Magic Never Lies – First Chapter Freebie!

Gay Romance, Erotic Romance, Paranormal, Contemporary
Word Count: 64,200
Heat Level: 3
Published By: Evernight Publishing

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Blake Gerritt has been done with music and fame for years. He’s happy with his anonymous life in an ordinary town in the middle of nowhere. He raised his sister after their parents died, and he’s no longer looking for more. Even the simmering magic in his blood has faded and he’s cool with that—he’s too old for falling in love anyway.

Aaron Wade is young and rich and miserable, even though millions love his songs. He knows he should be happy, especially since his bigoted jerk of a father is finally dead, but he can’t focus anymore. He can’t sleep. A small town in the middle of rural America is just the cure he needs to get back on track with his life, alone. Or so he thinks…

What happens when love comes out of nowhere? Do you let yourself fall or do you refuse the magic that could change everything?

Chapter One:

Grandma told me it would happen exactly like this, Blake Gerritt thought, staring fixedly at the man in the doorway. His fingers tingled as he flexed them against the package he held, and he realized that he’d forgotten to breathe for the last few minutes. She said I’d know when it happened, but she never told me I would feel as if someone had just whacked me upside the head with a two-by-four.

“Yes?” The man tilted his head slightly, and Blake knew that if he could see behind the guy’s mirrored sunglasses, he’d probably recognize puzzlement.

Because what kind of mailman knocks on a door and then just stands there like a moron? Blake asked himself. He inhaled deeply, trying to gather his wits. If someone asked him about this moment in the future, he’d swear on his grandma’s grave that for a split second the Earth had stopped spinning. When his heart abruptly woke up and clattered a harsh staccato against his ribcage, he blinked. Time rushed back into place.

“Can I help you?” the man asked, a little more harshly, as if he knew exactly what was happening and didn’t like it. His face was closed down. Unapproachable.

Hot as hell.

Blake swallowed, not surprised to find that his mouth had gone completely dry. His hands shook. In the next second, arousal hit him hard—shocking and weird in the middle of what was supposed to be an ordinary workday. He swallowed again, knowing that the man who’d opened the door was going to lose patience any moment now.

****

“Uh,” he managed, then coughed when his voice cracked. He cleared his throat. “Sorry. Allergies.” He managed a weak smile. Energy swirled around him like a fly buzzing in his ear. His family had magic, sure, but that mostly meant that his garden bloomed frantically during the summer months because the extra energy that followed him around had to go somewhere. He also had an amusing knack for making people happy and he wasn’t a half-bad singer, but all in all, it didn’t really impact his life much—at least not anymore. He’d left most of his magic behind years ago to take care of his sister. So, he hadn’t really expected the old family gift to kick him in the nuts on some random June day. Isn’t that just how life happens, though?

“You have something for me?” the man asked, more patient than Blake expected after the earlier harsh tone. Brilliant blue eyes peered out at him over the mirrored sunglasses. The man wore a battered baseball cap pulled low over short brown hair and a scruffy beard. Slouchy jeans and a red concert t-shirt that had seen better days completed the outfit. Behind Blake, music from the radio he kept in his mail truck played accompaniment to the summer birdsong, and he couldn’t help feeling as if he’d just stepped into an old romantic comedy movie.

If Lynn were here, she’d laugh herself sick, Blake mused, thinking of his little sister.

“Hello?” The guy tilted his head again, almost, but not quite, cracking a smile. He lifted an eyebrow. “Anyone home?”

Blake swallowed again, reminding himself that he had a job to do here, and he couldn’t gape at the guy destined to be his true love all damned day. “Uh, yeah. Sorry. I don’t know what’s going on with me.” He fumbled with the package in his hands, then smiled wryly. “I have to hand deliver this one. Needs a signature.” He glanced down, then angled his handheld scanner the right way to read the barcode on the side of the cardboard box. He held out the box.

The man scowled at the box for a moment before slowly taking it from Blake. He didn’t look like he was happy to receive a delivery.

“I was just trying to remember the last time I delivered to this house. It’s been at least eight years, I think, since old Mrs. Caramella passed away,” Blake said, trying to dispel the sudden awkwardness. “Please sign here, Mr. Peace.” The name on his device didn’t seem to match the man, but Blake pasted on a professional smile anyway. His magic told him that the name was fake, but it wasn’t his business, right? Even if the guy was his soul mate. He’d find out the truth soon enough, if the energy tickling the base of his spine was any indicator. Just because he hadn’t actively used his power in years didn’t mean he didn’t remember how.

“Call me Jon,” the guy said in a low voice. “And yeah. I got the place cheap.” He shifted the package under his right arm and signed Blake’s pad. “My agent told me that the seller seemed desperate.” He gestured at the house around him. “Needs work, though.” He didn’t seem at all concerned about the paint peeling in long strips from his porch steps.

“Yes, that would be Mrs. Caramella’s two sons. They moved away years ago and have been trying to sell this place ever since. It’s a pity they didn’t keep up with the maintenance.” Blake grimaced. He hated painting. He’d done enough of it in his past that he was grateful to be delivering mail now. “I know a guy who could help you out with that,” he said, thinking of his sister’s husband, Ken, who owned a handyman business. Given that they had another kid on the way, Ken could use the work. And Blake could use him as a connection to see Jon again.

Jon pursed his lips. “Local?”

Blake nodded. “My brother-in-law has a handyman business. He’s young, but he’s good at painting.” He should be. Blake had taught him everything he knew. “And he’s reliable.”

“Sounds good.” Jon reached into his pocket and pulled out his cell. “Phone number?”

Blake blinked. The guy wanted his phone number? Was it really going to be this easy? His heart sped up.

Jon laughed. “You’re not having a good day, are you?” He lifted his phone and tipped it back and forth. “Can I have the phone number of your brother-in-law? And his name?”

Oh. That phone number. Blake shook his head, embarrassed. “Sorry, yeah. I’m really distracted today.”

“Hot date tonight?” Jon asked, amusement clear in his tone.

“Um, no.” Blake flushed, thinking of what he’d like to do later, and it involved his newly discovered true love and a bed. And a serious lack of clothing. “I wish,” he muttered, fumbling with his own phone. “His name is Ken Devine.” He looked up the number and rattled it off, then paused as some demon took hold of his body. “Let me give you my number in case you can’t reach him,” he said, looking Jon up and down again.

Jon finished typing, and looked up.

He sure is pretty, Blake thought. He’d given up fighting his erection and instead just held his scanner over his crotch strategically while he tried to figure out how not to make a fool of himself.

Jon quirked an eyebrow, then pursed his lips. “Sure.” He waited politely, even as his face told Blake that he thought the number thing was weird.

Blake inhaled, and then summoned up a grin. He was a grown man of thirty-five. He knew how to flirt, for God’s sake, and he was good with people, even if he’d never attempted to hit on a man before. It had to be the same as with a woman, right? I just need to be subtle. Don’t be creepy about it, he told himself.

“Your number?” Jon prompted.

“I helped Ken get his business up and running, so I’m still his backup guy when he needs help,” Blake explained, deliberately moving his scanner away from his junk. His hard-on pressed against his slacks just enough to advertise his package without being obscene. Thank God for sturdy uniform pants, he thought, still a whole lot turned on. He didn’t know if the guy in front of him swung gay, but if Fake-Name-Jon was Blake’s destined love, he had to be at least open to the idea, right?

Jon’s expression eased. “Oh. That makes sense.” His gaze flicked down Blake’s body, snagging for a split second on his groin before drifting upwards again.

Bingo. I guess I’ve still got it. Pleased, Blake gave Jon his number, then slid his cell phone back into his pocket. He licked his lips. Time to go, he told himself. His magic tingled, telling him to ease off. Now that he knew Jon was interested, he was anxious to deepen the connection, but he also knew that it was time to walk away before he came off as a weirdo instead of an intriguing stranger. “Give Ken a call. You won’t be disappointed in his work,” he said, tipping an imaginary hat. “Gotta run.” He waved at his mail truck parked at the curb. The tree-lined block looked like something out of a romance novel. Blake grinned again. He loved his home, even if it was a little quiet at times, especially compared to his previous life. “It may not be snowing or raining, but the mail still has to get delivered.” He almost winked, but then he caught himself. Too much, too soon, dude. “Have a good day, Ron Peace.” The sound of the name on his lips felt wrong. I hope I find out his real name soon.

“Oh, yeah. You, too,” the man said, shifting uncomfortably as he stepped back.

We both know you’re lying about who you are, but that’s okay. I’ll figure you out sooner than you expect, Blake thought, once again resisting the urge to wink at the guy. That would be both obvious and creepy. Instead, he pivoted and walked back down the sidewalk, whistling his favorite Aaron Wade song. It was jaunty and sexy at the same time, and he’d been humming it under his breath since it hit the charts over a year ago. It kept him from obsessing over his own music. He’d let that business go years ago, and there was nothing in this world that could ever persuade him to go back to it. Not now. Not when he was too damn old to play the game.

And not when I’ve finally met my soul mate.

****
Jon Peace, aka Aaron Wade in full-blown hiding-out, incognito mode, stared after the mailman. “He’s whistling my song,” he muttered, shaking his head. “There is no way he didn’t recognize me.” He closed and locked the front door, and then leaned back on it. “Shit.” His left hand shook as he adjusted his jeans to ease up a bit against the unexpected hard-on he sported. The uncharacteristic arousal that had hit him as soon as he’d answered the door still simmered along his bones, and he wasn’t sure if he was happy or pissed about it. He’d been so fucking burned out from touring and dealing with the fucking label and contracts and everything else that went into being a world-famous pop star that he hadn’t had the energy for anything but two-minute sex in years, a fact about which his ex had bitched more than once. An unexpected and unwanted attraction to some random mailman wasn’t on his agenda right now.

“Jesus. Get a grip, dude. It’s nothing. Stop overreacting.” He took a deep breath and then pushed off, wandering through the front room to the kitchen. He plopped the package he didn’t want down on the table, glaring at it. He knew exactly what it contained. It didn’t disappear in a puff of smoke, to his disappointment.

He stared at it for a minute longer, then cursed as another headache started creeping up his neck. “Fuck.” He tore open the box, not surprised when his father’s bible fell out, splattering memories all over the table. “You’re a sick fuck, Dad,” he said when he saw the passages that were marked with sticky notes and marker. “You couldn’t hate me enough in life. You had to make sure I knew you still hated me now that you’re dead.”

He shoved the bible away with one finger as if it could infect him even if he didn’t open it up, then sighed. His father had sucked in his last, bitter breath last week. Aaron hadn’t gone to visit the man in hospice or attended the funeral. There would’ve been no point. He hadn’t seen his father in six years, not since the old man had literally thrown him out of the house. And too, he didn’t need the media frenzy that would’ve swirled around him if he’d gone back home.

“No, don’t call it home,” he said frowning. “It hasn’t been home in years.” He walked to the back door and stared out at the jungle that passed for a yard. As soon as his cousin had phoned him to let him know the old bastard had died, Aaron had canceled his last two show dates and checked out of life. He’d picked the first small town he’d seen on the map, in the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania, cut his distinctive long hair, and fled. He didn’t know if it was grief, or a nervous breakdown, or what. His manager, Darlene, had helped him find somewhere to live, thank God, but he knew her patience with him only went so far. She knew he’d been just barely hanging on, and she knew about his fucked-up past, but she had no idea how angry he was, still, over the shit his father had done.

“No. It’s not grief I’m feeling right now,” he muttered decisively, pushing open the door and wading out into the weeds. He pulled a few out, then sat down on the creaky old bench the house’s previous owner had left near the stoop. “Fuck.” He put his face in his hands and breathed. In and out. In and out. It didn’t help.

Fucking asshole, sending me his fucking bible, he thought bitterly. Who did that? Who hated their kid so much that they planned how to send evil to them after their death? “My father, that’s who.” Aaron felt his throat close up and clenched his fists as he struggled to get oxygen into his body. He stared at the crushed dandelions under his bare feet, focusing on the air moving in and out of his lungs. What else could he do?

It seemed like a thousand years later before he got himself back under control. “Don’t worry about it now,” he said, getting back to his feet. “You’ve got time. You took time. You deserve time. The music and the fans and the touring and the work will be waiting for you when you’re done here.” He’d been telling himself variations on this particular theme for days. “You’re allowed to take a fucking break. You have money. You’re not going to starve to death.” It wasn’t like it used to be, a mere few years ago when he’d had to scrape by on his own, underage and homeless. “And it’ll never be like that again.” He’d made sure of that. He had enough money to live out his life without ever being that desperate again.

Aaron wandered around the yard, pulling at the weeds here and there, and then cursing when a cloud of gnats flew up into his face. He pulled some more greenery out, tossing the stalks aside haphazardly, and then he stopped in the middle of the yard and laughed like a maniac. He was free. Finally and irrevocably free of the misery and spite that had characterized his childhood the minute he’d realized he was gay.

“Free,” he said, trying out the word. His voice barely worked, and that was a hell of a thing for a singer. The sun warmed his shoulders. The yard was quiet. There was nothing and no one demanding his attention right now. “You’re free,” he said again, after coughing up some junk and taking another deep breath.

It was funny how being alone didn’t feel like freedom.

Magic Never Lies – Releasing April 3!

Releasing April 3!!!!

Blake Gerritt has been done with music and fame for years. He’s happy with his anonymous life in an ordinary town in the middle of nowhere. He raised his sister after their parents died, and he’s no longer looking for more. Even the simmering magic in his blood has faded and he’s cool with that—he’s too old for falling in love anyway.

Aaron Wade is young and rich and miserable, even though millions love his songs. He knows he should be happy, especially since his bigoted jerk of a father is finally dead, but he can’t focus anymore. He can’t sleep. A small town in the middle of rural America is just the cure he needs to get back on track with his life, alone. Or so he thinks…

What happens when love comes out of nowhere? Do you let yourself fall or do you refuse the magic that could change everything?

Story Excerpt:

“We hardly know each other. I could be some crazed stalker fan.” Blake leaned down and seized both of Aaron’s wrists, dragging him upright, and Aaron suddenly realized that Blake had at least four inches on him, not to mention quite a bit of body mass. His muscled form pressed all along Aaron’s body, and he shivered, trying to remember that this guy was his mailman. And at least a decade older than him. Neither of those things is bad, his libido whispered in the back of his head. In fact, both of those things are very good, his inner kink whispered, in total agreement with his libido.

“I could be someone dangerous,” Blake said, voice going low. “Someone crazy.”

“But you’re not,” Aaron said, playing with fire as per usual. He’d been famous long enough to recognize the glow of crazy in some fans’ eyes, and Blake’s didn’t have it, although dangerous wasn’t out of the question. He allowed a flirty smile to twist his lips. He liked Blake’s edgy side. He liked it a lot. He wanted more.

“Tell me to stop,” Blake growled, kicking a leg in between Aaron’s thighs. “Tell me to stop and I will.”

Aaron rolled his eyes as heat spread through him. Like hell was he going to say that. Blake was strong and hot and vibrating with energy. “No,” he said before he could even consider saying something more conciliatory. Blake’s nostrils flared, and Aaron had just enough time to think, shit, he’s solid, before the man’s lips were on his.

Aaron gasped, because Blake sure as hell didn’t fuck around. He bit Aaron’s lower lip, hard, then sucked away the burn even as he somehow maneuvered him backwards to the counter. Then, he slid his tongue inside Aaron’s mouth as he boxed him in, arms on either side. Aaron couldn’t move even if he wanted to. And I don’t want to because I love it. He’d never had a guy so self-assured touch him. Everyone always expected him to take the lead, and Blake’s strength was a major turn-on. Aaron groaned under his breath as Blake’s hard-on pressed into his hip. For a man who’d never dated another guy before, Blake certainly wasn’t shy about what he wanted.

“Dangerous enough for you?” Blake asked him, hazel eyes bright with lust and something else. Something Aaron had never seen before. “You like playing with fire?”

“Fuck,” Aaron said aloud, trying not to grind his cock against the hard body pinning him in place. Blake had never been with a dude before, and he really didn’t want to scare him off before anything even happened. Though, he really doesn’t seem scared, does he? Aaron thought as Blake kissed him again, until neither of them could breathe. When he leaned back, Aaron sucked in much-needed air. Blake’s hair was mussed. He looked sexy as hell and not at all unsure about what he was doing. “Jesus,” Aaron croaked, lips tingling. He wanted more.

“I’m not a boy, Aaron,” Blake said as he nipped him again. His voice had gone low and rumbly. “You may be my first guy, but I know what I like.” He leaned in and whispered against the hollow beneath Aaron’s ear. “I like your voice.”

“Fucking hell,” Aaron exclaimed, hands gripping Blake’s shoulders. “You can’t just say something like that.”

Blake laughed, and the sound of it sent shivers down Aaron’s spine. “You want me to stop?”

“I should be asking you that,” Aaron retorted, hands going to Blake’s hair. He couldn’t resist. It had just enough length for him to sink his fingers in, and he indulged. “God, you have great hair.”

“I heard you cut yours. And that the legions of your fangirls are going to have a collective heart attack when they find out,” Blake said, doing a slow grind against Aaron’s body. He slid his hands up Aaron’s arms until they were at his scalp. Blake massaged the short hair, and Aaron barely resisted the urge to purr as he writhed with delight. “Hmm. I like it short. The fangirls will just have to deal,” Blake said, fingers running along Aaron’s skull.

“They’ll get over it,” Aaron managed. The way Blake moved had a way of derailing his ability to speak.

“I like it like this. There’s just enough left to hold onto.” Blake slid one hand into Aaron’s short locks, and set the other on the small of his back. The heat of his palm felt like a brand. “Tell me if I’m moving too fast, rock star.”

Fast? Is he serious? Aaron didn’t know where the hell Blake had been in the past decade, or what he’d done in his life, but he sure as hell didn’t understand what gay meant. Most guys didn’t ask so many questions. Most guys were happy enough to suck and screw and then go on their way the next morning. “You can fuck me,” Aaron said, fully expecting Blake to say no, because Blake wasn’t ‘most guys.’ Aaron might not know exactly what was happening here, but he knew enough to realize that this thing between them wasn’t ordinary.

Sure enough, Blake froze. “Sex,” he said flatly. His lips pursed, as if he’d taken a bite of a particularly sour fruit.

“Sex, yeah,” Aaron said, pressing his fingers into the back of the older man’s neck. Heat sizzled along his fingertips. Isn’t that why we’re here? he thought, enjoying the way Blake’s erection still pushed into him, even as the guy mentally backed off. “Sure,” He said, wishing ‘no’ wasn’t what he was seeing in Blake’s expression. “Please.” Never hurt to be polite, right? But Blake stepped back anyway, and Aaron groaned aloud, even though he’d expected the retreat. “Seriously? You’re stopping now?”

Magic Never Lies – Cover Reveal and Excerpt!!!

Releasing April 3!!!!

Gay Romance, Erotic Romance, Paranormal, Contemporary
Word Count: 64,000
Heat Level: 3
Published By: Evernight Publishing

 

Blake Gerritt has been done with music and fame for years. He’s happy with his anonymous life in an ordinary town in the middle of nowhere. He raised his sister after their parents died, and he’s no longer looking for more. Even the simmering magic in his blood has faded and he’s cool with that—he’s too old for falling in love anyway.

Aaron Wade is young and rich and miserable, even though millions love his songs. He knows he should be happy, especially since his bigoted jerk of a father is finally dead, but he can’t focus anymore. He can’t sleep. A small town in the middle of rural America is just the cure he needs to get back on track with his life, alone. Or so he thinks…

What happens when love comes out of nowhere? Do you let yourself fall or do you refuse the magic that could change everything?

Story Excerpt:

“We hardly know each other. I could be some crazed stalker fan.” Blake leaned down and seized both of Aaron’s wrists, dragging him upright, and Aaron suddenly realized that Blake had at least four inches on him, not to mention quite a bit of body mass. His muscled form pressed all along Aaron’s body, and he shivered, trying to remember that this guy was his mailman. And at least a decade older than him. Neither of those things is bad, his libido whispered in the back of his head. In fact, both of those things are very good, his inner kink whispered, in total agreement with his libido.

“I could be someone dangerous,” Blake said, voice going low. “Someone crazy.”

“But you’re not,” Aaron said, playing with fire as per usual. He’d been famous long enough to recognize the glow of crazy in some fans’ eyes, and Blake’s didn’t have it, although dangerous wasn’t out of the question. He allowed a flirty smile to twist his lips. He liked Blake’s edgy side. He liked it a lot. He wanted more.

“Tell me to stop,” Blake growled, kicking a leg in between Aaron’s thighs. “Tell me to stop and I will.”

Aaron rolled his eyes as heat spread through him. Like hell was he going to say that. Blake was strong and hot and vibrating with energy. “No,” he said before he could even consider saying something more conciliatory. Blake’s nostrils flared, and Aaron had just enough time to think, shit, he’s solid, before the man’s lips were on his.

Aaron gasped, because Blake sure as hell didn’t fuck around. He bit Aaron’s lower lip, hard, then sucked away the burn even as he somehow maneuvered him backwards to the counter. Then, he slid his tongue inside Aaron’s mouth as he boxed him in, arms on either side. Aaron couldn’t move even if he wanted to. And I don’t want to because I love it. He’d never had a guy so self-assured touch him. Everyone always expected him to take the lead, and Blake’s strength was a major turn-on. Aaron groaned under his breath as Blake’s hard-on pressed into his hip. For a man who’d never dated another guy before, Blake certainly wasn’t shy about what he wanted.

“Dangerous enough for you?” Blake asked him, hazel eyes bright with lust and something else. Something Aaron had never seen before. “You like playing with fire?”

“Fuck,” Aaron said aloud, trying not to grind his cock against the hard body pinning him in place. Blake had never been with a dude before, and he really didn’t want to scare him off before anything even happened. Though, he really doesn’t seem scared, does he? Aaron thought as Blake kissed him again, until neither of them could breathe. When he leaned back, Aaron sucked in much-needed air. Blake’s hair was mussed. He looked sexy as hell and not at all unsure about what he was doing. “Jesus,” Aaron croaked, lips tingling. He wanted more.

“I’m not a boy, Aaron,” Blake said as he nipped him again. His voice had gone low and rumbly. “You may be my first guy, but I know what I like.” He leaned in and whispered against the hollow beneath Aaron’s ear. “I like your voice.”

“Fucking hell,” Aaron exclaimed, hands gripping Blake’s shoulders. “You can’t just say something like that.”

Blake laughed, and the sound of it sent shivers down Aaron’s spine. “You want me to stop?”

“I should be asking you that,” Aaron retorted, hands going to Blake’s hair. He couldn’t resist. It had just enough length for him to sink his fingers in, and he indulged. “God, you have great hair.”

“I heard you cut yours. And that the legions of your fangirls are going to have a collective heart attack when they find out,” Blake said, doing a slow grind against Aaron’s body. He slid his hands up Aaron’s arms until they were at his scalp. Blake massaged the short hair, and Aaron barely resisted the urge to purr as he writhed with delight. “Hmm. I like it short. The fangirls will just have to deal,” Blake said, fingers running along Aaron’s skull.

“They’ll get over it,” Aaron managed. The way Blake moved had a way of derailing his ability to speak.

“I like it like this. There’s just enough left to hold onto.” Blake slid one hand into Aaron’s short locks, and set the other on the small of his back. The heat of his palm felt like a brand. “Tell me if I’m moving too fast, rock star.”

Fast? Is he serious? Aaron didn’t know where the hell Blake had been in the past decade, or what he’d done in his life, but he sure as hell didn’t understand what gay meant. Most guys didn’t ask so many questions. Most guys were happy enough to suck and screw and then go on their way the next morning. “You can fuck me,” Aaron said, fully expecting Blake to say no, because Blake wasn’t ‘most guys.’ Aaron might not know exactly what was happening here, but he knew enough to realize that this thing between them wasn’t ordinary.

Sure enough, Blake froze. “Sex,” he said flatly. His lips pursed, as if he’d taken a bite of a particularly sour fruit.

“Sex, yeah,” Aaron said, pressing his fingers into the back of the older man’s neck. Heat sizzled along his fingertips. Isn’t that why we’re here? he thought, enjoying the way Blake’s erection still pushed into him, even as the guy mentally backed off. “Sure,” He said, wishing ‘no’ wasn’t what he was seeing in Blake’s expression. “Please.” Never hurt to be polite, right? But Blake stepped back anyway, and Aaron groaned aloud, even though he’d expected the retreat. “Seriously? You’re stopping now?”

How Long Is Forever? – Release Day!

I’m so happy this story is finally out in the world. Writing this one felt different, because I felt different while writing it. I just came out of a long, slow journey from being very sick, to feeling a lot better. I know what it’s like to feel out of place. To feel like your body is rebelling against you. Eva struggles a lot with feeling like she is too big and too smart, and she needed a hero who could accept that with open arms. Charlie is that guy. ❤

Erotic Romance, May-Dec, BBW/Rubenesque, Contemporary
Word Count: 51,020
Heat Level: 3
Published By: Evernight Publishing

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Too tall, too smart, too fat—Eva is sick of guys treating her like crap because they can’t handle her curves or her brains. It’s time for her to ditch her pesky virginity, and when she needs help, there’s only one man on her shortlist: Charlie Greenwood, her dad’s best friend. So what if he’s too old for her? So what if he’s the guy she’s been crushing on for years? He was her rock when her parents died, and he’s the only man who treats her like a human being instead of a joke.

Charlie knows he shouldn’t look at Eva the way he does, but she’s got curves that go on forever, and he’s a sucker for a smart woman. So what if she’s too young for him? So what if he can’t stop imagining her in his bed? In his arms? Looking isn’t doing, right?

When Eva propositions him, suddenly looking isn’t enough. Lust has a way of wrecking the best intentions, especially when love lurks around the bend.

 

Story Excerpt:

Eva gasped as Charlie’s lips met hers. He felt big and strong and so fucking hot she could barely think beforehe kissed her, but now her brain went nuclear—sparks in all directions. She mindlessly scrabbled at his arms and sank her fingers into his shoulders. He didn’t flinch. He didn’t stop or push her away. He took everything she threw at him like a solid wall of awesomeness.

“Beautiful,” he breathed, breaking for air.

She sucked in a breath, but before she could say anything, he kissed her again. He hauled her up against him, moving her as if she weighed nothing at all. Eva squeaked, but Charlie didn’t let go. He kissed her deeper, sweeping his tongue along her lips and then into her mouth as if he would die if he couldn’t taste her. When he finally lifted his head, she swallowed, hard. She had to look up to see him, and wasn’t that something else. Holy what the fuck. Be careful what you ask for, she thought hazily. Her lips tingled. Her pussy tingled, and he hadn’t even gotten to second base.

Charlie didn’t speak. He looked at her with eyes gone dark and hot. He didn’t let go. He loomed over her like a beast, and Eva shivered and dug her fingers into his muscles. He didn’t even seem to notice. She liked him like this. She liked him in every way it was possible for a woman to like a man.

“Wow,” she whispered. Her lips felt swollen. Her tongue felt stupid. She bit her cheek so she wouldn’t beg him for more.

“Is this what you wanted?” he finally growled, aggressive and so damned male she shivered.

Eva licked her lips. “Yes.” It was her first kiss, and it was everything she’d ever wanted: a man who wasn’t afraid of her brain or her size or her strength. Charlie had no idea how rare that was. She gathered her wits. “More,” she said. “Please.”

Charlie inhaled sharply, eyes on her mouth. “God help me.” And then he lowered his head.

Eva trembled, expecting his lips on hers again, but instead, he kissed down her jaw to her throat. His mouth was hot and soft and ridiculously gentle.

“You smell like citrus,” he said, voice low and rumbly. “I want to eat you up.”

Good lord. Eva moaned, then hissed when he scraped his teeth along the sensitive skin near her ear. “Don’t stop,” she said, finally getting the courage to slide her fingers up into his hair. He still had some dried flecks of joint compound in it, and she smoothed it out of the strands as he kissed her again. For the first time, she tried to kiss him back. When her tongue met his, he groaned.

“Yeah. That’s it, honey.” Charlie bit her lip, then soothed it with his mouth.

Eva found herself writhing against him, trying to get closer. No wonder people do crazy things for love, she thought, wishing she could crawl inside him. His body pressed hard and heavy against hers, and he didn’t even budge as she wriggled. Something hot and thick pressed against her abdomen, and with sudden clarity, she realized it was his erection. Charlie was aroused. The sudden knowledge was enough to jerk her out of her sensual reverie. “Oh my God,” she said, voice breaking. “Oh my God.”

“Not God, Eva. Just a man.” Charlie kissed her again, sliding his hands up her body. One slid around her right breast, flicking the nipple. She hadn’t bothered with a bra, and clearly, he’d noticed. He cupped her and rolled his hips into her in a slow facsimile of fucking. “You’re so fucking gorgeous. Lush. Perfect.” His fingers teased her nipple into a tight, aching point. “Fuck. I want you so bad. I can’t stop touching you. Make me stop, Eva. Tell me no.”

Stop? Like hell I will, she thought, urging him on with her body. Eva’s skin prickled as pleasure shot from her breast to her clit. Her pussy throbbed, swollen and wet. She wanted more. So much more. She’d be totally okay if he wanted to go all the way with her right now. She wished he would.

“Please, Charlie,” she said, shocked when her voice came out soft and breathy. The best part about all of this was that she knew Charlie. She’d been half in love with him for years, and she could easily slip the rest of the way down that particular rabbit hole. She slid her hands down over his waist, then up under his tight shirt. His skin was silky smooth. Muscles contracted under her fingertips.

“I shouldn’t be doing this,” he muttered, even as he kissed her again. “I’m just going to hurt you.”

“No, you won’t.” Eva wound a leg around his thigh. His cock was so hot it felt like a brand against her belly. She couldn’t even imagine what it might feel like inside her. “I want you to do this, Charlie,” she said, just in case he got the ridiculous idea that he was forcing her into it. “I asked you for this, remember?”

Charlie growled again, sucking on her neck. It hurt. It felt divine. Eva sank her hands into his hair and made fists as he ravaged her neck. The harder she pulled, the wilder he became, so she gripped his hair with all her strength. When he bit down, she gasped, trying to get some friction at the juncture of her thighs. If he would just move his leg a little bit to the left…

He slid his hands down and cupped her ass, hauling her up against him. Eva ended up grinding down on his thigh. She shuddered, head falling back. She’d fingered herself to orgasm a hundred times, but it had never felt like this. Nothing in her life had prepared her for this.

“Charlie, please,” she begged, not sure what she was asking for. “I need more.”

He kissed her again, then slowly lowered her down and grasped her wrists. “Eva,” he said, whispering her name into her ear. “Shh, baby.”

“Wait, no,” she said, trying to get closer again. Why was he pulling away? She was so close.

Charlie panted, his forehead on her shoulder. “We have to stop.”

Eva shook her head. “No, we don’t. I know you, Charlie. I picked you for my first time.” She tried to pull her hands free, but he tightened his grip, and damn it all to hell, the restraint excited her even more. She loved that he was strong enough to handle her. No one else had ever even tried. “Please. I’m not a child anymore. I’m not just your best friend’s daughter, and you know it.”

How Long Is Forever Cover Reveal!

How Long Is Forever is releasing July 4!

Writing this book has meant a lot to me, because it touches on a lot of things that I’ve experienced and felt in my life: not fitting in, not being exactly the right size, not feeling beautiful. The hero is a wonderful man, but he has his flaws. The heroine is strong even though she doubts herself. I love this story, and I really hope you do, too.

Erotic Romance, May-Dec, Rubenesque
Word Count: 50,500

Too tall, too smart, too fat—Eva is sick of guys treating her like crap because they can’t handle her curves or her brains. It’s time for her to ditch her pesky virginity, and when she needs help, there’s only one man on her shortlist: Charlie Greenwood, her dad’s best friend. So what if he’s too old for her? So what if he’s the guy she’s been crushing on for years? He was her rock when her parents died, and he’s the only man who treats her like a human being instead of a joke.

Charlie knows he shouldn’t look at Eva the way he does, but she’s got curves that go on forever, and he’s a sucker for a smart woman. So what if she’s too young for him? So what if he can’t stop imagining her in his bed? In his arms? Looking isn’t doing, right?

When Eva propositions him, suddenly looking isn’t enough. Lust has a way of wrecking the best intentions, especially when love lurks around the bend.

 

Story Excerpt:

Eva gasped as Charlie’s lips met hers. He felt big and strong and so fucking hot she could barely think beforehe kissed her, but now her brain went nuclear—sparks in all directions. She mindlessly scrabbled at his arms and sank her fingers into his shoulders. He didn’t flinch. He didn’t stop or push her away. He took everything she threw at him like a solid wall of awesomeness.

“Beautiful,” he breathed, breaking for air.

She sucked in a breath, but before she could say anything, he kissed her again. He hauled her up against him, moving her as if she weighed nothing at all. Eva squeaked, but Charlie didn’t let go. He kissed her deeper, sweeping his tongue along her lips and then into her mouth as if he would die if he couldn’t taste her. When he finally lifted his head, she swallowed, hard. She had to look up to see him, and wasn’t that something else. Holy what the fuck. Be careful what you ask for, she thought hazily. Her lips tingled. Her pussy tingled, and he hadn’t even gotten to second base.

Charlie didn’t speak. He looked at her with eyes gone dark and hot. He didn’t let go. He loomed over her like a beast, and Eva shivered and dug her fingers into his muscles. He didn’t even seem to notice. She liked him like this. She liked him in every way it was possible for a woman to like a man.

“Wow,” she whispered. Her lips felt swollen. Her tongue felt stupid. She bit her cheek so she wouldn’t beg him for more.

“Is this what you wanted?” he finally growled, aggressive and so damned male she shivered.

Eva licked her lips. “Yes.” It was her first kiss, and it was everything she’d ever wanted: a man who wasn’t afraid of her brain or her size or her strength. Charlie had no idea how rare that was. She gathered her wits. “More,” she said. “Please.”

Charlie inhaled sharply, eyes on her mouth. “God help me.” And then he lowered his head.

Eva trembled, expecting his lips on hers again, but instead, he kissed down her jaw to her throat. His mouth was hot and soft and ridiculously gentle.

“You smell like citrus,” he said, voice low and rumbly. “I want to eat you up.”

Good lord. Eva moaned, then hissed when he scraped his teeth along the sensitive skin near her ear. “Don’t stop,” she said, finally getting the courage to slide her fingers up into his hair. He still had some dried flecks of joint compound in it, and she smoothed it out of the strands as he kissed her again. For the first time, she tried to kiss him back. When her tongue met his, he groaned.

“Yeah. That’s it, honey.” Charlie bit her lip, then soothed it with his mouth.

Eva found herself writhing against him, trying to get closer. No wonder people do crazy things for love, she thought, wishing she could crawl inside him. His body pressed hard and heavy against hers, and he didn’t even budge as she wriggled. Something hot and thick pressed against her abdomen, and with sudden clarity, she realized it was his erection. Charlie was aroused. The sudden knowledge was enough to jerk her out of her sensual reverie. “Oh my God,” she said, voice breaking. “Oh my God.”

“Not God, Eva. Just a man.” Charlie kissed her again, sliding his hands up her body. One slid around her right breast, flicking the nipple. She hadn’t bothered with a bra, and clearly, he’d noticed. He cupped her and rolled his hips into her in a slow facsimile of fucking. “You’re so fucking gorgeous. Lush. Perfect.” His fingers teased her nipple into a tight, aching point. “Fuck. I want you so bad. I can’t stop touching you. Make me stop, Eva. Tell me no.”

Stop? Like hell I will, she thought, urging him on with her body. Eva’s skin prickled as pleasure shot from her breast to her clit. Her pussy throbbed, swollen and wet. She wanted more. So much more. She’d be totally okay if he wanted to go all the way with her right now. She wished he would.

“Please, Charlie,” she said, shocked when her voice came out soft and breathy. The best part about all of this was that she knew Charlie. She’d been half in love with him for years, and she could easily slip the rest of the way down that particular rabbit hole. She slid her hands down over his waist, then up under his tight shirt. His skin was silky smooth. Muscles contracted under her fingertips.

“I shouldn’t be doing this,” he muttered, even as he kissed her again. “I’m just going to hurt you.”

“No, you won’t.” Eva wound a leg around his thigh. His cock was so hot it felt like a brand against her belly. She couldn’t even imagine what it might feel like inside her. “I want you to do this, Charlie,” she said, just in case he got the ridiculous idea that he was forcing her into it. “I asked you for this, remember?”

Charlie growled again, sucking on her neck. It hurt. It felt divine. Eva sank her hands into his hair and made fists as he ravaged her neck. The harder she pulled, the wilder he became, so she gripped his hair with all her strength. When he bit down, she gasped, trying to get some friction at the juncture of her thighs. If he would just move his leg a little bit to the left…

He slid his hands down and cupped her ass, hauling her up against him. Eva ended up grinding down on his thigh. She shuddered, head falling back. She’d fingered herself to orgasm a hundred times, but it had never felt like this. Nothing in her life had prepared her for this.

“Charlie, please,” she begged, not sure what she was asking for. “I need more.”

He kissed her again, then slowly lowered her down and grasped her wrists. “Eva,” he said, whispering her name into her ear. “Shh, baby.”

“Wait, no,” she said, trying to get closer again. Why was he pulling away? She was so close.

Charlie panted, his forehead on her shoulder. “We have to stop.”

Eva shook her head. “No, we don’t. I know you, Charlie. I picked you for my first time.” She tried to pull her hands free, but he tightened his grip, and damn it all to hell, the restraint excited her even more. She loved that he was strong enough to handle her. No one else had ever even tried. “Please. I’m not a child anymore. I’m not just your best friend’s daughter, and you know it.”

How Long Is Forever Teaser Excerpt!

How Long Is Forever is coming soon!

It’s one of my favorite parts of a romance: the first kiss. In this excerpt, Evangeline is experiencing not only her first kiss with Charlie, but her first kiss EVER!

I’m waiting on cover art and a release date, but both are coming very soon!

Erotic Romance, May-Dec, Rubenesque
Word Count: 50,500

Too tall, too smart, too fat—Eva is sick of guys treating her like crap because they can’t handle her curves or her brains. It’s time for her to ditch her pesky virginity, and when she needs help, there’s only one man on her shortlist: Charlie Greenwood, her dad’s best friend. So what if he’s too old for her? So what if he’s the guy she’s been crushing on for years? He was her rock when her parents died, and he’s the only man who treats her like a human being instead of a joke.

Charlie knows he shouldn’t look at Eva the way he does, but she’s got curves that go on forever, and he’s a sucker for a smart woman. So what if she’s too young for him? So what if he can’t stop imagining her in his bed? In his arms? Looking isn’t doing, right?

When Eva propositions him, suddenly looking isn’t enough. Lust has a way of wrecking the best intentions, especially when love lurks around the bend.

 

Story Excerpt:

Eva gasped as Charlie’s lips met hers. He felt big and strong and so fucking hot she could barely think beforehe kissed her, but now her brain went nuclear—sparks in all directions. She mindlessly scrabbled at his arms and sank her fingers into his shoulders. He didn’t flinch. He didn’t stop or push her away. He took everything she threw at him like a solid wall of awesomeness.

“Beautiful,” he breathed, breaking for air.

She sucked in a breath, but before she could say anything, he kissed her again. He hauled her up against him, moving her as if she weighed nothing at all. Eva squeaked, but Charlie didn’t let go. He kissed her deeper, sweeping his tongue along her lips and then into her mouth as if he would die if he couldn’t taste her. When he finally lifted his head, she swallowed, hard. She had to look up to see him, and wasn’t that something else. Holy what the fuck. Be careful what you ask for, she thought hazily. Her lips tingled. Her pussy tingled, and he hadn’t even gotten to second base.

Charlie didn’t speak. He looked at her with eyes gone dark and hot. He didn’t let go. He loomed over her like a beast, and Eva shivered and dug her fingers into his muscles. He didn’t even seem to notice. She liked him like this. She liked him in every way it was possible for a woman to like a man.

“Wow,” she whispered. Her lips felt swollen. Her tongue felt stupid. She bit her cheek so she wouldn’t beg him for more.

“Is this what you wanted?” he finally growled, aggressive and so damned male she shivered.

Eva licked her lips. “Yes.” It was her first kiss, and it was everything she’d ever wanted: a man who wasn’t afraid of her brain or her size or her strength. Charlie had no idea how rare that was. She gathered her wits. “More,” she said. “Please.”

Charlie inhaled sharply, eyes on her mouth. “God help me.” And then he lowered his head.

Eva trembled, expecting his lips on hers again, but instead, he kissed down her jaw to her throat. His mouth was hot and soft and ridiculously gentle.

“You smell like citrus,” he said, voice low and rumbly. “I want to eat you up.”

Good lord. Eva moaned, then hissed when he scraped his teeth along the sensitive skin near her ear. “Don’t stop,” she said, finally getting the courage to slide her fingers up into his hair. He still had some dried flecks of joint compound in it, and she smoothed it out of the strands as he kissed her again. For the first time, she tried to kiss him back. When her tongue met his, he groaned.

“Yeah. That’s it, honey.” Charlie bit her lip, then soothed it with his mouth.

Eva found herself writhing against him, trying to get closer. No wonder people do crazy things for love, she thought, wishing she could crawl inside him. His body pressed hard and heavy against hers, and he didn’t even budge as she wriggled. Something hot and thick pressed against her abdomen, and with sudden clarity, she realized it was his erection. Charlie was aroused. The sudden knowledge was enough to jerk her out of her sensual reverie. “Oh my God,” she said, voice breaking. “Oh my God.”

“Not God, Eva. Just a man.” Charlie kissed her again, sliding his hands up her body. One slid around her right breast, flicking the nipple. She hadn’t bothered with a bra, and clearly, he’d noticed. He cupped her and rolled his hips into her in a slow facsimile of fucking. “You’re so fucking gorgeous. Lush. Perfect.” His fingers teased her nipple into a tight, aching point. “Fuck. I want you so bad. I can’t stop touching you. Make me stop, Eva. Tell me no.”

Stop? Like hell I will, she thought, urging him on with her body. Eva’s skin prickled as pleasure shot from her breast to her clit. Her pussy throbbed, swollen and wet. She wanted more. So much more. She’d be totally okay if he wanted to go all the way with her right now. She wished he would.

“Please, Charlie,” she said, shocked when her voice came out soft and breathy. The best part about all of this was that she knew Charlie. She’d been half in love with him for years, and she could easily slip the rest of the way down that particular rabbit hole. She slid her hands down over his waist, then up under his tight shirt. His skin was silky smooth. Muscles contracted under her fingertips.

“I shouldn’t be doing this,” he muttered, even as he kissed her again. “I’m just going to hurt you.”

“No, you won’t.” Eva wound a leg around his thigh. His cock was so hot it felt like a brand against her belly. She couldn’t even imagine what it might feel like inside her. “I want you to do this, Charlie,” she said, just in case he got the ridiculous idea that he was forcing her into it. “I asked you for this, remember?”

Charlie growled again, sucking on her neck. It hurt. It felt divine. Eva sank her hands into his hair and made fists as he ravaged her neck. The harder she pulled, the wilder he became, so she gripped his hair with all her strength. When he bit down, she gasped, trying to get some friction at the juncture of her thighs. If he would just move his leg a little bit to the left…

He slid his hands down and cupped her ass, hauling her up against him. Eva ended up grinding down on his thigh. She shuddered, head falling back. She’d fingered herself to orgasm a hundred times, but it had never felt like this. Nothing in her life had prepared her for this.

“Charlie, please,” she begged, not sure what she was asking for. “I need more.”

He kissed her again, then slowly lowered her down and grasped her wrists. “Eva,” he said, whispering her name into her ear. “Shh, baby.”

“Wait, no,” she said, trying to get closer again. Why was he pulling away? She was so close.

Charlie panted, his forehead on her shoulder. “We have to stop.”

Eva shook her head. “No, we don’t. I know you, Charlie. I picked you for my first time.” She tried to pull her hands free, but he tightened his grip, and damn it all to hell, the restraint excited her even more. She loved that he was strong enough to handle her. No one else had ever even tried. “Please. I’m not a child anymore. I’m not just your best friend’s daughter, and you know it.”

His Beast Returns – Chapter One teaser!

Wishing you could read a little bit before you buy? Scroll down to see a first chapter teaser for His Beast Returns… and then scroll a bit more for something just a little bit steamier. 😀

Gay, Shifters, Erotic Romance, Paranormal, Suspense
Word Count: 41,00
Heat Level: 3
Published By: Evernight Publishing

EvernightAmazonBookStrandSmashwordsKoboNookiBooks

Tristan Marik fell in love when he was too young to understand that he wasn’t allowed happiness, particularly not with another boy. As the son of Edmond Marik, ruthless owner of Monolith Enterprises, he had an image to maintain. After his father threatened his boyfriend’s life, Tristan spent years pretending he’d never sworn a blood oath. But now, everything has changed.

Russell Kelvin dreamed of the day he’d return to Tristan because he thought it would happen on his terms. He thought they’d be free to love. Instead, his ability to call his beast is the only thing that can keep Tristan alive when enemies want him dead.

Fear keeps Tristan from fully trusting Russell’s intentions. Instinct keeps Russell by Tristan’s side, even in the face of doubt. But oaths made in blood never fade, and the drive of the beast is stronger than either of them realize.

Chapter One Teaser:

Russell Kelvin looked up at the building, one of the taller glass monoliths in midtown Manhattan, and gritted his teeth. The owner of the building had named it and his company aptly, for he couldn’t imagine a more forbidding tower of glass and steel. Monolith Enterprises owned the place, and Russell was here to step inside and back into the world of civilization after too long away. He hadn’t set foot in the States in ten years, and he hadn’t set eyes on Tristan Marik in even longer. His skin prickled with energy, and he swore he could taste electricity on the damned air, no matter how unlikely a scenario that was. He licked his lips, imagining Tristan’s cool green gaze. Everything else would be different about the man, but not the eyes. Never the eyes.

“You can do this,” he muttered to himself, like a madman. Only a crazy man would talk to himself in the middle of New York, but perhaps he wasmad, despite how wretchedly sober he felt. People walked around him as if he were also part monolith, and it was true he was taller than average, but it was also true that in the city, people had places to be and he was simply an immovable object in the way of everyone at this time of the morning. He thought maybe he should’ve shown up later that day, perhaps just before five, and then his sudden appearance would’ve been unremarkable, except, well, he wanted to be remarkable. Tristan needed him to be remarkable. That was the whole point of this homecoming, after all. He ran a hand through his dark hair, knowing that no matter how carefully he styled it, people would be looking at the rest of his body long before they noticed his face. He hadn’t bothered with a suit. It seemed pointless. He’d put on jeans and his boots and a black shirt, and if all of it showed his muscles just a little bit too well, so be it.

“You knew this was coming. You’ve known this was coming for over ten years now,” he murmured, exhaling almost before he began moving forward. He pushed open the glass doors. The moment he stepped inside the cool, hushed foyer, the people behind the reception desk looked up, polite smiles fading as they took him in. He wasn’t anything close to civilized, and this gleaming building wasn’t anything close to the wild lands where he’d been living. His mother would say that he was a beast set loose in a china shop, and she wouldn’t be too wrong. It was a pity she’d been dead since he was a child. She would’ve enjoyed this kind of homecoming. He would’ve enjoyed her enjoyment.

“Can I help you?” one of the women behind the gleaming desk stuttered, eyes riveted to his chest. A faint blush rose onto her cheekbones. The other woman’s dark skin hid any blush, but he felt her attention on him just the same.

Blonde. Grey eyes. Marlie, his brain supplied as he met the first woman’s gaze. He knew all the key employees here, even though they didn’t know him. “No, thanks. I’m good,” he said in a clipped voice, nerves getting the better of him. He could pretend to be civilized, but it would never feel comfortable. He glanced at the others. The woman on the far end didn’t even try to hide her curiosity. The man in the middle frowned faintly, sensing competition where there was none. Russell had no interest in the women, or even the man. “I know the way,” he said more gently, taking in the vaulted ceilings and columns.

Tristan’s father had built this place, but Tristan had his hands all over the design. And thatmeant Russell knew everything there was to know about the building, all of its secrets and deficiencies, not that anyone except Tristan had a clue about that. It was a pity the building was the only thing Tristan had control over for the past decade. Russell wouldn’t have had to stay away for so long if that hadn’t been the case. And now you’ve descended into self-pity, he thought, angry with himself. Just what Tristan doesn’t need.

Marlie stared at him, but he simply smiled as he strode past the large desk to the bank of elevators. “Wait! You can’t go up without a security pass,” she said, standing up. The man in the middle of the two women, as blond as Marlie, stood up, too. He looked less confused and more inclined to suspicion.

Hmm. Not completely stupid, then, Russell thought, not that it mattered. The man wouldn’t be a problem for him.

“She’s right,” the man said, holding the desk phone as if it were a weapon. “And you certainly can’t use that elevator. That’s the VIP lift.”

“There’s no need to call security, Jon,” Russell said, nodding at him. He ignored their whispers about his knowledge of their names. They’d find out the details soon enough. He lifted his hand and placed it on the palm scanner of the executive express elevator, the one that went directly up to the top three floors. The elevator Tristan used. The elevator Edmond Marik had used before his death a week ago. A moment later it beeped, and he tapped in the floor of the building he wanted onto the screen. The doors opened.

The woman at the far end paled. “How—”

Russell smiled, but he had too much to deal with right now to take the time to explain anything to her and the others. “It’s okay. I promise,” he told the trio, stepping inside. “I’m expected.”

Super Steamy Excerpt:

The heat that flashed through them with Russell’s touch almost brought Tristan to his knees, but he grabbed onto the granite counter behind him and held on with all he had. “Russell, you don’t understand—”

Whatever he was going to say disappeared from his head the moment Russell’s lips touched his. Tristan gasped, shocked and aroused and completely unbalanced, but Russell didn’t seem to be nearly as confused as Tristan felt. He tilted his head and assaulted Tristan’s mouth as if both their lives depended on this one, vital moment, and this one, vital connection.

And maybe it does, Tristan thought as he scrabbled at Russell’s shoulders. His friend was hot as hell, and strong, and the most stable thing in his life, both now andin the past. He moaned, or maybe Russell did, he couldn’t tell. All he knew was that Russell was finally here, and he was fucking real in a way that nothing and no one had ever felt before. He opened his mouth, and Russell’s tongue slid inside as if he owned the place. Tristan tried to kiss him back, but Russell growled and bit his lip. Tristan choked as his ridiculously hard cock pressed into Russell’s hipbone. “God,” he tore his mouth away, gasping for breath. “What are we doing? This is crazy.”

“If you think for one moment I’m going to let you shut me out like you do everyone else, Tristan, you’re sadly mistaken,” Russell murmured, hips doing a slow, devastating grind into Tristan’s body.

Tristan could feel Russell’s erection, thick and hot, and for a moment he wished his friend hadn’t bothered with clothes, but then he remembered that his mother was dead. And it was his fault. “Wait,” he said, when Russell lowered his head again.

“No. No more waiting. We’ve waited a damned lifetime already.”

Tristan twisted his face away. “My mother just died, Russell. What the fuck are we doing, here?” He slid his fingers into Russell’s hair and tugged, hard. The energy flowing between them didn’t let up, and it felt like a tornado just about to sweep them away, or possibly a tsunami poised to smash them flat. He could barely breathe. He wanted Russell with a desperation he hadn’t realized he had.

Meanwhile, Russell’s eyes had shifted from dark brown to golden amber. He stared at Tristan unblinkingly, and with intent. Suddenly, Tristan realized that his friend wasn’t entirely human. Tristan inhaled, more aroused than ever, and then he tried to shutter his mind. He’d somehow cast his power wide open, and everything he felt rushed through him and into Russell in a wild, volatile exchange of energy. He grabbed the doors of his mind, and he tugged hard, trying to close up tight again, but Russell growled. His mental presence chased away Tristan’s resolve.

“Oh, no you don’t,” Russell said, thrusting a leg between Tristan’s. “Don’t you shut me out now.” This brought their cocks into contact, and Tristan shuddered. Even trapped behind his jeans, Russell’s erection felt like perfection shoving against his. He’d never felt so perfectly turned on. He gave up trying to shut away the energy and let Russell kiss him again.

“Yeah. That’s better. Give it to me,” Russell muttered, biting at Tristan’s lip, and then down his jaw. “Fuck, this is insane. You drive me crazy, do you realize that?” Russell demanded as he slid his hands inside Tristan’s robe. When his fingers touched Tristan’s skin, they both shivered. “And yes, I know your mother died, but would she want you to keep putting your life on hold? Especially now?” He dragged his lips along Tristan’s neck. “How much longer do we have to wait, Tristan?”

Tristan stared at him. Somehow, Russell had hit the nail squarely on the head. His mother had never wanted him to lock himself into the box his father had created for him even before she’d died, and she wouldn’t want him to do it to himself, especially not now, when no one could hurt her any longer.

“No, she wouldn’t,” Tristan told Russell, hips grinding against his friend’s. His power was wide open and surging wildly, and his ability to think had all but disappeared. “But you’ve only just come home.”

“So what?” Russell asked him. “I’ll be damned if I’m going to stop.” He punctuated his statement with a devastating roll of his torso. “Not now. Not ever again.” He put his head close to Tristan’s. “I want to strip you naked and bite you and fuck you senseless, Tristan. I’ve been waiting my whole life to touch you.”

Jesus God. Tristan gripped Russell’s ass and squeezed, hard. If they kept this up, he’d come without anyone even touching his cock. Crazed with need, he fumbled Russell’s pants open, cupping his erection when it pushed out over the zipper. He could barely believe he was here, touching Russell like this. Except for the one kiss he and Russell had shared all those years ago, he hadn’t ever been intimate with a man. It felt … good. Too good. “So hot,” he whispered, fingers surrounding Russell’s cock as if he could memorize the skin.

“I’ll show you hot. Stroke me harder,” Russell said, hips moving faster. “Tighter. I don’t mind a little pain.” With a sudden move, he grabbed Tristan’s robe and yanked it off.

Tristan’s skin burned, and so did his mind. Energy rocketed through them as if they stood in the center of an electrical storm. Russell’s eyes had bled to amber, and Tristan could see the echo of his beast inside.

“Touch me back, Russell.” Tristan gripped Russell’s erection firmly enough to bruise, wanting it in his mouth. Wanting it in his body. “Please. Just … touch me.” He’d never wanted anything so acutely, not even through all those long years of hiding himself in plain sight. He wanted Russell, not just because of the sex, but because his old friend was the only living being who saw him for who he truly was.

 

New Release! – His Beast Returns –

Gay, Shifters, Erotic Romance, Paranormal, Suspense
Word Count: 41,00

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Tristan Marik fell in love when he was too young to understand that he wasn’t allowed happiness, particularly not with another boy. As the son of Edmond Marik, ruthless owner of Monolith Enterprises, he had an image to maintain. After his father threatened his boyfriend’s life, Tristan spent years pretending he’d never sworn a blood oath. But now, everything has changed.

Russell Kelvin dreamed of the day he’d return to Tristan because he thought it would happen on his terms. He thought they’d be free to love. Instead, his ability to call his beast is the only thing that can keep Tristan alive when enemies want him dead.

Fear keeps Tristan from fully trusting Russell’s intentions. Instinct keeps Russell by Tristan’s side, even in the face of doubt. But oaths made in blood never fade, and the drive of the beast is stronger than either of them realize.

Story Excerpt:

The heat that flashed through them with Russell’s touch almost brought Tristan to his knees, but he grabbed onto the granite counter behind him and held on with all he had. “Russell, you don’t understand—”

Whatever he was going to say disappeared from his head the moment Russell’s lips touched his. Tristan gasped, shocked and aroused and completely unbalanced, but Russell didn’t seem to be nearly as confused as Tristan felt. He tilted his head and assaulted Tristan’s mouth as if both their lives depended on this one, vital moment, and this one, vital connection.

And maybe it does, Tristan thought as he scrabbled at Russell’s shoulders. His friend was hot as hell, and strong, and the most stable thing in his life, both now andin the past. He moaned, or maybe Russell did, he couldn’t tell. All he knew was that Russell was finally here, and he was fucking real in a way that nothing and no one had ever felt before. He opened his mouth, and Russell’s tongue slid inside as if he owned the place. Tristan tried to kiss him back, but Russell growled and bit his lip. Tristan choked as his ridiculously hard cock pressed into Russell’s hipbone. “God,” he tore his mouth away, gasping for breath. “What are we doing? This is crazy.”

“If you think for one moment I’m going to let you shut me out like you do everyone else, Tristan, you’re sadly mistaken,” Russell murmured, hips doing a slow, devastating grind into Tristan’s body.

Tristan could feel Russell’s erection, thick and hot, and for a moment he wished his friend hadn’t bothered with clothes, but then he remembered that his mother was dead. And it was his fault. “Wait,” he said, when Russell lowered his head again.

“No. No more waiting. We’ve waited a damned lifetime already.”

Tristan twisted his face away. “My mother just died, Russell. What the fuck are we doing, here?” He slid his fingers into Russell’s hair and tugged, hard. The energy flowing between them didn’t let up, and it felt like a tornado just about to sweep them away, or possibly a tsunami poised to smash them flat. He could barely breathe. He wanted Russell with a desperation he hadn’t realized he had.

Meanwhile, Russell’s eyes had shifted from dark brown to golden amber. He stared at Tristan unblinkingly, and with intent. Suddenly, Tristan realized that his friend wasn’t entirely human. Tristan inhaled, more aroused than ever, and then he tried to shutter his mind. He’d somehow cast his power wide open, and everything he felt rushed through him and into Russell in a wild, volatile exchange of energy. He grabbed the doors of his mind, and he tugged hard, trying to close up tight again, but Russell growled. His mental presence chased away Tristan’s resolve.

“Oh, no you don’t,” Russell said, thrusting a leg between Tristan’s. “Don’t you shut me out now.” This brought their cocks into contact, and Tristan shuddered. Even trapped behind his jeans, Russell’s erection felt like perfection shoving against his. He’d never felt so perfectly turned on. He gave up trying to shut away the energy and let Russell kiss him again.

“Yeah. That’s better. Give it to me,” Russell muttered, biting at Tristan’s lip, and then down his jaw. “Fuck, this is insane. You drive me crazy, do you realize that?” Russell demanded as he slid his hands inside Tristan’s robe. When his fingers touched Tristan’s skin, they both shivered. “And yes, I know your mother died, but would she want you to keep putting your life on hold? Especially now?” He dragged his lips along Tristan’s neck. “How much longer do we have to wait, Tristan?”

Tristan stared at him. Somehow, Russell had hit the nail squarely on the head. His mother had never wanted him to lock himself into the box his father had created for him even before she’d died, and she wouldn’t want him to do it to himself, especially not now, when no one could hurt her any longer.

“No, she wouldn’t,” Tristan told Russell, hips grinding against his friend’s. His power was wide open and surging wildly, and his ability to think had all but disappeared. “But you’ve only just come home.”

“So what?” Russell asked him. “I’ll be damned if I’m going to stop.” He punctuated his statement with a devastating roll of his torso. “Not now. Not ever again.” He put his head close to Tristan’s. “I want to strip you naked and bite you and fuck you senseless, Tristan. I’ve been waiting my whole life to touch you.”

Jesus God. Tristan gripped Russell’s ass and squeezed, hard. If they kept this up, he’d come without anyone even touching his cock. Crazed with need, he fumbled Russell’s pants open, cupping his erection when it pushed out over the zipper. He could barely believe he was here, touching Russell like this. Except for the one kiss he and Russell had shared all those years ago, he hadn’t ever been intimate with a man. It felt … good. Too good. “So hot,” he whispered, fingers surrounding Russell’s cock as if he could memorize the skin.

“I’ll show you hot. Stroke me harder,” Russell said, hips moving faster. “Tighter. I don’t mind a little pain.” With a sudden move, he grabbed Tristan’s robe and yanked it off.

Tristan’s skin burned, and so did his mind. Energy rocketed through them as if they stood in the center of an electrical storm. Russell’s eyes had bled to amber, and Tristan could see the echo of his beast inside.

“Touch me back, Russell.” Tristan gripped Russell’s erection firmly enough to bruise, wanting it in his mouth. Wanting it in his body. “Please. Just … touch me.” He’d never wanted anything so acutely, not even through all those long years of hiding himself in plain sight. He wanted Russell, not just because of the sex, but because his old friend was the only living being who saw him for who he truly was.

 

His Beast Returns – Cover Reveal!

Releasing Friday!

Gay, Shifters, Erotic Romance, Paranormal, Suspense
Word Count: 41,00

 

Tristan Marik fell in love when he was too young to understand that he wasn’t allowed happiness, particularly not with another boy. As the son of Edmond Marik, ruthless owner of Monolith Enterprises, he had an image to maintain. After his father threatened his boyfriend’s life, Tristan spent years pretending he’d never sworn a blood oath. But now, everything has changed.

Russell Kelvin dreamed of the day he’d return to Tristan because he thought it would happen on his terms. He thought they’d be free to love. Instead, his ability to call his beast is the only thing that can keep Tristan alive when enemies want him dead.

Fear keeps Tristan from fully trusting Russell’s intentions. Instinct keeps Russell by Tristan’s side, even in the face of doubt. But oaths made in blood never fade, and the drive of the beast is stronger than either of them realize.

Story Excerpt:

The heat that flashed through them with Russell’s touch almost brought Tristan to his knees, but he grabbed onto the granite counter behind him and held on with all he had. “Russell, you don’t understand—”

Whatever he was going to say disappeared from his head the moment Russell’s lips touched his. Tristan gasped, shocked and aroused and completely unbalanced, but Russell didn’t seem to be nearly as confused as Tristan felt. He tilted his head and assaulted Tristan’s mouth as if both their lives depended on this one, vital moment, and this one, vital connection.

And maybe it does, Tristan thought as he scrabbled at Russell’s shoulders. His friend was hot as hell, and strong, and the most stable thing in his life, both now andin the past. He moaned, or maybe Russell did, he couldn’t tell. All he knew was that Russell was finally here, and he was fucking real in a way that nothing and no one had ever felt before. He opened his mouth, and Russell’s tongue slid inside as if he owned the place. Tristan tried to kiss him back, but Russell growled and bit his lip. Tristan choked as his ridiculously hard cock pressed into Russell’s hipbone. “God,” he tore his mouth away, gasping for breath. “What are we doing? This is crazy.”

“If you think for one moment I’m going to let you shut me out like you do everyone else, Tristan, you’re sadly mistaken,” Russell murmured, hips doing a slow, devastating grind into Tristan’s body.

Tristan could feel Russell’s erection, thick and hot, and for a moment he wished his friend hadn’t bothered with clothes, but then he remembered that his mother was dead. And it was his fault. “Wait,” he said, when Russell lowered his head again.

“No. No more waiting. We’ve waited a damned lifetime already.”

Tristan twisted his face away. “My mother just died, Russell. What the fuck are we doing, here?” He slid his fingers into Russell’s hair and tugged, hard. The energy flowing between them didn’t let up, and it felt like a tornado just about to sweep them away, or possibly a tsunami poised to smash them flat. He could barely breathe. He wanted Russell with a desperation he hadn’t realized he had.

Meanwhile, Russell’s eyes had shifted from dark brown to golden amber. He stared at Tristan unblinkingly, and with intent. Suddenly, Tristan realized that his friend wasn’t entirely human. Tristan inhaled, more aroused than ever, and then he tried to shutter his mind. He’d somehow cast his power wide open, and everything he felt rushed through him and into Russell in a wild, volatile exchange of energy. He grabbed the doors of his mind, and he tugged hard, trying to close up tight again, but Russell growled. His mental presence chased away Tristan’s resolve.

“Oh, no you don’t,” Russell said, thrusting a leg between Tristan’s. “Don’t you shut me out now.” This brought their cocks into contact, and Tristan shuddered. Even trapped behind his jeans, Russell’s erection felt like perfection shoving against his. He’d never felt so perfectly turned on. He gave up trying to shut away the energy and let Russell kiss him again.

“Yeah. That’s better. Give it to me,” Russell muttered, biting at Tristan’s lip, and then down his jaw. “Fuck, this is insane. You drive me crazy, do you realize that?” Russell demanded as he slid his hands inside Tristan’s robe. When his fingers touched Tristan’s skin, they both shivered. “And yes, I know your mother died, but would she want you to keep putting your life on hold? Especially now?” He dragged his lips along Tristan’s neck. “How much longer do we have to wait, Tristan?”

Tristan stared at him. Somehow, Russell had hit the nail squarely on the head. His mother had never wanted him to lock himself into the box his father had created for him even before she’d died, and she wouldn’t want him to do it to himself, especially not now, when no one could hurt her any longer.

“No, she wouldn’t,” Tristan told Russell, hips grinding against his friend’s. His power was wide open and surging wildly, and his ability to think had all but disappeared. “But you’ve only just come home.”

“So what?” Russell asked him. “I’ll be damned if I’m going to stop.” He punctuated his statement with a devastating roll of his torso. “Not now. Not ever again.” He put his head close to Tristan’s. “I want to strip you naked and bite you and fuck you senseless, Tristan. I’ve been waiting my whole life to touch you.”

Jesus God. Tristan gripped Russell’s ass and squeezed, hard. If they kept this up, he’d come without anyone even touching his cock. Crazed with need, he fumbled Russell’s pants open, cupping his erection when it pushed out over the zipper. He could barely believe he was here, touching Russell like this. Except for the one kiss he and Russell had shared all those years ago, he hadn’t ever been intimate with a man. It felt … good. Too good. “So hot,” he whispered, fingers surrounding Russell’s cock as if he could memorize the skin.

“I’ll show you hot. Stroke me harder,” Russell said, hips moving faster. “Tighter. I don’t mind a little pain.” With a sudden move, he grabbed Tristan’s robe and yanked it off.

Tristan’s skin burned, and so did his mind. Energy rocketed through them as if they stood in the center of an electrical storm. Russell’s eyes had bled to amber, and Tristan could see the echo of his beast inside.

“Touch me back, Russell.” Tristan gripped Russell’s erection firmly enough to bruise, wanting it in his mouth. Wanting it in his body. “Please. Just … touch me.” He’d never wanted anything so acutely, not even through all those long years of hiding himself in plain sight. He wanted Russell, not just because of the sex, but because his old friend was the only living being who saw him for who he truly was.

 

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.