Queen Wolf Release Day!

Triad mates haven’t been seen in ages, but when the wolf howls and instinct rises, destiny wins.

I’m going to be in and out of Evernight Reader’s Group ALL DAY! You can ask me anything, and I’ll be doing a few giveaways: backlist ebooks, a few cutie cups (handcrafted crochet by yours truly), and virtual hugs.

Here is the EP Reader’s Group link.

I’ll also be doing a LIVE FB chat at 7 pm at the Lydia Michaels’ East Coast Author Convention Facebook Group.

Join me!

Buy links: EvernightAmazonBookStrandKoboSmashwordsNOOKiBooks

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

Scroll down for an excerpt.

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

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

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

 

Story Excerpt:

Mitch stopped just behind Fletcher. He stared for a moment at the woman backlit by the window. He could tell she was curvy. He could tell she had serious muscles under the curves. And he could tell she had grey eyes, because they were practically glowing as she looked at him and Fletcher, but he could not, for the life of him, figure out what the hell his wolf thought he was doing. The beast howled like the full moon was about to fall in on them, and his fucking heart felt that way, too. When he realized that Fletcher wasn’t able to move, he reached back and shut the door. He didn’t give a shit if this was the Alpha’s suite. Right now, he didn’t want an audience for the arousal that rocketed through him.

“Nine years is a hell of a long time,” Fletcher said.

Mitch didn’t know how he got his voice to work. He inhaled, and the scent of her—floral and musk combined—drove all rational thought out of his head. He growled under his breath as his cock shoved hard against the placket of his jeans.

Fletcher twitched, and Mitch clamped his mouth shut. He didn’t trust himself to speak right now.

“Nine years ago, I was sixteen,” the woman said, and Mitch abruptly realized who she was. Avery Tate. Paige’s best friend,his brain told him. His wolf didn’t care. The beast wanted out.The beast wanted her.

Fletcher reached out his arm, pushing against Mitch’s chest as if to ground him. Mitch exhaled, sensing Fletcher’s Alpha power slide into him like a warm, familiar hand. A bit of his normal calm returned, thank fuck. “Avery,” he said, voice so low he barely recognized himself.

Avery turned her brilliant light eyes on him, and he almost stepped back when he saw the power floating in her gaze. She’s a Queen,he thought, shocked, and then, She’s ourQueen.He reached up and gripped Fletcher’s wrist, pressing his fingertips into his best friend’s bones.

Fletcher didn’t even flinch. He glanced at Mitch, and the knowledge in his expression told him that they were on the same page.

“Mitch,” Avery replied. Her gaze shifted back to Fletcher. “And Fletcher.” She licked her lips, and Mitch felt the rumble of Fletcher’s growl on his skin. “Welcome home. It’s been a very long time.”

Fletcher dropped his arm and strode forward. Avery stepped back, but there was nowhere for her to go. Her back was at the window. Mitch followed his Alpha and stopped just as Fletcher sank his hands into Avery’s long, red hair. She gasped, eyes flashing silver, and Mitch felt her desire like a punch in the gut. She was just as aroused as they were.

“You’re all grown up,” Fletcher said to Avery. He jerked his head, short and sharp, and Mitch knew Fletcher wanted him to move in on Avery’s other side. He did as Fletcher asked, not needing words, and put his hand on Avery’s shoulder. Her skin was so hot it burned his palm, but his wolf liked it. The creature snarled, and Mitch sucked in a hard breath, fighting to keep himself from just grabbing her and throwing her down on the floor where they could fuck her easier.

Dear God, help me,he thought, half shocked by his thoughts, but also grateful. He hadn’t been able to have sex in over a year, and this woman obviously had something that both he and Fletcher needed. He didn’t mind sharing. Hell, he wantedto share with Fletcher. He neededit. He could already feel the tenuous thread that tied them together strengthening. This woman is a catalyst,he realized, but he had no idea how or why her,instead of any of the other women he and Fletcher had tried to hook up with.

Avery blinked, but astonishingly, didn’t try to get away from Fletcher’s grip. “Yes. I’m twenty-five now.”

“Thank God,” Fletcher said, and then he dipped his head and kissed her.

****

Avery froze, stunned when Fletcher just leaned down and kissed her, as if it were perfectly normal to kiss a woman you’d just met again after nearly a decade apart. She hadn’t minded the hands in her hair, or Mitch’s hand on her shoulder, because the touch soothed her wolf in some unfathomable fashion, and she wasn’t about to complain when the prickles in her skin calmed down. However, the kiss was another thing altogether. She lifted her hands, about to push him away, and then his tongue slipped into her mouth and all rational thought fled her skull.

Oh my God, he tastes like the wind,she thought absurdly, and then Mitch pressed up against her side, and she turned her head, gasping. Before she could take a breath, hekissed her, too. He tasted like a storm, all roiling clouds and lightning, and she realized that the two men tasted the same.She wrenched her head back, and stared at them in shock. “Oh my God. What’s happening?” She had neverfelt this way with Brian. Or anyone, for that matter.

“I have no fucking idea,” Fletcher said, staring with those golden eyes as if he could see into her soul.

Avery reached up and tugged her hair away from his fists, then moved so that Mitch’s hand fell away. Her wolf immediately howled again, and she flinched, feeling behind her for the window. She knew there was a small balcony of some sort just below this suite, and she knew she could survive the jump down. But I’m not sure I can survive another second with the two of them,she thought, panicking. How could Paige have been so right about her wanting Fletcher? And Mitch? How could her wolf suddenly go crazy, pushing her to want things she shouldn’t? She wasn’t anyone important. She couldn’t even shift.She wouldn’t bring anything helpful to the pack. Heirs usually married the daughters of Alphas, or Betas, and quite often, the pairings were politically motivated. She was nobody. I have to go,she thought, as fear speared through her arousal.

“Avery—” Mitch said, reaching out.

“I’m sorry,” she murmured, and then she let herself twist backwards and down, rolling onto her feet as she landed. She risked a quick glance up—Fletcher and Mitch stared down at her—and then she pushed off and ran away.

SOULMATE #FirstChapter #Excerpt!

It’s that time again: if you’re not sure you want to try something, you read a sample first, right? So here is a first chapter excerpt for my bestselling new release, SOULMATE!

Buy links: EvernightAmazonGoogle PlayBookStrandKoboSmashwordsNOOKiBooks

  

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

****

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

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

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

****

First Chapter Excerpt:

“It’s been three years since Mom died, Dad,” Guy Keaton’s son said.His voicesounded smaller over the phone than in real life, but his exasperation came through loud and clear. “You need to get out there again. Maybe go on a date or two. You know people like us live longer than ordinary humans. You may be forty-five, but for a WoodCrafter, you’re still young. I’m a Healer, and I can tell that you’re as healthy as a horse.”

Guy frowned, feeling the beginning of a headache creep up from his spine as he paced his shop. The afternoon sunlight lit the bench where he’d just placed his latest creation: an acoustic guitar. It still needed a lot of work. He stared at it while he tried to figure out what to say to his son. The swirls of the flame maple front picked up the light quite nicely, and he sighed, wishing he wasn’t having this conversation again. “Jonathan, I’m fine just the way things are. Seriously. I don’t know why you keep nagging me about dating. I’m good with my woodworking and hanging out with you once a week or so. I don’t need to start dating. I loved your mother, and I have no intention of replacing her with anyone.”

“Mom made me promise I wouldn’t let you hibernate alone forever,” Jonathan said impatiently. “She also told me you’d be impossible over this, and she was right.” He let out a gusty sigh, then continued. “I know it sucked, the cancer. Her dying so young. Believe me, I get it. She was my mom, and I couldn’t save her. I miss her, too, but, Dad, you hardly leave the house. It’s not healthy. I’m not sure having your woodshop attached to where you live is a good thing.” He paused a moment, then continued. “And who knows? Maybe you’ll find a soulmate out there.”

I don’t want a soulmate,I want my wife back, Guy thought as a familiar surge of grief welled up and lodged in his esophagus, nearly choking him. For a moment he couldn’t talk. He remembered Pamela’s dark red hair. Her startling blue eyes. He’d loved teasing her about how much time she spent fooling with her makeup when the truth was, she didn’t need any at all. She was beautiful to him even after the cancer had robbed her of everything: her hair, her sparkle. Even her skin lost its glow, but she was still his wife. His high school sweetheart. He’d loved her for her kindness and her intelligence, not because of how she’d looked. She wasn’t his fated soulmate, and she didn’t have any Craft power, but it didn’t matter. How many people found their perfect match, anyway? It happened so rarely it was almost mythical. He’d fallen for Pamela in middle school, and had never bothered wishing after some impossible soulmate that only one percent of the already rare Crafted population ever found. He loved Pamela. They were supposed to live happily ever after together, not happily for half of a life.

“Dad? You there?”

Guy cleared his throat. “Yeah, I’m here.” He heard the hoarseness in his voice and knew he had to do better. “Look, I’m about to head out. Are we still getting together for pizza on Friday night?”

“You’re trying to get out of this conversation,” his son said.

Guilty as charged,Guy thought, but he couldn’t let his son think that he didn’t want to talk to him. “No, really. I’m going—” He thought frantically for a split second, trying to figure out what he could tell his son that wouldn’t be a lie. His gaze landed on his shop’s bulletin board where he let customers and friends post advertisements and business cards. A flyer for a local outdoor trail caught his eye. “—hiking,” he said, seizing on the idea. He could use a break from his latest project. The surface of the guitar’s neck had cracked when he’d tried to screw in the pegs, and now he had to take it apart and re-varnish the entire piece. He could use a bit of cardio to work off his frustration. “I was about to head out to the Blue Mountain trails when you called.”

“Hiking? Hmm.” His son sounded suspicious.

“I used to go hiking all the time,” Guy pointed out, praying his son would buy the excuse.

“You haven’t gone since…” Jonathan trailed off.

Guy smiled grimly. He hadn’t gone since Jonathan’s mother had died, true. She hadn’t liked hiking, so it had been one of the few things they didn’t do together, but he’d been going out to the woods since he was a teenager. Glancing at the flyer again, he realized he missed being in the forest. It made sense. As one of the few people born with a Craft talent, he’d been blessed with an affinity to wood. He was a WoodCrafter. He probably shouldn’t have cut himself off from living trees for so long. “It’s just a quick hike. I miss going out into nature. And I need to work off some energy today because I messed up the varnish on my latest guitar.”

“Well. That’s good, I guess,” Jonathan said slowly, obviously working through what Guy had told him. “You shouldn’t be obsessing over cracked varnish, anyway. You’re a WoodCrafter. You could just smooth over the problem spot with a little bit of energy.” His son sounded cheerier. “You have more than enough Crafting skill to fix something like that, and you should keep in practice, anyway. Not many of us have the ability to actually use what we’re born with, you know.”

“And you know I don’t like to do that. Feels like cheating,” Guy replied, bemused. His son was repeating his own lessons back at him. He shook his head. He didn’t know why he’d been born with the ability to handle woods, but it wasn’t something he’d chosen. No one did. Not everyone was born with the capability to manipulate natural materials, and of those who were, only some had enough power to actually use the ability. Most people with Craft could sense the energy, but didn’t have the capacity to do anything with it, and no one knew why.

“Look, it’s not like this talent is particularly useful in the modern world. There isn’t that much of a demand for Crafted wooden objects,” Guy told his son.

“Are you kidding?” Jonathan asked incredulously. “You could be creating soulmate rings and pulling in money hand over fist. I’m not sure anyone is making them anymore.”

“Only bonded WoodCrafters can make those rings, and I don’t have a soulmate. I know I’ve explained that to you that before.” Guy scowled. “So, no. I can’t. And it’s not like there are a lot of soulmated pairs to sell them to, anyway.” The thought of making soulmate rings when his own wife had died… Ugh. Not now, and probably not ever, he thought, recoiling from the very idea of it. He’d never be able to handle the pain of meeting and dealing with soulmate couples. He didn’t care if there was a shortage of the rings. He deserved to live out the rest of his life in peace, if not happily, and he had no desire to date or meet his so-called perfect match. The love of his life was gone, and she was never coming back.

“What good is having power if you don’t use it?” his son asked, clearly sensing his father’s disquiet. “Your Craft power is cool. Sometimes I wish I’d inherited your abilities.”

Guy exhaled slowly. They’d been over this before. “I like to work with wood the old-fashioned way. I know I have both an affinity and the power for WoodCraft, but I like working with my hands. And you have your own power, Jonathan. Not everyone can sense illness the way you do. You’re a fantastic veterinarian. A Healer. That’s rare, too.”

His son made an unintelligible sound. “Fine, fine. I can tell you don’t want to talk about it anymore. So, about hiking. Maybe we could go together sometime. Next weekend?”

Guy nodded, happy to get off the topic of soulmates and power and most especially dating. “Yes, that would be great.” He and his son used to go hiking all the time. When had they stopped? He thought a moment. When Pamela first got sick. Has it really been five years since we’ve been out in the woods together? Wow,he thought, dismayed. His son deserved more of his time. Jonathan was the only family he had left.

“I can do next Sunday afternoon, maybe around four,” Jonathan said, sounding distracted. “Hang on, let me put it on my calendar.”

“That would be nice. I’d really love to get out with you. I miss it,” Guy said. There, that wasn’t a lie at all. He smiled to himself. Maybe Jonathan was right. He didneed to get out, but he certainly didn’t need to try dating. Doing some hiking with his son and getting in a little extra exercise wouldn’t hurt. He was in great shape thanks to his woodworking. The bigger pieces he put together, like tables and cabinets, often needed a lot of muscle, but more active pursuits wouldn’t be bad for him. Might help me be more creative, too. Exercise is good for the mind and the body, everyone says,he mused.

“Hey, Dad, I have to go. They’re bringing in an injured dog, and they need my Craft. I’ll see you Friday, okay?”

Guy nodded, even though he knew his son couldn’t see him. “Yeah, Friday for pizza, and then next Sunday. Four o’clock.”

“Yup, great. Bye, Dad. Love you.”

“Love you, too,” Guy replied, but then he realized the connection was already dead. He smiled wryly. His son was a busy man. Most of the people born as Healers were human doctors, so a veterinarian with that particular power was in high demand. People loved their pets. He rolled his shoulders, wincing as his spine cracked. He wasn’t getting any younger. People with Craft lived a little longer than regular humans, and people who found their soulmates lived even longer than that, but he was no longer sure an extended lifespan was all it was cracked up to be. He’d much rather have Pamela back than go on through the next sixty or so years alone.

“Stop it,” he said aloud, standing up and stretching. “You’re only forty-five, and you have a son, and a successful business.” He hated self-pity, and he’d been falling into the habit too often in the past few years. He grimaced as he racked his tools and set the guitar aside, out of the sunlight. Maybe he’d trail run instead of hike. If nothing else, working his body to exhaustion would help him sleep tonight.

****

“Stupid,” Guy muttered, wiping the sweat off his face. He’d run two miles, and then pooped out. “I am an idiot.” The sun glittered down through the trees and the birds were singing, but to him, the sounds of the late spring day felt like taunts. He’d let himself get way too out of shape for running, but now he was in the middle of the trail loop and there was no way out but forward. “One step at a time,” he said, snorting. He’d at least managed not to get a blister, but it had been a close thing. He’d already taken his trail runners off twice to cool a hot spot on his heel. He kept walking, watching for roots and rocks as his overheated body cooled. At the back of his mind, he sensed the trees murmuring to each other with his Craft, and he had to smile. He’d missed this. Working with wood helped, but living, breathing trees had a language all their own. Why had he stayed away from the woods for so long?

“Sir, please wait a moment,” a man said, startling him as he headed around a sharp curve.

Guy looked up just before he walked into a black-clad man standing in the middle of the trail. “What?”

“Delegate Fraser is almost done filming,” the man replied, blocking his way. “You can pass in a moment.”

Delegate? What is a Craft Councilmember doing out in the woods?Guy frowned, looking past the black-clad man. Just beyond them stood a younger man talking to a camera. A woman held a microphone boom next to the cameraman, and another woman stood to the side. She watched, occasionally tapping at her tablet computer. Two more black-clad men stood on the other side of the trail, blocking access from that direction. “What’s going on?” Guy asked, confused. Sure, this was a popular public trail, but it wasn’t like there were so many Council Delegates that it was easy to stumble over one in the middle of the woods. The Council mostly mediated disputes between Crafters and handled public relations with the larger non-gifted population.

“Sir, please stand back,” the man said, not answering Guy’s question.

The woman with the tablet looked over, then made her way around the camera. “Delegate Fraser is recording a public service announcement promoting outdoor activity,” she said, smiling. She nodded to the man in black, and he backed up a bit, turning to watch the trail. She held out her hand. “Hello, I’m Rose Tremaine, Delegate Fraser’s assistant. Do you come here often?”

That guy looks like a bodyguard. Strange. I’ve never heard of a Council Delegate needing protection, except maybe the Council Head.Guy absently shook the woman’s hand, noting her short dark hair and brown eyes. Her light brown skin looked smooth as butter, and he wondered what was wrong with him that he felt not even the slightest bit of attraction to her. Even when he’d been married he’d noticed beautiful women, but lately he hadn’t felt anything. “Guy Keaton. And no, I don’t come here often anymore, but I used to. It’s been a few years.” He looked past her. Something about the Delegate still talking to the camera intrigued him. “He’s a bit young for a Delegate, isn’t he?”

Rose smiled. “He’s thirty, so, yeah. He’s young, but not that young.” She glanced over her shoulder at the Delegate. “And he’s the smartest guy I’ve ever met.”

Guy raised an eyebrow, sensing that she meant more than she was saying out loud. “Is he gifted, then?” He felt himself flush. Of course the man had Craft power. He couldn’t serve on the Council if he didn’t. “I meant, does he have a Craft specialty?” Only the strongest of them specialized in something. His WoodCrafting and his son’s Healing abilities were unusually strong, but then, the power did tend to run in families.

Her mouth twisted slightly, and Guy knew she was amused by his stumbling. “He’s an Empath, and he has a lot of Craft power, yes, if that’s what you mean.” She lifted a shoulder. “But he’s gifted in other ways, too. He truly believes in serving his constituents. You know how rare that is.”

Guy nodded. Historically, people who were born with empathy as their Craft sometimes went into politics, but not many could handle the burden of being around people all the time. The Empaths who’d served on the Council in the past were always bonded with a soulmate, and their partner helped them handle the pressure of their situation. Empathy was both a gift and a curse, so much so that he hadn’t heard of anyone with that particular gift becoming a Delegate for at least fifty years. He didn’t envy the guy.

“Theo’s a good guy,” Rose said, turning back to look at her boss.

“Interesting,” Guy murmured, feeling the trees around him hush as the man spoke. Guy’s Craft power tingled, sending surges of energy down his spine. He inhaled, then let out his breath slowly. He hadn’t had to wrestle with his power in ages. Down, boy,he told himself, amused when his cock twitched. Something about the Delegate and being in the woods was getting his energy all riled up.

“Are you gifted?” Rose asked him, tilting her head.

He nodded. “Wood.” He gestured to the trees. He could tell she didn’t have even a spark of Craft, but she seemed naturally intuitive.

She smiled. “Interesting, Mr. Taciturn.”

He laughed, enjoying her poke at his cryptic statement. “Not that interesting,” he said wryly.

“There aren’t a lot of WoodCrafters,” she said, dark eyes speculating. “Do you create soulmate rings?”

Guy went still. “No. I’m not bonded,” he said, suddenly angry. Everyone knew only a soulmated Crafter could make the rings. And why did so many people assume he wanted a soulmate? He’d had a wife, and he’d loved her deeply even though she wasn’t his soulmate, and then he’d lost her, and now his life was shit.

“I’m sorry,” she said, stepping back. “Crafting with wood is so rare, and there’s the shortage of rings…” She trailed off apologetically.

Guy shook his head, then scrubbed at his face. “No, no. You did nothing wrong. I’m just—” He cut himself off before he said anything more.

“What’s wrong? Rose?”

Guy looked up, then froze. The Delegate had come over while he was having his little internal freak out. He stared at the man as everything went strangely silent in the forest. He felt as if the ground had suddenly dropped out from under his feet. Theo Fraser was around the same height as Guy, and muscular, but he carried himself like a man used to delicate negotiations. Guy wanted to touch him to see if he was real, but somewhere in the back of his mind he knew that wasn’t proper. He needed to wait … for what? He shook his head against the vertigo, and looked down at his trail runners for a moment, hoping the familiar sight would help settle the weirdness. He jammed his right foot against the root poking up through the dirt and let the wood’s quiet strength seep into him. What the fuck was wrong with him? With his power? When he looked up again, the Delegate stared at him, dark eyes unwavering.

“Theo? Theo, are you okay?” Rose was asking. She put a hand on the Delegate’s arm.

Theo blinked. “I’m fine, Rose.” He held out his hand to Guy. “Hello, I’m Theo Fraser.”

Guy couldn’t move. The man’s brown eyes seemed lit with some kind of knowledge Guy didn’t share. Slowly, as though he had to push through molasses, he raised his hand. Theo grasped it, and Guy sucked in a startled breath when static jumped over his skin. “That’s some power you have there,” he managed to say.

Theo let go, looking just as startled. “It’s not my power. It’s yours.” He flexed his fingers. “You zapped me.”

Guy frowned, not sure what to say. His Craft power wasn’t anything nearly so dramatic as that. Talent with wood was a quiet skill. No one would even know he had any abilities at all unless he told them. Rose’s intuition about his Crafting was an anomaly.

“Did you finish filming the segment?” Rose asked, interrupting Guy’s thoughts.

Theo turned to her, looking confused. “No. I felt something … odd. I thought you were upset. I wanted to make sure you were okay.”

Rose pursed her lips. “I’m fine.” She glanced at Guy. “Theo, this is Guy Keaton. He said he used to use these trails a lot.”

“Hello, Guy,” Theo said, and then he smiled.

Guy almost stepped back, because it felt like he’d been punched in the chest. He sucked in a breath as his gaze met Theo’s. He’d swear the Delegate was peering right into Guy’s soul. He forced himself to look away, but his attention didn’t wander far, and his gaze landed on Theo’s hair. It was long for a politician: it just brushed his shoulders in soft waves. I bet it feels as soft as it looks,Guy thought, strangely fascinated.

“So, you used to hike here often?” Theo asked. “Have you been going somewhere else lately?”

Guy wrenched his attention back to the Delegate’s words. “No.” He cleared his throat. “I mean, I used to hike and run here all the time, and then, well…” He trailed off again. He had no idea how to tell people his wife was dead. He’d never been able to figure out how to explain the dramatic disaster of his life, and how Pamela’s death had changed everything for him. He doubted he’d everfeel comfortable explaining.

Theo’s expression softened as if he knew exactly what was going on in Guy’s head. “I’m sorry. I don’t mean to pry.”

Is this what it’s like to be on the receiving end of an Empath?Guy drew in a deep breath and decided to just get it over with. “I used to come hiking here all the time before my wife passed away three years ago.” He shrugged. “Cancer.”

Theo nodded as if he’d already expected that explanation. “I’m so sorry for your loss.” He glanced back at the cameraman for a moment. “I need to finish up the segment we’re filming, but I’d like it if you stuck around. I want to hike the rest of the trail, and it’d be nice to have company.”

Guy saw Rose’s eyebrows lift, but her surprise barely registered. The thought of hiking withsomeone intrigued him. “Yeah, that would be cool,” he found himself saying before he could question his sudden desire to hang out with a complete stranger. He hadn’t really wanted to hang out with anyonein years.

What the hell is wrong with me?he thought, running a hand over the back of his neck. His skin prickled, as if static was still running just under the surface.

“Great. I’ll be done in a few minutes,” Theo said, and then he loped back towards the camera.

“I have no idea what just happened,” Guy murmured, mostly to himself.

Rose laughed. “You met Delegate Fraser. He has that kind of effect on some people.”

Guy made a face. “I’m not some people. I’m just a guy. I’m ordinary.”

Rose gave him a speculative look. “Hmm.”

“Hmm? What does that mean?” Guy shifted his weight. His cock hung heavy and half-hard against his thigh. He wasn’t used to it. He wasn’t used to feeling much of anything, lately, except grief.

Rose just shook her head. “Nothing. You’ll see.”

Guy stared past her. The Delegate gestured to the woman holding the microphone, and the cameraman grinned. Theo began talking, but this time, Guy could tell there was something more there. Some sort of energy the Delegate hadn’t had before.

“He’s a good guy,” Rose murmured, watching with a half-smile on her face. “You could do worse.”

Guy frowned at her. “What?”

She just shook her head. “You’ll see,” she repeated.

I’ll see what?Guy wondered, but then the cameraman unshouldered his equipment, and Theo turned back down the trail. His dark eyes gleamed, even in the bright afternoon light. Guy nearly took a step back when their gazes caught and held. There’s nothing to fear,he told himself, as Theo started walking toward him. He’s just a man. A good man.Somehow, repeating those words in his head didn’t make him feel any better.

SOULMATE Release Day!

It’s been a long time coming, but the first book of a brand new paranormal gay romance series is here! I’m already in the middle of book two, SEER, and book three, SHIFTER, is planned out. I hope you enjoy SOULMATE!

Buy links: EvernightAmazonGoogle PlayBookStrandKoboSmashwordsNOOKiBooks

  

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

****

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

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

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

****

 

Story Excerpt:

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

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

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

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

“How?” Guy asked, sounding wary.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Guy’s eyes widened.

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

****

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

“Easy,” Theo murmured against his mouth.

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

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

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

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

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

Theo answered by biting Guy’s lower lip.

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

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

Day (Stronghold 4) Release Day!

It’s release day for Bruno and Amy!

The Sentries are territorial, guarded, and relentless in their duty to defend humanity from a secret, deadly menace. In order to remain vigilant, these semi-immortal men must remain aloof and solitary. No one, not even their true mate, will distract them from their mission to protect Earth from annihilation…

buy links: EvernightAmazonBookStrandSmashwordsKobo

Erotic Romance (MF), May/Dec, Sci-Fi, Paranormal, Suspense
Word Count: 41,070
Heat Level: 3
Published By: Evernight Publishing

Bruno Day knows the moment he sets eyes on Amy that he won’t be able to stay away from her, but he doesn’t want to drag her into his dangerous life—his duty is to save humanity. She may help them survive if he makes her his mate, but what if the price is her death?

Amy Roderick never expects Bruno Day to show up at her house and ask for her help. She’s just an ordinary person, and he’s the larger-than-life leader of the Sentries. What could she possibly do to help? And why are her instincts telling her they’re meant for each other?

Power and determination have kept them safe for years, but now Bruno and his brothers must face the ultimate battle: an alien swarm that could devour the entire planet. Everything depends on the decision of one young woman: will Amy follow her heart or sacrifice her life for duty?

 

 

Teaser Excerpt:

Bruno stared at her hands. She was a tiny little thing, but he knew that her small stature was merely a mask for the strength she didn’t yet know she possessed. He stood up and walked over to her, giving into his desperation. He wanted to touch her skin. “Amy, I need you to help me.” He reached out and untwisted her hands. “I know you don’t understand, and I don’t want to frighten you.”

“You’re doing a crappy job of explaining this, Bruno,” she whispered, eyes going dark.

She wasn’t frightened. Bruno felt her arousal suddenly spike like a punch in his gut. He inhaled sharply. His brothers never mentioned the insane need that came with being in the presence of one’s paired mate. He’d thought it was bad earlier, when he’d given her his ring, but the attraction seemed to increase with every moment in her presence.

“I know,” he replied, sifting through a dozen explanations in his mind and discarding all of them. None of them mattered. He needed her for the power she would add to the Stronghold net when they paired, yes, but he needed her for himself even more. Suddenly, all the years he’d spent alone felt like an unbearable eternity.

“Just tell me the truth. It can’t be as bad as all that,” Amy murmured.

Bruno brought her hands up to his lips and kissed the backs of her fingers. She sucked in a breath. “This is the truth.” He slid his hands up her arms and took a step off the cliff he’d been holding himself back from for centuries. “I saw you in my dreams two hundred years ago.” He leaned down, watching the black of her pupils swallow the sweet brown of her irises. She smelled like roses and sugar. He licked his lips, desperate to kiss her. He’d never felt so overwhelmed with desire, not once, in his long life.

“Are you saying that you can tell your future?” she asked, voice barely above a whisper. “And I’m in it?”

“I can see this future,” he murmured, then leaned down and kissed her.

****

When his lips touched hers, Amy . She couldn’t move. Couldn’t think. He kissed her gently, and then he gathered her up and pressed in harder until she couldn’t do a damn thing except cling to his shoulders like some damsel in a romance novel. He tasted like spice and fire, and she must have made a sound in the back of her throat, because he groaned and dipped his tongue into her mouth. Amy shuddered, not understanding how she could go through life thinking that what she’d experienced before this moment was anything at all. Nothing could have prepared her for how it felt to kiss Bruno Day.

Amy dug her fingers into him, and then he abruptly broke away, panting as though he’d run a race. She wasn’t doing much better. She sucked in air, hands still locked around his biceps. “What just happened?” she asked, bewildered. Heat coursed through her bones. She couldn’t let go of him. If she did, she’d fall to the floor in a ridiculous heap.

Bruno swallowed. “What do you feel?” He slid his arms back around her waist, drawing her into his body.

“Confused. Hot.” She frowned at him even as she let him cradle her between his thighs. “This is insane.” She didn’t tell him that she’d dreamed of him kissing her since she was a teen. She didn’t want him to think she was some crazy fangirl. She lifted her hands to her cheeks. Her skin felt like it was on fire.

“Do you know what a paired mate is?”

Amy sucked in a breath. “What are you saying?” She thought about her friend Saige. When she’d eloped with Isaac, the connection between the two of them had been palpable. Amy didn’t quite understand it when Saige first explained it to her. But I think I understand it now.

“Sentries can sense things about people. Emotions,” he said.

That means he can sense my arousal. God. Amy licked her lips nervously. Bruno stared at her, obviously waiting for her to say something. She took a deep breath. “I know. Saige explained it to me. And she’s always been very intuitive, so I believed her, even though I didn’t understand. It’s easy to see how connected she is with Isaac, too.” She tilted her head, trying to ignore the heat of his body. She was so hot she ached, and trying to hold a rational conversation while she buzzed with need was proving difficult.

“We have the same kind of connection, Amy,” Bruno said, sliding a hand up to cup her cheek. “Can you feel it?” He kissed her gently.

Amy trembled. He thought she was meant for him? That they were meant for each other? “I don’t know.” She felt something, but lust had a way of confusing a person. She’d been down that road before.

Bruno lifted his head. “I can sense your emotions, Amy.”

Amy felt her skin flush hotter. If he could sense her emotions, he knew exactly how much she wanted him right now. “We don’t even know each other,” she said, wondering why she was arguing with him. Bruno Day had just kissed her! She had to be an idiot to keep protesting. I should just go for it. It’s not like I haven’t hooked up before, right? And he said he needed my help. It doesn’t have to mean anything.

Even as she thought that, she knew she was lying to herself. She’d had a thing for Bruno since the first press conference, when the Sentries had finally come out in the open and publicly explained who they were. She flexed her fingers against his muscles. He felt like a mountain: strong and immovable. “This isn’t how I expected my day to end,” she muttered, looking away from the intensity of his gaze for a moment. She couldn’t look away for long, though. Something compelled her to glance back up at him.

Dawn (Stronghold 3) #FirstChapter

Want to see how Saige and Isaac’s story begins? Here’s a sneak peek of the beginning of DAWN!

buy links: EvernightAmazon — BookStrand — Smashwords — KoboBarnes & NobleiBooks

Erotic Romance (MF), May/Dec, New Adult, Sci-Fi, Paranormal, Suspense
Word Count: 51,850

Saige Ellis can spot a liar from a hundred yards away, and she knows her history professor is bad news. She hates the way he hides behind his stupid sunglasses and beard. She hates the way his ridiculously perfect body makes her feel. When he asks her to stay after class, she asks him what he’s trying to prove.

Isaac Dawn hates having to hide his identity, but it’s the only way he can get close to Saige without tipping everyone off about his identity as a Sentry. He knows she’s his perfect match, but she’s skittish and angry, and for good reason—her abusive father has been stalking her for years. When he asks her to give him a chance, Saige demands the truth, and he blows it.

However, when murderous aliens are real, and a mysterious shadow follows Saige home, is her demand for honesty worth her life? Can she accept Isaac’s help without losing herself?

 

First Chapter Excerpt:

“‘…in contact with conditions which could not and cannot be fully foreseen.’” Professor Wilson placed on his desk the dog-eared book he was reading to the class.

Saige frowned at him from her spot halfway down the middle row. She didn’t like her history professor. His tendency to pace across the front of the classroom drove her mad—the energy of his movements contradicted his nerdy exterior. Shaded glasses disguised his eye color, and his messy beard concealed most of his face, but it was the hideous sport jacket that really irked her. She knew the other girls in the class thought he was cute, with his hipster mannerisms and self-deprecatory jokes, but no guy who filled out an ugly jacket that well could be a real nerd.

“Winston Churchill said those words on June 6, 1944. He was referring to the physical conditions of the invasion, but I think his sentiments are equally valid when studying the controversy of alliance.” Arms crossed, the professor leaned back against his desk and surveyed the classroom from behind his glasses. The slouchy hat he wore most days had slipped slightly sideways, lending him a faintly disreputable air. Most women would love his boyish appearance. Not Saige.

He tilted his head, and she swore he was looking at her, but of course there was no way to know with those stupid lenses on his face. His eyes just looked dark and mysterious. She stared him down anyway. No bogus professor is going to get the best of me, she thought, annoyed. After a moment, he stood up and went to the whiteboard, where he scrawled a date across the surface in red ink. “So, when the Allies hit the beach in Normandy…”

Saige barely heard the words. She knew the class material. She’d done the reading. Instead of listening, she focused on his hands. He gripped the white board marker lightly, as if used to wrestling much more complicated tools. And his handwriting was a mess, anyway. She rarely bothered to look at it. Instead, Saige glanced at the girl sitting to her right. The silly twit stared at the prof with her chin in her hands and stars in her eyes. Saige knew better. Most men were assholes at heart. Her father had certainly proven that to her enough times over the years with his drugs and booze.

“Saige? Can you tell me why?” Professor Wilson looked right at her, one eyebrow raised.

Asshole. Saige frowned harder, not caring if he could tell she didn’t like him. She didn’t need to like him to get an A in this class. She didn’t need him to like her. “Because there were a number of different leaks in the days before they actually landed in France,” she said. She knew he knew she wasn’t paying attention to his lecture. She could see it in the way he cocked his head as he listened to her answer. Screw you, Professor, she thought irritably. I know my history. This class is bullshit. Pity it was one of her general education requirements and she couldn’t avoid taking it if she wanted to graduate at the end of the semester.

“That is correct,” he said finally, turning and scrawling more dates on the board as if she hadn’t just flipped him off in her mind.

Saige sighed, not sure why her general dislike of men seemed to focus on him so intensely. It wasn’t fair of her to fixate on him. She didn’t know the guy, and she didn’t care to. He’s an oddity as a , but it doesn’t matter. You’ve got other problems to worry about, she reminded herself. Like where was she going to get the money to pay this month’s rent? She was eighty bucks short. She couldn’t move again, not with the semester only half over, and besides, there weren’t any cheaper shit hole apartments to stay in, anyway. She’d already hit rock bottom when it came to housing possibilities.

Professor Wilson erased the white board. Saige absently stared at his hands again while her mind spiraled in a completely different direction. At least dear old dad hasn’t found me again. Yet. Her classmates started gathering up their stuff, and with a start, Saige realized that the interminable class had finally ended. She slipped her notebook into her bag and slid her chair back, wincing as her back protested the movement. Thank God. I’m going to lose my mind if I have to stay in here for a minute longer. She’d was in the midst of mentally going over what she had to get done in the next few hours when the professor interrupted her exit from the classroom.

“Saige, could you hang on for a sec? I’d like to talk to you,” Professor Wilson said, unexpectedly. His eyes, hidden behind his stupid colored lenses, looked at her steadily. The expression on his face was that of a man who wasn’t going to take no for an answer.

Saige’s heart gave a hard thump against her ribs before she wrestled her response to him back down into a mild dislike instead of her usual flight-or-fight instinct. No, she did not want to talk to this guy. No, she did not have time. Her gaze strayed to his hands again. He had really nice hands. She frowned, angry with herself, and yanked her gaze back up to his face. He was leaning back against the desk at the front of the small classroom again. His pants pulled taut, showing the strong lines of his thighs.

He looks ridiculously strong, she thought, chewing on the inside of her cheek. Like he knows his way around a shit storm. She couldn’t imagine what kind of disaster this guy had ever faced in his life. She snorted to herself softly.

“?” he prompted, voice raised slightly.

“Actually, I’ve got another class,” she lied, slinging the strap from her worn canvas bag over her shoulder. “Can you just send me an email?”

He shook his head. “No.”

Saige stopped in the middle of turning to head down the center aisle. “No?”

“No, I can’t send you an email,” he said, crossing his arms over his chest. The movement highlighted the thick muscles hidden beneath the ugly jacket. Not an ounce of fat swelled anywhere on his body.

Saige narrowed her gaze as she fought her body’s knee-jerk bolt of attraction to the show of muscle. She had no time to crush on a guy she disliked. “I’m not flunking,” she told him. The classroom had emptied while she stood there, wrestling with her useless attraction. The heavy door thunked against the jamb as the spring in the hinge latched it shut. Saige fought to keep from hunching her shoulders. She didn’t like being shut in like this. Her eyes flicked to the row of windows along the left side of the room. They would serve as a suitable exit if she needed to leave in a hurry. The room was on the first floor, thank God.

“I know,” Professor Wilson said, frowning. “I’m not going to hurt you,” he added.

Saige huffed. Get a grip, girl. You’re safe here. Your father is far away, and this guy has never shown even the slightest hint of aggression towards you. And besides, you’re not a little girl anymore. You don’t have to deal with anyone hitting you ever again. She slid the strap to her bag off her shoulder and wound it around her hand. “Fine. What do you want?” She did not move closer to the front of the room. If he wanted to talk to her, he’d have to come to her. And if he tried anything … well. He wouldn’t be the first guy she’d left with a broken knee. For some reason—her short dark hair, her eyes, she had no fucking clue—she seemed to attract men whether she wanted to or not. And never the good ones. She wished she’d had time to wash her hair this morning, but she’d woken up late after yet another nightmare in the middle of the night. She hadn’t even put any makeup on. Her hazel eyes probably looked bloodshot to hell and back, not that it mattered.

He sighed. “I would like to know what I’ve done to piss you off. And I’d like to apologize for it. I don’t know what I did, but I’d like to start over with you.”

Is this guy for real? Saige thought, abruptly confused. This was a new tactic. Most men didn’t start off hitting on her with an apology. When she didn’t answer, he took off his eyeglass and rubbed his eyes tiredly.

“You’re not serious,” she finally blurted out. He looked up at her without his glasses on, and she froze, staring at the insane green of his eyes. Green shot through with silver. Before she could react, he’d put the gray lenses back on. The fuck? she thought, shocked. He has the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen. And he hides them. Anger swelled up in her, at war with yet another spike of arousal. He’s fucking hiding something.

“Look, Saige—” he began.

She cut him off. “I don’t like you.”

He blinked. “I know.” He laughed shortly. “That much is blindingly obvious.”

Saige didn’t care what he thought of her. “I don’t have to like you to do well in your class, and you don’t have to like me in order to teach.” She squeezed the strap of her bag until the rough canvas burned her palm. “I’m quiet. I don’t talk back, and I know the material. I don’t see the problem here.”

“How old are you?” he asked, completely out of nowhere.

“What? I don’t see what business that is—” she began angrily, but he interrupted her this time.

“How old?” He stared at her.

She scowled. “I just turned twenty-one. So what?”

He shook his head. “Christ. You’re a child.” He seemed suddenly tired.

Saige shoved down a pang of regret for being so unfriendly. She’d been burned in the past. But maybe I can meet him halfway. He hasn’t done anything wrong. “Look, I can tell you’re hiding something. I don’t react well to men who do that.” She waited, wondering how he would take her mentioning his bullshit disguise so baldly.

He stared at her, then scratched at his beard. “I’m a professor. Students aren’t entitled to know everything about my personal life.”

Saige rolled her eyes. “That is a reciprocal arrangement, Dr. Wilson.”

“You’re saying I have no right to question you?”

She nodded. “Exactly.” She watched as his face tightened with irritation, then smoothed out again. She had to hand it to him: the guy has seriously excellent control of his emotions. That was yet another thing about him that was different, in her experience. That and the fact that she could not stop obsessing over his hands, not to mention the ripped body he took such pains to hide. She didn’t need to get involved with anyone, like, ever, and certainly not with a freaking professor.

“Perhaps we can call a truce,” he said softly, snagging her attention from where it’d locked onto the breadth of his chest and transferring it to his mouth.

Saige scowled. His lips looked too damn perfect, even with the disaster of his beard obscuring his jawline. She resented feeling so drawn to him. She’d planned on never having a boyfriend, and yet here she was, at the mercy of her hormones. Traitor, she thought to her body.

“What do you say?” he pushed, when she didn’t respond.

She sighed, loudly. “I don’t know what you want me to do. I have never been anything except polite in this classroom.”

He pushed off from the desk and headed down the aisle. The closer he got, the more anxious she felt. When he stopped in front of her, she tipped her head up to look at him. Since she mostly sat in the middle of the classroom, she hadn’t realized how flipping tall he was. Jesus, she thought, mouth going dry. Maybe I dislike him not because he’s hiding something, but because he’s exactly my type, she thought, face flushing at the direction of her thoughts. Talk about inappropriate. You do not have a crush on your teacher, Saige. No. A thousand times no.

“I’ll go first,” he said, then unexpectedly took off his glasses. “No, I don’t need glasses. I wear these to hide my eye color. It tends to distract people.” He looked at her, obviously waiting for her to speak.

Saige could feel her cheeks burning. “What is this, truth or dare?” she asked, looking everywhere except into his ridiculously green eyes. He was right. She was distracted. Dammit.

He laughed. “Sure. If that’s how you want to approach this.”

Saige tried to edge backwards, but her leg hit the side of a desk. “Fine.” She lifted her shoulders. “I don’t like guys who hide things because my abusive father did that, and it got my mom and sister killed.” She wondered how he’d handle having that conversational bomb dropped on him. “He was high, and he insisted he was okay to drive them to the grocery store. The tree he hit won the argument. They died. He didn’t. End of story.”

Dr. Wilson’s smile dropped from his face. “Wow, I’m sorry,” he said, voice going soft again. “That’s terrible.”

Huh. Not bad. Compassion is rare these days, she thought, unwillingly impressed with his honest reply. “Yeah, it is.” Even so, she was still not happy to be trapped here talking about uncomfortable things. All she wanted to do was get the hell out of this damned classroom so she could have a peaceful hour’s rest before she had to go to work. Maybe he’d let her go, now that she’d answered him. She eyed his face and saw resolve in his expression. The professor wasn’t backing down. She added a few more details. “He liked drugs too much to care that he was hurting his family. He hid that shit from us for years.”

Dr. Wilson sighed, correctly interpreting her suggestive comment. “I’m not hiding a drug habit. And I assure you, I have no intention of hurting you or anyone else in this classroom. In fact, I wear these in order to protect everyone.” He lifted his glasses, then placed them on the desk. His eyes were shadowed, although the tiny silver shards that punctuated his green irises almost seemed to glow.

“That makes no sense. You said you wore them so you wouldn’t distract people,” Saige said, then clamped her mouth shut. She didn’t care. She didn’t want any more explanations. The less she knew the better, and frankly, the idea that wearing glasses would protect anyone around him was absurd. She unwound her bag’s strap from her hand and put the whole thing on the desk’s chair, then massaged her palm. If this guy moved on her, a soft bag would be no protection. He was too big. She’d have to rely on her fists. And I hope I don’t hesitate just because he has a pretty face.

Dr. Wilson lifted a shoulder. “I’ll tell you more, if you tell me more.” As if sensing her wariness, he backed off a little, then sat in one of the student chairs. “I would never hurt you,” he repeated.

Shit. He seems sincere. Saige hated that her instincts kept telling her to trust him, even as they screamed that he was hiding a lot more than just his eye color. “Fine,” she said stiffly. Unwillingly. “What do you want to know?”

He studied her. “Why do you hate men?”

Of all the questions to ask… She glared at him. “I don’t hate all men.” She looked away from his penetrating gaze. “Just … most of them.”

“I asked you why, not to tell me I was wrong,” he said, as if she hadn’t already answered his question.

She twisted her hands together. “I don’t like men because of my father. I already told you that.” Saige felt a headache coming on.

He shifted his weight, then leaned forward and clasped his hands together loosely. “Yes, I understand that, but I’m not your father. Neither is anyone else.”

Saige huffed out a breath, frustrated. “Every guy I’ve ever met just wants in my pants. Most can’t even be bothered to have a conversation with me. It’s disgusting. Not even chopping off my hair seems to deter them.” She motioned to her messy, pixie haircut.

He tilted his head. “I’m having a conversation with you right now.” He smiled and leaned back. “Sure, it’s not a fun conversation, but we’re definitely sharing words.”

And he’s not staring at your boobs, a small voice at the back of her head pointed out. “It’s not the norm,” she said, unconvinced.

His eyes raked down her body, then back up again and steadied on her face. “Most men are idiots. They see a pretty face and hair and curves and think that’s what’s important.”

“And you don’t?” she shot back. No way was she going to believe he didn’t care about those things. Saige glared at him.

“I like beauty just as much as the next man, but I value brains a hell of a lot more,” he replied seriously.

Well, shit. Saige believed him. He said the words with too much conviction to be lying. “Who are you?” She didn’t understand him. He didn’t fit in with what she’d experienced.

He chuckled. “A teacher.”

“Oh, come on,” Saige said, disgusted. After all that, he expected her to believe he was just a teacher? Yeah, right. A teacher with secrets.

“Am I not teaching History 301?” he replied, opening his arms. The hint of a smirk on his face annoyed her. “And I’m good at it. You have to admit that.”

Saige picked up her bag and slung the strap over her shoulder. “Yeah, whatever. I’m out of here.” She headed down the aisle. This time he didn’t stop her.

“This isn’t over, Saige,” he called out.

She waved a hand at him without looking back. “Whatever you say, Professor,” she muttered under her breath. She pushed out of the classroom and hurried down the hall. When she finally stepped outside, the late afternoon sunlight hit her like a brick in the face. The students around her were laughing and joking. Greenery lined the sidewalks, and ponderosa pines dotted the city view. “Ugh. Welcome to high altitude happy town.” Sometimes she really hated living in Flagstaff.

 

Get the other two books in the series!

Stronghold 1 — Dark

Stronghold 2 — Dusk

Dawn (Stronghold 3) Release Day!

buy links: EvernightAmazon — BookStrand — Smashwords

Erotic Romance (MF), May/Dec, New Adult, Sci-Fi, Paranormal, Suspense
Word Count: 50,000
Heat Level: 3
Published By: Evernight Publishing

Scroll down for an excerpt.

Saige Ellis can spot a liar from a hundred yards away, and she knows her history professor is bad news. She hates the way he hides behind his stupid sunglasses and beard. She hates the way his ridiculously perfect body makes her feel. When he asks her to stay after class, she asks him what he’s trying to prove.

Isaac Dawn hates having to hide his identity, but it’s the only way he can get close to Saige without tipping everyone off about his identity as a Sentry. He knows she’s his perfect match, but she’s skittish and angry, and for good reason—her abusive father has been stalking her for years. When he asks her to give him a chance, Saige demands the truth, and he blows it.

However, when murderous aliens are real, and a mysterious shadow follows Saige home, is her demand for honesty worth her life? Can she accept Isaac’s help without losing herself?

 

 

Get the other two books in the series!

Stronghold 1 — Dark

Stronghold 2 — Dusk

If you liked Her Dangerous Mistake, you might like…

It’s no secret that I love writing gay romance (MM) and menage (MMF). However, I also love a great heterosexual romance (MF in writerly lingo). If you liked HER DANGEROUS MISTAKE, I have a whole pile of other stories you might love:

MR. ROCKSTAR is a contemporary romantic comedy with an awkward heroine and rockstar hero. I love Marvin Clementine, and I think you will too!

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

  epeditorsesal1s 

Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Romantic Suspense, Rubenesque, MF
Word Count: 42,200

Isabelle’s best friend is getting married and guess who’s the maid-of-honor?

Going to the wedding alone isn’t an option, so when Isabelle’s brother sends his buddy to her rescue, she can hardly believe who it is: rocker Marvin Clementine! He shows up at her door incognito, but nothing can hide the sexy smile that melts her spine.

At the wedding, he is the perfect gentleman right up until Isabelle’s ex-boyfriend attacks him. When Marvin punches him in the nose, taking him down with one swing, what can Isabelle do except take Mr. Rockstar home and kiss his wounds until he’s better?

Of course, one night of bliss isn’t enough for her to overcome her fears. Marvin’s celebrity lifestyle freaks her out, and it would be crazy to move to L.A., right? Especially for someone as shy as Isabelle. Unfortunately, she’s pretty sure Marvin is her one true love…

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Next up is KAYLEE’S FIRST CRUSH, a short little novella about a high school crush, and what happens when a giant snowstorm throws our heroine out into the cold.

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


Rubenesque, May/December, Erotic Romance, MF
Word Count: 20,000

The last person Kaylee expects to run into when her flight is cancelled is Mr. Hugo Valtree, her favorite high school teacher. It’s been five years since she graduated and she’s never forgotten the sexy man who’d been her first crush. Now she’s all grown up, but he’s still out of her league: he’s inherited his father’s company, making him a billionaire. She’s still shy, still a virgin—what can she possibly have to offer him?

Surprisingly, Hugo offers her something instead, something she desperately needs: a place to stay for the night. It’s storming outside and just her luck, all the hotels in the city are booked. Of course, there’s only one bed in his hotel room…

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LITTLE DOVE is a short BDSM story. It has origami, submission, and a spanking. 😉

Evernight – Amazon – BookStrand – Smashwords – Barnes & Noble


BDSM, Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Rubenesque, Romance on the Go, MF
Word Count: 10,800

Lila’s friend claims that submitting to a Dom in bed is a wonderful stress-reliever, but Lila is skeptical. So when she opens the door and finds her old crush Theo waiting on the other side, she doesn’t know what to do. Since he fails to recognize her, she lets him in, accepting his offer to help her relax.

After he explains that Abby sent him, Lila reconsiders her misgivings about dominant men. When Theo ties her up and woos her with origami doves, she reconsiders her fear of letting go. When he makes love to her, she learns to fly.

Be Warned: light BDSM, sex toys, spanking with willow switch

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Next up is my STRONGHOLD series: I’m working on book 3, DAWN, right now!

The Sentries are territorial, guarded, and relentless in their duty to defend humanity from a secret, deadly menace. In order to remain vigilant, these semi-immortal men must remain aloof and solitary. No one, not even their true mate, will distract them from their mission to protect Earth from annihilation…

 

Click on the covers for more information!

dark    dusk

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But wait – there’s more! I also wrote a few books as Marie E. Blossom, and those are all MF!

buy links: Amazon – BookStrand – Smashwords – Kobo – Barnes & Noble – iBookstore – Evernight Publishing

bbd   epeditorsesal1s

Shifters/Vampires, Paranormal, Erotic, Sci-fi, Romantic Suspense, MF
Word Count: 54,200

Sienna knows she’s different, knows she’s missing some essential part of her soul, and she’s okay with that until she encounters Jasper. Unfortunately, meeting the love of her life for the first time while he’s standing over her wounded best friend in the middle of the woods isn’t the most auspicious beginning.

Jasper is dangerous. Alluring. Everything she should fear, especially when she discovers he’s out for revenge against the vampire who murdered his brother. Her mother warned Sienna to stay far away from the monsters, but how can she let Jasper face them on his own?

Revenant, vampire, slave—darkness is coming for them. Will evil consume Jasper and Sienna, or will love prevail?

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buy links: Evernight – Amazon – BookStrand – Smashwords – Kobo – Barnes & Noble

loving-lily   epeditorsesal1s reviewertoppick2

Contemporary, Suspense, Erotic Romance, Rubenesque,  MF
Word Count: 35,000

Lily desperately wants to start over after her family dies in a series of suspicious accidents, but just as she’s moving on, her car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. Luckily, a handsome hero comes to her rescue.

Matt is everything Lily didn’t know a man could be: strong, kind, and willing to stick around, even when they discover someone is trying to kill her, too. Lily isn’t sure she’s worth his protection: she’s forty years old and too outspoken to be sweet, but Matt can’t help loving the curvy woman with the fabulous sense of humor. Lily can’t help falling for the sexy ex-SEAL who seems to like her just as she is.

When a storm and a dangerous vendetta threaten Lily’s life, will Matt’s strength and Lily’s resilience be enough to stand between love and disaster?

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buy links: Amazon – BookStrand – Smashwords – Kobo – iBookstore – Barnes & Noble – Evernight Publishing

seducing-liselle

Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Rubenesque,  MF
Word Count: 36,000

Liselle isn’t looking for a hero, especially not at the ripe old age of forty-three, but when John saves her from a blizzard, she can’t help falling just a little bit in love. He’s sexy, strong, and ex-military, with a sassy niece and four older sisters who clearly adore him.

Even so, looks alone aren’t enough to convince her that he can be trusted. After all, her brother and father tormented her for years—she knows better than to think a man can make her happy.

When John comes to her rescue, will she let old habits rule? Or will she let him heat her up and melt the fear in her heart?

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buy links: Evernight – Createspace – Print – Amazon – Amazon Paperback – BookStrand – Smashwords – Barnes & Noble – Kobo – iBookstore

   epeditorsesal1s

Erotic Sci-fi Romantic Suspense, MF
Word Count: 61, 270

Queen Ximena is devoted to her people and will gladly sacrifice herself for them, even if it means her death. Her bodyguard, Zefirino, is devoted to her and will gladly sacrifice himself to keep her alive.

When a terrible enemy suddenly attacks their planet, how will they protect those they love without losing each other? Together they survive an assassination attempt, invasion, and capture, but they both know that their duty may eventually tear them apart.

How can Ximena give her life for her people when she knows that Zefirino will die trying to save her? Who does she put first: her planet, or the lover she isn’t even supposed to have?

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buy links: Evernight — Amazon — BookStrand — Smashwords

   

Erotic Romance, Paranormal, Shifters, May-Dec, Rubenesque, Suspense
Word Count: 52,000

Moira is on the run—her apartment has been trashed, her bank account hacked, and someone is stalking her. Only one man is dangerous enough to keep her safe … that is, if she can convince him to help her. Neil Deven used to be her father’s best friend until betrayal turned him violent. Neil disappeared, and finding him might be the biggest mistake of her life, but Moira won’t survive alone.

Neil remembers Moira as a sweet little girl caught in the middle of her father’s criminal life. The gorgeous woman who shows up at his door is anything but a child, but he’s already got problems. Dragon shifters are a dying race with no way to change form, yet Neil’s powers keep growing. And Moira stirs long lost instincts—he can’t deny her need. He must protect the woman who will be his mate, or die trying.