Her Dangerous Mistake #FirstChapter PEEK!

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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.

What are people saying about Her Dangerous Mistake?

Reader review from Facebook:

“I like your use of Prohibition Era passages. And that teleportation thing? Unexpected, but even more so was your description of how she felt afterwards. Your attention to detail in that moment was amazing. … how did you convey her transformation and her emotions so beautifully??? OMG, it was like I was in her head, her heart.”
Chapter One Excerpt:

This is a mistake. Moira pressed a fist to her chest, but it didn’t help at all. Her heart still hammered against her ribs. She took a slow, deep breath, knowing that she couldn’t stay on this street for long, but she needed to calm down in order to figure out what to do next. And I haven’t been calm since last Tuesday. God. I need help. She stared forward, not really focusing on anything. Just beyond the bus shelter sat a long stretch of busy road. Cars zoomed by, indifferent to the poor suckers waiting to catch their daily ride to work. The rain drained the life out of everything, turning the world gray and damp.

“Miss? You dropped this.” A woman nudged Moira’s arm.

Moira startled, then turned. An older lady held out a frayed scrap of paper, folded into a small square.

Oh God, if I’d lost that… Her thoughts trailed off as she took the paper, pressing the corners into her palm until it hurt. “Thanks,” she murmured, shoving it into her jeans pocket. The edges were wet, and she hoped the water hadn’t smudged the ink.

The woman shrugged, shifting her bulging bag. She readjusted the strap automatically, not seeming to notice the weight. “No problem.” She shuffled past, then eased her overweight body onto the shelter bench and heaved out a sigh, effectively ignoring Moira.

Sensing the old woman’s exhaustion, Moira looked away. Everyone has problems. No one cares about you and your stupid life. She took another deep breath, and then made the decision she’d been putting off for the last three days. She really didn’t have any other choice. They’d trashed her apartment. Hacked into her bank account and shut off access. She didn’t own a car. Her phone had turned into a brick yesterday. She had a hundred bucks in cash, and a small backpack with a single change of clothes. You’re going to die if you don’t do this. They’ll catch you and kill you, whoever they are.

She chewed the inside of her cheek. She hadn’t set eyes on Neil Deven in fifteen years. She could hardly remember his face, and he was certain to look completely different now, anyway. She’d been only six, after all, when her father had fucked up his last good friendship with his drinking and violent rages and idiocy. Neil had been her dad’s best friend, though he had clearly been an ominous influence. What kind of man was Neil now? She had no idea, except she knew he wasn’t a safe option. Even as a girl, she’d felt something … odd about him. Something dark. Something dangerous. But isn’t that what I need? Someone who knows how to survive? Someone scary?

Shuddering, Moira shoved a hand into her pocket, fingering the edges of the paper. She’d found the address of the bar Neil owned using a computer at the library. The next thing to do was get on the bus and hope like hell he remembered the kid he used to bounce on his knee. She remembered him laughing a lot, but she also remembered him beating her dad unconscious. This is the last idea I’ve got, she reminded herself when the bus pulled up.

As she got on, the rain washed away the tears she couldn’t seem to control.

****

Neil stared at the spreadsheet, frowning. Something wasn’t adding up, but he didn’t have the time or the patience to track it down this morning. He closed the document and clicked his laptop into lockdown. Maybe he’d go over it again it later. Maybe not. He fucking hated doing the books, though he was always careful to keep a close eye on things.

“Boss, someone at the front is asking for you.”

Neil looked up. His bartender, Andy, stood in the doorway, hands full of a stack of clean bar towels.

“Who is it?” Neil leaned back in his chair and massaged the kinks out of his neck. Staring at a computer screen always gave him a headache.

“Didn’t say. It’s an older man. Distinguished looking.” Andy shrugged. “He’s wearing a pricy Italian suit.”

A hot flare of anger rippled through Neil. There was only one person he knew who wore clothes like that and would dare to come knocking on his door in the middle of the morning, when Dracona was closed. He took a deep breath, controlling his rage. Weird things had started happening around him lately when he let his self-control slip. “Thanks. Please let him know I’ll be out in a minute.”

Andy gave him a look that told Neil he knew something was up. Neil wasn’t about to enlighten his friend. He didn’t want Andy mixed up in this, whatever this turned out to be. His father wouldn’t show up unannounced on a whim. Neil sighed, rubbing his temples. His headache had increased about a thousand percent since his bartender had knocked on his door. “I’m fine, Andy. Just let him know.”

Andy grimaced, but he backed out of the office. “Sure thing, Boss.” He headed into the club’s open area, ostensibly to put away the towels and let the man know Neil was coming.

Neil stood up and walked to the front of his desk, then closed his eyes and centered himself. The last thing he needed to do was lose his temper, especially if it was his father out there. He took three deep breaths, and then he took three more. He calmed his mind. When he opened his eyes, his father was standing in the door of his office, face twisted into a mask of disapproval. He wore a grey suit, impeccably tailored, like everything else about him. The color clashed with his dark eyes, but no one would dare mention it. Neil far preferred his own battered jeans and comfortable sweater to his father’s more cosmopolitan style. Arrogance never goes out of style, he reminded himself. And dear old Dad’s got it in spades.

“Your lackey told me you would be right out, and I assumed you were busy, but here you are, doing absolutely nothing. Your lack of respect never falters, does it?” The older man stepped into the room and shut the door behind him as if he owned the place.

Neil gritted his teeth. All the work he’d done to calm himself disappeared in an instant. “Hello to you, too, Dad.” He narrowed his eyes. “Show yourself in, why don’t you? Have a seat.” His father had already lowered himself into Neil’s desk chair.

“This … establishment is beneath you,” his father replied, sweeping an arm out contemptuously. He made sure to pause on the word establishment, as if Neil gave a shit what his father thought, though the note of derision in his voice did grate on his nerves. “It is beneath the Deven legacy,” his father added.

“Dracona is a very successful business.” Neil leaned against his desk. He’d be damned if he’d sit in the frigging visitor’s chair in his own office.

“You mock your heritage,” his father growled, eyes flinty. “You named a filthy bar after our people.”

Neil sighed. His father’s opinion never changed. “Why are you here? Because if it’s to berate me about actually earning an income instead of living off some random trust fund…” he trailed off sarcastically. “Oh, yeah, that’s right. I don’t have a trust fund, do I? Because you already spent all the money my grandfather left to me. How could I have forgotten about that?” Neil raised an eyebrow, positive it would drive his father wild. Even if he never shows it. Neil smiled internally as he saw anger flash in his father’s eyes. I love pissing the old bastard off.

His father straightened his tie fastidiously, fingers a bit stiffer than they should be.

Ha. Got under your skin, didn’t I? Neil thought, pleased.

“Your mother and I have decided that it’s time for you to take your place as a Council guard,” his father said, putting his hands flat on Neil’s desk. “It’s time to stop this foolishness.”

Neil laughed derisively. Never. Not in a million years will I play servant boy to a long-dead race of arrogant has-beens. He took a careful breath, making sure that his control never wavered. “No.”

His father glared at him. “This demeaning insistence on playing human—”

“We are human. None of us have any power anymore, and you know it.” Neil stood up straight, unable to keep his pose of relaxed indifference. “None of us has shifted to dragon form in a hundred years. You and the rest of the Council are delusional.”

His father stood, eyes flashing gold. Neil snorted, unimpressed. His father had one trick: the ability to manipulate others with his mind. But not my mind. You’ve never been able to force me to obey you, and you never will, you perverse fuck. Neil glared right back at him.

“You will come home and take your place, and then we will see about a mate for you. You will continue the Deven line.” His father folded his arms across his chest as his eyes glowed brighter.

Neil stared at his father, and then laughed again, genuinely amused. “Your parlor tricks don’t work on me, remember?” He knew that if he looked in a mirror, his dark eyes would be as golden as his father’s right now. Ignoring his father’s persuasion took little effort, but it still tended to trigger the last, surviving vestige of his heritage. Or almost the last… He banished the thought to the back of his mind. Focus. “I’m immune to your voice and your eyes, as you well know.” He glanced at the clock on the wall. “Go home, Dad. I have a lot to do before the dinner rush.” He stepped back and opened the door, holding out his free arm to indicate the meeting was over. “Tell Mother I said hi.” He paused, smirking. “Oh, wait, you can’t, because you don’t even live in the same house anymore, do you? You probably had to set up a meeting with her to discuss me.”

His father growled. “You have a responsibility to your race.” He walked over to Neil, doing his best to loom over him. It didn’t work. Neil stood several inches taller than his old man. “If you continue to follow this path, you will be cast out.”

What a hardship. Not. Neil snorted. “Uh-huh. As if that means a damn thing to me.” He deliberately rolled his eyes, just to provoke his father further. “Or to anyone, for that matter. Our people are a dead species. None of us can shift, like the dragons of old. All you can do is force a bunch of poor humans and some of your own people into obeying you. No thank you. That’s not my idea of a fun time.” He jerked his head at the exit. “Goodbye. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”

“You will regret this.” His father strode through the door with his arrogance wrapped around him like a suit of armor.

“Unlikely,” Neil muttered to himself as he watched his father weave through the dark wood tables. When he finally stepped out of the bar, Neil slumped against the frame of his office door. Dealing with his father both exhausted and annoyed him. And no way am I going to let myself get roped into a loveless marriage like my parents. I’d rather be single until my death, even if it means being alone for a thousand years.

“Who was that?” Andy asked, edging closer. The towels he’d been holding were gone, but he had three bottles of merlot stacked along his right arm. “He looked like a mobster.” Andy made a face. “A creepy mobster, with a sort of plantation owner vibe going on. All smug and shit. Not cool.”

“Not cool” is the understatement of the year. Neil grinned, his mood lightening. He had better friends than he deserved. “That was my father, though ‘mobster’ isn’t a bad description for him.”

Andy stared at him. “You have a father? I thought you’d sprung full grown from an egg or something. Like one of those raptors from Jurassic Park. You’re always so calm and interested looking, right up until you strike.” The twinkle in his eyes told Neil he was teasing. He certainly didn’t know about Neil’s dragon blood. No one knew of Neil’s true heritage, because it meant nothing. For all intents and purposes, he was human.

Neil laughed, letting the tension from his father’s visit slide out of him. “Sorry to disappoint you. My arrival here on Earth was much more mundane than cracking open a human-baby-sized egg, though I’m sure my mother would argue otherwise.”

Andy smiled. “Now I’m trying to imagine you breaking out of an egg. Yuck.” He pretended to gag. “That’s not a pretty image. Gunk everywhere.” He waved his free arm.

“Like from a horror movie, right?” Neil egged him on. “All claws and teeth.”

“Exactly,” Andy said, grinning. “Screaming humans, alien invasion, yeah… Gross.”

Neil laughed. “Sadly, my birth was entirely normal, except for the part where my mother handed me off to a nanny as soon as I popped out.” Neil tried not to let his bitterness seep into his voice, but from the look on Andy’s face, he doubted he’d succeeded.

“I had no idea your parents were even alive. You never mention them,” Andy said, his smile slipping away. He unloaded the wine bottles onto a nearby table.

“That’s because there’s nothing to say about them.” Neil lifted a shoulder as he wrestled his emotions back under control. The last thing he needed was for his power to manifest and freak his friend out. “My parents are assholes. I try to never speak to them if I can help it. I don’t go home. I don’t invite them here. We’re all better off that way.”

Andy lifted an eyebrow. “So, what was your father doing here? He didn’t look happy about it.”

“He wants me to come back home and marry someone suitable.” Neil shook his head. “No, thank you.”

“Wait, an arranged marriage? I thought that shit went out of style, oh, a couple hundred years ago.” Andy lined up a series of wine glasses on his arm. “That’s totally medieval, man.”

“Yeah, well, my family is weird.” Neil didn’t bother to explain any further. “So, you got the last of the bar stocked and ready?”

“Yup. Just gotta put these away.” Andy grabbed the three bottles of wine with his free hand and headed to the bar, carefully balancing a truly ridiculous amount of glass on his arms.

With something close to amazement, Neil watched him successfully navigate the tables and offload the glasses. If he tried that, he’d probably drop everything in under thirty seconds. “Excellent. You’re a good bartender, Andy, and a better friend.”

Andy tossed him a grin and a salute.

Neil smiled, then glanced around Dracona. The dark wood tables gleamed with polish, the elaborate iron chandeliers were lit and sparkling dimly, and judging from the delicious scents wafting from the kitchen, Chef Joreen had everything under control in the food department.

“Maybe you should take today off,” Andy said unexpectedly, wiping at a nonexistent stain on the bar. “You never give yourself a break. Joreen and I can handle things for one night.”

“I don’t need a break.” I need my parents and the rest of the Council to leave me the hell alone.

Andy snorted. “Yes, you do.” He hung up the damp towel and lined cut fruit up at the end of the polished wood bar. The automatic lights clicked on, reflecting muted blues and yellows on Andy’s bald skull.

Neil grimaced. “Enough with the armchair therapy, Andy. I’m fine.” Ignoring his bartender’s eye roll, Neil headed down the hall behind his office toward the rear back door just beyond the restrooms. He hoped some fresh air would clear his mind. He ignored the emergency exit sign and pushed the heavy metal door open. A cool breeze wafted past his face as he looked out over the gravel parking lot that terraced around the building. A small stream lay at the bottom of his property, and he could just make out the sound of the water bubbling over rocks. He half-smiled as he leaned on the door.

Okay, yeah. This works. He breathed deeply, letting the sounds of nature settle his nerves. When shots echoed through the natural gully, instead of flinching, his first reaction was to punch something. He never got a fucking break. He curled his fingers into fists as his instincts shifted into high alert.

Hunters? Here? It wasn’t uncommon to hear shots in this part of Pennsylvania, but it was early October, and his bar wasn’t that far from Main Street. It’s too early for deer. And those shots are too close to be hunters. The closest shooting range lay five miles south of Dracona. State game lands lay fifteen miles north. Those shots didn’t belong here, not now. Not ever. His dragon, already stirring from his father’s unwelcome visit, woke up in the back of his mind, dark and dangerous and pissed off about the threat to his territory. Neil gripped the edge of the door, taking deep breaths. Now was not a good time for his shifter blood to wake up. Things tended to catch fire around him when that happened.

“Hey, boss, you okay?” Andy asked, putting a hand on Neil’s arm.

Neil turned on him, teeth bared. “Close the door and lock it behind me.”

Andy frowned. “Neil, your eyes…” He trailed off, taking a step back.

Fuck. So much for not burdening Andy with my shit. Neil had a feeling he’d be busy later tonight trying to explain away the glow in his gaze. Right now though, he couldn’t care less. He turned back toward the woods. “I heard shots. It’s not safe out here.”

“Doesn’t that mean you should come inside?” Andy asked carefully.

Persistent guy. Probably why we’re friends, though now isn’t the time to be stubborn. Neil let go of the doorframe and let his gaze roam the lot. Someone was out there. Someone who didn’t belong. “Go inside, Andy,” he said again, more harshly this time. A long moment later, the door clicked shut behind him. He exhaled, concentrating on keeping the energy that curled at the base of his spine under control. When he didn’t keep his focus, the energy spiraled out, searching for something to burn, and the most flammable thing around was Dracona. He didn’t need his bar going up in flames over a few stray shots that might not mean anything.

Branches snapped. Neil walked down to the second terrace lot, ignoring the gravel crunching underfoot as he searched the tree line. His dragon rumbled in the back of his head, huge and impossible. Neil gritted his teeth. He had to keep his cool. He didn’t want to set fire to the cars that were parked at the edge of the lot any more than he wanted to burn down his building. Or the trees. Or the birds… His thoughts trailed off when he caught sight of a woman crouched near the big oak at the north end of his property. Her head was turned away, so he couldn’t see her expression, but her body told him that she was running from something. Her silhouette spoke of both coiled energy and skittishness.

Someone’s after her. Neil took another step forward, not trying to be quiet. He wanted her to hear him coming.

The woman whipped her head around. Fear chased over her face, and then her brilliant blue eyes met his and Neil lost control of everything. His dragon roared silently. Blue flames licked along the gravel, almost invisible.

The woman didn’t notice. She stared at him as if he were her worst nightmare, or possibly her wildest dream—he couldn’t tell which. Neil couldn’t look away either, because he knew her. He never forgot a face, and this one in particular had haunted him for over a decade. He took a deep breath, and then let it out as he called the flames back to himself.

“Moira.”

GUNPOINT is a #bestseller!

Thank you, dear readers, for enjoying my newest shifter story. 😀

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

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Gay Romance, Shifters, Suspense, Erotic Romance
Word Count: 39,000
Heat Level: 4
Published By: Evernight Publishing

Scroll down for an excerpt.

Soul-bruised and bitter, Charlie left the military for peaceful solitude. When he’s mugged at gunpoint, his isolation is shattered, because the guy with the weapon is his mate, and Charlie’s falcon insists on truth: the other half of his soul is a desperate man who doesn’t know he’s a shifter.

Warren has no money for rent, his sister’s ex beat her bloody, and he’s working double shifts to survive. He thought his life couldn’t get any worse, but then he mugs an ex-soldier who somehow turns the tables and offers him something impossible: hope.

Of course, nothing is that simple, and Charlie’s resistance to their bond sabotages their relationship before it really begins. Warren can handle hardship, but now his enemies are bigger than the bully next door, and he’s broken the darkest taboo of the Sky Hunter falcons. Only Charlie can save him, but can a damaged ex-soldier save himself, too?

 

 

Story Excerpt:

“I told you not to move. Are you paying attention?”

Wait… Warren frowned. He recognized that voice. “I know you.”

“You have a good memory, Warren.” The cold point slid across his neck and settled on the curve of his shoulder. “Do you remember who I am yet?”

Warren swallowed, but the lump of nerves in his throat didn’t budge. “Charlie.” God help him. He inhaled, wondering what the fuck was wrong with him that he had a hard-on in this situation. I’m finally cracking from all the stress.

“Very good.” The metal weight lifted as Charlie stepped in front of Warren.

Warren stared at the black gun nestled comfortably in Charlie’s hand. Fuck. That looks real.

“Yeah, unlike your toy, this is a real weapon.” Charlie eased the safety down and pointed it at Warren’s thigh. “You’ll feel a hell of a lot more than a splat of water if someone shoots you with it.”

Warren shuddered. He was turned on and more than a little bit nervous. “You wouldn’t really shoot me, would you?” He forced himself to look Charlie in the eyes. “I’m sorry I was such an idiot the other night. I was desperate, but that doesn’t excuse what I tried to do.” From the expression on Charlie’s face, Warren wasn’t sure his apology did much good. Charlie’s cold blue eyes stared back at him with no hint of the man’s thoughts. “I would never do anything like that again.”

“Sorry.” Charlie finally snorted. “Sorry doesn’t even begin to cover what I want from you.” He pursed his lips. The muzzle of his gun stayed fixed on Warren’s thigh.

Warren didn’t know a damn thing about guns, but he knew it would hurt if that thing shot him. Even so, he couldn’t keep his gaze from drifting down Charlie’s body. The man wore tight jeans, black boots, and a t-shirt that hugged every muscle in his torso. Warren wanted to put his hands on that chest, gun be damned. He wanted more than the desperate existence he seemed to be mired in, and had been ever since his parents died. He wanted Charlie. He waited a moment to see if the thought of being attracted to another guy bothered him, but all he felt was a sense of urgency. He needed to adjust his erection, but he had a feeling Charlie wouldn’t take it all that well if he reached down. He gritted his teeth and didn’t move. “What do you want from me?” His voice came out rough.

“On your knees.” Charlie gestured with the gun’s point.

Jesus. Warren slid to the ground and looked up. Charlie’s face had gone taut. “Please don’t shoot me.” Warren’s hands clenched into fists when Charlie tightened his finger on the trigger. After what they’d done together in the woods last night, Warren would’ve never expected this. Never. Charlie just hadn’t seemed the type. But you never know when someone might snap.

“You think I’m going to shoot you?” Charlie raised an eyebrow.

“I have no idea what you’re going to do,” Warren replied shakily. He wasn’t sure if he was more frightened or aroused. His erection pressed uncomfortably against the zipper of his jeans.

“Undo my pants,” Charlie said.

Warren froze. “What?” Was he serious? He looked at Charlie’s groin. His cock was long and thick and obviously hard behind the denim. He’d been trying not to stare, but that was pretty difficult from this position. He swallowed nervously.

“You heard me. Don’t fuck around, Warren. I am totally out of patience.” Charlie put the gun to Warren’s forehead. He didn’t look like he was in the mood for more talking. He looked like a man on the edge of losing his temper.

Warren’s heart pounded. Was it rape if what he was being forced to do was something he actually wanted? “I don’t—” He broke off sweating. His hands trembled as he raised them. Don’t be a pussy, he told himself. His own erection swelled even more, and the position he was in didn’t make his arousal particularly comfortable.

“Wait.” Charlie let out a soft breath when Warren’s fingers reached his zipper. “Stop.”

Confused, Warren slid a finger inside Charlie’s waistband. The gun still pressed into his forehead. “I don’t know what you want from me,” he whispered, not sure if he was disappointed or angry.

Charlie lifted the gun away and pointed it at the ground. His finger tightened on the trigger, and the weapon clicked. “It’s empty.” His eyes were completely dark now. Dark and feral. “I would never hurt you.”

Warren had never seen anything so beautiful as those eyes, but that didn’t change what had just happened. He frowned as the first trickle of rage slid down his spine. “You fucking threatened me with an empty gun?” He clenched the waistband of Charlie’s pants with his fingers. “That’s so frigging messed up.” He told himself to get the fuck up, but his body wasn’t listening. I should punch him, he thought, but Charlie hadn’t moved, either. Warren slid his fingers deeper into Charlie’s pants. When the tips of his fingers touched Charlie’s cock, he sighed. “Fuck.”

Charlie trembled. “Yeah, that about sums it up.”

Warren undid the button, then drew the zipper down. “I want to blow you. You’re an asshole, but I still want this.” He licked his lips, ignoring Charlie as the older man dismantled the weapon and put the pieces on the table. Warren hardly cared. He felt like he stood on the edge of a precipice, prepared to jump. All his worries about his sister and her bastard ex, the rent, and his job faded to nothing. Some wild instinct stuck inside his bones told him to take the leap, and for once in his life, Warren was going to fly. Instinct was never a good way to make decisions—the disaster with the mugging had taught him that—but he didn’t give a shit right now. He wanted Charlie.

“It’s only fair that you return the favor,” Charlie said, startling him. “I went on my knees for you last night.”

Warren looked up. Charlie’s teeth were clenched.

“Suck it.”

Captive Fire Chapter One #excerpt!

Do you like dragons? Strong shifters? Conflict? This might be the story you’ve always wanted…

buy links: Evernight – Amazon – ARe – Bookstrand – Smashwords – Barnes & Noble – iTunes – Kobo

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

 

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

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

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

 

Chapter One Excerpt!

The scarlet awning snapped in the desert wind like a broken sensor—incessant and impossible to ignore. Prince Ryuu looked away as flecks of sand scoured his face. The Dragon’s Teeth Mountains loomed far to the east of the encampment, dark and serene. He wished he were there, amongst the peaked cliffs that formed the spine of the continent. He wished he were anywhere else but here.

“Pay attention, my son,” his father, Emperor Midian, said harshly. “You must choose your servant this day. My patience has run out.”

Ryuu composed his face and turned back to the slave auction, carefully hiding his distaste. It had been four centuries since his people had abolished slavery, yet here he stood, about to choose one for his personal use. It had only taken a few years for his father to dismantle the old laws of their nation and reinstitute the barbarism he enjoyed so much, though admittedly, the market for slaves was quite small. Most of the Arethuza found the practice distasteful. Even so, Ryuu didn’t know how much longer he could keep up the charade of being a loyal son. Soon he would have to make his move and break away from his father’s rule. His duty to his people was more important than his duty to his sire.

“Ryuu!”

“Yes, Father,” he said, bowing slightly to appease the man. His gaze flicked to the mountains once more before he wrestled himself under control. Freedom was not an option he had the luxury to indulge. “I am merely contemplating my choices.”

The emperor grunted. “Enough. You are a grown man. A warrior. This hesitance is unbecoming.” He pointed. “Take that female, sitting next to the pole. She is beautiful and seems healthy.” He adjusted his polished leather armor and tucked his red cape over his shoulder.

The color of the cape clashed with the scarlet of the awning, but Ryuu knew his father didn’t care. He liked red. The color of blood. Ryuu wore black armor, for mourning. The color drove his mother to tears at times, but it suited his mood, most days.

“I need heirs. It is time for you to give them to me,” the emperor said.

Ryuu suppressed a sigh as he looked out over the bodies arranged on the ground beneath the tattered canvas that sheltered them from the harsh light of their sun. No silk fabric for them, he thought, pretending to consider the people being bought and sold like furniture. Truth was, he’d decided thirty minutes ago which man would be coming home with him. His father wouldn’t like it, but it was his decision to make.

“I will take the man with the dark hair. Near the center,” he said to the slave master. The man he chose couldn’t hear him over the wind, but Ryuu had a feeling the slave already knew he wouldn’t be at the auction long. As he watched, the wind whipped the man’s long, dark hair over his face, exposing fresh lash marks decorating the skin of his back. No, he will either escape, or die trying, Ryuu thought, frowning slightly. If only he could convince the man to work with him, instead of against him. If only he had the time…

The portly auctioneer stared at Ryuu, then looked to the emperor. Sweat ran down his round face, but he made no move to wipe it away from his shaved head and temples. Ryuu knew the man didn’t want to get embroiled in the midst of a royal argument. That way lay death.

Ryuu’s father scowled at his son. “You would take a man?”

Ryuu shrugged. “It is my choice. I have no need for a woman.”

Midian glared at his son, then turned away. “I am done with this. Choose as you like, and accept the consequences.” He shifted his sword against his hip. “I can breed other sons. I will have heirs from another woman, if you will not serve me in that manner.” With that extraordinary statement, he strode away, toward the flitter that waited next to the iron-barred goods warehouse.

Ryuu concealed a flinch. His father planned to abandon Ryuu’s mother? Because of his refusal to serve as a royal stud bull? The emperor’s cruelty still surprised him, even after growing up in the cesspool that was his father’s fortress and headquarters, the citadel. He’d need to find his mother and warn her the moment he returned. He pressed his lips together tightly, trying to hide his dismay.

“Prince?” The auctioneer bowed tentatively. “That slave is very difficult to control. Why, just this morning he damaged one of the other males and had to be whipped.”

Ryuu scowled, releasing his pent-up temper on the auctioneer. “And you think that I will have trouble with a mere slave?” He subtly fingered the row of knives that ran diagonally across his chest. He’d carefully nurtured a reputation for savagery with them—better to scare people with rumors than with actual blood. Many of his people believed him to be as bloodthirsty as the emperor and that protected him somewhat from his father’s personal warriors. If only the emperor understood the power of words instead of war, but his father had never been interested in peace. He enjoyed torture.

“No, Sire, of course not,” the man stammered, bowing lower. “It is just that he is not very…” He paused, clearly struggling to find words to describe a slave who still believed himself to be a man, and entitled to freedom.

Ryuu didn’t care about the auctioneer’s philosophical dilemma. He knew exactly what he was buying. “Chain him and bring him to my flitter,” he commanded. Then he turned on his heel and strode away.

****

Discouraged, Drakon watched the prince leave the buyer’s booth from the corner of his eye. If he believed in a deity, he would be praying with all his strength that Prince Ryuu would be the one who’d purchase him, but after seeing the man’s indifferent pose toward the slaves, he no longer harbored such a dream. The best he could hope for was if one of the emperor’s administrators bought him. Perhaps I’ll even end up in the citadel, he mused, digging his fingers into the sand beneath him. He could work from there to sabotage Emperor Midian’s bloodthirsty war campaign. Lost in thought, he resisted when the auctioneer suddenly strode over and tried to yank him to his feet by the chains around his wrists. Since Drakon was at least a foot taller and much stronger than the slave master, the pudgy man couldn’t budge him.

“None of that!” The bald man slapped his quirt against Drakon’s flank, hard enough to draw blood. “Prince Ryuu owns you now.” He frowned. “You will go quietly and respectfully, or he will slice the rebellion out of your skin in long strips. He’s a demon with those knives of his. They call him the Bearer of Blades.” The auctioneer smiled cruelly.

Drakon scrambled to his feet, dazed by his good fortune. The auctioneer, mistaking his surprise for recalcitrance, hit him again. Drakon ground his teeth together, reminding himself yet again that he’d chosen this course of action of his own free will.

“Do you want to be flayed?” the auctioneer demanded.

Drakon shook himself. Dust from his loincloth puffed into the hot air. “No.” From the rumors that circulated among the slaves, his mighty highness, Prince Ryuu, could strip most of the skin from a man’s body without killing him. Although, I have yet to speak to anyone who has witnessed Ryuu’s prowess with those blades. Sometimes rumors are more effective than true action, he mused, stumbling as the auctioneer pulled on his chains.

“The prince is leaving within the hour. You will obey him in all things,” the bald man said, absently dragging Drakon through the crowds of the market. They’d left the slave pens behind and Drakon could smell the savory scent of roasting meat. His mouth watered. He hadn’t eaten in four days.

“There will be none of your defiance, when you are in his custody. Is that clear?”

Drakon stared at the back of the creature’s fat head as he was dragged toward the fenced landing site. Damned if he was going to answer that statement. He was a man, not a child.

The auctioneer yanked on his chains viciously, nearly tripping Drakon. The metal bit into his wrists and he knew there would be fresh blood beneath the shackles.

“I expect a response!”

Drakon raised an eyebrow, willing the man to damage him further. He might need to play the part of a slave for now, but he was a free man. He deserved respect. Courtesy. You’re fooling yourself, a small voice at the back of his mind told him. You had no respect when you were back home, in your father’s household. Why would you think you deserve it now? Drakon shoved those thoughts down, refusing to give in to the despair that had dogged him all his life. I am a man. A warrior of my people, he reminded himself. I passed the test of the dragon and own my true form. And I am the only one of my generation to do so. Remember that.

The auctioneer raised his quirt again. Just as he was about to strike Drakon across the face, a voice interrupted.

“Halt! You dare to damage my property?”

The auctioneer pivoted, then immediately went to his knees. He pulled on Drakon’s bonds, forcing him down to the ground. Drakon broke his fall with his elbows, but the slave master tightened his grip on the chains, dragging him down further. He struggled to breathe as his cheek pressed into the packed sand.

“Forgive me, Sire,” the auctioneer said, trembling.

Drakon turned his head to the side just in time to see black armored boots stop less than a foot from his face. Swirls of dust decorated the insteps of Prince Ryuu’s footwear, and Drakon’s eyes wandered to a set of curious indentations in the front soles, where tiny blades no doubt resided. He shivered, wondering what sort of man would hide so many secret weapons on his body. Weren’t the ones on his chest harness enough?

“Give me the bonds,” Prince Ryuu said.

The auctioneer bowed lower. “Yes, Sire.” He lifted his arms, hauling on Drakon’s chains painfully.

Prince Ryuu took them and gently tugged. “On your feet,” he said softly.

Drakon licked his dry lips, suddenly afraid. The prince’s low voice sent a flicker of arousal through him, against all rational expectation. No. You can’t let your proclivities rule you, not now of all times, he thought desperately. He wanted this more than anything. He’d hoped all along for a place in the royal household, while knowing the chance that he might be purchased by one of Emperor Midian’s family members or a royal retainer was slim. That Prince Ryuu himself had bought him surpassed all his expectations. Control yourself, or you will ruin everything.

“Come on, then,” Prince Ryuu said, again tugging at the chains.

Drakon gathered his wits and stood up, trying to keep his thoughts to himself. Expressionless silver eyes met his. Ryuu’s shoulder-length blond hair had silver beads woven into the temples, breaking up the unrelieved black of the rest of his clothing and armor. Drakon’s fingers twitched. He would have liked to find out if the prince’s hair was as soft as it looked, but he remembered his status before he gave himself away. He lowered his eyes. Surprisingly, the prince was his height, unusual for the Arethuza. The hardships of their desert life usually prevented them from growing as tall as Drakon’s people.

“We leave now,” the prince said, pivoting abruptly and pulling Drakon to the gleaming silver flitter that waited just beyond the fencing.

When he reached the flitter, he touched a finger to a hidden stud. Light flashed, reading his genetic signature, and the canopy slid back, revealing the four seats within.

“Sit in the copilot’s seat,” Prince Ryuu told him, to Drakon’s surprise.

The prince wants me to sit next to him? It was unusual for an owner to trust a slave with such close proximity.

Prince Ryuu glanced at Drakon’s wrists and his face tightened before he dropped the heavy steel chains. The ends dragged in the sand. “You must carry your own bonds, like all of us.” He laughed shortly and climbed into the driver’s seat.

Drakon stared at the shackles, then looked into the flitter, confused. Ryuu’s behavior didn’t match the rumors of his cruelty. He picked up his chains and swallowed, hard, as Ryuu pressed buttons on the console, seemingly unconcerned with his new slave’s lack of confinement. The prince didn’t even glance at Drakon.

I could flee so easily, he thought, his gaze going to the mountains in the distance. Of course, if he ran now, he would not be able to complete his task. And, too, the flitter Prince Ryuu piloted could easily run a man down and fry him into ash. Only a dragon would have any hope of escaping the clutches of the Arethuza Empire. He sighed, then climbed into the vehicle.

“Glad you could join me,” Ryuu said sardonically.

Drakon pressed his lips together as the canopy slid closed above his head. Now was not the time to lose his temper. The leather seats and fresh air that immediately filtered into the small compartment was more luxury than he’d experienced in years. He tried not to feel bitter about what Prince Ryuu’s father had done to his people, the Soutx, but it was difficult.

“Do you have a name?”

Drakon looked at his captor, still silent.

Ryuu frowned. “I can simply call you, ‘Slave,’ if you wish.” His silver eyes appeared darker within the filtered light of the flitter.

“Drakon,” he blurted out before he could stop himself. His face burned and he once again fought down anger. The Soutx, the People of the Dragon, weren’t slaves. Drakon would never truly be any man’s property, regardless of the chains and whippings he might endure.

“Ah,” Ryuu said mildly, just when Drakon thought the prince would rebuke him for his tone.

The flitter lifted from the sand and sped to the west, toward the crystal fields. Drakon stared through the glass, wondering what torment he’d brought upon himself.

Captive Fire – BESTSELLER! #shifters #dragons

Captive Fire is a bestseller on Amazon!

Dragons. Shifters. An epic war on a distant planet. An epic love…

buy links: Evernight – Amazon – AReBookstrand

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

 

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

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

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

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Story excerpt:

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

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

Drakon sighed.

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

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

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

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

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

“Tell me about your family,” Ryuu said.

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

Ryuu sighed. “Perhaps I spoke hastily.”

Drakon snorted quietly.

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

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

****

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

Drakon stirred. “Yes.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“You would force me in public?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ryuu flinched. “I’m sorry.”

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

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

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

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

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

 

DUSK is an Amazon Bestseller!

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buy links – Evernight – AReBookStrand – Amazon 

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Erotic Romance (MF), May/Dec, New Adult, Sci-Fi, Paranormal, Suspense, Rubenesque
Word Count: 38,575
Heat Level: 3
Published By: Evernight Publishing

Click here to read an excerpt.

Lucy Soren never expected to live through an alien attack. Months later, her nightmares won’t let her forget the pain she suffered, or her strange attraction to the man who saved her from certain death.

Sentry Solomon Dusk never wanted to heal a mortal woman, but he can’t forget Lucy’s bravery or beauty. Even though he vowed to never again fall in love, Lucy attracts him like no other woman ever has before.

When the alien Spiders again slip past the Sentries’ defenses, Solomon’s only thought is to protect the woman he refuses to love. Lucy’s only hope is to run from the danger to her heart. Unfortunately, the fate of the planet rests on their ability to work together. Will their fear of commitment keep them from saving the planet… and each other?

Be Warned: anal sex, sex toys, bondage

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The Billionaire’s Bodyguard #FirstChapter #excerpt!

In celebration of The Billionaire’s Bodyguard making Amazon and ARe’s bestseller lists, I’m posting the first chapter to whet your appetite for sexy Jesse and Alex!

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buy links: Evernight (25% off) – Amazon – BookStrand – ARe – Smashwords – Barnes & NobleiTunes/Books – Kobo

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Gay (MM), Erotic Romance, Romantic Comedy, Romantic Suspense, Thriller
Word Count: 35,130
Heat Level: 3
Published By: Evernight Publishing

 

Billionaire Alex Roman needs a bodyguard. His best friend, Jesse Emerson, an ex-Security Forces Specialist, needs a job. What could possibly go wrong?

Jesse thinks protecting Alex will be a piece of cake. He’ll get to spend quality time with his oldest friend while avoiding his ex-girlfriend. Of course, nothing ever goes as planned. Why would Alex introduce him to everyone as his lover? And why didn’t Alex tell him about the threatening notes he’s been receiving for months?

Alex has been in love with Jesse for years, not that he’d ever admit it to his best friend, but he’s not above making a practical joke out of it. Telling everyone that Jesse is his boyfriend will go a long way toward relieving the stress of the threats he’s been plagued with recently. Unfortunately, when someone tries to shoot him at a charity gala, he discovers that maybe he needs Jesse’s skills more than he realized…

…because sometimes a billionaire’s best friend is the fake boyfriend who’s really his bodyguard.

 

 Chapter One Excerpt:

Alex Roman opened his front door, paused, then stepped back resignedly. His best friend Jesse barreled past him and into the house with his military duffel over his shoulder. It bulged at the seams, as if Jesse had stuffed every article of clothing he owned inside and then added an extra pair of pants just for kicks. In his hands, a box overflowed with more belongings.

“I can’t do it anymore, Alex. I just can’t,” Jesse said, awkwardly shrugging the bag onto the marble floor of the foyer while simultaneously trying to juggle the box.

Alex winced as his right shoulder twinged in sympathy. He didn’t know elbows could turn that direction.

“She’s making me crazy,” Jesse continued, the box tilting dangerously. He frowned and set it down next to the duffel. “She told me that I was ‘emotionally unavailable,’ but what does she care? She dumped me six months ago. We’re not even dating anymore.” He grabbed his hair with both hands and made a face that had Alex smiling despite the late hour, the weird luggage, and Jesse’s total lack of consideration for the fact that other people sleep at three a.m.

“And really, who says that?” Jesse continued, oblivious to Alex’s amusement. “She probably lifted that phrase from some chick flick. Or a romance novel, or something. She can’t even argue without quoting from someone else!”

“Why didn’t you just use your key to let yourself into my house?” Alex asked mildly, cutting Jesse off in mid-rant. He closed and locked the front door, then reset the alarm.

“Key?” Jesse blinked at him. “My hands were full. No way I could’ve gotten my keys out. I could barely ring the doorbell.”

“It’s the middle of the night,” Alex pointed out.

Jesse shrugged. “So?”

“So, maybe I was asleep.”

“You never sleep.” Jesse made a face. “Well, not at night anyway. Aren’t the overseas markets trading?”

Alex rolled his eyes and walked away, heading toward his study. Jesse was right. He’d been trading, not that it mattered. He’d just finished up for the night when the doorbell rang.

“I can stay, right?” Jesse called. “You’re not going to kick me out, are you?”

Alex smiled to himself as he walked through the elaborate wooden doors that led into his oversized and rather opulent office. He stared at the marble fireplace and shook his head. He hated it. He’d always hated it. The pink stone made the stained walnut paneling look diseased, but it came with the house, so he had to live with it, along with the pretentious vases and expensive rugs. He far preferred the sleek modernity of his office in Manhattan, but he couldn’t destroy the house he’d inherited just because he didn’t like a few things. His grandfather would roll in his grave if he renovated too much. Hmm, but maybe a few things here and there would be okay. It’s my house now, after all.

“Alex?”

“No, I’m not going to kick you out. You don’t even have to ask. You know that,” Alex replied, dismissing memories of his grandfather. He’d loved that old man more than anyone, but maybe it was time to get over his death. It had been six years, after all. He walked across a priceless Persian carpet to his grandfather’s hand-carved desk. His laptop sat on top, sleek and metallic, looking like something from outer space in comparison to the warm, gleaming wood. He leaned on the desk and tapped a few commands into the computer, shutting it down.

“Um, well, I might be here longer than usual,” Jesse said.

Alex looked up from the screen. “Longer than a few days?” That would be nice, but definitely unusual.

Jesse looked embarrassed. “There’s six months left on the lease of my apartment.”

“So?”

“So, I can’t kick her out. Do you know how hard it is to find housing in Manhattan?” Jesse dropped into the leather sofa in front of Alex’s desk and swung a leg up over the arm insouciantly. He looked like a cat marking his spot: all graceful muscle and lazy attitude.

Alex forced his eyes away from his friend’s toned arms. “Yes, I do know, but it’s your apartment, not hers. You got it before you went into the Air Force.” He didn’t understand Jesse’s dilemma. “You had it long before you met her. Plus, she’s not your girlfriend anymore. Ergo, not your problem. Just tell her she has to go. Give her a week’s notice.”

“She begged me, Alex.”

“She also dumped you, remember?” Alex closed his laptop and rubbed his eyes. He really, really, wished Jesse wouldn’t date losers. He invariably hated the women his best friend picked, and when they broke up, as always, he hated the way Jesse moped around even more. A sad and defeated Jesse made Alex want to do something drastic.

Like kiss him. Or bitch-slap his ex. Neither of those options would end well for anyone. He sighed. “You know you’re welcome to stay here for as long as you like. Forever, even. I’ve told you that before.” He frowned as he looked at his friend. Jesse’s blue eyes were bloodshot and tired. “You need to get some rest.”

“I don’t know what’s wrong with me, man. My relationships never work out.” Jesse craned his head back, eyes flickering over the mural on the ceiling. “I mean, you don’t think I’m emotionally unavailable, do you?”

Alex grimaced. “No, I don’t. Do we really have to talk about this? Why can’t we just drink some booze and call it a night?”

“She said that I kept part of my heart locked away.” Jesse slumped further down the sofa. “Where does she think I put it? In a jar? Ugh.”

Alex didn’t want to tell his best friend that he probably spent too much time with him and not enough time with her. He’d never even met the woman, but he knew that’s what she thought. Any woman would be angry about having to share her time with some unknown friend. He had no intention of bringing it up, though. Because you’re a selfish bastard, and you don’t want him to stop hanging out with you, especially now that he’s back home for good, he told himself. “Are we actually having a relationship conversation?” He walked over to the sideboard and poured himself a shot of brandy. “If so, I need fortification,” he muttered.

“I’m not emotionally unavailable,” Jesse repeated morosely. “I’m reserved. I’m not into big scenes and all that crap.”

“You look pretty emotional to me right now,” Alex said, handing him a glass.

Jesse took it and sipped. “Gee, thanks.”

Alex ignored his friend’s sarcasm to sip his own drink. Maybe I’ll be able to sleep now. Truth was, he always slept better when Jesse stayed over. He’d spent years worrying about his friend when he’d been deployed overseas.

“So what if I don’t want to get married? Is that a crime?” Jesse continued to mutter.

Alex wondered if Jesse knew he was having the entire conversation all by himself.

“And her mother is crazy.” He looked at Alex and made a face. “I mean, C R A Z Y,” he spelled the word out. “With all caps and bells on.”

“You wouldn’t be marrying her mother,” Alex said, shoving Jesse’s legs out of the way and slumping down onto the sofa. Damn, he was tired. He should really just go to bed and let Alex ramble on alone.

Jesse gave him a pitying look. “I know you don’t date much, and that statement proves it. Women turn into their mothers, dude. Happens every time.”

“I don’t date at all,” Alex reminded him.

Jesse fell silent for a moment. “Huh. That’s true. I can’t remember the last time you went out.”

“Seven years ago,” Alex said, closing his eyes. “Rob. The stylist.”

Jesse chuckled. “He was a piece of work. When he broke your grandpa’s precious candelabra, I thought the old man was going to commit murder.”

Alex grinned, remembering his grandpa’s face. “That was a good day.”

“The day your grandfather stabbed your boyfriend with his cane? That’s what you call a good day?” Jesse was outright laughing now. “He had to get stitches!”

“He wasn’t my boyfriend. He was just a date.” Alex wrinkled his nose. “Before that it was the girl from your kickboxing class in high school, what was her name…” He snapped his fingers, trying to remember.

“Claire, holy shit. How can you forget her? She had boobs to die for,” Jesse said, snickering. “She’s the whole reason I took that class.”

Alex opened his eyes. Jesse was curving his hands in front of him, trying to describe Claire’s figure. He looked like a ten year old. “Jesse, Jesus. Get a grip on yourself.”

“They were impressive, Alex. I still can’t believe those two assets didn’t work out for you.” He lifted his eyebrows up and down like an idiot.

“Let’s just say that she wasn’t the best conversationalist and leave it at that.” Alex remembered her screeching in bed all too well. Awful.

“Well, I don’t know why you’re such a hermit. You’re bi. You have twice the number of possible individuals to ask out.” Jesse finished off his brandy and set the glass on the side table, then slouched down into the sofa even further. “How does that work again, exactly?”

Alex rolled his eyes. “I date the person, not their genitals. It’s not particularly complicated.”

Jesse snorted. “Uh huh. If I tried to date a guy, I would have no idea what to do.”

“Men are actually easier,” Alex said, smiling. At least the conversation had shifted away from Jesse’s emotional deficiencies. He’d been afraid his friend was going to start crying. The horror.

“Easier? Are you kidding me? No way.”

“You already know how all the plumbing works,” Alex said, just to get his friend going. “No user manual required.” He grinned evilly, making his own motions with his hands.

Jesse sat up and glared at him. “You are insane, you know that?” He pointed at Alex’s head. “Totally nuts.”

“Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.” Alex said, then lightly cupped his junk, just to be as irritating as possible.

“Uh, no thank you.” Jesse made a face.

Alex laughed, not in the least fazed. “Whatever. I’m going to bed. You know the way to your room.” He stood up and stretched, ignoring, once again, the way Jesse’s eyes followed his body. His best friend had been looking at him that way for years and after so long, he knew it didn’t mean a damn thing, no matter how much he’d like for it to mean more. “Coming? You need your beauty rest.”

“Ugh. Fine, fine. You’re such a nag.” Jesse got up, yawning.

“I’m not a nag. It’s four a.m. and I’m tired.” He walked into the foyer. “Get your bag and hit the sack.”

“You really don’t sound like a normal rich boy, you know.” Jesse grabbed his duffel and trailed him up the curving staircase. “You obviously spent too much time down in the servants quarters growing up. How do you keep from scandalizing everyone with your low-brow sense of humor?”

“You mean, I spent too much time with you.” Alex led the way along the upstairs gallery, pausing near the room that had been Jesse’s for years. “If I sound low-brow, it’s your fault.”

“Well, my dad was your grandpa’s butler. Who else were you going to play with?” Jesse smirked, hand on the doorknob. “All those swanky assholes at your private school? They were the meanest bunch of kids I ever met. Don’t try to deny it.”

“No denials from me.” Alex’s smile twisted into a grimace. “They were cruel when they were kids, and now they’re all grown up.”

“Still mean, though,” Jesse pointed out.

“Cutthroat, actually.” Alex rubbed his face. “Well, you look better. See? There’s nothing a little brandy can’t fix.”

Jesse rolled his eyes. “Making fun of you helped, too.”

Alex shook his head, amused. Jesse always had to get the last word in. “Whatever. Goodnight.”

“Night,” Jesse echoed.

Alex walked down the gallery to his room, firmly putting the image of his best friend’s lean body from his mind.

The Billionaire’s Bodyguard is a #Bestseller!

The Billionaire’s Bodyguard is a Bestseller at Amazon and All Romance eBooks!

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Plus, you can still get it at Evernight for 25% off!

buy links: Evernight – Amazon – BookStrand – ARe – Smashwords – Barnes & NobleiTunes/Books – Kobo

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Gay (MM), Erotic Romance, Romantic Comedy, Romantic Suspense, Thriller
Word Count: 35,130
Heat Level: 3
Published By: Evernight Publishing

Click here to read an excerpt.

Billionaire Alex Roman needs a bodyguard. His best friend, Jesse Emerson, an ex-Security Forces Specialist, needs a job. What could possibly go wrong?

Jesse thinks protecting Alex will be a piece of cake. He’ll get to spend quality time with his oldest friend while avoiding his ex-girlfriend. Of course, nothing ever goes as planned. Why would Alex introduce him to everyone as his lover? And why didn’t Alex tell him about the threatening notes he’s been receiving for months?

Alex has been in love with Jesse for years, not that he’d ever admit it to his best friend, but he’s not above making a practical joke out of it. Telling everyone that Jesse is his boyfriend will go a long way toward relieving the stress of the threats he’s been plagued with recently. Unfortunately, when someone tries to shoot him at a charity gala, he discovers that maybe he needs Jesse’s skills more than he realized…

…because sometimes a billionaire’s best friend is the fake boyfriend who’s really his bodyguard.

 

 

BROKEN (Planet Alpha) is a bestseller!

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I wrote BROKEN in a frenzy of inspiration: days of hours-long typing sessions that culminated in a novella that took risks with my characters and their emotional movement through a narrative. I loved writing Broken. Every scene was a joy to create, in a way that I’d never before experienced.

Sure, I love writing. No one who doesn’t can keep at it if the love of it didn’t overcome the inevitable rejections, bad reviews, and tepid sales. However, a lot of my time spent writing a book is much more like a marathon than a sprint. I gotta keep moving or I’ll fall down.

BROKEN didn’t feel like that. BROKEN was a sprint that felt more like flying than running. And it’s made it onto FOUR bestseller lists: Evernight, Amazon, All Romance Ebooks, and BookStrand. YAY!

Thank you, Evernight, for being an amazing publisher!

buy links: Evernight – ARe – BookStrand – Amazon – Smashwords

 

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Amazon #1

 

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BookStrand featured

 

buy links: Evernight – ARe – BookStrand – Amazon

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Erotic Romance, Menage (MMF), sci-fi, suspense
Word Count: 27,320
Heat Level 4
Published By: Evernight Publishing
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Click here to read an excerpt.

When Sky finds a critically injured Xyran warrior, she can’t just let him die. She drags the unconscious alien home and dresses his wounds. He’s difficult and arrogant, but she’s more than enough woman to deal with him until he’s gone. So what if he intrigues her? The last thing she can afford to do is fall for an alien.

Jaxt knows the betrayers who left him for dead on Earth will not live long: his bond-kin, Zoen, will paint the warship’s walls with their blood. All he must do now is wait for Zoen to come. Unfortunately, the human woman who found him rouses his deepest instincts… Instincts he’d forgotten he had.

When Zoen finds Jaxt on Earth, he’s not sure he approves of the female who cared for his kin. However, when Sky kills a Xyran about to attack, he understands Jaxt’s insistence that she is their mate. Any female who shows such courage is worthy of his blood, and maybe even his heart.

Be Warned: menage sex (MMF), anal sex, m/m interaction, knife play, rimming

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PLANET ALPHA – an exclusive Evernight Series

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The year is 2050. Earth is quickly becoming uninhabitable. The seven continents are shrinking as flooding devastates the land masses. Crime and disorder are rampant among the dwindling human population.

There are only two safe havens in the galaxy capable of supporting humanoid life. Xyran is a world of power-hungry demons and Planet Alpha is home to a fearless warrior race.

The males on Planet Alpha need mates. Infertility has plagued their race for decades. The answer lies on Earth where tempting females are waiting to be saved. When their enemies attempt to claim the spoils of a dying world, only the strongest will get their prize.

 

Karma Bites is a bestseller!

Karma Bites has made it onto three bestseller lists the day after its release: BookStrand, All Romance Ebooks, and Amazon!

buy links: Evernight – Amazon – BookStrandARe

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epeditorsesal1s

Gay, BDSM, Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Romance on the Go, Humor
Word Count: 11,760
Heat Level 4
Published By: Evernight Publishing

Click here to read an excerpt.

Boyd will do anything to avoid his cousin Coco—even pretend to be gay. He’s visiting his dad who’s got a broken arm, and all he wants is for her to leave him alone, so Boyd calls his best friend for help. His father swears that karma is going to bite him on his butt for lying, but Boyd can’t think of any other way to extricate himself from Coco’s clutches.

Harrison will do anything for his best friend—even pretend to be his boyfriend, because he’s awesome like that. Once he arrives, though, Boyd surprises him with a “practice” kiss, which is just totally uncalled for. Before Harrison can fend him off, they’re on the bed making out. How does he get into these crazy situations? Oh yeah, Boyd and his wacky ideas. Harrison’s going to make him pay for this (even if he kind of secretly enjoyed it), because that’s how karma works.

Be Warned: m/m sex, mild BDSM, public exhibition, spanking

 

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BookStrand Bestseller!

Amazon

 

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Shane’s Submission is a bestseller!

Shane’s Submission is a bestseller at All Romance eBooks and at Amazon. I’m kind of really sort of maybe possibly thrilled. 😀

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ARe bestsellers

 

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Click here to read an excerpt.

Description:

Shane and Leo have been best friends forever: through high school, dating disasters, and family losses. Lately though, Shane has been feeling more and more unsettled. His girlfriend dumped him because he wouldn’t spank her, and he can’t stop thinking about the kiss he and Leo shared in high school, long before life happened and they grew up.

When Leo confronts Shane about his depression, the whole, unpleasant story about the breakup comes spilling out. Leo offers to spank Shane so he can understand the appeal, and shockingly, Shane wants to agree, but both of them are straight and he’s not sure it’s a good idea. Besides, he’s not into pain and he feels weird asking his best friend for sexual advice—Leo is too important to him to risk their friendship over something like this. So what if he can’t figure out why the idea is so intriguing?

Be Warned: light BDSM, spanking, breath play

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Where to Buy: 

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