Tag Archives: bonded

New Release Blitz: A Touch of Danger by Elaine White

A Touch of Danger | Elaine White

Surviving Vihaan #1

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Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: February 10, 2020

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 66,400

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Blurb

Drew’s life sucks. Saving money to escape his homophobic family is one thing, but his only paying gig at the moment is playing his father’s “only gay in the village” plus-one to every LGBT friendly business event.

Then his brother comes up with a plan. Sheffield needs someone to go undercover for his police investigation. Drew has all the qualifications: he’s gay, he has experience with exotic animals, and he’s college-aged. And he’s easily bought.

Going undercover to solve the mystery of a college campus smuggling ring was never in his plans. Neither was hot, perfect, house captain Rylee. The inside jokes about cats, animal prints, and talk of a place called Vihaan that forbids same-sex relationships, are just the tip of the suspicious iceberg.

Little does Drew know that he’s about to expose more than an illegal smuggling operation. The truth could be more lethal than he could imagine. And, despite it all, it might be his own secret past that kills him before the truth can be unveiled.

Excerpt

A Touch of Danger
Elaine White © 2020
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
“Care to run it by me again?” Drew rubbed his jaw, trying to stifle his laughter while his brother prowled the small office.

“We think they’re smuggling exotic animals,” Sheffield explained, with a drawn-out sigh.

“Through a fraternity house?”

“Yes.” His brother glared, as though he was the crazy one for questioning this “case” he’d been asked to consult on.

Drew took a slow, steady breath and asked, “You know this, how?” He was trying not to sound judgemental, but he wasn’t buying this story. What the hell would a bunch of fraternity brothers want with exotic animals? He paused…the idea conjured uncomfortable images. He hoped there was no “bear pit” with the animals or dubious sexual practices. He had a weak stomach and didn’t want any part of that kind of investigation.

Still, his brother was the big bad cop in the family. Drew was the runt; the unworthy second son. Abandoned to do whatever he wanted with his life because he was already a disappointment. There wasn’t much he could do to lower his position in the family. But he was no cop, no action man, and no Sherlock Holmes. He knew nothing about solving a case or how to look for evidence of “foul play”. And he was allergic to certain animals.

“We’ve had reports of wild animals on the grounds. When we sent an officer to investigate, he was attacked by a large cat. When we tried to run the names and identities of those living in the house, we came up with nothing. These people don’t exist,” Sheffield explained, shaking his head as he paced the length of the tiny room. “We sent in another man, undercover, to grab whatever DNA he could get his hands on. What he brought back…well, the hair came back feline. Exotic cats—a panther, a lion, and a cheetah.” Now Drew was getting the heebie-jeebies. He wasn’t sure he wanted anything to do with exotic cats. He wasn’t allergic to cats, which meant he would need to try harder to wiggle out of this. “I’m not a cop.” And this was getting weirder by the second.

“No, which will work for us. The last few cops we’ve sent in undercover have been caught quickly. These guys are smart and professional.” The heavy stare Sheffield levelled made Drew want to shrink. But he wasn’t a five-year-old anymore. “You are a college kid looking for somewhere to belong. It will be tough. They’re private and secretive. They barely socialise outside their group of friends, and they don’t date outside the house.”

“Seriously?” Raising his hands, Drew asked for a pause as he considered those words. This job went beyond weird and into the downright kinky. “You mean—”

Sheffield nodded, a grin spreading across his lips. “They’re gay, bi or trans. They call themselves the LGBT House of Acceptance,” he revealed. Arching an amused eyebrow while pretending not to find it hilarious.

“Nice name,” Drew scoffed, knowing what Sheffield was implying.

“This isn’t anything to laugh about. These guys are serious illegal traders, and we need to shut them down,” he argued. The growl could have been funny if it wasn’t for the fact he was being used.

“Let me get this straight, brother of mine. You suggested me for this because I’m gay, right?” he asked, getting straight to the point.

“It helps.”

“Yeah. You! It won’t help me much.”

Sheffield waved off his concerns and sneered in his usual dismissive manner. “You’re a hermit. This will be good for you,” he claimed. Drew knew he didn’t give a shit whether it was good for him. Sheffield was like their dad—he thought being gay was a choice Drew made when he turned sixteen and came out to the family. A choice made to piss off everyone and gain attention because the almighty big brother had been accepted into the Police Academy. Fuck them. He wasn’t as narcissistic as his family.

“I happen to like being a hermit.”

“Will you do it? Because I need to tell my supervisor, and then we need to fit you for a wire. You’ll be going in tonight.” Sheffield stopped his pacing to level Drew with an intimidating stare which hadn’t worked since he was ten.

Nothing like short notice.

“No wire,” he decided.

“Excuse me?” He growled—fucking growled!—and Drew wanted badly to do a fist pump, in victory.

“You said these guys are smart? Professional? They’ll spot a wire. They’ll probably cavity search me,” he teased, wiggling his eyebrows. Sheffield was practically pimping his brother out to criminals. Not like he’d turn down a good frisking if the company was good-looking. “Let me handle it. I’ll get your evidence and report back in a week. This Saturday.”

Hell, he was being paid. He’d dress in a monkey suit and do the hula if they asked. Maybe he could use the cash to get out of this shit hole?

Sheffield raked both hands through his short dark hair. “The boss won’t like this,” he complained, in a quiet, unsure voice.

Rising from his seat, Drew tried hard not to smile. “Yeah, well he’s not done a great job so far, has he? We’ll try it my way, and, if it doesn’t work, we’ll do it your way,” he offered.

He was going to get what he could out of this. Out of this town and well away from his family. Sheffield was bearable in small doses, but the rest of his family were vipers snapping at his heels. Each one determined to ignore and berate him when he needed them. Ready to jump on board and use him for their own means when they needed a boost.

Doing this, for a bit of cash, was like when he’d attended an LGBT fundraiser with his dad a year ago, in return for a year’s worth of college tuition. As long as it got him away from his family, he had no dignity and no pride.

Not a shred.

About the Author

Elaine White is the author of multi-genre MM romance, celebrating ‘love is love’ and offering diversity in both genre and character within her stories.

Growing up in a small town and fighting cancer in her early teens taught her that life is short and dreams should be pursued. She lives vicariously through her independent, and often hellion characters, exploring all possibilities within the romantic universe.

The Winner of two Watty Awards – Collector’s Dream (An Unpredictable Life) and Hidden Gem (Faithfully) – and an Honourable Mention in 2016’s Rainbow Awards (A Royal Craving) Elaine is a self-professed geek, reading addict, and a romantic at heart.

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A Touch of Danger Now Available

New Release Blitz: Tales From Ardulum by J.S. Fields

Tales From Ardulum | J.S. Fields

Ardulum #4

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Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: June 10, 2019

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 57,800

Buy Links:

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Blurb

One year after saving the Neek homeworld and redefining the people’s religion, the crew of the Scarlet Lucidity returns to the Charted Systems for a much-needed break. For Nicholas and Yorden, the Systems will always be home, but for Emn and Atalant, too many memories compound with Emn’s strange new illness to provide much relaxation.

TALES FROM ARDULUM continues the journey of Atalant, Emn, Yorden, Nicholas, and Salice as they try to define their place in a galaxy that no longer needs them while battling the artifacts of Ardulan colonization.

Other stories include Yorden’s acquisition of the Mercy’s Pledge (and his grudge against the galaxy), Atalant’s exile from her homeworld, Ekimet and Savath’s romance, and many others.

Excerpt

Tales from Ardulum
J.S. Fields © 2019
All Rights Reserved

Mercy’s Pledge
2030 CE

“Scrub it down. Start with the cockpit, then work your way back. No toilets on this thing, of course, because the astronauts used diapers way back when and most of these old models were just for animals, so that’s a bright side.” The museum curator—a short, thin woman with wavy, brown hair and pinkish skin—produced a half-hearted smile. She tapped a white panel on the starboard flank of the old decommissioned Soviet shuttle. Housed in the warehouse section of some museum in Kaluga, the ship was a Buran model, although it’d been modded so many times since its initial flight that Yorden Kuebrich doubted its insides looked anything like the historic photos.

“Yeah, I got it. No worries.” Yorden ran his fingers through his beard in what he hoped was an endearing gesture rather than a creepy one, smoothed out the wrinkles on his too-tight coveralls, grabbed his cleaning kit, and walked up the shaky platform steps to the entrance of the shuttle. Cleaning the inside was going to take days, which was just fine. After the year he’d had in the Gaza Strip, not to mention the little heist he was planning, a bit of mindless cleaning while he worked out the details was exactly what he needed.

He grimaced at the rank smell of old oil and deteriorating plastic as he squeezed through the narrow walkways of the shuttle. Either the Soviets had been a lot smaller back then or Yorden had put on more weight in the past decade than he’d realized. Didn’t matter. Muscle, fat, facial hair…it was all the same when you woke up every morning from nightmares of a friend killed, a family home destroyed, or a passive-aggressive act of one angry government against another. Who was right, who was wrong—it didn’t matter then, and it didn’t fucking matter now. The world was full of old decay. Religious cousins were still at each other’s throats, although now they used words instead of bombs. And it was all stupid because there were actual aliens, turns out, flying around in space.

Aliens! Yorden snorted as he entered the tiny cockpit and set his cleaning kit down on a metal case. For ten years now, Earth had been part of the Charted Systems. For ten years, fucking aliens had been showing them how to use wormholes and cellulose tech and weird biometals, and here Yorden was, standing in a metal bucket containing a throttle-lever thing and analog controls after having fled yet another country he’d wanted to call home.

His first home, Poland, he’d left because fuck communism and fuck his early memories of the exorbitant price of meat and his family never getting a condo because the lottery was never in their favor. And fuck the lines. He was glad he’d never had kids, never needed to wait in line for twenty-four-plus hours just to buy a damn doll. Anyway, toilet paper was a goddamned miracle he never wanted to live without again.

Things got better in the nineties—but he’d been done. Naturally, Yorden had just managed to trade one tortured ideology for another. Israel. Gaza. He was Jewish, in that ham-eating, post-Soviet way. Still, birthright. Homecoming, sort of. It was enough to pull him in. Enough to convince him to try out settling there. That had failed miserably. It was just a different kind of death out there: a faster one, from bullets and bombs.

That was all over now, though, because of Charted-fucking-Systems-mandated peace, but nothing could erase his memories. Thus, Yorden was back in Eastern Europe, on a dilapidated shuttle, preparing to install the Cell-Tal components hidden under his cleaning kit and in his bag, so he could fly this hunk of metal off Earth and get into the Systems proper. Yorden grinned. Off Earth, out of this solar system, and away from the crush of history. Away from his history. Away from the politics and the false smiles and the lovey-dovey crap everyone spewed now instead of the thinly veiled racist ideology of the past. People didn’t change—Yorden didn’t believe they could, not for a hot minute. Humans sure as hell didn’t change. Aliens might have brought technology based on turning trees into spacefaring biometals, and they might have brought peace, but neither of those came without a price. If he was going to live a lie, then better if he did it on his terms, in space, where it was a hell of a lot easier to avoid everyone.

So, forget Earth. Forget Mars, even. He’d take “diaspora” to a whole new level.

“You doing okay, then?” The curator’s voice reverberated within the metal, making Yorden wince. “Some of that stuff up in there is pretty delicate.”

“Yeah, I got it! I’ll do the gun turret last since it’s not part of the original structure and looks like it wasn’t put on well to begin with. I don’t know what you guys thought you’d need to shoot with this, other than the peace-toting Risalians that came knocking at our solar door ten years ago.” He paused and considered the walls and his very heavy gear bag stuffed with Cell-Tal tech. “I’m going to have to take the wall panels off, too, to clean. I think you’ve got mice.”

An expletive came from the curator, although Yorden wasn’t certain what language it was in. Not Russian or Polish—he was sure of that. Definitely not Yiddish. Since she was already upset but clearly not willing to come in and inspect the “damage,” Yorden added, “Probably best to strip her down to the floor and walls anywhere I can. If you’ve got one nest, you’ve got ten, and I don’t think you want to pay a guy to redo wiring, right?”

“Do what you can and just…make it look right on the outside, okay? No one is ever going to look under the panels. It’s not like this Buran is ever going to fly again. That laser was never even fired, from what I know. It was attached quickly. Apparently, humans didn’t want to give up their guns when the peace treaty was signed. Not that it does any good on a ship that can’t fly.”

“Oh, she’ll fly,” Yorden muttered. He waited until he heard the door to the hangar slam shut, followed by the screeching of the wide bay doors to the warehouse closing, and then peeled a clump of old metal and coated wires from the wall. He would put it all back together again, snug as a bug. He just needed to make a few modifications of his own first.

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About the Author

J.S. Fields is a scientist who has perhaps spent too much time around organic solvents. They enjoy roller derby, woodturning, making chain mail by hand, and cultivating fungi in the backs of minivans. Nonbinary, and always up for a Twitter chat.

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Rachel gets her romance in the Regent’s Park Pack series

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Bitten By Her
by Annabelle Jacobs

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s rare for me to read anything but MM these days but from the first moment the redheaded beta Rachel burst onto the scene in the Regent’s Park Pack series I’ve wanted her story.

And here it is, as Alpha Cameron Harley does his best, in cohorts with Rachel’s lover Sara’s Alpha Council grandmother, to manipulate the fates and allow the two to form their true mates bond.

I love Rachel as a character, she’s fiercely loyal, a dedicated beta who accepts the separation from her mate even though it’s breaking her heart.

I loved all the clever plotting that went on to get them both in the same place at the same time without going against Sara’s father’s command and I loved how they fought to get their HEA.

It’s a novella, so not as long as the rest of the series, but it’s still packed with all the feels.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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