Clever #CoverReveal: The Escort by A.M. Salinger

The Escort
A.M. Salinger
(Night Series, #2)
Publication date: February 9th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Romance

He is everything I’ve ever wanted in a man. And I will do anything to get him. Even if I have to lie to him — Ethan

He is a sinful temptation. A guy who loves pushing all my buttons. But I can’t touch him. And I most definitely cannot have him — Joe

Ethan Skye has had only one goal in mind since the first night he walked into Saron, the most exclusive gay club in Tokyo: to win the heart of Joe Cavendish, its brooding owner and the man he’d fallen in love with at first sight. When Ethan takes a job as a bartender at Saron to get closer to Joe, little does he know that his actions will set him in the sights of an obsessive admirer.

Jaded by his troubled past and with his heart very much guarded, Joe Cavendish has one strict rule in life: never mix business with pleasure. Unfortunately for Joe, one cocky, sexy bartender seems intent on testing that resolve to its very limits, and Joe finds his patience and his libido increasingly challenged as he fights his growing attraction for his new employee. But after Joe discovers the danger Ethan is in, his possessive instincts compel him to take on the role of Ethan’s personal bodyguard and pretend lover.

Can Joe protect Ethan from his increasingly violent stalker and maintain his own sanity while he gets up close and personal to the alluring young man storming his way inside his numb heart? Will Ethan overcome Joe’s stubbornness and convince the club owner to take a chance on love? Or will the secrets they’ve been keeping from each other threaten their fragile, burgeoning relationship?

Discover Ethan and Joe’s story in this second novella in the hot, contemporary romance series Nights by A.M. Salinger.

This is a novella length MM romance with a HEA.

Add to Goodreads / Pre-order

Author Bio:

Ava Marie Salinger is the pen name of an Amazon bestselling thriller author who has always wanted to write scorching hot contemporary and erotic romance. In 2017, she finally decided to venture to the steamy side. NIGHTS is the first of several sizzling series featuring sweet, sexy men and women with dark pasts and a whole lot of love to give to the ones brave enough to fight for their hearts. When she’s not dreaming up hotties to write about, you’ll find Ava creating kickass music playlists to write to, spying on the wildlife in her garden, drooling over gadgets, and eating Chinese.

Want to be the first to know about Ava’s new releases and get access to exclusive content, sneak previews, sales, and giveaways ? Then sign up to her Reader Group here: https://www.amsalinger.com/subscribe/

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Bombastic #BookBlitz: One Night by A.M. Salinger

One Night
A.M. Salinger
(Night Series, #1)
Publication date: January 12th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Romance

One night was all I asked for. For him to show me how good it can be. — Gabe

One night was all I promised. To give him the best time of his life. — Cam

Gabe Anderson wants nothing more than to overcome the scars of his past. Moving to a new city halfway across the world is one thing. Walking into the most exclusive gay bar in town to hook up with a perfect stranger is a whole new ball game.

Cam Sorvino doesn’t do relationships. Period. Having buried his dark childhood behind him, he lives life to the fullest and likes his sex hot, dirty, and for one night only. Though Cam’s instincts tell him that Gabe isn’t the one-night kind of guy, he can’t stop himself from approaching him. When Cam discovers the true extent of Gabe’s harrowing secrets, he makes him an offer he cannot refuse: one night of mindless pleasure to help him overcome his phobia of intimacy.

But when morning comes, will Cam be able to let go of the one man who is able to stir new feelings inside his cold, dead heart?

If you like sweet, sexy men with dark pasts and a whole lot of love to give to the ones brave enough to win their hearts, then you’ll love this first novella in the hot, contemporary romance series Nights by A.M. Salinger.

This is a MM romance with a HFN. Cam and Gabe’s HEA is coming mid 2018!

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

What the hell am I doing here?

Gabe Anderson scanned the crowded club in the mirror opposite the bar before looking down into his scotch with a self-deprecating smile. This had seemed like such a great idea an hour ago, when he’d been staring at an empty weekend in an even emptier apartment.

Saron was located in a side alley, a short walk from Shinjuku’s main club strip. Despite its somewhat shady location, the place oozed style.

Gabe had hesitated when he’d seen the suited doorman guarding the entrance and wondered if access was by invitation only. He only knew of Saron from overhearing his clients mention it a few nights ago. From what he’d made of their excited conversation, it was the place to hang out in Shinjuku if you were of a particular sexual inclination.

The doorman had checked Gabe over for all of three seconds before wordlessly unclipping the rope from the stanchions framing the steel doors. He had obviously passed some kind of test, though what it was he didn’t know.

Beyond a foyer with a cloakroom manned by a male attendant who looked like he’d walked straight out of a GQ shoot were a set of shallow steps leading to a wide, sunken floor.

Despite the butterflies churning his stomach, Gabe had stopped and stared appreciatively at the decor. As a consultant for one of Chicago’s biggest design firms, he could tell how much money had gone into giving Saron its unique look. The club was drowned in deep reds, dark purples, and rich earth tones. Scattered across the oak floor were Brazilian cherry wood tables and armchairs boasting plush velvet upholstery and satin cushions. Discrete booths dotted the walls and afforded privacy to those who needed it, although the muted lighting provided enough of that as it was. A polished mahogany counter with wine-red leather and walnut stools ran the length of the bar on the right.

At the far end of the room, a woman in a black cocktail dress stood on a raised podium. She was crooning a song in a sultry, deep voice, her eyes closed and her glossy ruby lips glistening in the mellow spotlight. Behind her, cymbals vibrated gently, a piano tinkled, and a saxophone hummed, the sounds somehow rising above the voices of the men packing the place.

It was as he’d made his way to the bar that Gabe had realized why the doorman had let him in. From the looks of the club’s patrons, Saron catered exclusively to an upscale clientele. He was willing to bet a week’s wages none of the suits in the place cost less than five hundred dollars.

“Ah, fresh meat.”

Gabe froze in the act of sitting on a barstool, his gaze swinging up to meet a pair of amused green eyes on the other side of the mahogany counter.

“Excuse me?” he said stiffly.

The bartender, a striking blond in a slate, silk tuxedo vest and crisp white shirt, flashed him a grin.

“I’ve not seen you around these parts before. What will it be?”

Gabe swallowed, wondering whether the man had seen straight through him and grasped the reason he had come to Saron.

“What will what be?” he mumbled, unable to mask the apprehension in his voice.

The bartender pursed his lips and observed him with a shrewd expression before leaning across the counter.

“Relax,” he murmured in Gabe’s left ear. “I can tell it’s your first time in a place like this. If you keep up that deer-in-the-headlights look you’ve got painted across that pretty face of yours, you’re gonna be a target for every sleaze ball in this club. And, trust me, they might be wearing thousand-dollar ensembles, but some of these assholes are nothing but dirty pigs in suits.”

An involuntary bark of laughter left Gabe’s lips at the mental image the bartender’s words had conjured. The sound carried along the counter, drawing stares.

The knot of tension that had been sitting between Gabe’s shoulder blades ever since he ventured into Shinjuku eased as he smiled at the bartender.

“I’ve never been called pretty before.”

The guy winked.

“Trust me, you’re the hottest thing on legs in this place right now. Besides me, of course.”

Gabe chuckled and ordered a scotch, his confidence boosted by the compliment.

Two months had passed since he’d relocated to Tokyo from Chicago. When his bosses had sprung the offer on Gabe in early spring, the chance of a fresh start in a place void of the dark memories that had plagued him for eight years was too much of an attractive proposition for him to reject. He’d left Chicago with two suitcases and five crates full of books and artwork, the only things he had to show after a decade in the city.

Though he had been prepared for the culture shock, life in Tokyo had still come as a surprise, albeit an invigorating one. He had always had an interest in the country and its intoxicating mix of traditional and contemporary customs ever since he made his first business trip to the Japanese branch of the firm four years ago.

Luckily, his new position suited him to a T. He had thrown himself into his first assignment with his usual drive and passion, leading the team under him to make good on a project, one which his predecessor had only made a half-assed attempt to complete. He had delivered on time, on budget, and on schedule, despite the nearly impossible deadline. The crazy hours and weekends he had put in had not gone unnoticed, and the praise lavished on his team at the grand opening of their client’s luxury hotel earlier that week was all the acknowledgment Gabe needed to realize he had made the right choice in moving to this city. The fact that the money he was making could easily afford him a two-bedroom condo in the exclusive neighborhood of Meguro didn’t hurt, either.

Yet, despite having relocated thousands of miles to the other side of the world, his mind would not let go of the bite of his past. Which was why, when faced with the prospect of his first free weekend and the boxes he had yet to unpack, he had looked up Saron’s location on the spur of the moment and decided to take a gamble.

He had promised himself this move would not be just a fresh start for his mind, but for his body, too. That he would start taking risks in his personal life again. That he would not let the bastard who had made it impossible for him to ever have a satisfying physical relationship win.

Fifteen minutes into his first drink and Gabe wondered whether he had made a bad choice. So far, Ethan, the bartender, had helped him field a burly, yakuza-looking type with tattoos up the side of his neck, three old men with sweaty palms and bald patches, and a couple of young guys who looked barely past the legal age of drinking.

With his lean build, dark hair, and blue eyes, Gabe knew he was an attractive prospect. Add in that he was a foreigner and he was coming to the conclusion that he had become a beeline for all the men in the bar who wanted to make a conquest out of the white guy – a white notch in the proverbial bedpost. They all wanted to fuck him or be fucked by him.

A cynical half-smile twisted his lips at that thought. If only they knew.

He raised a hand to the back of his neck and rubbed the warm spot that had been bothering him for a while. Something made him look up from his drink then – call it instinct or that subconscious voice that warns of imminent danger. Movement in the mirror opposite the bar caught his gaze. Or, more precisely, a lack of it.

Stormy gray eyes pierced him from the other end of the club. They locked on him, a beam of light in the gloom. Transfixing him. Immobilizing him.

Gabe’s breath caught in his throat, every muscle in his body tightening in fight-or-flight mode.

The man sat apart from the crowd, alone at a table that could have accommodated three, a tumbler full of dark liquid clasped casually in his left hand. His red silk tie was crooked, as if he had slipped a finger through the knot to loosen it. The top two buttons on his white shirt were open, revealing tan skin covering toned muscles and a hint of curls.

Gabe couldn’t tell whether his hair was dark brown or dirty blond. It was hard to say in the dim light. What wasn’t hard to see were the subtle and not-so-subtle stares the other men in the bar were giving the stranger.

With his stubbled face, smoldering looks, and what appeared to be an incredibly ripped body beneath a custom-tailored charcoal suit, the man looked like a king sitting on a throne, commanding a roomful of servants. Servants who appeared more than willing to either get fucked by him or fuck him if he so much as lifted his little finger.

And a man like that would not have to ask twice.

Envy and irritation flashed through Gabe at that thought, shattering the spell he found himself under. He broke eye contact, shocked by the feelings suddenly flooding him, and glared at his half-empty glass. It seemed to mock him, as if it were a reflection of his own life. A half-empty, broken shell. Incapable of touching someone or to be touched.

Gabe lifted the glass and downed the rest of the drink with an angry flick of his wrist. Fire singed his throat. He welcomed the burning sensation, hoping it would calm the pounding in his chest and the tightness in his belly and groin that told him his body had reacted to the stranger.

A full glass of scotch appeared next to his empty tumbler.

Gabe looked up at Ethan, puzzled.

A remorseful grimace flashed across the bartender’s face. “Looks like we’re no longer the two hottest bastards in this joint. Here, compliments of the King.”

Gabe stared at the drink before slowly looking over his shoulder, his pulse picking up speed.

Gray Eyes raised his glass in a toast. A teasing smile played on his sculptured lips before he knocked back his drink.

You’re kidding me.

Gabe tried to block out the heated tingle running across his skin at the stranger’s cocky smirk and the way his powerful throat muscles worked

when he swallowed. He turned to Ethan.

“That’s his actual name?”

Ethan grunted. “Well, no. But the asshole sure acts like one.”

There was movement in the mirror opposite Gabe.

One Night Teaser 2 (1)

Author Bio:

Ava Marie Salinger is the pen name of an Amazon bestselling thriller author who has always wanted to write scorching hot contemporary and erotic romance. In 2017, she finally decided to venture to the steamy side. NIGHTS is the first of several sizzling series featuring sweet, sexy men and women with dark pasts and a whole lot of love to give to the ones brave enough to fight for their hearts. When she’s not dreaming up hotties to write about, you’ll find Ava creating kickass music playlists to write to, spying on the wildlife in her garden, drooling over gadgets, and eating Chinese.

Want to be the first to know about Ava’s new releases and get access to exclusive content, sneak previews, sales, and giveaways ? Then sign up to her Reader Group here: https://www.amsalinger.com/subscribe/

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Blazing #BlogTour: Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking

Between_the_Blade_and_the_Heart_blog_banner-

Cover Between the Blade and the Heart.jpgBetween the Blade and the Heart (Valkyrie #1)

by Amanda Hocking

Release Date: January 2, 2018

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Genre: New Adult, Fantasy, Mythological

SUMMARY:

When the fate of the world is at stake
Loyalties will be tested

Game of Thrones meets Blade Runner in this commanding new YA fantasy inspired by Norse Mythology from New York Times bestselling author Amanda Hocking.

As one of Odin’s Valkyries, Malin’s greatest responsibility is to slay immortals and return them to the underworld. But when she unearths a secret that could unravel the balance of all she knows, Malin along with her best friend and her ex-girlfriend must decide where their loyalties lie. And if helping the blue-eyed boy Asher enact his revenge is worth the risk—to the world and her heart.

GoodReads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Books-a-Million / IndieBound / Powells

EXCERPT:

ONE

The air reeked of fermented fish and rotten fruit, thanks to the overflowing dumpster from the restaurant behind us. The polluted alley felt narrow and claustrophobic, sandwiched between skyscrapers.

In the city, it was never quiet or peaceful, even at three in the morning. There were more than thirty million humans and supernatural beings coexisting, living on top of each other. It was the only life I’d ever really known, but the noise of the congestion grated on me tonight.

My eyes were locked on the flickering neon lights of the gambling parlor across the street. The u in Shibuya had gone out, so the sign flashed SHIB YA at me.

The sword sheathed at my side felt heavy, and my body felt restless and electric. I couldn’t keep from fidgeting and cracked my knuckles.

“He’ll be here soon,” my mother, Marlow, assured me. She leaned back against the brick wall beside me, casually eating large jackfruit seeds from a brown paper sack. Always bring a snack on a stakeout was one of her first lessons, but I was far too nervous and excited to eat.

The thick cowl of her frayed black sweater had been pulled up like a hood, covering her cropped blond hair from the icy mist that fell on us. Her tall leather boots only went to her calf, thanks to her long legs. Her style tended to be monochromatic—black on black on black—aside from the shock of dark red lipstick.

My mother was only a few years shy of her fiftieth birthday, with almost thirty years of experience working as a Valkyrie, and she was still as strong and vital as ever. On her hip, her sword Mördare glowed a dull red through its sheath.

The sword of the Valkyries was one that appeared as if it had been broken in half—its blade only a foot long before stopping at a sharp angle. Mördare’s blade was several thousand years old, forged in fires to look like red glass that would glow when the time was nigh.

My sword was called Sigrún, a present on my eighteenth birthday from Marlow. It was a bit shorter than Mördare, with a thicker blade, so it appeared stubby and fat. The handle was black utilitarian, a replacement that my mom had had custom-made from an army supply store, to match her own.

The ancient blade appeared almost black, but as it grew closer to its target, it would glow a vibrant purple. For the past hour that we’d been waiting on our stakeout, Sigrún had been glowing dully on my hip.

The mist grew heavier, soaking my long black hair. I kept the left side of my head shaved, parting my hair over to the right, and my scalp should’ve been freezing from the cold, but I didn’t feel it. I didn’t feel anything.

It had begun—the instinct of the Valkyrie, pushing aside my humanity to become a weapon. When the Valkyrie in me took over, I was little more than a scythe for the Grim Reaper of the gods.

“He’s coming,” Marlow said behind me, but I already knew.

The world fell into hyperfocus, and I could see every droplet of rain as it splashed toward the ground. Every sound echoed through me, from the bird flapping its wings a block away, to the club door as it groaned open.

Eleazar Bélanger stumbled out, his heavy feet clomping in the puddles. He was chubby and short, barely over four feet tall, and he would’ve appeared to be an average middle-aged man if it wasn’t for the two knobby horns that stuck out on either side of his forehead. Graying tufts of black hair stuck out from under a bright red cap, and as he walked ahead, he had a noticeable limp favoring his right leg.

He was a Trasgu, a troublemaking goblin, and his appearance belied the strength and cunning that lurked within him. He was over three hundred years old, and today would be the day he died.

I waited in the shadows of the alley for him to cross the street. A coughing fit caused him to double over, and he braced himself against the brick wall.

I approached him quietly—this all went easier when they didn’t have time to prepare. He took off his hat to use it to wipe the snot from his nose, and when he looked up at me, his green eyes flashed with understanding.

“It’s you,” Eleazar said in a weak, craggy voice. We’d never met, and I doubt he’d ever seen me before, but he recognized me, the way they all did when their time was up.

“Eleazar Bélanger, you have been chosen to die,” I said, reciting my script, the words automatic and cold on my lips. “It is my duty to return you to the darkness from whence you came.”

“No, wait!” He held up his pudgy hands at me. “I have money. I can pay you. We can work this out.”

“This is not my decision to make,” I said as I pulled the sword from my sheath.

His eyes widened as he realized I couldn’t be bargained with. For a moment I thought he might just accept his fate, but they rarely did. He bowed his head and ran at me like a goat. He was stronger than he looked and caused me to stumble back a step, but he didn’t have anywhere to go.

My mother stood blocking the mouth of the alley, in case I needed her. Eleazar tried to run toward the other end, but his leg slowed him, and I easily overtook him. Using the handle of my sword, I cracked him on the back of the skull, and he fell to the ground on his knees.

Sigrún glowed brightly, with light shining out from it and causing the air to glow purple around us. Eleazar mumbled a prayer to the Vanir gods. I held the sword with both hands, and I struck it across his neck, decapitating him.

And then, finally, the electricity that had filled my body, making my muscles quiver and my bones ache, left me, and I breathed in deeply. The corpse of an immortal goblin lay in a puddle at my feet, and I felt nothing but relief.

“It was a good return,” my mother said, and put her hand on my shoulder. “You did well, Malin.”

Copyright © 2018 by Amanda Hocking in Between the Blade and the Heart and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Griffin.

RAVENOUS REVIEW:

5 wings

Wow… Other than being the mother of all cliffhangers, that was so awesome! The world, the characters, the whole story was just… wow! It starts out with just getting to know some of the characters with a few morsels of mystery to keep you hooked. Then bam! The secret is out along with the possible consequences. As thing start getting a little clearer something comes along and muddies the water, leaving more questions than answers. And the whole predestined vs free-will thing will really make you think. I can’t wait to read the next book!!!

AUTHOR BIO:

Amanda Hocking NEW--credit Mariah Paaverud with Chimera PhotographyAmanda Hocking is the author of over twenty young adult novels, including the New York Times bestselling Trylle Trilogy and Kanin Chronicles. Her love of pop culture and all things paranormal influence her writing. She spends her time in Minnesota, taking care of her menagerie of pets and working on her next book.

Author Website: http://www.worldofamandahocking.com/

Twitter: @Amanda_Hocking

Facebook: @AmandaHockingFans

Author Blog

GIVEAWAY!!!

One finished paperback copy of BETWEEN THE BLADE AND THE HEART, U.S. entries only (sorry)

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Rapturous #Release #Blitz: It Takes Two to Tumble by Cat Sebastian

Some of Ben Sedgwick’s favorite things:
Helping his poor parishioners
Baby animals
Shamelessly flirting with the handsome Captain Phillip Dacre

After an unconventional upbringing, Ben is perfectly content with the quiet, predictable life of a country vicar, free of strife or turmoil. When he’s asked to look after an absent naval captain’s three wild children, he reluctantly agrees, but instantly falls for the hellions. And when their stern but gloriously handsome father arrives, Ben is tempted in ways that make him doubt everything.

Some of Phillip Dacre’s favorite things:
His ship
People doing precisely as they’re told
Touching the irresistible vicar at every opportunity

Phillip can’t wait to leave England’s shores and be back on his ship, away from the grief that haunts him. But his children have driven off a succession of governesses and tutors and he must set things right. The unexpected presence of the cheerful, adorable vicar sets his world on its head and now he can’t seem to live without Ben’s winning smiles or devastating kisses.

In the midst of runaway children, a plot to blackmail Ben’s family, and torturous nights of pleasure, Ben and Phillip must decide if a safe life is worth losing the one thing that makes them come alive.  

About the Book

It Takes Two to Tumble
by Cat Sebastian

Series
Seducing the Sedgwicks

Genre
Adult
Historical Romance
LGBTQ Romance

Publisher
Avon Impulse

Publication Date
December 12, 2017

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Excerpt:

After the fact, Phillip thought he might have handled the situation a bit more gracefully if the children hadn’t been in a tree. But he was not at his best, having walked the distance from the coaching inn to the house, with each step growing more disoriented by the sheer familiarity of the terrain. Surely the place ought to have changed. But every rock and tree aligned precisely with memories Phillip hadn’t even realized he still had.

Despite having sent a messenger ahead with the approximate time of his arrival, the children were not waiting in the hall to greet him. Of course they wouldn’t be, he told himself. That had been Caroline’s doing, and she was gone. Their failure to appear was just further proof of how badly Phillip’s intervention was needed. He needed to get to work turning them into well-behaved, competent midshipmen. Children, he corrected himself. Yes, children.

The servant who opened the door told Phillip he’d find the children in the orchard with the vicar. Phillip found this surprising, as nothing in Ernestine’s final letter had indicated religiosity as part of the children’s reign of terror. But instead of discovering the children at work in prayer or singing hymns, he found them high up in a cherry tree.

The plain fact of the matter was that children did not belong in trees, at least not when they ought to be in the hall awaiting their father’s return. Nor did vicars belong in trees at any time whatsoever. He might not have much experience with either, and thank God for it, but he knew trees were not the natural habitat of either class of person. He had expected to see his children for the first time in two years in a setting that was slightly less arboreal. Somewhere he could properly see them and they could properly see him and they could all say whatever the hell they were supposed to say in this situation without Caroline to manage things. Instead all he got was a glimpse of booted feet vanishing higher into the branches accompanied by the sound of stifled laughter.

The vicar spotted him first, and promptly swung down from the tree to land at Phillip’s feet. At least, Phillip assumed it was the vicar, and not some stray stable hand who had taken to capering about the orchard. But didn’t vicars wear uniforms of some sort? Special hats or black coats? The chaplain on the ship always had. This fellow was in his shirtsleeves, and if that weren’t bad enough, his sleeves were rolled up. The chaplain had never done that. The chaplain had been about sixty. And bald. This fellow had wheat-colored hair that needed a cut and freckles all over his face. He was nothing like the chaplain. Unacceptable.

“Oh damn,” the vicar said. Phillip gritted his teeth. Swearing was another thing the chaplain had never done. “I mean drat,” the man said, his freckled face going pink. “Bother. You must be Mr. Dacre.”

“Captain Dacre,” Phillip said frostily. This fellow had to go. No discipline. No sense of decorum. No wonder the children ran amok if they spent time in this man’s company. “You have the advantage of me,” he said, not bothering to conceal his frown. He never did.

“Ben Sedgwick,” the vicar said, smiling in a lopsided, bashful way. He stuck his hand out, and Phillip had no choice but to take it. The vicar’s hand was warm and his grip was firm, and Phillip’s gaze automatically drifted down to the man’s exposed forearm, sun-burnished and dusted with light hair.

“Thank you, Mr. Sedgwick,” Phillip said. “You may take yourself off.” His effort to dismiss this careless young vicar was interrupted by a rustle of leaves and the thud of a child landing at his feet.

 

The child was tall, lanky, and excessively rumpled. “Edward,” Phillip said, briefly startled by the changes a lapse of two years wrought in children. Phillip had last seen his older son as a coltish child of eleven. Now Phillip could discern two things—one, that he looked very much like Caroline, and two, that he was not best pleased to see his father. For an instant, Phillip could hardly blame him. Phillip had never much enjoyed seeing his own father either. When the navy had taken his own father away for years at a time, Phillip had rather thought they had all been the better for it.

He held out his hand and noticed the barest hesitation before his son took it. “You look so much like—”

“I know I look like Mama,” Edward said coolly, dropping his father’s hand. “I have a looking glass.” His scowl was so intent that Phillip opened his mouth to scold the boy. “Mr. Sedgwick,” Edward said, turning to the vicar, “I’m going to finish my history lesson.” Without waiting for a response from Sedgwick or so much as a by-your-leave from Phillip himself, the child dashed off towards the house.

While Phillip had always striven to keep order on his ship in less brutal ways, some captains wouldn’t have hesitated to have boys flogged for even less blatant insubordination. Phillip swallowed his anger and turned his attention to the tree, where he could see two pairs of dangling feet.

“Margaret,” Phillip called up into the tree. “James.”

“Oh, they won’t come down,” Sedgwick said cheerfully. “Not a chance.”

“Excuse me?”

“I wouldn’t even bother calling them. They’ll stay up there until the sun sets or until the spirit moves them otherwise.” He seemed utterly undisturbed by this. His eyes were actually sparkling, for God’s sake.

“And you permit this?”

Sedgwick’s brow furrowed. This was the first lapse in the blithe and idiotic good cheer he had displayed since Phillip’s arrival. “Well, I don’t know what you expect me to do about it. Rope them like a couple of stray sheep? They’re safer up there than they are getting into whatever devilry they might seek out elsewhere. Really,” he said, lowering his voice and leaning close in a way that made Phillip instinctively mirror the pose until he realized what he was doing and straightened up. Proximity was the last thing he needed with this man. “The tree’s been a godsend. They haven’t been capering about the rooftops even once since they discovered how climbable the cherry trees are.”

Phillip blinked. “What I meant,” he said slowly, “was that perhaps you would like to tell them to come down.”

“Tell them?” the vicar repeated, as if Phillip had suggested a satanic ritual. “Won’t do a blessed thing other than inspire them to more mischief, I’m afraid. No, no, leave them safely up there, and when they’re hungry they’ll come inside.”

“Thank you for everything you’ve done,” Phillip said in precisely the tone he’d use towards a sailor about to be assigned morning watch for the foreseeable future. “But now that I’ve returned I’ll see to engaging a proper tutor.”

The man had the nerve to look hurt. Really, what had he expected? If Phillip had wanted his children to run about like South Sea pirates, he could have stayed on his ship where he belonged, thank you very much. But instead he would hire a tutor for the boys and a governess for Margaret. And when they were ready, he’d send them off to school, where they belonged.

“About that,” the vicar said slowly. “I’m not sure you’ll find a tutor. They’ve run through a good half dozen and I fear that well has run quite dry.”

“A half dozen!” Ernestine hadn’t mentioned that in her last letter. Or at least he was fairly certain she hadn’t. He knew there had been some trouble engaging suitable help, but quite possibly she had obscured the details. Well, it was a good thing he was here, then. He would see to it that his household was as it ought to be, that his children were on a safe course, and then he’d go back to sea. Two months. He had turned far more insalubrious characters into perfectly disciplined first-rate sailors in less time than that, hadn’t he? He was used to commanding dozens of men in clockwork precision. Surely he could make a couple of children—his own children, at that—fall in line.

“Never mind that,” he said. “I have everything in hand. Good day,” he added when the vicar didn’t seem inclined to take the hint and leave.

“Good luck,” the vicar said, gathering his discarded outer garments and carelessly dropping his hat onto his head.

Phillip thought he heard the man laugh as he made his way towards the house.

Ben gave it fifteen minutes before Captain Dacre came begging for help. Half an hour at the outside.

Likely as not, the captain would be tied to a burning post before Ben had his valise packed.

About Cat Sebastian

Cat Sebastian lives in a swampy part of the South with her husband, three kids, and two dogs. Before her kids were born, she practiced law and taught high school and college writing. When she isn’t reading or writing, she’s doing crossword puzzles, bird watching, and wondering where she put her coffee cup.

 

 

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GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a paperback copy of The Ruin of a Rake by Cat Sebastian.  This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance.  Giveaway ends 12/15/2017 @ 11:59pm EST. Avon Romance will send the winning copies out to the winner directly. Limit one entry per reader and mailing address.  Duplicates will be deleted.

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Clever #CoverReveal: One Night by A.M. Salinger

One Night
A.M. Salinger
(Night Series, #1)
Publication date: January 12th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Romance

One night was all I asked for. For him to show me how good it can be. — Gabe

One night was all I promised. To give him the best time of his life. — Cam

Gabe Anderson wants nothing more than to overcome the scars of his past. Moving to a new city halfway across the world is one thing. Walking into the most exclusive gay bar in town to hook up with a perfect stranger is a whole new ball game.

Cam Sorvino doesn’t do relationships. Period. Having buried his dark childhood behind him, he lives life to the fullest and likes his sex hot, dirty, and for one night only. Though Cam’s instincts tell him that Gabe isn’t the one-night kind of guy, he can’t stop himself from approaching him. When Cam discovers the true extent of Gabe’s harrowing secrets, he makes him an offer he cannot refuse: one night of mindless pleasure to help him overcome his phobia of intimacy.

But when morning comes, will Cam be able to let go of the one man who is able to stir new feelings inside his cold, dead heart?

If you like sweet, sexy men with dark pasts and a whole lot of love to give to the ones brave enough to win their hearts, then you’ll love this first novella in the hot, contemporary romance series Nights by A.M. Salinger.

This is a MM romance with a HFN. Cam and Gabe’s HEA is coming mid 2018!

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Sign-up to A.M. Salinger’s Reader Group for a special preview of One Night!

Author Bio:

Ava Marie Salinger is the pen name of an Amazon bestselling thriller author who has always wanted to write scorching hot contemporary and erotic romance. In 2017, she finally decided to venture to the steamy side. NIGHTS is the first of several sizzling series featuring sweet, sexy men and women with dark pasts and a whole lot of love to give to the ones brave enough to fight for their hearts. When she’s not dreaming up hotties to write about, you’ll find Ava creating kickass music playlists to write to, spying on the wildlife in her garden, drooling over gadgets, and eating Chinese.

Want to be the first to know about Ava’s new releases and get access to exclusive content, sneak previews, sales, and giveaways ? Then sign up to her Reader Group here: https://www.amsalinger.com/subscribe/

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Blazing #BlogTour: Murder on the Lake of Fire by Mikel J. Wilson

Murder on the Lake of Fire
Mikel J. Wilson
(Mourning Dove Mysteries, #1)
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: December 1st 2017
Genres: LGBTQ+, Mystery, Romance

At twenty-three and with a notorious case under his belt, Emory Rome has already garnered fame as a talented special agent for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. His career is leapfrogging over his colleagues, but the jumping stops when he’s assigned a case he fought to avoid – to investigate an eerie murder in the Smoky Mountain hometown he had abandoned. This mysterious case of a dead teen ice-skater once destined for the pros is just the beginning. In a small town bursting with envious friends and foes, Rome’s own secrets lie just below the surface. The rush to find the murderer before he strikes again pits Rome against artful private investigator, Jeff Woodard. The PI is handsome and smart, seducing Rome and forcing him to confront childhood demons, but Woodard has secrets of his own. He might just be the killer Rome is seeking.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

Excerpt:

Britt hadn’t been able to even look at her skates since the embarrassment of her last competition, and now as they dangled from her shoulders, she faced the frozen lake like it was a pervy ass-pincher about to get slapped. Knowing someone had drugged her didn’t soothe the humiliation of that night and didn’t make returning to the ice any easier.

“I can do this,” she chanted while her shins cut through the crouching morning fog and her boots crunched a path onto the snow. As she unburdened her shoulder at the lake’s bank, the blades clinked against each other like engaged sabers, shocking the silence to attention. She changed her footwear and stepped onto the frozen water, prepared for battle.

Britt plowed through the thin layer of snow atop the ice and warmed up with minor moves of little friction that evolved into grander displays of gifted athleticism. From a Y-spiral she leapt into a butterfly jump and followed it with a double Axel. When she landed, she spotted something protruding from the ice in her path. Branch! She shuffled her feet and averted a tumble, but the back of her blades scraped each other, which caused a slight spark.

Composure regained, Britt twisted into a purposeful spin. As she drew in her arms to increase her speed, her visible breath encircled her head like the arms of the Milky Way. She couldn’t focus on the white and grey world that whirled around her, but she noticed that the sun had risen and was now warming her face.

The sun, however, was still in its place, hiding behind the snow-covered pines.

Fire surrounded her petite frame and spread across the lake. Britt tried to scream, but the smoke she gasped in gagged her throat.

She continued spinning, unable to stop, as the blaze engulfed her body. In a fiery vortex, Britt plunged through the melting ice.

Author Bio:

Mystery and science fiction author Mikel J. Wilson received widespread critical praise for his debut novel, Sedona: The Lost Vortex, a science fiction book based on the Northern Arizona town’s legends of energy vortexes and dimensional travel. Wilson now draws on his Southern roots for the Mourning Dove Mysteries, a series of novels featuring bizarre murders in the Smoky Mountains region of Tennessee.

Murder on the Lake of Fire, the first novel in the Mourning Dove Mysteries series, will be available December 1, 2017.

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Blog Tour Schedule:

December 4th
Thoughts in Progress >> Guest post
3 Degrees of Fiction >> Review
BTH Reviews >> Interview
I Smell Sheep >> Review

December 5th
Loves Great Reads >> Excerpt
Jena Baxters Bookworms >> Interview
Jenea’s Book Obsession >> Review
blogs and coffee >> Top 10 List
The Avid Reader >> Excerpt
Stuffed Shelves >> Review

December 6th
Padme’s Library >> Interview
Don’t Judge, Read >> Review
The Smut-Brarians >> Review
Book Sniffers Anonymous >> Excerpt

December 7th
CBY Book Club >> Excerpt
Reading ‘n Stuff >> Review
Girls With Books >> Excerpt

December 8th
Rainy Days and Pajamas >> Excerpt
Viviana MacKade >> Guest post
Moohnshine’s Corner >> Review
All the Feels Pr & Blog >> Review

December 11th
Mes Livres >> Excerpt
Books a Plenty Book Reviews >> Review
YA & NA Bookshelf >> Review

December 12th
Butterfly-o-Meter Books >> Top 10 List
Port Jericho >> Review
Aconite Cafe >> Review

December 13th
Two Ends of the Pen >> Interview
Brooke Blogs >> Review
Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf >> Review
Starkiller Reads >> Review

December 14th
Booker T’s Farms: Books & Nails & Puppy Dog Tales >> Review
Plain Talk Book Marketing >> Guest post
Mythical Books >> Interview
Casia’s Corner >> Review
Smokin’ Hot Reads Book Blog >> Review

December 15th
Abooktropolis >> Review
Always and Forever Fangirling >> Review
The Book Drealms >> Review
tfaulcbookreviews >> Review
BookLoverWorm >> Review

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Bombastic #BookBlitz: Murder on the Lake of Fire by Mikel J. Wilson

Murder on the Lake of Fire
Mikel J. Wilson
(Mourning Dove Mysteries, #1)
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: December 1st 2017
Genres: LGBTQ+, Mystery, Romance

At twenty-three and with a notorious case under his belt, Emory Rome has already garnered fame as a talented special agent for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. His career is leapfrogging over his colleagues, but the jumping stops when he’s assigned a case he fought to avoid – to investigate an eerie murder in the Smoky Mountain hometown he had abandoned. This mysterious case of a dead teen ice-skater once destined for the pros is just the beginning. In a small town bursting with envious friends and foes, Rome’s own secrets lie just below the surface. The rush to find the murderer before he strikes again pits Rome against artful private investigator, Jeff Woodard. The PI is handsome and smart, seducing Rome and forcing him to confront childhood demons, but Woodard has secrets of his own. He might just be the killer Rome is seeking.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

EXCERPT:

Emory followed a directional sign for the administrative offices to a long corridor. Just past a bathroom for each sex, he came to a windowless room. Adjacent to the room’s lone desk sat a table featuring neatly aligned rows of Algarotti Smoky Mountain Springs bottled water, a glass-door refrigerator chilling bottles of flavored water and a sign inviting visitors to take one. The desk was positioned to the right of the entrance to a smaller hallway that ended at a door. Seated at the desk was someone familiar.

“Hello,” Emory said to the man he had seen leaving the Algarotti house earlier.

The man closed the desk drawer he was rifling through and lifted a stolid face that softened when he saw Emory. “Hi again,” he replied with a flawless smile framed by mischievous lips. His pea coat was now unbuttoned, exposing a tight blue sweater molded over square pecs. He leaned back in the chair, interlocked his fingers over his chest and peered at Emory with eyes as sparkling green as the Southern Lights. “Are you following me?”

The stranger’s question and his assuredness knocked Emory’s demeanor off balance. “No,” he answered with more volume than intended. “No, I’m here to see Victor Algarotti.”

“So am I.” The man erected himself without using his hands and walked to the front of the desk to stand before Emory. Both six-foot-two, their eyes locked – an alignment that rattled Emory. “Jeff Woodard,” the man said as he extended his hand.

Emory shook his hand and told him his name. “What do you mean, you want to see him too? Is Victor not here?”

Before Jeff could explain, another man exited the nearby bathroom and approached them. A work badge hanging from his right collar informed them that his name was Scot Trousdale. In his late twenties or early thirties, Scot stood about five inches shorter than the other two men, but the wide back and thick shoulders pushing against the seams of his dress shirt gave him an imposing presence nonetheless. The curls of his dark brown hair twisted around cauliflower ears and an attractive face misshaped by more than a couple of punches. A fighter. Wrestling or MMA. Scot’s dull eyes looked at them from behind rimless glasses that slid down the wide bridge of his nose. “Gentlemen. Which one of you is Mr. Woodard?” he asked in a voice lighter than his looks would suggest.

“That would be me,” responded Jeff with a slight wave.

Scot pulled some papers from the printer at his desk, stapled them and handed them to Jeff. “To save time, Mr. Algarotti dictated all the information you’ll need to start your investigation. Oh wait.” He retrieved a picture of Britt from his top drawer and gave it to Jeff. “Here’s a picture.”

“Excuse me.” Emory glared at Jeff. “Who are you?”

Jeff smirked at him. “We met earlier.”

“I know we met earlier. Why are you receiving information about my victim?”

Jeff flashed his right palm. “Let’s not get possessive. I’m a private investigator—”

Scot looked over his glasses at Emory. “And who are you?”

“I’m Emory Rome from the TBI.”

Jeff taunted him by asking, “Do you have a badge?”

“Of course I do.” Emory retrieved his badge and showed it to both of them, eliciting a smile from Jeff.

Scot stared at Emory for a moment. “Have we met before?”

Emory answered, “I don’t believe so,” although he questioned if they had run into each other when he lived in Barter Ridge as a kid.

Scot seemed to register a sudden glimmer of realization, but if he did, he kept it to himself. “Hang on one second.” He went to his computer to print another copy of the document he had given Jeff. “Mr. Algarotti had me compile all the information you might need.” He stapled the papers and handed them to Emory. “Mr. Algarotti asked that no time be wasted before getting started.”

Emory glanced at the top page. “How thorough.”

“I don’t have another picture, though,” Scot told him. “Maybe you two could share it.”

Jeff snapped a picture of the photo with his phone. “I’ll text it to you. What’s your number?” After a silent second, he added, “It’s only fair. You already have mine.”

So it was his number. Emory shook his head. “I have my own picture.” He turned back to Scot to ask, “Where’s Victor’s office?”

“As I said, he asked that you – I guess both of you now – not waste time.”

“I need to talk to him,” insisted Emory.

“That won’t be necessary,” Scot countered. “Everything he would tell you is in the document I just gave you.”

Emory’s stern face matched the tone of his voice when he said, “It wasn’t a request.”

Without turning his head, Scot pointed his ink pen over his shoulder to the hallway behind him. “End of the hall.”

Emory walked past the desk, his footsteps echoed by Jeff’s. “Where are you going?” he asked the PI.

“I want to talk to him too.”

“I need to talk to him alone. This is a murder investigation.” Emory continued walking until Jeff grabbed his arm.

“This isn’t my first murder case.”

“Really? What others have you worked on? Who were the victims?”

Jeff counted on his fingers. “Lara Crawford, Zelda Princeton, Jill Valentino—”

“Why do all of your victims sound like video game characters? Look, I have no unsolved mysteries under my belt. I’m not going to let an amateur muddle up one of my investigations.”

“Muddle? Who says that outside a Christmas song? I got news for you. It’s our investigation, and I’m not going to muddle up anything.”

“What were you doing at his desk when I arrived?”

“It’s called investigating.” Jeff pointed toward Scot’s desk. “Dilbert there could be our killer.”

Emory continued to Victor’s closed office, telling Jeff, “Don’t follow me.”

Author Bio:

Mystery and science fiction author Mikel J. Wilson received widespread critical praise for his debut novel, Sedona: The Lost Vortex, a science fiction book based on the Northern Arizona town’s legends of energy vortexes and dimensional travel. Wilson now draws on his Southern roots for the Mourning Dove Mysteries, a series of novels featuring bizarre murders in the Smoky Mountains region of Tennessee.

Murder on the Lake of Fire, the first novel in the Mourning Dove Mysteries series, will be available December 1, 2017.

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Bombastic #BookBlitz: On Davis Row by N.R. Walker

On Davis Row
N.R. Walker
Publication date: November 27th 2017
Genres: Adult, LGBTQ+, Romance

Nearing the end of a suspended jail sentence should unlock a brighter future for CJ Davis, only the chip on his shoulder is as hard to shift as his bad reputation. Born into a family of career criminals who live down Davis Road, an address the cops have dubbed Davis Row, his name alone is like a rap sheet that makes optimism impossible.

Brand-new parole officer Noah Huxley is determined to see the good in men like CJ. After all, he knows firsthand that bad things can happen to good people. His colleagues mock his doe-eyed optimism, but Noah soon sees CJ’s bad attitude and bravado are weapons he uses to keep people at a distance.

Both men know one simple mistake can change a life forever. At first glance, they might seem to be polar opposites. Yet underneath, they’re not that different at all.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

I found CJ around the side of the house at the old shed that was once probably the garage. It was too small for a car now, barely big enough to house his dirt bike and an old lawnmower. He was pretending to be busy with a spanner and a spark plug, and he was very deliberately pretending I wasn’t there.

“Uh, Pops has just gone for a lie-down. He wanted me to tell you. He was coughing pretty bad, so I got him a glass of water.”

The spanner slid off the spark plug and he took a measured breath. “I can look after him.”

“And you do quite well,” I said. “He said you do everything for him.”

CJ knelt beside his bike, knees spread, and refitted the spark plug and worked the ratchet to tighten it in. The muscles in his forearms bunched, his hips flexed a little, and his dirty white shirt rode up so I could see the skin above his low-slung jeans.

God, he was . . . a fucking client who I should not be checking out.

He jumped to his feet and I snapped out of my own head. “Whaddya want?” he asked, brushing past me as he walked back out. He put a cigarette between his lips and I was transfixed. Smoking was a filthy habit, but I’d never wanted to be a cigarette so much in my life.

“Oh, that reminds me,” I said, ignoring his question. “Thanks for the bar recommendation. Had a great time.”

The lighter stopped just shy of his cigarette.

Oh, what’s that? A chink in the armour of CJ Davis?

He lit the cigarette and blew out the smoke. “You went there?”

“Last Sunday night. They have a happy hour at eight.”

He stared at the line of trees to our right and remained utterly silent.

“Did you send me to the only gay bar in Maitland for a laugh? Thinking I’d be horribly offended? Because the back room was just what I needed, if you know what I mean . . .”

His nostrils flared and I bit back a smile. The truth was, I had two drinks, chatted to a few guys, nothing more, and left very much alone. But I sure as hell wasn’t telling him that. He told me to go there as a joke. Maybe he thought I was a joke. Maybe he thought all gay people were. He had no idea I was gay, so maybe he thought sending me there was an insult?

“You got a problem with gay people, CJ?”

His gaze shot to mine, a hard, cold stare. He bit on his cigarette and drew back hard. “Fuck you.”

Maybe there was something underlying in his anger, it was hard to tell. Maybe the nerve I’d hit was a little too raw? “Have you been there?” I asked. “To HQ?”

I didn’t miss the way his eyes flickered back to the house, like the walls or the old man inside might hear. But then he glared at me, took one last drag of his cigarette, and flicked it away. “You done?”

“Yeah, I’m done.” I took two long steps and stopped in front of him. “Next week’s appointment is at the office. You know the drill. If you can’t make it, you need to check in with me first, okay?”

His jaw bulged. “Whatever.”

“You have a drugs and alcohol meeting next Thursday. Why don’t you make it after that, to save you a second trip into town.”

He folded his arms, making his jacket stretch across his shoulders, defining his biceps. It also made his shirt ride up at the front, revealing a dusting of dark hair below his navel.

God, this was so inappropriate. I didn’t know what it was about this guy that sang to me. Maybe it was his stunning rough looks or how he had no idea how good-looking he was. Maybe it was his bad-boy image that I was drawn to. Wouldn’t be the first time.

Even if there was any remote chance he was into guys, and then by some remote chance he was single, nothing could happen between us. We had a professional relationship that could not be violated, in any shape or form. Was that what attracted me to him? Wanting what I simply couldn’t have?

“You all right there?” he asked, catching me checking him out. He had a look of indignation on his face, but there was also a spark of daring in his eyes. The tips of his ears were a red that matched the colour of his lips. He stood with his feet spread and his arms crossed. It was purely defensive, confrontational even, but he wasn’t threatening to me. He was a challenge, a puzzle I wanted to solve.

ODR graphic 3

Author Bio:

N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance.

She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way.

She is many things: a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who live in her head, who don’t let her sleep at night unless she gives them life with words. She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things… but likes it even more when they fall in love.

She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.

She’s been writing ever since…

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Bombastic #BookBlitz: Black & Blue by Ily Jacks

Black & Blue
Ily Jacks
Publication date: November 9th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Romance

Trouble seems to follow me everywhere. No doubt accepting a ride from a sexy, fierce biker on a rainy night seems like another bad move. Except this one desperate leap of faith brings Declan into my life.

From unreadable machine to possessive lover, he challenges me to want more.

Can I finally throw off the shackles of my tough life and embrace the promise of a good man?

Black & Blue is a standalone M/M romance with graphic sexual content, violent situations, and extreme profanity.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Stumbling from the Harley, my legs feel like jelly. My starving stomach no longer growls, now as numb as the rest of my cold, battered body.

“Where are we?” I ask when the biker only stares at me.

Soft rain soaks his thick, dark hair and beard. He looks like a wild man, ready to skin and devour his kill. I’m desperate to look away from his nearly black eyes and remain in control of myself. I can’t, though, because he both terrifies and intrigues me.

“I live in the apartment upstairs. You can crash here until you figure things out.”

“Thanks.”

When his hand jerks forward, I immediately flinch and expect more violence after a shitty day that’ll never end. His hand grips the back of my neck, sending panic and pain through me. I fist my hands and prepare to fight him. Exhausted after so long running, I never expect his lips to crush mine. He forces my mouth open and tastes me roughly.

I can’t think. Nothing about the biker’s earlier demeanor made me believe he desired me, so his kiss throws me off guard. I never consider what he might expect from me in return for a safe place to stay for the night. No, instead my fear violently shifts into the kind of lust I’ve long imagined and never enjoyed.

Before I can meet his passion with mine, the biker releases me and turns away. I’m left rejected and desperate, yet unable to show either emotion. My only option is to follow him obediently.

Young Man After Swimming. Summer Boy

Author Bio:

Living in Indiana with my three sweet sons, three wacky cats, one super mom (and her ugly dog), I love cats, 1970s rock, Call of Duty, and sitcoms canceled before their time.

I also write M/F contemporary romance as Bijou Hunter.

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