Passions and Pet Hates
I have many passions in wildly differing subjects, and often find I don’t have enough hours in the day to devote to them! But somehow they all eventually get a look-in and some point. Everyone knows I love to write, but these are some of the other things I love to do.
One of my great loves is cars and motorcycles. I’ve always been a bit of a tomboy and my first car was a Ford Capri, which I kept for 7 years. I loved it to bits and did all my own maintenance. I had a number of cars over the years, but my latest is a much-loved Japanese modified import, which I spend money on buying new fancy parts for, and take to car exhibitions on a regular basis. I learned to ride a motorbike at the grand old age of 34 and love to go out riding at every opportunity.
I love to travel, whether it be abroad to explore new countries, or within the UK where I love to go camping and hiking, although I always make sure to take waterproofs, due to the unpredictable (often wet) weather!
I’ve always liked keeping fit and just over 4 years ago, I started running, something I’d never enjoyed before. It started with a 5k (very slow) trot and once I got the taste for that, there was no stopping me. Since then I’ve run 5 half-marathons and even when I’m not training for a particular event, I run at least 3 times a week and love every minute of it. I get a lot of ideas for writing while I’m out pounding the open roads.
For something a little more sedate, I enjoy counted cross stitch and usually listen to music or watch some of my favourite movies while I stitch. I’m easy to please with both and like anything from heavy metal, to country and western, to pop, to classical music, and as for movies – romance, drama, thriller, horror, I love them all. I’m just not too fond of comedies.
Finally, I’ve always loved animals. I have a mad dog named Trojan (a Dobermann), tropical fish and tarantulas at the moment, but have kept many other types of pets in the past, as well as spending many years regularly riding horses.
As for my pet hates, I suppose most of these are minor really. There’s not much that gets under my skin and the things that do, most people would probably think silly.
I absolutely hate it when I park my car in the farthest possible parking space from the supermarket entrance, with the intention of no one getting near it, and then someone in a massive 4×4 parks right next to me, so close that I can’t get my door open. My car is my pride and joy and woe betide anyone who even breathes on it.
I really don’t like the words “yep” and “nope”. They seem to crop up more and more every day, to the point that even websites ask if you want them to remember your password and prompt you to answer with “nope” if not. Why? Are “yes” and “no” really too correct to use anymore?
And when the TV remote battery goes flat, or my poor laptop gets stuck trying to load something because I’m too impatient to wait and click 9 things at once. Those are really irritating.
Well, I did say my pet hates were silly!
“It’s freezing,” Rhys protested. He wondered what Rafael had in mind, but he hoped fervently that it might involve more contact between them.
“You will soon be warm.” Rafael reached over and fumbled for the zip on Rhys’s sleeping bag. Rhys wriggled out of it and rubbed his upper arms. He waited as Rafael moved around in the near darkness, wondering how he could do anything without at least a torch. “Here.” Rafael touched Rhys’s shoulder. “Get in.”
As Rhys slipped back into the sleeping bag, he realized Rafael had zipped the two together, making one large one. He swallowed nervously, his pulse racing, as Rafael got into the bag with him and snuggled close. Warm breath fanned his cheek again and Rafael rested a heavy arm across his middle. Rhys shivered, not only from the cold this time.
“Better?” Rafael inquired.
“Um…yes, thank you.” Rhys felt his cheeks heat up at his prim response and Rafael laughed softly.
“You are shy.”
“You like me?” Rafael whispered.
Hell, yes! Rhys struggled to think of an answer that wouldn’t sound too eager or too cold. He had no idea what was going to happen, but he thought Rafael might kiss him. He hoped Rafael would kiss him. Immediately his head filled with images of their lips clinging, tongues entwining and their hands stroking each other’s bodies. His cock twitched and began to fill.
“Yes, I like you,” he said eventually.
Rafael slid his hand up to touch Rhys’s face. His palm was warm as it cupped his cool skin and Rhys held his breath. Rafael’s nose bumped his again as he angled his head and brought their lips together. Rhys let out a soft groan as Rafael’s mouth fitted over his. His lips were warm, soft and moist and they caressed Rhys’s lips gently. Rhys lifted his hands cautiously, unsure where to put them. Rafael’s tongue licked along the seam of his mouth and then entered when he parted his lips on a gasp. Rhys laid one hand on Rafael’s chest and felt his heartbeat, as rapid as his own. Rhys could feel the heat of Rafael’s body coming through the layers of clothing he wore and he longed to feel the man’s skin under his fingers. He stroked his hand tentatively over Rafael’s left pectoral and then lowered it to his ribcage. Rafael groaned and kissed him deeper. His tongue plunged urgently into Rhys’s mouth, teasing his own and flicking against the roof of his mouth. Rhys had to tell himself to breathe and he sucked in small breaths of air through his nose as he pressed his lips harder against Rafael’s and sucked at his tongue.
It takes the complete careless cheating of his five-year boyfriend, Jonathan, combined with the loss of his job, to give Rhys White the impetus to take a huge risk. He’s going to Peru, mainly based on the memory of a story read to him as a child. No real idea of what he will do there, not much in the way of planning, but he’s been safe and careful his whole life and it’s gotten him nowhere. Now is the time for taking a risk and going on an adventure.
And it is an adventure. He is learning to depend on himself and be confident in his abilities when there is a robbery and he loses everything. Luckily, the very beautiful Rafael offers his services as guide, in return for the reference and payment to be obtained later.
The two spark and their intensity gives Rhys even more faith in himself. It’s a little bit heartbreaking when it is time for Rhys to return home but he returns a better man. I liked the final scene with the Jonathan because it showed how much Rhys has grown since they last met. And Rafael, well, that is one of those memories that Rhys will use to remind himself he’s strong. Because the whole thing changed his life and “saved me from darkest Peru.”
Shy and geeky Rhys White, has recently been ditched by his boyfriend of five years. On top of that he’s been made redundant from his job as a computer programmer.
Tired of being boring and unadventurous, he throws caution to the winds and buys a plane ticket to Peru.
Rhys’ adventure in Peru starts out well, but then disaster strikes. All of his belongings are stolen. Everything is gone—passport, wallet, phone, clothing, the lot.
Stranded in Cuzco, not too far from the famous Machu Picchu, Rhys tries to find someone to help him. He’s about to give up, when a sexy Brazilian named Rafael, comes to his rescue…
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00SSCKT58/
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00SSCKT58/
Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00SSCKT58/
$20 WIP Gift Card
$5 Amazon Gift Card
1 x eBook copy of In Darkest Peru
1 x eBook copy of Conflicted or Second Bite of the Cherry (winner’s choice)
About the author
Louise Lyons comes from a family of writers. Her mother has a number of poems published in poetry anthologies, her aunt wrote poems for the Church, and her grandmother sparked her inspiration with tales of fantasy. Louise first ventured into writing short stories at the grand old age of eight, mostly about little girls and ponies. She branched into romance in her teens, and MM romance a few years later, but none of her work saw the light of day until she discovered Fan Fiction in her late twenties.
Posting stories based on some of her favorite movies, provoked a surprisingly positive response from readers. This gave Louise the confidence to submit some of her work to publishers, and made her take her writing “hobby” more seriously.
Louise lives in the UK, about an hour north of London, with a mad Dobermann, and a collection of tropical fish and tarantulas. She works in the insurance industry by day, and spends every spare minute writing. She is a keen horse-rider, and loves to run long distance. Some of her best writing inspiration comes to her, when her feet are pounding the open road. She often races into the house afterward, and grabs pen and paper to make notes.
Louise has always been a bit of a tomboy, and one of her other great loves is cars and motorcycles. Her car and bike are her pride and joy, and she loves to exhibit the car at shows, and take off for long days out on the bike, with no one for company but herself.
Social media links
Ability you wished you possessed?
The ability to sing. I’m completely tone deaf and wish I wasn’t.
Skill you wish you had?
I’d love to be able to sew on a machine.
In Portland, Oregon, the only thing hotter than the coffee shops, restaurants, and bakeries are the hard-working men who serve it up—hot, fresh, and ready to go—with no reservations…
Robby is a self-employed barista with a busy coffee cart, a warm smile, and a major crush on one of his customers. David is a handsome finance director who works nearby, eats lunch by himself, and expects nothing but “the usual”—small vanilla latte—from the cute guy in the cart. But when David shows up for his first Portland Pride festival, Robby works up the nerve to take their slow-brewing relationship to the next level. David, however, is newly out and single, still grieving the loss of his longtime lover, and unsure if he’s ready to date again. Yet with every fresh latte, sweet exchange—and near hook-up—David and Robby go from simmering to steaming to piping hot. The question is: Will someone get burned?
First in the new Portland Heat series!
Categories: Contemporary, Erotica, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance
A little idea niggled at my brain—like an evil elf had tapped me on the shoulder. “You know, if you give me your card, I could call you if you leave your wallet behind again.”
There. His cheeks went dusky pink. I finally got a blush out of him, but hell if I could decipher what it meant. I could predict people’s taste in coffee, down to preferred syrup flavor, but I still sucked at decoding anything as complex as human emotions.
“Ah. Um.” He did the nervous cough thing again.
“Never mind.” I wiped my hands on my apron. “I’d better get back.”
“Wait.” He opened the wallet, plucked out a white card with a blue logo, and offered it to me. His broad fingers brushed mine again as he handed it over. Another barely there touch, but I felt the charge all the way down my spine, like I’d chugged a triple shot.
My breath tripped with wishing he’d add a “call me anytime.” Brian would have. But David just stood there silently. Straighter than the Fremont Bridge and denser than a concrete pylon.
Pages or Words: 30,000 words
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Annabeth Albert Author Bio:
Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.
Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two toddlers.
Represented by Saritza Hernandez of the Corvisiero Literary Agency
Where to find the author:
Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/annabethalbertauthor
Publisher: Kensington Publishing/Lyrical Press
Cover Artist: Kensington Art Department
Summary: Physician Remy Marshall has two loves: Emergency Medicine and running. Work doesn’t leave much time to meet guys, and most seem more interested in his bank account than him. With a week off to train for a marathon, Remy plans to make the most of his precious vacation. The last thing he needs is a distraction.
Jamie Sutton is new to the area. He hopes to make a fresh start after leaving an abusive relationship with an orthopedic surgeon. He’s got a new job as a massage therapist and wants to meet some nice guys. Against his better judgment, Jamie decides the best way to meet a cute rollerblader he’s seen in the park is on wheels.
With attention on his watch and not where he’s going, Remy crashes into Jamie and fractures the first-time rollerblader’s ankle. Jamie has no one to help him after the injury; Remy proposes Jamie stay with him. Jamie is reluctant, but it’s a better option than staying with the odd guy in the neighboring motel room. As the two get acquainted, Jamie’s past comes calling. Remy discovers the prize he really wants isn’t a medal in a marathon, but the man right in front of him
Review: Jamie is new to the area and he’s dying to meet Cute Rollerblade Guy. So he takes up rollerblading. Probably not the wisest decision, because he’s really not very good at it. To make matters worse, in a moment of inattention he is knocked off his blades by a runner and ends up breaking his ankle. Not the best introduction to our runner, Remy. Remy is an emergency room doctor and he’s training for a marathon when he crashes into Jamie. Even more embarrassing – as Remy and a helpful woman are carrying Jamie to Remy’s car for a trip to the ER, NOW here comes Cute Rollerblade Guy. Oh, poor Jamie.
It is a worst case for Jamie’s ankle, and it’s splinted and he’s on crutches. Problem is, he lives in a crappy motel for the time being and he has no one to call to be with him. His sister is great, but with her kids she can’t make it out there for four days. Now what? Feeling guilty and more than a little attracted, Remy offers the use of his guest room and he will help care for Jamie. With reluctance, Jamie accepts the offer of the crash pad.
It is here, during the time Jamie is crashing at Remy’s, that the story is the sweetest and the most fun. They flirt, they are embarrassed or shocked about it, they hide hard-ons and they flirt some more. Remy is a caring, compassionate person and this shows. As the two begin to talk to each other, a little bit of their history comes out. Unfortunately, Jamie is not forthcoming about his wretched past with his ex and this causes some problems. Remy is patient and allows Jamie to work through them.
I admit, I kept expecting something to come of Brett and the blind date he wanted to introduce Remy to, David. It was mentioned a couple times but didn’t really go anywhere.
I was torn about how to rate this. It was a pretty solid 4 and I liked the relationship building between Remy and Jamie very much and I felt their “click”. However, Jamie’s very negative reaction to Remy’s help with Vince rubbed me the wrong way. He almost seemed to be projecting his feelings for Vince onto Remy and honestly, I didn’t feel that Remy did anything wrong. Jamie’s reaction was way out of line for me and that brought down my enjoyment of the whole thing.
But I will split the difference and go with a 3.5 and hope that Jamie learns what is what and that Remy isn’t Vince and can be trusted. Read this story for the developing relationship between Remy and Jamie, because that’s the best part. It ends as more of an HFN with promise for HEA. For both of them, I hope that’s what they get.
Summary: It was only a game, right? An adult twist on “Capture the Flag”. Very adult, actually. Especially the “flag” and where it went. In fact, the only similarity between the kid version and the adult version was you still needed to capture your opponent’s flag to win. So how the hell had Camden ended up here? Oh yeah, that’s right, Tanner, Camden’s good buddy from college. He was not going to let Camden waste another birthday. In fact, he was hell bent on getting Camden laid. So much so, the idiot set up this entire weekend gig. And that’s where Camden found himself now; on a remote island, crashing through the woods, playing a chase and capture game, trying like hell to stay ahead of his pursuer. But why was he the one being chased? Why was Camden the prey and that big, sexy, dark haired, muscle bound, relentless god of a man, Gunner, the hunter? It should be the other way around because it was Camden’s birthday, damn it! Well, thankfully there were going to be three rounds played because it looked like Camden was going down before even reaching the first check point. Yep. Going down on all fours, flag confiscated and…well, let’s just say he would be screwed.
So… what was the down side of losing again?
Review: I am not sure if anyone else remembers the ‘80s movie, “Surviving the Game” but it was a favorite of mine (cheesy and outlandish, of course) so when I saw the premise for this book I was so excited. Especially since in this version, no one dies!
Camden had a wretched breakup with a super possessive boyfriend on his birthday and since then he has been alone by choice and dateless. This is unacceptable to his best friend from back home, Tanner, who wants nothing more than to get Cam out of his house, out of his shell and doing something fun. To this end, he books a mini-vacation at an exclusive resort and has Cam fly out to meet him. He conveniently doesn’t mention to Cam until they are on their way that it is a kinky sort of resort – one where the guests are all men and the games are not your usual sort. In this version of Capture the Flag, the “flag” is actually a butt plug and if you capture one, well, you get to do what you’d like to your prisoner. “Since no player will give up their “flag” willingly, you may use whatever means necessary to chase down, capture and take the “flag” by force, hence the handcuffs and rope. What happens when the “flag” is removed is entirely up to the captor.” No-strings-attached, unique and fun hookup. Just what Cam needs.
There are four in the group Tanner arranged – Tanner, Cam and two co-workers, Steven and Gunner. Steven seems to have a huge crush on Gunner and the man does not take no for an answer. For his part, Gunner feels a strong protective attraction to Cam and isn’t Cam the lucky one?
As the game begins, we also get to meet the owner of the island, Master. Master has a master plan (sorry, couldn’t resist) and I did like that very much.
There is another plan going on behind the scenes and this one isn’t positive or innocent. Sure, you have to suspend belief for this story because there is SO much that could go wrong when people are presented with this kind of opportunity (back to Surviving the Game!) This part distracted me a bit because it felt fortuitous but all in all it worked.
The characters are interesting and well drawn. I loved Gunner and his giant gentleness combined with Cam’s eagerness to win, well, they are a winning combo. Tanner, loyal friend and sweet man, is another great character. This is a creative way to have a hookup, or maybe meet someone special. And it’s a very interesting read!
Prince Garrik is the Heir Presumptive of Altan, next in line to be crowned Wytch King. There’s only one problem: in order for Garrik to be crowned, he must possess Wytch power of his own, and thus far, whatever power Garrik might possess has shown no sign of awakening. As things stand, it is Garrik’s younger brother, Jaire—a dreamer completely unsuited to wear the crown—who will take the throne after their father.
Things come to a head when the Wytch King, who has grown increasingly impatient with the situation, demands that Garrik’s power be forcibly awakened. Hoping to protect his brother from the burden of rule, Garrik allows the attempt—with disastrous results. Now, Garrik must learn to control the fiery dragon that rages within him before he destroys everything he loves.
Wytch Master Ilya has been alone for years. Learning to control the icy beast slumbering deep within him has already cost him his family and his lover, and Ilya will never open himself up to that kind of pain again. Summoned to Altan to avert disaster if he can, Ilya has no intention of allowing anyone to thaw the ice in his heart. When he meets Prince Garrik, sparks fly, and Ilya finds himself fighting feelings he’d thought long buried.
Can Garrik’s fire melt Ilya’s icy heart? Or will Ilya be forced to use his ice to quench the flames that burn within Garrik once and for all?
Garrick is the heir to Altan, a holding with rebellious leanings. Sovereignty is the issue; does the King rule or the Wytch Council? They both have something to say about that. The king has been waiting for Garrick’s powers to present and still waiting. Meanwhile Garrick as heir apparent is sitting in on hearings and learning the mantel of responsibilities that comes with the rule of Altan. He also has his diversions, Kian.
Jaire, younger brother of Garrick goes through the trials of change as his wytch powers manifest. The change is not a simple or painless process. Master Tevari, Wytch Master for Altan, fearing the worst seeks assistance from the Council. There are powers too dangerous to wield without training. Powers that must be controlled or destroyed.
Machinations are now in play with one brother presented and the other not. Each side pulling strings and how the rules have been bent become clear. Fearing for the state, Garrick submits to a dangerous plan.
Death and destruction.
Master Ilya, Wytch Master and trainer of powerful students and dragonshifter comes to Altan to deal with the request for power assessment. And the game plays on. This was entertaining and I was pulled in for the duration. There are some parts that weren’t terribly sophisticated, but the tale was solid. While my personal preference would have been for less introspection or internal dialogue and more action, it was engaging and sweet.
Overall, a fast moving fantasy romance with intrigue
“The ice covers everything, all the way to the bottom of my soul.”
Summary: Earth of 4035 is a wasteland populated with sectors of penal colonies, seeded through the generations by its life-long inhabitants of criminals, lunatics, political prisoners, and DNA-spliced mutants, all ruled by a powerful conglomerate of scientific researchers called the Nucleate.
One such sector, Pandemonia, is situated on the former European continent in the vicinity of Paris, now a hunting ground of a world gone horribly awry.
When Dr. Swane Fox, a behavior scientist from the peaceful planet named Daudulis 40, enters Pandemonia to study its criminal society in an effort to save Earth, he is assaulted. Only a stroke of good fortune keeps him alive when a surly, uncommunicative prisoner named August steps in to save him.
Now, without a way out of Pandemonia since everything he owns has been stolen, Swane realizes his only hope of survival is accepting August’s offer to become his protector—for a price.
Both men have ulterior motives for joining forces, yet if anyone discovers their true goals, they will end up dead. Will lies, mistrust, and initial hatred prevent Swane and August from learning the truth about each other, to give in to their most passionate desires and perhaps even finding love in the least likely of places? Or will their destinies destroy them first?
Old Earth is a penal colony and Pandemonia is a prisoner enclave. Set in a dystopic future, scientists have risen to power and rule. Their group, the Nucelate is a conglomerate of amoral scientists in control of many places, but solely overseeing Old Earth where they conduct human experiments.
Pandemonia is an anarchist society except for the semi-privileged who subsist within the confinement grid. No rules aside from ‘Don’t mess with the Nucelate’s lackeys’. Like all power structures, the rules are written to ensure the Nucleate’s power. I liked the set up for the story, but there were technical issues.
Clunky writing tell us useless details of today in the far future rather than the far future in places we know today. Significant grammar issues. Use of past perfect tense when the characters are repeating the act still. Subject and verb tense agreement errors. It does get better as it goes along making me think maybe the beginning was reworked and not as vigorously edited.
Then there are content issues. The far future and yet we’re using WWII travel documents?
They’d never let him out unless he had proper stamped papers to prove his identity.
An ID card he can’t lose? Why in the future can’t we chip someone? We do it today. Oh wait, there’s a character that does have a subdermal chip. So confused why that technology isn’t utilized in other ways especially since Swane’s origin is a more advanced society.
Swane, our intrepid behavioral scientist, is clinically TSTL. August agrees. Swane even agrees. His naiveté is disturbing and more than once I wondered as to his gender. He was written like a swooning heroine. Then there is the issue of Stockholm Syndrome because there is no logical explanation for the emotional involvement; protection yes, love no.
August turns out to not be the degenerate, bloodthirsty, raping lunatic he’s sold as at the beginning–Surprise. Not. Though his story why he’s there and what he occupies his time with is interesting. Definitely the most successful aspect of this story for me.
While the push to accept the grand romance of Swane and August, even though August seems tepid about it at times, didn’t work for me. There is one scene in a redesigned Roman bath that lived up to this reader’s expectations of bawdiness. Hot and why I gave this story a bump from 2 to 2.5 stars. Of course, a subsequent scene where August tosses Swane onto a bed with recently broken ribs, and it not having any effect at all made me roll my eyes.
Overall, a mad, mad world thwarted by love and poor editing.
“Just a boogeyman’s tale for children.”
In a world where a werecat virus has changed society, Roan McKichan, a born infected and ex-cop, works as a private detective trying to solve crimes involving other infecteds.
Roan is working a frustrating stalker case, with no shortage of suspects and little solid evidence, when he comes across a startling eyewitness living in his car across the street from the scene. A tiger-strain infected, the only one Roan’s ever met, Paris Lehane is a former Canadian golden boy who suffered a breakdown after becoming infected in college.
While Roan’s ex, Diego “Dee” Cole, warns against falling for the infected Paris, a man doomed to die, Roan struggles with his attraction and the knowledge that no happily ever after is possible for them.
But is the knowledge enough to discourage him from following his heart? Roan helps Paris out of homelessness, and maybe a special hospital can help Paris with the infection, but Roan’s got his hands full with this case, and there’s no end in sight.
How did Roan and Paris get together? Well, it went a little like this…
It starts with a case Roan is working as a private detective and then spirals until it pulls in all the relevant issues both dealing with the AU setup and introducing the guys for the first time. I loved Paris and Roan, so I was eager to find out more about them. There’s a small case to solve and a lead in to the first book in the series: INFECTED, and in between that there’s the tidbits and meetings that flesh out how Paris and Roan came to be together. I really wish there had been more of their relationship. I guess I was hoping for more, to stretch out their story further. So a little disappointed there.
For those who haven’t read any books in the series, starting here is not a problem. One gets a good grasp of both the world and the main characters involved. It’s like a taster for the Infected world. Of course, being greedy I was hoping for more of Roan and Paris’s relationship, but there are few details other than how Roan compartmentalizes things and I got a better idea of both their mindsets going into the relationship and it makes the trajectory of it much more logical.
The case itself is ancillary and the lead in for the first book is hinted at multiple times while Paris and Roan weave themselves together. I had forgotten how bitter, cynical, and scathing Roan’s inner dialogue is. It’s amusing, but also came across much more prejudiced in regards to race and socioeconomics than I recall from the other stories I read. It’s snide comments that aren’t comedic, which would be following the rules of a societal inferior mocking a dominant position, just racist and classist. Needless to say, it illustrates Roan’s anger and resentment at being ostracized his entire life.
He’d discovered it early in life, with PBS repeats of Monty Python and the knowledge that life was fucking absurd. To its core, life seemed to be a farce that ended in tragedy, or at least it seemed that way from his viewpoint.
This series is a social commentary. It’s not hard to draw parallels between the cat virus and AIDS. It raises questions about what we’re doing and how we’re treating people. How we as a society define humanity and how we reject the abject.
Overall, less Roan and Paris than I hoped, but a solid foundation to understanding them as a couple.
“I don’t care what you say, Roan, you’re the sexiest guy I’ve ever met.”
“Look in the mirror,” Roan told him. “At best, I could only be second.”
Publication date: 3/17/15
Summary: Love wasn’t supposed to be part of the bargain…
On every visit to Madame Delacroix’s brothel, Nathaniel Travers requests the same man. Stunningly handsome and highly skilled, Jasper not only shares Nate’s fondness for wickedly erotic games and black leather corsets, but he has become a trusted confidant. And Jasper’s the only person who knows Nate longs for a committed relationship with his childhood friend, Peter Edmonton.
Unrequited love hurts, but it hurts even more when the object of affection is in love with another. Jasper Reed has been working at Delacroix’s for a decade. He’s saved enough to retire, yet he remains at the decadent London brothel. Leaving would mean leaving Nate and the hope someday the rugged gentleman would stop pining for his best friend and realize he loves Jasper, just as Jasper loves him.
Edmonton’s impending marriage looms before them, causing Jasper to take another look at his stubborn heart. Yet Jasper’s a bastard whore, and Nate’s the nephew of a viscount. Surely there can’t be any hope for them…
Review: I know I’ve said it before, but Ava March is just the queen of historicals, providing complex imperfect characters who make me care about what happens to them. This one is no exception. Just loved this story, about Jasper, a whore at Delacroixs brothel and Nate, nephew to a viscount and object of Jasper’s unrequited love. Nate loves another, and Jasper is always there at the house for him, despite the fact that he has enough to retire from the whore’s life. If not for the brothel, how would he ever see Nate?
Nate is not a stupid man and he’s really not a selfish one. More, he’s an oblivious one, caught up in the best friend he believes he loves and despairing as that best friend (who really is a loyal friend) finds love and gets married. Nate falls apart and Jasper listens, supports, cares and satisfies, hoping for love in return yet knowing because they are worlds apart in standing it will never happen. He is so sweet, so heart breaking.
They have known each other for five years but only through the brothel. It is heart wrenching to read Jasper’s unrequited feelings, all the while knowing they can achieve no purpose. When he finally comes to the conclusion that he needs to move on from Delacroix and from Nate, their last meeting is so sad. It is here that you do get to see more of Nate’s uncertainty, unsureness, of other areas of his life. He questions his ability to run his family’s company and questions his own decisions. This is where I felt the man doesn’t trust his own judgment and so is unable to see what he really wants.
For his part, Jasper knows what he wants. He wants Nate, and that being impossible, he wants out of the brothel. The purchase of a country house in Shere is the catalyst for change. I did wonder – who taught Jasper, a boy who grew up the impoverished son of a whore in St. Giles with broken windows and half-empty bottles of gin – to be able to blend into polite society. At Delacroix, he wasn’t required to be in the main room and show off social niceties.
Once Nate pulls his head from the ground and realizes what is what, the story increases in romance and sweetness. First of all, I adored Jasper trying to figure out his garden. So much of life is new to this man and it’s precious. He has earned the right to be content. Nate’s arrival in Shere heralds a new era, one where Nate and Jasper are on equal footing, no pound notes between them.
This may be my favorite Ava March book, mainly due to Jasper’s character. I found the historical elements to be realistic (Catherine’s excitement over her first supper party was also sweet). The sex between Jasper and Nate is a little kinky, a lot tender and a whole lot of hot. As always when reading something I loved, I wanted more.
Blurb: Leo Corbin shook the dust of Westfall off his shoes to pursue opportunities among the bright city lights. When his mother suddenly dies, Leo returns home to settle her estate. His grief at her passing quickly turns to shock at what she left behind and rekindles old questions about the identity of his father. Harrison Wade stuck by his father to help run the family farm. Life for a gay man in Westfall has limitations, but Harrison knows how to make the best of them. When Leo Corbin returns to town, Harrison’s quiet existence tilts. Leo is the guy who put an end to the high school bullying Harrison endured so many years ago. Harrison quickly discovers his old boyhood crush on Leo has matured into an adult attraction. As the mercury rises, Harrison and Leo’s friendly buddy arrangement heats up. When hot August comes to Westfall, they discover home is more than where a man hangs his hat. It’s where he gives his heart..
.Harrison slid off the bench to kneel in front of Leo. He ran his hands up the inside of Leo’s thighs to coax him to spread his knees. Harrison unzipped Leo’s pants and slipped his hand inside the fly to stroke Leo’s cock. Leo stretched and unbuttoned his trousers. He lifted his ass and pushed his pants and briefs down to his ankles. His heavy erection jutted straight at Harrison. He wished he could get a better look, but it was too dark. He fisted Leo’s shaft and slowly stroked.
About eight inches. Cut. Sufficient girth. Harrison judged Leo’s dick to be perfectly proportioned to his body, not that it mattered to him. A guy had what a guy had to work with and that was that. It probably made Leo happy about his endowment, though. Harrison smiled up at him.
“Nice cock. Not too big, not too small.”
Leo grinned. “I’ve found it to be just right. It gets the job done.”
“I’ll just bet it does.” Harrison pulled Leo in for another kiss.
Leo’s tongue licked over his as his hand covered Harrison’s and urged his fingers to a different position. Harrison surged upward as Leo pushed him down and back, but they both ended up on the ground with Leo on top. Leo flexed his pelvis against Harrison, which prompted him to end the kiss.
“Not in the dirt, Leo. I don’t think it’s right.”
“It’s fine, Harrison.” Leo claimed his mouth again. Harrison met him in the kiss, teasing and nibbling on Leo’s lips until Leo rolled off him. “You got a better idea?”
“Yeah, city boy, I do. Wait here.” Harrison got to his feet and shoved his hand down the front of his jeans to adjust his rigid dick to a more comfortable position. Leo snickered at him.
“Oh, let me fix that for you.”
“Three minutes and it’s all yours.” Harrison stepped over to his truck and flipped the seat forward. Damn, he hoped this thing still worked. He sensed Leo at his back.
“What the fuck is in the duffel, Harrison?”
“Air mattress.” Harrison tossed the mattress into the bed of the pickup, connected the fitting to the little pump, and plugged the pump into the cigarette lighter. “Press the button on the pump.”
A hum filled the air. Leo rubbed his ass cheek. “It’s working and I’m getting naked.”
Harrison thought that was a splendid idea. He walked around the pickup and opened the tailgate so he could give the air mattress a good yank to position it. Leo was busy draping his clothes over the side of the truck bed, so Harrison hurried to catch up. The pump cut off and he closed the valve and disconnected the pump. Leo was already flat on his back on the mattress staring at the stars. In the dim light, his dick looked dark against his paler abdomen.
Naked, Harrison hopped onto the tailgate and crawled up beside Leo. He rocked back on his knees and fondled his balls to ease the tightness.
“Now, where were we?”
Leo lifted his hand with his fingers curled and made a rapid stroking motion. “Hand job, I think. Simple stuff.”
Harrison had hoped for a blowjob, but trading hands was likely the better idea. And he could still get a quick taste of the man. He curled over Leo and licked his cock from tip to base. Leo moaned and said a breathy, “Yes,” but Harrison stretched out beside him.
He almost didn’t want to kiss Leo again and get zapped by the weird electricity that arced between them when their lips touched. What the hell was that, anyway? Pheromones? Harrison shivered.
He’d read about those and they could trick a man. He wasn’t about to fall prey to them. They were both going to get their rocks off and move on. Leo would be gone in a few days. End of story. Harrison rolled to face Leo and kissed the top of the man’s shoulder. Leo shifted onto his side and wrapped his fingers around Harrison’s hard-on.
Harrison slipped his thigh between Leo’s as Leo rested his knee on Harrison’s hip. He pressed his palm to Leo’s belly and caressed his way down to Leo’s firm sac. In response, Leo leaned in and kissed him.
Harrison forgot to breathe for a moment. They inched closer, chest-to-chest, leaving just enough room to maintain a good rhythm on each other. What they did to each other was simple and familiar, but more exciting being done by another hand…
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: KC Kendricks
KC Kendricks calls western Maryland home. Living in a rural region, KC enjoys most outdoor activities that do not require snow. In warm weather KC can be found walking the dog, biking on the C&O Canal towpath, planting garden delicacies for the deer, playing in the creek with the youngest generation of her cousins, or lazing on the patio with an e-reader or laptop.
An administrative assistant by day, and a multi-published and award-winning author by night, Kendricks is a 2008 Amber Heat Wave Winner and has had her work nominated for a CAPA from The Romance Studio, received an honorable mention award in the Elisa Rolle LGBT Rainbow Award, and nominated twice for Best GLBT Story at Love Romance Café. KC’s erotic gay romances, both contemporary and paranormal, are a mix of heat and humor that celebrate love and hope for mature readers.
Leave a comment by 3/07/15 at 11:59 PM for a random chance to win a copy!
Directly after finding the stolen shifters and discovering there might be another man with emerald eyes, Jay and Kyle come home, and the pack gears up to go to war against the hunters to take back what they stole.
Jay knows he can’t afford to be the weak link and steps up to protect his family, and avoid attacking a particularly antagonistic ball of pink wool. His mating seems to have hit a bump in the road as Kyle struggles to find a way to help his family through something that could tear them all apart.
Jay knows Kyle loves him, but they are all suffering while they pray for a miracle. Jay tries to enlist the help of a friend but finds out the hard way that there are people out there that will do anything for the power that runs through his veins.
CONTENT ADVISORY: As part of a series, this title contains a “to be continued” ending.
This is third installment in this series. For the love of god, Ms Welsh, where is fourth installment?
She truly has a talent in leaving you wanting more at the end of each story with acrucial cliffhanger at the end of each story. While slowly creating, developing, and weaving a story that is impossible to put down, she combines a layering of character development to compliment the action.
Kyle and Jay’s relationship as developed throughout the series has created the question of who is the protector and who is the protectee in this blooming romance. Jay willingness risks his life to protect Kyle and his new family will once again pull his life in jeopardy.
The story combines romance, suspense and betrayal with their pack and leaves Jay’s life hanging in the balance. Kyle must fight to save his fated mate.
I am anxiously awaiting the next installment of this story.