With a sister who's a famous Hollywood actress and a business deal that pulls her down to LA, she's talked into a party where she runs into a man she's known for most of her life, but has been relegated to a memory. Fate has some strange cards to play after Katherine returns to Wyoming and life on the ranch.
Sunday, April 11, 2021
Talons of Love
By Debbie McQueen
Dragon King Series, Book 3
Two hearts bound together, suddenly torn apart.
When Egan disappears, Prince Raiden will stop at nothing to find him. With his closest friends and an unexpected acquaintance, he leaves the Sixth Realm behind to track down the man he loves. What he sees along the way will stay with him forever.Egan finds himself face to face with the man who has haunted his dreams since he was a child, only now he brings new nightmares. Egan's not the only one suffering at the monster's hand; there are others- others like him. He vows to do whatever he can to stop the monster and protect those around him.Egan holds on to the hope that the love and connection he has with Raiden will reunite them once again.
I don’t know how long I sat with my arms wrapped around my knees, and my father’s arms around me as I rocked and sobbed. My father, King Rodick, held me, Prince Raiden, heir to the throne, victor in battle, as tears flowed endlessly. I couldn’t form the words to explain what happened, or even why I knew something had happened. Still, my father held me and stayed with me. He whispered reassurances that we would find Egan.
I had a vague recollection of yelling Egan’s name, which had brought both him and my brother, Kairn, into my room. I kept rubbing the tender scar over my heart that had been made as part of the ritual that bound myself to Egan. I screamed his name inside of my mind as well as out loud. Worry and fear filled Kairn’s face as he watched me break apart.
Everything was fine one minute, then the next, he was gone. I thought about the pain that I had felt in my back and shoulders; it was his pain. What happened to him? Where did he go?
Saturday, April 10, 2021
The men of the Ramadan Nights series love their Creator and women.The Ramadan Nights series features four exciting and inspirational romances by bestselling and award-winning authors. Get ready to be enthralled by characters as they explore the links between faith and sensuality. This vibrant series includes a spectrum of New Adult and Adult fiction, from sweet to steamy. Enjoy romance stories of second chance love, friends to lovers and the boy next door.Fall in love with strong, confident alphas and heroines as they undergo tests of resolve to love and captivate each other from sunset until daybreak.
Uneasy and left alone with an infant, Mansur looks to his childhood pal, Faiza for help. As he relies on their long friendship, desires for the sexy firefighter reawaken within him. Healed from heartbreak after Mansur married another woman, Faiza knows they’re just friends but can’t help longing for more.
The Groom is a boy-next-door romance full of passion and an alpha who proves that he is no longer a little boy.
Childhood sweethearts, Hadeel and Habib are reunited by fate at a time in their lives when everything between them should be possible, but will things be that simple?
Read along for a wholesome love story between the quiet boy who grew into a confident man, and the dreamy girl who became all woman. Prepare for sparks to fly!
Razia and Danyaal Khan have everything going for them, except each other. Reeling from the heartbreak, Razia’s future is bright and she thinks it’s time they make a clean break. But she can’t seem to get Danyaal out of her head.
With a tower of regrets, can Danyaal convince Razia that this time he will put her first?
Brother Dawood has been trying to introduce Caliph to his daughter for a month. But when Zaida finally falls into his arms (literally) she’s not at all what he expected. The prickly, funny, tomboy laces up her gym shoes and gives him a run for his money. He was looking for the ideal Muslimah.
But when he meets Zaida he realizes she’s far from ideal and yet close to perfect.
Friday, April 9, 2021
Warlord Wulf thought nothing could be worse than being tortured and contaminated by the Hive. That was before he’s ordered to transport to Earth and represent The Colony in an unfamiliar horror… a human reality show. The Bachelor Beast is the hottest new program on Earth, but being set up with two dozen clingy females is not his idea of a good time. When his Beast refuses to show the slightest interest in any of the show’s potential mates, he knows he must choose one or die due to his raging mating fever.
His Beast prefers execution to claiming anyone but his true mate. Wulf is resigned to his fate, a one-way trip to Atlan, a prison cell and execution. It is the only honorable thing left to do.
Until one glance, one sweet, feminine scent lingering in the air and his beast rages for a female who is not supposed to be his.
But try telling that to his Beast when his entire body transforms on live television and one simple word thunders from his lips…MINE.
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I took a step closer, careful of the thick cords across the floor while remaining behind the cameras. Wulf’s hands gripped the arms of his chair as if they were keeping him from flying away. Maybe because I looked at people’s faces all the time, I could often tell what they were feeling, or maybe Wulf was equally bad at hiding his emotions.
I’d lusted after him. Drooled over him. Dreamed of him. I hadn’t really thought of the toll this show was taking on him. Had he truly volunteered for this? He looked about as enthused to be sitting here as someone in the waiting room before a colonoscopy. Was what Chet had said true? Would he die if he didn’t pick Genevieve or Willow? Was he really going to be executed?
Was his life so bad that he’d choose execution over the women? Not once in the three weeks of taping had Chet asked him what he was looking for in a mate. Everyone assumed, including me, that Wulf was whittling down the ladies to his favorites, to the one he’d give his cuffs.
Now I wasn’t so sure.
The show dragged on, as they had a one-hour time slot, with plenty of commercial breaks to heighten the anticipation. I was ready to scream by the time Chet stopped his inane questions and finally got down to the business at hand. The choice. Wulf’s choice.
“It’s finally time. Genevieve, Willow…” Chet spoke and the ladies took a step closer. The lights dimmed except for a focused beam on the gleaming cuffs in the glass case.
I moved around another camera to be as close as I could but remain behind the scenes. We were all in shadows, the large set being lit only by the stage.
“Warlord Wulf. It is time.”
Wulf slowly rose to his feet.
“Who is going to be your bride? Genevieve or Willow?”
Thursday, April 8, 2021
Levi Black has mostly recovered from the events of a year ago. The only lingering effects are that he’s much more well known in York than he’d like to be, and he’s a lot more cautious about walking around his house naked. However, those events brought him the capricious and fascinating Blue, so he’s not complaining. On the contrary, he’s happy, in love, and looking forward to Blue finally moving in with him. And if sometimes he wonders what Blue sees in a boring cartoonist, he keeps that to himself.
Blue Billings is finally ready to throw off the memories of his past and move in with the person who means the most in the world to him. His psychic abilities have grown in the last year to his mentor Tom's consternation, but Blue is determined to look on the bright side. He’s also focused on ignoring all the warning signs that he’s received lately.
However, even deeply buried secrets have a way of rising to the surface. And when a surprise from Blue’s past turns up and draws them away to a lonely house on the Yorkshire moors, Levi and Blue must fight for their survival once again.
After loving Lily's first outing in the paranormal genre, I'd anxiously awaited the release of her second ghost story, which began a year after where the initial book left off.
As the story started, Blue had finally agreed to move into Levi's happy home, formerly known as the haunted murder house, allowing them to move their relationship to another level.
But when Blue's long-lost father, Declan, arrived with a proposition to scope out a haunted mansion, Blue was much more interested in getting information on his deceased mother's past than with any present-day ghosts.
So with Blue's cantankerous boss and friend, Tom, in tow, the guys found themselves surrounded by new apparitions and mysteries in the middle of the English moors.
I still loved Levi and Blue just as much as before, however, while I'd found the first book to be fairly spooky, I can't really remember any scenes in this continuation that gave me the shivers or made the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. I kept waiting, but scary just wasn't in the cards for me this time around.
I suspect that part of the reason for my lack of chills was that the owner of the ancient manor, Viscount Ingraham, seemed to be turning the entire ghost hunt into some sort of sick supernatural competition, almost like some type of immoral reality TV show. It just felt much more "Blair Witch Project" than "The Ring".
For years we’d been best friends. Siblings not by blood but by marriage. It was a choice our parents made together, my father and her mother. It was a new family full of love and laughter…Until it wasn’t.One day she was my younger step-sister, my best friend and ally in the whole world. We were practically inseparable, and then everything changed.I began having feelings for her. Feelings that no brother should have for their sister...step-sister.Riley
I don’t know what happened. Why did everything change? What did I do wrong?We were so close and then out of nowhere, he started treating me differently. Picking fights, ignoring me, even outright being mean to me. This isn’t the boy I grew up with.Did he learn my secret?Now that we’re adults and alone in our parents’ vacation home up in the mountains of Pennsylvania, can we work things out. Can we get past all the hurt and find a way to get along?Or better yet, can we be more than that?
Wednesday, April 7, 2021
Small towns thrive on gossip, and as the owner of the local bar, I consider myself keeper of those secrets. The bar is like a confessional, a place to unload. My sanctuary where my secrets stay hidden and the focus is never on me.
I keep my world orderly. None of the bad touching the good. Little dividers allow me to live with myself, which isn’t easy in Arrowood.
It worked until my one lapse in judgment showed up to bite me in the ass.
My best friend’s arrogant, moody, and persistent little brother who just won’t take no for an answer. I’ve never wanted and hated someone so much in my life. He’s determined to pull my secrets out of me—I’m determined to resist him.
At first, I struggled to get into the story. I didn't like Sage at all, his reactions were over the top and unbelievable, the plot was far fetched and I didn't have enough information to make sense of what was happening. I kept going with some reluctance in the hopes that something would change at some point.
And something did actually change after about a quarter of the story, the plot became more interesting and appealing to me, the things that didn't make sense at first started to clear now that new details were coming in. It turned out that Sage had much more depth than he appeared to have at first glance. He was actually sweet and considerate, patient and loyal.
Adam on his part, had many quirks and rules. He came from a big, meddling family, he was used to his small town and how everyone knew everyone's bussiness. That's actually one of the reasons why his past was still haunting him.
Josh Keller never thought he’d host a wedding reception—his kink club is a place where he tends bar and chains willing men to the padded wall in his private room. He also never thought he’d see the love of his life again. When both happen on the same day his life will never be the same.
Pax Dupont never stopped loving Josh, not when they fought and broke up and not during the fifteen years they spent a thousand miles apart. Coming face-to-face with the man he left behind is a surprise, but learning Josh is part owner of the club intrigues Pax enough to share his own love of silk, lace, and domination.
Will Josh and Pax put past hurts behind them and admit their feelings still run hot, or will Pax’s attempts to dominate Josh break them up for good?
Warnings: This book contains a brief scene of violence and a hero in peril, mentions of past abuse of a child, grief over the death of siblings, a man who loves the feel of silk and lace, and one who thought he understood his own kinky nature.
Pax shot him a look over his shoulder. That look was full of heat and promise as much as the question of what the hell did Josh have running around in his head.
Josh stood behind him as he flipped through the folders in the box and rested both hands on Pax’s shoulders. Leaning close, he whispered in Pax’s ear, “What can I do to help?”
Pax’s exhale seemed to go on forever. As he sighed, he also relaxed under Josh’s hands and leaned back so their bodies touched—Pax’s back against Josh’s chest. The same way they’d slept when they were teenagers after a long night of making out. Among other things.
“Fuck, Josh, I really have work I need to do.”
“I’m not trying to stop you.” Josh moved one hand to circle Pax’s waist and pull him closer. Gently, but leaving no room for doubt that he wanted Pax, that the anger and hurt and resentments of their past were just that: of the past.
Pax dropped his head back onto Josh’s shoulder. “I shouldn’t have left so fast. I thought…”
“You thought what?”
Tuesday, April 6, 2021
The rock star always gets the girl…
I’m living my dream. For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a rock star. And now here I am, about to start my first big tour, when she comes along.
From the second we meet, she’s all I can think about.Asking her to come on tour with me is easy. But she’s shy, insecure, and the paparazzi scare her. We live in two completely different worlds.
I love her and I know that she’s worth fighting for. The problem is, I’m not sure if love is enough.
Gabriel’s Album is the first book in the Cruise Control Heroes series. It’s the companion novel to The Album. Fall in love with Gabriel and Ariana all over again as Cruise Control embarks on their first world tour.
We’re standing in the wings, waiting to go back onstage, and Hayden asks, “Are you okay, Gabriel?”
“Yeah, as good as I can be, I guess,” I tell him and shrug my shoulders.
“I know the last half of the album sucks for you.” He gives me a wry smile.
“Understatement of the year, right there,” I laugh. “Just one more song to go, anyway. Then the meet and greet, and then hibernation.”
“Bring on the hibernation,” Harrison grins at me.
We head back out onstage for the encore, and the audience cheers loudly.
“I can’t thank you all enough for coming out tonight,” I tell the crowd.
They scream again, and I wait for the crowd to quiet down before continuing.
“I wrote a lot of Heart Wide Open while I was”—I pause and make an exaggerated thinking pose with my finger tapping on my cheek—“man, how would you describe it?”
She thought she accidentally slept with her boss…Then she met his twin brother.
Real talk: I slept with my boss. Back before he even was my boss. Back when I had no clue who he was.
Real talk: My boss is an arrogant jerk. I hate him. If we didn’t work so well together, I would have told him exactly where he could shove his pompous attitude a long time ago.
Turns out…my boss has a twin. Identical twin.
Now I know why he’s always acted like our one night together never happened. Why he acted like he’d never met me before when I started working for him.
It wasn’t him that night. It was his brother.
A brother who’s just as gorgeous as my boss and a hell of a lot nicer.
Real talk: I’m kind of…bothered that it wasn’t my boss that night.
But that’s before certain revelations about that night come to light.
“Why did you keep working here?”
My head snaps up, my confused gaze colliding with Ryder’s. “What?”
His expression is inscrutable, but it’s…intense. Whatever is going on behind his blue eyes must be a doozy. “If you thought you had slept with your boss, why didn’t you just quit?”
“You really want to talk about this now?” While sober?
I do confrontation best with some liquid courage.
He says nothing. Just watches me and waits.
I toss my pen onto the table. “Because if you didn’t remember it happening, then I could pretend like it never did, too. Clean slate.”
When his tongue slowly drags over his lower lip, I can’t tell if he likes that answer or not.
I roll my eyes with a huff. “Plus, not to add to your already inflated ego, this is the best market and ad firm in the area, despite your abhorrent people skills. It was a dream job for me.”
He taps his finger against the gleaming wood of the table. Tap, tap, tap. “You made it clear right from the start that you weren’t my biggest fan. Can I now assume that was because you were angry that I, from your perspective, didn’t remember us having sex?”
I have no answer.
What the hell am I supposed to say to that? I’m afraid the truth will make me sound like a naïve girl who became obsessed with a guy after only one night.
FYI, I didn’t.
Tap, tap, tap of his finger. “But being angry implies that you wanted me to remember.” A muscle pops in his jaw. “It was that good for you?”
Monday, April 5, 2021
Everyone remembers the night the boy band Eleven broke up. Hearts shattered around the world, including my own.
I made a mistake, and I’ve been avoiding bandmate Mason Nash ever since.
At first it was hard, but eighteen months ago, he made it easier by leaving Hollywood and disappearing.
When Eleven reunion talks start, I’m against it completely. I could really do with the publicity, but I don’t want to face Mason again. I’m sure he won’t want to see me either.
I don’t miss LA or anyone in it. Not even the guys from Eleven.
So, when they turn up on my doorstep talking about reunions, the last thing I want to do is hear them out.
I hold strong too. Until my eyes land on Denver Smith.
My ex-best friend.
Two and a half years ago, he ghosted me, and I still don’t know why.
I want answers—I miss him—but I don’t want to let him back into my life if there’s a chance he’ll walk away again.
I was looking forward to Mason and Denver's story ever since I realised they would get one together and their book didn't disappoint.
Harley is still trying to get Eleven back together and he's doing it one member at the time. Here is the first time we see all five of them.
Mason and Denver were always a little bit closer than they were with the rest of the band, but they figured it was just friendship. Until Denver started to realize there was more to his feelings for his best friend and he made a move that resulted in him being embarrassed and Mason feeling abandoned.
When they see each other again, they have some past regrets to get over in order to reconnect and some new realizations to process before they can put that awkward moment behind and be as close as they once were.
The title of the book is in reference to a show that Denver is participating in as a judge. It's a fitting title because it plays a big part in the plot and in bringing Denver and Mason together again. Denver sees it as his last chance to save his solo career and so he goes along with every whim the production has. Some of these whims result in Mason feeling comfortable in front of a camera lens again.
Being back home for eighteen months and having regular access to homecooked food from his mom while deciding to let his hair and beard do their thing, has changed Mason's appearance in a way that makes him unrecognisable at first glance. That was part of the appeal of his new look for him, he could hide in plain sight.
I liked how Mason gaining weight was presented in the book. It wasn't something to be "fixed" and Denver wasn't put off by his different appearance. I liked that Mason was comfortable in his new body and didn't want to go back to super skinny, that it wasn't required of him to go back in order to join "Eleven" again, that Denver was as much attracted to this Mason as he was to the old one. Mason was a character with a real body, he started working out to reach a stage he was the most comfortable in and that was it. He had a belly and he was happy with it, Denver was more than happy with it too.
Harley, Brix, Riley and Lyric are side characters and we also get to know Blake for the first time along with his love interest. I'll admit I was super excited once I realized they were going to get a story of their own! As usual, I can't wait!
~ I read an ARC of this book. ~
Buylinks are provided as a courtesy and do not constitute an endorsement of or affiliation with this book, author or booksellers listed.
What happens when a pixie outcast seizes the throne of Faerie… while her beloved elf prince becomes a wanted criminal?
Sassy pixie Calla loves the prankster life, even if it does make her an outcast among other fae. But everything changes when Calla’s magic erases an evil blight destroying the Faerie realm. That’s when the pariah pixie becomes something unexpected: a Fae Queen.
Yet no sooner does Calla take the crown than a new and unstoppable plague appears. Things get even worse when Calla’s longtime crush, the elf Prince ‘Dare’ Darius, appears to have masterminded the outbreak before fleeing to the mountains. According to the Faerie elders, there’s only one way to end this disease…
Calla must hunt down Dare and destroy him.
Yeah. Like that will ever happen.
Instead of killing anyone, Calla vows to cure the plague while proving Dare’s innocence. And if she must pull a few mega-pranks to make it all happen? Not a problem. Even so, the path ahead is still fraught with trouble. Secret enemies scheme to manipulate the outbreak—as well as Calla’s feelings for Dare—in order to bring our favorite prankster down, once and for all.Pixieland Diaries Series1. Pixieland Diaries2. Calla3. Dare4. Winter Prince5. Ley Queen
This morning, I wake up with a plan. Brace for the drumroll…
Ba ba ba ba ba BAAAAAAA!
And here it is…
Now that I’m Queen of the Summer Fae, I shall flush some seriously crappy stuff out of my realm. And because this diary will surely become a major historical document, I will list the two poopy things in question.
My Massive, Idealistic, And Yet Totally Achievable Goals As Queen
One. Free the human changelings who are trapped in Faerie.
Two. Make the Elven High Council accept all fae as co-rulers, not just those of the snooty and pointy-eared variety.
Together, I call this my Changeling-Council Plan. These two things have been my main obsession for years, so long as you don’t count Prince Dare.
Which brings me to the present moment. I lie curled under the covers in my royal bedroom (which is totally pink and cute) and consider my next move. There are lots of folks I should consult about my Changeling-Council Plan. But there’s only one person who never-not-once questioned that I’d eventually kick the council’s butt and redefine changeling-hood.
Keeping a diary means being brutally honest. Here goes. There’s a secret goal on my previous list of queenly stuff.
Sunday, April 4, 2021
Elaina Robidoux knows how people view her: coldhearted, ambitious, ruthless. But it doesn’t matter. Running the family business is all she’s ever wanted and she’s so close she can almost taste it…until her father fires her and hires her nemesis—arrogant, unflappable Alex Tyson. Elaina may be hurt but she refuses to be defeated, so she throws herself into creating a business of her own. But she never dreamed that to close her first deal, she’d need Alex’s help…Alex understands the power of a family legacy better than most and the last thing he wanted was to take that from Elaina. Her beauty and fierce strength are undeniable, but there’s a softer side that no one but him seems to see. She’s been taught that emotions are a liability, yet one impulsive kiss starts a chain reaction that neither of them wants to stop. But can love ignite—and survive—when secrets and loyalties collide?
“Thank you for coming down here to help and volunteering. I know you were told to be here.”
Alex chuckled and walked back over to the box next to her. “I didn’t realize being active at the country club was a part of the job description.”
“It usually isn’t. We recently lost the person who helped last year. You were promoted at an opportune time.”
“Tonight wasn’t too bad,” he said.
“I suspect not.” She watched him for a few seconds as he read over the list in the box he’d opened. “Sade was very friendly. I was surprised you chose to help me instead of going off with her.”
He didn’t look up from the paper. “I wasn’t interested in going off with her.”
“I couldn’t tell.”
“Was there a reason you paid so much attention to my interaction with Sade?” This time he did look up and nailed her with that I-can-see-through-your-bullshit stare.
Elaina glanced away quickly. “I just noticed, that’s all. She’s a nice person. I even tried hooking her up with Byron once. You could do worse.”
“Why would I want to do worse?”
She lifted a shoulder. “Sometimes worse is more fun.”
“In what way?” he asked.
Saturday, April 3, 2021
Title: You Know I'd Never
Author: Kara Lowndes
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: 03/29/2021
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, contemporary, in the closet, coming out, reunited, musicians, second chances
How do you get over the love of your life when you can’t even admit you loved her?
Janey has been in the closet her entire life—even when she fell for her first girlfriend, Elise, back in high school. After Elise left their small hometown of Clitheroe to pursue her dreams of becoming a musician, Janey knew that the only thing she’d have to remember her by was the song that Elise had written about Janey.
But that love song soon turned into the biggest hit of the decade, and Elise and her band return to Clitheroe a few years later to pay tribute to their hometown. Janey, still stuck where she was five years ago when Elise left, knows that she can’t let her ex slip through her fingers again.
But she’s still in the closet, and has no intention or idea of coming out to her homophobic family. How can she make amends with the woman she loved when she can’t even be honest with herself or the people closest to her?
You Know I’d Never
Kara Lowndes © 2021
All Rights Reserved
“What’s wrong with you?”
I heard Bess’s voice cut cheerily through the quiet of the store, in that specifically slightly-rude-yet-somehow-polite way only women aged fifty or above could get away with. I looked up from the inventory I had been taking and found her beaming at me from the doorway.
“I don’t know,” I replied. “What do you think? Do I need a new haircut? Eyebrows done? Lose twenty pounds?”
“I was thinking more than you could use a good night’s sleep,” she replied briskly, striding over to the desk to loop her forest-green apron over her head. A swirl of the dusty morning air had flooded in behind her, and the tiny store suddenly smelled of the outside—car fumes and coffee and everything else that made up Clitheroe, Massachusetts.
“Okay, well, when you can convince Arnold to stop giving me the morning shifts, maybe I can squeeze one in,” I told her.
“Or you could do this thing that I’ve been hearing so much about,” she suggested. “Going to bed early? Ground-breaking, I know, but still…”
“I’ll look into it,” I promised her. “But it doesn’t sound like it’s for me.”
“Inventory?” she asked, pointing to the battered clipboard I held. I nodded.
“If you can keep from being overtaken by the thrill, I could use a little help,” I replied, and she came over to give me a hand.
Bess was nearly sixty, and after her husband had passed away, she had decided to get out to work for the first time. She had spent most of her life as a stay-at-home mom while her late husband worked to support them and their two kids, Annette and Ben, and she brought an eternally maternal vibe to everything she did. Including working with me at Robson’s Local, the grocery store that served our tiny town. She had only been there for a year, but I had already grown used to seeing her bleached-blonde coif coming through the door every morning, her crisp shirts (of which she seemed to have an unlimited supply) so sharp they could have taken out the eye of an unsuspecting customer. Not that she couldn’t have done that with one lash of her tongue just fine.
I had dealt with enough comings and goings in this store over the years to know a permanent fixture when I saw one—most summers, I had to deal with training up some hopeful high schooler, determined to prove that they were responsible enough for a driving licence by getting a job, most of whom crapped out by the time school came around again and they could show off their new wheels to all their friends.
I didn’t get that luxury, annoyingly enough. I mean, I could show off my car to my friends if I wanted to, but given that most of us were in our twenties by now, I doubted that it would have much of the same impact. Besides, it wasn’t like I ran into a lot of them around town anymore, not since most of them had left for college or careers or other real-life crap across the state. Most of the time, I could fool myself into pretending this had all been my choice, my decision, but in truth, I had been hiding out here for way too long to think about starting anew now.
Twenty-three. Twenty-three, and I was still too nervous to get out of this town. How pathetic was that? Only five years ago, I had been scrambling to figure out how I would fulfil all of my plans, putting degrees on top of international road trips next to careers in everything I had ever even had a passing interest in. If the version of me then had seen the version of me now, she wouldn’t have been impressed. And she would have told me to cut my hair short again, because it looked way better cropped than the long, brown, slightly tangled mess it was at the moment.
“I don’t think you’re going to have much luck getting any sleep around these parts for the next couple of weeks,” Bess sighed, as she helped me stock the shelves with tins of soup and pick an explosion of chips left there by an errant schoolboy the day before off the floor.
“Why do you say that?” I asked. And honestly, I had no clue what the hell was going to come out of her mouth next. If I had, maybe I could actually have prepared for it. I know there’s these moments in movies where the heroine hears some huge news and the whole world comes to a halt for a moment. I had always believed it was a little movie magic to make everything seem more exciting, more romantic, more thrilling and significant. Or maybe it was just that this news really was all that to me.
“That musical group are coming into town soon,” she explained, frowning slightly as she checked the price of the soup against the note on her clipboard. “Here, I think these are meant to be on offer…”
Friday, April 2, 2021
Title: Something Borrowed
Author: Yolande Kleinn
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: 03/29/2021
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, contemporary, bi, gay, lawyers, fake boyfriend, friends-to-lovers, age-gap, interracial, garden wedding
When public defender Trevor Ortega finds himself dateless for his ex’s wedding, faking a relationship seems like the perfect solution. Less perfect is his thoughtless impulse to invite Sebastian Greer—friend, federal judge, and former boss—as his plus one. It would be a solid plan if not for one problem: Trevor’s been in love with Sebastian for years, and each fraudulent touch will remind him of everything he can’t have.
Trevor doesn’t know why Sebastian agreed to his scheme, but there’s no backing out now. It’s only one night after all, and what’s a little heartbreak between friends?
Yolande Kleinn © 2021
All Rights Reserved
As the voice droned steadily in his ear, the only thought in Trevor Ortega’s head was, Too bad a stunning location can’t salvage an interminable evening.
He scanned the rooftop garden, taking in the way starlight and a crescent moon glowed across cement pathways and eerily symmetrical greenery. A high stone wall ran the perimeter of the roof, and past it stretched a downtown cityscape reaching all the way to the river and beyond.
Whoever had coaxed their way into using this rooftop bower as a charity venue had seriously outdone themselves. Understated strings of lights illuminated chairs, white-draped tables, and a long banquet spread, plus a narrow counter where waitstaff served drinks.
The glass of champagne in Trevor’s hand was untouched and likely to stay that way. These events wound him too tight to drink. He’d never understood how his fellow attorneys didn’t share his reluctance. Tonight’s entire tableau felt so starched and formal, so full of people he desperately wanted to impress. After five years settled in as a public defender, he still couldn’t imagine relaxing at a gala like this.
The air had cooled considerably now that the sun had set. Even with the extra weight of his nicest suit jacket, Trevor shivered a little. If he could simply appreciate the atmosphere in silence, he could trick himself into enjoying the party.
Of course, silence was more than he could reasonably hope for tonight.
He smiled blandly at the man still talking to him. Trevor had only fleetingly caught the name offered in greeting. He probably should have tried harder to retain the information, if only to avoid crossing paths in the future. Sharp skinny angles gave his relentless conversational partner an intimidating air, the impression not at all helped by aggressive eyebrows and a sweep of receding white hair. The man’s expressionless mouth had not stopped moving for ten solid minutes. Trevor hadn’t been able to sneak in a single word to excuse himself. Somehow, the other cornered parties had all managed to escape, leaving him the sole recipient of a furious diatribe about the tax code.
Trevor didn’t mind conversations about tax codes, as a general rule. They could be fascinating in the right company. But here in this moment, words flowing over him without clarity or inflection, the topic bored him to tears. He couldn’t decide if having already eaten made the situation worse or better. On the one hand, he’d be cranky as hell if he were putting up with all this on an empty stomach, waiting in vain for a chance to escape to the banquet line. On the other hand, his full stomach meant the steady lull of his colleague’s voice was making him legitimately sleepy.
Trevor didn’t want to be here in the first place. Now that he’d fulfilled his obligation to make an appearance and could discreetly depart in good conscience, he had no graceful way to extricate himself from a one-sided conversation so dull he would prefer a concussion. It would be a different matter if this were a total stranger—Trevor might be willing to risk interrupting him midword—but he vaguely knew the man as a spouse of someone-or-other whom he couldn’t risk offending.
A shadow fell past Trevor’s elbow as someone approached him from behind. Even without knowing who the shadow belonged to, an instantaneous rush of relief cut beneath his skin. Any interruption at all could be enough of an opening to enable escape if he played his hand right.
Then he turned—had to tilt his head back to meet the new arrival’s eyes—and grinned in recognition.
Sebastian Greer stood at his elbow, tall and broad and so handsome it wasn’t fair.
“Trevor.” Sebastian greeted him with a nod, then turned an apologetic smile toward the argumentative tax attorney, who had finally stumbled midsentence. “Mr. Callum, I hope you’ll forgive the intrusion. I’ve got a professional question for Mr. Ortega. Can I borrow him for a moment?”
Thursday, April 1, 2021
Title: Junior Hero Blues
Author: J.K. Pendragon
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: 03/29/2021
Heat Level: 1 - No Sex
Genre: Contemporary YA, LGBTQIA+, Action/adventure, Coming-of-age, Criminals, Enemies/rivals to lovers, Geeks, Humorous, Interracial, Law enforcement, #ownvoices, Superhero, Young adult
Last year, Javier Medina was your average socially awkward gay high schooler with a chip on his shoulder. This year, he’s…well, pretty much the same, but with bonus superpowers, a costume with an ab window to show off his new goods, and a secret identity as the high-flying, wise-cracking superhero Blue Spark.
But being a Junior Hero means that Javier gets all the responsibility and none of the cool gadgets. It’s hard enough working for the Legion of Liberty and fighting against the evil Organization, all while trying to keep on top of school work and suspicious parents. Add in a hunky boyfriend who’s way out of Javier’s league, and an even hunkier villain who keeps appearing every time said boyfriend mysteriously disappears, and Blue Spark is in for one big dollop of teenage angst. All while engaging in some epic superhero action and, oh yeah, an all-out battle to protect Liberty City from the forces of evil.
Welcome to the 100% true and totally unbiased account of life as a teenage superhero.
Junior Hero Blues
J.K. Pendragon © 2021
All Rights Reserved
When I woke up, my mask was lying beside me on the ground, and I felt like my entire head had been squeezed like a pimple.
It took me a few minutes to get my bearings, and by the time I realized the Raven was there with me, she was putting my mask back over my eyes and checking my vitals. Masks have a way of obscuring expressions, but I could see her jaw was tight and her lips were even thinner than usual.
“What happened?” I groaned, my voice raspy. I was starting to get memories back, of the smoke and explosions of the battle, and of him. That bastard smashing my head into a mirror—I raised a hand to my forehead and felt crusted blood through my glove—and then of us fighting, and of a rather unheroic rage that had come over me as we did so. The last thing I remembered was my hands on either side of his head, shooting sonic waves into his ears so hard his eyes were rolling back, and his big meaty hands around my neck, squeezing me into darkness.
“Don’t know.” The Raven’s ambiguously Slavic accent was harsher than normal. “I found you here, with your mask off. Who did it, do you know?”