RELEASE BLITZ: “Fractured Love” by Matthew Dante

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Fractured Love

Author: Matthew Dante

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Anthony Chinedu

Release Date: July 15, 2021

Genre: Gay Thriller

Tropes: Unrequited Love, Obsession

Theme: Obsessive Love

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 50 000 words/225 pages

It is a standalone story.

Goodreads

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

What is more dangerous than a man in love? A man in love who feels betrayed.

Blurb

Marc and Alex have been best friends since childhood. When Marc was fourteen, tragedy struck, and he found himself suddenly orphaned. Having no living relatives, Marc moved in with Alex and his family, who happily opened their hearts and their home to him.

Five years have passed since the tragedy, and Marc’s love and devotion for his best friend has only intensified… some would say, to an almost obsessive level…

Alex’s life is suddenly turned upside down when he is forced to make an impossible decision. Alex quickly learns that Marc’s love for him goes much deeper than just friendship. Alex begins to wonder, just how far is Marc willing to go in the name of love? And more terrifyingly, how dangerous is a man in love, who feels… betrayed.

Fractured Love is a dark story of unrequited love, torment, and murder.

Excerpt

Marc was furious. He jumped onto Alex, as Alex struggled beneath his weight. Alex kicked and punched with all his might. He had no idea how strong Marc could be when he was angry.

He felt like he was fighting a total stranger. This was not the man that he spent countless nights cuddling up against. This man was fueled by anger and rage. How long had this rage laid dormant? Or was it always there but hidden from prying eyes?

Marc let out an angry growl and punched Alex in the face. Blood burst from Alex’s nose as Marc’s fist connected firmly with his face. Alex fell backwards defeated. He was no match for the strength and fury of his former best friend.

Marc suddenly jumped down to the ground and grabbed Alex’s body. He yanked his body close to his own and whispered, “Don’t move.”

Alex’s body tightened as he suddenly heard a deep growl from the darkness ahead of him. With Marc’s arms wrapped tight around his body, Alex pressed his back further into Marc’s chest.

They both watched as a large wolf slowly emerged from the darkness. The beast growled, as it slowly made its way towards the two of them. The beast kept its nose close to the ground as it revealed its razor-sharp teeth.

“Don’t move, whatever you do.” Marc whispered in Alex’s ear. Marc gripped Alex even tighter as he held him close to his body. Alex gripped Marc’s arm, terrified, as he waited for the beast to attack.

About the Author

Matthew Dante is a Canadian indie author who loves to write about magic, fantasy, and romance. He is an avid reader, world traveller, lover of all things Marvel and DC, and a romantic at heart.

Most of his stories center around gay main characters who are usually the love interests and the heroes of these stories. He writes these novels, so that other LGBTQ people will be able to read about characters and stories that they can relate to and be proud of.

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RELEASE BLITZ: “Matched by My Rival” by DJ Jamison. $10.00 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway Included!

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Matched By My Rival

Author: DJ
Jamison

Publisher: DJ
Jamison

Cover Artist: Cate
Ashwood

Release Date: July 8,
2021

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Tropes: Enemies to lovers, college jocks, online love match,
secret/forbidden love

Themes: Building a new dream, following your heart,
forgiveness

Heat Rating: 4
flames

Length: 75 000
words

It is part of a series (Thrust
Into Love) but can be read as a stand alone.

Goodreads

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link |
Amazon US | Amazon UK

Simon Prentiss: Ex-football
star, bitter rival, and…falling for the enemy?

Blurb
I hate my teammate, Parker Reed.
I hate that he makes me work so hard for my
position on the field.

Hate how he always smiles. How easily he shows
me up when I’m injured.


Most of all, I hate that he made me lose my
temper.


Next thing I know, football is gone.
My scholarship is gone.
I’m nearly gone, too.

With help, I manage to stay in school for my final
semester.

At least without football, I can explore a new side
to myself.

See where my attraction to guys takes me without
fear of it affecting my future.


I didn’t see it coming. The cosmic
joke.

The sweet, patient guy on the hookup
app?

The one who makes me burn with the desire to
have him?


Yeah, it’s Parker.

Our chemistry is off the charts, no matter how
much I resent him.

Holding a grudge against him is
impossible.

But when he wants to walk away from everything I
lost, can I accept it?


If I don’t, I’ll lose him too–and that can’t
happen.

Because I don’t hate Parker Reed.
I think I love him.

Matched By My Rival is an enemies-to-lovers,
jock rivals romance. It’s Book 2 of the Thrust Into Love series but can be read as a
standalone.

Excerpt

The following excerpt is from Simon’s POV, when he
realizes that his app hookup is actually his rival, Parker Reed.


This couldn’t be happening. Parker Reed? Parker
Reed was my Thrust match? No, I refused to believe it.

“There must be some mistake,” I growled.

He didn’t back down. Parker wasn’t the type. But for once,
his obnoxious grin was absent.

“No mistake. A surprise, for sure.”

I turned to Rhett, who was watching us with the fascination
of a driver gawking at an accident scene. “I’ll close up if you let me take care of this.”

“Yeah, sure. Bar’s done serving. Knock yourself out,
just…clean up the blood before you leave.” He cut his eyes toward Parker. “Whoever you
are, I wish you the best.”

He exited the bar through a little section of counter that
raised up, creating a gap. I held it open for Parker, jerking my chin toward the back room.
“Let’s go.”

Parker chuckled nervously as he passed through the bar
entrance, brushing against my chest. I could feel his body warmth, smell his aftershave, an
earthy natural scent that suited him.

Heart pounding, I led him into the back room. Surrounded
by boxes of liquor and kegs of beer, I whirled on him. “Did you know?”

“Wh-what?”

Parker appeared off-balance. Usually he was a smooth
fucker.

“Were you playing me?” I demanded, crowding him against

a stack of boxes. We were close to the same size, but I didn’t let it stop me from putting
every ounce of threat I could into my voice.

“No!” The word burst from him, sounding incredulous.
“How would I know it was you? We never shared personal stuff.”

“So it’s a coincidence?” I said skeptically.

“Yes. It’s a really awkward coincidence that the guy I—” His
voice cracked, and he looked away. “I didn’t know.”

“Look me in the eye when you say it.”

Parker reluctantly looked at me, frustration blazing. “You’re
such an asshole sometimes, Prentiss.”

A shocked laugh burst out. “Really?”

“Yeah, I know I screwed up, okay? I never should have gone
to that party with Kristin. And obviously we wouldn’t be here if you knew it was me on that
app. But you don’t have to interrogate me like a fucking criminal.”

A whole series of memories hit me. All those flirty chats.
Those sexts that Parker had so patiently walked me through. I’d thought he was the nicest
guy on the planet.

“Fuck me,” I muttered, looking away.

“Please stop saying that,” Parker said in a strangled
voice.

I jerked my eyes back to his face in time to see a look of
such lust it shot heat through my entire body. “What?”

“Fucking you is all I’ve thought about for weeks.” He
laughed weakly. “Joke’s on me, huh?”

I couldn’t stop my eyes from making a slow perusal of his
body. It was dark, but I could make out the shape of him. I knew how fit he was. Knew
because we had practically the same body, the way we’d pushed ourselves in training. He
was of a slightly leaner build than me, more flexible. I knew his body intimately too. A series
of pics from his profile, and even more illicit ones he’d sent me directly, had filled in any
blanks I might have had.

His chest rose and fell faster. When I raised my gaze to his
face, he dragged the tip of his tongue over his dry lips.

And I lost it.

There was no thought, no reasoning. I’d spent weeks
dipping my toe in the water, testing, evaluating. But now I was in the deep end.

I was ready to swim. Or maybe I’d drown. But if I did, I was
taking us both down.

I crushed my mouth to his, shoving him harder into the
boxes, and he grasped at my waist for balance, gripping hard enough to hurt. The pain only
fueled my need. I grabbed his hair, short on the sides but longer on top, and yanked his
head back to better devour his mouth.

Weeks of buildup, of flirting with my bisexuality and
tempting myself to no end, exploded in a fiery inferno of need.

I didn’t care if it was Parker. I didn’t care that he was a man
I’d blamed and detested. In some ways, it made it easier.

This wasn’t the love connection I thought it might be. It
was unbridled lust, and I was just getting started.

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.

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RELEASE BLITZ: “Sun, Sea, & Small-Town Secrets” by S.J. Coles

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Sun, Sea & Small-Town Secrets

Author: S. J.
Coles

Publisher: Pride
Publishing

Release Date: July 6,
2021

Genre: Contemporary M/M Mystery/Holiday Romance

Tropes: Forbidden Love / Small Town / Holiday

Themes: Healing / Hurt/Comfort / Travel / Self-discovery

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 48 634 words/ 193
pages

It is a standalone
story.

Add on
Goodreads

 

Buy Links

Universal Link | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Pride Publishing

 

Small towns are full of
secrets, some harder to keep than most.

 

Blurb

Sebastian Conway is a professional psychologist and

accomplished criminal profiler, but when one of his patients is sentenced to life in prison for
a crime she didn’t commit, he simply cannot let it go. His borderline obsessive behaviour
has embarrassed his boss and lover, Gerrard Wilson, and the relationship has come to a
bitter end.

Seb has now grudgingly taken Gerrard’s advice and come to
the small coastal town of Ruéier in the South of France to get some distance and clear his
head—but he cannot sit by and do nothing.

He has started writing a book he believes will address the
failings in the case, but when he gets swept up in a local investigation into suspected drug
trafficking, which is led by the enigmatic and strangely enticing Antoine Damboise, the
book—and Seb’s intentions to avoid active criminal cases—take a back seat.

He knows it’s a bad idea to get involved, but he can’t seem
to help himself. And when it seems Damboise is tempted to make their relationship more
than professional, Seb finds it easier than ever to ignore his better judgment. But when a
local drug dealer is murdered and Seb is implicated, everything gets a whole lot more
complicated.

Can the two men set aside their personal feelings long
enough to figure out what’s really going on before Seb ends up in prison? Or
worse…

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of murder and drug use.

 

Excerpt

“Monsieur Conway?”

I turned back. He was stood by reception looking
thoughtful, scratching at the stubble on his cheek.

“Yes?”

“Would you, perhaps, like to get a coffee?”

I blinked. “A coffee?”

Oui,” he said. “A thank you, shall we say?
For your

help.”

His smile was friendly, but his eyes were weighing me

up with a dark intensity I couldn’t penetrate. Whatever it
was going on here, saying yes, I knew, would be a very bad idea.

“Sure,” I said with a smile. “Sounds good.”

His own smile widened, and he nodded. “Bon. I will meet you
outside.”

I was grinning like a teenager with a crush as I stepped back
out into the street. The fresh breeze dried the clamminess on my face and swelled in my
lungs and chest. A small confidence boost could only help my productivity, I decided. I still
wasn’t sure what exactly his interest was. Heavy looks or not, I got exactly zero read on his
sexuality. But surely even French police didn’t take witnesses for coffee?

I was so busy retrospectively analysing his body language in
the interview room—
Did he extend his leg
toward me? Rest his hand near mine?
—that I
didn’t hear him behind me until he said my name.

“Apologies,” he said when I started, and a small smile
twitched the corner of his mouth. A pair of sunglasses hid his troublesome eyes from view.
He’d slung his jacket over his arm and, with the bright sunshine glinting in his corn-blond
hair and off his white teeth, I suddenly wondered how I ever considered him plain.

“It’s fine,” I managed. “Where do you want to go?” “Ah, I
know the best place. Follow me.”

“Antoine?”

We turned back. Adjudant Rayne was hurrying toward us.
She fired French at him whilst frowning at me. Damboise replied calmly, and she said
something more, her eyes leaving me to send Damboise what was unmistakably a warning
look.

C’est
bon
,” Damboise concluded. “This way,” he said
and turned toward the seafront. Rayne watched us leave with her arms crossed and
expression grim.

“She doesn’t like me very much,” I said.

“You misunderstand,” he said without looking at me. “She
was just reminding me of some paperwork that is late. I will do it after a bit.”

I spent the rest of the walk pondering the possible reasons
behind his lie.

The breeze was brisker and the air fresher as we stepped
out onto the seafront boulevard. The beach was crowded with families—the children
running, laughing and shrieking in the gentle swell of the shallows. The boats bobbed
sedately in the harbour, shining all the colours of the rainbow under the bright, sapphire sky.
Bicycles whizzed up and down the road, baskets laden with groceries or bottles of wine. The
men with guns seemed like a distant dream.

I followed him as he crossed the road to the Café De La
Mer
.

“You have been here before then, yes?” he said as he
pulled out the chairs around one of the plastic tables under a blue-and-white parasol.

“The first day I got here,” I said, a little warily as I surveyed
the clear view of the harbour. “The coffee is good, but I think it’s better at Cafe Maman.”

Oui,” he said, hanging his jacket on the
back of his chair and sitting. “I would say that is true. But have you tried the
chocolat chaud?”

“Hot chocolate?” I translated dubiously, taking the other
chair. “I don’t much like it.”

“Just wait,” he said, signalling a smiling waiter with a raised
hand and placing the order. Damboise made meaningless small talk for the interval until the
waiter returned. I blinked, surprised, as he set the shallow cup half-full of dark liquid that
looked more like espresso than chocolate in front of me.

“What, no squirty cream? Marshmallows?” I asked with a
half-smile as Damboise lifted his small cup in his distractingly delicate grip.

“We respect chocolate too much to pollute it so. This is the
local recipe, melted then mixed with a splash of cognac. Go ahead. Try it.”

I lifted the cup to my face and inhaled the rich, thick scent.
It was sweet, yes, but savoury too—bold, rather than cloying. It reminded me of
fresh-turned earth, with a slight smokiness, like when the wind brings the scent of a distant
bonfire. I drank. It was so thick that I could almost chew it. It tasted like it smelled—rich and
earthy, with the spice of tree bark and apricot from the cognac.

“Good, non?”

“Yeah,” I said, tipping the cup farther to coax more into my
mouth. “This isn’t like the instant stuff.”

“In France, nothing is instant. Everything is slow.
Considered. Deliberate.”

“I’m beginning to get that,” I said, scraping the remains of
the chocolate with the tiny spoon that had come with it. Damboise smiled at me, sipping his
own drink like someone sampling a fine wine, then he dabbed his lips with a napkin.

 

 

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.

 

Author Links

Blog/Website | Facebook | Twitter

Instagram | Pride
Publishing

 

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

 

 

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RELEASE BLITZ: “Beyond the Ruby River” by Lee Colgin. $10.00 Amazon Giftcard Giveaway Included!

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Beyond the Ruby River

Author: Lee
Colgin

Publisher: Colgin
Enterprise

Cover Artist: Natasha
Snow

Release Date: June 17,
2021

Genres: M/M Historical
Romance, M/M Paranormal/Fantasy Romance,

Tropes: Mixed species,
second chance romance

Themes: Longing, betrayal,
forgiveness, grief, reunion

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 72 000 words/ 260
pages

It’s the third in a series but
can be read as a standalone.

Add on
Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle
Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

When an incubus
half-breed falls for a mortal Egyptian man, will their love span centuries or are they destined
to pine for each other for all eternity?

Blurb

In Ancient Egypt when the pharaohs ruled the banks of the
Nile, Mahu led a simple, if somewhat melancholy, life. Making papyrus filled his days. His
needs were provided for, but deep in his soul, Mahu longed for companionship.

Dakarai, born of a demon mother and a human father,
craved independence. A young incubus constantly in the shadows of his full-blooded
siblings, Daka set out for a new city and a life of his own.

While a starving Daka roams the streets hunting for a meal,
the sight of a beautiful man walking alone stops him in his tracks. The handsome stranger is
just what he needs to quench his spiraling thirst.

But Mahu turns out to be more than Daka bargained for,
and his heart falls for the lonely man.

What betrayal shatters their foundation, can Daka and
Mahu find their way back to each other, or is each soul destined to long for the other for all
eternity?

Beyond the Ruby River is an MM Paranormal Romance
featuring a steamy love story, a second chance romance, and the mysteries of an ancient
world. This is book three of a series and can be read as a standalone with its own HEA and
satisfying conclusion.

Excerpt

Dakarai

Hunger stirred deep in Daka’s core, an emptiness with claws and teeth demanding to be
filled. It was his first night in Naukratis, and already he wondered if he’d

made a mistake abandoning the safe cocoon of his family. Though eager for a taste of
independence, Daka’s nerves flut‐ tered with unease as he stalked the unfamiliar streets.

With only a warm sea breeze for company, Daka let loose his extra sense, the one that
would lead him to a meal. Entering the wide market square, he cast his gaze over dozens of
stalls, their colorful awnings muted in the evening light. Laborers celerated the end of a
day’s work with beer, bread, and conversa‐ tion. Street vendors peddled their offerings.
Naukratis smelled of fresh spiced fish, baking bread, and candied nuts—all of which
appealed to him, but none that would quench this particular hunger.

What Daka needed would be found past the town’s main market, perhaps down a side
street or along a narrow alley. Inhaling through his nose, sorting the myriad array of scents,
he searched for the alluring aroma of pleasure. A brothel would suit perfectly.

Daka’s intuition guided him forward, but before he could cut south to chase the divine smell

of arousal around the corner, his gaze landed on an elegant man and refused to budge. His
eyes possessed a will of their own, such was the man’s appeal.

He was taller than Daka’s average height, long of limb with wide shoulders and perfect
posture. He wore cornflower blue linen, belted at his narrow waist, skirt hanging to a svelte
pair of thighs. Dark onyx tresses hung past his chin, straight and prob‐ ably silken to the
touch. Daka couldn’t be sure of the texture at this distance and it was suddenly of the
utmost importance to find out.

Though brothel workers would make for an easier target, Daka veered off course to pursue
the handsome man instead. To seduce him and touch his lovely hair for himself. He followed
through the square—dodging people and slinking amongst the crowd, stealthy as a cat and
just as light on his feet—until he was no more than ten paces from his quarry.

This close, Daka could pick up the scent lingering in the man’s wake. Earthen and woody, like
the papyrus that grew in the marshy lands nearby. He inhaled greedily. What would he smell
like aroused? Daka had to know.

The man left the busy center of town, turned west, and continued between rows of mud
brick houses, his pace steady as a pulsing heart. He had the stride of a man to a purpose.
Daka’s curiosity grew with each step. Instead of catching up to begin the seduction, Daka
shoved his appetite aside in favor of learning the man’s destination.

They walked for another quarter hour until the chirps of bugs overtook the noise from town
and houses gave way to farmland. Daka spotted the neat rows of tumuli leading to an
ancient mastaba, and their endpoint became clear.

The man had led him to the final resting place of Naukratis’ dead.

Well-maintained burial mounds, with funerary gardens throughout, lined the landscape.
Daka hung back so as not to be noticed or to disturb this man in his grief. The perfect
posture he’d noted earlier began to sag, shoulders drooping forward, head bowed as he
knelt by a triad of graves. He sat back on his heels, long thighs stretched thin, the blue linen
of his skirt revealing smooth bronzed skin.

Daka could not help his appetite, inappropriate as it may be, though he would strive to
contain it. This man was in no mood for the sort of amorous encounter an incubus like
himself fed on. He needed a warm, familial embrace, not the frenzied release Daka itched to
provide.

He slunk back into the shadows to watch from under a sweet-smelling date palm. The man
sat with the dead. Daka sat by himself, wondering who the man had lost.

Daka’s family possessed immortality. At least, his mother and siblings did. His father was
human, but Daka had never met him. As a half-blooded demon, he’d staked claim to
immortality but not to all the gifts that came with it. His powers of sway and persuasion
were paltry in comparison to his full-blooded brethren. Unable to bend people to his will,
Daka could only nudge. He might never develop the skill of astral projection. But he would

live forever, a feat which seemed unfathomable at only twenty-two years into eternity.

The man bent over the graves had a decade or so on Daka in age, perhaps more. Maybe
thirty-five or forty, Daka couldn’t tell. A man in his prime but worn around the edges with
the melancholy that loss thrusts upon the living.

About the Author

Lee Colgin has loved
vampires since she read Dracula on a hot, sunny beach at 13 years old. She lives in North
Carolina with lots of dogs and her husband. No, he’s not a vampire, but she loves him
anyway. Lee likes to workout so she can eat the maximum amount of cookies with her pizza.
Ask her how much she can bench press.

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RELEASE BLITZ: “Flowers Under My Pillow” by Nell Iris. Rafflecopter Giveaway Included.

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Flowers Under My Pillow

Author: Nell Iris

Publisher: JMS Books

Cover Artist: Written Ink Designs

Release Date: June 26, 2021

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope: Soul mates

Themes: Older characters (40+), instant connection, meet cute 

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length:  17 477 words

It is a standalone story

Goodreads

Buy Links 

JMS Books  |  Universal Link 

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

Smiling brown eyes. A dark beard. Dandelions. Sunny, happy dandelions.

Blurb

Smiling brown eyes. A dark beard. Dandelions. Sunny, happy dandelions.

For thirty years, Frode’s had the same dream. Every Midsummer’s Eve since he was a kid accompanying his sister to pick flowers to put under his pillow, he’s dreamed of the same man. A dream he never shares with anyone, that makes him wish for impossible things…like true love.

“It’s you.”

Then one Midsummer’s Eve, the man of Frode’s dreams stands before him in the flesh. Both men recognize each other despite never having met in real life. Both men are instantly drawn to each other and want to know more.

“Who are you, Viljar? Are you even real?”

Their questions are many but do the whys and the hows matter? Or should they allow the Midsummer magic that brought them together to lead the way into each other’s arms? Into each other’s hearts?

Traditional Swedish folklore tells you that if you pick seven kinds of flowers in silence and put them under your pillow on Midsummer’s Eve, you’ll dream of the man you’ll marry.

Excerpt

When I look around to take in my surroundings, I realize my feet have carried me to the cottage without me noticing, and something catches my attention on the lawn on the other side of the fence.

A closer look reveals a tripod with a big, professional-looking camera attached on top. And underneath it, a man lies on his back, surrounded by a starry sky of tiny white flowers growing low in the grass. I don’t want to disturb him and I’m just about to sneak away when he turns his head toward me. 

Warm brown eyes, with crow’s feet radiating out from the corners, meet mine. But it’s his full beard, scattered with dandelions, that makes my heart tumble over itself in my chest. 

Smiling eyes. A full beard. Dandelions. 

Dandelions

My hand flies to my chest as I forget how to breathe. 

It’s him.

****

The man’s eyes widen, then he springs to his feet, banging his knee into the tripod almost making it topple over, but his arm shoots out, his big hand landing on the camera, stopping it from crashing down onto the grass.

“It’s you,” he says, his voice a deep rumble emanating from the pit of his stomach, vibrating its way to me, settling in my core.

It’s you. 

What does he mean? Does he recognize me, too? 

“It’s you,” he says again as he takes a few hesitant steps in my direction. His eyes never leave my face. 

“It’s you,” I echo, brows furrowed. 

The improbability of it all, of my recurring dream materializing and standing in front of me, makes me take a step backward. He leaps forward, dislodging a couple of the dandelions from his beard by the sudden movement, and I watch them sail to the ground. 

When I look up at him again, it’s as though I’m zooming out of my body and look at the two of us from a distance. Two men, separated by a white picket fence, staring at each other as though they’ve seen a ghost, as though they both think they must be hallucinating. His features are so familiar; I know every line radiating from the corner of his eyes, every strand of his beard. I know all the nuances of brown in his dark eyes; as though someone swirled chocolate into a deep well of coffee and then sprinkled some gold into the mix to make it irresistible. I know the sensitive setting of his mouth. I know the intense gaze.

It makes me dizzy, and I stumble but manage to keep myself upright. I take another wobbly step backward.

“Don’t go,” he says. “Please.” He stops but holds out his hand as though he wants to touch me to make sure I’m real. 

The feeling is mutual. How is this even possible? How can the man I’ve dreamed about every Midsummer these last thirty years be right here a few steps from me? As though I’ve dreamed him into existence. 

I drag my gaze away from his face and take in the rest of him. He’s tall and broad-shouldered, his biceps are straining the short sleeves of his button-down shirt. He’s got a rounded belly and meaty thighs filling out his faded jeans, and his big wide feet are bare in the grass. 

Heat stirs between my hips. God, he’s not only the literal man of my dreams, but he’s hot as sin, too. When I force myself to look away from his body, our gazes meet. 

“You recognize me, too,” he says, eyes pleading. “I can tell from your reaction.”

I dip my chin once. “I do.”

My heart flutters in my chest like the wings of a colibri. Another dandelion falls from his beard and my gaze follows it down as it lands softly on the ground. 

My mind spins with questions and it’s making me dizzy again. How can the man from my dreams stand before me in the flesh? A living, breathing human being? A living breathing human being who recognizes me too?  

When our eyes meet again, I read the same confusion in him. 

About the Author 

Nell Iris is a romantic at heart who believes everyone deserves a happy ending. She’s a bona fide bookworm (learned to read long before she started school), wouldn’t dream of going anywhere without something to read (not even the ladies room), loves music (and singing along at the top of her voice but she’s no Celine Dion), and is a real Star Trek nerd (Make it so). She loves words, bullet journals, poetry, wine, coffee-flavored kisses, and fika (a Swedish cultural thing involving coffee and pastry!)

Nell believes passionately in equality for all regardless of race, gender or sexuality, and wants to make the world a better, less hateful, place.

Nell is a bisexual Swedish woman married to the love of her life, a proud mama of a grown daughter, and is approaching 50 faster than she’d like. She lives in the south of Sweden where she spends her days thinking up stories about people falling in love. After dreaming about being a writer for most of her life, she finally was in a place where she could pursue her dream and released her first book in 2017.

Nell Iris writes gay romance, prefers sweet over angsty, short over long, and quirky characters over alpha males. 

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook Author Page  |  Facebook Profile

Twitter  |   Instagram   |  Goodreads

Pinterest  |  BookBub  |  Newsletter

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RELEASE BLITZ: “The Phisher King 4: Honeypot” by Clancy Nacht & Thursday Euclid”

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: The Phisher King 4: Honeypot

Author: Clancy Nacht &
Thursday Euclid

Publisher: Eine Kleine
Press

Cover Artist: Clancy
Nacht

Release Date: June 22,
2021

Genres: Contemporary M/M Romantic Suspense/Thriller

Trope/s: Daddy/boy, mercs with hearts of gold.

Themes: Hurt/comfort

Heat Rating: 4
flames

Length: 72 000 words/279
pages

It Is not a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Is Dark Sun an olive
branch from Barnes to the men he betrayed,

or is this the honeypot
that will secure their demise?

Blurb

It’s been a long road to recovery since FBI Agent Cal Riggs
and his hacker boyfriend Hunter Walsh’s last showdown with the treacherous Justin Barnes.
His betrayal during
False Flag left Cal and Hunter scarred and shaken. As their friends Sam
Dupre and Rob Crawford dealt with domestic terrorism in Olympia during
Penetration Test,
Hunter and Cal fought to regain a sense of normalcy that never materialized.


The Bureau under the Trump Administration takes
a punitive attitude toward Cal’s passion of fighting white nationalism, and his employment
there grows less tenable by the day. Meanwhile, Hunter deals with the uncertainty of
Barnes’s continued freedom by taking extreme steps to enhance the security of the condo
he shares with Cal. No part of their lives has escaped Barnes’s poisoned touch.


When a shady corporate lawyer shows up on the
doorstep while Cal’s at work, Hunter takes the meeting and discovers Barnes’s plan B: In his
absence, he wants to bequeath his mercenary company, Dark Sun, to his former FBI partner
and lover, no other than Callum Riggs. But what is Cal going to do with Barnes’s mercs? Can
he really leave the Bureau he’s been part of since graduation? Well, if Hunter has a say,
that’s exactly what Cal will do.


But life in the private sector is dangerous, too.
Enemies hide in plain sight in Dark Sun’s every office, and there’s no knowing who still
supports Barnes and his deadly extremist agenda. Is the mercenary company an olive
branch from Barnes to the men he betrayed, or is this the honeypot that will secure their
demise?

CW: Violence,
brief sexual violence (not between MCs; no rape), white nationalist terrorism

Excerpt

“Feet. Off. The. Furniture,” Cal gritted out, something
sparking behind his dark eyes.


“What, you’re the boss for one day and you think
you can just start ordering people around?” Hunter pouted and squirmed down, pushing his
feet farther onto the table.


“I’ve been the boss of you a lot longer than
that.” Cal’s flat delivery and the challenge in his expression lit a fire in Hunter. It was

honestly surprising they hadn’t just fucked over his seriously uncomfortable desk right in
front of everyone this afternoon.


Before Hunter could act, Cal dropped Bruiser on
him and then leaned down and physically knocked Hunter’s feet off the coffee table.


Hunter caught Bruiser, but quickly released him
onto the couch so he wouldn’t get stuck in the middle of everything. The force with which
Cal pushed Hunter’s feet turned him sideways, and he barely caught himself so he didn’t
topple to the floor.


“You gonna work out some aggression on Mike
Hunt?”


“You and your frakking pranks.” Cal grabbed Hunter
around the waist and shoved him back on the luxurious sofa, pushing him into a corner and
pinning him there with a hand on his shoulder and another on his inner thigh.


That sculpted face and its fading scars loomed
inches from Hunter’s nose as Cal stared him down. “You do this crap on purpose, I’m
convinced. Mike frakking Hunt. It’s like you’re begging for it. Do you have any idea how
difficult it was for me to be professional today?”


“I was trying to be good. I didn’t even drop
anything so you could see how my ass looks when I bend over to pick it up. Didn’t matter,
though. I saw you checking me out. Wonder what Rory thinks you’re hiring me for.”


Hunter had removed his jacket when he’d gotten
home, leaving him in a snug black t-shirt and the stretchy jeans. “You gonna give me a
full-time job, Daddy?”


“If you play your cards right, you little brat.”

About the Authors

Together, Texans and platonic
life partners Thursday Euclid and Clancy Nacht write queer novels that span genres, with
intense romances and a seamless shared narrative voice.

They published their first

co-written novel, the m/m rock star romance Black Gold, in 2010, and now have over a
decade of award-winning collaborations under their exquisite belts. Recent titles include the
twisted romance His Fake Prison Daddy and the Phisher King series, in which an uptight
federal agent and a bratty hacker go from enemies to lovers while solving a hate
crime.

Though Elder Millennial trans
man Thursday and Gen X gender outlaw Clancy live three hours apart, they are inseparable.
Their friendship is a perfect example of the Grumpy/Sunshine trope, which makes Thursday
very happy. Clancy thinks it’s all right.

Social Media Links

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RELEASE BLITZ: “Perfectly Mismatched” by Sarah Havan. $10.00 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway Included!

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Perfectly
Mismatched (Pine Wood Falls #4)

Author: Sarah
Havan

Publisher: Sarah Havan
Books

Cover Artist: Sarah
Havan

Release Date: June 22,
2021

Genres: Mpreg, Non-shifter
Mpreg romance

Tropes: Frenemies to lovers

Themes: Recovering from
trauma, starting a new life

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: approx. 80 000
words

It is part of a series but can
be read as a standalone.

Add on
Goodreads

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

They’re fated even though
they can’t stand each other.

Blurb

Dekker Baines decides he wants to start a family, but he
doesn’t have an alpha, so he goes to one of Pine Wood Falls get-togethers. It’s where you go

if you need someone to mate with, but his evening goes sideways when a few alphas don’t
take no for an answer.

Ryder Remington is Dekk’s business partner, and when he
gets a call that Dekk is in trouble, he runs to his rescue and comes across a scene that makes
his blood boil. A month after the attack, when Dekk goes into heat again, Ryder tells him
he’ll be the father of his children. Dekk is reluctant at first but can’t fight his urge to be with
child.

Now they’re starting a family, but the thing is, they can’t
stand each other. They are as mismatched as two people can get. Together they have to
navigate recovering from trauma, try to tolerate living with each other, and get ready for
quintuplets. If they can manage all of that, they might get their happy ending, but things
never go according to plan.

Excerpt

BALLING MY FISTS AT MY SIDE, I TOOK IN A DEEP BREATH.
It was one of those moments where I wondered why I went into business with this man.
Ryder Remington was very punchable, but like I could have ever punched him, he towered
over me.

“There’s no way in hell we’re naming the bar that.” He
scratched the dark stubble on his jaw and shook his head.

I crossed my arms over my chest and smiled. “Why? It’s
cute, a play on words.”

“Bars aren’t supposed to be cute,” he grumbled.

“Not everything has to always be macho and manly.” I sat
at the bar with my laptop in front of me.

“Macho. Who uses that word? You know who? Someone
who likes cute. For now, the bar is staying named bar.” He couldn’t even be bothered to
capitalize it. The sign above the door outside seriously said
bar. From where he
squatted on the floor, he bore his dark-brown eyes into me, pressing his lips together. It was
his go-to
I’m an alpha, and you’re going to listen
to me
look.

“But The Ballet Bar has such a nice ring to it.”

“No.”

I stuck my nose up in the air. “Fine, always so
grouchy.”

“I’m not grouchy,” he said, snarling his lip.

“Gruff.” A perfect word for him. Demeanor and looks. He
was a six-foot-five wall of muscle with light tan skin and a head of thick wavy hair. He always
wore dark jeans and a black T-shirt and seemed to favor the perfect amount of stubble. And
if I didn’t know him and was in a dark alley with him, I’d turn and go in the opposite
direction. He always looked like he wanted to harm somebody.

“Aren’t you supposed to be doing some kind of work?” he
asked as he emptied the box of bottles next to him.

“Aren’t you?” I flicked my wrist in his direction, and
besides, I was doing work. Someone had to keep our business affairs in order. I had just
finished placing an order for a new local craft beer we were going to try.

“How did I get talked into opening this place with you?” He
stood and folded up the now empty box.

“You saw the brilliance behind my plan.” Basically, I was
able to front half the money to open the place. Pine Wood Falls offered a lot of assistance if
you opened a business there, like land or a storefront, but there were plenty of other things
needed to open a business that required capital. I had moved back to the area about half a
year before and wanted something new in my life. Plus, being my own boss sweetened the
deal, and my friend Lucas told me he heard about how Ryder was looking for a business
partner.

He furrowed his brow and began to wipe down the counter.
“And you know what?”

“You know what I know? You’re still trying to come up with
a response.”

“You’re supposed to be the business end. In the back,
doing the books.”

“Do you know that running a business entails more than
some money and doing the books as you say?”

He ignored me and continued to wipe the counter.

“And I put up half the money, too, so I should have just as
much right naming the place. You’re the one that makes the drinks, but it doesn’t make you
special.” He thought since he was the alpha, he got to call the shots, but we were in it
fifty/fifty. Therefore, even if he only saw me as some little omega, I still had an equal say,
and I was not ready to give up my fight on naming the bar, but for the day, I let it go.

“It does. I’m so goddamn special.”

“You precious little peach you.”

“Said the ballerina.”

“Said the college dropout.”

“I went and tried. Did you ever take a college course?
No.”

Well, he had me there. “I was at an elite dance
academy.”

He put his hands on the edge of the bar and leaned in
toward me. “For high school.”

“I was actually there until a year after high school,” I
said.

“See, and you’re making fun of me. I’m a proud college
dropout. You, it seems, was held back at your fancy pants school.” He smirked and threw the
towel he wiped down the counter with over his shoulder.

About the Author

Sarah Havan writes all kinds
of LGBTQIA+ romance, loves watermelon flavored candy, and has a vast flannel shirt
collection. When not writing, Sarah loves to read and watch shows about
murder.

Author Links

Blog/Website
|
Facebook | Twitter

Instagram | Patreon

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RELEASE BLITZ: “Courting Nightfall” by Amanda Meuwissen. Rafflecopter Giveaway Included!

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Courting Nightfall

Author: Amanda
Meuwissen

Publisher: JMS
Books

Cover Artist: Written Ink
Designs

Release Date: June 19,
2021

Genres: Paranormal, High Fantasy, Horror, Dark M/M
Romance

Tropes: Reincarnation, vampires, enemies to lovers, his first time, blood
play

Themes: Self-acceptance, redemption, love means letting go

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 182
pages

It is a standalone
story

Goodreads

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK

JMS Books

Zen had only—literally
only—ever dreamed that someone would want him this much…

Blurb

Zen is a half dark elf in a world that hates him, protected by
being raised by the Order of the Sun to become a priest. He longs for a different life with a
mysterious, beautiful man he only glimpses in dreams. After encountering an adventuring
party, Zen is drawn to accompany them to destroy a fabled vampire lord, but the pull he
feels toward those lands might be more fated than he realizes.

Excerpt

That night, before falling into an exhausted sleep—in his
tiny, wooden bed with minimal padding and coarse blankets—Zen gently touched the scar
that ran full circle around his neck. He tried ignoring it during the day, hidden by the high
collar of his vestments, but in bed, out of his robes, his fingers often strayed there.

He didn’t know what had caused the wire-thin line. He’d
had it all his life and often wondered if it had been a failed attempt to kill him as an infant.
Like Father Lewis had said, he’d been abandoned on the steps of the temple.

No one wanted a darkling child.

Zen’s existence, his life, was most people’s nightmare,
which was why it amazed and yet soothed him that he never experienced nightmares
himself. His dreams were sweet. There he had no scars. In his dreams, he was whole and
wanted.

Desired,
even
.

A warm, human hand trailed slowly across Zen’s unmarred
neck and down his naked body. Here his bed was plush and opulent, or perhaps it belonged
to the man he imagined himself with. Zen had never met anyone like him in waking life, yet
every dream he’d had since he first knew he desired men starred the same mysterious
figure.

Zen never saw his face clearly, but he was still a vision of
noble beauty. Skin pale as cream with soft color in his cheeks, neatly trimmed black hair that
occasionally fell into his eyes—and oh, his eyes. Some might think them haunting or eerie,
being such a rich, ruddy brown that they almost looked red, but Zen adored them. He
adored the smooth, flawless form laid out beside him, trim but well-muscled, and as naked
as he was.

Still, all those features painted an incomplete picture that
he could never quite bring into focus.

The man’s sex was impressive though, no doubt conjured
from Zen’s most carnal fantasies, as ruddy as his eyes, swollen and leaking wetness onto the
sheets. Zen had often longed to know the feel of it in his hands, his mouth, and deep inside
him, but his dreams never allowed more than a tease.

Zen didn’t know the man’s name and had never made one
up, but he thought of him as an angel, giving him pleasures where real life never could.

“You are a beautiful crystalline snowflake, my love, silver
and blue and pure blinding white.” He kissed Zen’s cheek, his fingertips tracing
mischievously down Zen’s stomach. His other hand ran blunt nails through Zen’s short white
hair.

That wasn’t right. Zen kept his snowy-white locks tied back,
but his hair fell well past his shoulders. Like the missing scar, he was different here in the
dreamworld.

“I miss you,” his angel whispered and bent to kiss Zen’s lips.

Then touch me, Zen thought, pressing upward and opening his mouth to connect them more deeply,
while instantly wanting more.

He didn’t know why his mind created a human man instead
of someone more like him. Maybe because humans were all he’d ever known. The man was
stunning regardless and saw Zen the way he’d always wished someone would.

“Come, my love.”

Zen wanted to—

“Come to me. Come for me, my beautiful darkling, but come
to me as well.”

Zen didn’t understand. How much closer could they get?
His angel was between his legs, warm hand curling around him and squeezing with promise.
Still, for all the lust that stirred in Zen, it was the intimacy of another kiss to his cheek that
filled him with the most want.

“Please, love, come to me. Come…” He stroked Zen firmly
while licking up along one of his pointed darkling ears, inducing a deep shudder from low at
the base of Zen’s spine. “Come… my Zenos.”

That wasn’t—

“Now!”

Zen’s eyes snapped open as if triggered by a spring, his
sheets sticky and damp atop him from how he’d come before waking.

Damn it.
He rarely did that, usually waking hard and unfulfilled, and then taking himself in hand.
Today he’d made a mess, and it wasn’t even morning.

About the Author

Amanda Meuwissen is a
bisexual author, with a primary focus on M/M romance. As author of the paranormal
romance trilogy
The Incubus Saga
and several other titles with various publishers,
Amanda regularly attends local comic conventions for fun and to meet with fans, where she
will often be seen in costume as one of her favorite fictional characters. She lives in
Minneapolis, Minnesota, with her husband, John, and their cat, Helga.

Author Links

Blog/Website | Facebook | Twitter

Instagram | Pinterest | Newsletter Sign-up

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RELEASE BLITZ: “Triple Affinity” by Jessamyn Kingley

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Triple Affinity (D’Vaire, Book 23)

Author: Jessamyn
Kingley

Publisher: Independently
Published

Cover Artist: LJ Anderson,
Mayhem Cover Creations

Release Date: June 10,
2021

Genres: M/M/M Urban
Fantasy

Tropes: Fated
Mates

Themes: Fate, Love,
Ménage

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 103 900
words

Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle
Unlimited

Amazon US |
Amazon UK

With the odds stacked
against them, can three men find love?

Blurb

Joining the Council of Sorcery and Shifters was a simple decision for the ruler of the brown
bears. Two centuries later, Artair Ursus Arctos is a successful leader with a loving family, and
the only thing he wants is his mate. Artair is fascinated by magic and secretly hopes to find
forever with a sorcerer.

As a child, Lochlan Airle had privilege and wealth but lacked any control. He walked away
from his prominent family at eighteen, only to get fired from countless jobs. Behind the
scenes, his mother uses all her connections to break his spirit, but she will not deter him.
After finally landing a job at the Circle of Mages, a matebond is the last thing on his mind.

Twenty-six-year-old Riker McKenna has a hard-earned doctorate and enough magic to
guarantee immortality. Although his brother’s decision to stay with their wastrel parents
broke his heart, Riker is determined to make the most of everything. When he qualifies for
employment at the Circle of Mages, he does not know it will lead him to his mates.

Within a week, the three men meet and must confront the poor odds of triple matebonds in
the Council. To reach the affinity they desire, they will have to rapidly adjust to each other
and all the surprises life has in store.

Excerpt

“Well, gentlemen, what did you have in mind to while away the hours of our Friday night?”
Riker asked, stacking his hands behind his head.

“I didn’t realize this was such a formal occasion. Should I change into fancier clothes?”
Lochlan teased.

“You’re already wearing too much, Gorgeous,” Artair responded.

A blush swept over his skin, and Artair’s blood flowed south. Lochlan’s shyness beckoned
him with the same strength as Riker’s blunt sexiness.

“Damn, but you look good,” Riker said. “I bet you get flushed like that when you come.”

Instead of being embarrassed, Lochlan grinned. “I don’t have a mirror around when that
happens.”

“Pity,” Artair remarked.

“You’re an aqua mage, manipulate your element so there’s a curtain of water that reflects,”
Riker suggested.

“Perhaps he’s a little too busy to worry about magic,” Artair said. “Or his partners in the past
have objected.”

“I haven’t had any partners in the past,” Lochlan muttered.

“Perhaps partner isn’t a good word,” Artair remarked. “It suggests a level of intimacy that
doesn’t exist between two people getting together to fuck.”

“Yeah, I don’t think I’ve ever referred to the guys in my past as partners,” Riker commented.

“I’ve never had sex before,” Lochlan blurted out.

Riker sat up straight. “You haven’t?”

“No. It’s a rather long story, but I tried once. I couldn’t find any takers,” Lochlan explained.

“You went somewhere in that body, with that face, and couldn’t find anyone willing to have
sex?” Riker asked. “How is that possible?”

Lochlan’s gaze hit the bed, and he shrugged. “Perhaps as my mate you see me in a way
others don’t.”

“While I disagree with the notion that it’s something to do with our matebond that makes
us attracted to you, the important part of this discussion is for you to understand that we do
want you and we think you’re gorgeous,” Artair explained.

“I don’t really care what anyone besides you two thinks, anyway. I find you both attractive
too.”

“Have you kissed anyone?” Riker asked.

With a shake of his head, Lochlan continued to stare at his lap. “No.”

“Do you want to?” Artair asked.

The aqua mage’s eyes met Artair’s, and there was no mistaking the need in the pale depths.
“I’d like that very much.”

“Artair, you should kiss him first,” Riker ordered.

“Why?”

“You met him first.”

“It’s not that easy. It’s Lochlan’s first kiss ever. Not only is it important to him personally, but
to us as a trio. We need to move forward making sure no one is slighted or left out,” Artair
said. “This warrants discussion.”

“I’ll kiss him right after you do…unless we should kiss second.”

“I told you it was complicated.”

“It’s not,” Lochlan replied. “We can share a simple kiss three-ways. I want my first kiss to be
with both of you.”

“Clearly, he’s the brains and beauty in this relationship,” Riker crowed.

Artair grinned in full agreement. “Shall we?”

To keep Lochlan from overthinking, Artair cupped his neck in his hand and did the same to
Riker, bringing them both forward slowly. After closing his eyes, Artair gently pressed his lips
to both his mates at the same time. It was chaste, simple, and perfect. A sense of beauty
swept through Artair, and he vowed to move whatever mountains or cross any river to make
sure they were together.

About the Author

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

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

Visit her website

Join her Facebook group, Jessamyn’s Ruffian’s

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RELEASE BLITZ: “Full Speed Ahead” by Beth Bolden. $25.00 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway Included!

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Full Speed Ahead (Food Truck Warriors #4)

Author: Beth
Bolden

Publisher: Beth Bolden
Books

Cover Artist: AngstyG Book
Cover and Media Design

Release Date: June 3,
2021

Genre: Contemporary gay romance

Trope/s: Bodyguard, found family

Theme: Hurt/comfort

Heat Rating: 4
flames

Length: 84 000
words

It is book 4 in the series.

The author recommends that
readers read at least one of the other books first.

Add on
Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle
Unlimited

Universal Link | Amazon US |
Amazon UK

Lennox’s favorite escape is
the Food Truck Warriors . . .until it needs his protection.

Blurb

Ash isn’t running from his past—he’s already left it way
behind. He’s built a business from scratch, using all the lessons that his father taught him,
and every day at his food truck is a challenge he was born to tackle.

But when a stalker appears, hinting that he knows the
secrets Ash has tried so hard to bury, he needs more help than his food truck friends can
provide. He needs a professional.

Lennox is a mystery. He’s been coming around the Food
Truck Warriors for months now, and nobody knows if that’s even his real name. But Ash
knows he’s fascinated by the man, and the feeling seems to be mutual.

When the threat to Ash becomes a little too real, Lennox
intervenes, and finally, the electricity between them transforms into something very much
like love. But now their safety—and their hearts—are on the line.

Excerpt

After climbing into the truck, Ash set his coffee on the counter and checked his watch. His
delivery should be here any moment, if they were on time, which . . . Ash had learned
practically from the cradle what to do with suppliers who wouldn’t keep to their timelines or
couldn’t be relied upon.

They really didn’t want to be late today.

Ash wasn’t in the mood for it.

He glanced out the front window, and froze.

There was a piece of paper taped to it—something that had definitely not been there when
he’d closed up last night.

Ash stared at the words, printed in damning black and white.

It was an interview that his father had done—likely one of hundreds, if not thousands, he’d
done over the course of his illustrious career. But in this one, he had mentioned his son,
Oliver. Who Stephan Atkinson had said with some humor, liked to be called Ash.

A silly affectation, his father told the interviewer, that he would grow out of.

Ash had been . . . maybe thirteen or fourteen if he remembered correctly, when this article
had come out, and he’d been furious. It had been one of the many things he’d been pissed
at his father for.

Now someone had found it, dredged it out of the bowels of magazine hell, had photocopied
it, and taped it to his window. Not facing outwards, so anyone could see it, but
inwards, so only Ash could.

Fury flashed with a frightening power through him. He didn’t hesitate. He grabbed his keys,
and with shaking fingers, locked up behind him. Walked around to the front of his truck, tore
the paper off, leaving the edges trapped by the neatly placed tape fluttering in the early
morning breeze, and forgoing his bicycle, took off for the one place that he’d told himself he
would not go.

Who else could have done this? Ash thought angrily as he stormed towards his
destination. It was still so early the streets were essentially empty. He’s the only one
who knows.

The building that Tony had described was only a few blocks away.

It had been remodeled, with a glass-front office on the lower level, and a living space on the
top. There were a separate set of stairs leading to a discreet door on a wrought iron landing.

A discreet black-lettered sign, matching the wrought iron of the stairs and contrasting with
the freshly painted taupe stucco of the building itself, indicated that this was the offices of
Protectorate.

It might be early, but Ash could see a figure already in the office below.

Tony had mentioned offhandedly that Lennox was a workaholic, always in the office, so it
was not a huge stretch to imagine that it was him, up early, and already working.

Ash walked over to the door, and pulled it, fully expecting it to be locked, but to his surprise
it opened easily.

Even though he must have been the one to unlock it, Lennox looked up with shock as he
walked in.

Ash imagined they probably didn’t get much foot traffic.

He stomped over to where Lennox sat at a desk, and slapped the paper down in front of
him.

“What the fuck is this?” he demanded to know.

Lennox stared at the writing. He took his time answering, clearly reading through the words
on the page once, and maybe even twice. Finally he looked up. “It looks like an interview
that your father did, talking about his restaurants, and also his son.” He hesitated. “You.”

“Yes, thank you, I can read just as well as you can,” Ash bit off. “What I mean is why
was it taped to my truck’s front window this morning?”

“Taped to your . . .”

“And not facing out, but facing in,” Ash interrupted. “So I would see it, but
nobody else. Someone wants me to know they’ve figured out who my father is.”

“And you think that’s me.”

Ash gestured wildly, pacing between Lennox’s desk, and the other, currently unoccupied.
“Who else could it be?”

“Do you really think I needed to do this to get your attention?” Lennox asked, his tone dry.

About the Author

A lifelong Pacific Northwester, Beth Bolden has just recently moved to North Carolina with
her supportive husband. Beth still believes in Keeping Portland Weird, and intends to be just
as weird in Raleigh.

Beth has been writing practically since she learned the alphabet. Unfortunately, her first
foray into novel writing, titled Big Bear with Sparkly Earrings, wasn’t a bestseller, but hope
springs eternal. She’s published twenty-three novels and seven novellas.

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