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Valentine’s Day has long been a difficult day for widow and single mom Kate Madsen. But this Valentine’s Day is going to be more than just difficult… it’s going to be downright awkward. For Kate’s only child, seven-year-old Mikey, just stunned the small town of Elk’s Ridge by writing a Valentine’s Day card to someone named Bobby Bryson.
While the card sends teachers into a tizz and turns Mikey’s grandfather into a grumpy old man, Kate discovers over the course of one afternoon that she and her young son are about to begin a journey of questions, confrontations and hopefully one day… happiness.
In the meantime, will Mikey and his Mom make it through this Valentine’s Day? Will the innocent intentions of one young boy change the narrow minds of a stubborn, small town? And just who exactly is the object of Mikey’s affections—Bobby Bryson?
Brooks measured his life in breaths, until Darien took his breath away.
Brooks is convinced his life is totally, one hundred percent happy. Until Darien tracks him down. Darien was supposed to be the guy he kissed once and remembered forever, but now he’s back in Brooks’s life, with easy smiles and big ideas. The first of which … show the homeschooled Brooks everything he’s missed out on. But as the pair work through a spring of playing catch up on life, it becomes obvious to Darien that Brooks has a secret. And as things heat up between them, Brooks’s secret might just be Darien’s worst fear. Because Darien has always lived in the moment. But Brooks has always lived for the future he knows is inevitable. When life is set to tear them apart, will love be enough to keep them together?
“Yo, Dare!” Cameron shouts.
Darien turns toward us in the bleachers and throws up a little wave. From the corner of my eye, I notice Chelsea pointing at me, and Darien double takes. His expression is almost comical.
Darien tosses his lacrosse stick to the side and jogs over to where we’re sitting. His eyes and smile are so wide he looks deranged, but the happiness radiating from him bathes me in warmth.
When he doesn’t say anything, I step in to fill the awkwardness. “Careful. People might think you’re happy to see me.”
He huffs a laugh, slightly out of breath. “Damn, Brooks. You could have given me some warning.”
I stand up and make my way down the few rows until I’m on the one right above him. The others are watching us creepily and it’s weird to have an audience when he’s looking at me like that. I should keep my distance. I can’t. “Are you surprised?”
“Very. You realize this is something you’ve been missing right? Checking out hot guys at practice. We can theoretically check that off your list.”
I pretend to scan the rest of the team. “Mmm … jocks in their natural habitat. My favorite.”
He whacks me in the stomach. “Mean.”
“You said it.”
“Yeah but you were supposed to say, ‘there’s just one guy I’m here for’.”
“I didn’t realize this thing was scripted,” I say, gripping the metal barrier and leaning down a little.
“Don’t be embarrassed. You’re clearly not as well versed in flirting as I am.”
“Finallyyour ego makes sense. Too much flirting, not enough criticism.”
He holds his arms out. “What’s there to critique?”
And with that view of his body—his lean legs and loose shorts and tight t-shirt—I have to agree. Damn … the list of reasons why I should give him up melts away. There’s no walking away from this pull between us.
“Mitreski!” his coach calls, snapping me from my thoughts.
Darien ignores him as he drops his arms and steps closer to me. He reaches up to wrap one of his hands over mine. “Wait for me after practice?”
My mind gets loud with warning. What if he’s sick?
What if I catch it again?
What if I end up in hospital this time?
What if … he’s perfect for me? Hope surges in my chest.
What if I tell him everything and he doesn’t walk away? What if I get better? It’s an impossible thought, but when I’m with Darien, he makes me want to entertain infinite impossibilities.
“Yes,” I whisper. “I’ll be here.”
Darien’s hand tightens around mine. “I don’t want to let go,” he admits.
“There are some thoughts you’re meant to keep to yourself.” But as he goes to pull away, I catch his fingers between my own. Just for a second. Just long enough to show that while I’ll keep the thought to myself, I don’t want to let go either.
As soon as I release him, he jogs back to his team, and I walk back up the three rows to where the others are sitting.
Heat has surged to my face, my ears, my neck. I’m sure I must be embarrassingly red but no one says a thing about it.
Cameron smiles at me, blue eyes twinkling, and it hits me just how much I love my cousin. He’s always been there for me, looking out for me. He knew I needed this.
I nudge him as Darien and the team set up a practice game. “Thank you.”
Cameron shrugs. “I overhead you two today. It was sickening. Really sappy. I had to get you together again, because no one needs to hear that.”
If Cameron told me why he wanted me to pick him up, I probably wouldn’t have come. I would have used the excuse of Darien being sick, and stayed away, intimidated by the thought of showing up—especially with Chelsea here too.
But as I watch Darien run back and forth, with no clue what the rules are, I feel like I’m lit up from the inside. He scores at one point and I’m practically bursting with pride as we cheer and stomp our feet, making as much noise as possible.
Instead of getting embarrassed, he mock bows, loving the attention.
I lean over to Cameron. “I’m going to tell him.”
He jerks around to look at me, all humor gone. “For real? Brooks, are you sure?”
“You’re the one who said I have to.”
He shrugs. “It’s really not up to me.”
“I know.” I hesitate before letting out a sigh. “But it’s not up to me either. I really like him, but he has the right to know what he’s getting into, before anything happens.”
“I hate to agree with you … but it’s true.”
“I’m a lot to take on.”
“No, you’re not. You need to stop seeing yourself as a burden. Fuck, Brooks. You’re always going on about wanting to be treated the same as anyone else, but you need to start treating yourself that way too.”
Cameron’s right. It pisses me off that he’s right so I’m definitely not going to agree, but I note his words. Let them sit, percolate. Soak them into my subconscious. “I have to tell him.” I push as much emphasis as I can into the words, trying to convince myself as much as him. “But I have no clue how.”
“Hey, don’t overthink it. The right moment will come up, and whatever happens from there, happens.”
I watch Darien, wishing the world could just slow and give me endless days of school, and watching practice, and making friends, as I plunge into a world of incomprehensible feelings.
“It’s the ‘whatever’ part I’m afraid of.”
But facing it is inevitable.
About the Author
S. M. James writes books for teens about squishy sweet characters.
While not writing, S. M. is a readaholic and Netflix addict who regularly lives on a sustainable diet of chocolate and coffee.
Member of SCBWI.
Unapologetically dishing out HEAs for LGBTQ characters.
BlurbGrand Summoner Dre’Kariston D’Vaire understands firsthand the brutal reality of war. Barely surviving a gruesome battle, he is one of the few remaining warlocks. After recovering from his wounds, he returns to the castle of his birth only to find his entire race annihilated. For centuries he disguises his power and appearance, refusing to be another victim. When he reunites with his twin, his life changes from barren to beautiful. For years he follows his brother’s example of scrying for his mate, but it is not until they join their power that Fate answers, leading him to Court Ethelin.Prince Somerly Ethelindraconis is stunned as he races to an appointment and runs into a crowned sorcerer standing on his father’s land. His only parent hates magickind and keeps them far from home, but Somerly cannot deny the attractive man his name and number. King Ethelin has his son’s life planned out for him, and Somerly is willing to sacrifice his freedom to help his court—until he falls for Dre’Kariston. He is soon caught between the promises he’s made and what his heart desires. There’s no way to please everyone, and Somerly finds himself teetering on a precipice that forces him to decide where his future lies. With infinite paths twisting ahead, Dre’Kariston and Somerly must follow the truth in their hearts to make the right choices if they wish to forge an enduring love. Fate brought them together, but will they run out of chances before it’s too late to save their matebond?
Excerpt“I’m going to guess you haven’t teleported before?” Dre’Kariston asked.“No, the Consilium outlawed it,” Somerly said.Dre’Kariston lifted a dark brow but made no comment about his statement. “Just close your eyes so you don’t get dizzy, and you should be fine. Ready?”Somerly did as he was told and squeezed them as tight as he could.Dre’Kariston chuckled. “They aren’t going to roll out of your head or anything.”“I know, I just don’t want to throw up or shit my pants.”“Let’s go.”Magic danced over Somerly’s skin and a weightlessness registered; then the ground was firmly under his feet again. “You can open your eyes now,” Dre’Kariston invited softly.Lifting his lashes, Somerly found himself in a giant living room with ceilings a full two stories high. There was furniture everywhere, and all of it looked comfortable and welcoming. It was a far cry from the staid decor of his own house. “This is nice.”Before Dre’Kariston could respond, two blond men ran into the room. The slightly taller one thrust out his hand. “I’m Dra’Kaedan.”Somerly shook it dutifully. “Nice to meet you.”“I’m his familiar, Renny,” the smaller one said in greeting.“I don’t really understand what a familiar is, but it’s nice to meet you too.”“Easiest way to explain it is that I’m just like a warlock, but I was born of Dra’Kaedan’s magic and I rely on him to supply mine.”“So, you’re like his kid?”Renny laughed. “He and Brogan certainly act like it sometimes but technically, no. I’m his familiar.”That cleared it up not at all Somerly decided. He turned to Dre’Kariston. “Do you have a familiar?”“Yes.”“And here he comes now,” Dra’Kaedan said.A man who resembled Dre’Kariston walked into the living area. He was wearing a frown and didn’t offer his hand to shake when he got close to their group. “This is the mate?” “Grand Summoner Familiar Derwin D’Vaire, this is Somerly,” Dre’Kariston replied. “And yes, he’s my mate.”“It’s nice to meet you,” Somerly repeated for the third time. He suspected he was going to be saying it a lot as he was introduced to all the warlocks and familiars.“Are you prepared to move into D’Vaire?” Derwin asked.“Derwin, I just met Somerly today. It’s rather early to begin discussing living arrangements.”“I’m sure he already knows if he wants to join the Council,” Derwin retorted.Deciding he didn’t care for Derwin’s hostile attitude, Somerly spoke. “It’s as Dre’Kariston said. It’s too early to discuss any of that. We’ll have to see how things work out, but I appreciate your concern regarding our matebond.”“You should know Dre’Kariston has zero interest in being flexible about the subject. His intention is to stay here in this big mausoleum until the end of time,” Derwin stated. His eyes had none of the warmth of Dre’Kariston’s and appeared empty to Somerly.Before anyone could offer any further insight on a conversation Somerly was barely able to understand, two tall dragons walked into the room. One was undeniably the ruler of Court D’Vaire, and next to him was a mated navy dragon Somerly assumed was Dra’Kaedan’s other half. His hunch was proved correct when the man in question ran a hand over Dra’Kaedan’s plethora of golden curls and leaned down to kiss the warlock.“King Aleksander and Duke Brogan, allow me to introduce Somerly,” Dre’Kariston said.“Thanks for allowing me to travel to your home, Your Highness.”The D’Vaire king smiled. “We don’t use titles around here—call me Aleksander. And we’re happy to have you here. As Dre’Kariston’s mate, you’re always welcome.”Dra’Kaedan rolled his eyes. “Council rules, Aleksander. As long as your mate lives somewhere, you can’t be denied entry. Everyone knows that, skyscraper.”“Squirt, you’re forgetting he lives in the Consilium. They may not have the same law.” “We don’t have that rule. Not everyone meets their mate, so there’s no need to protect something Fate only doles out to certain individuals,” Somerly offered. The room went quiet, and Somerly didn’t fully comprehend the tension.“I guess you’re lucky to be one of the chosen few,” Brogan finally said.“I’m feeling pretty lucky.”
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 and follow her on Facebook. She loves to engage with readers there.
TaglineSince childhood, their friendship has been steadfast; falling in love will test that bond.Blurb Three wishes.Seb wants to be happy.Matt wants to find ‘the one.’Connor wants them.Two drunken kisses.Seb didn’t plan to kiss Matt and Connor, but he doesn’t regret it, even if it has changed their friendship forever.Matt has never considered dating a man before, let alone two. Despite his confusion, being with Seb and Connor feels right.One uncertain future.Connor’s potential fate has stopped him living and loving. Can he face his fears to be with the men he loves?
About the Author
Colette’s personal love story began at university, where she met her future husband. An evening of flirting, in the shadow of Lancaster castle, eventually led to a fairytale wedding. She’s enjoying her own ‘happy ever after’ in the north of England with her husband, two beautiful children and her writing.
TaglineWill Albert’s indecision put the entire vampire establishment in danger? Or is redemption only a flamethrower away?BlurbAs a freshly turned vampire, Neil had frozen in panic when he’d found himself face-to-face with his ex-boyfriend, Cameron. Neil thought that misstep and its associated danger was all in the past, but Cameron’s current boyfriend, Dennis, is like a dog with a bone, and a keen imagination. When the two men’s curiosity progresses to the point the vampires consider their secrecy to be endangered, choices must be made.Now that faction leader Albert has a blood-mate, he finds himself second-guessing his decisions. Neil would be crushed knowing his mistake led to human deaths, but Albert shouldn’t factor that into the difficult choices he must make. Will Albert’s indecision put the entire vampire establishment in danger? Or is redemption only a flamethrower away?Excerpt Neil closed his eyes and bit back a whimper. He’d been so happy these past months loving Albert, a man—vampire—that in many ways he barely knew, yet somehow he could see and truly understand the man’s fundamental essence. Albert’s core…what made him tick.Although Neil wasn’t party to many of the details of faction business, he had made friends among the vampires, and he and Albert frequently socialized with other vamps of all “ages” and levels within the faction. Among their fellow moviegoers tonight had been one of the faction’s team leaders on one end of the scale, and a delivery driver on the other. Albert treated them all with the same respect and caring as he would likely give to fellow faction leaders or council members. If there was something within Albert’s power that would make life more enjoyable for his people without risking their safety, he did it.Albert might have black blood flowing through his veins, but he didn’t have a black heart…he had a heart of gold. Neil knew that with every fiber of his being. But he also knew that Albert had to untangle ethical dilemmas that would make most people quake in dismay. At least, the good ones would flinch away from those concerns. Those with hearts steeped in foul malevolence would relish the decisions Albert faced.Two men’s lives hung in the balance on one side of the scale versus a calculated risk to the lives of all vampires worldwide. Albert’s hand at Neil’s back steadied him as he wobbled. Neil reopened his eyes and stared into Albert’s.It was as if Albert could read his mind. The look in the man’s eyes screamed that he understood Neil’s pain and would shoulder it if only he could.Neil’s sorrow centered on knowing that two human lives were on the line because of his own screw-up. The downside to perfect recall was that he would never be able to forget his failure that day when he’d first been trusted out on his own as a fairly new vampire, delivering packages for the faction’s delivery service. He still had the occasional nightmare, reliving it…The click of a door opening, and a light bark accompanied by the sound of footsteps, alerted Neil to a dog on the landing above him, heading down to be walked. This would be a little trickier than the incident this morning, since they’d be crossing paths in a narrow passageway, but he had his head in the right space now. He could deal with this.He straightened confidently and slapped on a friendly smile. The dog came into view first, and Neil stutter-stepped, then froze when the man walking the Boston terrier—Hobbs was the dog’s name—came into view.Hobbs whimpered but at least he didn’t try to dash in the opposite direction. Not that trying to bury himself in Cameron Ferguson’s shoes was much better. What the hell was his ex doing in this building? Cam ground to a halt and stared with his mouth hanging open.Which was Neil’s own damned fault for freezing and looking guilty, because the changes to his appearance had surprised even himself for the first few days, any time he’d caught sight of his reflection in a mirror. It would not have jumped out at Cam if Neil had managed to keep his cool.“Oh, my God. Phillip? I heard you died.”Cam moved as if to embrace him, and Neil finally—fucking finally—broke out of his trance for damage control.So yeah, it had been Neil’s mistake. If he’d kept his cool, given a disinterested nod or “how’s it goin’?” then Cam wouldn’t have taken a second look in his direction.“Okay,” Neil whispered, since Albert seemed to be waiting for some sign that he had his emotions under control.Albert tipped up Neil’s chin for a brief, gentle kiss that spoke more of his love for Neil than words could have done. Albert’s finger traced Neil’s jawline, while his eyes begged for understanding. Then he opened the door, and they stepped into the apartment.The room, like the hall and stairs leading to it, was unlike most of the vampire-owned apartment buildings. At least, it was unlike the ones Neil had visited. This building was a loft conversion that had once been something else—a small warehouse or office building perhaps. The point that stood out to Neil was the highly polished concrete floor. The better to easily clean up DNA should the need arise?Cameron and Dennis sat peacefully on steel stools in the otherwise-unfurnished vestibule. Doorways to the living areas were closed. If Neil were to guess, he’d say those doors contained heavy-duty soundproofing—a buffer between the apartment’s entryway and the outside walls and windows.Cameron looked much the same as Neil remembered him. His dirty blond hair was subtly highlighted and cut short. Dennis had thick, straight, light brown hair, longer than Cameron’s, especially on top. Both pairs of brown eyes stared obliviously.Four others stood waiting. Two men and two women. Vampires, obviously, although Neil wouldn’t have guessed that by their appearances, only by the fact they were there.Albert quickly made the introductions. April and Lester had been on the street following them and communicating with Albert. Vinny and Bridget lived here.“They’re prepped?” Albert asked.Vinny nodded.Albert glanced at Neil. “We have a tendency to inadvertently, and quite literally, scare the piss out of people, so it makes sense to have them ‘go’ while still under the influence.”Neil winced. That did seem like a wise move, though, whether it was so the two could walk away inconspicuously or to minimize potential DNA on the scene.
Read THE RECRUIT #1 first tofully understand and appreciate #2.
BlurbAlbert Manlii has walked this earth for more than two thousand years, but survival on his own was never easy. Now he leads a faction of highly organized vampires who carefully guard the secret of their existence. Unlike the old days, potential recruits are carefully selected and presented with an offer.Phillip Brewer has weeks to live—if he lets his disease run its course. He doesn’t want to die, but given a choice, will his desire to live outweigh his concerns about the vampires’ ethics?When the new recruit’s missteps are cause for concern, can Albert control the fallout, or will Phillip’s life once again be torn apart?
Addison Albright is a writer living in the middle of the USA. Her stories are gay romance in contemporary, fantasy, and paranormal genres. She generally adds a subtle touch of humor, a smidgen of drama/angst, and a healthy dose of slice-of-life to her stories. Her education includes a BS in Education with a major in mathematics and a minor in chemistry. Addison loves spending time with her family, reading, popcorn, boating, french fries, “open window weather,” cats, math, and anything chocolate. She loves to read pretty much anything and everything, anytime and anywhere.
Now, this book hits on so many important things but it also has so much romance, so much backstory for the main characters, so many fun. I loved George. I could relate a lot to Nurse Judy and in parts to both the main characters. I found myself very much rooting for Christopher and Jason which is always a great sign for a romance. They seemed so well suited and what each other needed. I loved that Jason wasn’t this totally together social worker and that he had his own issues in his life. I lost my father at 18 and Jason lost his father at 17 in the story. My Dad died of heart trouble so the circumstances are tremendously different but what I could relate to was the feeling of losing your Dad so young and the effect it has on your life and when I read it, I will say it made me almost quite emotional. Not too often do you read in fiction about someone losing their Dad around that age. It’s often as a child or older than your teens and I give kudos to the author for addressing the feelings of losing your Dad at a point in your life when you are transferring from teen years to adulthood. I give kudos also for not making Jason into a caricature that he is perfect with no hurt in his life as social worker or not, we all do.
Book Title: The Summoner’s Path (D’Vaire, Book 10)
Author: Jessamyn Kingley
Cover Artist: LJ Anderson, Mayhem Cover Creations
Genre/s: M/M Urban Fantasy Romance
Heat Rating: 3 flames
Release Date: January 17, 2019
Tagline Some paths we choose. Others are chosen for us. Blurb
Grand Summoner Dre’Kariston D’Vaire understands firsthand the brutal reality of war. Barely surviving a gruesome battle, he is one of the few remaining warlocks. After recovering from his wounds, he returns to the castle of his birth only to find his entire race annihilated. For centuries he disguises his power and appearance, refusing to be another victim. When he reunites with his twin, his life changes from barren to beautiful. For years he follows his brother’s example of scrying for his mate, but it is not until they join their power that Fate answers, leading him to Court Ethelin.
Prince Somerly Ethelindraconis is stunned as he races to an appointment and runs into a crowned sorcerer standing on his father’s land. His only parent hates magickind and keeps them far from home, but Somerly cannot deny the attractive man his name and number. King Ethelin has his son’s life planned out for him, and Somerly is willing to sacrifice his freedom to help his court—until he falls for Dre’Kariston. He is soon caught between the promises he’s made and what his heart desires. There’s no way to please everyone, and Somerly finds himself teetering on a precipice that forces him to decide where his future lies.
With infinite paths twisting ahead, Dre’Kariston and Somerly must follow the truth in their hearts to make the right choices if they wish to forge an enduring love. Fate brought them together, but will they run out of chances before it’s too late to save their matebond?
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 at: www.jessamynkingley.com
Follow her on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/jessamynkingley. She loves to engage with readers there.