Published in 2020

Book Review: A Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dunmore

Reviewed by Ami

Title: A Rogue of One’s Own
Author: Evie Dunmore
Series: A League of Extraordinary Women #2
Hero/Heroine: Lucie & Tristan
Genre: M/F Historical
Length: 444 pages
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: September 1, 2020
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: A lady must have money and an army of her own if she is to win a revolution—but first, she must pit her wits against the wiles of an irresistible rogue bent on wrecking her plans…and her heart.

Lady Lucie is fuming. She and her band of Oxford suffragists have finally scraped together enough capital to control one of London’s major publishing houses, with one purpose: to use it in a coup against Parliament. But who could have predicted that the one person standing between her and success is her old nemesis and London’s undisputed lord of sin, Lord Ballentine? Or that he would be willing to hand over the reins for an outrageous price—a night in her bed.

Lucie tempts Tristan like no other woman, burning him up with her fierceness and determination every time they clash. But as their battle of wills and words fans the flames of long-smoldering devotion, the silver-tongued seducer runs the risk of becoming caught in his own snare.

As Lucie tries to out-maneuver Tristan in the boardroom and the bedchamber, she soon discovers there’s truth in what the poets say: all is fair in love and war…
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Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Ami's Reviews, Book Review, Guest Reviewer, M/F, Published in 2020 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Talos by A.G. Carothers: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

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by A.G. Carothers

Bayne sat on the surprisingly comfortable padded wooden bench in one of the holding rooms below the Colosseum. His two days in the Colosseum were nothing like he had been prepared for. The city wasn’t like he had been told either. He hadn’t seen much of the human slums when they were smuggled in by fellow THRUST members who lived in the city, so he couldn’t attest to the validity of how run down and filthy he was told they were.

The first sight of the Colosseum had taken his breath. It was larger than he had imagined and shone brightly against the modern buildings around it. Bayne had had to crane his neck back to take in the whole structure. Stone statues decorated arches in the upper levels. Bayne had touched an outside column unbelieving that such a structure could exist amongst the steel and glass world around it.

When he’d entered the Colosseum with the other humans who sought out a chance to be transformed into a monster, he expected to be thrown into a cell and wait until they threw them all in the pit for the vamps’ entertainment. Nothing like that happened. They had been screened one by one, and Bayne thought his mission would end there if they discovered what laid in wait in his blood, but they passed him through.

He was then measured and outfitted in leather and iron armor. It wasn’t scale armor or anything fancy like a Roman soldier would wear but he wasn’t half-naked either. He had been told the king—even thinking of him with that title filled Bayne with disgust—was very particular about the authenticity shown in his games. The armor was high quality. He didn’t want to think about the amount of money wasted in just armor and weapons for this place. The armor he wore wasn’t new, but it was in excellent shape. They only had to make some minor adjustments to fit it to his muscular body. Next, he’d chosen his weapons. He’d been trained in several kinds of melee weapons over the years just for this mission.

Bayne went with the classic gladius and round shield. If needed, he could pick up others on the field. After he’d been given his armor and weapons, they showed him to a barracks building next to the Colosseum. He had been surprised it wasn’t under it, but it seemed they didn’t want their prospective new vampires to be shunned from the sun just yet. Like all the buildings in the city he had seen so far, except the Colosseum, it had numerous large windows.

All the cities were built like this, the windows served two main purposes besides looking out of. The first was to protect against UV rays, which the bloodsuckers were vulnerable to, and the second more important reason was to collect energy. After The Fall, a mass infrastructure change took place and over a decade, cities were transformed, small towns were destroyed, and the bulk of humanity was forced to live like cattle awaiting slaughter. Or so he was taught.

What little Bayne had seen of the human slums didn’t look very destitute. So far, he had been treated with respect and, dare he even say—courtesy. He wasn’t pampered by any means, but he had imagined far worse. They had fed them more than one meal and the foods were unlike anything he’d ever had. He was careful not to eat too much of the rich unfamiliar foods. A few had gotten sick the night before from overindulging. Maybe it was the vamp’s way of giving them all a last meal since most would not survive the games.

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Nightway Chant by M.J. Calabrese: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Exclusive Excerpt from Nightway Chant

by M.J. Calabrese

“You are an enigma, Dr. Coulter. Oh, and you can drop the frightened abused spouse act. Like I said, I’ve done some research on you.”

Adam slowly raised his head as a grin formed on his face. Any signs of fear disappeared from Coulter’s eyes. “All right. It was getting a bit tiresome to keep up anyway. So why do you want to kill Eagle?”

“Oh, you know. Revenge. Hate. The usual crap.”

Adam shook his head and smiled, “Don’t bullshit me, Dean.” If he could’ve shrugged, he would’ve. “Tell me the truth. In the long run, you’re going to kill me anyway so who would I tell.” His smile broadened, “Remember the saying, the truth shall set you free.” Adam took a deep breath then stretching his right index finger out, he began to tap the chain holding that wrist. Slowly, rhythmically, he kept tapping. He lowered his voice. Making it deeper and softer. “Come on, Dean, consider me your father confessor. Look at me and tell me.”

Dean stared into Adam’s eyes for a moment before his gaze slipped on up to the one moving finger. He tilted his head. His brain unconsciously focusing on it. Adam’s monotone voice droned on, getting softer and softer. He began to answer Adam’s questions, casting caution to the wind.

“Eagle was my mentor. He was my lover. My protector, in the beginning.” Dean paused; eyes still fixed on that one point above his captive’s head. “Everything I did. I did for him. He understood me. He listened to me. He loved me… until Corporal Javier Duran came along. He was younger and prettier. I tried twice to kill him, but Eagle always got in the way. He protected him. That was when I knew he was going to leave me. He got the kid transferred out of our unit about a month after he got there. I tried to find him, but they made him disappear.”

“Who made him disappear?”

“Eagle and the Colonel. Duran’s the next one on my list. I killed all the others. Mims, Presnell, Torres, Mako, Kinzer, Rayne, Lee. All gone. Told them I would. Told them I would kill them and their families…, and I did.” Dean’s eyes drooped but weren’t quite closed. “Only Eagle, Duran, and the Colonel are left.” Dean’s voice softened as he began to drift off. He heard Adam’s calm voice but couldn’t make out what he was saying. His words trickled over him like a babbling brook. It was soothing and warm as he began to slip beneath the surface of Adam’s words until there was silence. He could feel himself breathing. He could still hear the barely-there tapping, ticking off the seconds. He could hear his captive’s whisper. 

Suddenly a sharp report tore him out of his calm. Pulling his gun from his waistband, he scanned the room, finger on the trigger as his heart rate raced. It took him a moment to realize where he was and who the man hanging in the middle of the room was. Slowly lowering his weapon, he turned back to Coulter with a grin. “Oh, you’re good, Doc. You almost had me, you sneaky bastard.” He raised his gun, pointing it at Adam’s head. “I should kill you for trying to hypnotize me. Too bad you got interrupted by that truck backfiring.”

Adam slyly grinned, “Oh, was that a backfire? How do you know I didn’t finish the job? How do you know I didn’t plant something in your arrogant, fucking brain, asshole? How do you know for sure?”

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Finding Our Love by Amy Tasukada: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

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by Amy Tasukada

August

“Come on Detective Pom-Pom,” Iroha cheered.

The animated poodle had five minutes to solve the case of the missing mittens or else little Mew-Mew would be blamed. The poodle walked around a few seconds blowing bubbles through his pipe while the other anthropomorphic characters eagerly waited. After a few moments of recycled bubble blowing artwork Detective Pom-Pom’s large blue eyes grew wide, and he declared he’d solved the case.

Iroha popped the last octopus shaped hotdog in his mouth.

At first, the water-colored style of the characters intrigued Iroha, but the more his art gallery fail the more the Detective Pom-Pom’s mysteries mattered. All of Pom-Pom’s problems could be solved in under a half-hour while the very real problem of Iroha’s growing debt would take months to turn around. If it ever turned around.

Iroha scrapped off a bit of green paint stuck to his long black hair as the credits rolled.

Maybe if his parents allowed him to watch Detective Pom-Pom as a kid instead of shoving colored pencils and blank paper in his face he’d figure out how to solve the mystery of the gallery with no traffic.

The annoying high-pitched theme song for the next show played signaling Iroha need to open the gallery, even if it really didn’t matter. The ribbon cutting had some fanfare, but after people realized his sister, nor any of her art wasn’t there everyone left.

He slumped down the stairs separating his home from the gallery. Then through the rentable studio space no one booked and to the gallery in the front. The lights illumined each piece’s best feature.

He examined each work standing close, standing away, glancing over his shoulder. Each one still knocked him in the heart. Each one from a talented artist who deserved to have their work shown. Each one deserved to have a red sticker on their placard marking the piece as sold.

Three of them withdrew their works since Iroha couldn’t sell them. Soon word would get to the others that he was the only one admiring their art. No one would come by asking to be in show and when Iroha called some leads they’d rejected the offer.

Iroha stepped to a blank patch on the wall. Maybe he should put one of his own paintings there to fill up the space, but leaving it empty would look like someone had bought one.

Who was he trying to fool? No one came into the gallery all week, and the only person who came in the week before asked if she could use the bathroom and left without saying thank you.

Iroha booted opened the office door and clicked through his emails hoping between spam messages someone replied to his offer.

He had to fight. He couldn’t go crawling back to his parents to be his sister’s lacky.

Hours past.

No one came.

And none of Iroha’s emails to other artist received a replied. The only action through the front door was the mail delivery.

Iroha threw the bills on his desk and ripped open the protective plastic of the latest issue of Nihon Art Today came. The thick magazine was filled with art criticism more than glossy pictures and every serious artist bought the bi-annually tome. Even the smallest article people talked about for months.

A sculpture of a girl flying a kite glossed the over. He skimmed the headlines then stopped.

Ichigo Osumi’s Brother Opens Gallery

Iroha groaned low like a rumble of thunder. Always her bother. He almost couldn’t blame them since anything with her name on it sold. He didn’t remember being asked for an interview though.

He flipped to the two-page spread. He hadn’t even earned a picture by himself in the feature. Instead they chose one of him and his sister standing next to her record-breaking auctioned painting. She was thirty-four and he’s turn seventeen that day. His party turned into a double feature that she completely usurped. Still in high school, he was still eager to follow where his parents told him. So he’d followed Ichigo to every event like a dog on a leash.

He shook his head and read. They did it to sell more copies. It wasn’t about his sister but his gallery. It could be the turn he needed to really get it off the ground.

He read.

Iroha showed some promise in his youth. 

His eyes narrowed. He skimmed down.

A gallery covered in the same mediocre art he creates.

A bolt burned a hole in his chest, but he couldn’t stop his gaze from skimming over the words.

Talentless hack

Will always be the disappointment of the Osumi name.

Too bad the apple didn’t fall close to the tree.

Iroha threw the magazine. It knocked against one of the desktop sculptures he made of a popsicle brain.

With such a scathing review no one would come. He failed, again. He might as well crawl back to his parents before getting into more debt. He could hold off for a few months, but after that…

The door chimed. They probably came to mock him. Still, he rubbed his eyes and put on a smile.

“Welcome to ABC gallery,” the last word caught in Iroha’s throat.

The older gentleman before him might’ve looked like forty-something salaryman, but a dark aura floating around him. His smile stretched too large across his face like he never had to ask twice for anything. His swagger as he approached left no doubt in Iroha mind. The man was a yakuza.

Iroha cleared his throat. “Is there anything I can do for you?”

Somehow the smile on the man’s face grew larger. “I have a proposition for you.”

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His Ranch Hand by Deanna Wadsworth: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

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by Deanna Wadsworth

Emboldened and eager, Myron shifted and took a seat across Cade’s lap, straddling him like a stallion.

Cade flinched, eyes widening in surprise. Only taken aback for a moment, he whispered, “What are you doing?”

“Well…?” This bold new position should’ve answered for him. Don’t make me say it out loud, Cade, please.

Despite the risks to his pride, he trusted Cade. If Cade labeled him as a dandy pillow-biter afterward, what did it matter? Myron would’ve already gotten what he wanted. But then, Cade had shown no shame or hesitation when he’d sucked Myron’s cock with no return favor, so why should Myron berate himself over this?

This felt right, deep in his bones, and he was tired of waiting.

Myron rocked in invitation, never looking away from Cade’s face. Cade licked his lips, and he knew then that, yes, Cade understood what he wanted.

And Cade wanted it too.

Big hands found Myron’s hips and pressed him down. With a hiss, Myron felt the hardness beneath him, so close to where he needed it. More than anything, Myron wanted Cade’s cock buried inside him, connecting them. This would be theirs, a special night, a wonderful memory to keep them both warm when their bedrolls were empty and cold.

Without warning, Cade shifted Myron off him, pressing him onto his side so they were facing each other. Myron gasped at the display of strength, moving him as if he weighed nothing. Being at the mercy of such power sent a thrill through him. How much bigger the thrill when Cade fucked him into the grass? The anticipation made him suck in another sharp breath.

“Is your arm okay?” Cade whispered, trailing a big, but oh-so-gentle hand up his arm, pausing at his injury.

Myron smiled indulgently and caressed Cade’s cheek, his beard scratchy and wonderful under his palm. “I can barely feel it.”

“You’ll let me know if it hurts?”

Damn, such tenderness might brand Cade directly onto Myron’s heart if he allowed it—hell, if Cade wasn’t already embedded there already.

“I promise. But I’m fine.” He longed to kiss him, but the sting of Cade’s declaration that kissing was “not for us” held him in check. Instead he whispered, “Please?”

That one word unleashed a torrent. They fumbled for belts, buttons, and cocks.

“I’m so fucking hard,” Myron admitted, reaching for Cade’s cock. He didn’t want to waste a moment. “Need you.”

“It scared me, seeing you go down,” Cade whispered, hands trembling. “But you were amazing. I always like having you on my side in a fight.”

“Me too. Your aim was solid. You were so brave and strong.”

Cade grinned wickedly. “I am strong.

Myron took his fiery cock in hand. “And big.”

They shared knowing, playful grins, and Myron wondered if this might be love.

But it was just sex, right? He’d been lucky in his youth, having both friendship and sex with Douglas, but they’d been infatuated boys, randy as all hell, and it had never felt like this. Myron’s belly stirred when Cade smiled, and his heart skipped when Cade let down his walls. And he loved it when Cade mothered him, whereas any other man would’ve gotten a black eye. Even if they weren’t naked, he simply wanted to be near Cade.

He pushed such rambling ideas away. He’d ponder it all later. Right now the pleasure he’d waited for his whole life was nigh.

“Shirt off,” Cade commanded, sending another shot of passion whizzing through Myron. “Boots too. Everything.”

He struggled to obey. Wide eyed, Cade stared at Myron, once completely bared. His pale, freckled skin glistened in the fire and moonlight. Cade told him that he liked freckles and Myron shivered, loathing yet adoring how much he enjoyed being vulnerable with this man.

Still lying on his side, Cade ran a weathered hand down Myron’s torso and whispered so softly, the words were almost lost in the night, “I’ve denied this… a very long time.”

Tentatively he mimicked Cade’s gentle touch, though Cade remained dressed, only his cock out. “So you’ve never… with anyone else?”

Cade frowned, annoyed with Myron, the question, or himself, he couldn’t guess.

“Of course I have,” Cade whispered, not looking at him. “But I try to control the things I really want, ignore the hunger to… take what I need. I ought to be ashamed. It’s all a sin, but….” He shook his head with a grimace.

Myron bit back a sharp protest at the word sin.

Ever since Pastor Ambrose tried to kiss Myron after Sunday school, he’d come to determine not all preachers were as holy as Mama believed. He’d never read the Good Book all together, just the bits and pieces read to or at him in order to get him to behave. But he had read some Uranian poetry at a whore house in Kansas City about two men being together, so he knew this wasn’t a new phenomenon. Even heard that Frenchmen partook in each other, and in Venice they flaunted their affections right in public.

Might be the only reason to leave the West, to see if such places existed.

He studied Cade, not taking him for the pious sort. “I don’t think this is as wrong as folks say. I’ve seen a horny bull try to mount another bull before. Wouldn’t leave the damn thing alone. Nature, she’s funny. Makes us all different sorts. Me and you are no more wrong than that bull. Or no different than an otter is to a fly. They aren’t the same, but that doesn’t make them wrong.”

Cade’s hand never left Myron’s chest, his fingers on the other swirling delicately over the hair on Myron’s stomach and making his cock ache. “Everything you say sounds easy and natural. But how can you be so sure?”

Adoring this new vulnerable side of his strong cowboy, Myron cupped Cade’s cheek and their eyes met. He needed to assuage his doubts, not just for tonight, but so Cade could learn to accept himself for years to come. “There’s nothing wrong about two people enjoying themselves. We aren’t hurting anybody. That’s how I can be so sure. If it’s wrong, why does it feel so damn right inside here?” He placed a hand over Cade’s heart, hoping the move wouldn’t be too intimate, and make Cade change his mind.

“Maybe…” His heavy lashes drooped and Myron feared nothing more would happen. Both times they’d been together, it had been dark. He wanted to curse the golden light of the fire for exposing Cade and making him ashamed. Of course he wanted to curse whatever made Cade ashamed, and the one doing the shaming too, because from where Myron sat, there wasn’t a damn thing wrong with the cowboy beside him.

“But it is hard to be like this,” Myron admitted, dropping his hand and sitting up. He reached for his shirt and gazed down at Cade still lying on their bedrolls. “Hiding. Having a secret. But secrets are better if you got a friend to share them with. We’re friends, right?”

“Yes.”

“So I suppose we can either be friends who know about the secret, or friends who have a secret together. It’s your choice. But I won’t be ashamed of who I am and what I want, and you shouldn’t be either.” Myron felt odd to be so frank about something that could get a man hanged. But Cade made him more comfortable in his own skin than he’d ever felt with another person. “Now I can get dressed and we can just go back to being ranch hands, if you like. Or you can forget what you’ve been told, accept that men like us aren’t broken or less than any other man. Then you can get undressed and fuck me.”

Damn, did I just say that?

At Myron’s declaration, Cade looked stunned. “You really want me… to do that to you?”

Now Myron was getting pissed, seeing as he was naked as a jaybird and Cade remained dressed, resisting their attraction, even with his cock poking out of his trousers, hard as you please. After everything they’d shared, both physical and verbal, what still held Cade back? Myron had finally found the person and the courage to share this with, and Cade wasn’t responding the way he’d hoped.

And that made him madder than hell.

“Yes, I wanna be fucked.” Myron roughly put his shirt on, wincing when his wound twinged. “And if I’m being honest, I wanna be kissed too. You seemed to like kissing my cock last night, if I remember correctly. Maybe you’d like kissing me if you tried it.”

Goddammit, he shouldn’t have said that, but this was ridiculous. They were grown men. Peculiar ones, some might say, but men nonetheless. He wouldn’t allow Cade and whatever notions other people put in his head make Myron ashamed of who he was and what he needed. Not anymore. He’d come a long way toward accepting his nature completely, even more so recently, and he wouldn’t let Cade take that away. If only Cade could realize while yes, they needed to keep things secret, shame had no place between them when they were alone.

Myron let out a weary sigh, and dropped his hands in his lap. “I see no more sense beating around the bush, Buchanan. Do you want me tonight or not?”

He held his breath and the other man’s stare.

A moment before he gave up, Cade cupped his cheek. Never looking away, Cade pulled him closer. “Yes, I do want you. Have from the moment we met. You’re just so… perfect.”

Before Myron could recover from the beautiful sentiment, Cade gently pulled on his neck. When their lips met, it was feather light, the brush of butterfly wings, but it sent off an explosion within.

Our first kiss

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The B-Side by B. Harmony: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

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by B. Harmony

I turn to leave the bathroom and head back to the kitchen. Nearing the end of the hall, the kitchen in full view, I stop mid-stride. I can feel the side of my mouth lift up. Tyler is in the middle of the kitchen holding a wooden spoon to his mouth while belting out the lyrics along to “I Like Me Better” by Lauv. More than just the karaoke performance, Tyler is dancing, and I can’t peel my eyes off him.

His entire body seems to move in time with the beat as he thrusts his hips back and forth, shaking his ass and raising one arm above his head. It’s as if I’m stuck in a tunnel where all I can see and hear is Tyler’s dancing and the music that now matches the beat of my heart.

It’s not exactly what I would call sexy dance moves, more like he’s just having fun. But the happiness I can see from just the side of his face turns me on all over again.

He switches his hips side to side quickly, crosses his ankles and spins his body in my direction. Wide eyes meet mine as he freezes at my smirk.” He’s wearing skinny jeans and a red shirt that says Gay as Glitter; fitting given the moment I just walked in on. “Uh, yeah, I’ve got nothing.”

“Oh, don’t stop on my account. I was rather enjoying the show. Seems only fair.” I continue on into the kitchen, taking the spoon from him as I pass by.

“How long were you standing there?” he asks. Splotches of red color his face and extend up towards his ears.

“Just the start of the second verse.”

“Oh good, so only half of my shame.”

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Malthusia Fate by Emma Jaye: Exclusive Excerpt!

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by Emma Jaye

“For God’s sake, Clay, help me before Daven comes looking.”

“Aww is Tavvy Wavvy getting all cranky wanky?” Clay pouted. “You know, if you get any further up your own ass you won’t need an omega if you manifest balls because you’ll be able to fuck yourself.”

As usual, the ribbing produced a pillow fight, which Tav won. After Clay surrendered and they’d both got their breath back, Tav took Clay’s hand and pulled their favorite sibling back up to a sitting position on the bed.

Joining forces, they attacked the youngest twins, shoving them into their clothes before telling Per to take them downstairs. Both flopped onto the bed, enjoying the last few moments of peace.

“Talking of cranky wanky, do you think Zepish will actually pull off his new dick if he carries on yanking on it twenty times a day? That would really make my year,” Clay said.

Tav grinned. “‘Fraid not. I checked with Dr. Seten yesterday.”

Clay froze, eyes wide, then fell off the bed in uncontrolled hysterical laughter. It took a whole five minutes before the pair could look at each other without starting again.

Eventually, Tav had themself under control enough to stand. “Come on, you lazy git, it’s time to go and get lectured again.”

Clay groaned briefly before propping themself up on their elbows.

“I hate Sevendays even more than sitting in that damn classroom with the wicked witch and her brats. If that priest stares at me once more while extolling the virtues of ‘obedient omegas,’ I’m going to stand up, walk over to the pulpit and punch the fucker on their big ugly nose.’

Tav scratched their head, wondering how best to approach the subject.

Clay was twelve and nearing the prime time to manifest as an omega. Tav fervently hoped the feisty redhead wouldn’t. But If Clay did become Clayelle while they hated the idea of being an omega this much, they could have real problems adjusting. Recently manifested omegas committing suicide wasn’t uncommon. Although Tav didn’t think Clay would take that option, they didn’t want their favorite sibling to be too depressed if it did happen.

“The priest is only trying to make it easier on the ones who are going to manifest as omegas.”

Clay gave Tav a death glare. “You mean the sanctimonious fucker is trying to impress upon us that we should become instantly submissive if our cocks drop off in the night?”

Tav rolled their eyes. “They don’t actually drop off, they shrink. The bit that’s left still gets hard and makes them climax but what they produce when they do is like channel slick rather than beta cum or alpha semen.”

Clay made a loud gagging noise. “Enough with the revolting biology lecture. I don’t need to know this shit. I’m staying a beta; I’m not submissive enough to be an omega, so forget about it.”

“Not all omegas are on-the-floor submissives. I don’t know how much you remember about Ma, but she wasn’t a pushover. Most of the betas deferred to her, and not only because she was mated to Pa.”

“She talked back to him?” Clay said, eyes wide.

Tav winced. “I never saw her be anything but submissive to Pa, but who knows what went on in private? She certainly wouldn’t have embarrassed him in public; you know how much status means to him.”

Clay clapped Tav on the shoulder as he got up. “Or you can do what I do; make the big angry alphas laugh all the time. Have you ever noticed how many more times Zepish picks on you compared to me? And I thought you were meant to be the bright one.”

At Tav’s confused expression, Clay grinned. “You poor, clueless bookworm. I manipulate everyone in this place far more than any of the alphas. I’ve got the whole lot, alphas, betas, and that bitch, eating out of my hand. The difference is, no one realizes I’m doing it. There’s a beta life of wealth, luxury, and indulgence waiting for me, unlike you, you sad little worker bee. I’ll see you down there.”

Tav sat on the bed, watching the door swing shut on Clay in complete shock.

Muttering, “Son of a bitch,” Tav followed Clay before Daven came to find them.

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Book Review: A Novel Murder by K.C. Wells

Reviewed by Ami

Title: A Novel Murder
Author: K.C. Wells
Series: Merrychurch Mysteries #3
Heroes: Jonathon and Mike
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 197 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: August 11, 2020
Available at: Dreamspinner Press & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Hosting the Merrychurch Literary Festival is just the distraction Jonathon de Mountford needs. Placating his father and keeping his boyfriend, Mike Tattersall, happy is proving an increasing struggle. But the small event takes on new proportions with the appearance of Teresa Malvain—former Merrychurch resident turned famous murder mystery novelist. But is something about the quaint village setting of her books a little too familiar?

Teresa’s sudden death is certainly something right out of one of her stories, and Jonathan and Mike soon discover there are villagers who might not want the inspiration behind her books revealed.

When it emerges Teresa’s severe allergic reaction was no accident, Jonathon and Mike are compelled to investigate, aided by a few people keen to help them discover the truth. But they’re trying to work out what is fact and what is fiction, and the line between the two blurs constantly. And as for their relationship, Jonathon finally comes to a decision…. Continue reading

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Blood Oath by A.T. Brennan: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

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by A.T. Brennan

“Can I ask you something?”

“Sure.” Ryder glanced at his friend. It wasn’t like Zane to be so cautious.

“What’s going on with you and Felix? Like really. You called him your boyfriend, and you sleep together, but he’s not just with you.”

Ryder paused, trying to find a way to explain what he and Felix had.

“Felix is the only man I’ve ever loved, and he was honest with me from day one. I went into this, knowing he had another partner, so yeah, he’s my boyfriend. But he’s also Luka’s boyfriend.”

“But how can you be okay with that?”

“I wasn’t sure I would be,” he said honestly. “When he first told me, I was jealous as hell. I kept waiting for him to change his mind and tell me Luka was the only one he had room in his heart for, but when that didn’t happen, I started to trust that he loves me as much as I love him.”

“I don’t think I could do it.”

“When you love someone, you accept all of them. Felix is poly, and he’s been with Luka since he was sixteen. If I wanted to be a part of his life as more than just a friend, I had to accept that. It was a struggle. Still is some days if I’m going to be honest, but I can’t expect Felix to change who he is just for me. I’d lose him. Maybe not right away, but that would be the thing that would tear us apart. I’m not willing to do that to him, to us.”

“You’re a better man than I am,” Zane said with a sigh.

“No, I’m not,” he said, letting his head fall back on the seat as he looked up at the ceiling of Zane’s car. “I’m really not.”

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Paid to be Shared by Romilly King: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

Blogger_Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt from Paid to be Shared

by Romilly King

“Married couples don’t do absolutely everything together,” Griffin had rationalized to Ivo when they got further than just hinting around the edges of the issue, “Nobody needs to witness anything, it will keep the mystique intact,” 

And that sort of made sense to Ivo, although somehow he didn’t think that fucking a submissive fell into the same category of married life as toenail clipping and nasal hair trimming. But he couldn’t deny either Griffin or himself, because he could feel himself and his marriage fading to shades of grey for lack of it. 

He swallowed at the fear that suddenly knotted his stomach. He wasn’t used to fear, as a surgeon, he was never fearful, but the thought of losing Griffin for lack of this scared the hell out of him. 

Only this morning he had laid in bed, listening to Grif in the bath- room, hearing the sound of the shower, the turn of the taps, the buzz of his toothbrush, and he had thought, yeah, it will be just like this, routine maintenance, I don’t need to see it. That had made sense in the sunny domestic glow of their bedroom with its rumpled sheets, the scent of Griff ’s body wash, and the detritus of their life lying around casually. 

Griffin had come back into the bedroom, happily naked. His pale, freckled skin glowed in the morning light, and his face had been eager and excited, making him look years younger. He had slid up the bed, crawled up Ivo’s body, pressing kisses to his naked skin as he went. He had nuzzled into Ivo’s neck, lipping at the sensitive skin under his ear, and Ivo had tilted his head back, letting his handsome, funny, desperate husband have full access to his skin. 

Yeah, Ivo had thought, we can have this, us together is the crucial thing, the thing I always need to see. 

He had wrapped his arms around Griffin and rolled him. Griffin went easily, trusting and relaxed and had smiled up at Ivo, all soft because he knew Ivo would never ask anything of him that he didn’t want to give, not again. Ivo had looked down at his husband, “I love you,” he had said. 

Griffin had reached up, tangled his hand in Ivo’s short dark hair, and pulled him down for a kiss, “I love you too.” Their foreheads had pressed together, their breaths had mingled, and Griffin’s had been all minty when he said, “We got this.” 

“Yeah.” 

Ivo sighed, too heavily, and Dr. Gregory and Griffin both turned and looked at him. “Sorry,” he apologized, “Uh, yes, as medical professionals testing is high on our lists of priorities. We can arrange it through the hospital.” 

“You can certainly arrange your own testing through your facility,” Dr. Gregory said equably, “But all our Venditores are tested here in house, so you don’t need to worry about that,” 

He took his glasses off and rubbed his eyes, and Ivo was struck by how young he was to be Head of Organizational Psychology at Delph- ic. His professional rank was the same as Ivo’s own, but he was a good ten years younger. The agencies did tend to headhunt the prodigies, so chances were they had groomed this young man through scholarships from a young age. 

Ivo was glad he hadn’t been a prodigy. He had enjoyed his career trajectory, a steady climb through his surgical residency, his fellowship, and then latterly, with Griffin at his side, rising like a bubble through the ranks to Head of Thoracic Surgery. He didn’t want to go any fur- ther, he left policy wrangling to Griffin, he liked his hands inside bodies too much, that was where he belonged. 

“It’s clear you have put a lot of thought into this,” Dr. Gregory looked up at them both, “and that is essential with a complex contract like this,” 

He studied them both across the desk, “I think I can speak freely with you, we all share a similar background. This is going to be a diffi- cult contract for Delphic to fill – and please, make no mistake, we want to fill it – but it isn’t straightforward, and I am duty-bound to oversee 

it personally, primarily for the sake of our Venditor, because we will be asking a lot of him.” 

Ivo felt the fear return, this time, it was fear that they would not get to have this, that their fundamental incompatibility with each other would deny them once again. 

“Is there any possibility that you would consider two submissives on a less intensive schedule?” Dr. Gregory asked reasonably, “There are a limited number of Venditores that even get close to matching your joint profile. We have manually cross-referenced for compatibility, and additional training would be required even then. 

“Of course, that isn’t your concern, but if you were willing to con- sider two Venditores for fewer weekly …” 

“Do you have a compatible Venditor?” Griffin interrupted him, and Ivo was surprised by his aggressive tone, “Because there are other agencies if you cannot fulfill this request.” 

Dr. Gregory looked at them neutrally, “There is no other agency that can even get close to giving you what you need,” There was the slightest emphasis on the last word and Ivo, despite his tendency to miss social cues, heard it loud and clear. 

Griffin did too, and he reached for Ivo’s hand. Ivo took it and squeezed. 

Dr. Gregory sighed, and Ivo realized that those moss-green eyes weren’t just kind; they were full of empathy, and Ivo felt naked before them. 

“As I said, I will oversee this contract personally, and I will be work- ing with the Venditor we think may be able to accommodate your needs,” 

Ivo heard Griffin let out the breath he had been holding, and his hand relaxed in Ivo’s grip. 

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