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Audio Blitz: The Real Baxter by Lane Hayes & Narrated by Michael Ferraiuolo

The Real Baxter | Lane Hayes

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Narrated by: Michael Ferraiuolo

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 10 hrs and 48 mins

Buy Link: Audible

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Blurb

The silver-fox and the faux bodyguard…

Sebastian

Who’s the true hero behind the Hollywood heartthrob, crime-fighting, adventure-seeking international man of mystery? Me. I’m the real Baxter.

Well, I wear the suit and let the action play out onscreen. You want to know the secret of my success? Sell the story you want to tell. Even if you have to bend the truth a little.

Okay…a lot.

Trust me, no one will notice. Except Trent, who seems to notice everything. And for some reason, I like that. I like him. I’m just not sure what to do about it.

Trent

Look, I’m not exactly killing it. I’m a typical struggling actor-slash-waiter, hoping for a break. And boom…in walks Sebastian Rourke. He’s a cutthroat, wickedly charming silver fox, a Hollywood legend in the making. No joke. You’ve got to sell a piece of your soul to get in this man’s orbit. Or fake a British accent, then take a job playing bodyguard to fool the press. As one does.

I know I should take advantage of the very strange situation I find myself in, but I’m not sure I’m cut out for it. However, I’m willing to take a chance, ’cause I want the real Seb.

Even though it might cost me everything.

The Real Baxter is a MM age-gap, bisexual romance featuring the man who has everything and the actor who’s willing to show him what’s real.

Audio Teaser

Excerpt

“Home sweet home, eh?”

Seb gathered his suit coat and his takeout bag with a strained smile. “Something like that.”

“Hey, for what it’s worth, I didn’t mean to offend you earlier. Under different circumstances, I might go for a guy like you.”

His snort-laugh oozed sarcasm. “Wow, I’m flattered.”

I shrugged, aware that I should probably stop talking. Of course, I couldn’t do it. “You’re real. I get that. It’s just that…observationally speaking, real you and real me don’t mix. We got nothin’ in common.”

Seb unfastened his seat belt and whirled to face me. I couldn’t read him in the shadows. It would have been nice to know if he was amused or irked…or both. “Okay, first of all, ‘observationally speaking’ is a terrible way to begin any sentence and second—and most important, you know nothing about ‘real me.’ ”

I held my hands up in surrender. “You’re right. I had no idea you were the rich, old dude in the ‘Who’s your type?’ scenario.”

“I never said I was, but now that you think I am…you suddenly want to date me, eh?”

“Date you?” I scratched my temple as if mulling over the idea. “No way. But I’d totally do you.”

Seb froze with his hand on the door lever, threw his head back, and guffawed.

He literally had the best laugh I’d ever heard—contagious, hearty, and kind of wicked. It bounced merrily off the old car’s interior, making everything feel shiny and new. Including me. I couldn’t help smiling.

I tried to think of something clever and somewhat humorous to keep his attention for another minute or two, but I got sidetracked, staring at his stubbled jaw, full lips, and the deep crinkles at the corners of his eyes. For a half a beat, I wished he were someone else—less in demand, less wealthy, less connected.

Crazy, I know. This was why I didn’t go for sophisticated types. I didn’t stand a chance with a guy like Seb.

And on that dose of reality…I inclined my head with a meaningful grunt as he composed himself.

“You have no idea how tempting that sounds. Thanks for the ride. Thanks for tonight. It was…exactly what I needed.”

“Happy to be of service.”

He pulled at the handle—once, twice… “The door is stuck.”

“It does that sometimes. You just have to wiggle the handle.”

Seb tried again. “No, it’s definitely stuck.”

I unfastened my seat belt and leaned across him. Bad move. I breathed in the scent of his cologne and felt scorched by his body heat.

And of course, the door didn’t budge. I turned off the engine and held a finger up, signaling a bright idea on the horizon.

“Hang on. We’ll do this the old-fashioned way.” I hopped out of the car and used my key to manually unlock the passenger side door with a flourish. “Ta-da!”

He unfolded his long legs, somehow managing to look like an A-list celebrity sliding from the back seat of a limo at a red-carpet event. He slung his suit coat over the crook of his arm, grabbed his to-go bag, and stepped aside.

“Thank you.”

“I’m the one who should be thanking you. So, thanks for taking me to pick up my wheels, thanks for drinks and the burger, and thanks for not laughing at my impromptu Baxter audition.”

Seb grinned. “You’re welcome. It was…fun.”

I nodded, shoving my hands into my pockets awkwardly before angling my head toward the house. “You really rattle around in that place by yourself?”

“Yeah. My kids are here a lot. I have Oliver tomorrow and…” He squinted as if looking for something or someone in the dark. “I have friends.”

“You do?” I teased.

He made a funny face. “One or two. I think.”

We smiled as if sharing a joke. But the punchline was a silent acknowledgment of temporary camaraderie. We weren’t friends or coworkers. He probably wouldn’t remember my name next week.

However, right this very moment, we had a connection. Maybe it was akin to making friends with your seatmate on a long flight, but it was something.

I held on to it fiercely, marking the ticking seconds to the soundtrack of chirping crickets and the rustle of leaves in the late summer evening breeze. I studied the sharp planes of his cheekbones, softened by the laugh lines at the corners of his eyes. I noted the hint of gray in his close-shaven beard when he licked his bottom lip and—

Oh, fuck.

Yeah, time to go.

“I should, uh…” I hiked my thumb behind me, then rested my hand on the open door. I was about to close it when I spotted his milkshake. “Do you want your shake?”

“Um…” Seb switched the to-go bag to his left hand and stepped toward me. “I think it’s gone.”

I pulled it from the cupholder and turned to find him closer than expected. As in…we stood grungy boot to Italian loafer.

I shook the cup. “Might be a little something in there.”

“No, I’m done. I can throw it away in the house. I don’t want to leave trash in your car.”

I scoffed. “Dude, have you seen my car?”

Seb chuckled…and I joined in.

When his laughter faded, we were back to staring at each other. Only now, it wasn’t awkward. It was…something completely different. A little unsteady and unsure, but somehow promising.

I didn’t move. I didn’t sidle past him with an absent good-bye or a bro high five. I didn’t try to draw him into more conversation. I didn’t want to break the spell…as if I had any power over what was happening.

And something was definitely happening. Maybe because it was so unexpected, it took me a few extra seconds to define it.

Lust. Hunger. Need.

He wanted me.

Meet the Author

Lane Hayes

Lane Hayes loves a good romance! An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters.

Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions and/or were winners in the 2016, 2017, 2018-2019, 2020-2021 Rainbow Awards.

She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in a not quite empty nest.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | BookBub

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Audio Blitz: The Man From Milwaukee by Rick R. Reed & Narrated by Donald Davenport

The Man from Milwaukee | Rick R. Reed

Man from Milwaukee Audio Banner

Narrator: Donald Davenport

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: July 20, 2020

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 7 hrs and 10 mins

Buy Link: Audible

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Blurb

It’s the summer of 1991 and serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer has been arrested. His monstrous crimes inspire dread around the globe. But not so much for Emory Hughes, a closeted young man in Chicago who sees in the cannibal killer a kindred spirit, someone who fights against the dark side of his own nature, as Emory does. He reaches out to Dahmer in prison via letters.

The letters become an escape—from Emory’s mother dying from AIDS, from his uncaring sister, from his dead-end job in downtown Chicago, but most of all, from his own self-hatred.

Dahmer isn’t Emory’s only lifeline as he begins a tentative relationship with Tyler Kay. He falls for him and, just like Dahmer, wonders how he can get Tyler to stay. Emory’s desire for love leads him to confront his own grip on reality. For Tyler, the threat of the mild-mannered Emory seems inconsequential, but not taking the threat seriously is at his own peril.

Can Emory discover the roots of his own madness before it’s too late and he finds himself following in the footsteps of the man from Milwaukee?

Excerpt

The Man from Milwaukee
Rick R. Reed © 2020
All Rights Reserved

Headlines

Dahmer appeared before you in a five o’clock edition, stubbled dumb countenance surrounded by the crispness of a white shirt with pale-blue stripes. His handsome face, multiplied by the presses, swept down upon Chicago and all of America, to the depths of the most out-of-the-way villages, in castles and cabins, revealing to the mirthless bourgeois that their daily lives are grazed by enchanting murderers, cunningly elevated to their sleep, which they will cross by some back stairway that has abetted them by not creaking. Beneath his picture burst the dawn of his crimes: details too horrific to be credible in a novel of horror: tales of cannibalism, sexual perversity, and agonizing death, all bespeaking his secret history and preparing his future glory.

Emory Hughes stared at the picture of Jeffrey Dahmer on the front page of the Chicago Tribune, the man in Milwaukee who had confessed to “drugging and strangling his victims, then dismembering them.” The picture was grainy, showing a young man who looked timid and tired. Not someone you’d expect to be a serial killer.

Emory took in the details as the L swung around a bend: lank pale hair, looking dirty and as if someone had taken a comb to it just before the photograph was snapped, heavy eyelids, the smirk, as if Dahmer had no understanding of what was happening to him, blinded suddenly by notoriety, the stubble, at least three days old, growing on his face. Emory even noticed the way a small curl topped his shirt’s white collar. The L twisted, suddenly a ride from Six Flags, and Emory almost dropped the newspaper, clutching for the metal pole to keep from falling. The train’s dizzying pace, taking the curves too fast, made Emory’s stomach churn.

Or was it the details of the story that were making the nausea in him grow and blossom? Details like how Dahmer had boiled some of his victim’s skulls to preserve them…

Milwaukee Medical Examiner Jeffrey Jentzen said authorities had recovered five full skeletons from Dahmer’s apartment and partial remains of six others. They’d discovered four severed heads in his kitchen. Emory read that the killer had also admitted to cannibalism.

“Sick, huh?” Emory jumped at a voice behind him. A pudgy man, face florid with sweat and heat, pressed close. The bulge of the man’s stomach nudged against the small of Emory’s back.

Emory hugged the newspaper to his chest, wishing there was somewhere else he could go. But the L at rush hour was crowded with commuters, moist from the heat, wearing identical expressions of boredom.

“Hard to believe some of the things that guy did.” The man continued, undaunted by Emory’s refusal to meet his eyes. “He’s a queer. They all want to give the queers special privileges and act like there’s nothing wrong with them. And then look what happens.” The guy snorted. “Nothing wrong with them…right.”

Emory wished the man would move away. The sour odor of the man’s sweat mingled with cheap cologne, something like Old Spice.

Hadn’t his father worn Old Spice?

Emory gripped the pole until his knuckles whitened, staring down at the newspaper he had found abandoned on a seat at the Belmont stop. Maybe if he sees I’m reading, he’ll shut up. Every time the man spoke, his accent broad and twangy, his voice nasal, Emory felt like someone was raking a metal-toothed comb across the soft pink surface of his brain.

Neighbors had complained off and on for more than a year about a putrid stench from Dahmer’s apartment. He told them his refrigerator was broken and meat in it had spoiled. Others reported hearing hand and power saws buzzing in the apartment at odd hours.

“Yeah, this guy Dahmer… You hear what he did to some of these guys?”

Emory turned at last. He was trembling, and the muscles in his jaw clenched and unclenched. He knew his voice was coming out high, and that because of this, the man might think he was queer, but he had to make him stop.

“Listen, sir, I really have no use for your opinions. I ask you now, very sincerely, to let me be so that I might finish reading my newspaper.”

The guy sucked in some air. “Yeah, sure,” he mumbled.

Emory looked down once more at the picture of Dahmer, trying to delve into the dots that made up the serial killer’s eyes. Perhaps somewhere in the dark orbs, he could find evidence of madness. Perhaps the pixels would coalesce to explain the atrocities this bland-looking young man had perpetrated, the pain and suffering he’d caused.

To what end?

“Granville next. Granville will be the next stop.” The voice, garbled and cloaked in static, alerted Emory that his stop was coming up.

As the train slowed, Emory let the newspaper, never really his own, slip from his fingers. The train stopped with a lurch, and Emory looked out at the familiar green sign reading Granville. With the back of his hand, he wiped the sweat from his brow and prepared to step off the train.

Then an image assailed him: Dahmer’s face, lying on the brown, grimy floor of the L, being trampled.

Emory turned back, bumping into commuters who were trying to get off the train, and stooped to snatch the newspaper up from the gritty floor.

Tenderly, he brushed dirt from Dahmer’s picture and stuck the newspaper under his arm.

*

Kenmore Avenue sagged under the weight of the humidity as Emory trudged home, white cotton shirt sticking to his back, face moist. At the end of the block, a Loyola University building stood sentinel—gray and solid against a wilted sky devoid of color, sucking in July’s heat and moisture like a sponge.

Emory fitted his key into the lock of the redbrick high-rise he shared with his mother and sister, Mary Helen. Behind him, a car grumbled by, muffler dragging, transmission moaning. A group of four children, Hispanic complexions darkened even more by the sun, quarreled as one of them held a huge red ball under his arm protectively.

As always, the vestibule smelled of garlic and cooking cabbage, and as always, Emory wondered from which apartment these smells, grown stale over the years he and his family had lived in the building, had originally emanated.

In the mailbox was a booklet of coupons from Jewel, a Commonwealth Edison bill, and a newsletter from Test Positive Aware. Emory shoved the mail under his arm and headed up the creaking stairs to the third floor.

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About the Author

Real Men. True Love.

Rick R. Reed is an award-winning and bestselling author of more than fifty works of published fiction. He is a Lambda Literary Award finalist. Entertainment Weekly has described his work as “heartrending and sensitive.” Lambda Literary has called him: “A writer that doesn’t disappoint…”

Rick lives in Palm Springs, CA, with his husband, Bruce, and their fierce Chihuahua/Shiba Inu mix, Kodi.

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About the Narrator

Donald Davenport. I am a screenwriter, author, educator and podcaster. I am also a film producer and director.

donalddavenport.com

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Audio Blitz: Starting From Here by Lane Hayes & Narrated by Michael Dean

Starting From Here | Lane Hayes

Starting From #3

Starting from Here Audio Banner

Narrator: Michael Dean

Release Date: October 23, 2020

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Length: 8 hrs and 23 mins

Buy Link: Audible

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Blurb

Two bands, one goal, and a second chance…

Declan-

Everything is finally going well. I have a new band, a new label, and a debut album coming out. And then my drummer breaks his wrists. Just my luck. I need a quick replacement to record one more song, but my options are limited, and of course, the obvious candidate hates my guts. Okay, so I may have given him a few reasons over the years, but isn’t there an expiration date on holding a grudge?

Tegan-

I don’t trust Declan McNamara. Sure, he’s talented, smart, and has more sex appeal than any one person should be allowed. And yeah, he may be a rock star in the making, but beware—he’s trouble. However, our new record label’s survival may depend on a truce and extreme measures…of the fake boyfriend variety. If it’s our best shot at the big time, I’m willing to set the past aside and start over…here and now.

Starting From Here is a MM, bisexual romance rock and roll style…rival bands, fake boyfriends, and a second chance at a new love story. Each book in the Starting From series can be read as a stand-alone.

Excerpt

The sound of cheerful squealing rang in the background before she hung up. I stared into space for a minute or two, feeling very…alone. I didn’t want to slip into teenage levels of self-pity. There was really nothing lamer than a privileged grown-ass adult whining about mommy issues. I flipped through television channels, pausing on a special about great white sharks. Then I tossed the controller aside and picked up my cell again.

Would you ever swim with sharks?

My phone buzzed immediately. I smiled when Tegan’s name lit the screen. Are you high?

I wish. Swimming with sharks is a thing. People get in cages and film themselves being surrounded by predators…for fun.

People are fucking crazy.

True.

What are you watching?

National Geographic. I was hoping for a sex in the wild segment, but I got sharks instead.

Shark sex?

I grinned. Nope. I don’t think I’m ready for that.

It’s not exciting. Fish sex is seriously unhot.

True.

My chuckled morphed into a belly laugh as I sank deeper into the cushion. I shared a quick story about the saucy squirrels who were getting it on outside my window last spring. Tegan teased me for being a rodent voyeur, then recommended a few human porn sites I might appreciate instead.

Btw, it’s officially midnight. Congrats.

I stared at the screen for a moment. I typed and erased two or three thank-yous that seemed a little too effusive. I didn’t want to come across as too excited or too grateful and somehow clingy, so I gave up and pressed Call.

“Hey.”

“Are you really fucking calling me?”

I chuckled. “Yeah. I am. Thank you.”

“You’re welcome. But it’s midnight, and I hate talking on the phone, so good ni—”

“Don’t hang up.”

“What’s wrong?”

I stared at the TV unseeing. “Nothing. I just…I’m keyed up and I need someone to talk to. What was your first release like? I know Zero’s record is still doing well. But…what was like in the beginning? How’d you feel?”

Silence.

“You want the truth?”

“Yeah.”

“It was anticlimactic.”

“Oh. That’s kind of depressing.”

“No, it’s just life. Nothing ever happens as fast as you want it to. You’ve got to be patient and keep doing your thing,” he advised. “We came home from our summer tour thinking we made it. What didn’t turn into superstars, but we made progress. And every day it gets better. But who knows what will happen? Maybe you’ll wake up at number one. Just stay positive and…stop torturing yourself.”

I smiled when Tegan’s uplifting advice gave way to exasperation. It was cute.

“It’s what I do. I excel at the art of self-sabotage. Ask my mom. If I bomb, you can be sure she’ll be the first one to say ‘I told you so.’ She’ll choose her words carefully, though. She’ll be kind-ish before she gently suggests that it’s time to throw in the towel and join the family firm. Fuck my life.”

“But it’s your life. The honor of making mistakes or kicking ass is all yours. You wrote those songs to be heard. Not everyone will love what you do, but plenty of people will. You just gotta be right in your own head. Ask yourself if you gave your best. Did you?”

“Of course.”

“You’ll do just fine, then. If you sell a million copies, great. If not, you’ll still learn something.”

Silence.

“Thanks. I needed that,” I said softly.

“You’re welcome. Now go to sleep.”

“I’m an almost rock star, and it’s midnight. My night is just beginning,” I lied, stifling a yawn.

“Have fun, rock god,” he snorted.

“I’m kidding. I’m channel surfing.”

“You mean porn surfing?”

I barked a quick laugh. “No, I get my porn on the internet like everyone else. I was watching that show about hoarders. It made me feel better somehow.”

“You’re a freak. Get your computer and jack off. You’ll feel better, and you’ll sleep better,” he advised sagely.

“Thanks, Dr. Monroe. I’ll report back in the morning.”

“Not necessary. Especially if there’re boobs involved.”

“I watch more dick porn than chick porn. I watched a great locker room scene last night. The coach and the quarterback. Sexy as fuck.”

“Are you really sharing a spank-bank story?”

“Yeah, you want the link?”

About the Author

Lane Hayes

Lane Hayes loves a good romance! An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters.

Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and were winners in the 2016, 2017, and 2018-2019 Rainbow Awards.

She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in a not quite empty nest.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Bookbub

About The Narrator

MichaelDean

Originally from Chicago, I have performed around the country and the world on stage, television, and film. I studied acting at the University of Arizona and the University of Kansas City Missouri.

As a narrator, I have voiced more than 450 titles for authors including Lucy Lennox, Sloane Kennedy, Lane Hayes, Devon McCormack, Riley Hart, Felice Stevens, Pandora Pine, Christina Lee, Susan Hawke, and many more.

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