Release Blitz

Avenging Angel by Naomi Porter

Title: Avenging Angel 
Duet Title: Knight’s Legion MC Duet #2
Author: Naomi Porter
Genre: Steamy Romance, MC Romance 
Release Date: July 6, 2021 





“This is the conclusion to Storm and Angel’s journey and it didn’t disappoint with all the action and drama that had me on the edge of my seat devouring the pages.” – Goodreads Review
“This story is gonna keep you glued to its pages!
You won’t be able to put it down.
The author keeps throwing you twist after twist.
I thought I had everything figured it out and then …… mind blowing!!!” – RomanceReader1
“Madeline and Storms story continues and my goodness these two don’t disappoint…..Excellent writing.” – Spunky n Sassy

The mayhem continues for the Knight’s Legion MC…

Storm. My protector.
I need his darkness, like he needs my light.

After surviving an abusive relationship, I swore off men.
Until the President of the Knight’s Legion MC crashes into my life, holding me captive with his haunted gray eyes.

Storm is a force to be reckoned with and I welcome the chaos— it makes me feel alive.

He owns me. Body and soul. I love the way he loves me. Fueled by a fierceness that keeps him on the edge, but I keep him from going over.

When the enemy threatens to tear us apart, I find out just how strong I really am.

Storm is my everything… I will do anything for him, regardless of the sacrifice.

NOT a standalone. Please read Savage Storm first. It is recommended you read the series in order.
**Contains dark elements. Reader discretion advised.**

Continue reading “Avenging Angel by Naomi Porter”
Book Tour

Cold Case Chronicles




Mississippi Moonshine
Cold Case Chronicles Book 1
by Kacie Clement
Genre: Mystery, Romantic Suspense



Forty-six years ago, two brothers were killed and thrown in the Wolf River. Can a troubled detective surface the truth before her own life is at risk?


Atlanta cop Kamira Jackson can’t forgive herself for getting caught and held captive for ninety days. Feeling unworthy of her job, she flees to Mississippi only to be confronted by a police chief who isn’t happy with his jurisdiction employing a Black policewoman. And she fears she’s being set up to fail when she’s given a decades-old murder assignment, and only six months to crack the case.


Vowing to beat the challenge and with the help of a retired veteran, Jackson retreads the slaying of two men shot point-blank and found floating in the isolated swamplands. But exposing an almost half-century conspiracy implicating too many powerful suspects might be fatally hazardous to her health.

Can the traumatized investigator overcome her nightmares and solve the cold case?


Mississippi Moonshine is the gripping first book in The Cold Case Chronicles crime thriller series. If you like fast-paced action, determined heroines, and unexpected twists and turns, then you’ll love Kacie Clement’s thrilling mystery.


Buy Mississippi Moonshine to open a can of dark truths today!


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A Shooting, A Drug Deal, and a Trail of Ants
Cold Case Chronicles Book 2



After narrowly escaping with her life, ace Detective Kamira Jackson is back on the beat in the small town of Shadowbank, Mississippi, to dig up dirt on a string of cold cases. Her second taste of Shadowbank crime is the mysterious drive-by shooting of straight-A student Annie Ainsworth ten years ago. Out for an innocent drive with school friends, the night turns deadly leaving the town grieving and in shock, with few answers to follow.


The bungled investigation ten years prior has far-reaching consequences as a nameless killer remains at large. With a string of suspects casting long shadows, Kamira is determined to uncover the truth behind that tragic night, starting with the friends Annie spent that fateful evening with. Whatever became of them? Oddly enough, they were never interviewed. Mere oversight or a fiery red flag?


While Kamira scours the cold case files for hidden clues into Annie’s killer, her colleague, Terrance James investigates a counterfeiting operation that has infiltrated the community with a sea of fake currency. Organized crime has been quietly making inroads into the Shadowbank community for years, but just how deeply are they entrenched?


The very real danger hits too close to home when Deputy Joe Hopkins is found dead under suspicious circumstances. With an officer down, Kamira comes to the disturbing realization that the past and present crimes have a common thread – the State Line Mob. Adding urgency to the investigation, Kamira and Terrance must keep their wits about them as they uncover the patchwork of clues connecting all three cases. Will they discover the truth before the mob strikes again?


Follow Kamira as she investigates cold cases and encounters characters you’ll long remember after turning the last page. A Shooting, A Drug Deal, and a Trail of Ants is the thrilling second book in the Cold Case Chronicles series.


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The Last Goodbye
Cold Case Chronicles Book 3



There are no coincidences when murder is afoot.

Once a prosperous estate, Hawthorne Plantation sat abandoned for years after the shocking death of wealthy newlywed Virginia Hawthorne in 1950. Discovered dead on the family estate grounds, the flames of suspicion were never quite extinguished after the disappearance of her husband, Allesandro. New love makes us do funny things, but murder? An unclaimed estate only added to the mysteries surrounding Hawthorne Plantation.


Enter Laura Remington, an ambitious young reporter, keen to make her mark on the world by uncovering the estate’s secret past. Bold and enthusiastic, she ran down all the leads two decades later. Perhaps getting a little too close to the truth, she is found dead under equally unsettling circumstances. Another 50 years pass, and the trail may have run cold, but small towns talk and questions linger on. Was this just another tragic accident, or is there a murderous web of lies still threatening to ensnare the next generation of truth-seekers?


Once again, Detective Kamira Jackson finds herself in the thick of things looking for answers in Shadowbank, Mississippi. With her trusted partner, Terrance James, Kamira seeks out the counsel of Wynn Gunn, director of the local historical society and esteemed expert on all things Hawthorne-related. Even without a living heir identified, the historical society has painstakingly worked to restore the estate to its former glory.


But Hawthorne Plantation isn’t quite ready to give up all its secrets just yet. History threatens to repeat itself when the very detectives who previously investigated Laura’s death die inexplicably. Can Kamira turn up the heat on this cold case before she meets the same terrible fate?


Follow Kamira as she uncovers the hidden truths in her latest electrifying case, The Last Goodbye, book three in the Cold Case Chronicles series.


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The Gravedigger
Cold Case Chronicles Book 4



The small town of Shadowbank, Mississippi, holds many secrets. They just aren’t likely to stay buried when the gravedigger comes to town.

Detective Kamira Jackson and her partner in work and life, Terrance James’ plans for a beautiful wedding under the gazebo, coming to a sudden halt when their venue is burned to the group at their rehearsal dinner. Aunt Willie Mae steps in to move the wedding elsewhere, but she has her eyes trained squarely on the likely perpetrators behind the crime, the State Line Mob.


As family and friends descend upon the church to witness the exchange of vows, one unexpected wedding guest is discovered bringing with him more than the usual gift.


Once again, Kamira finds herself embroiled in a cold case with fresh clues on her wedding day.


With Kamira focused on smoking out the killer hiding amongst them, Willie Mae secretly decides to take family matters into her own hands and put an end to the looming threats from the State Line Mob. As she doggedly pursues a dangerous foe, she gets much more than she bargained for.


Will Kamira discover her secret before tragedy strikes?


Join Kamira in her next nail-biting case, The Gravedigger, book four in the Cold Case Chronicles series.


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Kacie Clement, a writer of mysteries, has always been passionate about writing and storytelling.
A part of her writing process, she loves to immerse herself in her current project, diving headfirst into the research, writing, and fine-tuning of the stories she feels are the most worthy of storytelling.
Kacie lives in the woods with her husband, two dogs, and an attack cat named Trip.
Kacie is addicted to fresh-baked cookies, coffee, and fabric.


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Book Tour

Remember My Name




Remember My Name
Remember My Name Series Book 1
by Laurencia Hoffman
Genre: Thriller, Suspense



Dark and twisted secrets mar Shane Coulter’s skin, and darken his fragile heart. Yet he keeps his nightmarish truth hidden from all those he holds dear with a smart mouth and abrasive attitude.


His first love, Callan Reid, refuses to accept Shane’s tough exterior. Convinced something truly horrific lurks beneath Shane’s defenses, Callan vows to uncover the truth.


But some things are better left buried. As darkness from the past threatens to be brought to light, there are those who would kill to prevent it. Can Callan break down Shane’s walls? Or will digging into the past come with deadly consequences?


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Remember His Name
Remember My Name Series Book 2



Born an Empath, the intrusive feelings of others force themselves into the forefront of Wren Stafford’s mind and haunt his dreams.


For a time, he thought he put the pain of his past behind him when he met the love of his life.
But fate had far more cruel plans.


He tried to warn his husband, Henry; begged him not to ignore his predictions of the terrible atrocities to come. Then Henry was found murdered, and Wren was named as the prime suspect.


Harassed by the police and condemned by the public, Wren hunts for his husband’s killer amid being plagued by nightmares of his own grisly death. Time is running out. Can he unravel the clues within his visions in time to stop the killer? Or is he destined to become the next victim?

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Laurencia Hoffman specializes in various sub-genres of romance. Her stories often focus on the darker side of fiction, but love and survival remain the central themes throughout her work.


When she’s not writing, she also enjoys playing video games with her family, listening to music, satisfying her sweet tooth, and watching films.


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New Release

Cowgirl Bikers MC

OUT NOW: Cowgirl Bikers MC
From USA Today bestselling author, Esther E. Schmidt, comes an all-new, standalone, cowgirl biker romance with an MC filled with “sisters” instead of “brothers.”
Books2read.com/CowgirlBikersMC1

Genre: Cowgirl Biker Romance
Author: Esther E. Schmidt
Cover Design: Esther E. Schmidt
Release Day: July 6, 2021

Hudsyn – I’m the president of an all-female MC located at a huge ranch which breeds horses and other livestock. I’m not pretending to be a biker or clueless on how keep the ranch afloat; I am a woman who fights hard for what she wants and giving up isn’t an option. Not when vengeance keeps my heart beating and retaliation is fueling my veins.

Ezra – Being a nomad fits my state of mind until the perfect woman jumps right into my welcoming arms. She might not realize it, but I considered her mine right then and there. All I need to do now is win her feisty heart by showing her I’m fully committed. To give her the support she needs, even if she’s in the middle of choices involving life and death.

Life is never easy, a future never granted, and love never guaranteed.

**WARNING; each book in the Cowgirl Bikers MC series is a standalone short story featuring a new couple and can be read together or separately. Includes: Love at first sight. Off the charts chemistry. HEA. And each story will leave you wanting more cowgirl bikers!**

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Cover Reveal

JASMINE BELL – PROVOKED



Title: Provoked

Series: Palace Scandal #2 

Author: Jasmine Bell 

Genre: Royal Romance

Release Date: July 18th 



COVER



BLURB 


She’s trying to move away from a world of wealth and privilege. He’s surrounded by a royal life and tabloid press. Staying away from each other seems like the best solution to the attraction between them. That is until the press forces them into a relationship that neither of them are ready for.

Maribel Ortiz has been in love with Prince Alonzo since she started high school. For years he didn’t see her as more than his best friend’s kid sister. And even though she’s not blind to the chemistry between them, he represents the one thing she’s trying to break free of. The aristocracy.

Alonzo knows the last thing Maribel needs is to be stuck in a relationship where her life is under constant public scrutiny. She’s made a life for herself and doesn’t need him complicating it.

So when they inadvertently find themselves the subject of media speculation, the fake relationship they’re forced into is more than either of them can handle.

Their relationship may be fake, but the feelings are so very real. Will both of them survive with their hearts intact.



PRE-ORDER




THE SERIES


Exposed
 Palace Scandal #1





ABOUT JASMINE


Jasmine Bell lives at the beach with her delightful Dom and their little pack of puppies. She loves getting lost in fictional worlds which is why her stories are set on the fictional island of Astoria.

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Release Blitz

Sun, Sea and Sinful Delights

Sun, Sea and Sinful Delights by Jayce Carter

Word Count: 38,639 Book Length: SHORT NOVEL Pages: 157

GENRES:

BONDAGE AND BDSM CONTEMPORARY EROTIC ROMANCE REVERSE HAREM

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Book Description

Her three sexy houseguests are forbidden fruit, and she really wants a taste… Jennifer has spent her life trying to be who her rich and proper family wants her to be and never quite living up to it. All that has given her is a failed marriage, a lot of insecurities and a business selling sex toys in secret. When she rents out the rooms of her beach house to three handsome men, however, she wonders if they might just put her toys to shame. Lucas, Shane and Brandon go on vacation to get over the woman who broke their hearts. They’re tired of being treated as a dirty little secret by girlfriends who enjoy their attention in private but refuse to accept them in public. When they meet the sweet woman who owns the house they’re staying at, though, they realize it might be worth it to take that risk just one more time. Even as Jennifer starts to fall for the men, she can’t escape the reality that her family will never approve of the odd relationship. In the end, she will have to decide what she really wants—the approval of her family, or a life with three men who make her truly happy… Reader advisory: This book contains a brief scene involving sexual and physical assault. There is also menion of an emotionally abusive family.

Excerpt

This dildo is way too big. Jennifer had thought that plenty of times when a client asked her to make something well outside her personal comfort zone, but the payment had always been more than worth it. Still, when the toy dwarfed the soda can it sat next to, she winced. No one needs that much. If any man came at her with that, she’d run in the opposite direction. There really could be too much of a good thing. She snapped a picture, then finished packing everything into the box. A quick tape job before she affixed the label, and she was done. Despite their odd proportions, she did love taking special requests. There was something fun and creative about working on a product for a specific client, a challenge that her mass-produced items lacked. And, yes, so maybe making sex toys wasn’t the creativity most people would picture when they thought about artists, but what did that matter? She’d found a niche that paid well, that she enjoyed and that she’d found success in. Not that anyone knows… She thought about her mother, about the absolute horror that would show on her face if she ever discovered Jennifer’s real job. Nope. Let her think I just rent out the rooms of my house. Whatever it took to keep her family off her back was fine by her. Managing them was a full-time job on its own. Jennifer’s ringtone had her leaving her newly sealed package on the living room table and rushing to answer her phone. “I think we should try online dating,” Mandy said, mid-conversation as she always was, as if Jennifer hadn’t really needed to answer for the talk to go exactly the same way. “I don’t think so.” “Come on. You haven’t been on a date in, like, a year. Don’t you think it’s time?” “What’s the point?” “How about sex? Forever love? Sex? A partner? Did I mention sex?” Jennifer leaned her hip against the stool at the counter. Love wasn’t something she really believed in anymore, and sex? That was nothing the thing she’d just packed up couldn’t handle just fine. Well, maybe not that box. “Internet dating is for people who want to have a higher-than-average chance of being murdered,” Jennifer pointed out. “It’s for people who don’t go out enough to meet anyone the old-fashioned way. I’ve tried to get you to go to bars, to go anywhere, and you refuse. At this point you’ve got two options—online or bar hopping with me.” The thought of bar hopping with Mandy made Jennifer instantly feel older than her twenty-eight years. While her friend might be a bundle of uncontainable energy, Jennifer wasn’t. “I don’t think it’s a good idea,” Jennifer said, ready to go into her hand-holding, sweet rejection that wouldn’t hurt Mandy’s feelings too much. Despite them being good friends, Mandy required a lot of work. A ringing doorbell felt like a rescue, especially since it was loud enough that Mandy had to have heard. “Oh, I’m sorry, I’ve got to go.” “You rang that yourself, didn’t you?” Jennifer laughed, almost wishing she’d thought of that. “No, I didn’t. My renters are here.” “Oh, right. You’re at full capacity for this week, aren’t you?” “Yep. All three rooms booked together.” Jennifer had scanned the information first, as she always did. The three men were veterinarians and had the same hospital listed for employment. She liked hosting groups, because they tended to need her to entertain them less than singles. “Well, if they’re hot, bring them to my place on Saturday night. I’m having a party.” Jennifer groaned at the idea, having already decided that there was no way she’d be inviting them. Still, it was easier to smudge the truth. “Sure, if I think it’ll be their sort of thing. Got to go.” They hung up, with Jennifer putting her phone back on the charger. She rushed to the front door, reaching it just after the doorbell rang a second time. She expected to find three older men, the sort who wanted to get away for a few days. She’d hosted all sorts of people at her beach house, and much to Mandy’s lament, it was never young, hot guys. Except this time… On her porch stood three men who could have walked right out of any LA casting call. Talk about tall, dark and handsome… Jennifer stared so long that it took the one in front clearing his throat to bring her brain back online. She smiled, trying to play it off as if it hadn’t just happened. “Sorry. Lucas, Brandon and Shane, right?” The man in front nodded, though a soft chuckle said he’d caught her slip-up. “Yeah. I’m Lucas, in the jeans is Brandon and in the shorts is Shane.” He gestured behind him, letting Jennifer connect faces to the names she already knew. Lucas had dark skin and even darker eyes. Stubble over his jaw had started to gray, but somehow it only made him more attractive. He wore a pair of slacks and a tucked-in white polo shirt. His hair was trimmed short and neat, and his smile could melt an iceberg. Brandon wore faded blue jeans and a T-shirt, his dark hair short and simple, as if he hated going to the barber so always picked the easiest option. He had brown eyes too, but while Lucas’ were oak, Brandon’s were honey. Lastly, Shane had pale skin and reminded her of a college kid. He had his hair shaved at the sides and messy on top, and the bluest eyes that held an unusual humor to them. He reminded her of Mandy a bit, with that same frantic energy inside him. Lucas cleared his throat again, and she didn’t bother to hide her mortification. Jennifer had rented out rooms in her house for the past six years—why was she acting as if these were the first good-looking men she’d ever seen? Probably because they’re the first you’ve been this close to in a long time. She could almost hear Mandy piping in, telling her to pick one and make a claim. “Come on in,” she said, trying for casual and to pretend that she hadn’t been staring at them. “You’re veterinarians, right?” Work was always a safe conversation. Lucas caried in his bag, the others behind him. “Yeah. We run an animal hospital. Brandon handles livestock and large animals, Shane does most of the day-to-day visits and treatments and I’m the surgeon.” Well, that explained a bit of Lucas’ I’ve got things under control attitude. While any sort of medicine took confidence, actually cutting into any living being to fix them required a calmness and steadiness that Jennifer sure didn’t have. When they followed her into her living room, she realized that her house—which she had always thought of as rather large—was not nearly big enough for men of their size. She led them into the kitchen, showed them where the coffee maker and fridge were, and explained the things she kept on hand. She went over the remotes to the television in the living room, showed them how to get the finicky latch on the back slider open, and the places to sit out back, overlooking the ocean. That was the big draw of renting a beach house. It was why she could never imagine living anywhere else, either. There was something almost spiritual about waking up to the salt in the air and falling asleep to the gentle rhythm of the waves. They said little as they went through her routine, taking in the details, not balking at any of her odd rules. She’d found people often complained about them, thinking they were staying at some five-star resort and forgetting that when they booked a private home, they had to expect some idiosyncrasies. Finally, they reached the middle floor, where the three main bedrooms sat. A single bathroom was shared between them, but since she didn’t use it, it would be somewhat private for them. “You can decide who takes what,” she explained. “They’re mostly identical. The builder put all the rooms on the side facing the beach, so they all share a balcony that has stairs down to the beach, and they all have the same view. There’s a shower out back, too, to rinse off the sand. It isn’t fun to track that in.” Lucas smiled, seeming the quickest to speak. Or maybe he just knew how stunning his smile was, so the group had designated him leader. “Thank you, Jennifer. It looks perfect.” She tried to tuck her hands into her pockets until she recalled she’d worn leggings, which some idiot had decided didn’t get pockets. “I can make a run to the store tomorrow, and I usually try to pick up a few things for whoever is here. There’s a list on the fridge, so just jot down anything you’d like. I make dinner a lot of nights, and I always make too much, so if you ever feel like staying in, you’re welcome.” Lucas nodded. “I think tonight we’re going to go out, try something new. Any suggestions?” “Well, what are you looking for? Quick and local, fancy?” “Local is more our style.” Jennifer listed off a few places, all small ones that might not make the list for fanciest but had the best food. The men thanked her before picking their rooms and leaving her to stare at the end of the hallway. Mandy’s words ran in her head, and the temptation to give in was so strong, she took a step backward. Nope. Sleeping with men who were only in town for a week was a very stupid idea, and the fact that she’d even considered it meant Mandy was right. Jennifer had gone far too long without a man. So instead, she gave in and messaged Mandy. Okay, set up the date.

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About the Author

Jayce Carter

Jayce Carter lives in Southern California with her husband and two spawns. She originally wanted to take over the world but realized that would require wearing pants. This led her to choosing writing, a completely pants-free occupation. She has a fear of heights yet rock climbs for fun and enjoys making up excuses for not going out and socializing. You can learn more about her at her website.

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Enter to win a fabulous gift package and get a FREE Jayce Carter romance book!

Jayce Carter’s Sun, Sea and Sinful Delights Giveaway

JAYCE CARTER IS GIVING AWAY THIS FABULOUS PRIZE TO ONE LUCKY WINNER. ENTER HERE FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A LOVELY GIFT PACKAGE AND GET GET A FREE EBOOK FROM THE AUTHOR! Notice: This competition ends on 20th July 2021 at 5pm GMT. Competition hosted by Totally Entwined Group.
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Release Blitz

Sun, Sea and Summer Vibes

Sun, Sea and Summer Vibes by Zoe Allison

Word Count: 49,961 Book Length: SHORT NOVEL Pages: 196

Genres:

CELEBRITIES CHICK LIT CONTEMPORARY EROTIC ROMANCE MULTICULTURAL SECOND CHANCE

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Book Description

Sometimes first impressions are far from the truth…

Nina Darwish is a scientist who likes to proceed with caution and careful deliberation. When she arrives at the party destination of Ibiza to play PA for her best friend international pop sensation Isla Starr, she has trouble adapting to the carefree and easy-going vibe on the island. The situation isn’t aided by Isla’s seemingly surly yet irritatingly attractive music producer, the world-renowned dance DJ Logan Wild, known by his real name—Cameron—to his friends. Plus, Nina’s run-ins with, and repeated rebuttal of, an extremely entitled and very annoying male singer named Zac don’t help aid her mood.

Unbeknownst to Nina, Cameron remembers her from the past, when he was a geeky student who admired her from afar. Unfortunately, it’s clear that Nina considers him ill-natured, no doubt due to his natural awkwardness, which he masks using a stage persona. However, even if that weren’t the situation, he’s involved in a dead-end relationship with his celebrity girlfriend Ash. Plus, Nina’s eye appears to have been drawn onto Ash’s no good ex-boyfriend, Zac, therefore there’s no point in believing anything could ever happen between them.

But despite all that being the case, for some reason, he just cannot stop thinking about her.

Excerpt

Nina rolled her eyes as the racket from the rowdy young men at the rear of the plane grew louder. The stewardess marched down to tell them off for the second time. Nina didn’t envy the job of the plane crew at the best of times, never mind with that rabble. She lifted the laminated flight menu and fought the urge to gag at the images of the greasy cuisine. I suppose that’s par for the course on a cheap airline. The stewardess came back to the front and recommenced loading the trolley in the galley. One of the young men from the group staggered down the aisle toward the toilet. He tried the door, despite the very clear ‘engaged’ sign, then let out an exasperated noise when it didn’t open. He eyed the stewardess. “Can’t we just have one more drink?” he slurred. She looked at him. “No. You’ve had enough. There’ll be plenty more alcohol for you once we get to Ibiza.” He slouched against the wall. “For fuck’s sake, who put the rod up your arse?” The young mum next to Nina put her hands over her small child’s ears. Nina gritted her teeth, unbuckled and stood. “Don’t speak to her like that.” The guy did a double-take, clearly not expecting anyone to challenge him. “Mind your own business.” “I am minding my business,” Nina said. “This is my flight as much as yours.” She pointed to the young mum and her daughter. “And theirs.” Nina gestured to the elderly couple in the row behind. “And also theirs. We didn’t pay good money to sit and listen to your crap. And the staff are trying to get on with their jobs. They don’t have to put up with your abuse.” He opened his mouth. “Shut it,” Nina said. “Shut your mouth, use the toilet, then go back to your seat and keep it shut. That stewardess has the power to instruct the pilot to turn back to Glasgow, land this plane and throw you all off. Then you’ll get the forty-thousand-pound bill to pay for the disruption to the flight.” The guy glanced at the stewardess, who smiled and nodded. Nina folded her arms and stared at him. He broke eye contact to glance at the floor. The toilet freed up and he nearly tripped in his hurry to get in there. Nina took her seat again to the sound of applause from the people who’d heard the exchange. The mum next to her touched her arm. “Well done.” Nina smiled and waved her hand in an ‘it’s nothing’ gesture. The stewardess came over and checked that the mum and her little girl were okay. She smiled at Nina. “Hi, I’m Laura. Can I get you anything? It’s on the house.” Nina smiled back. “I’m fine, thanks. I’ll wait until we land.” Laura perched on the staff seat across from her. “These summer Balearic flights are always the same—too many unruly groups who can’t wait until they arrive to get leathered and live it up. Sorry they caused a disruption.” Nina shook her head. “It’s not you who should apologise.” She paused. “I did tell a white lie, though. I got this flight for free.” Laura raised her eyebrows. “Oh?” “My friend is out in Ibiza for a few weeks,” Nina continued. “She’s a singer and her new label is paying for me to go out as her PA.” “That’s really cool,” Laura said. “Would I have heard of her?” Nina nodded. “Maybe. Her name’s Isla Campbell, but her stage name is Isla Starr.” Laura’s eyes widened. “Wow, I love her. She’s totally famous.” Nina smiled, pride rising in her chest. “She’s really talented. I always knew she’d make it big.” “What’s she doing in Ibiza?” Laura asked. “There’s some hot-shot dance producer who’s asked her to do the vocal on his track. Her new label is massive with loads of contacts, so I think this is the start of her becoming known internationally.” Laura sighed. “That sounds so glamorous. What do you do? Are you in the music industry too?” Nina laughed. “Nope. I know nothing about music. I was a project manager for a drug company, but I just got made redundant…hence being available for this trip.” “Sorry to hear that,” Laura said. “But I’m sure you’ll have a ball on Ibiza.” She sighed. “Anyway, I’d better get on with the trolley service. Shout if you need anything.” Laura went back to work, and Nina stared out of the tiny window. She was pretty exhausted from the last few days, and only being given a couple of weeks’ notice about the trip had made the preparations very rushed. She smiled. Typical Isla. Once they’d landed, Nina was among the first to leave the plane, getting a wave from Laura and her colleagues as she went. On the way through the airport processes, she tried to ignore the grumble of her stomach. She’d stop and get something once she got out into the arrivals hall. Nina pulled her suitcase along and through the automatic doors toward the exit. Isla was always late, so when Nina locked eyes on a sandwich shop, she started toward it. A man holding a sign caught her eye. The placard said ‘Nina Darwish’. Nina paused. Could it mean a different Nina Darwish? She went over to him. “I’m Nina, but I’m not sure if you’re here for me? My friend was supposed to meet me.” The man nodded, saying something in Spanish then taking her suitcase and making toward the exit. Nina ran a few paces to keep up. This had better be for me, because goodness knows where I’ll end up otherwise. She wished she’d paid more attention in her Spanish class, but all she could remember was how to say ‘two beers, please’. Out in the pick-up area, Nina expected a small taxi to await her but her jaw dropped when she clocked the guy putting her case into the back of a limo. There has definitely been a mistake. The driver held the door for her and she tried to ask him again if she was the right Nina Darwish, but he just ushered her into the vehicle. Once inside, she scrabbled around in her bag for her phone and turned it on. She waited while it roamed to connect to the local service then brought up Isla’s number. Isla’s face appeared on screen. She was among a crowd of people and there was a heavy bass line playing in the background. “Nina!” Isla shouted above the din. She flashed her megawatt smile. “You on your way here?” “I’m on my way somewhere but God knows if it’s to you,” Nina said. Isla’s frowned and flipped her red hair over her shoulder. “What do you mean? Didn’t you get the limo we sent?” A wave of relief washed over Nina. “Yeah, I did, but I was confused. I didn’t think it was for me.” Isla blinked, and her green eyes appeared a little glazed. Is she drinking already? It’s only three p.m. Isla shook her head. “The guy was meant to have a sign with your name on it.” “He did,” Nina said. “But, you know, I still wasn’t sure.” Isla rolled her eyes. “For goodness’ sake, you need to loosen up and stop second-guessing everything. I thought it’d be a nice surprise.” Nina’s relief morphed into guilt. “It is a nice surprise. Sorry… I didn’t mean it that way. Thank you.” Isla raised her arm in the air as she moved in time to the music. “Open the mini fridge.” Nina leaned forward to do so and found a half-bottle of champagne. There was a glass in a holder next to it. “That’s for you!” Isla called out over the music. “Drink up. You’ll be here soon.” “Where’s here?“ Nina said, but the call cut off. She sighed. She was starving. Oh well. I’ll get something once I arrive. She lifted the champagne and popped the cork, pouring a glass. it was typical that Isla was fully embroiled in the Ibiza party atmosphere when she’d only been on the island a little over twenty-four hours. It was hardly ten minutes later that the limo arrived outside a beach bar on Playa D’en Bossa, and Nina climbed out. She made to pay the driver, but he waved his hand, indicating that the fare had been pre-paid. He said something in Spanish and pointed along the road, but Nina was at a loss. Then he pulled away, leaving her outside the bar holding her bottle of champagne, minus her luggage. I have no clue what’s going on. She turned to the bar and decided to go find Isla. Maybe she could solve the mystery of the kidnapped luggage. Nina walked inside, scanning for her friend. Crowds of very beautiful, scantily clad people milled around. The women were wearing bikinis and the men tiny beach shorts and Nina found herself averting her eyes. She glanced at her vest top and linen trousers, feeling overdressed. Nina stopped in the middle of the bar, her hunger perpetuating her frustration. She took a glug of champagne from the bottle, leaning against a pillar and feeling like some sort of reprobate. She caught movement out of the corner of her eye. There was another room leading off the bar, manned by a burly bouncer holding a clipboard. Nina took another sip then steeled herself for embarrassment, because there was no doubt she’d be turned away. She approached the bouncer. “I don’t suppose my name’s on there? It’s Nina Darwish.” The bouncer looked her up and down with a raised eyebrow then scanned his list. He nodded and shifted to the side. For a moment Nina was frozen with surprise. Then she remembered herself and walked past him, impulsively offering him a sip from her bottle as she went. He shook his head, a bemused expression on his face. She shrugged. “Suit yourself.” I think this champagne is going to my head. She paused, trying to spot Isla. Finally, she laid eyes on her, in the middle of a dancing crowd. Nina made her way over, excusing herself through the throng. “Isla!” she shouted over the music. Isla turned. “Nina!” She threw her arms around Nina, causing her to nearly drop the bottle. Isla released her. “I can’t believe you’re here. It’s been months.” Nina smiled. “I know. I’ve missed you.” Isla grinned. “Me too. I’m so glad you made it.” “Yeah, but my luggage didn’t,” Nina said. “What?” Isla frowned. “The airline lost it?” Nina shook her head. “The limo guy took off with it.” Isla laughed. “He’s taking it to our hotel, you idiot.” Realisation dawned on Nina. She really did need to loosen up and not think the worst. Isla grabbed the bottle from her and drained the last of it. “Come on. Let’s go to the bar.” She took Nina’s hand and pulled her through the crowd. Isla leaned against the bar and gestured to the barman for another full bottle of champagne. Nina nudged her. “I wish you’d told me I was coming straight here. I would’ve dressed up.” Isla laughed. “Dressed up? Everyone’s in beach wear.” “Yeah,” Nina said, eyeing a beautiful woman passing by in a tiny white bikini embellished with jewels. “But they’re still more glamorous than me.” “Bollocks,” Isla said, drinking straight out of the bottle the barman had handed her, then passing it to Nina. “You look effortlessly awesome, as per normal. Come on. Let’s have a dance. Then I’ll introduce you to some people.” Nina took a swig and huffed out her breath. I’d rather go to the hotel and stuff my face, then have a lie-down. She followed Isla onto the dance floor. They took turns to drink from the bottle, and before long, Nina’s head was swimming from both the alcohol and Isla spinning her around. She paused to get her bearings and took Isla’s arm. “I need to go to the loo. Back in a sec.” Isla nodded. “Take this back to the bar on the way.” She handed over the empty bottle. Nina stumbled through the crowd. Did we finish it already? After using the ladies’ room, she returned to the bar in order to get a soft drink, plus some snacks to soak up the alcohol. She was just stuffing herself with the remnants when someone nudged her arm. She glanced over and a guy was standing next to her, grinning. “Wish I was that packet of chips,” he said. Nina frowned. I haven’t got any chips. She studied him for a second and was nearly blinded by the whiteness of his teeth. Her alcohol-addled brain took a couple of moments to process. He’s American. They call crisps ‘chips’. “Okay,” she said, for want of a better response. He sidled in closer. “You’re English? That’s sexy. Can I get you a drink?” Nina’s sixth sense told her that he was the sort of guy who’d feel entitled to whatever he wanted in return for buying a female a drink. “No thank you,” she said. He frowned, clearly not used to hearing the word ‘no’. “Don’t you know who I am?” Nina rolled her eyes. Does that line ever get him anywhere? Even if she did know who he was, she still wouldn’t be interested. “I know you’re a dickhead,” she said, aware that the drink had loosened her tongue but figuring he deserved it after that arrogant statement. He laughed. “Your loss.” He took his drink from the barman and turned to leave. “Thank God for that,” Nina muttered. She glanced up and locked eyes with another man across the bar. He seemed vaguely familiar, but she couldn’t think when she’d have met a guy as handsome as him before. He had hazel eyes and sandy, sun-tinted hair. Before she had a chance to smile, he looked away and moved from the bar. Dammit. Why couldn’t he have been the one to offer me a drink? Someone nudged her arm and she sighed. “For God’s sake, I said no, okay?” “What?” Isla said, leaning in next to her. “What’re you talking about?” “Oh. Nothing.” Nina said, glancing behind to check that white-teeth-guy had gone. “Were you talking to Zac before?” Isla said. Nina frowned. “Who?” “Zac,” Isla said. “Like, the hottest male pop star on the planet.” Nina raised her eyebrows. “Hottest, as in most attractive—or as in most popular?” Isla smiled. “Both.” “I’m not sure,” Nina said. “Has he got wavy bleached-blond hair with short sides that comes over his forehead, nearly obscuring his ice-blue eyes and bright-white-teeth that nearly blot out the sun?” Isla sighed. “Yes.” Nina frowned. “Then I think I might have spoken to him. I told him I didn’t want a drink and he wasn’t impressed.” “You turned him down?” Isla said. “Are you mental?” Nina shook her head. “I didn’t find him attractive. He was an arrogant prick.” Isla craned her neck, clearly hoping he might return and buy her a drink instead. “Then you must be the only woman on earth who thinks so.” “Doubt it,” Nina said. Isla turned back. “Anyway, you need to come meet Cameron.” “Who’s Cameron?” Nina said. She rubbed her stomach. Maybe eating those crisps so quickly on a bellyful of champagne hadn’t been a good idea. “Cameron Wild,” Isla said. “My producer? His stage name is Logan Wild. Don’t tell me you’ve not heard of him either.” “Yeah, I’ve heard of him,” Nina said. It wasn’t a lie. She vaguely knew of Logan Wild, DJ and dance-music producer, but had no idea what he looked like or any details regarding his background. “Come on,” Isla said, grabbing Nina’s hand and leading her through the throng. The sudden movement caused Nina’s stomach to lurch and her niggling nausea intensified. She took a deep breath in an attempt to quell it. Isla weaved them through the crowd toward the back of the room where a small group was conversing. There was one guy with his back to them who Nina assumed was Cameron, mainly because the rest of the group was female. As they approached, she realised it was the handsome man she’d locked eyes with across the bar. That did nothing to aid her nausea. Isla tapped him on the shoulder, and he turned. His eyes struck Nina. Up close they were even more intense. “This is my friend Nina,” Isla told him. “The one I was telling you about. “Nina, this is Cam.” He surveyed her with a cool expression then held out his hand for a shake. But before Nina could grasp it, she gagged and slapped her hand over her mouth. She turned and fled for the ladies’ room and only just made it to the toilet before vomiting profusely.

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About the Author

Zoe Allison

Growing up, Zoe Allison loved stories about falling in love. But rather than being rescued by a knight in shining armour, she imagined herself fighting dragons alongside him, battling supervillains as heroic allies, or teaming up to dive into perilous waters in order to save a loved one from drowning. Once Zoe did grow up, she became a doctor. But as time went on, she craved a creative outlet to counter the soul sapping burnout that her career inflicted upon her, and also to achieve those happy endings that were so often lacking in the real world. She wanted heroes who truly love and value women, who find their true love inspiring, are fascinated by her, want to connect with her as a soulmate and fully open themselves to her on an emotional level. And so, Zoe began to write her romances. A Zoe Allison novel promises a heroine who is not only her hero’s equal in ability and intellect, but whose hero equals her in emotional intelligence. Her characters overcome conflict infused with spine tingling sexual tension to forge a deep connection as soul mates as well as lovers, and ultimately, they both rescue each other emotionally. Even if they might begin their journey as enemies…

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Sun, Sea and Summer Songs

Sun, Sea and Summer Songs by Megan Slayer

Word Count: 30,235 Book Length: SHORT NOVEL Pages: 121

GENRES:

CONTEMPORARY EROTIC ROMANCE GAY GLBTQI

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Book Description

Two men, one song and a summer to reconnect. Jude Sanders walked away from Blake Payton three years ago and vowed not to look back…but the song he wrote and recorded with Blake has become a hit and he’s forced to perform the song with Blake all summer. He’s got to make a decision—face the mistakes in his past and give Blake another try or turn his back on their love forever. Blake Payton knew the moment he and Jude recorded Summer Song that they’d created a hit. Summer hasn’t been the same without Jude in his life and he sees the tour as the ultimate chance to prove they belong together. Will the tour, their lost love and the song of the summer be enough to put the pieces back together for good? Reader advisory: This book contains references to excess drinking and cocaine addiction, references to abusive alcoholic father and childhood poverty. There is a scene involving sexual assault.

Excerpt

Blake Payton stared at the monitor in his trailer and sighed. He wanted a change in life. Doing the bit part in the movie, a corny movie at that, bored him to tears. He lived to make music, and his career had seen him flying up the charts with pop songs guaranteed to make people dance. Except no one wanted to listen to his songs anymore. The public wanted to see him deliver craptacular lines and engage in slapstick comedy. He raked his fingers through his hair, not giving a shit that he’d have to visit the hair and makeup trailer to fix his coif. Screw it. He wasn’t important in the film and he doubted they’d miss him if he left the set. He picked up the hand mirror he used to practice expressions and stared at his reflection. He might only be twenty-eight, but in the music business, that was old. Lines formed at the corners of his eyes when he smiled and… Were those circles forming beneath? Sure, this was the look required for his role in the movie, but did it have to accentuate his problem areas? He needed to put on his armor of makeup to hide behind. When he stepped into character, no one could touch him. Being bare meant the public saw everything. Not good. He wasn’t fresh and new—he’d been around the block a few times and made nine albums. Sure, he still drew a crowd when he played live, but his promoters swore it was the movies that brought in more money. He hadn’t started playing music for the money. He did it for the fame and adulation and later the chicks—except girls didn’t do it for him. For years, he’d thought he was doing something wrong when he went out with women. The charge wasn’t there. The instant attraction. He’d told himself the right girl hadn’t come along, but he knew better. He wasn’t attracted to women. Men—slick, sophisticated men—were his drug. He tossed the mirror onto the sofa and turned his attention back to the monitor. One condition of his doing the movie involved him being able to have a television and access to entertainment outside the set. He loved to view the music videos of his equals and get a grasp on the up-and-coming artists. Why did everyone on the music feeds have to look the same? Where was the style? The panache? The fun? The veejay came onto the screen. “Now here’s an oldie but a goodie. It’s racing up the digital charts and proving to be the song for this summer. It’s Summer Song by Payday, featuring Jude Sanders.” Blake sat up straight and peered at the screen. He was Payday—the ridiculous name his promoter had sworn he needed to break into the business—and Jude… He hadn’t seen his friend in three years. He and Jude had recorded Summer Song at the apex of their relationship. Jude had claimed it would be a good way to show the world how much they meant to each other. Looking at the video and listening to the words now, Blake believed it. The way Jude gazed at him and how they touched during the tender moments made it crystal clear that Jude had loved him—at the time. Now? He doubted Jude would talk to him. He missed Jude, the way Jude held him, the touch of his hand, his kiss and the soulful look in his eyes when they made love. Christ. He’d never gotten over Jude. Jude had moved on, though. He’d begged Blake to admit to the world he was gay because Jude wanted to take the relationship public. Instead of following his heart, Blake had cowered behind his Payday persona and listened to his promoters. No one wanted him to be gay. They wanted the image of a fun, free pop star. If the veejay was telling the truth, the song he’d recorded with Jude would be played everywhere. He’d never get away from the memories of their love and breakup. At least not for the duration of the summer. Fuck. Kel Templeton, his promoter, sauntered into the trailer. “What are you watching?” “Videos.” He didn’t bother to turn the monitor off. “Remember the song I did with Jude Sanders? Three years down the road, it’s a hit. Summer Song is the defining song of this season—according to the charts. What do you think about that?” He’d known the song was a hit when they’d recorded it, but Kel and others had seen it as a liability. “Gag. You know why that is?” Kel asked. “Because a few disc jockeys and their veejay friends worked with influencers and kids on the internet to promote it. They made it happen. Big deal.” “If the numbers are right, then it is a big deal and will be a good payday.” He switched off the monitor. “I could use the money and chance to get back to playing music instead of doing these lousy movies.” “You’re doing the movie. Period. You don’t need to record music any longer. You can do this and get more attention. Remember how you wanted to do that bio pic? The Rat Ragland film? If you keep doing these and show your range, you’ll get that film.” Kel folded his arms. “You do realize you get more eyeballs this way.” “Eyeballs don’t help when I’m not getting paid for the work.” He fiddled with the mirror again. The memory of his reflection came to mind. He’d been made up to look old, and the creases and dark circles did him no favors. He wanted to record again. He came alive in the studio and music flowed in his soul. Playing the movie star wasn’t his thing, no matter how much he wanted to do the punk rocker’s bio flick. He hated trying to remember his lines while being someone else. Being himself was hard enough. His fans expected Payday, the flamboyant pop star with no holds barred. They wanted spectacle and sass. “You’re getting paid.” Kel swatted Blake’s arm. “Grow up and stop getting pissed. It’s crap.” “Why?” He watched Kel flip through the book on the counter. Blake doubted Kel read much of anything, especially not Shakespeare. He wouldn’t know a rhyming couplet from expository writing. Kel tossed the book onto the couch and glared at Blake. His stare could bore holes through steel when he got angry. Kel liked to use his hands and his thundering voice to get his point across. Most of the time, the tactic worked and Blake benefitted, but sometimes Kel could be abrasive and cruel. “You have the whole summer ahead of you, so stop thinking about the past and enjoy the sun. You’re in California. There’s sun, fun and chicks. Get laid and shut up.” Kel shook his head. “Ever since Jude got into your brain and messed with you, you’ve been off your game.” No kidding. Jude had churned up the feelings Blake thought he’d buried. Then again, Blake hadn’t come out to Kel, and Kel had no idea Blake wasn’t attracted to women. Christ. His behavior and appearance, wearing makeup and the rainbow colors, should’ve clued Kel in by now. Every time he did a collaboration, he did it with camp and style. He preferred to sing with other men and be flamboyant. “Let me find you a chick. We’ll get you sexed up and you’ll chill out.” Kel nodded. “I’ll be back.” Blake sighed as his promoter left. He didn’t want to be with a woman, random or otherwise. Truth be told, he wanted to be with Jude. That wasn’t going to happen now, and he’d have to listen to their song all summer as a reminder of what he’d given up. His phone rang. He slapped at the table, using the vibrations to move the device within reach. When he checked the ID screen, his heart hammered. Bob Casey. The last time he’d heard from his friend and former publicist, he’d set up the initial meeting between Blake and Jude. What does Bob want? “Hi, Bob.” “Blake, the man of the summer,” Bob said. “How are you? Should be flying high. Have you seen the charts? They’ve picked up Summer Song in the clubs and there’s talk of making a dance move for it. Nuts, right?” “Nuts.” He needed to investigate the popularity of his song. “I’ve seen some of the charts, but I hadn’t heard anything about the clubs.” He reclined on the couch. “How have you been? Organizing up a storm?” “Not quite a storm, but I have an idea. I can get you a stadium tour to promote your music if you’re willing to go out with Jude. Does that sound good? Sound like something you’d be interested in doing? I’ve got the whole thing pretty much lined up.” Blake wobbled back onto his seat. Shock washed over him. Bob can’t be serious. “Because Jude agreed to this venture?” he snapped. “I really doubt he would.” He and Jude hadn’t talked in forever and their split hadn’t been amicable. Jude had vowed to ignore him, even if he was the last man on earth. “No, but he’ll want to do it,” Bob said. “I know him.” “Why? What do you know?” History hadn’t been kind to Blake, and there would have to be some serious cash involved to get Jude to sign on. “I know the song is exploding. It’s everywhere and everyone wants to see you together. You two have chemistry. When you sing that song, people believe you love each other,” Bob said. “I knew from the moment I heard it you were meant for each other.” At the time, he and Jude had been in love. “Jude won’t do it.” “You don’t know that.” “I’m pretty sure he won’t.” The words “I never want to see you again” were damn obvious. “Will you do a tour? Ten to fifteen dates spread over three months? If I set it up?” Bob asked. “If I can get him to go on tour, will you go?” “Only if he agrees, but I doubt it.” Blake shook his head. “You’ll have to do some serious magic to get it to work.” “You’ll do it?” “I want out of this fucking movie. I’m tired of being cooped up on the set because I’m not needed.” If he could spend time with Jude, then all the better. Maybe he could get them back together and work out his issues…because he loved Jude. “Consider yourself on tour.” “I film for two more days doing retakes and close-ups,” Blake said. “And there’s Kel. He’ll be pissed. He thinks I’m going to do more movies.” “Let me handle him.” He didn’t know how Bob would make this work, but he trusted his old friend. “Once I’m done here, I’m flying out. Where am I going? You’re sending an itinerary? Getting a band together? We’ll have to do some rehearsals.” “You’ll come here to Cleveland. I’ve got a suite booked at the Crown Hotel and my own recording studio for rehearsals. Two weeks to iron out the wrinkles and you’re off,” Bob said. “I haven’t steered you wrong, have I?” “No.” He’d been a fool to dump Bob as his management, but he’d thought Kel would get him into bigger venues. He’d been wrong. Kel had got him more notice and made him a bona fide star, but it had been a hollow victory. Blake had had to sell out to get to the top. “This will be good for you. We’ll work up a theme. How about a sand, sun and fun theme? Tour dates are firming up as we speak. You’ll do three shows a weekend and it’ll be great,” Bob said. “The career will be back on track and you’ll be happy.” “You can do all of that in one summer?” “If you trust me.” “I trust you.” He lived for the thrill of being on the road, holding court on stage and the camaraderie of the touring company. He needed to log miles and play music, but more than that, he needed to talk to Jude. He missed being held, being loved and protected… Jude gave him a place to explore and understood who he was without being judged. He wanted Jude’s kiss, his arms around him and his love. Just because the song was old didn’t mean the passion had to have ended. His summer song with Jude had another verse yet to be written.

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About the Author

Megan Slayer

Megan Slayer, aka Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and BDSM themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been the runner up in the Kink Category at Love Romances Café as well as nominated at the LRC for best author, best contemporary, best ménage and best anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on Amazon.com. When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice. Find out more about Megan on her website, and sign up for the newsletter here. You can also check out her Blog, Amazon Author Page, Bookbub and Instagram.

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MEGAN SLAYER IS GIVING AWAY THIS FABULOUS PRIZE TO ONE LUCKY WINNER. ENTER HERE FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A LOVELY GIFT PACKAGE AND GET A FREE MEGAN SLAYER ROMANCE BOOK! Notice: This competition ends on 20th July 2021 at 5pm GMT. Competition hosted by Totally Entwined Group.
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Sun, Sea and Small-Town Secrets

Sun, Sea and Small-Town Secrets by S.J. Coles

Word Count: 48,634 Book Length: SHORT NOVEL Pages: 193

Genres:

ACTION AND ADVENTURE CRIME CRIME AND MYSTERY EROTIC ROMANCE FAKE RELATIONSHIPS GAY GLBTQI MEN IN UNIFORM

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Book Description

Small towns are full of secrets, some harder to keep than most. Sebastian Conway is a professional psychologist and accomplished criminal profiler, but when one of his patients is sentenced to life in prison for a crime she didn’t commit, he simply cannot let it go. His borderline obsessive behaviour has embarrassed his boss and lover, Gerrard Wilson, and the relationship has come to a bitter end. Seb has now grudgingly taken Gerrard’s advice and come to the small coastal town of Ruéier in the South of France to get some distance and clear his head—but he cannot sit by and do nothing. He has started writing a book he believes will address the failings in the case, but when he gets swept up in a local investigation into suspected drug trafficking, which is led by the enigmatic and strangely enticing Antoine Damboise, the book—and Seb’s intentions to avoid active criminal cases—take a back seat. He knows it’s a bad idea to get involved, but he can’t seem to help himself. And when it seems Damboise is tempted to make their relationship more than professional, Seb finds it easier than ever to ignore his better judgment. But when a local drug dealer is murdered and Seb is implicated, everything gets a whole lot more complicated. Can the two men set aside their personal feelings long enough to figure out what’s really going on before Seb ends up in prison? Or worse… Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of murder and drug use.

Excerpt

I turned over with a sigh. I’d thought that second bottle of red would help me sleep this time, but all I’d achieved was insomnia with a headache. The moonlight creeping in round the edge of the blind illuminated the bold, minimalist prints on the walls and the simple, spartan furniture that was so at odds with the balmy, luscious countryside outside. Gerrard had always liked his surroundings…controlled. Even the washing powder was the same brand he’d used in the flat at home, so the sheets smelled like him. I pushed them back with a frustrated grumble then wandered into the living area. I stared at the open laptop on the desk, the piles of journals and drifts of paper surrounding it. I shook my head, returned to the bedroom, dressed then left the villa. The cool night air felt good against my flushed skin. I strode along the seafront boulevard where the cafe and boulangerie shopfronts were bleached shades of grey in the moonlight. I took deep breaths, inhaling the smells of salt and dried seaweed. I checked my phone. It was getting on for two-thirty. I rubbed my face, admitting I wasn’t feeling much better than when I’d left the villa—no better than when I’d stepped off the plane a week before, either. I sat on a bench and gazed out over the deserted beach. During the day, the sand was so light and the sea so blue that it was almost tropical. Even at night it was beautiful, all shifting shadows and pale sand under a sky so vast and crowded with stars that it was like it belonged to another world. I’d never visited France before. Hell, I’d never ventured outside the UK, apart from that one—and best forgotten—trip to Majorca with Gerrard for our anniversary. But I had to admit that Ruéier was picture-postcard perfect—small, unspoiled, off the beaten track, so not overrun by tourists and the inevitable high-street chains that followed them. It was everything Gerrard had said it was—the perfect place to get some distance and write my book. So why can’t I sleep? I stood, thinking to walk the long way home and avoid analysing the question too deeply but stopped when the sound of voices rippled the easy quiet of the night. Stepping out from the shadow of a tree, I saw one of the boats in the harbour had its cabin light on. It illuminated the wide deck and a tall wheelhouse. Several figures were aboard and another on the pier, loading large bags into the hold. I wasn’t sure what made me look closer. There had to be plenty of reasons for loading a boat at night. But something about the way they moved and the low urgency of their muttered French raised the hairs on the back of my arms. When the figure on the pier handed over the last heavy-looking holdall, his jacket lifted and I glimpsed a gun tucked in his waistband. I stepped back into the shadows just as the hooded face turned my way. I held my breath. The voices went quiet but then the roar of the boat’s engine tore through the silence. I swore silently to myself. I’d come to Ruéier to get away from suspicious figures with guns. I held my breath for several more heartbeats before daring another look. The boat was heading for the harbour mouth and the figure from the pier was coming up the stairs less than five meters away. I ducked behind the tree and held still. I could hear his footsteps now, coming right for me. He walked right past, heading south, down the boulevard toward the ferry port. His shoulders were hunched, his hands in his pockets and his head moved left to right as he scanned the shadows on either side. I didn’t breathe again until he’d turned a corner and disappeared.

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About the Author

S. J. Coles

S. J. Coles is a Romance writer originally from Shropshire, UK. She has been writing stories for as long as she has been able to read them. Her biggest passion is exploring narratives through character relationships. She finds writing LGBT/paranormal romance provides many unique and fulfilling opportunities to explore many (often neglected or under-represented) aspects of human experience, expectation, emotion and sexuality. Among her biggest influences are LGBT Romance authors K J Charles and Josh Lanyon and Vampire Chronicles author Anne Rice. Find S. J. Coles at her website and follow her on Instagram.

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S. J. Coles Sun, Sea and Small-Town Secrets Giveaway

ENTER HERE AND GET A FREE S. J. COLES ROMANCE BOOK! Notice: This competition ends on 20th July 2021 at 5pm GMT. Competition hosted by Totally Entwined Group.
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