All Wrapped Up Holiday Giveaway #romancebooks #giveaways @changelingpress

Who wants a chance to win some romance paperbacks? I have a set (volumes 1, 2, and 3) of All Wrapped Up that I’m giving away. You’ll get stories from authors Marteeka Karland, Jade Buchanan, Lena Austin, Willa Okati, Emma Ray Garrett, Lacey Savage, Angela Knight, Dakota Cassidy, and Kate Hill! ($43 value)


The Fine Print: No purchase necessary to enter. Void where prohibited. Must be 18 years or older to enter. Open to US residents only.


CLICK HERE TO ENTER

About the Books:

ALL WRAPPED UP, VOL 1

Vampires, Shifters, and Destined Mates search for their Happy Ever After on the paranormal side of destiny…

Blood Service by Angela Knight: Adiva Mayhew is a spy — and a damn good one. But now she’s running for her life from a deadly bounty hunter. There’s a high reward for her capture, and the Vigilante means to collect, one way or another.

Slave School Dropout by Dakota Cassidy: Nyla is a cat. So is Lucas. Nyla is an Egyptian descendant of Bast. Lucas… isn’t. They’ve been friends since they met at a shifters’ meet and greet. Until one day, Nyla smells what Lucas has smelled all along. Her lifemate. Who knew the bump and grind meant floggers and spankings and a host of kinky stuff Nyla had no clue Lucas liked? It’s High Society meets the ASPCA — with a decided twist…

Tainted Kisses by Kate Hill: A primeval vampire, a woman intent on saving her village at all costs, and a bargain. Pure evil meets pure good. Niabi uses her powers in defense of the weak. When Etlu’s army of Viking warriors devastates a village she’s sworn to protect, Niabi’s only choice is to strike a bargain with Etlu — the humans’ lives in exchange for her complete surrender to his desires. Can she find anything in him worth saving?

ALL WRAPPED UP, VOL 2

Alien Space Marines, a celebrity photographer, and a pair of vampires find their perfect mates on the dark side of the night.

Chain of Three by Willa Okati: Mix two alien Marines, a human BDSM Master, and a shapeshifting Empress with a mind of her own, and what do you get? A whole lot of trouble. It’s a three-way battle for dominance, and the Empress knows something she’s not telling…

Naked Exposure by Lacey Savage: When savvy celebrity photographer Deidre Laxon trespasses on private property in pursuit of hot Hollywood bachelor Greg Radigan, she has no idea she’s about to capture him in all his naked glory participating in some very explicit BDSM play. When Greg and Deidre finally come face-to-face, he’s ready to exact revenge. And nothing short of Deidre’s complete submission will satisfy him…

Torqued by Emma Ray Garrett: Being a dominatrix gives Reliant Agent Pru Gordon perfect access to the Nightside she polices. And it lets her fulfill her fantasies at the same time. It’s the perfect life. Until the night she meets Gage Mills and Ro Thomas. When two of the darkest predators around meet up with the best Controller alive, things are bound to get messy… Just what the Domme ordered.

ALL WRAPPED UP, VOL 3

Three vampires, a bounty hunter, and a marriage in crisis — these mates fight for a future together.

Bound to Please by Jade Buchanan: Melaina Carey’s life may have been saved when she was turned into a vampire, but it brought with it a whole new host of problems. Tristan and Dougal are determined to help, but there’s no way Melaina’s going to submit easily. Tristan and Dougal are going to have to prove they are man — and vampire — enough to control her every move.

Caught by Marteeka Karland: Zuri Starbreeze is a bounty hunter on the trail of a cold-blooded killer. What Zuri doesn’t know is that Cade is hunting her. He wants Zuri for his partner, all right. Flat on her back, writhing and screaming in pleasure… One thing’s for sure, no matter her choice, she won’t come out of this the same.

Bonds of Matrimony by Lena Austin: Million Dollar Millicent, real estate entrepreneur and all around bitch, books a fantasy vacation for herself and her husband Alex on a tropical playground planet. It’s a place where your deepest desires come true — even if you’re not sure what they are.

Book Review: Captive of Wolves by Eva Chase #FantasyRomance #NetGalley @AuthorEvaChase

My blood is their salvation… and my ruin.

For years, the monsters who killed my family have held me in a cage. Brutalized and half-starved. Only kept alive so they can steal my blood.

Until one evening when four eerily gorgeous men break me out of my prison.

They give me a soft bed and delicious food. They say they’ll protect me—but their generosity may come at a price.

My rescuers are monsters like my captors: fae who shift into wolves. A curse gripping the faerie realm turns them wild under the full moon. Only my blood can cure their rage.

These fearsome men need me, and not just to lift the curse. A tragedy left them outcasts, and offering me to their rulers could win them back the home and the power they lost.

No matter how kindly they treat me, no matter how their smoldering eyes and strong hands stir unfamiliar desires in both my body and my heart, their castle is just another prison. As long as I’m a prize more than a person, my life will never be my own.

I’ve survived this long without giving up. I won’t roll over now. But how can one damaged human girl hold her own against the savage fae?

*Captive of Wolves is the first in a new paranormal romance saga featuring possessive wolf shifters, fraught fae politics, and a wounded heroine coming into her own. Grab it now and get swept away in the fantasy!*

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MY REVIEW:

5 stars!

Cliffhanger ahead!

I generally dislike cliffhangers. I’ve always needed my happily-ever-after by the last page of a book, but the way Captive of Wolves ends only left me eager for the next book.

I loved the determination and spirit of Talia. No matter the odds, she refused to give up. Even frail and injured, she held on to a spark of hope. When she’s freed and taken in by another cadre of wolves, she’s scared to trust them, no matter how nice most of them seem to be.

Watching August and Sylas fight their attraction to Talia, had me eagerly waiting on them to completely fall for her. And while Whitt comes off as a drunkard who dislikes Talia, we soon learn there’s much more to him.

Wolf fights. A curse. Meddling fae. And a human who is more than ordinary. Captive of Wolves is a page-turning fantasy that will leave you wanting more.

**Disclaimer: I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The review above is only my opinion.

New Audiobook: Heart’s Desire by Jessica Coulter Smith #YAFantasy #audiobooks

Narrated by JE Whittaker
Duration: 3 hours 27 minutes
Listen to a Sample

One touch. One look from Morgan’s hypnotic eyes and Skye can’t deny the magnetic pull.

High school senior, Morgan Raines was used to change, whether it was transferring to a new school or shifting into a were-jaguar under the full moon. Starting over didn’t bother him, but finding his mate pinned to her locker by her loser ex-boyfriend does.

Will turning furry during the full moon send Skye running scared or into his arms?

Get it at Audible

Release Blitz: Daughter of the Moon by Effie Calvin #Fantasy #LGBTQ @effiecalvin

Title: Daughter of the Moon

Series: Tales of Inthya, Book Five

Author: Effie Calvin

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: November 9, 2020

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 75500

Genre: Fantasy, LGBTQIA+, Mythical creatures, shifters, trans, royalty, war mongering, exile, gods, magic, student

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Synopsis

Four months ago, Netheia Isinthi failed to take her father’s throne from her older sister. After refusing to publicly support the new empress, she is banished to Ieflaria’s capital city, Birsgen, where she anticipates a long and uneventful exile.

Klavida of Nalova is a student at the university established by Princess Esofi for the study of magic. She has come from the far north researching Talcia’s creatures—or so she claims. After a chance meeting brings the two together, Klavida wants nothing to do with the angry, ill-mannered princess. But when Netheia offers Klavida access to the royal library, Klavida decides she can tolerate her after all.

As they spend time together, Klavida realizes that Netheia is intensely lonely and has never known genuine friendship. She becomes determined to show her that there is more to life than the pursuit of power and that a peaceful life of freedom can be more satisfying than ruling an empire.

But Netheia’s patron goddess is not ready to accept that she has lost the Xytan Empire—and neither are Netheia’s most ardent supporters.

Excerpt

Daughter of the Moon
Effie Calvin © 2020
All Rights Reserved

NETHEIA

Netheia Isinthi supposed things could be worse.

She could have spent the last three months in a prison cell rather than her own familiar rooms. She could be dressed in rags and manacles instead of a silk dress. She could be awaiting the headman’s axe instead of a meeting with the newly crowned empress.

Outside the door stood four guards—too many for Netheia to fight, no matter how her blood sang at the thought of a challenge. To make matters worse, all her weapons had been removed from the room, even the well-hidden ones.

Ioanna had always been good at finding hidden things.

Netheia paced the room from end to end. Outside, rain fell softly, and a thin layer of silver mist blanketed the palace grounds. If she looked out the window, she could see more guards posted below.

All the guards assigned to her were strangers, obviously hired on to replace those loyal to her. She wondered what had happened to them. Execution seemed unlikely, given Netheia still lived.

Nobody tried to contact her, including her own mother. Perhaps she was similarly confined, but probably not. Most likely Enessa didn’t want to be seen associating with Netheia anymore—once the favored daughter, now a failure, a traitor.

What would her father say if he could see them all now?

Netheia spent most of her time exercising until she couldn’t move, finding the burn in her muscles familiar and reassuring. She examined her arms and legs every day, terrified the long confinement was destroying her body. What would everyone say if she emerged from her room as thin as Ioanna? They might even stop supporting her—for surely they still supported her? They were only biding their time, wise enough to not stand openly against the new empress now that the Order of the Sun was here to be her own personal army.

Nobody answered her prayers anymore.

Netheia swallowed and tried to push that thought away. She ought to be grateful for the respite, but instead found herself fantasizing about ways to win her patron goddess back, to prove her worthiness.

The door opened, and Netheia turned to face the guards standing there.

“The empress will see you now,” one said.

Her fantasies often began this way, and always ended with Ioanna dead on the floor in front of her. In those fantasies, Netheia tore through the guards like they were made of parchment paper, and Ioanna put up less resistance than a rabbit might. But as she observed the guards now, she realized nothing would play out like in her imaginings. They would be on her as soon as the faintest glimmer of rust-red magic appeared at her hands.

Netheia’s stomach churned, but she refused to allow them to see her distress. She lifted her chin and strode past them out of the room.

*

Ioanna Isinthi, firstborn daughter of Emperor Ionnes, sat on the carved marble throne that should have been Netheia’s. She wore a beautifully embroidered crimson-and-violet gown and a heavy golden crown on her head. Netheia had not been asked to attend the coronation, but the noise from the celebrations afterward had reached her rooms.

On either side of the throne stood two paladins from the Order of the Sun, a man and a woman. The woman was some foreigner of no importance, but the man was Knight-Commander Livius. He had been exiled from Xytae about fifteen years ago, along with the rest of the Order of the Sun, after their refusal to fight in the emperor’s wars. After his death, the Order quickly reemerged to support Ioanna—almost too quickly. Netheia suspected her sister had been in contact with them long before their father’s death.

“We have discussed the matter.” Ioanna glanced over at the knight-commander. “And we have decided to be lenient. You were led astray by the priestesses of Reygmadra.”

Netheia wanted to object, but Ioanna went on.

“Your actions have cost the empire valuable resources, and you nearly plunged us all into a civil war. But if you agree to help undo the damage you have caused to our nation, I will be lenient. All I ask is you give me your support, publicly. Our people must know we stand together. Will you do this for me?”

“Yes,” said Netheia.

Ioanna’s face fell. “You’re lying.” She sounded exactly like a disappointed child. “Netheia—”

“Well, what did you expect?” snapped Netheia. “You think I’m going to sit back and watch you undo everything our father accomplished? You think I’m going to tell our people I’m proud of you for spitting on our family legacy? That I don’t know how weak you are?”

“I was strong enough to defeat you,” said Ioanna.

Netheia found herself with no retort.

“Netheia, I didn’t want to do this, but you’ve left me no choice. I am sending you to Birsgen.”

“What?” cried Netheia, shock momentarily replacing rage. They were sending her out of the country?

“Do not argue. It is only a temporary exile. You will remain there until Xytae is stable again. As long as you conduct yourself appropriately, the Ieflarians will treat you as a guest, not a prisoner. Your movements will only be minimally restricted, and you will receive a stipend to live on. Do not throw away this gift, Netheia. We both know your sentence ought to be much harsher.”

Ioanna paused, apparently wanting to give her sister the opportunity to speak. But Netheia had no words for her.

“Perhaps this is foolish, but I hope that when you return, you will be more amicable to an alliance. I do not wish for us to be enemies all our lives. I know you are not ready to think of such a thing yet, but I would like you to reflect on it while you are away.”

Netheia continued to stand in stoic silence. Ioanna rubbed at her forehead with one thin, pale hand. Netheia hoped their father’s generals were making her life miserable. The thought cheered her when she remembered how the army had been ordered to withdraw from Masim, undoing decades of progress in a matter of days.

But really, Netheia had no idea what happened outside her private rooms. None of her friends were allowed to visit her, nor the priestesses of Reygmadra that had been her most powerful allies in the weeks after her father’s death, including Archpriestess Seia herself. She could only rely on what tiny details she managed to press out of the servants delivering her meals and whatever gossip she overheard from behind her door.

At least, she hoped her friends were not allowed to visit her. What if they were deliberately distancing themselves? Netheia shoved the thought away, refusing to even consider the idea.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Books2Read Universal Link

Meet the Author

Effie is definitely a human being with all her own skin, and not a robot. She writes science fiction and fantasy novels and lives with her cat in the greater Philadelphia area.

Website | Twitter

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BOOK REVIEW: Damned If I Didn’t by Cherie Colyer #paranormalromance #YoungAdult @WildRosePress

Release Date: November 18, 2020
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Death isn’t the end for eighteen-year-old Avery Williams, and her final resting place isn’t beyond the Golden Gates. No, the Queen of the Damned has plans for her and, unbeknownst to Avery, fought hard to gain possession of her soul.  

As Hell’s newest succubus, Avery is expected to siphon life from the living. It only takes a long, meaningful kiss, but for a virgin like Avery, kissing guys she barely knows isn’t something she’s comfortable doing. Avery focuses on the upside of her fate—she’ll be returning home, or so she thinks. When the Queen of the Damned cuts her off from her old life, Avery is determined to find a way back to her family and friends, even if it means facing Hell’s fury if she’s caught.

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Preorder at Amazon or Barnes & Noble

MY REVIEW:

5-stars!

Demons, Nephilim, and so much more… If you’re looking for your next paranormal read, you can’t go wrong with Damned When I Didn’t!

They say not to judge a book by its cover, but I rather like the cover for Damned When I Didn’t. In fact, it’s a large part of what made me want to read this particular title. I saw it and needed to know more. But when it comes to people, what you see isn’t always what you get. It’s a lesson Avery has to learn, especially when it comes to her mentor, Cole. It never occurred to Avery that just as she didn’t earn her way to hell, and her new position as a succubus, that perhaps the super hot Cole didn’t earn his place there either.

I loved seeing the push and pull between Avery and Cole. Both drawn to one another, yet not willing to accept their attraction. Not only does their budding romance draw the reader in, but the banter between them, and the mix of other awesome characters, makes Damnmed When I Didn’t a page-turning read you won’t want to put down. A half-demon, a Nephilim, and another incubus are just some of the charming characters you’ll find in this intriguing, must-read book. I truly hope we’ll get to see more of them in the future.

Damned If I Didn’t is the perfect mix of romance, drama, and friendship. You won’t be disappointed!

*Disclaimer: I received an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The review above is only my opinion.

Windmaster Golem by Helen B. Henderson #FantasyRomance @history2write

Title: Windmaster Golem

Author: Helen B. Henderson

Available: October 2020

Genre: Romantic fantasy, sword & sorcery

Publisher: BWL Publishing, Inc.

Magic animated the golem.
Can someone without powers stop them?

Windmaster Golem is the latest release in a series described by readers as “a fascinating story that will keep you up all night turning the pages.” Kia, sister to the current Oracle of Givneh, is expected to one day assume the mantle and lead the temple’s followers. Her emerging powers force an impossible decision. For to have magic demands she turn her back on her family, her heritage and the teachings of the oracle.

Banishment to a remote village as healer, a position he despised, fueled Relliq’s desire for revenge. The discovery of a mythical city and an army of clay soldiers provided the means to control all mages–including the one he wanted most—Kia.

Brodie, weaponsmith for the School of Mages couldn’t refuse the archmage’s request to act as escort for a healing team fighting a curse upon the land. But how can a man without any magic of his own fight a curse or protect a friend from an invisible stalker?

Excerpt:

Don’t be afraid. What is meant to be is meant to be. You are a mage.

Who wants me to accept the call, Kia wondered. Her gaze went from mage to mage. Warmth and acceptance came from Ellspeth. Dal’s wink encouraged even as she wondered if she had really seen it. Barris and Nobyn’s attention remained on those who had not yet answered the call. Neither of them had spoken to her. Finally, her gaze lingered on Brodie. At his smile and gesture to the fire, Kia acknowledged reality. I can’t fight my own urges and the pull of magic.

The glow she had seen emanating from the fire ring turned into a solid beam that reached to the stars. Three steps and she was at the summoning light. A whispered prayer and her fingers wrapped around the blade at the base of the signal. She swore the knife hummed in happiness, welcoming her. Just like TânOer. Her steps to where the hilts were laid out were surer. She moved her hand a few inches above the displayed pieces until the blade she held sent an answering chord. Picking up the hilt, she realized it had an empty circle. It awaited an element.

A column of pale green light leaped skyward from the other side of the millstone. Without conscious control, her feet took her around the bonfire. Its warmth chased away the night’s chill and that of the action she was taking. The blade called to its missing piece. Surprise stopped her in mid-reach. The element whose signal she heeded as the blade’s mate was the sea glass she had found. Only now it had a flying bird incised on it.

Again she sought Brodie in the crowd. You did the artwork? she mouthed.His slight nod shy smile answered. The tilt of his head told her the next step.

With slow steps, Kia circled the stone ring. Her path ended in front of Ellspeth where she opened her hand, leaving the makings of the dagger balanced on her palm for the older woman to see. “Mistress, I come to you as a seeker of the call. I beg your blessing.”

Buy Links:

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08JTZD6K7/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55582244-windmaster-golem

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/windmaster-golem

Barnes&Noble:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/windmaster-golem-helen-henderson/1137734264

One Click to More Ebook Sellers:  https://books2read.com/Windmaster-Golem

BookBub:  https://www.bookbub.com/books/windmaster-golem-the-windmaster-novels-book-4-by-helen-henderson

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY:

Although the author of several local histories, and numerous articles on the topics of American and military history, antiques and collectibles, Henderson’s first love is fiction. Her work in the museum and history fields enables a special insight into creating fantasy worlds.

The descendent of a coal-miner’s daughter and an aviation flight engineer, her writing reflects the contrasts of her heritage as well as that of her Gemini sign. Her stories cross genres from historical westerns to science fiction and fantasy. In the world of fantasy romance, she is the author of the Dragshi Chronicles and The Windmaster Novels. In her books, she invites you to join her on travels through the stars, or among fantasy worlds of the imagination.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Blog:  https://helenhenderson-author.blogspot.com

Amazon:  http://amzn.com/e/B001HPM2XK

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/HelenHenderson.author

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/777491.Helen_Henderson

Email:  helenhenderson.author@gmail.com

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/history2write

BOOK REVIEW: Everwish by Amelia Oz #YoungAdult #Everwish #NetGalley @oz_amelia

Centuries ago, there was a beauty who did not live happily ever after. She fled her vampire Ottoman Prince, who now rules the Primati supernatural on earth with his half-brother Alaric, the terrifying Enforcer. The runaway beauty’s only living descendant, seventeen-year-old Stella Avery, is juggling the care of her ailing grandfather with the discovery that life is not what it seems in Portland, Oregon.

Stella’s Romany family shadow her every move and she discovers that an ancient enemy wants her dead. Her best friend, Amanda, reveals herself to be an actual witch and Stella must uncover the truth about the curse that has killed every woman in her family before their twenty-first birthday—or suffer the same fate.

For Alaric, his role as Primati Enforcer means utter loyalty to his brother. Half-angel, half-demon, he has no place in his heart for a mortal. Feared in his own right, Alaric finds himself torn between the law he has protected for hundreds of years and a young girl who cannot be loved without bringing about her own death.

Available at Amazon

My Review:

4 stars

I have to admit, I don’t often get pulled in by a book cover, but I did this time. I saw it and had to know more. Paranormal YA is right up my alley, and Everwish didn’t disappoint. Vampires, witches, demons, and more. If you love the supernatural and romance, Everwish is an excellent choice.

I did feel that while the world-building was relatively great, it felt like the author was cramming in so much that it could have easily filled at least another seventy pages, if not an entire second book. The book description kept me reading, even though the beginning didn’t really hook me. It wasn’t until Stella met Alaric that I became truly invested in the story.

I found the storyline to be somewhat unique and compelling. In all honesty, I’m hoping there will be more books set in this universe. For some, her “engagement” while still in high school might be pushing the line a bit, but in the world Ms. Oz created, it fit well with the story. Besides, fairy tales (and certain animated movies most of us loved as kids) have been marrying off teenagers for a really, really long time.

Not only do I want to find out whether or not Stella breaks the curse and can be with Alaric, but I want to know if Lila and Murad get their happily-ever-after. Do the M&Ms get a chance to find love and happiness to soften those hard edges? And what will become of Tess? I hope I get the chance to find out!

*Disclaimer: I received an ARC for an honest review through NetGalley. Thank you to the author and NetGalley for the opportunity to read Everwish. The review above is merely my opinion.

Release Blitz: The Sorcerer’s Guardian by Antonia Aquilante #LGBTQ #FantasyRomance @antoniaquilante

Title: The Sorcerer’s Guardian

Series: Chronicles of Tournai, Book Four

Author: Antonia Aquilante

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: September 14, 2020

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 111400

Genre: Fantasy, LGBTQIA+, Fantasy, romance, family-drama, gay, cisgender, magic, cat shifters, magician, captain of the guards, storm, antagonists to lovers, court intrigue

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Synopsis

Savarin honed his Talent through years of study, and to achieve his goal of becoming the most powerful and accomplished sorcerer in Tournai, he made magic his life. Among the wealthy and noble circles he moves in, no one would suspect the handsome, refined, arrogant sorcerer’s humble beginnings—which is how Savarin prefers it. He wants to be seen only as the man he’s made himself. When Tournai’s princes task Savarin with studying and strengthening the spells that protect the principality from magical attack, he is more than happy to do so. The spells are complex, centuries old, and exactly the type of puzzle Savarin is eager to solve. But to his annoyance, the princes insist Loriot accompany him on his journey.

Second son of a minor noble family, Loriot worked his way up the ranks of the royal guard to captain with single-minded determination and takes pride in his service to the crown. He must obey the prince’s orders to protect Savarin, despite believing his skills would be best used elsewhere and his wariness of magic. UnTalented himself, Loriot has learned not only the benefits of magic but also its potential for harm—and how to counter it. He still believes it’s best to avoid most magic entirely, which is difficult when he’s tasked with playing guard to a powerful sorcerer.

Loriot and Savarin clash repeatedly during their journey, but the simmering tension between them doesn’t only stem from their work, and passion develops into feelings neither expected. But Savarin must still secure Tournai’s magical barrier, and his only solution will endanger both him and the royal family.

Excerpt

The Sorcerer’s Guardian

Antonia Aquilante © 2020

All Rights Reserved

As afternoon waned into evening, Loriot approached his house on Dove Lane. Weariness dragged at him with each step. He hadn’t slept more than a few minutes in the last few days, and now that the crisis had passed, he felt the fatigue down to his bones. But the lack of sleep was worth it for the good outcome of the situation.

He trudged up the few steps to his front door, its rich blue color recently freshened, and let himself in. The key turned smoothly in the lock, and the magical protections on the house recognized him as belonging, allowing him inside. He shivered, even though he didn’t feel anything as he crossed the threshold; perhaps someone with a Talent would, but he had neither Talent nor any sensitivity to magic.

Inside, the house was quiet. The formal parlor was empty, which was unsurprising as they rarely used it—only when Joceline and Oriana chose to entertain. He wanted more than anything to go up to his bedchamber and collapse into his bed for the next few days, but he couldn’t. Couldn’t even collapse for a few hours without checking on his family. But he knew where at least one of them was likely to be at this time of day.

The sitting room at the back of the house was quiet, too, so quiet he could hear the scratch of his sister’s pen on paper as he stepped into the doorway. Joceline sat at her writing desk, papers spread around her, pen flying across the page. Despite the silence, she didn’t notice him. A good writing day, then. He hated to disturb her, but she’d want to know he was home.

“Story going well?” he asked, keeping his voice quiet so he wouldn’t startle her. He’d learned it was better to have to repeat himself than to scare her when she was absorbed in a world of her own creation.

But he didn’t have to repeat himself today. She glanced up immediately, her gaze hazy and then sharpening. “There you are! I was wondering if you were ever coming home.”

He hadn’t been gone so long—only a couple of days—but he did try not to let a day go by without returning for at least a little while. He stepped farther into the room and sank down into a comfortable chair. “It was unavoidable. You got my notes?”

“Of course. You know I was just teasing.” Joceline narrowed her eyes and studied him with an intensity he could almost feel. “Is everything all right? You look exhausted, and I heard yesterday the guard was searching everyone leaving the city.”

He scrubbed a hand over his face. Sitting had been a mistake. His eyelids wanted to droop; his body wanted to melt into the cushions. “There was a kidnapping.”

“Not Prince Julien?”

“No, no. And it’s fine now,” he reassured her, trying to keep her from coming out of her chair in her alarm at a threat to the heir to Tournai’s throne. “It wasn’t a member of the royal family at all.”

“But you were involved?”

As captain of the royal guard, Loriot normally wouldn’t be directly involved in such a situation. “The baby taken was the daughter of Prince Amory’s friend, Master Tristan. The merchant. Though if what I saw means anything, he’ll likely be a member of the royal family soon.”

“Really?” Joceline leaned forward, her interest of a different kind now. “There’s going to be a marriage? To whom? The princess?”

He shook his head. He didn’t need to tell her what he said should go no further. He didn’t ever tell her anything truly secret, but Loriot didn’t see the harm in a little meaningless court gossip now and then, especially since she wouldn’t spread it. “No. Lord Etan.”

She sat back with a huff. “Well, they really are bucking tradition, aren’t they?”

He let out a short laugh. But what she said wasn’t untrue. Both Tournai’s prince and his cousin, a royal duke, had married men in the last couple of years, and now it seemed Lord Etan, another cousin of Prince Philip’s, would do the same. Loriot couldn’t think of a time when such a thing had happened, as the royal family and nobility tended to marry those who could provide bloodline heirs for their titles—and some families were even more conservative, only marrying women.

“Good for them,” Joceline said. “I hope they’re happy.”

“Now that Tristan’s daughter is back with them, I believe they are.”

Concern flooded back into her pretty face. “You found her? And the person who took her?”

“Yes, with Master Savarin’s help.” He’d gotten over any resentment he might have had that he needed the help of magic long before today and was happy to use any tool he had access to. Savarin, the most powerful sorcerer in Tournai, was not someone whose help should be turned away, and Savarin never withheld it, serving Tournai whenever he was called upon.

“The sorcerer? How did he help?” Joceline sat forward, a gleam in her eyes he recognized well. She wasn’t simply curious; she wanted to know because she might use the information in a story.

“Joceline.”

“What?”

He sighed and shook his head. “He used his magic to try to track the kidnappers and then to try to find the baby directly. He pointed us in the right direction, let us know where to search for them.” Loriot didn’t bother mentioning the help they’d received from someone else, a scholar at the university. If he read Savarin right, Savarin would be finding Master Corentin at the university soon and asking him about the magic he used, because it also sounded as if Savarin hadn’t heard of anything like it.

“Interesting.”

“Let me guess, your new story has a sorcerer character.” He arched an eyebrow at her, his mildly disapproving tone mostly put on. Which she would know, as she was aware how proud he was of her accomplishments.

“I have an idea that would call for one. What’s Master Savarin like?”

“I don’t know him very well.” He tried to think of anything he knew about Savarin beyond the surface. “He’s powerful and arrogant with it.”

She shrugged. “I’d be surprised if he wasn’t. Aren’t all powerful sorcerers arrogant about their power?”

“I wouldn’t know. I don’t know any others.” He resolutely pushed his newly acquired knowledge of the royal family’s secret Talent from his mind. He didn’t need Joceline seeing a hint in his expression and trying to badger the information out of him. He would never tell, but life would be easier if he didn’t have to fight Joceline about it.

“All the ones I’ve read about in stories are. Especially the evil ones.”

“Tell me you’re not going to base a character on Master Savarin and make him evil.” Making the most powerful sorcerer in the country an evil character in a book sounded like a horrible idea.

Another shrug. “Powerful sorcerers always seem to be evil characters. Or self-sacrificing ones who save the day.”

Loriot shook his head and heaved himself to his feet. If he didn’t move, he’d end up sleeping right there. “Alain is upstairs?”

“Yes. But wait,” she called after him as he walked toward the door. “You must know something else about Master Savarin.”

“I really don’t.” He didn’t turn.

“Is he handsome?”

Savarin’s image filled his mind—his height and broad shoulders, perfectly carved features, blond hair he thought would be soft under his hands. His stride hitched, but he shook the image away and ignored Joceline calling after him. Perhaps she would forget the idea entirely if he didn’t encourage her.

He doubted it, but he could hope. The idea of Savarin as a character in a book on the shelf of a bookshop made him cringe.

Trudging up the stairs took the last of his energy, but he forced himself to bypass his own bedchamber. He couldn’t go to bed without seeing Alain. Not after so long away, not even if it hadn’t been very long. The door to the room at the back of the house was partially open. He peeked in as he pushed it open the rest of the way. The room was tidy, except for a veritable city built of blocks in the middle of the rug. The nursemaid noticed him first, but Alain wasn’t far behind. He looked up, his bright-green eyes—twins of Loriot’s own—lighting up, and something inside Loriot melted, just as it always did under those eyes.

“Papa!”

With ease of long practice, he caught the five-year-old bundle of energy that came flying at him and swung his son up into his arms. He cuddled him close for as long as Alain would allow. As tired as he was, he wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. “There’s my boy. I missed you. Show me what you’ve been doing.”

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Meet the Author

Antonia Aquilante has been making up stories for as long as she can remember, and at the age of twelve, decided she would be a writer when she grew up. After many years and a few career detours, she has returned to that original plan. Her stories have changed over the years, but one thing has remained consistent—they all end in happily ever after.

She has a fondness for travel (and a long list of places she wants to visit and revisit), taking photos, family history, fabulous shoes, baking treats (which she shares with friends and family), and of course, reading. She usually has at least two books started at once and never goes anywhere without her Kindle. Though she is a convert to e-books, she still loves paper books the best, and there are a couple thousand of them residing in her home with her.

Born and raised in New Jersey, Antonia is living there again after years in Washington, DC and North Carolina for school and work. She enjoys being back in the Garden State but admits to being tempted every so often to run away from home and live in Italy.

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New Release: Fae Schooled by Emily Carrington #fantasyromance #lgbtq @CarringtonEmily

Fae Schooled (Box Set) (Fae Schooled 1)

Three couples. Three deadly secrets. Who will survive?

Secret Identity: Half-Fae Brett and his human lover Adam thought they were prepared for the next step in their lives, until Brett’s gifts endanger everything. Will Adam’s need for independence and Brett’s overprotective streak drive the two apart, or can their love survive?

Secret Hunger: When Fionn seduced Kwaku into his bed, he didn’t realize there was a shadow hanging over his would-be lover’s head. Will Fionn be able to stop the dark forces from draining the man he loves before it’s too late?

Secret Keeping: A disabled Fae, Patrick finds a new zest for life when he leaves for college. With secrets swirling around them and the Fae Purge on the horizon, will Patrick and his lover escape with their lives and their love?

Get it at Changeling Press

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2020 Emily Carrington
Excerpt from Secret Identity

“When things aren’t resolved, bed becomes a battleground.” Brett didn’t remember where he heard that, but it seemed true as he stared across the small dormitory room at his half naked lover. But looking at Adam, with his tawny hair and gold-kissed brown eyes made Brett want to forget what he’d brought his lover here for.

To break up with him.

He crossed to Adam, unable to resist his allure. It wasn’t all that strange that he was spellbound by Adam’s good looks and probably by his innocence as well. Whatever it was, and surely part of his sudden reluctance was his own weakness, Brett couldn’t end things right now.

He touched the human’s cheek and felt the small amount of stubble. Adam had shaved before the Beltane dance. Brett liked that about him. Adam had a sense of clean-cut, hometown boy about him that nothing could change. Even after living in Washington, DC, in an off-campus apartment for almost two years, he was still a farm boy. In the best possible way, Brett thought as his palm against Adam’s cheek grew warm. He smiled into his boyfriend’s eyes and wondered how Adam beguiled him just by standing there.

Of course, tonight had been all about seduction. Brett had been planning to romance Adam one last time, have something wonderful to remember, and then cut ties. Not because he wasn’t over the moon in love but because others would take advantage of that love. As others had taken advantage of the humans and other confined magical creatures back in February.

Did that mean he’d have to go without love? Brett thought that was probably true, unless he could find something powerful that could protect itself.

Thinking of the attack that had been perpetrated against SearchLight’s DC campus, against over fifty students from the second and third floors of the main dormitory, Brett’s ardor cooled a little. He’d been on one of those floors, captured and forced to wear a metal and leather collar that had repressed his visionist powers.

“What’s wrong?”

Brett cursed silently as Adam’s gaze drew the truth from him. Or at least as much as he could find it in him to confess. “I was thinking about those damn grand Fae and bloodsucking vamps.”

“What brought that on?”

“Nothing, I guess.” He didn’t quite dare to explain. “Except I was thinking how the annual Valentine’s/Frost Thaw dance was cancelled because of those dangerous idiots.” He smiled a little to dispel the sense of impending doom. “I could have seen you dancing like tonight months ago.”

Adam flushed. His cheeks were a striking pink, showing just two acne scars from his adolescence, which was only a year gone.

Brett remembered how others at school had teased Adam for being so slender and slight with “so many zits.” If they could see how Adam was filling out, developing muscles where he’d had few before, the girls and those guys courageous enough to admit their gayness or bisexuality would be all over him. Adam had discovered swimming, and although he’d never had a chance to learn in corn-fed Kansas, he’d taken to it like a baby seal, making tons of mistakes at first but being miserable until he’d learned to embrace the water. He had lean muscles in his arms and legs, and a six pack was well on the way to forming beneath the baggy T-shirts he almost always wore.

“Now where did you go?” Adam asked, stroking the side of Brett’s face with two fingers.

“Lost in staring at you,” Brett confessed. Then he spoiled it by laughing. “Corny, right?”

“I like it,” Adam said softly and he kissed Brett’s parted lips.

The kiss was nothing like the tentative pecks they’d exchanged when they first became interested in each other back in high school. This was instantly hot. Brett surrendered before Adam’s passion, loving the way Adam dominated many of their kisses. The shy, fumbling guitar player had given way to a confident painter and sketch artist who knew what he wanted. In some ways, Brett missed the cautious young man he’d fallen for when they were both seventeen. Because that version of Adam would have given Brett up. Not willingly but he’d have been too shy and restrained to express how he really felt.

And, damn, that was selfish.

“Wherever you keep going, get back here,” Adam whispered fiercely.

About Emily Carrington

Emily Carrington is a multipublished author of male/male and transgender erotica. Seeking a world made of equality, she created SearchLight to live out her dreams. But even SearchLight has its problems, and Emily is looking forward to working all of these out with a host of characters from dragons and genies to psychic vampires.

Stalk Emily Online: Facebook | Twitter

Spotlight: Dream (Eternity Fae) by C.A. Heart #FantasyRomance @CAHeart9

 

🖤DREAM🖤

**♡Eternity Fae♡** 

I need to figure out what my powers are, evil is coming and there is no time to spare. Eternity Fae is my home and if they think that they can just take it away they have a surprise coming.
Daughter to a Fairy mother and Gargoyle father that rule the Fae world with their drive for good. Evil will have no chance as my sisters and I will rise up to conquer whatever is coming.

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