Rachel, Out of Office by Christina Hovland is now live!
Out of reach, out of touch, out of her mind.
Single mom, Rachel Gibson seriously needs a break. Between an absent ex-husband, rowdy twin boys, managing the PTA, and running her own business, her candle isn't burning at both ends, it's a full-blown puddle of wax. She's the go-to girl for other entrepreneurs, handling all the tasks they dread. Social media posts? She's got it. Website updates? She's on it. Light bookkeeping? Oh, yes.
Thank goodness she's about to get a reprieve when her in-laws plan to whisk her boys away for a summer of fun at the family lake house. But when her ex backs out of the family retreat, and her former inlaws insist she attend their yearly vacation summit with her munchkins, she finds herself in a pickle. Even though she's drowning in to-dos, she's horrible at saying no — especially when it comes to her kids.
Once Rachel arrives at the lake house, she struggles to keep up with work and balance the demands of family all the while fending off pesky new feelings about her ex-brother-in-law. Which makes her start to wonder… Is falling for her ex-husband's brother just one more messy complication added to the dumpster fire? Or is anything possible when she's out of office…
Download your copy today!
Apple Books: https://apple.co/33WSaiB
USA Today Bestselling Author Christina Hovland lives her own version of a fairy tale–an artisan chocolatier by day and romance writer by night. Born in Colorado, Christina received a degree in journalism from Colorado State University. Before opening her chocolate company, Christina's career spanned from the television newsroom to managing an award-winning public relations firm. She's a recovering overachiever and perfectionist with a love of cupcakes and dinner she doesn't have to cook herself. A 2017 Golden Heart® finalist, she lives in Colorado with her first-boyfriend-turned-husband, four children, and the sweetest dogs around.
Connect with Christina
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To buy the other books in the Indigo Royal Resort Series, grab them here!
Cover Reveal, Excerpt & Giveaway: The Elven King’s Captive by Devon Vesper
Fated Elves, Book 1
An omega elven king finds his alpha. Unfortunately, he’s human.
Casersis Ardal, the former Sun King, is a First Generation elf of over three million years. He meets his match in Dustin Juniper, a twenty-year-old human construction worker.
Dustin has been in charge of his whole life since he was sixteen. But when he meets Casersis, destiny strips all his control away. His body, his heart, his whole world change when he comes into contact with a magical amulet and starts changing species. And falling in love with an ageless elven king makes him question everything.
Casersis has been alone on earth for millennia. Having a burgeoning elf around brings feelings he isn’t comfortable with. But he can’t let Dustin go. If the humans find out Dustin isn’t human, Dustin would become a science experiment. The only option Casersis has is to keep Dustin captive. He must protect Dustin from himself as the young man fights Casersis—and fate—every step of the way.
If they want to be together, Casersis and Dustin must find a way to compromise. Once in a lifetime takes on new meaning when you live forever.
This 73,000-word non-shifter omegaverse novel is set in a world where mpreg (male pregnancy) is a fact of life, however this series does not end with a baby or pregnancy.
Cover Reveal Exclusive Excerpt:I snatched my hands out of my pockets, thrust them out before me to regain my balance. Tried to stop my forward momentum. Just as I thought I’d eat the limo driver’s elbow, and possibly the sidewalk, my palms met a well-muscled chest covered in the softest fabric I’d ever touched, and something cold and tingly pressed into the fingers of my right hand. The man caught me by the biceps and gently righted me, as if I wasn’t street scum, as if I hadn’t just tried to plow the man down. He waited until I had my balance, and when I looked up into the man’s startling blue eyes, I gasped. My wits finally returned to me, and I nearly vomited the apology, “I’m so sorry! I wasn’t watching where I was going.” The man narrowed his eyes as if he heard the lie in my voice. But he said, “It’s all right. I remained where I was so you wouldn’t sprawl straight onto the floor of my car.” His voice was as silky and deep as a calm ocean. It flowed over me and left a pleasant tingle in its wake. Concern and something else I couldn’t name shone in the man’s intense blue eyes. “Are you all right?” I shivered, both from the autumn chill and from the smoky quality of the man’s sensual voice. My right hand started to burn, and I cradled it against my chest as I replied, “I don’t know how, but I think I burned my fingers on something.” I knew it was impossible, but my fingers hurt. With a tender touch, the man teased my hand out of my death grip and tickled my fingers until I reluctantly unclenched my fist. As he examined them, he lightly brushed the pads of his fingers over my calluses and tutted to himself. “It does not appear to be a burn, but you are, indeed, injured.” Great. Something dark flashed in the man’s eyes when he looked back up at me. He didn’t let go of my hand, but his grip remained gentle. Firm enough to keep me from pulling away, but he wasn’t being forceful. Yet. I stared at my hand in his as the ridges of the man’s necklace appeared on my fingers as if I were branded by it. And as the design completed, the world tilted. Everything spun. The bright streetlights and setting sun dimmed, and the world went black. I fell, or could feel myself falling, but before I hit the ground, strong arms caught me and the last thing I felt before darkness completely overtook me was being cradled against the beautiful man’s soft-as-clouds sweater and his breath tickling my ear as his voice echoed around me, “All will be well, young one. Come back to me.” And I wished I could. “Come back to me,” his voice echoed.
Enter the Giveaway:
To celebrate the magical cover reveal of Devon Vesper’s upcoming The Elven King’s Captive, we are giving away 3 advanced e-copies before it’s release!
Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!
Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/cc0f2a57125/?
About the Author:
I’m a mother, furbaby spoiler, and a girl who can’t get enough of pretty, pretty boys. As a kid, I traveled the world, too young to appreciate the gift I was given, but now those adventures spur on stories that my brain just can’t keep up with. Well, my brain tells me it keeps up just fine, but my fingers are the slow ones. I’ll let you decide. But the boys, man. The boys I remember make my heart sizzle looking back on them. Being a kid at nude beaches, I never cared, but looking back on those memories of Sicily, WHEW! There are some really great childhood images that I wish I could have been an adult to savor.Home is some place I call “rustic”. I’m used to large cities, stores everywhere, gas stations on every corner. Here in rural Pennsylvania, it’s rustic and beautiful. And quiet. Too quiet. With all this quiet, all there is to do is write stories, and let the hot men in my head out to play. We all benefit, yes? I like this development. The only thing I dislike about this rusticness is the fact I can’t find a coffee shop that sells a proper chai latte. They make it from powder. Ew. This makes for a disgruntled Dev. Ugh. I miss my chai.
Most of all, I am a down-to-earth southern girl at heart from spending 16 years in Florida. If you chat with me, you’ll hear endearments like darlin’, sweetheart, and hon/hun/hunnie. It’s who I am, and if we chat, you’re almost instantly family, so get used to it.
Connect with Devon: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorDevonVesper/ https://www.facebook.com/groups/devonsdreamersden https://www.instagram.com/devonvesper/ https://twitter.com/DevonVesper https://www.pinterest.com/devonvesper https://www.amazon.com/Devon-Vesper/e/B072KBRC51 https://www.bookbub.com/profile/devon-vesper
Stunning Cover Reveal & Excerpt for Run This Town Series by Avril Ashton!
AWARD-WINNING Author Avril Ashton brings you a heartstopping series of love, secrets, and the dangerous men caught between the two…
(Watch Me) Break You
They’re in a war for control of the streets, but love will be the ultimate prize.
Here comes trouble…
Men. Women. Drugs. Dima Zhirkov’s favorite things. Add in the element of danger and he should be right as rain. But not today. It’s not working, hasn’t for a long time. He’s grasping at the flimsiest of straws to prove he’s indeed strong enough to run his streets. Until he sets eyes on him. In the midst of a room full of strangers, Dima is drawn to a man as cold and dangerous as he is beautiful. Captivated, Dima embarks on a ruthless campaign to get his new toy into bed.
Here comes the danger…
Xavier “X” Storm is content to pull the strings while someone else handles the day to day dealings of his gang, The Rude Boys. He’s after what Dima holds closest—the Coney Island streets. He contracts out the job of killing the Russian, except Dima isn’t that easy to kill. When he suddenly shows up in X’s path, tempting him to indulge in the dirtiest play, he finds Dima isn’t all that easy to shake, either. His cocky attitude and rough submission tempt X to go where he’d vowed to never return, and they plunge headfirst into an affair fueled by possessive obsession.
Run for cover
Sex and pain Dima can handle, and X delivers the most depraved kind. Their connection is explosive, their games addictive, but Dima can end it whenever he wishes. He doesn’t see that X is breaking him down, giving Dima everything he wants and even more than he ever thought to need. By the time he realizes who X is and what he wants, Dima is raw and bullet-riddled. It’s run or fight. And Dima doesn’t back down. Neither does X.
Excerpt from (Watch Me) Break You“You haven’t asked my name. Why don’t you tell me yours and I’ll reciprocate.” Cold eyes regarded him steadily. “Xavier Storm.” Dima caught his bottom lip between his teeth, worrying the piercing there. “Xavier,” he murmured. “What do your friends call you?” “Are we friends?” “We’re a lot of things.” Dima winked. “Getting to be more by the minute.” For a second there he thought Xavier was going to roll his eyes, but he just said, “X. My friends call me X.” Dima grabbed his arm and pulled him close, their chests touching. “Xavier, it’s a pleasure. Really. I’m Dima Zhirkov.” He dropped his gaze from Xavier’s expressionless face to his lips. They needed biting in the worst way. “I want your emotions,” Dima whispered. “That control you keep a tight rein on, the power you work so hard to conceal. I want you to unleash it on me. All of it. And I want to watch your face when you do, when you let it all go. For me.” Xavier stiffened against him; it felt as if the other man had stopped breathing. Dima tightened his hold, not willing to risk letting Xavier out of arm’s length for an instant. “You’ve got the wrong guy, if that’s what you want.” Xavier’s voice was scratchy, full of static. Dima tilted his head back, meeting Xavier’s gaze. “Yeah? You think so?” “I know so.” Xavier was gone, yanking out of Dima’s hold effortlessly, opening the door and stepping outside. Dima raced after him. “You must want to put me in my place,” he said breathlessly as Xavier hurried to his car parked in Savannah’s fenced-in driveway. “Show me who’s in charge.” “You’ve got the gun, you’re in charge.” Xavier didn’t look at Dima as he pulled out his keys. “No.” Dima grabbed his shoulder, turning him around and stalling Xavier’s movement. “You. I want you. Your belt, my skin. Your hands. On me.”
(Watch Me) Body You
Denial only lasts so long…eventually the heart wins out
What if loving him…
After recent events that had his life flashing before his eyes, Israel Storm is re-evaluating everything. His friends. His priorities. What’s not going to change is the deep connection he’s developed with Reggie Turner. They’re comfortable with each other, partners in crime with no qualms about sharing women. Whatever Is needs, Reggie is the one he calls. Their bond can survive anything. But maybe not the kiss Reggie plants on him out of nowhere.
Means losing him?
Despite what Is thinks, that kiss came from somewhere. An un-named current has been flowing between them for months. Reggie doesn’t bat for his own team, but the more time he spends with Is, seeing past the rough façade of the man leading The Rude Boys, the more Reggie loses sight of labels and where he fits. All he knows is there’s something there, something Is will never acknowledge. One kiss leads to a punch that lands Reggie in the ER, and sends Is digging through his darkest memories in search of himself.
Friendship is all that’s left if they bury the truth. If they ignore the pull that makes it impossible to do anything other than fight. But denials can be exhausting and hiding isn’t working, not when everyone can clearly see your heart’s desire. An enemy is out to make an example of Is and his weapon of choice will leave this Rude Boy bloodied…and bodied.
(Watch Me) Unmask You
With one tug the thread unravels, and a world built on lies will come tumbling down
Too many bodies. Rivers of blood. Elias Kote sees them all in his sleep. Only the love of his husband and daughter keeps him alive and fighting. This contract killer is exhausted and weighed down with all the lies he tells every day. Who he is. What he does. How he came to have all he has. Elias can attest to nothing remaining hidden forever, but his secrets, when they do drop, shatters everything. Everyone. And leaves him scrambling to make his family whole again.
Ten years together. Three legally wed. One with their daughter. And in one night Lucky Mousasi’s world just…stops. What he thought was a random home invasion turns into way more. Masked men not only brutalize him, but they come armed with knowledge about Lucky, his husband, and the life he thought he knew. It seems nothing is coincidental, certainly not meeting and falling in love with Elias. Bruised, battered, heart ripped open, Lucky walks away.
An intimate rival will stop at nothing to neutralize the threat Elias poses, and the life he built out of guilt and desperation becomes collateral damage. When Lucky takes their daughter and disappears, Elias goes on a rampage. He will get his family back, but first he’s on an elimination mission. One bullet at a time.
(Watch Me) Save You
Is love enough to pull two drowning men back from the edge of darkness?
No one will love you. Tek Ng has heard that statement his entire life, and after all he’s been through, he believes it. The tortured reality of who he is wars with everything else in his world. He’s got a fiancée he doesn’t want, a family legacy he wants to escape, and unrequited love so unavoidable he descends into sexual depravity with the last person he should. Tek is drowning, but he’s not sure he wants to be saved.
Quinn Storm hides in his quiet house, afraid of his shadow and his memories. At one time he had a husband and a life, but that was snatched away in a violent attack. Hardly daring to live, Quinn is alive only because he’s too scared to end it all himself. He’s drowning and wants no chance at being saved.
A favor for a friend brings these two men together just in time for Tek to watch Quinn unravel. Quinn quickly becomes the most important thing in Tek’s life, but can he trust Quinn to love him once he realizes what Tek is hiding? Just as they reach for each other, their reprieve is shattered by Tek’s demons, leaving Quinn with the realization that he’s not the only one in need of saving.
Run This Town: The Complete Series
The bestselling Run This Town series is now available in one convenient volume!
Run This Town showcases the best of Avril Ashton’s dark, dirty, and diverse writing style, serving up anti-heroes from the author’s mafia/gang-style m/m romances that you can’t help but fall in love with and root for.
“If you like unconventional stories that are romantic but not sweet, tattoos, and extremely hot sex this is definitely for you.” – Goodreads Reviewer
Book #1 (Watch Me) Break You: Dima is addicted to pain. Xavier is all too willing to give it. Only one of them knows they’re supposed to be deadly enemies.
Features: enemies-to-lovers, angst, and a cat named Butch.
Book #2 (Watch Me) Body You: Denial. Longing. Israel and Reggie discover their feelings for each other won’t stay buried.
Features: pining, angst, best friends-to-lovers, double bi-awakening, double out-for-you, slow burn, forced proximity.
Book #3 (Watch Me) Unmask You: Theirs is a perfect marriage. Until a home invasion exposes secrets, lies, and shatters everything Elias and Lucky hold dear.
Features: established couple, age-gap, angst.
Book #4 (Watch Me) Save You: Two broken men in need of saving. Tek and Ashe will have to find the strength necessary to pull each other back from the edge of darkness.
Features: cross-dressing, hurt/comfort, angst.
Rush: an X and Dima novella
Full Circle: An Israel and Reggie novella
Plus other bonus content.
Box Set Coming February 12th
About the Author:
A Grenadian transplant, Avril now lives in Tucker, GA, with a madly tolerant husband. Together they raise an eccentric daughter who’s pretty meh about reading and school. Avril’s earliest memories of reading revolve around discussing the plot points of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys with an equally book-minded mother. Always in love with the written word, Avril finally decided to do the writing in August of ’09 and never looked back. She’s been nominated for numerous awards, including Best Author, Best series (Brooklyn Sinners), and Favorite All-Time Author. In 2013 Avril won Evernight Publishing’s Reader’s Choice Award for the LGBT (Male/Male) category. Recently she took home the Golden Ankh award for best Male/Male romance for her bestselling novel, Sinner’s Fall.
Addicted to cake, the ID Channel, and the UFC, Avril writes Gay and Erotic Romance with happy endings; she remains a believer of love in all its forms.
Connect with Avril: Website: http://www.avrilashton.com Facebook profile: http://facebook.com/writeravrilashton Facebook Page: http://facebook.com/authoravrilashton Twitter: http://twitter.com/avrilash Instagram: http://instagram.com/avrilashton Amazon Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/avrilashton BookBub: http://bookbub.com/authors/avril-ashton Patreon: http://patreon.com/avrilashton Newsletter: https://www.subscribepage.com/x0l6y1 Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/AvsGang/ Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/author/show/4623203.Avril_Ashton
Series: The Lives of Remy and Michael, Book One
Author: C. Koehler
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: 01/25/2021
Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex
Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, Contemporary, young adult, sports, family-drama, gay, HIV positive, HIV, AIDS, in the closet, coming out, rowing, illness/disease
DescriptionEven at an allegedly gay-friendly high school, being out isn’t easy, not if you play a sport. Remy didn’t just play a sport, he lived for a sport. He bled crew and rowed with his best friend, Mikey. He’d known him forever but was a year ahead of him in school and crew, varsity to his JV. But then something changed. They were on the way to a regatta in San Diego and suddenly they noticed each other. Remy don’t know what happened. They’d changed in front of each other in the locker rooms all the time at school. But Remy’d never looked and suddenly all he could do was stare. Remy thought Mikey felt the same, yet somehow Mikey didn’t want a relationship. Whatever, Remy didn’t have time for drama. They had a major regatta to prepare for. They make apps to help lonely young men to find temporary companionship, and let’s just say, Remy enjoyed the summer before his senior year. Then everything caught up with him and it all came apart. Mikey was furious, but if he didn’t want a relationship, why was he angry? It turned out there was a price for playing around, and when Remy got sick, he had to wonder, where would Mikey be?
ExcerptPoz C. Koehler © 2020 All Rights Reserved When all this started, my older brother Geoff didn’t know I was gay, at least not to my knowledge. I’d called him “Goff” when we were really young because I couldn’t pronounce his name. He’d called me “Germy” because he couldn’t say Jeremy. He still calls me Germy, even though everyone else calls me Remy. I still called him Goff, so I guess that was fair. Goff was thirteen minutes older—we were twins of the fraternal variety—and he milked that older bit like a Holstein cow. Thirteen minutes, but you would have thought it was thirteen years. Anyway, he played football. He looked out for me, or at least tried, but he was and is straight as a plank. We wrangled a lot, still do, but he saved me from a lot of homophobic hassling, sometimes at the hands of his own friends, without even knowing I was gay, which was pretty cool of him. “Teammates,” Goff would say. “They’re not my friends, not if they’re giving you shit.” He was a good guy when he wasn’t being an asshole. That said, Goff never understood a fundamental part of me, at least not until I came out to him. I guess that was my fault though. How could he when I’d never told him I was gay? But how could I when I couldn’t have borne losing my brother? He was my twin, the person I was closest to in the world. Losing him would’ve meant losing a part of me. We fought like cats in a gunnysack and it drove our parents crazy, but they never understood that we went to the trouble of irritating one another because we loved one another. We certainly weren’t going to tell one another that. We were (and are) teenage males. Dad was a shrink. Dr. Babcock should’ve gotten that but didn’t. So anyway, Goff missed a major piece of who I was and everything that went along with it. Now I wouldn’t say all teenage boys were sex-obsessed, just every one I’ve ever encountered. But he had all the sex he wanted and had no idea what it’s like not getting it. For me, it was not being gotten. So, I was horny as hell in high school and about to burst. That was the start of all my problems, I guess. Our family lived in Davis, an über-liberal organo-groovy college town about seventy miles from San Francisco. Davis had bought into Cesar Chavez’s grape boycott, which I read about in history class; it made itself a nuclear-free zone, which was kind of a joke when UC Davis boasted a particle accelerator of its very own. Besides, what good would the declaration of being a nuclear-free zone have done? Protect the city if the US and the USSR had nuked each other? There were three major Air Force bases around the city during the Cold War. There’d have been a bright-blue flash and then nothing. Good luck with that nuclear-free zone. The city was also a declared sanctuary for undocumented immigrants. I could go on, but why bother? A homecoming prince even brought his boyfriend to prom one year. As a gay kid, I should’ve been golden in a city and high school like this. But someone forgot to send my parents that memo, or at least my mother. Mom was a smart woman—she majored in chemistry in college and went on to become a drug rep for a pharmaceutical company after she decided getting a PharmD wasn’t for her—but she was oblivious sometimes, especially where Goff and I were concerned. Of both our parents, she was the louder with the compulsory heterosexuality messaging, things like telling me I was morally obligated to take some unpopular (read: fat with braces) girl to the prom. She said it was my “gentlemanly duty” or some such bull, but Goff and I both knew it was because she herself had been fat with braces in high school. She wasn’t doing it deliberately—trying to make me miserable—but she succeeded admirably. Women in Mississippi had taken their girlfriends to prom, or at least tried. Hell, even in Davis a few years ago, the aforementioned homecoming prince took his boyfriend, but my mom? She thought I had to make life better for every desperate and dateless girl out there, just to restore some cosmic balance because her life sucked during high school. Why didn’t she get that this was my life, my one-way ticket through high school, not her do-over? When I said things like that, her response was, “I think you can take one evening out of your life to make a difference in someone else’s.” Given the essentially obligatory service hours necessary to get into college these days, I thought I already had. My boyfriend could’ve plowed me on the table at Thanksgiving, and she would have still said that. If I’d had a boyfriend. Well, there was Mikey Castelreigh. He wanted to be my boyfriend. I thought of him more as a kid brother even though he was only a year younger. I felt like there was a big difference between a sophomore and a junior in high school, however. Mikey looked like he missed the puberty train. I had a left hand. What I needed was a close friend who was gay. Mikey fit that bill very well. Even at good ol’ tolerant, GSA-sporting Davis High, it wasn’t easy being different. We were still teenagers. Being smacked on the ass with the gay wand when I was born didn’t change that. I wanted to think Mikey understood that. I think what Mikey didn’t get was why we couldn’t be friends with benefits. Uh…because it would have been like blowing my brother? If I had a brother who swung that way. But then, as has been pointed out to me many times, I also saw what I wanted to see and not always what was really there. Or boats. I saw rowing-related things very clearly. It was life that tripped me up at every turn. But telling my parents? Like that would ever happen. Hear that flapping noise? That was the pigs flying out of my butt, which would happen right before I’d tell my parents I liked the cock. I never got the best vibe off them where that was concerned. Sure, they had gay and lesbian, even trans, friends, but it was different when it was their kid, you know? They were on a need-to-know basis where my life was concerned. Coming out? Survey says: No! Goff told our parents about a lot of things that went on his life—whereas I told them very little—but then he and I had very different relationships with them. “So how’s that working for you, Goff?” “Shut it.” I smiled, but it was really more of a smirk. “Still think having the olds know every single detail’s harmless?” “You’re really kind of a dick sometimes, you know that?” “Everybody has to be something, I guess.” “Really? I thought you were more of an asshole.” He had no idea what he was doing to me with this conversation. I mean, the homoerotic subtext was barely sub. Sure, Mikey and I were going to die laughing about it later, but right then I had to bite my tongue, and that was kind of painful. I looked at him for a few moments, totally expressionless. Just long enough that he’d gone back to his homework. Just long enough to make him squirm. “What? You’re creeping me out.” “I could’ve sworn I heard you say stop sleeping in your bed when you sneak out to see your girlfriend.” Mom and Dad never checked on me. Ever. I never gave them a reason to. Goff? Too many. Neither of us was stupid enough to think pillows under the blankets would fool them, but me in his bed? Physically we were nothing alike, but at least I made breathing sounds. We had a Jack and Jill bedroom setup where our rooms met in a common bathroom. We locked the bathroom door leading into the hallway and put the pillows in my bed, I moved to his, and he was out of there. He always showed his gratitude. “You… That’s harsh, man.” “Times are hard.” Goff threw down his pen. “Why’re you doing this?” “Because it’s almost summer, which means fall’s not that far away, which means neither is the prom, and it’s never too early to present a united front.” “You’re really twisted, you know that?” I shrugged. “And you know she’ll try to get you to take someone besides your girlfriend, since you quote, unquote haven’t been dating that long.” “They’re not that bad,” Goff said, sighing. “Have it your way, but don’t come whining to me when Mom does exactly that.” It’s not that I was smarter than Goff. I wasn’t. But I was smarter in different areas, like sneaking. It was like he didn’t have an ounce of guile in him. Apparently, I received both our shares. Somehow, and despite getting him into endless trouble when we were children, he still trusted me. Maybe it’s because as we grew older, I got him out of scrapes, at least when I knew about them in time. Maybe I shouldn’t have complained. Goff got the same kind of nonsense from our parents, too, and never mind that he had a girlfriend. She wasn’t even a cheerleader. She was supersweet and amazingly intelligent. He met Laurel because I brought her home to study for AP Biology I. It took him a few months of whining like an Irish setter, but they eventually took to studying each other’s biology. I knew this because Goff was too chickenshit to buy his own condoms, so I had to buy them for him. Speaking of shit of whatever species, Goff was in it because a teammate was caught dealing molly. Goff’s friend slash teammate was busted by the cops at a team party. Oddly enough what our parents freaked out about was that Geoff had alcohol on his breath. He blew a 0.12 as a matter of fact. I think that was half again the legal limit. Yeah, hi, Mom and Dad, he was at a party where the host was busted for dealing Ecstasy. You maybe want to focus on the larger picture? Or maybe they were, because I knew for a fact my brother didn’t and wouldn’t take drugs. Anyway, Goff couldn’t fart without them breathing down his neck for a while. But if I’d known about the party, I’d have told him to watch his step, because rumors of drug-dealing by members of the football team had been flying around school for weeks. At the very least, he might’ve limited himself to a beer or two instead of getting trashed. Then Goff could’ve told the olds, “Sorry, Mom and Dad, I know it showed bad judgment, but I planned to call Germy to come and get me.” And I’d have absolutely covered for him. For that matter, he could have gotten trashed, and I’d still have picked him up if he had warned me in time to cover for him. Weirdly enough, they were totally permissive where I was concerned. They thought I was a late bloomer and hoped the talks they gave Goff about sex applied to me, too, because they made me sit down and listen to every single one of them, not that they contained anything I needed to know. But the last one? I couldn’t take it anymore and I cranked up the sarcasm. It bugged Dad, I knew that for sure, and I was pretty sure I managed to irritate Goff, and never mind the fact that he was sick of those talks too. Goff already knew not to get his girlfriend pregnant and to make sure he was in charge of his birth control. Except for the condom buying. I was in charge of that. “Could you maybe shut up, Germy? This is bad enough without your sniping.” Dad nodded. “Please listen to your brother. I get that you may be too old for these, but you’re not making this easier on any of us. If you stop, I promise this will be the last one.” “You’ve said that every time, Dad. Yet here we are, another ho-hum day in paradise listening to these riveting talks,” I said acidly. “I think we’ve got a lock on the prevention of premature grandparenthood. Not much else, but babies are definitely one sexually transmitted parasite we can rule out. Maybe someday we can move on to spirochetes.” “Jeremy…” Dad said in that warning tone of his. It held a hint of a threat, but what did I care? I’d heard it all my life and it had long since ceased to have the desired effect. It was more proof that I was the changeling, the odd Babcock out. These things were so stupid. Take today’s lecture. Please. Dad actually had the nerve to refer to the labia as a butterfly. How the hell was I supposed to keep a straight face when confronted with that? Dad was going on about female anatomy again, trying to help Goff—and presumably me—locate the G-spot. I would never need to know, and based on the noises issuing from Goff’s room of an evening, he already knew exactly where to find it. What I needed—what we both needed—was basic information on sexually transmitted infections. Anatomy had been covered in eighth-grade sex ed. Yet this was vintage Dad, blithely charging ahead, with Goff in tow more or less willingly and me digging in my heels every step of the way. I could not say Dad never heard, if only because sound waves did stimulate his auditory nerves. It never changed his behavior, however, and trying to persuade Dad was like arguing with the wind for all the good it did, at least not once he had a notion fixed in his mind. Mom had some facility in managing him, but then, she had more experience. Goff and I were only teenagers, so what did we know? I was convinced that was how Dad’s thought processes ran. The bizarrissimo part of it all was that Goff was the good twin whereas I questioned everything, fighting anything I thought absurd with tooth and claw. I had even overheard Dad say as much when he thought he was unobserved. Yet Dad—both parents, really—kept Goff on a shorter leash. I thought this different treatment was because of our different sports, I really did. Football? Sure. Everyone knew the deal or thought they did. What they really knew was the reputation that came from a bunch of idiotic movies. Goff sure wasn’t like that, and most of his football friends weren’t either. But crew? They had no idea about crew, not really, and never mind the stupid amounts of parental involvement my club required. No, when Mom and Dad were in college, rowers were pale, muscular gods and goddesses who walked the campuses, ate obscene amounts of food after their early-morning practices without gaining a pound, and stuck mainly with their own kind. They told me as much. That my club’s juniors program practiced in the afternoon must have thrown them off my scent, because I had a tan despite the sunblock. Seriously, I got away with murder. Or at least I did the summer before my senior year, and the person I killed—or almost killed—was myself. After that? I lived on Cellblock Q.
Meet the AuthorChristopher Koehler always wanted to write, but it wasn’t until his grad school years that he realized writing was how he wanted to spend his life. Long something of a hothouse flower, he’s been lucky to be surrounded by people who encouraged that, especially his long-suffering husband of twenty-nine years and counting. He loves many genres of fiction and nonfiction, but he’s especially fond of romances, because it’s in them that human emotions and relations, at least most of the ones fit to be discussed publicly, are laid bare. While writing is his passion and his life, when he’s not doing that, he’s a househusband, at-home dad, and oarsman with a slightly disturbing interest in manners and the other ways people behave badly. Christopher is approaching the tenth anniversary of publication and has been fortunate to be recognized for his writing, including by the American Library Association, which named Poz a 2016 Recommended Title, and an Honorable Mention for “Transformation,” in Innovation, Volume 6 of Queer Sci Fi’s Flash Fiction Anthology.
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Title: The Boss
Series: Under Red Sky, Book One
Author: J. Calamy
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: 01/25/2021
Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex
Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, action/adventure, age-gap, bisexual, businessmen, criminals, disabilities, illness/disease, interracial, Mafia, over 40, #ownvoices, political, PTSD/post traumatic stress, slow burn/UST, secret agents, sexual discovery, spies, tattoos
DescriptionNicholas Erickson is happy to be the smallest cog at the US Embassy in Singapore, a big step up from prison. Nick lives with a terrible secret: he killed a family of three in a traffic accident, for which he was imprisoned and became a pariah back home. The only threat to his second chance is the truth—and Nelson Graves. Shipping Magnate Lord Nelson Graves is secretly the head of crime syndicate Red Sky, making him the biggest arms dealer and drug boss in Southeast Asia. Graves is tired, lonely, addicted to opium, and trying to get his imploding crime syndicate back to business. There is a traitor in his organization and an old enemy is back on his tail. A romance builds between hot-headed, reckless Nick and unhappy, ruthless Graves. But nothing is that easy. Shoot-outs, bombings, and vindictive exes prove Nick’s past and Graves’s present may be a lethal combination.
ExcerptThe Boss J. Calamy © 2021 All Rights Reserved Singapore Nicholas Erickson kept his gaze on the butterflies over Peterson’s desk. The chief of staff had a whole case of them, each stabbed through the thorax and pinned to a board. Nick knew exactly how they felt. He focused on breathing, trying to slow his stuttering heart, only taking in the gist of what Peterson was saying. Nick forced his hands to loosen, fighting the need to wipe them on his trousers. His eyes felt hot; he blinked to make the blurring stop. The last thing he needed was to have a flashback now. He tried his exercises. I’m here. I’m safe. I’m here. I’m safe. I’m— “And now I know you got this job because Reverend Bob is friends with that prison chaplain of yours. You got in here on a technicality, a damn loophole. None of us dug too deep for a chaplain’s assistant with no clearance. Goddamn it!” He slapped his hand on the desk. “If I had known, I would never have approved it.” Peterson’s round face was pink with anger. The pink even showed through the white hair on his scalp. His blue eyes, lighter than Nick’s own, were glittering behind his glasses. His hands were splayed flat on his desk, covering the folder with Nick’s name on it. It was like Peterson was covering the news articles inside, hiding them from view—as if they were too obscene to look at. He was silhouetted by wide windows, looking down the green hill to Napier Avenue. Singapore’s heat was just starting to crank, the roiling clouds doing nothing to cut it. “This is the most important post in Asia this week,” he continued. “We have VIPs coming from everywhere for this ceremony. I don’t have the bandwidth to deal with you now.” “Sir,” Nick tried. “I really hope—” “Don’t talk to me, Erickson,” Peterson snapped, his voice cracking with anger. “I don’t want to hear a word out of your damn mouth.” “Yes sir.” “Transferring you now would raise too many questions. Not right after Reverend Bob leaving. I don’t want anyone to even know you were here. Right now, I’m the only one who knows about this, thank God.” He glanced down at the folder again. His eyes were full of loathing. “You are going to lay low, do whatever Morris tells you, and then next week we’ll see how far away I can send you. Now get the hell out of here.” Nick felt numb, his body cold and far away. He gave a stiff nod and walked out. Nick ducked in to the nearest men’s room, glad to see it was empty. He splashed water onto his face with shaking hands. He gripped the sides of the sink, noted how haggard he looked, closer to fifty than twenty-eight. His red hair was plastered to his forehead with sweat, his usually pale face flushed red from humiliation. Well what did you think would happen? Did you think you could just leave it all behind you? He went back to his office and sat at Reverend Bob’s empty desk. The room was small, practically in the basement. There was one narrow window, vertical against a corner. He could just see the flowerbeds beyond, tropical flowers showing their faces to the broiling sun. Working on autopilot, he took his badge off its lanyard and tucked it into the computer’s card reader so he could turn it on. No new emails—of course not. His calendar was equally empty. That had been on purpose at first. But now it seemed like an indictment. Not like Reverend Bob could give you a real job. He could trust you to sort prayer cards from the Tallahassee Christian Mothers’ Union but not any actual duties. He pushed that thought away. He knew it wasn’t true. Reverend Bob had given him time. Time to heal, time to reinvent himself. And while the new Nick was less prone to panicked outbursts, he also did very little. He kept a low profile out of habit, avoiding meeting people’s eyes until he realized absolutely no one knew who he was. He could relax a little and nod to people who smiled at him in the halls. He and Lena had lunch in the garden sometimes. It felt like slowly waking from a nightmare. Until today. Until Peterson found out. And like everyone else who knew the truth, Peterson wanted Nick away from him and everything he cared about. Nick had barely made his mark on the room. There wasn’t much. A plant Lena gave him. A sweatshirt for when the A/C went haywire and they all froze. A picture of Reverend Bob and Nick at Leon’s Bar. The mug Morris had lent him. No pictures of family of course. Suddenly, Nick couldn’t stand sitting there anymore. He grabbed his badge and left the building, barely nodding to the Marine at the gate. Forcing himself to slow down, he walked along the embassy’s drive, following the line of the fence and turning left toward the botanical gardens. That was a good place to think. A quiet place, shady in the blazing heat, and free. Nick walked with nothing but the white noise in his head and the roar of cars coming down the main road. He didn’t want to think yet.
Meet the AuthorJ Calamy is a disabled vet and foreign service wonk who spends a good part of the year bouncing down dirt roads in the back of Range Rovers with men with guns. Coffee, romance novels, and embassy scuttlebutt are her last remaining vices.
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Cala Riley, better known as Cala and Riley, are a pair of friends with a deep seated love of books and writing.
Both Cala and Riley are happily married and each have children, Cala with the four-legged kind while Riley has a mixture of both two-legged and four.
While they live apart, that does not affect their connection. They are the true definition of family. What started as an idea that quickly turned into a full-length book and a bond that will never end.
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Series: Scales ‘N’ Spells
Author: AJ Sherwood and Jocelynn Drake
North has a map of Europe, a dragon scale, and a little bit of magic.
He’s currently short a dragon, but all in good time, right? Right.
Because he can totally dodge dangerous men and frustrated calls from his family, all while searching for a dragon during the Christmas season. He’s got this.
Christmas wishes do come true with a little magic, after all.
Tropey tropes a lot, fated mates, dragon shifters, mages on a quest, because North’s finding a dragon, that’s happening, European road trip at Christmas, found family, true acceptance, twinks and makeup, shopping montage, steamy makeout session, because dragon fire, get it?, someone needs to fire the author, winter snuggles, poor Gunter had to put up with them, licking, not mpreg
#KU #Fantasy #MMRomance
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