Inked & Sweet by Megan Slayer #contemporaryromance @MeganSlayer

Dante Malachi screwed his life up to epic proportions. His addictions nearly killed him before he hit rock bottom. Getting kicked out of the Malachi family was his motivation to clean up his act, but leaving his old life behind meant leaving her, as well. Rona’s the one he never forgot.

Rona never wanted to see Dante again. She blames him for the bad in her life — but also most of the good. When he comes back into her orbit, she knows she has to let him in — or get rid of him for good.

When a bomb threat throws them together, it’s up to Rona and Dante to decide if they want to extinguish the desire between them or reignite their fiery passion.

Preorder for June 25th

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2021 Megan Slayer

Dante drove away from his brother’s guest house and growled. How dare his brother throw him out? How dare his brother demand he stop stealing money from the family? So he had no claim to the money and had treated his brothers shabbily, but Jesus. They didn’t have to throw him out.

Maybe he did deserve to be removed. He’d acted like a real dick to Kelly, Martin’s girl, and spent so much money on worthless shit — drink, drugs, tattoos… He’d run roughshod over his life.

God, he was awful.

He’d been a man on the run — from his life, his family, the explosions he’d set off. He wanted someone to hurt in the same way he had. No one knew the truth, and he hadn’t shared many details. Why should he? His attitude had pushed everyone away.

He drove off and didn’t look back. Fuck ’em. His brothers didn’t want him around, then fine. He’d show them he wasn’t just one thing — a screw-up. So his ex-wife and daughter hated him. So they refused to let him see his grandson.

Fine.

He’d become someone on his own. No more illegal shit. No more expecting others to do the work for him.

He’d do it.

He had no choice.

Dante left his old life behind in search of a new one. He had business skills and the ability to talk to people. He’d find something and survive.

He wasn’t that old and had time to do something different with his life.

He owed it to his brothers to change and become the man they knew he could be. Besides, he owed it to himself to be better than his past.

* * *

One year later…

Dante pulled into the Brass Pole parking lot for his nightly shift. For the last year, he’d worked his ass off to prove to the owner, Bruce, that he could do more than look menacing at the door. He didn’t mind being a bouncer, but he’d rather work steadily with the books. Bruce allowed him to fix the mistakes in the books twice a week, but Dante preferred his time in the office, rather than at the door. The impulse to steal money never quite left him, but there wasn’t the ready cash like at his family’s clubs. Besides, he needed the job and responsibility.

He left his clunker of a car and walked into the club. Bruce stood behind the bar, rather than in his usual spot with the bouncers.

“Bruce.” Dante clocked in. “Where’s Mick? Out again?” The regular bartender wasn’t always reliable unless he was behind the bar.

“He quit. Met a girl in Sutton and left. Something about the great peanut butter and jelly sandwiches,” Bruce said. “I have no idea what the hell that means, but it’s got to be code for something. That man always talks in code about sex.” He rinsed glasses, then left them on the towel.

“Could be.” He’d never heard of sex referred to as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but whatever. “Do you have someone lined up as a replacement?”

“Not yet. I’ve got some guys coming in for interviews tomorrow.” Bruce wiped a tall-boy glass. “I’d have you fill in, but I’m sending you upstairs.”

“You are?” He’d graduated to doing the books those two nights, but hadn’t tended bar in six months.

“The books are fine and can wait another night. I’ll be down here at the bar because you’re not supposed to be this close to booze. No, I’m going to have you serve upstairs. Nothing stronger than soft drinks, so it’s not hard. Besides, I trust you up there. Everyone wants to go up there to watch the action, and I know you’ll actually do the job,” Bruce said.

“Oh, you know it?” He’d do exactly what he was told to do because he needed to prove to himself and everyone else that he could handle the job.

“You’ll give me lip, but you’ll do the job.” Bruce rearranged the glasses on the towel. “Look, just do it. It’s one night, and tomorrow you’ll be back in your office. I’m bumping you up to three days a week.”

“You are?” Damn. He’d moved up in the world. “Thank you.” He’d been a belligerent shit in his former life, and this structure suited him. “I’ll make you happy.”

“I doubt it. You’re not going to become a five-foot-seven blonde with D-cups who’s going to blow me.” Bruce tossed the towel onto the counter. “I never doubted you’d do the work, so here are the rules. No fucking the girls upstairs, no getting in the middle of the scenes and don’t leave the bar. Come in on one of your nights off to play if you want. You’ve got the pass to get up there when you’re not working.”

“I work every night we’re open.” He didn’t care. He didn’t need to get involved with someone. Christ. His love life had been complicated enough before. He preferred the simplicity. That and he’d never have another lover like Rona in his life. She knew how to make him happy and indulged his wilder side without involving drugs or alcohol. Sure, being single sucked and his bed was too fucking big for one person, but being alone kept him out of trouble.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Megan Slayer, aka Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and white hot themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been nominated at the LRC for Best Author, Best Contemporary, Best Ménage, Best BDSM and Best Anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on various e-tailer sites.

When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice. She’s an active member of the Friends of the Keystone-LaGrange Public library.

Find Megan Online: Website | Facebook | Instagram

Release Blitz: Leading the Blind by B.A. Tortuga #LGBTQ #ActionAdventure @pridepublishing @firstforromance

Leading The Blind by BA Tortuga

Book 7 in the Roughstock series

Word Count: 53,445
Book Length: NOVEL
Pages: 230

GENRES:

ACTION AND ADVENTURE
CONTEMPORARY
COWBOYS AND WESTERN
EROTIC ROMANCE
GAY
GLBTQI

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Book Description

You don’t need the use of your eyes to see forever.

After his head injury leaves him blind, professional bull rider Jason Scott can only think of one thing. He desperately needs to win the title in the big leagues of bull riding so he can retire and start a new life—one he can live with his best friend and lover, Andy Baxter.

Andy—or Bax, as his friends call him—wants to keep Jason safe and alive, but he would never ask his man to be less than he is. With the help of their best friends, they start out on a path that will lead them back to the major events and to a deception that might lose them all their jobs.

There’s no way the league officials would let Jason ride if they knew he was blind, so Jason and Bax have to figure out how to get Jason back to the top of the leaderboard without any kind of advantage or cheating being called. Meanwhile, they have to figure out what their new life is going to look like and what they’ll be if they’re not bull riders any longer.

Will they get what they want? Or will the whole thing just be a case of the blind leading the blind?

Reader advisory: This book contains some bull riding-related injuries. There is a brief homophobic slur from a secondary character.

Excerpt

“Jesus fucking Christ! Open your goddamn eyes next time! That bull damn near rang your bell.” Bax shook his arm, and Jason swore that made the world swim before his useless fucking eyes again.

“Andy Baxter, you’d best back the fuck off. This ain’t the time.” He’d know Coke’s voice anywhere, the bullfighter as much a part of his family as anyone ever had been.

“Gramps, don’t.” Jason Scott leaned against the stall, breathing hard. The last thing he needed was Pa and Ma MacGillicuddy freaking out because he’d lost his cookies at a bull riding. Bull riding fans were a specific breed, and it didn’t matter one bit whether it was the big show or a tiny two-gate sheriff’s posse arena. They all talked.

“Well, someone has to,” Coke ground out. “He’s being an ass.”

“He needs to keep his eyes open.” But Bax lowered his voice, thank God.

“I know. I got dirt in ‘em. It’s not like I can wipe them, Bax.”

“For eight seconds, you can suck it up.”

“Right. ‘Cause you were always fucking perfect.”

Bax grabbed his shirtfront and shook him. “Every. Fucking. Ride.”

“Stop it,” Coke snapped, and they stopped. Gramps rarely spoke in that tone. When he did, well, they listened. “Y’all are being buttheads and I don’t need this shit, you comprende? Folks got phones.”

“Sorry,” Bax murmured, which made Jason snort.

“Don’t tease the bull, son. Tell Andy you’re sorry.”

Jason blew out a hard breath. “You know I am, butthead.”

“Good boys. Come on now. We got to get out of the public.” Coke tugged at his arm. Hell, Coke had to get back to work.

“Right. I’m going to get out of here, Gramps. I sure as shit ain’t making the short go.”

“Okay, son.” Coke clapped him on the back. “Be good.”

Bax laughed. “Right. He’ll be trying to drive off in the truck soon.”

“I’d do better than some.” His head was starting to pound like there was a damn mariachi band in there, playing away.

“You did okay last time,” Bax agreed, taking his arm and leading him out of the arena. “Until you didn’t.”

“Story of my life.” He rode like a champion, until he didn’t. He could see, until he couldn’t. He had a whole life, until it was over. Now? He was fixin’ to try and take some of it back.

“Hey, I just want you to be safe.”

“I know. I just want you to not have to babysit my ass forever.”

“I’m not your babysitter.” Bax lowered his voice. “I’m yours, and we’re in this together, Mini.”

Jason felt his fucking shoulders come down from around his ears. Okay. Yeah. ‘Together’ he could get behind. A burden? No, that he couldn’t do. “Right. Sorry. You want a beer?” An aspirin? Something to stop this pounding?

“Sure. Sounds good.” Bax led him out of the arena, the dirt changing to concrete.

He tried to make sure his face was thunderous, keeping anyone away who might want to talk. He was getting better at that part—the talking to fans—but not much. Right now he thought he might die if someone stopped them. Bax kept him moving fast, and soon enough he was in the cab of their truck, the sudden quiet shocking his senses.

“I’m taking you to the travel trailer, okay?” Bax sounded either pissed or scared. He wasn’t sure which.

“Okay.” Jason didn’t want to fight no more, so he folded his hands and sat quiet as a mouse.

They didn’t play music, they just drove, and when they got to the gravel road, Jason knew they were at the weird little campground.

The truck rocked a bit when Bax hit the brakes. The engine cut off, and they sat there.

“You okay?” Bax finally asked.

“My head hurts some,” he admitted. “I need some time to not worry about shit.”

“Well, come on. We’ll get you some pills and watch a movie.”

Listen to a movie, more like, but whatever. “Works for me.”

“You sure? I could put on one of those audiobooks.”

“I just want to be somewhere I”—can see—“know.”

“It’s cool and quiet in there.” Bax climbed out of the truck, then came around to help him out.

“Yeah.” He sighed. “I’m sorry, Bax.”

“What for, Mini?” They stepped up into the trailer, the smell oddly homey inside.

“Being blind?” Having you take care of me when all I want in all the world is to take care of you.

“Well, that’s stupid. Ain’t like you asked to be blind.”

“No.” No, not a bit. “Good thing we cleared that up.”

“You know it.” Bax snorted loud, then guided him to sit back on the bed thingy. “Let me get us a cold drink, then we can kinda float.”

“Thanks. I’ll get the next one.” He toed his boots off and stripped out of his sponsor shirt and his baggy, filthy work jeans.

“No problem.” Bax opened a couple of bottles, the bottle cap sound unmistakable.

He took the bottle when Bax offered it and drank deep, the lemon-lime bubbles suiting him to the bone.

“Mmm. It was dry as dirt out there, huh?”

“Yeah. Yeah, and I’m pretty sure my mouth was open when I hit the ground.” His molars were a little gritty.

“Ew. No cow shit, Mini.”

Jason snorted, tickled shitless. “No. Although God knows how much we’ve eaten accidentally over the years.”

“Stop.” Bax pinched his hip. “That’s nasty.”

“No pinching!” He rolled toward Bax, trying not to spill his drink. “You’re such a wuss.”

“I am not. I swim with you at your momma’s place. There’s snake poop in there.” Bax had a point there. Jason wasn’t real sure what the point was, but Bax had one.

“I don’t even want to think about what all is in that pond, Bax.”

“Nope.”

They kinda…lounged. Just sat there and breathed like great big lazy gators. He laughed a little at that. Gators did okay blind, according to Beau Lafitte.

“What’s funny, Mini?”

“Alligators.”

“That ain’t funny. That’s a lot of teeth.”

“You’re just grumpy. Most days they’re funny.”

“Kinda, yeah.” Bax took his hand. “Sorry I yelled, Mini.”

“I’m trying. I swear to God. I’m trying hard to do this.” And God knew there were more than a few days when he just wanted to give up, to go home to Momma’s and admit defeat. Shit fire and save matches, what the fuck was he thinking, riding blind? He’d got his bell rung when he could see.

“I know. I know it.” Bax sighed. “I want— Shit, Mini, I want you to be happy, and you’re not.”

“I don’t want to ride the little events forever. I don’t want to be a has-been.” He didn’t want to be a burden.

“You’re not. You’re doing amazing.”

Now, Bax wasn’t one to blow smoke up anyone’s ass, so the words perked him up a little bit.

“You think so? I feel like a fuck-up.”

“That’s because we’re all always telling you what to do.”

He traced Bax’s fingers, one after another. Lord have mercy, those calluses felt like heaven when they touched him. The fact that they’d never touched him when he couldn’t see wasn’t lost on him. Bax had saved him. Completely. Fucker.

“You’re pouring smoke, Jason. Out of your brain.” Bax chuckled. “Thinkin’ ain’t what we do best.”

“Fuck no. We do stupid shit and drink beer.” It was the cowboy way, after all.

“See? I knew it.” Bax rolled to kiss his cheek.

“Knew what?” He could meet Bax halfway.

“That we’re better not thinking.” Bax laughed, poking his ribs.

He chuckled. “No shit on that, man.”

“Mmm.” Bax settled in right against his hip. “I got you, Jason. You just scared me, is all.”

“Scared me too. I hate being this way.”

“I know.” Those fingers moved over him, Bax stroking his belly.

Goosepimples climbed up his skin, heading from hips to nipples. “Mmm. I don’t hate this, though.”

“No, sir. I love this. Holding you. Touching you.”

“Good deal.”

Bax was breathing, steady and sure, and the rhythm liked to hypnotized him. “That is a good deal,” Bax agreed.

“We are. I mean, this is. Us. Christ.”

“It is what it is.” That was right down Zen of Bax.

He nodded and let his eyes close. It was the only way he could see colors. Sometimes he thought he could see Bax. Sometimes he knew he could.

“You’re smiling.” Bax rewarded him with a kiss.

He didn’t say why, and it didn’t matter. Nothing he did would change his world. No sense getting Bax’s hopes up.

Together, they’d get through today. Tomorrow too.

The day after that would just have to take care of itself.

Buy Links

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First For Romance

About the Author

BA Tortuga

Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds and her beloved wife, texting her buddies, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing Pinterest in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife, Julia Talbot, her best friends, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.

Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has heard the call of the high desert and lives in the Sandias. With books ranging from hard-hitting romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head.

You can check out BA’s website and blog, and follow her on Pinterest and Instagram.

Giveaway

Enter and get a FREE romance book from the author!

BA Tortuga’s Leading the Blind Giveaway

ENTER HERE AND GET A FREE EBOOK FROM THE AUTHOR! Notice: This competition ends on 22nd June 2021 at 5pm GMT. Competition hosted by Totally Entwined Group.

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Spotlight: Rooster (Devil’s Boneyard MC) by Harley Wylde #romcom #contemporaryromance @HarleyW_Writer

Alora – I’ve prided myself on being a strong, independent woman and not needing anyone. I didn’t become a bestselling author by the age of twenty out of pure dumb luck. I worked my tail off to get as far as I have. But there are few perks to having a man in my life. Laughter, romance, and companionship. Battery operated boyfriends can only do so much. Too bad the guy who sets me on fire is a bossy biker who wants to claim me. No way I’m letting him label me as property. Nope. Not happening. Doesn’t matter if he does make my knees weak and my heart race. I’m not giving in!

Rooster – Of all the women to capture my interest, it had to be the most stubborn, sexy, adorable woman on the planet. I love her mind, her sense of humor, and the way she fills out a pair of shorts. I don’t even mind that she’s an exhibitionist, as long as no one touches. Doesn’t matter to me her uncles were both rotten to the core. The Devil’s Fury may think she belongs to them, but I have other plans. Alora will be mine — no matter the cost.

WARNING: Rooster is part of the Devil’s Boneyard MC series. There are adult situations and bad language. No cliffhanger. Happily-ever-after and laughter guaranteed!

Get it Now at Changeling Press

Preorder for June 11th at online booksellers

WHAT ARE REVIEWERS SAYING?

“This book was steamy and laugh out loud funny… Just the perfect combo!!!” – Tanya @ Goodreads

“This book was absolutely worth the wait! It’s everything I have come to expect from this author and more.” – G @ Goodreads

“Woah! Steamy reading ahead. I just finished reading Rooster and I reckon this is the best yet…” – Alice @ BookBub

“This one was outrageously funny and so steamy it fogged my windows up!” – Julie @ BookBub

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Harley Wylde is the International Bestselling Author of the Dixie Reapers MC, Devil’s Boneyard MC, and Hades Abyss MC series.

When Harley’s writing, her motto is the hotter the better — off the charts sex, commanding men, and the women who can’t deny them. If you want men who talk dirty, are sexy as hell, and take what they want, then you’ve come to the right place. She doesn’t shy away from the dangers and nastiness in the world, bringing those realities to the pages of her books, but always gives her characters a happily-ever-after and makes sure the bad guys get what they deserve. 

The times Harley isn’t writing, she’s thinking up naughty things to do to her husband, drinking copious amounts of Starbucks, and reading. She loves to read and devours a book a day, sometimes more. She’s also fond of TV shows and movies from the 1980’s, as well as paranormal shows from the 1990’s to today, even though she’d much rather be reading or writing.  

You can find out more about Harley or enter her monthly giveaway on her website. Be sure to join her newsletter while you’re there to learn more about discounts, signing events, and other goodies!

New Release: Dire Wolves (paperback) by Shelby Morgen and Lena Austin #paranormalromance #LGBTQ @shelbymorgen @Lena_Austin

Whiteout by Shelby Morgen: Zan gives John a reason to want to live as a man again. But before he can make that kind of promise, he’s got unfinished business to take care of.

Silence by Lena Austin: Noel Miller, a vampire with a few scars of his own, wants to be more than Cam’s sign language interpreter. If only the werewolf will let him into his life — and heart.

White Heat by Shelby Morgen: Heather Grant’s got far too much experience working with stubborn males. She figures it would serve both Alphas right if their pride blows their cover. But someone’s got to salvage the mission.

Available in paperback at Amazon

Praise for Dire Wolves (Box Set)


“…a collection that grabs the reader, takes them on a journey, and ensures some cold showers. Erotic, captivating, and deliciously carnal are how I would describe The Dire Wolves Anthology. It is definitely worth reading, worth adding to one’s reading library, and well worth re-reading.”— 4 Stars from Nikki, Sensuous Reviews  

“This book hooked me from the get go. I just couldn’t put it down. I fell in love with these characters… just a perfect read.” — 5 Stars from Jeanne, Amazon Review

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2021
Excerpt from Silence by Lena Austin

“Danse Macabre” was a lousy choice for a ring tone, but Detective Cameron Douglas always thought about it when he had the least amount of time to change the ring to something else. The tune was the last he’d ever hear. Cam didn’t know that sad fact, or he’d have changed the ring sooner.

Cam snatched the phone out of his pocket and flipped it open as soon as he saw it was his boss, Lt. Kraynak. “Hey, Mark! You caught me just leaving the mayor’s office.”

“Yeah?” Mark’s voice always sounded nervous, but at that moment, he sounded as squeaky as a girl. Cam always wondered if Mark was as closet gay as Cam himself. “How’d it go?”

Cam sighed. The investigation into the death of the mayor’s secretary, Margaret Lund, was supposed to be kept very quiet and low-key. “We got the blood from her apartment at the lab, looking for DNA. They seem to be consistent with the defensive marks found on her body despite floating around in the St. John’s River for a while. I’ve got a few good leads.” He had to be vague. Cam couldn’t exactly tell his boss he was a werewolf and he’d caught an odd, masculine scent in Margaret’s apartment. He knew any sort of masculine odor didn’t belong in that apartment because Margaret and his mother had been lovers for over twenty years. Not exactly what you want the whole world to know. Mom had been in the closet all her life, and he wasn’t about to out her when she was mourning “Aunt Maggie’s” death. Dad would turn over in his grave, the day care she’d run for fifteen years would close, and her life would be in ruins. What she and Maggie had enjoyed just wasn’t ever going to be public, and that wasn’t admissible evidence anyway.

He could see it now. Him, on the witness stand. “Yes, Your Honor. I’m a werewolf you see, and I sniffed this odor…” He winced, even to himself.

“I don’t like it, Cam. You shouldn’t be on this case. Ms. Lund was your mother’s best friend. You could be called prejudiced in court.” Mark popped another gumball in his mouth. Cam heard it rattle against his teeth before it crackled as he chewed it into oblivion. Mark’d been trying to quit smoking again, and kept a gumball bank on his desk.

“I don’t like it, either, Mark. Where His Honor got the idea I’d be the only detective who could do the job is beyond me.” Cam was in sight of his car at last. The covered parking garage across the street from City Hall was a piece of shit like all the rest of downtown. Half the security cameras didn’t work at the best of times, and the roof leaked whenever it rained. So where was he parked? On the roof. In the rain. Of course. So he was wet. It was Florida. Not like he would melt. He was a werewolf, not a witch, and this wasn’t Hollyweird.

The beep in his ear made him jump, and the caller ID told him it was Mom. “Hey, I’m at my car. Hang on a sec.” Cam flipped over to his mother’s call and sat down on a bench about fifty feet from his car, in the shelter covering the elevator. “Hi, Mom.” He frowned and noticed the hood of his car was slightly ajar. That was odd. He distinctly remembered changing the oil the previous Sunday and slamming the hood closed because he hated working in the hot sun.

He never heard her answer. Hell, he never heard anything except the biggest boom on the planet.

Waking up wasn’t like someone flipped on a light switch. It was more like a lazy Sunday morning when you didn’t have to be anywhere or do anything in particular, so you could roll over and laze in bed. That is, until your bladder or some other bodily need woke you up.

What woke him up was pain. Cam had the worst headache ever, even beyond hangovers and mild concussions from playing rugby. Cam felt like he’d been run over by a semi, too, with a backache from lying in one position too long on top of assorted injuries. Worst of all was the ringing in his ears. Tinnitus, he guessed. Not bad, since Cam had to assume he’d survived that explosion. Hell, he counted himself lucky when he opened his eyes and saw his left leg in bandages, not a cast. If a headache, a bum leg, and a case of tinnitus were all he had to suffer through, Cam was happy.

A nurse peeked in. She saw Cam was awake and smiled at him. Her lips moved, but he couldn’t hear her over the ringing in his ears. She frowned when Cam told her she’d have to speak up, and would she bring him something for the headache and tinnitus? She turned around and walked out without another word. She was back with something she shot into his IV. Whatever it was put him out like a light. Pain, tinnitus, and consciousness all went away at once.

When next Cam could put two words together in a coherent sentence, the clock on the wall and the darkness out the window gave him a clue it was 7:30 PM, not AM. He’d slept away the whole day. Great. Now his ears were sore.

A young man in a lab coat read a book in the corner chair, even though the only light source was the fluorescent above the head of Cam’s bed. The guy’s eyesight must have been superlative. He looked up slowly, and Cam was completely arrested — pardon the pun — by his eyes. They were big, blue and so world-weary Cam wanted to — maybe buy the kid a cup of coffee and give him a sympathetic ear. Then the newcomer smiled, and the world was all sunshine and cheer. The young man tapped on the keyboard of his laptop without taking his gaze off Cam’s face.

Cam moved restlessly under that intense blue gaze that did not in the least match with the smile. Cam opened his mouth to speak, but stopped when the screen on a laptop left on his lap table brightened. He frowned and studied the screen. “Can you read this?” Surprised, Cam nodded without thinking.

The blue-eyed man smiled and nodded. “Good. How’s your tinnitus?” lit up on the screen in a standard IM chat feature of a common website.

“Um… should I answer aloud?” Cam felt suddenly adrift in a strange sea, unsure of himself for the first time since college. Still, he did an internal check, and the buzzing still filled his ears like a thousand crickets on speed. “Yep, still have the crickets.” The realization hit him. “The explosion caused this tinnitus, didn’t it?”

“Yes, Mr. Douglas. Please speak more softly.” The IM kept up easily, and the young man’s hands flew silently but rapidly over the tiny keyboard. Damn, this guy was good.

Oops. Cam wasn’t stupid. He knew that those with hearing issues often spoke too loudly, trying to over-compensate for their loss. He modified his volume. “Um. Sorry.” He clung to the thin thread of hope that the tinnitus was causing his hearing loss, but he knew a bunch of cops who’d neglected ear protection at the shooting range once too often. Tinnitus could be permanent, or worse, the symptom of something much, much worse.

The IM lit up with several lines in rapid succession. “My name is Noel Miller, and I am your ENT therapist.” Now the cheer was gone, and the face serious.

Cam’s heart hammered, and he swallowed to help his suddenly dry mouth. Fear, ice-cold and cruel, raced up his spine. Part of him was grateful he still had painkillers in his system. Deep inside himself, a little kid threw a major temper tantrum, even if he held himself rigidly under control. “I’m deaf, aren’t I?”

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Shelby Morgen

Shelby Morgen loves writing offbeat tales that defy as many rules as possible.

She likes chocolate with her peanut butter, suspense with her romance, and kink with her sex, and she’s always had a hard time keeping science fiction, fantasy and paranormal from mixing with her kink.

Shelby shares her belief in electronic publishing with her longtime friend and partner, Bill, her husband of nearly four decades.

Lena Austin

Someone cursed Lena Austin with “may you have a life so full you’ll have many tales to tell your grandchildren.” Lena’s a “fallen” society wench with a checkered past. She’s been a licensed minister, hairdresser, Realtor, radio DJ, exotic dancer, telephone service tech, live-steel medievalist swordswoman, BDSM Mistress, and investment property manager. Not necessarily in that order. She never finished that degree in marine archaeology, but did learn to scuba — she’s got a lifetime of “Research material!”

Hey, why waste these stories on kids who won’t listen anyway? Writing them down is a nice way to spend her retirement. What? You expected an ex-BDSM Mistress to take up crocheting or something?

New Release: Getting to You by M.L. Uberti #actionadventure #contemporaryromance @mluberti_writer

Zac Xavier is called from a meeting to find his wife, a teacher, is in a lockdown situation at her school. Rushing across town, he remembers when they first met.

In fear for her life, Emma is determined to protect her students at all costs. But while danger lurks closer, she flashes back to meeting her beloved husband.

Zac won’t stop until Emma’s safe, and Emma will do what she has to in order to protect her students. Will their love affair meet a tragic end or will they get their happily ever after?

Publisher’s Warning: Getting To You involves an Active Shooter school shooting with casualties and may be a trigger for some readers.

Available Today at Changeling Press – Save 20%!

Preorder for June 4th at online retailers

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2021 ML Uberti

The first time I met Emma, I was sitting at the end of the bar, a hole in the wall in the new neighborhood where I had just bought a five-bedroom Tudor in a burgeoning area of Chicago. Oprah, the Obamas, other Hyde Park celebrities were snatching up properties left and right — and I had found a gem that needed restoration but after I flipped it, I could make a mint on it.

And at thirty-seven, that was my life’s goal: making money. I had a lot of it, wanted a fuck ton more, and did everything I could, 24/7, to make it happen. So the four-level Bridgeport Village luxury house with ten foot ceilings was mine to crash in while it was renovated, then I could find somewhere else with the profit and do it all over again.

This would be my sixteenth house in the last decade that I’d make money on. It was just a matter of how much and when.

But while that happened, I needed some place to get a whiskey at the end of the day. I didn’t keep alcohol in the house — another hold over rule from my childhood I couldn’t seem to break. When there was liquor around, my dad drank too much and took out his aggression on me and my brothers’ faces. Then my mom would dump it out, dad would sober up, and things would return to their normal level of dysfunction before disintegrating again.

Master’s Saloon was where I ended up today. It was a three-block walk, not that my driver Wilcox would ever let me fucking walk it, but close was what I wanted. Drunk was what I actually wanted, but I had a five a.m. call with London so that was out. Two whiskeys and home to fall asleep watching the Bulls stomp the Knicks. The hipster bartender with the skinny jeans and cardigan made his way over and took my order, and I read through emails as I sat on a stool and thought about ordering dinner.

“Hi, Silas,” a bright voice sounded beside me, and for some unknown fucking reason, since I usually don’t give a shit about strangers, especially those in a bar with Grey Goose as top shelf, my eyes shifted over.

I didn’t turn my head, just took in the peripheral. I saw a girl, thin, tall, with dark hair pulled high in a ponytail on her head, fingerless mittens on her hands, jumping on the balls of her feet in a pair of Converse that were worn the fuck out and most likely wet from the sloppy inch or two of snow outside.

“Hey Ems — you looking for the box, babe?” the stringy-haired bartender asked as he filled a pint glass.

“Yep! Is it full? Tell me it’s full,” she said, her voice light but deep, raspy. Even sexy-sounding — so much that I actually twisted my neck to take her in.

She was a stunner, that much I could see. Young, way too fucking young for me, probably just out of college. Tight jeans that cupped her perky little ass, with a rip in the knee. A decades-old wool coat that was buttoned up over a sweater that went up to her chin, and when she glanced my way and shot me a casual smile, a smile I could tell she gave to everyone she saw regardless of the circumstance, I saw her eyes were a swirl of green and gold, with long dark lashes that made the face of a pretty girl spectacular.

The bartender chuckled at her brimming excitement. “It’s pretty full, Ems. Gimme a sec and I’ll grab it for ya. Todd locked it in the office so no one swiped anything.”

“Silas, who is going to steal hats and mittens for second graders?” she asked incredulously, then slid into the seat beside mine. “And I’m in no rush. Take your time.”

I wanted to tell him I agreed — he could take his fucking time while this little cutie wiggled her bottom on the chair to try to get comfortable on the hard wood, a scent of citrus and honey wafting from her skin.

She couldn’t sit still, her energy bursting from every inch of her, and I was drawn in by it and her easy, open smile. Which she gave me a second time and I knew if I didn’t talk to her, if I ignored her like most women I came across, I’d regret it.

“You want a drink?” I asked, tipping my whiskey to my lips and taking a small swallow.

She swiveled her head and blinked at me. “Me?”

I looked around, but we were pretty much alone in this corner of the bar by the windows. “Yeah, you.”

“Oh, I’m just picking something up. Some friends of mine put out boxes to collect hats and stuff for my students. I have to swing by three other places tonight if I want to get everything ready for tomorrow,” she explained, keeping those gorgeous eyes on me.

“What’s tomorrow?” I asked, turning toward her in the stool.

The side of her mouth tipped up. “It’s Christmas Eve Eve,” she told me as if that meant something. “It’s the last day of school before the holiday break. And I have like two hundred fifty bundles to make up before tomorrow at seven fifteen a.m.”

“Bundles,” I repeated.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Starbucks aficionado, lover of throw blankets and betrayer of all things kale, ML Uberti is a Wayne State University graduate and Metro Detroit author with a predilection for oddities and happy endings. She is mom to three autistic kids, 2 ridiculously stupid dogs and wife of a teacher and musician who has endless patience for her impeccably bad taste in Netflix shows and murder documentaries. She is thrilled to dip her toe into scifi romance from contemporary and hopes you enjoy her big, brooding alien alphas and resilient fairy tale queens.

New Release: Spirits of Abaddon by Mychael Black #LGBTQ #darkfantasy

Published by Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller
Genres/Themes: Action Adventure, Dark Fantasy, Gay Romance

There’s no denying the attraction between Jesse and Gabriel, but Jesse doesn’t like vampires, and he purposely avoids Gabriel whenever he can. When Jesse witnesses a murder, he finds himself on the run, and his only choice is to turn to the one man he’s been trying to ignore.

Jesse and Gabriel have their work cut out for them the moment they step foot into Gabriel’s home world of Abaddon. With the elemental ice mage Lazarus they uncover the unthinkable: a plot to overthrow the throne of Abaddon itself.

Gabriel has a secret weapon in the coming war: Jesse. As a vampire/elemental crossbreed, Jesse possesses powers surpassing those of both his lovers. There’s little time for him to come into his full abilities, however, and it’s going to take a miracle if he and his lovers are to survive.

Publisher’s Note: Spirits of Abaddon contains the previously published novellas Bad Blood, Sanctified, Darkness in Paradise, Twilight of the Gods.

Available today at Changeling Press

Preorder for May 21st at online booksellers

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2021 Mychael Black
Excerpt from Bad Blood

Energy hummed through Jesse, and he left the techs to break down his kit. The crowd normally gathered in front of the stage had dispersed, some to the bar, others scattered around the small but popular club. He grinned and caught a bottle of water when the bartender tossed it to him.

“Good show.”

Jesse closed his eyes and barely suppressed a shiver. He clutched the cold bottle, hoping it would put out the heat surging through his body. He knew that voice. He heard it every night in his head, every time he wrapped his fingers around his own cock.

“Thanks.” He forced himself to turn around and meet an enigmatic grey gaze.

Gabriel Walsh embodied everything Jesse had ever wanted: gorgeous looks, expressive eyes, a body built for sin, and all in all, a decent personality. Only one problem… Gabriel also had fangs. And drank blood. Human blood.

That fact alone scared the hell out of Jesse more than he cared to admit.

Yet he couldn’t resist panting Gabriel’s name every night, even if no one else heard it.

Jesse struggled for something to say, but his voice refused to work beyond one-syllable words. Gabriel smiled, the effect disarming until his fangs came into view. Unlike Julian, Gabriel didn’t hide them. Jesse wondered if there were more differences between them — namely feeding. Julian didn’t kill, but Jesse had a gut feeling Gabriel did, and would gladly do so again.

“Jess!”

Grateful for something to break the tension, Jesse turned away from Gabriel and waved at Jason. “I’ll catch you guys later!” Then he returned his attention to Gabriel. “Um, I need to go.”

Gabriel nodded and motioned toward the door. “I’m sure we’ll meet again.”

“Yeah.”

Jesse hurried out of the bar and only stopped walking fast when he neared his car. He got in and shut the door, but instead of turning the key, he rested his forehead to the steering wheel, eyes closed, and concentrated on breathing. Why, out of all the guys in Atlanta, did he have to fall for the one who scared the ever-loving shit out of him?

A knock on the driver’s side window startled him, and he jerked his head up to see Gabriel crouching beside the car. Jesse rolled down the window, hoping the door itself would be enough of a barrier between them.

“Are you all right?”

“Yeah, yeah. Just… tired, I guess. Long show.”

“Why do you fear us?”

“I don’t.” Jesse shrugged. “I don’t like vampires; that’s all. At least Julian doesn’t freak me out anymore.”

“And me?”

Jesse refused to meet Gabriel’s gaze. “You aren’t like him.”

“Oh?”

A single touch, a finger beneath his chin, drew Jesse’s face back around. This man embodied sex appeal so strong it chipped away at Jesse’s defenses little by little. Gabriel Walsh also was, without a doubt, dangerous.

“I would never hurt you.”

Jesse wanted to believe it. He wanted it almost as much as Gabriel himself. Gabriel traced Jesse’s jaw with his fingertip and it took every ounce of willpower on Jesse’s part to not chase that finger with his mouth. He stared at lips he’d fantasized about, only to realize he hadn’t heard a word Gabriel said.

He blinked and looked up. “Um, sorry. I wasn’t…” Gabriel smiled slowly. “I didn’t…” He watched, entranced by the lips nearing his own. “I…”

Stop. Stop, stop, stop

The first touch stole his breath and the protests died on his tongue. In a momentary lapse of reason, Jesse gave in. Gabriel took control, tongue sweeping through Jesse’s mouth, hands on either side of his head. Before Jesse could even think about how far he really wanted this to go, however, Gabriel drew back.

“I know you don’t trust me, but I’m here should you ever need me.”

Jesse watched Gabriel walk away and a part of him screamed for more than a kiss. Much more.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Myc has been writing professionally since 2005, solo and with Shayne Carmichael. Genres include pretty much anything (no steampunk yet), though Myc is well known for paranormal stories. When not writing, Myc is usually playing PC games, reading, watching Netflix, and spending way too much time on Facebook. Since the question has come up in the past, pronouns are not an issue. Myc is bio-female, mentally male, and 100% genderfluid, so any pronoun works!

New Release: Justice (Salvation’s Bane) by Marteeka Karland #mcromance #newadult @marteekakarland

Published by Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Marteeka Karland
Genres/Themes: MC Romance, Action Adventure, New Adult, Suspense

Justice: I expected to spend most of the rest of my life in prison. Even so, I worked for my club, Salvation’s Bane, gathering valuable information about Palm Beach and all the clubs residing there. Imagine my surprise when a short, clumsy, curvy female comes to my rescue. The moment I see her in that prim skirt stretched tight over her ass and the blouse straining to contain her tits I know I want her. I’m just not sure she’s capable of handling all I have to give after eight years in the big house.

Mae: Archer “Justice” Creed may not be completely innocent, but he’s not guilty of the crime they convicted him of. Fighting to get him freed was a long, hard battle, but I’m not letting them keep him behind bars a second longer. What I didn’t count on was being attracted to the big, tattooed former lawyer. I know a perfumed rock would look good to him after eight long years in prison, but he’s ready and I’m willing. Too bad he’s an arrogant asshole out of bed. Unfortunately for me, I’m stuck with the big brute. I ruffled some feathers at the DA’s office when I got Justice freed, and now I could be in some danger. But do I trust Justice to protect me, or should I go back to Rycks, my guardian and an enforcer in Black Reign MC? Our clubs aren’t exactly enemies, but they’re not friends.

Oh, and those ruffled feathers I mentioned before? They’re coming after me. And Justice.

Available today at Changeling Press

Preorder for May 21st at online booksellers

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2021 Marteeka Karland

“Archer Creed. Also known as ‘Justice.’”

Justice had heard this a thousand times since he went away for murder eight years ago. Usually after he’d beat a motherfucker for pissing him off and some judge was giving him extra time.

This time was different.

“I find myself in the position of being the one to inform you that your conviction has been overturned.”

OK. He wasn’t expecting that.

“Your lawyer mounted an investigation into the prosecuting attorney for your trial, and there were several… irregularities discovered. While the details of the case are still being hammered out, one thing is certain. Due to prosecutorial misconduct, your conviction is overturned with prejudice.”

The judge was an older, balding man with thick glasses and a ruddy complexion. Justice had liked the man on sight, but now Justice wanted to vote him judge of the fucking year. “I haven’t reviewed the case because I don’t care much, so your lawyer can review the particulars if you want them.” He smiled to take the sting out of his words. “I carry out the job the state presents me with. If it doesn’t require a judgment from me, I just carry out the order.”

He didn’t look apologetic at all. Yeah. Justice liked him.

“All I know is the state’s attorney overstepped his authority in your case. As such, you cannot be retried for the same crime. The state apologizes for its mistreatment of you.”

“I ain’t goin’ back to that fuckin’ place for any reason, judge,” Justice said, earning him a frown from the bailiff but a small smile from the judge.

“Can’t say that I blame you, son. There are procedures –”

“Ain’t. Goin’. Back.”

Again, the bailiff frowned, this time putting his hand on his weapon and taking a threatening step forward.

“Stop it, George,” the judge said in an exasperated tone. “The man wouldn’t be in this position if Alister hadn’t fucked up the case in the first damned place.”

Justice raised an eyebrow. He’d never heard a judge talk that way in court before. He liked this guy better every second.

The judge turned his attention back to Justice. “I only have one question. After that, you’re free to go. The state will send your belongings to the address of your choosing, and you don’t have to go collect them yourself.”

“Ask,” Justice said, crossing his arms over his chest. This ought to be good.

“Why do they call you Justice?”

The question surprised Justice, but only because he expected everyone in the fucking state to know his name. But then, it had been twelve years. “I used to be a lawyer.”

“Oh? For what state?”

“Florida.” Justice leveled his gaze on the judge. Not backing down an inch.

The older man narrowed his eyes. “Archer Creed…” Then he sat back in his chair, a look of disbelief on his face.

“Don’t ask me if I’m the Archer Creed or I might just do something to earn that prison sentence.”

The judge’s previously congenial face hardened. This was the type of judge Justice was used to. “I like you, son. It’s the only reason I don’t slap you with a contempt charge for that remark.” He held Justice’s gaze for a moment before speaking again. “I know the case. Was a bit dug into my own business at the time, but I remember thinking they’d hand you your ass for the stunt you pulled.”

“You were right.”

“Sorry I was. I can’t condone violence in any form, but the bastard got what he deserved.”

“I only bucked the system, your honor. Bastard had so many people in his pocket, everything I had got thrown out before it could be presented to a jury.”

“Ironic that you’d get railroaded into a conviction for a crime you may not have committed in the very case that got you disbarred.”

Justice shrugged. “It is what it is.”

“I’m surprised your lawyer isn’t present for this.”

“Far as I know, I don’t have one.”

“Well, someone took up the cause. Must have a good mind, too, to get that conviction overturned so quickly”

“Quick? If you call eight years quick, you’re older than you look.”

Surprisingly, that got a sharp bark of laughter from the judge. “Considering the family involved and the fact that Florida doesn’t like looking bad in legal matters, yeah. I’d call it quick. Are you telling me you’ve never met the lawyer who filed this on your behalf?”

“I’m sayin’ I didn’t know anything was being done on my behalf in the first Goddamned place.” Justice glanced at the bailiff. Sure enough, the man winced at his language. There was no way to stop the smirk Justice threw the other man’s way. He loved goading easy marks.

The judge had opened his mouth to say something when there was a commotion outside the chamber doors just before they burst open. A short, busty woman in four-inch heels stumbled through the door. She carried a briefcase with several pieces of paper sticking out, and her hair, which probably was supposed to be in a tight bun, was sticking out in several directions in jet-black, kinky curls. No. Curls wasn’t exactly right. They wanted to be curls, but they were mostly a frizzy mess. The glasses she wore were too big for her elfin face, her eyes the color of perfect sapphires. She wore a white blouse tucked into a black skirt. The blouse hung from her arms but stretched tightly across her breasts, and her skirt gapped at the waist, but looked like she was barely able to squeeze that generous ass into it. She carried a suit jacket draped over one arm as she caught the door with the other hand to keep from falling. All in all, she was a hot mess.

“Judge Harlan!” She stumbled once more, then righted herself and hurried to the front of the courtroom… to stand beside Justice? What the fuck?

Judge Harlan gave a long-suffering but amused sigh. “Mae Stephens. I should have known you were behind this.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Erotic romance author by night, emergency room tech/clerk by day, Marteeka Karland works really hard to drive everyone in her life completely and totally nuts. She has been creating stories from her warped imagination since she was in the third grade. Her love of writing blossomed throughout her teenage years until it developed into the totally unorthodox and irreverent style her English teachers tried so hard to rid her of.

Release Blitz: Sweet Hart by Rae Marks #LGBTQ #contemporaryromance @pridepublishing

Sweet Hart by Rae Marks

Book 1 in the Hart Consulting series

Word Count: 79,903
Book Length: SUPER NOVEL
Pages: 321

Genres:

ACTION AND ADVENTURE
BONDAGE AND BDSM
CONTEMPORARY
EROTIC ROMANCE
FAKE RELATIONSHIPS
GAY
GLBTQI
MEN IN UNIFORM
THRILLERS AND SUSPENSE

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Book Description

When Brayden stumbles into a covert operation, Sam has to keep him alive. Together they navigate their unexpected attraction and the world of the Ukrainian mafia.

Brayden Hart needs to find his older brother Mason and time is running out. Mason disappeared after being discharged from the military two years before. While on leave from the army, Bray follows a lead his friend has been able to find. When he knocks on the door of a dingy apartment outside Miami, the last person he expects to meet is the gorgeous but grumpy Sam Wheeler.

Sam denies knowing Bray’s brother and turns him away. But Sam is Bray’s only lead. Luckily, Bray’s childhood friend is one of the best hackers in the country and helps Bray follow Sam to Ukraine.

In Kiev, Bray falls blindly into the fray of a covert operation and Sam steps in to keep him alive. While navigating the choppy waters of the Ukrainian mafia, Bray and Sam fall into the bedroom. But what happens when the mission ends?

Reader advisory: This book contains references to historical rape, child sexual abuse and sex trafficking. There are also scenes of violence.

Excerpt

“Look, kid. I got nothing to tell you.”

Bray pulled his gaze from the full lips he’d been watching as the man in the doorway, Sam, gave a flat refusal. He took a deep, calming breath and willed away his body’s response. Maybe he needed to back up a little and explain the urgency of the situation. He didn’t have a lot of time to find Mase, and this Sam guy was his best bet.

The guy blocking the doorway would be hot if his eyebrows weren’t pinched together so tight and his big, full lips weren’t turned down. Hell, he was still hot, even in full intimidation mode.

Sam’s honey-blond hair was longer on top and styled high. His groomed beard was just a few shades darker than the hair on his head and hinted at the tiniest bit of red highlights. Bray lowered his eyes again to Sam’s lips. Both were plump, but the top lip was a little fuller than the bottom one. That was rare, in Bray’s experience, but sexy as hell.

The tic in the jaw next to those lips brought Bray back to the matter at hand. He looked up into Sam’s cinnamon-brown eyes as he considered his options.

“I know you’re working with Mase and I have to find him. I’m—”

“I don’t know what you’re going on about, but I have shit to do.”

Sam tried to close the old, paint-chipped door in Bray’s face, but Bray stepped forward, using his foot as a doorstop. He wouldn’t give up that easily. Bray needed to untie his tongue and keep on task, no matter how sexy the guy was.

“Please, I don’t have a lot of time. I just need to talk to him.”

“Look, kid—”

“I’m not a kid. I know he’s pulled some crazy stunts since he got kicked out—”

“You don’t know shit, kid. If you just got kicked out of the military and you’re looking for camaraderie and a job, forget it.”

As soon as Sam said the word ‘military’, Bray breathed a sigh of relief. Sam swore under his breath. So the guy definitely knew his brother. Sam flexed his huge biceps as he crossed his arms. His head dipped to one side as he leaned forward. Bray swallowed then a tiny breath escaped his lips as he imagined the man before him leaning in to steal a kiss. Was this guy Mase’s boyfriend? If so, his brother was one lucky bastard.

“Move your foot. Like I said, kid, you don’t know shit,” Sam ground out through clenched teeth.

“Just tell me what’s going on. Is he okay? If he’d returned any of my emails over the past two and half years, maybe I’d know more about what was happening.”

“You think I can help you?”

Bray gave one sharp nod of confirmation. Sam blew a breath out between his lush lips and dropped his arms to his sides. The crease between his brows eased a bit as he seemed to really look at Bray for the first time. He looked over Bray’s head down the hallway for a moment before coming to some kind of decision.

“What’s your name, kid?”

“Bray, Brayden Hart.”

There was a pause. Bray assumed it was Sam digesting Bray’s last name, Mase’s last name.

“Well, I’m sorry, but I got nothing for you, Mr. Hart.”

“How’d you know I was in the army?”

“You got it written all over you, from your close-cropped cut to your military stance.” The guy rolled his eyes and shook his head. “I’ve got things to do, kid, so do you mind moving your foot—or do I need to move it for you?”

Bray wet his dry lips as he contemplated his choices. He could call Max for another favor, but if he went that route, he’d need this part to be believable.

“I can just sit out here and wait until he comes home.”

“You’ll be waiting the rest of your life, kid.”

“It’s Bray or Brayden, and I think you have a really good idea when you’ll be talking to Mase again.”

Looking over Sam’s shoulder, Bray took in the shit-hole apartment with its dingy brown carpet and walls so old that the wallpaper was peeling at the corners along the ceiling. A ceiling with tiles that had different-sized brown rings, a sure sign of water damage. Was this how Mase was living now? The thought made Bray’s gut twist uncomfortably.

If Mase needed money… Bray shook his head. Mase would never be the one to reach out, which was exactly why Bray was standing in the hallway that smelled like piss mixed with broccoli farts. Unless the inside of the apartment smelled better, he didn’t see how anyone could even think about putting a morsel of food into their mouth in this place.

If by chance Sam did talk to Mase before Brayden could get to him, he had to figure out a message most likely to get a response. Would Mase come home or even return a call if he knew the truth? Probably not. Bray bit his lip as he waffled. He didn’t like lying, and he especially didn’t like lying to family. He wasn’t sure he’d ever be able to forgive his father for his ‘little white lie’.

“When you see him, tell him Nickel needs him. Tell him it’s looking like it might be life or death.”

Both those statements taken separately were absolutely one hundred percent true. Nick might deny he needed their older brother, but he and Bray were twins. Bray knew they both required all the support they could get.

When Mase heard those statements together, Bray knew what he’d assume, and he’d have to apologize for it later. For now, he decided it was the best route. He had a feeling Sam would repeat those statements verbatim to his brother.

“Nickel?” Sam asked.

“Nick, my twin.”

“Twins? There’re two of you running around wreaking havoc?”

“Nick wreaks more havoc and we’re not identical, so there aren’t exactly two of me.”

Sam’s only response was a raised eyebrow.

“So you’ll tell him?”

“I’m sorry. There’s no way I can help you,” Sam said with the shake of his head.

Even though Bray was anxious, he hesitated before lifting his foot. He needed Sam to think he was reluctant to leave. Sam was only a couple inches taller than Bray’s five-foot-eleven-inch frame, but he hunched down a little, so they were eye to eye.

“I can’t help you,” Sam said again.

Bray swallowed as energy began to hum under his skin at the man’s direct stare. He couldn’t be lusting after his brother’s boyfriend. Wetting his dry lips one last time, Bray nodded and lifted his foot. The two men stared at each other for a moment longer, until the sound of a baby screaming somewhere down the hall had Bray turning his head. Before he could even suck in another breath, the door in front of him slammed shut and the lock snicked into place.

With a dejected sigh, Brayden looked at the door for another minute. Guilt had his stomach tightening into knots. He couldn’t afford to stand around, though his hesitation to leave would probably work in his favor in case Sam was watching through the peephole.

When he pushed open the door of the building a few minutes later, Bray sucked in some of the fresh air. He didn’t even care that his clothes immediately glued themselves to his body with the humidity Florida was famous for. He was just glad to be out of the stench that had pressed down on him inside the apartment building.

After one last glance at the second floor, Bray walked down the sidewalk toward the parking lot. As soon as he was in his rental car, he dialed Max’s number.

“How’d it go?” Max said.

“He wouldn’t even admit he knew Mase.”

There was silence on the other end. Max had warned him against making contact with Sam. He’d suggested following him until he led Bray to Mase, but Bray didn’t have that kind of time.

“So, it looks like you were right,” Bray admitted.

There was still silence on the other end of the line.

“Look, Sin. I still need help.”

Bray always struggled calling his friend by his pseudonym. Even though it stood for Super Intel Nerd, calling a nerdy guy like Max, Sin seemed funny to Bray.

“Next time listen to me. You’ve now ruined the advantage of surprising him.”

“Fine. Can you find out where he’s going?”

“Of course I can.”

Bray could hear the light click-clack of Max tapping on the keys of his laptop. Putting the phone on Bluetooth, Bray started his rental and pulled out of the parking spot behind Sam’s apartment building.

“Where’s he going?” Bray asked as he pulled out onto the street.

“I have him traveling out of Miami to Kiev tomorrow with a stopover in Munich.”

Bray tapped his fingers on the steering wheel. This had just gotten a lot more complicated and expensive than he’d anticipated. Was Mase undercover or was he in trouble? If he was in trouble, Bray wanted to be there.

“Looks like I’ll be heading to Kiev,” he sighed.

“I’ll book you a flight that stops over in DC. I’ve got something I want to give you if you’re going to Kiev.”

“I just have to check out of the hotel. Give me a couple of hours to get to the airport.”

Max disconnected the call without saying goodbye, but it didn’t surprise Bray at all. Max was always on to the next problem.

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About the Author

Rae Marks

Rae has been secretly penning romances since high school. It started with short stories that grew into full-length novels. When she received her first Kindle and had thousands of books at her fingertips, she became a little distracted from writing. Then one day she read a book that she would have written a different way. She began writing again and hasn’t stopped since.

When she’s not writing, Rae can usually be found reading, walking along the beaches of Half Moon Bay, or taking her geriatric dog to the vet, yet again.

You can follow Rae on Instagram.

Giveaway

Enter to win a fabulous gift package and get a First For Romance Gift Card!

Rae Marks Sweet Hart Giveaway

RAE MARKS IS GIVING AWAY THIS FABULOUS PRIZE TO ONE LUCKY WINNER. ENTER HERE FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A LOVELY GIFT PACKAGE AND GET A FIRST FOR ROMANCE GIFT CARD! Notice: This competition ends on 25TH May 2021 at 5pm GMT. Competition hosted by Totally Entwined Group.

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Wolf (Devil’s Fury MC) by Harley Wylde #mcromance #agegap @HarleyW_Writer

Glory -– Who up and moves to another state where they don’t know anyone and don’t have a job or a place to live? Me, that’s who. When I heard Devil’s Fury was running an underground clinic for women like me — victims of boys pretending to be men — I knew I had to be a part of it. What I didn’t count on was falling for an alpha biker with a heart of gold or turning to mush every time he holds my daughter. There’s more to Wolf than most people realize, and now that he’s decided I’m his and he’s mine, I’m holding on and never letting go. I won’t even let a killer stand in the way of my happily-ever-after.

Wolf — When my ex left for greener pastures I should have been broken-hearted. So why wasn’t I? One look at the angel who walks into Church and I know… Glory’s meant to be mine, and so is her adorable little girl. Just one problem. Well, two. She’s skittish — she’s been badly hurt by men before, and I’m not exactly a prize. I came back from the war broken physically and mentally. I know Glory can do better. But I always get what I want, and I want Glory. When someone tries to destroy my new family, I know I’ll do whatever it takes to keep them safe… even if it means letting Glory see the darkness inside me.

WARNING: Wolf’s story is part of the Devil’s Fury MC series and contains some violence, bad language, sensitive issues, and adult situations. Guaranteed happily-ever-after, a baby who will steal your heart, no cheating, and no cliffhanger.

Available now at Changeling Press

Preorder for May 14th at online booksellers

Praise for Wolf (Devil’s Fury MC)

“A must read for everyone that loves HEAs. Hot men, strong female characters, and lots of sexy times. What’s not to like?” – nbenigno, BookBub

“Wolf and Glory together is pure genius.” – mbtoner8, BookBub

“Prepare for waterworks with this roller coaster ride! Great story line, fantastic characters, and a love that reminds us why book boyfriends are fire!” – lauracriddle1, BookBub

“The twists and turns of this book kept me turning pages…” – T. Carney, BookBub

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2021 Harley Wylde

Glory

I’d lost my mind. What sane person picked up and moved to another state without having a job lined up, all because they wanted to volunteer for an underground clinic, which could lead to imprisonment? Me, that’s who. Although, I now questioned exactly how sane I was. My daughter, Sienna, wasn’t quite a year old, so she didn’t understand what was happening. As long as I fed her on time, and maintained her routine, she didn’t much care where we lived. She did need a roof over her head and I didn’t have housing figured out.

My hands trembled as I followed Tank through the Devil’s Fury clubhouse. Until the second trimester of my pregnancy, I hadn’t even known him, or his wife. Emmie had become a good friend since then, and when I’d heard what the Devil’s Fury wanted to accomplish, I knew I needed to be a part of it.

“Let me do the talking,” Tank said. “You’ll know when you need to speak up.”

“All right. I won’t get in trouble for being here?” I asked, looking around.

“No. You’re with me, and that’s enough. Only my brother is expecting me, so we may not get a warm reception when we first walk in. Their bark is worse than their bite, at least where women are concerned. Just don’t fuck up and you won’t have anything to worry about.”

Right. Because that didn’t make chills skate down my spine. Exactly what would they do to me if I did fuck up? I wasn’t sure I wanted to know.

Tank pushed open some double doors and strolled inside with me on his heels.

“Don’t start the party without me,” Tank said, a smile in his voice.

A man stood at the head of the table, and I assumed he was the club President. I didn’t know much about the way a place like this worked, but Tank’s wife had gone over the basics. I eyed the man’s cut. Badger — President. Yep, I’d been right. I tried to hide the way my hands trembled and hoped no one realized I was out of my depth right now.

“Motherfucker,” Badger muttered. “I should gut you for barging into Church uninvited.”

My stomach clenched and I gave Tank the side-eye. I hoped he was right about these men not getting angry and taking it out on me. I’d defend myself, but I doubted I was much of a match for the guys in the room. And gut him? Did he mean literally?

“Technically, I had an invitation from your VP, and I come bearing gifts.” He reached over and yanked me from where I’d stood partially behind him. I winced and wanted to rub my arm. “Meet Glory.”

“We don’t allow club whores in Church,” one of them said. I eyed his cut. Demon — Sgt. at Arms. Same rank as Tank. Which meant I needed to toe the line, according to Emmie. However, I’ve never been good at doing what I should.

Tank winced and I felt my face flush. A club whore? That’s what they thought? I wanted to scan my clothes, thinking maybe I’d dressed wrong. No. Jeans and a heather gray tee. Nothing overtly sexy about what I had on. In fact, my shirt was even on the loose side.

Anger sparked inside me. Emmie had explained what the club whores were, and how these men didn’t respect them, not even a little. They used them and tossed them aside. And this asshole thought I was a club whore?

I jabbed a finger in Demon’s direction and snarled. “I’m not a fucking club whore. You try to put your dick anywhere near me, I’ll rip it off.”

Badger sat and leaned back in his chair, apparently settling for the show. I hoped like hell there wouldn’t be one. I’d been warned not to let these men push me around and at the same time, I had to act respectful. It was a fine line, and I hoped I didn’t cross it. Even though being around men still scared the crap out of me at times, I didn’t want them to think I was too soft. They needed to know I could handle myself in this world. If I couldn’t prove myself to them, I could be asked to leave.

Demon stared down his nose at me.

“First off, I have a woman so I wouldn’t want my dick anywhere near you. Second, you point at me again, and I’ll –”

Badger cleared his throat and shook his head, giving Demon a look that clearly said shut up. The Sergeant-at-Arms clamped his lips shut and glared at me. I folded my arms and stared back, faking way more bravery than I actually had. I hoped no one noticed I was shaking.

“Introduce Glory, Tank,” someone else said.

“Glory has a four-year degree in biology and was accepted into medical school. She only attended for one semester before she had to quit and stay home,” Tank said.

“Why did you have to quit?” another man asked. Blades was stitched on his cut.

“Fuck that. She doesn’t even look old enough to be out of high school.” The man partway down the table leaned forward, a ghost of a smile crossing his lips. “No offense.”

I looked up at Tank, knowing this was the moment he’d mentioned. The time I’d knew I needed to speak. They needed to hear my story, understand why I was here and why I needed to help in any way I could. I faced the table of men.

“I graduated high school when I was fourteen, then finished my four-year degree in three years. I was seventeen when I was accepted into medical school. The reason I dropped out is personal, but considering why I’m here, I’ll share it with you. I was walking across campus one night when two guys dragged me off into the bushes. They hit me several times, nearly knocking me out, then took turns raping me.”

I scanned the room, stopping on each brother for a few seconds before moving on to the next. I dared for one single man to utter anything about me deserving it, or any other bullshit I’d already heard a million times since the incident. Several gazed back at me with sympathy. Others looked furious, but I didn’t think it was at me. No, I thought they wanted to track down the two men who’d hurt me, and if I had names for them, I’d gladly let them do their worst. I doubted I was their first, or their last, victim.

“I have a daughter as a consequence of that night. No one found me for thirty-six hours, and by the time I was treated, it was too late for the morning-after pill to be as effective. They treated me for STDs and sent me on my way.” I took a breath and my fingers clenched and unclenched at my sides. “My parents threw me out when I refused to have an abortion. Sienna, my daughter, is developmentally delayed but she’s an angel. No matter how she was conceived, I’m lucky to be her mom.”

“You dropped out to take care of your kid or because you were scared to be on campus?” another man asked. I checked for a name, needing to make sure I could recognize these men later. Ripper.

“A little of both,” I admitted. “I’m eighteen, in case anyone wondered. Almost nineteen. Tank heard about your project to help rape victims and thought of me. We met at the OB-GYN when I was there for a check-up during my pregnancy, and I spilled my story to his wife.”

The VP, Slash, narrowed his gaze at Tank. “Anything I need to know, brother?”

Tank shook his head. “Got a vasectomy when the girls were about two years old. Those three are more than enough. We were just there for a routine thing. Emmie didn’t want to go alone.”

“You want to help as what? Medical staff?” Badger asked me.

“After having been the victim of two rapists, I can understand where these women are emotionally and mentally,” I said. “I have enough training to help with the basics, but you’d still need a licensed doctor or nurse practitioner. I’m CPR certified, and I’ve been taking some online nursing classes. I just haven’t been able to do the hands-on part because of Sienna.”

“She’ll need a place to stay,” Tank said. “Any objections to letting her use one of the apartments?”

“They only have one bedroom,” Ripper said. “She needs more space if she has a daughter.”

I wanted to smile. These men had no idea the conditions I’d been dealing with since finding out I was pregnant. A one bedroom behind a fence? Seemed more like paradise to me. Having two bedrooms was a luxury, and not one I necessarily needed. As long as I had a roof over our heads, could keep Sienna cool in the summer or warm in the winter, and keep us both fed nothing else mattered.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Harley Wylde is the International Bestselling Author of the Dixie Reapers MC, Devil’s Boneyard MC, and Hades Abyss MC series.

When Harley’s writing, her motto is the hotter the better — off the charts sex, commanding men, and the women who can’t deny them. If you want men who talk dirty, are sexy as hell, and take what they want, then you’ve come to the right place. She doesn’t shy away from the dangers and nastiness in the world, bringing those realities to the pages of her books, but always gives her characters a happily-ever-after and makes sure the bad guys get what they deserve. 

The times Harley isn’t writing, she’s thinking up naughty things to do to her husband, drinking copious amounts of Starbucks, and reading. She loves to read and devours a book a day, sometimes more. She’s also fond of TV shows and movies from the 1980’s, as well as paranormal shows from the 1990’s to today, even though she’d much rather be reading or writing.  

You can find out more about Harley or enter her monthly giveaway on her website. Be sure to join her newsletter while you’re there to learn more about discounts, signing events, and other goodies!

Wake Me by Angela Knight #darkfantasy #bdsm @AngelaKnight

Wedding Photographer Chloe Hart has just been dumped when she receives a mysterious gift — a painting of a handsome knight in a heavy gold frame worked with what appear to be magical sigils. She promptly hangs the painting up in place of her cheating ex-boyfriend’s portrait.

That night, she has the most delicious dream of Lord Radolf of Varik, the medieval conqueror who has just seized her castle. He seduces her in a red-hot encounter that makes her forget all about ol’ what’s his name. The next night, Radolf is back, this time as the captain of a pirate ship. Night after night, Radolf and Chloe act out some deliciously erotic scene from her favorite guilty-pleasure romance novels. And every single dream seems utterly real, down to the last scent and taste.

What Chloe doesn’t realize is that what’s all fun and games for her is desperately serious for Radolf. He’s been a prisoner for eight hundred years in the castle of a witch, and he can’t escape until he can find a woman who cares enough to free him. Is Chloe that woman?

Even as the two begin to fall in love, a new and horrible fear grips Radolf: what will the witch do to Chloe?

Get it today at Changeling Press

Preorder for May 14th at online booksellers

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2021 Angela Knight

Chloe Hart eyed the newspaper with all the enthusiasm of a woman surveying a dentist’s chair before a root canal. “Don’t be a wuss, Chlo’,” she muttered to herself, and picked up the paper.

Gripping it like a club, she marched back into the house to the kitchen table, where a bracing cup of coffee and a Danish waited to fortify her for the coming ordeal. She tossed the paper on the table, plopped down in her chair, and picked up the mug. An incautious sip scalded the tip of her tongue.

At Chloe’s lisped obscenity, Rhett Butler looked up from his Tender Vittles with an inquiring “Meow?”

“Ignore me, Rhett,” she managed around her boiled tongue tip as she unfolded the newspaper with a series of grim snaps. “Just having a bad morning.”

Happy to comply, the muscular black tom settled back down over his bowl. Like his namesake, he frankly didn’t give a damn. But as she’d told her dog-loving buddy, Amanda Rice, there was something to be said for blunt feline honesty.

Chloe paged past a murder, a house fire, and a really spectacular pileup on I-26 to reach the account of her personal Waterloo. She found it on page four in section C.

The bride smiled her familiar grin from a dozen yards of tulle and seed pearls, clutching a bouquet of white roses that cascaded to her silk-covered knees. Chloe could almost hear her mother sniff that a woman with three kids had no business in that much white. From a professional standpoint, she herself thought the composition was a little off; the tilt of the bride’s veiled head and the position of her flowers didn’t quite lead the eye in the proper flow.

“That’s what you get for using a cheap photographer, you backstabbing bitch,” she muttered at the photo. “Then again, if I’d shot you, I wouldn’t have used a camera.”

Without bothering to read the description of the wedding — she wasn’t that big a masochist, thank you — she closed the newspaper and looked at Rhett. “As God is my witness,” she drawled in her best mock-Scarlett O’Hara growl, “I’ll never be a sucker again.”

Knuckles rattled the storm door. Chloe looked up in surprise. Amanda wouldn’t bother to knock, and she wasn’t expecting anybody else. “If that’s Debbie and Chris, stopping by to beg for forgiveness on the way to the honeymoon,” she told the cat as she got up to answer it, “You have my permission to attack.”

Rhett yawned and twisted around to lick his furry backside.

She looked back at him. “Or you can do that. Does express the general sentiment pretty well.”

Chloe opened the door to find a man in a familiar brown uniform, a huge box tucked awkwardly under one arm. “Delivery,” he said, and juggled his electronic clipboard into her hands.

She took it and signed her name in the window, eying the package. “Wonder who that’s from?”

He shrugged, supremely indifferent. “Looks like a picture to me.”

It did have the right dimensions — four feet across and more than a yard wide, but only three or four inches thick. Curiosity piqued, Chloe accepted the heavy parcel and hauled it inside as the delivery truck roared off. She tossed it down on the kitchen table and went in search of a pair of scissors to attack the packing tape. “If it’s a portrait of the bride and groom,” she told Rhett as she dug through the kitchen drawer, “your litter box is gonna get filled with little bits of photo paper.”

Ripping off a strip of the heavy brown cardboard, Chloe lifted her brows at the intriguing sight of bare, tanned chest and a tight male nipple. “I take it back, Rhett,” she murmured. “Somehow I don’t think this is going in the litter box.”

Ten minutes later, the box lay ruthlessly demolished on the floor, and the oil painting it had contained stood propped on the kitchen table.

Chloe stared reverently.

The knight sprawled in sleep across a tumble of rich sable fur, one hand resting on the jeweled hilt of a sword. It looked as if he’d stripped and fallen asleep after a battle.

He was a big, blond Viking of a man, his hair cropped short, a neat beard framing his lush sinner’s mouth. His starkly handsome face looked as though it had been carved by God’s own chisel, but if so, He’d been in a hurry. There was something a bit crude and brutal in the angles of the knight’s cheekbones and big, square chin. Luckily, those features were balanced out by a regal Roman nose and thick blond brows. The whole effect was intensely masculine — and just a little intimidating.

So was the rest of him. He had the build of a man who’d spent his entire life swinging a blade in an era when losing could cost you your life. He’d cut it close a time or two; his brawny body was slashed here and there with scars that reminded Chloe of a tiger’s stripes.

“Really big hands, too,” she purred under her breath, eying his long fingers and broad palms. Unfortunately, one of the pelts lay across his hips in a pool of sable, preventing her from determining if the interesting bits lived up to those hands.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Angela Knight’s romance writing career began in 1996, when she realized her dream of romance publication with Red Sage’s Secrets anthology. She is a New York Times best-selling author of more than fifty novels, novellas, and ebooks, including the Mageverse and Time Hunters series. Her career spans twenty plus years. Romantic Times Bookclub Magazine gave her a Career Achievement award in Paranormal Romance, as well as two Reviewers’ Choice awards for best erotic romance and best werewolf romance.

Angela is currently a writer, editor, and cover artist for Changeling Press. She also teaches online writing courses with SavvyAuthors.com. Besides her fiction work, Angela’s writing career includes a decade as an award-winning South Carolina newspaper reporter. She lives in South Carolina with her husband, Michael, a thirty-year police veteran and detective with a local police department.