Lincoln Holt and Kent Scott, former lovers, find themselves thrust together again twelve years later after Linc comes home from the Army with an injury that Kent will be treating.
The tides tore them apart…
Lincoln Holt is a damn fine soldier – one of the best. But an ambush leaves Linc injured and many of his squad dead. Discharged and disillusioned, he heads back to the small town he’d once been desperate to leave. Then a physical therapy appointment brings him face to face with a grown-up, sexier version of the boy he had once loved, and Linc finds himself hoping against all hope for one more chance.
Time kept them apart…
Love doesn’t last. That’s Kent Scott’s belief after watching his mother bounce from husband to husband. His own short-lived affair with Linc is further proof – especially since Linc had left without saying goodbye. Kent had resolved to never let love dig its claws into him again. Then Linc lands in Kent’s clinic, looking taller, broader, and more gorgeous than ever, and Kent feels the pull.
Time and tides renew…
With every heady moment spent in Linc’s presence, Kent’s resolve weakens. But when Kent discovers a secret, all his doubts and fears come rushing back. The time and tides of life were once strong enough to keep them apart, but will love be enough to keep these forces at bay?
Welcome to The Changing Tides Inn, the perfect getaway for those looking for a little romance. Time and Tide is the second 77 000 word novel documenting the inn’s (and owner’s) impact on the lives of its guests and can be read as a standalone. Follow the guests’ adventures and be assured there will always be a happily ever after.
Kent made his way to the door, laptop tucked under his arm, but before he could get far, Linc’s hand snatched his. Startled, Kent looked back at Linc, who looked confused as he stared at their hands.
“Thank you, Kent,” Linc said after a long moment, dropping Kent’s hand. “This is the first time I’ve actually felt some relief since being home,” his voice trailed off, and he shrugged. “Just thank you.”
“Of course,” Kent said, not knowing what else to say. “We’re going to get you better, Linc. But it isn’t going to be easy.”
“You said that to me before,” Linc said, giving Kent a quick smile. “You’re probably not lying now either.”
Kent blinked at Linc before remembering the talk they had in the library during their first meeting as tutor and tutee. Kent had lost his patience with Linc, who had been moaning about baseball practice and the games coming up and how he was wasting so much time studying math with Kent when he should be in the gym. Kent had told him then and there that unless he gave some effort toward his math homework, Linc wouldn’t be playing ball period. That had shut Linc up enough to listen.
“It isn’t going to be easy,” Kent had said then. “But I guarantee that if you try, you’ll succeed.”
Kent stiffened at the memory, even as he answered Linc’s smile with a nod. He needed to remain professional here, not take a stroll down memory lane.
“You’re going to do fine,” Kent said. “Have a nice nap. If you need us, ring the bell on the cart.” With that, Kent snapped the light off and nearly ran from the room, leaving the door propped open so anybody could hear the bell.
Kent heaved a sigh of relief as he made his way back out to the gym. The appointment was over. All Kent had to do was unhook Linc when he was done, type up his notes and submit them. That would hopefully be the end of his professional relationship with Linc. With the extent of his injuries, it was very likely that his boss, Nick, would take over the case.
“Kent, how’d it go?” Nick asked, walking up to Kent from behind. Startled, Kent whipped around. Nick stood tall and wide, having been a college football star back before he decided physical therapy was his calling. He had his jacket on and a messenger bag slung over one shoulder. He must have just arrived.
“Fine,” Kent said with a tight smile. “Linc’s been through a lot, but I think he’s stubborn enough to make a full recovery. Won’t be easy.” Kent gave him a quick rundown of his eval, emphasizing that he would write up the report for Nick’s review later.
“Good work, Kent,” Nick said as they headed to the center desk. It was long, overlooking the gym, with connection hubs for each of the physical therapists’ laptops. None of them had private offices, instead choosing to work out in the middle of the action. Nick said it built a rapport with the patients and tech assistants, and it was always a good idea to have the physical therapists on hand for exercise questions that came up. Kent found he liked the busy atmosphere, finding a natural rhythm in preparing for a patient’s arrival and writing up session notes while his patients completed their exercises.
“I think he’ll be a great new patient for you. A challenge,” Nick continued. Kent froze in place, the words taking their sweet time to register fully in his brain.
“What?” he asked, voice small.
“Holt. I’m assigning him to you. Good luck.” With that, Nick turned his back to Kent and began to pull his own laptop from his bag, unaware that he had turned Kent’s world upside down.
About the Author
After reading no fewer than one million romance novels and earning her Master’s of Arts in English and Creative Writing, Bryce finally mustered up the courage to write her own. Filled with love, laughter, and steamy scenes, Bryce’s novels will welcome you deep into their pages.
Happily married with three kitties, Bryce can most often be found reading, crocheting, or trying to master Crow Pose. Or her next batch of cookies. Could go either way.
The Asylum Fight Club by Tibby Armstrong and Bianca Sommerland
Fated. Forged. Forever.
A place where men live and love by their fists—and ropes are for more than just the ring—The Asylum Fight Club isn’t the easiest place to live or work, but it’s a haven and a home for three men who’ve put their livelihoods—and lives—on the line to build a members-only gay sanctuary.
At the heart of The Asylum, Lawson Gaumond, Noah Leonov, and Curtis Smith, are three ex-lovers with one mission: to protect those they care for at all costs in an often unforgiving world of violence and vice.
They are three men, with one vision. Their bonds forged in blood. Fated to be together. Forever.
Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance
Overall Heat Rating for the series: 4 – 5 flames
Note: Depending on the book it could be either 4 or 5 but they aren’t erotica, so the sex is detailed, but part of the story, rather than the focus of the story.
If there were an emergency number for adulthood, Matt Kincaid would have dialed it months ago. Raising his kid brother alone is already an uphill battle, nevermind when an ugly gang initiation lands the teen in lockup. Again. Only, this time for a hate crime against a local fight club, where settling debts isn’t taken lightly. When the club offers to let Matt risk everything in a long-shot match with a man who’s as brutally handsome as he is tough, he jumps at the chance.
If Matt wins, all will be forgiven. If not? Well, he might as well move in, because ‘The Law’ will own his ass…for a very long time.
There are no limits to what Lawson ‘The Law’ Gaumond will do to protect the club he and his former lovers built. An inner-city sanctuary where Anniston Falls’ gay leather culture thrives, The Asylum Fight Club isn’t an easy place, but it’s home. Taking on a local hothead whose younger brother vandalized the space isn’t high on his priority list, but there’s something about Matt that cries out for a firm hand.
Lawson’s never backed down from a fight, and he’s not about to start when there’s no way he can lose.
When renewed gang violence erupts, spilling blood over The Asylum, Lawson and Matt must confront their pasts to find a way forward. Gunshots and knives should be harder to survive than this rough love, but coming to the ring armed with nothing but the truth is their greatest challenge of all.
The most important fight is for the truth.
Book Title: Beyond Justice (The Asylum Fight Club Book 2)
Raised and trained by The Asylum Fight Club’s most infamous owner, Reed Dane is almost untouchable. Might sound dope, but there are disadvantages to his ‘privileged’ status. His guardian’s reputation makes a serious relationship impossible—turns out the club’s members are addicted to breathing—and the one man Reed truly wants sees him only as a stray his former lover brought home.
An endless string of one-night stands lacks the intimacy Reed craves, but at least edgy post-fight hookups distract him from what he’ll never have. Until he takes a wrecking ball to the walls that set him apart.
Curtis Smith is a lot of things—MMA fighter, club owner…son of a drug lord—but one thing he’s not is prepared to face temptation exploding past his carefully built boundaries. Reed is forbidden, to him most of all, but resisting what they both want becomes impossible with the sub challenging him at every turn. And with his past threatening everything The Asylum has been built to protect, Curtis can’t afford to be addicted to Reed’s brand of candy coated sin.
He can’t deny himself one taste before his stolen time runs out. Because when it does, all that will be left behind for Reed is a memory…
And his heart.
He thought he’d had it rough, but he has a lot to learn.
Book Title: Hard Justice (The Asylum Fight Club Book 3)
Scandalous headlines threaten to turn Jamie Kent from a pop star to a pariah on the regular, but this latest one is a little too close for comfort. The Asylum Fight Club seems like a good place to hide out…until he has to prove he belongs—deep in a lifestyle with a contract and rules he breaks within the first five minutes. Staying means complete surrender, but a lifetime scripting love songs didn’t prepare him to give his heart to the one man who claims everything he has to offer.
The day he returns from prison.
Reputation has its own kind of power in a place where pain and pleasure depend on who’s in control. Entangled in the lives of those he’d give anything to protect, Noah Leonov rarely takes chances, but the hardened fighter refuses to abandon the vulnerable new sub to vultures who could tear his life apart with a camera flash. With the cage where he spent two years fresh in his mind, Noah won’t trap the man he loves in his brutal world. Jamie deserves the glamour and fame, where he can have more than a broken man can provide.
He belongs in the spotlight.
Neither man ever had the choice to decide their own destiny. Imprisoned by the roles they’re forced to play, their key to freedom might be to do the unexpected.
Refuse to let go.
One game cost him his freedom, now all he has to lose is his heart.
Book Title: Cold Justice (The Asylum Fight Club Book 4)
Breaking a few rules didn’t seem like a huge deal.
With his name on several government assasination lists, Wren Gibson’s prison sentence might’ve been the shortest in hacker history, until an unlikely rescue lands him behind the sturdy brick walls of The Asylum Fight Club. Where everyone can game the rules, yet he’s forbidden from even placing his piece on the board.
But one Dom tempts him to gamble everything.
The Asylum’s resident, on-call medic, Jared “Doc” McCleod is familiar with the histories of every man who crosses the club’s threshold. Their pain, their fear… Of them all, only Wren has held on to his secrets, a fascinating contrast with how completely he gives up control. As the general on the front lines of The Asylum’s internal and external battles, it’s Jared’s duty to make certain the quiet sub with soulful brown eyes doesn’t fly under his radar for long.
Showing his hand could cost them both.
When Jared takes on the task of helping Wren recover from an unexpected injury, Wren begins to wonder. While the Dom is tending to everyone else, who is there for him? To show Jared he can be the sub he needs, he would willingly light himself on fire. For an ex-con with a target on his back, risking that kind of notice is a dangerous strategy, but…
Sometimes, getting what you want requires going all in.
He never thought he could be more exposed.
Book Title: Raw Justice (The Asylum Fight Club Book 5)
The right kind of exposure is all porn star Keiran Stone needs to reach his ultimate goal of opening his own restaurant, until an ill-fated audition ends with a near-deadly confrontation on the doorstep of Anniston Falls, New York’s infamous gay fight club. Rescued by one of the club’s members, Kerian is offered a job as The Asylum’s chef, and taken under the club’s protection.
He finds more than a recipe for success.
Top-tier fighter, Dallas Stephens, enjoys a variety when it comes to play outside the ring. As a switch, he finds satisfaction at both ends of the whip. Commitment never appealed to him with relationships or careers, but Keiran’s sweet temptations whet Dallas’s appetite for more than a one-night-stand. Inside and outside of the sub’s kitchen.
Ordering off the menu can be dangerous.
As Keiran fights to establish his own place within The Asylum, threats to the club’s foundation leave both men caught in the crossfire. Love and loyalty show them they’re exactly where they belong, in the most important battle either will ever face.
Surviving it is another story.
Temptation can be deadly.
Book Title: Dark Justice (The Asylum Fight Club Book 6)
Renowned aerial artist Avery Dylan has a secret. He’s not who he seems to be. A mercenary by trade, he’s been activated by his handlers in a desperate move to bring down an impossible-to-reach target inside the infamous Asylum Fight Club.
When his high wire act proves easier to execute than one elusive submissive, Avery must resort to more than slithering silks and suggestive moves to breach the club’s defenses. Infiltrating its security requires sneaking past its most carefully guarded boundary—Rhodey Leonov’s heart.
But this is one drop that could kill.
When emotions distract from a mission, it never ends well. For the other guy. There are more headstones in Rhodey Leonov’s past than notches on his belt, which is a track record he lives with. Literally. Being unstoppable keeps his family safe. They may hate his methods, but so long as they’re in one piece, he can live with that.
Until an attack on The Asylum’s newest member reveals a weakness Rhodey can’t let stand. Having Avery recover in his bed for a few days could be a lethal mistake, though Rhodey’s not quite ready to reach for the shovel… Unless it’s to dig himself into the dark pit he’s escaped for so long. With a sub whose sweetness might be nothing but venom.
For both men, love isn’t an option, because falling only leads to one place…
A shallow grave.
NEW RELEASE – BOOK 7
The show must go on.
Book Title: Uneven Justice (The Asylum Fight Club Book 7)
One-time third-wheel in the boy-band Glam Grenade, Danny DiMarco’s existed just shy of center stage for as long as he can remember—a supporting player to two best friends who depended on him to pull their weight. While they made bank, he’s left reeling when his father’s death tangles his future in the red tape of empty contracts and drained accounts.
But the show must go on.
Jackson ‘Jacks’ Turner wears many hats, most of them gathering dust. An ex-model and an in-denial fashion designer, what he doesn’t plan to accessorize with is a newbie sub who shows up on his front doorstep looking for an introduction to the world of D/s inside Anniston Falls’ exclusive gay, members-only club.
Shea Warren is no stranger to covert ops. A Navy SEAL, he knows the ins and outs of hiding in plain sight. When Danny runs afoul of the club’s most powerful cliques on his first…and second…night as his roommate’s guest, the mission becomes clear. Protect the sweet, unassuming sub before he becomes a casualty of Jacks’ wear-em-once style.
There’s no rehearsal for this next set.
The Asylum might be more accepting of sequins and spandex than most, but Danny’s not coming to come out. In fact, with sponsors whose conservative ties pay his bills, it’s more than undesirable. It’s impossible. Except, sometimes Cupid has other plans.
Just when Danny needs to hide most, he’s headed for the last place he ever wanted to be…
In the spotlight.
About the Authors
Tibby Armstrong is a Contemporary, Paranormal, and LGBTQ Romance author who also writes Urban Fantasy.
When she’s not busy avoiding the gym, Tibby can be found munching on chocolate, sipping coffee, and scouring local bookstores for her next binge read.
Bianca Sommerland, author of the award winning Dartmouth Cobras series, was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec. After hitting the USA TODAY Bestsellers list, and being invited to teach several classes on writing in the sports and BDSM genre, she retreated to her writing cave and can still be found there, doing what she’s always done. Which is writing whatever the characters tell her to.
When not reading neurotically or writing as though the fate of the world rests on her keyboard, she is either watching hockey or teaching her daughters the beauty of a classic, steel pony while reminiscing about her days in Auto Body Mechanics. Her dream is to one day own enough land to park a few junkers on so she can work on restorations in her spare time. She also wants a pony. And while we’re sharing her wishlist, owning a tank is somewhere around number 5. Not that she would use it unless there’s a zombie apocalypse, but she does like to be prepared.
Her time is balanced with utmost care between ‘normal’ family life, and being lured into the fictional realm where her characters reside. For the most part, she succeeds.
Can passion in the shadows bring love to light? When Jordan, Ethan’s co-worker and casual hook-up, vanishes into thin air, the last thing he expects is to see him again. But when Jordan returns, wanting to get reacquainted, Ethan is afraid of getting too close. Chemistry sizzles between them, driving them to seek new heights of pleasure—including in semi-public places—exposing not just their bodies, but their souls—as they grow closer. Ethan wants more than a friend with benefits and the more he has of Jordan, the more he feels certain they’re a good fit. But destiny seems intent on pulling them apart just as they’ve reconnected. They’ll both have to find their courage and take a risk on lasting love.
The crack of the ball on the table made Ethan jump. It rolled to the pocket but missed by a sliver. Ethan grinned, grateful for a chance to play. He knew he wouldn’t win, not by a long shot since there were seven solid balls still on the table to Jordan’s three striped ones. If Ethan wanted a snowball’s chance in hell at winning, he’d have to change tactics. Well, Jordan said he wanted to play dirty. Ethan sauntered close to Jordan, until their chests were pressed together. Jordan was a little taller than Ethan’s six foot height, and he made a show of tilting his head up so that their lips lined up. Jordan’s tongue drifted out and sat at the corner of his mouth, his eyes boring into Ethan’s. Ethan grinned and turned around, knowing that his ass would push Jordan backwards as he bent over to eye his target. He heard the small gasp behind him as he moved the cue between the first two fingers of his left hand, and stopped, assessing the table again with a hum. “I think I need help,” Ethan said, turning over his shoulder, affecting a wide-eyed lost look. “Since you’re such an expert and all I figured—” “Sure,” Jordan said roughly. He drew closer, closing a hand over Ethan’s, his chest pressing hard into Ethan’s back. Ethan closed his eyes for a moment to gain some composure and inhaled a slow breath. “You want to make sure you line your eyes with the ball,” Jordan murmured against Ethan’s ear. “And make sure you hit the cue ball in the center so that it can travel straight out from the stick.” Jordan guided the cue back slowly and then jerked it forward just to give the ball enough momentum to put the solid ball into the corner pocket. Ethan canted his hips back so his ass brushed against the bulge in Jordan’s jeans. “You’re an excellent teacher,” Ethan murmured, tilting his head back. He only saw a bit of Jordan’s face, the position obscuring most of it, but what he saw was enough. Jordan’s lips were parted and when he swiped a tongue over his bottom lip, it took everything in Ethan’s control to not spin around and kiss him. There was a fluttering sensation inside of Ethan’s chest that grew stronger. He straightened up and assessed the table once more to distract himself. He didn’t want to play pool anymore, his mind a jumbled mess of things he wanted instead with Jordan. When he tried to make another shot, he scratched the cue over the top of the ball. Jordan tsked. “Such a terrible student,” he admonished playfully. He leaned over the table to line up his shot, and added, “To think I gave you valuable information—” The sentence cut off as Ethan bent over and gently blew on Jordan’s ear. Jordan’s arm skitted forward, knocking into a set of balls and scattering them everywhere. “Whoops,” Ethan said unrepentantly. “That is so wrong,” Jordan groused, pulling himself upright. “What the hell do you call that?” Ethan shrugged, leaning against the edge of the table next to Jordan and crossing his legs at the ankle. “You said you wanted to play dirty. I was just following the rules.” “Is that so?” Jordan asked quietly, edging closer to Ethan’s side. Ethan searched Jordan’s face for a moment, his stomach twisting in anticipation. Jordan was close enough that the warmth of his breath feathered over Ethan’s mouth. His hair was more grown out, and a small wave had fallen over his eye. Those dark brown eyes that sat heavy-lidded, and as he leaned closer Ethan felt his lips brush against his. The kiss was chaste, but Ethan’s body responded to it immediately. He concentrated on his breathing, hoping to calm the thundering in his chest. Jordan’s cologne, a mix of sandalwood and vanilla, overwhelmed Ethan’s senses. He wanted to get lost in the wave of it all, savor the familiar taste of it against his tongue.
About the Author
Gwen Martin lives in Florida where the sun is always shining, the humidity is always high, and Disney is just a hop skip away. When she’s not trying to write one of her million story ideas, she’s usually hanging out with her husband and four cats.
Gwen first started writing at a young age, coming up with stories in class instead of paying attention to the math lesson. Since then she has been exploring her love of writing in various fan communities where she has learned how to cultivate character development and romantic interactions.
She has a strong love affair with cold brew coffee, black cats, and nerding out in various fandoms. When she’s not writing, she’s reading everything she can get her hands on, listening to a lot of lo-fi and making playlists, chilling with her four gatos and obsessing about Pusheen. Because it’s always about Pusheen.
A celebrity accused of murder. A writer needing his big break. The lies that tie them together.
Accused of a murder he didn’t commit, vilified celebrity Jackson Young enlists the help of a rookie journalist to clear his name and write his biography.
Jackson has a secret though. One he must keep from becoming public. But Fletcher’s dreamy green eyes, Irish drawl and effortless charm makes it hard to suppress those long-buried feelings, even if it could compromise his innocence.
Uncovering the murky past behind Jackson’s rise to fame, Fletcher grows closer to a man he’d once declared as talentless, and their intense attraction starts to affect not only his professional integrity but the life he’d made since moving to London.
Falling for the subject of his book could be fatal for Fletcher, and Jackson should know better than to trust a journalist.
Fade to Blank is the first book in the London Lies trilogy set in 1999, and is a slow burn, enemies to lovers, hurt/comfort romantic suspense.
Fletcher drew troubled eyebrows in. “Are you okay?” he asked.
“Okay? Okay?” Jackson breathed out a laugh that was more a release of pent up anguish. He’d always been taught to laugh in the face of adversity. He hadn’t been able to do much of that lately. Any flicker of amusement seeping out when in Flaymore would only have been captured by an inmate wanting a name for himself and used against him in the media. He rubbed his stinging eyes. “My girlfriend is dead. Someone strangled her whilst I was passed out in the other room. The world thinks I did it. I’ve spent six months inside because I wasn’t granted bail. This morning I wasn’t told that I was free because they believed I didn’t do it. They just couldn’t prove that I did. I can’t quite see how I would be okay after all that. Do you?”
Perhaps that was too blunt. Too much, too soon? Perhaps all this seeking the truth was coming across more selfish than he’d anticipated. It was. But the world was pointing at him. So he needed to prove his innocence to force people to look at who might have killed her, instead of allowing them to tie the noose around his neck.
And on that thought, his heart almost stopped. So the desperation kicked in. “I need you. Your help.”
Fletcher softened before him. “Okay,” he said. “Go on. Why would I, the fella you tried to knock out due to one bad review, want to write another article about you?”
“I want more than an article. And you’ll have a ready and waiting readership for this. It’ll rocket you to a fortune you never knew existed.”
“Wind your neck in, lad, that’s a touch arrogant there.”
“Arrogance doesn’t equal guilt.” Jackson leapt up from leaning against his bike, new found energy resumed. “Nor does it equal untalented.”
Fletcher glanced away, flicking his gaze back just as quick. “What are you talking here, then? A featured piece?”
Jackson forced a smile. “A full exposé of Jackson Young and why he isn’t the man he’s been depicted as in the media of late.”
“So this is all about you? Not… Tallulah?”
Jackson sucked in a breath at her name. It still stabbed at his heart, strangled his chest, erupted bile into his throat. He wondered if it would ever stop.
Scrubbing fingers across his perspiring forehead, Jackson had to find the right way to explain what he needed. What he had to do before it was too late and this was all hidden under the carpet as so many of the lies and manipulations already had been. He wasn’t sure how far he should go. How much he should admit he knew. There was the whole story. And there was his story.
“I was arrested for something I didn’t do,” he settled on. “I’ve been painted in the media as a monster. Pretty much all my friends and family have abandoned me because they believe people like you.”
“People like me?”
“People with the ability to write words and print them for the public to read, to believe and to act upon.”
“I never wrote about what happened to her. I’ve avoided talking about you, or her, since.”
“I know. Now I want you to.”
Jackson waited for the faint glimmer of understanding to work its way across Fletcher’s face. He had to know this would be the ultimate scoop for him. A writer, a journalist, a gossip columnist…whatever the man claimed to be, if he took this opportunity he could retire.
“I don’t write news. I write…gossip.” It sounded a lot like he hated to say that word, and his gaze blinked away from Jackson toward the glass frontage of London Lights HQ.
“I don’t want you to write for a paper. I don’t want this to be news, or gossip. This is the truth. My truth.”
“I’m not sure my editor will buy into it.” Fletcher sighed. “And if she did, she’d pass it onto the more seasoned journalists.”
“I don’t want your editor. I don’t want this in your poxy magazine.” Jackson spat the word, nodding toward the office block in contempt. He wanted nothing to do with any of that. Especially not London Lights. “This has got to be independent.”
“I don’t understand. I thought you wanted an exposé?”
Jackson stepped forward, a hair’s breadth from Fletcher, so close he could taste the man’s coffee breath. “Ever want to write something different? Something good. Something that could make a name for yourself away from the trash rags? Don’t you want to see your name on a shelf?”
“What type of shelf?”
“A book shelf. I want you to write my biography. So if you ever wanted your fortune handed on a plate, Fletcher Doherty…” Jackson held out his arms. “It’s here.”
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.
To win over the chief’s haughty son, a drug-dealing punk from a dysfunctional family must risk the only two things he has: his reputation and freedom.
Billy Redsky, a rebellious punk who loves art and nature, is saddled with a welfare-leeching, alcoholic mother and criminal older brother who are the joke of their Ojibway community. Sick and tired of being perceived as a loser, Billy deals drugs for his older brother to earn quick money. He hopes if he buys a dirt bike, he’ll finally impress the chief’s popular and aloof son, René Oshawee. When the two are forced to serve detention together, a friendship blooms, but much to Billy’s frustration, René keeps putting him on ice. To make his biggest dream come true if he finally wants to call René his own, Billy must make a huge decision that could cost him everything.
At the same time, they entered the office doorway. Billy’s side received a sharp elbow jab, and his lungs almost hurled from his throat. Pain. Major pain.
René pointed at the chair. “Sit. I’m going first. Unlike you, I don’t got all day to be playing around.” He strode to the counter. “Is Mr. Carlson in? Mrs. Lamb sent me.” The attitude in his voice melted into an ass-kissing, respectful tone.
“What for?” The secretary, with a big beehive straight out of the sixties, stood.
René pointed his thumb over his shoulder. “Redsky got into my little cousin’s face. I have to talk to Mr. Carlson about it.”
“Okay. Let me buzz you in.” The swinging-sixties secretary reached for the phone.
Never mind his aching side. Billy scrambled from the chair. “I ain’t taking the rap for this. You started it, loser.”
René whipped around. “What’d you call me?”
“I called you a loser.” Billy fisted his hands.
“You worthless punk.” René held up his finger in a lecturing gesture just as the teachers did. “Wanna talk about losers? Your mom and brother are total alkies and welfare leeches. It’s people like your family who give reds a bad name. That’s why everyone hates on us and says we’re a bunch of drunks sucking the taxpayers dry.”
“Is that what Chief Oshawee says when you’re having your fancy steak supper? Or maybe your mom says it ‘cause she’s some bigshot accountant?” The jeer flew from Billy’s mouth.
“Give it a rest, boys.” Mr. Carlson’s thick voice whirled into their argument. “My secretary told me you both were sent here. René,” he pointed at the door, “into my office. And, Billy, sit down. We’ll talk once I hear René’s version.”
It figured Prince Oshawee would get to go first. At least Billy had been smart enough to pass off his stash to Lonn before being sent to the vice principal’s office.
For ten minutes, Billy waited, and waited, and waited, the second bell having already rung. René was probably painting a sham picture of Billy shoving dope down Stuart’s throat.
The door to the vice principal’s office opened. René huffed out. He shook back his shoulder-length, thick, almost-black hair and trounced from the reception area into the main hall.
Instead of raw fury searing Billy, being ignored by the royal spare was sharp teeth sinking into his skin. Big deal. He didn’t give a shit about anyone or their opinion. Especially an Oshawee.
“Billy…” Mr. Carlson and his big gut filled the doorway. “In here. Now.”
Billy slunk into the office and flopped in the usual stiffer-than-a-board chair opposite the massive oak desk. He dropped his backpack and his frustration onto the floor. There was no point in arguing. Chrome Dome would believe an Oshawee over a Redsky.
Mr. Carlson sat on his king-style throne. “Fighting again?”
What could Billy say? Nothing.
“I didn’t think so.” Mr. Carlson picked up the phone and flipped through his Rolodex. “I have business to attend to. You’ll report to room two-o-two after school. We have a new strategy when it comes to physical disputes. You’ll find out then when you get there. Dismissed.”
About the Author
An Ojibway from Northwestern Ontario, Maggie resides in the country with her husband and their fur babies, two beautiful Alaskan Malamutes. When she’s not writing, she can be found pulling weeds in the flower beds, mowing the huge lawn, walking the Mals deep in the bush, teeing up a ball at the golf course, fishing in the boat for walleye, or sitting on the deck at her sister’s house, making more wonderful memories with the people she loves most.
A werewolf with a death wish bargains with a hunter for salvation.
Justin has spent several lifetimes atoning for the violent nature of his curse. A mindless angry beast several nights a month, he carries a burden of blood for past sins. Tired and lonely, he’s seeking an end to his torment.
Vincent bears the curse, though only by half. A hybrid, he hunts those of his brethren who let their monsters take over. And he’s hell bent on destroying them all, until he’s forced to deal with one who’s begging for peace. Except deliverance wears many guises.
Their desire for redemption erupts in a fiery passion drawing them closer together.
“Because you are so closed-minded you can’t see anything but what you want to see. Justin is a good person. He didn’t ask to be what he is. We can still find the one who bit him!”
Vincent laughed, a clear cynical sound behind it. “If he can find the one who made him. The number of werewolves grows every day. It’ll be impossible. So, no. He has to die!”
Justin had heard enough. He stepped forward and called, “Vincent.”
Vincent whipped his head around and smiled, harsh and bitter. “So you decided to show. This human means that much to you?”
“Let her go,” Justin snarled, ignoring Vincent’s question. “Then we can fight.”
“I’ll let her go… once you’re dead.”
Justin pulled the sword from his back and moved into the light shining from the fountain. “Let’s do it then.”
“Ah, so the little boy went and got himself a big knife, did he? Do you even know how to use it?” Vincent taunted him.
He did an expert twist of his wrist, sending the blade of the sword spinning around him. Vincent’s eyes narrowed just before he attacked. Their blades clashed against one another as they fought; their movements almost an elegant dance between them. “So you’ve had some training, kid? It’s not enough to save your ass.”
Vincent thrust at him, but Justin cut up with his sword and sent Vincent’s flying into the air. The blade clattered against the ground, landing a few feet from them. Before Justin could strike at him again, Vincent leapt backward, grabbed his sword, and flipped, landing several yards away from Justin. Justin knew it wasn’t going to be an easy fight.
Circling one another, their swords glinted in the moonlight. Justin narrowed his eyes while he waited for Vincent to make the first move. Too impatient to wait for Justin to make his move, Vincent went to strike once more. Justin blocked the blow and attempted a return hit, but Vincent was too fast, crashing his sword into Justin’s. Swords crossed at the blade, Justin thrust upward and managed to nick Vincent’s cheek. Vincent cursed, jumped backward, and touched the small cut. His fingers were dark with a smear of blood when he dropped his hand from his cheek. Justin smiled mockingly at him. “Aw. Did I cut you?”
Vincent curled his lip into a snarl and rushed toward Justin with his sword raised. The fight continued for some time, and eventually they stood facing one another, panting for breath. Justin could see Vincent’s anger reflecting outward from bright violet eyes. He’d never met another person with eyes the shade of amethyst. If he were honest with himself, Vincent would have caught his attention many years ago. The broad shoulders, gorgeous white hair, high cheekbones, and obvious strength rang all of Justin’s bells. Of course, the idea of Vincent ever having an interest in him caused Justin to snort.
The sound set off the next chain of events, flaming Vincent’s rage even higher, or so Justin figured when Vincent struck harder than before. They circled each other. Vincent took the next chance to slice at Justin, but Justin grabbed his wrist and wrenched him forward and over his shoulder, sending Vincent’s sword across the ground to Kara’s feet with a clatter of metal on the cement. Justin immediately pinned Vincent underneath him. Breathing heavily, Justin sat there atop Vincent for several seconds without a word, trying to catch his breath.
“I don’t want to kill you,” Justin rasped.
Vincent looked up at him in skepticism. “Why?” Vincent demanded.
Justin retained eye contact with him. “Because I don’t like hurting someone who hates those monsters just as much as I do.”
Vincent seemed to contemplate Justin’s words, and then something seemed to click inside Vincent. The fight left his body. Justin became aware of Vincent’s hard body against his, their suggestive position, and what it could have meant in another world. Flushing, Justin stood and held his hand out to Vincent, who studied him for several heartbeats before allowing Justin’s help up from the ground. Justin rushed to Kara’s side to untie her hands and massaged them to bring the feeling back into them.
“Don’t think this means I trust you, wolf,” Vincent growled as he retrieved his sword. “If you even so much as look at a human in the wrong way, I won’t hesitate to kill you.”
The sound of his sword bottoming out in its sheath punctuated his promise.
Kara glanced at him and snapped, “How do we know we can trust you?”
“You don’t.” Without another word, he strode off into the darkness.
About the Author
J.R. Loveless began her adventure in writing romance at the young age of twelve. Her foray into creating her own worlds and telling her characters’ life stories was triggered by her own love of reading. She currently resides in South Florida with her dog and two cats, volunteers for an animal rescue in her spare time, and works as a manager for a financial lending institute. Someday she hopes to begin writing as a full-time career and bringing more of her ideas to life.
Her journey into gay romance began in 2005 when she began posting her original fiction on a forum for feedback and readers’ pleasure. In 2010, a good friend urged her to submit to a publishing company, and the day she received the acceptance and contract was the best day of her life. Since then, she has been noted to be one of the most purchased audio books after Fifty Shades of Grey on Audiobook.com, received best gay romantic fiction for Touch Me Gently in the 2011 TLA Gaybies, and even received an award for Chasing Seth in 2012.
They targeted him before he was ever born. They will hunt him. They will execute anyone around him. They will rip his innocence away, corrupt him, and twist him into an instrument of terror. He will give the world reason to fear, fear the unknown, and he will do this lifetime after lifetime after lifetime.
Except this time, Daniel Davis hasn’t come back alone.
Four souls have returned with him, would-be protectors who’ve vowed to shield him from this fate. If they succeed, Daniel will turn what is into what can be. And if they fail, his light will dim and fade…forever.
“It’s okay, baby. It’s okay.” Amanda grabbed a blanket from the inside of the vehicle and wrapped it around Daniel, then took a clean cloth and held it up to his chin. He’d need stitches and there’d be one hell of a scar. “Look at me.” He did, still shaking.
She’d almost been a moment too late. A second of hesitation and he’d be dead. What did the intruder want? What had he been looking for? And why did he scream what he did at Daniel?
Let me see your eyes. It’s in there, isn’t it? Deep down you can feel it.
The intruder’s words. Why the eyes? What was in them? What had he looked for? And why would Daniel feel it? Why did all of this feel so familiar to her? She knew the answers somewhere in the back of her memory, just out of reach. Why couldn’t she remember?
You can’t hide from us! We’ll find you again and again and again!
This had happened before. It happened now. It would happen again. Unless…
She studied the young boy’s face, the remains of a kind of innocence now lost and something new dawning. He’d never be the same again. Ever. Nobody prepared him for this. Not this young. How did one recover? With time? Without his mother or father?
Daniel began sobbing anew, as if reading her mind about his parents, whom she was sure he already missed.
“You’re—” Her voice cracked and she struggled not to break down in front of him. He didn’t need that. He needed strength. “You’re safe, baby. You’re safe now, Daniel.”
He stared into her eyes now. Was he searching for truth, or to see the depths of her own demons compared to his?
She met his gaze with her own and peered into his eyes. Blue. The blue eyes she’d seen in her recent dreams when he’d appeared much older. Still there, but… She felt her head tilt to the side as she searched even deeper. Beyond the blue. Something else. Something new. Foreign. Fear? No. Fear was on the outside, on the surface, but below the fear in a place he couldn’t feel or know existed inside himself? Shadows. Something that didn’t belong. A blackness, a blackness that swirled around in its infancy, as if waking.
The intruder is responsible for this. He woke this thing.
The blackness stopped moving for a moment. Did it sense her? She stared at it and some part of it intuitively stared back at her. The blackness knew her. They were old acquaintances. And if the thing, this entity or presence…whatever the hell it was…could have sneered at her, she knew it would have.
Have you ever heard a child scream as if their soul was being ripped apart at the seams? Like there’s no safe place in Heaven, Earth, or in-between that’s safe.
Where did these words come from? When did she say them? Part of her understood she never had, and yet another part, the part far back in her mind, knew she had. But when? How could that even be possible? Amanda also understood Daniel’s soul was infected and this thing inside him would take great joy in ripping him apart.
“You’re safe now, Daniel,” she repeated, mostly to reassure herself, only she knew deep down it wasn’t true.
The darkness in Daniel’s eyes began its dance anew.
…it’s going to eat him from the inside out.
Her words again? When did she say this?
“You’re not going to get him,” she muttered.
The darkness found an opening and began to disappear behind Daniel’s eyes, hiding beyond the physical, beyond reach. Beyond her reach.
He’s already ours.
Daniel began to shake.
About the Author
Kristoffer Gair grew up in Fraser, MI and is a graduate of Grand Valley State University. He is the author of 7 novels—some written under the pseudonym Kage Alan—been a part of 6 anthologies, and currently lives in a suburb of Detroit.
Fate doesn’t use dating apps to pair true mates…except when it does. Human Omega Colin Soames has finally made it. Investors are clamoring for his new hit dating app and then things get weird. Now he’s on a mission to figure out who’s co-opting his app and why; by going undercover as a potential date. Little does he know that the oddities he discovered weren’t designed to sabotage the app as he first thought. No. Shifters have figured out a way to use it incognito, and he’s about to go on a date with one. If only he knew shifters existed outside of fiction. Pack Alpha Bentley Shaw likes being single. He doesn’t have to answer to anyone but his pack. He likes it that way even if he is lonely and even if his wolf is restless. Why bother putting your heart out there if you are only going to get hurt? But one drunken night he lets his Beta talk him into trying the new dating app all the shifters are using—just once. How bad could one date be? It couldn’t be worse than the time he tried to date a human—except that’s exactly what Love and Hate sends him. Sparks fly, feelings grow, and their worlds are turned upside down in the very best of ways. Matched To His Wolf is the first book in the sweet with knotty heat Dates of Our Lives M/M Mpreg Shifter Dating App romance brought to you by the popular co-writing duo of Lorelei M Hart and Colbie Dunbar. It features a human who stumbles into a world he never knew existed thanks to a silly little soap opera, an alpha who didn’t want to date—full stop, two powerful men trying to figure out how to come together as one, and an adorable baby. If you like your shifters hawt, your omegas strong, your mpreg with heart, and your HEAs complete with true mates and a bundle of joy, one-click today.
It’s from Chapter 5, and is the omega’s POV. His name is Colin. He’s human, and he’s the app developer. He goes on the blind date hoping to discover who’s co-opting the app. His date arrives and it’s Bentley, a wolf shifter and pack alpha. But Colin had no idea shifters are real and of course, Bentley doesn’t enlighten him. The only context humans have re shifters is a famous soap opera, Shifter World, but they think it’s fiction.
“You’re not wearing a tie.”
“Ummm… nope. Is that a problem?” I glanced at the tie-less men seated in the restaurant.
Bentley loosened the knot at his throat, and I was mesmerized by the long, elegant fingers. He could be a hand model. He did look kinda familiar. I stared at his hands again. Maybe I’d seen them in an ad for watches, phones, or sexy underwear. My inner voice was voting for the last one.
My dinner companion slipped off the tie and stuffed it in his pocket. I was so desperate to check out his nether regions again, I was tempted to do the ‘drop-the-napkin’ trick and get a good gander at his crotch.
“Been here before?” Bentley asked as his amber eyes flicked over the room.
“Nope. But it’s got great ratings on Grassfed Reviews.”
He grimaced. Yeah, that’s what that was. “I don’t pay much attention to that sort of stuff. Too much crap online.”
Did he just put down the entire internet when he was on a blind date that happened by way of an app? My app! I think he did. What an ass! My hand gripped the steak knife wondering if I’d get probation if I stabbed it into the wooden table. Perhaps a warning, pay for the damages, and be blacklisted at the steak house? I could live with that.
But I reminded myself he had no idea I was the developer. “And yet here we are because of an app.”
“My friend convinced me to try it.”
His words reminded me I was supposed to have my detective hat on, not be ogling him or thinking of ways to destroy the furniture because of my bruised ego.
But his scent wafted over me, and if I lived in the 18th century, I swear I would have swooned. I didn’t really know what that was but it sounded like how I felt. All shaky and my stomach was jumbly. I gripped my glass and threw a mouthful of beer down my throat, but in my rush to not swoon, I choked.
The table and my date were showered with beer and probably saliva. Ewww! Bentley’s gray button-down was dotted with wet splotches and so were his hands, cutlery, and napkin. But while I was gasping and focused on not dying, he was suddenly behind me, pushing me forward and thumping my back.
“Okay?” he asked as I took the first breath in what felt like forever but was only a few seconds.
“Mmmm,” I nodded as my cheeks flamed.
“If I choke on my steak, I want him to give me first aid.” That was a comment from the next table.
“Eyes here,” snapped his companion.
“Sorry about the shirt,” I whispered as a waiter replaced the Bentley’s setting and took our orders.
Bentley shrugged as he said, “No big deal.”
I was at a loss for a conversation starter. We’d done names, discovered he hated the information superhighway, he’d saved my life, and I’d ruined his shirt and shared my DNA. Pretty impressive for the first five minutes.
But I was scrabbling for something to say and desperately trying to avoid his aroma which reminded me of an ancient forest that rarely disclosed its secrets. I pictured the trees, with their arms around one another as they closed ranks against outsiders. It was both intoxicating and hair-raising, and I stuck my hands in my lap so Bentley couldn’t see the goosebumps sprawling across my skin.
And then the same voice that had admired my dinner companion’s life-saving prowess said, “That Floyd. I followed him on social media and commented that I hope they bring him back for more episodes. ‘I wouldn’t count on it. Don’t hold your breath,’ was his response.” The guy tittered and placing both hands near his throat, made an exaggerated gasping sound while staring into my eyes. He’s mocking me.
“Hey,” Bentley stood and got in the other guy’s face. That was weird ‘cause I’d listed that as one of my hates on the app. He grabbed the omega’s shirt. “Apologize to my friend. That was completely inappropriate and you’re a jerk.”
The guy sniffed. I was convinced he was inhaling the alpha’s scent and his expression changed from overconfident to insecure. He shuffled along the booth and I swear he shrank to half his size.
His alpha companion muttered, “He meant no harm. Sorry,” before flinging a pile of cash on the table. The pair raced out, not looking back when the waiter arrived at their table with two sizzling steaks and yelled, “What about your dinner?”
How odd! “Thanks,” I mumbled. “You didn’t have to do that.”
He shrugged. “The guy was an ass.”
About the Authors
Lorelei M. Hart
Lorelei M. Hart is the cowriting team of USA Today Bestselling Authors Kate Richards and Ever Coming now joined by their friend, Ophelia Heart. Friends for years, the three decided to come together and write one of their favorite guilty pleasures: Mpreg. There is something that just does it for them about smexy men who love each other enough to start a family together in a world where they can do it the old-fashioned way ;).
For two wizards from opposite worlds, only fate knows if a future awaits them.
When a group of intrepid sorcerers leaves their government, Prism Wizard Vadimas Porfyra is selected to lead them. After centuries of denying his chosen school of magic, Vadimas is embracing the full power of his hue. Busy ruling the Spectra Wizardry, he believes the only thing missing from life is a tidier house. Treasured by the large D’Vaire family, Vadimas is content and not seeking anything beyond knowledge.
Far from the Council of Sorcery and Shifters is Arch Wizard Severin Dewitt, the Fate-chosen leader of the wizards. Little is known about the man whose wrist is marked by lightning. Severin is rarely seen, and unbeknownst to most, inside a house he cannot leave, his every move is being watched. Yearning for freedom, Severin must take matters into his own hands to forge his own destiny.
The Consilium Veneficus considers Vadimas an upstart and a traitor, so when he and Severin find out Fate has chosen them as a couple, there is little consensus on what the future holds. Severin’s knowledge of Fate is minimal, making it difficult for him to accept that a matebond rises above everything, while Vadimas trusts her fully, pushing their relationship to the brink.
Will distance, separate goals, and the ocean separating their populations of wizards stand between Vadimas and Severin forever, or can the two compromise to build a future together?
Confident that he looked the part of leader, though he lacked the mark of lightning given to the wizard leader he was about to meet, Vadimas waited for Myrddin to fly up onto his shoulder.
His familiar in place, Vadimas strode purposefully into the building, and the dragons helped him breeze through their checkpoints. Previously an oddball with no clout, he now traversed to the Office of the Emperor at least weekly, so he knew the dukes by name. A quick trip up the elevator and yet one more duke to exchange pleasantries with, and Vadimas made it to the main reception area.
“Hi, Vadimas. Did you hit any traffic?” Royal Duke-mate Niko Draconis asked as he rushed over to give him a hug.
“Not at all, is everyone waiting for me?”
“Yes, go on in.”
“Are you coming too?”
Niko shook his head. “No, Costas will give me the full rundown afterward. I’m going to get caught up on some work while I wait for my mate.”
“Well, no time like the present to find out what has brought the Arch Wizard out of hiding.”
The doors to the office were wide open, so Vadimas strolled through the gorgeous space that the Emperors shared with three of their dukes. Off to the left, he could barely see Ducblanc-mate Tiridythas D’Vaire concentrating on his sewing machine. Vadimas couldn’t remember another instance when the door to his workshop was closed, but with the dukes in with Their Majesties, Vadimas assumed his other half, Ducblanc Zane Draconis, had insisted. Only allowing himself a moment to square his shoulders and strengthen his resolve, Vadimas turned the door handle to the boardroom and pulled it open.
Myrddin made a strange noise and flew off his shoulder as Vadimas’s body went crazy. The smell of a newly printed book filled his nose—a scent Vadimas had never found an equal to—and his balls tingled while his cock nearly made a fool of him as it tented his slacks. He tugged his cloak over his erection as his gaze sought out a wizard with heterochromia iridum. One eye was the same violet as Vadimas’s own gaze, and the other was a bright goldish yellow, though they were both widened with shock as he stared. His flaxen blond hair brushed his shoulders in chunky layers, and his face was almost delicate in its symmetry.
As soon as Vadimas could get air in his lungs, he realized that not only was the Arch Wizard his mate, but he was the only sorcerer he knew of with two distinct hues of the rainbow—and each one was a separate pool of magic. They were nulled by what he suspected was a cuff he’d recently helped intensify. Now only one cuff was necessary, so suspects or prisoners could be deprived of their Fate-chosen ability to shift or cast without both their arms behind or in front of them like traditional restraints.
A meow reached his ears, and that was when Vadimas noticed the cat clutched in the Arch Wizard’s grasp. Like the sorcerer himself, he was dual-eyed, and his features were nearly dainty. Myrddin was making a nuisance of himself by standing on the table in front of the Arch Wizard and bumping his head into the cat, who was sniffing the dragon suspiciously.
“Prism Wizard Vadimas Porfyra of the Spectra Wizardry, allow me to present Arch Wizard Severin Dewitt and his familiar, Emrys,” Alaric said. “Arch Wizard, the dragon licking your cat is named Myrddin.”
Vadimas wasn’t going to comment on the fact that they’d both picked names for their familiars from Arthurian legend and in the same language. “Myrddin, leave Emrys alone,” Vadimas ordered, though his dragon blithely ignored him. The cat was lolling his head into Myrddin, and they appeared to be having a great time, so he gave his attention to the still-staring Arch Wizard. Since he’d taken up the role of Prism Wizard, he’d never once considered he would be called by Fate as a leader. For decades, he’d allowed inadequacies to fester as he faced people who had been, so it was quite a shock to find that his mate was the one selected to rule. As far as being someone’s other half, Vadimas had no clue where to begin. He was good at being a wizard and had long ago shaken off any idea of deficiency, but he had no confidence in his skills as a potential partner.
Gathering his thoughts, Vadimas couldn’t quite manage a smile as he wondered what in the world to do. It was so unusual for him not to have the assurance to trudge forth after assessing the best way to tackle a problem that he was at a loss for words. “Arch Wizard, I like your cat.” Closing his eyes, Vadimas shook his head at his own idiocy.
Severin appeared almost trancelike as he stood up slowly, and Emrys leapt out of his hold to join Myrddin on Their Majesties’ giant table. “I was told Fate would help you know who she selected as a possible mate, but I didn’t expect…so much.”
Bristling at the word “possible,” Vadimas pulled himself together. “Yes, well, it would be no use for her to give you a mate if she did not give you an undeniable way of discovering them.”
About the Author
Jessamyn Kingley lives in Nevada where she begs the men in her head to tell her their amazing stories which she dutifully writes it all down in what has become a small mountain of notebooks. She falls in love with each couple and swears whatever book she wrote last is her absolute favorite.
Jessamyn is married and working toward remembering to start the dishwasher without being distracted by the scent of the magical detergent. For personal enjoyment, she aids in cat rescue while slashing and gashing her way through mobs in various MMORPGs. Caffeine is her very best friend and is only cast aside briefly for the sin better known as BBQ potato chips.
Will an idyllic summer holiday lead Arnie to the love of his life, or the end of it?
It should be the start of a perfect vacation. After a period of stress, Arnie Walker takes his nine-year-old son AJ home for the holidays. Arnie grew up in Nyemouth, a picturesque fishing town on the North-East coast of England, and he wants AJ to experience the kind of carefree, endless summer he enjoyed as a boy. It’s a short-lived dream. While taking an evening walk along the North Point cliff, Arnie and AJ witness a murder attempt.
For the volunteer crew of Nyemouth Lifeboat Station, it’s a rescue mission like none before, Helmsman Dominic Melton is part of the team who rescue the victim from the deadly North Sea. When Arnie and Dominic come together in the aftermath of the attack, the attraction is instant. Arnie isn’t looking for a relationship. He’s committed to his son’s well-being and has no time for a distraction like Dominic, even though the handsome ex-naval officer is hard to dismiss. Is it possible for Arnie to fulfill his promises to AJ while falling for Dominic?
Despite the distraction, a fledgling killer remains at large. As feelings between Arnie and Dominic develop, so does the danger they are in. North Point may be a beautiful place to fall in love, but it could also be the most dangerous.
“The police are outside,” Dominic said. “They want statements from all of us.” He had large and very expressive brown eyes. Within them, Arnie saw flecks of amber and gold. With his dark hair and muscular build, Dominic looked every inch a hero.
No, Arnie corrected himself. This guy doesn’t look like a hero. He is a hero. The entire crew are. It was more than the way he looked. There was an aura about Dominic, an undefined energy that made him incredibly attractive. Arnie had worked with some exceptionally good-looking men in his career, bona fide Hollywood heartthrobs, and none of them had Dominic’s naturally sexy quality. Everything about him—his face, his hair, his build—appealed. He was a knockout.
Come on, Arnie thought, pulling himself up. You’ve just witnessed a horrendous crime. A woman is fighting for her life this very minute and you’ve taken a fancy to the local hot guy. Get a grip.
He dunked a biscuit into the tea and ate it. His father was right—the sugar seemed to have an instant effect and his senses became clearer.
“How rough were things out there?” Martin asked.
“The sea’s getting up,” Dominic answered. “The wind too. Another half hour and we might not have got in there. It wouldn’t have mattered if we did. The tide would have taken her by then. It doesn’t bear thinking about.”
“You’re amazing,” Arnie said, and meant it. Dominic and the crew of volunteers had risked their lives for the safety of a complete stranger. They might all have died trying to rescue her.
“I just drove the boat,” he said. “My colleagues— Joanne and Minty—they did the hard work. They transferred the woman from the rock to the boat and kept her stable the whole way back. That’s no easy job in those swells.”
“Does anyone know who she is?” Martin asked.
“Minty thought he recognized her from around town but couldn’t be sure. It’s for the police to find out now.”
“It’s hard to believe something like this could happen here in Nyemouth,” Martin said. “Something so cruel. Who do you think did it? An ex-boyfriend?” Martin and Dominic looked at Arnie expectantly.
“I’ve no idea,” he said at last, avoiding the intense scrutiny of Dominic’s eyes. “Whoever it was, they kept their face hidden. It could be anyone. And they came from behind. So, even if it was someone she knows, I doubt she’d have recognized them.”
“Bastard,” Dominic said. He had a slight accent Arnie couldn’t place. Northern. Maybe Yorkshire. Nothing definite. The accent of someone who moved around a lot, losing all but a trace of their regional twang. A bit like his own. It was hard not to look at him. He was stunning. That hair, the glossy sheen of his beard, the moody furrow between his eyebrows. Wow. Despite everything that had happened, Dominic aroused something in Arnie. It should have been the last thing on his mind, but Arnie couldn’t stop the desire he felt for him. He imagined holding him and kissing that mouth, thinking about the body beneath those clothes.
Arnie finished his tea. “I should speak to the police. The sooner they know who they’re looking for, the sooner they’ll find him.”
“Are you feeling better?” Martin asked.
“Much,” he assured his father. “Thanks to you.”
“Take care of yourself,” Dominic said. “I wish we’d met under better circumstances. Hopefully I’ll see you around some time.”
About the Author
Thom Collins is the author of Closer by Morning, Gods of Vengeance, Silent Voices 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.