Reviews

BRVL REVIEW: Love and Poison by Jamie Lynn Miller

======= Review =======


Title: Love and Poison
Author: Jamie Lynn Miller
GENRE: MM Romance

Print Length: 139 pages
Publication Date: December 23, 2019
KindleUnlimited: No

🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟



BLURB:
A microscopic killer. A deadly diagnosis. The man you love has only 24 hours to live. What would you do?

There’s no denying the attraction between Detective Caleb Donaghue and his new partner Detective Bryce Anderson. At first, they battle their growing desires, but then tragedy brings the two men closer than ever before. United in their shared grief, they seek solace in one another. Walls come down, lines are crossed, and they finally give in to their hearts’ desires.

But only six weeks in, their happiness is shattered when Caleb is poisoned—and given only 24 hours to live.

In a life-or-death race to save their new-found love, they must find the unknown assailant and the antidote before Caleb’s time runs out.

Buy “Love and Poison” today and let the countdown begin!
*************************************************************************************
My Review:

STARS: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


Review By Virginia Lee
This book keeps me on the edge of my seat. from the first page it was a twist and turn page turner. We meet two detective that are work partners and taking steps into the personal zone. When things change quickly in your life with death hanging on to the edge of the doorway. Caleb will find the one that is trying to kill him. all Bryce wants to do is protect Caleb and will he have to say goodbye in 24 hours. Highly recommend this book if you are looking for hot action pack book with steam on the side
BRVL –Book Review Virginia Lee
#Bookreviewvirginialeeblog

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BRVL REVIEW: Ginger and the Wolf by Kerry McBoyd

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                                                ======= Review =======

Title: Ginger and the Wolf
Author: Kerry McBoyd
GENRE: MM Romance
Publication Date: September 3, 2018
KindleUnlimited: No

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BLURB:
Mark Cross is a junior in college working to pay his way through college while forgetting his troubles by partying and hooking up. He meets Scott and finds himself falling head over heels for a wealthy man who couldn’t be any further from his rural background. The mutual attraction is instant, but Mark, unwilling to put himself in a position where his heart is on the line, finds ways to bring up their upper-crust/working-class differences to torpedo their budding romance.

Scott Nolan feels old, even though he’s just thirty-four. Meeting Mark reinvigorates him and gives him a new sense of purpose. After a series of men who were only interested in his wealth and family background, he finally meets a man who doesn’t care about the family he comes from—in fact, Mark seems ready to blow everything up because he thinks they could never overcome their class differences. Scott must fight to show Mark that he doesn’t care about who has how much money, and what matters above all is that they could build something more together outside the bedroom.
*************************************************************************************
My Review:

STARS: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Review By Virginia Lee
The characters in this story were very strong written. Mark for not sure what he wants and where to go. Scott is the full Alpha male but don’t think he the one for Mark being so much older. the chemistry between these two burn up the pages.  Recommend this book as a must read
BRVL –Book Review Virginia Lee
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Dirty Brilliance

Dirty Brilliance
by Lea Bronsen
Genre: Billionaire M/M Romance
Kace Karrington is a wealthy, self-made investor with no qualms about steamrolling others to achieve his goals. He’s attracted to men, but picks up beautiful women, giving the cold, unfeeling world of Finance the appearance he’s successful…powerful. That is until he meets a smoking hot street punk eager to show him there’s more to life than making money.
Award-winning author Lea Bronsen likes her reads hot, fast, and edgy, and strives to give her own stories the same intensity. After a deep dive on the unforgiving world of gangsters with her debut novel Wild Hearted, she divides her writing time between romantic suspenses, dark erotic romances, and crime thrillers.
She’s signed with Evernight Publishing, Decadent Publishing, and Insatiable Press. She has also self-published half of her works and participated in the making of several anthologies.
A $10 Amazon gift card + 5 ecopies of Dirty Brilliance
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
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SILVER PLAYER by L.B. Dunbar

The Silver Foxes of Blue Ridge #2
Release Date: January 23

Billy Harrington
A young girl walks into a bar…

I’d like to say this is the start of a bad joke, but it isn’t really.

It’s my life.

Can you be called a baby-daddy if the secret baby shows up as a teenager?

I don’t know anything about raising a teen.

And the one person who could help me the most is my nemesis.

Roxanne McAllister
I should hate him for being her father.

Only I don’t fault him for sleeping with my sister.

This is the story of my life.

I’ve always been runner-up to my older sibling.

Then tragedy strikes—again—and I’m left with a dilemma.

Can I count on the person I despise the most in Blue Ridge?

Find out when a Harrington strikes again.

This sexy silver fox is the biggest player, but he’s about to been dealt a hand he never expected—a much needed ally in his feisty vixen enemy.

Buy Your Copy Here:


Meet L.B. Dunbar
I’ve been accused of having an over-active imagination. To my benefit, this imagination has created over twenty novels, including the creation of a small-town world (Sensations Collection), rock star mayhem (Legendary Rock Star series), MMA chaos (Paradise Stories), rom-com for the over forty (The Sex Education of M.E.), and a suspenseful island for redemption (The Island Duet). My alter ego, elda lore, creates magical romance through mythological retellings (Modern Descendants). My life revolves around a deep love of reading about fairy tales, medieval knights, regency debauchery, and strong alpha males. I love a deep belly laugh, a strong hug, and an occasional margarita. My other loves include being mother to four grown children and wife to the one and only.

Connect with L.B. Dunbar


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Reluctant to Love (Written in the Stars: Aquarius) by Rebecca Gallo

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Reluctant to Love (Written in the Stars Book 1) 
by Rebecca Gallo
AQUARIUS
Genre – Second chance romance
BLURB:
I don’t believe in love, fate, or second chances. But Roderick Payne just might make me a believer.
Years ago, his stunning betrayal shattered my heart.
Unexpectedly, he comes to my rescue, leaving me no choice but to accept the help he’s offered.
When we’re forced to share a room, more than just secrets are revealed in the dark. Old flames reignite and scars finally heal. But even after truths are told, there is still one more secret I have to share.
Meet the Author
Rebecca Gallo was first indoctrinated into the romance genre by her babysitter who watched hours upon hours of daytime soap operas. She harbored many inappropriate crushes on fictional characters such as John Black from “Days of Our Lives,” Orry Main from the mini-series “North & South,” and Edward Fairfax Rochester from Jane Eyre. She is still in love with Davy Jones from The Monkees.
Rebecca currently lives in southern Arizona with her husband, son, and a tuxedo cat with a limp. When she isn’t swooning over book boyfriends or dreaming up romances, she can be found educating the youth of America. Or eating tacos.
Links:
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The Waking of Ghosts


Young Adult Paranormal Fantasy
Lost Souls Academy, Book 1
Date Published: 23rd Jan 2020

 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png

There is an evil awakening.
At the Lost Souls academy, students aren’t your typical everyday alumni.
Rejects from clans, packs, and covens walk these halls, but there’s something more sinister haunting the academy.
A resident ghost has a new student, Zarya, on the fight to banish it. Will her actions cause more enemies at her new school than friends?

‘I’m coming for you.’
A message from beyond has Zarya fearful. Her skills are underdeveloped, but as a ghost hunter, she must stand and fight this new evil.

Can Zarya grow to be the ghost hunter she’s destined to be or will forces overpower her and bring chaos and destruction to the Lost Souls academy?



Excerpt

Confused, Zarya looked around. Leaves rustled on the surrounding trees in a chaotic movement, so she couldn’t see the direction of the source. The park seemed to darken in the afternoon light. Time slowed. Her senses sharpened as she engaged both her ghosthunting and witching abilities.

Another chilled rush of wind wrapped around her. Every muscle in her body fired on alert, ready to contract so she could spring into action. The problem was with nothing obviously there, she couldn’t fight back, let alone defend herself.

Adrenaline coursed through her body. Zarya ached to release the pent-up energy instead of being unable to do anything.

Snapping her head to the left, then the right, she scanned her surroundings, desperate to detect any anomaly. Her skin prickled as she realized she was the only person in sight. Zarya realized with a panic she was way too vulnerable there. That this might be some sort of trap, even though she was certain ghosts weren’t capable of that type of thing. The ghost was here somewhere, it had to be. It was the only logical reason why she saw nothing.

There was no vibe that this was a spell, so it had to be a ghost.

“Show yourself.”

Was that laughter in the air?

She glanced to the left where she thought the sound might’ve come from.

Nothing.

What the hell is happening?

“Chicken,” Zarya yelled out, struggling to keep her nerve. She summoned her magic, ready to block anything that might attack her, but again she was too slow.

A coldness wrapped around her neck. She gasped. Air pushed from her lungs. Unable to refill, she wheezed hard. Cursing herself for being so slow to react, she knew better than to have stayed exposed as she had on the ground.

Why didn’t I get up and run?

She knew damn well-running wasn’t her thing. She was a fighter through and through, and her style was to stay and fight. It was a good skill to have as a ghosthunter.

Zarya sensed the ghost was different than what she was used to. An old soul, perhaps? Confusion stirred. A spirit that had decided not to cross over. That was rare, and it was something to be concerned about. A ghost that was here by choice had more of an agenda than one who was confused and had unfinished business or simply wanted to bring chaos to people. A ghost-like this wanted more, to achieve something darker, to exert their will on others.

Her head began to spin from the lack of oxygen, and she couldn’t quite manage to fight back. It was as if she were frozen, held in the grip of this powerful spirit.

Zarya forced her eyes open, trying to see if it would show itself, to quietly challenge it to look at her. She only saw the park. Her vision began blurring. She commanded herself to stay conscious, but it was becoming too hard.

With the last slither of awareness, she conjured a spell, her lips moving quickly to build the magic she needed. Then she blasted the energy from her hand around her. The magic aimed to push away whatever it was harming her and to put up a protective barrier, so she could hopefully get her breath back before it attacked again.

She gasped a lungful of air as the grip around her neck released. Without missing a beat, she sent another wave of energy to build up her shield.

Then she felt it in her mind.

Before she could push it away, it spoke to her.

I’m watching you.


About the Author

Lilliana Rose is an Amazon Bestselling author, who writes romance in the subgenres of contemporary, paranormal, steampunk, and rural. She enjoys helping characters overcome problems or issues, and the misunderstandings that often plague relationships, to help them fall in love. Whether it’s city heels being replaced with country work boots, or some magic beyond this world, or cogs and gears and corsets, each story shows how love can prevail. She has over fifteen years’ experience in various education systems as a teacher, a skip and a jump from starting out in genetics research. It is all helpful for inspiring her writing. She has poetry, middle grade, picture book, novellas, and novels published under various pen names.

Check out more of her work at http://www.lillianarose.com and as an Amazon Author and her blog on inspirational creativity and wellness, Café Pondering http://www.cafepondering.com and Cultivating Creativity Workshops.



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TED OF THE D’URBERVILLES

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Ted of the d’Urbervilles

Author: Rob Rosen

Publisher: JMS Books

Release Date: January 18, 2020

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance, Comedy/Humour, Erotic Romance, Dark Comedy, Gay/Straight romance

Themes: e.g. Personal growth, poor to rich

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 63 600 / 195 pages

It is a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK | JMS Books | GooglePlay

Love is Love—though who they will find it with remains a mystery until the very end!

Blurb Ted is an orphan, a young gay man living on the streets following the death of both his parents. Hope seems futile, though hope is exactly what he finds when a surprising email informs him that an unknown wealthy relative has died, that a reading of a will is soon to occur clear across the country. Ted will inherit something, but what that something is remains to be seen. Benny is a young, homeless drug addict, straight except for when cash is involved. Benny has never had a reason to be hopeful about anything until a chance encounter with Ted. Both men are soon traveling together from state to state, making ends meet however they can, rushing to the reading of the will that may or may not change both their lives forever. An unexpected friendship quickly forms, and then just as unexpectedly blossoms into something more as their adventure ultimately leads them to their fates. At turns darkly funny and tragic, deeply erotic and poignant, Ted of the d’Urbervilles uniquely shines a light on the phrase Love is Love—though who they will find it with remains a mystery until the very end. Excerpt I found myself in a tangle of trains. Not passenger trains, but the kind that carries stuff. Coal, lumber, crates. No train cars. Nothing I could hop into so much as on. I wasn’t counting on this. I thought I’d slide open a door and bum a ride. But a ride to where? Even if I could hop on, where would I wind up? I clearly hadn’t given it enough thought. To be fair, my head was full of Chuck at the time, a peg missing its hole. It was, as analogies went, a fine one. I needed to travel east. East I could figure out. East was away from the Rockies. But all the trains were parked. Which way were they headed once they left? And what if I hopped on and the train never stopped until its destination? What if we started east and then headed south? I sat on the track. My salvation was somewhere in front of me. Eeny, meeny, miny, which one would the mo choose? “Where you headed?” I jumped. I fell backward. I stared up, shielding my face with my hand. A guy stood there staring down at me. He was on the dirty side, young, like me, gaunt, shorter by a foot. I’d seen men like this around San Francisco. I avoided men like this. You wound up homeless for a lot of reasons. You also stayed homeless for a lot of reasons. This guy either started or wound up that way because of drugs. His hand twitched. His right eye did the same. Manic would’ve been a good word for it. Or a bad one. “Just looking,” I said as I righted my butt back on the tracks. “I like trains.” I turned away from him. I hoped he’d take the hint. Sadly, he sat down next to me instead. “You can’t hop them,” he said. “They check. They’re watching you right now even.” He pointed up to a lamppost. I could see the camera. It didn’t matter; there was nothing to hop into. And even if I could make it on top of a car, it would be crazy dangerous. And windy. And cold. Not an adventure so much as an ordeal. “Benny,” he said, holding out a hand. He had long nails. Dirty nails. His current state had always been a possible future for me. I seemed to always be running from it. But in which direction, away or towards? I didn’t shake his hand. I nodded his way instead. “Ted.” He put his hand by his side. He frowned. I felt bad. I was homeless. He was homeless. It wasn’t a bond so much as a prison sentence we shared. “Where you headed?” he repeated. “New York.” “That’s where I started.” My heart pulsed. If he started from there, he knew which way to head. I pointed in front of me. “Which one goes that way?” His grin returned. His teeth were in need of a brushing. He looked like a scrawny, shorter, pimplier Justin Bieber—if Justin Bieber hadn’t showered in a week or had a haircut or shave in ten. I felt bad for Benny. I felt scared of Benny. Were people scared of me when they saw me? I was judging a book by its cover, but covers are a pretty good indication of what’s inside. I sensed Benny was rotting from the inside out, that all he had left was a tattered cover. I didn’t want to be a part of Benny’s story, but our plotlines had intersected just the same. In any case, he shrugged. “Been in Denver a month. My train has long come and gone.” Again, he pointed. “That one goes east.” “How do you know?” The shrug hadn’t moved. “That terminal is a dead end. Trains enter that way and go back the way they came. That train came from the east. Do you have any drugs on you?” It was an unsettling segue. Benny was unsettling. You could turn a bend and wind up like Benny. Benny had no hope. You could see it in his eyes. That is to say, you couldn’t see it. “I don’t do drugs.” “Smart.” “You shouldn’t do drugs.” He rested his head on his knee. “Yep.” “It’s not that easy though, right?” He turned his face my way. He’d been cute once. You could see it if you tried. How many people still tried? “Nope. Any money for drugs? I could trade you.” I knew what he had to trade. I had the same thing to trade. “I have less than six dollars on me.” He sighed. He turned his face back to the starting position. “Figures.” We sat there in silence. The trains didn’t budge. Maybe this was a graveyard of sorts. Maybe trains came here to die. Maybe Benny came here to die. Me, I had other plans.

About the Author

Multi-award-winning and best-selling author/editor/anthologist Rob Rosen is the author of Sparkle: The Queerest Book You’ll Ever Love, Divas Las Vegas, Hot Lava, Southern Fried, Queerwolf, Vamp, Queens of the Apocalypse, Creature Comfort, Fate, Midlife Crisis, Fierce, And God Belched, Mary, Queen of Scotch, and Ted of the d’Urbervilles. His short stories have appeared in more than 200 anthologies. You can find 20 of them in his erotic romance anthology Good & Hot. He is also the editor of Lust in Time: Erotic Romance Through the Ages, Men of the Manor, Best Gay Erotica 2015 and Best Gay Erotica of the Year, Volumes 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Please visit him at

Blog/Website | Facebook

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Release Blitz

Brutal & Raw by Sonya Jesus

Title: Brutal & Raw
Series: Beneventi Family #1
Author: Sonya Jesus
Genre: Romance Suspense
Release Date: January 23, 2020 Cover Design: Touch Creations
He wanted everything. He could have my nothings too.
My whole life, I’ve been running, living just under the radar. The day I arrived on the East Coast, looking for a new start, I found an end instead. One careless night landed me in the hands of a dark mafia boss, who wanted nothing more than to render me a number—to eviscerate my identity with his brutal mind game. 
327.
That’s what he called me. That’s all I was to him. 
At least at first, before Breaker Beneventi told me all his family secrets, trickled his way into my heart, and then ordered my death. He set me free, knowing the butcher would find me. 
Now, I’m the girl who escaped. The one with the power to destroy his organization. And he’s relentlessly searching for Lyla Vaughn all over the country, spilling the blood of innocents and losing his control. 
But he’s not going to find me. Because that’s not my name.
From Bestselling author Sonya Jesus comes “Brutal and Raw” a psychological thriller romance full of plot twists, interwoven with dark mafia romance.
I drop down to my knees and crawl toward the ditch next to the field of untamed red poppies. The small twigs and pieces of wood scrape against my bleeding knees, fragments of dried leaves sticking to the moist wounds. Small stones pierce into the exposed flesh, making the softer ground even more unbearable than the concrete of The Farm’s barn.
I can’t go back there, I silently proclaim and hasten my pace. Fear drowns out the pain long enough for me to reach a small entrance. Wedging my naked body between the walls of dirt, I manage to squeeze myself in a hole barely large enough for a child. My bent legs press against my bruised breasts, stretching whatever skin is left of my scraped knees. In this tiny space, there’s no easing the pain. Everything hurts. Unmalleable tree roots dig into my back, scrubbing my skin raw as I fail to become invisible.
There’s no use.
If I stay like this, he’ll find me. The thought surfaces quickly, provoking my instincts. My bloody fingers scrape against the damp ground beneath my thighs, coating themselves with dirt. Damn it. It hasn’t rained in weeks…or months. I can’t remember.
I scamper to gather debris from outside the ditch and hide the opening. The dangling threads of dying roots and cobwebs aren’t enough to hide my red hair. I would’ve had better luck hiding amidst the fucking poppies.
There’s nowhere else to hide though, and it’s only a matter of time before—
A loud noise erupts through the forest.
My heart stills.
One Mississippi.
Two Mississippi.
Three … Echo.
Shit! He’s close. I can’t go back!
Panic erupts within me. Fighting through the agonizing sting of injured muscles to combat time amplifies the ingrained sound of the gunshot from moments ago, and the reflection of sound waves sync with the force of my heartbeat.
I focus on the rhythm as the blood surges through my veins. My heart pumps in increments of three followed by a missed beat. One, two, three … One, two, three … Breaker.
He’s the missing beat.
Even cowering in a hole in a desolate forest, bleeding from more places than I can count, I still think of Breaker Beneventi.
He killed every hope I had left—literal bullets through hearts of friends who now wait for me six feet underground—and then set his eyes on destroying me. Torture first, wicked and endless, until I begged for an end—an escape.
Mercy, or so I thought, until I realized human sentiments don’t exist in this place. Here, compassion from the soulless is simply another form of torture. He spared my life, only to slowly strip me of emotion and degrade what little of myself remained.
Which is not much.
Lyla, is just a word, a deadly keepsake of the girl who’s been reduced to a number. Three twenty-seven.
I gave Breaker Beneventi everything, my humanity included, and it’s all my fault… I chose the man who broke me.
I shut my eyes and wait…He can have my dignity too.
A warm stream of liquid dampens the ground and the soles of my feet. I dip my fingers into the urine-infused dirt and coat my hair with the cakey substance, blunting the brightness of its strands. The pungent smell of ammonia infiltrates my nostrils as I add a layer of stench and dirt to my skin. Bits of hair stick to my face and catch on the uplifted skin of my dried lips. My tongue darts out, moistening and easing the sting, but the taste of metal, piss, and desperation brings tears to my eyes.
Another loud sound whips through the wind.
My chest grips for air, but all I can think is…
One Mississippi.
The Butcher’s here.
 
Sonya’s a nerd—a cool nerd—who loves science, books, make-up and unicorns. She even has unicorn slippers and unicorn plushes adorn her office. It’s not an obsession (or so she says), it’s simply an ode to her imaginative side. Storytelling has been her passion since her youth, but her family believes it’s more than that.
Though she’s fun-loving, complex-minded, and heart-driven, her philosophy on life is quite simple: Shit happens. Keep going. 
When asked to elaborate, she said, “Believing in yourself is probably one of the hardest things to do, but look in the mirror. You’re still standing. That’s strength. Don’t underestimate yourself.”
Sonya also believes in fairytales and in the beautiful things a mind can conjure. She’s a firm believer in empowering the crazy fictional ideas, putting them down on paper, and letting them flourish into a story. 
“There’s so much potential in a dream… a thought… not exploring it seems like such a waste of something absolutely beautiful.”
Release Blitz

Reality’s Illusion by Stephie Walls




Title: Reality’s Illusion
Author: Stephie Walls
Genre: Dark Angsty Romance
Release Date: January 23, 2020



Blurb

Relationships are ugly, dark—destructive. 

They aren’t fairy tales. 

No happily ever after neatly wrapped in a shiny bow or sparkling diamond with a heartfelt engagement. 

And in their end, love was nothing but a beautiful lie told to hide the ugly truth. 

This is reality’s illusion.







Purchase Links

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

Free in Kindle Unlimited





Excerpt

Emily asserted herself, testing the waters to see if I’d let her lead when she aligned me with the bed and encouraged me to sit. She wiggled her way between my thighs and forced me to spread them wider to accommodate her frame when she returned to her knees in front of me. It didn’t take her long to rectify the damage our conversation had done to my erection when she cupped my balls and stroked my cock. When my head passed those supple lips, I laid back in bliss. It was selfish and greedy, but the need to allow a woman to physically take care of me was all-consuming. My dick in her mouth removed my ability to think. It wasn’t until I heard the wrapper tearing that I realized Emily planned to fuck me, not just suck me off.
A lazy smile spread across my face when I tried to sit up, but she pushed me back.
“Just enjoy, Bastian.”
And I did.
She rode me like I was a bull in a damn rodeo, but she didn’t get off in eight seconds. Her pussy was tight and warm, blissful. Nearing the apex, her movements got stronger, faster; she was a goddamn pro. My face flushed as my entire body tensed, my ass clenched, and every thought in my head left—the lights went out in my brain. They flicked back on when the body spasms took over, and I unloaded into the condom. She didn’t stop until I was motionless. My heart pounded, and by God, I’d never felt more relaxed and sated. I also had no clue whether she’d gotten off or just gotten me off.
Opening my eyes, I found Emily still poised on my dick. But it wasn’t her face that interested me. I focused on her red tuft of hair and her bright pink, swollen pussy. I had zero desire to get to know her, to cuddle her, or even want to see her again.
It was good.
I’d enjoyed it.
And now I just wanted to leave.
Jesus, I was a self-centered, narcissistic, prick.
When she climbed off, I assumed she went to the bathroom to clean up but was surprised when she came back with a warm washcloth. Emily removed the condom from my now-flaccid cock with practiced ease and wiped away the mess before disposing of the rubber. Out of nowhere, she reappeared with a cold bottle of water and tossed a throw over the lower half of my body before she donned a silky robe from behind the door.
She took a seat in the chair in the corner, and I tilted my head to see her from a different angle. She really was a beautiful woman.
“You’d look gorgeous on a canvas.”
Her demure smile told me she assumed it was the compliment I had intended it to be. “Do you use models? Your work doesn’t look like still life.”
“No. I don’t, but that doesn’t mean I don’t paint from inspiration. Have you seen my work?” I wouldn’t have pegged her as the art type. That was a rather narrow-minded view of someone I knew nothing about, but she just didn’t give off that vibe.
“I’ve known Ferry for a long time. A person can’t be involved in his life without knowing those he deems important.” She crossed her legs and put her hands in her lap. “So yes, I’ve seen a lot of your work. Ferry speaks very highly of your talent. He thought you were great many years ago and was saddened by your sudden flight from the community.” Emily seemed to search my expression for something, or maybe she waited for an explanation she wouldn’t receive. “But my understanding is since your return, everything about both you and your painting is completely transformed. I can’t wait to see your latest work at Le Musée on Friday.”
I sat up straight. “Ahh, shit. You’re a collector?” Nervously, I found my hand in my hair, pulling on it in frustration. This was not a good way to start the weekend.
“Bastian, really, calm down. I’m a woman who loves sex and art. They can’t be exclusive of each other, so why pretend like they are. We’re consenting adults. I’m thrilled to have shared pleasure with you as your work has shared with me over the years.”
That wasn’t a topic I cared to discuss, and I made a pathetic attempt to go a different direction. “Who’s your favorite artist?” I couldn’t get any more fucking elementary school than that unless I asked her about her favorite color.
Jesus, I just needed to get the fuck up and leave, go back to my own room. I didn’t need to have an obligatory conversation just because we’d had sex that she initiated.
I was a socially awkward moron.
She sat forward, eager to have a conversation. “Hmm…I’m really into photography, I love Ansel Adams. Kind of trite, I know, but I have a thing for clouds. His black and whites just give the sky so much depth. I get lost in them. But I love Kandinsky, Tarkay, Klimt, O’Keefe. It’s all about color for me, and yes, I realize the idiocy since I love black and white photography. There are tons of local artists around LA I follow as well. I try to make it a point to pick up an original piece any time I go on vacation. I frame some of them, but most stay wrapped in tubes.” She twisted her fingers in front of her as if she were embarrassed by her tastes or collection. “My trinkets from my travels.” Her left shoulder hitched in a bit of a shrug that I found adorable. She was nervous, and for the first time since we’d met, I had the upper hand.
“Are you involved in the art community for a living?”
She sat back, and a sort of sadness washed over her features. “No. My husband’s a very successful businessman. I don’t work.”
I spat a mouthful of water across the room. “Your what?” Wiping my lips, I tried to get a hold on the situation. “Did you say your husband?” I didn’t do married women, not that I did women period, but never those in a relationship of any sort.






Author Bio


Stephie Walls is a lover of words—the more poetic the better. She lives on the outskirts of Greenville, South Carolina in her own veritable zoo with two dogs, three cats, the Mister, and Magoo (in no preferential order).

She would live on coffee, books, and Charlie Hunnam if it were possible, but since it’s not, add in some Chinese food or sushi and she’s one happy girl.


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