COVER REVEAL: “Unpredictable Fate” by Jessamyn Kingley

COVER REVEAL

Book Title: Unpredictable Fate (D’Vaire, Book 17)

Author: Jessamyn Kingley

Cover Artist: LJ Anderson, Mayhem Cover Creations

Release Date: May 14, 2020

Genre/s: M/M Urban Fantasy Romance

Trope/s: Fated mates

Themes: Second chances, fate, love

Heat Rating: 3 flames

 

Everyone deserves a second chance in life and love.

 

Blurb

Chieftain Kalthekor Valzadari is an elf with many regrets. Once a man concerned only with what would bring glory to his tribe at the expense of people he should’ve protected, everything changes when his son is born. Trapped in a loveless matebond, Kalthekor wants to leave his old life behind, but he is bound for eternity. Still, he can’t help but wish for freedom and a relationship as rich in joy as those around him.

Although Aristos Centaurus is brother to the leader of the Centaurs, he is unable to forgive or forget that he once spent centuries committing inexcusable acts of war. With so much blood on his hands, he cannot ignore that he should have been sentenced to death. Aris might help the centaurs now, but he keeps his distance, knowing better than to befriend any of his brethren. He doesn’t deserve happiness or love, but he yearns for it nonetheless.

A misunderstanding sends Aris from the isolation of his brother’s house to Council Headquarters, where he finds himself staring into Kalthekor’s blue eyes. After an instant connection, both are ready to have a partner, and believe they can find what they need in each other. As the pair build a life and a home together, Kalthekor and Aristos realize that although they have created a wonderful foundation based on friendship and love, if they are to move forward as a family, they must find a way to face and reconcile their pasts. Only fate knows if it will tear them apart or if a blissful future awaits them.

 

 

 

About the Author

 

Jessamyn Kingley lives in Nevada where she begs the men in her head to tell her their amazing stories which she dutifully writes it all down in what has become a small mountain of notebooks. She falls in love with each couple and swears whatever book she wrote last is her absolute favorite.

Jessamyn is married and working toward remembering to start the dishwasher without being distracted by the scent of the magical detergent. For personal enjoyment, she aids in cat rescue while slashing and gashing her way through mobs in various MMORPGs. Caffeine is her very best friend and is only cast aside briefly for the sin better known as BBQ potato chips.

Visit her website

Join her Facebook group, Jessamyn’s Ruffian’s

 

Social Media Links

Blog/Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Facebook Group

 

 

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Continue Reading COVER REVEAL: “Unpredictable Fate” by Jessamyn Kingley

RELEASE BLITZ: “Shelter in Place” by Simon Strange. $25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway Included!

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Shelter in Place

Author: Simon Strange

Publisher: Simon Strange Books

Cover Artist: Simon Strange

Release Date: April 11, 2020

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope/s: First time gay, Gay for you, scars (very light), low-angst,

forced proximity, kink exploration, exhibitionism, experimenting.

Heat Rating: 5 flames

It’s pretty much non-stop sex and filthy dialogue with no limits.

Length: 90 000 words/ 300 pages

It is book one in a series.

Book 2 is on pre-order with a book 1.5 available via the newsletter.

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Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

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I’m stuck in a straight guy’s apartment. How am I supposed to deal with this?

Blurb

I hadn’t planned on living with Ross very long. I just needed a place to stay to get on my feet after a bad break up, and happened to be friends with his sister. But when the shelter in place order comes down, not only do I lose any chance of finding my own space; my bartending job dries up, too.

And Ross is taking this order very seriously. He grew up in a family of Montana doomsday preppers, and his rules are very clear: we’ve got three months of food, and neither of us is leaving—for any reason.

I don’t have a ton of money, and there are bills to pay. But there are a few different ways to make some cash online—especially when the rest of the world is shut inside, too, and need something to entertain them. Who would have imagined I would end up on a cam site entertaining guys from all over the world just by being myself and having fun? So long as I wait until Ross goes to sleep before I log on, anyway—I definitely do not want him to know what I’m up to on his couch.

But Ross is full of surprises, it turns out. And I guess I am too. Because what I end up sharing with him is something I’ve never shared with anyone before. I just worry that things are about to get very complicated. Because every gay boy knows the cardinal rule:

Never, ever fall for the straight guy.

Excerpt

“Holy… shit,” I muttered. I looked at the camera. “Did you guys see that?”

@LuckyTom: That was the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in my life.

@Look3r123: Shit, is he okay? Is he breathing? Did he die?

@YourDad57: Russ I think you killed him, brother. What’s in your cum?

I laughed, and swiped a bit from the end of my cock, and looked at it like I was seriously wondering. “Hell, I don’t know. Maybe I have a super power. What do you think, Cal?”

Cal opened his eyes, and I angled the iPad to make sure he was fully in frame. He shook his head, and waved a hand. “I don’t know. Gotta be something, though. Here, let me…” he reached for my arm.

I let him take my hand, and he pulled it close and closed his lips around my fingertip, nursing the drop of cum off it. He shook his head once it was clean. “Not sure. Not enough of a sample.”

I grunted, and grabbed the base of my dick to shake it at him. “Maybe you better clean this off, then.”

I couldn’t even help myself at that point. Cal glanced up at me, questioning and exciting. I gave him a nod, and he sat up as I lifted my cock so he could get to it more easily. His mouth closed over the head of my dick and my head rolled back as a shiver ran through me. Then I sank into his mouth, and maybe changed my mind about whether I could go a second time. He groaned quietly, and his slick fingers, covered in my cum, his, and some vaseline, found my nuts and gave them a gentle kind of squeeze as he took me down until I pushed into his throat and then past.

“Fuck,” I gasped, barely able to get a breath. “Yeah, fucking clean it all up, Cal.”

He grunted, leaned in, gripped my dick with his other hand, and began to work me. I shuddered, looked down and almost stopped him. I didn’t think I could really come again, not so soon, not after that. But the first one had been weak. Nothing special, nothing extraordinarily intense. Not like the time he sucked me. I tangled my fingers in his hair and moved my hips with his head, pulling away the same time he did and thrusting in slow.

It was like the first time all over again—all that head, that suction, the magic of his tongue. It made me drunk, made my tongue loose. Except this time I knew what was in his head when he did it. How he was desperate to please me, to treat my cock just right. His groaning grew higher pitched, more urgent. He fucking loved sucking my dick. And I realized that it made me feel like a god that he did. “Good,” I rumbled. “That’s good, Cal. Fucking suck it all up. Think you can make me come again? Try. Get that cum, little guy. You wanna own this dick? That’s rich. Look at you, you don’t own shit. This dick owns you, doesn’t it? You fucking dream about it, think about it all day… you want another taste. Work for it. Suck it out of me, good boy.”

Ding, ding, ding. Ding-ding. Ding. Ding ding ding.

Oh yeah—they fucking loved it.

About the Author

Simon Strange loves coffee, red wine, craft beer, and men. Especially men. Especially the men you should never, ever screw…

What is it about the forbidden that gets our blood hot? Is it just the rebellious instinct to do what we’re told is wrong? Those men we grew up with, the ones that were either always looking over us or always by our side—or chasing us around—the ones that say they don’t want us, and would never ever… well, just this once, if you don’t tell…

So that’s what you get from Simon Strange. Stories of the forbidden, of the filthy, and the naughty, and the never-ever-tell, and of course, the strange. With nearly 150 reviews for his collection of erotica and romance, and an average of four and a half stars across the board, you’ll almost certainly find something you like in the pages of his work.

Just be sure to bring a change of undies. 😉

Social Media Links

Blog/Website | Facebook | Twitter (NSFW)

Newsletter Sign-up | Amazon

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BOOK BLAST: “Why Can’t Life be Like Pizza” by Andy V. Roamer.

BOOK BLAST

Book Title: Why Can’t Life Be Like Pizza? (The Pizza Chronicles, Book 1)

Author: Andy V. Roamer

Publisher: Nine Star Press

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Release Date: Book 1: March 30, 2020

Book 2: Why Can’t Summer Be Like Pizza? : releases end May, 2020

Genre/s: Contemporary MM Romance, Young Adult, Gay/Bisexual

Trope: Son of Immigrants

Themes: In the Closet/Coming Out

Heat Rating: YA novel. Some mild sexual talk, scenes of kissing and making out. No sexual scenes.

Length: 55 100 words/ 208 pages

It is a standalone story. Book 1 of a series

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Buy Links

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Fourteen-year-old RV does his best negotiating freshman year in a demanding high school, obeying the rules of his immigrant parents, and exploring his budding sexuality

Blurb

RV is a good kid. So he’ll do his best to keep up in high school despite all the additional pressures he’s facing: His immigrant parents, who don’t want him to forget his roots. Some tough kids at school who bully teachers as well as students. His mean gym teacher. The Guy Upstairs who doesn’t answer his prayers. And the most confusing fact of all — that he might be gay. Luckily, RV develops a friendship with Mr. Aniso, his Latin teacher who is gay and is always there to talk to. RV thinks his problems are solved when he starts going out with Carole. But things only get more complicated when RV develops a crush on Bobby, the football player in his class. And to RV’s surprise, Bobby admits he may have gay feelings, too.

Excerpt

Why can’t life be like pizza?

I’ve been asking myself the question a lot lately. I love pizza. Pizza makes me feel good. Especially since I discovered Joe’s. Joe’s Pizza is quiet and out of the way and allows me to think. And Joe’s combinations are the best. Pepperoni and onions. Garlic and mushroom. Cheese and chicken. And if you really want that little kick in the old butt: the super jalapeno. Mmmm, good. Gets you going again. And lets you forget all your troubles.

What troubles can a fourteen-year-old guy have? Ha! First of all, I’m not a regular guy, as anyone can guess from my taste in pizza. My parents are immigrants who are trying to make a better life for themselves here in the United States. Besides the usual things American parents worry about, like making money and having their kids do well in school, my parents spend more time worrying about the big things: politics, communism, fascism, global warming, and the fact they and their parents survived violence and jail so I-better-be-grateful-I’m-not-miserable-like-kids-in-other-parts-of-the-world.

Grateful? Ha! As far as I’m concerned, life is pretty miserable already. Instead of thinking about the World Series or Disneyland, I worry about terrorists down the street or the dirty bombs the strange family around the corner might be building.

I don’t know why I worry about everything, but I do. It’s probably in my genes. Other guys have genes that gave them big muscles or hairy chests. I got nerves.

And then there’s my name. RV. Yeah, RV. No, I’m not a camper or anything. RV is short for Arvydas. That’s right. “Are-vee-duh-s.” Mom and Dad say it’s a common name in Lithuania, which is the country in Eastern Europe where my parents were born. A name like that might be fine for Lithuania, but what about the United States? Couldn’t Mom and Dad have named me Joe, or Mike, or even Darryl? My brother, Ray, has a normal name. Why couldn’t they have given me one?

I even look a little weird, I think. Tall and skinny with an uncoordinated walk because of my big feet that get in the way and make me feel like a clod. Oh, yeah. I’ve been getting some zits lately, and I wear glasses since I’m pretty nearsighted. Not a pretty sight, is it? At least the glasses are not too thick. Mom and Dad don’t have a lot of money to spend, but they did fork up the money to get me thin lenses, so I don’t look like a complete zomboid.

What can I do? I try my best, despite it all. I’m lucky because I’ve done well in school, so at least my genes gave me a half-decent brain. Hey, I’m not bragging. It’s just nice to feel good about something when most days I feel pretty much a loser at so many things. When I was in grammar school, there were enough days when I came home from school and cried because some big oaf threatened me, or I got hit in the stomach during my pathetic attempts to play ball during recess….

Okay, okay, I’m getting off track. I want to write about my first day of school. Mom and Dad gave me this new—well, refurbished, but new to me anyway—computer for getting into Latin school, and they keep after me to make good use of it. So, I’ve decided I’m going to write about my new life. My life away from cretins—Lith, American, or any other kind….

About the Author

Andy V. Roamer grew up in the Boston area and moved to New York City after college. He worked in book publishing for many years, starting out in the children’s and YA books division and then wearing many other hats. This is his first novel about RV, the teenage son of immigrants from Lithuania in Eastern Europe, as RV tries to negotiate his demanding high school, his budding sexuality, and new relationships. He has written an adult novel, Confessions of a Gay Curmudgeon, under the pen name Andy V. Ambrose. To relax, Andy loves to ride his bike, read, watch foreign and independent movies, and travel.

Social Media Links

Blog/Website | Facebook | Instagram: andy_v_roamer

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BOOK BLAST: “Thicker Than Water” by Becca Seymour. On Sale for $0.99 Sale! $10.00 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway Included.

99c BOOK BLAST

Book Title: Thicker Than Water

Author: Becca Seymour

Publisher: Rainbow Tree Publishing

Cover Artist: BookSmith Design

Genre/s: M/M Urban Fantasy Romance

Trope/s: workplace romance, in uniform, interracial relationship

Themes: good vs. evil, family, justice

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 62 000 words/ 316 pages

It is a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads

***Buy Links – April 18 – 24***

99c sale. RRP: $4.99

All Sites

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iTunes | Kobo | B&N

When two crime investigation operatives join forces to take down the growing criminal activity involving vampires, blood threatens to spill and tear their lives and hearts apart.

Blurb

Outcast operative in the Supernatural Investigation & Crime Bureau (SICB) Callen Blackheath finds himself doing what he does best: defying orders and giving his boss a headache in the thick of an operation he shouldn’t be in. And there’s no way he’s walking away, not when the investigation has become deadly personal.

Needing to protect the only family member he has left, this wolf shifter will do whatever it takes to stop the blood farms and destroy the dangerous drugs the vampires will kill for. But he doesn’t expect Liam “Thatch” Thatcher, the head of a special task force team, to receive a bite that pulls him into the centre of Callen’s world.

Bonded by memories and blood, together they navigate the operation that has wider reaches than they could ever imagine. And when it comes to matters of the heart, Callen knows in order to win, he needs to risk it all.

Excerpt

No one was supposed to be here. Ignoring the fact that Cartwright had blown my half-arsed recon out of the window and taken me by surprise, there seriously shouldn’t have been anyone else on site. An unfamiliar edge of panic flared to life in my chest. This was not good.

I charged towards the glass, stopping short of barrelling into it to try the handle. It wouldn’t have been the first time I’d broken down a door unnecessarily. I didn’t want to crash through a glass door unless I had to. While I healed quickly, shards of glass cutting through my skin still hurt something fierce.

Testing the handle with one hand, I hit the glass lower down, trying to get the attention of the person attempting to get out. Their bloody hand peeking out a white lab coat twitched at the loud thud. “Shit,” I grumbled. The door was locked. “Hey.” I beat against the glass panel harder. It was partially misted for privacy, and visibility was unclear. Unable to tell who was on the other side or whether the smoke had breached the room from another direction, for once, I considered my options.

“Hey.” I tried again, my hand smacking the glass harder, not yet intending to break through. “Can you hear me?” Steadying my breath took concentration, but I needed to listen carefully.

“Code.” The voice was gravelly. “P-Panel.”

I searched quickly and found a panel off to my right. “I need the code.” Each word came out calm and clear. Panicking now could possibly get us both killed.

“Five.” A cough wracked through him, loud and sounding painful. I squinted, wondering what the hell this guy had been through. “Two. Seven. Seven. Four. Nine.”

I hit the numbers as he said them.

“Hash,” he finished, and the door clicked, swinging open when the guy fell against it. He landed on the floor.

Unconscious at my feet, the man was sprawled on his front. I tugged him to the side. With no idea where we were, I couldn’t simply throw the guy over my shoulder and start charging around, hitting dead ends and burning doors wherever we went. Decision made, I cast a quick glance at the man. Wet blood covered his rich black skin, but his moving chest indicated he was breathing. Barely. Christ, I hoped he didn’t die on me. After a final glance, I rushed into the unlocked room. Just because it had been sealed from the inside didn’t mean I wouldn’t be able to get through another exit.

A door on the opposite side of the room was my target. I headed straight there, spotting vials and another room off to my right. Before I reached the exit, the scent hit me. Blood, and it wasn’t from the unconscious lab tech in the hallway. I took a tentative step in the direction the scent came from, bile already churning in my gut.

No. It couldn’t be.

Another step forward, and I held my breath, not wanting to believe it could be true.

Wide-eyed, I gasped for breath, then regretted the action immediately. Metallic, familiar, and dead. The combination of the three threatened to buckle my knees. Unable to look away, I stared hard, hating every second. But I had to do this. Flesh, torn muscle, mutilated claws; the image seared itself into my mind. Once there, a shockwave of pain ripped through me.

No.

This time I let my knees go and landed on the floor, my knee finding the blood the same shade of my own. It was her. Hazel. My baby sister.

About the Author

Becca Seymour lives and breathes all things book related. Usually with at least three books being read and two WiPs being written at the same time, life is merrily hectic. She tends to do nothing by halves so happily seeks the craziness and busyness life offers.

Living on her small property in Queensland with her human family as well as her animal family of cows, chooks, and dogs, Becca appreciates the beauty of the world around her and is a believer that love truly is love.

Author Links

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Twitter: @beccaseymour_

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Continue Reading BOOK BLAST: “Thicker Than Water” by Becca Seymour. On Sale for $0.99 Sale! $10.00 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway Included.

RELEASE BLITZ: “Tread” by A.G. Carothers. $15.00 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway Included! See entry link below:

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Tread: Kink Files 2

Author: A. G. Carothers

Publisher: A. G. Carothers

Cover Artist: Amai Designs

Release Date: April 20, 2020

Genre/s: BDSM Contemporary MM Romance

Trope/s: Daddy Kink, Age Gap, Boot Worship

Themes: New to BDSM, Overcoming Fears, Taking Chances

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 26 000 words

It is book 2 in the series, but can be read as a standalone.

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Darius could tread on my body, but he’d never trample my heart.

Blurb

Abel Kensington the Fifth, aka TheFifthAbel – Accountant, Germaphobe, Service Submissive turned Daddy Dom, and resigned to being alone.

Mired in his routines that keep the worst of his fears and obsessive behaviors at bay, Abel has given up finding someone who will look past his sanitized bubble. Little does he know that someone is watching him and has a plan to slip into his world and take care of him for a change.

Darius MacLeod aka JuicyDare – Coffee House Owner, Scottish Transplant, New Daddy Dom, and finding love is the last thing on his mind.

While his roots are still firmly in his homeland, Darius has started a new life in his father’s hometown. When a seemingly shy and prim older man starts frequenting his café, Darius’ interest is piqued and his instincts kick in. Wanting to get past the barrier that Abel has erected, Darius dives feet first into a whole new world he knows little about.

Abel and Darius will both need to find sure footing on this new path before them as Abel gets back to his submissive roots and Darius explores a new but natural lifestyle.

Attention: This book contains depictions of dominance, submission, boot worship, trampling, and adults in footie pajamas

Excerpt

From Darius POV:

About a month after Abel started coming to the café, he said something to my day manager, Santos, which had intrigued me and really spurred my desire to know him better.

He had come in, as usual. I’d watched his lithe body as he set up his area and then move to the counter. He tugged on the sleeves of his shirt to straighten them—like always. That day he had worn a hunter-green button down. It was always a solid color with all the buttons done, even the top one, but no tie. He always kept his black hair short on the sides with a little bit of length on the top. I suspected that if he let it grow, it would curl a little. It looked thick and soft. I often wondered what it would feel like between my fingers.

I had watched from just inside the kitchen as his hazel eyes roamed the menu board on the wall behind the counter. He had scrunched his freckle-splattered nose in the most adorable way as he thought.

Santos placed a plate with his usual carrot and zucchini muffin in front of him on the counter and started inputting his order into the computer. Abel had registered the movement and focused on him.

“One muffin, a latte, and a Grasslands Juice. That’ll be fourteen thirty-six, as usual, Mr. K.”

Abel had looked down his nose at Santos and arched a thick but sculpted eyebrow. “It’s admirable that you remember what I have ordered the last five times I have visited this establishment, but it is rude to assume.”

Santos had opened his mouth and closed it, which was good because Abel wasn’t done.

“I appreciate your wanting to be efficient, but what if today I want a banana nut muffin instead?”

“Do you want a banana nut muffin instead, Mr. K?”

“Abel, please. And, no, I do not, but that’s beside the point. It is not good service to anticipate what I may want. It is, on the other hand, good service to know how I like it or want it done when I tell you what I want or need. For instance, Darius always remembers how I like my sandwich made. He’s very thoughtful.”

“I’m sorry, Mr. K—I mean, Abel, sir. I’ll remember that. What may I get you this morning?”

Abel had tugged on his sleeves again. I had a feeling that was more of a compulsion than anything else. A nervous habit maybe?

“I’ll have a carrot and zucchini muffin, a latte, and a Grasslands Juice.”

I had to stifle my laughter as I went about making his juice.

About the Author

A. G. Carothers is actually a dragon very cleverly disguised as a human. They are a non-binary author of LGBTQIA Romance and Urban Fantasy, who enjoys writing original and entertaining stories. They are very excited to share the worlds they’ve created with you. A.G. currently lives in Tennessee with their platonic life partner, who is not a dragon. They yearn to live back in Europe and will some day. In their spare time they are addicted to losing themselves in the lovely worlds created by other authors A.G. is committed to writing the stories they see in their head without restrictions. Love is blind and doesn’t see gender, race, or sexuality.

Social Media Links

Patreon | Dragon’s Hoard Facebook Group | Twitter

Audible | BookBub | QRI

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RELEASE BLITZ: “Handsome Death” by Sara Dobie Bauer

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Handsome Death

Author: Sara Dobie Bauer

Publisher: Carnation Books

Release Date: April 10, 2020

Genre/s: Paranormal M/M romance, contemporary M/M romance

Trope/s: Vampires, bondage, hurt/comfort, age gap

Themes: explicit sex, past abuse, dark, immortal, graphic violence, stalking

Heat Rating: 5 flames

Length: 72 000 words

It is a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Blurb

I’m not hunting him; I’m protecting him.

At least, that’s what I tell myself.

In New York City, a beautiful creature like Tristan Clement should not be walking the streets alone, and I’m the perfect vampire to watch his back.

But what if keeping him safe isn’t enough anymore? What if I want to touch? And taste?

I need him. But I’ve never needed anyone.

In a world where paranormal creatures live amongst us and must follow certain laws, living life as a dangerous loner works for vampire Ethan. Inhabiting his gleaming apartment, wearing his designer suits, jetting around the world as a fanged killer-for-hire, Ethan does it all alone.

That is, until he literally runs into Tristan. Tristan, who is clearly trouble wrapped in skinny jeans and an oversized sweater. Tristan, with his shock of angelic blond curls. Tristan, who plays piano more beautifully than the old masters– and Ethan would know; he saw Beethoven.

Tristan is gorgeous, a little sassy, and irresistible. Also, Ethan is horrified to note, Tristan has no idea how incredibly tempting he is to things that go bump in the night.

Overcome by the urge to keep Tristan safe, Ethan begins to… well, stalk is such a strong word. What starts as an obsession quickly becomes something more, something that Ethan needs. And to his surprise, Tristan seems to need him, too…

*This darkly romantic tale delivers steamy passion and a happily ever after. Be advised that Handsome Death includes explicit m/m content, stalking, mentions of past abuse, and graphic violence.*

Excerpt

I feel an itch on the back of my neck so glance behind me, and indeed, there he is, the blond kid from yesterday. I must have caught him staring, because as soon as I turn to look, he ducks his head and goes back to reading.

I shouldn’t approach him. Granted, he’s stunning. Most vampires would love to get their hands on his bare skin, but I’m not one for picking up humans outside of blood clubs. I’m cautious. Vampires can get in a lot of trouble for biting a human without consent. Like sentenced-to-death trouble. The humans at blood clubs know what they’re getting into. This guy? He looks like a puppy in need of a cuddle. He has no idea what a vampire could do to him.

Maybe some reconnaissance is in order. Just to, you know, make sure he’s all right after yesterday’s altercation.

Or something.

I’m lying to myself. This isn’t a protective detail in Serbia, this is me away from combat too long and bored in New York.

Fuck it.

He sits at one of the heavy wooden tables with the lid off his cup. His hair hangs halfway over his forehead, tilted down over a paperback, but I can still see his mouth, the way he chews his bottom lip, making it pinker, fuller.

I walk right up to his table. I don’t wait for him to look up. I don’t wait for an invitation. I just sit.

He startles at my arrival. His eyes widen and stare at me.

“Who are you?” I ask. I’ve always been really good at openings.

“Uhh.” His forehead wrinkles.

I drum my fingertips on the table. “I’ve never seen you in here before.”

“You saw me yesterday.” He folds the top corner of a page in his paperback: Dracula by Bram Stoker. “You saved my ass yesterday.”

“Before yesterday,” I reply.

He sighs. “A Starbuck’s bought out my favorite coffee shop, so I guess this is now my favorite coffee shop. Buy local.” He scoops his messenger bag off the floor and shoves the book inside.

The kid has one of those runway model faces—gaunt if not so beautiful, sharp and yet soft. Freckles? Zero. Wait, no, he’s got just a smattering that you would only notice close-up … or with well-trained vampiric eyes. He has no shadow of recently shaved facial hair, and that’s no surprise based on the white-blond of his hair. He must moisturize those lips because nobody’s mouth just naturally looks like the perfect mixture of velvet and silk.

He sighs again, louder. “You’re staring at me.”

No, I’m studying him—checking out his vulnerable areas, which are pretty much everywhere considering he’s so thin and fragile-looking.

As for everyone else in the coffee shop, they’re looking at the kid like they want to take him to bed. I catch a girl at the next table over gawking. A big dude with a beard stands in line to our right, his mouth hanging half open as he admires.

“Everyone is staring at you,” I respond.

His pale cheeks burn bright red as he swoops his bag onto his shoulder and stands. “No, that’s …” He shakes his head. “Ha, no.” He doesn’t say goodbye. He even leaves his coffee, half-consumed on the table. He up and abandons me without a word, but I do watch him go—as does half of Inky Grounds.

Once he disappears out into the early October morning, I turn back around and stare at his deserted coffee. Granted, I’m not smooth—I get it—but he didn’t have to run out like that. I just wanted to see that he was safe. Shit, I don’t even know his name.

About the Author

Sara Dobie Bauer is a bestselling author, model, mental health speaker, and LGBTQ advocate with a creative writing degree from Ohio University. She lives with her hottie husband and two precious pups in Northeast Ohio, although she’d really like to live in a Tim Burton film. Her current obsession with Timothee Chalamet runs deep, and don’t even get her started on Call Me By Your Name.

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Continue Reading RELEASE BLITZ: “Handsome Death” by Sara Dobie Bauer