Russ Bishop and Stephen Parker have settled into wedded bliss.
They’ve moved into a spacious new condo, found professional success, and their connection in the bedroom is as sizzling as ever.
Neither of them ever expected to become parents but when their volunteer work at the Open Doors Shelter makes them realize how many LGBTQ youth are in desperate need of a home, they begin to reconsider.
After a snarky teenager named Austin comes into their lives, their future together will never be the same.
Russ let out a contented sigh.
“I swear it just gets better with time,” Stephen said.
Russ kissed him. “Me too. I had no idea married sex would be so good. If I did, I might have been more eager to get married when I was younger.”
“This is going to change, won’t it?”
Stephen slipped an arm around his waist, pulling him even closer as he studied his face. Russ’s expression was soft but there was a little edge of worry in his gaze.
“It will,” Stephen said, knowing he was talking about how becoming parents would change their sex life. He ran his thumb across Russ’s cheek. “We’ll have additional responsibilities and stressors. Much less privacy. But it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It’ll be tougher but that doesn’t mean we can’t find some benefits along the way.”
“Like what?” Russ gave him a curious, inquisitive look.
“Like … it may bring us even closer.” He took Russ’s hand and brought his palm to his lips. “It may deepen our relationship further.”
“I like that.” Russ pulled him closer.
“I think going into this with our eyes wide open is our best chance of success. We need our relationship to stay solid so we can give whoever we bring into our lives the best, most stable home we can. Which means working together to solve problems.”
“Agreed,” Russ said.
“No running away.”
Russ gave him a wry grin. “Got it.”
“Hey that’s not just a reminder for you,” Stephen said gently. “I’ve pushed you away at times too. And I think this will probably bring up a lot of baggage we both have about the ways we were raised.”
“True.” Russ’s expression turned serious.
“So we can’t let that overwhelm us. Or come between us.”
“Absolutely.” Russ hesitated. “Are you excited about this at all though?”
“About the idea of becoming parents? Yeah, I am,” Stephen said. “I remember how satisfying it was to see Evan grow into himself and he was an adult and only with us for a month and a half. The idea of being able to watch that growth over years in someone who needs it even more … well that’s a challenge I never expected to take on. But I am excited about it.”
“Me too.” Russ grinned. “I am really looking forward to calling my sister and telling her she’ll be Aunt Addie.”
Stephen chuckled. “I look forward to that as well. Jeremy is going to be shocked. That should be fun.”
“We have a lot to look forward to, don’t we?”
“We do.” Russ pulled him in for a kiss and Stephen went willingly. “Thank you for making this a very happy Valentine’s Day.”
“You know, if someone had asked me five years ago how I’d feel about making the person I’m married to a father, I would have kindly assured them they were very, very confused,” Stephen said drily.
Russ’s laugh was loud and genuine. “I would imagine.”
“And yet …” Stephen couldn’t quite finish the thought. His heart was too full.
Russ smiled as if he understood. So Stephen leaned in to kiss him again. They had the whole night ahead of them to celebrate this happiness. Why not take the time while they had it?
Their lives were about to change in a very big way.
About the Author
Brigham Vaughn is on the adventure of a lifetime as a full-time author. She devours books at an alarming rate and hasn’t let her short arms and long torso stop her from doing yoga. She makes a killer key lime pie, hates green peppers, and loves wine tasting tours. A collector of vintage Nancy Drew books and green glassware, she enjoys poking around in antique shops and refinishing thrift store furniture. An avid photographer, she dreams of traveling the world and she can’t wait to discover everything else life has to offer her.
Her books range from short stories to novellas to novels. They explore gay, bisexual, lesbian, and polyamorous romance in contemporary settings.
A man determined. Another wounded to his soul. A town that slumbers.
A sleepy little town doesn’t know what, or whom, is about to hit it when Ked, Kaden Edmond Donegal, comes to live there.
Hyper and determined, Ked longs to be a great forest ranger, taking care of the land, watching over it like its protector. What he didn’t count on is falling in love with the people there nearly as much as the land, and one in particular that doesn’t give him the time of day.
Sean Ashby moved to Bear Lake to hide away from the world after he nearly died while serving in the army. A local artist, he makes his living bringing pieces of wood to life with stories of their own. When he sees Ked, he sees someone who needs tamed, but he doesn’t feel as if he’s up to the job.
Not giving up on the bearded ginger bear, Ked does everything he can to get in the way of the man, and he finally gets what he wants. Or, at least, what he thought he wanted. Sean is a dominant who needs a submissive, and Ked never thought of himself that way. With Ked’s rambling voice hushed and his hyper movements slowed, Sean leads him into a new life he didn’t realize he needs so badly.
The townspeople take him in as family, a man loves him unconditionally, and poachers are in need of catching. Is Ked up for his new life? Can he be a part of a community that is quirky and quiet, or will his own quirks and rarely silent voice make him permanently an outsider?
Contains BDSM and consensual sex between two men. Trigger warnings: abuse, violence and PTSD flashbacks.
Having a very rare moment of quiet, Ked leaned on the frame of the door as he watched his two roommates going at it, letting him relive the months he’d rented a room from them.
They were a devoted couple, sure, but they definitely weren’t monogamous. As soon as he answered the ad for the gay-friendly room for rent, he’d had no idea what that would entail. The fact that two days after he’d moved in, he had been involved in an orgy, well, he could have never predicted that in a million years.
It was time to leave. His schooling was complete, his education less than his parents were happy with, but enough to be the forest ranger he’d longed to become. He was an officer of the law, the law of the actual land, a certified first responder, could work as a wild firefighter, and it was all about to be tested in one of the most beautiful places on the planet.
Bear Lake, Colorado.
“Are you going to say goodbye?”
Calvin looked up and grinned while Ron kept pounding him. “Be with you in about fifteen seconds, judging by his breathing.”
Ron was much bigger, a beefy gym rat that never once took his eyes from the hole he was pounding, making Ked roll his eyes. “Ron? Done?”
“Umph, umph, umph,” he grunted, then stiffened as he climaxed, bringing Calvin’s hips back and holding him there, leaning his head back.
Ked had seen that a lot over the previous two years but knew he wouldn’t miss it. He had no real feelings for the two except friendship, no matter how much they’d tried to pull him into to their relationship.
Calvin got off the bed, not a stitch of clothing on, and ran over to him, hugging him tight. “We’ll miss you.”
Usually talkative to the point of people trying and failing to shut him up, Ked, which was a nickname, hugged his friend back and kept from sobbing by biting the tip of his tongue, a move generally saved for keeping it from wagging.
Ron groaned as he moved from the bed, slapping him on the arm. “Yeah, it was fun. Keep in touch.”
Just sentiment from the big guy. “Thanks,” he croaked, the tears retreating some.
To Calvin, Ked started to ramble, “Thanks for everything, I mean, well, the sex was great, you know, but I mean the job, the movie theatre, you know, and feeding me until I got on my feet. I don’t know what I would have done without you, and it’s been fun, well, the sex, it was great, you know.”
“Shh, I know all that. You rambled about it for hours last night.”
Calvin was dark-skinned and skinny as a rail, but he blinked his chestnut eyes at Ked, and Ked melted. “Sorry. I know I did.”
“It’s okay. We’re gonna miss that, and you.”
Ked’s blue eyes welled with tears once more; a cobalt blue, his mother had always bragged. One thing he’d miss the most was not being the smallest man in the room at a hundred and forty pounds, five foot practically nothing. Well, five foot seven inches to be exact, but he didn’t look it. He towered over Calvin, though, and he’d miss that.
“Get moving if you want to get there before nightfall.”
The drive would be long, and he’d have a lot of time to worry and wonder. He did that a lot, worrying that his parents were right, that he was throwing away opportunities others would kill for.
About the Author
I love writing, it’s been my dream for many years, and in October of 2013, when my first book went live on Amazon, that dream came true.
Writing love stories that are centered on flawed but lovable characters is my passion. Finding love between people isn’t easy, nor should it be. Even in a book, there have to be obstacles for the story to feel real.
I am a mother of three amazing people, and three adorable fur babies. I live in Colorado but love many other places besides my home. One state in particular is New Mexico, the state where I was born has always held a place in my heart.
People and places make my stories what they are. Each character I’ve written is a part of me in some way. Each place I write is as well. Adventures come in many ways, and each of my stories has taken me on an adventure that I treasure.
Come with me on my adventures and fall in love with my characters, as I have. I promise, you will love the ride.
In the stormy coastal woods of the Pacific Northwest, roots run deep and passions run wild.
Reeling with grief after the mysterious massacre of his wealthy family, moody New York photographer James Worthington Crane decides to take his downward spiral somewhere far away: to the rural Oregon Coast, where he’s just inherited a random piece of property hidden somewhere in the woods upriver.
But when James pulls into the decaying seaside town of Brooks, everyone thinks he’s someone else—an elusive local outlaw named Beau. Now James must fight through his grief to unravel a tangled web of family secrets and forgotten history…with help from a soft-spoken local hunk named Hunter Quaid.
Hunter’s been on his own since he left his fundamentalist family at the age of fifteen. It’s taken years of hard work to build the steady life he has now, fixing up seaside houses while living alone in a trailer by the river. Then James blows in like a winter storm, disturbing the peace and stirring up a hunger like nothing he’s ever felt.
As Hunter helps James search for the truth, their lives intertwine in unexpected ways—and they begin to discover what it means to find out where you really belong.
Hunter pulled his truck into one of the slanted parking spaces along the Brooks sea wall and turned off the ignition, cutting off Bobbie Gentry in the middle of ‘Ode to Billie Joe’ to let the roar of the waves take over. It was windy out, and he took a second to rake his dark-blond hair into a stubby ponytail at the nape of his neck before getting out of the truck.
His work boots hit the asphalt with a heavy thud, and he strolled over to the rustic stone barricade to look out at the dark ocean. A wave immediately exploded up in front of him, white foam fanning out and dissolving like a burst of fireworks, and he filled his lungs with the sharp, salty air. It never got old, no matter how many times he came here. None of it did, though. Not the trees, the rivers, the sunsets, the storms. This rugged little chunk of the coast had been his most consistent, and sometimes his only, source of joy since the first summer his parents dropped him off at his grandma’s place upriver, where he now lived alone.
Today had been long as hell, but satisfying. He was in the middle of renovating a beautiful midcentury house on Cedar Crest, a wooded cliffside high up on the north edge of town. It was the biggest project he’d ever landed since striking out on his own as a contractor, and it was turning out to be a dream come true. The owner was some Portland banker who didn’t give a shit what he did as long as he stayed within budget, and Hunter relished the freedom to make actual design choices.
Matter of fact, life was pretty good these days, wasn’t it? Business was good, anyway, and that was a lot. Yeah. Steady work with nobody telling him what to do, a place to sleep by the river, all the ocean air he wanted every day…what more could he ask for? There was a time when he wouldn’t have dared to dream so—
A car alarm went off suddenly, jarring him from his thoughts, and he turned his head. Several seagulls were scattering noisily from the sea wall near a black hatchback several spaces away, its horn blasting and lights flashing. He couldn’t see what had set it off. A nosy gull, maybe, or the splash of a wave. At any rate, that wrapped up his relaxing after-work sit by the ocean.
But just as he was about to turn back to his truck, the driver’s side door of the hatchback clunked open and slowly creaked ajar.
Hunter watched, intrigued, as a hand slipped out through the crack, followed by an arm, and then a mop of wavy dark hair. Then, to his amazement, an entire tall, slim man slid out onto the pavement, pooling there in a tangle of long limbs and dark clothing.
The alarm was still making a ruckus. The man groaned low and rolled to his side, wrestling with himself for a moment before yanking a key fob out of his back pocket. He jabbed it toward the car several times until the alarm stopped, then fell on his back with an unintelligible mutter. Just then, a big wave spouted over the wall and showered him with seawater.
Hunter winced sympathetically. Hell of a place to be drunk off your ass. Dude definitely wasn’t from around here. He looked about Hunter’s age, stylish in a cool, classic kind of way. Black jeans, black boots, battered brown leather jacket. Nothing flashy, but obviously outside the local dress code of Carhartts, hooded sweatshirts, and rain gear. Hunter couldn’t help admiring the long lines of the stranger’s body, his carelessly tousled hair.
With a shake of his head and a soft sigh, he turned his gaze back toward the ocean again. Life was good, and all. He loved it here. So what if it wasn’t overflowing with romantic options for a quiet gay man with a taste for tall, slim guys dressed like drifters from the 1960s? No one got to have it all.
Life is good, he told himself stubbornly. Life is fine. Life’s going just great.
The sound of an approaching engine made him glance back over his shoulder, and suddenly he sprang into motion before he could think.
The drunk man was staggering onto the highway, his dark silhouette backlit by the high beams of a log truck that was roaring around the bend.
Another half-second would have been too late. The driver didn’t even seem to see them. The air from the passing truck threw him off balance as he yanked the drunken dumbass out of the road, and they both fell back on the pavement.
“You okay?” Hunter asked breathlessly.
About the Author
Claire Cray writes gay romance featuring hot, complicated men in weird situations. Offbeat and character-driven with a gothic bent, her work has been described as deeply atmospheric and a little bit strange.
Born and raised in the rural Pacific Northwest, Claire takes inspiration from its rich, moody vibes: the ancient forests, rugged coastlines, eccentric characters, and whispers of dark mystery in even the tiniest little towns. Combine all that with steamy sensuality and psychological drama, and you’ve got a story by Claire Cray.
Jamie Johnson is going to sea for the first time in his life. Atlantic Star is one of the most luxurious cruise ships in the world, and a two-week trip to Iceland offers Jamie the perfect escape. His life has been on hold since the death of his husband and a working holiday onboard a state-of-the-art ship is an opportunity to explore the world he’s been hiding from. A chance to think about his future and decide what he wants to do with the rest of his life.
When Dexter Fordyce steps onboard, all he wants is a good time. The cruise is his first holiday in years, and workaholic Dexter is ready to relax and enjoy himself. If he can manage a little fun with someone like Jamie, even better. Jamie is flattered by the attention. Dexter is handsome, charming and great fun and proves impossible to resist.
Jamie’s hopes of romance died with his husband. The prospect of a shipboard passion is attractive, but Jamie’s heart has been broken for too long and he can’t take the risk of falling in love. With stormy weather ahead, the two men are set for a voyage they will never forget.
“Beautiful, isn’t it?” he said, gazing into the night. Straight ahead he could see nothing but dark, the blackness was complete, but leaning on the balcony and looking down, he saw the moderate swell of the ocean and the white-capped waves hitting the side of the ship.
“We’re moving at a fair speed,” Jamie said, glancing at the wake they gave off.
“I suppose we have to, to cover the miles.”
Jamie stepped near to him, their upper arms touching as they stood against the railing.
He’s regaining his composure, Dexter thought.
Somewhere inside Jamie was a desire to be loved again, Dexter was sure of it. To be desired and wanted and not to spend the rest of his life alone. His love for Tyler could never be doubted, but Jamie was too young, had too much of his life remaining, to be on his own forever.
Dexter took a mouthful of champagne and swallowed, choosing his words. “I know this is new for you, and that it can’t be easy. I don’t want you to do anything you don’t want to, or aren’t ready for. What I’m trying to say is this is all up to you. How much or how little we do together, you decide. I won’t push you into anything.”
Jamie took a deep breath and sighed. He moved his hand from the railing and put it on Dexter’s waist. “I know what I want. And he’s standing right here.”
Dexter turned to face him. How handsome, how striking he looked, in the early hours of the morning, so far out to sea. He caressed Jamie’s face with the tips of his fingers, along his cheek and the lean length of his jaw. “You’re taking my breath away right now; I hope you realise that.”
Jamie put his own hand on top of Dexter’s. “Let’s go inside.”
About the Author
Thom Collins is the author of Closer by Morning, North Point and the Anthem Trilogy. His love of page turning thrillers began at an early age when his mother caught him reading the latest Jackie Collins book and confiscated it, sparking a life-long love of raunchy novels.
He is currently working on a new series.
Thom has lived in the North East of England his whole life. He grew up in Northumberland and now lives in County Durham with his husband and two cats. He loves all kinds of genre fiction, especially bonk-busters, thrillers, romance and horror. He is also a cookery book addict with far too many titles cluttering his shelves. When not writing he can be found in the kitchen trying out new recipes. He’s a keen traveler but with a fear of flying that gets worse with age, but in 2013 he realized cruising is the best way to see the world.
Check out his website for news updates and a free ebook The Night.
Allesandro I’ll find a way to crawl out of the prison I’m in and when I do, the man obsessed with righting wrongs will pay for my forced exile. Emilio While I fixate on needing to know who harmed my master, someone has decided I’m their new favorite obsession. I refuse to run. I refuse to hide. It isn’t love and it can kill just as easily as hate. How far will vengeance reach before it’s satisfied?
This is a continuous series. Il Padrone and Vendetta del Cuore must be read prior to this one.
Ends on a cliffhanger.
Trigger warnings:Contains graphic violence and extreme sexual situations. This is darker than the previous two books in the series. Please be advised this book contains graphic violence, torture, and murder. It also includes non-con, psychological torture, and various kinks. It contains forced submission both physically and chemically. This book also makes references to suicide. Some readers may find this material triggering. It is intended for a mature audience 18 years of age and up.
Excerpt (Emilio POV)
“You’re going to wear yourself out. Come on. Let’s go for a swim,” Ignacio lectures.
I jolt in my seat, not having noticed him come up behind me. My head is swimming with numbers and dates. The maid was kind enough to find me an empty office in this mansion, not far from Master’s recovery room.
I had gathered all the information Luca has on the O’Connel Family’s movements, and I’m trying to make sense of it. It’s clear Il Padrone kept a close eye on them, even if he never viewed them as a legitimate threat. My heart clenches as I think of that. I need to know more about Eamon and what he’s plotting. To do that I’ll need to research them thoroughly. It’s what I’ve always done.
“Lio! Pull yourself away,” Ignacio snaps. I cringe at his angry tone and look up at him. I hunch my shoulders at the fierceness of the man looking at me, his body is coiled tight and his nostrils are flared. Fuck, this was so much easier when Master told me what to do. I rub my sore, red eyes, and nod at him. I push back in the chair and groan as I stand.
“I’m sorry,” I mumble. With a deep sigh, he crushes me to him. I relax into the hug and inhale the spicy cologne he wears, the cinnamon notes with cedar finished with a slight coffee aroma makes me melt even more.
“It’s okay, but you need to get out of here for a bit. Let’s go do some laps around the pool,” he murmurs in my hair.
“You just want to see me all wet,” I tease him as I step away. It feels weird to draw comfort from him physically, but I can’t help it. Once I stopped being terrified of him, he became a favorite of mine.
We’re both quiet on the way to the pool. It’s a comfortable silence, but I know it won’t last long. As soon as we make it to the pool, I don’t even bother going to the showers and grabbing swim trunks. I undress quickly before leaping into the water wearing only my briefs. I hear Ignacio laugh from underneath the water, a distorted but cheerful sound that makes me smile as I break the surface. It’s a relaxing sensation, being back in the pool. It hits me that I’ve missed this feeling. Ignacio jumps in, and I immediately splash him, starting a fight, and our laughter peals out.
“Let’s race,” I gasp out after our impromptu fight.
It’s been a while since I’ve really smiled, and I feel a twinge of guilt before I shake it off. I know Ignacio is right, just like Luca has lectured me before. I need to take breaks in order for my mind to be sharp. Same as I did in college. I no longer care that my life has changed so drastically, that all my foolish dreams have disappeared. I wouldn’t trade being Il Padrone’s boy for all the classes and dreams I used to have.
I slice through the water as I race Ignacio, lap after lap. There’s no competition even as he tries to use his muscular power. Not even that can keep up with my experience and how my body moves. It’s why Master used to love to watch me swim—well that and the way water dripped down my body afterward. At some point, sex changed from a way to escape, to feel good, to creating a connection, especially with him. I slap the edge of the pool and wait for Ignacio to catch up.
I eye Ignacio’s strong body as he finishes and can’t resist the bolt of lust that goes through me as I take in all of his tattoos. They do nothing to cover his sinewy body. Memories of the time together with him, Luca, and Master flood my mind. Perhaps, I can still use intimacy to relieve some of the stress crashing over me.
I hook my leg around Ignacio’s hip as he stands with water dripping off him. With a gentle push off, I wrap my arms around him and kick my other leg up around his hip. Taking advantage of him being slightly out of breath, my lips cover his, and I slide my tongue into his mouth. I coax him out to play and tighten my legs. I can feel his cock harden against mine, and we both let out a groan. I don’t get any relief from the heady feeling swamping me because he pushes me away quickly. He ducks under the water before popping up further away from me, igniting a fury deep inside me.
“Why?” I ask, the fury giving out to hurt in a heartbeat.
“You should know,” he chides. “You still belong to Il Padrone. It doesn’t matter if that’s Allesandro or Luca. The rules are the same. No touching without permission.”
About the Author
Leigh is a dark M/M romance author from Texas with two needy terrors of terriers and a chaotic family. She considers coffee a major food group and her family fears broken coffeemakers. She writes in her spare time, forced to the keyboard by characters entirely too vocal in her opinion and often falls victim to plot monkeys. In between creating mayhem with her characters and friends, her hope is to transport readers to fictional places and provide darkness with a twist.
A beautiful man in strange clothing starts invading my dreams, and even though I know he isn’t real, the dreams—mind-links, according to him—are so vivid it’s hard to imagine this man doesn’t exist. After a few of these nightly visits, I start looking forward to meeting him and listening to his smooth voice as he tries to convince me to go to Rueberry Orchard.
To my surprise, the place really exists, but I know it would be crazy to go there when it’s ten hours away… right?
When the visits don’t stop, some deep desire inside me knows I have to listen to this dream man, even if it’s absolutely insane. I follow his instructions to Rueberry Orchard, and nothing in this world could’ve prepared me for what I find. Or for the wild adventure I’m about to embark on.
Book 2: Willowhope Manor by Sammi Cee – October 8th
From the moment Dimas met Hazzard they had a bizarre connections, it was like a mating bond but not quite. Something was missing. Imagine their surprise when that something turns out to be a someone.
An owl, a wolf, and a bear. All three mates and all three fit together perfectly. Now if everything else in Copper Creek were going as smoothly as their mating.
Unfortunately, an anti-shifter group is getting close to finding the psychotropic salamanders whose toxin can prevent a shifter’s animal from surfacing. Join these three as they work with the rest of the Copper Creek clan to find the salamanders and make sure they don’t fall into the wrong hands.
Book 4: Marcellus by Michelle Frost – October 15th
Since the Null’s defeat, the land of Ferron had known peace under the guiding hands of the Conservatory of Mages.
After he earned his name in battle, Vian the Scarred set out on every mission the Conservatory put before him. Yet, no amount of hunting monsters or fugitive Nulls could quiet the fitful yearning of his heart.
Until Marcellus came and imbued Vian’s life with his golden glow…for a time.
Set on the path of an unknown monster, Vian hunts with a ferocity that feels misplaced while vivid flashes of golden hair catch at the edges of his dreams. Fulfilling the Conservatory’s orders has always been his life’s work, but this time the demands of his heart might win out if only he could remember.
It all started with a discovery. A cave beneath a waterfall that held a crystal. Two boys—best friends—embark on a journey they’re told will help all mankind. As the years go by, their friendship turns to love, and their adventure turns into a battle.
Drew Langly is the keeper of the crystal. With his contact, the crystal allows them to jump to different timestreams and help, if they can, to further that society or fix anything that improves their lives. When he’s ripped from the timestream, it’s the beginning of what will change everything they’ve come to know about how the different timestreams function.
Colby Adams is Drew’s boyfriend, fellow traveler, and jump partner. When Drew is left vulnerable after a failed jump, he’s there to help and try to figure out what went wrong. They soon discover another team of travelers is in trouble, but they’ve been warned against trusting them. The more they learn, the more they realize everything has been a lie. To rewrite a history that’s been full of deceit, they’ll need to put their trust, once again, in strangers. Can they rewind it all and begin again? Experience the history they were always meant to? With some unconventional help, maybe…
Book 6: The Manuscript by J.D. Light – October 22nd
Omi has had vague but vivid dreams his whole life but would forget them within minutes of opening his eyes. When he started writing the dreams down as soon as he woke up, he suddenly realized the significance when things in those dreams would pop up in his daily life. A broken toaster that caused a ridiculous automobile accident that was thankfully not fatal to anyone. A pop can that exploded in the middle of class and covered his least favorite teacher in orange soda.
Omi’s dreams about a man with sunflower eyes were his favorite and enough to fill the pages of a manuscript. He couldn’t help but fall madly in love with the man, even if he never had a name. But the beautiful stranger never appeared like the other objects in his dreams and with every day that he didn’t, Omi became more and more depressed until he finally had to lock the manuscript away and stop writing about the man.
Six years have passed since Omi has touched the manuscript, but he would recognize the man that shows up at his favorite coffee shop anywhere, even before he gets close enough for Omi to see his sunflower eyes. How is a guy supposed to react to seeing the man he’s been in love with from the time he was eighteen in real life for the first time? Probably NOT how Omi does.
Canton knows that Omi is his oracle the moment he sees him… just like he knows that Omi is his mate from the very beginning. But that is impossible, since fate weavers haven’t had mates in centuries, and it is absolutely forbidden to mate your oracle.
Canton has waited for his oracle for two hundred long years, and he desperately wants to finish his work, but the more time he spends with the feisty man, the harder it is to remember to keep his distance emotionally. How can he possibly spend endless hours with a man he wants so much and not get to treasure him like he wants?
The answers to that just might be found in the pages of a manuscript Omi isn’t sure he wants to share.
Book 7: Amethyst Isle by Wren Kenzie – October 27th
Never trust a stray cat that follows you around and stares at you like it knows your darkest secrets. Especially, when that cat shows up perched on the shoulder of a huge man who demands I meet him on an abandoned pier at midnight if I don’t want to die. A man who also exposes those dark secrets right there on the street in front of my office.
My parents warned me to fear anyone who knew what I was. I should run away, but I can’t make myself do it. I’m drawn to him, and I need answers. I have to know how he knows. And just maybe he can explain the nightmares that have been ruining my nights. Explain why I feel like I’ve known him my entire life. But you know what they say about curiosity killing the cat, except this time, it’s the cat himself that might kill me.
Book 8: Imaginary Lover by Morgan Brice – October 29th
“There’s no time. Remember your imaginary lover….”
Cory Caldwell woke up by the side of the road with no memory of how he got there. He pieces together who he is but has no idea what happened to him.
Dark visions haunt him—flashes of blood, magic, and a brutal fight. Scorching dreams of a faceless lover offer no clues. His gut warns that something urgent is eluding him, and that time is running out. Worse is the sense of bone-deep grief, as if Cory is missing part of his soul.
Desperate for answers, he hops a bus for Fox Hollow, a town famous for psychics, mediums, and those with supernatural abilities. Then a stranger calls Cory by name and casts a furtive glance around him. “There’s no time,” the man says. “I need your help. Remember…” Can Cory unlock his missing memories and rescue the stranger before it’s too late?
Imaginary Lover is full of dangerous magic, hurt/comfort, brave monster hunters, dark curses, sincere psychics, found family, and forever love.
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Gorgeous Garrett fills Ty’s heart with love once again. Loneliness is subverted by soulmate love!
When Garrett encounters an extremely embarrassing situation in the boys’ basketball locker room, his teammates begin hazing him mercilessly. Ty steps forward to protect Garrett, and a lasting friendship and love affair begins.
As always with Ty Debauchee books, you will find yourself turning the pages rapidly and adjusting yourself in preparation for what happens next. Just try not to make a mess.
Overall Heat Rating for the series: 5 flames
The stories, books and series, are progressive and best read in order.
These books are unique in that they have an interesting photograph at the beginning of each chapter to set the stage for the story.
The series will comprise of 8 books. The fifth book was published on September 15, 2020.
Endowed and proud, Garrett walks through the locker room toward the shower. Oddly, he briefly feels guilty for so enjoying his girlfriend’s bragging about how blessed he is. Suddenly, he is betrayed by his number one asset. A frenzy of unhinged harassment and gay bashing ensues! The high school basketball team is showering after their first win when Garrett becomes aroused. It’s an embarrassing disaster! In that instant, Garrett’s life changes forever. As Ty looks on, he must decide whether to stay on the side lines or join with the homophobic mob to hide his own secret. Garrett’s crisis now looms as a dramatic force to change Ty’s life. How will Garrett and Ty survive the frenzied torment of merciless homophobic teammates? A simple act of human compassion leads both to a revelation of closely held personal perspectives, secrets, and carnal desires. Will they soon share more than just their intimate secrets? This book contains explicit scenes of a gay sexual nature by consenting characters who are over 18 years of age. It is intended only for readers who are 18+ years of age. If you are underage or may be offended by this topic, do not purchase this book.
Book Title: Abs Lust Snowmen Play Naked: Desire #202
Although acquainted for several years, Ty and Garrett only recently came to know each other. Why had Ty never realized how adorable Garrett is? Now Ty can’t take his eyes off of him. Everyone knows blizzards are great for snowmen and sex! Garrett loves the snow and becomes truly giddy when the first flakes fly. The biggest blizzard of their lives traps Garrett and Ty alone at Garrett’s house. Garrett hopes the storm will provide a perfect opportunity for Ty to help him explore his gay urges, as well as learn a few tricks. Garrett’s big questions are whether he is straight, bi, or gay and once he knows, will he tell the world or keep it to himself? Will Ty satisfy Garrett’s erotic urning? This book contains explicit scenes of a gay sexual nature by consenting characters who are over 18 years of age. It is intended only for readers who are 18+ years of age. If you are underage or may be offended by this topic, do not purchase this book.
EVERYTHING IS MORE FUN NAKED! ESPECIALLY HOMEWORK!
You never know what might be considered HOMEWORK. Sign up for the most erotic tutoring sessions ever! Who could be motivated to study if your dad perpetually told you that you are too dimwitted to succeed? In spite of Garrett’s brilliance, he genuinely believes he is stupid. Who could be motivated to succeed in school when each day is a gauntlet of homophobic hazing by the school bully and your ex-girlfriend? Garrett just wants to curl up and disappear. Consequently, Garrett is doing poorly in his high school classes and failing in Algebra. Desperately afraid his poor grades will bench him from the basketball team, Garrett still shows no interest in Ty’s offer to tutor him. Garrett knows he is a lost cause and tutoring will just be frustrating and painful. No Thanks!!! However, Ty believes the best homework motivator is your boyfriend’s anatomy. Can Ty’s use Strip Algebra and Algebra For Sex to tease out excellence? You want this book in your library. Someday, you just might need Ty’s lustful manipulations. This book contains explicit scenes of a gay sexual nature by consenting characters who are over 18 years of age. It is intended only for readers who are 18+ years of age. If you are underage or may be offended by this topic, do not purchase this book.
Book Title: Abs Lust Bare Rejection: Desire #204
Length: 22 400 words / 95 pages
Release Date: September 1, 2020
Genre/s: Fiction > M/M Gay > Romance > Erotica
Trope/s: Homophobic Hazing
Themes: Coming out, Gay Love, Homophobic Hazing, Bullying, Abusive Father
NAKED, COLD, NUMB – WANDERING, STUMBLING, LOST, ALL ALONE! HELP ME TY!
Ty’s parents reveal insights he never suspected. Is Garrett and Ty’s secret at risk? Hank, Garrett’s father, cites Garrett’s sexual orientation as reason to throw him out of the house. Garrett struggles to survive nude in frigid weather. Where is Ty when Garrett desperately needs him?
How long before Garrett dies of exposure and hypothermia?
By not dealing with Hank decisively, Ty makes a costly error destined to haunt the boys for a lifetime. So Ty must put everything on the line to save Garrett and his handsome nurse from Hank’s wrath. But in whose bed will Ty sleep? Will Ty’s love be lost forever?
This book contains explicit scenes of a gay sexual nature by consenting characters who are over 18 years of age. It is intended only for readers who are 18+ years of age. If you are underage or may be offended by this topic, do not purchase this book.
Book Title:Abs Lust Prom: Desire #205
Length: 19 200 words
Release Date: September 15, 2020
Genre/s: Fiction > M/M Gay > Romance > Erotica
Trope/s: Homophobic Hazing
Themes: Gay Love, Homophobic Hazing, Public Exhibition Caught
Prom night essentials for great sex include a super HOT boyfriend with great abs, a great tush, sexy feet, stunning smile, and tantalizingly erotic tux attire. Ty desperately wants to take Garrett to the prom as his date, but neither wants to be out to classmates. This year’s prom needs to be special, so Garrett manipulates this event in their favor. Special T-shirts with favorite sayings enhance the mood. Find yourself on the edge of your seat doing your best to ease your desires as Garrett allows Ty to relive what now seems like a wet dream premonition from a past… This book contains explicit scenes of a gay sexual nature by consenting characters who are over 18 years of age. It is intended only for readers who are 18+ years of age. If you are underage or may be offended by this topic, do not purchase this book.
Excerpt – Abs Lust Snowmen Play Naked: Desire #202
(Please note that each chapter begins with an illustrative photo)
“Shouldn’t we put on swimming suits and get a shirt or something to go out there?” He asked as he flipped a red switch.
“Absolutely not! Why put on clothes and then have to take them off when we get out there?”
“Lights?” He asked.
“Absolutely not! We need privacy, especially from your neighbors. So we need to be quiet also.”
Arms around each other’s waist, with rock hard pleasure wands leading the way like twin Rudolfs running side by side, we went dashing through the snow naked to the hot tub across 150 feet of grass lawn now covered with 14 inches of snow.
Fuuuck! Cold! Should have worn shoes! Nah, would have ruined the experience.
Garrett had the cover was off in seconds, as I ran over to hit the bubbler ‘Go’ switch. When I turned back toward the hot tub, the image of Garrett standing in the hot tub was breathtaking.
In each other’s arms, we were kissing deeply as we eased ourselves into the delightfully hot water.
I can’t stop kissing you. And having your soft hand wrapped around my hard on is something I definitely don’t want to end anytime soon either.
As my tongue slipped along his teeth and then tussled with his tongue in an attempt to figure out whose tongue got which space, I realized I couldn’t lose myself in this and just forget about his struggle. So I pulled back a bit and said, “I promised you a Magic Potion to make you feel better, so come over here.”
Pulling him to the side of the tub, I turned us sideways so a major jet was blowing between his back and my abs; but we were not far apart. The granite in my fully erect tool was resting comfortably in a vertical position against the small of his back.
Now the potion begins. Let’s see if you notice.
With both hands I began to massage Garrett’s trapezius muscles. Using my thumbs, I worked the muscles from their origins in his neck, and down to their insertions on his scapulae. As I encountered knotted up trigger points in the muscles, I focused on those with my thumbs, working to get those fibers to release and relax.
I couldn’t hear all of his moans of pleasure over the noise of the bubbling hot tub, but some got through. Between his sound effects and feeling him relax back against my chest, I was pretty sure I was helping him to destress and feel better.
The snow was still falling hard, so the hot tub was steaming intensely, and the snow was collecting heavily on our hair. I couldn’t resist licking some of the snow off of him. If he wasn’t so upset, it would have been the perfect moment to nail his cute little tush; but I decided I should wait.
I just hope the massage is helping you to feel better.
“Your magic is amazing! Thank you, Mr. Magician.”
I couldn’t resist shifting my snow licking of his hair to licking and kissing his neck. As I did, he tilted his head to give me easier access to his neck and shoulder. Now my hand on his right shoulder was a little in the way, so I discretely slid it down over his shoulder and under his arm allowing my Magic Fingers to tease his nipple.
While I continued to kiss his neck, I caressed down his abs and took ahold of his rigid monster. I began stroking it up and down, and he turned his head toward me as much as possible as his eyes lit up.
“How do you feel? You like my magic? Do you want to see some more?”
“Ohhh… fuuuck… I love your magic,” he said with the smile which had been missing, “show me all you’ve got. Please!”
We started kissing deeply again, and I turned him so he was sitting sideways in my lap. My left hand continued to massage his neck, and my right hand was slowly stroking his rigid shaft as we kissed passionately. You would have thought we had just met.
Well, I guess we sorta did just meet for real last night.
Suddenly he put his hand on my hand stopping my stroke and said, “I’m close.”
He thought I meant I wasn’t stroking him, then he suddenly realized I needed some attention as well. He started to stroke me but the position was awkward, so we moved around until we were facing each other with the water jet blowing across our stomachs. Then Garrett went back to stroking me as we kissed.
The snow continued to fall, and I was amazed at how stunningly beautiful Garrett was with the snow in his moussed up hair. By then I had caught up in the game we were playing, so I decided to squeeze in even closer to him.
His legs were over mine, our love wands were touching, and we were still kissing as Garrett wrapped his hand around both of our joy sticks. I moved Garrett’s hand up a little bit. Then I took a hold of both of our shafts below his hand while interlacing my pointer finger with his pinky in sort of a golf club grip.
“Hug me and hold us together while together we provide the stroking magic for both of us,” then we began stroking in a frottage position which felt amazing to me. Garrett had his eyes closed and was quivering with pleasure as well.
“Please look at me and kiss me when we bust.”
In a matter of seconds, we were both quaking, spasming, and convulsing in the throws of orgasmic bliss.
I looked into his eyes and kissed him as we both came at the same time. It was yet another special moment for me, but more importantly, it was the first time I felt an incredible emotional lightning bolt surge through me from being with Garrett.
Fuuuck! There is no doubt, I’m in love with you. But I can’t tell you how I feel. I’m such a dumbass. Do I have to fall in love with every cute guy I meet?
It’s harder to be subtle with those final strokes in the water of the hot tub, so we gave up on trying to stretch out our mutual orgasms any longer. Instead, we both just wrapped our arms around each other in another tight embrace.
“Dude, it was awesome for me too!”
And we continued to kiss, more softly now, more gently and slowly, but still feeling all of the passionate emotions and the beauty of a very special night.
Suddenly the hot tub bubbler shut off, “Damn!”
I always hate having to get out of the warmth of the tub to restart the bubbler.
But as the tub settled down and the noise went away, we became aware of this unusually serene silence created by the snow still falling heavily and absorbing all the ambient sound. It was a serenity I had always loved about snow, and I was loving it even more with Garrett in my arms.
About the Author
As an energetic man of 6’4” tall and 195 pounds of muscle, I very much enjoy athletic pursuits including basketball, waterskiing, and snow skiing. While having a quiet and shy personality, I value my integrity above all else with loyalty to my friends and family coming in as a very close second.
A small rural community at the edge of a midwestern metropolitan area in the center of the United States is where I grew up. So many aspects of that environment made it a wonderful place to live and definitely played a role in molding my character and principles. However, acceptance of individuals with a gay sexual orientation was not a widely supported virtue at the time.
Growing up with the stress of gay urges and desires in a straight world and struggling to find my place in the world, I frequently used my dreams and fantasies as an emotional crutch to get me through some very challenging times. By sharing these stories in my books, I sincerely hope to ease the stress of others who might face similar challenges and offer an entertaining escape for anyone in need.
It’s a mysteriously charmed life for orphan Sebastien Harris, but it’s still a shock to be offered a full ride to attend grad school at the obscure but prestigious Bosch University in upstate New York. Trouble starts as he attempts to reach the campus for his interview: first the train is cancelled, then a swarm of migratory air mattresses block the streets. When he finally arrives, he’s too exhausted to question why a remarkably handsome man named Gem is waiting for him, nor does he have time. A demon horde demolishes the university, and the pair run for their lives—at which point Sebastien realizes Gem is not, strictly speaking, human. Their adventure exposes Sebastien’s heritage…and reveals the prophecy he is destined to fulfill. Gem is infernal, a human-demon hybrid, and meant to be Sebastien’s servitor, a magical well from which Sebastien, a warlock by birth, will draw the power to remake the world. If he survives.
“You’re late.” The tall man’s tone was so nonchalant it bordered on melodic, carrying the cadence of a world-weary sigh. “That is, you’re late if you’re Sebastien Harris.” He paused, eyeing Sebastien from his lofty vantage. His aquiline features formed an exceedingly dubious expression. “Are you Sebastien Harris? The gates opened for you, so I’m making an assumption here, but honestly.”
He pulled languidly at his pipe and made no comment about the cacophonic blue jays or the Hello Kitty helmet.
Sebastien wanted to reply, but he was still having a hard time breathing. Instead, he pulled off the helmet and let it roll away as he stared up at the man and nodded.
With the visor out of the way, Sebastien could admire the stranger properly. Even breathless and flat on his ass, Sebastien had to admit he was interested.
The tall man flowed smoothly into a crouch beside Sebastien, his long legs moving like well-oiled hinges, too graceful by far. His monochromatic ensemble was shades of gray, black, and white from dark curled hair down to his pointy-toed, iridescent black boots. It wasn’t exactly cool out—although it seemed far crisper here than it had on the road—but the man wore what looked like five or six layers on top, most of them silk or velvet or some other expensive material.
Sebastien had met lots of fashionable boys living in New York City, but this man seemed like another species entirely.
“Sebastien,” the man repeated with a little more enthusiasm this time, holding Sebastien’s gaze in a way that suggested he’d caught him looking. “You’re very late. Get your shit together, fresh meat.”
He smiled just a little, but it transformed his striking countenance into one far more accommodating, though still edged with intriguing cruelty.
After another puff from his pipe, the stranger passed it to his off hand and extended the other to shake.
“You can call me Gem, if you please,” he rasped as he exhaled richly scented pipe smoke to one side.
Sebastien took Gem’s hand and shook it even as Gem helped him to his feet. Sebastien’s legs trembled as he rose; the day’s activities were really catching up with him.
“I was delayed!” Sebastien shouted it, gesturing at the shrieking party of blue jays swarming around the gazebo. “I mean, I knew the birds were bad in the city, but I had no idea how intense they got this far out. How does anyone get here on time?”
This was, of course, leaving out the frolicking flock of mattresses and the subway being shut down, both of which were… Well, he had planned for the subway to possibly fail.
But it was his first mattress migration.
“Are you talking about the birds?” Gem looked momentarily puzzled as he gestured with his pipe toward the flock. “I’m uncertain how to break this news to you, Sebastien, but… Those are your birds. They’re here for you. They are not Bosch birds.”
He smiled, just a little, and this time it was distinctly unsettling. “You’ll know it when you see Bosch birds.”
“I don’t have birds. I was thinking about getting a cat, but—”
Fuck. Why was Sebastien bringing that up?
He was late, probably a mess, and there were angry birds.
Sebastien tried to smooth hair that had mostly parted ways with the little bun on the back of his head. Some stuck to his face, and he brushed it away as he looked down at what had once been a tidy, if imperfect, tie. The dress shirt was all but soaked through with sweat under the knit sweater he’d thought made him look quite smart. Now it just made him feel… damp.
Wincing as he peeled the sweaty fabric away from his skin, Sebastien mulled over the Bosch birds. That notion rang a bell, but he couldn’t quite place it. He couldn’t fucking think. The noise was inhuman.
“If they’re my birds, I’d really appreciate it if they shut up,” Sebastien muttered off-hand.
The shrieking stopped, leaving behind portentous silence.
He stared at Gem. Gem stared at him. Sebastien opened his mouth, thought, closed it again, and then blurted, “Um. That was weird.”
Weird being a relative term.
Then the ground began to shake.
About the Authors
Clancy Nacht is a bisexual genderqueer person who lives in Austin. Many of her books have been honored with Rainbow Awards; Le Jazz Hot won for Best Bisexual/Transgender Romance & Erotic Romance. In 2013, Black Gold: Double Black was a runner-up for a Rainbow Award. In 2015, Gemini won an Honorable Mention for Gay Erotic Romance and in 2016, Strange Times won an Honorable Mention for Science Fiction. Wyatt’s Recipes for Wooing Rock Stars was a finalist in the highly competitive William Neale Award for Best Gay Contemporary Romance. The Phisher King won second place in the Rainbow Award for Romantic Suspense.
The Thursday Euclid is a strange and elusive creature dwelling in the Texas Gulf Coast region. Frequently mistaken for Bigfoot, Chupacabra, or the monster of the week, he is, in fact, a 30-something black sheep with a penchant for K-pop, geekery, and hot and sour soup. When he’s not playing Dragon Age or World of Warcraft, he’s probably watching B-movies or talking to his best friend and frequent collaborator Clancy Nacht. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, or email him at thursdayeuclid at gmail dot com.
Jackson Young has gone into hiding. Fighting to get his name cleared and his truth heard, he’s followed Fletcher Doherty to Ireland for a safe haven from those who want to silence his story.
As they work on Jackson’s biography, their growing attraction gets harder resist. Fletcher’s made it clear though—their professional boundary isn’t to be crossed, especially with so many loose threads from each of their pasts left hanging.
But as he learns more about the once coveted celebrity’s rise to fame, and the manipulation and control that came with it, Fletcher finds it increasingly difficult to distance himself from their intimate moments. Lust fuelled attraction is easy to ignore, but an emotional connection is harder to deny.
Surrounded by Fletcher’s meddling family, and ex boyfriends who still harbour feelings of being jilted, Jackson has to play the part of his lifetime. Can he prove that he does have talent and win Fletcher’s heart as well as his trust?
And can he do it all before their idyllic hideaway is compromised?
Hide to Seek is the second book in the London Lies trilogy and is a slow burn, hurt/comfort, romantic suspense series.
Jackson joined him at the edge of the boat as the land disappeared into the murky water that sloshed up against the stern. He didn’t say anything. Neither did Fletcher. Their silence wasn’t awkward. It wasn’t comfortable either. It was a shared moment of reflection. Of knowing this could be the only peace they might have in a long while. A three-hour ferry ride from Holyhead to Dublin on international waters meant they couldn’t be found yet. They’d managed to get through ID control without any real problems. For how many times Fletcher had done this journey, he knew the ferry border control wasn’t as meticulous in checking details as the airlines would be. It was why across water was the only way. And they needed to breathe in this sanctuary while they still could. Fletcher wasn’t sure what awaited them in Ireland. He had apprehensions about going home, about bringing Jackson Young and all that came with him, to his family. But where else could they go?
So they shared a silent agreement to just stand, stare and be.
Until Jackson broke it with an intrepid inhale and a twist of his body to face him. “We should talk,” he said through the gust of howling wind.
“Should we?” Fletcher kept his gaze forward. Or backward as it were.
“This thing.” Jackson flapped a hand between them, his fingertips brushing Fletcher’s arm. “Us. We should probably acknowledge it.”
Fletcher breathed in, his chest rising, and slapped the railing to stand straighter. He closed his eyes, then opened them but kept his gaze on the distant horizon and not on the man beside him who was conjuring up feelings he didn’t want to concede to. Not then. Not when there was so much else left to learn between them.
“I know what you’re thinking.” Jackson slid his hand onto Fletcher’s cheek, demanding he look at him. A hand that stayed there a moment too long, with blue eyes delving into his soul and a soft thumb brushing along his yearning lips.
“You do, do ye?”
Jackson removed his hand and Fletcher’s cheek tinged with the heat left behind, but the flecks of ice cold seawater carried up by fierce winds slapped his skin and soon wiped the warmth away.
“You think this is too complicated to deal with now. That we need to focus on the book. On ourselves. On hiding. That’s why you left me down there, isn’t it? You can’t face me.”
“What did you think? This would be a romantic mini break?”
“I think we need to acknowledge there’s something going on. We can’t ignore it. I spent my life ignoring what was in front of me and look what happened.” Jackson threw his hands in the air, indicating their current situation.
“I’m not ignoring you, Jax. There’s no time for us. You want this truth out, then we’re gonna have to prioritise.”
Jackson hung his head, the disappointment and hurt seeping off his deflating body. But Fletcher couldn’t do this. He couldn’t rebound so quickly again. Time after time he’d done that, and each time had hurt worse than before to the point he couldn’t trust his feelings anymore. Nor could he trust that Jackson wasn’t clinging onto anything that would save him. How could this be real? How could either of them think that this could be something?
“I can be friends.” Fletcher made a concerted effort to keep his voice low, neutral, soothing. “Neither of us are ready for romance.”
Jackson breathed through a smile. “Are you an old romantic, Mr Doherty?”
“Aye. I am.” Fletcher wrapped his jacket around him, arms folding. It was to stave off the blustering wind chill but also, maybe, to act as the physical barrier to coincide with the one he built up with every wretched word he spoke. “I don’t jump into bed at the first sign of attraction. So when I said, let’s see what happens, I meant it.” He sniffed as the ferry dipped and swayed, aiming for the open arms of Dublin port. “But first things first, we have to get you off this ferry as Cameron Dale.”
About the Author
Brought up in a relatively small town in Hertfordshire, C F White managed to do what most other residents try to do and fail—leave.
Studying at a West London university, she realised there was a whole city out there waiting to be discovered, so, much like Dick Whittington before her, she never made it back home and still endlessly search for the streets paved with gold, slowly coming to the realisation they’re mostly paved with chewing gum. And the odd bit of graffiti. And those little circles of yellow spray paint where the council point out the pot holes to someone who is supposedly meant to fix them instead of staring at them vacantly whilst holding a polystyrene cup of watered-down coffee.
She eventually moved West to East along that vast District Line and settled for pie and mash, cockles and winkles and a bit of Knees Up Mother Brown to live in the East End of London; securing a job and creating a life, a home and a family.
After her second son was born with a rare disability, C F White’s life changed and brought pen back to paper having written stories as a child but never the confidence to show them to the world. Now, having embarked on this writing journey, she can’t stop. So strap in, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
When workaholic Lawrence Weller walks in on the aftermath of his fiancé Frankie cheating on him, his world shatters. Frankie’s the love of his life, the only person he’s ever trusted, and the betrayal leaves him devastated. Franklin Ennis makes a huge mistake he regrets deeply before it’s even over. He pleads for a second chance, willing to do whatever it takes to save their relationship. A love that deep doesn’t just stop, so Lawrence agrees to try. But mistakes don’t happen in a vacuum. Are they both willing to own up to their part? Will their love be enough to repair what was crushed? Can trust once broken be rebuilt?
You never told me you were lonely,” I say. “I did!” His protest is loud and takes some of the defeat from his body. “I’ve told you a thousand times. How I miss you when you’re always working late and wish we could do more stuff together.” I knit my eyebrows together, trying to think back and remember. He’s right. He always hugs me tightly and tells me how much he’ll miss me when he knows I’ll work late. Or how he wishes we could do something together, even if it’s only watching a show while cuddling on the couch. ”I thought that was your way of showing me how you feel about me. You being sweet and caring. Not once did I think it meant ‘I’m so fucking lonely I’ll suck someone else’s dick.’ Was it even your first time?” The question is a pained scream, hurting my throat, my head, my soul. I don’t like yelling, so I take a deep breath and start counting to ten in my head to calm down, but I’m interrupted before even reaching three. “Of course, it was the first time,” he roars. “I’m not a cheater.” His words are a thundercrack in an otherwise dead silent apartment, and I rear back, scramble off the couch, and turn to leave. “No. Please.” He’s pleading now, voice cracked and bleeding out on the floor. “Please don’t leave me, Lawrence. I’ll do anything. I love you so much, don’t leave me.” I’m frozen on the spot. Undecided. The hurt, overly-dramatic part of me wants to storm off in a huff, throw some stuff in a bag, and retreat somewhere to lick my wounds, and rage and scream and curse the treachery, while wailing out my broken heart. But the other, more rational part of me won’t let me move, the part that still remembers how much I love him, still remembers his loving kisses, his devotion. His passion. So I sink back down on the couch. Rub my palms over my face and swallow. “I don’t know what to do here, Frankie. I’m hurt and betrayed, but at the same time I just can’t turn off my feelings for you. But how can I be with you if I can’t trust you?” “You can trust me. You can.” He’s so sincere, so heartfelt, leaning forward — hands twitching so he shoves them between his knees — begging, willing me to believe him. And I want to. I really do. “How?” “I’ve never done anything like this before, never kissed anyone, hardly ever looked at anyone like that. It was a huge mistake and I regret it. So, so much. I know I can’t prove it, but I was going to tell you. That’s what I was worried about when you walked in. How I would tell you. How you’d react. If you’d hate me.” I must look skeptical because he hurries to continue. “I know. It’s easy to say when there’s no way of proving intent. But I’m not a liar. You know I’m not.” “Do I?” I push out the question around the lump in my throat. He slides to his knees on the floor in front of me, sits back on his heels, and tries to catch my gaze. I give in to his silent pleas and meet his eyes. “You know me, Lawrence. You know you do. You know what kind of person I am. I’m only human and make mistakes like everyone. This one was huge and more stupid than most, I know that. I’m not perfect, but I’m not a liar. I’m not disloyal. And I own my mistakes.” His face is open. He blinks away tears, but his gaze never falters. His hands rest on his knees, palms open and turned up, and everything about him invites me to see the honesty in his heart. And maybe I can see it. The slight tremble of his hand and the pulse fluttering visibly in his neck betrays his anxiousness, but he doesn’t move. Doesn’t squirm or fidget, doesn’t look away from me. Nothing indicates that he’s lying. There’s no way he’s that skilled a liar. He’s always been open and honest and prone to blurting his emotions as soon as he experiences them. That thought deflates me and I fall back against the couch. “Yeah, I know. I believe you.” And I do. At least my head knows. I’m not sure about my heart. Or my gut, rather. His eyes well up and a tremble racks his body, but it’s the sight of his wobbly chin that finally cracks me. I hold out my hand, unable to not touch him anymore. “Come here.”
About the Author
Nell Iris is a romantic at heart who believes everyone deserves a happy ending. She’s a bona fide bookworm (learned to read long before she started school), wouldn’t dream of going anywhere without something to read (not even the ladies room), loves music (and singing along at the top of her voice but she’s no Celine Dion), and is a real Star Trek nerd (Make it so). She loves words, bullet journals, poetry, wine, coffee-flavored kisses, and fika (a Swedish cultural thing involving coffee and pastry!)
Nell believes passionately in equality for all regardless of race, gender or sexuality, and wants to make the world a better, less hateful, place.
Nell is a bisexual Swedish woman married to the love of her life, a proud mama of a grown daughter, and is approaching 50 faster than she’d like. She lives in the south of Sweden where she spends her days thinking up stories about people falling in love. After dreaming about being a writer for most of her life, she finally was in a place where she could pursue her dream and released her first book in 2017.
Nell Iris writes gay romance, prefers sweet over angsty, short over long, and quirky characters over alpha males.