Published in 2020

Unpredictable Fate by Jessamyn Kingley: Exclusive Excerpt!

Blogger_Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt from Unpredictable Fate

by Jessamyn Kingley

Chieftain Kalthekor Valzadari set the phone down in its cradle with a ferocious frown. He worked every day to treat people with kindness, even when it was not reciprocated. However, he had never been an adult that allowed someone to walk over him as the cranky centaur he’d spoken with had tried to do with his accusations. Kalthekor attended his advisory panel meetings on Fridays with awe that he’d been selected as one of the few people considered that important to the Office of the Emperor.
Each week he was assigned bills which he personally handled, and the numbers were logged into his phone, and he backed it up by sending himself an email. While there was always the chance an error was made, this particular offering from the always troublesome Alpha Panthera had created a lot of acrimony, so he could clearly recall volunteering to handle the nonsense. As Kalthekor shut off his computer for the day, he sincerely hoped the archon spoke with his employee, so he didn’t run around accusing others of stealing his bills.
Striding out of his space after flicking off the lights, Kalthekor smiled at his office assistant, who was packing up his things to leave.
“That guy was something, right? He seemed annoyed that I wasn’t an elf,” Walker Draconis said. Several months ago, an executive from the Valzadari Beading Company had been hired by the new President of Draconis Enterprises. Zinlyar had been a wonderful employee, but Kalthekor understood that he could not pass up the opportunity to work side-by-side with his mate. When the Emperors had suggested Kalthekor look for a replacement within their company, as they were restructuring, he’d accepted eagerly. His former assistant was promoted to fill Zinlyar’s shoes, and Kalthekor had hired Walker in his place as well as another dragon for a higher executive position.
“I think he was annoyed in general. For some reason, he was convinced I usurped him on a Council bill.”
Walker snorted. “He’s calling the wrong office. You don’t make mistakes like that.”
“I definitely try not to,” Kalthekor responded, and the two strolled over to the elevator after locking up the entire office suite. It was a relatively small space, as he handled the Council stuff with as little staff as possible. He’d hired talented people who were thorough, which pleased him, and the rest of the Valzadari worked for their ancient company headquartered just outside of Las Vegas. His elves preferred to live there, so he’d set up schools and helped them get into other elven ones when necessary since it was traditional, and his people had never strayed from their customs. Because they expected their leader to do the same, his own son attended a mixed elven elementary school close to his condo.
“Have a good night, and say hi to Pyxlevir for me,” Walker said as they left the elevator in the garage and headed for their vehicles.
“You too, and I’ll give Pyxlevir your message,” Kalthekor returned with a smile. The light of his life was the tiny six-year-old boy who Kalthekor couldn’t wait to see, so he climbed into his car and drove toward the same building he’d lived in since he’d walked away from Tamlisyr. He parked and after securing the vehicle, sent a text message to the Grand Warlock to let him know he was rounding the corner in the direction of the designated magical teleporting area.
When he got there, Dra’Kaedan was waiting with Brogan at his side. Kalthekor was hugged tightly by both and greeted warmly. “Ready?” the Grand Warlock asked.
Closing his eyes, Kalthekor nodded. “Yes.”
He was suffused with a floaty feeling, and mere seconds later the ground was solid under his feet again. Before he could even lift his lashes, a small body crashed into his legs.
“Hi, Dad,” Pyxlevir offered as he wrapped his arms around Kalthekor’s waist.
Running a hand over the careful braids Kalthekor was going to redo the following evening as Pyxlevir’s hair had grown, loosening the style, he hugged his only child back. Using embellishments had only been a part of his life since his son was born. Kalthekor used to dress severely and keep his mane free of them, but he’d opened his eyes to every possibility, thanks to Pyxlevir and the D’Vaire family Evlithar had made them both part of. “Hello to you. How was school?”
“Good, I did all my homework already.” Pyxlevir grinned up at him. He was a smart child who spent most of his time with adults, giving him an extensive vocabulary, and everything about him made Kalthekor proud. “I practiced my word list with Lorcan, and he got two Elvish words wrong. He says they must’ve changed it since he was a kid, but I think he’s bad at spelling.”
“It could be regional,” Lorcan muttered as he frowned. The demonic elf might appear mad, but his eyes were dancing with humor.
“I spelled them right, and the Cwylld didn’t live that far from the Acwellan, anleydir,” Talfryn responded, using the Elvish word for beloved as a term of affection for the man he adored.
“As my mate, you should support me in everything,” Lorcan grumbled.

Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, LGBT, Published in 2020 | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

A Share in a Secret by Jude Tresswell: Exclusive Excerpt!

Blogger_Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt from A Share in a Secret

by Jude Tresswell

(Mike’s and Nick’s first night together gets a little tense…)

It was midnight. Mike lay on his back, briefs and a T-shirt still on deferentially. Nick, in boxers, lay in the crook of Mike’s arm, his right leg across Mike’s bare thighs. So this was what it was like to be held by Mike Angells! Mike was quietly talking.

“I think we all find it hard to imagine how you feel. Sex seems so natural to us. ’Course, we only do it to keep fit!”

“To keep fit?”

“Yep. Gospel accordin’ to Phil, who is a very, very naughty man underneath that respectable Doctor Roberts exterior.”

“Phil?!”

“Phil says that sex uses more calories than runnin’ up a flight of stairs, and bein’ a doctor, he should know. Anyway, you didn’t think that Raith got all those erotic ideas for his sculptures from out of his own head, did you?”

“Yes!”

“No. Well, yes, but he’s picturin’ him and Phil, or Phil and me. Phil always tops so that should tell you who’s who in the sculptures, if it wasn’t clear already. He’s an expert on bodies, of course!”

“I’m speechless.”

“Well what did you think happened? Don’t tell me you’ve never ever wondered who did what.”

“I won’t say it hasn’t crossed my mind. It’s never stopped me going to sleep though. It might now!”

“Ha, but just in case you think we’re a load of sex-mad maniacs, we’re gettin’ old and it’s hardly an every night thing.”

“I can’t imagine… wanting to do it.”

“I can’t imagine the opposite.” After a moment Mike said, “But this, lyin’ here like this, this is okay?”

“Yes. Very nice.”

“Good.”

“It’s what I’ve been wanting for months, if I’m honest,” Nick said, breaking the easy silence that had followed Mike’s “Good”. “I’ve wanted to hold you and be held by you. Cuddle close. Nuzzle up. Feel quiet and cosy and relaxed. Then, at other times I’ve thought that was the last thing I wanted in case you wanted to do more. I knew I couldn’t let you push me into doing more. It’s just not the way I am.”

“It’s really hard for me to understand. I mean, I don’t want to fuck with everyone I see; I have to be attracted to the person, but, if I am attracted, then I don’t half know it! Me prick gets hard. Me pants get tight.”

“But you’re a sexual animal. I’m not. I wouldn’t be attracted in the first place. That reaction   simply isn’t there.”

“Hrm. It’s like there’s a bit lackin’.”

Nick sat up, stung. “What do you mean? Lacking?”

“Hell, I’m sorry,” said Mike. He’d hit a nerve. He could see that.

“Well? What did you mean?”

“I just meant that… I’m not sure… that it’s as though some part’s not there. I’m sorry. Stupid thing to say.”

“Yes, it is a stupid thing to say! And trust a fucking gay to say it! You’re in a room full of beautiful women, okay? What happens between your legs? Well? Anything?”

“No.”

“So one of them comes up to you and shoves a tongue in your face. What do you do?”

“Point taken.”

“No. Point’s not taken. Do you feel you’re lacking something essential just because you don’t want sex with women? Some part not functioning properly? Is a bit of you broken?”

“No, of course not. I’ve said I’m sorry. I am. I’m sorry I upset you. I didn’t think.”

“For half my teens and half my twenties I thought there was something wrong, Mike! Something lacking. Something crucial not working as it should. So first I thought I might be gay, but that didn’t work either. So then I’m thinking what’s gone wrong? Finding out about asexuality was wonderful, but do you know what? I thought that I was aroace. Not sexual. Not romantic. And then I met you, and I couldn’t understand why I kept thinking about you. Why you’d drift into my head when I was going to sleep, or drinking a coffee. And I even thought, well maybe I’m not ace at all. Maybe it’s as they often say: it’s a question of finding the right person, but then I’d think some more and I’d know that wasn’t so. I didn’t want to fuck with you or have my tongue in your mouth, or suck you off, or have you suck me… I’m not attracted to you in that way. Some aces get to a point where they can do that after they’ve known a person a long time, but I don’t think that’s a place I’d ever get to. I suppose that, in one way, I wish I could. But there’s nothing fucking lacking!”

Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, LGBT, Published in 2020 | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Were-Geeks Save Wisconsin by Kathy Lyons

Reviewed by Nikyta

Title: Were-Geeks Save Wisconsin
Author: Kathy Lyons
Series: Were-Geeks Save the World #1
Heroes: Josh & Nero
Genre: M/M Paranormal
Length: 244 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: April 14, 2020
Available at: Dreamspinner Press & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: When badass werewolves battling supernatural evil realize they need tech support, they recruit a group of geeks with hilarious—and romantic—results.

Chemist Josh Collier is having a blast at a comic book convention when he gets the shock of his life—he’s a werewolf! WTF? Before he can howl, he’s whisked away to a secret lair by Nero, a hot guy dressed as a Roman centurion. Josh’s former life is over, and his genius is needed at Wulf, Inc.

Nero has no interest in babysitting a trainee were-geek when he’d rather be killing the demon that wiped out his entire pack. While Josh analyzes the monster’s weapon, wild passion ignites between him and Nero.

With destiny and their pack in the balance, can they survive the demon out to destroy Wisconsin? Continue reading

Categories: 3.5 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2020 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Deeper You Go by Logan Grey: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

Blogger_Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt from The Deeper You Go

by Logan Grey

As soon as the door clanged shut behind him, silence shrouded the room as Bay leveled him with a stare. Full of warmth and heat and things Travis was too afraid to put a name to.

“What?” he asked, and glanced down at himself as if trying to find what he was staring at.

Bailey’s lips twitched before he stepped forward and motioned past Travis to the vacant practice room. Gaze still locked on Bailey’s, he took a step back, almost losing his balance. Reaching out, Bailey palmed both of his shoulders and forcefully moved him backwards, catching Travis securely when he stumbled over his own feet.

A soft chuckle tumbled out as he gripped Bay’s arms to balance himself. But that chuckle evaporated as Bailey slammed the door behind them and locked it with a loud click. Travis gulped, but heat raced beneath his skin, rushing through him in a wave of sparks. They tickled over his flesh just like Bailey’s touch did as he stroked his hands down Travis’s arms. As soon as his fingers drifted away to tease at his waistband, Travis grinned and leaned forward, wrapping his arms around Bay’s neck and pressing their lips together.

Bay’s hands pressed against his waist and held him to the wall as they traded velvet kisses drenched in heat. Travis threaded his fingers through Bay’s blond hair and gripped tightly, tilting his head to the side to deepen the kiss. Goosebumps broke out and sparked over his skin as Bay teased underneath his shirt, and then dipped his fingers inside his waistband. Travis pulled back with a teasing smile.

“Here?” he asked, and shot a paranoid look toward the door.

Bay smirked. “What, rock star, haven’t done anything this scandalous before?”

Rolling his eyes, Travis flexed his fingers and raked them over the back of Bay’s neck. “Not in a school.”

“No? Well, I guess there is a first time for everything,” Bay teased.

Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2020 | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Avalon’s Last Knight by Jackson C. Garton: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

Blogger_Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt from Avalon’s Last Knight

by Jackson C. Garton

Arthur leans back in his chair and exhales like a balloon deflating.

It’s the first time I’ve admitted to myself just how I feel about him, about me, about the whole fucking situation. The look on his face is unreadable, and I’m not sure if I should say something or just let him be, so I decide to reach into my bag and pull out two oatmeal cream pies.

“I’m sorry,” Arthur says, his eyes still closed. “I don’t know why I waited all this time to say something.”

I throw one small plastic-wrapped cake at his chest. His eyes fly open and he looks down at his lap.

“It’s not like we’re in our eighties,” I say. I fumble with the package before ultimately tearing it open with my teeth. “Or on our deathbeds, or something.”

Arthur sighs. “Yes,” he says. “But I’m sure it hasn’t been easy seeing me with all of these girls and shit.” He’s angry now, and I’m not sure if it’s something I’ve said or done.

“Look,” I say. “I know I’m not the only one in love with you. You’ve had the whole school after you ever since you moved here. I’m not a dummy. I always thought you were straight, that you saw me as a friend only. Until that day when you let me kiss you.”

His eyes meet mine, his look now very readable.

Idiots. We’re both idiots. For the past few years we have been dancing alone because we were too afraid of stepping on each other’s toes, and all it would’ve taken was a five-minute discussion. I sigh again and open another pie. Eating my feelings seems like a good idea at the moment.

“I’m not here to give you a lecture on sleeping with half of Avalon, Arthur.”

“Two girls,” he corrects me. “I’ve only ever slept with two girls, and I haven’t been with anyone since last summer. Since my dad found us.”

Thankfully I don’t have to respond to this because Gwen and her co-worker burst out of the front door, the screen barely moving fast enough to allow their hasty departure.

“Jesus fucking Christ,” Gwen says. “I hate working in the evenings.” She stretches her arms and pops her neck. I cringe at the sound. Her co-worker bumps Gwen’s fist with their own, and they leave. I think their name is Jo, but I’m not sure, because I’ve seen them only once.

“Well,” she says, smiling at the both of us. “Did you like the cards? What did the reading say?”

Arthur laughs and picks one up. “I definitely did.” Then Gwen looks at me.

“And what about you?” she asks. “I mean, it looked like you had your hands full out here, so…”

I realize that I had been too caught up in my feelings to even look at the deck, so I wipe the cream off my hands and reach for the first card. I turn it over. On the card are the words TWO OF CUPS, and below the writing is a picture of two men giving each other sixty-nine. I place it down on the table and roll my eyes.

“Well?” Gwen asks. “Which card did you draw?”

Arthur reaches for it, and I cover his hand with mine before he can turn the card over. “Nuh-uh,” I say. “Bad luck to let someone see the cards you’ve drawn for yourself.”

Arthur slides his fingers into mine, and Gwen watches us with anticipation, like she’s critiquing a performance or something.

“Okay,” she says, finally. Even though she’s practically shouting. “What fuckin’ card was it?”

“Two of cups,” I say.

“Two of cups, eh?” Gwen shoots me a look and folds her arms. “It’s about fuckin’ time. That’s all I’ll say.”

I roll my eyes, ignoring her optimistic jab. “What about you, Arthur? What card did you draw?”

Death,” he says.​ The words printed on the card are as plain as day. “What does that mean? Am I going to die?”​

Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2020 | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Shelter in Place by Simon Strange: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

Blogger_Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt from Shelter in Place

by Simon Strange

“Dude, do I need to kick the door in? Are you okay in there or what?” 

Not my imagination! I yelped as I startled, and my iPad tipped off my knee. I grabbed for it with my right hand on instinct, but the lotion made my fingers slick, and it only slowed before it took the plunge. In a sudden panic I lurched forward off the toilet lid to grab it with my left. My jeans, which were around my ankles, trapped my legs—and while I did manage to get a hand on the other side of the iPad, I had already lost my balance. 

I toppled sideways, crashed into the bathtub as I tried to catch myself on my shoulder, and barked “Fuck!” as I banged my knee against the tile floor. 

“The fuck is going on, Cal?” 

“Fine!” I shouted. “I’m fucking… I’m fine I just… I slipped, it’s good, you’re good, don’t… don’t kick the door down or something I—I’m fine, I’ll be out in a second.” 

I heard his footsteps leaving the door, at least, so he wasn’t about to come charging in. But he had to think I was… I don’t know, having a stroke or something. 

Or, hell—maybe he thought I was jerking off. It’s not like he didn’t have a cock of his own to deal with from time to time, at least. 

I grumbled more curses at myself as I carefully heaved off the floor and set my iPad aside and safely away from the mess that I’d clearly become. I washed my hands, wiped down my dick which was just going to have to wait, and made sure to clean up any place I’d accidentally grabbed with my slick hand as I crashed. 

When I finally emerged, I had my iPad under my arm and tried to casually slip it back onto the couch. 

No such luck. 

“Right,” Ross said from the kitchen as I turned around and tried to act like nothing at all had just happened. His eyes were on the couch. “Okay, so… look, I totally get it but like… just do that in the shower or something? And clean the drain after.” 

Heat flushed through my neck and face. “I was just… job searching. While I was on the pot.” 

He raised critical eyebrow. “Sure. Okay. Well, anyway— there weren’t a lot of options. I got a bunch of canned chili, a bag of flour—whole wheat, it’s all they had. Sugar. Canned pasta stuff—ravioli, speghettio’s, shit like that. No eggs at the store, no milk—and no toilet paper so just like, only use two sheets at a time or just hop in the shower afterward or some- thing. Definitely don’t waste tissue jerking off.” 

“Okay,” I muttered. “You’re fixated at this point. I wasn’t jerking off.” 

He blinked, and the corner of his mouth twitched in a smile that he managed to resist. “Whatever you say man. It’s natural. Everybody does it, or they lie about doing it. You’re cool, just don’t waste toilet paper, deal?” 

“Yeah, alright,” I breathed. “Deal.” 

I looked over the collected of cans spread out over the counters and the narrow ‘dining room’ table that was typi- cally unused. It was a lot. But it was hard to say if it looked like an extra two months of food. I reached for a can. 

“Whoa,” Ross snapped, and swatted my fingers away. He put a bottle of sanitizer and a handful of rags on the counter in front of me. “Step one. Every time. Understood?” 

I picked up the sanitizer and swallowed a groan. “Step one, every time. Understood, sir.” 

Ross shook his head and picked up a can with one rag and sprayed it down. I started as well. 

I don’t know. Maybe Lawrence was right to think it was all ridiculous. This certainly was. 

Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2020 | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: My Past, Your Future by Gabbi Grey

Reviewed by Nikyta

Title: My Past, Your Future
Author: Gabbi Grey
Series: Deerbourne Inn
Heroes: Callum & Elijah
Genre: M/M Paranormal
Length: 109 pages
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
Release Date: February 24, 2020
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Callum MacLaren, a professor from Scotland, visits Willow Springs, Vermont during the Winter Solstice to study and explore the rich history of St. Joseph’s Cemetery. His encounter with a sexy soldier in a tattered Civil War uniform is a captivating puzzle, and the more he learns, the deeper his attraction.

A hundred and fifty years ago, Elijah Freeman was killed during the Second Battle of Fort Wagner and woke up in Willow Springs, the only home he’d known. Alone, he roams the town, unable to leave or interact with a single soul until an intriguing Scot addresses him. Even stranger, the man can see him, hear him, and touch him–a sizzling caress that leaves Elijah aching for more.

But will Elijah return to his ghostly form when the magic of the solstice fades, or is Callum’s love enough to keep him in the land of the living? Continue reading

Categories: 3.5 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2020 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Book Review: The Selkie’s Coat by Drea Roman

Reviewed by Nikyta

Title: The Selkie’s Coat
Author: Drea Roman
Series: Waves of Fate #1
Heroes: Daniel & Gregory
Genre: M/M Paranormal
Length: 266 pages
Publisher: Drea Roman Publishing
Release Date: April 11, 2020
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: A marshmallow alpha with more heart than sense and a stubborn human omega trying to guard his heart fall in love in this first story from the Waves of Fate omegaverse.

“Oops! You dropped your coat!” With these words, waiter Daniel Collins turns alpha selkie Gregory Samson’s life upside down. Because that coat is not some fancy heirloom fur. No, it is Gregory’s selkie pelt, which magically connects him with his seal animal inside.

When Gregory hears Daniel’ voice, he knows the rare human omega is his mate. Too bad Daniel has more than a few misgivings about trusting his heart to a selkie. Because the magical seal shifters have one of the worst player reputations of all shifter kind and Daniel fears a broken heart. How will Gregory convince Daniel to give him a chance?

It wouldn’t be so hard if Gregory’s mother and everyone else would just stop meddling!

Brought together by the magic of Gregory’s coat, can the pair weather insecurities, an interfering mother, meddling friends, and a disgruntled inner animal?

The Selkie’s Coat is a slow burn mm romance with a guaranteed HEA. It is book 1 of the Waves of Fate Omegaverse and can be read as a standalone. Continue reading

Categories: 2.5 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2020 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Meet Me at Midnight by Jessica Pennington

Reviewed by Heather C

Title: Meet Me at Midnight
Author: Jessica Pennington
Hero/Heroine: Asher/Sidney
Genre: M/F Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Length: 336 pages
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: April 7, 2020
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: They have a love-hate relationship with summer.

Sidney and Asher should have clicked. Two star swimmers forced to spend their summers on a lake together sounds like the perfect match. But it’s the same every year–in between cookouts and boat rides and family-imposed bonfires, Sidney and Asher spend the dog days of summer finding the ultimate ways to prank each other. And now, after their senior year, they’re determined to make it the most epic summer yet.

But their plans are thrown in sudden jeopardy when their feud causes their families to be kicked out of their beloved lake houses. Once in their new accommodations, Sidney expects the prank war to continue as usual. But then she gets a note–Meet me at midnight. And Asher has a proposition for her: join forces for one last summer of epic pranks, against a shared enemy–the woman who kicked them out.

Their truce should make things simpler, but six years of tormenting one another isn’t so easy to ignore. Kind of like the undeniable attraction growing between them. Continue reading

Categories: 4.5 Star Ratings, Book Review, Heather C's Reviews, M/F, Published in 2020 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Blogger_Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt from Tread

by A.G. Carothers

Thursdays had quickly become my favorite day of the week. I spent the rest of the week looking forward to today. Last week, Gavin had said something that got me thinking. It’d been many years since I’d given any thought to submitting to someone again. I hadn’t met anyone who’s presence brought that out in me. Gavin had made fun of me from time to time about how I assessed people, but I think me and Gavin’s new sub have that in common.

Everyone, whether they realize it or not, presents themselves in different but discernible ways. It’s in their posture and the energy they send out. It’s not foolproof by any means. Excellent liars and manipulators can change that about themselves, or people trained for espionage or that kind of thing. Still, your everyday person usually isn’t aware of how they project themselves.

Darius screamed nurturer, Daddy Dom, and maybe a little Service Dom. There’s a part of me that yearned for that connection and wanted to be taken care of.  But I had given up on that notion ages ago because who would want to put up with my routines and compulsions? I stopped training service subs a few years ago because most couldn’t handle my demands.

Darius was demanding in a stern-yet-not-assholish way that was super-hot. He was accepting—so far—of my ways and didn’t seem offended. Once he understood I needed to be the one to do things in a certain way, he let me do them without argument or scorn. That was rare in this age of impatience. He was observant and attentive. The way he catered to me could be perceived as submissive in some light, but the commanding way in which he did them crossed the action over that line. There was a difference in asking someone to do something for you and then having something done for you without you asking.

I liked that he didn’t ask.

I walked into the café at eight sharp and headed to my booth. I wiped everything down, took off my jacket, and put my stuff down then went to order. I ordered the same thing every Thursday. Once, in the beginning, when I made this my Thursday routine, the employee had tried to be helpful and preempt my order and had everything ready for me. It was kind of them, and I appreciated the attention to detail and forethought. I had explained to them I’d rather they wait until I made my order. What if I had wanted to be wild that day and have a blueberry muffin instead? It was more polite to wait than assume.

I taught that there was a fine line between knowing what your dominant wanted and assuming what your dominant wanted. It was also far more important to remember how something should be done when it was needed than trying to read minds.

I opened my laptop and logged into the HPD remote desktop. After the first month, Darius had made me my own log-in for his other network, which wasn’t attached to the public café one. I was pleased with his thoughtfulness. My case files were stored on the remote desktop, not my local machine, for security, so I appreciated the extra security layer. I had clicked on the case folder I was currently working on when I saw Darius approach in the corner of my eye. He normally didn’t bring my breakfast; it piqued my curiosity

The wide, almost excited, smile on his face demanded that I return it. I was happy to see him, so it was easy to do.

“Good morning, Abel.” Darius set the coffee and juice down and did something he’s never done before. He slid into the booth on the other side of the table.

“Good morning, Darius. How are you?”

“I’m doin vera well this fine mornin. An’ ye’self?” His accent thickened just enough for it to send tingles through my body.

“Fine,” I unexpectedly squeaked. I cleared my throat and tried again. “Fine. Just fine.” I smiled sheepishly, hoping the blush on my face wasn’t too bright.

“What are you doing tomorrow night?”

“Tomorrow is Friday night.”

“Yes.” He leaned on the table, putting his forearms on the edge. “What are you doing?”

“Cleaning the pantry and the refrigerator out, ordering Italian, and watching Kitchen Nightmares.” I ran down my short mental list.

“Kitchen Nightmares, huh?”

I nodded.

“After you clean out your pantry and refrigerator?”

I nodded again.

“Is that so you don’t feel shame about your own kitchen when Gordon is yelling at the restaurant owners about how filthy they are?”

Laughter barked out of me. “Yes. That’s it exactly.”

Teeth flashed at me, and I lowered my head.

“May I cook you Italian instead of you ordering it?”

I raised my head again and arched an eyebrow. What was he asking?

He continued, “I can make it at my place and bring it over, or if it’s okay with you, I can cook at your place.”

“You don’t want me to go over to your place?”

“No, I’d love for you to come to my place. I just didn’t want to interrupt your routine too much.”

“That’s…that’s very thoughtful of you. No one has done that before.” I was at a loss for words.

“So, is that a yes?” He beamed at me, not acknowledging my nervousness.

“Yes, I would like it very much if you came to my house and cooked for me.”

“Excellent. I’ll be back later, and you can give me your number.”

He seemed pleased as he scooted out and headed back to the busy counter. There was a sway to his step as the pleats of his kilt brushed back and forth across his toned thighs.

I immediately pulled out my phone and texted Gavin. I had no idea what to do. I hadn’t had a date in years, and the only person who’d been in my house since I stopped training was Gavin. I quickly typed out what had just happened. I put my phone down and took a deep breath.

The reality that Darius MacLeod was coming to my house and cooking me dinner sunk in. I picked up my phone again.

Me: Darius is coming over to my house tomorrow night and cooking dinner. My house is a disaster zone! There’s no way that it is fit for company!!!!!

I quickly logged out of everything, including my forgotten laptop, packed up, and rushed home.

Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2020 | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment