Evernight Readers’ Choice Awards!

I’ve been nominated in THREE categories for the Sixth Annual Overnight Readers’ Choice Awards!

  • Favorite Evernight Author
  • Evernight Book of the Year – Soulmate
  • Best in Category: Rubenesque – Queen Wolf

\o/

Thank you so much for nominating me. I’m so grateful and honored.

Now, please vote!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7Y7VWN5

 

   

  

Gay Romance, Paranormal, Erotic Romance, Suspense, May/Dec
Word Count: 53,500
Heat Level: 3
Published By: Evernight Publishing

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Guy Keaton doesn’t want a hookup or a soulmate or anything in between. When he lost his wife to cancer, he knew he’d be alone for the rest of his life. He has a grown son, and his woodshop, and in a world where those born with powerful gifts are few and far between, that’s all that really matters.

Theo Fraser’s empathic gift is rare and strong. He isn’t looking for love, but when he meets Guy, everything changes, because he knows that when you find your soulmate, you hold on tight and don’t let go. The only problem is that Guy thinks he’s straight, and Theo doesn’t know if he can convince a man already set in his ways to change his mind.

Will Guy be able to give up his grief and accept Theo’s love? And what happens when a terrible betrayal forces them to fight to keep each other alive?

 

  

Menage, BBW/Rubenesque,  Gay, Shifters, May/Dec, Erotic Romance, Paranormal, Suspense
Word Count: 51,770
Heat Level: 4
Published By: Evernight Publishing

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Avery is resigned to solitude. She can’t shift, she’s overweight, and her ex cheated on her, but when Alpha Fletcher and his best friend, Mitch, return to Boulder Pack after years of traveling, she’s shocked at how much she wants them.

Fletcher doesn’t expect to meet his mate within moments of coming home, but he and Mitch are nothing if not adaptable. Avery makes their beasts howl with need, but can she accept two wolves instead of one? Triad mates haven’t been allowed in ages.

Mitch is happy to bond with Avery and Fletcher—he has room in his heart for two mates. What he isn’t happy with is Avery’s father threatening her, and making her doubt her worth. Avery is a Queen, but she has no idea what that means. Will instinct be enough to push them together, or will Mitch and Fletcher need more drastic measures to convince Avery that she’s their destiny?

I’ve got dragons on my mind…

Did I ever mention that some of my favorite books have dragons in them? When I was younger, I devoured all of Ann McCaffrey’s Pern books. I moved onto Naomi Novik’s books, Patricia Wrede’s, Christopher Paolini’s Eragon, and one of my favorites, Robin McKinley’s Dragonhaven. Of course, being the romance lover that I am, I read The Smoke Thief (Shanna Abé) and Ruby Lionsdrake’s Dragon Bond. My latest favorite is Doris O’Connor’s dragon in Evernight Publishing’s new anthology: Denying the Alpha.

Right now, I’m working on a new novel that started off as a short story. It’s a shifter story, and yes, it will have dragons in it. But just in case you didn’t realize, I already wrote a dragon novel. 😀

captivefire1l  epeditorsesal1s  amazon-bestseller-icon   trrtoppicks

Contemporary, Gay Erotic Romance (MM), Romantic Suspense, Sci-Fi, Shifters, Paranormal
Word Count: 27,000
Heat Level: 3
Published By: Evernight Publishing

buy links: Evernight – Amazon – Bookstrand – Smashwords – Barnes & NobleiTunesKobo

Prince Ryuu hates his father, Emperor Midian. When he’s forced to buy a slave, he defiantly chooses Drakon instead of a woman. Because he’s determined to overthrow his father’s empire, he can’t afford to show vulnerability, but Drakon is more compelling than he’d anticipated. For an Arethuza warrior, affection is a weakness that can lead to death.

Drakon isn’t really a slave—he’s a black dragon, considered cursed by everyone. Despite his people’s distrust, he will do anything to keep them safe, even submit to an Arethuza prince. He never expected to find love, and that complication could ruin his plans to sabotage the emperor’s war campaign. Though Ryuu is his fated mate, their fledgling bond is a secret too dangerous for Drakon to reveal.

Will their duty tear them apart? Can honor prevail in a war that might be too violent for even the strongest dragon warrior?

Story excerpt:

Drakon lay in bed, listening to Ryuu breathing as he slept. He’d tried to relax, but after the prince threatened to kill him, he’d found sleep impossible. He is right. He could kill you whenever he wants, he thought, depressed. Even shifting to dragon form wouldn’t immediately help. He was trapped beneath the surface of a desert, in a citadel made of granite, among corridors filled with Arethuza warriors. He might be able to kill Ryuu, but he would not be able to escape. As a dragon, he was too large to fit in the underground passages. As a man, he was outnumbered hundreds to one. So he lay in bed, wondering how he could possibly still be aroused, in this situation, and right after Ryuu had threatened to end his life.

“I can hear you thinking,” Ryuu said, rolling over.

Drakon sighed.

“I didn’t say I would kill you tonight.” Ryuu poked him in the arm. “Go to sleep. You’re keeping me awake.”

“You may be my master, but even you cannot conquer insomnia,” Drakon said dryly.

Ryuu leaned over and switched on a low light. Drakon glanced at him. His hair was mussed, making him look more human and less princely. Drakon bit back a groan as he felt his cock swell even more. Stop this. You are lucky he didn’t chain you to the floor.

“This is not just insomnia,” Ryuu said, lying back down.

Drakon pressed his lips together. He was not about to confess his need for release to the man who owned him.

“Tell me about your family,” Ryuu said.

My family? Drakon thought, disturbed. “You want me to tell you about the people I will likely never see again in my lifetime?” He paused, thinking about his father, General Ozuru. His father’s last words to him before he’d left had not been kind. He wondered what Ryuu would think if he knew that Drakon was the heritor to the Soutx Nation. He sighed softly to himself. What he once was didn’t matter now. He’d vowed to stop the Arethuza’s blood war, and he would do so, even if it meant surrendering his honor to save his people. “Is that a command?”

Ryuu sighed. “Perhaps I spoke hastily.”

Drakon snorted quietly.

“Tell me about your first lover, then. What was she like?” Ryuu asked.

Drakon’s face burned. Of all the things for the prince to hit upon. Should I confess? Put us out of our misery? He considered it, shifting slightly as his cock throbbed even more. What do I have to lose? He swallowed, then licked his lips. “His name was Ikale.”

****

Ryuu went perfectly still as the meaning of Drakon’s words sank into his mind. “He?”

Drakon stirred. “Yes.”

Ryuu’s hands fisted beneath the silk blanket as the arousal he’d fought so hard to keep from Drakon flared back to life. He thought Drakon would talk about some pretty girl, or some silly fumblings as a young teen, but instead he’d admitted to Ryuu the one thing he desired more than anything else. Well, almost anything. I still wish to be free of my father’s bloodthirsty fascination with war. I still wish to set my people free of him.

“Why didn’t you tell me earlier?” he asked Drakon.

“What good would it have done to admit my orientation? What good does it do now?” Drakon sounded frustrated. “My people aren’t any more accepting of same-sex unions than yours.”

“We could both get some pleasure out of this necessity,” Ryuu said, trying to mask the desperation he felt.

Drakon shifted again. “You are my owner.” He spat the words as if they were bugs in his mouth. “You can just take what you want from me, any time you please.”

Ryuu closed his eyes, regretting the threats he’d given Drakon earlier. “I am not any more free of you than you are of me. I explained that to you.”

“I should kill you, right now,” Drakon murmured sulkily.

Ryuu laughed. “Even if you could, why would you? Killing me would only hasten your own death. You are surrounded by the enemy.” He smoothed the blankets over his thighs. “No. You have your own reasons for submitting to slavery. Don’t think I am unaware of that.”

Drakon sighed. “Perhaps I’d rather be dead than subject to this.”

Ryuu bit his lip. He would not be the one to initiate this. He would likely have to do far too many distasteful things to Drakon in the days ahead as it was. The least he could do was let his slave make this one choice. “I will not force you, not in the night, when it is just the two of us,” he said quietly.

“You would force me in public?”

Ryuu rubbed his face, exasperated. “I may need to make a show of it, though I will do everything I can to keep that from happening.”

Drakon rolled over. Ryuu jerked when he felt a hand on his arm. He opened his eyes. Drakon loomed over him, dark hair sliding down over his shoulders. “Ikale was a handsome boy, dark of hair and with flashing eyes. I first noticed him when I was thirteen. He’d come with his father to visit. We were thrown together often, during lessons and while practicing our combat skills.”

“How did you become intimate?” Ryuu asked, almost afraid that Drakon would refuse to tell him.

Instead, Drakon smiled. “We went camping in the wilderness together. The first night, we couldn’t get a fire started. We huddled together when the temperature dropped.”

“I’ve heard that the mountains can be very cold,” Ryuu offered.

“As cold as the desert,” Drakon said quietly. He rearranged himself on the bed so that he leaned closer to Ryuu. “When I woke in the middle of the night, I realized that Ikale and I were so entwined, I could not extricate myself without giving away my feelings. So I held perfectly still.” He sighed, his warm breath a puff against Ryuu’s skin. “He woke up. He felt my erection.”

Ryuu’s cock hardened even more as Drakon described his arousal with the other boy. “What happened?”

Drakon leaned closer, going down onto his side. “He touched me. We used our hands on each other.” He looked away. “A week later, he and his father left. Many years later, I heard he’d died fighting in a battle with the Arethuza.”

Ryuu flinched. “I’m sorry.”

“It happened a long time ago.” Drakon reached out and slid his hand down Ryuu’s arm. “Touch me, Ryuu.” He sounded almost frightened, which surprised Ryuu. Thus far, the slave had been by turns defiant and resigned. Why would this unsettle him so?

Ryuu’s breathing quickened. “Are you certain?”

Drakon lifted Ryuu’s hand and dragged it down his chest.

Ryuu savored the feel of Drakon’s hair and soft skin. When Drakon used Ryuu’s fingers to stroke his cock, Ryuu shuddered. The heat of Drakon’s erection seemed to sear his palm.

“What we do tonight means nothing,” Drakon whispered roughly, letting go and sliding his hand between the plackets of Ryuu’s robe. “This is release. Not love. Those are my terms.”

What are people saying about Captive Fire?

Redz World Reviews – 5 Shooting Stars!

“The characters were vibrant and the story very different from any dragon shifter story I have read so far. … This is one story I really couldn’t stop reading over and over again.”

The Romance Reviews – Top Pick!

“I definitely recommend this book to those who love the m/m and fantasy. The action kept me on the tips of my toes and the sex made me hold my breath for more.”

Cocktails and Books – 5 stars!

“I absolutely loved “Captive Fire”!  Just straight up loved it.  It was an incredible story of love and good triumphing over evil.  There was romance, action, intrigue, and sex.  Oh…and did I mention dragon shifters?  Oh yes.  Dragon shifters.  **SWOON**”

MM Good Book Reviews – 4.5 stars!

“I love Erin’s stories and this was no different. I had a blast with it and look forward to reading more like this story. … I would definitely recommend this story. It has a kick to it that will keep you on the edge of your seat.”

The Blogger Girls – Plenty of mystery and action!

“This is a fun, jam packed little dragon story. It’s short but complete. … There is plenty of mystery and action to go along with the romance and hot sex.”

The TBR Pile – 4 stars!

“The world building is fabulous! It’s this strange, unique, fantasy world that I had fun exploring. The characters, Ryuu and Drakon, are wonderful.”

Night Owl Reviews – 4 stars!

“It is difficult to establish a distinctive world with unique characters within the confines of a novella but the author effortlessly drew me into this world and made me care about these characters.”

Open Skye Book Reviews

“This was a surprisingly dark and heavy but still very hopeful and sweet dragon shifter story.”

Once upon a time … I wrote MMF

And I still do!

Menage was my first love when I began writing romance, and something about it still appeals to my naughty side.

My very first book, The First Time Is the Sweetest, was written with that feeling you get when you first meet someone, and you know you have a crush. And THEN, I added a second guy, and that crazy, feverish longing multiplied itself, and my first menage romance was born! 😀

However, my favorite MMF so far still remains Bitter Bite. I have a bit of a fetish around forbidden love, and I loved writing about an innocent young woman, an ex-priest, and a sexy, centuries-old vampire.

Alaric Normand is a solitary predator, so when he meets a man who kindles long-dormant emotions, he dismisses the attraction. What does he need with a lover? A consort bond spells nothing but vulnerability for a vampire who’s been alone for five centuries.

Ex-priest Gideon Keegan has lost his faith, so when he witnesses a supernatural killing, how does he accept the reality of evil? And why does he feel attraction for such a violent individual, especially when he’s already in love with someone else?

Everyone thinks Hannah Ward is an innocent, but she knows the truth: she’s done terrible things, and so she hides her affection for Gideon. She isn’t worthy of love, yet when a handsome stranger kisses her she falls hard, despite her sense that something is wrong. How can she have feelings for two men at once? Must she choose between the dark and the light?

Evernight – Amazon – Bookstrand – Smashwords – Barnes & Noble – iTunes

 

My next favorite MMF novel is You Taste So Sweet. Why? Because ZOMBIES. I have a thing for zombie films and stories, and this novel was a blast to write. The title is a pun! (Don’t worry, the zombies are evil and disgusting, and the heroes are good men, not the walking undead).

When a meteor explodes over Atlanta, infecting the world with a virus that turns people into zombies, Lark knows survival will be difficult. Her roommate and best friend insists that her father and his best friend will come and save them, but Lark isn’t sure if she wants to put her life into the hands of strangers. Unfortunately, when the zombies come, she may have no choice. And when Ben and Dillon break into their dorm in the nick of time, Lark finds herself reevaluating her insistence on independence.

Tragedy brings them together. The fight to survive creates a bond stronger than blood in a few short days. What’s a girl to do when faced with the zombie apocalypse? Does she trust in the two men she knows will keep her alive, or does she strike out on her own?

Evernight – Amazon – BookStrand – Smashwords – Barnes & Noble – Kobo

 

I also love sci-fi, and you know what that means, right? Another of my MMF novels starts off simple, with a knitting needle (of course!) and ends up in space! Joyful Devastation is a hell of a romp.

No one expects an alien invasion, least of all Dr. Bea Morgan, and especially not on the day she meets the man of her dreams. Wait, no, the men of her dreams. Two sexy officers in her ER is surprising, but when they steal a kiss from her on a broken elevator, everything changes.

Gideon Cearvall has been dreaming of a faraway desert tower his entire life, but he’s learned to put aside childhood fantasies. He’s a good cop with a great partner who considers him family. So what if he’s in love with his best friend? Theo will never know.

Theo Gray adores his family and his partner. He’s perfectly happy—until he meets the curvy doctor who rocks his world. When a kiss turns into a fight for survival, he struggles with his desire for both Gideon and Bea.

When aliens devastate your world, love is all that will keep you alive.

Evernight – AmazonSmashwords – BookStrand – Barnes & Noble – iBookstore – Kobo

 

My latest menage is a shifter novel, because I somehow keep coming back to shifters. Do shifters ever get old? I don’t think so. 😀 Queen Wolf has a fabulous, spunky heroine. I love her.

Avery is resigned to solitude. She can’t shift, she’s overweight, and her ex cheated on her, but when Alpha Fletcher and his best friend, Mitch, return to Boulder Pack after years of traveling, she’s shocked at how much she wants them.

Fletcher doesn’t expect to meet his mate within moments of coming home, but he and Mitch are nothing if not adaptable. Avery makes their beasts howl with need, but can she accept two wolves instead of one? Triad mates haven’t been allowed in ages.

Mitch is happy to bond with Avery and Fletcher—he has room in his heart for two mates. What he isn’t happy with is Avery’s father threatening her, and making her doubt her worth. Avery is a Queen, but she has no idea what that means. Will instinct be enough to push them together, or will Mitch and Fletcher need more drastic measures to convince Avery that she’s their destiny?

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Here’s a list of all my menage (MMF) books:

  • Broken – Planet Alpha #2, May 16, 2014
  • Damaged – Planet Alpha, July 11, 2014
  • Thief – Blue’s Boys #1, October 29, 2014
  • Cops – Blue’s Boys #2, , December 2, 2014
  • Beloved – Blue’s Boys #3, December 18, 2014

It’s my birthday, but you’re getting the gifts!!!

It’s my birthday, but you’re getting the gifts!

[ETA: thank you all for commenting! I’ve picked my winners. 😀 ]

In celebration of my birthday, I’m giving away an ebook copy of one of my Close Proximity novellas!

All you have to do is comment below: tell me what your favorite birthday gift of all time was, and which Close Proximity book you’d like, and I’ll pick a winner at random.

Bonus gift: the best birthday gift story will win a $10 Amazon gift card!

😀

Happy Birthday to me! and to you!

The Elevator — Adrian & Greyson

Adrian Hughes is a geek who sucks at social interaction because awkward is his middle name. Even though he’s gay, he’s the opposite of flamboyant (when they were handing out fabulous, he was hiding in another room). Even so, he’s always wanted a boyfriend—who doesn’t want to find love?—but so far, the closest he’s gotten to it is crushing on the hot older guy he only sees on the elevator. So what happens when he’s trapped inside it with Mr. Zillionaire Hottie during a heat wave brownout? He stutters like an idiot, because Mr. Greyson Lee is unexpectedly cool, calm, and collected … right up until he’s not.

When kissing leads to sex, Adrian can’t say no. But is it just a hookup? Or is it the start of something more?

Adrian Hughes: 25 years old, 5’10”, short dark hair, blue eyes, white, muscular, gay. Younger, highly intelligent software expert, stuck in crap job, works on 30th floor of office building in midtown Manhattan.

Greyson Lee: 40 years old, 6′, half Korean, half white, rugged, CEO type, beard, brown eyes, dark hair silvering at temples, 6’2″, owns Dragon Investments, very wealthy. Mom was white and her last name was Greyson. He has a large tattoo of a dragon on his torso. Smaller tattoo on left forearm. Owns office building in midtown Manhattan.

****

The Cabin — Flynn & Beau

Flynn is having a terrible day—his fiancée jilted him at the altar and now he’s alone on his honeymoon. Going to a wilderness resort by himself was probably not his best idea, but then artist Beau Green arrives to make everything even more complicated. A reservation mistake and stormy weather means the charismatic black man is out of options for the night, but Flynn can’t let someone sleep on a cold floor when there’s a perfectly good sofa in his cabin. When the power dies, Flynn ends up on the sofa, too, because there’s only one fireplace, and freezing is not part of his plan for the day.

Also not planned? Having sex with a dude, but Beau is everything his ex is not—kind, strong, and intelligent. Unfortunately, Flynn is straight, and falling for a man might be one disaster too many for him to handle.

Flynn Russell, 26 years old, blond, green eyes. Dumped at the altar. Doesn’t realize he’s gay. Owns custom car shop with father.

Beau Green, 30 years old, black, dark hair, light brown eyes, beard, silver barbel nipple piercings, artist and photographer on retreat. Does high quality portraits, and celebrity portraits. Raised by single father. Mother died in childbirth.

****

The Drive — Liam & Charlie

Liam is done with love, but his daughter Portia has other plans. When he arrives to pick her up from college, she sets him up with her friend Charlie, and merrily heads off to her internship without them. Liam is left with an uncomfortable hard-on for Portia’s bestie, and a long drive to Vegas with a guy too young to know what to do with a guy Liam’s age.

Charlie thought he liked girls. More specifically, he thought he liked Portia, but when her dad offers him a ride home after graduation, he suddenly, shockingly realizes that he doesn’t like women at all. He likes Liam, and he wants to hook up as soon as possible, and maybe not ever let go. So, when Liam makes an offer he can’t refuse, what’s he supposed to do? Say no to the hottest person he’s ever met?

Liam Humphrey, 40 years old, brown hair, beard, grey eyes. Bisexual, divorced, and not looking for love. Owns a nightclub in Las Vegas.

Charlie Dwight, 21 years old, best friends with Liam’s daughter, Portia. Just graduated from college, and is looking for a job.

****

The Flight — Ethan & Sebastian

Flirting at thirty thousand feet with a charming rock star is a terrible idea, especially since Sebastian can’t afford to lose his job as a flight attendant. Ethan Clementine may be hot and oh-so-talented, but Sebastian has no desire to join the mile high club, or so he tells himself. The truth is that he misses playing music, and he would love to fall in love with the right guy, but everyone knows Ethan is into women.

Ethan is tired of traveling, tired of fame, and he’s especially tired of pretending he’s straight. He’s been in the closet for so long, it seems pointless to come out as bi, especially with his career in the balance. So what does he do when he meets sexy flight attendant Sebastian? He sings the man into the sack, because one hookup doesn’t mean he’s going to fall in love, right?

Ethan Duke Clementine, 33 years old, shaggy dark hair, electric blue eyes, rock star extraordinaire, looking for peace.

Sebastian Hunter, 23 years old, short brown hair, brown eyes, working a dead end job to pay the bills, would rather be making music.

5 stars for The Flight!

Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books! loved The Flight!

“I loved this book! It’s a novella, and I really wish it wasn’t! I could have sat down with this one and read happily for much longer. Instead, I got all the good bits in one easy read, including a perfect HEA for our guys. There is plenty going on, but the pacing is smooth. With good supporting characters, a great storyline, and a couple of smoking hot MCs, this is a story I highly recommend.”

Read the rest of the review.

Gay Romance, Erotic Romance, May/Dec, Contemporary
Word Count: 17,825
Heat Level: 3

Buy Links: EvernightAmazonBookStrandSmashwordsKoboBarnes & NobleiBookstore

Flirting at thirty thousand feet with a charming rock star is a terrible idea, especially since Sebastian can’t afford to lose his job as a flight attendant. Ethan Clementine may be hot and oh-so-talented, but Sebastian has no desire to join the mile high club, or so he tells himself. The truth is that he misses playing music, and he would love to fall in love with the right guy, but everyone knows Ethan is into women.

Ethan is tired of traveling, tired of fame, and he’s especially tired of pretending he’s straight. He’s been in the closet for so long, it seems pointless to come out as bi, especially with his career in the balance. So what does he do when he meets sexy flight attendant Sebastian? He sings the man into the sack, because one hookup doesn’t mean he’s going to fall in love, right?

Story Excerpt:

The moment Ethan’s fingers touched his shoulder, Sebastian wrapped his fingers around the musician’s wrist and drew him closer. He had no idea if the man was into guys, but he didn’t particularly care at this point. He’d given the rock star an out, and Ethan hadn’t pulled away. “I know we’ve just met—” he murmured, but Ethan slid his hand up and put a finger on his lips. Sebastian shuddered. He’d been in a constantly shifting state of embarrassment, nervousness, and arousal from the moment Ethan had stepped onto the plane, and this sure as hell wasn’t helping restore his equanimity.

“I told myself I wasn’t going to do this anymore,” Ethan said cryptically, and then he leaned in.

“Do what?” Sebastian tried to ask, but Ethan’s mouth met his and all hell broke loose in his body. He groaned, arms going for Ethan’s hair, but the musician knocked his hands away and climbed up onto his lap. Sebastian froze, then swallowed hard when his cock pressed up into the juncture of Ethan’s legs.

“Fuck, you’re gorgeous,” Ethan muttered, and then he kissed Sebastian again.

Sebastian gripped Ethan’s ass through the soft jeans, mind whirling. Ethan tasted like insanity and heat, and he couldn’t get enough. When Ethan finally lifted his head, Sebastian gasped, barely able to catch his breath. His cock was so fucking hard he was afraid he would go off in his pants. His lips stung. “You’re into guys?” he asked, and then he bit his lower lip in frustration. What a stupid question. The man was on his lap, for God’s sake. Ethan Duke Clementine just kissed me, he thought inanely, and then he wondered if he was dreaming, but the weight of the man on his legs felt all too real.

Ethan laughed. “Yeah. I’m into guys. I’m bi, not that I advertise it. I don’t need the hassle.” He rolled his hips, pushing his erection into Sebastian’s abdomen. “I’m assuming you’re into guys, too, or you would’ve dumped me on my ass, right?”

“Uh,” Sebastian said, not really able to think clearly. Dump the hottest man I’ve ever seen onto the floor? Yeah, no. Ethan rolled his hips again. “Oh my God,” Sebastian said, gritting his teeth. He would not come in his pants like a damned teenager. “Fuck.” He banged his head against the soft cushions of the seat even as his hands kneaded Ethan’s ass. He wanted to suck Ethan off. He wanted to fuck him. He wanted all sorts of things he hadn’t thought about wanting in far too long.

“Relax, Sebastian,” Ethan said, cupping his face. “I’m not going anywhere.”

Sebastian laughed, then moaned when Ethan leaned in closer. “I feel like I’m dreaming,” Sebastian said.

“Don’t think so hard,” Ethan replied, kissing him again and again, until Sebastian stopped trying to figure out why Duke Clementine chose him, of all people, to do this with. There had been literally no hint of Ethan being bisexual anywhere in the media, so for him to do this now, and with Sebastian,shocked the hell out of him.

“You know I won’t tell anyone,” Sebastian gasped out.

Ethan stilled. “I know,” he said, and then he started to unbutton his shirt.

Sebastian stared as the man’s lean torso slowly came into view. Ethan had a collection of tattoos scattered across his body, and though nothing Sebastian saw was new to him—the musician had done a number of interviews with photos of his body spread in glossy high definition across numerous platforms—there was something entirely shocking about being able to touch instead of just look. “Seeing you in a magazine is nothing like being here in real life,” he murmured, reaching up to trace a finger across warm skin.

“This is real life, Sebastian,” Ethan said, voice warm and husky. He sucked in a breath when Sebastian’s fingers trailed down the middle of his chest to the waistband of his jeans and back up again.

“I want to suck you off,” Sebastian said, trying to make himself move, but his fingers were too busy learning every last inch of ink on Ethan’s skin.

“What a good idea,” Ethan said, standing up, but instead of undoing his jeans, he went to his knees.

“What are you doing?” Sebastian asked, sitting up. He tried to drag Ethan back to his feet, but the rock star put his hands on Sebastian’s pants and undid the zipper. He slid his fingers inside. Sebastian gasped when those fingers brushed against his cock.

“This is the ugliest uniform I’ve ever seen,” Ethan said, fingers drawing down Sebastian’s underwear. He licked his lips as Sebastian’s erection sprang out.

Sebastian’s hips bucked. “Oh, God.” Ethan’s electric blue eyes stared up at him. “You’re killing me, Ethan.”

“No, I can’t do this while you’re wearing that hideous sweater,” Ethan said unexpectedly, reaching for Sebastian’s top. He tugged on it. “Take it off.”

Sebastian nearly tore it in his hurry to get it off his body. “This is crazy.”

Ethan undid the buttons of Sebastian’s shirt, and then he reached down and gripped his cock in a firm, warm hand. “Yeah, it’s crazy, but I’m not sure I care.” He leaned in and sucked Sebastian’s erection into his mouth.

Sebastian jammed the heel of his hand against his mouth, hips jerking. He didn’t want to thrust. He didn’t want to do anything that would hurt Ethan. Shit, maybe this isn’t a good idea. What if I push into his throat? He needs to be able to sing. He said he’s paranoid about his vocal cords. He reached down and pulled Ethan up.

“What?” Ethan licked down the side of Sebastian’s erection.

“I don’t want to hurt you. You need to sing tomorrow,” Sebastian said, barely able to put the words together.

Ethan laughed. “You’re worried about my voice?”

Sebastian flushed.

“Giving head is not going to wreck my vocal cords,” Ethan said, sounding amused. “But there are other things we can do, if you prefer.” He stood up.

Sebastian stared as Ethan stripped off the rest of his clothes. He looked strong and sure of himself, and Sebastian’s mind flashed on one of the interviews he remembered reading. They’d been talking to some of the fans at one of Ethan’s concerts, and a girl they’d interviewed had said that Duke Clementine was pure sex when he was on stage. If Ethan is pure sex on stage, off stage he’s lethal, Sebastian thought, digging his fingers into the cushions. He couldn’t believe he was actually doing this. “You realize this is insane.”

Ethan leaned over and carefully moved his guitar to the seat behind him, brushing his fingers over the strings as he let go. The sound of a chord lingered in the air, quietly tantalizing. “Maybe it is,” he murmured, and then he straightened up. His blue eyes had darkened with arousal. Sebastian couldn’t look away. Ethan’s cock was thick and hard, and Sebastian wanted it inside him in the worst way. He swallowed thickly as Ethan went to his knees. His hands went to Sebastian’s pants and wrestled them off. “Take off your shirt,” he said.

Sebastian obeyed, half crazed with lust. “I’m going to get fired for this.”

Ethan shook his head. “No one will know.” He climbed back onto the sofa, legs going on either side of Sebastian’s hips. “No one ever has to know.”

 

 

 

Soulmate was nominated!

Thank you Jessie for nominating Soulmate in the Goodreads M/M Romance Members’ Choice Awards! I’m so very honored!

 

   

Gay Romance, Paranormal, Erotic Romance, Suspense, May/Dec
Word Count: 53,500
Heat Level: 3
Published By: Evernight Publishing

EvernightAmazon – BookStrandKoboSmashwordsNOOKiBooks

Guy Keaton doesn’t want a hookup or a soulmate or anything in between. When he lost his wife to cancer, he knew he’d be alone for the rest of his life. He has a grown son, and his woodshop, and in a world where those born with powerful gifts are few and far between, that’s all that really matters.

Theo Fraser’s empathic gift is rare and strong. He isn’t looking for love, but when he meets Guy, everything changes, because he knows that when you find your soulmate, you hold on tight and don’t let go. The only problem is that Guy thinks he’s straight, and Theo doesn’t know if he can convince a man already set in his ways to change his mind.

Will Guy be able to give up his grief and accept Theo’s love? And what happens when a terrible betrayal forces them to fight to keep each other alive?

Story Excerpt:

“You seem very sure I’m bisexual.” Guy put his hands in his pockets.

Theo paused on the trail. He could see the trailhead just up ahead. “Aren’t you?”

Guy looked at him. “I was married for a long time.”

“That’s not an answer.” Theo took a risk and stepped closer. “I know a great way for you to find out for sure.” He ignored the little voice in his head that was telling him not to be an impulsive idiot. He looked back down the trail and waved a “wait” signal to the two bodyguards trailing them. Julio had already reached the trailhead, and Theo knew he was checking out the car. They were as alone as they were going to get right now. And it’s just a kiss. It’s not like we’re going to have sex in the middle of a hiking trail.

“How?” Guy asked, sounding wary.

“I kiss you right here, right now. If you like it, you’re bi. If you don’t, you’re not.” Theo waited, knowing even as the words left his mouth that nothing in life was as simple as what he’d just suggested. He knew that even if Guy enjoyed the kiss, there would be some serious questions for his soulmate to wade through before he came out the other side. Guy had just spent most of his life thinking he was straight, and denying the feelings that were buried deep all along. And I know firsthand that it isn’t easy to change beliefs you hold onto too tightly, Theo mused, thinking of his parents. He shook off the bad memories. Now was not the time to dredge up that emotional shitstorm.

“That’s crazy,” Guy said, half smiling, and half looking like a man about to run for the hills. “You could be a shitty kisser.”

Theo smirked. Guy hadn’t said no. “I’m an Empath. I’m incapable of being a shitty kisser.”

Guy laughed, as Theo had intended. “So the rumors about Empaths are true? They’re great in bed?”

Theo didn’t reply. He let his silence speak for him.

Guy ran a hand over the back of his neck. “This is crazy,” he muttered, repeating himself.

Theo’s cock swelled as he sensed Guy’s tentative arousal. And fear. Don’t forget the fear, he thought, as his power instinctively reached out to his soulmate. Guy was the one person in the world he would never be able to block out. He sensed Guy’s attraction to him, and his anxiety, as well as his bone-deep weariness with being sad. The relaxation he’d felt just a little while ago on the trail lingered, too.

“Yeah, okay. What the hell,” Guy said, stepping closer. “What’s the worst that could happen?”

Theo grinned. “You sound like a man trying to decide if he should try out a new taco, not a kiss.”

“It’s just as terrifying,” Guy replied instantly. “You never know when a taco could be harboring one of those insanely hot peppers. I could get burned.”

Theo reached out and put a hand on Guy’s shoulder, willing him to relax. “I’m not a habanero, Guy,” Theo murmured.

“You might as well be,” Guy said, his voice catching.

Theo moved his hand from Guy’s shoulder to his cheek. “Shh.”

Guy’s eyes widened.

Theo put his thumb on Guy’s lips and sensed a sudden spike in the older man’s arousal. Here goes nothing, he thought, just before he leaned in and kissed his soulmate for the first time.

****

Guy froze as Theo’s lips touched his. Theo’s mouth was soft and expressive, and so damned hot he thought he might go up in flames if he moved even an inch. He stood there, trying to figure out what the hell was wrong with him, when suddenly his Craft power lit up through his body. Energy rushed through him, and he reached out to grab Theo’s arms. He meant to push him away, but he found himself clutching at the younger man as if he were a life raft and Guy was drowning.

“Easy,” Theo murmured against his mouth.

“Fuck.” Guy kissed him back, searching for … what? He had no idea. All he knew was that he’d never felt so damned aroused in his life. His cock shoved against his pants, hard and hot and insistent. He groaned when Theo slid his hands into his hair and kissed him again, licking into his mouth with intent. They were the same height, so Guy didn’t have to crane his neck down the way he’d had to in order to kiss Pamela. It was strange. Hot. More than that, though, he felt unbalanced. Confused.

Theo gentled the kiss and pulled back. “There.”

There? Who was the man kidding? Guy stared at him. Was Theo as stunned as he was? The younger man’s mouth looked red and slightly swollen. I did that to him, Guy thought, and then, But I’m straight.

“Dammit,” Theo muttered, and then he stepped closer and kissed Guy again.

This time, Theo pressed himself up against Guy’s torso, and for the first time in his life, Guy felt another man’s hard-on against his hip. “Jesus,” he gasped, unable to stop his body’s instinctive thrust forward. He grabbed Theo’s arms again, absently reveling in the man’s strength, and pulled him closer. “What the fuck is happening?”

Theo answered by biting Guy’s lower lip.

Guy moaned into Theo’s mouth, and walked them back until the younger man’s body hit the sturdy oak tree at the edge of the trail. Guy’s Craft flared again, and the tree shuddered as his energy hit it, but then Theo slid his tongue into his mouth and he didn’t care about anything except the younger man coaxing him to open himself wide. He did, and Theo bit him again. Guy’s erection swelled, and he gasped. He slid his hands down Theo’s arms to his hips.

“Oh, God,” Theo said, head thunking back against the tree as Guy pushed into him.

What are people saying about Soulmate?

The Romance Reviews — Top Pick!

“This is a gorgeous gay-for-you (sort of) story that absolutely fulfills my sappy romantic side. … This is only the first book, and I can’t wait for more. Absolutely recommended by me!”

Open Skye Book Reviews — Highly Recommended!

“Theo is Guy’s fated mate and together they not only have amazing chemistry and love but they also create some amazing magic together.”

Joyfully Jay

“The main story here is about Guy and Theo coming to terms with the power of their connection as soul mates. There is a lot of sexual tension, dabs of angst on many levels, and delicious consummation of their relationship.”

Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books! — 5 Stars Exceptional!

“There is so much to enjoy in this book – political machinations, assassination attempts, trees being re-shaped, soul-rings, I could go on. This is a gorgeous gay-for-you (sort of) story that absolutely fulfils my sappy romantic side.”

Night Owl Reviews

“I love stories that explore psychic phenomena and I enjoyed this m/m paranormal story. Guy’s backstory was touching and watching him grapple with both his guilt at moving on after his loss as well as the confusion about his attraction to Theo kept me invested in the story.”

Rainbow Book Reviews

“I had no inkling from the description how very interesting the worldbuilding was going to be in this first book of a new series.”

First Chapter of The Flight!

Want to know what you’re getting before you buy it? Now’s your chance! Scroll down to read the first chapter of The Flight!

Gay Romance, Erotic Romance, May/Dec, Contemporary
Word Count: 17,825
Heat Level: 3

Buy Links: EvernightAmazonBookStrandSmashwordsKoboBarnes & NobleiBookstore

Flirting at thirty thousand feet with a charming rock star is a terrible idea, especially since Sebastian can’t afford to lose his job as a flight attendant. Ethan Clementine may be hot and oh-so-talented, but Sebastian has no desire to join the mile high club, or so he tells himself. The truth is that he misses playing music, and he would love to fall in love with the right guy, but everyone knows Ethan is into women.

Ethan is tired of traveling, tired of fame, and he’s especially tired of pretending he’s straight. He’s been in the closet for so long, it seems pointless to come out as bi, especially with his career in the balance. So what does he do when he meets sexy flight attendant Sebastian? He sings the man into the sack, because one hookup doesn’t mean he’s going to fall in love, right?

Chapter One Excerpt:

 

Sebastian stared down the length of the swanky private plane, nervous as hell and unable to do a damn thing about it. Plush seats and a polished wooden coffee table stared back mockingly, and he sighed. There was nothing to straighten up or wipe or prep. He’d just have to suck it up and pretend he knew what he was doing. He straightened the cuffs of his shirt for the umpteenth time, wishing he didn’t have to wear the dorky sweater on top. It was one of the uglier uniforms he’d had to wear over the years.

“Hey, you okay?” Darlene asked him as she double checked the doors to the galley cabinets. Everything was fastened securely, but Sebastian’s friend had always been a bit obsessive-compulsive. He watched her fiddle with the coffeepot before strapping it down.

He nodded and attempted a smile. “I’m fine. Just a little nervous.”

“You’re going to be fine,” Darlene said. “You’re a natural with people.”

Sebastian’s smile turned stiff. “Probably because of all the work I did with my mother.”

“Oh, hey.” Darlene put a hand on his arm. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to remind you.”

He shook his head. “No, it’s fine. It’s been over two years since she died. I still miss her, but I don’t want to nottalk about her. I want to remember her, you know?”

Darlene pulled him into a quick hug. “I know. I just didn’t mean to remind you.” She leaned back and smiled impishly. “Maybe you need to start dating. Maybe this client will be some hot guy and you can practice flirting with him.”

“Darlene! You know that’s against the rules,” Sebastian said, faking shock. He splayed a hand on his chest. “We’re not supposed to touch the clients.” He huffed. “Besides, I’m not looking for a boyfriend right now. I want to use my free time to focus on my music.”

“You’re not getting any younger, dude.” Darlene laughed. “And rules are meant to be broken.”

“I’m only twenty-three,” Sebastian said, rolling his eyes. “Give me a break, Darlene.”

She smirked at him, and he decided that since he was never going to win an argument with her, he might as well shut up now.

“Heads up,” Rob the pilot said, stepping out of the cockpit. “Our passenger is on his way.”

Darlene immediately stopped fussing and stood at relaxed attention. After a double-take of his usually relaxed friend, Sebastian did the same as the nerves he’d manage to suppress zipped back up to the surface. He inhaled deeply, and then exhaled, counting to ten. He’d gone through the training, and he knew how to do everything that was expected of him. However, he still wasn’t entirely certain what it would be like working for a private charter airline that had wealthy clients. He was used to working on commercial flights filled with beleaguered masses of exhausted travelers.

Can’t be worse than cleaning up baby barf and refereeing angry strangers, intent on killing each other,he reminded himself, wishing he was at home working out the kinks in his latest song instead of working. Gotta pay the rent, though, and music doesn’t do that. Yet.

“There’s his car,” Darlene said, pointing to a brilliant red Ferrari driving on the tarmac. “It’s weird that we don’t have a name for the guy, but whatever.” She shrugged. “Whatever the client wants, the client gets.”

Sebastian shook his head. He couldn’t imagine being so rich that you could drive your sports car right up onto the airport and park it next to the plane. A sudden beeping had him turning to the cockpit. The copilot, Phil, pointed to his ear. The pilot frowned, then leaned over and grabbed his headset. He tapped a button and listened for a moment, then murmured a soft “Roger that.”

“What is it, Rob?” Darlene asked as he returned.

The pilot sighed. “Your sister is in the hospital, Darlene.”

“What?” Darlene’s face paled. “Is she all right? What happened?” She scrabbled for her purse in one of the cabinets, and then pulled out her phone. “Come on, come on,” she muttered as she waited for it to power up.

Sebastian’s heart banged against his ribs. Darlene’s younger sister was eighteen, and suffered from seizures.

“They think she’s going to be fine, but your mother needs you at the hospital,” Rob said, looking grim. “Your sister needs further tests.”

“Shit. She’s probably going to have to stay overnight, and Mom can’t stay with her,” Darlene said, already going for her jacket and bag. She glanced at Sebastian. “This is exactly why I pushed you to apply for this job. I need a partner on these transatlantic flights.”

Sebastian knew all about Darlene’s home life. Her younger sister, Katy, had suffered from epilepsy her entire life, and while it was mostly managed by medication, she couldn’t drive and sometimes had difficult episodes. Normally, that wasn’t an issue, but Darlene’s dad had recently had a stroke, and her mother couldn’t take care of both her husband and her daughter by herself.

“Go on. I’ll be fine,” Sebastian said, projecting a confidence he didn’t at all feel.

“You know everyone will understand,” Rob said to her.

Darlene sighed as she shoved her arms into her jacket. “I need this job, Rob.”

“And you’ll keep it.” The pilot glanced out of the open hatch. “Go. I’ll explain to the client what happened. And then I’ll explain it to our boss. Vinair is a good company. They’ll be okay with it.”

Darlene nodded, then gave Sebastian a quick hug. “Good luck.”

“I’ll be fine. Give Katy a hug for me.” Sebastian returned her hug. “Go on.”

She smiled briefly and then ran down the steps. She headed into the terminal just as the doors of the Ferrari opened. Sebastian watched a tall, dark-haired man with large sunglasses get out of the driver’s side, while another man exited the passenger’s side.

He looks familiar,Sebastian thought, gaze going back to the first man.

“Good. He’s on time,” Rob murmured from just behind Sebastian.

Sebastian turned to look at the pilot. “Are clients often late?”

The pilot snorted. “You could say that. Rich people aren’t like us.”

Sebastian grimaced as he watched the two men extract their luggage and head for the plane. “Maybe this guy will be different.”

Rob shrugged. “Doesn’t matter if he is or isn’t.”

Yeah, not for you. You’re the pilot, and you won’t have to interact with him. I will.“I thought there was only one passenger for this flight?” Sebastian asked watching the two men.

“There is. The other guy is his bodyguard,” Rob said, as if it were normal for people to have security trailing them around.

And maybe it is, for people like this,Sebastian thought, trying to mentally adjust his thinking. He started down the stairs to help with the luggage. The moment his feet hit the tarmac, he smiled at the two men. “Welcome to Vinair. Let me get your luggage for you, sir.” He stared as they walked closer, feeling inexplicably drawn to the man who’d exited the driver’s side. The guy wore a blue short-sleeved button-down shirt, thin leather bracelets, and a beautiful silver necklace with a bird charm that nestled in the hollow of his throat. His black jeans were tight, and perfectly paired with a worn pair of shit-kicker boots. He obviously worked out, but he wasn’t an over-muscled gym rat. He looks like an artist,Sebastian thought, itching to find out if the man’s blue shirt felt as soft as it looked. He forced his gaze back up to the man’s face. He wore his hair relatively short, and had a bit of stubble going on along his jawline. The large mirrored sunglasses hiding his eyes reflected Sebastian’s own face back at him with his professional smile firmly pasted on. Sebastian suppressed a grimace. He hated the way the required uniform made him look: conservative and boring. He couldn’t even grow his hair out, and usually just opted for a very short cut.

The man smiled. “Thanks,” he said, handing his bag to Sebastian.

Huh. He sounds familiar,Sebastian thought as the client turned to the other guy and took the suitcase from him.

“Would you grab my guitar for me, Jack?” The client glanced around. “I don’t think anyone is going to jump me right next to the plane, especially after what we had to go through to get the car in here.”

The other guy nodded. “No problem, boss.” He headed back to the car.

“And stop calling me ‘boss’!” sunglasses guy yelled. He grinned when the other man gave him the finger.

Well. He seems nice enough,Sebastian thought, a little less nervous. A guy who would joke like that with his bodyguard couldn’t be that much of a dick, no matter how rich he was, right? Still, something about him nagged at Sebastian. The man looked and sounded so damned familiar, but he couldn’t put his finger on what it was that twigged his memory.

“Lead the way,” sunglasses guy said to Sebastian, jolting him out of his reverie.

Sebastian smiled again, and offered his hand for the other bag. “I can take that for you, sir.”

“I’ve got it.” The man lifted the bag with no problem, then stood waiting.

Tearing his gaze away from the man’s rock-steady biceps, Sebastian nodded, and then gestured to the stairs. Rob waited at the top for them. “After you, sir,” Sebastian said politely. Best get my mind on my job and not on the client.

Sunglasses guy lifted an eyebrow. “Are you going to keep calling me ‘sir’ all the way to Mumbai?” He grinned. “It’s a fifteen-hour flight. That’s a lot of sirring.”

Sebastian swallowed a laugh. “It’s my job to sir at you.” He waited a beat. “Sir.”

The man laughed out loud. “Dear God, no. Please. Just call me Ethan.” He turned and headed up the stairs, stepping so lightly his thick boots made no sound.

Wait, what? Ethan? Could it be—Sebastian stared, and then mentally kicked himself into motion. He followed the man up the stairs. There was no way this guy was Ethan Duke Clementine, rock star musician. No. Way. I’m making wishes out of nothing.Besides, this guy didn’t have long hair. Duke Clementine was known for his long hair and his electric blue eyes.

“He must like you. He’s rarely that friendly so fast,” a voice said from just behind him.

Sebastian nearly tripped over his own feet. The bodyguard had snuck up on him, carrying a battered guitar case. Plastered across one half were a plethora of stickers from around the world: Milan, New York, Hong Kong, and more. Sebastian blinked. That guitar case had seen a lot of the world. He had a case plastered with stickers just like it at home. “What?”

“Ethan doesn’t usually warm up to people that fast,” the bodyguard said, following him up the stairs.

We’ve literally just met. He doesn’t know me well enough to like me.Sebastian paused at the entrance to the plane, speculating. Could he be gay?He wasn’t sure how he felt about flirting with a client, no matter what Darlene said. The pilot had already ducked back into the cockpit, and Ethan was strolling down the length of the plane, bag in hand. “Ethan,” he murmured, still trying to figure out where he’d heard that name.

“Yeah. Ethan Clementine,” the bodyguard said, propping the guitar against the nearest seat. “Good singer. Nice guy.” He clapped a hand against Sebastian’s shoulder. “Good luck with him.” With that, he turned and exited the plane, making quick work of the stairs and heading for the car, whistling as he walked.

Ethan Clementine. Holy moly,Sebastian thought, shocked into stillness. I must be dreaming, right?His thoughts scattered as he stepped back into the plane. There was no way this guy was the same singer whose music he’d been listening to for ten years. Ethan Duke Clementine had burst onto the music scene when Sebastian was thirteen, and he’d been rolling out the hits ever since. He couldn’t imagine why the guy would be here, on this particular plane, on this particular day.

Even if it is him, he’s at least ten years old than you, and he’s straight, so get a grip, Sebastian told himself as he watched Ethan shove his bag into one of the compartments tucked under a side table. If Ethan really wasDuke Clementine, the musician had cut his hair, and it had rendered him completely unrecognizable. And he was shorter than he looked in interviews, and a hell of a lot thinner. For as long as Sebastian had been aware of Duke as an artist, the man had sported shoulder-length locks. And eyeliner. You don’t know if he’s wearing eyeliner or not,Sebastian mused, still staring. The man had yet to take off his sunglasses.

“You’re staring at me,” Ethan said, half smiling.

Jesus. That voice…Sebastian flushed. “I’m sorry. Let me get your bag, sir.” He forced himself to walk forward. Ethan held out the bag, and Sebastian stowed it in the cabinet near the galley. “You can access it at any time once we’re in the air.” He turned and grabbed the guitar case. “Did you want to hold onto this? Or I can put it in the closet.” He gestured to the rear of the airplane as he stuffed all knowledge of Ethan’s probable true identity into a box deep inside his mind. If he didn’t, he’d probably start freaking out all over the man, and that would be about as unprofessional as he could get.

Even so, his hands trembled slightly, knowing that he might be holding onto the guitar that had been responsible for the vast majority of his favorite songs. Maybe it’s not really him, and the bodyguard is just playing a joke on me,he mused, still not letting himself believe Ethan was Duke Clementine, Grammy-winning and bestselling recording artist. Even my mother liked him, and she wasn’t easy to please. The pang of grief he felt over her death still hurt even though it had been a couple years since she’d passed away. Even if it is Duke Clementine, keep it together. You’ve met a ton of musicians over the years, and now is not the time to turn into a fool, he told himself nervously.

“I’ve got it. Thanks,” Ethan said, smiling again as he strode forward and took the guitar case from Sebastian.

Sebastian nodded and let go, and then turned to take care of the door. The airport ground crew had already started to move the stairs away, and it was a safety violation to keep the door open. When he’d finished sealing it up, he turned to find Ethan looking at him, head tilted.

“Is there something I can help you with?” he asked, pleased that his voice didn’t tremble. “Would you like a drink?” He half turned to the galley. “Or I could give you the tour before we take off.”

Ethan slowly reached up and removed his sunglasses.

Sebastian froze. The brilliant blue eyes he’d had been half-afraid to see twinkled at him warmly with no sign of any eyeliner anywhere. The thing was, those eyes didn’t needeyeliner. They were utterly recognizable with or without enhancement, known far and wide all across the world. “No, I’m good,” Ethan said, as if from a distance. Sebastian could barely hear the man. He was too busy screaming inside his head. Meanwhile, Ethan’s gaze flicked down to Sebastian’s nametag. “Sebastian.”

Sebastian couldn’t move. He couldn’t speak. He’d never thought of himself as being particularly shy, but right now, right here, he found himself completely incapable of any response. Ethan, aka Duke Clementine, was standing here, right the hell in front of him, and the man had said his name.