Tag Archives: new release blitz

New Release Blitz: The Island Angel by Alex Slorra

The Island Angel | Alex Slorra

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: December 10, 2018

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 72,900

Genre: Contemporary, thriller, fraud, conspiracy, framed, stranded, Lindisfarne, lesbian

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Synopsis

Jessica was a successful IT Director, but now she is on the run. Accused of fraud and orchestrating her company’s downfall, she travels as far as the island of Lindisfarne in Northumberland before breaking down.

There, an American, Anna Meyer, takes her in and offers kindness without questions. As they become closer, Jessica soon discovers Anna has her own much bigger problems and a past that comes knocking.

Excerpt

The Island Angel
Alex Slorra © 2018
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
Anna’s eyes were shut tight. She held a coffee cup in both hands below her chin.

It had been a mistake, a huge rotten awful mistake, and now, as some additional sadistic punishment, Anna would have to pay. No, make that two mistakes. First, marrying him, and second, buying an overpriced dump she couldn’t afford to sell.

She remembered a third, signing the divorce papers without really understanding what they had owed on the farm. No, the last wasn’t a mistake. It was the only way out.

Forcing herself to lift her gaze above the rim of her cup, she focused on her mother across the table. Tourist season had not yet started, and they were the only people in the Crown Hotel.

“Honey, sell and come back to the States,” her mother pleaded.

“You know I’m not doing that!” Anna slammed down her cup, before noticing the shock on her mother’s weary face. “I’m sorry.”

Her mum had flown all the way from Michigan after hearing how distressed she’d been on her daily calls home. “Anna, how are you paying the mortgage at the moment?”

Anna leaned back in her seat. “In the divorce, John signed the house over to me with enough money for six months. So, right now, I only have four months left.”

“I don’t understand why you would agree when you don’t have any income. He’s a lawyer, you should’ve asked for a lot more.”

“Mom, I’d expected to get the business going, you know, I told you… And I wanted to see the back of him. But now, I couldn’t even sell up if I wanted to. When I had it valued, the farm was worth thousands less than what we paid for it. And then I found out what we owed. If I sell, after all the costs, there’d be nothing, and I’ll still owe what is on my cards.”

Anna rested her chin on her chest, and her blonde hair fell forward, concealing her eyes. She hated that her marriage had ended. Hated that all her plans to turn the old farm into a business were now broken. Her sanctuary had become a burden.

“Oh, darling, talk to John. Can’t he—?”

“Mom, I’m not talking to him.”

A moment passed before her mother continued. “Why not come back home and wait for prices to go up? They always do, you know.”

“I can’t. I feel safer here. Abbie is safer here.”

Her mother leaned forward. “Just come back. It would be all right. He won’t bother us, I’m sure.”

“He was released last month, you said. And he’s still in Michigan?”

“As far as I know… But enough about that. You know, you could just default on your house payments, and it’ll be repossessed. The banks won’t chase you.”

Anna had considered the idea of going back home, but she couldn’t face it. She knew the fear would return. Especially now he’d been released. She had to keep Abbie safe. But also, the thought of being a barista at twenty-nine, while listening to whispers about her British husband leaving her for a younger woman, made her stomach turn. She’d rather drown in the cold North Sea outside her kitchen window.

She put on a brave smile. “Well, I’ve got four months. Things will improve. Maybe I can make enough from pony trekking this summer.” She didn’t want to worry her mother more than she had, so she didn’t mention she only had one pony and the stable’s roof needed to be repaired. It was another thing she couldn’t afford.

“There you go.” Her mum squeezed her hand. “Darling, do you have a friend here to help you?”

“Yes, a few.” It was a blatant lie, but she couldn’t have her mother concerned that she was alone. The truth was the people here weren’t very friendly. They seemed to stick together in groups as if they might catch the Black Death from someone new. Being the American who had bought a croft on their holy island, she hadn’t been welcomed into the tight-knit community.

Anna reached into her pocket to retrieve her watch and check the time. The strap had broken earlier in the day, and it wasn’t as if she needed it. She had her phone, and there was always a clock somewhere. It was just, since she was sixteen, she’d always worn it. The thought reminded her of her older sister, Emma, and caused tears to well up in her eyes.

She blinked to clear them and forced herself to damp down her emotions before her mother noticed. “I’m sorry Abbie wasn’t here to say goodbye.”

“I understand. The timing wasn’t good,” her mum offered. “It was nice to see her on the weekend. It must cost a lot to have her go to boarding school?”

Anna shook her head. “It’s free. The council pays, it’s the local government. There’s no secondary school on the island and, because of the tides, it’s nearly impossible to cross and get back during a normal school day. So, kids older than ten have to go to the boarding school on the mainland. Right now, there’s only three students from the island who do it, though.”

“She’s happy there?”

“She never says she doesn’t want to go back and she’s picking up an English accent.”

“I noticed.” Her mum chuckled. “She’s becoming an English rose. Emma would be proud.”

Anna didn’t want to disagree. At fourteen, Abbie was more like a thistle than a rose, at least with her anyway. One minute they were fine and having fun, the next they would be at loggerheads. Perhaps, in the holidays, things will be better between us.

Anna remembered why she had looked at her watch and touched her mother’s arm. “It’s time for your bus.”

“I wish I could have stayed longer.” It was her mum’s turn to lie. Anna knew her mother thought England was too cold, as well as expensive and inconvenient.

Anna’s mother got up and took hold of the handle of her cabin bag. “I know you don’t want my help with money, but it’s there if you need it. And do come home. I worry about you and Abbie.”

“I know. But you don’t need to. We’re fine, really.”

Outside, they hugged goodbye. It was still pretty cold for mid-May, and the wind cut through the fibres of Anna’s burgundy all-weather coat. She buried her hands in her pockets and watched as her mother boarded the small bus that would cross the mile-long causeway back to the mainland before the tide covered it.

Anna’s hair was blowing into her eyes. She brushed the wavy strands aside, before bursting into tears and darting back in the direction of her home.

Hurrying through the small village with her head down, she soon left the few buildings of the hamlet behind.

The island was small, only a few miles in both directions. In the winter, no more than a few hundred people braved the North Sea storms. Spring was not much better, with high tides and cold easterly winds from Norway. It was a suffering romantic’s paradise. For Anna, only the suffering part seemed true now. She passed the ruins of the old monastery, said to be the birthplace of Christianity in Britain. Beyond it, waves crashed against the rocky coastline.

She tried to put her predicament into words, but all she could think of was a swimming lesson from her grandfather at his cabin in Michigan. As was the tradition, Grandpa Brent had the job of teaching the younger family members how to swim. Anna had begged her way out of swimming until, at eight years old, her mother insisted she must learn. It was apparently a necessary life skill.

So, there she was standing in her newly purchased white-and-pink one-piece at the end of the dock with Grandpa Brent behind her. He was explaining how to move her arms and legs. Looking back, she should have questioned why the man was fully dressed. Next thing she knew, he’d picked her up by her waist and had thrown her off the end of the dock into the lake.

Anna would have drowned if it wasn’t for the end of a bamboo fishing rod the old idiot offered her when she managed to surface. She’d desperately grabbed the thin yellow pole and used it to get back to the dock. Sobbing and hunched over, having literally been fished out of the water, she looked at the person she had trusted and screamed at him before running back into the cabin where her mother and older sister were making lunch. She still hadn’t learned how to swim and, now, she felt like she was underwater again.

On the exposed barren land, she followed a single-track road that hugged the jagged coast until Lindisfarne Castle could be seen on the south-eastern corner of the island. It was perched on a pinnacle, half-hidden by sea mist.

Anna found some solace in the old fortress, knowing it had been there for four hundred years, withstanding all that had been thrown at it. But more so, it comforted her knowing people had lived, worked, and survived in its walls. If they could, so could she. She turned down a narrow muddy lane and scampered towards the eighteenth-century farmhouse that was her home.

Meet the Author

Alex is a lesbian fiction novelist based in the UK. She grew up in Canada and completed a BSc degree in Nova Scotia, before moving back to work in central London. Alex has also lived in the United States and France.

Since a young age, she has consumed a mixture of historical fiction, fantasy, and romance. Alex enjoys music creation, photography, painting, and the guitar, but most of all, things she doesn’t understand.

For her, writing is a way to inspire virtues that should happen more often. Follow Alex on Twitter.

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New Release Blitz: Yield by Mickie B. Ashling

Yield | Mickie B. Ashling

Bay Area Professionals #5

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Publisher: Mickie B. Ashling

Release Date: 13/11/2018

Heat Level: 5 – Erotica

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 275 words

Genre: Erotica, BDSM

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Synopsis

Yield
A Sequel to Forged in Trust
Bay Area Professionals #5

A promising encounter takes a dark turn.

Captain Sami Soros and Father Jay Blackstone cross paths at a major European hub. When systems shut down due to a cyber-attack, flights are delayed and the resulting chaos is unprecedented.

After having served three tours in Afghanistan, recently discharged Sami struggles with his new civilian status. Emotionally depleted, and dangerously edgy, he views most of his fellowmen with utter contempt.

Jay is returning to his parish in San Francisco after a month-long retreat meant to shore up a crumbling vocation. All vestiges of spirituality melt away when he sets eyes on Sami.

They begin a clandestine affair fueled by a shared addiction to extreme forms of BDSM. Their relationship goes off the rails, and Jay reaches out to Rino Duran, a former seminarian. With the help of Dr Ethan Marshall, Rino’s full-time Dom, the established couple attempt to separate truth from lies to give Jay and Sami a shot at happiness.

This novel can be read as a standalone.

Excerpt

Chapter 1

February 2018

Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport is crowded on any given day, but the scene unfolding when I walked off the Jetway into the arrival area was absolute pandemonium. Twelve hours ago, the computer running the intricate network of arrivals and departures at this gigantic European hub—ranked third busiest in number of total passengers per year—had been hacked.

The domino effect of delayed or canceled flights resulted in a maelstrom of missed connections, lost baggage, and queue upon queue of clueless passengers looking for solutions. Weddings, honeymoons, funerals, river cruises, bus tours, reunions, and once-in-a-lifetime business opportunities were too important to be derailed by a bunch of dark-web bandits. Normally efficient and accommodating personnel were inundated with impossible requests, and tempers were pushed to the limit.

I’d expected a two-hour layover before catching my flight back to San Francisco via Chicago, but my trip from northern Spain had been delayed by an unexpected snowstorm. The result was catastrophic in terms of connections, and I was one among thousands trying to find my way home. There was no point in browbeating anyone for better results as my angry voice would fall on deaf ears.

According to the giant monitors advising weary travelers of time and gate changes, my flight was supposed to board at Gate F6. The seats were all taken when I arrived at my destination, and a quick scan of the adjoining gates revealed more of the same. I’d end up on the floor for an undetermined amount of time unless the airline brought in more chairs.

As I considered my next move, my attention was drawn to a guy dressed from head to toe in unadulterated black. His face and hands were deeply bronzed, incongruous amidst the throng of pasty winter complexions. Squint lines radiated from wide-set eyes, and a thin scar sliced through one dark winged eyebrow. The resulting asymmetry changed the stranger from model perfect to dangerously attractive.

The month I’d recently spent at the Sanctuary of Loyola in Azpeitia, Spain, the ancestral home of St. Ignatius, had been an inspirational setting meant to reaffirm my faith and strengthen my resolve to stay the course. A great waste of time, I thought bitterly, all the while checking out the stranger’s physical attributes. When he met my gaze, my stomach clenched, and I quickly looked away, hyperaware of my thundering heartbeat.

Most sensible men would have turned their backs when confronted with temptation, but I was at my most vulnerable. Daring another look, I found him digging through his pea-green duffel. Along with his puffy jacket, the bag was taking up the adjoining seat, which could be mine for the taking. Resolved to correct the immediate problem, I stomped his way with determination. Some sixth sense must have alerted him because he lifted his head and tracked my progress with hawklike intensity.

I pointed at the spot occupied by his possessions, expecting an immediate response. Instead, his grayish-green eyes narrowed with suspicion. When I didn’t move, he clenched his jaw, gathered up his things, and dropped them on the floor by his feet.

“Thank you,” I murmured, settling on the molded plastic chair.

He ignored me.

The buzz cut, laced boots, duffel, and edgy demeanor screamed military, but the turtleneck and cargo pants gave nothing away. He wore no distinguishing pins to indicate if he was one of ours or a member of some foreign entity. Trying to ascertain more was impossible while he continued to treat me like I was an interloper. While other passengers twitched in discomfort and fiddled with electronic devices, my stranger sat with his arms and legs crossed and scanned the crowd with a predatory stare. I wasn’t qualified to judge, but I got a strong feeling he’d be a formidable fighter if pushed.

His silence was oppressive, and under normal circumstances, I would have attempted a conversation. People usually responded favorably to a cleric, but my dark shirt and white collar were packed away, replaced by more practical winter wear. A thermal undershirt, flannel top, fleece-lined jeans, and sturdy hiking boots had served me well while I tramped the snow-covered pathways in the Basque country. It also worked as a disguise, allowing me to forget I was a priest in crisis with unfinished business back home in San Francisco.

An announcement came through the loudspeaker in Dutch, followed by the same in English, French, and Spanish. There would be another two-hour delay, and free vouchers were offered to anyone interested in a light snack until we were allowed to board.

“Someone will snatch my seat if I leave,” the stranger commented irritably.

“I’ll make sure it doesn’t happen if you’ll get me something to eat.”

He glared at me. “How can I be sure you won’t run off with my things?”

Incredulous, I asked, “Do I look like a hardened criminal?”

“You look like you lost your herd somewhere in the Alps.”

“I’ve been called a shepherd on occasion.”

“Can I trust you?” he asked skeptically.

“I’m more interested in black coffee and a sandwich than whatever treasures you might have in your duffel.”

“I’ll hunt you down if you’re lying,” he warned menacingly. “Is there anything you dislike by way of food?”

I shook my head.

“Allergies?”

“No.”

“I’ll be back shortly.”

I admired his retreating figure as he walked away. Easily over six feet, he was prepossessing, drawing the eyes of men and women alike as he picked his way through the crowd.

Questioning my ethics was understandable, considering our circumstances, but it set me to thinking about my past. All my life, I’d been judged by my DNA, which, by all accounts, left much to be desired. The man who’d given me life was a masterful liar, and my mother wasn’t equipped to deal with his manipulative personality.

She was seduced, impregnated, and subsequently rushed to the altar by her indignant parents. Predictably, Jack Underwood took off when I was three, packing enough clothes for a short business trip. He never returned, and from then on, it was only a question of time before my grandparents convinced my mother to get rid of me.

I was dispatched to an orphanage in another state where I cried myself to sleep each night. The people in charge offered no explanation, but assured me I wouldn’t be there long. Blond and blue-eyed children were always scooped up first. Within months, I was adopted by the Blackstone family, who changed my name from Jack Jr. to Justin. And thus began my second incarnation.

Meet the Author

Mickie B. Ashling is the pseudonym of a multifaceted woman who is a product of her upbringing in multiple cultures, having lived in Japan, the Philippines, Spain, and the Middle East.

Fluent in three languages, she’s a citizen of the world and an interesting mixture of East and West. A little bit of this and a lot of that have brought a unique touch to her literary voice she could never learn from textbooks.

By the time Mickie discovered her talent for writing, real life got in the way, and the business of raising four sons took priority. With the advent of e-publishing—and the inevitable emptying nest—dreams of becoming a published writer were resurrected and she’s never looked back.

She stumbled into the world of men who love men in 2002 and continues to draw inspiration from their ongoing struggle to find equality and happiness in this oftentimes skewed and intolerant world.

Her award-winning novels have been called “gut-wrenching, daring, and thought-provoking.” She admits to being an angst queen and making her men work damn hard for their happy endings.

Mickie currently resides in a suburb outside Chicago.

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New Release Blitz: Stay A Little Longer by Jess Bryant

Stay A Little Longer | Jess Bryant

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Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: November 19, 2018

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 56100

Genre: Contemporary, LGBT, in the closet, coming out, being outed, law enforcement, musician

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Synopsis

Country music superstar, Trent Thorne is on the run. What he’s kept hidden from the world is no longer a secret. He trusted the wrong person, a man he’d stupidly thought he was in love with, and instead of a happily ever after all he’d gotten was outed. Unwilling to sit around and watch his private life get plastered all over the news, Trent hits the road and somehow ends up in his best friend Lemon’s small hometown of Fate, Texas.

Lance Nichols knows a thing or two about hiding. He’s so deep in the closet he can’t even see daylight. The former womanizer finally admitted the truth to himself a few years ago but he never thought he’d be able to say the words aloud, not to his family, not to his friends, and certainly not to his secret celebrity crush when the guy stumbles awkwardly into his life.

Fate brought these two together, but will it also tear them apart? One newly outed man refuses to go back in the closet. The other can’t imagine coming out of his.

Excerpt

Stay a Little Longer
Jess Bryant © 2018
All Rights Reserved

Fuckin’ Heath motherfuckin’ Barber could go fuck himself.

Trent Thorne had been betrayed by a man he’d thought he could trust. The man he’d considered his best friend. The man who he’d convinced himself he was in love with. The man who he’d been delusional enough to believe might be in love with him too.

He white-knuckled the steering wheel and cursed his ex-best friend for the millionth time. He was an idiot. An idiot to have ever thought Heath reciprocated his feelings. An idiot to have ever said those three little words, to have ever said a thing about how he felt or who he was. A major idiot for ever having believed he could have it all.

He’d told Heath his biggest secret. The one thing he kept from everyone but a trusted few in his inner circle. Nobody on the outside knew. Not his record label or his band. Certainly, not the millions of people that bought his albums or the legions of women who threw themselves at him. He’d told Heath he was gay, and it had turned out to be the biggest mistake of his life.

Heath’s reaction to his confession had been swift and brutal. He’d recoiled, and he’d called Trent a liar. He’d said Trent had been lying to him from the moment they met. He’d said Trent had been lying to him every day for two years. Been lying ever since he’d hired the retired professional athlete as his trainer and then his personal assistant. Heath had been the person in his life he was closest to, only he’d said he didn’t know Trent at all.

And the thing was, Trent hadn’t been able to deny it. Of course, Heath didn’t know him. Very few people could say they did. Not the real Trent. Not Trenton James Thorne, Texas native, long-lost brother and exiled son with an unhealthy fear of firearms and dying alone. Because to be Trent Thorne, country music superstar, charmer and all-around lady’s man, he couldn’t be himself.

He couldn’t be gay.

That had been made clear to him from the day he set foot in Nashville, and in the years since, covering up and hiding his truth had been as much a full-time job as performing or recording. The first time that spotlight had hit him and the crowd went wild, he would’ve sold his soul to the devil to make that feeling last.

In a lot of ways, he knew now that he had.

He’d sold himself out for the money and the fame and the success of being worshipped by a bunch of strangers. Because he’d just wanted to play his music and he’d thought it was the only way. Because his manager, his record label, and his throng of adoring fans wanted the Trent Thorne who wiggled his hips and winked at all the girls, who sang bro-country anthems about hooking up with hot chicks down by the lake and crooned about soft bodies in moonlight.

Nobody wanted the real Trent Thorne. They never had. They never would.

The cell phone vibrating in the center console of his rental called him a liar now too. It hadn’t stopped ringing all day. Not since the news broke. It seemed the entire fucking world wanted a piece of the real Trent Thorne now, and it was all because he’d trusted the wrong person, fallen for the wrong person, shown his true self to someone who hadn’t liked what they’d seen.

Heath had fuckin’ outed him.

Considering it was his life being broadcast over every entertainment outlet in the western hemisphere, Trent was a little fuzzy on the details of how it had happened. He’d woken up to his ringing phone this morning. His manager, Rick, had said something about Heath telling a friend who told a friend who told someone who wasn’t a friend… or something like that.

It sounded so cliché. High school drama multiplied to the umpteenth level. Trent almost could have laughed. Almost. All of his carefully laid plans, skillfully guarded secrets, and he’d been outed by a game of telephone gone awry.

The entire fuckin’ world knew he was gay now, which meant life as he knew it was over.

Just that fast and just that easily, he was done in Nashville. He knew it. Had always known it would be the end of his career if he trusted the wrong person with his true identity and it got out.

But he’d thought he was in love with Heath, which was just so goddamn ridiculous in the bright light of today that he had no explanation for how he could have so monumentally screwed up.

Meet the Author

Jess Bryant is an avid indoorswoman. A city girl trapped in a country girl’s life, her heart resides in Dallas but her soul and roots are in small-town Oklahoma. She enjoys manicures, the color pink, and her completely impractical for country life stilettos. She believes that hair color is a legitimate form of therapy, as is reading and writing romance. She started writing as a little girl but her life changed forever when she stole a book from her aunt’s Harlequin collection and she’s been creating love stories with happily ever afters ever since.

Jess holds a degree in Public Relations from the University of Oklahoma and is a lifetime supporter of her school and athletic teams. And why not? They have a ton of National Championships! She may be a girlie girl but she knows her sports stats and isn’t afraid to tell you that your school isn’t as cool as hers… or that your sports romance got it all wrong.

For more information on Jess and upcoming releases, contact her at JessBryantBooks@gmail.com or follow her on her many social media accounts for news and shenanigans.

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New Release Blitz: A Deceptive Alliance by Sydney Blackburn

A Deceptive Alliance | Sydney Blackburn

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Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: November 12, 2018

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 37200

Genre: Fantasy, twins, slow burn, royalty, cross-dressing, road trip, arranged marriage

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Synopsis

Kel and his twin sister Isabel have traded places before—to escape lessons, to prank their royal cousins, and for Kel to flirt with handsome men at royal balls.

But when Isabel runs away in tears shortly before her proxy wedding to Prince Darin of Pervayne, Kel takes her place, knowing he could cause serious problems between Pervayne and their home kingdom of Karleed if discovered.

Isabel will show up—eventually—and take her rightful place and no one will ever know. The question is, will Isabel arrive before Kel falls hopelessly in love with the servant his sister’s husband has sent along?

What if Kel isn’t the only one pretending to be someone else?

Excerpt

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A Deceptive Alliance
Sydney Blackburn © 2018
All Rights Reserved
Chapter One
Kel was as nervous as any bride as he prepared to take his sister’s wedding vows to Prince Darin of Pervayne. More specifically, the prince’s proxy, a duke to whom Kel had never been introduced.
It wasn’t the first time he’d dressed as his twin, but never for occasions of state—her wedding, of all things!—and never before had the consequences of discovery been so great.
Twins were considered an ill omen in the kingdom of Pervayne, so Kel had been sequestered upon the arrival of the foreigners in a tower that had fallen into disuse. Isabel, who had always known that, as the king’s niece, her marriage would be arranged, had seemed resigned to her fate right until a few hours ago. She’d stormed into Kel’s draughty chamber in tears and swore she would only marry for love.
Kel had tried to reason with her, but that had resulted only in Isabel accusing him of betraying her before she left in as much of a flurry of silks as she’d arrived.
When her maid, Molly, was unable to locate her mistress in order to dress her for her wedding, she’d sought out Kel. He and Isabel spent a great deal of time together, under normal circumstances, and it was reasonable to assume that, even if they weren’t in
company, Kel would know where she was. But he hadn’t.
He had donned a hooded capelet to search out Isabel’s usual haunts, without giving away his close relation to her, while Molly waited nervously in Isabel’s chambers.
Unable to find Isabel anywhere, he’d returned to her chamber, certain she must be there, letting Molly array her for the ceremony.
She wasn’t.
By that point, finding someone in the family—his cousin, the crown prince, for example—would delay the proxy wedding.
Kel and Isabel had been raised in the royal palace after being orphaned at the tender age of three. They knew almost as much about the king’s policies as his own children, their cousins. Kel understood this ceremony, proxy though it might be, was an important aspect of the treaty King Maurice of Karleed had negotiated with King William of
Pervayne.
Now Isabel was gone, the proxy wedding only an hour away, and Kel was in his sister’s undergarments with his sister’s lady’s maid. “You could simply tell the king your sister’s run off,” the maid, Molly, suggested as she combed out Kel’s hair.
“I wish it was that simple. But it’s still a much-needed political alliance and informing the prince’s envoy that ‘oops, we’ve misplaced the bride’ may be taken poorly.”
“She is twenty,” Molly said with the kind of reproof only many years of personal service could get away with. “Time she wed and got over her foolish—”
Kel nodded in the mirror, jerking the brush stroke somewhat painfully. Already his hair, normally worn in a single plait down his back, hung in loose dark waves over his shoulders. It softened the planes of his freshly-shaven jaw and angular cheekbones. “I know of her lovesickness for the gardener’s first apprentice.”
Molly tutted. “If the world did not hold a woman’s virtue higher than a man’s, she’d have got him out of her system by now.”
Kel coughed out a surprised laugh at the lady’s frankness. “You think it’s merely a passion of the flesh?”
“I’m a woman myself,” she remarked. “I know of these feelings. Many a young woman in the palace feels the same for you, I’ve no doubt.”
Kel snorted.
“Pardon my frankness, my lord, but while it is fairly common knowledge among the staff at Castlemere that your eye never falls on the fair sex, many a maid desires to be the one to ‘fix’ you. Granted, many others are relieved to know there’s a man of rank in the palace who’s safe to encounter in a dark stairwell.”
“I hadn’t realized I was so transparent,” Kel said cautiously.
“Oh it’s none of ours what the above stairs get up to,” Molly said cheerfully, adopting a broad, country accent.
“I can see her fascination with the gardener’s first apprentice, though,” he said in a thoughtful, if hesitant tone, still studying his reflection. The chemise he wore had a scooped neckline and only the thinnest of straps to hold it up. The delicacy of the fabric served to emphasize the most unladylike shape of Kel’s arms and shoulders.
Because his sister dodged needlework to join him in the yard learning swordplay, her arms were almost as muscled as his—the sleeves of her gown wouldn’t strain if they were of a close-fitting style.
Molly chuckled. “Simply to look at, he’s a fine specimen, especially when he strips down in the heat, but my mistress believes she’s in love with him.”
“Could she be? I’ve heard love is a fickle thing.”
“It is. But for people like you and the mistress, love and marriage are completely different things, my lord. Marriage is—”
“An alliance, a joining of houses,” Kel finished with her.
“You really should not be taking her place.” She lifted the frothy concoction Isabel was to take her vows in. “Come stand up and let me help you into this. Then we’ll see where we need to accentuate with some well-placed padding.”
“It’s a proxy wedding. If the groom needn’t be here, neither does Isabel,” he said, trying to hide his uncertainty of the truth of his words. “What do you know of padding? Do you dress other men in women’s clothing?”
“Naive child,” she mock scolded, dropping the heavy skirt over his head and tugging it into place around his waist. She quickly tightened the skirt strings. “You think every woman is naturally endowed with breasts ample enough, hips broad enough to suit
herself?”
“I hadn’t ever thought about it, finding neither ample breasts nor broad hips desirable,” he said. His previous adventures in Isabel’s clothing had been wrought in secret, Isabel powdering his complexion paler and lacing him into one of her awkward bodices.
The ivory skirt was full and of a rather stiff fabric that someone had spent a great deal of time sewing pale pink, ivory, and white fabric flowers to, making it seem almost fluffy. “I think you can do without hip padding,” Molly said, giving him a critical look.
She helped him pull the bodice over his head, being careful of the hair she just dressed. She tugged the lacing at the back and then moved to the wardrobe to fetch two small bags. She handed them to him. “Put these in your bodice. It’s millet, which gives a natural enough shape, but it won’t pass a squeeze test. Not that anyone should be grabbing at
your chest, anyway.”
Kel didn’t admit he was familiar with them. Nor did he ask how it was Molly knew of them. He simply did as she instructed. Today would be the first time he’d have to fool people in broad daylight. Including his own relatives.
Molly laced him up tight and fixed his hair before standing back to study him critically.

 

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Meet the Author

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Sydney Blackburn is a binary star system. Always a voracious reader, she began to write when she couldn’t find the stories she wanted to read. She likes candlelit dinners and long walks on the beach…

Oh wait, wrong profile. She’s a snarky introvert and admits to having a past full of casual sex and dubious hookups, which she uses for her stories.

She likes word play and puns and science-y things. And green curry.

Her dislikes include talking on the phone, people trying to talk to her before she’s had coffee, and filling out the “about me” fields in social media.

Besides writing, she also designs book covers for poor people.

 

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New Release Blitz: The Art of Hero Worship by Mia Kerick

The Art of Hero Worship | Mia Kerick

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Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: October 29, 2018

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 51,500

Genre: Contemporary, contemporary, bisexual, new adult, college, self-discovery, crime/school shooting, PTSD/disability, grieving/depression, family drama, violence, stalking

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Synopsis

College junior Liam Norcross is a hero. He willingly, even eagerly, risks his life to save a stranger as a murderous, deranged shooter moves methodically through the darkened theater on the Batcheldor College campus, randomly killing innocent men, women, and children.

The stranger he saves is college freshman Jason Tripp. Jase loses everything in the shooting: his girlfriend, who dies on the floor beside him, and his grip on emotional security. He struggles to regain a sense of safety in the world, finally leaving college to seek refuge in his hometown.

An inexplicable bond forms between the two men in the chaos and horror of the theater, and Liam fights to bring Jase back to the world he ran away from. When Jase returns to school, they’re drawn together as soulmates, and soon Liam and Jase fall into a turbulent romantic relationship.

However, the rocky path to love cannot be smoothed until Jase rescues his hero in return by delving into his shady past and solving the mystery of Liam’s compulsion to be everybody’s savior.

Excerpt

The Art of Hero Worship
Mia Kerick © 2018
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One

Pop-pop-pop…

At this point, he’s in the back of the theater, and the shooting hasn’t slowed down at all. Gunshots ring out steadily in the shadowy darkness…always in sets of three, letting me know where he is. I’m scared…so fucking scared…but not too scared to wonder what I did to deserve this special little slice of hell.

And I’m frozen…I can’t even move enough to swallow my spit. I know what I have to do—I have to search for Ginny, but I can’t since I’m frozen solid, like a leg of lamb in a walk-in freezer.

Pop-pop-pop…pop-pop-pop…

“I’ve been shot! Oh, sweet Jesus, I’ve been shot!”

Earsplitting blasts of sound—one, two, three. The gunshots have a life and a plan—no, a mission—all their own, to maim and kill by ripping through the flesh of everyone in this theater. I’m panting and sweating and wishing to God I knew how to pray because I’d so pray right now.

And as suddenly as it started, the shooting stops. Is it over? With the utmost caution, I exhale the breath I’ve been hanging on to so jealously…as if part of me fears I’ll never get the chance to take another. But one more wary breath moves in and out, and I know I have to get hold of myself so I can find her. Because it’s over now… yes, I think maybe it’s ov—

Pop-pop-pop…

Life-sucking and blood-spattering and gurgle-inducing, evenly spaced sets of three that are becoming so horribly predictable. I brace myself for the impact because I just know the next pop is going to come with excruciating pain that explodes in my head or my back or, if I’m lucky, my ass. Or, if I’m not so lucky, in all three places, one right after another.

This isn’t happening. It can’t be happening.

Is nineteen too old to want my mommy?

“Get down! Get on the floor!” Somebody yells. Too late for that warning. I’m already flat on the floor in the narrow space between the rows of seats; my head is bleeding all over the arm it’s resting on… My left arm? My right arm? Somebody else’s arm? Not so sure. Not so sure it matters.

“Don’t shoot me—please don’t—”

Pop-pop-pop…

“Put the gun down! Put it do-o-own!”

Pop-pop-pop…

I belly crawl forward a few inches and reach around in search of Ginny’s hand, but when I pat the floor all I can feel is a pool of blood that wasn’t there the last time I checked, and then there’s this cooling mound of flesh in its center.

“I don’t know what to do…” These words escape on a single breath followed by a few sharp coughs from an elderly man.

Pop-pop-pop…pop-pop-pop…

Annoying cough…forever suppressed.

Right after the second round of shots, when everybody had started rushing around, all frenzied and scrambling, I’d lost track of Ginny… In fact, I’d lost track of everything. Maybe because it had suddenly sunk into my stunned brain that this place was now a death chamber. My death chamber.

It seems as if so much time has passed since the first bullet whizzed past my right ear…that for a month or a year—or for my entire lifetime—I’ve been waiting for the gunshots to stop. But a tiny voice inside my head suggests that I’ve been in this living hell for less than five minutes, at most.

Pop-pop-pop…

Right after the shooting started, but before I lost Ginny, I caught a glimpse of the gunman’s silhouette against the bright stage. He’d seemed huge in his dark baggy clothing. He towered over the audience, or maybe it just seemed that way because he was pointing a long gun at us. I recognized the shooter from seeing him around campus. And when I saw his face profiled in the light—the bulging forehead, prominent nose, and receding chin—a name had sped through my brain, but soon the name was as lost to me as my girlfriend’s lax hand.

Pop-pop-pop…

The gunman doesn’t say a word; his weapon does the talking. And the deafening popping sounds are closer again, like the gun has something it wants to say to me personally…something like, “You’re gonna die today, Jason.”

“I’m gonna push on your back really hard, and I want you to squeeze as much of your body underneath the chairs as you can, got it?” The voice seems to come from a million miles away, but it’s coming from right behind me. On top of me, really. I feel his breath on the back of my neck.

Pop-pop-pop…pop-pop-pop…

“Are we going to die?” I’m not sure if I ask this or if it comes from the lips of the little old lady who’d been sitting on the other side of Ginny at the start of the play. The old lady who told us she’d come to the Harrison Theater to see her granddaughter play Ophelia in the Shakespeare in the Spring Performance Series, not to die in a hail of bullets. I know that Ginny didn’t ask the question, though. She’s been silent since the second volley of gunshots when her head slumped over unnaturally onto my shoulder, and by instinct, I’d pulled her to the floor.

Batcheldor College’s small theater has been called “an acoustic gem,” and right now, it’s ringing with the erratic sounds of screaming and moaning and crying and shouting and shooting. But most impressive is the resounding silence of the gunman, which speaks louder than words, or gunshots, ever could.

All in all, it’s noisy and confusing and crazy…the Beatles’ tune “Helter Skelter” comes to mind. This is not how I want to die. Mostly because I don’t want to die!

The guy on my back is poking a single finger into the blood on my head, then twisting in such a way that I think he’s reaching to his back…like maybe he’s smearing my blood there. I’m distracted from his action by the squealing of the fire alarm, and I find my blurry mind wondering if, in addition to the problem of a crazed gunman, we also have a fire to put out.

Would I prefer my death be a result of hungry flames or a hail of bullets?

“We’re gonna survive; just stay still. Completely still. ’Kay?” I feel the pressure on my back that he promised me, and even though it hurts to have my belly pushed into the metal rungs at the base of the seats in front of us, I feel strangely safe. He speaks into my ear. “Play dead, dude.”

Pop-pop-pop…

No, I’m not even remotely safe. But thankfully, I play dead far better than my dog Goliath did when I tried to teach him that trick at the age of seven.

The shots are already earsplitting, and growing louder, as the shooter’s heading our way. I’m so fucking scared I tremble as if I’m having a seizure, and I promised the guy lying on top of me that I’d stay still. I concentrate on taking short shallow breaths, one after another, in my effort to stop shaking. To stay frozen—the way my heart has been since I pulled Ginny to the floor and promptly let go of her hand so I could curl up into a tight fetal ball.

Somebody near me sits up, scrambles to his knees, and impulsively crawls toward the far aisle.

Pop-pop-pop…

“Bang, bang…you’re dead.” The voice comes from directly above me; it’s blank and monotone and controlled. The snicker that follows is chilling. I want nothing more than to throw the big guy off my back and run like hell toward the double doors, but I just keep on going with the short, shallow breaths and stay as still as I’ve ever been in my life. The guy on top of me is totally exposed; I can’t move because if I do, I’ll cheat him out of his life, for sure. Which is so not cool when he’s trying to save mine.

I smell blood. Never noticed the smell of blood before. It reminds me of Grandma’s penny collection…if it got spilled onto the sticky floor of the theater. The scent of old copper is everywhere like wet pennies strewn all around me on the floor.

Pop-pop-pop…

Shooter’s practically on top of us now. Don’t move…don’t move…don’t move…

“Dear God, help me!” This request seems to catch the shooter’s attention, and he turns around and steps away from us. I curse myself for feeling as relieved as I do.

Pop-pop-pop…

We wait and it seems like forever. We wait as voices beg and plead and pray and he shuts them up with bullets. We wait as the sound of shots moves to the front left near the exit, where I figure he’s shooting at anyone who tries to get out through the double doors.

And then, for a second, it’s quiet.

“Now…” The big guy whispers, but the sound seems to blast into my left ear. “We have to make our move now.” Before I agree, the heaviness of his body lifts and I feel cold and exposed. “This is our chance to get outta here…”

His hand is attached to the back of my wrist, clutching me so hard I’ll have fingerprint bruises for a week…if I live so long.

“Come on! Get up!”

“Ginny…” I whisper back. “I can’t leave Ginny.”

He reaches out to touch the flesh mound in the center of the pool of blood and whispers firmly, “Ginny’s already gone.” He releases my wrist just long enough to adjust his grip. “I worked here last year. I know how to get away. Come on…”

He pulls me to my knees and drags me. Ginny. I only think her name this time because I’m literally too petrified to speak. We crawl like two sneaky toddlers through the narrow alley between the rows of seats and then down the outside aisle, over a couple of bodies—small ones, kids’ bodies that are way too still and cool—and to a trapdoor at the base of the stage. It’s a small gray square in the wall. I never noticed it before, and I’ve been to the Harrison Theater at least five times this year to see Ginny’s roommate perform. The guy beside me pulls out a pocketknife and fiddles silently with the screws holding the little door in place.

Pop-pop-pop…

The thin slab of metal covering the small door drops to the floor and contributes a new sound to the quieting chaos. It clangs in such a way that nobody left alive in the theater could miss it.

“Where do you think you’re going?” The gunman has stopped shooting, and I hear the heavy stomping of combat boots coming toward us, down the aisle. Not running…just walking in swift, determined steps. My guardian angel grabs me and stuffs me through the opening in the base of the stage. I land on my chin in a pile of music stands. My helper isn’t far behind in squeezing his bulky frame through the small square in the wall. We’ve landed in some type of a cluttered crawl space, maybe the orchestra pit, and I struggle to make my way through the music stands in the pitch-blackness. When we’re halfway through the mess of metal, crawling through unruly stacks of folding chairs, the overhead light in the pit flicks on.

“What’s going on in the theater, you guys? It’s mega-loud in there.” A clueless college girl’s voice. I can’t see her clearly because the sudden bright light stings my eyes, making me squint.

“Get out of here, lady—just run for it!” shouts my guardian angel. We can’t run yet because we’re still trapped in a dense forest of metal.

“I see you two… I see you.” The shooter’s voice is deadly calm. “And I think I know you.”

Pop-pop-pop…

For some reason, he doesn’t climb into the orchestra pit to come after us but pushes the gun through the opening and pulls the trigger three times. Bullets ricochet off the metal chairs and stands. Again I freeze, not sure which way to go. I’m grabbed fiercely by my right forearm and dragged over the remainder of the chairs to the door.

I expect more shooting, but there’s none. Instead, that cold, creepy voice increases in volume, to assure us, “Don’t worry, I’ll find you.”

We take to our feet and start to run. Soon we’re holding hands in a narrow hallway…running for the back of the building…and then we’re outside in the breezy darkness, still clinging to each other. We sprint through the muddy grass in the direction of the parking lot.

And we stop at an old model, cherry-red muscle car—a Dodge Charger.

“Get in!” His voice is husky as he opens the passenger door, pushes me inside, and quickly shuts it. Then he scrambles over the hood to get to the driver’s side. He flings the door wide open and jumps into the seat, not gracefully, but with more speed than I could ever have imagined was possible for a guy his size. Adrenaline counts for a lot… And soon we’re driving off the college grounds, out of the supposed safety of the “Batcheldor College Bubble,” and into the real world.

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Meet the Author

Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—one in law school, another at a dance conservatory, a third studying at Mia’s alma mater, Boston College, and her lone son still in high school.

She has published more than twenty books of LGBTQ romance when not editing National Honor Society essays, offering opinions on college and law school applications, helping to create dance bios, and reviewing English papers. Her husband of twenty-five years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about this, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young people and their relationships. She has a great affinity for the tortured hero in literature, and as a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with tales of tortured heroes and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to NineStar Press for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.

Her books have been featured in Kirkus Reviews magazine, and have won Rainbow Awards for Best Transgender Contemporary Romance and Best YA Lesbian Fiction, a Reader Views’ Book by Book Publicity Literary Award, the Jack Eadon Award for Best Book in Contemporary Drama, an Indie Fab Award, and a Royal Dragonfly Award for Cultural Diversity, among other awards.

Mia Kerick is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.

Contact Mia at miakerick@gmail.com or visit at http://www.miakerickya.com to see what is going on in Mia’s world.

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New Release Blitz: Pole Position by Karen Botha

Pole Position | Karen Botha

Commitment #6

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Release Date: 24th Sept

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 196 Pages

Genre: Contemporary, MM, Romance

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Synopsis

When failing is not an option and starting first doesn’t mean you’ve won.

Judd Racing is running like a well-oiled machine with Kyle as the new boss and Elliott back in the driving seat, eager to prove to the world that his life-altering crash hasn’t left him mentally and physically broken.

So, Kyle and Elliott are on the road to a great life, until another incident on the race track brings back traumatic memories for the pair.

This latest setback reignites Elliott’s insecurities and combined with damaging obstacles we’re left asking whether Elliott’s latest accident and a bunch of hotheadedness will keep our racing superstar from earning that coveted pole position?

The continuation of Elliott and Kyle’s commitment story. Read about these sexy guys and learn whether they can face their demons, and the public, while taking another lap on the race track of life.

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Excerpt

Franco then takes over speaking at a pace in his mother tongue with much frantic gesticulating of hands. Their voices crescendo to a high whine, and I can’t stand this tension any longer. Despite my best efforts, I
have to peek at Kyle. I know what’s coming, but even in the circumstances, the pull of our shared humor is overpowering.

He’s been waiting for the exact same thing, and as soon as I dare to sneak a glance in his direction, his eyes swivel in their sockets to meet mine without his head moving. It’s almost impossible not to snicker
like two schoolboys, as inappropriate laughter surges from my chest. I manage to catch it in the back of my throat, faking a cough. Kyle rolls his eyes, which twinkle with mischief, while Chase barely notices, so
engrossed is he in the fiasco playing out in front of us.

I know it’s wrong. I know this is a serious situation, and I know it’s my son who we are trying to get out of the shit, but sometimes, really?

The best part about having Kyle with me is that together we can work through anything. And that includes lightening the shitty mood that could descend on us with all these heightened emotions at play.

I have half a mind to tell them to just take the cash and let him out. Let’s break free from this claustrophobia and game playing. But the other, more sensible half holds tight until we have no other option.

I nudge Chase. “Do you think it would help if you sign a statement?”

He shrugs. “I’d rather not have a record of this mess. I hope you’re happy.”

“Huh? That I’m happy? What have I done?”

“You starting this whole company without a clue what you’re doing. Incidents like this were bound to happen. It’s OK when you keep them to yourself, but when you start dragging others into it…”

I’m about to reply, but the arguing, which has reached shouting level,ceases, and Franco turns to us. “Axel will be released with immediate effect.” He shoots a serious glare at the constable.

“We are sorry for any miscommunication.”

I shoot Chase one final, questioning look before standing and following the rest of the troop back to sit down in that oppressive waiting room again.

“How did you manage it?”

“I threatened to expose him to his wife for an affair he is having.”

“Oh?” Kyle looks at me at exactly the same time I widen my eyes at him.

“It was a lucky guess.” Franco’s smile is wry .

Meet the Author

Ooh, where to start? I used to work in a proper job that was KILLING me — slowly! I packed it all in and retrained as a massage therapist and reflexologist which meant I had downtime to fill and I knew just the thing.

So, now I spend more hours than I work in my office conjuring up all manner of sex scenes and scrapes. I say I’m so happy because I have whichever imaginary friends with me, doing exactly what I like, when I want. Who could ask for more? Hah!

By the way, now I have NO downtime.

Please follow me, I’m on Facebook and Twitter Twatter and Instagram and I have my own website. It would be great to get some interaction from you guys. Much as I love my imaginary friends, it’s great to speak to real people too.

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New Release Blitz: Out In The End Zone by Lane Hayes

Out in the End Zone | Lane Hayes

Out in College #2

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Release Date: October 10

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 44,000

Genre: Romance, New Adult, Bisexual, College romance, Football, Coming out

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Synopsis

Evan di Angelo is an upbeat, good-natured goofball who loves his friends and family… and football. A traumatic accident may have ended his hopes of playing professionally, but he’s made the most of his four years on the field at a small Southern California college.

He’s learned the hard way to embrace change, take chances and try things outside of his comfort zone…like agreeing to play fake boyfriends for someone else’s senior project.

Mitch Peterson knows that being his authentic self is the path to true happiness. He’s grown from a shy, quiet kid from a broken home to an out and proud budding internet sensation bound for grad school. An awesome senior project is the key.

It’s unlikely anyone will believe the hunky, straight athlete is Mitch’s new lover, but it’s worth a shot. However, as their tentative friendship blossoms into unexpected attraction, the lines between reality and fiction blur for both men.

Evan is forced to face old demons and decide if he has the courage to take the next step and come out in the end zone.

Excerpt

Mitch scoffed. “Cooperate, please. This is your intro. Maybe you should put your arm around me and kiss my cheek.”

“Now?”

“Yes. This is a rehearsal, so…go for it.”

I moved to his side, slipped my arm around his waist, and kissed his cheek. His scruff threw me off stride. It wasn’t noticeable because his facial hair was blond, but I could feel it. He smelled and felt different from anyone I’d ever kissed before. Sure, I’d kissed male relatives. I was part Italian. No one in my family shied from physical contact. But a hug and kiss on each cheek from my Uncle Gianni was different from kissing an attractive man. I caressed his cheek impulsively and then leaned in to sniff him the way I’d wanted to since the party. “Mmm.”

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“You smell good. I’ve never kissed a guy I wasn’t related to who had a five o’clock shadow.”

Mitch gave me a funny look. “You kissed me yesterday at lunch.”

“Yeah, but you haven’t shaved since this morning, right? The texture is like sandpaper but in a good way. I like it,” I assured him.

He looked flustered for a second but recovered quickly. “Well, that’ll make the real kiss easier then.”

“Right. When do we kiss, and what’s the intensity level supposed to be? G, PG, PG-13? Or are we going straight to the nasty?” I teased.

“Ha. G is peck on the cheek, which we just covered. PG is peck on the lips. So somewhere in between that and PG-13 works.”

“Got it. Maybe we should practice first,” I said.

“Um…sure.” Mitch turned around and gestured toward the bar stools at the island. “We can sit there, and I’ll set up the tripod a foot or so from where you’re standing now.”

“We don’t have to be in exact position. I just need to get used to touching you. It would be the same with anyone. Guy or girl.”

Okay, fine. I wanted to do it again. I’d thought about him nonstop since the party last weekend. And that throwaway kiss yesterday at the restaurant had opened a Pandora’s box. I was consumed now. I didn’t want to practice kissing him. I had to or I’d go crazy.

“Maybe you’re right. Um…okay. You can kiss me,” he said in a low voice.

“Well, you have to participate,” I chided as I stepped into his space.

“I’m…yes. Do you want to go first? Like…” Mitch set his hand on my hip and inched closer still. “This?”

I lifted my right hand and hovered it above his ear for a moment before threading my fingers through his hair. He suddenly looked nervous, which somehow worked in my favor. I held his gaze, then moved forward and gently pressed my lips to his.

And fuck, it felt amazing to be here again. I tilted my head slightly, loving the intoxicating contrast of his soft lips and scratchy chin. Mitch closed his eyes and hooked his arms around my neck so we stood toe to toe and chest to chest.

All the ways this felt different no longer applied. I knew what to do here. I was practically a fucking expert.

Meet the Author

Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full-time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters.

These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and won First Prize in the 2016 and 2017 Rainbow Awards.

She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in a newly empty nest.

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