Tag Archives: private eye

Teaser: Prince of Killers by Layla Reyne

Prince of Killers | Layla Reyne

Fog City #1

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Cover Design: Cate Ashwood Designs

Cover Photography: Wander Aguiar Photography

Publisher: Self-Published

Release Date (Ebook & Print): June 10, 2019

Subgenre: M/M Romantic Suspense

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45178448-prince-of-killers

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Blurb

No indiscriminate killing. No collateral damage. No unvetted targets.

These are the rules Hawes Madigan lives by. Rules that make being Fog City’s Prince of Killers bearable. Soon, he’ll be king—of an organization of assassins—and the crown has never felt heavier. Until the mysterious Dante Perry swaggers into his life.

Dante looks like a rock god and carries himself like one too, all loose-limbed and casually confident. He also carries a concealed weapon, a private investigator’s license, and a message for the prince. Someone inside Hawes’s organization is out to kill the future king.

In the chaos that follows the timely warning, Hawes comes to depend on Dante. On his skills as an investigator, on the steadiness he offers, and on their moments alone when Hawes lets Dante take control. As alliances are tested and traitors exposed, Hawes needs Dante at his back and in his bed. But if the PI ever learns Hawes’s darkest secret, Hawes is sure to get a knife to the heart—and a bullet to the brain—instead.

There’s no shortage of twists and turns in this new romantic suspense trilogy from Layla Reyne. Prince of Killers is book one of three. Fair warning: buckle up, cliffhangers ahead!

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Excerpt

“How do I trust you won’t kill me in my sleep?” Hawes sniped, more out of sexual frustration than any real fear. He felt more like himself than he had all night. Steady again.

“Same way I’m going to have to trust you not to kill me. You are the Prince of Killers, aren’t you?”

Hawes bit his tongue, fighting the words that wanted to form. Twice in one night. Hawes’s hate for the title crested once more. Hate that he was the prince when it was actually the three of them—him, Holt, and Helena—running the organization. Hate that he’d been forced into the role because he was the oldest, technically, and hate that when someone had to make the tough decisions, it was always him. He’d been the prince since he was sixteen and had given the doctors permission to turn off his parents’ ventilators when neither his grandparents, who were absent at the time, nor his siblings could make the call.

Cold as ice, the stories went.

He hated the killer part just as much. It implied malice, evilness, and cruelty when Hawes had strived to take those variables out of the equation. He knew what he was, what his family did, but there was a place for them, a need for assassins in a world where people didn’t play by the rules and legal justice missed its mark. He’d felt like a killer only twice in his life—that morning in the hospital when he’d become the prince, and that night three years ago when he’d spilled an innocent woman’s blood. A day that had somehow brought into his life the man now stretched out on his couch. And Hawes needed him to think he was the Prince of Killers, for both their sakes.

For now.

Layla Reyne - Author Photo

About the Author

Author Layla Reyne was raised in North Carolina and now calls San Francisco home. She enjoys weaving her bi-coastal experiences into her stories, along with adrenaline-fueled suspense and heart-pounding romance.

When she’s not writing stories to excite her readers, she downloads too many books, watches too much television, and cooks too much food with her scientist husband, much to the delight of their smushed-face, leftover-loving dogs. She is a 2019 RWA® RITA® Finalist in Contemporary Romance (Mid-Length) and was a 2016 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist in Romantic Suspense.

Social Media

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AMZ: https://www.amazon.com/author/LaylaReyne

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/layla-reyne

 

 

Review & Blog Tour: A Body In The Bathhouse Guest Post from Brad Shreve

A Body In The Bathhouse | Brad Shreve

Mitch O’Reilly Mysteries #1

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Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK 

Universal Link

Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited

 Length: 65,000 words approx.

Cover Design: UmeWorks

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Blurb

On the verge of bankruptcy, private investigator, Mitch O’Reilly takes any gig that comes his way, while running his Eye Spy Supply shop in a forgotten Los Angeles strip mall.

After two tours in Afghanistan, Mitch’s life amounts to operating his store, coping with his fun-loving sister, Josie, and scoring with anonymous men he meets online. That changes when he gets a break.

A beloved comedy scriptwriter is murdered at a bathhouse, and Mitch is hired to prove the innocence of the club custodian. Adapting from a two-bit gumshoe to a high-profile sleuth proves more challenging than he expected.

As if Mitch didn’t have enough to deal with, charismatic bathhouse operator, Trent Nakos, enters his life. After a heartbreaking past, the manager is the definition of a man the brooding P.I. actively avoids.

Following leads from sprawling mansions to sketchy hoods is demanding but becomes more troublesome when deadly threats jeopardize the biggest opportunity of his career.

 

A Little History About Bathhouse Culture

Some people have been curious why I wrote a mystery that takes place in a bathhouse. The answer to that is simple. It seems, unlike many authors who tell me they struggle to come up with titles to their novels, I have the opposite problem. The titles hit me and then I must work a story around it. Not the easiest route, but it’s what works for me.

I don’t know when or where the title A Body in a Bathhouse hit me, but I knew right away I had to use it.

Once I decided to write a mystery involving a bathhouse that’s where the fun began. I learned about the history of bathhouses and bathhouse culture. The more I learned, the more I wanted to learn. The history is long. The early Greeks and Romans made public baths part of their culture around 20 BC. Some were large enough to hold 600 people. But those aren’t the types of baths I’m talking about, and I don’t have enough space for 2,000 years of history. 

Gay bathhouses showed up in the U.S. around the turn of the 20th century. Many old traditional Turkish baths built small private rooms for gay men to use. American’s first police raid of a bathhouse was in 1903 in New York City and 23 men were arrested and 7 were sentenced to long-term prison sentences.  

For decades bathhouses were a safer, though not safe, place for gay men to meet others for sex. 

Modern gay bathhouses sprouted up in the 1950s. These supplied not only a sexual outlet, but social as well. Men could be themselves around other gay men, with no fear of blackmail or harassment. When men had sex, it was without the need for secrecy or fear of judgement. There was still the fear of raids and arrests, but they were safer than public parks and restrooms. 

Gay bathhouses hit their heyday in the late 1960s and 1970s when they became fully licenses business. With the advent of the gay liberation movement, many became the hub of the gay community, offering pride events, voter registration, and plenty of entertainment. Bette Midler got her start performing in bathhouses. One time she was accompanied on the piano by Barry Manilow. “Bathhouse Betty” performed at the Continental Baths that opened in 1968 and included cabaret shows, disco dancing, an Olympic size swimming pool, held 1,000 men, and, of course, had plenty of small private rooms.

The glory days of bathhouses ended in the 1980s with the advent of the AIDS epidemic. During the 1970s, there were as many as 30 gay bathhouses in San Francisco. When the epidemic led the city to outlaw club sexual activity in 1984, the last one within the city closed in 1987. Before the epidemic there were about 200 bathhouses nationwide; today there are less than 70.  

One challenge of bathhouses today is after the 1980s they were no longer social centers and reverted to nothing more than safe places for anonymous sex. With the advent of the internet and applications like Grindr, they are less needed, and clubs close every year. Hell, sometimes all you need is to catch another fella’s eye while in the supermarket. Something unheard of not long ago. 

I cover much of this in A Body in a Bathhouse though in a more entertaining way than this history lesson. Today’s bathhouses know if they continue to only hand out towels at a small fee for men looking for sex they will not survive. To continue, they will need to return to the days of being a social and cultural center. Many clubs are making the effort, how many will succeed only time will tell.

Blog Tour

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 About The Author

After growing up in Michigan and North Carolina, Brad Shreve criss-crossed the country while working in the hotel industry. In addition to working in hotels as a bellman, front desk clerk, and reservation call center director, he’s managed coffee houses, waited tables, sold potato chips off a truck and even hocked pre-burial funeral plans.

He credits Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak for developing his interest in art and storytelling. He’d spend hours on the floor sketching and painting and writing stories. My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George gave him his first inklings that he’d like to be a novelist someday.

In addition to perpetually thinking of how to kill people, he’s a proud dad, a beach bum, and coffee house squatter.

He currently lives in the Los Angeles South Bay with his husband, Maurice.

Website/Newsletter Sign Up:  www.bradshreve.com

Facebook Group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/bradshreve

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bradshreveauthor


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Book Blitz: A Body In The Bathhouse by Brad Shreve

A Body In The Bathhouse | Brad Shreve

Mitch O’Reilly Mysteries #1

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Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK 

Universal Link

Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited

 Length: 65,000 words approx.

Cover Design: UmeWorks

BodyInBathhouseCover.png

Blurb

On the verge of bankruptcy, private investigator, Mitch O’Reilly takes any gig that comes his way, while running his Eye Spy Supply shop in a forgotten Los Angeles strip mall.

After two tours in Afghanistan, Mitch’s life amounts to operating his store, coping with his fun-loving sister, Josie, and scoring with anonymous men he meets online. That changes when he gets a break.

A beloved comedy scriptwriter is murdered at a bathhouse, and Mitch is hired to prove the innocence of the club custodian. Adapting from a two-bit gumshoe to a high-profile sleuth proves more challenging than he expected.

As if Mitch didn’t have enough to deal with, charismatic bathhouse operator, Trent Nakos, enters his life. After a heartbreaking past, the manager is the definition of a man the brooding P.I. actively avoids.

Following leads from sprawling mansions to sketchy hoods is demanding but becomes more troublesome when deadly threats jeopardize the biggest opportunity of his career.

Excerpt

Trance music, which I hate, blared into the streets from the club. Since I hadn’t been dancing in West Hollywood since college, walking into Euphoria was surreal. The faces were different, but nothing had changed.

The bartender yelled over the music, “What can I get for you?”

“A Rolling Rock,” I yelled back. I gave him my credit card and told him I’d run a tab.

Near the bar was a platform where a go-go boy was dancing. He was young, scrawny, pasty white, and had a red mohawk. The crowd paid no attention, and he frowned. I made a mental note to tip him on my way out.

Further back in the bar, another dancer dominated the crowd’s attention. I recognized his rich, dark, perfectly defined body from Club Silver Lake’s security videos. What got him the most attention was what he was packing below. His thong had to have been custom made. It wasn’t possible for him to fit into something off the shelf.

“Is that Christian?” I yelled to the bartender.

“If you’re asking, you must be from out of town, or you don’t get out much,” he hollered back.

“Touché,” I replied. “What’s his usual?”

“A tequila shot with a Corona chaser.”

“Set them up for me for his next break,” I said, thinking it might be necessary to loosen him up before questioning.

I grabbed the three drinks—his tequila and chaser, and my beer—and moved to a table near Christian. He rolled his magnificent stomach, then turned and shook his bubble butt at the crowd. Cheers drowned the music as he played with his honey-colored thong—pulling it down just enough to throw them into a frenzy, then raising it again to groans of disappointment. His face was rugged yet boyish with his wide smile and deep dimples. The bucks were flying.

Christian stepped off the platform as I downed the last of my beer. I grabbed his drinks and rushed behind him, through the rows of sweaty men, to the back of the bar. I was too slow. He entered his dressing room before I could catch him.

I knocked.

The door opened. “What?”

“I ordered these for you.”

He took the tequila shot from my hand and downed it, then grabbed the beer. “Thanks,” he snapped and closed the door.

I knocked again.

The door flew open. “Thanks for the drinks,” he shouted, “but I’m on break and need my space.”

I held out my hand to shake. “Hi, Christian. I’m Mitch O’Reilly. I–—”

I narrowly escaped him cutting off my hand as he slammed the door shut.

I was shocked that he actually opened the door when I knocked again, and I stuck out my foot so he couldn’t slam it again. “Not to disappoint you, but I’m not here as a fan. I’m the private investigator hired to look into Victor Verboom’s murder.”

He took the business card I held out and tossed to the floor. The room was nothing more than a closet with a single wooden chair, and a bookcase stacked with clothing.

“What do you want?”

“You were at Club Silver Lake the night he was murdered.”

“Yeah. What of it?” His voice was smoky.

“I’m meeting with all the suspects.”

He turned his head quickly. “I’m a suspect?”

“You were there, weren’t you?”

“Uh, yes.” He looked back and forth through the club and took a step back. “I’ll put some clothes on, and we’ll go to my car. Meet me out front.”

I wasn’t on the sidewalk long before he trotted out wearing jeans and a white tank top. He motioned me to follow him to a light blue Mustang. It looked new. “When I can’t get any peace in there, I come out here on my breaks.”

“Nice car. Not a bad ride for a nightclub dancer. You must do pretty well on that platform.”

“Screw the car. What do you want?”

 About The Author

After growing up in Michigan and North Carolina, Brad Shreve criss-crossed the country while working in the hotel industry. In addition to working in hotels as a bellman, front desk clerk, and reservation call center director, he’s managed coffee houses, waited tables, sold potato chips off a truck and even hocked pre-burial funeral plans.

He credits Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak for developing his interest in art and storytelling. He’d spend hours on the floor sketching and painting and writing stories. My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George gave him his first inklings that he’d like to be a novelist someday.

In addition to perpetually thinking of how to kill people, he’s a proud dad, a beach bum, and coffee house squatter.

He currently lives in the Los Angeles South Bay with his husband, Maurice.

Website/Newsletter Sign Up:  www.bradshreve.com

Facebook Group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/bradshreve

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bradshreveauthor


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Release Day Blitz: Dantès Unglued by Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott

Title:  Dantès Unglued

Series: Ward Security Series #2

Author: Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott

Publisher:  Drake and Elliott Publishing LLC

Release Date: January 26th

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 72k

Genre: Romance, Thriller/Suspense,

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

When private investigator, Shane Stephens, is hired by the mayor of Cincinnati to track down the hacker who has been threatening him, Shane is sure this is the opportunity to launch the Merleau Detection Agency into the big time. He even convinces Rowe Ward of Ward Security to loan him one of his best IT specialists, Quinn Lake.

Shane, a man who prefers casual intimacy, is surprised by his attraction to the moody computer geek, but when Quinn suggests they have fun for the month he’s on loan, Shane happily agrees. Both men are expecting nothing more than a good time.

But the investigation takes an unexpected turn and they quickly discover they are facing more than a hacker out to ruin the mayor’s re-election chances. And as they spend more time together, they realize their relationship may be a lot more than just a good time.

With only weeks until the election, Shane and Quinn race to gather the proof they need while dodging bullets and possibly…falling in love.

Excerpt

After one quick knock on Rowe’s door, he stepped inside without waiting for him to call since he was already expected. But he stopped short when he saw the tall man standing next to Rowe’s desk, his hands on his slender hips as he grinned down at Rowe. Quinn couldn’t stop his eyes from quickly sweeping over his broad shoulders and chest that tapered into a narrow waist. His eyes snapped back up to find a pair of brown eyes that twinkled as they finished checking him out as well.

“Sorry,” Quinn mumbled, instantly taking a step backward. “I can come back.” Rowe rarely saw clients. He had customer representatives that handled talking to the clients. Of course, with Rowe’s lack of a filter, it was better if he didn’t talk to the new clients directly.

“No, come in, Quinn,” Rowe said sharply. He stood behind his desk, drawing Quinn’s gaze to his shorter but broader frame. His dark red hair stood up slightly as if he’d been running his fingers through it. Quinn never took that as a particularly good sign.

With a quick jerk of his head, Quinn stepped in and shut the door behind him. The other man was smiling at him, that assessing look still in his eyes, and Quinn didn’t want to think about the fact that he was dying to take another longer look at him, but not with the freaking boss in the room.

“Quinn Lake, this is Shane Stephens. He’s a private investigator with The Merleau Detection Agency,” Rowe introduced.

Shane extended his hand to Quinn and Quinn clenched his teeth, trying to hide his discomfort at taking Shane’s hand. His own palms were sweaty, making the momentary contact awkward. Why the fuck was he always so damn awkward around hot guys?

“Rowe tells me you’re the best,” Shane said, releasing his hand.

Quinn couldn’t help the skeptical look he shot at Rowe, who only shrugged as he sat down again. “Well, I said you <em>and</em> Gidget are the best.”

“Is this about a job?”

“Sit, Quinn.” Rowe absently waved toward the two chairs in front of his desk. He shuffled some papers around without seeming to actually look at them, placing them in piles at the edge of his desk.

Shooting one last uncertain look at Shane, Quinn moved to the farthest chair and sat, his tablet clenched in both hands. His mind raced as he tried to figure out why he’d been called into this meeting. Clients didn’t meet with Rowe, and Quinn didn’t meet with clients unless they’d already been assigned a bodyguard. And while they’d worked with some private investigators in the past, Rowe wasn’t usually involved. He had a company to run.

“Shane recently acquired a client who is the victim of a hacker,” Rowe started.

Quinn looked up at Shane, who was still standing beside Rowe’s desk, his mind finally turning away from too many questions to a problem he could understand. “Identity theft? Bank accounts drained?”

“No, not yet.” Shane shook his head, some of his dark curly hair falling forward against his temple. “At least, not that we’ve uncovered.”

“Then how do you know this client was hacked?”

“There are other signs…but I can’t go into it.”

Quinn frowned for a second. That certainly wasn’t going to make his job easier. “Well, do you just need improved protection? Alerts on accounts? We’ve got a comprehensive list of things we can do to help shore up the client’s account protection and privacy.”

“Shane isn’t looking for protection from the hacker for the client.” Rowe paused until Quinn looked back at him. “His client has hired him to track down the identity of the hacker.”

“Whoa…” Quinn said on an exhale, sitting back in his chair. That…that was not an easy task. Most hackers were pretty damn good at not being found. You had to be if you wanted to survive as one. If you sucked, you were usually snagged by the FBI pretty damn fast. Quinn would know. He’d started hacking at a young age—not stealing other people’s money but just breaking through security systems because he could. It took the feds a solid five years to catch him. But his boss knew all this. Rowe knew everything about the people working for him.

“We’re not equipped to handle this level of…” Shane frowned at Rowe’s computer as if he blamed it for his problems. “Well, we’re not staffed yet to handle computer things like this. I can do some of the forensic research in accounting matters, but I need a computer genius like you.”

“That’s why I agreed to loan you to Shane and his business partner, Ethan, for one month,” Rowe announced.

Quinn was out of his seat in a shot, hovering over the edge of the desk as he looked down at his boss. Pain shot through his chest, and he was suddenly having trouble catching his breath. Panic clouded all of his thoughts. He loved working for Ward Security. He’d been there for just less than two years, and he’d never found another place where he’d felt like he fit so damn perfectly. This was home. These people he worked with, they were his friends. He didn’t have to hide or pretend or feel uncomfortable.

And Rowe…Rowe had always been amazing. Sure, he could be cranky and a little crazy. He was always loud and tended to speak before thinking. But Quinn always knew exactly where he stood with Rowe. He always felt like Rowe had his back.

But this…

“Are you getting rid of me?”

“What?” Rowe snapped. “Where the fuck did you get that idea?”

“You’re hiring another IT person. I saw the listing. And this? Putting me ‘on loan’?”

Rowe groaned and scrubbed a hand over his face. With a heavy sigh, he pointed back at the chair Quinn had just vacated. “Sit.” Grudgingly, Quinn followed direction while Rowe looked over at Shane. “Can you give us a minute?”

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Meet the Authors

Who are Drake & Elliott?

Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott have teamed up to combine their evil genius to create intense gay romantic suspense stories that have car chases, shoot outs, explosions, scorching hot love scenes, and tender, tear-jerking moments. Their first joint books are in the Unbreakable Bonds series.

 

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