Tag Archives: MM Romance

New Release Blitz: The Secrets We Keep by Rick R. Reed

The Secrets We Keep | Rick R. Reed

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Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: July 6, 2020

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 61,200

Buy Links:

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Blurb

Jasper Warren is a happy-go-lucky young man in spite of the tragedy that’s marred his life. He’s on a road to nowhere with his roommate, Lacy, whom he adores, and a dead-end retail job in Chicago.

And then everything changes in a single night. Though Jasper doesn’t know it, his road is going somewhere after all. This time when tragedy strikes, it brings with it Lacy’s older, wealthy, sexy uncle Rob. Despite the heart-wrenching circumstances, an immediate connection forms between the two men.

But the secrets between them test their attraction. Will their revelations destroy the bloom of new love… or encourage it to grow?

Excerpt

The Secrets We Keep
Rick R. Reed © 2020
All Rights Reserved

Prologue
“Hey! I don’t think you should go through that,” Rob said, barely audible because he didn’t want his fear to show. He sucked in a breath and clutched his suitcase close to him, as though it were a child—or a flotation device. Or a boy he loved and didn’t want to lose…

The water spread out on the road under the overpass like a black mirror. It could have been a few inches deep or a few feet. From just a visual, there was no way to gauge how deep it was. No person with any sense would drive into it.

His Uber driver, a sallow-complexioned man in his forties wearing a black baseball cap, gave out a low whistle. “We’ll be okay,” he said cheerfully, with a confidence Rob simply didn’t have. “Just sit back and let me worry. We’ll be fine.”

Rob wished he had the nerve to speak up, to command, “No! Don’t! Just turn around.” After all, this driver was putting them both in danger. But he felt like protesting would make him seem insane or, at the very least, silly. So what’s worse, he wondered, seeming crazy or drowning? He cursed himself for the ridiculous lengths he went to so as to avoid confrontation.

A thunderclap as loud as an explosion sounded then, and Rob swore the black Lincoln Continental shuddered under its vibration. Lightning turned the dark, cloud-choked dawn skies bright white for an instant, as though day had peeked in, seen the weather, and then ducked back out.

“This baby can get through it,” the driver said, giving the car a little more gas.

Rob tightened his lips to a single line and furrowed his brows as his driver set off into the small lake stretching out before them. As the driver moved completely under the overpass, the drumming sound of the rain on the roof suddenly ceased, and the silence was like the intake of a breath.

“C’mon, c’mon,” the driver urged almost under his breath as he sallied farther into the water, giving the car more gas.

Even before the engine started to whine in protest, Rob knew they were in trouble by the way the water parted to admit the Lincoln. Waves sloshed by on either side.

Rob thought again he should speak up—like maybe to suggest that the driver could attempt to back up—but held his tongue. The guy was a professional, right? He knew what he was doing.

They’d be okay.

And the driver continued, deeper and deeper into the water standing so treacherously beneath the overpass.

The engine made a lowing sound, like a cow’s moo, as the flood rose up the sides of the vehicle.

Rob gasped as brackish, foul-smelling water covered his loafered feet, pouring in through the small spaces around the doors.

The driver eyed him in the rearview mirror. There was a defeat in his voice as he said, “You better open your door and get out while you can.”

Rob wondered, for only a moment, why he would want to. Then it struck him with the adrenaline-fueled clarity born of panic that if he didn’t open his door now, he might never get another chance. The rising water and its pressure would make it impossible to open the door.

If it wasn’t already too late…

Rob leaned over and pressed against the door. The engine stalled at that moment, and his driver reached for his own door handle up front.

For a brief moment that caused his heart to drum fast, Rob feared his door wouldn’t open. He slid over and leaned against it with his shoulder pressed against the black leather, grunting.

The door held and then suddenly gave way.

Granted access, water rushed into the vehicle. The icy current rose up, covering his ankles and his calves. It was almost over his knees when he managed to slide from the Lincoln.

Outside the car, he stood. The water rose up almost to his neck. He felt nothing, only a kind of numbness and wonder. His driver was already sloshing forward toward the pearly light at the other side of the overpass. He didn’t give Rob so much as a backward glance.

Rob started moving against the water, wondering what might be swimming in it.

Thunder grumbled and then cracked again. The lightning flared, brilliant white, once more. And the rain poured down even harder.

He looked back for a moment at the Lincoln Continental, thinking about his TUMI bag on the seat. There was no hope for that now!

He slogged through the water and progressed steadily forward, feeling like a refugee in some third-world country, bound for freedom. In his head he heard the swell of inspirational music.

After what seemed like an hour, but was really only about five minutes, Rob reached dry land at the end of the overpass, where the entrance ramp veered upward toward the highway. Cars whizzed by, sending up sprays of water, the motorists oblivious.

His driver eyed him but said nothing. He was out of breath.

Rob stood in the rain and remembered his iPhone in the front pocket of his khakis. He pulled it out, thinking to call for help. But when he pressed the Home button, the screen briefly illuminated and then blinked out, the picture of an ocean wave crashing toward the shore first skewing weirdly, then vanishing.

“Shit,” he whispered and then replaced the phone in his soaking-wet pants pocket.

He needn’t have worried about calling for help, however, because it seemed the universe had done it for him. On the other side of the overpass, a fire truck, lights on but no siren, pulled up to the water’s edge. Then two police cruisers. And finally, surprisingly, a news van with a satellite antenna on top brought up the rear.

The rest was kind of a blur. Through a bullhorn, one of the firemen advised them to come back toward them but to use the median instead of slogging through the flood. The concrete divider was only a few inches above the sloshing water.

Somehow, Rob and his driver managed a tightrope walk across the lake the underpass had become, balancing on the concrete divider.

When they reached the other side, one of the newscasters, a guy in a red rain slicker, stuck a microphone in his face and asked him to tell him what happened. Was he afraid? Stunned, Rob shook his head and moved toward the cop cars. Behind him, he could hear the driver talking to the reporter.

At the first police car, a uniformed officer got out from behind the steering wheel. She shut the door behind her and held a hand above the bill of her cap to further shield her from the rain. She was young, maybe midtwenties, with short black hair and a stout and sturdy build.

“You okay, sir?”

Rob nodded. “Yeah, I guess.” He smiled. “Didn’t expect a swim this early in the morning.”

The officer didn’t laugh. “Where were you headed? We might be able to take you, or at the very least, we can summon a taxi for you.”

And Rob opened his mouth to say, “To the airport” and then shut it again.

One thought stood out in his head. I could have drowned. He looked toward the Lincoln, which was filled now with water up to the middle of the windshield.

“Sir? You need us to get you somewhere?”

Rob debated, thinking of a young man, perhaps out in this same rain, getting almost as drenched as he was. He opened his mouth again to speak, unsure of how he could or should answer her question.

What he said now could very well determine the course of the rest of his life.

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Meet 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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New Release Blitz: Ge-Mi: Part Two by Mell Eight

Ge-Mi: Part Two | Mell Eight

Ge-Mi #2

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Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: May 18, 2020

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 28,600

Buy Links:

NineStar Press | Amazon

Smashwords | Kobo

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Blurb

Taylor Reyes was born to privilege, but despite that has always been considered an abomination. He was the child that should never have been born and has spent his life trying to prove his worth to the world to no avail. As a red wolf Ge-Mi, humans look at his furry ears before his accomplishments, and no matter how hard he continues to work Taylor knows that will never change.

Still, he has a grandfather that loves him and a pack of his own to lead. The life he created for himself is not a bad one, until one day a pair of adorable cat ears derails everything.

The thought of finding a mate had never crossed Taylor’s mind, but suddenly he can’t stop thinking about Nevada. There’s no time for the distraction, though, as people are moving to unseat his grandfather from the city’s throne. The fight has just begun, but ending it might mean Taylor will lose Nevada forever.

Excerpt

Ge-Mi: Part Two
Mell Eight © 2020
All Rights Reserved

Prologue
Taylor Reyes knew the exact moment he fell in love. He had been ranting and raving and basically making an ass of himself. Okay, if he really thought about it, Taylor knew a lot of people would say he did that regularly, but this time was different. A baby kitten had attacked him earlier in the day. The scabs on his face were itching, and his pride was smarting. The first chance he got, he tracked the cat stench that belonged to some waiter at a restaurant where his grandfather insisted he eat. The waiter’s cat was the one that attacked him, and Taylor wasn’t about to let the waiter go unpunished for the slight. The stench led down the sidewalk a few blocks to a nearby apartment building, and eventually, to the tiny studio apartment taking up a third of the top floor.

Getting inside was easy enough since his DNA had been automatically coded into every lock in the entire city. It was one of the perks of being the heir to the Reyes family, the family that had ruled the city of Kensey for generations. Kensey Reyes had taken power directly after the last Great War that destroyed all the large cities, leaving behind only smaller cities and towns without any federal government to oversee them. Those with the means took control all across the country, and Kensey held on to his city fiercely until his death ten years later. Taylor’s great-grandfather and then eventually his grandfather had taken power, and Taylor was being groomed as the next heir.

Taylor enjoyed a life of privilege, but as a Ge-Mi, it wasn’t an easy life to live. Long before the Great War, scientists had managed to combine the DNA of humans with that of animals. Today’s history books contained speculation on why the scientists had done that, but it was generally believed the project began with good intentions. A cure for blindness by giving someone the sight ability of an eagle was the example Taylor remembered from his school textbook. Unfortunately, the military and some unsavory groups became involved, and they wanted super speed or super strength. Strange hybrid creatures were the eventual result, people like Taylor, who appeared human enough but also had wolf ears and a tail, or people with the power of a bear or the venom of a snake.

At first, Ge-Mis and humans had been able to live together peacefully, but fear over a Ge-Mi’s extra abilities soon had the humans enacting discriminatory laws that forced even the most law-abiding Ge-Mis into desperate acts to keep their families fed.

After the Great War, that fear remained, coloring the minds of all the humans in the country. No one really remembered why the Great War started, but it had increased the level of fear regular people experienced. That fear now focused on the Ge-Mis. It wasn’t easy to be called the heir of the city when almost no one trusted that his animal half would be safe in the position of the city’s next leader.

Taylor’s father was a red wolf Ge-Mi, and he had passed down the red-colored, pointed wolf ears that sat on top of Taylor’s head as well as a long and fluffy red wolf’s tail. The rest of him was pure Reyes stock—light-blond hair and blue eyes—but the Ge-Mi parts of him were too distinct to hide.

Which was totally unlike the object of Taylor’s affection.

He had expected to find a human hoarder of cats, and he found a hoarder, but Nevada most definitely wasn’t human. The moment those big gray eyes with the adorable little rounded ears peeking out of his white-and-black hair appeared over the edge of the loft high above Taylor, his heart was lost.

Nevada was no pushover. He wasn’t some kitty cat Taylor could threaten into obedience or scare away by growling. No, Nevada was all snow leopard, fierce and protective of those he loved. Yet, at the same time, it was easy for him to hide his small ears under a handkerchief and to keep his tail wrapped around one leg. He had been hiding among the humans for his entire life.

Taylor had discovered Nevada’s secret that fateful night, but where he might have ordinarily used it to blackmail Nevada, he was unable to do it. Nevada was just so… Taylor didn’t have the words to describe the way Nevada made him feel, but Nevada owned his heart all the same.

Which was why Taylor was currently standing across the street from Restaurant Spice, hidden in a darkened alcove where he couldn’t be seen, watching as Nevada deftly moved through the tables stuffed with customers.

These days, Nevada didn’t have to hide what he was. He’d spent three years working at the café next door while hiding his Ge-Mi side, and the customers genuinely learned to like him. Recent events in a fight against a clan of hyena Ge-Mis trying to kill him forced Nevada to reveal his snow leopard half. The handkerchief was gone now, his ears visible to the world, and because Taylor had arranged to have special pants made for Nevada with an elastic ring in the back for his tail, his tail now showed. However, he still kept it curled around one leg, half out of habit and half to keep the kids from tugging on it when they saw it because the white fur with black rosettes was distinctive inside the busy restaurant.

Taylor pulled his phone from his pocket to double-check the time and sighed. It was only 7:45 p.m., which meant he had at least fifteen more minutes before Nevada got off shift. It would probably be longer, though, since Nevada was slowly starting to learn the ropes of the assistant manager position and didn’t leave until he was certain the restaurant could run without him there.

Ree’s riot of multicolored feathers, where her hair would have been had she been human, appeared in front of a table in the window, temporarily blocking Taylor’s view. Ree was another Ge-Mi who had been outed in the hyena attack, but she, too, seemed to be thriving as another waiter at the restaurant.

Taylor let out a low growl and slumped harder against the wall behind him. Waiting for Nevada was so damned difficult, but the last time he went into the restaurant to get Nevada, he had been scolded for bothering the customers during dinner. A mad Nevada wasn’t a fun Nevada.

Taylor’s phone rang, startling him into jumping slightly in surprise. A glance at the caller ID told him Carley was calling.

“What?” Taylor growled into the phone. Carley knew Taylor was waiting to walk Nevada home. After closing was the only guaranteed time they had together each day, considering how busy both Taylor and Nevada were at their respective jobs.

“I might have found the link we need to finally find out who’s engineering the coup,” Carley explained, completely unperturbed by Taylor’s aggressive tone. Carley had changed Taylor’s diapers; he wasn’t afraid of any of Taylor’s moods.

“Who?” Taylor asked, all growl gone from his voice.

“Not sure yet,” Carley replied, and Taylor could hear a cheeky shrug in Carley’s voice. The man loved to yank Taylor’s tail. “But I know where to start digging. Get your kitty cat home safe; then come over.”

“Fine.” Taylor let out a grumbling sigh to let Carley know how dissatisfied he was before hanging up.

About 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 Blitz: Ge-Mi: Part One by Mell Eight

Ge-Mi: Part One |Mell Eight

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Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: March 16, 2020

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 33,900

Buy Links:

NineStar Press | Amazon

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Blurb

A hundred years ago, evil scientists spliced human genes with those of animals, creating a genetic mutation passed on through the generations. Hated because of their differences, these Ge-Mis live on the fringes of society where they scrounge and scrape to get by.

Nevada is half Ge-Mi and hides that fact behind baggy clothes and by keeping distance between himself and everyone around him. One day, his peaceful life is shattered by an explosion and the arrival of a pack of wolves to sniff out the culprit.

Wolves have excellent noses and as Alpha, Taylor can sniff out every one of Nevada’s secrets—and the harder Nevada tries to resist, the more difficult staying away from Taylor becomes.

Excerpt

Ge-Mi: Part One
Mell Eight © 2020
All Rights Reserved

Prologue
In the waiting room, people milled about restlessly. There weren’t any chairs provided for the supplicants, nor for the onlookers who were only there to enjoy the show. Handing over a bribe wasn’t supposed to be a comfortable experience, after all.

Nevada stood in a corner, the backpack containing the only thing he had that would suit as a bribe clutched carefully in his arms. Rosto stood next to Nevada, one shoulder pressed indolently against the wall. He was older than Nevada by at least twenty years, his hair grayed at the temples, but his back still strong and unbent. Rosto had done this before—brought a supplicant with his bribe—and he had a personal connection with the lord of the city. Rosto wasn’t worried, but Nevada was.

It had only been six months since Mom had died. They hadn’t had the money or the resources to get her proper health care, and her cold had turned deadly far too quickly for Nevada’s three part-time jobs to pay for a doctor’s bill. It wasn’t just that the doctor was expensive, but payoff money for his silence was too much. Nevada would have risked it for Mom’s sake, but Mom had put her shaking and weak foot down and the matter was settled.

After that, Nevada hadn’t been able to stay in that house or city. The hiding was a fact of life, but he hoped the melancholy could be alleviated with a new home and a new start. Nevada had arrived in Kensey three days ago and found an apartment whose owner didn’t mind pets. The down payment had sapped the last of his hastily scraped-together funds, so Nevada had gone job hunting.

Rosto’s café was quaint and in need of a full-time waiter. The pay was decent and the hours reasonable. But in Kensey, things worked differently than Nevada’s old home. The lord in Kensey wanted a direct bribe from every citizen; the previous lord didn’t pay any mind to peons like Nevada. Had Nevada known he had to meet with the lord directly and provide a bribe that, if accepted, was his ticket to having any sort of life in Kensey, he might have chosen to settle in a different city with a different lord.

The room fell silent quickly, almost suddenly, as a side door opened. The man who stepped into the room first was clearly a guard. He was wearing a light layer of armor, the bluish metal vibrant against his dark skin, and a large laser gun at his hip. His hard eyes surveyed the room once before he stepped aside. The second man who walked into the room looked like he was Rosto’s age, somewhere in his late fifties. His blond hair disguised whatever gray may have been present, but the crow’s feet around his blue eyes revealed his true age.

“Where is Taylor?” the lord asked his guard. They both walked to the front of the room where a very large desk built of thick, dark wood was positioned. It was intimidating, but that was probably the point.

“Off with his wolves,” the guard replied stiffly.

“That boy,” the lord grumbled. “All right, let’s get started.”

A third man stepped forward from where he had been standing off to the side of the desk. He was holding a datapad from which he read out the first name.

A woman and her two young children approached the foot of the desk. She needed help finding her layabout husband. He owed her back wages for childcare, and she wanted him to pay up. Her bribe was a gold necklace with a ruby in the center, which would have paid for the childcare handsomely.

“She’s after revenge,” Rosto explained under his breath. “Her husband was a cheat, and she wants what’s rightfully owed to her because she knows he’ll suffer for it. Lord Reyes prefers supplicants ask for something meaningful, instead of straight out asking for something purely selfish. He’s a good man.”

Nevada hoped so because he didn’t have anything nearly as nice as a ruby necklace in his bag.

For the next half hour, he watched as fancy watches, jewelry, and other expensive items were offered to Lord Reyes in return for favors. Some of them Lord Reyes agreed to, like the woman looking for childcare money, but others he denied. He didn’t return the bribes either way.

“Rosto Gregorio,” the steward called.

“That’s us,” Rosto grunted as he pushed off the wall. He strode forward, unconcerned, and Nevada hurried to follow.

They reached the desk and stopped a few feet away. Rosto bowed, and Nevada copied him a beat too late.

“How’s the café?” Lord Reyes asked, a smile on his face. It was the first smile Nevada had seen from him. He apparently was interested in what Rosto had to say.

“We’re expanding the kitchen at the moment,” Rosto immediately began to explain. “Putting in four ovens so we can sell fresh-baked goods as well. We’re also adding outside tables for the summer, which means I need additional waitstaff. I’m looking to hire Nevada here.”

Lord Reyes turned his attention to Nevada, and Nevada fought not to squirm. He needed the job, which meant Lord Reyes had to like him.

“New to the area, too, I believe,” Lord Reyes said. “Has all the appropriate paperwork been filed?”

“As of last night,” Rosto replied. “All it needs is your seal of approval.”

Lord Reyes nodded. “You’ll have to come over for dinner and tell me about your renovations,” he said to Rosto. His attention switched back to Nevada. “What have you brought to entice me to allow you to live and work in my city?”

Nevada gulped and reached into his bag. He knew what he looked like. He had a ragged bandana tied tightly over his head, his long-sleeve shirt was threadbare and unraveling at the cuffs, and his loose jeans had a darned hole in one knee. The clothes were baggy, too, but Nevada had to hide a pair of cat ears and a tail beneath his outfit. He looked poor, but hopefully that meant Lord Reyes wouldn’t look any deeper at what Nevada was hiding. Hopefully, it also meant he wasn’t expecting anything extravagant as Nevada’s bribe.

Nevada pulled the fluffiest, whitest cat he had ever fostered out of the bag and gently placed her on the desk.

“This is Princess Pea. She likes big houses and lots of attention. She’s also very particular about what blankets she sleeps on. I thought you might like to have her company.”

The waiting room had gone silent. It was even quieter than when Lord Reyes had first walked into the room. Yes, it wasn’t a ruby necklace, but surely a beautiful cat wasn’t so bad. Nevada fought to keep from turning to look around the room.

Lord Reyes’s eyes had frozen in a hard glare. “Is this a joke?” he snapped.

Nevada bit his lip, wondering how to answer that. Maybe live animals weren’t acceptable as a bribe? Before he could formulate an answer, Princess Pea took over. She sauntered across the desk toward Lord Reyes and hopped down into his lap where she promptly began to purr furiously. One of Lord Reyes’s hands involuntarily drifted to his lap where he began to pet her soft fur.

“Fine,” Lord Reyes snapped. “Six months’ probation. Rosto will come report to me then, and I’ll decide whether to accept you in my city. I’ll even make sure Princess here isn’t eaten,” he added cryptically.

Rosto bowed, one of his hands pushing on Nevada’s shoulder to force Nevada to bow also. Then that hand pushed Nevada toward the door.

“I can’t believe you got away with that!” Rosto breathed once they were out of the waiting room and headed toward the building exit.

“Got away with what?” Nevada asked, glad to be away from Lord Reyes.

Rosto laughed, but he didn’t sound amused. “You gave Lord Reyes a cat. That’s practically the ultimate insult.”

“Oh,” Nevada mumbled, feeling his shoulders droop. He had six months, at least, which was enough time to save up before he had to move to another new city.

“Where did you find that cat anyway?” Rosto asked as they reached the main doors and headed out into the parking lot.

“I find cats everywhere,” Nevada replied with a shrug. “I have a beautiful tortoiseshell looking for a new home, if you’re interested.”

Rosto unlocked the car without answering. Nevada got in and buckled his seat belt. The engine whirred to life, and the hydraulics bounced them gently into the air. The car flew toward the city down the hill, Rosto guiding them along in silence. They stopped a few minutes later outside Nevada’s apartment building.

“No more cats where Lord Reyes is concerned, okay?” Rosto said. The car idled in the air for a few seconds as the hydraulics engaged and the car drifted to the ground. “You start on Monday, 9:00 a.m. sharp.”

Nevada got out of the car and stepped onto the curb. Rosto waved goodbye before sending the car streaking upward again.

About 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.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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