Thursday, October 29, 2009

All Hellos by Michael Barnette


Heat Rating: Bonfire

Content Warning: Menage which includes homoerotic content

Iris wants what every woman wants, hot passionate sex and a chance at love.

Some wild club mix of NIN's Sin was playing in the main hall, bright lights flashing, turning the normally peaceful campground around the central buildings into a raucous party zone. People were milling around, some in street clothes others already in costumes.

"We'll be happy to drive you wherever your accommodations are," Gabriel told her as they headed from the parking area toward the building that contained the registration desk. He moved his fingers in a subtle pattern and touched her arm, undoing the minor spell he'd used to overcome any reticence she might have initially had about accompanying them.

"Thanks, you've been so nice about this. I really appreciate you bringing me here." She was leaning on his arm to keep from falling in the grass, her high heels making the going anything but easy. Not that she minded in the least being Ć«forced' to steady herself on the man. The contact with his arm sent pulse after delightful pulse straight down to her clit, making her aware just how sopping wet her panties had gotten during the short ride with them in the SUV.

Adrian followed along in their wake, like a dark second shadow for the paler man. It almost made her think he was some sort of bodyguard the way he seemed to stay so near Gabriel. He certainly had the build one might expect of someone that protected another man from danger.

Then again, Gabriel didn't look like the type of man that needed protection. Not from anything.

Well let's hope you didn't soak through to the back of your dress. Or leave anything on the seat.

"Not a problem. In fact, if you want, we'll even take you back to your car in the morning and see about getting that tire fixed," Adrian told her.

"That's really sweet of you," she replied. Knowing how these weekends went she was sure of two things. One the man meant what he said, and two it wouldn't happen because they'd get busy having fun and forget the promise he'd just made to her.

They got into the hall and she reluctantly let Gabriel's arm go. The walk had been nice while it lasted. Back to reality.

Iris smiled at the two men as they headed the registration desk and the fairytale princess seated behind it. "Hello Carrie."

"Why Iris, you look thoroughly stunning!" the older woman gushed, waving her wand in the air with a flourish. Iris caught a glimpse of the pen tip and smiled. Carrie was noted for throwing the best Halloween gatherings in the single's network for a reason, the woman went all out and missed no details.

"Thanks. I hope the men think so or I'm going to have a terribly boring night."

Adrian's voice was soft as a velvet whisper in her ear, "There is absolutely no chance you are going to be bored, Iris. Unless you want to be."

Far from innocent, probably a lot closer to jaded cynic, Iris still felt a slight blush creep across her cheeks. Oookaay. She glanced at the dark-haired man from the corner of her eye. Was he really coming on to her? And if he was, what about Gabriel? Was the other man going to be jealous?

Carrie giggled, "Looks like you're in for a wonderful weekend, girl."

Iris cast a glance at the men bracketing her on each side. "You may just be right."

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Jonny's First Time by Sarah Levin Colter


Jonny's First Time
by Sarah Levin Colter

M/M Erotica. Jonny and Seth spend the night in a motel room. Hotness ensues.

Friday, October 16, 2009

WOLF QUEEN REVIEWS

By Stormy Glenn




Katia has loved Mikhail Nikolaevich forever. When her father dies, she goes to Mikhail for solace. Afterward, believing Mikhail doesn't truly care for her, Katia flees. By then, it's too late. The mating heat has started and must be completed or Katia will die.

But Mikhail is not all he seems. He's a Kindred and he's determined to have Katia as his mate. But first, he has to convince Katia that he does love her. That's easier said than done when Katia learns about the Kindred and that the man she loves turns into a werewolf. It's also complicated by the fact that Mikhail is leader of his people.

Mikhail has to defend Katia against a Council of Elders who believe she's an inferior human, and a band of rogue werewolves is out to kill them all. Can Mikhail save his bondmate before she gets challenged again, or will Katia have to fight for her life?

Reviews:

5 CHERRIES: "Katia is a great feisty heroine that proves her worth time and time again. Mikhail is a brooding alpha male who loves Katia with all his heart. The love and trust that these two show each other was a beautiful thing to see. Especially after Mikhail shows Katia his true world and she accepts him just the way he is...Katia is a great woman ready for anything and loyal to the end. She will not take any crap from anyone and proves it at the Convocation. With all the chaos happening around her and Mikhail, she still keeps her head on her shoulders and never looses her cool. This book had me hooked from the beginning. Stormy Glenn writes a wonderful story that combines just the right amount of action and romance to keep the reader glued to the pages. I truly enjoyed this story and would love to read more on the other characters in this book." -- Mistletoe,
Whipped Cream Romance Reviews

Please Note: Wolf Queen is up for Best Book at Whipped Cream Romance Reviews. Voting is from Saturday 10/17 to Sunday 10/18. If you liked Wolf Queen, please stop by and vote here.


4 DRAGONS: Stormy Glenn brings Wolf Queen to life with remarkable characters. I was taken by each of them as they showed their true colors throughout the story. You will be desperate to see how everything is worked through. Once the time comes for them all to stand together to defend the pack the gloves come off and Katia will simply amaze you. I would like to see more of Mikhail Nikolaevich's pack and how their pack members gain their own place in the pack and with their partners for life. What will Stormy Glenn offer next? I'm certainly looking forward to more stories from her" -- Judy King, Veiled Secrets Reviews

Read adult and story excerpts at my website...
http://www.stormyglenn.com/wolfqueen.htm

Stormy Glenn... Fanning the Flames of Erotic Romance
http://www.stormyglenn.com


HIS GENTLE TOUCH

By Stormy Glenn


Gideon Wulfe didn't know he was looking for someone special until he met Micah Adin. Gideon uses his money and power to immediately arrange their wedding that very night, determined to tie Micah to his side for all eternity. But the next morning, Micah doesn't remember Gideon's name or their wedding. Devastated and feeling betrayed, Gideon leaves, promising to send Micah annulment papers.

But Gideon still wants Micah, so he decides to find him and settle things once and for all. What he finds shocks him. Micah is still wearing his wedding ring and refuses to take it off. Micah explains that he still considers himself married to Gideon and there is nothing Gideon can do to change it. Gideon bets differently and takes Micah to bed, unsure if he's trying to prove something to Micah or to himself.

But just when Gideon and Micah are starting to settle down into wedded bliss, someone steps in to separate them. Can Gideon trust his new husband when Micah's own father is trying to frame Gideon for a crime he didn't commit?




Stormy Glenn...Fanning the Flames of Erotic Romance

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Queen of Carnage by Michael Barnette


Title: Queen of Carnage
ISBN: 978-1-59632-636-1
Author: Michael Barnette
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Price: $4.99
Available at Loose-id
http://www.loose-id.com

Blurb
Unable to have the love she desires with the vampire Prince Jozef, Tigress settles for mutual lust. When Jozef is kidnapped Tigress will do anything to save him including starting a war if that's what it takes to get him back into her bed where he belongs.

Excerpt
"You worry too much," he whispered, lowering his head to press his lips to her throat.

"Someone has to," Tigress murmured as she tilted her head back to give Jozef access and permission to blood her if that was his desire.

His lips parted and she felt the dampness of his tongue against her throat, the burn of fangs as they pierced her skin. He took a taste, one gentle sip of her life, enough to tease himself before he sealed the wound with a flick of his tongue.

"But it doesn't have to be you," he argued, voice soft, pleading. He was asking for more of her without putting it in words.

Unspoken plea.

And she found that she didn't want to deny him, or herself, any longer.

Growling into his ear, Tigress felt his whole body go tense. A tremor rolled through him, goose bumps rising on his skin as he reacted to the sound. She stepped back to stare into eyes that burned with an inner, unnatural flame. A glow that was perfectly normal for a Prince of the Blood aroused and wanting.

Wanting her.
---
Click to purchase from Loose-id
http://loose-id.net/detail.aspx?ID=660

Also available at All Romance eBooks
http://tinyurl.com/5w7dtw

And at Fictionwise
http://tinyurl.com/6jojbf

FE959 by Michael Barnette

FE959 by Michael Barnette
Supernatural Alliances Book 1
Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance (m/f) vampire
Heat Level: Fire with a Happy for Now Ending
Length: Short Story-10,500 words
Price: $2.50
Released August 15th 2008 to Shadowfire Press
http://www.shadowfirepress.com/

Can a former vampire regain his dignity and find love?

Blurb
Frontier Explorer 959 is out at the edge of known space when he receives a distress call that will change his miserable existence forever.

Korrine Dubouis is the last of her kind with no hope of finding her truemate. Or so she thinks until she meets the handsome creature known as FE959.

Excerpt
He couldn't help himself. He paused to take in the beauty of her naked form, his gaze moving over her the way an art lover would regard a masterpiece of sculpture. Soft and feminine with breasts that drew his gaze and a Mont of Venus that made him wish for the days when such things would have stirred his flesh to desire.

But the alterations performed on him, the long decades of his confinement in the ship had left him with an appreciation of the female form, but no ability and little actual desire to sample it.

He went back for the last two survivors, braving the savagery of the inferno to save them, the flames searing into his naked flesh. He felt the pain, and ignored it. Hurting and exhausted from the ordeal, he safely delivered them to the medical area with the others. Tired, FE959 sat down beside the beautiful female, shoulders slumped, head bowed in exhaustion, every nerve in his body screaming from the burns that covered his skin.

Burns that were already healing, the charred bits falling away to reveal new skin beneath.

"You're one of them, aren't you?" Her expression was wary, uncertain.

And it was fully understandable given what he knew about the colonists. Those green eyes were regarding him in a way that let him know beyond any doubt she knew exactly what she looked at, exactly what he had once been.

But probably not what he had become.

"That would depend on what you mean when you say 'one of them' don't you think?"

"A vampire."

"Yes. Once I would have been called that." He gave her a wry smile, showing his fangs to her. She showed no sign of fear. But why would she fear me? She was in the company of an entire vampire family. Or at least the remnants of one.

So many dead. If I'd known I wouldn't have hesitated so long.

But in the end it hardly mattered. He'd saved those he could, and the rest would reside in the embrace of the Dark Lady for all of eternity.

Eternity.

Such a damn long time. Long and lonely.

"From what I've seen though, I don't think you're going to tell me to leave, or try to kill me."

"How many died?" she asked finally, worried, filled with a desolation he could smell in the air surrounding her.

"From the impact, I don't know. I can't get into some areas of the ship because of the fires, and other sections were completely destroyed in the crash."

Her shoulders sagged, bright tears welling in her eyes, dulling the brilliant green.

Like summer leaves, or the most perfect of gems.

"This was supposed to save them. In the end it will destroy them," she whispered, covering her face with both hands.

He moved closer to her. The way a bee sought flowers he found himself pulled closer by her very presence. He dropped to his knees in front of the distraught female, reached up to stroke the soft waves of her hair. How strange. Why do I feel an attraction to her? he mused as he said, "Don't say that, your family isn't dead."

"They aren't my family. All of my family perished on old Earth. These people, this family took me in out of kindness. And now they're going to die too," she said, tone full of bitter helplessness.

His eyes were drawn to the motion of her full lips. The line of her jaw, the graceful form of her lovely throat. Saliva filled his mouth and his fangs ached; dull pang of need, a faint remembrance of what he'd been rising up to torment him.

So beautiful. No, more than just beautiful, she is perfect.

A tumult of hair, dark as the space between the stars, and eyes a vibrant green unlike anything he'd ever seen. FE959 wanted to take her into his arms and tell her it would be all right, that he'd get help, that her adopted family would be safe. But help was a long way off and he didn't dare make a promise he couldn't keep. Not when the very stability of the ruined ship was in question.

Not when his own masters would put an end to every life on this ship if they had the chance.

He couldn't give them that opportunity.

"What's your name?"

"Korrine Dubouis," she replied through her tears.

He shook his head, dared to touch one mahogany dark cheek and brush away the tears, the dampness tingling on his fingertip like something alive. His breath caught, her eyes widened and they both drew away from one another as if stung.

He looked at his fingers. Wiggled them. But the tingling vibration that reached to his very soul-- if such as he had one-- didn't fade. It continued to resonate through his flesh.

Click the link to buy
http://tinyurl.com/6xnxru

We use Tiny Url because our store links are too long for Yahoo Groups to handle without breaking up.

Shadowfire Press
Enter the Shadows... Set your imagination on Fire
http://www.shadowfirepress.com

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Indian Blood Moon by Jazz Steele

Coming October 12, 2009

Indian Blood Moon - Jaxx Steele
M/M, Contemporary

Small town reporter Dante Tyler lives his mundane life wishing for something more. When he was sent to cover a Halloween party for his newspaper he finds that the most horrible encounter of his life turns out to be the best thing that ever happened to him.

Contests!

I have the perfect contest to celebrate my return to 'the net'. While I was computerless for those three months the wonderful people at Honey Bunny Promotions kept my stories active with their great promotion skills. Because of those skills my inbox was filled with questions, most about my books: how I do I come up with ideas, have I been to the places I write about and stuff about the characters. Those are normal, I expect them, but the few that came in about me threw me for a loop. People want to know what I look like!

So, with that in mind I came up with this contest:

Where is Jaxx Steele!

While I was gone I had a few video trailers of my books made. I am in one of them. I invite you to view the videos and find me. Tell me the book and who my picture represents.

Send your answers to this email:jaxxsteele@gmail.com and you will be entered into the hat to win a Jaxx Steele logo mug and pen.

(Not extremely expensive but a good conversation piece at best.)

The contest will run from October 13th to October 31st.

Here is the link to my videos and good luck!

Jaxx's You Tube page

Jaxx Steele
Putting a little XX in Man Love!

BECOMING DINNER by JENNA ALEXANDER

Becoming Dinner

Publisher: Shadowfire Press

Genre: M/F Erotica - Vampire Capture Fantasy

Length: Short Story

Heat Level: Fire

Buy Link: http://shadowfirestore.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=13_19&products_id=67

Excerpt:

He slowly but purposefully rubbed the grime and goop from my limbs, torso, face and neck. Periodically shaking the cloth out under the flowing river, he seemed to be happy with the progress. My breath slowed; eyes drifted closed at times. The feeling of his soft strokes on my naked skin, combined with prolonged running, made my exhausted body relax. The gentle rushing sound of the water and the soft rustle of the branches above me further eased my tired body and mind.

I didn't hear him submerge but knew he must have when I felt his cheek rub up against my calf muscle. In a slow ascension, he made his way up my body, touching my skin with the side of his face. This intimate inspection was paired with the soft dragging stroke of his hands.

Emerging from the water once again, he lay his head in the bend of my neck, his hands stopping on the sides of my breast. Finally rid of most of the stench, I must have been more pleasing to him now. He rested his nose behind my ear and inhaled deeply. This was followed immediately by a quiet exhaling groan.

He took my wrist and led us a little way down stream, to an area that was shallower. He brought us up to the angled bank and, holding me by the waist, leaned my upper body back. I was naked and exposed, lying before him. His eyes washed over my skin. Exhausted and defeated, I lay my head back on the soft ground.

The rush of the water hummed around us. The wind picked up. The tall grass swayed around me. I waited for the pain, but gasped with surprise, when a very light touch of lips fell on the base of my throat. The contact continued down my chest in not so much a kiss, but a slow taste. He explored as he took in my aroma.

The vampire's lips passed over my heart and paused. He moved to a spot near my collarbone and stopped briefly, only to return to the skin just above my heart. He compared and enjoyed the effect my heavy heartbeat played against his lips. My hands ran up and down the smooth skin of his back. I felt the hard muscles of his thighs and chest against me.

www.coffeefuelederotica.blogspot.com

Monday, October 5, 2009

TWO in TWO out by G.A. Hauser

BUY YOUR COPY HERE

Book Two of Hauser's best-selling Heroes series!

Blake Hughes was comfortable being in the closet, especially at work while surrounded by macho firemen. A paramedic, still single at thirty, Blake kept his private life just that, private.

Hunter Rasmussen transferred to LAFD from San Diego. Twenty-six, powerful and fit, the handsome blue-eyed brunette just wanted to leave the past behind. No one had to know what he went through down south. And he didn't need history to repeat itself. Being ‘out’ was not a good career move for all jobs, and particularly not with the fire service.

When Hunter and Blake were assigned to the same shift pattern, they quickly became best friends. Partnered up on calls, hanging out together on days off, Hunter enjoyed Blake’s company and Blake his. Until something, or someone, from Hunter’s ugly past caused him problems.

In the fire department, men rely on each other for their lives. Two go into a burning building, and two stay out to serve as their rescue team in case of emergency. Blake and Hunter were two men deeply in the closet. And only with devotion and love would their secret lives come ‘out’. And Hunter and Blake find that courage in a very unusual place. Two devoted LAPD cops help show them the way.

Two in…two out…it helps when someone is there to throw you a lifeline.

Excerpt

Blake Hughes could feel the perspiration running down his skin. There was nothing glamorous about being a firefighter in the boiling LA summer. The thick, beige, flame-retardant fabric turnout coat and trousers over his uniform shirt and work pants, the rubber boots, and the helmet with face shield made him feel like he was melting from within. The smoke was thick as the flames took hold of an old ratty sofa and litter debris. Blake was in charge of the irons; the solid steel pike pole weighed heavily in his hands. The tank of oxygen on his back pumped air into the mask, which was cloudy with condensation from his body heat and breath.

He stared at the back of his co-worker and, in the smoke and haze, could barely make out the ‘Rasmussen’ written in bold black block letters on his best buddy Hunter’s shoulders.

“Back out!”

Blake jumped at Hunter’s command. It was becoming impossible to get the house fire under control from the inside. He knew Hunter was right. The incident commander, Lt. Thomas Smith’s voice came over their radios ordering the same thing. “Get out, boys!” Blake wanted to make sure Hunter came with him. He spun around. The clear path to the front door was suddenly not so clear any longer. Blake raised the pike and smashed it against a wall repeatedly, opening an exit of his own. The heat from the fire, the outfit, and the physical exertion was brutal, but he had to get them out. Now.

Another powerful swipe of the pike at the plasterboard and it crumbled in a heap of white dust. “Hunter!” Blake grabbed his arm.

Hunter acknowledged him with a nod. Just as Blake was making his way to the exit, the two firemen outside, their personal rescue team, were about to come in and drag them out if they had taken any longer.

Once Hunter and Blake had moved clear of the residence, the firemen manning the hoses opened up the valves and blasted the blaze with their full force. With the valves wide open, five hundred gallons of water could pass through the hoses in three minutes.

Setting down the heavy pike, Blake pulled the shield off his drenched face and noticed Hunter leaning over his knees to recuperate. Blake helped him remove his mask, making sure he was okay. “You all right?”

“Fucking hot!” Hunter snarled, pushing his dark hair off his forehead as it stuck from his sweat.

Blake kept his hand on Hunter’s shoulder, for he was the more experienced and older of the two of them. He turned back to the blaze which was finally beaten back into submission. He checked the oxygen level in Hunter’s tank. The air support team was nearby if they needed to top up.

The inferno was an unoccupied dwelling that had been set on fire. Blake assumed it had to be arson. Either that or a careless vagrant who set his home ablaze.

Lt. Smith made his way over to them once the fire began to subside. “You two all right?”

Hunter stood straight, nodding, as Blake replied, “Yes, sir.”

“Hang tight until it’s no longer a working fire. It’s fully involved at the moment.”

“Okay, Lieutenant.” Blake watched the water turn the orange flames into white smoke. He craved shedding the suit and tank but knew it was premature. Hunter was still quiet. Blake touched his arm. “You gonna live?”

“Yeah. Christ, it’s hot.”

Blake shot the handsome young man a big grin. “If ya can’t stand the heat…”

“Shut up.” Hunter winked at him.

Blake adored him. They had only been working together a few months, ever since Hunter transferred from San Diego. They were on the C-shift, so they had the same schedule.

Spending twenty-four hours with the same crew, you learned a lot about a person, mostly the firemen you could stand and those you couldn’t. He could stand Hunter. They were two peas in a pod.

Blake heard the lieutenant’s voice over the radio calling out their badge numbers.

“Come on, Hunt. Our turn to play two out.”

Hunter gave Blake his impish smile, the one that made his blue eyes sparkle like a wicked little boy. “Yeah, Blake. Come out. Why don’t you just come the fuck out?”

“Shut up, Hunt-man, before I use this pike on your butt.” Blake picked up the heavy iron again.

Repositioning their face shields, they stood outside the smoldering, dripping building, acting as the Rapid Intervention Team for two other firefighters that had gone inside. Two in, two out. The standard safety tool in the fire fighting buddy system and the one phrase abused with the most homophobic jokes on the division.

Blake cut the chatter to listen. The last thing he wanted was for someone to need help and for them to not be paying attention. Even a wet, soggy residence could collapse unexpectedly.

In silent contemplation, Blake stood next to Hunter. Blake could hear the two firefighters inside smashing at smoking walls, making sure the fire was completely out. He couldn’t remember the last fire they’d been to. Most of their calls were medical in nature, or false alarms. He didn’t think they’d had more than a hundred fires during the whole year for his station.

He had forgotten how exhausting and hot gearing up was. Obviously Hunter was suffering as well. And it was early in their shift.

They had just come on at seven and were about to workout for an hour when the alarm came out. Christ, it’s only nine thirty.

Blake closed his eyes for a second to rest them. Fuck he was hot. A drip made its way down his chest. He could feel it running slowly between his pectoral muscles. He rubbed his gloved hand against it to stop its tickling progress. The movement caught Hunter’s eye. “Sweatin’ like a fucking bitch in heat,” Blake explained.

“Ditto. Christ, I’m thirsty. Could use a beer.”

“I’ll buy you one. Next day off.”

“Deal.” Hunter shut up, listening again.

Twenty minutes later the two inside appeared at the door. “It’s out.” Dwight Carter nodded to them. Beside him was the only woman firefighter on the scene, Hailey Barnet.

“Tell the lieutenant,” Blake instructed.

Dwight acknowledged him.

Blake tapped Hunter and tilted his head to their rig. They walked to where it was parked and began peeling off the heavy tanks and clothing. As Blake removed his turnout coat and boots, he heard Hunter groaning in pleasure as he did the same. Looking over his shoulder, Blake found Hunter’s uniform shirt and pants drenched with his perspiration. Hunter was a big man, six-three, two hundred and twenty pounds of solid muscle. It seemed to Blake that both Hunter’s blue shirt and slacks were burdened at keeping his bulk covered. Like the Incredible Hulk, Blake expected Hunter to explode from his garments one day. I’d like to see that. Blake smiled.

But he could never say it. If you even murmured you had a sexual preference other than the ‘norm’, you risked being murdered by your homophobic co-workers. The fire department was worse than the police. Firemen were a very macho bunch of males. You could kid, but didn’t dare come out.

Blake didn’t worry. He played it straight and he assumed Hunter was straight, though he truly had no clue what Hunter’s preference was. It didn’t mean anything that he enjoyed Hunter’s good looks, that he loved spending the shift with him, working out with him, having a beer on their days off. It was normal. They were good friends. No one had to know he imagined Hunter naked every time he saw him. It was no one’s business but his own.

* * * *

Piling his bunker gear inside the truck, Hunter was finally rid of his exterior garments. Once he had placed everything in the rig, Hunter fanned his shirt, unsticking it from his body to try and cool off. He’d have to change when he got back to the station. He was drenched. Blake moved in front of him, setting his own heavy coat and boots down next to his. Hunter could see the back of Blake’s shirt clinging to him as well. As Blake moved, Hunter caught his sweat scent, inhaling it deeply. Every sinewy movement of Blake’s back showed through the clinging fabric. Hunter chewed his lip as he stared. Blake was four years his senior. He idolized Blake for his skill on the job. Out of all the men he’d met while working as a fireman, Blake Hughes was the nicest of the bunch. Not to mention the damn best looking.

Hunter was surprised his body was reacting to staring at Blake that way. He was hot and tired, and that shouldn’t make him hot and bothered as it often did with a man as handsome as Blake around.

When the lieutenant appeared, Hunter tried to pretend he hadn’t been ogling his co-worker.

“The residence needs securing. Why don’t you two help out nailing some boards over the windows?”

“Yes, sir.” Hunter nodded obediently. After the lieutenant left, Hunter waited for Blake’s eye contact.

“Grab a hammer out of the toolbox, Hunt.”

“Okay.” Hunter pulled open a side panel of the rig, digging out a claw hammer. As he did he noticed Hailey and Dwight placing wooden panels under each broken window. Stuffing a box of nails into his shirt pocket, Hunter handed Blake the hammer, smiling adoringly at him. He got a sweet wink in return and followed Blake to the burned out shell of the building, staring at Blake’s sweat-stained slacks as he walked.

Working as a team, which came naturally to them, Hunter held the large wooden board in place as Blake secured it to the window frame with strong confident hammer strokes. With Blake wearing his short-sleeved uniform shirt, Hunter was able to admire his rolling biceps, wide flaring forearms, and engorged, roping veins. Blake was three inches shorter than he was, but that still made Blake a strapping, six-foot-tall, powerfully built male. Hunter wouldn’t want to challenge Blake to a fight. The man was extremely strong and fast on his feet.

Once the entire bottom access into the wrecked building was secured, Hunter noticed the investigation team had arrived. If he had to guess, he’d say the fire began with a smoldering cigarette on a dirty mattress on the floor of the upstairs bedroom.

Deliberate? Who knew? Most likely accidental and set by a street person who inhabited the vacant premises.

Hunter felt a hand on his shoulder. Seeing Blake’s warm brown eyes, he teased, “Yes, dear?”

“We’re done. Come on. Let’s see if we can clear.”

Blake swung the hammer at his side while Hunter walked with him to the incident commander, who was the lieutenant on the scene.

“Hey, Lieutenant,” Blake addressed him. “You still need us?”

“No. Clear and head back.”

“Thank you.” Blake looked at Hunter, expressing his relief.

Hunter climbed into the truck after putting the hammer back into the kit and making sure everything was secure on the engine. Blake dropped heavily into the driver’s seat. Once they had buckled up, Blake started the engine with a roar.

Hunter waved to the police officer who let them through the roadblock, which had been set up to keep traffic off the side street. Once they were on their way, he sighed. “I’m too tired to workout now.”

“I hear ya.” Blake steered the big rig confidently up to an intersection where he stopped for a red signal. “If we feel up to it, we can do it later.”

“Or not.” Hunter laughed.

Blake grinned at him knowingly. “We can miss a day. I won’t tell.”

“I’m already starving.” Hunter rubbed his belly.

“I did a food run. The fridge is stocked.”

“Good. Who’s cooking lunch?”

“You!” Blake laughed at him.

“Oh. Right. I forgot. You cook better than I do.”

“I do everything better than you do.”

Hunter shoved him playfully. “Shut up.”

“Hey. I’m drivin’. Behave.”

Smiling as he relaxed in the passenger seat, Hunter loved hanging out with Blake. Fucking loved it.

Friday, October 2, 2009

ENRAPTURED by Scarlet Hyacinth

Coming October 8, 2009

The son of the Alarian king and an unknown human woman, Gabriel is forced to live more than half of his life buried in a monastery, under the iron fist – and lascivious hands – of its superintendent, Lothar. However, things can always get worse. On his 19th birthday Gabriel finds out that he is to be mated to his worst enemy. In despair, he decides to take his own life, but a chance encounter changes the course of his life, uniting him with Lucien, a demon prince.
What follows is a tale of impossible love, a journey from despair to rapture, threatened and cursed by secrets of the past and by pain buried but not forgotten. Not only does Lucien have to fight death to save his young lover, but he has to rebel against his parents as well. In a world of prejudice and hatred, can one impossible love survive?

Excerpt

Leaning on the railing, Gabriel observed the beautiful Alarian landscape. It was too bad really. He’d have liked to see more of Alaria. He’d have liked to see Earth, too. Gabriel’s eyes filled with tears. Earth. His mother. It would have been nice to meet her.
Wiping furiously at his eyes, Gabriel forced himself not to cry. He would try to enjoy what time he still had left on Kaldor without thinking of what could have been. Maybe he could sneak into the garden and spend some time among the flowers. He was surrounded by plants and through the past week or so, he’d missed them horribly.
Suddenly, the Alarian hills started to be hazy in front of his eyes as a wave of dizziness hit him. Surprised, Gabriel tried to support himself with both hands on the balcony railing, but lost balance. Instinctively, Gabriel screamed. Oh Light above! Heeelp!
Much to his surprise, Gabriel’s body didn’t hit the hard ground of the palace courtyard, but collided with something warm and reasonably soft. Warm and soft? No way! He’d crashed into a person. His father would surely be furious, but more important, the man or woman Gabriel crashed into was probably hurt. Gabriel struggled to defeat his dizziness and move off whoever was on the ground beneath him. He needed to apologize and maybe help heal this unwilling savior.
Just as these thoughts passed through his mind, a familiar scent enveloped Gabriel. Clarion, ash and leather. Strong arms steadied him, wrapping around his waist like they belonged there. All unpleasant sensations disappeared, and his eyes flew open. There was a moment frozen in time when everything disappeared as ice-blue eyes met his own. Hypnotized, Gabriel could do nothing but stare. It wasn’t possible. His dream mate!
Long platinum blond hair, decorated with war braids, framing a perfect face. Elegant, yet stern features and a full mouth made for kissing. An icy blue gaze analyzed him with awe, concern and maybe a hint of lust. Gabriel drank all the details of the vision in front of him. Was he dreaming again? Was he dead?
Loud laughter interrupted his private moment of heaven. Gabriel’s head turned, snapping up to see the source of the intrusive noise. It proved to be bad idea, since the movement caused his head to painfully collide with the chin of the blond god still holding him in his arms. This caused another bout of laughter in the courtyard, and this time Gabriel could see from whom it came. His eyes widened at the view.
A group of large men stood proudly in front of the Alarian palace. They weren’t many, but even so, they seemed to occupy all the space in the huge palace yard. Their black steeds were the same color of the black wings on their backs and their dark leather armor. Instinctively, Gabriel’s head turned to the man holding him. Black wings on this one, too. He’d been too lost in the man’s eyes to observe them. The Xeetah had arrived.
Oh damn, what a greeting for his father’s guests! The blond was openly glaring now. Gabriel gulped and tried to move away, but he just held him tighter. Nervously, Gabriel tried squirming away, but to no avail. His dream mate’s hold was just too tight. “Stand still, little one! I don’t want you fainting on me again,” the handsome man whispered in Gabriel’s ear.
Gabriel’s bones melted at the seductive whisper. Obviously his dream mate wasn’t upset with him. And who was he to protest if his demon wanted to hold him? He sat back comfortably in his dream mate’s hold, tempted to wriggle a little to see if the hard erection he'd dreamed about was also true. He felt so calm and safe in his demon’s embrace that he almost jumped, startled by said mate’s sudden outburst, “What the hell, Cade? What’s so funny?”
“Are you kidding, Lucien? This has to be the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.” Cade came forward, analyzing Gabriel, obvious mirth glittering in his violet eyes. He was also indecently beautiful, actually resembling the blond holding him. They must be related. Even so, for some reason, it didn’t make Gabriel’s heart race. Instead, Cade just made him feel very uncomfortable and embarrassed. Particularly when he added, “Now, now, don’t glare! I must say I’m actually jealous. You’re, as usual, extremely lucky, with such a beautiful prize falling literally in your lap. That is so you, my brother.”
Prize? Gabriel felt his face flame at Cade’s words. Lucien was obviously not pleased at his brother’s words—well at least Gabriel was right about that—or at Gabriel’s embarrassment. “Fires of Kaldor, brother! Are you stupid or are you just faking it? The little one fell a pretty long way. He could have easily hurt himself, and you’re laughing.” Cade’s face fell and the all amusement disappeared from his eyes. Obviously he hadn’t thought about that.
Still, Gabriel didn’t want to cause strife among the Xeetah or make them feel bad. He didn’t want the two siblings to argue. Aside from Orin’s aid today, Gabriel knew from personal experience how much it hurt to have your brothers showing you hatred or disdain. “Thank you, but that’s quite all right. I’m fine. I’m sorry for the inconvenience.”
As he spoke, all the demons turned towards him. Oh, no, Gabriel didn’t like being in the center of attention. Of course, Lucien found this perfect moment to make him feel more embarrassed. Gabriel was maneuvered in his dream mate’s hold until they practically embraced, their eyes meeting. “Are you sure, little one? You seemed dizzy and affected by the fall.”
The mention of dizziness hit Gabriel with a bang. It wasn’t the fall. The potion was finally taking effect. Gabriel started trembling in Lucien’s hold at this realization. He really didn’t want to die. “Shit!” Lucien cursed. “Get a medic, now!”

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Hired Man by Jan Irving

Coming October 5, 2009
From Dreamspinner Press

Reverend Ian Kenyon knows the harsh sting of life and how a man can suffer a loss of faith. The death of his wife and newborn son shook him to his foundations, and he's been drifting ever since. Bryn Morgan has returned home from prison to the only family he has—an abusive father who abandoned him to the law when Bryn was unjustly accused of rape. Still poor, lost, and shunned, Bryn searches for work, any work that will allow him to survive.

Reluctantly moved by Bryn's plight, Ian hires the young man to work on his farm despite Bryn's prickly, defensive nature. Soon Ian fears his growing feelings of grace and compassion might be something else, something more... heated. Whatever the cause, he knows they are impossible to pursue, because Heaven only knows what would happen if a man of God began to have forbidden feelings for his hired man.

******************

Excerpt

The next morning, Ian was trimming his beard in his bedroom vanity mirror. He looked out the second floor window when he glimpsed movement outside. He rinsed his blade in the warm water Mrs. Robson provided fresh every day and leaned close to the pane to take in the view.

A slight figure, hunched against the cool morning wind, leaning against the apple tree.

It was Bryn Morgan. Apparently he had nowhere else to go? Pity moved in Ian’s chest and he tried to shove it aside. Hell, he’d hired the boy and he just knew it had been a mistake. He preferred to drift through his days, lost in memory, in hating himself, but from the moment Bryn’s name had been mentioned, Ian had been moved to defend him.

"Huh," Ian grunted.

He pulled out his clerical collar and put it on, seeing reflected a man with dark, untamed hair in need of a trim from Mrs. Robson, a beard, and wintry hazel eyes looking back at him.

Some days he wanted to just wear regular clothing, but folks came by at all times needing comfort, or he could be summoned to tend to the sick or dying...

No one but he knew what a meaningless gesture it was.

Ashes to ashes.

Tears pricked his eyes so he closed them, shaking his head.

He better go downstairs and get that boy out of the wind. At least he could do that much.

...

"Coffee?" Ian couldn't let Bryn go without food. He had a feeling the young man would shove aside his concern.

Bryn nodded, gaze on the floor.

Mrs. Robson wouldn't bring coffee to the ex-convict, so Ian did, and also a plate of thick bread with cherry preserves. Bryn took it automatically, looking slightly startled that Ian would care enough to push the issue of food on him.

Ian invited Bryn to come sit with him and Mrs. Robson but he only shook his head, slouching against the wall, watching as Ian said grace.

...

After breakfast, Ian was moved to say to Mrs. Robson on his way out to show Bryn around, “He wasn’t so bad.”

“He certainly watched you, even tried to mimic your fine table manners!” Mrs. Robson noted calmly, stacking dishes in the sink for washing.

“He did!” Ian blinked.

“But then he used to sneak over to the church before he was sent up. I saw him looking in the windows some days when you gave service.”

Ian frowned. “I wonder why he did that?



"Chickens can be mean," Ian instructed, rubbing the back of his neck.

"I know how to collect eggs!"

Ian sighed. Bryn had been like this all morning. It was clear he had no experience farming or caring for animals, but he kept insisting he knew what he was doing.

The milk cow had kicked him. Daisy, Mrs. Robson’s beloved plow horse, had pushed out of her stall and nearly trampled him and now here were the chickens and Bryn had so far broken three eggs and his hands were bleeding from being pecked by the agitated hens.

Bryn wasn’t a good hire. He didn’t listen and his walls were so thick that he was defensive to even the most mild criticism. It was almost as if he wanted and expected to be fired.

"Look here, this little guy never got eaten..." Ian reached down and lifted a tiny golden chick in his big palm, deciding to teach Bryn another morning about collecting eggs. It would keep and they had eggs enough.

Bryn's tense expression eased. "Is he soft? He looks like a seed from a dandelion."

"He's very soft. Here." Ian placed the chick on Bryn's palm and watched wonder replace the stamped wariness on the young man's face.

"I never touched anything so..." Bryn ran a finger tip over the little bird.

Ian noticed the boy's shoulders relaxing. "Let's tend to your hands."

...

Ian returned with supplies from the house to find Bryn had managed to gather all the rest of the eggs without breaking any, but his hands were a mess.

"You did a nice job," Ian praised, deciding not to lecture the young man, though his bleeding hands made Ian inwardly wince. "Will you let me clean your hands?"

Bryn shrugged.

"It might hurt some," Ian warned, taking one and wiping it gently with alcohol.

Bryn didn't even hiss from the pain. "Used to it."

Ian felt his pity return. "Bryn's a Welsh name," he noted, thinking to make conversation.

Bryn's eyes were fixed on the straw-covered floor. Finally he burst out, "Why're you so nice to me? Is it because you're a man of God?"

Ian hesitated. He didn't know how to answer the simple question. He was used to lying to the townspeople about his lack of faith, but he didn't want to deceive this strange, bitter youngster. He wasn’t even sure he could since Bryn had old eyes in a young face.

"You've had it rough."

He cleaned the other hand and noticed Bryn's ribs sticking out through gaps in his shirt. "Will you eat with me later, Bryn?"

"You don't want...more from me, do you?" Bryn suddenly demanded.

"...More?" Ian blinked. "More what?"

Bryn flushed.

And suddenly Ian knew. "Oh."

Bryn flashed a glance at Ian, hell burning in his eyes. It was something Ian had seen in his own shaving mirror this morning.

"No, I never..." Ian cleared his throat. "I'm merely...alone. It would be nice to have someone to eat with. That is all."

Bryn shrugged. "I'll think about it," he mumbled.

Ian felt a strange despair as he watched Bryn snatch a broom and begin cleaning out the old straw in the hen house. He sensed that he carried still-bleeding wounds, just as Ian did.

But what could he do for Bryn? Ian couldn't heal himself. He could find no comfort. Yet he wanted to give comfort to this young man, he realized, startled.

"Was prison..." Ian fumbled. "I suppose it was bad."

Bryn paused in his sweeping to give Ian a derisive glance. "Yeah, it was bad!" He laughed in Ian’s face.

Ian stroked his beard, watching Bryn sweep. He used to know what to say. How to help people.

Clearly he had no idea how to reach this prickly young man.

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