Release Blitz: Queen of Shadows by Britt Copper & Erin Dulin #Fantasy #Fairytales #YoungAdult @firstforromance @write_sisters

Queen of Shadows by Erin Dulin & Britt Cooper

Word Count: 85,689
Book Length: SUPER NOVEL
Pages: 334

GENRES:

ACTION AND ADVENTURE
CLEAN AND WHOLESOME
FANTASY
FANTASY AND FAIRYTALES
ROMANCE
YOUNG ADULT

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Book Description

Why be a princess when you can rule the shadows?

Rejecting the senseless demands of her wicked stepmother, Ella of Locksley shares her family’s abundance with the people of her land. Yet, the desperation of her community has only begun.

When the nation of Llundyn is brutally attacked, Princes Ric and Johan begin to fight for their right to rule, leaving the kingdom’s very heart to hang in the balance as subversive forces emerge. Taxation drives the citizenry toward hopelessness, with the absence of leadership taking its toll.

Striking out on her own, Ella takes up the nation’s cause, making a name for herself as the infamous Hood, and leads her cunning crew, stealing from the rich to provide for the poor. But the return of the rightful heir, along with a forbidden romance, changes everything—with artifice and betrayal leading to an unlikely alliance that unites prince and thieves.

The passion and true love of a king leave Ella torn between duty and loyalty when, at the stroke of midnight, her identity is exposed. She’ll face the ultimate choice—enduring as the Hood or sacrificing it all for the ones she loves.

Reader advisory: This book contains some scenes of violence, a maiming and a death.

Excerpt

Fitful cries from the Carvers’ infant son pierced the silence, cleaving away Ella’s remaining shreds of calm. Trekking through the village was a dubious task on the most temperate of evenings. Doing so in the biting gales of waning wintertide was sheer idiocy, but she had little choice.

Ella tugged the hood of her cloak, attempting to keep it in place atop her head. The wind swirling around her had other ideas, whipping her mantle with vicious ferocity and nearly knocking her onto her backside as she crouched beneath a narrow window. She gripped the rotting sill, cursing under her breath before digging her heels into the frozen earth.

“Be grateful.” Much met her gaze, his eyes alight with suppressed mirth as he observed her predicament. “The weather should provide us a little more time.”

It was true. Ella glanced skyward, where the silvery haze lingering above conveniently veiled the moonlight. “Would that it could also grant us more provisions to share,” she whispered as Much tossed a small bag of grain in her direction. She wedged it neatly between the pile of cordwood and the decaying shingles sheathing the exterior, the burlap sack catching on the splintered timbers of the ramshackle cottage. “Another?” She held out a gloved palm expectantly.

“We cannot spare it.” Much’s words were but a breath, born both of necessity as well as grief. “If we double their portion, we’ll leave another family with nothing.”

Ella rose, making her way toward Much with a muted stride. “I filched an extra sack of grain from the lovely Lady Margaret before we set out.” She loosed the pouch from her horse, Monroe, with nimble fingers. “The Carvers will put it to far better use. They have five children now, you know.”

“Indeed.” Much folded his arms across his chest for warmth. “But Lady Margaret is apt to skin you alive if she catches you.”

“Tosh.” Ella waved his concern away with a dramatic sweep of her hand. “My stepmother would never sully herself over the likes of me. Doubtless, she’ll task you with that burden in her stead.” She grinned, waggling her eyebrows in amusement.

Much groaned. “You are as delightfully morbid as ever.”

Ella ignored him as she scurried toward the shanty for a second time, pairing the modest sack of grain with its twin nestled beside the kindling. The bags were always well hidden from passersby so as not to be stolen but quickly found by the tenants seeking firewood for their hearth. “It shouldn’t make any difference,” she groused, mounting her horse as Much followed suit. “It all belongs to me.”

“Ah, if only, Lady Locksley. It shall be yet another two years, for until the age of—”

“Twenty, I know. I know.” Ella sighed. It was an inconvenient fact she wished desperately to change. Thus far, her finest efforts in evading the ill-conceived lineal law of Llundyn included skulking through her hamlet in the wee hours before dawn, distributing food from her manor.

In the simplest of terms, she was stealing from herself, though with great care so as not to be discovered by her insufferable stepmother—the rightful heir of her lands and fortunes until she was finally of age.

Ella was discreet in her thieving endeavors, pinching items that would not be missed. It didn’t hurt that Cooke willingly turned a blind eye. And, as luck would have it, Lady Margaret wasn’t much for kitchen duty. It was a task she viewed as too menial for a woman of her stratum, even if she had only managed to achieve her status via a wholly undeserved union with Ella’s father.

Heavens, how she missed him, God rest his soul.

“Where’s the good in my title if I’m unable to use my station? I’m a member of the gentry with no more authority than that of an entitled rat.” Ella urged her mount toward their next destination, gritting her teeth against the brisk air as her horse picked up speed. Plucking an arrow from the quiver on her shoulder, she turned, aiming at the weather-worn door behind her, her drawn bow taut. Her bolt found its mark, despite Monroe’s bounding gait, announcing the presence of a delivery—the handmade arrow a telltale sign of her brief visit.

Much scoffed. “Nonsense. A rat would never share the spoils of its domain as you have. Neither would it have your impeccable aim.”

Ella glanced at Much, expecting to see him smiling as he often did when he teased her, but his handsome face was surprisingly austere.

No. There was no humor to be found in these circumstances.

Two years of poor, drought-riddled harvests had taken their toll on the kingdom of Llundyn. The dearth of crops had failed to significantly affect the nobility, of course, with many a lord and lady inclined to take advantage of the bountiful imports from neighboring realms. But the paltry yield was nothing short of devastating for the commoners who had little coin to spare. Many had begun to exhibit its brutality outwardly, the sharp planes of their faces and bone-thin frames a startling illustration of the land’s insufficiency.

Yet wealth poured into Locksley in the form of generous taxes, collected by Lady Margaret from the tenants surrounding the estate. As residents of the Locksley lands, they paid their due and worked the countryside in addition to their regular employment in the borough of Coventry, some five miles south of the manor.

Shame grieved Ella’s conscience as she observed the growing disparity, convicting her of something far worse than her newly established hobby of larceny.

Abundance.

Attempting to shed her sense of guilt was worthless. It merely required action. Thievery paled in comparison to the atrocity of starvation and poverty. And, as far as Ella was concerned, it wasn’t truly theft if she were merely pilfering from herself.

Much’s eagerness to be complicit in her scheming had been all the sanction she’d needed. She’d considered him the more reasonable of the two of them for as long as she’d known him. If he could rationalize the madness in her subterfuge…well, then perhaps it wasn’t madness at all.

As an orphan of some four years now, Much was far from his natural element. His father had been a man of the sea, captain of the king’s navy, his young son serving as a boatswain under his command and following in his footsteps. But his untimely demise had left his widow and son at the beneficence of the kingdom.

Ella’s father, Robin, had taken them on, providing steady work until fever had suddenly taken him away, with Much’s mother following quickly behind. The staggering loss had left Much and Ella reeling, grappling for some fragment of hope, an element of security—qualities that they’d had the great fortune of discovering in one another, bonding them at once in heartache as well as mercy.

Then, in a startling turn of events, tragedy had taken a turn for the positive. Lady Margaret had deigned to agree with Ella, who’d insisted that Much be permitted to continue his employment assisting the manor’s only carpenter. Whether due to genuine benevolence on her stepmother’s part or some peculiar sense of duty, Ella was never certain. Still, it was a small victory that she and Much readily welcomed.

“Blast this wretched wind,” Much grumbled, his complaint a swell of haze in the frigid air. “Remind me to wear several more layers of clothing for our next outing.”

“And you dare to deem me the foul-mouthed one between us?” Ella demanded, bringing about a reluctant smile from her surly partner in crime. “Perhaps you should reconsider.”

“Your words are well received, milady.” He raised his brows in satisfaction, well aware that his use of the highborn term was profane to Ella’s sensibilities. While he knew his place in Llundynien society, Ella had never treated him as lesser than an equal and always took his ribbing in good humor.

“Well, you’re a fiend, James Much. Cease your peevishness at once so we may complete the task at hand,” Ella intoned in a haughty impersonation of Lady Margaret, giggling with pleasure as his features crumpled in annoyance.

“Oh, but you do that too well, my friend.” Much laughed, shoving her playfully in the shoulder. “How many more deliveries?”

“Only two.” Ella patted the satchel that had been replete with various dried meats, grains and hard cheeses only hours ago. Now it was close to empty, bringing about a sobering reality. “How does it go so quickly? What we have will never suffice.”

“You’re doing your best. Your father would be proud,” Much said with reverence, warming Ella’s aching heart. “I don’t know of many nobles who give one thought to the peasants occupying their lands, and here you are, feeding yours from your own stores. It’s far better than doing nothing.”

“Yes, but also not nearly enough,” Ella agreed. “And besides, I thought the food didn’t belong to me yet.” Recalling Much’s previous assertions, she couldn’t help elbowing him in the ribs, nearly tumbling from her horse in the process.

“Careful!” Much hissed, grasping her arm and righting her before she slipped too far. “What good can you do for your hamlet if you meet your end beneath your horse’s hooves?”

“Worry not.” Ella resettled into her saddle as she adjusted her grip on the leather reins. “I do believe I’d live forever, simply to spite the lovely Lady Margaret.”

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About the Authors

Britt Cooper

Brittany has been a cosmetologist for over a decade, an occupation that continuously explores fresh avenues of creativity and beauty. She is a new mother, learning to balance the reality of what it means to be a mom, wife, stylist, and author. Reading has always been one of her passions and writing an endeavor she refuses to leave behind.

Follow Britt on Instagram and check out her website.

Erin Dulin

Erin is a wife and mother who loves spending time with family. She’s an enthusiastic fan of all things sports, experimental baker/chef, and amateur gamer in her free time. Writing has been a passion since her childhood, and while finding peace and quiet in which to write never comes easily, she knows it worth every ounce of chaos when the stories take shape.

Follow Erin on Instagram and check out her website.

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BOOK REVIEW: Beauty and the Beast of Paradise Lost by Kaori Yuki #manga #fantasy #fairytales #bookreview #KaoriYuki

At the time of this review, there are four volumes available in Beauty and the Beast of Paradise Lost, with a 5th scheduled to release November 2022.

We first meet Belle as a younger child, out in the forest with her mother. She seems to be the sort who always gets into trouble, chasing after the next adventure… until it goes horribly wrong.

This story has darker tones to it. Not only does Belle’s mother sacrifice herself to save her daughter, but Belle’s father locks her away. He verbally abuses Belle every chance he has, and isolates her from the rest of the community. It takes a toll on her, and it’s something she struggles to overcome up to the end of the fourth volume.

The beast may look scary on the outside, but it doesn’t take Belle long to realize he’s genuinely kind. It proves that you can’t always judge someone by the way they look. And while his family and friends are under a curse, just like in all the other Beauty and the Beast stories we’ve all read, this one has a few twists that keep things interesting.

The story is full of manipulative people, those willing to kill for what they want, and a few horrifying aspects that may trouble younger readers. But as an adult, I can’t get enough if this story! And the artwork is amazing. (Did you see the covers? Gorgeous!) Seriously. If Kaori Yuki offered prints of Belle and Beast, I’d certainly buy one!

All the stars for Beauty and the Beast of Paradise Lost! — because 5 isn’t nearly enough.

*Disclaimer: Neither the author/artist nor publisher requested a review. I purchased paperback copies from Books-a-Million, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon. The review above is only my opinion.

BOOK REVIEW: Rescued by the Orc Chieftan by Celeste King #fantasyromance #orcs #bookreview

Rescued by the Orc Chieftan is a perfectly delightful addition to the series. If you haven’t read Celeste King’s orc romances, you’re missing out!

Yrish is often taken over by madness during battle. His fellows orcs fear him, and with good reason. But one small human woman changes everything. Camille is fearless, and will do anything to give her sister a better life. But she didn’t count on actually liking the orc who kidnapped her.

Yrish is strong. Fierce. And yet he’s gentle too. When it comes to Camille and his feelings for her, he’s just as insecure as most guys. It made him endearing, the way he worried over to show Camille he wanted her as his mate.

Camille has fought long and hard to keep her little sister safe and fed. Watching her learn to trust an orc, a creature she’d thought of as the enemy, was entertaining to say the least. And it also proves that you can’t always judge someone by their looks. The brutish orc showed her more tenderness and concern than the humans she’d been living with.

Another 5 star read from Ms. King! I can’t wait to see what happens next with these super sexy orcs! I’ll be eagerly waiting for the next book…. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

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MY REVIEW – 5 stars

Rescued by the Orc Chieftan is a perfectly delightful addition to the series. If you haven’t read Celeste King’s orc romances, you’re missing out!

Yrish is often taken over by madness during battle. His fellows orcs fear him, and with good reason. But one small human woman changes everything. Camille is fearless, and will do anything to give her sister a better life. But she didn’t count on actually liking the orc who kidnapped her.

Yrish is strong. Fierce. And yet he’s gentle too. When it comes to Camille and his feelings for her, he’s just as insecure as most guys. It made him endearing, the way he worried over to show Camille he wanted her as his mate.

Camille has fought long and hard to keep her little sister safe and fed. Watching her learn to trust an orc, a creature she’d thought of as the enemy, was entertaining to say the least. And it also proves that you can’t always judge someone by their looks. The brutish orc showed her more tenderness and concern than the humans she’d been living with.

Another 5 star read from Ms. King! I can’t wait to see what happens next with these super sexy orcs! I’ll be eagerly waiting for the next book….

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review. The review above is only my opinion.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Celeste King loves to write about naughty aliens and sassy humans. When worlds collide, there’s sure to be humor and romance, and that’s what gets her in front of the keyboard every day.

Telling the stories that are in her brain. Most people would be worried if they couldn’t stop thinking about imaginary voices, but since she started writing down the crazy “what ifs” that occur to her, it’s an exciting adventure.

Her cat, her keyboard, and her husband keep her busy and happy alongside a nice mug of green tea. She doesn’t enjoy them in that order… necessarily.

She’s busy at work on books in her Kaleth world, where human culture is just the guilty pleasure the rest of the universe shares.

Follow Celeste on Amazon | Facebook | Goodreads

BOOK REVIEW: Orc’s Property by Celeste King #fantasyromance #orcs #bookreview

I don’t know how much longer I could have kept running from the Battle Frenzy orcs who were looking to kill me and my young nephew.

Finally, limbs quivering and breath in ragged gasps, I collapsed as they towered over us, ready to end our lives.

Until Jiwal saved us.

An orc from the Raging Storm clan, he killed the other orcs as easily as I would swat a fly. Then he took me and my nephew and brought us to his manor.

His kind has decimated our way of life. They trade humans for labor and as mates. My sister is dead because of them. And I’m not about to let them kill my nephew.

But there is something different about this orc.

I feel safe with him. I crave nestling deep into his gigantic body and being wrapped in his big arms. He is my savior and my home – something I’ve gone far too long without. I’d forgotten what it’s like to trust another being, but he’s reawakened that in me.

This orc makes my heart race. He’s noble and kind. My warrior. My protector. But most importantly…

My Beloved.

Author’s Note: Orc’s Property is a full length monster romance that features a giant Orc with eyes for his beloved, curvy, human. Action and adventure abound as well as steamy scenes between the tiny human and giant Orc. HEA guaranteed.

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MY REVIEW – 5 stars!

Are you looking for a fierce heroine who stops at nothing to protect those she loves? A hero who’s both strong and tender hearted? Then you definitely need to read Orc’s Property!

Jane has known only pain from orcs, and will stop at nothing to protect her nephew. Even if it means trusting a strange orc. She’s outspoken, determined, and brave.

Jiwal is an orc unlike any we’ve met before. He’s well-read, even tempered, and loves his people. But it doesn’t mean he’s weak. In fact, his differences make him stronger.

The two have a slow burn romance that erupts into a fiery passion once they come together. There are bloody scenes, and one in particular some readers may find difficult to read, but the story is beautifully written.

Looking forward to the next Orc book from Ms. King!

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review. The review above is only my opinion.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Celeste King loves to write about naughty aliens and sassy humans. When worlds collide, there’s sure to be humor and romance, and that’s what gets her in front of the keyboard every day.

Telling the stories that are in her brain. Most people would be worried if they couldn’t stop thinking about imaginary voices, but since she started writing down the crazy "what ifs" that occur to her, it’s an exciting adventure.

Her cat, her keyboard, and her husband keep her busy and happy alongside a nice mug of green tea. She doesn’t enjoy them in that order… necessarily.

She’s busy at work on books in her Kaleth world, where human culture is just the guilty pleasure the rest of the universe shares.

Release Blitz: Storm Warrior by Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott #FantasyRomance #Gay @GoIndiMarketing @DrakeandElliott

Title: Storm Warrior

Series: Weavers Circle#5

Author: Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott

Publisher: Drake & Elliott Publishing LLC

Release Date: January 14, 2022

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 80k

Genre: Romance, Fantasy

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Synopsis

Hale Anderson

The Air Weaver.

He was the freaking Air Weaver. Not exactly what he expected when he got kidnapped by the pestilents, but Hale’s good rolling with the punches.

He can take a little time away from his pursuit of a doctorate in astrophysics to save the world.

Except that the final spell is poised to kill all the Weavers and their last hope lies with him finding his soul mate.

Hale doesn’t want a soul mate. He just wants Harrison.

Harrison William Davenport III

As the Keeper of the Heart of the Earth, Harrison must bring the final key to the Weavers if they’re to stop the pestilents.

He’s trained for this task his entire life. And he’s prepared to die just like his father did with the last generation of the Weavers.

But what if saving the world isn’t enough anymore?

What if the only thing that matters is saving Hale?

Storm Warrior is the final book in The Weavers Circle series. It includes fast-paced action, a dangerous cross-country roadtrip, dirty fun in tents, flying, bi-awakening sexy times, animal shenanigans, nerdy talk about the stars, jealousy, three crazy old ladies, magic, and a fight to save the world!

Excerpt

Bullets whizzed through the air closer to him with two shots digging into a column not far from his head. He whipped the gun around to spot where two pestilents were running toward him with guns drawn. Hale gasped and backpedaled. He squeezed the trigger, but nothing happened. Shit. The safety.

He fumbled with the little switch, but it was the pounding of feet racing his way from the other end of the porch that caught his attention. A tall man in a suit with raven-black hair and a stern expression was racing to him. Wow. Gorgeous. He was simply gorgeous.

So gorgeous in fact, that it took Hale an extra second to realize the man had a gun in each hand.

Fuck! He was only starting to swing the gun toward the man when he fired off several shots right past Hale. The Air Weaver spun to see the bullets hit their marks in three pestilents, killing them instantly.

The stranger saved him. What the—

“What are you doing out here if you don’t know how to protect yourself?” the gorgeous man shouted.

Hale took a breath to say something, but he wasn’t quite sure what. His brain wasn’t working, and his tongue was all tied up. He was overwhelmed. He generally wasn’t the type of person who got overwhelmed, but that described him in the middle of the bloody chaos.

Which was probably why it was so easy for the man to holster one of the guns, grab his wrist, and pull him back into the house.

Hale stumbled after him, trying to get his brain to process the events happening. The man turned toward the left but only glanced in the dining room before sneering at something and moving to the right. He made the same face when he peered into the library.

“Too many damn windows.” Twisting to face Hale, he jerked his arm as if trying to get his attention, but the stranger had all of Hale’s available brain capacity at this point. “What room doesn’t have a lot of doors or windows?”

Well, there was the downstairs half bath that had no windows, but there was no way he was getting shoved into that room, with or without the sexy man.

“The-the armory has no windows and only two doors,” he stammered at first, but finished, proud that he’d clearly remembered the room.

The stranger blinked, seeming surprised to hear the house had an honest-to-goddess armory, but he recovered fast enough. “Good. Take me there.”

Hale hesitated and sniffed the air. “You’re not a pestilent.”

The man gasped, looking appropriately horrified. “Of course not!” Well, that was a plus for him. Not only was he human, but he also knew what a pestilent was.

“Then who the hell are you?” Hale had already met all the Weavers, mates, and goddesses. He couldn’t even begin to guess who this handsome yet scary person was.

“A friend of the Weavers. The goddesses sent for me. Now, the armory? Where is it?”

Oh! That was much better. The guys had never mentioned the goddesses sending in more help, but they certainly needed it.

Hale took the lead, hurrying down the hall toward the armory. There was one main entrance to the room and a set of narrow French doors that connected to the front porch. That made the space much easier to protect.

The man’s quick dark eyes darted across the long table filled with weapons. He released Hale only when he had his back shoved against a bookcase in the far corner that gave him a good view of both doors. The man then moved to the French doors and peered out between the thin white curtains.

“Which of them are you?” the man inquired.

“Hale. Hale Anderson. I just arrived. I’m the Air Weaver.”

The stranger’s head slowly turned toward Hale. His eyes were wide, and his face had become incredibly pale. The bloodbath outside had not disturbed him, but something about what Hale had said had clearly shaken him.

“It’s true,” he whispered. “The Weavers Circle is finally complete.”

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Meet the Author

Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott have teamed up to combine their evil genius to create intense gay romantic suspense stories that have car chases, shoot outs, explosions, scorching hot love scenes, and tender, tear-jerking moments. Their first joint books are in the Unbreakable Bonds series.

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SPOTLIGHT: My Dragon, My Dom by Dulce Dennison #LGBTQ #holidayromance

Officer Corbin Richters has gone through more partners than he can count. They all claim he’s difficult to work with, but he knows better. They’re scared being gay might be something they can catch. Idiots. When he’s assigned yet another partner, his inner dragon perks up and takes notice. Josh is different from anyone he’s ever met. Unfortunately, he’s also human.

When the two are tasked with getting Christmas trees for families in need, they never count on growing close. The more time Corbin spends with Josh, the more certain he becomes the man is his mate.

Get it at Changeling Press

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Dulce Dennison

Corbin Richters watched the sexy-as-hell man walking through the door of the precinct, his blue uniform fitted snugly to his shoulders and chest, silver badge gleaming under the fluorescent lights, his stride powerful and purposeful as he approached Captain Meeker. The dark hair on his head stood out in disarray but it was artfully done, the waves beckoning to be touched in an intimate caress. His eyes looked green from this distance, and they took everything in with a swift assessment that said he was ready for whatever danger that might be lurking within the precinct walls. Whoever he was, he wasn’t a rookie. No one got that hard-edged look, the look of a predator, the first day on the job.

Corbin’s heart kicked in his chest and his hands clenched on top of the desk. What he wouldn’t give to peel away that uniform and see what lay beneath the crisp, blue material. He unconsciously licked his lips as he thought about trailing kisses along those broad shoulders. Corbin’s skin heated and his cock twitched in his pants. He felt his scales ripple under his skin and fought for control. Hell, here he was fantasizing over the man, and he wasn’t even sure if the cop was into men or women. Or both. It had been a long time since he’d had such a reaction to someone on first sight, and he wanted to explore the feelings a bit more.

“Damn.” He sneaked a quick glance around. Had he said that out loud?

Corbin watched as the officer shook hands with the captain and then as Captain Meeker pointed at Corbin. Why on earth was the captain sending Mr. Sexy his way? Not that he was going to complain! Still, he had to admit to being curious. What did the man’s voice sound like? Would he offer to shake hands? Would that small contact arouse Corbin’s dragon even more? The beast was already more than a little intrigued.

The object of his desire strode across the room with panther-like grace, his movements fluid and beautiful, and stopped at the edge of Corbin’s desk. The officer flashed him a smile, one that had his dragon — lusty beast — perking up considerably, and held out his hand.

Corbin stood and shook it, an electrical current shooting up his arm, swirling down through his chest, and settling in his balls, making them draw up tight. His cock gave another jerk, but if the officer noticed — and something told Corbin that he had — he wasn’t commenting on it. Corbin had thought the man would pack a punch, but it still took him by surprise, this visceral reaction. He couldn’t remember the last time his dragon and he had been in total agreement on their choice of bed partners.

The man’s voice was crisp and clipped as he introduced himself. “Josh Myers.”

“Corbin Richters.” Corbin released Josh’s hand reluctantly before he did something stupid, like jerk him closer for a different sort of embrace. As it was, he wanted to bury his nose against the man’s neck and inhale that incredible scent that was teasing him.

“It seems I’m your new partner,” Josh said.

Partner? Corbin shot the captain a look. No one had said anything about a new partner. Corbin had only been part of the Blueberry Hill Police Department for a little over a month, having been lucky enough to land the job within a week of hitting town. And yet he’d already gone through two partners. The men had claimed Corbin was too rough and rude, but he knew the truth. They didn’t care that he was black. They hadn’t wanted to work with a gay officer. Probably afraid it would rub off on them or some stupid shit like that.

“I take it this is news to you,” Josh said, that gorgeous smile flirting around his lips again. Lips that looked full and soft, the kind of lips a man could kiss forever.

Corbin cleared his throat, hoping to get better control of himself. “Yeah, I hadn’t heard that I was getting a new partner today.” He met Josh’s gaze. “But I’m glad you’re here.” Too direct?

Josh’s smile broadened and there was something in his eyes, a warmth that told Corbin his advances might be welcome. He supposed time would tell. It was possible the guy was just being friendly and he was reading into things.

Corbin pointed to the desk butting up to his. “That will be your space. There should be some supplies in the drawer, but if not, we can ask the receptionist on our way out.”

“Hitting the streets early?”

“I thought we’d swing by Espress Yourself and grab some coffee. There’s no charge to officers for a regular brewed cup, and they usually have a few different flavors going. You have to pay for those fancy drinks though.”

Josh smiled again. “Sounds good. I can check out the desk when we get back.”

“The black SUV near the back is ours.”

Josh scanned him from head to toe. “I’m guessing your size has something to do with us getting the biggest vehicle. What are you? Six foot four?”

Corbin grinned. “Six-six.” Not that Josh was short. He had to be at least six-two.
They strolled out of the rear precinct door and headed to the SUV. Corbin popped the locks with the key fob and slid in.

“So…” Josh glanced his way as he snapped his seatbelt into place. “Your place or mine?”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dulce Dennison is a pen name for gay and LGBTQA+ themed love stories from best selling MC romance author Harley Wylde, AKA award-winning science fiction/paranormal romance author Jessica Coulter Smith. From cowboys to shapeshifters, Dulce/Harley/Jess believes in love in all shapes and sizes, and that everyone deserves a happily-ever-after.

Release Blitz: The Forest God’s Favor by AT Lander #gay #eroticromance @pridepublishing @firstforromance

The Forest God’s Favor by AT Lander

Book 1 in the Of Gods and Men series

Word Count: 19,781
Book Length: NOVELLA
Pages: 79

Genres:

EROTIC ROMANCE
FANTASY
GAY
GLBTQI
GODS AND GODDESSES
HISTORICAL
MÉNAGE AND MULTIPLE PARTNERS

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Book Description


Can the love of a man heal the heart of a god?

Fertility god Anthos, a shy and gentle three-hundred-year-old virgin, has grown up in the shadow of his brutal older brother Dryas and spent his life hiding from mortals, no matter how much his nature draws him to them.

Cleon, a humble farmer who always has room in his heart and his bed, knows that Lord Dryas is angry. The crops aren’t growing, and his family is going to starve if he doesn’t give the god a worthy sacrifice—his own body. But when he reaches the shrine, he finds a very different god, the sweet, untouched Anthos.

Eager to satisfy Anthos’ curiosity, Cleon shows him what sex is…and what a relationship between them could be, with their instant attraction blooming into love. But when Dryas returns with a vengeance and Cleon’s life hangs in the balance, Anthos is forced to make a choice.

Will he bow once more before his brother’s rage, or take a stand for the only man who has ever had faith in him?

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of abusive behavior, double penetration, voyeurism, exhibitionism and violence.

Excerpt

Cleon’s heart sank as he walked the rows of his family’s field, scanning for a single green shoot and finding none. The barley was two weeks late for sprouting—if it didn’t start growing soon, his family would starve come winter.

“Anything?” his little sister Amara asked as he left the field. Her hands were wringing the fabric of her peplos skirt even as her eyes said she knew the answer.

“Not one,” he said. “Any eggs from the chickens?”

“Not one,” she echoed. “The gods must be angry at us.”

That was the only explanation Cleon could think of, too. Dryas, their local fertility and forest god, was known for his temper. It would take very little provocation for him to withdraw his blessings.

The family gathered in front of their modest farmhouse, worried faces gazing at their patriarch. Cleon, the eldest son and the only one unmarried, glanced at the other members of the household. Amara sat beside him, while his twin younger brothers sat with their wives, both of whom were pregnant with their first children. They had no servants, no field hands, just them.

“We have to beg Lord Dryas for his forgiveness,” their father said, pacing back and forth. “Someone must go to the shrine and pay tribute. Whatever it takes, this curse on our farm must be lifted!”

“W-whatever it takes?” Amara asked nervously.

“Yes,” their father said gravely, words heavy with guilt. “Whatever it takes.”

His children looked at one another, eyes wide with anxiety. They wouldn’t say it out loud for fear of angering the god, but they knew what their father was asking. Dryas’ tastes in tribute were usually carnal and never kind. None of them had any illusions about what would happen to whoever went to plead their case, but there was no other option.

Cleon looked from face to face. Neither of his brothers had any taste for men, and it would be cruel to send either of their wives to such a fate, especially pregnant as they both were. As for Amara, the thought made his stomach twist in disgust. There was only one choice.

“I’ll go,” he said, getting to his feet.

“Are you sure?” Amara asked. “You know what—what he’ll do to you.”

“I know,” Cleon said, trying to sound brave. “But I’ve been with men, so it won’t be so bad for me as it would be for one of you.”

It was weak reasoning, but none of the others had anything better. Cleon was tall and strong, hardy enough to take some punishment and tan from hard labor in the sun. He was no Adonis, but he’d been called ruggedly handsome by past lovers, and he’d earned every muscle on his arms and chest. Dryas preferred pretty youths and maidens over men in their late twenties, but hopefully the god would accept his tribute anyway.

Cleon bathed in the river, combed his black hair and trimmed his short beard, brown eyes watching his reflection in a still pool. He prepared his body as best he could with slick oil and shaking fingers, hoping to reduce the inevitable pain. Finally, he donned their newest, finest tunic, the one Amara had woven and each of his brothers had worn for their weddings, and picked up their offerings with white-knuckled hands. There was nothing left to do but go.

Cleon gave his family the bravest smile he could muster, and they smiled back with pinched, anxious faces—all save his father, whose eyes were solemn and dark with guilt, and Amara, who was crying in his arms. Cleon squared his shoulders and turned resolutely toward the woods. He would face any terror and endure any hardship, if only he could save his loved ones from starvation.

The worn dirt path led deep into the forest, twisting and turning on the way to the shrine. Dappled light slipped through the swaying branches as chittering squirrels fled his passage to peer down at him from the trees.

He suppressed a shiver. These woods were old and sacred, the domain of a cruel and capricious god. At least Lord Dryas didn’t like live animal sacrifices—Cleon would hate to make this trek with a squawking, struggling chicken in his arms. Instead, he had a small jug of spiced wine, a half-dozen honey cakes and his own body…no matter how meager his offerings, they would have to be enough.

He had been to the shrine before as part of the harvest festival, placing the fruits of the year’s labors before the god’s great throne. Those had been times of song and drink and dance, honoring Dryas’ bounty and appeasing his temper with revelry and praise. The god had always chosen one or more young worshippers for his pleasure, and the thought made Cleon nearly sick. It always took them days to recover, if not weeks, and their eyes remained haunted for far, far longer.

This time the shrine was empty, the ring of marble pillars standing silent around the sacred oak. At the base was the god’s throne, grown out of the living wood, made for a nine-foot giant of a being. Cleon could remember looking up at him during the last festival—his eyes dark and cold, his legs those of a black deer and his antlers spreading like ancient, gnarled branches.

“Hello?” Cleon called, looking around for the shrine’s priest. The little hut next to the sacred circle was empty, but that shouldn’t have been a surprise. Lord Dryas tended to discard his priests when they turned twenty-five, and he must not have found a new one yet. It seemed like Cleon would have to beg for divine intervention on his own.

He walked to the stone altar and tried to keep his hands from shaking as he kindled the sacred flames. He doused the honey cakes in wine then fed them to the fire. The offerings were more than his family could really afford, but still they seemed too little. Finally, Cleon knelt before the great throne, pressing his forehead to the grass and trying to look as humble and pathetic as possible.

“Oh Lord Dryas, god of the forest and the field,” he prayed. “I beg your forgiveness! Whatever sin my family or I have committed against you, I humbly offer these gifts to appease your wrath.”

There was a deep, terrifying silence broken only by the blood pounding in Cleon’s ears. He dug his fingers into the grass, eyes squeezed shut, praying with all his might. If Dryas didn’t answer—

“Uh…yeah…” The voice was so small and hesitant that Cleon almost missed it. “Not your fault, really…”

Cleon’s head snapped up and he scanned the treeline. He didn’t see the speaker at first, looking for a taller shape, but when he finally found him…

Oh gods, the young man was exactly Cleon’s type. He looked to be twenty or a little younger, cute and small and beardless, with willowy arms and a bare, slender chest. His eyes were a vivid green against sun-bronzed skin dusted with faint freckles, and his light brown curls looked delightfully soft. He was blushing prettily, shifting from foot to foot and biting his full, kissable lower lip.

“Um, hello,” Cleon said when he could remember how words worked. He struggled to stay on task—he was here to save his family, not get distracted by a pretty face. “I don’t suppose you know where the forest god is?”

“That’s the thing,” the youth said, ducking his head bashfully. “I kind of…am the forest god?”

Cleon frowned at him. The young man might be cute, but he was clearly delusional. Yes, the gods could take other forms, but the idea of Lord Dryas becoming so small and adorable was ridiculous.

“I wouldn’t say that if I were you,” Cleon said. “Lord Dryas is not known for his merc—”

He stopped, eyes widening as the young man stepped out into the clearing on slender, delicate hooves. Deer hooves, just like Lord Dryas’. Unlike Dryas, though, his flanks were dappled with faint white spots and tawny brown to match his hair. What Cleon had assumed to be branches above the youth’s head revealed themselves to be antlers, short and nubby and covered in soft-looking velvet.

Cleon’s heart plummeted like a stone. This was no mortal boy, or even a common satyr. There was an aura about him—the trees leaning in just a little to bask in his presence, the sunlight glowing off his skin. He might be different from Dryas, but there was no denying that Cleon was in the presence of a god.

“Please forgive me, great one!” he cried, groveling once more in sudden terror. He already had one god angry at him and he wouldn’t survive a second. “I had no idea—I am so sorry—”

“No, don’t be,” the youth said, sounding weary and miserable. “I’m a pretty terrible god, to be honest.”

“What do you mean, my lord?” Cleon asked, daring to raise his eyes from the grass. The godling was shifting awkwardly from hoof to hoof, not looking at Cleon.

“Your farm,” he said. “It’s my fault nothing’s growing. My big brother left last month and I…well…”

“You mean Lord Dryas?” Cleon asked.

The youth nodded, biting his lower lip in an adorable way, and Cleon couldn’t help a twinge of relief. His farm was still in trouble, but at least this god seemed willing to help.

“I’ve been trying, I really have,” the godling said, running his hands through his hair. The gesture revealed adorable little pointed ears, and Cleon had to fight to stay focused. “I just don’t know how to make it work!”

“My lord—” Cleon started, sitting back up on his knees.

“Anthos, please.” The god ducked his head. “I’m not used to…it feels weird.”

“Anthos,” Cleon said, “what exactly is the problem?”

Anthos sighed, walking over and sitting on the grass a few feet from Cleon. He pulled his fuzzy knees up to his chest, hugging them close and staring at the ground.

“I’m a fertility god,” Anthos explained. “I’m in charge of new life, new growth…or I am now. My brother took care of things for so many centuries that I never learned how to do it. Now he’s gone, it’s my job, and I can’t do anything.”

“He never taught you?” Cleon asked.

“We’re not Olympians!” Anthos cried, eyes flicking up to Cleon and face turning bright red. “Only the highest gods do…that with their siblings.”

“Oh,” Cleon said, blushing too. “Uh, sorry. I didn’t mean—”

“No, no, it’s fine,” Anthos said, dropping his gaze again. “But that’s the problem—it requires personal experience. I can’t make things fertile until I’ve, you know…had sex.”

“Oh,” Cleon breathed. His heart was beating faster now, his throat going dry as he stared at Anthos. “Would a mortal do? A man?”

“Yeah,” Anthos said with a mirthless little chuckle, “if anyone wanted me. Big brother always said nobody would want to sleep with a puny, pathetic runt.”

Rage flared up in Cleon, all the hotter for its rarity. He’d revered and feared Lord Dryas all his life, burying resentment deep in his heart. The gods could be cruel or kind to mortals—that was their right—but this? The thought of treating his own siblings like this made Cleon ball his hands into fists, and a lifetime of suppressed hatred boiled over. For the first time in his life, he spoke ill of a god.

“You’re not a runt!” Cleon cried. “Your brother was a cruel bastard! He made whole families starve…he set wolves on their flocks and took any man or woman he pleased! I bet he cut down your confidence because he was scared of you. Anyone would prefer a god like you over him!”

“R-really?” Anthos gasped, looking up with wide, shocked eyes.

“As long as you don’t send a famine when there aren’t enough dancing girls at your festival,” Cleon said, belly clenching in remembered hunger. “We worshipped him because we were afraid, but nobody liked him.”

“And you…you like…me?” Anthos asked, voice soft and hopeful.

Cleon opened his mouth then closed it again, unsure of what to say. His flirting experience said this was going pretty well, but how was he supposed to proposition a god? He was just a farmer, rough and rugged and no great beauty. Anthos was so out of his league it wasn’t even funny.

Still, in for an obol, in for a drachma. The god didn’t seem like the type to curse someone for asking, and if he said yes…

“I like you a lot,” Cleon said earnestly, “and I’d really like to kiss you.”

“I…” Anthos licked his lips, his gaze lowering. “I’d like that too.”

Cleon scooted forward slowly, like he was approaching a skittish deer. He reached out to cup one cheek, tawny-gold and warm. Sun-dappled lashes fluttered, the godling’s green eyes falling closed as he leaned in with bated breath.

The first kiss was soft and gentle, just a chaste brush of lips. It was a little thing, but it still sent a thrill through Cleon, a surge of desire. His body knew what Anthos was, something wild, ancient and divine. By the time they pulled away, his cock was hard and twitching.

Anthos let out a soft little sigh when they parted. He gave Cleon a shy smile, nervous and sweet.

“Again?” he asked, as though Cleon might say no. Could say no.

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About the Author

AT Lander

AT Lander has loved stories, both the reading and the telling, since she was a child. Born in upstate New York to an English professor and a former librarian, she now lives in the queerest part of Massachusetts. She never leaves home without a knitting project or a pencil, and she’s never met a cat she doesn’t like.

She has worked as an history museum guide, a professional storyteller, and an actress, sharing tales of what was, what could have been, and what can only be imagined. World mythology is her driving passion, as what better way to understand a people than through the tales they tell?

Follow AT Lander on Twitter and Facebook.

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BOOK REVIEW: The Orc’s Wife by Layla Fae #orcs #fantasyromance #bookreview #laylafae

I did it. I’m in the orc capital… only not as I imagined. For one, I am mated to the formidable orc general whom everyone fears. And two, the orc Imperator is secretly planning my mate’s death.

With strong, bloodthirsty Urgan by my side I am not afraid… until he locks me up in his dungeon and forbids me to leave while he’s preparing a military coup. It’s for my safety, he says. But I don’t feel particularly safe in the palace crawling with orcs, with the orc princess Urzulah trying to rip me apart so she can have my mate for herself.

Urgan doesn’t take it well when I defy him. A rift grows between us, and when it seems that our bond hasn’t been fated, after all, he rejects me publicly.
And now, I can’t even tell him I’m pregnant

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MY REVIEW – 4 stars

If you haven’t read the first book, go download it now. You’ll need to read it in order to enjoy this one fully.

The beginning to book two was a lot slower than book one, with little action or dialogue. It took me about a chapter to really dig in and immerse myself in the story.

Una was bold, brave, and devious in the first book. In this next installment, she seems to have lost herself a bit. She’s suddenly listening to anyone who’s ever said she’s weak and worthless. Where she’d tried not to show fear previously, she’s now scared. It wasn’t until about halfway through that she seemed to remember who she was.

Urgan has grown softer since taking a mate, but we saw those changes beginning of the previous book. The most dramatic thing Urgan does is immediately explained, which for me dropped the impact quite a bit. I was prepared to hate him and was ready for some much needed angst and drama. Then his actions are explained and… well, I wasn’t sure how to feel.

There’s fighting, torture, kidnapping, steamy scenes between Urgan and Una, and a grandmother who nearly stole the show. I seriously love Orianna. She’s brash, not shy to voice her opinions, and has the attitude to back it up.

The ending of the book was wonderful. A happily ever after of sorts, with a promise for more adventure in another book. I loved the way the orcs and humans pulled together to defeat a common enemy. But mostly I loved Una and Urgan as a couple. They’re perfect for one another.

The Orc’s Wife is a fast-paced, action-packed, steamy read that will leave you wanting more.

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review. The review above is only my opinion.

BOOK REVIEW: Orc’s Toy: A Monster Romance by Celeste King #orcs #urbanfantasy #fantasyromance

A huge, scary, monster Orc Chieftain has his hands on me.
He could break me with one hand, I’m so tiny compared to him.
But he won’t.
Because I’m his female and I love him.

Korthar rules his clan with an iron fist.
He’s merciless to his enemies. But he’s got a soft spot for me.

Before him, I didn’t have much going in my life.
Earth is pretty much a desolate wasteland since the Orcs came over from Protheka.
And being a woman? The best you can hope is to be someone’s property.

Now, after my curvy body catches Korthar’s eye I’m worth something in this world at least.
My giant warrior will protect me.
He’ll claim me. And I’ll serve him. In any way he pleases.

But I’ll also give him a gift that he’ll never have to ask me for.
Something better than any fantasy, no matter how twisted.

What is this gift?

My heart.

And why do I give it so freely?

Because he’s already given me his.

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MY REVIEW – 4 1/2 stars

Orc’s Toy has everything I love in a fantasy romance… action, adventure, battles, and of course love.

Anna would do anything to protect the other human women, even sacrifice her own happiness to ensure their safety. Good thing she meets an orc who will keep her safe without caging her, and will do his best to meet her every need. If there’s one thing he wants most, it’s Anna’s love.

There were a few scenes some readers might consider dark. They were handled in such a way it wasn’t difficult to read them. I loved the characters and hope we’ll see more of these orcs soon.

If you want a quick read with big, sexy orcs, steamy scenes, and a happily ever after, Orc’s Toy is an engaging read that will leave you hungry for more.

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy via Booksprout in exchange for an honest review. The review above is only my opinion.

BOOK REVIEW: Bared Magic by Sara R. Cleveland #fantasyromance #bookreview @shcleveland

Siphons are rare creatures, supposedly born of the union of human and fae blood. How she got her ability doesn’t much matter to Wynne; all she knows is it’s a death sentence or worse if the wrong people find out about her gift. It’s too bad she was never very good at minding her own business.

An old curse grows stronger, leaving Callum Bertram sleepless and desperate. He thinks he’s found a temporary solution until a pretty young woman accidentally uses up his sleeping charm. Now, this werebear suddenly finds himself craving something more than a good night’s sleep.

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MY REVIEW – 5 stars

Magic, werebeasts, and an adventure full of danger, fighting, and romance will keep you flipping the pages …

Wynne only wants to escape and live a quiet life. No more running from people who want to control her. Then she meets a werebear who will change her life forever. Callum and Wynne have so much chemistry. I loved how gentle he was with her, and his devotion was heartwarming.

If you’re looking for a book with steamy scenes, a completely besotted bear, and a woman who would deny her own happiness to keep him safe, then look no further. Bared Magic is a fabulous read that will hook you from page one!

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.