kill me.

The cover art by Reese Dante is well done, I like it more than the cover of the previous title.

Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press

Amazon US

Amazon UK

BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 250 pages

Publication Date: April 16th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN13 9781644051993

Edition Language English

Series Links In the Chain #2

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Where There’s A Will Deanes (Get Out #4) by Sean Kennedy

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Get Out: Book Four

Micah Johnson is coming back to Melbourne, and the story of him and his friends is coming to an end.

 

Or will it be a new beginning?

 

Will Deanes and Micah Johnson have a past, one that ranges from bitter enemies to best friends. There might be an undercurrent of something else, but Micah remains oblivious, and all Will can do is try to move on.

 

Except now Micah’s returning to Melbourne full-time, and that means they can’t avoid each other or the tensions that arise. Will is still dealing with an injury that ended his football career, while Micah’s continues to thrive. As they face highs, lows, and family tragedies, they’ll have to get to know each other all over again. Will Micah see that Will means much more to him than a friend?

I started following and falling in love with the Get Out kids when I first met them in Sean Kennedy’s connected Tigers and Devils series.   It was there that Dec (and Simon) saw the need for LGBT youth in sports to have a place and organization to guide and support them. Micah, Emma, and Will were the original three kids looking for guidance (well, not Micah, he always had so much growing to do), but Emma and Will, along with others needing strength and support from Dec and Simon as role models as a out LGBT couple and successful in their life choices.

I’ve followed them through their own stories in the Get Out series and now we come to Where There’s A Will Deanes (Get Out #4) by Sean Kennedy, a story by all indications feels like the author is wrapping up the series and sending this wonderful trio off to college and the paths they have chosen next after graduation.  It’s fitting that it’s Will who’s story puts a period to this section of their lives and also marks a major milestone in his life that will include Micah too.

Will was supposed to have had a promising career similar in trajectory to the one that is propelling Micah.  But a tragic bus accident changed all that costing him any athletic participation for forever.  Of the three, Will has been left by the sidelines to watch Micah and Emma soar as stars in their sports, and go onto romances and move forward while he faced rehab and a new life without a sport he loved, including the person he never told how he felt.

Now we get a maturing Will, one who has found himself through his work at Get Out as an assistant there, taking courses on the side to further understand the nuances of the business, proud of the work he’s accomplishing while still working through some of the issues left over from his abusive upbringing.  Like all of the characters here, Will is complex, open, vulnerable, and  confused as to what to do about his feelings for Micah, especially now that he has returned to the area.

Told from Will’s pov, it’s a beautiful rendering of this age group by Sean Kennedy.  We see Will (and through his eyes Micah, Emma, and other youth) fluctuate between seeming so young and then standing tall and adult.  Between acting like fast friends and kids, then so much older with all the weight they can barely handle on their shoulders.  Its done through dialog, actions, and scenes so emotional they grab you by the heart and refuse to let you go.

While this is Will’s and through Will, Micah’s story and their relationship, it is also Emma’s too.  She will get her going off here along with her best friends.  In fact all the other characters you would expect to see from Tigers and Devils will be making appearances to send this trio off.  Not that I don’t expect all three to make showings in Tigers and Devils should that series continue, a fact I’m not sure of either.

But for the Get Out group? Where There’s A Will Deanes (Get Out #4) by Sean Kennedy is beautifully written, with all the characters we have come to know and love showing great emotional growth and finding love as they start new journeys.   It’s about hope, love, and going forward as the best person you can be.  What a story! What a series!  I loved every sentence of it and them.

I highly recommend this story and this series.  They should be read in the order they were written in order to understand the timeline, the characters and the growth they undergo.  Truly amazing.

Cover Art: Catt Ford.  Simple, elegant, and eye catching.  Love it.

Sales Links:  Harmony Ink Press | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 206 pages
Expected publication: April 16th 2019 by Harmony Ink Press
ASINB07NRNVPS5
Series Get Out :

The Ongoing Reformation of Micah Johnson

Micah Johnson Goes West

The Obstruction of Emma Goldsworthy

Where There’s a Will Deanes

A MelanieM Review:To Be Continued (#lovehim #3.5) by S.M. James

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Welcome to Webcon. Where the biggest and brightest internet celebrities come face to face with their fans.

Brought up in the ‘live for likes’ culture, Digi Lynch has amassed an impressive following. His channel is taking off, and Webcon always delivers a boost in numbers, thanks to his rivalry with ex-vlogging partner, Gram Saito.

Gram is popular, confident, and rising to the kind of fame worthy of a second gen internet sensation. And he’s up to his old tricks.

Digi can’t turn a corner for fear of being pranked and his reaction blasted online. And after one of Gram’s most high scale pranks yet, Digi decides it’s time to get even.

The animosity between Digi and Gram heats up as old feelings resurface, and Digi is forced to decide whether a life in the limelight is worth it …

Before they both go too far.

A YA contemporary novella, To Be Continued is the prequel to Not Gonna Lie and will show you where it all began for Gram and Digi.

To Be Continued (#lovehim #3.5) by S.M. James is the last of the available stories in this author’s must read YA series, a fact that’s making me sigh already.  That it’s ending here, on the “first half” of Digi and Gram’s story? Worse because this is not one of those happy stories.  It’s full of pain, the punch in the gut ways only family and those we care for but have blinders on can deal blows. It’s being young and trying to figure things out.  It’s real, sometimes mean and in every way authentic as S.M James gets under these characters skins and emotions like no other.

You have two boys now teenagers who used to be friends only a year ago, their animosity fueled in part by their mother’s  who are competitive in their online blogs and make sure it carries over to their sons, who have blogs and followers of their own.  A twisty world, a heartbreaking way to grow up online and Digi has had enough.

The strength and pain of his feelings come through so powerfully that we are carried swiftly along through several days of events to an abrupt end.  It will make sense and make us want to grab for the story still out of reach until May.  We need to know what happened to everyone next.  But as James tells us in the title  this is To Be Continued….

If you ask me to pick a couple as a favorite, I probably would have swayed towards Brooks and Damien….but there’s something about Digi and Gram.  Well of of them.  They get to you.  In their struggles to find themselves.  Their sexuality and their path to love.  Each and everyone has a deep place in my heart.   This story is just one more reason why.

But don’t start here.  I listed all the books below.  They are short and incredible.  Read them in the order they are written and then wait with them to see what happens with Digi and Gram.  Is it time yet?  Are we there?

 

Cover art: Story Styling Cover Design.  That’s perfect in a way.  Brands the series and has the tone down.

Sales Link:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 114 pages
Published April 4th 2019 by May Books
ASIN B07P3SMSSR
Series #lovehim #3.5

Series #lovehim

That Feeling When (Archie and Landon)

No Big Deal
To Be Continued(3,5) Digi and Gram
In Real Life(4.5)  Archie and Landon  coming soon, hopefully.

An Ashlez Review: Catastrophe by Deirdre O’Dare

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Rating: 2 stars out of 5

Although veterinary technician Carlton is violently allergic to cats, he loves them with an undying passion, enough to tolerate miserable symptoms to keep working with the felines in the San Maribal Zoo. The cheetahs especially fascinate him. Then he meets a mysterious stranger who is evasive about why he’s in the zoo — nude and after hours! This man tells Carl there’s a cat inside him wanting to get out. That sounds really crazy, and the suggested way to make it happen even crazier … but exciting.

Zyl is a member of the ancient shifter tribe, or Were-Kind. His people are working to enforce humane treatment of animals and save endangered species. Hearing of a planned raid by an extreme animal rights group to free the denizens of zoos, they realize this will a real catastrophe. Joining forces with regular humans to avert the problem will mean “coming out” as the powerful beings they are. Again, a potential disaster.

Attracted to Carlton against his better judgment, Zyl teams up with the vet tech he meets under awkward circumstances only to discover a valuable ally and a soul mate

I was sorely disappointed in this – I know it’s only a 50 page novella but even then I struggled.  I liked the idea of the book, I love a good shifter story but this one was so weird and went from one extreme to another it was almost like whiplash.
Zyl – interesting fellow with a very interesting speech pattern
Carl – my kinda guy I always dreamed of having his job – though his initial skepticism and then immediate I’ve always known, kinda made me angry.

Overall it was an alright quick read if you want a little shifter romance, but for sure not if you want full on substance book that draws out the conclusion or is less abrupt in the subject shift.

Cover – beautiful, beautiful eyes beautiful cat .. very apt

Sales Links:  AmazonJMS Books LLC

Book Details;
Kindle Edition, 62 pages
Published March 13th 2019 by JMS Books LLC (first published May 18th 2014)
ASINB07NZLJXM9

A Lila Release Day Review: Under His Protection by LaQuette

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

They can escape their enemies, but not the desire between them.

Prosecutor Camden Warren is on the fast track to professional nirvana. With his charm, his sharp legal mind, and his father as chief judge in the highest court in NY, he can’t fail. Nothing can derail his rise to the top… until an attempt on his life forces him to accept the help of a man he walked out on five years ago.

Wounded in the line of duty, Lieutenant Elijah Stephenson wants to ride his new desk job until retirement—not take a glorified babysitting gig with more risk than it’s worth… especially not protecting the entitled lawyer who disappeared after the best sex of their lives.

The threat against Camden’s life is real, but their passion for each other might prove the greatest danger they’ve yet to face.

Under His Protection is an interesting law enforcement love story. There’s some intrigue, drama, and great chemistry between Cam and Elijah. The tension is palpable and the reader has no other option but to keep reading, hoping for a happily ever after.

The action and the tension starts from the very beginning. We get to understand their fears and hopes. And the real reason their relationship didn’t work the first time. I enjoyed the small number of characters in the story. Yes, they were well-developed but the author put great emphasis on the main couple, which paid off.

The apprehension Elijah felt returning to work was an important component of the story. It mixed with Cam’s anxiety about meeting his father’s political aspirations to create a shadow over their relationship. They had to learn to prioritize themselves before loving each other.

Overall, this is a quick read, packed with mystery, intrigue, and a lot of romance.

The cover by Alexandria Corza matches the new Dreamspun Desire branding and gave us a great view of Elijah. It’s simple but it goes well with the story.

Sale Links: Amazon | Nook | Dreamspinner

Book Details:
ebook, 250 pages
ISBN: 9781640805583
Published: April 16, 2019, by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English

Love M/M Historical Romances? Check Out the Blog Tour for Strokes on a Canvas by H. Lewis-Foster (excerpt)

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BLOG TOUR

Book Title: Strokes on a Canvas

Author: H. Lewis-Foster

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Cover Artist: Cherith Vaughan

Genre/s: Historical M/M Romance

Heat Rating:  3-4 flames

Trope/s: Friends to lovers

Themes: Overcoming the past

Length: 29,060 words/114 pages

It is a standalone book.

 

 

Love and art escaping the past in 1920s London

 

Blurb

London, 1924. Evan Calver is enjoying a quiet pint, when he notices a man smiling at him across the bar. While the Rose and Crown isn’t that kind of pub, Evan thinks his luck might be in, and he narrowly escapes humiliation when he realises the man is smiling at a friend. Eavesdropping on their conversation, Evan discovers the man is named Milo Halstead and served as an army captain during the war.

When they meet again by chance in the British Museum, artist Milo asks Evan if he would sit for a portrait. Evan is amazed that an upper-class artist wants to paint the son of a miner, and he’s just as surprised when their acquaintance blossoms into friendship. When he discovers that Milo is a man like himself, he hopes that friendship might become more. But as Evan and Milo grow ever closer, can they escape the fears of the past to find their future happiness?

 

Buy Links

Pride Publishing

Universal Amazon Link

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

 

Excerpt

On the opposite side of the cabinet, a man was gazing intently at the Athenian amphora. Evan doubted he was having the same thoughts as himself as he scrutinized the naked athletes, but he seemed transfixed by its sporting design. The dark-haired man was wearing a brown pinstripe suit, the kind seen in newspaper photographs of famous actors and royalty, which Evan could never hope to afford. The stranger looked born to wear his stylish attire, his confident posture showing the suit’s fine cut to full advantage. Then he raised his eyes, and Evan saw the man was not a total stranger. His hair was smooth with Brilliantine, and he wasn’t wearing his gold-rimmed glasses, but he was unmistakably Captain Milo Halstead.

Evan was about to make a hasty exit when he realized the former soldier was smiling at him through the glass. He may have looked smarter than he had last night, but his smile was still as warm and kind as a Nightingale Nurse’s. Evan didn’t imagine the captain remembered him, but he smiled back, thinking it would be impolite not to, then turned to walk away. To his surprise, Evan’s action was mirrored on the other side of the cabinet as Captain Halstead moved in the same direction. He was still looking at Evan, still smiling, and as they both reached the end of the cabinet, Evan wondered what would happen next. Would words be exchanged? And what would those words be? If Milo remembered him from last night and he wasn’t the genial man he seemed, they might hint at blackmail or violence.

Evan was tempted to put his head down and make a run for it, but he didn’t want to attract the attention of the museum guards. He took a breath and stepped forward, only to find Milo standing in his way.

“Excuse me. Could I get past?”

“Of course, but…” Milo’s smile was uncertain now, but he didn’t move from Evan’s path. “It was you I saw in the Rose and Crown last night, wasn’t it?”

Evan lowered his eyes and weighed up his options. He could admit he was at the pub and ask to know what business of Milo’s it was. Or he could deny being anywhere near the place, or even knowing of its existence. The latter seemed the most sensible choice, avoiding all confrontation, but when he looked up and saw Milo’s blue eyes sparkling cheerfully back at him, Evan was overwhelmed by a longing to spend a few seconds more in his company.

With no idea of Milo’s intentions, Evan answered, “That’s right. I saw you there too.”

 

About the Author

H. has worked with books for a number of years, and is delighted to finally find herself on the author’s side of the bookshelf. She enjoys writing historical romances, and contemporary stories too, and while her characters travel all over the world, they always have a touch of British humour.

H. has lived in various parts of the UK and currently lives in the north of England, where she’s enjoying city life as much as the beautiful countryside. In her spare time, H. loves going to the cinema and theatre, and her very eclectic tastes range from quirky comedy to ballet and Shakespeare, and pretty much everything in between.

 

Author Links

Blog/Website

Twitter

 

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

 

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

Adore Hurt/Comfort Stories? Check Out the Blog Tour for Galen’s Redemption (Links in the Chain #2) by Parker Williams (excerpt and giveaway)

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BLOG TOUR

Book Title: Galen’s Redemption (Links in the Chain #2)

Author: Parker Williams

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Reese Dante

Genre/s: Contemporary MM Romance

Trope/s: Hurt/comfort, learning to love

Themes: Forgiveness for oneself and for others

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length:  92 660 words

Release Date: April 16, 2019

Add on Goodreads

Blurb

A Links in the Chain Story

A rich man is about to set foot into an unknown world, while a Good Samaritan fears he’ll have to close the charity he’s spent his life building. Poised to lose it all, they might find what they need most in each other.

Son of a wealthy importer, Galen Merriweather lives to broker deals, and he’s damn good at it. But it’s getting harder to ignore the kind of man his father is—a man who would pay Galen’s brother’s lover to leave… a man who’d demand Galen retrieve a quarter-million-dollar check from a struggling homeless shelter.

Robert Kotke knows the money is too good to be true, but it’s a godsend that could help so many people. Still, he hands it over when Galen shows up. But he isn’t done with Galen yet, and he’s going to challenge everything Galen ever believed.

Galen will face an impossible decision: the redemption he’s come to realize he wants, or the life he’d always dreamed of.

Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Excerpt

LATE JUNE 2018

THE PEOPLE milling around at the coffeepot scattered when Galen Merriweather stormed into Primal Imports and headed for his office. He’d gone to see his brother, Lincoln, at Park View, the diner he owned, to tell him about the betrayal of Noel Simmons, Lincoln’s lover. When his father had offered Noel a quarter of a million dollars to walk away so Lincoln would be forced to come back to the family business, Galen had been incensed. Their old man had pulled some shady crap over the years, but this was a new low, even for him.

His personal assistant, Olivia, greeted him with a warm smile when he stepped through the door. “Good afternoon, Mr. Merriweather.”

Galen sneered at her and stomped into his office, slamming the door as he did. He dropped into the stylish leather chair that sat behind the imposingly large oak desk, wondering why the hell he’d bothered to talk to Lincoln at all. His feelings about Galen had been made perfectly clear when he chose that… person over his own family.

Plus, what was up with their father? His private investigator had somehow acquired pictures of Lincoln from a BDSM club he’d frequented at some point in his storied past. They showed Lincoln and some of the submissives he’d played with at the clubs. It turned Galen’s stomach to see. Not that he had a problem with BDSM. The problem was how his father had gone about it. The guys in the pictures were innocent, but anyone could clearly see who they were. Galen had to wonder if the PI had stolen the pictures or had worked out a deal with a club owner.

Either way, the whole thing stunk, and Galen hated the thought that he’d done nothing but sit there as his father rode roughshod over Noel. He had to admit, the way Noel had played his father was masterful, and there wasn’t a doubt in Galen’s mind that when he found out, his father’s retribution would be swift.

Galen didn’t like Noel, but he had to respect the ginormous set of balls he obviously had.

Still, what the fuck was up with his father? He’d seen the man pull some awful shit, but this? It went way beyond the pale, even for him. Galen’s ire rose as he thought about how any hope of Lincoln coming back to Primal had now been dashed, and all because their father was a total asshole.

When his phone rang, Galen took a moment to compose himself, then answered it without checking to see who it was.

Big mistake.

“Primal Imports, this is Galen. How can I help you?”

“Hey, Gale.”

Galen groaned. Andy might be the closest thing he had to a friend, but Galen couldn’t muster the energy to talk to him now. Best to find out what he wanted, then politely get rid of him. “What can I do for you, Andy?”

“Don’t be like that. We haven’t talked in weeks.” If it was possible to pout over the phone, Andy was doing so. “How come you haven’t called me? Last time I saw you was at Tyler’s party, when you were puking your guts out, and he was—”

“It’s been hectic here. Was there something you needed?” Keeping the conversation focused was the only way Galen would get off the phone sometime today.

“YP is having strippers tonight. I thought we could go.”

Not just no. Hell no. The last time he’d gone to a bar with Andy, Galen had been forced to duck out the back when he thought he saw someone from the office walk in. While Lincoln was out and proud, Galen was firmly rooted in the closet, and that was the way it was going to stay. Having already borne witness to the disappointment of Lincoln’s “lifestyle,” as their father called it, Galen had no intention of being on the receiving end of that treatment. How the family friends discussed Lincoln was bad, but hearing it from his father was infinitely worse.

“Michael is going to be there. He’s been asking about you.”

Galen’s stomach knotted. Michael had been a one-night stand about a year ago. Galen wouldn’t deny he enjoyed the sex, but he would say Michael’s crude behavior made it obvious the man should never be seen in the light of day, and he certainly would never fit in at family affairs. No, with his oversized muscles, gruff voice, and arrogance, Michael would be more likely to fit in at Lincoln’s diner.

“No, but thank you for asking. I—”

The door to his office was flung open so hard, it bounced off the dark wood panels and caused Galen to flinch.

“I have to go.”

“But—”

Andy’s protests were cut short as Galen hung up the phone. His father stomped in, a sneer on his face. He stalked over to Galen, put his palms flat on the desk, and leaned in close. “Explain this… mess to me.”

What was there to explain? Noel had played them big-time. His father’s reaction came as no surprise. Jonathan Merriweather was no one’s fool. In all of his dealings, he made it very clear what was expected of people. He used it against them, more often than not, as a means of acquiring their business. Galen had enjoyed observing his father’s cutthroat tactics. Seeing men who thought they had power brought to their knees because of some slight slip of the tongue had been fascinating to watch, and Galen had taken those lessons to heart. Father wasn’t happy about having them turned against him.

“Simmons played you, Father. He followed your instructions to the exact letter, and after he had the check in hand, he left.”

“He’s still here. I’m not a stupid man, Galen. I had Tate follow him. He went back to the diner. We had an agreement, and the little shit took the money.”

“The office, Father. He left the office. You weren’t specific enough about what you wanted from him, and he used it against you. As there were no contracts signed, the only thing you have is a verbal agreement, which could be argued in court. I can’t believe you showed him pictures of Lincoln with his… whatever.”

Nostrils flaring, Galen’s father stood to his full six-foot, six-inch height. “Don’t question how I do things, Galen.”

Galen wanted the chair to swallow him whole. His father’s glower never failed to make him feel small and helpless. He’d gotten Galen to fall in line ever since he was a child, simply by turning it on him. “No, of course not, sir.”

His father splayed his fingers on the desk and leaned forward, his gaze locked with Galen’s. “I’ve already spoken with Lincoln, and do you know the bastard laughed at me? I want you to get that money back. I don’t care what you need to do, but no one cheats me. Do you understand?”

“Why not just cancel the check?”

His father sneered. “Because I want you to put the fear of God into all of them. They need to learn not to screw with me. Do you think you’re able to handle this?”

Galen stiffened his spine. “Yes, of course.”

“I’m going to sue that little shit into the ground.”

“Maybe it would be best if—”

His father’s expression was ice-cold. “When I want your opinion, I’ll ask. Until then, keep it to yourself and do as you’re told.” He turned on his heel and huffed like a bull as he barreled out the open door.

Galen leaned back and ran a hand through his hair. God, the old man was a prick. He’d never been a nurturing person, leaving that to Galen and Lincoln’s nanny. Of course, they never lasted long either. As soon as either he or Lincoln began to feel close, they’d be terminated and someone new would be brought in. Galen was never sure if it was because their father wanted to control his sons or if he’d been screwing the nanny and was done with her.

The sad thing was that his mother was every bit as bad. She’d had affairs with the chauffeur, one of the cooks, and if rumor was to be believed, she’d even bedded a few maids. She wasn’t discriminating about who she had sex with, nor was she shy about sniffing around them when his father was nearby. But in public, they were one big, happy family.

Yeah, he knew what a fucked-up life he led, but he couldn’t complain too much. He had money, power, and when his father retired—God, let it be soon—he would take over the company. Pity Lincoln didn’t want anything to do with it. The two of them together could rule their empire with an iron fist.

His phone rang, and this time he glanced at the caller ID. With a sigh, he picked up. “Sorry, Andy. I had someone come into the office.”

“You hung up on me. Do you know how rude that is?”

“I said I was sorry. What more can I do?”

“Come out tonight. You can buy me a drink, we can dance, watch the strippers, have a good time, and maybe we’ll even get lucky.”

It had been better than three months since Galen got laid, and his ass clenched at the thought. Still, he’d been given a task by his father, and he needed to get on that right away.

“Tonight’s not good. Are you willing to give me a rain check?”

When Andy gave that weary, put-upon sigh, Galen knew he was going to give in. He always did, just because he didn’t want to hear Andy—

“Just one drink, Gale. Please?”

—whine. He knew he was going to regret it, but really, what could one drink hurt? And it wasn’t like the job was his life or anything.

“One drink, one dance. Then I have to go.”

“Oh, goody!”

Galen shook his head. This had bad idea written all over it.

 

THE ANNOYING ringtone on the phone dragged Galen out of a drunken stupor. He glanced over at the clock and groaned. Nearly 4:00 a.m., and he was still wasted.

Despite the fact he’d repeatedly said he had to go, Andy had kept plying him with drinks, and like an idiot, Galen drank them. When someone took his hand and dragged him along, Galen stumbled onto the dance floor, where hot, sweaty men surrounded him, their skin glistening under the pulsating lights. He remembered a mouth on him, sucking at his chest. When he tried to push the person away, they sank to their knees, undid his zipper, and right there in the middle of the club, they’d gone down on him. It was such a shock, and Galen knew he ought to run, but the mouth was hot and wet and Galen was horny, so he grabbed the head and thrust in deep. As he fucked the guy’s mouth, other hands pulled down Galen’s pants. Something cold and wet touched his ass, and Galen shivered. The guy blowing him chuckled. The sound of foil ripping told Galen what was about to happen. The man blowing him pulled off and Galen was urged down to his knees. Without preamble, a thick cock pushed inside him in one stroke, burying to the hilt. Galen moaned. It had been so fucking long.

The man who’d been sucking him stretched out, his legs spread, holding his cock in his hand. He gripped Galen’s hair and pulled it toward his crotch. Galen opened wide, allowing the head to slide into his mouth. The guy locked both hands on Galen’s head, forcing him to take the considerable length.

“Good ass?”

A slap to his cheek made Galen yelp, as much as he could with a mouthful of cock.

“Fuck yeah.”

They weren’t gentle at all, and Galen didn’t care. He’d never been spit-roasted before, and he was in heaven. Two men, each using Galen to satisfy their needs, not caring about him. This was what he wanted—no, this was what he needed. He had a hard job, a shitty family, and no one gave a fuck about him.

He wondered what his old man would say if he could see him now.

The man who he was sucking began to grunt, shoving Galen’s head down hard, forcing him to open up his throat. “Gonna come.” His voice was a growl, which inflamed Galen’s senses. “Fuck, this guy can suck a cock.”

“Yeah, I’m gonna seed his ass.”

The talk was filthy, and they were treating Galen like he was a hooker or something. He didn’t care. They still treated him better than his father.

The music volume kicked up a notch, and the words and grunts were drowned out by a thumping bass that went through Galen’s body. A hand reached down and grabbed his dick, jacking it while the guy at his head shot into Galen’s mouth. He swallowed it down, delighting in the musky flavor.

As soon as Galen had swallowed it all, the guy stood up, patted his head, said thanks, then disappeared back into the crowd. When the other guy pulled out, Galen felt empty. He smacked Galen on the ass before he, too, left.

Galen wasn’t sure why, but his whole world turned upside down after that. He pulled his pants up and lurched back to the bar, where he ordered another drink, downed it in one go, then stumbled out of the place.

The ringing phone was like a drumbeat in his head. He reached over to the nightstand and grabbed it. There were six missed calls from Andy. And now he was calling again. Might as well get it over with.

“What’s going on?”

“You tell me, stud.” There was a teasing quality to Andy’s voice that unsettled Galen even more.

“What are you talking about?” Galen’s stomach rolled over, and he got up and swayed a bit before he was able to get his balance. His bladder was screaming at him, so Galen figured he should listen for a change. He moved from his bedroom to the living room.

“Your little act on the floor. It was hotter than hell, and your fans wanted to know where you went and when the next show is. Shit, the Xtube video has nine thousand views already, and it was only posted a few hours ago. You, my friend, are going to be a star. Who the hell knew you had it in you? Well, I guess we all did, since we watched.”

Galen’s stomach lurched and he threw his phone onto the couch, then ran to the bathroom, dropped to his knees, and tossed his cookies. How had this gone so wrong? The old man had gotten pictures of Lincoln somehow. What would happen if he somehow saw this video? Shit, Galen’s life could well and truly be over. After discovering his father had hired a private detective to track down information on Noel, Galen could imagine him having people scour the internet to dig up dirt on both his sons. He had no idea to what end, but seeing how he had attempted to blackmail Lincoln, tried to pay Noel to leave, and how angry he’d gotten over a little nobody like Noel getting the better of him? What would happen if he learned both of his sons were queer?

Shit. Shit shit shit.

Galen swiped a hand over his mouth, stood, and trudged to the sink. He didn’t even need the mirror to know he looked like shit. Still, he wanted to see just how bad it was. Sunken cheeks, bloodshot gray eyes, and his dark hair was greasy. Galen could smell the smoke clinging to him. Even his normally tanned skin was sallow. He turned away. That was definitely not the image he needed to present when he went into work. He took a shower and brushed his teeth, then shuffled into the kitchen where he grabbed a coffee pod and started a pot. His phone rang from the other room, but Galen didn’t want to answer it. He wanted—needed—to put the whole thing out of his mind. It was a nightmare; that’s all it had been.

But despite the drinks at the bar and the beers he’d downed after he got home, Galen remembered some of it. Their hands on him, their cocks inside him. The taste, their forcefulness, the way they’d treated him. If anyone else had done that, Galen would have thrown a fit, but those two men? Galen realized he was nothing more than a hole for them to use, but that was okay. They saw him at least. He snorted, because apparently the whole world was now seeing him. One night fucked up everything, and Galen’s dreams were crumbling to dust before him.

His only hope—and that wasn’t saying much—was to get the money back from the shelter Noel said he’d given it to. If Galen could show his father he could be as cutthroat and ruthless as the old man, maybe it would go a long way toward helping him out of this damned mess.

One thing was certain: he sure as hell wasn’t going out with Andy again.

No matter how good it felt.

About the Author

Parker Williams began to write as a teen, but never showed his work to anyone. As he grew older, he drifted away from writing, but his love of the written word moved him to reading. A chance encounter with an author changed the course of his life as she encouraged him to never give up on a dream. With the help of some amazing friends, he rediscovered the joy of writing, thanks to a community of writers who have become his family.

Parker firmly believes in love, but is also of the opinion that anything worth having requires work and sacrifice (plus a little hurt and angst, too). The course of love is never a smooth one, and happily-ever-after always has a price tag.

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