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Blog Tour – Three Historical Novels by Jeffrey Buchanan

BLOG TOUR

for

Three historical novels by Jeffrey Buchanan

💜Sucking Feijoas 💜The Smile of the Dispossessed 💜Pansies’ Revenge 

💜Sucking Feijoas 💜The Smile of the Dispossessed 💜Pansies’ Revenge 

 

BOOK 1

Book Title: Sucking Feijoas

Author: Jeffrey Buchanan  

Length: 283 pages

Release Date: June 24, 2020

Genre: Gay Historical novel,  LGBTQI Literary / Historical Fiction

Themes: gay liberation, coming out

It is a standalone story.

Goodreads

 

Buy links

Universal Link  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

 

 

Blurb

George thinks he’s a real man…until he is seduced by an American serviceman on duty in New Zealand during WW2.

Neddy, the son of Lebanese migrants, marries a peasant girl in an attempt to overcome his attraction to men.

Garth, an intellectual, working-class Catholic boy, escapes to Mexico but eventually returns to reveal a painful secret.

Set in New Zealand, Lebanon and Mexico between 1942 and 1986, SUCKING FEIJOAS follows the lives of gay men and how, with ingenuity, courage and love, they managed their lives – despite the odds. Now in its third edition, this deeply engaging story about sexuality, class, race and the culture wars that surrounded them, is as relevant as ever. SUCKING FEIJOAS is riveting storytelling, gay history, empowering.

 

Excerpt

George was ecstatic that the party was going to be held in what he now referred to as his apartment. ‘Flat’ was definitely out as a term of reference to his abode now that he had such wonderful and sophisticated friends as Garth Griffin and Neddy Berdawni. He looked around his living room, a haven of peace and loveliness, which would soon be the scene of the wild party he’d planned in honour of the passing of the Homosexual Law Reform Bill. 

All’erta! All’erta!Abb’etta zingara! he sang in a falsetto accompaniment to the opera blasting from his stereo. ‘All’erta.’ He lifted the needle from the record and put it back a few grooves so that he could again hear the soprano rejoicing in his favourite refrain from Il Trovatore. ‘All’erta! All’ertd! Abb’etta zingara!’

Food was displayed on the Formica table in his kitchen. It looked glorious, the madeira cake and the stuffed mushrooms. But best of all was that fabulous Arabic concoction with the name he had the same difficulty in pronouncing as the frantic refrains from the opera.

All’erta!’ he sang as he sniffed Neddy’s hummus. ‘Amazing,’ he said, ‘it feels so good to be able to sing opera without thinking it might get me arrested. Us poor, poor queens, for so many centuries denied our pleasures!’

On the wall in front of him was a picture of Mount Taranaki, which he stared at as he reached into a cupboard for the bottle of sherry. The huge, handsome flanks of that monstrous mountain. So many decades of admiring it. So many tortures endured in its presence, each like the ice axes that climbers stuck in the flanks of that wily old mountain.

‘And there you still are.’ He saluted the mountain. ‘And me too,’ he said as he downed a mouthful of the deliciously sickly sherry. ‘Still alert, still surviving.’

He bent over the table and stuck his finger in the delicious dip he’d come to adore since Neddy had first made it for him. ‘Hmmmm, hmmiss, homos, oh something or other,’ he said in a pickled hiss. He licked his finger with the creamy substance smeared over it and closed his eyes in satisfaction.

 

BOOK 2

Book Title: The Smile of the Dispossessed

Author: Jeffrey Buchanan

Length: 313 pages

Release Date: March 19, 2020

Genre/s: Gay historical romance

Themes: LGBTQ refugees

It is a standalone story.

Goodreads

 

Buy Links

Universal link  |  Website  |  Book Depository

 

 

Blurb 

“The Smile of the Dispossessed” is a love story and a political thriller set in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia and Indonesia. The novel tells the story of Fadhi and Adam who flee Baghad in the final days of the Saddam Hussien regime when they are ‘outed’ as being gay and accused of being enemies of the state. Despite having been lovers for many years, under the pressures of being refugees, they separate and go their own ways, both men hoping to find freedom in a country that will accept them for who they are. “The Smile of the Dispossessed” demonstrates the enduring requirement to maintain faith in humanity and the power of love.

 

Excerpt 

The music had changed again from disco to house and that beat was what Adam wanted, the newness of it, the complete modernity, the throb of what was the latest from Ibiza and Paris.

“You will not defeat me,” he said. He took the last swig from his bottle and went by himself to the dance floor. In his tight white tee shirt and blue jeans and white sneakers with his hair cut short and three days of beard, he knew he was the centre of attraction as he moved his body to the steady beat.

“I’m the handsome Arab,” he thought. “I’m the male they all want.” In the soap opera the music would now be reaching a crescendo as the main character found himself powerful and showed the world that when you are strong you get what you want and not what you de-serve. For a while in Baghdad there had been a fabulous Brazilian soap played on national television but the dancing and the partying had been too much for the authorities and it was eventually banned. Adam felt as if he had reached Sao Paulo now and that he was in it at last, that thing he wanted so much, that space he deserved. It was the vacuum left by the Brazilians, it was the magazine where the Paris models looked glamorous and led a life of luxury and fun. And at that moment on the dance floor he knew what his life was: he was a handsome and slightly crazy Palestinian and people desired him for that. Dancing there he saw his persona and was satisfied. The soaps were life and life was the soaps. He was in the midst of this felicitous conundrum when the blond squeezed amongst the dancers and started moving rhythmically next to him.

The blond had powder blue eyes, the colour of tropical oceans. His smile was as easy as his movements on the dance floor. They didn’t speak. There was no need to as they danced through two sets of the music. It was just like the soaps had ordered. A new sequel had begun and the audience was being led into it willingly and with abandon. The first thing the blond said to Adam sounded as if it had been scripted in a studio, the writers working in participation for the exact line of introduction: “I thought about you all day and all night.”

 

BOOK 3

Book Title: Pansies’ Revenge

Author: Jeffrey Buchanan

Length:  305 pages

Release Date: April 22, 2020

Genre/s: LGBTQI Historical / Literary fiction

Literary novel about the LGBTQI community set in Wellington, New Zealand in 1918 during the Spanish Flu.

It is a standalone story.

Goodreads

 

Buy Links

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK   |  Book Depository

 

 

Blurb 

A vibrant, entertaining, often darkly Gothic story is filled with passion, love, pathos, farce and humour. Pansies’ Revenge lays bare the political, social and cultural fabric of New Zealand society at a pivotal time in the nation’s history. Set in 1918 the novel explores what it was like to resist political oppression and at the same time, face a global pandemic. 

It is late 1918 and in Wellington, New Zealand, four years of world war and the ravages of the Spanish flu are taking their toll on the inhabitants.

All are not for King and Country. The members of the Te Aro book club: queer, feminist, bohemian, disgruntled, are accused of sedition for reading Crime and Punishment and drawing from it the roots of the problems facing the world. The more intently they read, the more the crazed characters of the book appear to manifest themselves in Wellington.

Intrigues deepen: Cecil and Sybil Meatyard, who work the crowds to a frenzy of patriotism in the streets of Wellington for the New Zealand Women’s Anti-German League, disappear. Their diatribes about war shirkers, spies and Pansies have upset a lot of people. The sinister Crawford Denton, detective and sensualist, follows the case. A 1918 MeToo Movement begins as the influenza pandemic takes hold.

This vibrant, entertaining, often darkly Gothic story is filled with passion, love, pathos, farce and humour. Pansies’ Revenge lays bare the political, social and cultural fabric of New Zealand society at a pivotal time in the nation’s history.

 

Excerpt

Chapter One

Alexander Powderham, fortyish, handsome, bohemian, limped his way up Cuba Street. His left leg, having been crippled from infantile paralysis, was supported by a steel brace. He was dependent also on canes, of which he had an impressive collection, and on this occasion, he was using one intricately carved by Aroha Raharuhi, his longtime lover.

The air was unseasonably warm for mid-September Wellington, which heightened the smell rising from the mounds of horse ordure left from the morning’s military parade. Outside the Duchess Tea Rooms, Alexander paused and rested on his good leg while he adjusted his recently tailored jacket, smoothing down the Irish linen with his hands, delighting in its texture and colour of golden flax. Then he adjusted his silk tie, cream coloured with charcoal flecks, loosening the knot a little at the undone top button to ensure that rakish look, which was one of casual elegance. The white, Egyptian cotton shirt had also been crafted especially for him by the clothiers Munster & Munster who, through four years of war, had survived patriotic vandalism by hanging a large sign across their shop windows, WE ARE NOT HUNS: WE SUPPORT KING AND COUNTRY. Alexander’s chocolate brown, wide-brimmed hat with a duck’s feather poking from the green woven band was also avant-garde, of a high-quality felt and based on a design he had seen in a fashion weekly from London.

 

About the Author 

Jeffrey Buchanan was born in Wellington, New Zealand, to a Lebanese – New Zealand family. For thirty years, including a decade with the United Nations, he worked in multiple countries in education, the promotion of human rights, gender equality and the empowerment of women. He was based for several years in the Middle East. For his Doctorate, he researched the structural, cultural and ideological components of Islamic education. Now he follows the warm weather with his husband Stuart, reads and writes fiction, and daydreams.

Read more on the author’s website 

Visit his Facebook page 

 

 

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

 

Follow the tour and check out the other blog posts and reviews here

 

New Release – Legendary Loves Volume 2 by Nell Iris, Kassandra Lea, and Addison Albright

RELEASE BLITZ

Collection Title: Legendary Loves Volume 2

Publisher: JMS Books, LLC

Cover Artist: Written Ink Designs

Length:  71 700 words 

Release Date: October 19, 2019

Add on Goodreads

 

Blurb

JMS Books’ Trios are themed collections of three gay romance stories by a trio of authors. Each story is available separately, but readers can get all three for a discounted bundle price.

Legendary Loves Volume 2 contains three paranormal shifter M/M romances just in time for Halloween!

It contains these stories:

In My Arms Again by Nell Iris: Oxen is lonely, feeling like he’s waiting for something, and can’t focus. But when a very ill stranger collapses on his doorstep, everything changes. The stranger, Vinge, is a Pegasus unable to transform. Both men feel an instant connection that swiftly grows deeper. The questions surrounding Vinge are many. Why is he so familiar? What will it take for the depth of their connection be revealed?

The Murky Depths by Kassandra Lea: Tired of the daily grind of his job, Keston heads out for a weekend at his family’s cabin in Kona Woods. Turns out he isn’t alone, though, as there are others lurking in the shadows. When a near-death experience brings Ness waltzing into his life, everything Keston thought he knew is turned upside down. Will facing what scares him bring to Keston’s life what it’s missing most?

Weekend at Bigfoot’s by Addison Albright: There’s nothing about perky — twinky? — Oliver Hughes that would make Sensational News’ (Never Fake! We Swear!) reporter Wilson Banks think Bigfoot actually exists. But while pursuing soundbites for a tabloid story about Bigfoot, Wilson witnesses something he wasn’t meant to see. In Wilson’s new reality, is there room for love with someone whose dreams are as big as his … er … feet?

 

Buy Links

The books will all be 20% off at the publisher’s site through October 25.

Legendary Loves, Volume 2

 Publisher |  B&N | Kobo | iBooks

Amazon US  | Amazon UK

BOOK 1

Book Title: In My Arms Again

Author: Nell Iris

Publisher: JMS Books, LLC

Cover Artist: Written Ink Designs

Length: 21 809 words 

Release Date: October 19, 2019

Genre/sM/M Historical Paranormal Fantasy Gay Romance

Trope/s: Soulmates, age difference, hurt/comfort

Themes: Finding your soulmate, reunited, family conflict, acceptance

Heat Rating: 3 flames

It is a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links

 Publisher |  B&N | Kobo | iBooks

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

Two strangers. An unexpected familiarity. Instant connection.

Blurb 

Trapped in a growing sense of restlessness, Oxen the hunter is lonely. Feeling like he’s waiting for something—or someone—he’s unable to focus on getting ready for winter. But when a handsome and very ill stranger collapses on his doorstep, everything changes.

Vinge is from a Pegasus family but has never been able to transform. As soon as he awakens in Oxen’s care, both men feel an instant connection, which grows deeper as Oxen nurses him back to health. Something profound within each man calls out to the other, but neither knows what it is.

The questions surrounding Vinge and their deepening relationship are many. Why is Vinge so familiar to Oxen when they have clearly never met? Why are they both reluctant to take the first step to a real commitment? And what will it take for the true depth of their connection be revealed?

 

Excerpt  

His eyes are still closed when I kneel next to the bed again, but I can tell he’s awake by the way his head tracks my movements. 

“I will lift your head and help you drink,” I explain before touching him again, and he tilts his chin down, giving me permission. I slide my hand around his neck, cup the back of his head, and ease it off the bed. He drinks in deep gulps until the bowl is empty, and when I lower him back down to the pillow, he sighs. 

“Thank you, Hunter.”

I stiffen at his words. “Do you know me?”

Slowly, he moves his hand from his side and lays it on his chest. “I feel you,” he says.

“How?” My head is spinning with all the questions this man’s arrival has brought. For every passing hour, they multiply, and I can no longer keep track of them all.

The stranger doesn’t answer my question—somehow I knew he wouldn’t—so I try another approach. “I am afraid you have me at a disadvantage. I know not who you are.”

His pries his eyelids open, long eyelashes fluttering like a hummingbird’s wing. Even in the dim light of the cabin—cast only by the flames in the hearth—I can make out the color of his eyes: so dark they’re almost completely black, generously sprinkled with flecks of gleaming gold, and despite the obvious tiredness, his gaze is bottomless and intense. It pulls me in and settles some of the restlessness in my chest at the same time. 

And when he looks at me, I understand what he’s talking about. 

I can feel him, his presence. As though his heart beats next to mine in my chest. As though his breath mingles with mine when it leaves my mouth, as though I see myself through his eyes. As though I know him.

“My name…” His voice falters.

“…is Vinge,” I finish, a gasp escaping at my own words. 

“Yes.”

 

BOOK 2

Book Title: The Murky Depths

Author: Kassandra Lea

Publisher: JMS Books, LLC

Cover Artist: Written Ink Designs

Length: 20 106 words

Release Date: September 19, 2019

Genre/s: M/M Paranormal/Urban Fantasy 

Heat Rating: 1 flame

It is a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links

 Publisher |  B&N | Kobo | iBooks

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

Who…or what is lurking in the shadows?

Blurb 

While Keston enjoys his occasional video game tournaments with the kid across the hall, he’s grown tired of the daily grind of his job. With a bit of a push from his boss, he heads out for a weekend at his family’s cabin in Kona Woods. A little time away from the hustle and bustle sounds like just the thing he needs.

Turns out he isn’t alone, though, as there are others lurking in the shadows. When a near-death experience brings Ness waltzing into his life, everything Keston thought he knew is turned upside down, and he runs in fear.

But will facing what scares him bring to Keston’s life what it’s missing most?

 

Excerpt 

“Crap,” he growled. Keston scrambled for the paddle as the first fat raindrop landed on his cheek, coursing down like a year he didn’t remember crying. The once gentle rocking was becoming stomach upsetting and mixed with his actions threatened to capsize him. “Crap, crap, crappity.” 

Why didn’t you check the weather forecast, you fanned fool? Instead of being a sitting duck for an electric charge you could be sitting safely before a fire while letting the storm rage on. Even sticking to his original plan would have had better results, he’d simply have raced back through the woods with prayers of no branches falling on his head. Being soaked head to toe he could accept. 

Which might happen sooner than he hoped. 

The wind picked up, forcing the trees to dance and tearing the leaves from their branches. Keston pitched dangerously to one side and narrowly avoided taking an unwanted swim by shifting his weight the other way. His belongings slid back and forth along the bottom of the canoe. Lightning. Thunder. His pounding heart prodded by fear and adrenaline. And then it hit, the deluge of rain, almost like having a bucket of water dumped over his head, or perhaps this was how coaches felt after the end of a great game when thee players got all excited and doused them in Gatorade or whatever. 

He was soaked instantly. 

And it was a cold rain, one that dropped the temperature significantly in a matter of seconds. Gone was the beautiful autumn day replaced with a chill that left each breath as a puff on the wind. Keston shivered, somehow managing to wrap his fingers around the paddle. He gripped it tightly and dipped one end into the lake, which by now was tossing him about as if he was a rubber ducky in a child’s bath. 

The waves were getting worse. 

 

BOOK 3

Book Title: Weekend at Bigfoot’s

Author: Addison Albright

Publisher: JMS Books, LLC

Cover Artist: Written Ink Designs

Length: 29 800 words

Release Date: September 19, 2019

Genre/s: M/M Contemporary Paranormal Gay Romance (with a pinch of Mystery and Comedy)

Trope/s: Meet Cute, Forbidden Love, Fling Turns into More

Themes: Love (or at least lust) at first sight, secrets, paranormal surprise

Heat Rating: 3 flames

It is a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads

 

Buy Links

 Publisher |  B&N | Kobo | iBooks

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

 

It wasn’t supposed to be REAL!

Blurb 

It wasn’t supposed to be REAL! Bigfoot doesn’t actually exist. Yetis, shifters, creatures of the night … none of those exist. Right? Right?

There’s nothing about perky—some might even say twinky—Oliver Hughes that would make a skeptic like Sensational News’ (Never Fake! We Swear!) reporter Wilson Banks think otherwise. But while pursuing soundbites for a tabloid story about Bigfoot, Wilson witnesses something he wasn’t meant to see.

In Wilson’s new reality, is there room for love with someone whose dreams are as big as his … er … feet?

This fun novella has a paranormal twist, a hint of mystery, and a flavorful dollop of romantic comedy. Mix it all together for a satisfying HEA!

 

Excerpt 

Wilson’s gaze traveled lower, and if possible, widened further. Because holy mother of Sasquatch, Yeti, and the Abominable Snowman, Emma Pearson had not been exaggerating when she’d insinuated that Bigfoot was well-hung. If anything, she’d underplayed it.

Bigfoot—that’s who he had to be—squawked again with a noise that had an admonishing tone, as if calling out Wilson’s rudeness for gawking at his junk, then covered said junk with his massive hands.

“Sorry,” Wilson muttered. It was reflexive and seemed weird in the circumstances to be calmly apologizing to Bigfoot. Why the hell wasn’t he freaking the fuck out? Most normal people would be.

A vision of Mark screeching, “I don’t think I’ve ever once seen you get worked up over anything,” flashed through Wilson’s head. Apparently Mark had a point.

Wilson blinked. There would be absolutely no way to get the mouth and flaring nostrils of this…creature so perfect in such a close inspection if he wasn’t real. He was real.

And if this was the ultimate test of pragmatism, then—Wilson straightened his back—he was going to pass it with flying colors.

 

About the Authors

Nell Iris

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 but let’s face it, she’s not Celine Dion), and is a real Star Trek nerd (Make it so). She loves words, poetry, wine, and Sudoku, and absolutely adores elephants!

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 40-something bisexual Swedish woman, married to the love of her life, and a proud mama of a grown daughter. She left the Scandinavian cold and darkness for warmer and sunnier Malaysia a few years ago, where she spends her days writing, surfing the Internet, enjoying the heat, and eating good food. One day she decided to chase her life long dream of being a writer, sat down in front of her laptop, and wrote a story about two men falling in love.

Nell Iris writes gay romance, prefers sweet over angsty, and loves writing diverse and different characters.

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook Author Page  |  Facebook Profile  

Twitter: @nellirisauthor  |  Instagram: @nell_iris  |  Goodreads

QueeRomance Ink   |  BookBub

 

 

Kassandra Lea

Born to a military family, Kassandra Lea has been reading since she could hold a book. Growing up she wanted to be Batman, then she discovered writing and realized she could be whatever she wanted if she lived vicariously through her characters. When not writing, she can be found hanging out with her dog, pursuing her love of horses, and cheering on the Packers. She lives in southern Wisconsin in an old house with her mother, a gang of furry monsters, and a ghost.

Author Links

Facebook  |  Twitter: @Cheddarsgal  |  Instagram  |  Goodreads

 

Addison Albright

Addison Albright is a writer living in the middle of the USA. Her stories are gay romance in contemporary, fantasy, and paranormal genres. She generally adds a subtle touch of humor, a smidgen of drama/angst, and a healthy dose of slice-of-life to her stories. Her education includes a BS in Education with a major in mathematics and a minor in chemistry. Addison loves spending time with her family, reading, popcorn, boating, french fries, “open window weather,” cats, math, and anything chocolate. She loves to read pretty much anything and everything, anytime and anywhere.

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook Author Page  |  Facebook Profile  |  Twitter

BookBub  |  QueeRomance Ink  |  Amazon

Newsletter sign-up  |  Instagram: (@addison.albright) |  Audible

 

 

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win

 your choice of ebooks from each author’s backlist (3 books for each of 3 winners)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Follow the tour and check out the other blog posts and reviews here

 

 

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

 

The Speakeasy Series Review Tour – K. Evan Coles and Brigham Vaughn

THE SPEAKEASY SERIES REVIEW TOUR

Series Blurb

Media mogul Jesse Murtagh and bartender Kyle McKee decide to go into business together and open Under Lock & Key, a speakeasy on the upper West Side of Manhattan. The bar, with its secret passphrases and craft liquor cocktails, becomes a sanctuary for Jesse and Kyle’s circle of friends, who gather once a month to catch up with each other and share their experiences.

Under is both hang out and haven for the men who spend time within its walls and their friendships build family ties that are sometimes missing from their own lives.

The stories can be read in order or as standalones.

BOOK 1

Book Title: With A Twist (The Speakeasy Book 1)

Author: K. Evan Coles and Brigham Vaughn

Publisher: Pride Publishing/Totally Entwined Group

Genre/s: Contemporary, Romance, Gay

Heat Level: 4 flames

Length:  95,295 words/ 263 pages

Release Date: September 25, 2018

Add on Goodreads

Tagline

Love, served with a twist.

Blurb

Nursing a broken heart when his ex-boyfriend, Riley, leaves him for the love of his life, Carter, Will Martin throws himself into teaching at NYU and writing. An invite from Riley to a speakeasy called Under helps Will begin to heal, and he finds himself enjoying both the drinks and the company.

Soon after, he’s shaken by news of his father’s cancer diagnosis and Will reluctantly returns to Long Island to see the man who disowned him after he was outed.

Sparks fly when Will meets his father’s mentee, Republican Senator David Mori, who is both mixed race and openly gay. Will is looking for a no-strings-attached fling and David is leery of getting involved with his mentor’s son, so they keep their affair a secret.

As his father’s health worsens, Will elects to remain in Garden City and his relationship with David grows beyond casual sex. Now, both men must decide how to bridge the divide between them.

 

Buy Links

Amazon US  | Amazon UK  |  iTunes  |  B&N  |  Kobo  |  Google Play  |

24 Symbols  |  Thalia  |  Bol.de  |  August Roberton  | Mondadoristore

 

Excerpt

June 2014

Will Martin set down his empty mug and flipped to the next page of the New York Times. A familiar profile caught his attention and, despite his better judgment, he read the caption below the photo of two smiling and laughing men in tuxedos.

The year’s hottest gay couple cut a fine figure at the Met premiere last night. Riley Porter-Wright and Carter Hamilton are still going strong. The couple appeared oblivious to those around them as they talked during intermission. They were joined by the former Mrs. Hamilton, who seems to have forgiven Mr. Porter-Wright for stepping into her place. Also there was her new paramour, Robert… The ex-Mrs. Porter-Wright was nowhere to be seen. The couple have been spotted at—

Annoyed, Will threw the newspaper on the coffee table. Everywhere he turned there were reminders of his ex-boyfriend Riley’s happiness with his new love. Well, long-time love, really. Will had competed with Riley’s best friend, Carter, the entire time they’d been together.

But how could Will have competed with a man Riley had loved since college? Riley had left his wife to explore his bisexuality and Carter had ultimately done the same. Will had been foolish for thinking he could offer Riley more than a man who had known him for a decade and a half could.

Will scrubbed a hand through his hair and stood. I need a change of scenery right now, he thought and glanced around the living room of his stylish Manhattan condo.

His laptop screen glowed at him from his desk by the windows. He’d planned to take the morning off and enjoy the gorgeous early June weather, but with edits looming over him and reminders of Riley lurking around the edges of his consciousness, relaxation seemed out of the question.

“Fine, fine,” Will muttered under his breath. “Work it is.”

He filled his cup with coffee, doctored it with cream and sugar and took a seat at his desk. He pulled up his manuscript and scrolled to the place he’d left off—Bernard Schwartz’s appointment as Chief Counsel of the House Legislative Oversight Subcommittee.

Half an hour later, Will’s phone trilled on the desk and he blinked to clear the haze from his brain. Riley flashed across the screen. Speak of the devil, he thought, then immediately chastised himself. Riley wasn’t the problem. Riley loving Carter instead of Will wasn’t even the major issue. Will’s habit of falling for emotionally unavailable men then struggling to get over them was something he desperately needed to change.

Not wanting his ex to sense the turmoil in his head, Will made sure to keep his tone pleasant. “Hey, Riley.”

“Hey, Will. How have you been?”

“Good. Making solid progress on my book.” Will sat back in his chair.

“Oh, that’s right, you’re not teaching during the summer semester, are you?”

“No, I decided to focus on my writing. I’m in the midst of edits, so I’ll be spending the summer cursing at a computer screen while I try not to tear my hair out.”

“What a rewarding career,” Riley said teasingly.

Will chuckled and relaxed a little. He’d always enjoyed Riley’s sense of humor. “I must be a masochist for voluntarily subjecting myself to college students and editors.” Will taught legal history at New York University and had published a handful of well-regarded books on the topic. He suspected Riley hadn’t called to ask about his writing, however. “How’s work? Is your father still pretending you don’t exist at the office?”

“I think he’s hoping I’ll leave Porter-Wright Publishing, to be honest. He and Geneva were polite when Carter and I took the kids to the company picnic but I’m sure it’s only because they were afraid of looking bad.”

“Appearances above all else,” Will muttered. He and Riley had always had that in common. Although at least Will spoke to his mother occasionally and kept in contact with his sister, Olivia. Riley’s relationship with his parents was far worse. “How are things with you and Carter? And the little Hamiltons?”

“Really good.” Will could hear the smile in Riley’s voice. “We all spent last weekend in Southampton at the beach house.”

Riley sounded so happy every time they talked about Carter and his kids. Will’s heart ached, knowing he could never have made Riley that happy, but on the whole he was glad Riley had found the contentment he’d searched for.

“Anyway,” Riley interrupted his thoughts, “I called for a reason. You know Jesse Murtagh and Kyle McKee, right?”

“Vaguely. I met them at Carter’s birthday and Jesse again at your holiday party last winter.”

“Right. Well, they’re opening a speakeasy in a week or so.”

Will laughed. “A speakeasy? That’s intriguing.”

“It’s basically ready to go, and they’ve been inviting friends in to see it and try the cocktails. I called to see if you would like to meet me there tonight. I thought we could grab some drinks and catch up.”

“Just you?”

Riley hesitated. “No. Carter will be there with Jesse and Kyle. Along with six or eight of our friends.”

Will stifled a sigh. “Riley…”

“Hey, I know it’s going to be awkward. But it’s been six months. You and I are doing pretty well with our friendship. So, stop being a fucker and come.”

Will couldn’t prevent the laugh that escaped him. “Well, when you word it that way, how can I possibly resist?”

“No, I don’t mean to be glib. I know this isn’t easy for you, but I don’t want to lose you as a friend.” Riley sounded earnest. “I’m asking a lot, but I’d like for you to be able to hang out with all of us. And hey, maybe you’ll meet the perfect guy there.”

Will snorted. “I’m definitely not looking for the last part, but sure, I’ll come. What time and where am I meeting you?”

 * * * *

Later that evening, Will glanced around Lock & Key, a pub on the edge of the upper West Side in Morningside Heights, where Riley had arranged for them to meet. The floors were scuffed and slightly gritty under his feet and the tables and chairs had seen better days. The pub was entirely ordinary and not at all what Will had expected.

“Have dive bars become your thing?” he asked, mystified.

Riley laughed and clapped him on the shoulder. “This is not our destination for the night. Someone Kyle used to work with owns Lock & Key. The speakeasy is underneath.”

Will raised an eyebrow. “Under Lock & Key? Clever.”

“What can I say, my friends are punny.” Riley grinned. “Come on, follow me.” He strode to the end of the bar and opened an unmarked door. Will followed more slowly. At the end of a hallway was an old-fashioned phone mounted on the wall.

Riley picked it up and spoke. “Let me in, you fucker.” He fell silent for a moment then tipped his head back and laughed. “That is the passphrase, you jackass!”

Riley hung up the handset and turned to Will, merriment clearly written across his face. “Jesse,” he said, as if that was explanation enough.

In truth, it probably was. Jesse Murtagh was one of a kind. Part of a powerful media family in Manhattan, he was also pansexual and the biggest flirt Will had ever encountered. Not to mention charming and incredibly handsome—no wonder Carter had been attracted to him. Like Will, Jesse had been left in Riley and Carter’s wake once they’d decided to get together, but Will suspected Jesse had been far less affected.

“Are you coming down or what?” A door opened at the end of the hall and Jesse appeared, a smile lighting his face and making his bright blue eyes twinkle. He glanced over at Will and gave him an appreciative grin.

“Glad you could join us tonight, Will. You’re looking good.”

Will chuckled and stepped forward to offer Jesse his hand. “It’s good to see you too.” Irrepressible flirt notwithstanding, Jesse had a compelling presence. Broad shoulders capped off a tall, lean body and the closely-cropped beard he sported framed full lips. Not Will’s type, but easy on the eyes.

“Think you can manage to not storm off this time?” Jesse asked, raking a hand through his dark-blond hair.

Riley groaned. “Jes…”

Will smiled, despite his stab of discomfort at the reminder of the dramatic ending to his and Riley’s relationship six months prior at a Christmas party. Will had finally realized the futility of his feelings for Riley that night and caused a scene in front of a small group of their combined friends, including Jesse and Carter. Ugh. It hadn’t been one of his finer moments.

“I think I can behave tonight,” he said aloud. “So, a speakeasy, huh? What made you decide to open that?”

Jesse held open the door and allowed Riley and Will to precede him down another long, narrow hallway. “Why not? Kyle wanted to open a bar. We looked at a ton of locations and were bored by all of them, but when our friend Matt mentioned the space under Lock & Key, it all fell into place. Who doesn’t want to own an underground, secret bar?”

“I can’t say it’s ever crossed my mind,” Will admitted. They reached the end of the hall and Riley pushed open another unmarked door to reveal a stairwell. Although well-lit, the walls were painted black and totally bare.

“This is the problem with you, Will,” Jesse said. “You’re so buttoned up. You need to live a little.”

“Well I’m spending the evening at a speakeasy with you,” Will said as he followed Riley down the stairs. “Will that do for now?”

Jesse laughed. “Touché.”

Riley pushed open a door at the bottom of the steps and the sight of the bar rendered Will mute.

In sharp contrast to the run-down bar above, the speakeasy was stylish and welcoming. Open shelves on the walls were filled with bottles of liquor. Inlaid floors were topped with sleek leather and metal furniture, and candles in votives glowed on the tables. The mellow music and subdued lighting lent the space an atmosphere of sophisticated relaxation.

Astonished, Will glanced over at Jesse. “This is incredible. I’m impressed.”

“You have good taste, I’ll give you that.” Jesse grasped his shoulder and squeezed. “C’mon, let me get you a drink.”

As Will crossed the room to the bar, Riley slipped into a spot beside Carter on the leather sofa. Will tried to hide a wince as Carter reached for Riley’s knee and squeezed it without pausing in conversation.

“Wistful or vaguely nauseated?” Jesse asked as he took a seat on one of the bar stools.

Will glanced at him. “Excuse me?”

“Was the look because you wish you had that with Riley or because you’re grossed out by two people being disgustingly in love?”

“A little of both, I suppose.” Will had nothing against relationships, but they were starting to seem like a pipe dream for him.

A man appeared behind the bar and Will easily recognized him as Carter’s friend, Kyle.

“Will, right?” he said, holding out a hand. “Kyle McKee.”

“Yeah, hi. We met at Carter’s birthday dinner.”

Kyle smiled. “It’s nice to see you again.”

They shook and Will gave Kyle a once-over. Kyle was easily six feet tall, with broad shoulders, thick dark hair trimmed short on the sides, and heavy but well-groomed brows over dark eyes. Unlike Jesse, Kyle was very much Will’s type. Except for the suspenders he wore over his crisp gray shirt and his rolled-up sleeves. Kyle pulled them off better than most, but the look screamed hipster too much for Will’s tastes.

“Great place you have here.” Will glanced around. “I like it.”

“Thanks.” Kyle’s eyes crinkled at the corners when he smiled. “I’m pleased to hear it. A speakeasy wasn’t quite what I had in mind when I told Jesse I wanted to open a bar, but I’m glad I decided to go for it.”

Jesse grinned. “When will all of you learn my ideas are always brilliant?”

“Probably never.” Kyle turned back to Will. “So, what can I get you? We have a wide selection of beer, wine and cocktails.” He slid a leather-bound book in Will’s direction.

Will perused it for a moment before he closed the cover. “You know what? Surprise me. Make me a cocktail.”

“Hmm. I can do that. Anything you particularly dislike?”

“Anything too sweet. And Amaretto.”

Kyle scrutinized Will for a moment before his eyes gleamed. “Got it.”

Will watched with interest as Kyle pulled a glass out of the freezer and mixed together cognac, Cointreau and lemon juice in a shaker with ice. A few moments later, Kyle poured it into a glass, topped it with a twist of lemon and slid the drink across the bar to him. “Sidecar. Tell me what you think.”

Will raised the glass to his lips and took a sip. He found the drink refreshingly cold and a perfect blend of sour and sweet with a fresh citrusy taste balanced nicely by the cognac. “That’s delicious.”

Kyle grinned. “Excellent.”

“C’mon.” Jesse picked up a tumbler filled with amber-colored liquid and a large spherical ice cube. It clinked pleasantly as he moved. “Let’s go hang out with the guys.”

The majority of the patrons were part of Riley and Carter’s group, spread out across two leather sofas and a handful of chairs that made a square seating area around a finely crafted wood coffee table. Riley leaned forward and set his martini glass down. Will placed his own drink on a table and pulled up a chair.

“Everyone, this is Will Martin. Some of you met him at Carter’s birthday and a few of you met him over the holidays. I’ll introduce everyone, though.”

Will gave him a brief smile. “Thanks.”

“You know Carter, obviously.” Carter nodded in greeting and Will returned it. “Next to Carter is his sister, Audrey.” A tan blonde woman gave him a smile over a martini glass filled with something frothy and yellow. “And Audrey’s husband, Max.” An attractive, bearded man with brown hair and light brown eyes raised a pilsner glass in greeting.

Riley continued around the circle. “Gale, Jarrod, Henry and Miles are friends of Carter’s.” The men waved and murmured their hellos.

“You seem outnumbered here, Audrey,” Will said.

She grinned at him. “I’m not complaining. My brother has some very good-looking friends.”

Her husband elbowed her. “What am I? Chopped liver?”

“Never, darling. But I see you every day.”

Kyle seated himself at an empty chair across the group. “You’re a law professor, right, Will?”

Will nodded and took a sip of his drink. “Yes, at NYU. I’m spending the summer working on my latest book.”

“What do you write?” Max asked. “I’d love to hear about it.”

Will chuckled. “You may regret you asked, but I’m currently writing about the Chief Counsel of the House Legislative Oversight Subcommittee.”

“So, political law then?”

“I couldn’t totally avoid the family business,” Will said dryly.

Audrey frowned. “You have a family member who’s a politician?”

“My father.” Will made a face. “And a Republican at that.”

“How does that work at family dinners?” Audrey asked. “I thought my parents and Carter were bad, but at least they’re not pushing discriminatory legislation.”

“I haven’t spoken to him since college, to be honest.” Will took a fortifying sip of his sidecar. “I see my mother and sister on occasion, but never when he’s around.”

Riley shot him a sympathetic smile.

“Sorry to pry,” Audrey said with an apologetic glance. “I’ve been battling my parents about them shutting Carter out and that’s difficult enough.”

“Ancient history.” Will waved off her apology. “What do you do, Audrey?”

“I chair several philanthropic organizations. And I recently got involved with PFLAG.” She exchanged a look with her brother.

Jesse leaned forward. “Beautiful and socially aware? Be still, my beating heart. If Max hadn’t met you first…” Jesse took a sip of his drink. “That goes both ways, Max.”

Max chuckled and Carter rolled his eyes. “We’ve had this discussion before, Jesse. No hitting on my sister or my brother-in-law, please. And definitely not both at once.”

A chorus of laughter rose. Riley chimed in with a humorous comment as Will relaxed back in his chair and sipped his drink, enjoying the banter flying around the room. He’d been far too antisocial since the breakup and he was glad he’d taken Riley up on his invitation.

 * * * *

A few hours later, Will reluctantly excused himself. He’d had a wonderful time and had enjoyed the witty conversation. It had left him feeling lighter and more relaxed than he had in a while. “I’m going to head home. I have an early game of racquetball planned with Charles tomorrow. I had a great night,” Will said. “Thanks for inviting me, Riley. Carter.”

“I’m glad you came,” Carter said with a nod. He offered Will a sincere smile that crinkled the corners of his hazel eyes and Will grudgingly admitted he could see Carter’s appeal. His jealousy had blinded him too much to appreciate Carter’s broad-shouldered, long-legged build and handsome face before.

Will said goodnight to everyone and Jesse stood to shake his hand. “Please come back any time. I’ll add your name to the list, so even if Kyle and I aren’t here, you’ll be let in. We do have a seat limit of forty and try to keep private events on the smaller side, but feel free to bring a friend or two. Especially if they’re hot and single.” He winked. “And maybe save that for when I’m here.”

“Jesse!” Carter sounded exasperated and Will couldn’t hide his smile.

“I’ll keep that in mind,” he said.

“We’re trying to turn this into a regular thing,” Kyle said. “Riley and I had the idea of meeting here the third Thursday of every month. Nothing formal, and if you can’t make it, no problem, but it would be great if you could join us.”

“I’ll try to make it,” Will said. “And thanks for a great evening. You make a mean sidecar.”

“Any time,” Kyle responded.

Will turned to leave. “I’ll walk you up,” Riley said. He fell into step behind Will.

“Tell Charles I said hi,” Riley said as they walked up the stairs.

“I will.”

“How are he and Gabe doing?”

“Good. They’re both pretty busy right now. Charles is teaching classes this summer and Gabe is looking into opening another restaurant.” Charles was an ex of Will’s, and one of his closest friends and a colleague at NYU. Charles had married Gabe the summer before, and Gabe owned a high-end Vietnamese restaurant in Tribeca, not far from Will’s home.

“You’re welcome to bring them to Under anytime,” Riley said. “If you think they’d be okay with that.”

Will pushed open the door leading into Lock & Key. “I’m sure Gabe will be. Charles is still holding a bit of a grudge,” he said. Will and Riley’s breakup had rocked Riley’s friendship with Gabe and Charles.

Riley sighed. “I deserve it.”

“No, I should talk to him. You and I have mended some fences. There’s no reason he needs to continue to shut you out.” Will walked through the exit of the bar and turned to Riley when they stepped onto the sidewalk out front. “Thanks for inviting me tonight.”

“I’m glad you came. I know it was asking a lot but—”

Will cut off Riley’s statement. “I meant it when I said I wanted us to be friends. You’re happy with Carter and I’m happy for you. Honestly, it’s been great hanging out with you guys and your friends.”

“I’m relieved to hear it,” Riley said with a smile. He leaned in, then hesitated and Will closed the distance to hug him.

“Have a good night, Riley.”

“Night, Will.”

Riley disappeared back through the door of Lock & Key and Will sighed. Hugging Riley left him with a bittersweet feeling, but he was glad he’d come to check out the speakeasy. And he’d meant it when he said he’d try to come back on Thursday evenings in the future. He’d needed some time to lick his wounds and recover, but his self-imposed isolation only made his loneliness worse.

He glanced up and down the street. There wasn’t a cab in sight so he pulled out his phone and brought up the Lyft app. He leaned against the wall of the brick building while he waited and a few minutes later a car slid to a stop in front of him.

Will made small-talk with the driver as the car traveled from Morningside Heights back to Tribeca. When they got caught in a traffic snarl near Central Park West because of a protest, Will took out his phone to kill the time. He was scrolling through articles on a news app when his phone vibrated in his hand.

Mom flashed across the screen and he hesitated before he accepted the call.

“Hey, Mom,” he answered.

“Will.” Agnes Martin’s voice sounded strained, with none of the usual groomed sophistication it typically held.

He straightened. “Is something wrong?”

“Will, your father…” Her breath hitched. “I have some news. Your father has been ill lately.”

Serves the old bastard right, Will thought grimly. “Ill?” he said aloud.

“Tired, losing weight, stomach pain. At first, we blamed his stress. He’s been working so hard lately—”

Yeah, probably passing more anti-LGBT legislation, Will thought.

“But when we noticed some yellowing of his eyes, we got concerned. We were hopeful it was a gallbladder issue, but after some testing, we were referred to an oncologist.”

His breath caught. OncologistShit. “He has cancer?”

“Yes. He has something called a—a non-functioning neuroendocrine tumor. Pancreatic cancer. It’s quite large and the doctors are concerned it’s spread to some nearby lymph nodes. It’s stage III and the—the prognosis isn’t good.”

Will took a moment to let the words sink in, but didn’t feel much of anything about the news. A wave of guilt washed over him. “I’m sorry, Mom,” he said gently. She loved his father and while Will had many, many issues with William Martin Sr. as a father and an elected official, he had always treated Will’s mother well. There had never been a hint of infidelity and after Agnes had suffered a serious car accident years ago, Bill hadn’t left her side until she’d recovered. “I know how hard this must be for you.”

His mother sniffled. “I can’t lose him. I know you and your father have your…differences but—”

“We don’t have differences,” he retorted. Any goodwill he’d felt dissipated. “He detests me. He thinks I am less deserving of the same basic human rights he affords everyone else. That’s more than an ideological difference, Mom, that’s a complete lack of respect for me as a human being.”

“Come to Garden City,” she blurted out and the words rang in his ear for several seconds before he could process them.

“What? You must be kidding,” he said. “You can’t think I’d come to Long Island to sit by his deathbed and hold his hand.” He winced. His cruel words served only to remind Agnes her husband was probably dying. “I’m sorry, Mom, but I can’t do it. I can’t pretend like everything is fine between us. We haven’t spoken in over ten years and it’s not only because I’m pissed at him. He’s the one who cut me out of his life, remember?”

“He wants you here,” she said softly. Agnes had used the same tone during Will’s years growing when she tried to get him to do something he didn’t want to do.

Will sat back in his seat. “Really?”

“I asked him if you could come home and he said yes.”

Well, that was more plausible than Will’s father specifically asking for him to come home. He sighed. “I-I don’t know. I suppose I could come for a long weekend or something. School’s out and I could work on my edits while I’m there.”

Agnes went silent for a moment. “I hoped you’d stay longer. Your father is undergoing surgery next week, but it’ll be exhausting for all of us. If the surgery doesn’t work, we may only have a few months left with him.” Her voice broke.

“You want me to spend the entire summer in Long Island?” he asked, incredulous.

“Please, Will. If you won’t come for your father, come home for Olivia and me. Your sister and I need you. We can’t do this alone.”

Will glanced out of the window, surprised the bright lights of the city were blurred by tears. He wasn’t sure who they were for.

“I’ll think about it, Mom.”

 

BOOK 2

Book Title: Extra Dirty (The Speakeasy Book 2)

Author: K. Evan Coles and Brigham Vaughn

Publisher: Pride Publishing/Totally Entwined Group

Genre/s: Contemporary, Romance, Gay, GLBTQI

Heat Level: 4 flames

Length: 88 944 words/ 345 pages

Release Date: March 26, 2019

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Tagline

Love, served extra dirty.

Blurb

Jesse Murtagh loves his life as a wealthy bisexual businessman dedicated to the pursuit of pleasure. With a circle of friends he trusts implicitly, he enjoys a successful career in his family’s business and as co-owner of Under, an uptown speakeasy, with his friend with benefits, Kyle McKee.

Music teacher and part-time DJ Cameron Lewis lives modestly in a DUMBO loft and isn’t interested in serious relationships. However, he’s always up for some casual fun.

Doing a favor for his friend Carter Hamilton, Jesse meets Cam and is immediately charmed. When Jesse discovers Cam’s other life as a DJ, he is further intrigued. Viewing Cam as a challenge, Jesse pulls out all the stops, but his usual methods to avoid serious relationships fail. Though Cam has no intention of becoming attached, he begins to fall for Jesse, unaware that Jesse’s feelings are changing.

Afraid of heartbreak, Cam pulls away, leaving Jesse bewildered and hurt. They remain friends until a series of misunderstandings widens the rift to breaking point. When Cam steps in to help Jesse through a family crisis, they realize they care for each other more than they’ve been willing to admit. Jesse and Cam don’t want a traditional relationship, but can they build a future that makes them both happy?

 

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Google Play  |  24S  |  Angus Robertson  |   Mondadori 

 

Excerpt

April 2015

Jesse Murtagh set down the packet of financial statements he’d been reviewing and smiled. He was seated in the back office of Under, a speakeasy in Morningside Heights, and life was good.

With Under approaching its one-year anniversary, the bar’s earnings surpassed expectations each quarter. They boasted a full guest list every night, and Under appeared as a “must visit” on New York’s fashionable lifestyle blogs and guides. Business was booming. And its success meant everything to Jesse and his business partner, Kyle McKee.

In addition to being Under’s co-owner, Kyle also happened to be one of Jesse’s favorite people in the world and one of his favorite partners in bed. Jesse would bet he’d find Kyle out in the speakeasy right now, too, readying the place for opening.

Jesse got to his feet. He locked the papers in the desk, then exited the office and moved toward the long bar that ran the length of the room. Under had a masculine, sophisticated vibe. Sleek leather seating areas dotted the room and open shelves lined the walls, backlit with amber lamps that cast a warm glow over bottles of rare and high-end liquors. On a typical evening, house music throbbed through the air by now, but Jesse and Kyle were holding a private party tonight, and silence reigned, save the sounds of Kyle at work.

“Hey, gorgeous,” Jesse drawled. “When did you get here?”

Kyle glanced up at Jesse’s approach. He smiled and the quirk of his full lips sent a ripple of heat through Jesse’s body.

“About an hour ago.” He shrugged easily. Kyle had dressed in black, as he always did for work, and rolled his shirtsleeves up to the elbow. His muscled forearms flexed as he polished a rocks glass. “I saw Matt upstairs when I came in. He told me you were here, but I figured you’d be busy counting the money. Thought I’d leave you to it.”

Jesse rounded the bar with a laugh. “You know me too well.”

Opening the speakeasy had been a departure from his usual business of running a growing regional media conglomerate with his family. Jesse had never even worked in a bar or restaurant, let alone owned one. But Kyle had mentioned the idea of opening a bar one night over dinner and drinks, and the way his dark eyes had shone had captured Jesse’s fancy.

Jesse had mulled the idea over for several days, then brought it to his brother, Eric. He’d hoped Eric would talk him out of it and had thrown up his hands when Eric merely smiled.

’I’m not sure who you think you’re fooling, Jes,’ Eric had said. ‘I can already tell you’ve made up your mind to do it.’

And so, Jesse had found himself working with his accountants and his lawyer to create a business proposal. Within two weeks of that fateful dinner, he’d presented it to Kyle. They’d celebrated by screwing each other senseless, then started scouting for a location the very next day.

Jesse stepped up behind Kyle now and molded himself against his body. He wound his arms around Kyle’s waist, careful to avoid the glass in his hands.

In many ways, Kyle appeared to be Jesse’s opposite. His elegant, clean-shaven features and dark hair contrasted with Jesse’s short beard and dark-blond, blue-eyed coloring. Jesse broadcasted his emotions, whereas Kyle was more reserved. Both men stood at six feet and were built long and lean, like runners. But where Jesse could be coltish in his movements, Kyle’s were deliberate and graceful. Kyle, Jesse liked to say, had found his Zen.

Jesse nuzzled the side of Kyle’s neck. “I take it last month’s numbers are good?” Kyle’s voice went low and throaty.

“Indeed.” Jesse pulled him closer. He angled his hips and pressed his groin against Kyle’s muscular ass, and his body paid immediate attention to that firm heat. “The numbers are so good, in fact, I think we should celebrate.” He pressed a lingering kiss to Kyle’s throat.

Kyle leaned back into him with a rumbling noise. He set the glass he’d been polishing on the bar. “What did you have in mind?”

“Next weekend off—Masen can handle things in your absence.”

“Well, he’ll like that.”

Kyle sounded amused. They’d hired Masen Jones earlier in the year to help out, and he’d quickly become Kyle’s right-hand man.

“A whole weekend, though… I don’t know, Jes.”

Jesse dropped one hand and palmed Kyle through his trousers, and, oh, yes, he was hard. Kyle let out a soft gasp.

“Friday and Saturday, then,” Jesse bargained. He closed his eyes, heat flashing under his skin as Kyle pushed back and ground against him. “We’ll go to that club in Chelsea you told me about.”

“Oh, fine.” Kyle turned in the circle of his arms. “I’ll bring Jarrod and Gale as backup,” he added, then looped his arms around Jesse’s neck. “They can walk me home after you find someone to disappear with.”

Jesse grinned. “You really do know me too well,” he murmured and covered Kyle’s mouth with his own.

The kiss deepened and Kyle groaned. Jesse palmed him again, his touch rough, and pressed Kyle backward hard into the bar. Kyle’s cock twitched under Jesse’s hand, and he broke away with a sharp inhale.

“Jesus.”

“Jesse will do.”

Jesse let Kyle go and leaned back enough to get his hands on Kyle’s belt. Desire pulsed through him. Quickly, he opened Kyle’s trousers and pushed the dark fabric down his legs. Kyle’s eyes were wild when Jesse looked up again and a flush stained his cheeks and neck. He uttered a soft moan as Jesse sank to his knees.

Jesse kissed Kyle’s thighs. He kneaded the soft, fair skin with his hands and dragged Kyle’s boxer briefs down. Kyle sighed as his cock slipped free of the underwear and jutted up onto his abdomen.

Jesse pressed his face into the juncture between Kyle’s thigh and groin and inhaled the smell of almond-scented soap and sweat and man. “Damn,” he said, his voice low. “You always smell so good.”

Kyle ran his hands over Jesse’s head, then twined his fingers into his short hair. That possessive touch sent a jolt of lust zigzagging down Jesse’s spine. He loved it when Kyle got rough.

Shifting, he held tight to Kyle’s hips and opened his mouth at the base of his cock. He slowly dragged his tongue along its length.

“Oh, God.” Kyle’s low whisper set a fire in Jesse’s belly.

He licked and teased the shaft before he ducked down and caught Kyle’s balls with his tongue. He lavished them with attention until Kyle moaned steadily, then looked up and locked eyes with him. The dazed bliss on his face made Jesse’s dick throb.

“Suck me,” Kyle rasped out.

Jesse pulled back. He braced one arm across Kyle’s abdomen and wrapped his free hand around his base. Very, very slowly, he slid his lips over Kyle, reveling in the bittersweet taste and weight of the hard, velvety flesh on his tongue.

He took Kyle deep and waited until his nose brushed the curls of hair on his groin before he swallowed. Kyle’s eyes went wide. Jesse pinned him against the bar, and he bucked his hips forward, a strangled noise tearing out of him.

Kyle tipped his head back as Jesse sucked. He closed his eyes and swore, and his ragged tone went straight to Jesse’s groin. Jesse dropped his free hand and palmed himself, past caring if he shot in his pants.

He worked Kyle hard with his mouth until a shudder racked his frame. Jesse moved the arm pinning Kyle’s hips, which left him free to fuck Jesse’s mouth. Kyle opened his eyes again and stared at Jesse, his gaze filled with fire. He started to thrust and desire rattled down Jesse’s spine. He groaned with need and closed his eyes when Kyle gasped.

“Gonna come, Jes,” Kyle said, his voice rough and desperate. He tensed at Jesse’s moan. Then Jesse pressed the fingers of his free hand into the soft skin behind Kyle’s balls, and Kyle fell apart with a cry.

He tightened his grip on Jesse’s hair and his knees buckled. Jesse used his shoulder to hold Kyle up. His balls tightened as Kyle pulsed in his mouth, and he swallowed, tasting bitter and salt.

Kyle’s panting breaths echoed through the silent bar. Jesse pulled off, his head swimming, and Kyle freed his shaking hands from Jesse’s hair. He bent and hauled Jesse to his feet, and Jesse stumbled and clutched at Kyle.

“You okay?” Kyle asked with a smile.

“Dizzy. And I wanna fuck you right now,” Jesse muttered. Jesus, he needed to come. He pulled Kyle in for a messy kiss and ground his erection against Kyle’s thigh until Kyle broke away with a breathless laugh.

“I think we’ve violated enough health codes for now,” Kyle said. “Besides, we don’t have any lube or rubbers.”

“There’s some in the office.”

“We used them up last weekend.”

Jesse whined and rutted harder into Kyle. “Fuck.”

“I said no,” Kyle scolded, his tone playful and his brown eyes gleaming. He pulled his trousers up. No sooner were they buttoned than he sank to his knees and reached for Jesse’s belt. “Lucky for you, there’s time for me to suck you off and clean up.”

Kyle worked Jesse’s fly open and leaned in. He spread his palms over Jesse’s thighs and mouthed him through his boxer briefs. Goosebumps rose along Jesse’s arms at the press of damp heat and cotton against his erection. Leaning forward, he braced his hands against the gleaming bar, arrested by the sight of his friend. Kyle shut his eyes and nuzzled Jesse through his clothes. His long, dark lashes fanned over his fair skin, and his lips were parted and wet. He looked unbelievably erotic.

Jesse cupped his jaw. “Mmm, baby.”

Kyle opened his eyes. He hooked his fingertips under the waistband of Jesse’s boxer briefs, then pulled his trousers and briefs down. Jesse hissed. He bit his lip hard when his cock sprang free, and Kyle swallowed him down.

Jesse’s world exploded in a roar of pleasure that wiped his mind clean.

Life was very good indeed.

 

About the Authors

K. Evan Coles

 

K. Evan Coles is a mother and tech pirate by day and a writer by night. She is a dreamer who, with a little hard work and a lot of good coffee, coaxes words out of her head and onto paper.

K. lives in the northeast United States, where she complains bitterly about the winters, but truly loves the region and its diverse, tenacious and deceptively compassionate people. You’ll usually find K. nerding out over books, movies and television with friends and family. She’s especially proud to be raising her son as part of a new generation of unabashed geeks.

K.’s books explore LGBTQ+ romance in contemporary settings.

 

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Brigham Vaughn

 

Brigham Vaughn is on the adventure of a lifetime as a full-time writer. 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. They explore gay, bisexual, lesbian, and polyamorous romance in contemporary settings.

Want to stay up to date and be notified of Brigham Vaughn’s latest releases? Sign up for the Coles & Vaughn Newsletter here.

 

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Series Review Tour and New Release – First Strike: Dragon War Chronicles Book 3 by A.G. Carothers

SERIES REVIEW TOUR

This series is about dragons who want nothing more than to live in peace, but refuse to be subjugated. In war there’s also love, and love is blind. Love doesn’t care about gender, race, species (in this case), or sexuality.

 

BOOK 1 of 3

Book Title: SYN Consulting: Dragon War Chronicles Book One

Author: A.G. Carothers

Publisher: A.G. Carothers

Cover Artist: Angsty G

Genre/s: LGBT Urban Fantasy

Heat Rating: 4 flames  

Length:  69 000 words/ 263 pages

Release Date: August 17, 2018

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Blurb

Continue to hide or help save the very kin she’s hidden from?

Welcome to SYN Consulting, the top business strategy consulting firm in Europe, home to a motley crew whose leader has a life changing secret. CEO, Danica Lestrange, is the first female dragon born in the last 800 years. Hidden from the rest of her kin and raised in the human world, she built a life that she would defend until her death.

A devious plan is unearthed while working on a new business deal that could plunge the dragons into another war with the humans. The humans may have forgotten the last dragon-human war, but the dragons have not. Will the war reveal this hidden world to the humans, or will the clans come together to defeat their enemies and maintain their anonymity?

Danica must gather her allies and help the very dragons she’s hidden from her whole life. She can only hope that she’ll be strong enough to protect her chosen family.

This is the first book in a new series about dragons who want nothing more than to live in peace, but refuse to be subjugated. In war there’s also love, and love is blind. Love doesn’t care about gender, race, species (in this case), or sexuality.

Warning: This book contains explicit sexual content between consenting adults. The sexual scenes are MM, MF, and MMF. There are romantic relationships depicted that are MM. There is also a high level of explicit language, snark, kink, and possibly bad puns and fart jokes.

This book does end in a cliffhanger. Secrets Revealed: Dragon War Chronicles Book Two is Available Now!

 

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Excerpt

Matthew finished the last bit of his sandwich as he stood up going over to a wall of glass that overlaid the actual wall. The glass was one large computer interface, much like most of the glass in the building from the table they were eating on to elevator walls, to all the glass panel monitors of various sizes. Matt tapped on the panel bringing up several windows and enlarging them so that everyone could see. He pulled a photo of Kollin Olsen and moved it to the center.

He reached back, grabbing his bottle of water. Swallowing a mouthful, he cleared his throat and started his report. “I finished my preliminary research into KleanTech and Global Gas. You’ll never believe who Kollin Olsen is.” Danica was completely occupied with a large mouthful of her sandwich and gestured for him to continue. “He’s the next alpha to the Norwegian Dragon Clan, son of none other than Hafthór Ormsson, making him Jǫkull Ormsson, The Glacier himself.”

“Fuck!” Danica thought, looking over at Xander, who could hear her thought clearly.

“Fuck is right,” he answered out loud.

Danica took another bite of her sandwich and looked around the table at the family she had created, mulling over that bombshell. Matt, thankfully, let her take her time and waited silently while she came to terms with that disturbing news.

These SLIPs who stood by her, supported her, and loved her were, for the lack of a better word, her pack as motley as they were. They were hers to protect as much as they protected her. She thought about that as she continued to eat. Xander placed a hand on her thigh and squeezed it reassuringly. If she took this job, she risked exposure of what she was. With that, she risked not just her life, but all of their lives.

 

BOOK 2 of 3

Book Title: Secrets Revealed: Dragon War Chronicles Book Two

Author: A.G. Carothers

Publisher: A.G. Carothers

Cover Artist: Angsty G

Genre/s: LGBT Fantasy

Length:   53 000 words/194 pages

Release Date: November 2, 2018

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Blurb

Last time on Dragon War Chronicles, we left our heroes fighting for their lives in the midst of battle…

Kollin races against time to get samples of the weapon used in Canada to their lab in Oslo. Kenshin races to get Danica back home in time to save her, Aiden and Xander. Danica’s allies start to converge in Toulouse in aide and help to prepare for what may come. 

Will Kollin be able to help save Danica, Aiden, and Xander before all is lost? Will Matt be able to track down who’s responsible for a new weapon that threatens them all? What will happen when Danica’s biggest secret is revealed?

Secrets are revealed that will change the future for all dragon and SLIP kind alike. 

Warning: This book contains explicit sexual situations that are MM, MF, and MMMF. There are romantic relationships displayed that are MM and some depictions of loving and consensual BDSM relationships. There are also bad puns, a game of tag with an invisible dragon, and lions, jaguars, and bears. Oh my!

 

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Excerpt

Kenshin relaxed back against the hull of the plane again after ending the call with Kollin.This time yesterday everything was fine. How did things get this fucked up, this quickly? Kenshin closed his eyes, and exhaustion started to seep in. The noise of the cargo plane dimmed inhis mind with each breath he took.

“I remember when I first met her.” JP’s voice cut through his attempt at meditation and Kenshin’s eyes flew open. JP continued, “She looked no older than fifteen. I thought for sure she was using a fake passport to get into La Trésor. She wouldn’t stand down though. She looked up at me, and even though she had an American passport, she spoke in fluent French, which I didn’t expect. But I also didn’t expect her to stand her ground when I tried to get her to move and go home.”

Kenshin was tempted to stop him from telling his story, to shout out that he’s being stupid for talking like that. Telling stories like that is something you do when you’re talking of the dead and DAMN IT! She wasn’t dead yet.

“Cool as a cucumber she looked me in the eye and demanded to speak to the owner. Even the threat of the Gendarmerie didn’t sway her, and she didn’t try to bribe her way in like most would have. That right there was why I finally made the call up to Olivier. And you know what she did when she finally came face to face with him?”

Kenshin turned his head towards JP. The packmates closest to them were all looking at JP completely enraptured by his tale. Kenshin didn’t know what happened, so he was curious.

JP smiled and gave a little laugh at the memory. “She didn’t do what you’d expect someone to do. She didn’t yell or demand he fire me. No, not Dani. She said, and I’ll never forget this. She said, Whatever you’re paying him, double it and put him in charge. She went on to tell him how the other bouncers didn’t look twice at her because they were too busy looking at her tits. She said it just like that too. She didn’t back down then to get what she wanted, and she’s not going to do that now. She’s strong, our Dani. She’s never backed down from a challenge, and she won’t back down from this. We have to have faith because we all know she’d have it in us.”

Claps and cheers went up around Kenshin, and he smiled probably for the first time that morning. JP was right, and Kenshin needed to keep in mind how strong she really was. Listening to him made Kenshin think about his own first time with her. He knew when he saw this arrogant kid stride into his father’s office in Kyoto, dressed the way she normally does that he just might have a way out from under his father. That he could finally be free for the first time in over two-hundred years. And make no mistake at a fraction of his age, she was a kid, and he had just spent the last sixty years helping his father build Nakamura Industries. But there was something about her, and her business proposal to his father was solid, a little crazy, but solid.

The plane quieted down as everyone settled in for the long flight home. Faith. He had faith in her all those years ago and he’d not waiver now. JP was right. Strength, determination, stubbornness. These were the things that made up their dragon. They were the things that would see her to the other side of this in one piece. Kenshin closed his eyes again and sleep finally took him now that his mind was settled.

 

BOOK 3 of 3 – NEW RELEASE

Book Title: First Strike: Dragon War Chronicles Book 3

Author: A.G. Carothers

Publisher: A.G. Carothers

Cover Artist: Angsty G

Genre/s: LGBT Fantasy

Length:  approx. 58 000 words/230 pages

Release Date: March 8, 2019

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Blurb

Previously on Dragon War Chronicles, our heroes recovered and were preparing to take the fight to a still unknown enemy. Meanwhile, startling breeding experiments were revealed.

Three sites are discovered in Russia that could hold all the answers they’ve been looking for. Three strike teams are assembled led by Xander, Kollin, and Tyler. Three simultaneous attacks are combined to make one devastating first strike against their hidden enemies.

What horrors will they discover? What plans will be revealed? Why is a member of the Dragon Council showing up on Danica’s doorstep with ultimatums?

Find out in the next exciting installment of Dragon War Chronicles.

Warning: This book contains explicit sexual contact between consenting adults. There are romantic, BDSM, and purely sexual relations shown that are MM and MF. There is also high sexual tension and alpha male posturing that will make you laugh and roll your eyes along with plenty of snark and definite teasing of dwarf-like dragons.

 

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Excerpt

Aiden and Lukas were able to leave Danica’s flat right after dinner. She told everyone to go and have fun before she curled up on her couch with Bastien to watch movies. Aiden led Lukas out the office door and down to the river. He’d never been out with his Master like this, and all he wanted was to take a walk holding hands. So, they did.

As they came closer to the bridge, Aiden stopped. He pointed to some bushes that were growing against the wall. “This is where I found Bastien. He was such a small pup. His fur was matted, and he was so skinny. I knew right away he was one of us.” Lukas squeezed his hand gently. “It took me forever to coax him out and let me touch him. He was so scared. You know we still don’t know what happened to his pack or where he came from? He says he doesn’t remember, but we think he just really doesn’t want to talk about it.”

Lukas listened to Aiden ramble patiently as always. “You’ve raised him well, Aiden. He’s a fine young praeses. He’s smart and has learned a lot from everyone around him.” Lukas pulled him close and wrapped an arm around his waist.

Aiden wrapped his arms around Lukas’ neck. He was only slightly taller than Aiden, and he was slimmer, but they fit together perfectly. “That first year with Bastien was the hardest. He had nightmares almost every night. Danica would sit with him and read him stories until he fell back asleep. He’d curl up on her lap refusing to shift out of his wolf form.”

“I remember when you brought him for the first time to the pack lands for a run. That was the first time I really saw you. You were so patient with him. We only had a few pups around his age at the time, and he didn’t want to go near them, but you finally got him to play with them. That was the first time I saw you as a wolf too, and you stole my breath away.” Aiden blushed at Lukas’ praise. Lukas leaned down and nipped at Aiden’s ear. “I wanted you so much starting that day. You know you’ve been my pup for almost ten years now?”

Lukas’ deep, low voice sent shivers down Aiden’s spine as he nodded. “Yes, Master.”

“I have many plans for us, now that we don’t have to hide anymore.” One of Lukas’ hands traveled lower and cupped Aiden’s ass. Aiden whimpered softly.

 

About the Author

 

A.G. Carothers is actually a dragon very cleverly disguised as a human. They are a non-binary author of LGBTQIA Romance and Urban Fantasy, who enjoys writing original and entertaining stories. They are very excited to share the worlds they’ve created with you.


A.G. currently lives in Tennessee with their platonic life partner, who is not a dragon. They yearn to live back in Europe and will some day. In their spare time they are addicted to losing themselves in the lovely worlds created by other authors

A.G. is committed to writing the stories they see in their head without restrictions. Love is blind and doesn’t see gender, race, or sexuality.

 

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Pros and Cons Series Review Tour – A.E. Wasp #KindleUnlimted

SERIES REVIEW TOUR

Five Men. Five Chances for Redemption. One thing’s for sure, these guys are no angels

 

BOOK 1

Book Title: Pros & Cons of Vengeance

Author: A.E. Wasp

Publisher: Self-published

Cover Artist: Angsty G

Genre/s: MM Romantic Suspense

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: approx 83,000 words/ 331 pages

Release Date: January 18, 2019

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It is a standalone story

 

Blurb

There’s nothing like being blackmailed by a dead man to really bring a group of cons together. And what a group we are: a hacker, a thief, a con artist, a thug, and a Federal agent with an axe to grind. The deal is simple, we do the jobs and Charlie’s lawyer wipes the slate clean for each of us, one at a time.

Since job number one calls for some muscle, it looks like I’m up first. I’m Steele Alvarez, ex-Special Forces Close Protection Specialist (aka, a bodyguard for some not so nice guys).

After learning what the job is — taking down a seemingly untouchable senator with a penchant for beating up young male prostitutes — I’m in. No questions. A bullet ought to do the trick.

Then I met Senator Harlan’s latest victim: Breck Pfeiffer, the gorgeous hooker with a heart of gold and the soul of a fighter.  One look at him and I’m gone. That kid laid me out harder than any punch ever did. I’ll do anything to protect Breck, even kill for him. But Breck doesn’t want the senator dead, he wants vengeance.

If we’re going to find a way bring down the slimebag and get the blackest mark on my record erased, I’m going to need all the help I can get.

Like it or not, we’re all in this together.

 

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Excerpt

Thank Christ someone had been bright enough to leave the air conditioning on in Charlie’s mansion. Dead men paid no electric bills, I guess. Fucking Florida. I’d been gone too long and had somehow forgotten how truly miserable the humidity could be. Sure, it could hit a hundred and fifteen outside of Baghdad, but it was dry heat.

I thought about taking off my suit, or at least my tie, but until I knew what the hell was going on here, I wasn’t going to let my guard down.

Besides, I looked good in a suit.

“Nice house, huh?” Wesley said from my behind me, as I was busy assessing the layout of the house and cataloging any possible pinch points. Like I said, I didn’t know what I was doing here, and I wasn’t taking any chances.

“I’ve seen bigger.” In my most recent incarnation as close protection specialist and hired muscle to some very rich and very bad men, I’d been in mansions that made this place look like a pool house. Not that this place sucked. Not at all. The cabin I’d grown up in could have fit in the foyer with room left over.

We followed Ms. Miranda Bosley, Charlie’s attorney, single-file down the tiled hallway of the big house like a line of ducklings. Wesley was the only guy I knew and consequently the only one in the group I trusted enough to walk behind me. Even Ms. Bosley looked like she wouldn’t hesitate to stab me in the kidney if she felt she needed to.

Seeing Wes at the funeral had been a surprise. A quick, stilted conversation had revealed that he was here for the same reason I was – we were both being blackmailed by Charlie.

I couldn’t imagine what Charlie had on the kid. I’d only worked with Wes twice before, but he was more a gray hat than a black hat hacker; the kind of person who didn’t mind doing the wrong things for the right reasons. A cross between MacGyver and Anonymous, the kid had probably been on an FBI watch list since he was twelve.

Wesley had triggered my protective instincts from our first meeting, but he’d never really needed much help beyond muscle. Sure he could take of himself with that jujitsu or whatever, but sometimes some people just needed their faces punched, and I was more than happy to do that for him. It was satisfying.

Now Angel-Face, as I’d taken to calling the gorgeous blond kid who’d been sitting a few rows ahead of me at the graveside ceremony, he triggered other instincts in me. Made me think things I probably shouldn’t be thinking at a funeral. But then again, Angel-Face hadn’t seemed exactly consumed with grief either. I hadn’t been completely surprised to see him following Miranda after the funeral along with Wes and me. Very interesting. What had that choir boy done to be in such bad company at such a young age?

 

 

BOOK 2

Book Title: Pros & Cons of Deception

Author: A. E. Wasp

Publisher: Self-published

Cover Artist: Angsty G

Genre/s:  MM Romantic Suspense

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length:   80,000 words/ 300 pages

Release Date: March 1, 2019

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Blurb

There’s nothing like being blackmailed by a dead man to really bring a group of cons together. And what a group we are: a hacker, a thief, a con artist, a thug, and a Federal agent with an axe to grind. The deal is simple, we do the jobs and Charlie’s lawyer wipes the slate clean for each of us, one at a time.

I’m Bond. Wesley Bond. (I can’t resist saying it that way. Blame my dad, if you can find him.) You could call me a hacker. I redistribute wealth – moving it from rich slimebags to poorer but infinitely more deserving people – and make a tidy profit as I do.  My mission, should I choose to accept it, is to bring down some modern-day slave traders.

I definitely choose to accept it.

With the life of the one person in this world I love on the line, I can’t afford any screw ups or distractions. Unfortunately, my biggest distraction is also my biggest asset – Danny Monroe.  Danny is a leftover complication from our first job; a victim of the vicious senator we’d gotten locked up. He’s a smart, funny, gorgeous, ex-prostitute, who can’t seem to keep his clothes on. I can’t seem to keep my mouth shut around him. But I need a fake boyfriend, and Danny is the only option.

Fooling the world into thinking we’re in love will be easy; fooling myself that I’m not might be impossible.


Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

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Excerpt

“Hey, can anyone explain why my shirt drawer is empty?” Ridge Pfeiffer demanded, appearing on the patio where the rest of our little band had congregated. Our resident retrievals expert (read: thief) was naked from the waist up and scowling beneath his blue eyes and blond curls like the world’s most overgrown, pissed-off Botticelli angel.

I pulled down my sunglasses to look at him, then slid them back up so I could focus on my phone screen. Right now, I was engaged in a long-term bout of spear phishing at Campbell Enterprises, and I was about to close the deal. This was way more interesting than anything Ridge was likely to share.

Janie, I typed, I’m on a plane with Dal Anderson and he wants a four-paragraph summary of Thursday’s press release so we can prepare talking points for the investors!! Can’t access the secure server from here and I’m fah-reaking OUT!! Send me something? – Becks

There. That ought to do it.

Becks, aka Rebecca Frankel, Junior Executive Assistant to the VP of Human Resources at Campbell, according to her LinkedIn profile, was adorably naïve and helpful. For example, when a friendly IT man had called the other day and asked for her credentials to verify a “suspicious login” from her site, she’d provided all the necessary info. Hell, if I’d asked for her astrological sign and social security number, she’d probably have given me that too.

Once I’d accessed her email, I’d had the keys to the castle. It had been easy to copy her writing style – hyper-friendly, with way too many exclamation points for a person over the age of thirteen – to learn that she was going on a business trip with her boss this week, and to find that she was smoke-break buddies with Jane DeVoor, Assistant to the CFO. As soon as Jane emailed back a summary of Thursday’s press release to help her pal out, I’d make a few quick investment decisions like I’d somehow learned to predict the future.

Hint: Ditch your psychic friends and go phishing instead.

“Um, would we say the drawer is really empty, though?” Breck, Ridge’s identical twin, asked from the lounge chair where he was stretched out in the sun practically on top of his boyfriend, Steele Alvarez.

“Close enough. The only things left are a pink tank top that says I Would Bottom You So Hard and this Pittsburgh Steelers t-shirt.” Ridge held it up. “Neither of them is mine, and frankly I don’t feel comfortable wearing either.”

 

 

About the Author

A dreamer and an idealist, Amy writes about people finding love, family, and magic in the everyday world. From professional hockey players to professional thieves, her boys work hard, play hard, and love harder. She invites readers into her characters’ lives and worlds when they are their most vulnerable, their most human, and living with the same hopes and fears we all have.

Born on Long Island, NY, Amy has lived in Los Angeles, London, and Bangkok. She currently lives in a town suspiciously like Red Deer, Colorado.

 

Author Links

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Giveaway

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SERIES REVIEW TOUR SCHEDULE

 

 

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Series Review Tour and New Release – Enrai (Blood Sealed Book 2) by Jet Lupin

SERIES REVIEW TOUR

BOOK 1

Book Title: Nasu (Blood Sealed Book 1)

Author: Jet Lupin

Publisher: Self-Published

Genre/s: M/M Paranormal Romance

Length: 83 000 words/ 156 pages

Release Date: November 25, 2017

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This story can technically be read alone, though there are unsolved things that are further explored in the next book

 

Blurb

Go to work. Come home. Repeat. Phil’s life is boring and he loves every second of it. No excitement, no boyfriends breaking up with him over cereal in his underwear. When everything’s predictable, nothing bad happens. But nothing good does, either.

One night, when his best friend forces him to step outside of his comfort zone, he meets Shige who’s too enigmatic to really be interested in him. He’s trouble, but Phil can’t help ignoring his own advice.

Decades have gone by while Shige’s kept himself locked away. He’s tired of the world, of humans and vampires. He was happy collecting dust until one day he wasn’t. On a whim, he ventures out and meets Phil, setting them on a path that’ll change them both.

Whatever this is between them, it won’t come easy. Plagued by distrust and danger from within and without, but if they survive, it just might be worth it

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

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Excerpt

From Chapter 1

Phil Torres sat in Mercer General’s basement level breakroom for the first time that shift. With a sports drink in one hand and a protein bar in the other, he worked to cram both things into his mouth. He couldn’t remember what he’d eaten last or when. Even so, he had no appetite. Other nurses came and went through the breakroom offering looks of sympathy and pity. He was on the ass end of a 16-hour shift no sane person would envy.

It had been a trial of will. He’d seen some terrible things in the three years he’d been a fully licensed nurse but during this one shift, he’d beheld some of the worst things he’d ever seen, things that would haunt his dreams and hang on during his waking hours. A savage gunshot wound, a leg so badly broken the bone slashed through the skin, a pair of asthma attacks that left the patients blue in the face, gasping, and a stomach bug so virulent, puke covered the floors of two of their closet sized exam rooms. The cleaning staff was going to love this evening’s cleaning detail, but it was just another night at Mercer General.

“What’re you still doing here?” Yolanda came into the breakroom, looking every bit as tired as Phil felt. Her sneakers, damp from the storm she’d weathered out on the floor squelched with every step as she made her way to the lockers. “Didn’t your vacation start an hour ago?”

Phil took a swallow of sports drink to help keep his meager meal down. “Jackie was running late, so I filled in for her, then Shelly needed help tapping a vein… I got trapped.”

Yolanda rolled her eyes as she shut the door to her locker. “More like you let yourself get­ trapped.”

She was right, of course.

During his time here, the older nurse had taken him under her wing, brought him into the fold. They’d become as close as cousins. It helped Phil feel at home out here on the West Coast where he had no family and few friends, but as a side effect, lying to her was now next to impossible.

Yolanda perched on the plastic chair next him. She bumped him with her shoulder. “I’ll never understand why you always drag your feet when it comes time to get out of here. You’ve got an OK place—by yourself—in a decent neighborhood. You know how many people would kill for that set up­? What’s the issue?”

Yolanda couldn’t understand it. She had a home waiting for her. A husband and kids who kept her busy. She might not admit it but they filled her life with joy. All Phil had waiting in at home was a dog bent on systematically destroying anything he could get his mouth on.

“I like keeping busy,” he said. “It’s not a crime.”

“Neither is taking time off once in a while.” Yolanda quickly wiped her sneakers down with a paper towel and threw it into the trash. “Since you got here, you’ve never taken more than three days off at a time. You need this break. You’re gonna burn out if you don’t take it easy.”

There was truth to Yolanda’s words, but to hear her tell it, Phil was a workaholic, little more than a care dispensing robot. He knew how to relax. He just didn’t enjoy it.

Work kept him too busy to worry about the lacking areas of his life. He liked helping people and Mercer’s shortage of staff guaranteed any offers to come in on his days off were never turned down. Without work, as rough as it could be on a good day, he’d be left alone. He didn’t know what to do with alone.

“Why can’t it be a week? Or two! I’d gladly do that much!”

Yolanda clucked her tongue in disgust. “I wish they’d let your ungrateful ass give me the two months since you so obviously don’t want it. I don’t see how you let it rack up.”

“Same,” Phil said. “Same.”

Yolanda stood, ready to go back out onto the floor, but she stopped in the doorway. She rested a small hand on Phil’s shoulder. “Your body remembers how to relax, even if you don’t. But you’ve got to get out of here first.”

Read more herehttps://jetlupin.me/nasu-excerpt/

 

BOOK 2

Book Title: Enrai (Blood Sealed Book 2)

Author: Jet Lupin

Publisher:  Self-Published

Genre/s: M/M Paranormal Romance

Length:  54 000 words/ 111 pages

Release Date: February 8, 2019

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Is it a standalone story? No

 

Blurb

Phil has a problem.

It’s not his job or the fact that his maybe boyfriend, Shige, is a vampire. He’s a sensitive– an ability he’s had since he was small that lets him peek into people’s minds— and it’s gotten out of control. He can’t turn it on and off like he used to. He needs help, and he has to fly to the other side of the world to get it. The catch? Shige’s the only one who can take him there, but things with him haven’t been great. Their relationship is in tatters, and he doesn’t know how to fix it or if it’s even up to him. This is so not what he needs right now.

But Phil’s not the only one with issues. Shige’s got a territory to maintain and a mystery to solve all while worrying about Phil. He takes all this in stride, but when things take a turn for the worst, can he get them both home in one piece?

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

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Excerpt

From Chapter 1

PHIL

“Earth to Phil!”

Phil blinked at the sudden snap inches from his nose. He shook himself as the world rushed up to meet him. He’d been adrift in a sea of consciousness surrounding them. There were 30 other people in this restaurant, and at any given time, Phil heard the thoughts of the closest 15 or so, everything from the mundane to the raunchy. None of it was his business, but his instinct was to latch onto every granule of information as he noticed it. Giving in was very easy and very satisfying.

Sorry. I’m here.” But he hadn’t been. Thoughts continued to float in and out of his mind, not all of them his own. Today was particularly bad. It kept getting harder to focus on the things he needed to live his life.

Before, he needed to concentrate to hear other people’s minds, like eavesdropping. Now it was like everyone spontaneously broke into fits of reciting their inner monologues. There was no way to tell when it would start, but nine times out of ten, it was when he needed all his mental faculties.

He’d taken more breaks at work than what his job owed him, just to get away from the noise. People had started to notice. He’d been lucky enough not to hurt anyone yet, but it was only a matter of time.

“You sure?” Jerome said with no small amount of skepticism threading through his words. “You’re a little spacey.”

“I got distracted by a work thing, but I heard every word.”

Jerome cut his eyes at him. “What’s the last thing I said?” He smirked.

“You asked how things are with Shige.”

Jerome sucked his teeth. “Lucky guess.”

The question from his brain reached Phil before Jerome put it into words. It got mixed in the deluge of their fellow diners’ minds, but he remembered because it concerned him directly and hadn’t been about the food. He focused on Jerome, and the feedback lowered to a dull hum, blending with the audible background noise of the restaurant.

“So you got an answer for me? Hurry up, while it’s just us.”

“We’re good. Why would I go on this trip with him if we weren’t getting along?”

The short answer was what Phil told him; things between him and Shige were fine. The truth, as always, was more complex. He didn’t know what they were or where they stood.

Read more here https://jetlupin.me/enrai-excerpt/

 

About the Author

Stories longing to have words put to them were in Jet’s heart from an early age. Jet enjoys exploring the connections and similarities between people whether they be shifters, vampires, or aliens, rendering the unknowable very knowable indeed.

Jet’s days are spent toiling away at a keyboard, slumped over a pen and paper hunting for those words, or playing around on twitter with a partner, and two rambunctious cats for company in the temperamental North Eastern US.

 

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Book Blast – Lyon Road Vets Complete Series Box Set by Sue Brown

BOX SET BOOK BLAST

Book Title: Lyon Road Vets (Complete Series) (Box Set)

Author: Sue Brown

Publisher: One Hat Press

Cover Artist: Meredith Russell

Genre/s: M/M Romance

Length:  123 403 words/576 print pages

Release Date: September 1, 2018

Overall Heat Rating for the series 🔥🔥🔥

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Box Set Blurb

Peter and Evan, Will and Lawrence, Jesse and Dan, friends and neighbours with one thing in common; the love of their dogs.

As Peter mourns the loss of Harry, Evan brings a lively puppy into their lives, who takes over their home and hearts. Will’s young beagle, Bob, hasn’t met a trainer he can’t break. Is Lawrence the exception? Dan walks away from Jesse after too many broken promises. Will Jesse’s puppy, Norman, manage to bring them back together?

 

Hairy Harry’s Car Seat #1

Peter Mitchell walked away with from his marriage with two things: a suitcase and Hairy Harry, the family pet.
When Harry becomes ill, Peter is faced with one of the hardest decisions he’s ever had to make… saying goodbye to his best friend.
Evan Wells is the locum vet who attends to Harry and Peter is surprised at how quickly they become friends. Peter finds himself looking forward to Evan’s nightly phone calls and the meals they share together. He knows Evan is gay but it doesn’t bother him until Evan confesses his attraction to him. Peter has to admit to himself that he’s not as adverse to the possibility as he thought he would be, and that does bother him.

Excerpt – Hairy Harry’s Car Seat

Just before eight o’clock, Evan walked in with two bags from the local Chinese takeaway.

Peter eyed them with amusement. “Two bags? How many people are we expecting?”

“Ha ha. I can take whatever is left over for dinner tomorrow as you’re not feeding me.”

“You could always cook for yourself,” Peter pointed out drily.

After two weeks Evan had a small stock of recipes to try at home.

“What would be the fun in that when there’s a perfectly good Chinese in the fridge? Is one of those for me?” Evan held his hand out for one of the beers Peter clutched to his chest.

“No, I’m going to drink both and leave you to go thirsty.”

“I’ll take your chilli beef,” Evan threatened.

“Mmmm, nice cold beer.”

Peter pretended to drink from one of the bottles, although the cap was still on. The next thing he knew he was pinned against the fridge, still holding the bottles above his head, and staring up into fierce charcoal-dark eyes.

“I—” Peter stopped, his mouth dry. Evan’s body pressed into every inch of him.

“I want my beer,” Evan growled.

Every nerve in Peter was tingling. He couldn’t help his reaction to feel of Evan forcing him against the fridge door. And the growl. Jesus. The growl washot. Peter’s heart pounded, knowing he was hard, and he felt an answering hardness against his belly. He wanted to push against Evan’s arousal, to relieve the ache.

“Take me… one,” Peter said.

Evan stepped away from him so quickly Peter almost dropped the beer bottles. “I… Fuck, I’m sorry, Pete.”

Peter thrust a bottle at him. “Here.”

Evan fumbled with the bottle opener, the lid flicking onto the floor. Peter watched as he virtually downed the contents in one go.

“Better?” At some point Peter was going to be able to manage more than one word sentences.

“Yeah.” Evan wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “No. I’m really sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you.”

“You didn’t,” Peter said automatically.

“No?”

“No. Well, more shocked. I’m not used to being manhandled.”

“You’re more used to doing the manhandling?”

“Not really,” Peter said sadly.

Evan nodded. “I understand.”

He probably didn’t but that was okay. Peter wasn’t sure he understood himself. All he knew was that Evan’s manoeuvre had left him breathless, and he wasn’t sure why.

 

Bob, the Destroyer of Leads #2

Bob, a beagle with a very bad attitude. He eats through every lead purchased by his despairing owner, Will Duffy. One moment he is walking to heel, the next he is a free dog, triumphantly tearing down the road with Will chasing after him.

It’s a great game for Bob until the day he breaks through lead number ten and is hit by Lawrence Taylor’s car as he runs across the road, leaving Bob unconscious and his back leg broken. Will has to ask Lawrence for a lift to the vets, and endure the man’s scolding all the way there. Even worse, Will discovers Lawrence is a dog trainer!

Bob ends up in a cast and is forced to wear the cone of shame. Of course, Lawrence thinks all Bob and Will need are dog training classes, except Bob hasn’t met a trainer yet he couldn’t break. Is Lawrence man enough for the job?

Excerpt – Bob, the Destroyer of Leads

“Will, wait up.”

Will looked over his shoulder to see Lawrence jogging towards him. “Hi, what are you doing here?”

“Waiting for you, obviously. I thought you got out at five.”

Will bridled at Lawrence’s snappish tone. “I don’t see what it’s got to do with you when I leave work.”

Lawrence took a deep breath. “I’m sorry I snapped. When you didn’t come out I was worried I’d missed you.”

Knowing that it was partly his fault for being rude, Will nodded. “Text me next time and I’ll leave earlier.”

“Sure, come on.” Lawrence led the way back to his car. “I finished my client early and thought you’d appreciate the lift.”

“I thought you ran dog training classes,” Will said as he strapped on his seat belt.

“I do, but I take on private clients too. Some dogs don’t react well in a group situation.”

“Do you make a good living from training dogs?”

Lawrence nodded. “Good enough. I don’t need a lot to get by.”

“And you want to train Bob?”

“If I say yes, will that start another argument?” Lawrence asked cautiously.

Will snorted. “Three days ago I’d have said yes, but after watching Bob run out into the road, I think I need your help.”

“Good. I’m really pleased to hear you say that.”

“Of course, Bob will eat you alive.”

Lawrence snorted. “What did you say? You’d never met a trainer that Bob couldn’t break?”

“He has that reputation,” Will said. “He’s been banned from three dog training classes, and the other two suggested Bob might be happier somewhere else.”

“He seems quite placid and friendly at the moment.”

“I don’t think he’s got over the anaesthetic. He is never this quiet.” Will missed ‘his’ Bob. This quiet dog wasn’t the same.

Hazel Takes Over #3

After the death of his beloved dog, Harry, Peter Mitchell refuses to consider getting a new dog. Besides which, Peter has his hands full with his partner, Dr Evan Wells. The vet is surprisingly sensitive about Peter’s feelings and doesn’t nag Peter about getting a pet. Of course, not nagging and not doing anything about it are two different things, at least in Evan’s mind.

When Peter is presented with a small red bundle of fur to hold, he realises the devious vet planned their new arrival and worse, she’s already got a name. Peter may not have a choice about their dog, but he’s going to put his foot down over her name. He should know better.

Excerpt – Hazel Takes Over

Peter awoke, overheated, stifled, and trapped on both sides. Evan was wrapped around him as usual; the man was a human teddy bear. This time he’d managed to pin Peter to the bed so he couldn’t move at all. Peter stayed where he was, not bothering to open his eyes as he dozed contently until the call of nature became too great. Half-heartedly and still with his eyes closed, Peter wriggled to free himself, and received a grumble in both ears.

He frowned. Evan was his superman but even he couldn’t manage stereo conversation. Neither did he have a wet nose. Peter cracked open one eye, to find as he expected Evan was spooned up behind him, still whuffing gently as he slept. Bright eyes and a huge smile greeted him instead.

“How did you get here, trouble?” he asked, stroking Hazel’s back.

“Hmmm? Haven’t had time to get into trouble yet,” Evan muttered.

“Not you. Ms Hazel here. You gave in, huh?”

“Huh?” Evan leaned over him. “Hazel, how did you get here?”

Peter tilted his head to look Evan. He had to give the man credit for being a good actor. He looked genuinely surprised to see Hazel lying on the bed. “I wonder,” he said drily. “It’s amazing how she managed to open the kitchen door, climb the stairs and get on the bed.”

 

Stormin’ Norman #4

Dan had been Jesse’s partner for many years, and always there for Jesse on his return from difficult assignments. However, after breaking his promise not to leave again, Jesse learns to his cost that Dan can be pushed too far. When he returns home, broken in body and spirit, Jesse finds his house empty and Dan in the arms of someone else.
To fill his life, Jesse decides to get a dog. His friends and neighbours take him to choose a puppy. What he doesn’t expect is for Norman to choose him. As Jesse takes on a new job, with Norman’s assistance, he realises that Dan isn’t far away, and he still loves him. Dan has moved on with his life. Can Jesse do the same?

Excerpt – Stormin’ Norman

The barman gossiped about the recent gas explosion in the pub down the road Jesse listened with half his attention, keeping an eye on the dark-haired bloke in the corner.

The man didn’t disappoint. As soon as Jesse had his beer, he came over and sat on the bar stool next to Jesse. To give him credit, he didn’t piss about.

“Hi, I’m Dan.”

Jesse assessed him carefully. He was older than he’d appeared in the shadows—early forties maybe, the start of lines around his eyes and a sprinkle of grey at his temples. Not Jesse’s type. Jesse was in his mid-thirties. He usually went for men younger than him, searching for uncomplicated hook-ups and nothing more.

“Hi.” Jesse didn’t say any more, hoping his off-hand tone would tell the guy he was wasting his time.

Dan ordered another beer and turned back to him. “I haven’t seen you in here before.”

“I’ve been away.”

“Do you want a beer, a chat, and then see what happens?”

His approach caught Jesse’s attention. Normally blokes started off with “Do you wanna fuck me?” Nine times out of ten Jesse said no.

“I’m not the marrying kind,” Jesse said.

Dan blinked. “I asked you for a beer, not a ring.”

Jesse shrugged. “You’re older than me. I thought I’d get that off the table.”

“Thanks,” Dan said drily. “So all older men are desperate for a ring and kids. I’ll remember that next time I ask for a hook-up. I’ll only go for the younger twinks.” He got up and smiled sadly at Jesse. “Sometimes a beer is just a beer.”

Dan walked back to where he’d been sitting.

“He’s a nice guy,” the barman said.

Jesse frowned. “What?”

“Dan. He’s decent and he’s not looking for anything from you.”

“You overheard that?”

Sean nodded as he wiped the bar down. “He’s a great bloke. A little shy. He comes in here most days for lunch. It would have taken a lot of courage for him to talk to you. You could have just said no.”

 

About the Author

Cranky middle-aged author with an addiction for coffee, and a passion for romancing two guys. I love my dogs, I love my kids, and I love coffee; in which order very much depends on the time of day.

 

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Series Review Tour – Revving It Up by W.S. Long

SERIES REVIEW TOUR

REVVING IT UP SERIES by W.S. LONG

The stories revolve around two main characters, Caleb Youngblood, and Sebastian Rush. Caleb was raised in a NASCAR racing family and wants to pursue a racing career, but being gay and in the closet causes a problem when he falls in love with Sebastian who doesn’t want to keep their love hidden.

Although they can be read as standalone, the stories are probably best read in order to get the full character developments.

BOOK 1

Book Title:  Starting His Engine

Author: W.S. Long

Publisher:  JMS Books LLC

Genre/s:  male-male romance; erotic romance

Length: 16 336 words/59 pages

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Blurb

Athletic and handsome, Florida boy Caleb Youngblood has always wanted to race stock cars like his father and his brother. The roar of the engines, the smell of the burning rubber and the thrill of speed courses his veins. Racing is as much a part of him as the sun and surf of the Florida ocean he loves.

But, when Caleb falls in love with sports writer Sebastian Rush, he must make a decision. Will he stay in the closet and follow his dream, or can he make a life with Sebastian and follow his heart?

 

Excerpt

Note: may contain sexually explicit scenes of a homoerotic nature.

Garrison didn’t say anything until Joan and Earl left the room. Caleb moved closer and hugged his brother. “Glad you’re okay, man.”

“Thanks. What’s in the paper bag?”

“Clothes. I figured you needed to borrow a fresh shirt and shorts. Joan suggested I stop by your place and get you some clean clothes, but I wanted to come over right away without stopping at New Smyrna so I just grabbed you some of my clothes.”

Caleb handed the bag to Garrison who peered inside.

“What’s this?” He lifted a pink muscle tank top. “Holy shit! I’m not wearing this!”

“What about the shorts I brought?”

Garrison took out the blue shorts and eyed them. “These are girl’s shorts.”

“No. They’re male shorts, just a really, really, really short pair, meant to highlight posterior assets.”

“I’m not wearing these. My balls would be hanging out of them!”

Caleb snorted while Garrison threw the clothes at him. “You’re never appreciative of the things I do for you.”

Garrison mouthed the word asshole and then laughed.

“Did you expect anything less?”

“I guess not, little brother. Where have you been, by the way? You’ve been MIA for like two to three weeks.”

“Dad and I, well, I don’t know how to explain it,” said Caleb.

“Joan told me. She said dad wants Youngblood racing to focus on one driver for marketing and endorsements.”

“I guess that’s one way to put it,” said Caleb as he walked toward the window. “I asked him why, you know. He said he didn’t have to explain himself. That’s when I told him I didn’t want to ever talk to him again.”

“Dramatic much?” laughed Garr.

Caleb turned away from the window and sat next to Garr. “If he never wanted me to race the majors, why would he even let me drive period?”

“I don’t think we ever had a choice did we? I mean this is the family business. At least I didn’t have a choice — not like I’d want to do anything else. But you? You shouldn’t have dropped out of college. I know you came back because of Mom.” Garr patted Caleb’s thigh. “I’ll talk to Dad and see if I can talk some sense into him. I don’t know what’s going on lately. I know Joan and he like to keep the business side of things to themselves, but we all need to know why Dad is doing what Dad is doing.”

“You’re the better driver, Garr.” Caleb paused. “If he just came out and said, we’re going with Garrison because he’s the better, I’m fine with that. But to just say, I’m not racing anymore, especially the majors? I’m not ten years old. Dad should just give me the reasons why, not just say, I’m out. I’m done.”

They both sat in silence for a moment before Garrison spoke. “So what have you been doing lately? Bob says you show up in the shop and check out the cars when Dad’s not there and then leave.”

“I’ve been trying to send out feelers here and there about Formula racing and maybe racing for another team.”

“Does Dad know this?”

Caleb shook his head. “Nope. And don’t tell him either.”

“Joan said you’re dating a new guy?”

“That’s old news. We’ve been dating for more than a little over six months.”

“And you’ve never introduced him to me?” Garrison raised his shoulders and shrugged, and gestured for more information with a wave of his hands. “And?”

“I like him.”

“What’s his name?”

“Sebastian.”

Garrison’s eyebrows arched. “Sebastian?”

“He doesn’t like to use his middle name, Harry.”

“Last name?”

“Rush.”

“Okay. Are we going to do very short answers, now? I’m your brother. You don’t have to be secretive around me.”

Caleb exhaled. “I know.”

 

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BOOK 2

Book Title: Too Tough to Tame

Author: W.S. Long

Publisher:  JMS Books LLC

Genre/s: male-male romance; erotic romance

Length:  20 268 words/70 pages

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Blurb

After Caleb Youngblood proposed to Sebastian Rush, the two men think everything should be smooth sailing. Marriage planning has started and the future is bright. Caleb is an openly out stock car racer, while Sebastian is offered the chance to work with a major TV studio as a cameraman at the Rio Olympics.

But Caleb is at a crossroads. The racing world may not be ready for an openly gay driver. Even though he wants to race, the family business is barely making money. And Caleb, being the face of Youngblood family, may be too much for conservative fans. Meanwhile, when an ex-lover of Sebastian’s reappears, secrets from his past cause friction between Sebastian and Caleb.

Should Caleb continue to race? Is Sebastian’s and Caleb’s love for one another strong enough to overcome what happened in the past? Or is their life together too tough to tame?

 

Excerpt

Note: may contain sexually explicit scenes of a homoerotic nature.

“That’s all you have to say?” asked Sebastian.

Caleb sat on the edge of their bed and removed his dress socks, and then his pants. Clad only in black boxer briefs, Caleb stood and rummaged through the dresser for a tank top, cotton socks, and running shorts. As he put his top and shorts on, Caleb broke the momentary silence. “What else is there to say? That … ummm … maybe you should have told me you were engaged?” Caleb took a seat again on the edge of the bed, and drawled out the last word, his eyebrows slightly arched, his jaw set firm. “I knew you had a serious relationship before me.” Caleb raised his hands up, both palms open. “But a serious relationship and an engagement are two different things.”

Sebastian knew that Caleb was still angry, based on Caleb’s tone and Caleb’s refusal to look him in the eye. “I didn’t tell you I was engaged for only two days because I was embarrassed.”

Caleb straightened and now squinted at him. “Embarrassed?” Caleb’s voice betrayed incredulity.

“David broke up with me. I proposed. He said he didn’t love me enough to marry me.”

“So you proposed to him?” Caleb whispered, who turned away from Sebastian.

“Yes. I did,” answered Sebastian. “But, he’s in the past.”

Caleb stood. “I can’t talk about this right now. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that you wouldn’t tell me about being engaged before. I mean, to me, that’s a pretty serious commitment. It’s something I would tell you if I’d ever been engaged.”

“I didn’t think it was a big deal. If I had known you would be upset by it, by the fact that I was engaged for two days, I would have told you. I don’t love him, Caleb. I love you,” blurted Sebastian. “I didn’t know what love truly was until I met you.”

“Your mom said you were in a pretty serious relationship before me. You said that. Maybe I’m making something out of nothing. Maybe I’m just pissed you’re going to Rio with your ex. I can’t filter all these emotions that are rushing through me right now.” Caleb stood and headed out of the bedroom. “We’re not done talking. But I need to clear my head.”

Sebastian nodded. “I’ll make dinner, okay? I’ll see you after your run.”

Caleb didn’t say anything; Sebastian heard the front door close, then Sebastian sighed and sat on the edge of the bed, his hands clasping the top of his head. Somehow, he had to persuade Caleb that David was in the past. His phone vibrated in his pocket and he fished out the cell.

David had texted him. Nice seeing you. We need to catch up before Rio.

Sebastian had a choice to make, and he knew it. He just didn’t know what to do. He punched in the contact tab on his phone and called his mom.

After a few rings, she answered. “Sebastian?”

“Hey, Mom. How’re you?”

“I’m good. Your sister just picked up your niece.”

“Awesome. Is this a good time to talk?” asked Sebastian.

“Sure, honey. I was about to start dinner but it can wait a few minutes. Why, what’s up?”

“Did Caleb ask you about David?”

“Who?” Ginny asked.

Sebastian repeated the question. “Did Caleb ask you about David?”

‘No. Caleb didn’t.”

“Then how did Caleb know I was engaged?”

“Oh. I told him.” Ginny’s voice trailed then she spoke again. “Was it supposed to be a secret?”

“Mom, I hadn’t told him. You know I was pretty upset about the break-up.”

“I know, honey. And don’t be mad, but I told Caleb that you both shouldn’t rush into getting married.”

Sebastian’s body tensed. “What?”

“Don’t raise your voice at me Sebastian Harry Rush.”

Sebastian rubbed his temples. “Oh, God. Why, Mom? Why?” He pulled the phone from his ear as he closed his eyes and silently counted to five to calm down.

“Sebastian, I’m worried that you’re rushing into a wedding. You haven’t even known each other for a year.”

Sebastian sat there on the edge of the bed. He heard his mother continuing to talk, but he stopped paying attention. She said something about September. Then something about his niece, Mindy. But all he could think about was Caleb sitting in his mother’s living room, and Ginny telling Caleb to delay the wedding. “Mom, I’m sorry. I’ve got to go.”

“Okay, honey. That’s fine. I got to start dinner anyway. I love you, son. You know I’m only looking out for you, right?”

“Thanks,” he whispered. He wanted to scream, but he knew it would only make matters worse.

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BOOK 3

Book Title: Crossroads

Author: W.S. Long

Publisher:  JMS Books LLC

Genre/s: male-male romance, erotic romance

Length: 23, 280 words/80 pages

Release date: August 18, 2018

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Blurb

Caleb and his husband Sebastian are at a crucial crossroads in their lives. New York City has put challenges and opportunities in their path, and without race car driving in his future, Caleb worries about the future and money. At the same time, Sebastian presses him to have kids. Keeping their love going is Caleb’s main goal.

When their friend Cujo visits from Florida, he meets their roommate Tristan. Cujo has always wondered about having a college romance. What would have happened if he wasn’t afraid of being with another man? Tristan is charming and loving, and presents a new challenge to Cujo, who’s now faced with a decision that will change his life forever. Once he embarks on this path of love, there is no turning back. Can he overcome his fears to find love in a new way?

 

Excerpt

Note: may contain sexually explicit scenes of a homoerotic nature.

When Cujo stepped outside the restaurant and walked two blocks, he hadn’t expected the full intensity of Times Square to wallop his senses. All the lights were on and the different screens blasted alternating pictures, advertisements, and music. “Wow, this is amazing.”

“I told you I was going to show you something incredible.”

“You delivered, buddy. You delivered all right. This is epic.” Cujo fished out his cell phone, tapped the camera icon, and took pictures. “Hey, Tristan, stand over there, I want to take some pictures of you.”

Tristan moved so that The Lion King JumboTron was immediately behind him as a Coca Cola sign flashed red and white lights nearby.

Tristan posed effortlessly for Cujo’s camera. The way Tristan walked, talked, and acted reminded him of Brett. Sweet, kind, and shy Brett. Cujo stopped taking pictures and scrolled through the photos of his camera. Tristan had inched closer and Cujo smiled.

“How’d they turn out?” Tristan asked.

“Very beautiful, I think.” Cujo showed him a photo of Tristan smiling. “It doesn’t hurt that the model is pretty attractive.”

“Thanks,” Tristan said. Cujo wasn’t sure with the lighting outside, but Tristan probably blushed at the comment.

“You remind me of someone I knew in college. He was a sweet, kind guy. A little soft. Not in a bad way but just someone who probably didn’t have an ounce of anger or hate toward anyone.”

“If that’s a compliment, I’ll take it,” Tristan said.

“It is.” Cujo showed the rest of the pictures to Tristan. “His name was Brett. And he was my first and only experimentation with the wild side.”

“You’re quoting me a phrase from a Lou Reed song?”

“Yes, I am,” Cujo said. “It’s actually one of my favorite songs. Did you know that David Bowie was one of the producers of that song? And he played guitar for it?”

Tristan nodded. “I love that song, too. So forward for the 70s. You know I think it was the first song about transgendered women and gay men to become popular?” Tristan leaned against a metal rail as they both took in the ever-changing spectacle of lights around them while casually crowd-watching the tourists and locals. “Why do you like it?”

“I just like the feeling the lyrics conveyed and the tempo,” Cujo said.

Cujo wanted to admit that he’d first heard it when Brett had played the song for him. Brett had explained the lyrics when they were both high on pot at the frat house. Then Brett leaned over unzipped Cujo’s pants and jacked him off to Lou Reed and later to Billy Squier’s, “The Stroke.”

“I love this place! I love this city,” Tristan said. “I thought I’d miss Florida but I don’t.”

Cujo laughed. “You know, I’m starting to fall in love with it, too.” And maybe it’s because of you. “Hey, if you’re ready to go, let’s grab a taxi. I don’t want to ride the subway back, if it’s okay. I want to see the lights of the city from the cab.”

“Fine by me,” Tristan said.

It didn’t take them long to stop a taxi as several had dropped off tourists in the same area. Once inside, they settled in the back seat. “Let me text you some of the pictures I took.”

Tristan handed Cujo his cell phone so Cujo could punch his number in and Tristan texted him a greeting text. Hey.

Hey back. Cujo typed before he sent a few pictures. “I had a good time tonight.”

“Good. I’m glad.”

 

Buy Links – Available for Pre-Order

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About the Author

A military brat, who entered the military himself, W.S. Long practices law in Florida, reads, writes male/male romance, and believes in happily-ever-afters. Married to a great husband, he enjoys theme parks, movies, geeky stuff, and traveling when not working or writing.

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