~Retro Review Tour~ Love and Mystery Box Set by W.S. Long

 

 
Length: 94,708 words
 
Publisher: JMS Books 
 
Blurb
 

Love and Murder — Jake Chandler is a struggling small-town Florida lawyer, and his life is falling apart. His ex-wife makes seeing his daughter difficult, his boyfriend Noah may be cheating on him, and his money woes are growing. Jake hopes that a new murder defense case will help with his money woes, but his ex-wife Elena is the prosecutor. It’s bad enough she has to fight with him over custody of their daughter. Now she wants nothing more than to beat him in the courtroom, too.

And then people around him start dying.

First, an ex-lover gets his brains blown out while he and Jake have coffee. The danger comes even closer. Then Jake meets handsome FBI agent Xavier, who is investigating the crimes surrounding him. Can Jake trust this new man in his life? Is Xavier who he says he is? Or does his involvement put Jake and those he loves in even more danger?

Love and Pain — After their too-thrilling courtship that included capturing his former lover’s killer, Jake Chandler has started a new life for himself with FBI agent Xavier. Living together is wonderful, but moving to Washington D.C. has resulted in temporary jobs that don’t last long. When Jake finally lucks out on a too-good-to-be-true position with a big law firm, Xavier suspects Jake’s new boss is crooked.

With some sleuthing, snooping, and close calls, Jake gets deeper into trouble at work, and conflicts with Xavier make his world start to crumble. When a key witness is shot to death in front of Jake, they both begin to realize how high the stakes are. Can Jake and Xavier get through these threats and find happiness with each other?


 
Excerpt
 

Light posts adorned with holiday decorations lined the road to Ivan’s apartment. I told Ivan I would stop by his apartment to pick him up for dinner. But, traffic from the nearby shopping mall didn’t help.

Ivan didn’t answer his cell. I wanted to tell him how late I was running.

When I finally pulled in, Ivan stood outside with three police officers. One police vehicle blocked his car. I nodded to Ivan as I approached. His arms were crossed while an officer asked him questions.

“So could you tell what was taken?” the one officer asked.

Ivan looked towards me while he spoke. “No. I haven’t done a full inventory but the TV’s still there. I had some loose cash. That’s gone, and some clothes.”

“I saw you had a gun safe — anything missing?” the second officer chimed in.

“It looks like someone tried to get in it, but everything’s there,” Ivan said. “I was on duty so my Beretta was with me. Had the gun safe. Don’t have any other guns.”

Don’t have any other guns.

Ivan stared at me, watched me as he had said this.

I averted his gaze.

Another officer chimed in. “That’s good. Can you imagine the paperwork you would have to fill out if your weapon was stolen?” The first officer shook his head. “Well, you know with the holidays, there’s a rash of burglaries. We’ll follow up on it. They should be done dusting the fingerprints in a few.”

“All right. Thanks,” Ivan said, as he shook hands.

As the officers moved away. I came closer.

“Everything okay?” I asked.

“Well it’s been a crappy day,” Ivan blurted. Veins on his neck stood out as he spoke. “Before I came home, your ex-wife called Bush and told him you got Frank Peoples back on the street. Then I come home to this mess,” he shouted, waving his hand in the direction of his apartment. “The chief thinks it looks bad someone else’s DNA’s on that stupid mug, and he’s taking it out on us. Me.”

“Sorry.” Just doing my job, Ivan. Not your fault.” I stopped. I wasn’t sure but the more I talked the more irritated he seemed. “Sorry about what happened. Anything I can do?”

Ivan shook his head.

“I can stick around if you still wanna grab some food.’’

“No,” he answered without hesitation, his face red now. “It’s best that you leave.”

I stood there. His tone and demeanor showed obvious anger. I thought about what I had spoken to Noah about the night before, and felt grateful that I didn’t go through with it.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to upset you,” I said. He continued to avoid eye contact. I shrugged, then walked to my car. I got in, when I heard him next to my window.

I rolled my window down and he said, “Hey, wait. Sorry I snapped at you.”

“Ivan. Don’t worry about it. You got a lot of stuff going on. ”

“I’ll give you a call later, Jake.” His voice calmer. “Rain check on dinner?”

“Sure,” I said. “Are you sure you don’t want me to wait?”

He shook his head.

Two other uniformed officers walked down the stairs, and Ivan turned his attention to them. One of them carried a paper bag marked “Evidence” with a red seal tape over the top.

I took the only exit out, and waited for the traffic light. When it turned green, I saw a familiar red Jeep parked in a corner in the complex under a tree. A shadow in the vehicle ducked.

Noah?

Seconds later my cell rang.

“Hello.”

“Jake, I’m in a bind,” Noah whispered.

“Where are you?”

“I’m in the Jeep.” He spoke fast. “Can you pull back around?”

“Why?”

“Listen, I can’t explain right now, but I got into Ivan’s apartment.”

“Are you crazy?”

 
Author Bio
 

Lawyer by day, writer by night. When I’m not lawyering during the day, I’m often reading or writing gay fiction involving men who desire a happily ever after. I’m happily married to a mild-mannered college professor, who likes to escape to the Orlando theme parks, or to a faraway place. You can often find me on social media, sometimes talking about books, but many times mouthing about TV, movies and other geeky stuff involving superheroes. Oh, and I use a pen name to protect the innocent.

 

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~Blog Tour & Review~ Looking Forward by Michael Bailey

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Looking Forward

Michael Bailey

Gay Fiction

258 Pages

Release Date: 08.22.18

Looking Forward Cover

Cover Design: Jay Aheer

Looking Forward Graphic

BLURB:

Owen Hannity was nineteen when he lost almost everyone he thought he could trust. Each loss more painful than the last.

With the unwavering support of his best friend, Andy, Owen put the pieces of his life back together. Now, more than two decades later, Owen owns and operates a successful comic shop. Despite his modicum of success, he still feels like a shell of a man, carrying the emotional scars from his past.

Without warning, Owen’s past returns. Secrets come to light. Secrets that could either destroy Owen or finally give him the strength to re-evaluate everything he thought he knew about Andy, himself, and the way in which he views the world.

To see that he is truly worthy of loving himself and finally begin…

…Looking Forward.

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EXCERPT

I shook even more as I picked up the handset and dialed the ten digits for his area code and phone number. The call wouldn’t connect. I feared for a moment that he had purposely given me the wrong number. Maybe he didn’t want me calling him after all. Then I remembered, since this was long distance, I had to dial the number one first.

I laid the receiver back into the cradle and scrubbed my hand through my hair, willing myself to calm down. Jack wouldn’t be able to see my fear from over the phone, but there was every likelihood that he would be able to hear it.

I took the receiver out of the cradle and dialed the eleven digits. My heart beat faster as the phone rang, and I almost chickened out and hung up.

Almost.

The other end was picked up on the fourth ring. A woman answered, clearly out of breath. “Hello.”

I was momentarily confused. In my head, he would answer, and we would spend my break catching up. I had not expected someone else to answer, especially not a woman.

What if she was his girlfriend? How would I explain myself?

“Hello?” she repeated.

He wouldn’t have given me his number if he didn’t think it would be safe for me to call. Or at least, that’s what I reasoned.

“Is Jack in?”

“Yeah. Hold on a sec.”

Then I heard her muffle the mouthpiece, but I was still able to hear her call his name.

Soon enough, I heard a voice that I recognized coming from the other end. “Hello?”

“Jack?” I said, still slightly confused, and hoping that I hadn’t just caused some problem for him by calling.

“Speaking.”

“Jack, it’s Owen.”

I heard his breath catch on the other end of the phone line, and there was a second or two of delay. Panic started to bloom. This was a mistake. He wouldn’t remember me. Why would he? I was just some kid from Toledo that he’d met in a bar weeks ago. I’d allowed too much time to pass and had lost any chance I had, if I’d had any at all. “Owen?”

I twisted the phone cord around my finger, an old habit I’d developed when I was nervous on the phone. That panic came full force at his question. He didn’t remember me. This call was pointless. “From Toledo,” I reminded him.

Jack chuckled. “I remember. I don’t meet too many Owens.”

Some of that panic eased off but didn’t dissipate entirely. This could still go horribly wrong very quickly. I still didn’t know what I was doing calling him. What if that connection I had felt the night before Thanksgiving was all in my head? I’d be the fool that had placed the call. He’d talk about me to all his friends, tell them about this little homo that was stalking him from the other side of the state. They’d all laugh at my expense, and I’d never know. Or he could tell Andy, and he’d never let me forget how I’d basically come on to his straight cousin.

Yet, he had given me his number. And those words. I reread the napkin. Can you feel it?

I paused, pulling in a deep breath and slowly exhaling. I could do this. This wasn’t a big deal if I didn’t make it one. “No, I can’t imagine you do. It’s not a very common name.”

“No, it’s not. It’s very memorable.”

“I was actually named after my grandfather, if you can believe that.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. Sort of a family tradition. My father is named after his grandfather, and my grandfather after his. It’s weird.”

“No, not really. It’s actually kind of cool. Like, legacy. You have a connection to your family that will never go away.”

“I never thought of it like that. I’ve honestly always hated the name.” And wasn’t that a total bitch. If my father ever found out that his only son was gay, he would totally disown me, and I’d still have this name.

“You shouldn’t. It’s unique. It sets you apart. How many people have you known named Jack?”

I laughed. “That’s true. A lot.”

“Exactly my point. In a world full of Jacks, be an Owen.”

Why did that warm my heart so much?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I’m the oldest of three, from the Glass Capital of the world, Toledo Ohio.

Don’t laugh too hard.

I’ve dreamed of writing since I was eleven years old when I wrote a truly awful Choose-Your-Own-Adventure. It sold exactly zero copies. I think my mother may have a copy lying around somewhere. Mothers keep that kind of thing.

Through junior high and high school, I wrote a number of short stories, one actually published in the first (and only) issue of his high school’s literary magazine.

Life took control shortly thereafter, as it often does, and the dream of writing was put on hold. Then, in November of 2016, I took a leap of faith, and began writing my first novel as part of the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) competition. The goal of the competition is to write a 50,000-word novel in a thirty-day period.

I failed.

However, on the advice of a friend, I “pushed through”. And so, in September of 2017, my first novel was published.

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Looking ForwardLooking Forward by Michael Bailey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Stick with this or you’ll miss the magic

Okay – I’ll admit. I almost didn’t finish this one. Not because it was bad or I didn’t like but because it was slow…really slow….at first. But I kept reading despite that and then something happened. All of a sudden a switch flipped and I couldn’t put it down. All of a sudden this became something different, something brand new, something I’ve never read in a book before, something not mainstream, something…..more (but I don’t want to give anything away so you’ll just have to read it). Sometimes something can surprise you – not out of the blue, but building slow, over time, until it’s suddenly there and it feels like it always was….it just took a long time to realize that. I think maybe Owen and Andy might agree with me.

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~Blog Tour~He is Mine by Mel Gough

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Book Title: He is Mine

Author: Mel Gough

Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh, Black Jazz Design

Genre/s: M/M psychological romance (with M/F elements)

Release Date: September 7, 2018

Buy links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Universal Amazon Buy Link

Blurb

For you, it was just a fling. For me, so much more…

NYPD detective Brad Moretti’s life is in tatters. A relationship destroyed by his boyfriend’s bipolar disorder has left him feeling guilty, inadequate and emotionally scarred.

Vivienne Aubert seems to have it all – a Hollywood career, supermodel looks, and a director husband about to make it big. And yet, a one-night-stand with rising superstar Damien Thomas makes Viv wonder if she hasn’t settled for second-best. Used to getting her way, she embarks on a ruthless quest to make Damien hers.

Unaware of Viv’s fatal attraction, Damien returns to New York, where a chance encounter with Brad sparks a prompt and rapidly growing affinity between the two men – which Viv is determined to terminate.

Can Brad head off her delusional desires before she destroys his newfound happiness, or will he fail to protect yet another lover?

Excerpt

Chapter 1 is on Mel Gough’s website

or read it here:

Chapter 1

Brad stretches and rubs his eyes. He squints up at the ceiling; the first rays of morning light just start to creep along the plaster above his head. He sighs. This is his weekend off; his next shift isn’t until Monday. But he’s an early riser by design more than by desire. As if the day can’t start without you, Aiden used to mock him.

Aiden. Like every morning these last two weeks, Brad stretches his arm across the mattress, finding the sheets cold and undisturbed. He can see the empty pillow from the corner of his eye without moving his head. An equally empty spot in his heart aches in response.

Nothing has changed in the last eight hours. It still hurts. That fact established, Brad rolls out of bed. As he pads into the bathroom, he thinks about his very short To Do list for the day. A couple of phone calls to return, gym, then lunch. He promised to meet Maria, his friend since his high school days in Baltimore, at their favorite sushi place. While he pees, Brad contemplates whether to cancel that date. But he’s made excuses to Maria for two weeks; unless he meets her soon of his own free will she’ll send a search party. Going to Hibino will be less painful than another week of ignoring her texts and calls.

Brad steps over to the sink to brush his teeth. He hates to drink coffee before his mouth is clean, so he always makes time for two rounds with the electric toothbrush. Aiden used to roll his eyes at what he considers a waste of toothpaste.

As he moves the oscillating bristles from one side to the other, Brad studies his face in the mirror. His spirits plummet. Even after a good night’s sleep there are dark circles under his chronic fatigue-dulled brown eyes, and his skin is sallow. Ever since Aiden walked out on him, each good night’s sleep is followed by two or three with hardly any. And it’s no use kidding himself. The last few weeks, he feels much older than thirty-seven, and the lack of sleep shows.

Not that his face would ever have won a beauty contest. His jaw is too square, and his brows are too full. Combined with the crooked nose, broken in a bar brawl during his first year on the beat in Baltimore and never properly set, he looks like the worst cliché of an Italian gangster. On better days, he tries to cultivate the image of sophisticated athlete, but lately that doesn’t even convince him.

Grimacing at his reflection, Brad spits out the toothpaste and rinses his mouth. With wet hands, he brushes over his short dark hair to flatten it into a semblance of order. On his way back into the bedroom he grimaces again.

What he sees hanging over the bed is another reminder of Aiden, the biggest and most obnoxious of them all. The huge canvas was a sore spot between them from the moment Aiden bought it from his friend three years ago. “Kyle’s the next Jackson Pollock,” he’d enthused, his eyes bright with what Brad hadn’t yet clocked as maniacal exuberance. “In five years, this will be worth a fortune!”

All Brad has ever seen there on his wall is ten feet by five feet of blotches and untidy scrawls. He just doesn’t get it. As he leaves the bedroom and descends the stairs, he makes up his mind. That wannabe Picasso needs to go.

Over coffee, Brad’s mood improves. Out of the kitchen window it looks to be a brilliant, warm day, much nicer than they have any right to expect in mid-March. Sipping his strong, black coffee, Brad decides he will meet Maria. She’s his closest friend, and she deserves to hear his sorry tale, as much as he can bring himself to share. She’s a good listener, even if she has a way of twisting his arm into revealing much more than he intends.

He also decides not to skip breakfast, which has become another bad habit. If he doesn’t eat something now he’ll be ravenous and irritable long before lunchtime. His mood swings are bad enough.

After a bowl of fruit, cereal, and yogurt, Brad gets dressed in his workout clothes. The gym is a five-minute walk from his brownstone on Garfield Place he’d never be able to afford on his salary. When his batty Aunt Hedda died six years ago, Brad inherited her house and a small life insurance settlement, enough to foot the renovations and ensure he’ll get a more comfortable retirement than a career with the NYPD can provide.

After a strenuous workout at the gym, he would usually exchange a few words with the other regulars in the locker room while getting dressed, but ever since Aiden left, words don’t come so easily. And Brad needs to conserve the ones he does have for Maria, who won’t let him off the hook until she has as much detail about the breakup as possible.

Back home, Brad sends a few texts to friends who have left frantic and worried messages these last two weeks, apologizing and promising to call soon. He returns a call to his dentist, who wants to reschedule an appointment, puts in a load of laundry, and straightens up a bit before acknowledging that he’s all out of excuses for putting off one more call. Standing in the kitchen, he dials Aiden’s number from memory.

Brad expects the call to go to voicemail, but to his surprise Aiden picks up on the fourth ring.

“Brad.” Even on the one word, Brad can hear the coldness.

A flustered silence follows. Brad hasn’t prepared for anything other than leaving a brief voicemail message. He casts around for some niceties. “Hey, uh… hi, Aiden. You okay?”

“Since when do you care?”

“’Course I do…” Brad’s legs feel shaky. He hadn’t expected Aiden to be so hostile. He pushes himself away from the kitchen counter and goes into the living room, where he drops onto the sofa.

“What do you want?” Aiden asks. The man Brad met five years ago, who could easily fill their whole day with chitchat, is gone. Brad should’ve realized it, but it still hurts. And he deserves Aiden’s hatred.

“I, err…” Brad clears his throat. “That painting in the bedroom… I was wondering…”

“You want to be rid of it.” Aiden knows him well. Brad can hear his breathing get heavy and fast, and his heart aches. He’s hurt Aiden yet again.

Maybe he can take it back. But before Brad can backpedal, Aiden speaks again. “No problem. You home tonight?”

“Yeah.” The thought of seeing Aiden gives Brad a knot of dread in the pit of his stomach.

“I’ll have someone pick it up then. Six okay?”

Aiden’s voice is emotionless. Brad’s stomach drops. Aiden won’t come himself. He can’t decide if that’s worse than seeing him.

Being excluded from Aiden’s hurt is new, and it stings. They know each other’s emotional life intimately, and Aiden’s refusal to show his anger and pain shakes Brad. It hits home: There’s really no way back.

“Sure…”

“Was there something else?” Aiden sounds impatient. He wants this conversation to end. Brad rubs his face.

“No, I… no, there wasn’t.”

“Good.” Aiden’s relief is palpable.

“Bye,” Brad says, but the line is dead before he gets the word out. He drops the phone into his lap. What did he expect? Aiden never wants to see him again, and Brad can’t blame him. But it hurts. Unbidden, the last words he said to Aiden’s face return for him to dwell on once again. You destroyed us, and I don’t have the energy to put us back together again. Not anymore.

He rubs his face and gives himself a shake. Then he looks around the room. It’s not just the painting; Aiden is still everywhere in the house. The green wall paint, the strange, antique-shop floor lamps, the sofa cushions — all were chosen by Aiden and paid for by Brad. He’ll have to at least get rid of the lamps and the cushions.

With a sigh, Brad gets up to change for his lunch date. Maybe Maria will agree to help him redecorate the house.

About the Author

Mel was born in Germany, where she spent the first twenty-six years of her life (with a one-year stint in Los Angeles). She has always been fascinated by cultures and human interaction, and got a Masters in Social Anthropology. After finishing university she moved to London, where she has now lived for ten years.

If you were to ask her parents what Mel enjoyed the most since the age of six, they would undoubtedly say “Reading!” She would take fifteen books on a three-week beach holiday, and then read all her mom’s books once she’d devoured her own midway through week two.

Back home in her mom’s attic there’s a box full of journals with stories Mel wrote when she was in her early teens. None of the stories are finished, or any good. She has told herself bedtime stories as far back as she can remember.

In her day job, Mel works as PA and office manager. No other city is quite like London, and Mel loves her city. The hustle and bustle still amaze and thrill her even after all these years. When not reading, writing or going to the theater, Mel spends her time with her long-time boyfriend, discussing science or poking fun at each other.

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~Release Blitz~ Flash Me by K.M. Neuhold

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FLASH ME

A Heathens Ink Novel

K.M. NEUHOLD

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 09.03.18

Flash Me Final

 

Blurb

Liam

I was kicked out at sixteen for being transgender, but it turned out to be one of the best things to ever happen to me. At twenty-one, I have a fantastic new family made up of my brother and a handful of wonderful friends, I own my own photography business, and I’m happier than I imagined possible. There’s just one thing missing… Okay, maybe two…

Wyatt

When I took the position volunteering as a therapist at Rainbow House, I knew I’d found my place in the world: helping teens who had been rejected by their families. What I didn’t expect was the friendship I formed with Liam or how it would grow over the years into a crush I just couldn’t shake. I’m happy to see him finally opening himself up to dating with someone he trusts like Owen. But when he comes to me and asks if I can help his boyfriend, I feel like there’s more to the request than just a few therapy sessions. The more I get to know Owen, the more I like him, too.

Owen

I’m not sure why I believe so much in fate when she’s dealt me nothing but crappy hands—a stint in prison and enough childhood horrors to fuel all my adult nightmares. But I still hold on to the idea that everything happens for a reason. What I can’t figure out is why fate would plop me naked into Liam’s bed under the pretext of helping him with a photo series for a gallery showing. Or why my stomach goes funny every time he smiles at me. Liam is too sweet to be exposed to my demons, but I don’t know how to protect him…Maybe that’s why fate gave us Wyatt.

***This is the seventh book in the Heathens Ink series. Each book in the series CAN be read as a stand-alone, but characters do re-occur so it’s more fun to read them all!

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flash me teaser 3

 

Excerpt

“Yes, yes, yes,” he squeals as he lands in my lap.

I catch him, just barely keeping the chair from tipping over with both of us in it. He throws his arms around my neck and squeezes me tightly. I catch Owen’s eye over Liam’s shoulder and find him smiling nearly as big.

Liam pulls back from the hug and looks into my eyes. His smile is shyer now, and when his pink tongue darts out to lick his lips, my dick thickens against my thigh. My heart rate kicks into a gallop, and I tighten my grip on his hips.

“Can I kiss you?” he asks, his voice so sweet I’m sure I would agree to anything he could ever think to ask. I look over his shoulder at Owen again who nods encouragingly.

“Yes,” I agree.

I expect Liam to lean in slowly, maybe continue with the theme of shy and sweet. But my permission seems to flip a switch. He takes off my glasses and takes my face between his hands, pressing his lips hard against mine. I can taste the overly sweet wine on his lips as he teases and coaxes me to part my lips.

My entire body lights up as Liam’s hot tongue slips into the depths of my mouth, eagerly licking me, tasting me. I wrap my arms tight around his slim waist and press his body harder against mine, desperate to feel all of him. I catch his whimpers in my mouth and swallow them, kissing him deeper, running my tongue along his and tempting him to give me more. I want everything Liam has to offer and then some. I want to know every inch of his body inside and out, and I want him to know mine.

My throbbing erection grinds against the firmness in the front of Liam’s jeans and sends a jolt of heat from head to toe. I want to lay him down right here on the patio and rut against him until we’re both breathless and sweaty. I want so much I’m sure I’ll go mad from it.

It’s only Owen’s quiet words that drag me back to reality. “Fuck, that’s hot.”

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I’m an author of m/m and new adult romance. I have a strong passion for writing characters with a lot of heart and soul, and a bit of humor as well.

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~Release Blitz~ Love in the Clouds by Sarah Hadley Brook

 

 
Length: 54,094 words
 
Publisher: JMS Books
 
Blurb
 

Rafael Patino has a great life in Rain Valley. He’s a teacher at the high school, has a great group of friends, and enjoys the occasional baseball game. Other than the sporadic call from his drunken mother, he’s pretty content.



He’s also been in love with his best friend Dustin for nearly a decade. Years of keeping those feelings under control are put to the test when they begin a summer project together.



Dustin Vance builds furniture for a living, has just earned his pilot’s license, and has an amazing best friend. When he buys a 1976 Cessna Skyhawk, he asks Rafael to help restore it, then travel with him to Wisconsin for the largest aviation convention in the world.



As they spend their days working on the plane, they begin to spend their nights together. Will they find love in the clouds, or will they stall out before they even take off?

 
Excerpt
 

A cool breeze blew past him as he walked into the night. Rafael texted Dustin before he pulled out of the parking lot, letting him know he was leaving and asking about Mac’s phone number. But since Dustin was probably sound asleep, he’d likely have to get that number after sunup.

As he turned onto his street, he saw a vehicle in his drive—Dustin’s Honda. His best friend had a key, so was probably inside.

He eventually found Dustin sprawled on his sofa, sound asleep, his arm crooked over his head. Rafael felt drawn to him like a magnet, but being too damned tired to fight his urges, he let himself look. Dustin’s T-shirt had ridden up, showing a stripe of pale skin, and Rafael imagined it soft and silky. His fingers itched to slip under the hem. He stared a little too long, though, and by the time he dragged up his gaze to

Dustin’s face, he found his friend staring back at him, smirking.

“You want to take a picture of…something?” he drawled teasingly.

Heat flooded Rafael’s cheeks and he forced a chuckle. “Whatever.”

Dustin rose and hugged him hard, as if just remembering what had happened. “God, I’m so sorry, Raf. Is the girl going to be okay?”

Rafael nodded, but wrapped Dustin in his arms, his head falling on the man’s shoulder. They stayed like that for a while. With anyone else, Rafael might have been embarrassed that he was fighting the urge to cry. Dustin held him tight and shared his strength. It crept into Rafael, shored him up. Helped him get past the image of Daisy huddled in that hospital bed. At least for a while.

When he finally pulled away, Dustin kept his arms around him and Rafael was too exhausted to read anything into it.

“Why are you here?”

“Because I know you, Raf. I know you care about your students—you open your heart to everyone. But I also know you’ve been particularly worried about this girl. I just didn’t want you coming home to an empty house.”

Rafael’s heart cracked more and he felt raw, open, and vulnerable. The world had reared its ugly head and shown its hideousness. He also felt lonely. Bone tired and so lonely. And he didn’t want to be lonely. At least not for the night. He swallowed hard. “Will you…stay?”

Dustin nodded, no hint of hesitation in his blue-green eyes. “Is there anything else I can do?”

 

Author Bio



Sarah Hadley Brook lives smack-dab in the middle of the Heartland and is the mother of two wonderful young men, as well as two cats. During the day, she works in the nonprofit world, but reserves evenings for her hobby-turned-passion of writing, letting the characters she conjures in her mind take the lead and show her where the story will go. When not working or writing, she can be found reading, working on dollhouses, trying her hand at new recipes, or watching old movies and musicals. In her ideal world, Christmas would come at least twice a year, Rock Hudson and Doris Day would have costarred in more than three movies, and chocolate would be a daily necessity. She dreams of traveling to Scotland some day and visiting the places her ancestors lived. Sarah believes in “Happily Ever After” and strives to ensure her characters find their own happiness in love and life.



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~Release Blitz~ Falling Into Love by Kris T. Bethke & Nell Iris

 

 
Length: 34,305 words
 
Publisher: JMS Books
 
Blurb
 

Liam O’Donoughue is happy with his life. He runs V Wilderness Adventures with his best friends, his chosen brothers, and gets to spend his days hiking in the gorgeous Adirondacks. What’s not to love? But when he meets Austin on a hike, he thinks he’s found something he didn’t even know was missing.



Austin Jock is content with his work as a radiology tech and playing bass in a cover band. Someday he wants to find his forever person but doesn’t believe in romantic fireworks and isn’t sure it’ll ever happen. Then Liam comes crashing into his life, igniting sparks. Huge, life-altering sparks.



The connection between the two men is instant, and things move fast. But Austin isn’t sure what to do with everything he’s feeling inside. Can Liam convince him falling in love is the easiest thing in the world?



Excerpt

As Austin relaxed, he smiled more, and his body lost that tight posture. He leaned against me a little as the evening wore on, and when he started to shiver, I put my arm around him. The soft sigh he gave was one of the sweetest sounds I’d ever heard. I wanted to push him down onto the ground and devour him, taste and touch every inch of his delectable skin. But it was much too soon for that, and I definitely didn’t want to do it with an audience.

Eventually, he pulled out his phone, woke it up, and sighed. He turned into me so his entire side was pressed against my chest and tilted his head back, so he could look into my eyes.

“I have to go. I’ve got an early-ish shift tomorrow.”

Acute disappointment flooded my veins. But I nodded.

“Let me walk you to your car,” I murmured.

He nodded and stood. It took a little bit to say goodbye. I appreciated the enthusiasm Everett gushed over him, and I was pleased to see Drew give him a warm handshake. Finally, we moved out of the ring of firelight and ambled toward his car. Neither one of us seemed in a hurry for things to end.

“So, uh.” Austin cleared his throat, and then whispered so softly it was barely audible. “Poop.”

I laughed quietly, and reached out, tilting his face up. “Thanks for coming. I really wanted to see you.”

Austin sucked in a breath and held it, then let it out in a rush of words, “Was this a date?”

It took me a second to understand, because he’d spoken so fast I almost couldn’t make out what he said. But when I did, my grin was so wide my face hurt.

“Well, I certainly thought it was. I definitely wanted it to be. What’s your verdict?”

He gave a shaky laugh. “Me, too.”

“Good.” I cautiously took a step closer, wanting to be in his space, and he let me. He even lifted a hand and placed it on my waist. I cursed the layers between us. I wanted to feel his touch on my skin.

“Do you maybe want to do it again? Uh, go on a date, I mean?”

“No maybe about it. I definitely want to do it again.”

Austin nodded, opened his mouth, and then shut it again. He shook his head, mouthed a word I couldn’t make out in the dimness, and then said, “Can I cook for you?”

“I would love that,” I said fervently.

“Oh. Good.” Austin’s smile bloomed on his face, and for a long minute, I was captivated by his full, kissable mouth. I almost didn’t hear what he said next. “I have Tuesday off. Want to come over?”

“Just tell me what time.”

Austin laughed, and I swore it sounded like music. “I’ll text you as soon as I figure out what to make. You don’t have any allergies, do you?”

“Not to food.”

“Good. Then. Tuesday?”

“Absolutely.”

Austin sucked in another breath, kissed my cheek again with one of those fleeting, butterfly kisses, and then scrambled to get in his car. I couldn’t keep the grin off my face as I waved him on and stood there until his car disappeared around the bend in the drive.


Nell Iris is a romantic at heart who believes everyone deserves a happy ending. She’s a bona fide bookworm (learned to read long before she started school), wouldn’t dream of going anywhere without something to read (not even the ladies’ room), loves music (and singing along but, let’s face it, she’s no Celine Dion), and is a real Star Trek nerd (“Make it so”). She loves words, poetry, wine, and Sudoku, and absolutely adores elephants!



Nell believes passionately in equality for all regardless of race, gender, or sexuality, and wants to make the world a better, less hateful, place.



Nell is a forty-something bisexual Swedish woman, married to the love of her life, and a proud mama of a grown daughter. She left the Scandinavian cold and darkness for warmer and sunnier Malaysia a few years ago, and now spends her days writing, surfing the Internet, enjoying the heat, and eating good food. One day she decided to chase her lifelong dream of being a writer, sat down in front of her laptop, and wrote a story about two men falling in love.



Nell Iris writes gay romance, prefers sweet over angst, and wants to write diverse and different characters.



Email contact@nelliris.com

Web www.nelliris.com

Twitter @nellirisauthor

Facebook page www.facebook.com/nellirisauthor

Facebook profile www.facebook.com/nell.iris.12

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/nelliris

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

QueeRomance Ink https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/nell-iris/



Kris T. Bethke has been a voracious reader for pretty much her entire life and has been writing stories for nearly as long. An avid and prolific daydreamer, she always has a story in her head. She spends most of her free time reading, writing, or knitting/crocheting her latest project. Her biggest desire is to find a way to accomplish all three tasks at one time. A classic muscle car will always turn her head, and naps on the weekend are one of her greatest guilty pleasures. She lives in a converted attic with a way too fluffy cat and the voices in her head. She’ll tell you she thinks that’s a pretty good deal. Kris believes that love is love, no matter the gender of people involved, and that all love deserves to be celebrated.



Find her on her site https://kristbethke.com Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/people/Kris-T-Bethke/100014524539852 or on Twitterhttps://twitter.com/kristbethke

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