New Release

The Luke Trilogy


 #NewRelease The Luke Trilogy by @LisaReneeJones is COMPLETE! Get Luke’s Revenge, book three, TODAY! All will be revealed as Luke’s forever with the woman he loves hangs in the balance.

The finale to the Luke Trilogy is HERE! You can now BINGE READ the entire series!!Luke’s Sin (book one)Amazon: http://mybook.to/Lucifer_1Apple: https://apple.co/3GJYM5JNook: https://bit.ly/3EE2hZAKobo: https://bit.ly/3mD6M0lGoogle: https://bit.ly/3EEbnoXPrint: http://mybook.to/Lucifer_1PBLuke’s Touch (book two)Amazon: http://mybook.to/Lucifer_2Apple: https://apple.co/3wdWLKeNook: https://bit.ly/3EUDZL5Kobo: https://bit.ly/3jWnW7pGoogle: https://bit.ly/3nV5ay6Print: https://mybook.to/Luke_2PBLucifer’s Revenge (book three)Amazon: http://mybook.to/Lucifer_3Apple: https://apple.co/3mFkekaNook: https://bit.ly/3CEAA20Kobo: https://bit.ly/3jX3JylGoogle: https://bit.ly/3bB2xMnPrint: https://mybook.to/Luke_3PBABOUT THE SERIES:She once called him the man she loved. But then he betrayed her. Or so she thought. Nothing is as it seemed back then.He’s a man with a past. She’s the only woman he has ever loved. Someone wants her dead. That someone is about to find out that you don’t dare to threaten his woman. Even if she doesn’t call herself that now. He does. But all he ever really wanted to be was Luke—the man worthy of her love.
New Release

Syndicate Rising

Syndicate Rising by Amy Craig

Book 1 in the Sun Valley Mafia series

Word Count: 88,158 Book Length: SUPER NOVEL Pages: 365

Genres:

BILLIONAIRE CONTEMPORARY CRIME AND MYSTERY EROTIC ROMANCE MAFIA/GANGS THRILLERS AND SUSPENSE

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Book Description

  A one-night stand turns serious… Nina’s neighbor sets her up on a blind date with a handsome insurance salesman. After a candlelit dinner, Nina hooks up with him in a posh New York hotel room, but she writes off the date as a one-night stand. Returning home, she discovers her neighbor’s death, her dog’s abduction and the salesman’s possible involvement. Traipsing across the city with her date in tow, she realizes he’s a quarrelsome billionaire and that her dog may never return. Grieving her losses, she accompanies her date to a ‘billionaire summer camp’ in Sun Valley, Idaho, but the idyllic setting revolves around his whims—and the person who took her dog follows them. Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of violence and murder.

Excerpt

Nina backed into the high-rise’s smudged glass door and sacrificed her favorite red suit to the city’s germs. The skirt displayed her ass to an advantage, so her immune system had better appreciate the tradeoff. Half of New York had left their handprints on the panel, and the other half would visit tomorrow. After the year she’d had, the limited contact approach made sense. Since Nan’s death, she had wondered what she wanted out of life, but influenza wasn’t the answer. Free of the law office where she worked as a legal mediator, she adjusted her leather tote and inhaled a mix of freesia, exhaust and hot-dog fumes. Summer humidity hovered over the sunbaked sidewalks. In a few hours, the concrete would cool, and the city’s professional class would congregate in packed restaurants, dim bars and quiet subway stations. She would be home with the dog she’d recently adopted, Victor, a few journal articles and a chilled salad. The red suit would go to the dry cleaners. Most Fridays, she treated herself to a car, but her favorite driver had left town for a funeral. She headed for the subway station, but she missed the light. Standing on the street corner, she watched the cars jostle for position. The city felt impossibly big, but she carved out a place for herself and the achievement satisfied her. An unkempt man rattled a cup full of change. “Heya.” Keeping her expression neutral, she focused on the opposite street corner. Her career trained her to avoid conflict, but she snuck a glance. Arms wrapped around his knees, he held the cup. A large, purple birthmark covered one cheek and his nearly black bare feet tapped to a private beat. “Can you spare a dollar?” he asked. She often gave money to people on the street, but she tried not to let their plights ruin her day. An unfolded newspaper lay next to this man, and the lead story detailed overcrowding at area homeless shelters. If she had a few million dollars to spare, she would do more than give him a dollar. Fishing in her tote, she pulled out a bill and offered it. Too late, she realized she held a twenty. His face lit up, and he snatched the bill. “What’s your name?” “I don’t think so.” Shifting her stance, she eyed his bare feet. She’d spent more than twenty dollars on Victor’s collar. If she couldn’t afford the same generosity for another human, she might need to reevaluate her priorities. “If I give you another twenty, will you buy shoes?” “Nope.” She frowned. “Why not?” “Never needed them.” He stretched out his legs. “I do need a hamburger.” “Okay then.” The light changed. Striding across the intersection, she glanced over her shoulder. The unkempt man chatted with another suit-clad commuter, and she released the tension in her shoulders. Checking the time, she wondered if she would make her train, quickened her pace and descended the subway stairs. On the last step, her red heel quivered. Grabbing for the railing, she held fast. The crowd rushed past. If she had fallen, would someone have stopped to help her? Shaking her head, she continued into the station and lingered near the platform’s back wall. The train roared to a stop. Gauging the flow of passengers, she squeezed into the cramped train and stood elbow to elbow with her fellow New Yorkers. More than anything else, the subway normalized the city’s population. In a rocking and rolling subway car, everyone widened their stance, gripped the handlebars and hung on for dear life. She did the same, but she did it better than most. After a few stops, the train’s shaking rhythm lulled her, and she closed her eyes. She didn’t really need a day off work. She needed a way to unwind. As a legal mediator, she helped opposing parties feel in control, but she could halt the discussions at any time. Some people were selfish morons and some were lovesick fools, but she stayed calm. The first year in law school, she’d worn black. By graduation, she’d secured her place on the honors list and had turned red into her signature color. When people asked about the color, she told them she liked to put out fires, and they paid her good money to do it. The sense of achievement brought a smile to her lips, but in a city this big, her compensation bought her little luxuries, and she remembered her grandmother’s admonishment to savor them. “You look happy,” a woman said. She opened her eyes. An older woman held a cane between her knees. She nodded with the train’s rhythm, but her pale blue eyes looked clear. “I am.” “But tired.” The woman pointed a crooked, arthritic finger. “You should take better care of yourself.” “Great advice. You, too.” Clearing her throat, she checked the train’s progress toward Murray Hill. The borough’s tree-lined streets were quintessential old New York City. Apple orchards, windswept daisies and benevolent livestock were an ideal childhood setting, but she craved museums, restaurants and the city’s vibrant, diverse flavors. If Nan had decided to haunt her, she could go straight back to the countryside. The rider dug in her purse. “I have a tea you could try.” “Oh. Um…” She tamped down her horror. If she wanted to land on Page Six, she could have a lot more fun before accepting drugs from a stranger. Rows of white subway tiles came into view and the train lumbered into the stop at 33rd Street. She pushed her way toward the train door. “Maybe next time!” The woman snapped her purse closed. Emerging from the station into fading late-afternoon light, Nina adjusted her skirt and turned toward the pre-war Park Avenue condo building she loved. José, her building’s doorman, spotted her and waved. She waved back. His stomach stretched his black doorman’s jacket, but he wore his hair like Elvis. When she smuggled Victor out of the back of the building for walks, she often heard him singing in the service hallways. More than once, she wondered if the songs served as an audible warning. She doted on her new dog, but she hadn’t finished her pet application. Stopping at José’s side where she could chat without interrupting his work, she adjusted her tote. “Anything good today?” “Couple of packages,” he said. “A new guy moved onto the twelfth floor.” “Oh?” Pulling open the door, he winked. “The man’s eighty.” “Good for him.” She needed a way to unwind, but she could do better than eighty. Maybe she could make friends with the man and set him up with the lady on the train. Smiling, she slipped past José and made her way to the elevator. “Thanks for the heads-up.” She rode the elevator to her floor. After typing her access code into her door’s security panel, she dropped her tote on the hardwood floor and circled the leather couch. Victor pawed at the crate door, but the clever animal made no sounds. Lifting the crate’s door release, she stepped back. He bounded out, play-bowed and wagged his tail. She held out her arms for the silly white animal. Acting coy, he cocked his head. “Come here, you little stinker.” He growled. Crouching, she scooped him into her arms and buried her nose in his soft fur. “I missed you.” He licked her cheek. After she’d checked her houseplants and emptied her tote, she lowered him into the leather purse and eased closed her condo’s door. Looking both ways down the hallway, she found it empty and exhaled. “Quiet or some snooty neighbor will bust us, and we’ll have to find you a new home.” He whimpered. “Don’t worry. They’re all good people at heart.” Stroking his head, she ferried him to the small park behind the building. She would present him to the condo board, but she needed time to complete the board’s lengthy pet application. Who wouldn’t love this dog?

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About the Author

Amy Craig

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

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New Release

Bewitched by the Barista

Bewitched by the Barista By Jason Wrench

Book 2 in the Up on the Farm series

Word Count: 74,034 Book Length: SUPER NOVEL Pages: 282

Genres:

CONTEMPORARY EROTIC ROMANCE GAY GLBTQI

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Book Description

Finding love and coffee in the unlikeliest of places… After finding him in bed with another man, Roger Havemeyer needs to escape his life and his ex. Dale Devereux, an old friend of his now lives up near Woodstock with his boyfriend Talgat. After visiting Dale and Talgat one weekend, Roger decides a change of scenery may be just what he needs. Roger’s job as a marketing executive allows him to work remotely now, so he puts in an offer on a house. One evening, while deleting a slew of emails, he accidentally clicks on a link to a website called CammBate. Not familiar with the website, he finds himself really drawn to one of the young models, which surprises him, since he rarely likes younger guys. Wesley Phelps is a twenty-year-old college student paying his way through college. He has a small apartment that he shares with his best friend. A friend of his told him that with his good looks, he could make a lot of money on CammBate, so he started performing. Even as the money starts rolling in from his online sex work, he keeps his job as a part-time barista at the local coffee shop, Java Junkie Café & Roastery. After closing the deal on his house, Roger walks into Java Junkie Café & Roastery and almost has a heart attack when he recognizes Wes. Of course, Roger is used to their ‘relationship’ being completely one-sided. Wes finds himself drawn to the attractive forty-year-old but isn’t even sure if the older man knows he’s alive. Roger and Wes must work to get past their twenty-year age gap, and Roger also must learn how to cope with Wes’ jobs…both of them. Reader advisory: This book features online sex performance.

Excerpt

Christmas music filled the elevator as I rode in silence up to our apartment, thankful my new client had signed on the dotted line with little fuss. I think we had both been trying to get home for the holidays. Nothing sped up the process like a late afternoon meeting on the day before Christmas, I guessed. The elevator doors opened, and I stepped out into the empty hallway. Even on busy days, people in our building were quiet, respectful and kept to themselves, which was how I liked it. My fiancé, Jeremy, wasn’t expecting me for at least another couple of hours. I kind of looked forward to surprising him. We had reservations at nine for dinner, so it would be nice to chill out, maybe throw on some news before we headed into the frosty night. Well, for New York City, it wasn’t the coldest Christmas I’d seen. In fact, it was downright seasonal. I pulled my keys out of my pocket and slipped the right one into the lock before turning it clockwise and pushing open the door. I stepped in and was immediately surprised by the dimmed lights and a handful of lit candles glowing inside. Sometimes, Jeremy takes relaxing baths. I opted not to yell out and didn’t want to break his mood. Hell, if I’m lucky, maybe I’ll slip into the tub and join him. I hung up my coat on the hook near the door and set my briefcase down on the counter. I walked into the living room and immediately saw clothes strewn about the apartment. Well then, I thought to myself. If that’s how he wants this evening, I don’t want to disappoint him. We’d played this little game before. I’d come home, Jeremy would have stripped and had been waiting for me on our bed. Once, for Valentine’s Day, he’d had a trail of rose petals leading me into the bedroom. Without thinking, I shrugged out of my suit coat, laying it over the back of the sofa. I kicked off my loafers and made quick work of my tie. Before long, I was naked as the day I’d been born. I stared down at my washboard stomach. Not as flat as when I’d been a teenager, but I still looked pretty damn hot. Just staring at my nude body and its tightly manscaped features had me growing in anticipation. The bedroom door was closed. I reached out, grabbed the handle and twisted it. I pushed it open quietly, just in case Jeremy had fallen asleep while he was waiting for me. The thought of walking in on a nude Jeremy lying on our bed facedown definitely caused my cock to twitch. I looked down at all eight inches of me standing as straight and hard as a ship’s mast. It took a second for my eyes to adjust. “What the fuck!” I yelled. Jeremy was mid-thrust into some young twink’s ass. He whipped his head in my direction. “Roger,” Jeremy started, his voice trailing off. I stared in disbelief as Jeremy’s cock sat nestled in the guy. The twink, whose face was shoved into the mattress, lifted his head and looked at me. “Oh…hey, Roger,” Avery said. “Wanna join?” He winked at me and licked the top of his lip. Part of me wanted to go over and shove something between those lips to see if he’d choke on it. But with my luck, he’d have no gag reflex. Instead, I narrowed my eyes and said, “Avery Addington.” I sounded like a principal who wasn’t too surprised to see a pupil in the main office. “What the fuck are you doing here?” Avery looked at me with a ‘are you fucking kidding me’ look, before he said, “Uh…having a good time.” My nails bit into my palms in clenched fists. Jeremy sat there with his cock still sitting inside the kid. Then he slowly slid out. “And you’re not wearing a condom!” I was pretty sure neighbors up and down the hall heard that one. “Don’t worry, daddy,” Avery said, drawing out the word ‘daddy’ like it was some kind of badge of honor for reaching the ancient age of forty. “I’m totally on PrEP.” “I’m. No. One’s. Father.” I knew if I didn’t get out of there, I was going to say a few things I wouldn’t want to repeat in polite company, not that Avery was polite. Avery was one of those kids who had a reputation, and now I saw the reputation in all its glory splayed out on my bed…and on the sheets I’d bought! I shut the door. I looked out at the living room. Only then did I notice that there’d been two pairs of pants on the floor. How had I been so blind? I walked over to where I’d discarded my clothes and heard the bedroom door open. “You don’t get the right to be angry with me,” Jeremy said. “What?” I spun around and looked at Jeremy. “I’m not the one who was fucking around on my fiancé…on Christmas Eve!” “Well, if you weren’t working all the time…” “I work all the time so we can afford to live here, so we can afford that dream wedding you’ve been wanting.” “Hey! It’s not my fault I’m having a problem landing a job.” “Jeremy,” I said, trying to keep the venom out of my voice as much as possible, “you’ve been having a problem landing work for years. When are you going to realize that you’re a two-bit hack of an actor who will never make it big? Sure, you’re hot, but you don’t have any fucking talent.” As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I kind of regretted them—but not really. “Well… How long have you been holding that in?” I breathed in through my nose and let it out. “This is neither the time nor the place to have this conversation.” “Oh, and why not?” “You’re naked. I’m naked. And that two-bit hustling twink is in my bedroom.” “Our bedroom.” “As if that makes it better?” I groused. Avery chose that moment to make his appearance. He reached up and rested his arm on Jeremy’s shoulder as he draped himself around my fiancé. I couldn’t help but focus downward, seeing that Avery was the only one in the room who was on full alert. “I am not a hustler,” Avery said. “You’re what? Twelve—?” “I’m twenty-five, I’ll have you know.” “And yet you act like you’re a child. You’re the fucking gay version of Peter Pan. All the rumors about you are true, aren’t they?” “I don’t pay attention to rumors. Anyone who has a problem with me isn’t my problem.” “What the fuck ever,” I said. “I just can’t—” “We need to talk about this,” Jeremy said, cutting into my dressing down of Avery. “Talk about what?” I asked. In the flickering candlelight, I realized that all three of us were standing there stark naked. I was so mad at Jeremy that I hadn’t thought about the fact that I was letting an absolute stranger stare at my naked body. “I can’t talk to you now…not like this—” “Roger—” “Don’t, Roger, me.” I found my underwear on the ground, reached down, grabbed them and pulled them up. When I was finally covered, I looked back up at Avery and Jeremy. “I hope you two are happy together.” “Oh, I’m not looking for a relationship,” Avery said, with almost a hint of disgust at the thought of it. “I found him on Grindr and thought he looked like fun.” “Grindr!” I yelled again. “You’re on Grindr?” “It’s not like that—” “Like what? Like you created a profile on a dating app behind my back.” Only then did I realize what other implications this had. “Is Avery even the first?” The look on Jeremy’s face was all I needed to see. Avery clearly wasn’t the first. My face went slack. “Roger…” I couldn’t say anything. I didn’t know what to say. I’d never felt more betrayed by anyone in my entire life. “Roger!” I got dressed. I heard Jeremy’s voice in the background, but I’d honestly stopped listening. At some point, Avery had slunk back into the bedroom. I looked up at one point and could see the kid acting like he owned the place. Avery was propped up with his arms crossed behind his head. The light from the living room provided me enough to see the smug look on the little prick’s face. I laced up my shoes, stood, walked to the front door, grabbed my briefcase, pulled down my coat and left. Even as I shut the door behind myself, I could hear Jeremy calling after me. I walked in a haze to the elevator. A happy, smiling couple stood in the small box hand-in-hand when the doors opened. That should have been me. As much as I wanted to make a snide comment about how love was fake, I plastered on a smile and turned my back to the couple. On the ride down, a tear fell down my cheek. I walked through the lobby and quickly realized I did not know where I was going. Out in the cold air, I pulled out my phone and pulled up my favorite hotel app. On Christmas Eve, there wasn’t exactly much availability, and the prices for booking this late made my eyes bulge. I found a hotel I’d always wanted to stay at and booked it. I had the money in my savings, so I might as well enjoy the stay. I booked for three nights. I needed distance. I needed to figure out what my next move was. Fuck! I have nothing with me. Thankfully, Duane Reade was always open, so I could get my necessities there. If I hurried, I could buy some new clothes for a few days. At least, I hoped I could find a department store still open. I hailed the first cab I saw and said, “Take me to Macy’s Harold Square.” The guy got a weary look on his face before saying, “Whatever. It’s your funeral.” I leaned back and stared at my reflection in the cab’s window as we passed the familiar sights of the city. What am I going to do now?

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Choose Your Store First For Romance

About the Author

Jason Wrench

Jason Wrench is a professor in the Department of Communication at SUNY New Paltz and has authored/edited 15+ books and over 35 academic research articles. He is also an avid reader and regularly reviews books for publishers in a wide number of genres. This book marks his first full-length work of fiction. Find out more about Jason at his website.

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New Release

Dark Narcissus – Elysium Book 2


 .•*¨) ¸.•*¨)New Release

Dark Narcissus – Elysium Book 2 ¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)

Available on Kindle Unlimited!

mybook.to/Darknarcissus

Blurb –

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. One click of my camera and their dreams can come true. Fame, success, money—they’ll do anything to achieve it. Pay whatever price I set. Enzo is a golden boy. He shines so brightly, he dazzles my eyes. It makes me wonder how long his light will last in my tainted hands. He’s just another innocent prize to conquer. A photo waiting to join my never-ending collection. I should be unaffected by that shy smile and those pretty blue eyes. So why does he suddenly seem so different from the rest? * This book contains dark mature themes, sexual assault triggers, and PTSD flashbacks. Can be read as a standalone.

Other books in the series –

Dark Sonata – Elysium Series Book 1

Available on Kindle Unlimited

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#MM #Obsession  

New Release

Oracle’s Sprite

Title: The Oracle’s Sprite

Series: Oracle, Book Four

Author: Mell Eight

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 09/27/2022

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 26100

Genre: Paranormal Fantasy, LGBTQIA+, MM romance, explicit, anthropomorphic, mythical creatures/dragons, magic users, hurt-comfort, soldiers

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Description

Keir became the leader of the opposition army when he was barely eighteen years old. He led the fight against the usurper king from land while Prince Edan and Regent Egan led from the sea. Keir also had hundreds of men at his command and one invisible dragon, nicknamed Sprite, who likes to help out from time to time. Sprite is friendly and fun-loving, happy to play tricks on Keir’s sister and keep Keir company. When a letter arrives from the Oracle asking for Keir’s presence, he expects Sprite to calmly travel with him. Instead, the strong gale that erupts sends Keir flying overboard and into an adventure he and Sprite might not walk away from alive.

Excerpt

The Oracle’s Sprite Mell Eight © 2022 All Rights Reserved Keir smelled blood in the air. He knew that scent intimately from growing up with the Captain of the Guard as his father. He had stood at the man’s knee while his father directed the army against the marauding thieves plaguing the people of northern Altnoia. Keir had learned to wield a sword and fire a pistol in training grounds soaked with the blood and sweat of the trainees before him. It was a scent he was all too familiar with, but he had never before smelled it inside his mother’s home. She insisted that blood belonged on the battlefield and training grounds, not on her fancy rugs. Neither Father nor Keir had ever dared allow even a speck of blood into the house for fear of her wrath. Keir rolled out of bed and grabbed his muzzleloader out of the nearby cabinet. A fast peek into the hallway showed nothing out of the ordinary. He quickly pulled on sturdy breeches and a shirt, over which he clumsily laced a vest of leather armor. If the scent of blood was only his imagination acting up, Keir didn’t want to scandalize anyone by walking through the halls naked. He tied his sword to his belt, hiking it high because Father had ordered he train with the sword into which he would grow as an adult rather than a child-sized one, and made sure his gun was loaded. When he opened the door this time, the smell in the hallway was even worse than in his bedroom, which he hadn’t noticed when he’d first glanced out. Keir carefully peeked around the doorway into the hall. A stranger stood in front of his parents’ room at the far end; he hadn’t been there moments before, and Keir didn’t recognize him as one of his father’s men. “Make sure they’re dead, then hurry,” the man snarled. Keir lifted his pistol, aimed, and fired. The man fell to the ground in a spray of blood, a hole in his forehead. Blood and death weren’t something Keir shied away from after everything his father had taught him; this didn’t faze him now. Keir ducked back into his room to reload, then poked his head back into the hall. Two men had run out of his parents’ room at the noise and stood there exclaiming over their leader’s death. They hadn’t seen Keir yet, and he killed one of them with another headshot. It gave away his position, but one-on-one odds were better than trying to take on both of them at once anyway. With no time to reload, he tucked his gun back into its holster and drew his sword. He rushed the lone man and slashed at him. The man clumsily blocked with his own sword; he hadn’t had the training Keir had. After a few more thrusts, Keir impaled the stranger, and he fell to the floor, dead. Keir hurried to his parents’ room and stopped short in the doorway. He gagged, trying not to vomit even as tears blurred his vision. They were both dead, their necks thoroughly cut in their sleep. Blood stained the bedclothes around their bodies, their eyes closed peacefully, as if they hadn’t even known their death was approaching so swiftly. Keir spun around and forced himself to walk away. He couldn’t do anything for them, but his baby sister might still be alive. Her room was down the hall in the nursery. Her nurse had no doubt snuck into the kitchen for a bit of fun with the butler once Claire was asleep. Claire still slept in her crib, unknowing of all that had just happened. Keir carefully gathered her into his nondominant arm, just in case he needed to fight again, and hurried from the nursery. He went upward, traveling the many steps to the bell tower. In ringing the bell, he signaled warning and death to everyone within hearing distance. His father’s loyal troops would come, and they would find out who had murdered the Captain of the Guard of Altnoia. Should the child test anywhere but the Air Caste, his spirit would be crushed. The Oracle knew that without a doubt. The child looked the part prior to his testing. Thin and willowy, it seemed as if his body had been carved slender by the constant gusting of air. His hair was long and pale blond, barely a shade too colorful for someone in the Air Caste. His eyes were the gray of a wind-tossed sky before a storm. A flighty child, he liked to skip while everyone else walked and to hum to himself. He was echoing the flow of air inside the Monastery and giving voice to the sounds the wind carried to him. It made him seem odd to many of his peers, yet those who knew the wind understood the strange child perfectly. The Oracle had him test first, as she did with all children destined for greatness. He was expected to test highly, given his strong ties with the Air Caste as a child, and he did. The previous Dragon of Air had passed away forty-five years ago; the fact that no new Dragon had arrived to replace her for so very long set an unhappy record. It wasn’t a surprise that when he emerged from the testing chamber, his hair had paled to pure white, and the Dragon of Air was tattooed on his back. The dragon was formless. His back might have still looked blank if it weren’t for the slightest blurring of the skin as if an invisible wind was forever etched there. The Oracle could see a pair of eyes hidden there, as well as a pair of clear wings attached to a massive body. She knew where to look to find the dragon tattoo, as did the watching Masters. Her Dragon of Air remained in the Monastery only a short year for training. It was an unhappy time for him, she knew. Her Monastery was sick, and that sickness fixated on those with prestige, particularly the Dragons, and in the end made him suffer for testing well with both physical and psychological attacks. The Dragon of Air tried hiding away, and he even tried ineffectually confronting it, only to fail. Eventually, he simply flittered off wherever the Air would take him. He traveled the world on the wings of the wind. The Oracle smiled and let him go, glad to let him finally escape. Confining the Dragon of Air in the Monastery for her to eventually send him out on a quest would be cruel. Besides, her Dragon of Fire would soon come of age, and she needed to focus on his future if she wanted the world to survive for the Dragon of Air to continue his aimless travels.

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NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

When Mell Eight was in high school, she discovered dragons. Beautiful, wondrous creatures that took her on epic adventures both to faraway lands and on journeys of the heart. Mell wanted to create dragons of her own, so she put pen to paper. Mell Eight is now known for her own soaring dragons, as well as for other wonderful characters dancing across the pages of her books. While she mostly writes paranormal or fantasy stories, she has been seen exploring the real world once or twice.

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New Release

Blood Harvest

Title: Blood Harvest

Series: The Harvest

Author: Meghan Schubert

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 09/27/2022

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 79200

Genre: Paranormal, LGBTQIA+, paranormal, urban fantasy, lesbian, vampire, shifter, angel, succubus, roommates, blood, death, conspiracy

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Description

If you were losing your humanity, how hard would you fight to hold on to it? What would you be willing to do, to give up, to make sure you remained the human you were, rather than the demon you seemed to be turning into? Hope McKinley, former advertising student turned newly undead, finds herself wrestling with these questions and so much more. Blood Harvest delves into the depths of the human psyche and grapples with the struggle between light and dark in all of us as seen through the eyes of one forced out of the human race and fighting to return.

Excerpt

Blood Harvest Meghan M. Schubert © 2022 All Rights Reserved “Shh.” He trailed the finger down my chin and rested it in the crook of my neck. I suppressed a shudder. He leaned in, too close for comfort, hands gripping my hips tighter and guiding my pelvis toward his while his lips grazed my neck. My stomach flipped. My insides felt like they were on fire. Did he just sniff me? “Ian, what’re you—” “Quiet.” He kissed me once, twice, his lips caressing, teasing, the heat in me rising, then turning into a sharp, stabbing pain. A pain that shot through my shoulder, up my neck, and exploded into the back of my head. My eyes widened and then closed tight, mouth open in a silent scream as I tried to breathe. I forced myself forward, trying to push against him, but he was heavier than me, and all it seemed to do was aggravate him. Ian slammed his weight against me, and I yelped as the bricks dug into my back. The way he had me pinned, I couldn’t even shift enough to get a knee in his groin. Shit, now what? Don’t get me wrong. I’ve had people bite me in a kinky sort of way, but this was so much more. He was drawing blood, my blood, his mouth hot and wet on my neck. The gentle motion of his lips sent waves of electric heat through me, cascading down, the pain giving way to a pleasurable numbness, and I thrust my hips against him hungrily as his teeth sank deeper. I groaned, my body slumping against his as my legs started to give out. It hurt like hell, but it felt so good. I just didn’t want to fight anymore. Everything began to blur and melt away as I succumbed to the bliss. It felt like falling; you know the end is coming but you just don’t know when. Is this what it’s like to die? What a way to go. Before I was able to let myself completely go, something hot and sticky pressed against my lips. It smelled of old pennies and leather and cologne. Smelled like Ian. Without warning, a hand fisted into my hair, forcing my mouth on the warm liquid. I had no desire to taste it, but something inside compelled me, drew me to it. It smelled so good. The liquid burned the whole way down, igniting my throat and stomach. I was torn between wanting to throw up and wanting to drink more. This was insane. What was I doing? The mingling of pleasure and pain was almost too much, and soon I was seeing white. Still, I refused to let go. Wait. Let go? What am I holding? I finally blinked bleary eyes open to find myself sucking on Ian’s bleeding arm, my fingers clutching him like a vise. I still refused to let go. In fact, I started sucking harder, drawing more of his blood into my mouth, throat convulsing, burning, as I gulped it down. After what seemed like several excruciating hours, he pulled away, and I whimpered like a kicked puppy. He knelt and kissed me gently, licking the excess blood from my mouth. “I’ll be back, Hope. Until then, take care of yourself.” I felt him run his hand through my hair and then the cold cement as I hit it hard. I know what you’re thinking, but this isn’t your typical vampire love story. In fact, love is a laughable concept for me, especially after the shit I’m about to get dragged through. But you can see for yourself. Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?

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Meet the Author

Meghan Schubert, born in 1985 in the greater city of Philadelphia, has always been a nerd at heart. Dubbing herself an “elder millennial,” Meghan grew up with a love of video games, horror, and Goosebumps books. In high school, she wrote short stories for the school newspaper before working her way up to editor. That love turned into a passion when she took up Video Game Design in college, where the premise of her first novel came to light. Her pursuit of game design was short-lived, however, when Meghan realized that programming was not her forte; the stories behind the games were. Thus, a writer was born.

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New Release

New Release of Vicious Love by Jordan Grant.

 ★✩★ NEW RELEASE ★✩★

Vicious Love

A Dark College Romance | A Wicked Empire Standalone

By Jordan Grant

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Blurb:

— Everett —

I loved her when she was just a splattering of freckles and big brown eyes.

When she brought an extra sugar cookie just for me in the first grade.

When our class goldfish died and she held me in front of everyone until I stopped crying.

I loved her even more when she had another man’s baby.

But I hate her for what she did, a chess move in a game of unforgivable sin. I hate myself even more for what I’m going to do to her. I wanted her gone, but I was the one who left. Now, I’ve returned, and I have no intention of leaving again.

This is my campus, and it’s time to pay for your sins, little mouse, because I am a vicious king.


— Molly —

I loved him the first day I met him on the playground, when he was all gangly elbows and knees.

When we buried our toes in the sandbox and pretended we didn’t have legs.

On our first day of middle school when he smiled at me across the quad.

He was my white knight, my protector, the one who always made sure I was okay.

But that boy’s dead and gone, and I killed him.

I can’t undo what happened.

I never meant to hurt him. I never meant to hurt anyone.

I was the nudge that toppled the dominos.

Hold my hand, E, and let’s find our way out of the shadows. Before we are both lost to the dark.

This is a standalone novel but part of the larger Wicked Empire universe, which follows characters introduced in my Voclain Academy series after they leave high school and enter adulthood.

Note from the author: Vicious Love is a dark enemies-to-lovers, college romance. It features mature themes including an incendiary heat level, bullying, teenage pregnancy, suicide, and, like my other novels, struggles with mental illness.



About the author:

Jordan Grant is a lost soul, who changed majors three times in college before deciding on English. Because she has about as much patience as her beautiful, wonderful (did she mention ah-mazing!) younglings, she graduated a year early and then went to law school because, well…

She mentioned she’s a lost soul, right?

A special place in her heart is devoted to edgy alpha males and bad boys with naughty mouths. She loves to get lost in the blur between love and hate and is especially fond of prince charmings with dents in their crowns and strife in their souls.

She is an avid fan of all things sweet including red wine and cupcakes (red velvet, please!). When she’s not daydreaming about the characters in her head, she enjoys (attempting to) garden, petting furry animals, and wrangling her family into day-trip adventures.




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New Release

Unkinked

Unkinked by M.C. Roth

Book 2 in the It’s a Kink Thing series

General Release Date: 20th September 2022

Word Count: 74,785 Book Length: SUPER NOVEL Pages: 275

Genres:

BONDAGE AND BDSM CONTEMPORARY EROTIC ROMANCE GAY GLBTQI

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Book Description

Two broken men. One secret addiction. No turning back. When Derreck stumbles upon Maddy, who is sitting in his car and nearly sweating to death under the summer’s sun, he is at his breaking point. But Maddy is just as lost, searching for a Dom he only knows by name and waiting in his car outside the club Unkinked on the tiny chance that the Dom might find him. When it is revealed that Derreck is the man Maddy has been searching for from the very beginning, it seems fate couldn’t get any sweeter. Derreck invites Maddy into Unkinked as his guest, with the promise of the pain that Maddy so desperately craves. A scene that should have been simple opens Maddy’s mind to a new world and community that aren’t riddled with guilt or judgment. Derreck knows he can’t let his sub slip away, but Maddy is keeping secrets from his new Dom—secrets that could change their relationship forever Reader advisory: This book features pain play, edge play and knife play. One character has a history of addiction and self-harm.

Excerpt

Derreck killed his car’s engine, letting his eyes fall shut as he leaned back against the leather seat. He could barely keep his eyes open as exhaustion pulled at him, sinking into his weary bones until his frame was thinly stretched. The seat was comfortable enough that he could almost imagine himself drifting off to the sound of gentle ticking as the Mustang slowly cooled. The air conditioning faded, draining his hope for restful peace as sweat beaded on his forehead. Wiping it away, he let out one last sigh before he opened the door. Even warmer air coated him as he stepped onto the pavement, his sweat drying under the sun almost instantly. A single shriveled maple on the street hung limp, its leaves barely managing to hold on as the sun baked them black. He rubbed his eyes as his shoes kicked up enough dust to blind an army within a few steps. Stumbling on the curb, Derreck managed to catch himself on the lamp post that jutted out of the edge of the sidewalk. His palm burned as it touched the heated surface, a gasp pushing through his lips. Usually it wouldn’t bother him—the pain. It was a part of life that he could easily ignore or twist into something much better—but not when he’d gone weeks without a decent night’s sleep. He’d thrown himself into his work, pulling more hours than anyone else, all to avoid the enthralling eyes of the sub that haunted his dreams. If only it had worked. “Are you okay?” He turned toward the voice as it trickled into his thoughts. The street was empty. Even the plant that hung from the lamp post was nothing more than a few dried twigs and a bunch of dehydrated pansies. He paused, raising his hand to block his eyes from the sun’s glare. The voice had sounded close, but he couldn’t spy anyone as he looked around before noting the white door of his destination and the Office Depot across the street. I must be worse off than I thought. There was usually no one to see him coming and going in this part of town, which was exactly how he liked it. There were a few other cars parked along the curb, and he recognized them all except the red Toyota next to him. He huffed, ready to turn away, before something caught his eye. The Corolla’s windows were down, the sun baking the exposed gray-cloth interior with heat waves escaping through the openings. It wasn’t a car that should have had its windows down in a place with nobody around. Derreck took a step toward the car before peering through the passenger window. In the driver’s seat was a man who must’ve been one step away from heatstroke, especially with his black sweater that probably soaked up warmth that much quicker. The interior was tidy, except for a few empty bottles of water stacked on the passenger seat. Derreck had chosen a baby-blue tank top and jeans himself, but he wished he could pull his tank over his head and dunk himself in the nearest swimming pool. Leaning over the side of the car, Derreck touched the hood, hissing as heat lanced over his palm. I am going to be useless tonight. Shaking his hand, he leaned down to get a better look at the driver. The driver was flushed, his face a healthy pink and his brown hair soaked with sweat so thick that it looked nearly back. His sweater clung to him, the fabric dark in almost every spot on his rail-thin body. The man gave Derreck a broad smile, sending a small wave as Derreck peered into the steaming interior. “I didn’t mean to startle you,” said the man, leaning back in his seat and adjusting the strap over his chest. “I saw you stumble and wanted to make sure you were okay.” Okay? Derreck couldn’t keep the disbelief off his face. He didn’t even have the energy to turn the question back at the guy who was sweating his ass off in a car when it was sweltering, even in the shade. He didn’t want to know. “I’m good, thanks,” said Derreck, slapping the top of the car as he turned away. You should ask him if he’s okay. Derreck bit down on the urge as it rose behind his teeth. He had too much on his plate, and he couldn’t take one more ounce of anyone else’s shit before he exploded. But how many times had he stopped things just before they had been about to go to shit? Too many to count. “You waiting for someone?” Derreck asked, clenching his fists as he paused on the street. The sun soaked into his shoulders, fresh sweat gathering at the base of his neck. Sweet air conditioning was only a few steps away, but this man was so much worse off than him—sitting in his car…in a fucking sweater. “Uh, yeah.” The man looked up and down the street once before he settled his gaze on the familiar blank door that called to Derreck like the sweetest siren. Beyond those doors was relief and relaxation that couldn’t be rivaled by anything else in the world. Too bad there wasn’t a bed meant for just sleeping. The door to the club Unkinked had never been labeled, which kept a lot of pointed fingers from finding it. This man seemed to know what was inside the same way Derreck did. Someone’s sub? The guy didn’t look like a Dom, although looks were as deceiving as book covers. Derreck had seen twinky Doms control guys twice their size—putting them on their knees and making them beg usually did the trick. Derreck had it easier. He looked his part of ruthless Dom, and no one in their right mind would ever ask him to be their sub. It would have been their last question with their own teeth in their head if they did. He turned away, heading to the door and pressing his hand against the cool surface. He could already feel the stress draining from his body, seeping into the beams of the place where his mind and body felt safest. All he needed was a bit of play and he would be set for the next week. If it were good enough, the high might even last a bit longer and he would be able to catch a bit of sleep. But his highs were becoming few and far between, and the last one had left him wanting—wanting to never step foot in his place of solace again, wanting to leave the lifestyle behind for good, wanting to be vanilla. He shuddered at the thought. After pulling his key card from his pocket, he tapped it against the door’s sensor, the light taking much too long to flip over to green before the lock slid back with a clunk. The security was necessary, as was the bouncer on the other side of the door and the dungeon master who was patrolling the club. It kept curious seekers from sneaking their way inside the place where people laid their hearts and souls out in the open. He nodded at the unfamiliar bouncer, giving him a quick once-over before thoroughly dismissing him. Derreck didn’t care if a sub was burly and thick or lean, because he’d long since mastered hitting a target with a touch of jiggle. But he couldn’t pull the bouncer away from his duties. The bouncer was the third fresh face he’d seen in as many months. The owner of Unkinked, Clint, must have been outsourcing his help for there to be so many unfamiliar faces—either that or maybe they got sick of hearing people fuck and not being able to join in. Derreck let out a sigh as the cool air trickled over his skin, his sweat turning into goosebumps as the summer heat was sucked away. He let his eyes fall shut as he took a deep breath. Earth and mold that always clung to him gave way to sex and desire, dredging up memories in an instant. He had thousands of memories of Unkinked, and some of them were the best days and nights of his life. The pull of desire lured him a step away from the door. The sharpness of vodka and rum tickled his nose as he stepped to the curtain. Am I drinking tonight? A drink meant no scene, and a scene was everything he needed. There was a subtle staleness to the curtains as Derreck trailed his fingers over the fabric, finally opening his eyes. He pushed them aside, taking in every detail of the dark interior. Three of the booths were occupied, all by Doms and subs whom he recognized. A few looked up as he entered, one sub blushing and looking back to the floor. Derreck kept his smirk to himself as he nodded to their Dom, Selina. She had allowed him to borrow her sub, after all. It hadn’t been nearly as interesting as he had hoped, but he’d still cherished the submission. The inside of the club was clean and still bright in the early hour—and was likely different than any newbie expected. There was a touch of nudity in the main area, as well as some rocking leather, but the best parts of the club were out of view. Hidden near the back was the entrance to the main stage and open play area, and tucked around the corner were nine private rooms that made even the most stoic Doms salivate. From the entrance, though, it could have been any other club, with booths along the wall and a bottle-rich bar with wooden stools for those who wanted to socialize and grab a few drinks. The virgin menu was even more robust than the alcoholic one, catering to the couples who wanted to play. He stepped to the bar, slipping into an unoccupied stool. Brennen was in the next stool over, bent over a shot glass that reeked of vodka and whiskey—a killer combination that Brennen usually stuck with. There were three more glasses strewn around him and his eyes were already glassy. He wouldn’t be playing, and he was a Dom anyway, which was something Derreck never tried to push. He had no desire to change a person’s identity, whether it was Dom or sub. Both positions demanded respect. “Hey, Derreck. It’s a hot one today,” said Brennen, looking up from his glass just long enough to ask. Derreck grunted, tapping the bar top. His nails were still crusted with dirt and clay. No matter how hard he scrubbed, they never seemed to come clean. Even the potato scrubber from the discount store hadn’t done the trick, although it had stung. He leaned against the bar as another wave of exhaustion settled over him. The murmur of voices was almost enough to send him straight to sleep, and the ease that always settled over him in Unkinked had him even closer. “You drinking tonight, Derreck?” asked Clint as he worked his way through the half-dozen others at the bar. Clint had started Unkinked with his husband, and after his husband had passed, he had taken full responsibility to keep it going. Derreck couldn’t imagine keeping the hours Clint did, along with bartending, organizing events and schedules, giving lessons in first-aid and the mountain of paperwork he must have. Besides the bouncer and the volunteer dungeon master, Clint worked alone, although there were many subs who offered volunteer service as well. Derreck blinked as he dropped his gaze to Clint’s hips when they swayed with each sauntering step when he moved closer. He was attractive and strong, with a wicked smirk that had caught Derreck’s eye more than once. Nodding his head, he peered back over his shoulder. Clint was so far off limits that Derreck shouldn’t have even been looking. One drink. One drink before the fun starts. Clint gave him a quick smile before reaching for a bottle of Jameson. “The usual?” Derreck shook his head, eyeing Clint up as he passed under the bar’s light. Clint looked tired and from more than just lack of sleep. He looked the way Derreck had felt for the past few weeks. It was another thing that Derreck just didn’t have the energy to fix. Clint was his friend. Maybe not in a traditional sense, but Clint had been there for him more than once. In return, Derreck usually had his back. But it had been weeks since Derreck had stepped inside the bar. Things had obviously not changed while he had been trying to convince himself he could stay away. “Give me a shot of Jäger.” Derreck leaned his elbows on the bar top, sagging as he took in his surroundings. Ask him if he’s okay. He looked back to Clint and to the tightness around his eyes. Not here. “Must’ve been a shit day,” said Clint as he set the bottle of Jameson down and reached for the Jägermeister instead. His grip was steady, and the liquid didn’t slosh over the side as he poured Derreck his shot. Maybe I’m just projecting. “Shit week,” said Derreck, surprised that Clint didn’t mention his absence. He shouldn’t have been surprised. Clint was one of the most intuitive men he knew, and he must’ve seen the strain in Derreck’s every movement. Derreck’s callused palms were red and blistered, his skin dry and still dirty-looking, despite his lengthy shower. His muscles burned, even as he raised his glass to his lips and tossed back the shot. The liquid seared a path down his throat, turning him inside out as it sank into him. It eased the ache in the rest of his body for an instant. A bit of rain would have gone so much further than the shot, though. “You starting a tab?” Clint grabbed the empty shot glass, setting it on a tray beneath the lip of the bar. “I’ll stop at one.” Derreck pushed off the stool, heading deeper into the club without looking back at Clint. If he’d stayed any longer, he would have had to ask Clint if he was okay. Letting two people down in one day. Must be a record. He grimaced as his gut throbbed with every movement. Jäger had probably been a poor choice. He scoped out the bar a second time, slowing his stride until his stomach calmed. His gaze lingered on a couple—two subs—as they kissed over their table. Kristie and Katie. It was too bad that they weren’t his type, because two subs were better than one. They needed a soft Dom, but he needed a sub to torture the fuck out of. There were a few other couples, despite the early hour. After dark was when the real sadists started to emerge from the shadows, but the lifers didn’t care what time of day it was. Derreck was a lifer, too, he supposed, and after more than fifteen years, he should have known that his life was nothing without kink. He circled the bar area again. There was nothing happening on the main stage or open floor, and he had no desire to just watch if one of the kink room doors were open. He spied a Dom who was reclined in the seating area outside of the rooms, her sub at her feet with his head across her shoe. From the blissed-out look on his face, he was still floating. Derreck needed something more than that. He needed them sobbing with euphoria in his arms after he fucked them up. It was the only way he was going to get a certain sub out of his thoughts. He clenched his hands into fists, the calluses on his palms like pebbles over his skin. His hands could do a lot of damage to a person, then dig a grave on a moonlit Tuesday. The damage was always consensual, but the grave…not so much. He slipped down the hallway of doors that led to kink rooms, which held more implements than any Dom or sub could ever ask for. He slid his hand over the engraved gold letters on his favorite room. Impact. Even the name made goosebumps burst over his skin and sent a shudder of need to his core. His cock stayed soft, as it usually did, except for those rare occasions when a sub managed to surpass his expectations. Like Nav. He closed his eyes, letting his hand rest against the carved surface. Nav had been introduced to him by a fellow Dom, and after their first scene together, he had gone straight home with his hands still aching from holding the flogger tight. Stepping in the shower, he had dropped his hand to his cock, jerking himself to hardness with Nav on his mind. But Nav wasn’t his in the loosest sense of the word, even though he still managed to haunt Derreck’s dreams. Nav had safeworded during their second scene together, then had fled back to his true Dom, Trick. The call of “yellow” still sounded in his ears as if it had only been yesterday. Sex was so rarely a part of life for Derreck, but during their first scene, he had watched Trick come as Nav had shot against the wall from Derreck’s beating alone. He wouldn’t have been a gay man if he hadn’t felt something. But Nav had belonged to Trick before the two of them had even realized it. Derreck had seen their looks and had chosen to ignore them, despite his better instincts. It had been a miscalculation that had added to his sleeplessness and had prompted him to steer clear of the club for weeks. He gritted his teeth, turning away from the closed door and pushing his way down the hall. He’d come to the club so he could forget his mistake and move the fuck on. The private rooms were all closed as he passed them, tracing his fingertips over each name. Play, Spoil, Calm, Wet. He wasn’t sure whether or not there were couples on the other side of each door, but the closed door meant that voyeurism was not welcome. I’m not welcome. He circled back to the main area, sliding into an empty booth, despite invitations from several tables that he passed. He didn’t pause for conversation, just tilted his head before he moved on to his own space. Rapping his knucks against the polished tabletop, he leaned back to survey the room once more. There was no one for him yet, but he was patient. He could spend hours staring at the same spec of dirt, letting his mind drift until he was content. Sitting in a comfortable chair with the hum of music and the smell of sex in the air was paradise in comparison. He looked up as the curtain to the entrance slid open and another couple stepped off the street and into his world. Derreck got a flash of the bouncer and a few others before the curtain fluttered back into place. The hum of conversation lulled against his eardrums. His chest did not squeeze when he spotted Nav tucked under Trick’s arm as they entered the club together. Trick’s tanned hand glowed against Nav’s pale, naked shoulder, a pair of tight boy shorts the only thing on Nav’s body. It wasn’t that Derreck was jealous of his friend, but there was a certain longing at seeing Nav that summoned his darker side. It wasn’t very often that Derreck could take himself in hand and come quickly, and a treat like Nav would have made any man salivate. Trick spotted him first, nodding from across the room before he gripped the back of Nav’s neck and pushed him to the ground. Nav had come a long way since Derreck had last seen him. Dropping to his knees, Nav didn’t seem to care how hard he struck the ground or how rough Trick jerked his head back by his hair. His eyes glazed over immediately, going deep without resistance. He was something special. Derreck shifted in his seat, trying to ease the tension in his gut. Nav—no, Trick’s sub—stayed on the ground as Trick strolled toward Derreck, giving him a smile as he approached. “Derreck.” Trick stopped at the edge of the booth, holding his hand out in an offering. Derreck took it, accepting the handshake at face value. Trick had grown a few calluses on his palm, the surface rougher than Derreck remembered. Working his sub hard. Good. Nav deserved someone who would put the effort in. “Maverick.” He squeezed once before he broke contact, smothering the urge to wipe his hand on his pants. Trick’s sweat on his palm was like a raw nerve, his touch buzzing under Derreck’s skin. “My slut has something to say to you, if you are agreeable to it,” said Trick, glancing back at Nav. Trick’s eyes were hard, despite the languid way he moved. He traced the room, eyeing someone up as they moved from a booth to the bar, passing close to Nav. Too close, apparently. Trick clenched his fist, his jaw going tight. Derreck paused, looking back at Trick’s sub. Nav had lowered his eyes to the floor, unmoving, despite the way his knees had to have been aching on the hardwood. Perhaps he had done something to not deserve a pillow—or perhaps he preferred it like that. Nav wasn’t beautiful in a traditional sense—too pale and soft to meet the stereotypical desires of most men—but Derreck had seen first-hand how alluring he was after a scene. Derreck valued that more than any beauty. He inclined his head, sliding his hand over the tabletop as he looked to Trick. “I’m agreeable.” His voice sounded more strained than he would have liked, but he’d buried too many people in one week to feel normal. Trick gave him a sharp look, probably seeing straight through him. I must look worse than I thought. Trick didn’t say anything, though, which made him a better friend than Derreck gave him credit for. Instead, he called his sub over, Nav crawling on all fours with his head lowered as he approached. Derreck slid his hand over the tabletop, Trick’s sweat on his palm spreading over the surface until he could no longer feel the edge of it sinking into his skin. It left a streaky mess on the polished surface, his fingerprints blatant beneath the light. Derreck looked up as Nav finally stopped his crawling and kneeled at his feet with his head bowed. His dark hair shone in the low light of the club, looking almost black against his pale skin. A purplish welt peeked through the waist band of his low-riding shorts and Derreck fought the urge to reach forward and press his fingertip to the bruise. “Speak,” said Derreck, keeping his voice quiet. Nav had a very particular brand of humiliation that he desired, and that brand name was Trick. Derreck was nothing to him. “I wanted to apologize, Sir,” said Nav, keeping his gaze pointed to the floor, despite his steady tone. “I was lying to myself, and to you, when I asked for a second scene. I should have never disrespected you, and I’m sorry for my behavior.” That…was unexpected. Derreck tilted his head, not fighting the smile that tugged at his lips. It was also a huge fucking relief. It had been a mistake, but maybe it hadn’t been his alone. A smidge of his exhaustion uncoiled, his lungs filling easier than they had in a long time. “Forgiven,” said Derreck, fighting the urge to keep his hands to himself for a second time. Trick, having no need to hold back, threaded his hand through Nav’s hair, tugging him so he had to crawl a step closer. “Thank you, Sir,” said Nav, tension visibly draining from his body. So good. Derreck turned his gaze away, swallowing down the words that started to rise. Nav was one of a kind, but Nav was not his. “Clint will be joining us for our scene,” said Trick, patting his sub on the top of his head. “You are welcome as well, of course.” Trick’s eyes darkened as he looked at his sub, and it wasn’t because of the low light. Derreck shook his head. That was not the type of torture he was after tonight. He had no desire to string himself along, gaze at Trick’s sub and imagine. “Slut, go get ready in our room. You know which one,” said Trick. Nav scurried away on his hands and knees, the bottom of his ass cheeks peeking through the hem of his shorts. Another small bruise caught Derreck’s eye and he licked his lips before forcing his gaze back to the table. Trick was staring at him, his eyes hard. “You’re my friend, Derreck, but I’ve never seen you this distant before—not with me, anyway. You haven’t been here in weeks and tonight…you aren’t yourself. I know you won’t ask for help, so I’m offering it.” Shit. Am I really that obvious? He swallowed the lump in his throat that had formed as soon as he’d seen Nav walk through the curtain. “It’s nothing. I just need to find myself a sub and let off some steam.” But will that be enough? It had been before, but Trick was right. He wasn’t himself and hadn’t been for some time. Even before Nav, things had been…off. Trick hummed before looking around the bar. “There’s only one sub who can take what you have to give right now. The offer stands. You can come, watch or get involved again if that’s what you need. I’m sure Nav would be open to the idea, too. He’s been kicking himself for weeks about what he did to you.” Not his fault. “He’s good for you,” said Derreck, turning his gaze back to the table. Maybe he wouldn’t stop at one shot tonight. His stomach churned at the idea, goosebumps breaking out over his skin. A smile cracked Trick’s face, his blue eyes glowing with the glee and something more. Trick had never looked at his previous partner like that, but Derreck had always wondered how their partnership had lasted so long when their kinks hadn’t aligned. Compromise maybe? “He is. He’s a good man and a good slut,” said Trick. “The best of both worlds,” said Derreck, his voice flat. Maybe Trick was right. There was no one in the club who could take what he had to give. And on a Wednesday afternoon, that wasn’t likely to change. His patience snapped and exhaustion settled over him again like a weighted blanket. He stood abruptly, leaving Trick behind as he headed for the door. Hopefully, the blond would understand. He’d seen enough of Derreck to know when to take it personally and when not to. Pushing the curtain aside, he grabbed the doorknob without acknowledging the bouncer who had jumped to his feet, sliding his cell phone back into his pocket. The bouncer opened his mouth once before snapping it shut, taking a step back as he looked at Derreck. Stepping outside, the sun instantly soaked into his skin, blanketing him in warmth and urging sweat from his body in seconds. The sun had barely moved in the sky, blazing down with what must have been record-breaking heat. He could barely feel his feet as he stumbled his way along the sidewalk to his car, stopping at the lamp post and leaning on it as he took a deep breath. The post seared through his shirt, heat bursting over his flesh until he thought he might erupt into flames. It did nothing to quell his exhaustion. He’d never let it get quite that bad before, but he’d never stayed away so long, either. He hadn’t wanted to face Trick or Nav or anyone else. He just wanted relief. The apology had given him a touch of respite but not enough to calm the restless energy in his core. “You sure you’re okay?” Derreck looked up and his gaze followed the sound of the voice. The guy was still sitting in his car, as if it hadn’t been almost an hour. He had pushed up one sleeve of his sweater, one thin and delicate wrist exposed, but the rest of his upper body was still covered with thick, black material. The flush on his cheeks and the sweat in his hair told of how hot he must’ve been, but he was making no move to remove his sweater. “Still waiting?” asked Derreck, looking back at the club entrance. None of the couples had been missing a third that he knew of. And no Dom would leave their sub in a hot car like he was some sort of oven-baked dog. No responsible Dom, at least. The man nodded, flicking his gaze to the door and back to Derreck quickly. His eyes had gone shiny, as if he was just managing to hold back tears. How long had he been there before Derreck had come to the club? How long would he wait? It pulled at what few heartstrings Derreck had, but it also spoke to his Dominant side. It pissed him the fuck off is what it did. He clenched his hands into fists, crossing his arms and staring down at the man in his car. “Who are they? I’ll go get them for you,” said Derreck. There was no way he was walking away with this guy still sitting in his car as he got closer and closer to heatstroke. “Oh.” The man dropped his gaze, the pureness of his submission pulling Derreck deeper into the strange thrall. His cheeks flushed brighter, sweat beading under his eyes. Perhaps it had been the wrong question. Some Doms insisted on titles, and Derreck would have no luck if the guy simply said ‘Sir’ or ‘Master’. “Describe what they look like,” said Derreck, taking a deep breath to keep the anger out of his voice. He was definitely kicking someone’s ass tonight—just not in the way he’d hoped. “I—I don’t know,” said the man, his gaze still fixed on his lap. “I only have his name. Someone—a friend online—gave me his name and said that he might be able to help me. They said he comes to this club, but I can’t get in without an invite.” “You can if you’re a guest,” said Derreck, letting out a sigh. This was just getting stranger and stranger. “Your friend can invite you as a guest, and you’ll have a temporary pass.” “Oh, they aren’t a member,” he said, finally looking up, but only for a moment. “They went to an open house event here years ago, but they don’t live in the city. I don’t know anyone with a membership.” It was a conundrum that had always bothered Derreck. Privacy came with the price of inaccessibility and exclusivity, especially for subs who were heartbreakingly shy. He would still take his privacy, though. The one-and-done kinksters could fuck off. He ran a hand over his scalp, scratching the short, tight curls. It was too fucking hot to think, and he had to get off the street before he passed out. “What’s the name, then? I can tell you if they are here,” said Derreck. He wouldn’t give away much, because if this guy was a stalker, which was quickly becoming a possibility, then he didn’t want to encourage him. “Oh, it’s… Let me grab my phone. I have it in there.” He fumbled with his pockets, finally sliding his phone out from the pouch in his sweater. Why the hell was he wearing so many layers? Derreck was getting warmer just looking at him. “I saved it in here, ’cause I’m terrible with names. The guy’s name is Derreck.” Derreck almost choked on his spit when he heard his own name. Cocking his head to the side, he dragged his gaze up and down the guy’s form one more time. His first impression had been pure madness, but he never was one to hold on to a first impression for long. He usually waited until the sixth before he really made up his mind. The guy was in shorts and flip-flops, which Derreck hadn’t noticed before. It couldn’t have been great for driving, but at least he wasn’t insane enough to wear long pants along with his sweater. His clothes were good quality but well worn, so he probably wasn’t out to try to kidnap Derreck. He didn’t stand a chance either way, unless he had a gun in his pocket. The man fiddled with his thumbs as Derreck watched him, the chewed edge of his nail vibrant with fresh blood. All his nails were like that—bitten past the quick to the delicate pink flesh beneath. “How did your friend say he could help you?” asked Derreck, eyeing the guy’s cell phone. It was a new model, fresh out of the store with a custom case. “I…” The man trailed off, bringing his thumb to his mouth and catching the vermillion edge with his teeth. A fresh droplet of blood oozed up, shining against his lip until he slowly dragged it away with his tongue. “I heard he could hurt me,” said the man, so quietly that Derreck had to strain to hear him. “I need someone to hurt me.” Pushing away from the post, Derreck circled around the car and pulled the door open with a jerk. The man’s eyes went wide and he drew back, shrinking into his seat as Derreck loomed over the car. “What’s your name?” asked Derreck, lowering himself into a squat. It left the man with a slight height advantage, hopefully easing some of his fear that had sprung up. Derreck reached for the man’s hand, pulling his thumb from his mouth. The flesh was burning beneath his palms, slick with sweat and clammy. “Maddy,” he said, letting out a sigh at the touch. There was no buzzing under Derreck’s skin or desire to wipe his fingers clean. It was the rare perfection that always seemed to elude Derreck when he needed it most. “And why do you want me to hurt you, Maddy?” asked Derreck, watching as Maddy’s eyes went wide with realization. “So I don’t hurt myself.”

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About the Author

M.C. Roth

M.C. Roth lives in Canada and loves every season, even the dreaded Canadian winter. She graduated with honours from the Associate Diploma Program in Veterinary Technology at the University of Guelph before choosing a different career path. Between caring for her young son, spending time with her husband, and feeding treats to her menagerie of animals, she still spends every spare second devoted to her passion for writing. She loves growing peppers that are hot enough to make grown men cry, but she doesn’t like spicy food herself. Her favourite thing, other than writing of course, is to find a quiet place in the wilderness and listen to the birds while dreaming about the gorgeous men in her head. Find out more about M.C. Roth at her website.

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New Release

New Release TYSIN by Brooke O’Brien

 Release Date: September 23

Tysin Briggs is a player.

He’s cocky, selfish, and sexy as sin. I’ve heard the rumors, and it’s no secret, he’s just as talented in the bedroom as he is on the guitar.

As the lead guitarist for A Rebels Havoc, and my brother’s best friend, Tysin has heartbreak written all over him. We were asking for trouble sneaking around behind my brother’s back. It still didn’t stop me from spending the summer with him or from falling in love with him.

Two years have passed since he destroyed my heart, crushing it into a million pieces. A lot has changed since then, including the ring on my finger. When my brother asks for my help filling in as the manager of their sold-out tour, it’s an opportunity I can’t refuse.

I should’ve known the past wouldn’t stay in the past.

But what I didn’t count on was how hard it would be to resist him. 

Content warning: Please be aware, this book does contain subjects that may be sensitive for some readers, including pregnancy loss. If you’re looking for a safe book, this story won’t be for you.

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Available in Kindle Unlimited 

Meet Brooke O’Brien

USA Today Bestselling author Brooke O’Brien writes steamy and swoon-worthy contemporary romances.

She believes a love worth having is worth fighting for, and she brings this into her stories where her characters risk it all for love.

If Brooke’s not writing or reading, she’s probably spending time with her family, binge-watching the latest crime documentary, indulging in chocolate, or watching Hawkeye football or NBA basketball.

To learn more about Brooke and her books, visit here!


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