When Pastor Rick Harris is sent to a camp run by drag queens for society’s most irredeemable homophoboes, he confronts his identity and finds authenticity—both for himself and his community.
The oldest translation of a Gospel is returned to the world by a secret society long dedicated to its preservation. In it, Jesus explicitly condemns bigotry and homophobia. In a new world in which LGBTQ passengers receive preferential boarding for flights and the United States has elected its first lesbian President, Pastor Rick Harris is stalwart, closeted preacher who doggedly holds onto his increasingly unpopular convictions.
When an incendiary sermon goes too far and offends an influential family, Rick makes a painful choice to keep his job: He attends an atonement camp run by drag queens for society’s most unrepentant and terminally incurable homophobes.
Atonement Camp is immersion therapy for Pastor Harris, and it might be working. An open bar with pedicures, a devastatingly attractive roommate and an endless supply of glitter help him manage to make new friends. Soon, Rick and his cohorts learn the camp may hold its own secrets. Amid the smiling faces and scantily clad pool boys who staff the camp, a clandestine group plots to discredit the New Revelation and everything it stands for.
If Rick has the conviction to confront his own hypocrisy, he might be able to uncover the conspirators with help from his adopted flock—and find new truths within himself.
CONTENT WARNING: This novel addresses issues related to the infliction of emotional abuse by a homophobic parent who suspects his son to be a homosexual. Separately, while not the author’s intent, some readers may interpret the story’s attempt to confront issues of religious hypocrisy as an assault on religion itself. No such conclusion is intended. Lastly, the novel follows a protagonist who, at times, uses hateful slurs to refer to members of the LGBTQ community. Such language is intended to give authenticity to a self-hating, closed member of that same community. Readers may appreciate the protagonist’s growth as he embraces his sexuality and reconciles himself with his faith.
About the Author
Evan is a member of the LGBTQ community who fancies himself as a playboy socialite, living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Between work and lucid moments of sobriety, he writes a little. His debut novel is a light-hearted work that still manages to confront religious hypocrisy and contemporary LGBTQ struggles to balance their loss of culture with new-found civil rights.
I’m being paid to spend a month on tour with Jesse Steele, to keep him safe and protect his image. Simple.
The first rule of being a bodyguard is never get involved with your client. It should have been easy to follow, but Jesse Steele is a beautiful, kind omega, who’s far more down to earth than a pop star has any right to be.
Someone discovering our tryst becomes the least of our worries when it becomes clear Jesse has a stalker.
Can I love Jesse and protect him, or will my emotions cloud my judgement and put him in danger?
Secretly Mine is an m/m paranormal romance with a protective tiger shifter, a sweet monkey shifter, lots of cuddles, secret kisses, and piggy back rides. Whilst it is set in an alternate universe where omegas give birth, there are no pregnancy or birth scenes in this book.
Trigger warning for mentions of infertility.
There was always a moment when I willed my body to shift that I regretted it. It was excruciating. For the few seconds it took for the transformation to take place, I saw nothing but white-hot fire. Felt nothing but searing heat as every molecule in my body rearranged itself. I heard nothing but my own pitiful sobs. Smelt nothing.
Then it was over, and I was considerably smaller and buried in a pile of my own clothes. The advantage of shifting to a smaller form was that I didn’t need to undress first. Unlike Isaac. He was still in his human form, staring down at me. I danced from foot to foot, impatiently chittering at him. I was desperate to climb up into the trees and swing from branch to branch.
“Turn around,” he said.
Rather than turning around, I put my tiny hands over my large eyes. I was good and didn’t peek as Isaac undressed, even though it was tempting. While he shifted, he didn’t sob, as I had done, but he did let out a wretched moan which morphed into a growl. Only then did I lower my hands. His tiger form was huge. He padded over and stared down at me. His incisors were easily as big as my head, and I realised that if he gave in completely to his animal side, he’d eat me up for breakfast. He turned his head to the side in a swift gesture, which I took as permission to go.
I scrambled up into the trees, my hands and feet deftly gripping the trunk. I paused and studied Isaac’s tiger form. Now that his teeth and claws were well away from me, it was easier to appreciate how stunning he was. He was long and sleek, with thick black stripes breaking up his rusty orange fur. He looked up at me, his pale green eyes searching mine. He had to be wondering why I’d stopped to stare at him. Did he know how beautiful he was?
I let out an excited screech and tore off through the foliage. My long tail provided balance as I scampered along branches and then leapt from one tree to the next. Isaac ran along beneath me—beautiful, powerful, and graceful. He easily kept pace with my aerial antics.
My tiny heart beat wildly, and I felt completely and utterly free. It was so much better than being stuck on the bus. But it had to come to an end.
We reached the edge of the wood. I clung on to a fine branch at the top of the final tree, staring at the farmhouse opposite. Far beneath me, Isaac let out a short, sharp chuff, drawing my attention to him. He gestured with his head again, telling me it was time to go back. I nodded to show that I’d understood and then leapt through the treetops, back the way we’d come, until I spied our clothes exactly where we’d left them.
I scurried down to mine. I shifted back and got dressed just before Isaac caught up with me. Given how easily he’d kept up before, I decided he’d let me get ahead this time so I could get into my clothes without having him as an audience. He sat on his haunches and gave me a look that might have meant he wanted to eat me for dinner. I gulped and backed away a little. I was nowhere near as fearless in my human form as when I was a monkey.
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.
Hunted by a vampire prince. Caged by his rescuer. Can Michael escape the dark destiny written in his blood, or will his own heart be his undoing?
“I know who you are because you belong to me. You were born to be mine.” ~ Alexei Vasiliev, the vampire prince.
Haunted by the death of his parents, Michael Blakeley wants answers. The twenty-six-year-old martial artist seeks their killer, but he also wants to know why electronics short out at his touch, and why his libido is a raging fire.
When a group of soldiers calling themselves Guardians rescue him from a back alley ambush and claim to have the answers he needs, he agrees to go with them. Especially when they tell him the attackers were vampires. But nothing in this supernatural underworld is as it seems, and when the silver-eyed commander cages him instead, Michael’s answers slip further away.
Can Michael find safety from the vampires who claim him? Can he escape the dark destiny he discovers is written into his blood? And will he break the chains of the commander who keeps him captive? The one man he has no desire to leave?
Dark Flame is the first pulse-pounding book in the Flame Born LGBT urban fantasy series. If you like enemies to lovers, shifters, sexy vampire princes, and scorching heat, you’ll love this smoldering tale of bloodlust and magic.
Warning:Dark Flame is a gay erotic love story. It contains explicit language and sexual scenes between men, and is meant for adult readers only. There is content some readers may find distressing. See inside for potential triggers.
I kneel and hang my head and wait. I have to. I want to. There’s an elation in my chest, as though I’m about to meet a secret beloved I’m only now remembering. My attention draws upward, compelled to the stunning creature. I couldn’t look away if my life depended on it, but I avoid meeting his dark gaze.
With unearthly grace, the vampire saunters toward me, his eyes riveted to my face. The closer he comes, the more the battle slips into the background. It could be only the two of us here in the steelworks. Weapons fly around him—bolts and swords whistle through the air, heading for his chest, but stop midflight before they can meet their target and clatter to the concrete. He doesn’t spare them a glance.
The nearer he stalks, the harder my heart pounds. My breath comes in shallow puffs. Cold sweat soaks my T-shirt. My nails puncture the soft flesh of my palms. I feel defenseless.
The prince stands in front of me, close enough to touch, a towering demigod, his immense wings creating a shadowed cavern.
I force my eyes down, fixing them on a patch of crimson blood painted across the concrete. I resist a baffling urge to lean and rest my head against his hip.
Strong, elegant fingers cup my chin to lift my face. I tense, my stomach twisting with panic. I’m certain that once I meet those black eyes, it’s over. His fingers burn hot against my chin. The touch tingles my skin like champagne. I melt into his hand and look up, finding two pools of darkest night. My resistance vanishes.
Master. The word hangs in my mind.
I will never let it leave my lips.
About the Author
I’m a simple northern English lass with an addiction to writing, as well as all things romance. Also addicted to cats, cat videos, and anything with, you know, cats in it. And there’s chocolate, and tea, coffee too, and rainy Sundays. Okay, I have many addictions. But my first love has always been story in all its forms, from movies to books to anecdotes told over a beer at the local pub. If we’re sharing a story, I’m all ears. And if it’s fantasy with sexy heroes and vampires and lots of angsty luuurve, I’m probably drooling. Come in, pour yourself a tea, and kick your shoes off. Let me tell you a story.
I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but you can’t be one of them …
After crossing too many lines for my self-respect, I made a promise to myself: no hookups for sixty days.
But I didn’t count on meeting you.
Who knew a smart, cardigan-wearing geek would be such temptation? You’re all wrong for me, except you’re also kind of exactly right.
So how do I keep my promise not to seduce the cute librarian and still get the perfect guy?
Maybe you know, because I don’t…
Boyfriend Freeze is set in the Love Notes series but can be read as a standalone.
“I wasn’t sure if you were serious about that New Year’s resolution.” She paused. “Which is fine if you weren’t. You know I wasn’t judging you, right? I just want you to be happy.”
“I know you do, and yes, I was serious. I’m working on it.”
“Yeah?” She smiled, linking arms with me as we neared the terminals where we could search for reference materials. “Good. Now, you just need to work on your listening skills.”
“I’ll add it to the list,” I said dryly. “Right below stop being such a slutty twink and above get a job.”
“Ollie—” Kyla started, about to admonish me for calling myself a slut or a twink, or maybe both, but the sound of someone clearing their throat stopped her. I glanced across the computer terminals, stomach sinking as the librarian gave me the evil eye once more.
“Sorry,” I hissed in an obnoxious stage whisper. “Kyla just doesn’t know when to keep her voice down.”
Kyla quietly stomped on my foot, and I grimaced at the pain. Totally deserved that. But it was worth the look of annoyance that flashed across Graham’s face and distracted me from the fact that he’d possibly heard me refer to myself as a slutty twink. No doubt Graham was already forming a relatively low opinion of me, considering I was pretty much the antithesis of library etiquette, but I’d rather not help him along to that conclusion.
Graham turned back to the student he’d been coaching through a reference search, and I exchanged a look with Kyla. “Ready to work?” I suggested.
“Now he wants to work,” she muttered, shaking her head. But Kyla was my best friend for a reason. She pulled out a chair beside her and waved me over. “Okay, so first, you want to start by pulling up this screen…”
I tried to listen this time. I really did.
But my gaze kept drifting to Graham as he patiently answered questions. Across the terminals, seated as he was, I couldn’t see that awful corduroy jacket or sweater vest. Just his messy brown hair that fell over his forehead just above hazel eyes and a set of features that weren’t entirely unfortunate. Graham was almost, maybe, kind of cute? In a helpless puppy sort of way.
Dear God, I must be desperate to be leering at a librarian.
Just then he looked up, meeting my gaze, and my heart lurched. “We have job openings,” he said.
“The library has job openings,” he said slowly, as if I had a cognitive disorder. “I thought you might be looking for a position.”
I frowned, a little puzzled by the non sequitur. Then I realized with a flash of embarrassment why he was telling me.
“I’ll add it to the list, right below ‘stop being such a slutty twink’ and above ‘get a job,’” I’d said to Kyla. Graham had definitely heard my words.
“Great, you were eavesdropping,” I said self-consciously.
He flushed. “Not on purpose—”
“So, will I have to buy a sweater vest to work here, or is that going to be provided? I assume the grandpa loafers are optional.”
Oh, god, the snark was in full force. I wanted to stop, but it was a self-defense mechanism. Some creatures had porcupine quills. Some men had fists. I had brutal, snarky wit.
“Never mind. I don’t think you have what it takes to work here after all,” he said, standing up. He’d shed the jacket, leaving just a sweater vest over a pale-blue button-down shirt. He’d rolled up the shirt sleeves, exposing strong forearms. For a librarian, he filled out his shirt better than I would have expected.
I nodded. “Not the right fashion sense.”
“No,” he said. “Not the right common sense. We value brains here, not shallow good looks.”
I gasped, shocked at the harsh burn—not that you don’t deserve it—and he walked away before I could even get in the final word.
“Oh, I don’t think so,” I muttered, shoving my chair back.
“Ollie, just let it go,” Kyla urged, but I ignored her, rounding the island of computers and following hot on Graham’s heels as he returned to the circulation desk. He didn’t notice me until he’d already taken up his station on the other side. He jumped a little when he saw me, and I smiled viciously.
“Can I help you?” he asked warily.
“Yes,” I said as sweetly as possible. “You can give me a job application.”
About the Author
DJ Jamison writes romances about everyday life and extraordinary love featuring a variety of queer characters, from gay to bisexual to asexual. DJ grew up in the Midwest in a working-class family, and those influences can be found in her writing through characters coping with real-life problems: money troubles, workplace drama, family conflicts and, of course, falling in love. DJ spent more than a decade in the newspaper industry before chasing her first dream to write fiction. She spent a lifetime reading before that and continues to avidly devour her fellow authors’ books each night. She lives in Kansas with her husband, two sons, one snake, and a sadistic cat named Birdie.
Rick feels like he’s finally getting his life on track…until a dead body in his flat threatens to derail more than his new career.
Things are finally looking up for Rick Bennett. He’s landed a job with Swanson and Gerrard, one of the top finance firms in London and, with it, a chance to pay off his father’s debts and finally make something of his life.
When he’s put in charge of brokering the biggest deal in the company’s history, he knows he can’t lose, even though his boss, Cecily Swanson, clearly wants more than just a professional relationship.
When a rich, handsome stranger, Kim Bailey, introduces himself to Rick at the Swansons’ New Year’s Eve party, Rick is thinking he can definitely get used to rubbing elbows with the upper set. He feels everything is finally working out, despite Cecily’s increasing interest that only seems to strengthen as they approach her high-profile Valentine’s Day wedding.
When someone is murdered in his flat, Rick is shocked but still determined to hold on to his dream. Cecily believes he’s innocent and, more importantly, so does Kim. Though he’s beginning to suspect that there’s more to the guy than meets the eye, Kim’s belief in Rick keeps him strong.
As the investigation continues and Rick finds himself buried deeper in a mess of conspiracy, betrayal and intrigue, he will come to wonder whether the life he’s dreamed of could ever be real.
He’d deleted and re-phrased the text three times by the time he’d got his keys in the front door. He shook his head to himself. He was acting like a teenager again. But everything else was coming together just right. He may be working ten-hour days for a woman he would eventually have to let down, and still couldn’t entirely stop thinking about the envelope in his desk drawer, but it finally felt like his life was coming together.
He wanted to make dating Kim part of that life. He’d never felt the potential of something so early on in a relationship before, especially when he knew so little about the person. But when he thought of Kim’s light, easy manner and the way he treated Rick like an equal without appearing to even have to think about it, something that wasn’t just lust stirred under his belly.
Of course, the striking, beautiful face, devilish smile and sleek, toned body didn’t hurt matters. He tantalised himself with the thought that tonight they might get to—
Rick switched on his living room light and froze. The new sofa was positioned at right angles to his glass coffee table and smart TV. His boxes of vinyl were stacked against the far wall and his running shoes were by the front door. Everything was as he’d left it that morning, but something was…off. There was a chill in the air. And an odd smell.
He moved forward, trying to identify what was causing unease to snake up his spine. A draught brushed against his face. He moved to the balcony door and found it was open a crack. He frowned. Had the handyman left it open? Why would he even open it on this freezing January day? He slid it shut, turning the key in the lock.
The smell was stronger in the kitchen. He frowned. His breakfast plate was in the sink but he’d only had time for toast so that didn’t explain the sickly-sweet, almost meaty, smell in the air. It was then he noticed his block of chefs’ knives was on its side, the knives spilling out onto the counter. He righted it and returned the knives to their slots. There were two missing. He turned, scanning the kitchen and froze.
About the Author
S.J. Coles is a Romance writer originally from Shropshire, UK. She has been writing stories for as long as she has been able to read them. Her biggest passion is exploring narratives through character relationships.
She finds writing LGBT/paranormal romance provides many unique and fulfilling opportunities to explore many (often neglected or under-represented) aspects of human experience, expectation, emotion and sexuality.
Among her biggest influences are LGBT Romance authors K J Charles and Josh Lanyon and Vampire Chronicles author Anne Rice.
Finn may look like a Romeo + Juliet-era Leo, but he’s out to prove he’s got what it takes to break the teen heartthrob mold. Grayson is a serious actor, with “serious” as the operative word, so he’s not thrilled to find himself hopelessly attracted to his young new co-star.
Starring on a teen soap may have made Finn Everett Hollywood’s latest “it” boy, complete with the 10 million Instagram followers to show for it, but does he have the chops to cut it as the newest cast member on television’s biggest drama, Frost Manor? Finn’s determined to prove himself as more than just as sex symbol and win the respect of his co-star, Grayson Winter.
Grayson is gorgeous, talented, and the celeb Finn has been secretly crushing on for years. Grayson is dedicated to his job. He has big aspirations to be Hollywood’s best leading man, and he’s willing to make personal sacrifices to get there. When his new scene partner is the charismatic and intensely distracting Finn Everett, Grayson is shaken loose from his single-minded ambition.
When Finn and Grayson start running lines, their off-the-charts chemistry has them wondering if big things are in store for more than just their careers.
Running Lines is an MM Romance featuring hot TV stars, Hollywood drama, and a sweet and sexy gay love story.
Not a single interviewer had failed to mention Finn Everett, and it was getting really damn old. He didn’t want to talk about Finn Everett. He didn’t even want to think about Finn Everett. That just led to Grayson thinking about sexy blue eyes and lean muscles and no. No. Nothing good would come of that line of thought. It was going to be hard enough to work with him everyday on the show and maintain his standards of professionalism.
As Grayson clung to his last shred of patience for this interview, he answered the question the same way he had all night. “I trust our showrunners and casting director. But I haven’t personally met Finn Everett yet, so I don’t have an opinion of my own.” The words sounded colder, more robotic than he’d intended.
As if on cue, his agent Kayla’s familiar voice broke into the conversation, interrupting the interview. “We can fix that, Grayson! You can meet right now.” She was tugging someone by the hand and then shoving him into the interview right next to Grayson. The interviewer was clapping her hands in thrilled excitement, her smile widening to an even more frightening degree. Before he knew what was happening, he was shaking hands with Finn Everett, looking right into those dark blue eyes. There were only two words Grayson’s brain could manage at that moment: Holy. Fuck. Finn Everett was gorgeous.
Gaining his composure was difficult, but Grayson was a professional actor, so he knew how to pull himself together before anyone noticed how dumbstruck he was at the sight of Finn Everett. He hoped. The interviewer was now asking Finn how it felt to meet Grayson. Finn was staring at Grayson with the oddest expression – it was almost like…admiration? Grayson felt himself hold his breath, waiting to hear Finn’s answer.
Finn turned back to the interviewer, and he said smoothly, “It is an absolute pleasure. I can’t wait to work with him. I’m sure there’s a lot he can teach me.” Finn smiled shyly, his eyes dipping to the carpet and then back up to glance cautiously at Grayson through his lashes. Grayson met his eyes briefly, and he felt a tingle in his belly. His lips automatically quirked up at the corners without his permission. What was happening? Why was he acting like a total fool all of a sudden? It had to be that this red carpet media circus had finally wore him down completely. He was exhausted and too warm. That would make anyone’s head spin. That was totally it.
Thankfully, Kayla came to his rescue, grabbing both him and Finn by the hands and dragging them away from the interviewer, barking something about needing to get inside to take their seats. Grayson’s head was dizzy as he finally stepped into the cool air conditioning of the theatre.
“Look at this, my two favorite clients making friends,” Kayla said, smiling at Grayson and then Finn. “I had a hunch you’d hit it off,” she added as she let go of Grayson’s hand and dragged Finn further into the building.
Grayson was left in the entryway of the theatre, finally alone for the moment. He leaned against the marble wall behind him. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath to steady himself.
He was in trouble.
About the Author
Jeris Jean is a life-long Minnesotan with an obsessive love of books. She has a master’s degree in English Literature but didn’t write her first novel until she was in her mid-thirties. Something just “clicked,” and all fell into its rightful place.
Jeris is a lover of cats, coffee, binge-watching tv shows, her bffs, puzzles, knitting, white sunglasses, black nail polish, purple hair, and reading and writing like it’s going out of style, especially mm romance.
She lives with her husband, two sons and their cat, Fluffy Cat Love, in a lovely little suburb of Minneapolis.
Lured into a magical sleep, they must untangle the surrounding chaos to embrace a future together.
Grand Warlock Familiar Renny D’Vaire has a life he adores and is hoping for a mate who will not bring strife into his world. Renny, along with the rest of the D’Vaires, believes that his other half will be a dragon shifter, thanks to his magical beast form. Happy couples surround Renny, and he wants nothing more than to experience that joy for himself. However, Fate is full of surprises.
Protector Roriethiel of the Fae wakes up in an unfamiliar desert, uncertain how he arrived. His ample magic sapped, the rock he finds himself on is nothing like home. For weeks he stumbles along, searching for answers, and is unerringly led to the Council of Sorcery and Shifters. Rorie’s single purpose is to return to his castle, but instead he discovers his other half.
Renny is unsure how to handle the impetuous Rorie or the fairy’s desire to return to his realm. Torn between two worlds, Renny and Rorie find little common ground until they are lured into a magical dream. Chaos surrounds them as they unravel the mystery of what happened to Rorie, and although their attraction is intense and their feelings for each other grow swiftly, to succeed in love they must learn to trust that Fate has not led them astray.
Renny’s mind was whirling as he led Rorie into his bedroom. Thanks to Dra’Kaedan, another bed had already been dropped into the space while Rorie was introduced to the D’Vaires. The Fae had enthusiastically been impressed by the different races in their household, and although his manner had been stiff at the Fallen Knights’ Headquarters, it was becoming clear that it wasn’t Rorie’s usual behavior. Instead, he appeared to be a happy fairy who Renny would venture to guess was often excited.
“What are these marvels?” Rorie asked in a reverent voice.
Renny grinned as Rorie’s fingers traced the navy wand Dra’Kaedan had given him years ago when he first started his collection. A glowing golden orb was at the top and, if touched, revealed a blue dragon inside. “It’s my magic wand collection.”
“You require a stick to cast?”
“Nope, but often in books and movies, they depict sorcerers using them. I’ve always thought they were cool, and once I told everyone I wanted to start a collection, my family made it their mission to add unique ones constantly.”
“They are most lovely. So are your quarters,” Rorie said. Ripping his attention from the wands affixed to the walls, he gasped at the sight of Renny’s bed. Racing over, he ran his hand across the quilt Larissa D’Vairedraconis had painstakingly created for him. It was a medley of blues and the other colors of their household. “This is exquisite craftsmanship. You must have paid dearly for this artisan.”
“Larissa is insanely talented. You met her and her mate a few minutes ago.”
“What great luck you have to have such masters in your family.”
“I’m sure she’ll put something together that’s just as nice for your bed,” Renny offered. Rorie’s mattress was covered with a plain white comforter and looked drab in the space Renny had decorated with Larissa’s help. The sofa they’d piled with pillows that reflected the quilt had been pushed to the side, but nothing was cramped. “I’m going to get changed, okay?”
“Yes, fine.” Rorie’s tone suggested his mind was far away, as he’d returned to admiring the wands around the suite.
Renny grabbed clothes from his dresser and closed himself in the bathroom after removing his crown and cloak. Happy to be removing his uncomfortable attire, he wondered how to wrap his mind around Rorie. His mate seemed to think all he had to do was figure out how to get home, and it would delight Renny to return with him.
Renny didn’t want to be a jerk, but leaving D’Vaire? The thought was unbearable. How could he ask Dra’Kaedan to give up their family? It was impossible for Renny to say good-bye, and he did not want to try. Renny tied his sneakers swiftly and closed his eyes to quiet his mind. It was too early to bog down their acquaintance with so many problems. The last thing he’d ever wanted was a contentious relationship.
While he loved everything about Dra’Kaedan, it was not his dream to have a matebond fueled by the fiery arguments that his warlock enjoyed having with Brogan. Renny liked peace, and his goal was to have it. To do that, he had to remain agreeable and focus on one issue at a time. As he strode back into the bedroom, he promised himself he’d be no man’s doormat either. Rorie would not be in charge; they needed to find compromises to persevere.
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.
FOSTER: “Look out for Zach and don’t hit on him.” My brother’s request sounds easy enough. Keep an eye out for his best friend on campus and keep my hands to myself. Easy. Even if Zach is a quintessential nerd, who I’ve always thought was cute, I don’t have the time to think with my … stick. There’s only one stick I should be focused on this year, and that’s my hockey stick. My goal once I graduate is to get an NHL contract. The last thing I need is a distraction. On or off the ice. Only, keeping to the rules is harder than I thought it would be. ZACH: People confuse me. And no one more than Foster Grant. I’ve barely spoken two words to him in the whole time I’ve known him, but the second I step foot on campus, he’s impossible to shake. I can never anticipate his next move. And whenever we’re together, my next move is a total mystery as well. I want to give in to him, but that might mean coming clean about something I’ve never been bothered about before. I’m still carrying my V-card. And I think it’s time to turn it in.
I throw my helmet against the wall, and it crashes to the ground with a loud thunk.
The anger, adrenaline, and urge to fight still boil under my skin. I didn’t get a long enough shot at Morris.
I should be pissed I’m out of the game, but I’m not. I don’t regret doing what I did one bit. I only regret letting him get a punch in.
What are his knuckles made of? Diamonds?
I run my finger along my eyebrow, and it comes away sticky with blood. Not a lot, but it stings like a bitch.
I need to get my skates off. I need to jump around and pace the room and try to get all this extra energy out.
All I was picturing while I was out there was the Zach I spent the entire day with last week—the one who smiles and jokes and isn’t so tense—being bullied by that dickhead, and I lost it.
As I sit on the bench to undo my laces, the door opens, and I prepare for one of the coaches to yell obscenities at me for the next five minutes while the rest of the period plays out.
I don’t even acknowledge whoever it is. I keep my head down and continue to unlace my skates.
My head darts up at the unsure voice.
There stands Zach, looking sexy as fuck in my jersey. His hair is messy like he’s been running his hand through it, and his nerdy glasses frame his green eyes in a way that drives me crazy.
“How … how did you get in here?”
“Seth. He said we’re your brothers and wanted to check on you.”
Thinking of Zach as my brother makes me feel skeevy and gross, but I ignore it because I don’t really care how he got into the locker room. It means a lot that he’s here. “Is that what you’re doing? Checking on me?”
He takes two tentative steps closer, and then, as if all at once, he decides to go for it.
Zach approaches and drops to his knees in front of me.
My breath catches at the sight.
Long, thin fingers run along the top of my brow and down my cheek. “You’re hurt.”
I huff. “I’ll live.” I might not live if he doesn’t keep touching me; it feels so good.
I want to lean into his hand, but I hold strong. I don’t want to scare him off.
“W-why did you do that?” he asks.
I could lie. I could tell him it’s the sport and fights happen. But everyone out there knows that wasn’t a typical fight. I targeted Morris from the start, and even though we were hardly on the ice at the same time, the second I got my chance to go for him, I did.
“Morris is a dick.”
Zach tries to pull his hand from my face, but I don’t let him. My hand covers his, holding it to my cheek.
He averts his gaze. “Seth told me you know … about him. And me.”
“You and him. Wait, there was a you and him? Like, together?”
“No. He … I don’t know if he’s a special kind of asshole or what, but he …”
“You don’t need to tell me. Seth told me enough.”
His hand finally drops, and I let it. “So out there … on the ice …”
“It was for you.”
“I didn’t ask you to do that.” His voice is so soft. So him.
“You never would,” I murmur. “Morris has to learn karma’s a bitch. He had no right to treat you like that.”
“Will you get in trouble?”
“You shouldn’t have—”
His eyes meet mine.
“It was worth it.”
About the Authors
Saxon James is an author from Aus who’s obsessed with writing queer characters. She has a range of books from YA to adult and they all have one thing in common: swoony, sweet love.
When not writing, Saxon exists on a diet of coffee and chocolate while putting her KU subscription to the test.
Eden Finley is an Amazon bestselling author who writes steamy contemporary romances that are full of snark and light-hearted fluff.
She doesn’t take anything too seriously and lives to create an escape from real life for her readers. The ideas always begin with a wackadoodle premise, and she does her best to turn them into romances with heart.
She’s also an Australian girl and apologises for her Australianisms that sometimes don’t make sense to anyone else.
Trope/s: Anti-gay conspiracy, intolerance, corrupt legal system
Themes: Cost of unconditional love
Warning: References to rape
Heat Rating: 3 out of 5
Length: 121 070 words/ 355 pages in PB; 274 in HC
Is it a standalone book? Somewhat. Jake Blaine is the MC in this book, and it’s a semi-followup to Rape in Holding Cell 6, a book I wrote with his lover, Antony, as the MC…but it’s not absolutely necessary you read that book to follow this one (tho’ it might help, at the beginning).
When his uncle disappears, Jake goes to Palm Springs to find out why only to get caught in a web of fear, hate, betrayal … and what looks more and more like murder … with Jake targeted as the next victim.
Was it murder? Suicide? Or did Owen Taylor vanish to avoid prosecution for rape? Everyone had their own idea, but the only note he left behind was sent to his nephew, Jacob Blaine, in Denmark … which was crazy, because Owen knew Jake was currently living in the States. Of course this happened at the worst possible time for Jake. He was helping his lover, Antony, fight bogus criminal charges; his estranged, anti-gay mother was battling cancer; his job in Copenhagen wanted him to return there — now; and worst of all … Antony was pushing him away. It was tearing him apart. But Uncle Owen had backed him up through some rough times, so Jake made what he thought would be a short trip to Palm Springs, to see if he could find out what happened. He re-connected with Dion, his first true love, and then he discovered other men had also disappeared. On top of that, an organization called PSALMS was spreading hate and distrust of the gay community as part of their plan to turn back gay rights. The more Jake dug into Owen’s disappearance, the more he found lies, deceit and treachery by members of the police force, people in the DA’s office, and even some of Owen’s friends. And behind it all was someone who would do everything they could to keep their true motives hidden. Even have Jake vanish, as well.
This is from the end of Book 1, Part 4, where Jake has Antony and their techie-roommate, Matt, do some research:
They read the message and Matt did some cross-referencing on his diamond-sharp laptop as I spoke, popping in with, “Okay, got that here,” and, “It fits.” He also found a chart showing Warren Philby had a ninety-five percent conviction rate and was talking about running for Riverside District Attorney in the next election. As a Republican with a Tea Party bent.
Already I hated the prick.
That’s when I noticed Tone looking at me with his quiet, wary expression, so I snarled, “You don’t believe my uncle’d molest a kid, do you?”
“No.” He frowned like he was insulted I’d even asked him that question.
“I dunno. It just doesn’t line up with…well, your father called your mother, asking about your uncle’s condos and — “
“Condos? He had more’n one?”
“Four. One he lived in; three he rented out. He also owns some other property.”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, how d’you know my father called mom?”
“She…she told me.”
I nearly fell off the chair. “My mother called you?”
Tone blinked and looked away. “Uh…looking for you. I…I told her you were…you were out of the country.”
“Day before yesterday.”
Man, I should’ve gone to see her the second I got back.
“What’d she say to you, Tone?”
He sighed. “She knows why you’re here. And she…she said stuff like, That’s just like you, to let people drag you down. Then she gave me her number and address — “
“I know that shit,” I said. “I’m goin’ straight over.”
“She’s moved, Jake,” said Matt.
“She sold her townhouse? She loved that place.”
“Just telling you what she told me,” Tone said. He gave me a slip of paper with a phone number and address.
“This is south side,” I muttered.
Tone shrugged. He wouldn’t know, but my mother was one of those types who only want to live around acceptable people. In her eyes, Southside was…borderline…at best.
“Matt, we’ll be right back.” I went around the counter, took Tone by the arm and guided him up into the bedroom, then closed the door, sat him on the bed and kneeled before him, looking hard into his eyes.
“Y’know, I had lunch with Mira. Is there anything you want to tell me?”
He hesitated then looked straight back at me, his eyes sharp as cut diamonds. “That therapist I’m seeing…that the state’s making me see. I…I asked him to talk with her. Told him she’s a psychologist and has a clinic in Paris and…and I wanted her to know everything that happened was on me. Not you.”
“She already knew that.”
“…Maybe. This verified it.”
“And you talk about me not tellin’ you things?”
“I…uh…I didn’t think she’d let you know.”
“Great defense. So what’s in those notes?”
He looked away. “You already know everything in them.”
I took a deep breath. “Tone…what. The fuck. Is goin’ on, here?” He just stared at the wall. No expression. I took his face in my hands and made him look at me. “Okay, whatever it was that my mother said to you — keep in mind…that bitch kicked me out of her home when I was seventeen. I haven’t seen her since, so what she knows about me and who I am is zero. Zip. Nada. Anything she says is just her messin’ with us.”
He shrugged me off and said, “But she’s right. You wouldn’t be here except for me.”
“You’re right, you little shit — I wouldn’t. I’d be fresh out of jail. Or still livin’ in Nana’s house. Barely existing. I’d never have met my brothers and sisters in Paris, or gotten to work with my Uncle Ari, or become a Danish citizen. I’d be an ex-con. But I’m here, alive, because of you. So what. Did. My mother. Say. To you?”
“Just…just what I told you.”
“Bullshit!” No response. I sighed and sat cross-legged on the floor. “You don’t wanna talk, don’t. But this is a woman who told her only child that she hates him bein’ queer.”
“Maybe…maybe you shouldn’t go see her…“
“I got to. Somethin’ is goin’ on with my uncle and the only way to get the truth of what she knows is a face-to-face.”
He ran his hand through my hair. God, I loved it when he did that. Then he whispered, “Should I stock up on alcohol?”
I sighed from the emotion in his voice and nodded. “Twelve-pack. No, fuck it — Tequila.”
“I’ll get some mixers and we’ll make a nice queeny night of it. A Christian, a Muslim, and a Jew had a party…“ He snorted. “Sounds like the setup for a joke.”
I made him look at me. “Hey, I’m half Catholic.”
His hand whispered over my cheek and his eyes grew hurt, again. “My all-American mutt.”
All I could think to say was, “Don’t let mom mess with us, Tone.” He ruffled my hair then got up and left the room.
I leaned against the bed. He’d lied to me. My mother’s crap comments weren’t bad enough to rip him up. There was definitely something else going on in his head, and he’d used them as a wall to hide behind.
Well…sitting on the floor wasn’t getting anything done. I got up, got dressed, and headed over to the insurance company where she worked. I wanted a professional environment around us, in case things got nasty, because she was damn well going to explain to me what the hell she was pulling.
Only it turned out she hadn’t worked there in nearly three years.
Man…I had a lot of catching up to do, with her.
About the Author
Kyle Michel Sullivan is a writer and self-involved artist out to change the world until it changes him…as has already happened in far too many ways. He has written books that range from sunshine and light (“David Martin”) to cold and dark (“How To Rape A Straight Guy”, which has been banned a couple of times) to flat out crazy (“The Lyons’ Den”) to mainstream (“The Alice ’65”). He has now ventured into SF-Horror-Suspense with “The Beast in the Nothing Room” and taken Capitalism to its logical extreme in “Hunter”. He is currently working to complete “A Place of Safety”, his Irish novel; “Darian’s Point”, a gothic horror story set in Ireland; and “Dair’s Window”, about an artist trying to rebuild his world after the death of his lover.
Kyle uses Tolstoy as his guide, and is trying to build characters as vivid and real as possible. He has a lot of fun doing it mixed with angst, anger, and amazement… but that’s the lot of a writer.
A cursed, haunted hotel. Old scandals and secrets that won’t stay buried.
Can Ben and Erik find the killer before they become Cape May’s newest ghosts?
Erik Mitchell traveled the world uncovering art fraud and relic theft, which pitted him against spoiled billionaires, unscrupulous collectors, mobsters, and cartels. He worked with law enforcement across the US and Europe, but then a sting goes wrong, Erik ends up injured and returns to find his partner cheating. He decides to stop globetrotting and buy an antique shop in scenic Cape May, New Jersey, rebuild his life, and nurse his broken heart.
Undercover Newark cop Ben Nolan went down in a hail of bullets when a bust went sideways, after a tip-off from a traitor inside the department. When he recovers, he spends a couple of years as a private investigator, only to tire of seeing the worst of human nature. So when his aunt offers him the chance to take over her rental real estate business in Cape May, it seems too good to be true. Now if he could just believe he could ever be lucky again in love.
Sparks fly when Erik and Ben meet. But when a cursed hotel’s long-ago scandals resurface, the two men are pulled into a web of lies, danger, and deception that will test their bond – and might make them Cape May’s newest ghosts!
About the Author
Morgan Brice is the romance pen name of bestselling author Gail Z. Martin. Morgan writes urban fantasy male/male paranormal romance, with plenty of action, adventure and supernatural thrills to go with the happily ever after. Gail writes epic fantasy and urban fantasy, and together with co-author hubby Larry N. Martin, steampunk and comedic horror, all of which have less romance, more explosions. Characters from her Gail books make frequent appearances in secondary roles in her Morgan books, and vice versa.
On the rare occasions Morgan isn’t writing, she’s either reading, cooking, or spoiling two very pampered dogs.
Series include Witchbane, Badlands, Treasure Trail, Kings of the Mountain and Fox Hollow. Watch for more in these series, plus new series coming soon!