New Release

Broken Deeds MC: Second Generation #1

OUT NOW: Broken Deeds MC: Second Generation #1

Books2read.com/BDMCArcher

Genre: Standalone, Biker Romance
Author: Esther E. Schmidt
Cover Design: Esther E. Schmidt
Model: Alex Michael Turner
Photographer: Reggie Deanching, rplusmphoto.com
Release Day: January 12, 2021

Taking over as the President of Broken Deeds MC, claiming an old lady, getting married, becoming a father; Archer has hit life full throttle ever since he took the gavel from his father. Life at breakneck speed opens the door for possibilities and for a man in his position, this can quickly turn any incident into a life or death situation.

Born and raised in an MC, Beatrice is very aware of life and love when it comes to bikers. But when you marry your first love where feelings have been growing for many years, being stuck in a rut feels like a battle on a daily basis. Except, being the president’s old lady adds dodging bullets to the mess life throws at you.

Can this couple face their newly found rut and hold strong through every situation? Or will life take a turn, robbing them from moving forward and end dreams where new life barely started?

Broken Deeds MC handles cases the government can’t close; they take charge and won’t stop until justice is served. This second generation is a series where each book is a new couple, handling a new case, and can each be read as a complete standalone with a happily ever after.

Release Blitz

Spark by Chelle Bliss

Spark (Men of Inked Heatwave 6)

by Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling romance author Chelle Bliss.

Can be read as a standalone.

Genre: Contemporary Romance

#Spark #ChelleBliss #NewRelease #Romance #BareNakedWords #MenofInked

The Men of Inked are back
!
Audio
Audio
𝗖𝗮𝗻 𝗯𝗲 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝗮𝘀 𝗮 𝗦𝗧𝗔𝗡𝗗𝗔𝗟𝗢𝗡𝗘

Blurb

Nick Gallo lives wild and free, avoiding any complications or drama. But when he overhears a conversation at a late-night taco stand, he can’t help but insert his two cents, telling the woman she was too good for that kind of hassle.

Josephine Carmichael lives in the crosshairs of the paparazzi as the child of a Hollywood power-couple. But when her celebrity boyfriend has an affair while they’re on vacation, she takes off to the middle-of-nowhere Florida, ending up crying in her nachos.

And when Nick finds Josephine sleeping in the parking lot of a local store, his protective instincts take over. What starts out as a simple favor, takes them down a road they never imagined.

Spark is the sixth book in the new steamy romance Men of Inked: Heatwave series by Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author Chelle Bliss.

 

Available Now!

HEATWAVE SERIES
③ Wildfire→ menofinked.com/wildfire
⑤ Ignite→ menofinked.com/ignite

Meet the Author

USA Today bestselling author Chelle Bliss currently lives in a small town near the Gulf of Mexico. She’s a full-time writer, time-waster extraordinaire, social media addict, and coffee fiend. She’s written over ten books and has two series available. She loves spending her free time with her boyfriend, 2 cats, and her hamster.

Before becoming a writer, Chelle taught high school history for over ten years. She holds a master’s degree in Instructional Technology and a bachelor’s in History. Although history is her first love, writing has become her dream job and she can’t imagine doing anything else.

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Release Blitz

Getting Lucky by Denise Grover Swank and A.R. Casella

Getting Lucky, an all-new sexy standalone romantic comedy in the laugh-out-loud Asheville Brewery Series by New York Times bestselling author Denise Grover Swank and A.R. Casella is available now!

One night. Just one night.

Or at least that’s what Maisie tells herself when she brings Jack Durand home. Because even though his arms are a thing of beauty and he can charm wild animals (a huge turn-on for an animal lover like her), she’s in no position to start anything with anyone. So she pretends she’s just scratching an itch.

Jack is pretending too. His little sister is moving to Asheville as his ward, and between getting her through her senior year of high school and working at the family brewery, he doesn’t have time for a girlfriend. Even a sexy, no-nonsense powerhouse like Maisie.

But he can’t stop thinking about her, and it turns out he doesn’t have to. Her best friend, River, announces his engagement to Jack’s half-sister, Georgie, and—surprise!—they’re both in the wedding party.

Fate keeps throwing Jack and Maisie together, reminding them of how good they are together . . . which would be a whole lot less complicated if she hadn’t spent half her life in love with River.

Download your copy today, or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/37JF2yl
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/gettingluckyabs

Add GETTING LUCKY to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3ouV7ys

About Denise Grover Swank

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Denise Grover Swank was born in Kansas City, Missouri and lived in the area until she was nineteen. Then she became a nomadic gypsy, living in five cities, four states and ten ho uses over the course of ten years before she moved back to her roots. She speaks English and smattering of Spanish and Chinese which she learned through an intensive Nick Jr. immersion period. Her hobbies include witty Facebook comments (in own her mind) and dancing in her kitchen with her children. (Quite badly if you believe her offspring.) Hidden talents include the gift of justification and the ability to drink massive amounts of caffeine and still fall asleep within two minutes. Her lack of the sense of smell allows her to perform many unspeakable tasks. She has six children and hasn’t lost her sanity. Or so she leads you to believe.

Connect with Denise
Facebook: https://bit.ly/3gLPdF2
Instagram: https://bit.ly/31QjfmL
Twitter: https://bit.ly/3gOHyFR
Stay up to date with Denise, join her newsletter: https://bit.ly/3gLPtnu
Website: https://bit.ly/3hRjcNl

About A.R. Casella

A.R. CASELLA is a freelance developmental editor by day, writer by night. She lives in Asheville, NC with her husband, daughter, two dogs, and a variable number of fish. Her pastimes include chasing around her toddler, baking delicious treats, and occasional bouts of crocheting. Any Luck at All, co-written with New York Times bestselling author Denise Grover Swank, is her first book.

Connect with A.R. Casella
Facebook: https://bit.ly/3gOsV5v
Website: https://www.arcasella.com/

TEASER REVEAL

The Devil’s Vengeance by Bella J

The Devil’s Vengeance by International Bestselling Author Bella J is releasing on Feb. 22nd on Kindle Unlimited!

Pre-Order: https://amzn.to/2JFQe6W

Add it to your TBR on Goodreads: https://bit.ly/TDV2Goodreads

Gian

I knew I’d never have the luxury of choosing my own wife. An arranged marriage was a sacrifice men in my position had to make for their families. It wasn’t something I looked forward to, but it had to be done.

I just never imagined my father would choose her to be my bride. Daniela Moretti, the daughter of my enemy…and I intended to treat her as such.

But since the day she set foot in my house as my wife, my loathing of her turned into something deadlier than hate. Her strength intrigued me. Her fight seduced me. And I started seeing more in her than just dirty, filthy Moretti blood.

Now…she’s gone. Kidnapped. Vanished without a trace.

But the devil always finds what’s his, and when I do, my thirst for vengeance will be sated by blood.

Pre-Order: https://amzn.to/2JFQe6W

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/TDV2Goodreads

Read Book 1, THE DEVIL’S VOW: http://mybook.to/TheDevilsVow

TEASER REVEAL

MEET THE AUTHOR
BELLA J.

Bella J is an International Bestselling Author, who loves writing dark and gritty romance with alpha-holes who have absolutely no redeeming qualities…until they do. Maybe. 

Some of her bestselling novels/series include:

The Rise of Saint

The Fall of Sin

American Street Kings Series

Royal Mafia Series

She lives in Cape Town, South Africa with her husband, two kids, and a chihuahua who gets treated like royalty. 

Bella J’s writing motto: The darker the road to love, the sweeter the HEA.

WEBSITE: https://www.authorbellaj.com
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/BellaJNovels/
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/bellajauthor/
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/BellaJ_Author

TEASER REVEAL

Filthy Sex by Serena Akeroyd


 TEASER REVEAL!!! Filthy Sex by Serena Akeroyd releases January 28!!!
 
“An absolute fantastic story! I love the Filthy boys” – Goodreads reviewer
 
“AHHH!! I am officially addicted to Serena Akeroyd’s Five Points’ Mob Collection series” – Bookgasms Book Blog
 
Pre-order now!!!
 
US:
https://amzn.to/3bDZItb
UK: https://amzn.to/3haaWql
CA: https://amzn.to/3igAjrO
AU: https://amzn.to/3m2KxP1
 
Add to your Goodreads TBR ➩
http://bit.ly/3b3tTM9
Bloggers & Bookstagrammers, sign up to review ➩ http://bit.ly/2LkNBba
 
He was the last man I should turn to.
A forbidden taboo that no woman wanted to cross.
Worse still, he’s no one’s idea of a white knight.
But this pawn has no alternative.
I’m locked in a war that’s not of my making, and I’m tied to a destiny I have no say in.
For someone like me, Brennan O’Donnelly represents something intangible—safety.
A single promise unlocks options I didn’t dare dream of possessing…
A future.
A family.
He’s hard. He’s dangerous. He’s filthy.
Yet, somehow, he’s exactly what I crave.
Now I just need to make him see me for what I am—his Queen.
If he’ll have me.
 
 
ALSO AVAILABLE
 
Filthy
 
US:
https://amzn.to/35uWsPL
UK: https://amzn.to/3iuoWg2
CA: https://amzn.to/3iy4meQ
AU: https://amzn.to/2Rq5y80
Books2Read: https://bit.ly/35xAnjr
 
Free in Kindle Unlimited
 
Filthy Rich
 
US:
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UK: https://amzn.to/3c3P5hY
CA: https://amzn.to/2X2gL2n
AU: https://amzn.to/2ZDytec
Books2Read: https://bit.ly/35Eu7GV
 
Free in Kindle Unlimited
 
Filthy Dark
 
US:
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UK: https://amzn.to/3jNzubk
CA: https://amzn.to/30Zr5sA
AU: https://amzn.to/2X4ZJ36
Books2Read: https://books2read.com/FilthyDark
 
Free in Kindle Unlimited

 

@serena_akeroyd
 
#FilthySex #SerenaAkeroyd #darkromance #mafiaromance #bookpreorder #teaserreveal #TheFivePointsMobCollection #FilthyFeckersSeries

 

Cover Reveal

Guarded (Hazak Private Security Book 1) by Jade Webb

Title: Guarded
Series: Hazak Private Security Book 1
Author: Jade Webb
Genre: Contemporary Steamy Romance
Release Date: February 12, 2021
Cover Design: Meet Cute Creative



GABBY
Accompany my pop star sister on her tour to prevent another meltdown splashed across the tabloids…
Easier said than done.
Though, it’s not like I was given a choice.
And after meeting Liam, her gorgeous bodyguard, I’m starting to think being stuck on this tour might not be the worst thing.
Especially when his lips are on mine and my legs quiver from the way he touches me.
But secrets never stay buried for long.
When the truth flips my world upside down, who can I trust?
The man whose arms I long for?
Or is he hiding even more that will leave us in ruins…or worse?

LIAM
The number rule for every bodyguard: never mix business with pleasure.
I’ve never had a problem keeping my boundaries clear until I meet Gabby Monroe.
The whip-smart, sarcastic, and sexy brunette is just too tempting for me to resist.
So why bother trying?
Giving in to my feelings for her offers me something I’ve never had before—a chance at true happiness.
At least…for now.
The secret I hold could destroy everything, or worse — put Gabby in danger.
And I’ll do anything to protect her.
Even if it means that she will hate me forever.

Guarded was previously published as Guarding Her Heart, though past readers will enjoy this completely revised edition.




    GABBY

 May 14, New York City 


I have lived twenty-five years, attended private school—the kind where you’re forced to wear knee socks and suffocatingly hot wool blazers—graduated with a degree from an Ivy League and have traveled the world. I speak three languages fluently, played tennis at a competitive level, and know which forks to use when at a dinner party. I’ve even met three members of the British royal family. I am an accomplished woman. And despite all those impressive achievements, I still regularly hide from my boss in the deserted basement-level women’s bathroom.

It is not something I am very proud of, but if you ever met my boss you would understand in a heartbeat. My boss is kind of a terrible person. 

I have been working for Dana Basch at Monroe Editorial for exactly three years and twelve days. And I have been using this neglected and forgotten basement bathroom as my hiding place for three years and eleven days, since realizing my boss was secretly the devil and I needed somewhere I could hide and cry while lamenting all my life’s choices up to this point. And not once in those three years and eleven days have I ever seen a single soul in this bathroom. 

Except for today. Because today some couple has decided that the bathroom stall directly next to mine will be the perfect place for a mid-morning romp. 

The trick to hiding in the bathroom is to work on your thigh muscles. I’m talking a dedicated twenty minutes every day of squats and heel lifts. That way, should someone peer under your toilet stall, you can use your squatting skills to hide your shoes from view. I have worked my way up to a solid ten minutes. Any longer and my legs start to quake and there is a serious danger my ankle might roll and my foot would land right in the middle of that porcelain bowl. 

I’m currently on minute nine, admonishing myself for all those days I had skipped my squats. Had I not, maybe I would have been able to last an extra five or six minutes. But alas, my legs are beginning to feel like jelly and I need a plan. I have two choices. I can either announce my presence by tumbling into the toilet and destroying both my perfectly good shoes and my dignity, or try to sneak out of here without the couple—who are aggressively having sex in the stall next to me—hearing me. 

Okay, Gabby. It’s decision time. 

I decide to sneak. Based on the sounds they are currently making, I doubt this little rendezvous will end any time soon and I can’t hide here much longer. Dana is already undoubtedly canvassing the building for me. I was supposed to make fifty collated copies of her report for a meeting tomorrow, but I messed it up because, despite having a master’s degree, I have zero idea how to collate. And to be perfectly honest, I’m not entirely even sure what collating papers means. But luckily, Staples down the block does and they emailed me that my order was ready about fifteen seconds after these randy employees stumbled into the bathroom.

I extend my arms, laying my palms flat against the sides of the stall to balance as I slide one foot down to the ground. My heel barely makes a sound thanks to a perfectly timed grunt on behalf of the gentleman. With one foot on the ground, I am able to pick up my other one and drop it on the ground without a sound. I then freeze, seeing if my presence has been discovered. After a few seconds, I am sure I am in the clear. Now the challenging part of how to unlock the door and tiptoe those twelve or so steps to the door without getting noticed. 

I decide that heels should be off to make this kind of exit. Once I make it past the bathroom stall door, there is no looking back. I will need to run and I will need to pick up some bleach on the way to Staples to wash out my ears from all the sex sounds that have been my soundtrack for the last nine minutes. 

Carefully, I slip out of my heels, holding on to them with my left hand as I use my right to slide the lock down. I also hike my pencil skirt up my thighs a bit to allow for a greater range of motion for my dramatic escape. My breath stills as I carefully and slowly slide the lock. Thankfully the gentleman is a grunter with a pretty predictable tempo so I can time the final click with a grunt. I steel myself, ready to run. One, two, grunt and three! 

I slide the lock open and dart out of the stall like a horse fleeing its corral. Twelve steps and I am free of this nightmare. What I had forgotten when I rushed out of the stall, however, was to hold the door from swinging back and creating a loud clack as it slammed closed. I’m only four steps from the door, but I freeze at the loud clang. Apparently, when provided with the options of “fight, flight or freeze” I will opt for the last option. My bare feet cement to the ground as I hear the couple abruptly stop and mumble out a string of profanities. 

Run, Gabby. You need to run! 

My body finally listens to my head and I race toward the bathroom door. Behind me I hear their bathroom stall open. Just three more steps and I can run away and plausibly deny that I was ever a witness to any of this. I reach the door handle and run, not even looking as I run directly into the person I had been desperately trying to avoid. My boss. 

“Oh my God, I am so sorry!” I drop my heels and reach out and grab her so that she doesn’t fall backward. I open my mouth to offer an excuse—any excuse—when I see that Dana is not alone. My father stands behind her as does a very tall and extremely handsome man behind him. All three of them are watching me—Dana with abject disdain and annoyance, my father with disappointment, and the man behind him with mild amusement. Because of course I would be caught running out of a bathroom, shoeless, by my boss, my father, and a sexy stranger. It’s basically my worst nightmares combining together in real life. 

Before I can even try to explain, the bathroom door bursts open a second time and a man and a woman stumble out. I think I recognize the woman from our accounting office, and I definitely recognize the man from our marketing department, who happens to be very much married but not to the woman from accounting. His tie is askew and he is still buckling his belt as he walks out of the bathroom, his eyes focused downward so he doesn’t immediately see the small crowd gathered in front of him. The woman, however, does and lets out a little shriek of surprise. Her blouse needs just one more button to hide her pink lacy bra, and her red lipstick is smudged halfway across her cheek. At the sound of his potty partner’s shriek, the man looks up, horrified. He recognizes my father, who I should probably mention is the CEO of this company, and all the color drains from his face. If I weren’t so screwed myself, I might even have laughed a bit. I glance up at the man behind my father, who looks like a GQ model and is currently watching me with a very curious look, like I am an extinct species at a zoo. And while any other day, I might find this somewhat flattering, at this moment I can’t be bothered to spare him any thought. Not when I need to figure out what the hell my father is doing with my boss. Oh, and coming up with an excuse for why I had been hiding in an all but abandoned bathroom with an adulterous pair of colleagues. 

“What the hell is going on here?” my father barks as he gestures to me, the man, and the woman. Before I can explain, my father follows up with a second question. “What were you all doing in there?” He does not bother to hide his disgust. 

It’s then that I finally realize what this must look like. Three adults, each rushing out of a women’s bathroom, in the part of the building no one works in, all in various states of undress. Me without my shoes and my skirt hiked up to mid-thigh, the man without his belt, and the woman missing a few buttons on her blouse. Clearly it looks like all three of us had been enjoying a threesome at ten thirty on a Tuesday morning. Shit. 

“No!” I call out, my voice a few octaves higher than normal. “I was not”—I turn to gesture to the nameless couple behind me—“part of that. I was hiding…I mean, using…the bathroom. And then they came in and started to…initiate their meeting. And I was going to wait it out but then my thighs were getting sore. But not because I was…you know…but because I was stuck squatting on the toilet.” 

If possible, the already palpable tension grows impossibly more awkward and tense. Great job, Gabby. While I may have proved my innocence, it now sounded like I had been taking a gigantic dump instead of the more awkward, but definitively sexier, hooking up in the bathroom. Which I know I shouldn’t care about at this moment, because I am clearly in a world of trouble, but this random dude behind my dad was making me nervous and I thought it would be important for him to know that I was, in fact, not pooping while two people were having sex two feet away from me. 

My father clears his throat and looks at my boss, Dana. “Is this,” he says, waving his hand over all of us, each looking more embarrassed than the next, “a daily occurrence here? I am beginning to seriously doubt your capability in managing your office.”

Any other day, I would have loved to see Dana taken to task. Loved it! But, despite her being the living reincarnation of Satan and busting my lady balls every possible second, she doesn’t deserve to be blamed for this. Well, she deserves to be a teensy bit blamed for my needing to find a place to cry since she makes me cry pretty much every day. But the random couple hooking up in the stall next door? Not Dana’s fault. 

Dana’s normally composed face turns a shade of beet red. I’ve never seen her like this. She looks mortified, and as much as I can’t believe I am going to do this, I take a step forward.  “Dad, please, this isn’t Dana’s fault. I was just…needing a break and sometimes come down here to get away.”

Dana gasps and looks at me, then looks at my father, then back to me. “Dad?” she asks, her voice a shaky squeak just before she collapses into the very tall, and very handsome, man’s arms. 





Jade Webb is a lover of romance novels that feature strong heroines who know that the loves that may come into their lives are always the icing, and never the cake. 

She has had a lifelong affair with romance novels, beginning when she would sneak them into her Bible at her all-girls Catholic school after she was chastised for asking too many questions (a lingering side effect from a childhood spent grilling her Rabbi at Hebrew School each week) 

And thanks to her own marriage, Jade has learned that the challenges of life can only help to make love stronger and she is eternally grateful to her partner for embodying all the magic that love can offer. 

When she is not writing or dreaming up new stories, she can be found using her very expensive Masters of Social Work degree as a coaster while designing book covers and websites for romance authors at Meet Cute Creative while also wrangling sharp objects away from her toddler.



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Release Boost

Bulldog by Delta James

Bulldog by Delta James is live!
Amazon — https://amzn.to/2Lg37Wf
Universal — getbook.at/BulldogDJ
FREE in Kindle Unlimited

She wears the collar because she is his. She is his because her body knew its master.

The moment Olivia Miles resorted to fighting dirty in a fencing match, Lord Nigel Pederson decided to teach her a shameful lesson, but as her quivering bottom reddened under his punishing hand the arousal pooling between her thighs made it clear she needs to be mastered completely.

She will wear his collar, obey his every command, and await his permission to speak, and she will be sent to bed each night even more sore and thoroughly used than she was the night before.

She is his now, and he is going to leave her in no doubt of it.

Publisher’s Note:Bulldog is a stand-alone novel which is part of the Mercenary Masters series. It includes spankings and sexual scenes. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.


About Delta James:

If you’re looking for paranormal, dark and contemporary western erotic romance, you’ve found your new favorite author!

FREE books anyone?

Delta James has four or more novellas per year for her VIP readers group. Want yours? Copy and paste this link in your browser!

https://www.subscribepage.com/VIPlist22019
Alpha heroes find real love with feisty heroines in Delta James’ sinfully sultry romances. Welcome to a world where true love conquers all and good triumphs over evil! Delta’s stories are filled with erotic encounters of romance and discipline.

Delta is always happy to hear from her readers and responds personally. Reach out today!

EMAIL – deltajames-author@hotmail.com
FB page – https://www.facebook.com/DeltaJamesAuthor
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Release Blitz

Teddy’s Truth

Teddy’s Truth by KD Ellis

General Release Date: 12th January 2021

Word Count: 92,509 Book Length: SUPER NOVEL Pages: 357 Genres: ACTION AND ADVENTURE, CONTEMPORARY, CRIME, EROTIC ROMANCE, GAY, GLBTQI, MEN IN UNIFORM, THRILLERS AND SUSPENSE, TRANSGENDER

Add to Goodreads

Book Description

Teddy De Luca thought being born into the wrong body was the worst thing that had ever happened to him. Then he met Julian… All Teddy De Luca wants is for his outside to match his inside—so badly that he takes a loan from a Mexican cartel. It’s not like he can borrow the money from his alcoholic mother. She got him into this mess in the first place when she poured his savings into bottles of Jack. He figures he’ll get his operation, pick up a second job, then pay the debt off quickly and put it all behind him. When the cartel raises the stakes, his plan falls apart and he’s left with a mounting debt and no way out. Ian Romero is a second generation Hispanic-American whose only goal is to live the American dream—finish college, find the perfect partner and settle down. His inappropriate crush on his brother’s best friend isn’t going to stop him. But when his troubled brother becomes another victim of the local cartel, his plans change. He can’t save his brother, but he can get his revenge. After years apart, Teddy’s and Ian’s paths cross again, neither expecting the passion between them to re-ignite even hotter than before. Can Ian forgive Teddy’s role in his brother’s death to become the Daddy the younger man needs—or is their relationship destined to fail again? Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of violence, rape, and a live burial. There are BDSM elements including Daddy kink and mild power play. There are scenes of loan-sharking, blackmail, torture, public sex, parental neglect and domestic violence.

Excerpt

Teddy tugged at the hem of his overlarge sweatshirt then discreetly scratched beneath the band of his sticky sports bra. As far as he was concerned, breasts were disgusting lumps of fat that hoarded sweat, bounced like painful beanbags on his chest when he was busy catching a football and strained the front of any button-down he tried to wear. He couldn’t understand why boys were so obsessed with them. He personally couldn’t wait to get the damn things cut off. Hormone therapy had deepened his voice and given him a shadow of patchy fuzz on his jaw. Clippers had sheared him of his blond hair and his mother’s Italian heritage had blessed him with broad shoulders and narrow hips. It was unfortunate that it had also cursed him with breasts that not even puberty blockers had been able to thwart. He wished he could blame her awful time-management skills on their heritage as well, but he knew better. The fault lay with either Jack or John—the bottle or the boyfriend, whichever she was currently in bed with. He’d been sitting on the hard, concrete steps of the high school for almost an hour. It wasn’t like he could call her. His cell was out of minutes, and hers was probably dead on the nightstand. Just as the final school bus trundled back onto the parking lot and Teddy was about to give up on waiting, someone stepped up beside him, casting him in shadow. “Stay there,” Teddy ordered, craning his head back until he could grin at his best friend. “Perfect. Be my sun block.” Shiloh, still in his leotard, laughed and nudged Teddy’s hip with his shoe. “If you don’t think I shine brighter than the sun, then clearly I’m not wearing enough glitter.” “Shine as bright as you want, but just keep standing there. Fuck, it’s hot!” Teddy gripped his collar and tugged at it repeatedly, trying to stir a breeze. All it ended up doing was wafting the stench of boob sweat up into his face. “Well, duh, it’s ninety degrees—and you’re in a sweater.” Shiloh rolled his eyes and dropped onto the curb beside him. “And it’s not even pink.” Teddy opened his mouth, his usual response dancing on his tongue—that boys don’t wear pink—but he swallowed it. Shiloh was currently in a hot pink leotard and pink Chucks. Instead, Teddy shrugged and glared down at his baggy jeans and boring blue sweater. “You know why.” It was hard enough getting people to call him Teddy instead of Thea. Or, worse, Theodora. “I’m going to make you a shirt. It’s going to be pink and fabulous. It’s going to say, ‘Call Me Teddy’. And it’s going to be in glitter.” Shiloh threw an imaginary handful into the air, then fell back to lie on the sidewalk, his arms flung out. “With your handwriting, they’d probably think you wrote ‘Daddy’.” Teddy dropped back to use Shiloh’s arm as a pillow. Shiloh shifted but didn’t pull away. He just rolled onto his side, his blond hair flopping into his eyes. He left his arm beneath Teddy’s head, bringing their faces close enough that their noses nearly touched. “It’s not that bad. Besides, you’re clearly not a Daddy.” Teddy rolled his eyes. Ever since he’d borrowed Shiloh’s laptop to finish up his college application essays—and forgotten to clear his search history after falling down the rabbit hole of kinky porn—Shiloh’s teasing had been less than subtle. Teddy refused to be embarrassed, though, especially since the only reason he’d stumbled onto that website in the first place was because Shiloh had left three separate bookmarks for it. It reinforced everything Teddy knew about their relationship. They were destined to be the bestest of friends—but nothing more. They were both too attracted to the same type of man—tall, dark and dangerous. Still, knowing his friend was into the same kinks that he was didn’t mean they needed to talk about it. He ignored the leading comment and switched back to the far safer topic of handwriting. “Remember when Mr. Carmine thought you wrote an essay on Storage Wars?” “Hey, Mr. Carmine also thought you wrote an essay about Quasimodo.” “I did write him an essay about Quasimodo. Well, really about how the novel by Victor Hugo helped raise the money needed to restore the cathedral, and—” Teddy felt the beginnings of a spiel on gothic architecture creeping up. Shiloh interrupted, “Yeah, buttresses…a rose window. I remember. I still think the gargoyles are creepy.” “You said buttresses,” Teddy snickered, shoving Shiloh’s shoulder. “Teddy, can I touch your buttress?” “Your hand can stay far away from my buttress, fuck you very much.” “It’s like a butt fortress. I just want to invade your buttress! Why are you so mean to me?” Shiloh rolled onto his back and kicked his feet against the sidewalk like an angry toddler, except for the smile on his face. “No, it’s impregnable!” Teddy stuck out his tongue. “Well, duh, you’re a boy. Of course you’re impregnable.” “Something tells me you don’t know what that word means.” Immediately, Shiloh rattled off the definition. “Impregnable. Unable to be captured or broken into. Also, unable to be defeated or destroyed. But you have to admit that it sounds an awful lot like it means you can’t make babies.” “And thank God for that,” Teddy shivered at the thought of being responsible for a little, squalling, helpless baby. “I might miss wearing pink, but I won’t miss that.” Teddy froze at the accidental admission. His therapist had told him that it was normal, that gender was a spectrum and that just because he still liked feminine things didn’t make his desire to transition less valid. Still, it was the first time he’d admitted it to anyone except his therapist. Shiloh sat up slightly to face him better. “You can still wear pink. You can wear whatever the fuck you want.” Shiloh’s voice hardened. “And if anyone bothers you about it, I’ll cover their lockers in gay porn. Just say the word.” “The poor football players won’t know what to do with themselves. Think of all the spontaneous erections.” The few he’d dated had been far more interested in his ass than a straight guy probably should be—not that he’d obliged, since he refused to be anyone’s dirty little secret. Shiloh sighed. “It would be a beautiful gift to all of us.” A black Mercedes pulled up to the curb, barely parking before the driver was leaning on the horn. “Impatient bastard,” Shiloh grumbled. “I don’t know why he’s in a hurry. He gets paid by the hour.” “Well, that stick is so far up his ass it has to be uncomfortable sitting down.” Teddy sat up and straightened his sweatshirt. The Becketts’ driver was a homophobic dick. He didn’t understand how the man hadn’t been fired yet. Shiloh pushed himself to his feet. “I bet he has hemorrhoids. That’s probably where he rushes off to every night.” “Ew. You picture him rubbing cream on his ass?” Teddy teased. Shiloh gagged, shoving Teddy to the side. “Gross. You’re such a dick. I don’t know why I hang out with you.” “Because you love me.” The Mercedes blared its horn again, a demanding series of honks that only ended when Shiloh threw a hand up in acknowledgment. “I gotta go. Do you have a ride?” Teddy shrugged. “Yeah. She must just be running late or something. I’m sure she’ll be here soon.” He knew she wouldn’t be, but he’d rather walk than listen to the driver sling slurs. He didn’t understand how Shiloh dealt with it. Shiloh hesitated on the bottom step, looking like he wanted to say something, but all he did was give a small nod and say, “Okay. See you Monday?” “Yeah, see you.”

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About the Author

KD Ellis

KD Ellis is a professional cat wrangler by day, and an author by night. She moved from a small town to an even smaller village to live with her husband and wife and their two children. She loves reading— anything with men loving men. She writes queer romance in between working her two jobs and cuddling her pets—all six of them, which confuses the turtle.

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Lost in LA

Lost in L.A. by Amy Craig

Heat Rating: Simmering Sexometer: 2 Word Count: 91,876 Book Length: SUPER NOVEL Pages: 353 Genres: CONTEMPORARY, CHICK LIT, EROTIC ROMANCE

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Book Description

She agreed to a fake relationship to shield her feelings, but their rules don’t address his secrets or the magnitude of what they can build together. Wylie’s beachside yoga classes feel like the California dream, but when an eviction notice sends her scrambling for a new place to live, she realizes that life on the streets isn’t for the faint of heart. She strikes a promotion deal with a food truck vendor named Nolan, but an impromptu kiss proves she wants more than a side of fries from the man. He asks her out, but she demurs, knowing she can’t handle a relationship right now. When her SUV gets towed, Nolan helps her recover the vehicle and proves his heart of gold by renting her a room in the plush compound he calls home. Faced with a bevy of overachieving new roommates, Wylie tries her best to impress the neighborhood elites. When an elderly couple stops by unannounced, she takes her act a step too far and pretends she’s Nolan’s girlfriend. When he asks her to play along to help him close the deal on a commercial kitchen, she agrees to mask her feelings, but their rules don’t address his secrets or the magnitude of what they can build together. Reader advisory: This book deals with homelessness. There is a scene of attempted mugging, a gunshot injury, references to suicide, an implied abusive relationship and a brief scene of sexual harassment.

Excerpt

Wylie stood in the shadowed hallway of the two-bedroom apartment, her fist clenched as she brainstormed ways to fight an eviction notice. Dottie, her roommate, was texting her from the security of the bathroom. Couldn’t she face me? After four months of cohabitation, Wylie knew very little about the woman. She mostly found it funny when the overpaid nanny confiscated candy from her sugar-restricted charges, retreated to the bathroom and savored the contraband where no one could see her. Today, Wylie struggled to find humor in the situation. Breathing through her frustration, she released her fist and sank to the floor. “The wrappers in the trashcan give you away,” she whispered. “We both know what you’re doing in there.” She looked down the hallway and focused on the living room couch where Dottie’s orange-and-white cat luxuriated on the corduroy fabric, as smug as its owner. White mini-blinds cast stripes of sunlight on the room’s beige carpet, valance drapes and dusty brass fixtures. As a native of Santa Monica, Wylie understood that the furnished apartment on Montana Avenue and Fifth Street relied on its location to attract tenants. The nineteen-hundred dollars a month sublease let her walk to the beach where she taught yoga, but the cat paid nothing for his sunlit pleasure. Maybe I’ll take you with me. I could hold you for ransom until Dottie adds me to the lease. The cat yawned. You’re right. You’re not worth the trouble. Steam seeped beneath the bathroom door, as nebulous as her counterarguments and self-doubts. Ignoring the tacky feel of the semi-gloss paint, she leaned against the bathroom door and pulled her fingers through her long blonde hair. This is what I get for being too trusting and naïve. I should have put my name on the lease. I should have known better than to get myself into this mess. I could find Dottie a boyfriend. A girlfriend. Whatever. Threaten to reveal her undocumented cat. Light her bed on fire. She laughed and released her hair to cover her mouth. Shit, that wasn’t appropriate. She rapped on the bathroom door. “Dottie! Let’s talk about this situation like grown women. I’m this close to finishing two-hundred hours of professional certification and landing a full-time job with benefits. What am I supposed to do now? Live on the streets?” Her ostensible roommate remained silent. “There has to be another alternative.” The faucet ran as Dottie added hot water to her tub, ignoring their shared utility costs and the environmental impacts of her two-hour bath. “What’s done is done. Cousin’s in and you’re out.” Wylie exhaled, finding it impossible to reason with a woman who lacked the courage to face her. “This isn’t right. Don’t you have to give me some notice or something? Don’t you even feel bad about what you’re doing?” “Not really.” She hung her head. It doesn’t matter if she stays in that bathtub until the floor caves in. Her name’s on the lease and she calls the shots. “I know I promised you a year—” Wylie’s hope soared. “But we all thought my cousin would fail her semester at UC and have to repeat it. Maybe, like, twice. Now that she’s graduated, she’s decided to come to Los Angeles to pursue her acting career.” The plastic snap of a toiletry bottle echoed in the tiled room. “My aunt called and told me this morning. What am I supposed to do?” “Tell your mom you already have a roommate? One who’s never been late paying rent?” She considered kicking down the door and upending the bubble bath all over Dottie’s head. “A roommate who changes the litter box for the cat you’re not even supposed to have in the apartment!” “Leave Snickerdoodle alone.” Wylie eyed the cat. “I love animals.” The cat stood, repositioned himself and presented his ass to Wylie. Wylie stared at the bathroom door. “This is bad karma!” “Sorry, kid.” “Your cousin will never make it to her auditions on time.” Her words sped up and she stood, hoping her hard-won native logic could override the aspirations of a wannabe actress. “Your cousin needs to live in one of the San Fernando Valley neighborhoods. The Central and Eastside neighborhoods would be even better if she’s looking for a deal.” “She’s a trust-fund kid.” “She might decide this apartment isn’t a good fit. I don’t want you to end up with zero roommates. Maybe she could sleep on the couch for a while.” Water sloshed on the other side of the door and Wylie crossed her fingers, hoping her magnanimous offer cloaked her desperation. “That’s the thing. My cousin wants the second bedroom. My aunt already wired me six months of rent.” Of course she did. Wylie bit her lip and decided to play her final card. “I guess I could take the couch.” The bathwater stilled. Wylie clung to a moment of hope. “You’d still have to pay me the same rent.” The counteroffer hit Wylie like a rogue wave. Her eyes widened and she slapped the door in disbelief. “You can’t charge me the same amount you’re charging for a bedroom.” “Why not? My name’s on the lease. We’re not friends, Wylie. Take it or leave it.” She opened her mouth to accept a month on Dottie’s fur-strewn couch. The other woman pulled the plug on the bathwater. “You know what? Scratch that. I don’t want to put up with three women sharing one tiny bathroom. It’s not like we’re desperate.” Tears streamed down Wylie’s cheeks as she hung her head and let her hair shield her face. The draining water sucked away the last bit of her hope. Right now, I’m the definition of desperate. She cleared her throat, determined to retain her pride. “How long do I have until your cousin shows up? Like, a week?” “She’ll be here in the morning.” Wylie stared at the bathroom door. “Are you serious?” “Honestly, I thought you’d be gone by now.” She wiped away her tears. “Funny. I’m still here.” “You should probably leave tonight and make a clean break.” Laughter bubbled up in Wylie’s throat, displacing her desperation. “This is not helping me out. This is, like, the definition of not helping me out.” “I guess you can stay the night. I’ll use your deposit to pay for a cleaning service.” “You’re funny, Dottie. Fucking hilarious.” The woman remained silent for a minute. “Sorry, kid.” Wylie retreated to a bedroom full of mismatched furniture and cursed her stupidity. She shoved her clothes into her duffel bag, folded a set of sheets and crammed them on top of her clothes. People have done more with less. Dottie emerged from the bathroom wearing a towel and a hair turban straight from the archives of the home shopping channel. She tossed an envelope of cash on the bare mattress. “Here’s your deposit. I hope everything works out.” Wylie stared at the clumsy script bearing her name, Wylie Winidad. The sight of the familiar envelope brought tears to her eyes and she shook her head, realizing Dottie had never felt the need to deposit her hard-earned cash. “Thanks, I guess.” The woman nodded and retreated without saying another word. Wylie picked up the envelope of money and shoved it into her purse while she considered her predicament. Why do bad things happen to good people? I’ve done everything right since my parents left town. How am I going to scrape together the money I need for a deposit on my own place? I need to figure out a way to take care of myself, but there’s no wau I’m calling my parents. Most of the people I know have moved away and like…grown up. She thought of her mom and dad ensconced in an Oregon complex full of California refugees. ‘They’ll be the hardest years of your life,’ her mother had said, boxing up a lifetime of dishes and serving pieces. ‘You’re only twenty-six years old. Instead of fending for yourself, why don’t you tag along with us?’ ‘Because I belong here.’ ‘Oh, honey, you’ll always belong with us.’ Wylie blinked away the sting of tears. ‘Thanks, Mom.’ The next day, her parents had driven up the coast in a rental truck full of furniture and left her in Santa Monica with a wardrobe of frayed designer jeans, a jumble of high-priced loungewear and the athletic gear she needed to host her beachside classes. She’d gotten drunk with Natalia to celebrate her independence. Clinking glasses, they’d toasted having everything they needed. Most of their sporadic interactions involved yoga classes and cocktails, but Wylie knew her best friend would let her crash for a few days if she happened to be in town. Unfortunately, the spunky yoga enthusiast worked as a studio scout and her social media feed showed her scouting battle sites on the Horn of Africa. Who would let me in? Nobody. I have nobody left in this town. She wheezed as the reality of her situation set in. The muscles in her airways tightened and stress impeded her breathing. Now is not the time for an asthma attack. She focused on calming her rapid inhalations, but the muscles in her neck and chest tightened as panic set in. The pain of the clenching muscles echoed through her body. Doubling over, she scrambled for the rescue inhaler in her purse and dumped out the contents of the bag. The metallic inhaler caught her eyes. She pumped the cartridge, slumped to the floor and waited for the rush of the short-acting bronchodilator to relieve her systems. What would I do without my medicine? Twenty minutes later, her breathing slowed and she wondered when the misery of this day would end. Trusting her heart rate to remain stable, she struggled to her feet and hefted her duffel bag, testing her strength against an upset stomach and shaky limbs. I can do this. Dottie sat on the couch in a pair of pajamas, her turban in place while she watched a cooking show with the cat. I’m surprised she’s not hiding in her room. The cooking show went to commercials. Dottie looked up. “Do you need any help with your stuff?” Oh, so now you’re helpful? Wylie shook her head, dropped the first duffel bag by the front door and returned to the bedroom to grab the second one. She straightened her spine as she walked between her former roommate and a television chef demonstrating how to make pasta. “Adios, Snickerdoodle. It’s been swell.” The cat’s eyes remained closed.

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About the Author

Amy Craig

Amy Craig lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana USA with her family and a small menagerie of pets. She writes women’s fiction and contemporary romances with intelligent and empathetic heroines. She can’t always vouch for the men. She has worked as an engineer, project manager, and incompetent waitress. In her spare time, she plays tennis and expands her husband’s honey-do list. Find Amy at her website, on Amazon and follow her at BookBub.

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Enter to win a fabulous gift package and a $5.00 First For Romance Gift Code!

Amy Craig’s Lost in L.A.

AMY CRAIG IS GIVING AWAY THIS FABULOUS PRIZE TO ONE LUCKY WINNER. ENTER HERE FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A LOVELY GIFT PACKAGE AND A $5.00 FIRST FOR ROMANCE GIFT CODE! Notice: This competition ends on 20th January 2021 at 5pm GMT. Competition hosted by Totally Entwined Group.
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