Center Logan Banks didn’t come to Miami looking for a best
friend. He came for football and for a chance at
freedom—the freedom to live out of the closet.
But after a water main break, he lands an
unexpected roommate, the new Piranhas kicker, Dylan Leonard. Between practices, games,
and too many late nights on the couch, a best friend is exactly what he gets. When Logan’s past rears its ugly head and
threatens to destroy the freedom he’s hoped for, Dylan becomes more than just a friend. He
becomes a lifeline. But then their friendship gets incorrectly labeled as
something more, and Dylan shocks Logan by suggesting they play along with a fake
relationship. Logan knows it’s off limits to fall in love with Dylan.
He’s supposed to be straight, he’s his best friend, his roommate, and his teammate. But the
closer they grow, and the more he and Dylan fake falling in love, the more real it
feels. The more real Logan wants it to be. Making a play for love is the biggest risk he’s ever
taken, but he wants it all and he wants it with Dylan.
Dylan’s jaw dropped. “You’ve never seen Star
“Guilty as charged.”
“Well, first, we’re gonna remedy that ASAP,” Dylan
said with relish. “I can’t believe I get to pop your cherry.”
Logan froze, his hand still on the controller. “Uh,” he said.
“Hate to break it to you but that’s been done . . .”
But I could pop yours, that voice that didn’t want
to cooperate, inserted slyly. And now Logan was fucking thinking about it. A dark head,
between his heads, tongue flicking out uncertainly. A hand pressed to the middle of his
chest, as Dylan squirmed on his dick.
Stop. Do not cross Go.
“Your Star Wars cherry, silly,” Dylan said, laughing,
punching him lightly in the arm.
“Is that a thing?” If it was, then Logan wanted it to be Dylan
who did it. Logan wanted him to do all kinds of things.
It was a problem, even though he kept trying to pretend it
“Sure, it can be,” Dylan said, one of those quicksilver grins
lighting up his whole face.
“So why this game?” Logan asked, trying to pluck the game
from Dylan’s fingers, but he was too quick, and pulled it away. “’Cause it’s easy?”
“Well, it’s simpler, sure, but it also requires less hand-eye
coordination,” Dylan said, and Logan shot him a glare. But Dylan only laughed. “We’re being
honest here, dude. Set you on a football field, and you’d destroy most everyone, but with a
video game controller in your hands?”
“Fine, fine, fine,” Logan said with a resigned sigh. He grabbed
for the game again, and Dylan wasn’t quite fast enough this time, and when Logan got ahold
of it, he didn’t let go.
Yanked both it and Dylan over the side of the
couch, and Logan froze as the other guy landed basically in his lap.
He 100% did not mean to freeze. It wasn’t in his nature to
After all, they had a touchy-feely friendship. Logan had never
shied away from touching Dylan and vice versa. It worked for them.
But now he was in his lap.
And he wasn’t moving.
Logan could count every shade of green in Dylan’s eyes as they
stared at each other. His hand hovered right over Dylan’s back. He wanted to push him in,
pull him close, but no matter how touchy-feely they were, they weren’t in the
habit of embracing. Not like this.
Not with Dylan straddling him, not only wearing a pair of
athletic shorts each.
Then Dylan reached out, pressing a palm against Logan’s chest.
Right where his rose tattoo sat, right over his heart. Not pushing him away. Not using him to
get up. Just resting it there.
Like he couldn’t help it, he just wanted to touch.
You’re wrong. He doesn’t want to. Not like that. Not like
you want him to.
Logan opened his mouth to make a joke, but his brain was
empty, and nothing came out.
Dylan leaned forward a fraction. Licked his lips.
There was something soft and hazy and affectionate in his
gaze. Something curious.
And then he spoke. “Guess,” he said, voice low, “that your
reflexes really do suck, Banks.”
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.
Adrian is my best friend. We live together, hang out, and
he’s the best cake taste tester I could want.
Hugs are the
norm, along with cuddles while watching horror films. I need someone to protect me during
the scary bits, so why not Adrian? He’s almost a foot taller than me, so he makes a good
Life is exactly the
way I like it until Adrian’s sister drops a bombshell that leaves me questioning everything I
think I know about myself and my straight best friend.
Can one kiss
change everything? I’m about to find out.
Oblivious is an
M/M best friends to lovers novella. It’s a light and fluffy love story, with a double bi-sexual
awakening, a little bit of heat and no angst. None. Zip. Nadda. There’s meddling family
members and two sweet best friends who are totally oblivious about how much they really
care for each other. Oh, and cakes. There’s lots of cakes.
She hands me an order slip.
“Is Adrian here?” I ask as I read the order. He puts up with me calling him Addy, but to
everyone else, he’s Adrian, and I respect that.
“Yes.” She picks up the order I’ve just finished preparing, but instead of turning around and
going to serve it, she stares at me.
“You knew Adrian was here based on his order?”
“He always asks for the same thing—a cheese and tomato toastie. No cucumber, extra
radish. I bet he asked for peppermint tea.”
“You’re so cute.”
“You just are, that’s all.” She smiles at me and then leaves the kitchen with an extra spring in
I’m left metaphorically scratching my head. I can’t do it because I’m preparing food. What on
earth was that about? I shrug and get Addy’s order ready, then take it out to him. He’s
wearing his work clothes—heavy-duty combat trousers, boots with steel toecaps, and a
fluorescent vest over a thick woollen jumper. He has to wear a hard hat when he’s working
up high, which has left his brown hair mussed up. He’s starting to go grey at the temples.
Although the hair on his head doesn’t have any warm tones in it, his beard and moustache
are streaked with auburn.
“You didn’t say you’d be popping in today,” I say as I put his food in front of him.
“I finished a job early, so figured I’d come to say hi before I have to be at the next job. Plus,
where else am I going to get a mountain of radish with my lunch?”
I laugh. “I don’t know how you can eat that stuff.”
He picks up a thin slice of radish with his thick fingers and pops it into his mouth. “It’s
delicious. You’re busy today.”
“Lunch rush. It’ll get quieter in about an hour. Then we’ll get the afternoon tea rush around
“Make sure you take a break.”
I’ve made a joke of it, but I do appreciate his concern. We’ve been looking out for each
other for twenty years now.
Even when we went our separate ways to university, we used phone and email to keep in
touch and support each other. Addy did a degree in arboriculture near Preston, whereas I
went to culinary school in London. I loved every minute of my course, but those three years
were lonely. As kids, we’d popped over to each other’s houses to hang out, but that was
impossible to do while living almost two hundred and fifty miles apart. I’d looked forward to
every holiday when I could see him in person.
Unlike most of our friends—okay, my friends—Addy has always been a bit of a loner. We
both ended up back in our hometown after uni to be close to our families. As a bonus, it
meant I got to hang out with my best friend again.
Funny that I should think about that now.
About the Author
Colette’s personal love story began at university, where she
met her future husband. An evening of flirting, in the shadow of Lancaster castle, eventually
led to a fairytale wedding. She’s enjoying her own ‘happy ever after’ in the north of England
with her husband, two beautiful children and her writing.
Looking for her wayward son in 1960s Italy, an English widow encounters revelations and begins a dangerous romance.
In Venice Lillian Rutherford meets the ex-gigolo who has shared the last four years of Andrew’s life; his disclosures force her to confront a side of her son that she never suspected – he is bisexual. Going on to Amalfi, she meets the charismatic Prince Massimo Monfalcone, whose gay playboy son is being held to ransom in Corsica with Andrew. Massimo distracts Lillian with his life story: his first wife was murdered in a Sicilian blood-feud; his second wife killed herself because of his infidelity. As they wait for news of their sons, a bond grows between Lillian and the Prince…
Massimo led her across to a wooden bench overlooking the steps down to the platform of rock and the barely whispering sea. ‘I love this house,’ he said as they sat down, ‘but the Amalfi coast doesn’t have much to offer the boys compared to Sardinia or some of the other jet-set hang-outs. Positano used to be chic but it’s become very touristy.’
‘At their age a touristy place ought to be what they’d want: discotheques and bars.’
‘Fausto’s happier in a crypt full of old ledgers, and Fabio prefers to be seen where it’s fashionable to be seen. If he was hanging about in low dives with working-class types and slumming tourists I’d be worried about his security. There’s safety in numbers with his rich society friends, but I do worry that he may acquire a taste for dangerous vices.’
Lillian took a deep breath that owed nothing to the steps. She said: ‘I hope Andrew won’t be a bad influence on him.’
Massimo stared deep into her eyes. He said: ‘On the contrary, he may be a better influence than some of the crowd he usually hangs around with. Your son has a certain amount of culture and sophistication. Perhaps some of that will rub off on Fabio.’
‘Have you met my son?’
He nodded. ‘At Fabio’s birthday party in Siena last April. I didn’t stay long, I didn’t want to spoil his fun with his young friends, but, yes, I met Andrew. He has a lot of charm and although he pretends to be shallow and cynical, I could see that he was a man of sensitivity and deep feelings underneath.’ He paused, still looking at her. ‘The sensitivity he gets from you, I’m quite sure. The shallowness is, I think, a thing of his own making. His looks come from his father’s side, I guess, but there’s something that connects you and him just as there is with me and Fabrizio although he’s the image of his mother. That something, that connection, is what has brought you to Italy. I would go to the ends of the earth for either of my sons.’
A driver tooted his impatience on the next headland. Lillian’s eyes were filmed with tears which she managed not to shed. ‘We’re keeping them waiting,’ she said, gesturing at the group of men at the car.
‘They are paid to wait,’ he said bluntly. ‘This is an important moment for you, for us.’ He took her right hand and held it between both of his. ‘Lillian, if you need to cry, you should cry. There can be no shame between us, the parents of two difficult sons.’
Freeing her hand, she took another deep breath. ‘My son is homosexual,’ she said, meeting his penetrating gaze.
‘I know this,’ he said.
‘He’s more than twice the age of your – Fabio.’ The boy’s name was finally fixed in her mind. ‘He may – corrupt him.’
Massimo smiled into her eyes. ‘My dear Lillian, it’s possible that my useless son will “corrupt” Andrew, who has given up the practice of interior design to go sailing with him. My son too seems to be homosexual. Of course at seventeen he may grow out of it, although I think not in his case. It’s a disappointment, but there are worse things he could be.’
‘I can’t think of many,’ said Lillian wretchedly.
He mocked her with a gentle laugh and patted her hands. ‘By the time I was seventeen I’d made love to every available girl in our village as well as some of their mothers and even some of their brothers.’ Lillian, with an effort, managed not to look shocked. ‘I was lucky,’ he continued. ‘Girls were supposed to be virgins until they married, but a surprising number of them were available for the grandson of Don Massimo Monfalcone. For many Sicilian boys to this day homosexual activity is one of the more respectable ways of acquiring a bit of experience before marriage.’
Lillian supposed he was hinting at some form of degeneracy that was thankfully beyond the reach of her imagination. ‘I shouldn’t be telling you this,’ he apologized. ‘I’m trying to make the point that boys do things they mostly grow out of. I did. Andrew apparently hasn’t. Maybe Fabio will, maybe he won’t, but whatever happens I don’t think your son will have much to do with it.’
‘Between you and Carlo I seem to be getting a whole new sexual education at the age of fifty,’ she said.
He laughed again. ‘Is that how old you are? One would never think so.’
About the Author
David Gee has worked in London and the Persian Gulf. His previous novels include Shaikh-Down and The Bexhill Missile Crisis, a prequel to Lillian and the Italians. He lives on the UK south coast near Brighton. His website and blog are at: www.davidgeebooks.com
Nathan Rhodes has put hockey first for most of his life, but as graduation looms, he has a different goal in mind. He needs to come out and reclaim his first love. If only Caleb will believe him…
Theater geek Caleb Stockwell gave up on love when his boyfriend chose the closet over being with an openly bisexual guy. Now, he hides his heartbreak behind a string of casual hookups. He loves the drama on stage, but he’s done with the drama of Nathan Rhodes. For good.
Nathan is determined to right the wrongs of four years ago, but the clock is ticking.
One month until he and Caleb go their separate ways. One month to take a final shot at winning Caleb’s heart back.
Former hockey player Brent Cameron has a plan now that he’s out of the closet. He’ll take a summer road trip, find a job, and settle down with a fellow jock. Lowell Prescott is not part of that plan, but when Brent’s travel companion bails, he’s the only option.
Out and proud, Lowell has a love of sports, a flair of fashion, and a disdain for anything conventional. Burned by past relationships, he’s wary of jocks who want to change him—and that includes Brent Cameron.
Tempers flare and sparks fly as the miles disappear behind them. Just as it seems they might be on a journey to something more than Lake Superior, Brent receives a phone call that could change everything.
Will Brent stay with Lowell and ignore a friend in need, or go sit by the bedside of the man who broke Lowell’s heart?
Micah Warner spent his whole life dreaming of pitching in the big leagues. Signing with a minor-league team near Chicago puts him one step closer to making that a reality. But there are no out players in pro ball, so any involvement with a man must be discreet.
Physical therapist Justin Lamb loves his job with the Cougars. A romantic at heart, he wants to find lasting love—with a man or woman—but traveling with the team makes it difficult to maintain a long-term relationship.
Micah offers Justin a no-strings-attached way to blow off some steam, and Justin reluctantly agrees. It doesn’t take long before they’re both in over their heads but falling in love will risk everything.
With their careers and relationship hanging in the balance, they have one last play to make.
It’s time to take a swing for real and lasting love.
Openly gay college swimmer Ian Harrington feels like he’s fighting against a current of tragedy. He’s grieving the loss of his parents and best friend, and now he’s dealing with a toxic coach and judgmental brother. But he won’t let that stop him from chasing his dream: Olympic gold.
Ricky Chavez has just about everything he wants in life: a great career, a supportive family, and a side gig as drag queen Rosie Riveting. The only thing he’s missing is a partner to share it all with.
When the two men connect after Rosie’s performance, they’re immediately drawn to one another. But it’s never that simple. Ricky isn’t the type of man to hide, and with Ian’s coach breathing down his neck, he can’t openly love a drag queen without making waves.
They’ll have to brave deep waters to make it to the finish line.
About the Author
Brigham Vaughn is on the adventure of a lifetime as a full-time author. She devours books at an alarming rate and hasn’t let her short arms and long torso stop her from doing yoga. She makes a killer key lime pie, hates green peppers, and loves wine tasting tours. A collector of vintage Nancy Drew books and green glassware, she enjoys poking around in antique shops and refinishing thrift store furniture. An avid photographer, she dreams of traveling the world and she can’t wait to discover everything else life has to offer her.
Her books range from short stories to novellas to novels. They explore gay, bisexual, lesbian, and polyamorous romance in contemporary settings.
It is a standalone story. The main characters are secondary characters from
another one of my books, Omega Artist (A Cocky Hero Club novel) that takes place later.
Omega Artist is a contemporary M/F romance. Both can be read as standalone
Sometimes, a kiss can
knock you out faster than a blow to the head, rendering you unable to think
Sometimes, a kiss can knock you out faster than a blow to
the head, rendering you unable to think straight.
When drunken Michael Clayton stole a sloppy kiss in a
Parisian club, he didn’t know that this would mean war. War, as in being taught a lesson by a
shameless cowboy. War, as in being given a taste of his own medicine. War, as in being left
dumbfounded and yearning for more. Blame it on the alcohol, right? Damn, Mike hated the
guy for muddling his assumed straight orientation and raising unwelcome questions.
When noble Troy Hunter stole a revenge kiss from a
despicable hot playboy, he didn’t know that it would be all but forgotten months later.
Landing a gig on a Rio-bound cruise ship, the rising DJ is dazed when Mike strikes back with
a vengeance during their second encounter, fueling his appetite for dominance. Blame it on
the blazing sun, right? Damn, Troy hates the guy for pushing all of his buttons and rubbing
salt in old wounds.
It shouldn’t have happened, but now all bets are off. Their
feelings quickly escalate into something that they aren’t willing to label. It’s easier this way,
until it isn’t… because life’s no cruise and some experiences are life-altering. Between Troy’s
painful past and Mike’s unsettling present, their future together might be short-lived, unless
their insane chemistry compels them to push their limits and each other. So, which is it? This
This or That was previously part of a charity anthology entitled Anyone But You; it was
originally published in early 2021. Since then, I’ve added new content, including a bonus
epilogue! Same enemies-to-lovers storyline. Same hot and sweet characters. More focus on
certain scenes. Discover or rediscover Mike and Troy’s story…
If you’ve read Omega Artist (A Cocky Hero Club novel), this is your chance to see how
it all started for two familiar faces that you only briefly met since This or That is a standalone
It’s impossible to think straight when he’s this close. As
annoying as he is, I can’t let him escape my clutches.
Out of reflex, my palms land on his taut chest and shove
him out of my personal space. I need oxygen, and his presence isn’t helping. Too bad he
doesn’t budge, his daring eyes capturing mine. “You and your…” I stutter and, before he says
something inappropriate, quickly add, “big mouth.”
A moan leaves his smart mouth. Seriously? “You know
what they say…” He shrugs, an amused expression on his conceited face. “Big mouth,
Narrowing my eyes, I can’t help but want to muzzle his
smart mouth and put it to better use. He’s impossible! Who says things like that?
The fucker unsettles me yet again by shooting me a
raunchy once-over, licking his sinful lips. “Stop looking at me like that,” I hiss.
What the hell does he want from me? We’re not quite
touching. His pupils are so dilated that it’s clear, even in the waning sunlight. “Or
Cutting off any chance of response, his commanding lips
mold against mine and his arms circle my waist. I can’t move. Once again, his lips on mine
feel so wrong and, at the same time, so right. The friction of his stubble on my clean-shaven
skin and the dance of his frenzied tongue with my greedy one send me into
Whimpering, I wiggle as if possessed. Going a mile a
minute, my brain is at war with my body, which craves more unprecedented sensations. The sloppy Parisian kiss the cowboy stole months
ago enticed a hidden desire that has no place in my well-planned life. Worse, our encounter
elicited sensations that I’ve been desperate to recreate in a flurry of one-night stands, but
nothing’s worked so far.
What’s left of my willpower eventually propels me to stop
the mind-boggling tongue action. He needs to accept that I run the show.
The air thickens between us as we huff and puff.
His half-mast eyes are so much darker than they were a
minute ago. Should I keep playing with him? “What’d you do that for?”
“You’re not gonna win at this game, cowboy,” I sneer in a
rushed voice; an expression of my false bravado. “So you think.” Acutely attuned to my
hungry body, one of Hunter’s legs subtly treads closer and he leans into me.
Within seconds, his tongue fills my mouth again.
Shuddering under his touch, my resolve crumbles as the asshat deepens the kiss. I stiffen when it evolves from bruising to tender,
although our encounter is anything but. My body temperature skyrockets, along with my libido.
Unaware of the all-consuming passion that this kiss
provokes in me, he thrusts his hip against mine, banging my back into the wall. His jean-clad
semi rubs, grazes, and expands against mine that’s desperate for release. I try to pace
myself, but it’s a lost cause.
Overwhelmed by a myriad of toe-curling sensations, my
brain shuts down and allows my ravenous body to do the talking; maybe that’s the kind of
talking Hunter was referring to earlier!
Talk, my ass! No, no, no, keep my ass out of
With that thought in mind, my tempted body is given the
green light to act.
Without warning, I close the gap between us and my
knuckles trace his sculpted abs. At once, his intoxicating scent numbs my consciousness, and
I act on the unthinkable the second his hands snake around my body. And just when I think
the fever has reached its peak, the conniving man betrays me, ditching my waist in favor of
Why can’t you stop? Get a hold of yourself. This is your
game, not his…
Then why does the simple act of his fingers running
through my short hair increase the unbearable pressure building between my legs? I don’t
even give a flying fuck if I come in my pants.
Damn, it’s hot in here!
His urgent mouth devours my expletives and beads of
sweat run down the side of my face, but I’m too far gone to swipe them away. I’m too
blissed out to care. I’m too needy to break the spell quite yet. My senses are on alert. I want
to hate him. I hate to want him. So much…
About the Author
Hope Irving lives in Paris,
France, with her supportive husband and creative teenage daughter. The French indie
author spent a couple of years in Texas, where she earned her MBA. With many friends,
relatives, and readers in the States, the US has a big place in her heart. Although French is
her mother tongue, she chose to write her novels in English because it simply feels right for
her characters. Hope’s suspenseful and complex love stories are modern fairytales that
feature an unconventional Prince Charming and a headstrong heroine. A natural introvert,
she enjoys tormenting her flawed characters with a
hint of darkness and sometimes magical elements. Still, her heart melts when love conquers
all. Her work has been described as
“genre-defying,” “refreshingly unique,” and “an emotional rollercoaster read.”
A sweet geek and an
experienced Dom: someone’s about to learn their lesson …
When chemistry teacher Neil Greene gets an unexpected
delivery at Pendleton High, he’s mortified when his fellow teacher and crush sees the
contents that hint at the adventurous love life he’s dying to explore. Curious but
inexperienced, Neil has no idea how to live out his fantasies until the hot lit teacher offers a
Alexander Ford likes to be in charge in the bedroom and
he’s happy to tutor Neil in all things naughty. But when Neil asks him to pretend to be his
date for the Sweetheart’s Game at Pendleton Bay’s Love Fest, Neil may be the one teaching
Alexander about love.
in a Pinch includes impact play, bondage, and a Dom who isn’t quite ready to admit he’s
found the love of his life.
BOOK 2 – NEW RELEASE
Book Title: Embracing
Publisher: Two Peninsulas
A bad boy mechanic and a kinky accountant: can an indecent
proposal lead to love?
Though Forrest Patton looks like a tweedy, uptight
accountant, he’s anything but. Underneath the fussy bow ties and love of color-coded
spreadsheets lies a man searching for someone to peel back the layers and fulfill his
shameful fantasies. Eavesdropping at the diner in town leads him to wonder if the local
mechanic might just be the man for the job.
Jarod Keener likes it rough, and he makes no secret of that.
But he never expects to be approached with an offer to trade accounting advice for some
dirty, risky fun. Always up for a challenge, Jarod dives in head first but Forrest doesn’t trust
anyone to give him the humiliation he needs once feelings start to get in the way.
When a secret about Jarod’s family upends everything,
Forrest will have to decide if he’s willing to give Jarod a chance to show him that he can have
love and the kink he longs for.
Warning: Embracing His Shame includes: mild humiliation
play, small-town gossip, and two men falling in love despite their best efforts.
“I have a proposal for you.” Forrest squared his shoulders
and fought the urge to fuss with his bow tie. He’d figured he might as well show up in Full
Forrest Mode so Jarod would know what he was getting into. Forrest had tried to pretend he
was someone he wasn’t in the past and that had never worked out well. He was never going
to be anything but a tall, skinny cycling nut who dressed like somebody’s grandpa. He just
had to hope that would do it for Jarod.
“A proposal, huh?” Jarod smirked.
Forrest had heard plenty of rumors about Jarod since he’d
arrived in town. That he was a hell of a mechanic. That he was an unrepentant man-whore.
That he was a kinky deviant. It was the last two Forrest was really, really banking on.
“Yes.” Forrest cleared his throat, the scent of grease, oil,
and metal teasing at his nostrils again. “I’ve outlined a plan.” He stepped closer and thrust
out his hand, papers trembling a little.
Jarrod blinked down at the slightly rustling sheets. “Why
don’t ya’ spell it out for me. I don’t go much for reading.”
“Pretty sure the dog-eared Isaac Azimov book I saw you
reading at The Good Yolk the other morning says otherwise,” Forrest blurted out. He’d
spotted it on the table as he’d left last weekend. All part of the reconnaissance work he’d
“Seems like you’ve been payin’ real close attention to me,”
Jarod said, raising a single eyebrow. He took a step closer and the scents of the garage were
replaced with something rich and deep. Animalistic, with hints of tobacco and cinnamon,
and something warm and sweet that lingered in Forrest’s nostrils. “Funny. I don’t know who
“Forrest Patton.” He squared his shoulders. “I’m an
accountant in town.”
“Huh. Yeah, your name does ring a few bells. Can’t say as
I’ve ever seen you before though.” Jarod’s gaze flicked up and down his body. This morning,
Forrest wore dark green trousers, a gray cardigan, a white and gray check button down shirt,
and a bow tie he’d had to re-tie three times before it would lay flat. He tried not to squirm
as he imagined Jarod staring at him like that while he was naked.
“Well, I’ve got work to do now,” Jarod said as he turned
away and ambled toward the car, picking up a wrench of some sort along the way. At least
Forrest was pretty sure it was a wrench. “I’ll work. You talk. You can read the damn
paperwork aloud if you want.”
Damn it, that ruined Forrest’s whole approach of not
talking about things.
Jarod bent over the engine again, focused and intent as he
reached in with the tool. His hands were already a little grimy from the work he’d been
doing this morning. Shit, that was sexy too.
Forrest cleared his throat and plunged forward, trying to
regroup. “I want to do the books for your business in exchange for various kinky sexual
Jarod straightened abruptly, his head smacking the hood of
the car with a painful-sounding thud. A moment later the metallic clatter of the wrench
hitting the concrete echoed around them.
Jarod swore as he backed up, rubbing his head. He
squinted at Forrest “What?”
“I know you’re a Dom or Top of some sort.” Forrest lifted
his chin. “And I want you to dominate me.”
Jarod let out a noise of disbelief. “You do, do you?”
“Yes, I do.”
Unlikely of a pair as they were, Forrest was dead serious
about this. Most Doms took one look at him and assumed he was only the sweet, innocent
accountant the world saw him as. They refused to see that underneath the sweater vests
and the bow ties and the tweed was someone who longed to be treated with more than kid
gloves. Forrest was tired of polite. Tired of being treated like he was made of spun glass. He
wanted to feel shame crawling hot over his skin and revel in it. And he was convinced Jarod
was the man to do it.
“You think you have what it takes to keep up with a guy like
me?” Jarod asked. There was a dangerous glitter in his eyes that made Forrest’s breath go
“I’m not a virgin in any sense. I’ve had sex with plenty of
men. I’m not particularly submissive but I love being forced to do something. I’ve never
found anyone who can handle what I want. I think some of the things I’ve fantasized about
would make even you think twice,” he said defiantly.
“Alright, I’ll admit, you have me curious.” Jarod stepped up
into his space, clearly trying to intimidate him. Forrest squared his shoulders, refusing to
back down. “Tell me what you want. What makes your motor rev?”
“Humiliation,” Forrest said. His heart thumped in his chest
as he said the words aloud. “Degradation. The dirtier the better. I want you to
“Well, well, well,” Jarod drawled as a slow smile spread
over his face. “Who’d have thought Pendleton Bay’s accountant was such a filthy
Even those relatively tame words sent heat spiraling
through Forrest. His knees went weak, his palms got sweaty, and his cock twitched in
anticipation of what was to come. Oh yes, this was exactly what he’d been looking for.
“You ready to find out just how deep that filth goes?”
Forrest asked, lifting his chin.
Jarod chuckled and grabbed his hair, sending stinging pain
through Forrest’s body that settled low in his groin, throbbing in time with his heartbeat.
“Oh, I’m ready. But I think you may have bitten off more
than you can chew, boy,” Jarod said and the warning in his voice sent another thrill through
Forrest titled his head defiantly. “Try me.”
About the Author
Brigham Vaughn is on the
adventure of a lifetime as a full-time author. She devours books at an alarming rate and
hasn’t let her short arms and long torso stop her from doing yoga. She makes a killer key
lime pie, hates green peppers, and loves wine tasting tours. A collector of vintage Nancy
Drew books and green glassware, she enjoys poking around in antique shops and refinishing
thrift store furniture. An avid photographer, she dreams of traveling the world and she can’t
wait to discover everything else life has to offer her.
Her books range from short
stories to novellas to novels. They explore gay, bisexual, lesbian, and polyamorous romance
in contemporary settings.
Engaged couple Zakarias and Julian are convinced nothing
can separate them…until a global pandemic hits. Zakarias catches the virus with mild
symptoms and isolates in the couple’s guest house. The few meters dividing them might as
well be the moon as he watches Julian, an ICU nurse, work himself to the bone, unable to
support him the way he needs. Frustration and worry build as the weeks pass. Will Zakarias
be declared healthy before Julian burns out?
When we’d just bought it, we spent many long evenings
making plans and discussing options. We’d share a bottle of wine and make long lists of
things we wanted, things we deemed necessary in what was going to be our forever home.
The lists started outrageously—a wine cellar
bigger than the actual house with an employee who turns the bottles? Really,
Zakarias?—but distilled into a few reasonable
items. So Julian’s dream of the biggest bathroom in the northern
hemisphere—a Bath Palace, Zakarias, not a
bathroom—complete with a pool, a jacuzzi, a
sauna, and every other imaginable luxury, turned into a more feasible sized room with a
fancy walk-in shower and a separate bathtub with jets—both of them big enough to
accommodate the two of us. It also has a heated floor and double sinks. And my favorite
feature; the tiny lights over the bathtub, sprinkled in the ceiling like a starry sky.
We both love the house; it’s our sanctuary. Every design
element is chosen for comfort and to make it feel like a real home. Like someplace we can
be ourselves. Someplace we can grow old together.
There are things left to do on the house before we’re happy
with it, and we still spend evenings on the couch, sipping wine and making lists. Evenings
that more often than not turn into heavy make-out sessions on the couch, with clothes
being torn off and strewn about. Evenings that end with us panting in a sticky mess and
blissed-out grins on our faces, but without deciding what to do with whatever room we’re
considering remodeling at the time. “The discussion is half the fun,” he’ll say with sparkling
eyes, and my mouth agrees, while I’m thinking the discussion is all the fun, because I
could live in a tiny shack in the forest and be happy as long as he lived there with
But this house…it’s not just a house, it’s a home. Our home and I miss it.
I miss coming home from work and finding Julian sprawled
on the couch in only his underwear, watching some horrid reality show or other on the big
screen TV. I miss waking up early on weekends and preparing luxury breakfasts for him, miss
how the scent of freshly baked bread never fails to wake him and lure him out of bed. I miss
the adorable sight of him stumbling into the kitchen, bleary-eyed, hair in disarray with pillow
creases on his cheek and dried drool on his chin. I miss how he beelines for me like a
heat-seeking missile and winds himself around me, burying his face in my neck, snaking his
arms around me, and tapping three times over my heart.
His family came up with that code when he was little; his
younger sister was born with a genetic developmental disorder and never learned to speak,
so three taps to the heart meant “I love you.” She died when she was only five, but the
family keeps her memory alive with that gesture. It was how Julian told me he loved me for
the first time. I didn’t understand it at the time, but when he told me the story, I realized
he’d been telling me he loved me long before the words were spoken out loud.
I straighten my spine. Shake my head at my moment of
weakness before marching back to the guesthouse and pulling a sweater over my head. I
pour out the cold forgotten contents of my mug and pour fresh, steaming coffee into it.
Then I sit, take a sip, and breathe.
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.
My first relationship ended with a dramatic event, and police involvement. Needless to say, I wasn’t keen starting a new one. But a knock on the door one random night changed everything. After exchanging some witty banter through my closed oak door, safety first, I threw it open to find an exquisite bearded man, hair tied back, muscles on display… all-in-all, my fantasy come to life.
I wove elaborate dreams around the two of us within minutes, yet my illusion shattered when I learned he was straight. But the protective and intense man became a fixture in my life, and no matter how many times I tell myself he’s not available, I stubbornly hold out hope.
I can’t figure out what shocked me more. The realization I’m not only attracted to a man, but to my dazzling, openly gay, younger next-door neighbor who makes every protective instinct in me flare. Or at the ripe old age of thirty-four, I’m stupidly fighting against my one chance at happiness.
Despite my grumpy and staid personality, the brilliant and funny man introduced me to his world, his family, and worked his way into my heart. The more I’m immersed in everything Neko, my desire for him only grows.
Yep, completely screwed.
Gamer’s Choice features an age gap, bisexual awakening romance between a professional let’s player and his new neighbor. It’s a standalone gay/bisexual romance with an instant connection and a ten-year age difference.
~Descriptions of domestic violence and stalking, includes abuse from an ex-partner, descriptions of an attempted assault with a weapon. Please avoid if the subject matter is triggering.~
I don’t know why I did this to myself.
The situation was not tenable. I hunched my shoulders close to my ears, spine frozen in place and arched away from the back of my ergonomic chair, and if I tensed any more, I’m sure I would sprain something.
My gaze darted around the darkened room and I listened out for any signs of the upcoming attack, and I realized I hadn’t spoken in several minutes. I found a locker for a momentary reprieve and slipped inside.
But as I opened my mouth, hoping whatever words I spewed forth came across as witty and brilliant, the ghost girl who’d stalked me for two hours popped up in front of my hiding space with no warning, baring her teeth with a growl.
To add to my humiliation, she surged toward me with a screech. An embarrassing scream punched up from my chest and past my throat as I wretched the headphones from my ears and covered my eyes with my hands.
I listened to my heart thumping hard in my chest, worrying me for a long minute, until the rhythm decreased and my fear dissipated.
It’s not real. So not real.
By the time I opened my eyes, I caught sight of the screen as the fake blood dripped down from the top of the monitor and the words ‘Game Over’ flashed at me.
My eyes tracked up toward the camera and I said, “Well, that’s all I have time for today. Yes, I am going to pass the last few minutes off as though they never happened. I hope you enjoyed that as much as Echo will, and I’ll catch you next time. Later.”
I held up two fingers, flashing the peace sign, my signature, I stopped the recording before reaching for the stainless steel bottle I kept handy. With the last remnants of the ice-cold water swirling around, enough to sustain me and sooth my sore throat until I dragged myself downstairs for a refill and cooked myself dinner, I tilted the bottle back and swallowed.
My best friend, who was the greatest editor I’ve ever known, was waiting for my text. She’d handle everything for the upload.
It’s ready for you. Don’t laugh too hard.
Got it. I’ll laugh the right amount, thank you very much.
I shook my head and stood.
Like me, Echo started her career because of an interest in something she loved. She cut her own movie trailers, which she somehow included proper voice overs, and they were so much better than what a normal Hollywood production churned out.
When I started gaming online, she offered to edit my videos, which involved me rambling through whatever game I was playing, hoping whoever watched paid more attention to the game than my acne covered face and squeaky voice. My excuse for the awkwardness… I was sixteen.
Since then, I’ve developed into a lanky, long-limbed, acne-free, deep-voiced man who enjoys speaking to others through the internet and connecting them to a community they are proud of. I thank the deities above I moved past puberty without causing harm to myself or others.
But Echo followed my channel and realized before I did that I’d gained subscribers at a steady rate. She promoted herself to my full-time editor when we were nineteen. Although she has her own successful channel, a fashion and beauty one, I keep her busy with my upload schedule.
My stomach growled, and I shot a glance at the clock. Two hours past my normal recording time. I stretched my arms over my head, hearing the usual popping sounds in my joints from whenever I sat too long at my desk.
Done for the day, I tucked in my chair and reached over to shut off the three monitors, but as I turned to exit, I noticed my opened office door.
Although my house was on the corner of a cul-de-sac with a gigantic yard surrounding it, I attempted to keep my profession from bothering my neighbors. So I closed the door whenever I recorded because I’m not quiet. And when I remodeled the house a few years before, I added soundproofing to the entire top floor.
I’d chosen to buy the house because the bedrooms were on the second floor. The rooms were spacious enough my setup was away from the windows, and the bonus had been the rest of the place. Curved doorways, wooden floors throughout, the modern kitchen that included a farmhouse sink along with the dual oven gas range, and the sunroom that faced the backyard.
The three-bedroom house was enormous for only me. But my family lived close by and on the weekends, and sometimes during the week when mom and dad hounded them about homework and the possibility of their interest in either boys or girls, my parents weren’t picky, my twin sisters stayed over with me.
It wasn’t as if I had a social life they could interrupt. I’d tried years before, and it turned out to be a disaster, so I’d given up. Instead, I concentrated on my career. And when I wasn’t working, I divided my time between Echo or my family.
Tired of my depressing thoughts of being alone with no man in my bed, I headed out of the room and downstairs, wondering what I might make for dinner. After, I would indulge in a true crime YouTube marathon.
The moment I hit the last step, a knock from the front door stopped me in my tracks. At close to nine on a school night ruled out my sisters dropping in for a visit, and Echo was busy editing. Curious, I padded over to the front door.
Thinking myself stealthy in my woolen-clad feet, I stopped about a half a foot in front of solid oak and placed my hands on the smooth wood before inching forward. Through the peephole, my eye focused on a solid figure facing away from me. He was tall, so my tired brain played out a fantasy where a gorgeous man realized he could no longer live without me and was waiting outside to declare his feelings.
But what’s the likelihood of that?
Still freaked out from being immersed in a horror game and catching the damp chill of the night air from the thunderstorm earlier, I opened my mouth and forced words through my tight throat.
“You are unfamiliar to me, so before I open this door I have to ask, are you a serial killer?”
Yeah, my conversation skills rock.
The man turned toward the door, but his height prevented me from seeing any defining features. The deeper voice on the other side answered, “Um, that’s a new one. I’m not, but I don’t know if you’re going to take my word for it.”
“Shit! You make a good point. Well, let me ask you this? Are you here to use my phone because your car broke down and your mobile ‘died’?”
My dumb ass used air quotes as if he could see me. To be honest, I’m surprised I’m still alive.
The stranger huffed out a snicker. The sound did not send flutters of pleasure through me.
“Are you always this suspicious?”
My head nodded up and down before I slapped my forehead and replied, “I think that’s what an untrustworthy, immoral man would say, using reverse psychology to make me feel guilty for being unhelpful, which would make me lower my inhibitions and let you inside.”
The man had the nerve to laugh, a deep, throaty, sexy sound. He asked, “You read that in a book, right?”
“Well, I didn’t read it, per se, I heard it in an audiobook from a retired FBI agent about how following your instincts could save your life and the only reason I listened to it because both of my sisters refused. I admit, it scared the poop out of me, but if I can keep them safe, I would do it again.”
“That’s fair, I suppose. But no, I’m not here to harm you and I’m not a criminal. I heard a scream and thought it was a woman in distress, so I thought I would check.”
My hesitation forgotten in that moment, I jerked open the door and glared at the chest in front of me.
Sometimes I hated being short.
I gulped as my eyes traveled upward until I met amused gray eyes, one eyebrow arched in question.
“I knew that would do it?” The tall man who I would love to climb said.
“Shit, did I say that aloud?”
Another chuckle and I forced my eyes up again.
About the Author
Valerie resides in Denver, Colorado with her husband. While she had been interested in writing a romance novel for years, it wasn’t until she wrote her first book that she really became hooked, and now she can’t stop. She has notebooks full of ideas, and she plans to write most of them in the years to come.
When she’s not writing or learning about the craft of writing, she can be found surfing the internet way too much, watching Investigation Discovery and thinking that her neighbors are up to no good, and finding new ways to get her husband to laugh.