NEW RELEASE: BEAUTIFUL THUNDER BY LOUISE LYONS!

Blurb:

Can romance and rock ‘n’ roll dreams survive with a storm raging around them?

Alex Randall has always wanted to be a rock singer. When he answers an ad from a local band, his dream finally comes true. He loves the stage, and the group’s fans love him. Things couldn’t be better, except for the attraction he develops for the band’s guitarist, Lindsey. Alex is surprised and initially worried, since he only had one brief flirtation with a boy in his teens. But even though he and Lindsey become close and start seeing each other, Alex fears commitment, and Lindsey worries that Alex might only be experimenting.

When Lindsey’s ex contacts him following a health scare, fear and anger drives a wedge between Alex and Lindsey, which causes rifts within the band. Alex and Lindsey’s relationship is still new and fragile, and with Alex unwittingly blaming Lindsey for their problems, it becomes a true challenge for them to weather the storm.

Available now from DreamspinnerARe, Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk

COMING SOON: FRANKIE & FRIENDS (PAPERBACK) BY SUE BROWN

Blurb:

Frankie’s Series Collection

Frankie and Al

Dumped by his boyfriend, Frankie Mason gets totally trashed and ends his night by falling in front of a taxi. He’s rescued by a man with beautiful green eyes who takes care of him until he’s put into an ambulance, but Frankie fails to get the man’s number. A few days later, he’s dragged out to a club only to be saved by Green Eyes again. This time, he isn’t letting the man go.

Ed and Marchant

Ed is miserable in life and at work, until he meets Marchant Belarus. Marchant, the owner of a BDSM club, realizes Ed is a closeted sub. Marchant tries to draw Ed out of his shell, but nothing helps until he discovers Ed’s secret love of dancing—a forbidden passion that might be the key to unlocking the confident, secure man Ed could be.

Anthony and Leo

Tony is unhappy at not having found a Dom of his own. He thinks he’s too big, too old, and too hairy—until he meets funny, toppy Leo, who also sells sex toys. When tragedy strikes and Leo offers his support, Tony believes Leo is the Dom he’s been looking for… until he catches him kissing another man.

Excerpt:

Prologue

FRANKIE MASON got dumped two days into a holiday with his friends. He stared at the text his boyfriend had sent him, trying to make sense of the words.

We’re over. Don’t come back. Your gear is at your mums.

Jonno flopped down beside him on the sunbed and stretched out luxuriously. “Hey, party pooper, why aren’t you dancing?”

Frankie stared at the guys dancing on the makeshift dance floor on the beach and then back at the phone. The words hadn’t changed. “Chaz dumped me.”

“What the fuck?” Jonno frowned and snatched the phone out of Frankie’s hand. He squinted at the screen. “Bitch! What are you going to do?”

“What can I do?” Frankie swallowed against the sudden lump in his throat. “It’s his house. I was just his boyfriend. I didn’t even pay rent.”

“Key his car,” Jonno said promptly. “You always said he loved that more than you. Or cut up his clothes. Or post pictures of his wiener on Tumblr.”

“I’m going to regret ever showing you those photos.”

“The bloke’s built like a chipolata. How could you not show the world?” Jonno rubbed Frankie’s back soothingly. “Fuck, babe, where’re you gonna stay?”

“Not with my mum, that’s for sure. We’d kill each other within a day.” Frankie laid his head on Jonno’s shoulder. “Can I stay with you?”

Jonno hesitated. “You know I’d have you like a shot, but Will….”

“Doesn’t like me.”

“It’s not that he doesn’t like you.” Jonno was crap at lying. “He was just….”

“Forget it. I’ll stay at a hotel.” Frankie sat up, scrubbing at his eyes. What he wanted to do, what he was going to do in the next ten minutes, was step into a shower and bawl his eyes out. He’d not seen this coming. He loved Chaz and he’d thought Chaz loved him. Why the fuck had his boyfriend dumped him? The bastard owed him an explanation.

He texted Chaz and then wished he hadn’t when the answer flashed up ten seconds later.

Found a younger model.

“Fuck it. I may be nearly thirty but I’m not too old to have some fun.” Frankie got to his feet and pulled Jonno up with him. “Come and dance.”

Jonno kissed him on the mouth, smearing cherry lip gloss across Frankie’s lips. “That’s more like it.” He slapped Frankie on the arse and ran onto the dance floor, dragging his friend behind him.

Frankie plastered a fake smile on his face and ripped off his T-shirt. He had a body worth showing off, and now he was young, free, and single. Well, one of those three. He wasn’t free to anyone.

He danced until his feet hurt more than his heart, grinding against Jonno, dancing with anyone who approached, but he ignored all the offers and the cards stuffed into his pockets. Tomorrow maybe he’d look at the meat, but today the twink who was too old closed his eyes and let the music take him.

AFTER JONNO dragged him to the bar and made him down shot after shot, Frankie’s pain dulled and his world was woozy. He stumbled along the corridor of the hotel, squinting as he tried to focus on the room numbers. He wasn’t even convinced he was on the right floor. Jonno, the bitch, had deserted him to go to another club. He’d tried to persuade Frankie to go, but Frankie knew his limits.

“Room 245, room 254,” Frankie muttered.

“Which one is it?”

Frankie tried to focus on the man standing next to him. It wasn’t easy. The man kept swaying. “Stand still,” he ordered.

“Christ, you really are drunk, aren’t you? I am standing still. You’re the one doing the swaying.”

Frankie shook his head and then wished he hadn’t. “Gonna hurl.” He heard the man groan.

“Why is it always me? Hold on for two minutes. Give me your keycard.”

After that, Frankie’s whole focus became not humiliating himself in front of a complete stranger. By some miracle, the first door the stranger tried was the right one, although Frankie still wasn’t sure of the number. He was pushed into the bathroom, and what followed was the worst fifteen minutes of his life—since the last time.

To his surprise, once he’d got his stomach under control, he realized that the man hadn’t left. He sat on the floor next to Frankie, his hand on Frankie’s back.

When the retching ceased enough for Frankie sit back, the man offered him a drink of water. “Sip it slowly,” he warned.

Frankie used it to clear his mouth and then sipped it, feeling his stomach rebel at even the small amount of liquid.

“Feeling better?”

“Much.” Frankie wiped his mouth. He squinted at his savior. “Thanks.”

“I suppose there’s no point me saying you shouldn’t binge-drink.”

Frankie groaned. “You’re not a teetotaler, are you?”

“Would it be an issue if I was?”

“It is if you’re going to give me a lecture.” Frankie was so not in a mood for a fucking lecture.

“Bad day?” The man sounded more sympathetic at least.

“Yeah.” The worst fucking kind of day.

“Have you finished puking?”

“I think so.” Frankie would reserve judgment until he stood up.

“Come on. You don’t want to spend the night here.” The man helped Frankie to his feet and led him into the bedroom. “Lie down on the bed.” He pushed Frankie onto the bed and removed his shoes. “Here, I’ll leave the bin next to you in case you feel sick again. And more water.”

Frankie curled into a ball and wished he could die. “Thank you,” he whispered.

“You’re welcome.” Frankie felt a ghost of a caress over his hair. “Go to sleep.”

Obediently Frankie closed his eyes, wishing he could ask the stranger to stay and hold his hand.

But you don’t ask strangers to hold your hand while you fall asleep, and as he heard the door close behind his Good Samaritan, Frankie let the tears fall.

Available for pre-order at Dreamspinner

NEW RELEASE: OVERLY DRAMATIC BY REBECCA COHEN

Blurb:

A Treading the Boards Novella

Andy Marshall moves to London looking for a fresh start after breaking up with his long-term boyfriend. To stave off boredom from his day job as an accountant and to meet new people, Andy joins a local amateur dramatics society called the Sarky Players based in Greenwich, South London. Despite his best efforts to avoid it, Andy is cast as one of the leads in a truly dreadful play called Whoops, Vicar, There Goes My Trousers, written by a local playwright.

The play might be bad, but the Sarky Players are a friendly bunch. Andy quickly makes new friends and finds himself attracted to Phil Cormack, a local artist helping with the props. But life doesn’t run to a script, so Andy and Phil will have to work hard to improvise their own happy ending.

Excerpt:

Chapter One

A FEW more boxes and Andy would be finished. The remnants of a failed relationship and four years of love, tears, and anger down the drain and packed away into cardboard. He didn’t know if it was a good thing that he’d been able to shift his whole life one hundred and twenty miles in the back of his VW Golf, or if he should have fought harder to keep hold of more of their shared possessions. Too late for that type of thinking; he’d made his choice, and he was back in London—at least his mum would be happy. He shoved the keys into the pocket of his jeans, balanced the box on his hip, and looked up at his new block of flats. Not bad: new home, new job, new start.

Having committed the PIN code for the block’s outer door to memory, Andy let himself in and took the lift to the fourth floor, deciding not to think of the problems it might cause if it were ever out of order. He’d already worked harder today than during his usual visit to the gym, and the thought of lugging all his stuff up four floors without a lift made him thirst for a cold beer or—even better—a nice cup of tea. Dear God, had he really thought of tea over beer? Maybe Charlie was right about his head being twenty years older than his body. He was only thirty-bloody-four, but his back felt like it belonged to a sixty-year-old with an aversion to exercise.

“Do you need a hand?”

Andy turned to see a man who should be gracing the cover of Men’s Health leaving the flat across from his. Blond hair, blue eyes, and filling his Armani jeans like he was born to wear them, the stranger graced him with a blinding smile. If Andy had known the neighbors were this attractive, he wouldn’t have haggled so much over the rent.

“Well, er, if you’ve a few minutes.” As he tripped over the words, he wondered if he could sound any more idiotic. “I need to do a few more trips to my car.”

“More than happy to help. The name’s Rob, by the way.”

“I’ll just drop this in my flat,” Andy said, indicating the box. “And I’m Andy.”

Andy opened the front door, dropped the box in the hall, and glanced at the chaos of his life that needed to be sorted. He quickly shut the door again. “Thanks for helping. My car’s just downstairs.”

“No worries. I know the pain of moving. We’re just doing the final big clean before we give the keys back.”

Any hope of coming to Rob’s aid in a future “locked out just wearing a towel” scenario vanished, and Andy tried to tell himself that beautiful men who liked to help out their neighbors weren’t on his agenda right now. He was happy being single, no matter how lickable someone’s biceps might be.

“Oh, now there’s a pity. I thought I’d found a friendly face.” They entered the lift together.

“My boyfriend’s got a job in New York, and, well, you don’t turn down that sort of offer, do you?”

Andy consoled himself with the knowledge that at least his gaydar was working and the prospect of the wonderful view of watching Rob lift the boxes out of his car as they made two trips to bring up the rest of Andy’s possessions.

“Fancy a cup of tea as a thank-you?” Andy asked, setting the final box down in his hallway.

“Sorry. I need to get the keys back to the agent before they close.”

Andy waved Rob off with a wistful sigh because he’d never see that beautifully pert arse grace the hallway on a daily basis.

He retreated to his new flat, which wasn’t even half the size of the one he’d shared with Charlie. Although he might have dramatically culled his possessions, the London property market had reduced his living space as well. He hoped his expert Tetris skills would finally come in handy when it came to sorting through what was left of his “ordered mountain of clutter,” as Charlie had referred to it.

He hopped over a box containing books and CDs and picked up the one marked Essential Items, which he plonked down on the countertop of the kitchen. Out came the kettle, teabags, and his favorite mug, and a few minutes later, he sat in the small remaining space on the sofa, sipping at a cup of Earl Grey with a notebook open on his lap. His to-do list spanned several pages.

Andy chewed the end of his pen, trying to figure out which of his many three-star priorities he should tackle first. The new filing system would need to be high on the list, but so would the color-coding of cupboards and getting the tracker set up for the contents of the fridge and freezer. This was something else Charlie had hated—Andy’s lists. As if Andy’s perpetual planning were an affront to his own “throw a bag in the car and drive” mentality. Andy snapped shut the notebook, annoyed with himself for letting his mind wander. He had too much to do to waste time thinking about a selfish prick who’d valued casual sex over their relationship.

Draining the last dregs of his mug, he stood up with purpose. First things first: get the bed made and his suit sorted for Monday.

“Positive thoughts,” he muttered to himself and headed to the flat’s master—and only—bedroom.

With the duvet defeated, a new bedcover in place, and pillows plumped, Andy lay back on the bed and stared up at the ceiling. A crack ran out from the light fitting and a tangle of spiders’ webs would have to go before he went to sleep, but despite his initial misgivings, he knew he’d made the right decision. It had been a while since he’d lived on his own, and it would take some getting used to, but he was already relishing sorting out the kitchen cupboards and ordering the plates by size.

Finally he could have the home he wanted, a home fit for his purpose and not for a fat-headed, duvet-stealing bastard who wouldn’t know a good thing if it danced naked in front of him.

THE HEADQUARTERS of Bennet and Mulrose, international accountants, were housed in an impressive building Andy had visited a number of times, but it didn’t stop his first-day nerves from rolling around his stomach as he crossed the road to the converted church on Curzon Street. At least he didn’t get lost, unlike the embarrassing first time he’d visited, when he hadn’t expected the building to be an old church and had walked straight past it. The columns and archway frontage still belonged to an in-use church, but beyond the steps, hidden from the road, was a courtyard with two fountains and flower beds lined with slate pieces. Suddenly the noise of the city was gone, swallowed by the high sides of the building. It made him believe he could forget he was in the center of one of the world’s busiest cities.

The efficient receptionist soon had him shuttled off to HR, and before he knew it, he had his new ID badge, had survived the tedious Health and Safety videos, and, with a clutch of HR forms to complete, had been delivered to the open plan space that would be his new office.

“You must be Andy,” said a blonde-haired woman as he stepped out of the lift. “I’m Cathy, one of the admins. Let me give a quick tour while the boss is in a meeting. Richard won’t be long, but he’s had to take an important call.”

He received a number of curious looks from the occupants of the desks he passed. Some had to belong to people he would be managing, who were trying to get the first glimpse of their new boss.

The toilets, break room, and stationery cupboard were first on Cathy’s list. She was a whirlwind, and a terribly efficient one at that, preempting his questions and covering everything she deemed important. She led him to a desk that was part of a cluster of four. The other three desks were unmanned at the moment, but the array of personal items indicated their owners were somewhere around. Andy smiled at the crayon drawing on the desk next to his, reminding him of the painting his six-year-old niece had done for him that would need to go back on the fridge as soon as he unearthed it.

A laptop was cradled, ready for him, alongside a keyboard and large monitor. It didn’t take long for him to get set up and running once Cathy pointed him in the right direction of the servers and file paths. Andy sank back in the familiarity of the company’s computer system and was amazed that IT had managed to transfer his e-mail account without irrevocably losing half the contents of his inbox.

A loud bang, followed swiftly by someone swearing, made him look up and peer over his monitor. He saw a flustered woman in her early thirties, with her long curly hair flying in all directions as she raced across the office. She had a shopping bag dangling from one wrist, a rucksack slung over the opposite arm, and a laptop clutched to her chest. In her mouth was an apple, and spilled coffee stained her once white shirt and pale blue raincoat. She stopped at the desk next to his, dumped her bags, and spat out her apple, which she only just managed to stop rolling over the edge.

“What a shit morning!”

Andy smiled weakly at her, standing up and about to ask if he could help. It looked as if she’d only that minute realized he was there.

“Oh, sorry. Early-morning meeting with a client at their office, the other side of the river.”

She struggled out of her raincoat, tutting at the coffee stain. “What a mess. I swear I’m single-handedly putting my dry cleaner’s children through university.” She draped the coat over her chair. “You must think I’m a right one. The name’s Naomi Jameson.”

Andy shook her hand. He recognized her name from the organizational chart Richard had shown him and remembered that Naomi was one of the other team leaders.

“Andy,” he said. “And no worries. I’ve had plenty of ropey starts to a week.”

“You want to get a coffee? It’s pretty decent from the machine in the break room, and as you can see, I didn’t get to drink mine.”

He let her lead him, and once in the break room, she poured two mugs of coffee and leaned against a high table in the center of the room, which was the perfect height to stand and rest his mug on.

Naomi sipped her coffee. “I heard you were at the Bristol branch before. What made you jack in the South West for the capital?”

“I’m from South London originally. I fancied moving back so I could see more of my family. Richard said he had an open position, and here I am.”

“Most folks want to escape to the country, not from it.” She blew on her coffee.

“Bristol’s hardly countryside. And I had a rather nasty breakup—you know how it goes.”

“Oh boy, do I! Still, her loss, eh?”

“His, actually.” He braced himself for the reaction. Andy had debated hiding his sexuality at work when he made his decision to move, but he hadn’t hidden it since school, and he was damned if he was going to do it now.

“His loss.” Naomi corrected herself without missing a beat, and Andy let his defenses drop. “So now you’re footloose and fancy-free. London’s your oyster.”

“I’m happy enough on my own for now. I daresay the gay men of Greenwich will be breathing a collective sigh of relief.”

“Greenwich?”

“Yeah?”

“Well, how’s that for a coincidence. Desk neighbor and home neighbor. That’s my neck of the woods.”

“Really? Brilliant.” Naomi seemed nice and accepting, and Andy was happy to have found a friendly face.

“If you want, you’re more than welcome to join me and my hubby for Friday night drinks.”

Andy beamed. Although he had never been a social butterfly, he would admit he had been worried that until he could build up a network of friends, he would be spending his weekends and evenings alone. “I’d love to.”

“I’m afraid this week the luvvy lot will be there.” Naomi wrinkled her nose.

Luvvy lot?” Andy wondered what it was about Naomi’s friends that could make her pull such a face.

“My hubby’s am-dram group,” she said with a roll of her eyes.

“Amateur dramatics? Surely they can’t be that bad. I did a spot of it myself at university.”

“They’re okay, if you have enough to drink. They’re just a bit… one-track minded when it comes to conversation.”

“Compared to some of my ex’s friends, I’m sure they’ll be scintillating company.”

Naomi laughed. “Better get back to the grindstone. It’ll take you the rest of the day to fill out the HR paperwork.”

“I had hoped I’d avoid most of it,” he admitted, following her lead and rinsing out his mug and putting it in the dishwasher. “I mean, I’ve worked for the company for years.”

“You poor, deluded fool. If anything, you’ll probably have more.”

Andy settled back at his desk. Cathy appeared half an hour later to give him another whirlwind tour, this time of his colleagues. By the end of it, he doubted he would remember any names apart from the ones on his team, which he’d made a special effort to commit to memory. He imagined he’d be trying to surreptitiously read ID badges in the weeks to come.

The morning, what was left of it, was filled with reading the local policies and completing the forms HR had given him. Naomi stood up and called over her desk, “Want to come with us to lunch? The canteen’s not up to much, but Tim and Sharon are on their way to a Chinese place that does pretty decent dim sum.”

“Tim and Sharon?”

“Our deskmates, the other two team leaders. They’ve been on an influencing skills course this morning.”

“Sounds great. Lunch, not the course. I hate those things.”

“I think if you enjoy them, you need a different kind of help than those courses are offering.”

Andy laughed and followed her out of the office.

Available from DreamspinnerAReAmazon.com and Amazon.co.uk

NEW RELEASE: BETWEEN THE LINES BY BJ SHEPPARD

Blurb:

In a back alley in Boston, Thomas Haskell’s bookstore is under threat of closing its doors for good.  In a last ditch effort to save it, he starts a book group, inviting people to join him in appreciation of the finest in LGBT literature.  What started out as a way to save his ailing sales, turns out to be the thing that saves him from a troubled past, and with the doors to his store flung open, so are the doors to his heart.

Available from Wilde City, Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk

EARLY DOWNLOAD: TRUST BY SARAH MASTERS

Blurb: 

Sometimes, trusting your instincts leads to happiness and love.

After coming out, life took a turn for the worse. I knew people would view me differently, of course I did, but… See, here’s the thing. How does a person cope when a few of their work colleagues play such a cruel trick that it leaves them wondering if they’ll ever trust anyone again? It happened to me, and trusting isn’t something I do easily now.

Until James came along. He’s a work colleague too, but my issue is, I keep thinking he’s playing another trick. You know, reeling me in, making me think he’s a good bloke.

He’s asked me to go out with him, and, although I should maybe get to know him a bit better first, I’ve said I’ll go. I need to get back out there, live a little. And if I get hurt? Well, I’ll just have to deal with it. Again.

But maybe he won’t hurt me. Break my heart and all that. Please God.

General Release Date: 8th September 2015

Available for early download from Pride Publishing

 

New Release: Forever in the Sun by RJ Scott and Meredith Russell

Sapphire Cay 6 Forever In The Sun

Forever in the Sun (Sapphire Cay #6) by RJ Scott and Meredith Russell

Thank you for letting us invade your blog! As we were out of ideas we asked for questions and boy, did we get them… where RJ and Meredith go to war over cream teas.

Ann-Marie O’Callaghan What is your favourite cake?

RJ: I love simple sponge cake with fresh cream, or a victoria sponge with buttercream. Really, I’m all about the cream (said the actress to the bishop). I’m also partial to a nice battenburg which is marzipan wrapped about these cute oblong sponges… oh and at Easter Cadburys make these easter cakes with little chocolate eggs on them… *to die for…

M: Cake? Eesh. I have to say I’m not a huge cake eater. Not like cake-cake anyway. I generally prefer things like Brownies, Caramel Shortcakes and Scones, which rhymes with thrones 😛 and you have to put the jam on first. I don’t know if RJ agrees with me on that one or not. But cake-cake I love Christmas cake, so fruit cake when it’s all moist and full of alcohol, and I like the ends/sides of Birthday cake because I love marzipan and icing 🙂

RJ: Scones, for definite you have to put the jam on first. You need a solid base for the cream. I think the English could generate a civil war over what goes on first.

M: Do you put butter on as well? Butter, then jam, then cream 🙂

RJ: BUTTER! WTF… no… no butter with cream *horrified expression*

M: Mmmmm *happy face*

RJ: I might have to disown you now

M: Rude.

Jen Walter What don’t you ever want to write about together or separately?

RJ: I won’t write a historical, I think I am safe to say Meredith doesn’t either. Historical is a terrible pit of getting things wrong – which I would inevitably do. Meredith loves Sci Fi and fantasy and zombies and my work crosses hers with the action adventure side. Our ideas often mesh. Our next series is based around Cops, all hard and gritty and sexy…

M: What don’t I want to write? Oh. Yeah historical would be a thing I’d avoid really. I love period dramas on TV but to write one and getting the clothes and vocab and things like that right I think I’d get myself into a right mess.

RJ: So we agree on something then. No breeches ripping…

M: No, I’ll leave all that to those with the real oomph to research all that. Other things I don’t think I’ll ever write is cowboys. So I won’t be putting forward the idea of co-authoring a Texas: The Next Generation series with her lol. Again I do like Westerns, or used to, haven’t watched anything but the True Grit remake in a long time, but I don’t know, it’s not something I would go to when thinking of ideas, and certainly not cowboys in the past. My mind is full of fantasy stuff and action and horror. I am thinking of writing a book that has horses in, but it’s set in the UK and the present. Anything else I wouldn’t write? Hmm. BDSM/Erotica.

RJ: Oh yes, I forgot BDSM, I couldn’t do it justice and I stay away from it. About the closest to BDSM i have is Riley and Jack and the barn and their rope… and that is quite tame in a hot way 🙂

M: Ah the boys and their barn. I could probably handle a bit of hands tied to bed posts or running an ice cube over a guy’s chest, but anything beyond that I’m with RJ about not doing it justice, and would never want to disrespect anyone who is part of all that. Though saying that, I did write a short fanfiction once after seeing a picture of a ball gag that had a dildo attachment #truestory

RJ: I don’t remember that story. You need to send it to me…

M: *goes all embarrassed* Maybe later.

Release date: 14th August 2015

Buylinks: http://rjscottauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/forever-in-sun-sapphire-cay-6-final.html

Book 1 – Follow The Sun
Book 2 – 
Under The Sun
Book 3 – 
Chase The Sun
Book 4 – 
Christmas In The Sun
Book 5 – 
Capture The Sun
Book 6 –
Forever In The Sun 

Blurb:
Feuding families, unearthed secrets, and a violent storm threatens the Cay. Will the idyllic island with her cast of characters make it through unscathed? It’s time for the circle to close on the story of Sapphire Cay, and on the men who have lived and found love on her beaches.

Join characters old and new as we celebrate Dylan and Lucas’s wedding and delve into the history of Sapphire Cay.

Connor and Shaun are directly related to Peter and Alfie, a couple whose clandestine lover affair was overshadowed by old prejudices and a world war. Shaun Jamieson is a writer, a romantic and needs to pen the story of the affair’s final secrets; Connor French’s family wants to stop Shaun.

When the two men step onto the sands of Sapphire Cay, they find more than just the secrets of an old love. They find hope and comfort in each other. But with the past hanging over them, can they ever have what Peter and Alfie could not? Or are they just as ill-fated as their ancestors?

Excerpt:

The offices of the French Foundation, New York, June

 

“Your two o’clock is here, Mr. French.” Miriam’s voice floated in over the intercom. The abruptness of it startled Connor from his cost-benefits analysis and he knocked his coffee down, sloshing it onto the paperwork.

 

“God dammit,” he muttered under his breath. He couldn’t get the figures to balance and trying to find a missing ten-dollar transaction in among a million dollar bank account was screwing with his head. Where had three hours gone? He glanced sideways at his lunch. Or what was left of it. He was surprised he’d managed to actually eat at all because he certainly didn’t remember the food arriving or him even picking up the ham on rye. He had to get these reports done before the accounts department could sign off on them.

 

He pressed the button. “Give me two,” he said. Quickly he scooped the plate, with the remaining food, into his top drawer and straightened enough paperwork to look efficient. He didn’t recall the details of this two o’clock, just that it was someone with issues about the Foundation. Connor was used to answering all kind of questions, from students, politicians, kids to teachers and there was no one at this Foundation who knew what type of work they undertook as well as him. Apart from Miriam, who had been a PA at the Foundation longer than Connor had been alive. She knew where all the bodies were buried and Connor would be lost without her.

A knock on the door heralded the visitor’s arrival and Connor stood, brushing his shirt of crumbs as he called, “Come in.”

 

The door opened and Connor had to stop his mouth falling open. Gorgeous. Very nice. Tall, slim, dark hair, with added sexy smile and confidence in the way he walked in. Connor checked him out, couldn’t help it, he hadn’t seen anything this fine in a very long time. I need to get out more. From head to toe, his gaze finally focused back on the man’s face and embarrassment washed over him when the guy was looking at him with one eyebrow raised in question. So much for subtle. Well, at least he isn’t punching me to the floor.

 

About RJ

 

RJ Scott has been writing since age six, when she was made to stay in at lunchtime for an infraction involving cookies. She was told to write a story and two sides of paper about a trapped princess later, a lover of writing was born.

 

As an avid reader herself, she can be found reading anything from thrillers to sci-fi to horror. However, her first real true love will always be the world of romance where she takes cowboys, bodyguards, firemen and billionaires (to name a few) and writes dramatic and romantic stories of love and passion between these men.

 

With over seventy titles to her name and counting, she is the author of the award winning book, The Christmas Throwaway. She is also known for the Texas series charting the lives of Riley and Jack, and the Sanctuary series following the work of the Sanctuary Foundation and the people it protects.

 

Her goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

 

rj@rjscott.co.uk

www.rjscott.co.uk/

https://twitter.com/Rjscott_author

www.facebook.com/author.rjscott

www.librarything.com/author/scottrj

www.tumblr.com/blog/rjscott  (some NSFW (not safe for work) photos)

www.pinterest.com/rjscottauthor/

 

About Meredith

Meredith Russell lives in the heart of England. An avid fan of many story genres, she enjoys nothing less than a happy ending. She believes in heroes and romance and strives to reflect this in her writing. Sharing her imagination and passion for stories and characters is a dream Meredith is excited to turn into reality.

 

Website/blog:  http://www.meredithrussell.co.uk

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/meredithrussellauthor

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/MeredithRAuthor

Instagram: http://instagram.com/miss_meredith_r

Email:  meredithrussell666@gmail.com ​

 

Giveaway: Competition to win $15 Amazon/Are giftcard, and 2 further prizes of RJ Scott e-books – closes 28th August at 00:01 GMT (London)

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Kim Dare: Duck

One of the first M/M Romance books I read (and still one of my favourites) has been re-released by Kim DareDuck is out now.

Duck200

 

E-book Buy Links: AmazonAll Romance Ebooks:   Barnes & Noble
Print Buy Links: Create Space
Blurb:
Raised among humans, Ori Jones only discovered he was an avian shifter six months ago. Unable to complete a full shift until he reaches his avian maturity, he still can’t be sure of his exact species.
But with species comes rank, and rank is everything to the avians. When a partial shift allows the elders to announce that they believe Ori to be a rather ugly little duckling, he drops straight to the bottom rung of their hierarchy.
Life isn’t easy for Ori until he comes to the attention of a high ranking hawk shifter. Then the only question is, is Ori really a duck—and what will his new master think when the truth eventually comes out?
Excerpt:
Chapter One
“Duck!”
Instinct took over. Ori dropped to his knees, taking cover behind the waist-high partition that separated the dining area from the adjacent corridor. A plate smashed against the wall to his right—just where his head would have been, if his reactions hadn’t been so quick.
Ori’s grip on his tray of dirty plates faltered as he hunched over them in an effort to stay low and out of range. They slid forward. Scrabbling at the china, he desperately tried to catch more than a dozen fragile pieces of crockery at the same time.
Two hands were never going to be enough. The dishes and glasses spilled leftover food and wine across the floor as they tumbled out of his grasp. Ori made one last attempt to catch a wine glass. Success! His fingers wrapped tightly around the delicate stem as the rest of the plates and silverware plummeted toward the dark oak floorboards.
As the clatter peaked, then faded away, Ori’s attention flickered from one piece of expensive china to another, from one lead crystal glass to the next. Each item stared back at him, miraculously unscathed.
“What the hell…?” Highly polished black shoes stopped at the edge of the debris.
“I’m sorry, sir. I’ll clean it up immediately,” Ori rushed out, scrambling to pick up the mess of scattered crockery and utensils, and move them out of the man’s way.
Clearing one side of the hallway first, Ori quickly made a path through the wreckage for the higher-ranking man. As soon as he was sure the man could walk by without soiling his shoes, Ori paused and politely waited for the man to pass.
The shoes didn’t move.
Ori sprung back into action, working even more frantically, as he realised the man had no intention of taking another step until every scrap vanished from his sight.
Ori didn’t waste precious time peering up at the stranger who loomed over him. It didn’t matter who he was. He outranked Ori by default, and every second that passed probably added another lash to the whipping Ori’s clumsiness must have already earned him.
Damn it, just a few more steps and he’d have reached the safety of the full height section of wall that still kept the stranger out of sight of the dining room. He’d have been out of range then—at least until he had to venture back into the dining room to clear another table. Ori pressed his lips together and kept his curses to himself. It was too late to wish he’d walked quicker now.
Placing the last shard of the plate that had smashed against the wall on the tray next to the surviving dishes, Ori set it to one side of the corridor and knelt neatly behind it, waiting for the other shifter to finally step past him. The shoes remained exactly where they were. Uncertain what else was required, Ori risked a glance up as far as the man’s knees.
A hand appeared alongside the neatly tailored trousers. Ori’s eyes went to the tattoo on the inside of the man’s wrist.
Hawk.
Ori knew he still had a lot to learn about the marks that distinguished each species of avian from the others, but the harsh black lines that decorated the stranger’s skin were impossible to mistake.
Hawk.
Ori’s stomach turned over as he imagined what angering such a high-ranking man could mean for him.
The stranger’s hand stayed exactly where it was until Ori reached up and offered his own wrist up in return. His fingers were still smeared with the food he’d cleaned from the floor. His unmarked wrist looked even barer when held next to the one that properly signalled a man’s species.
Ori looked farther up and into a pair of startling amber eyes.
“There’s a reason you’re not marked?”
“They’re waiting until they’re sure what I am, sir,” Ori blurted out.
“Have you completed a partial shift?”
“Yes, sir.”
The hawk looked at Ori’s wrist again. “What was the elder’s best guess?”
“A rather ugly little duckling, sir.”
It was an exact quote. It was also four words longer than his answer needed to be. Such things mattered when speaking to a man whose species endowed him with a rank as high as a hawk’s—Ori had learnt that the hard way. He dropped his gaze and waited for the worst.
“Is there a name you’re certain of?”
The question was so unexpected, it took Ori a moment to find an answer. “Ori Jones, sir.”
“Up on your feet, Ori.”
Picking up the tray, Ori rose to his full height without considering anything but the hawk’s order.
“Duck!”
Ori dropped heavily to the floor as laughter echoed out of the dining room. His tray spilled from his hands once more. The plates weren’t destined to survive two equally spectacular demonstrations of his clumsiness in such quick succession. Fragments of shattering chinaware skidded along the floorboards, colliding with the hawk’s shoes and Ori’s bare legs.
He looked up just in time to see the hawk step out from behind the wall and into view of the crowd of crows who’d been drinking in the dining room for most of the day.
“All of you—over here. Now!”
Ori started collecting up the fragments of smashed crockery, his hands shaking as he imagined the look that would flash in the chef’s eyes when he saw the mess Ori had made of the nest’s fine dining service.
Shadows fell across his skin as the crows crossed the room in response to the hawk’s command.
“Clean that up.”
Ori kept his head down, his eyes on his task. “Yes, sir.”
“Not you—them.”
Ori looked up. “Sir?”
“You heard me. On your feet.”
All Ori could do was stare up at him in horror. “I can—”
“You’ll do as you’re told. Stand up.”
Ori’s body obeyed without consulting his brain. Some sort of mental process clicked into operation when he was half way to his feet. “I could—”
The hawk didn’t appear impressed. He pointed to an area of clear floor, just beyond the fallout from the tray. “Take care that you step over the glass.”
Ori gave in. Keeping his gaze lowered, not daring to look toward the crows, he took up position where he’d been commanded.
“You expect us to—” one of the crows began.
“I expect you to do what you’re told, too,” the hawk snapped, as if a crow was no different from a duckling in his eyes.
Ori swallowed rapidly. Perhaps to a man with a hawk’s rank, the rungs at the bottom end of the social ladder were very close together. But Ori was well aware that the crows all knew the difference between their station in the nest and his own precarious and unofficial position.
The crows’ glares skittered over his skin as they stooped to collect the broken pieces of crockery and pile them on the tray. They didn’t have to say a word. Ori knew they all intended to remind him exactly how far above him they were as soon as the hawk stepped out of sight.
“And the rest,” the hawk commanded.
Ori looked up. The second plate that the crows had pitched at him hadn’t been empty. Food streaked across the wall in a vivid mess of browns and greens.
The hawk caught his eye.
“I’ll fetch—” Ori began.
“They can find whatever they need. Just tell them where.”
“There’s a storeroom behind the kitchens, sir.”
A nod from the hawk dismissed one of the crows in that direction.
Ori closed his eyes. His toes clenched against the floorboards as he fought against an almost overwhelming urge to run. He wasn’t even sure if he wanted to race away from the crows or from the hawk. The crows were going to give him hell, but the hawk was…
The moment Ori opened his eyes, his gaze went to the bird of prey. He was far larger than either him or the crows; tall and broad across the shoulders. His well-tailored shirt did nothing to hide the muscles beneath the fabric. The dark material only succeeded in making him look more dominant, more aristocratic.
It was only supposed to be a glance, but Ori found himself incapable of looking away. He’d seen a hawk at the nest a few months before, but he had been a much older man whose hair had faded to grey as his back had bent with age.
He’d never seen a hawk like this one. The man was glorious, all strength and certainty.