Release Blitz: Three’s the Charm (Maths #3) by P.A. Friday (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  Three’s the Charm

Series: Maths, Book Three

Author: P.A. Friday

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: February 12, 2018

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male, Male/Male Menage

Length: 57800

Genre: Contemporary, LGBT, menage, college professor, musican, film-maker, promiscuity

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Synopsis

James, Laurie, and Al are settling into a surprisingly easy life as a triad. Finally, things seem to be going well for them. But when an unscrupulous journalist takes advantage of Al’s blossoming film career and the men’s unusual relationship to write an exposé article, cracks begin to show. Can the three survive with their love, their careers, and even their sanity intact?

Excerpt

Three’s the Charm
P.A. Friday © 2018
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
Al

The text was brief and to the point.

I hope you’re behaving yourself. L.

Al glared at his phone, as if it were his boyfriend Laurie himself. Up until that point, he’d been fairly successful at forgetting that he’d been driven to the point of madness the night before by his lovers, who had made him beg and then refused to allow him the satisfaction he was craving. Okay, that ‘forgetting’ bit wasn’t entirely true. He’d managed to deal with the fact that he was absolutely fucking desperate for a wank, or to get off in some form or other. And then bloody Laurie sent that, just reminding him. Rubbing it in.

Al wanted to rub one off, not have things rubbed in. But Laurie, who was not ‘just’ a boyfriend but—when they both chose—his Dominant, had ordered him not to. To wait for this evening. Scowling so hard at his phone that his boss, Fenella, asked him what the matter was (“Nothing”), he sent a one-word reply.

Yes.

There was silence for an hour. Laurie was probably giving a lecture at the university about filmography or something. Probably doing it well, too—Al had been to a couple of Laurie’s lectures in the past, and he was a good speaker, and knowledgeable. Al should know, as well: he was a prominent short film-maker on a minor level, though it was not a career which allowed him to devote himself to it full-time. Hence the job in the wine shop. During the text silence from his boyfriend, therefore, Al talked to various people about wine, advising them on which bottle might suit them best, and managed to ignore the worst of his frustration. Then the phone buzzed again.

Are you hard? L.

Al seethed. Well, if he hadn’t been before, he was now. He was bloody hard and fucking desperate. Laurie knew it—he knew precisely what he was doing, damn him. Al was tempted not to answer, to just leave Laurie hanging. But on the other hand, Laurie would be in charge once he got home. Provoking him to further teasing was a seriously bad plan. Hating his boyfriend, he sent the same one-word answer.

Yes.

The ‘fuck you’ wasn’t explicitly written afterwards, but Al was pretty sure Laurie would get that too. Ruffled, he texted James. James, his other boyfriend. Laurie’s boyfriend, too.

Your boyfriend is a fucking sadist.

Al smiled apologetically at Fen, who was looking unimpressed by the amount of texting going on in work time.

“There’s no one needing serving at the moment,” he offered.

She snorted and shook her head. “I suppose you’re texting your many partners,” she said, trying to sound grumpy but not quite managing it.

As far as Fen was concerned—and it was fairly close to the truth—Al slept with pretty much anyone who offered. He certainly had sex with a lot of people, but not only did he live with James and Laurie, he was also in love with them, which made rather a lot of difference. And, he admitted grumpily, the sex was best with them. Partly because Laurie was the best Dom Al had ever come across, and the only one he’d thoroughly trust with the submissive part of himself; and partly because…well, (a) they were both bloody marvellous in bed, and (b) all right, yes, because he was in love with them and it turned out that that did make a difference, just as everyone claimed. Damn them all.

His phone buzzed again.

Needing a wank? J.

Al had the distinct temptation to smash his phone hard against the counter. James was supposed to be showing a bit of sympathy. Which that was not.

Fuck off.

He got another hour, that time. An hour in which to calm down and to think about wine, and talk sensibly to a customer about which white wine might be the optimal choice to go with a nice fish dinner (“What sort of fish?” “Dead,” said the customer, helpfully.)

It was Laurie, again, when the text came.

You’re going to have to beg. L.

Al hated how much that turned him on. How much he wanted to be on his knees to Laurie, pleading to be allowed to come. Hated the visions which were flooding his brain after reading it. Fen was giving him a peculiar look, and he excused himself to the toilet. Not to touch—he knew better than that—but to try to compose himself a bit. He could hardly serve customers with a raging hard-on, and at the moment all he could think about was sex. Fuck. Bloody, fucking Laurie. Fuck. Al pushed a hand firmly (painfully firmly) between his black jeans-clad legs, squeezed his eyes shut, and tried to think about other things. Awful things. Running out of money at the end of the month. Stepping in a deep puddle and getting a trainerful of water. Anything. Anything but the thought of Laurie making him beg. Jesus. Eventually, he knew he’d have to come out or face Fen’s wrath.

“Sorry,” he said apologetically. “Not feeling my best.”

“Hmm.” Fen’s lack of belief would have been mortifying at any other time, but at the moment, Al was too busy trying to deal with his rebellious cock.

You’re hot on your knees. J.

Al hadn’t even heard that text come in. He’d picked up the phone to check the time—to see how long it was before he could go home and persuade his boyfriends (his absolute bastard boyfriends) to allow him to get off. He’d not replied to Laurie’s last text—potentially dangerous in itself, but he was damned if he was going to plead over his phone. Bad enough that he knew bloody well he’d break down and do it in person the first second he saw Laurie; he was not going to humiliate himself in writing as well. And now James, too. James, who knew him too damn well, and knew what a text like that would do.

Thought I told you to fuck off, he wrote.

The response was quick; presumably James was home from work.

Sorry. Thought you asked me to fuck you. Or was that last night? J.

It wasn’t murder if your boyfriends had asked for it, was it? Al had a sudden memory of the previous evening, where he had indeed done as James had suggested. And James had acted like he was going to give in, and then not done so. Fucking tease.

Al gave an involuntary moan, and Fen looked at him, eyebrows raised. “Anything wrong?”

“Told you,” Al said, hoping he wasn’t blushing. “Not feeling great.”

Unexpectedly, she looked sympathetic. “You can head home early if you like?”

Oh, bloody hell, that was worst of all. Laurie and James would rip the piss out of him something chronic if they knew about this. Fen offering to send him home early because he was so ‘unwell’. He’d never live down the fact that he’d been so desperate for them that he hadn’t been able to finish a day’s work.

“No,” he said, knowing his face was definitely red, and quite probably radish-coloured. “I’m fine. Honestly.”

“Okay. Let me know if you need to leave, though, Al. Honestly, you don’t have to suffer.”

Tell that to my boyfriends, Al thought bitterly. Apparently they delighted in making him suffer.

“Thanks,” he said curtly.

Thankfully, they left him alone for his last hour at work. Al was beyond relieved: today had been more of an ordeal than he’d ever had at the wine shop. It wasn’t taxing work, and usually he enjoyed the banter with customers; but today, with the constant erection pushing at his trousers, distracting his attention, making him need things he couldn’t have…it had been horrendous. He was halfway out of the door before the final text came.

Come in, take off your clothes, and kneel by the sofa. L.

Laurie had timed it deliberately for the moment he left work. It left a strangely warm feeling in Al’s chest that Laurie knew to the minute when he would be leaving the shop; he was angry with himself for getting so much pleasure from that thought, but at the same time it was very hot. The texts, he realised, showed that he’d been on Laurie and James’s minds as much as they’d been on his. They wanted him. His cock throbbed hard at the thought.

When he got to the flat, there was no one in the sitting room. Obeying his instructions, he folded his clothes up and knelt naked by the empty sofa. Where were they? What were they doing? As Al got used to the sounds of the house, he realised that Laurie and James were in the kitchen. He could hear voices, and then the sloppy sounds of kisses. The noises got closer, and he glanced up to see that they were in the doorway between the sitting room and the kitchen, arms around each other, frotting up against one another as they kissed passionately. God, they were hot like that. And, Al realised, with frustrated fury, they knew he thought so. This was a show put on entirely for him…well, maybe not ‘entirely’—James and Laurie were shamelessly obsessed with each other at any time—but the fact that they were simulating sex somewhere he could see them and not be part of it… They were deliberately teasing him, even more than they’d been doing all day. A frustrated growl burst from his lips.

James looked over, the faintest smile tracing his lips.

“Al’s home,” he told Laurie, as if it were a surprise.

“Mm-hm?” Laurie sounded supremely uninterested, going back to touching and snogging James as if there was nothing more he wanted from life.

And Al was going to bloody die if he didn’t get any attention soon. His lovers were stripping each other’s clothes off, kissing any part of each other which they could reach as they did so. James’s mouth on Laurie’s nipple, Laurie’s head thrown back in pleasure, a hand behind James’s head, encouraging him. James’s hands busy on Laurie’s trousers as he sucked, pushing them down, exposing Laurie’s hard, heavy, large cock. They were distracted enough that they wouldn’t notice if Al just had a quick touch. He couldn’t bear it any longer. His left arm slid round from its required position behind him to take himself in hand, and he gave the tiniest hiss of relief at the sensation of fingers against his erection. Too quiet for anyone else to hear, you would have thought. Except that Laurie, with some psychic instinct, was suddenly gazing down at Al, a feral expression on his face.

“Oh, no, Al,” he said, his voice dark and measured, his hand slipping from James’s head. “That won’t do at all. Did yesterday teach you nothing about obedience?”

James turned to look at him too, and Al swore under his breath. He was so, so fucked now.

Purchase

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Meet the Author

P.A. Friday fails dismally to write one sort of thing and, when not writing erotica and erotic romance of all sexualities, may be found writing articles on the Regency period, pagan poetry, or science fiction. She loves wine and red peppers, and loathes coffee and mushrooms.

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New Release Blitz for Sweethearts by Gemma Gilmore (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  Sweethearts

Author: Gemma Gilmore

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: January 29, 2018

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 62600

Genre: Contemporary, LGBT, YA, high school, friends to lovers, alcohol use, visual arts, coming out, teen pregnancy, coming of age, slow burn

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Synopsis

When seventeen-year-old Ingrid Harper realizes she may not have the talent to pursue a scholarship for the most prestigious art school in Australia, she turns to pink hair dye as a distraction.

Her new hair captures the attention of a fellow art student, Kat, who introduces Ingrid to the LGBT clubbing scene, and although Ingrid enjoys partying with her new friend, she becomes caught up in confusion about her sexuality. Her fear is overwhelming—she can’t think about anything else.

Until her best friend, Summer, reveals that she is pregnant.

As her best friend faces the realities of being pregnant at seventeen, Ingrid is shown the true definition of courage. It motivates her to come out about her sexuality—she likes girls. Only girls. Now she just has to work out what that means for the other areas of her life.

Excerpt

Sweethearts
Gemma Gilmore © 2018
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
I am desperately trying not to attract attention.

My arms are folded across my chest. My chin is tucked into my neck. I am leaning against the brick wall as I watch her sing. It takes every ounce of strength I have to keep my face still, hiding any expression that bubbles to the surface. Any reaction I have to her lilting voice is shoved down, adding to the pit in my stomach.

The younger students are sitting respectfully in their seats. They are still too naive to question the teachers when they are told they must be present. I know better than to think that this school performance is anything special to Amber Freeman. She’s been singing since before she could walk, and although I am always the first viewer, her YouTube videos are gaining more and more popularity with every upload. This is just practice to her. A warm-up.

The spotlights are trained on her, and she throws her hands up whilst the climax of the song cascades from her talented lips. I let my eyes flicker shut and Amber’s voice surrounds me, caressing my ears as she sings deeply. Her voice is crashing through me, tingling across the skin on my arms and seeping through my body, calming me.

My head has fallen back against the wall, and I remain frozen there as I listen to her sing. In this moment, nothing else matters. With my eyes closed, she’s right next to me. Singing softly, untying the knot that’s sunken deep into that pit in the bottom of my stomach.

“Ingrid? What the hell are you doing?” The voice that hisses right next to my ear jerks me out of my daydream.

I jump with shock and wrench my eyes open, tearing myself away from the peaceful moment. In front of me, my best friend Summer stands, her arms folded across her chest and her eyes wide in that you are busted expression.

“Jesus,” I mutter. “I thought you had better things to do than sneak up on people. Way to give me a heart attack.”

“I thought you had better things to do than stand here creepily at the back of the gym listening to Amber sing,” Summer challenges me, an amused smile dancing across her full lips.

“You snuck up on me and you’re calling me the creep?” I snort. “Come on, let’s get out of here.”

The quicker I can get Summer outside of this gym, the quicker I can shove away the fact that she caught me watching Amber’s performance. We duck behind the last row of seating and out of the door in the corner of the room, swiftly ignoring the Emergency Exit Only sign. We’ve done this so many times now that it’s like second nature.

Outside, the rain lashes against the building. The wind howls so loudly that I’m surprised no one noticed our little escape from the gymnasium—then again, they never do. For Summer, there’s more to life than just sitting in a desk at school. Any chance my best friend has to escape the mundane restrictions of life is an opportunity she must take. She’s never been the kind of girl to follow the traditional paths.

Then again, neither have I.

My thoughts still spin as we duck through the car park and head out to the tin shed at the back of the school. Summer knew exactly where to find me during Amber’s performance. She knows that I watch Amber. While everyone else in our grade snuck off to make out in abandoned classrooms or smoke cigarettes behind the main building, I followed the crowd into the gymnasium with one intention.

Why did I need to watch her?

“I had a headache and the gym was dark.” I shrug off Summer’s curious stare as we take shelter under the tin roof. The rain really lashes down now, bouncing off the pavement and whipping through the trees. “It was better than watching you make out with Jackson for an hour straight.”

My snide comment is low but, right now, I’ll do anything to take the attention away from me.

“You had a headache, so you decided to listen to Amber sing?” Summer rolls her eyes at me. “Makes sense.”

She fidgets with her oversized tartan scarf, staring out into the rain. Maybe I’m not the only one who is trying to avoid things today.

“You were in there too,” I argue half-heartedly. “What’s your obsession with her?”

This time, Summer does turn to me. “I’m obsessed?” She snorts. “Ingrid, honey, if I’m obsessed, then you’re deranged.”

“Then I’m deranged.”

Summer rolls her eyes, signalling the end of that particular conversation. “Whatever. Your deeply disturbing issues are the least of my problems right now. Look, Ingrid, I think I’m going to have to take a test.”

Red splotches gleam against Summer’s pale cheeks, and I watch her carefully. She tugs on that scarf like it’s strangling her.

“Like an STD test?”

“Are you stupid?” I know her voice is harsher than intended, and I brush it off with a blunt laugh. “A pregnancy test.”

“Oh, for god’s sake, here we go again. You and Jackson really need to invest in some efficient birth control because this I’m pregnant freak-out that you have every month is getting boring.”

“Trust me, I know.” Her tone is suddenly tense, and she blinks back emotion. “But right now, I’m pretty sure I have the devil’s spawn growing inside of me, so I’m allowed to freak out. I’m two weeks late.”

I raise my eyebrows. She’s never been this late before. “Jackson is not the devil’s spawn. You know he loves you. But I highly doubt you’re pregnant. It’s all the stress from thinking you’re pregnant every month starting to get to you.”

“Yeah, okay, whatever.” She says, throwing her hands up in defeat. “I knew I shouldn’t have said anything. I don’t know what you’re moping about—we got a free class and you got to watch Amber singing. It’s a damn good day for Ingrid Harper right now.”

“Listen, I really did just have a headache. I don’t care about Amber’s singing. And you and Jackson were quite obviously distracted. You didn’t seem to have pregnancy on your mind during that public make-out session. Or maybe you did. Either way, I think it’s a damn good day for both of us, don’t you think?”

I know what Summer is doing. She is the ultimate denier of reality. More than that, she is aware that I will follow along with every topic change she throws at me. I get distracted easily, apparently.

Summer laughs, but the smile doesn’t quite reach her eyes. Distraction is inevitable right now, for both of us. These are not issues we should be faced with at seventeen years old. Summer’s mother is getting married soon, so that’s just one more thing to top off what I’m coining Summer’s Distressing Summer.

We stand silently as the rain pours over the sides of the flimsy tin roof. Muddy water pools right to the edges of the door. It’s mid-December. While politicians are throwing around the term climate change like it’s currency, I stare at the pools of water near this emergency exit, wondering if our town has sufficient flood safety plans.

“Come over tonight,” she murmurs. “Please, Ingrid.”

“You’re buying me McDonald’s.” I sigh in return. The truth is, I have my own things to worry about, whether Summer is pregnant or not. She’s been with Jackson for three years—that’s three years they have successfully been together and prevented pregnancy. It’s not a possibility. It just isn’t.

Summer is wild, just like her name. Her light-brown hair is constantly tangled, but her dominating blue eyes seem to distract everyone.

But today, she stares out at the grey sky and nervously chews at her lip, clutching that damn scarf so tightly that I know she’s already certain about this pregnancy. More so than I’ve ever seen before. Her blue eyes don’t seem so bright today.

“I heard Jackson was thinking about transferring to the art school. I didn’t think that boy had an artistic bone in his body.” I smirk, desperately trying to relax Summer. I don’t know what to say when she’s so shut off like this. My lie is smooth, slipping off my lips easily.

“Yeah, he does comics. I don’t know, I guess they’re funny.”

“It’s our last year of high school. Surely he’s left it a bit late?” I frown in earnest now.

What Summer doesn’t know is that I’ve known Jackson a lot longer than she has. I know that he’s been wanting to do art since he started high school, but his military-driven father would never allow it—he’s all about physical education, mathematics, and science. He used to drill that into Jackson every time I was around; none of this fairy fluff nonsense, he would say pointedly.

“Look, Ingrid, I don’t really want to talk about Jackson right now,” Summer snaps, finally releasing the titan grip on her checked scarf and running a frustrated hand through her frizzy hair.

“Do you even want me to stay tonight then?” I throw back. “I can’t deal with you when you’re being like this. Either let me in or let me go. I’ve got shit to do.”

To my complete surprise, Summer snorts as she turns to face me. “Just shut up and come and sleep over at my house. I need your brutal honesty, but I also need you to do literally everything I say right now. You know I’d do the same for you.”

I don’t bother telling her that to be in her position, I’d actually have to get closer than two feet to a guy, but I think she already knows that.

“Look, I don’t like that you called Jackson the devil before. I don’t care if he’s annoying sometimes, if you are…pregnant…it’s definitely not the devil’s spawn that could be growing inside of you. And that’s all I’m going to say about that,” I huff.

“Okay, I didn’t know you were Jackson’s number-one cheerleader, but whatever.”

“Yeah, whatever.”

Purchase

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

Meet the Author

Gemma Gilmore is graduated from university with a degree in Journalism and a passion for writing and travelling. In 2016 she was awarded a highly competitive residency with the Tasmanian Writers Centre. When she’s not writing YA fiction, she’s spontaneously booking trips across the world so she can draw inspiration from new cultures and places.

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Release Blitz for Love Times Five by Lily G. Blunt (excerpt)

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RELEASE BLITZ – LOVE TIMES FIVE

Title: Love Times Five

Author: Lily G. Blunt

Cover Art: Jay Aheer at Simply Defined Art

Release Date: January 19, 2018

Genre/s:  paranormal, gay romance, contemporary, polyamory

Length: 77, 000 words

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Blurb

There’s safety in numbers and plenty of love to go around.

When Colin searches for his missing colleague and buddy in the hills of northern England, his life is changed forever. Not only does he find Shaun living in a cabin with the mysterious and undeniably gorgeous Zach, but he also discovers the reason Shaun went AWOL in the first place. Colin wants to draw his friend away to safety, but Zach soon mesmerises him, and he’s happy to stay in his company, for now.

Passing hikers, Wes and Dane, need some assistance, and the three men are willing to oblige. Thus begins a friendship that develops into much more.

The five men each have their own secrets. Some are shared, others are kept hidden. It’s only a matter of time before they are exposed and the consequences could change everything for them all.

 

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Read Excerpt #1 HERE

Excerpt #2 from Chapter 1

Colin yelped and stumbled back. The penknife fell from his grip as he connected with the solid ground and landed on his arse.

“What the fuck?” Colin gaped at the wild beast in front of him, not five feet away, and apparently protecting Zach, who stroked the wolf’s back as if he were petting a huge dog.

Colin blinked, hoping to clear his vision. Had he knocked his head? Was he dreaming? Had he been drugged too?

The wolf sniffed the air and pawed the grass, its tongue now lolling to the side of its mouth. Teeth, sharp and white and scary, distracted Colin from the animal’s other features. The scent of damp fur and woodland soil filled his nostrils, and warm panting breath ghosted over his face.

The wolf was real enough. No vision. No dream.

“What the fuck?” Colin said, keeping his eyes fixed on the animal as it slunk away to the trees. His heart pounded and his mind was a whirl of confused thoughts. He tried to swallow around a thick lump in his parched throat. “What the fuck just happened?”

Zach said nothing but offered a hand to Colin, which after a few seconds pause, Colin grasped. Between the two of them, they easily hauled his bulky frame to standing. He scanned the grass for his knife, relief racing in his veins when he spotted it nestled among two nearby clumps of greenery.

Colin glanced away from the knife in the direction the wolf had headed. Could it really be Shaun? “I don’t understand.”

“Of course, you don’t.” Zach’s mouth curved into a warm, genuine smile. His eyes glimmered, and some of the tension lifted from Colin’s shoulders. “You must be Colin. Shaun’s sexy boss. He’s told me all about you.”

“What?” Colin’s pulse still pounded, and confusion turned his thoughts to sludge, but his heart fluttered at the hope those words kindled. What the hell was happening? What was this arsehole saying? Shaun had never tried anything on with Colin, not even when they’d been drunk. And had Shaun really… turned into a… what the actual fuck?

“You didn’t think he was interested in you?” Zach arched an eyebrow, and his eyes sparkled. Again.

Before Colin could commit himself to an answer or ask any questions about the precarious state of his sanity, there was movement to his side.

Shaun stood naked, his hands cupped over his groin, a little unsteady on his feet. “Chuck us your T-shirt, Zach,” he rasped, not making eye contact with Colin, his cheeks scarlet.

Without hesitation, Zach shed his top and threw it at Shaun, leaving his own fine torso on display. Smooth, defined, firm—perfect. No wonder Shaun had hooked up with him. Colin wouldn’t stand a chance with this guy in the picture, even if Shaun had liked him once upon a time.

Why was he even thinking about such things right now? He’d just seen Shaun turn into a wolf, and now he was back again as himself. And shortly before that, this ridiculously handsome man had been sucking on his neck and was now acting as if he knew things about Shaun that Colin didn’t even know. Was he losing his mind?

Colin dragged his gaze back to Shaun, his chest and nakedness now hidden from view by the oversized T-shirt. He staggered closer to Colin, his legs unsteady as if he were drunk. Shaun collapsed into Colin’s arms, maybe a deliberate move rather than an uncontrolled stumble. As much as Colin wanted to hug him to his chest, he needed answers. Anger bubbled to the surface and exploded. Colin gripped Shaun by his biceps and held him back at arm’s-length.

“What the fuck is going on? What did I just see?” It took all of Colin’s willpower not to shake the answer out of Shaun. “And what’s this fucking guy been doing to you?”

Shaun trembled beneath his touch, and his voice was hoarse and uneven, not its usual sweet timbre. “It’s okay, Col. I promise you, I’m okay now.” He placed his palm on Colin’s shoulder. “I know it’s a lot for you to take in all at once. I’m sorry I didn’t get the chance to explain before.”

His words didn’t tell Colin anything. “Why the hell didn’t you tell me you were leaving and where you were going? I’d have listened… and helped you.” What the fuck could Colin have done to help if Shaun was a—?

Zach cleared his throat, distracting them both. He moved closer, running his long fingers down those taut abs of his until they came to rest on the waistband of his perfectly clinging jeans.

Shaun gazed at Zach, over his body, the renewed flush of arousal evident in his eyes. Colin’s heart sank but gave a hopeful flip when Shaun looked back at him with that same darkened expression. “Hey, how about we go inside? I can get dressed, and then explain what’s been going on with me.”

For a moment, Colin feared he might be overpowered or drugged or something like that once they got him inside the cabin, perhaps in the same way Shaun might have been. He eyed his knife lying on the ground, tempted to bend down and scoop it up for some protection.

Zach chuckled, and in a smooth yet swift motion slid past Colin. “I think you dropped this.” His mouth nestled close to Colin’s ear, his voice deep, his breath cool. A curl of interest coiled its way around Colin’s groin at the closeness of the man. Zach gripped Colin’s hand, turning his palm face-up, and placed the missing knife softly against his skin.

Colin couldn’t help but let out a gasp. He hadn’t witnessed the knife being retrieved from the ground. Whoever this man was, he was fast. He would probably dodge any knife or fist that Colin hurled his way. No way was Colin walking from this meadow without finding out who this man was. He pocketed the knife, despite his doubts about its usefulness now.

Zach glided away, entwined his fingers around Shaun’s hand, and pulled him towards the cabin. With an encouraging look over his shoulder, Shaun waved his free hand behind him. “Come on. We need to talk.”

Colin really had no choice, so he followed them. He needed to find out what had happened to Shaun and what the hell was going on between him and Zach.

About the Author

Lily G. Blunt enjoys writing contemporary gay romance and paranormal stories. She loves to explore the relationship between two or more men and the intensity of their physical and emotional attraction. Angst often features in her stories as she feels this demonstrates the depth of feelings between them. Lily is often inspired by the lyrics to songs and is forever writing imaginary scenes and plots in her head. Only a few of these ever make their way to the page.

Lily reviews for several blogs and has recently launched Gay Book Promotions, an online book promotion service for authors of LGBT+ romance and fiction. She loves to hear from readers and other authors.

Contact and Social Media Information

Amazon | Amazon UK Blog | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Gay Book Promotions

 

RELEASE BLITZ SCHEDULE

January 19

Tangents and Tissues

Blazing Zane Book Blog REVIEW

Noteworthy Book Reviews  REVIEW

Millsy Loves Books

Gay Media Reviews 

Sur l’étagère, derrière la sirène en plastique  REVIEW

Book Reviews Virginia Lee  REVIEW

Stories That Make You Smile

Dawn’s Reading Nook    

Angels With Attitude Book Reviews

Gay Book Reviews   

January 20

MM Midnight Cafe 

LM Somerton 

Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents    

Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author  

T.N. Nova – Author  REVIEW

Momma Says: To Read or Not to Read   REVIEW

January 21

Love Unchained Book Reviews  REVIEW

Nerdy Dirty & Flirty

MJ’s Book Blog and Reviews

The Blogger Girls  

Abibliophobia Anonymous Book Reviews

January 22

Books Laid Bare Boys  REVIEW

Louise Lyons 

Mary Winter’s Blog 

Drops of Ink 

Kimmers’ Erotic Book Banter   

Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews   REVIEW

January 25

Mirrigold: Mutterings & Musings REVIEW

January 26

Land of the Book Fairies  REVIEW

The Way She Reads  REVIEW

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words  

Jazzy Book Reviews  

January 27

Bayou Book Junkie

BFD Book Blog REVIEW

A Book Lover’s Dream Book Blog  REVIEW

Alpha Book Club  REVIEW

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Release Day Blitz for To Seek and To Find by Tamryn Eradani (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  To Seek and to Find

Series: Enchanting Encounters, Book One

Author: Tamryn Eradani

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: January 22, 2018

Heat Level: 5 – Erotica

Pairing: Male/Female, Male/Male

Length: 56900

Genre: Contemporary, Contemporary romance, BDSM, multiple partners, fetish club, college lecturer

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Synopsis

“Project: Notice Me” is a win-win for Kyle. He’ll do a series of demonstrations at the club and have a good time with people he knows and the fledgling Doms who are new to the scene and looking for encouragement from an experienced Sub. And maybe along the way, he’ll attract the attention of the new Dom at the club, the one with terrible taste in fashion, but who has the most intense focus Kyle has ever seen. He wants the entirety of the man’s attention on him. The clothes are optional.

Excerpt

To Seek and to Find
Tamryn Eradani © 2018
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
“So,” Kyle says. He slinks into Jenny’s office, glad he wore his stretchy jeans when he pulls a chair out from the table and turns it around so he can straddle it. Even with the give in his jeans, they still pull tight across his quads.

Jenny doesn’t glance up from her computer.

“Remember that time I introduced you and Charlotte?” Kyle asks, undeterred by her obvious disinterest in him. He and Jenny have been best friends for what seems like forever, and they both work from their apartments—Jenny does photography, Kyle does graphic design—and if she didn’t want to be bothered, then she would’ve closed her office door.

As it is, she’d left it wide open, and Kyle is happy to take advantage.

At the mention of Charlotte’s name, Jenny looks up, a smile on her face. They’ve been together for five years, but her expression always softens whenever Charlotte’s mentioned as though they’ve only been dating for a few weeks. Kyle thinks it’s sickeningly cute. He hopes one day someone will look like that when his name is brought up.

Jenny registers the rest of what Kyle’s said and her smile is replaced with something more guarded, suspicious. “Last time you opened with that, we almost wound up in jail.”

“Exaggeration,” Kyle says.

“The time before that you made me go bungee jumping with you.”

“That was awesome.” There’s nothing like the rush of adrenaline as he plummeted toward the earth. Then, right when he thought his harness was going to fail and he would splat, it caught him with a jerk of reassurance. Kyle had loved it. Jenny…not so much.

“I’m afraid of heights.”

“Which meant you were incredibly brave on top of being a good friend.” Kyle needs to get to the point. He’s on a break from his work because all shades of red now look the same to him, but he has a project to finish before the day is over. “This is a favor that’ll benefit us both.”

Jenny continues to look skeptical.

“I want you tie me up,” he says.

Kyle and Jenny have been roommates, have worked together, and have scened together throughout their long and storied friendship. They’ve never slept together, because Kyle’s bisexual, and while Jenny enjoys men on an aesthetic basis, she prefers sex with women.

They frequent the same club, Enchanting Encounters. Jenny does rope demos and occasionally ties up a close friend, but she isn’t as involved with the casual scene as Kyle. She’s been pulling away since she met Charlotte, going mostly to keep Kyle company or catch up with their friends there.

Kyle, on the other hand, is still searching for someone who wants him for more than a couple of sessions a month. He wants a Dom who wants him back and so far, he hasn’t had any luck. He’s hoping his luck is about to change.

Jenny abandons even the pretense of working. “Is this about the new guy?”

He grins. “Who else?”

Kyle spends a lot of time at Enchanting Encounters. Working from home means he’s able to set his own schedule, which allows him to sleep in after a night of play or take an early afternoon if that’s what works better with his partner’s schedule.

Sometimes, he’ll go to the club to have a drink or chat with his friends, but more often he’s there with the intent to pick-up or because he’s part of a demo.

Last week, things got interesting, because there was a new guy.

The BDSM world is a small one, and Kyle has known most of the people at Enchanting Encounters for years now. Someone will bring a friend sometimes or someone will move into the area or move away, but it doesn’t happen often, which means it’s always exciting when there’s a new face.

Unfortunately, it also means there’s a lot of competition for the man’s attention, and Kyle needs a battle plan.

The first time Kyle saw New Guy it was a normal Friday night and he had a drink in hand as he did a sweep of the bar to see if anyone caught his eye. He hadn’t come in with a particular scene in mind. Some nights, that made it easier to find a partner while other nights it made it more difficult.

That Friday had been a difficult night. Since he wasn’t sure what he wanted, no one popped out at him. If he wanted a good spanking, then Renee was his go-to, but he wasn’t feeling it. Same with a bit of bondage and a pegging, which is what Alexa would give him. Dylan was strutting around in his full leather gear, but Kyle wasn’t in the mood to have to work and Dylan always makes him work.

The only person who drew his interest was TJ, Kyle’s favorite bartender, and while TJ flirts with anyone who seems receptive, he doesn’t have sex with club members. It’s a shame, but Kyle can respect his choice.

Kyle was considering a second drink when his eyes landed on someone at the far end of the bar. New Guy was, well, new, which immediately made him interesting. What kept his attention was the expression on the guy’s face as he talked with Lou.

The guy was completely captivated even though Kyle knows from personal experience that Lou isn’t the most interesting person to talk to. Lou’s gorgeous, especially when he has red welts against his almost inhumanly pale skin, but he’s not the most thrilling conversationalist.

Still, New Guy leaned in like nothing in the world could pull him away.

Part of the reason Kyle scenes is he loves having the full attention of another person on him. If New Guy can be that intense during a conversation, then Kyle wants to find out what he’s like in a scene.

He didn’t look away from Lou once, didn’t give Kyle a chance to catch his eye, and Kyle eventually had to move on. He didn’t go home with anyone Friday night. A couple of people approached him, but he turned them down. New Guy was the only person on his mind, and it wouldn’t be fair to anyone he scened with.

Anyway, Kyle didn’t have a chance to talk to New Guy on Friday night, but he’s determined to change that. The guy is attractive and he has the kind of focus Kyle craves.

“You’re not the only one asking about him,” Jenny says.

Kyle shrugs. “He’ll want me once he sees me.”

“Modest. So, what’s your big plan, do a bunch of demos until he wanders over to see one?”

That’s exactly his plan.

Jenny groans. “Are you serious?”

“It’s a good plan! I’m hot, I’m an incredible sub. And while I’m waiting for him to notice me, I’ll be doing scenes I like. Plus, Wanda’s been after me to do some more demos. I’m good for business.” Kyle doesn’t bother holding back his smirk.

Jenny reaches across her table to shove his face away. “You’re terrible.”

“But you’re going to help me.”

Jenny sighs. “Because you got me and Charlotte together? That won’t work as leverage forever.”

“You’re going to help me because you just got a new order of rope in, and you know I look gorgeous in lavender.”

“Ugh. Fine. I’ll do a demo with you. But you’ll let me tie you up for a photoshoot. Unpaid.”

Kyle doesn’t bother to hold back his grin as he says, “Deal.”

“I’ll hang you upside down,” Jenny threatens.

It’s an idle threat. She likes to suspend him, but usually not upside down.

“You’re the best,” Kyle tells her. He stands up, smacks a kiss to her cheek, and leaves to finish the rest of his project. He needs to be on top of his work this week or he won’t have the time to hang around the club and put Project: Notice Me into effect.

Purchase

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

Meet the Author

Tamryn studied English and Creative Writing in school but has been writing since she could first hold a pencil. Recently, she’s turned her focus towards writing erotica. She enjoys writing stories where sex comes first, then feelings, because doing things out of order can be fun.

Tamryn has spent the past few months writing the Daniel and Ryan series with a lovely view of mountains out her window, and she’s now searching for a new mountain range to serve as her backdrop as she begins her next project.

 

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Blog tour for Resist and Triumph charity anthology Edited by Grace R. Duncan and Tucker McCallahan

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From Red, The Mo Shíorghrá Saga by Vicktor Alexander

 

Present Day, February 9th

 

Brant Nelms stepped onto the back porch and stood behind Marius. He knew showing up at Marius’s home when he did, how he did, he had a lot of explaining to do.

It had been so long since he’d last seen his lover. His mo shíorghrá. Though, technically, Marius was more of an A rúnsearc, a secret love, since the bond hadn’t been completed… yet. Something Brant fully intended to rectify this Valentine’s Day.

If Marius forgave him.

Mo shíorghrá,” Brant rasped.

Marius turned to face him and shook his head. “No. You don’t get to call me that anymore, Brant. I have been patient and faithful to you, and understanding of your situation, But it’s been six months since your wife died, and I haven’t seen or heard from you in that time. Have you told your pack about me? About us? Have you told your children? Do they know I exist?”

Brant glanced away from Marius’s piercing and all-too-knowing gaze. He hadn’t told anyone except his Beta, Katriona, and Katriona’s mate, Kenan, about meeting his true mate six years before. They’d both encouraged him to claim Marius and bring him to the pack lands, but Brant had a duty to fulfill, one that they hadn’t understood. Though Marius spent some time as a female, he was biologically male, and could not produce heirs for Brant. Brant had a duty to keep the Alpha line going. For the pack. It was also a promise he’d made to his father on the man’s deathbed.

“I haven’t told everyone, but I have shared the news with my Beta, Katriona, and her mate, Kenan,” Brant explained.

Marius crossed his arms. “That’s not enough for me anymore, Brant. Do you know how I’ve felt these last six years? Being the other woman? Being your mistress? Your dirty little secret? Knowing that you’ve told me we are meant for each other? That we are true mates but you had to marry a female from your pack so she could give you children?” Marius scoffed.

Brant winced at the sound. He wanted to step forward and take Marius into his arms, but knew his comfort and touch would be unwelcome.

“Do you realize how difficult it was for me to wrap my head around the whole shifter thing in the first place? I mean, if you hadn’t shown me it was real, I would have thought you were insane.”

Brant couldn’t help but smile at that, though he knew Marius might take his expression the wrong way. The memory of his telling Marius that he was not only a shifter, but an Alpha, and then shifting into his wolf while Marius looked at him as if he were crazy, was a fond one. Not only because it proved to Brant that he could trust Marius, and the man was his mo shíorghrá, but also because it was the first time he and Marius had made love—and when their Valentine’s Day tradition began.

 

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As 2017 opened, the United States took several steps back in the progress toward equality. In response, a group of authors has stepped up to offer positive stories of hope and love. In an effort to help fight and support those groups who are facing even greater challenges, we wrote these stories to offer a small amount of aid.

Stories of hope, resistance, and ultimately triumph fill the pages of this anthology.

All proceeds of the anthology go to The Trevor Project and GLAAD to help fight the effects of the dark times we’re facing.

 

Purchase Resist and Triumph here:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078NKHVCK

Cover art: Jess Small
Publication date: 1/26/2018

Genres: M/M Romance, Paranormal, Historical, Dystopian, Contemporary, BDSM, F/F Romance

 

Other stories included in the anthology:

Breaking Ties with the Bully by Perci T. Brooks

Consummation by Tucker McCallahan

Fighting the Alpha, the Omega Way by Carol Pedroso

Get Off of My Runway by Shane K. Morton

Leto of The Ionian Sea by Maria Siopsis

The Respect of Love by Mandi Ware

Small Victories by Helen Dupres

White Rabbit by Grace R. Duncan

Cover Reveal for LOVE TIMES FIVE by Lily G Blunt (excerpt)

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Title: Love Times Five

Author: Lily G. Blunt

Cover Art: Jay Aheer at Simply Defined Art

Release Date: January 19, 2018

Genre/s:  paranormal, gay romance, contemporary, polyamory

Length: 77, 000 words

Add on Goodreads

Blurb

There’s safety in numbers and plenty of love to go around.

When Colin searches for his missing colleague and buddy in the hills of northern England, his life is changed forever. Not only does he find Shaun living in a cabin with the mysterious and undeniably gorgeous Zach, but he also discovers the reason Shaun went AWOL in the first place. Colin wants to draw his friend away to safety, but Zach soon mesmerises him, and he’s happy to stay in his company, for now.

Passing hikers, Wes and Dane, need some assistance, and the three men are willing to oblige. Thus begins a friendship that develops into much more.

The five men each have their own secrets. Some are shared, others are kept hidden. It’s only a matter of time before they are exposed and the consequences could change everything for them all.

Available to purchase now from PayHip  

Pre-Order Links

Amazon US  

Amazon UK  

Smashwords   

 

Excerpt – From Chapter One

The wooden cabin situated across the sloping meadow was a decent-sized dwelling, with two curtained windows on either side of the door. A covered porch stretched across the front with two old-fashioned rocking chairs and a new SUV was parked to the side.

Movement on the grass in front of the cabin confirmed the place was indeed inhabited. Colin halted in his tracks at the edge of the tree line, his breath on hold, wary of making his presence known. He squinted to get a better view of the two men walking close together. One was sleek and elegant, dressed in dark clothing. He towered over the other smaller, more familiar, figure in a sky-blue T-shirt.

Shaun?

Even from that distance, there was something recognisable about the upward lift of the chin of the shorter man; the way he held his body and the way the breeze ruffled his dark hair.

Yes, thank God. That’s got to be Shaun.

Colin snuck behind the nearest tree and peered from around the trunk, not wanting to be seen nor to interrupt them. Not yet anyway. Perhaps he wouldn’t need to make himself known. If he was mistaken and it wasn’t Shaun after all, he could slink away and return home without disturbing them. If it was him, Colin wanted answers. He wouldn’t be able to leave without finding out what the hell Shaun was doing here. With this stranger.

The stranger placed his hands on Shaun’s biceps and leaned in closer. He raised an arm, gripped Shaun’s jaw and pushed him backward.

Colin’s stomach clenched.

If he hurts Shaun… Colin patted his penknife, a comforting weight where it nestled in his trouser pocket. He’d lost count of the number of times just carrying the knife had given him the confidence to stand up to thugs who thought it was okay to call him out on his sexuality. Colin was proud he could hit most targets with it and had his father to thank for his accurate throwing skills. He was proficient enough to frighten this guy.

The cabin stood on the far side of a wild grassy expanse leading down to a small lake beyond. It was a picturesque setting with early spring flowers peeking through here and there. The sun glinted off the dark surface of the lake, and a rowing boat lay overturned at the water’s edge. Normally, Colin would have taken shot after shot with his phone to capture the charming view. But not today. This was not a sightseeing trip. It might even be a matter of life or death. For Shaun, for himself, maybe for them both considering how the taller guy unsettled Colin. If Shaun was being held captive, it would be up to Colin to rescue him.

A pained groan filled the quiet of the meadow; louder than the songbirds and the insects humming in the air.

Colin shuddered all over. His skin prickled with the fear rippling through him.

He slowly eased the penknife from his trouser pocket. The handle felt cool in his sweaty palm. Running his thumb over the edge of its sheathed blade, he itched to flick it open. It would take a second to expose the knife and throw it. If only he were a little closer, he’d be sure of hitting his target spot on. He’d need to be accurate if he wanted to rescue his buddy from his captor.

Colin held back a growl. He’d do everything in his power to help Shaun. His body was strong and muscled—too big, Colin worried sometimes. Shaun was slender and wouldn’t stand a chance against this imposing man.

The man steered Shaun towards the large stump of a felled tree, and pinned him onto his back. Shaun didn’t struggle or fight, only crying out when the man lunged towards him.

What the… are they kissing and making out?

The powerful man nuzzled on top of Shaun: licking, nipping, and sucking on his neck. Submitting and not resisting, Shaun allowed the man to take what he needed. A sludge of sickness rolled through Colin’s gut, making him want to puke, like it often did whenever Shaun hooked up with another guy.

Swallowing the bitter-tasting bile, Colin crept over the ground to the adjacent tree, placing his feet gently, trying to make himself light, so as not to disturb the entwined couple. A twig snapped beneath his cumbersome weight and he froze.

The two men remained engrossed in each other. Neither of them glanced his way. Sweat trickled down Colin’s back. His skin burned. He wiped the moisture from his brow and stepped closer, gripping the knife so hard his knuckles cracked.

What the hell is he doing to Shaun’s neck?

A chill ran over Colin’s damp skin. Shaun had mentioned a possessive date who’d bitten him at a nightclub a week or so before he’d disappeared. In fact, it was after that encounter Shaun had started acting out of character. Colin had been worried enough to persuade him to get the bite checked out by his doctor, in case it got infected. Could this be the same sick fuck who was currently grinding his hips against Shaun, trying to get himself off as he latched onto his neck?

Colin’s heart thudded, his blood heating with a mix of anger and jealousy. He mustered all his strength, and his nostrils flared when his next breath filled his lungs.

He strode towards the rutting couple, but Shaun’s groans of arousal slowed Colin’s pace.

“Yes, Zach, that feels good.” Shaun’s passion-filled voice drifted across the meadow.

Was his friend in any real danger? Had he been drugged and was being held against his will? It didn’t seem like it. Fuck, what should he do? Goddamn Shaun, he’d worried the hell out of Colin, and here he was having some sort of debauched make-out session with this creep while Colin had been traipsing the hillsides looking for him.

Colin gritted his teeth. Whatever had happened to Shaun, he needed to find out what the hell was going on. He continued his steady approach.

Surely these guys must know he was standing not ten feet away from them by now, but Shaun’s eyes remained closed, his lips parted, a look of ecstasy on his face. The guy on top sucked on his neck like there was no tomorrow. He’d have a massive hickey later, and Shaun didn’t seem bothered by it.

Colin’s dick twitched, and he huffed at its traitorous response. How many times had he witnessed other lithe young men rubbing against Shaun like this in clubs and he’d wanted to take their place? And he would have too, if he’d thought for a second he was the kind of guy Shaun wanted.

Right now, Colin should haul this leech off Shaun and drag his friend back home, back to work, back to where he belonged.

And still the guy feasted on his neck, sucking and lapping as if his life depended on it. And Shaun was getting off from that. His erotic purrs and moans captivated Colin. Damn it, his dick hadn’t been this hard in weeks. Why couldn’t someone… Shaun… suck on him like that?

Shaun’s eyes fluttered open, and on catching sight of Colin, widened.

“Stop, Zach,” he said, pushing him away.

Had they not heard his approach?

His neck-sucking friend—Zach—turned leisurely.  He raised an eyebrow in challenge, wiped a trickle of blood from his mouth with the back of his hand, and stared with a self-satisfied smirk at Colin. Had he known Colin was standing there all this time?

Cocky bugger. Granted, he was a good-looking cocky bugger. Lean torso and long legs, with smooth, pale skin, yet his eyes were dark and mesmerising. His features appeared almost sculpted, his nose was perfect, and his clean-shaven square jaw made him so very handsome.

Don’t get distracted. He’s dangerous.

Shaun rose to a sitting position on the tree stump. Blood trickled from two round marks on his neck. He raised a hand and covered the injury.

Colin blinked. Zach had bitten into Shaun’s neck and hurt him. The reality slammed into Colin. He shook his head, trying to clear away a fuzzy feeling, and flicked open his knife.  He held it poised, ready to throw. He still wasn’t sure if this was consensual or if Zach was a nutter who’d done something to overpower Shaun.

“Step away from him,” Colin ordered, making his voice deep and commanding, his arm steady with the knife. “I’m taking Shaun home with me.”

Zach shook his head slowly, but he stayed put. Shaun rose to his feet, his eyes fixed on Colin. He held his hands out in a calm down and take it easy posture.

“I mean it, sunshine. One sudden move and I’ll throw this blade at you. I’ll make you bleed.” And Colin meant every word. He was prepared to take this guy out to rescue his friend.

“Hey, Col. You’ve got it all wrong. He wasn’t hurting me.” Shaun took a step closer to Zach instead of Colin.

And that action hurt Colin more than a solid punch in the gut.

“Yeah, Col. Listen to him.” God, Zach was smooth, with a sexy drawl of a voice. His dark, imposing gaze shifted between the knife and Colin’s eyes. And still his body language screamed be wary of me. He couldn’t be trusted. He was going to pounce any second, Colin just knew it.

With a flick of his wrist, Colin tilted the knife, and before he could sound off another warning, it was Shaun who leaped forward, snarling. His clothing shredded and scattered into the air and, out of the blur of movement, before him stood a pale grey wolf baring its teeth.

 

 

About the Author

Lily G. Blunt enjoys writing contemporary gay romance and paranormal stories. She loves to explore the relationship between two or more men and the intensity of their physical and emotional attraction. Angst often features in her stories as she feels this demonstrates the depth of feelings between them. Lily is often inspired by the lyrics to songs and is forever writing imaginary scenes and plots in her head. Only a few of these ever make their way to the page.

Lily reviews for several blogs and has recently launched Gay Book Promotions, an online book promotion service for authors of LGBT+ romance and fiction. She loves to hear from readers and other authors.

Contact and Social Media Information

Amazon | Amazon UK Blog | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Gay Book Promotions

 

 

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Release Blitz for Forever With You by Londra Laine (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Forever with You

Author: Londra Laine

Publisher: Self-Published 

Cover Art: Aria Tan

Length: 230 pages/77,000 words

Release Date: January 9, 2018

Rating: 18+

Themes: New York City, office romance, contemporary, single-parent, multiracial, sexual trauma

TRIGGER WARNING:

Please be aware that this book contains a flashback of and several references to sexual assault.

Blurb

Kelly Brooks Montes is only nineteen years old and just starting college in New York City when tragedy strikes, and he becomes a single dad to his toddler brother. Four years later, Kelly and his baby brother, Jaylen, are doing well, though Kelly leads a double life to make ends meet. He’s a high-level administrative assistant by day and a racy go-go boy by night. Between raising his brother, dancing, and trying not to run afoul of his new boss, Kelly doesn’t have time for a boyfriend. Even if he did want a man in his life, a past trauma makes him question whether he can ever trust a man with his body or his heart. But then Kelly receives an unexpected but steamy birthday kiss from his boss, a man he was sure hated him, and he begins to wish for things he knows he shouldn’t.

Andrew Whitman knew from the moment he held Kelly’s hand that the man was special, and it both annoyed and terrified him. Kelly makes him feel a little out of control and Drew is a highly controlled man. He has to be to keep his sexuality a secret from his father, a conservative politician. And he is OK with that. He has a perfectly good, mutually beneficial, life plan with his best friend, Lex. A long time ago, he’d made his peace with the fact that he’d never find a man worth turning his life upside down for. Then he ends up with his capable and gorgeous assistant under him on top of his desk, and his life plans change. Drew can’t seem to get out of his own way when it comes to the quiet, sexy, and surprising single dad, but he can’t stop himself from falling for Kelly and his sweet baby brother. And just when it seems that Kelly has worked through his past hurts enough to let Drew into his body and his heart, manipulative family and words unspoken threaten to tear them apart. But after getting a taste of a life he never thought he could have, Drew won’t let anything tear his fledgling family apart.

Buy Links

Amazon buy link

Amazon US 

Amazon UK

Goodreads

Excerpt #1

Hot, wet, messy, they fed off each other. Kelly tightened his grip around Drew’s neck, hoisting himself up and bringing his legs around Drew’s waist. Drew slid his hands to Kelly’s ass, kneading and clutching him while Kelly started to slowly rock his hips.

“There you go, baby. Fuck, you feel so good. Take what you need.”

Kelly started grinding against Drew aggressively, his low, sexy moans making Drew’s cock ache with the need to be even closer. Skin to skin.

Drew spun them around, and with one hand, shoved a bunch of crap off his desk and onto his chair, laying Kelly out on his desk.

Drew grasped and spread Kelly’s thighs as he settled between the smaller man’s legs, pressing them chest to chest. Drew pulled Kelly’s glasses off his face and gently tossed them in the general direction of his desk chair, hoping they landed safely.

Drew wanted to fully possess Kelly. Absorb him, sink into him, claim him, soak him in. Drew lifted Kelly’s wrists above his head with one of his hands, restraining him while he fondled Kelly’s dick through his pants with the other. He needed unfettered access to him.

About the Author

Londra has loved reading since she discovered The Baby-Sitters Club, which remains her favorite book series. As a child, her parents would ground her by taking all the books out of her room for several days. Little did they know that when she couldn’t read other peoples’ stories, she’d make up her own.

Londra began reading romance in 2008. She fell in love with the M/M romance genre after purchasing a book by accident several years later. After decades of daydreaming, and jotting down storylines in various notebooks, Londra decided to give life to the characters in her head. She writes to give her guys the happy ending she wishes everyone––no matter their race, religion, gender, or orientation––could experience in real life.

To pay the bills, Londra helps IT engineers communicate with the people using their products. She is a recovering journalist and a former political staffer. Londra loves to watch American football, baseball, Seinfeld, The Golden Girls, and almost any show on HGTV. In 2010, she moved from her native California to New York City where she lives with her partner in Harlem. Forever With You is her first book.

Social Media Links

Londra on Twitter

Londra on Amazon

Londra on QueerRomance Ink

Londra on Goodreads

Londra on Facebook

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win either a $30 or a $15 Amazon gift card.

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RELEASE BLITZ SCHEDULE

January 9

Noteworthy Book Reviews REVIEW x2

Blazing Zane Book Blog Review

Mirrigold: Mutterings & Musings  REVIEW

MainelyStories REVIEW

MJ’s Book Blog and Reviews 

Lily G Blunt  

Gay Book Reviews  

January 10

Kimmers’ Erotic Book Banter

MM Midnight Cafe   REVIEW

Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author  REVIEW

Megan’s Media Melange REVIEW

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Lelyana’s Book Blog REVIEW

Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews  REVIEW

My Fiction Nook  REVIEW

January 11

Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

Diverse Reader  REVIEW

Sur l’étagère, derrière la sirène en plastique  REVIEW

Bayou Book Junkie  REVIEW

Tangents and Tissues

Smokin’ Hot Reads Book Blog  REVIEW

Stories That Make You Smile

January 22

Drops of Ink 

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Book BLITZ Get Up by Reece Pine (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  Get Up

Author: Reece Pine

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: December 25, 2017

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 69500

Genre: Contemporary, LGBT, MM, contemporary, wilderness, child abuse, mental illness, PTSD

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Recently dumped (again) for being cold, Guy gladly accepts his publisher friend’s request to go to a remote hut in wintry Nunavut to find out whether aspiring novelist Cam Campbell is a plagiarist. By agreeing also to help the eccentric ecologist survey wildlife for a month, Guy buys time to assess Cam’s innocence and hear stories about Cam’s late father–Guy’s favorite fantasy writer and the man whose book Cam is accused of stealing.

Guy’s investigation is soon biased by his attraction to Cam and the growing concern about Cam’s odd behavior. At times, Cam dissociates and is icier than Guy could ever be, yet he’s the only one who’s ever recognized, at a glance, the emotions burning beneath Guy’s surface. Guy knows he’s the best person to help Cam abandon the dangerous wilds outside and address those in Cam’s head, but he also knows that he’ll lose the chance if he comes clean about his ulterior motives for getting close to Cam. How can he convince Cam to come in from the cold… and why are they both really out there anyway?

Excerpt

Get Up
Reece Pine © 2017
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One

At least he wasn’t nervous about meeting the kid anymore. He’d stopped feeling anything at all besides dread and the wheels of the suitcase he’d slung over his shoulder bruising his numb ass with every stumble. Finally, Guy glimpsed smoke wisping from a rustic pipe chimney a hundred yards farther than the thousand miles he’d already come. His brogues, so iced over they looked like glass slippers, skidded on the porch’s wooden boards. The leather-gloved hand he threw forward to balance himself rattled the doorframe with a thudding knock, sending ice shards showering behind him from the rafters overhead.

“Hell-lo?” he croaked. “Cam-meron C—”

The alluring burst of firelight that greeted him as the door opened was immediately extinguished by someone squeezing the swollen wood shut behind themselves as they stepped forth. Guy was suddenly too surprised to be awestruck over meeting Alessandro De Carli’s son at last. He was glad his frozen eyelids couldn’t blink, because the guy—the specter, presumably Cameron Campbell—might disappear if he did. For a second, he wondered if he’d knocked on the wrong gingerbread house door, only there was no other shelter for fifty miles.

Cameron Campbell was known to be even more reclusive than his late father, but he wasn’t actually supposed to be mythic. The tiny guy blocking the door with sturdy, unlaced boots looked like a wood nymph. Eyes as blue as distant stars stared at him unabashedly. Maybe the reason no journalists had ever snapped pictures of the kid, and why he had no online presence, was because he couldn’t be caught on film.

“Incredible.” Cameron must have read Guy’s mind, and he pressed rosebud lips together in exasperation. “Are you alone? Did you hitch here? There’s no corpse in a cab parked on the highway I need to go rescue? Insane.”

Guy respectively nodded and shook his head, hoping the well-earned insult was aimed at the driver on his way west who’d dropped him at the side of a barely used road, far from the highway. Guy had considered himself lucky to thumb a ride at all out of the tiny settlement of Ipasila, built around a gas station, which was the closest town to Campbell and two hours’ drive from the Hudson Bay hamlet of Arviat in southern Nunavut. In hindsight, the man had been almost as reckless as Guy himself had been for not driving him straight to the police. Instead, Guy had been let out of the relative safety of a truck armed with nothing more than the GPS tracker Guy had brought with him and prayed was accurate.

“C-Cameron…” Not Cameron, Guy revised. A Cameron was a strapping guy—like a Brad or a David—or a blonde woman. This pixie prince was either a Cam or a question mark. His eyes looked magnified behind the lenses of large glasses, the arms of which must have burned cold against his temples because Cam removed them—only for his naked eyes to be comically large. It was still possible he wasn’t even De Carli’s son, since he looked nothing like him. Wrote nothing like him either, which was why Guy was here. “You’re C-Campbell, right? De Carli’s s-son?”

It was Campbell’s turn to draw back in surprise. “Are you from a newspaper?”

“Am I s-selling subscriptions?” Traipsing from cabin to cabin after dark? “D-does it matter? Let me in.” Heat from indoors infused the porch floorboards and bled into Guy’s damp soles, announcing itself as pain in his brittle toes.

“I don’t do interviews about my father.” Cam reached inside the hood of his puffy coat, just a shade lighter than his luminous, creamy skin, to pull a long coil of black hair forward. It hung like gossamer over the gray scarf around his shoulders.

He’d let down his hair, so now Guy could enter, right? “Do I l-look like a journalist?”

“Nah, you look too honest.”

Guy’s brows were too frozen to frown at the sarcasm. He knew damn well he had a poker face. That was the problem; now that he was literally incapable of moving his face he probably looked normal, not dangerously hypothermic.

“I’m with your p-publisher.”

“You’re from Ames? In that case, first, tell Claire she should be fired and charged with attempted murder for sending you. Secondly, and for the hundredth time, I canceled the submission for Close to Home. I didn’t mean to send it to you guys in the first place. Third, stop hounding me about it.”

“Fourth, f-fuck off,” Guy anticipated his next order. “I c-can’t. And I’m from F-Fairbanks Press.”

“Ha! Are you guys even still publishing me?” Cam swept his bangs behind an ear, which was slightly pointed at its tip.

Of course, it is. “You’re the one who n-never answers emails.”

“Internet’s intermittent out here. And there’s nothing wrong with that manuscript that isn’t Fairbanks’ fault.” Cam pursed his lips, which were tinging blue before Guy’s eyes, and nuzzled his chin into his scarf. Guy was torn between thinking it served him right to be cold and wanting to offer his firstborn as passage to the gatekeeper who halted Guy’s shuffle forward by holding up a gloved palm. “Uh-uh, no way. You ought to know the drill, New Yorker. You are, aren’t you?”

Guy was as native a New Yorker as anyone who’d moved there in adulthood and would never live elsewhere. A load of the population was in the same burned boat as him, so yes, he could claim to be from New York, but that was irrelevant while the heat fleeing his eyes stung.

“S-so?”

“So the same rules apply here as there,” Cam continued, as though this were a holiday home in Connecticut. “You know, I met a hiker from Texas here who’d never even seen snow before, but he knew enough about it to come in September, not March. Why do you think I can’t get any volunteers to assist me at the moment?”

Because not only did this waif conduct questionable wildlife research in the middle of nowhere while purportedly editing a novel, but he also lived at the end of a spur trail a mile west of an icy road to nowhere.

Cam stamped his feet, blowing into hands he cupped over his mouth. “Come on.”

What did the little sylph want? For Guy to roll a seven? Produce a magic key?

“For God’s sake, guy, you need to strip!” Cam finally twisted the door handle behind him, spilling back into an amber glow. Guy tumbled in after, out of the deadly night air.

Instantly, his coat became the warmest bath Guy had ever had the pleasure of sinking into. Flames in the hearth curled into come-hither licks Guy’s jellied legs couldn’t obey. There was enough ecstasy to be had where he wilted against the closed door. The sensation wrenched him from numb to overwhelmed in a blink, and thrust him the closest to an imminent powerful orgasm he’d been since…he didn’t want to know.

Cam busied himself over at a kitchen counter, ignoring Guy, who stood, shaking in the doorway, suddenly struggling with a boner that had sprung from pure physical shock, surprising and mortifying him. He had to admit he could see how post-hypothermia blood rushing around could cause such a phenomenon, but man, did it have to? Thankfully, melting into a hunch helped hide it when Cam reappeared in front of him wearing only a few layers of sweaters and brandishing two steaming mugs of coffee.

Its intoxicating aroma further confused his senses by going straight to Guy’s cock. Now, there’s a new kink. He failed to convince himself his hand quivering was an aftereffect of the cold, not the sight of the now gloveless, pale hand offering a chipped mug with the handle out for Guy to grab. Cam raised an eyebrow at Guy’s taking it with his left hand.

“Oh, you’re a lefty?”

“I guess,” Guy said, distracted by just how fine Cam’s fingers were…and how Cam’s palm was apparently immune to the hot ceramic he held courtesy of calluses, frostbite, or immortality. “Looks nice….”

“Not too strong?” Cam asked, a smile curling the corners of his mouth.

“N-no such thing.” Guy slurped half the treacly concoction before gasping, “Thanks.”

“Sit.” Cam nodded to a couch piled high with blankets resembling a laundry pile. There was nowhere to sit except on top of them. “And I wasn’t kidding before. You need to strip, like, five minutes ago. Show me some skin.”

“What?” Skin?

“And a business card.”

Shit. Guy had no such thing—he should have made Huw make him a mock-up one before coming. If Cam was astute enough to ask questions like that, it might be hard to deceive him as planned. Plausible excuses whirled in his mind, but were as hard to grasp as the snowflakes he ruffled loose from his hair, stalling for time. He was surprised they hadn’t melted, since his scalp was beginning to burn….

“Of course, I’d prefer skin first. And so would you,” Cam said.

“I’m here to work,” Guy retorted, reinforcing the lie to himself.

“How do you know De Carli was my father?”

Guy blinked. “Isn’t he?”

“My pen name’s Cameron Stewart. I know my real name’s on the contract I signed with you guys, but that’s Cameron Campbell.”

“That’s De Carli’s son’s name.”

“It’s also as common as mud. How do you know I’m him?”

“Because…” Heat surged through Guy’s veins, and flashes from the fireplace in his periphery blinded him. Flames shot up his spine, turning his thoughts to smoke. His erection stirred as he willed it to subside. Instead, his heartbeat faded, which was a lot more alarming. “Because…”

Struggling to balance his tilting mug on the surging, damp footwell he slumped down upon, Guy bit at his glove to peel it from his roasting hand. It dangled from his lip, and he batted it away to better claw at his collar, trying to escape its stranglehold. Sweat made it slippery in his shaking hands, and he panted more feverishly than he had while staggering outside, where everything was white—as white as everything was turning now.

“Hey, stay with me, guy.” Cam rose from his slouch against the back of the sofa, surrounded by a blizzard of stars that swarmed Guy’s vision. He was warmth personified, the most enchanting thing in the dreamscape Guy had navigated to get here, and he was still miraculous, even now that everything had become a nightmare. His own sharp intake of breath echoed from afar as Cam lunged toward him through the static.

“I hoped you were him,” spilled in a murmur from Guy without his control. Strangely, Cam seemed to slip farther away the closer he got, as Guy sensed himself falling. It looked like he wouldn’t manage to save De Carli’s son after all. Well, he thought as all light vanished, at least he’d managed to meet him. And he got to die in the arms of a beyond-beautiful man.

No, forget that, his consciousness broke through. De Carli’s son was stunning, strange, and fascinatingly all the way out here. Never mind the fact Guy couldn’t write, he was going to live and find out what made Cam tick if it was the last thing he did.

Purchase

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

Meet the Author

Reece is allegedly a descendant of Ann Boleyn. If you have any ancestors who were in England circa 1500, then there’s a 50% chance you too are distantly related to Anne Boleyn. In fact, if you’re of European descent, then you and everyone else of European descent share a single ancestor, who lived around 1400. And in 3,000 years’ time, all of humanity will be able to trace their lineage back to someone who is alive today. Reece thinks it would be cool if that person was G-Dragon.

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In the Spotlight: The Deadly Lies (The Delingpole Mysteries #2) by David C. Dawson (excerpt)

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The Deadly Lies (The Delingpole Mysteries #2) by David C. Dawson
DSP Publications
Cover art by LC. Chase

Available for Purchase at

DSP PublicationsAmazon Kindle US  | Amazon paperback US.    | Apple iBooks  | Barnes & NobleKobo Books |  

Goodreads 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host DAvid C. Dawson here today on his tour for The Deadly Lies. Welcome, David.

✒︎

The Deadly Lies is the second in the Dominic Delingpole Mysteries series. The first The Necessary Deaths was published a year ago, and won an FAPA award for mystery and suspense.

Blurb

Dominic and Jonathan are on their romantic Spanish honeymoon, and things are perfect… except Dominic has kept a secret from his husband. He’s failed to tell Jonathan that he plans to meet his former lover, Bernhardt, who is speeding on his way from Germany to present Dominic with a mysterious gift. 

But Bernhardt is killed in a suspicious car accident. Shortly before he dies, he sends Dominic a bizarre text message that will take the newlyweds on a hair-raising adventure. 

Lies upon lies plunge Dominic and Jonathan into an internet crime that could destroy the lives of millions of people. What is the mysterious Charter Ninety-Nine group? And will their planned internet assault force Dominic to choose between the fate of the world and the life of his lover?

Excerpt

“What the hell are you two doing down here?”
Steve pushed his head past Sinon’s naked torso, to see a short, red- haired female flight attendant staring furiously at them.
Sinon levered himself up on Steve’s chest and poked his head out from the tiny bunk bed situated eight feet above the floor. It was one of fourteen similar bunks in the compact crew quarters hidden below the plane’s economy deck. “I can explain, really. Charlie said—”
“I don’t for a minute believe Mr. O’Donnell gave you permission to come down here to—” The flight attendant struggled to find words. “— do that.” Her voice, hardened by the edge of a strong Glaswegian accent, seemed to explode across the cramped cabin.
“Right, gentlemen,” continued the flame-haired woman firmly. “You have exactly one minute to put your clothes on and get back upstairs. Otherwise we’ll be getting the flex cuffs out to restrain you two reprobates for the rest of the flight.”
Sinon jumped down from the bunk bed, stretched out his arms to the flight attendant, and grinned. “Flex cuffs? Yes, please. A bit of bondage is always welcome—” He peered at her name badge. “—Margaret. Didn’t know you were such an accommodating airline.”
Margaret looked Sinon up and down with disdain. “I thought that tall boys like you were supposed to be well-endowed. I was clearly misinformed.” Sinon dropped his arms and reached down to pick up his clothes from the floor. Steve jumped down beside him and began to dress. In the cramped space of the crew compartment, he towered over the diminutive woman.
“Well, love,” said Steve, “you should know more than most that size doesn’t matter. It’s what you do with it that counts.” He winked at Margaret, pulled up his briefs and bleacher jeans, and reached for his polo shirt.
“Margaret? Are you all right?” At the sound of a man’s voice, Steve turned. Another member of the cabin crew had joined them. His name badge showed him to be Charles O’Donnell, In Flight Services Manager. O’Donnell looked to be in his early forties, with crew-cut salt-and-pepper hair and a deeply tanned face and forearms. He looked past Margaret, saw Steve and Sinon, and rolled his eyes.
“It’s all right, Margaret,” he said. There was a strong Northern Irish accent in his voice. “I’ll take care of this.”
Margaret looked from her boss to the giggling figures of Steve and Sinon. “If I had my way, I’d tan their backsides,” she said and pushed past O’Donnell to climb the stairs back to the passenger deck.
O’Donnell folded his arms, leaned against a bulkhead, and closed his eyes. “Of all people to discover you, it had to be Margaret the Mouth. I’m really going to be in the shite now.” He opened his eyes. “Couldn’t you two wait a few more hours until you were back on the ground before you got your dicks out?”
Sinon finished buttoning his fly. He stepped forward and clumsily tried to hug O’Donnell. “Sorry, Charlie boy. But you did slip me the key. I didn’t think we’d been spotted.”
“With him dressed like that?” O’Donnell pushed Sinon away and refolded his arms, glowering at Steve. “Shaved head, tattoos, braces, Doc Marten boots—”
“Grinders, Charlie,” interrupted Sinon. “Steve’s got a really smart set of Grinders.”
“Whatever,” Charlie continued. “It might be an attractive look for some people—”
“People like you and me, Charlie,” added Sinon, grinning. “You know it makes you horny.”
“All right, all right.” O’Donnell sighed. “Look, I’ve had several people ask me why we’re allowing a Nazi thug to y with us. He’s been scaring the life out of my passengers. Couldn’t he have toned it down? Just for a few hours?”
“Why should I?” asked Steve, stepping forward. “Why should I be forced to dress like everyone else? I’m Steve, by the way. And for your information, I’m not a Nazi thug. I’ve been a member of Unite Against Fascism since I was sixteen. Just because I like the look—as do you by the sounds of it—”
Charles O’Donnell’s face flushed red.
“—doesn’t mean I like the politics.”
“That’s a bit naïve, isn’t it?” replied O’Donnell.
“No, Charlie boy,” Sinon said. “What’s naïve is judging people by appearances. Just because someone’s wearing a smart suit and tie doesn’t mean they’re a good little boy.” He turned to Steve. “You should have seen Charlie in his leathers during London Fetish Week. On Masters and Slaves night, he had them eating out of his—”

“Enough, you little shite,” said O’Donnell, holding up his hand. “Get up those stairs, the pair of you.” Steve and Sinon squeezed past him, kissing O’Donnell on the cheek as they went. “And keep a low profile, please,” he continued.

When he heard the hatch slam shut at the top of the stairs, O’Donnell leaned back against the bulkhead and closed his eyes. “For my sake. I’ve got a boyfriend and two Yorkshire terriers to feed.”

 

Links to The Necessary Deaths – The Delingpole Mysteries: Book One 

A young journalism student lies unconscious in a hospital bed in Brighton, England. His life hangs in the balance after a drug overdose. But was it attempted suicide or attempted murder? The student’s mother persuades British lawyer Dominic Delingpole to investigate, and Dominic enlists the aid of his outspoken opera singer partner, Jonathan McFadden.

The student’s boyfriend discovers compromising photographs hidden in his lover’s room. The photographs not only feature senior politicians and business chiefs, but the young journalist himself. Is he being blackmailed, or is he the blackmailer?

As Dominic and Jonathan investigate further, their lives are threatened and three people are murdered. They uncover a conspiracy that reaches into the highest levels of government and powerful corporations. The people behind it are ruthless, and no one can be trusted. The bond between Dominic and Jonathan deepens as they struggle not only for answers, but for their very survival.

Dreamspinner https://www.dsppublications.com/books/the-necessary-deaths-by-david-c-dawson-321-b

Amazon Kindle US https://www.amazon.com/Necessary-Deaths-Delingpole-Mysteries-Book-ebook/dp/B073Q86B5Q/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1473457953&sr=1-4

Amazon paperback US https://www.amazon.com/Necessary-Deaths-Delingpole-Mysteries/dp/1634774507/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1473457953&sr=1-4

Apple iBooks https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/the-necessary-deaths/id1135889190?mt=11

About the Author

David C. Dawson is an award-winning author, journalist and documentary maker. He lives near Oxford in the UK with two cats and his beloved Triumph motorbike.

He writes mystery & suspense, with men in love at the heart of each story. His books have been described as “real page-turners” and “un-put-downable”. His debut novel The Necessary Deaths, won a FAPA award for Mystery & Suspense.

One reviewer for his latest book The Deadly Lies described it as “very sexy”. He campaigns hard for equal rights, and sings with the London Gay Men’s Chorus.

SOCIAL LINKS

Website http://www.davidcdawson.co.uk

Blog http://blog.davidcdawson.co.uk/#home

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/david.c.dawson.5

Twitter https://twitter.com/david_c_dawson

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/DavidCDawson

Release Blitz for Tiki Torches and Treasure (Gabe Maxfield Mysteries #2) by J.C. Long (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  Tiki Torches and Treasure

Series: Gabe Maxfield Mysteries, Book 2

Author: J.C Long

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: November 6, 2017

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 60000

Genre: Contemporary, contemporary gay, romance, private detective, cozy mystery, law enforcement, Hawaii, humor

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Gabe Maxfield has reached a comfortable point in his life. His past troubles in Seattle are all but forgotten, he co-owns his own business, Paradise Investigations, with his best friend Grace Park, and he’s happy in his relationship with sexy cop—his neighbor—Maka Kekoa. Maybe the best part is, no one’s pointed a gun at him in weeks.

Knowing his luck, that is bound to change. Lack of clients and money forces Paradise Investigations to take a job helping Edwin Biers search for a treasure he promises will be worth their while. Gabe has a knack for finding trouble, though, and find it, he does.

Excerpt

Tiki Torches and Treasure
J.C. Long © 2017
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One

I was drowning.

Salt water burned my nose as I flailed my arms and legs in the ocean, trying desperately to reorient myself. Every time I started to surface, the ocean waves broke over me again and again. I was done for.

When I finally surfaced and the water drained from my ears, I could hear my companions laughing at my expense—my best friend, Grace Park, sounded like she was going to asphyxiate herself from laughing too hard. My boyfriend, Maka Kekoa, at least had the decency to attempt to hide his laughter from me.

“I’m glad my near-death causes you such amusement,” I growled, glaring at them as best I could with salt water from the Pacific Ocean stinging my eyes. “I knew surfing lessons from you two was a bad idea.”

The three of us were floating in the ocean a ways off from the shore of Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii, the city I now called home. Well, I was floating in the ocean, which was where I seemed to spend all my time in these lessons. Maka and Grace effortlessly straddled surfboards, Maka also keeping a tight grip on mine so it didn’t get swept away by the waves.

“Don’t get frustrated,” Maka told me supportively once he’d schooled his face to mask his laughter. “No one does it well on their first try. It’s kind of like sex.”

I didn’t take much comfort from his words.

“How about the four-hundredth time?” I grumbled, swimming to the surfboard. I managed to heave my body onto it, feeling the sun warm my skin. I’d gotten tan in my month of being out and about in the constant sunshine of Hawaii, and my hair had gotten longer, almost enough to give me the surfer image. Now if I could just stay on the damn board.

“Don’t be grouchy, Gabe,” Grace chided, splashing water my way. She looked beautiful in the morning sunlight, her dark skin glistening. She wore a teal bikini that showed off her trim, fit form, toned from a lifetime of exercise and the surfing she’d taken up in Hawaii. She was half Hawaiian and half Korean, which is what drew her to Hawaii after we both graduated college in Washington.

“We’ve been at this for two weeks, and I have improved exactly zero percent.” I probably sounded like a whiny kid complaining to them, but I couldn’t help it. I hated not being good at something. “I think I’m just not meant to be a surfer.”

“Everybody’s meant to be a surfer,” Maka said, as if I’d made the most ridiculous remark ever. Grace nodded her head in emphatic agreement.

“Easy for you to say,” I scoffed, flailing my arms wildly as a wave nearly displaced me from my board again. “You were a professional surfer, remember? And you,” I rounded on Grace, “were basically born incapable of being bad at something. Me… I’m just me.”

It felt strange having a pity party in the ocean on a beautiful mid-October morning. Hawaii was paradise in a lot of ways—the sunshine seemed constant, and at a time when Seattle would already be plunging into a chill that heralded winter, it was warm and pleasant in Hawaii. I wasn’t a morning person, though, and Maka and Grace insisted we have these lessons before work. That meant we were usually in the ocean by a quarter to seven.

“You’re more than ‘just you’ to me, babe,” Maka assured me with a wink, making me blush.

Maka was full-blooded native Hawaiian, and he had the complexion to prove it, bronzed by a life spent frolicking in the sun and waves. He had broad shoulders and narrow hips and was taller than my five foot eight, with perfect black hair and lush, full lips that were utterly kissable. His deep brown eyes always seemed to twinkle, as if a powerful light danced behind them.

“Ugh.” Grace rolled her eyes and pretended to gag.

“You’re jealous,” I teased, sticking my tongue out at her.

“Jealous of you having to eat the same meal every night, so to speak? I don’t think so.”

“Hey, if I could eat prime rib every night, I would,” I said.

“Did you really just compare me to ribs?” Maka asked flatly.

“Huh? What? No—I was referring to eating the same meal every night…” I trailed off, realizing how it must have sounded to Maka, even though I didn’t mean it that way.

“If I’m anything,” Maka went on firmly, “I’m loco moco.”

I gaped at him for a moment. He had a problem with being called prime rib, but wanted to be a rice bowl topped with a hamburger, a fried egg, and gravy.

“Actually,” I said after a moment, “I can see that.” And I could. Loco moco was something you wanted to splurge on, something that was decadent, almost sinful. That description fit Maka to the letter.

I tried to give him a smoldering look, but a rogue wave rocked under me, catching me off guard and dumping me once more into the sea.

“Can we please call it a day now?” I pleaded once I was back on my board.

Grace looked like she was in no hurry to bring my suffering to an end, but Maka took pity and checked his watch.

“Actually, we should call it a day. I still need to shower and get to work. It’s going on nine, now; I can only justify going in so late a few times a week, or the chief gets pissy.”

“We also have office hours,” I reminded Grace for what felt like the tenth time that week. She was really good at what she did—we were private investigators—but she didn’t have the mindset necessary to run a business. That had been handled by her partner before me, and Grace was still getting the hang of being in charge of both sides of the business. Well, partially, since we equally shared ownership and those responsibilities.

“This is what we have a secretary for,” Grace pointed out, though she reluctantly began paddling to shore, Maka and I following suit.

“Poor Hayley’s only been with us for a week,” I panted, tired from the lesson and making it back to shore. “Give her a break.”

“Best way for her to learn is to just throw her into the pool,” Grace said once we were back ashore.

I didn’t respond immediately; I was too busy sucking in sweet, sweet oxygen and hoping my wobbly legs didn’t give out as I trudged through the hot, sun-baked sand to the place we’d left our towels.

“I guess it doesn’t matter so much,” I said when I could. “Business has been pretty slow since we hired her. Not good, considering the office we’ve got now. Rent’s a bitch.”

When I’d agreed to be Grace’s partner at the private investigation firm she’d been co-partner in, Paradise Investigations, I helped finance a move to a new building, worlds nicer than the one she’d been in before.

We’d had a keen interest in us the first week or so after the move, considering how we were constantly in the news regarding the murder mystery I’d solved to get Grace off a murder charge. The interest had died down in the following weeks; as it stood now, we hadn’t taken on a new client in five days, and we’d finished the current projects three days before, which meant three days of no billable hours, and thus no money coming in.

“We could always fire her,” Grace suggested, tossing me my towel. “It’d be one less salary we needed to pay.”

“That doesn’t seem right,” I said, though I’d probably consider it after another week of no income being earned. “I’m sure we’ll get by.”

“We could always take an ad out on TV,” Grace suggested suddenly.

“Isn’t that tacky?” Maka wrinkled his nose a bit.

Grace shielded her eyes from the sun, squinting at Maka. “It’s not like we’re lawyers.”

“Even if it isn’t tacky, we can’t afford it,” I reminded her as I wrapped my towel around my waist and gathered my board under my arm for the trek back to our cars. “We’re going to have to pray someone comes in and offers us a job that isn’t finding a lost cat or staking out seedy motels—something we can get some money out of.”

Grace grunted, her spirits somewhat dampened by my pragmatism, but I knew she would get over it. This was our relationship, often consisting of her being flighty and dreamy and me being the cord that pulled her—sometimes forcefully—back down to earth.

“Okay, I’ve got to go,” Maka said when we reached his car. “Already running late.”

“See,” I said, pausing long enough to take a quick kiss on the lips—though I wanted much, much more than a quick kiss—before continuing. “This is yet another good reason we should just stop these morning surfing lessons.”

“Not gonna happen. Seeing you dripping wet is worth being late to work.”

And again, in the space of ten minutes, I blushed.

“You two are disgusting,” Grace muttered.

“Shut up, Grace.”

Purchase

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Meet the Author

J.C. Long is an American expat living in Japan, though he’s also lived stints in Seoul, South Korea—no, he’s not an army brat; he’s an English teacher. He is also quite passionate about Welsh corgis and is convinced that anyone who does not like them is evil incarnate. His dramatic streak comes from his life-long involvement in theater. After living in several countries aside from the United States J. C. is convinced that love is love, no matter where you are, and is determined to write stories that demonstrate exactly that. J. C. Long’s favorite things in the world are pictures of corgis, writing and Korean food (not in that order…okay, in that order). J. C. spends his time not writing thinking about writing, coming up with new characters, attending Big Bang concerts and wishing he was writing. The best way to get him to write faster is to motivate him with corgi pictures. Yes, that is a veiled hint.

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