Wednesday, February 1, 2023

New Release Spotlight/Giveaway: Felicity Heaton's Queen of the Underworld

Queen of the Underworld
Felicity Heaton
(A Guardians of Hades Series Prequel)
Publication date: January 31st 2023
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Hades, the wickedly dark god-king of the Underworld, needs a queen…

And he’s chosen Persephone.

All Persephone has ever desired is control of her own life, and someone noticing her once in a while. Kept in her mother’s shadow, and overlooked by the entirety of Olympus, her dream seems impossible… and now she’s doomed to wed a dull god of her mother’s choosing…

Until she crosses paths with a handsome, dark warrior who rouses wildfire heat in her veins—a male whose immense power is unmistakable, and who matches the fearful tales whispered in Olympus—stories of a cruel, heartless king who rules his realm of death with an iron fist.

When Hades abducts her and imprisons her in the depths of the Underworld, a dormant part of her awakens. And as she slowly discovers the truth about him, Persephone isn’t sure whether the snarling, dark beast of a king is her doom… or her saviour… but she knows one thing…

She will embrace the fire he awakens in her with every heated glance, and every vicious growl.

And use it to tame him and forge her dreams into reality.

Because, Persephone, the quiet, gentle goddess of nature, desires a king.

And nothing will stop her from claiming his black heart.

Queen of the Underworld is a forced proximity, enemies-to-lovers paranormal romance novel retelling the Greek myth of Hades and Persephone, and a prequel in my Guardians of Hades series. In the vein of an adult beauty and the beast, it features a grumpy-sunshine pairing that will steal your heart, with a secretly cinnamon roll hero and a secretly fiery heroine, and a powerful forever kind of love. All Guardians of Hades books have no cliffhangers, a guaranteed happily ever after, and some strong language.

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Feminine voices curled through the trees, a trio of them speaking while one continued her siren’s song, luring him towards her.

Hades stilled where rock met grass and tried to pinpoint their owners with his senses. One was closer to him than the other three, who were all grouped together at a distance. He edged to his right, his focus on that single female, curiosity rising within him again to have him trying to catch a glimpse of her.

That desire to catch just a glimpse transformed into something else—something powerful and demanding—as her soft voice grew closer, her song growing clearer, and he smelled the faintest hint of lilies.

Heat curled through his veins, that scent rousing a fierce need that thrummed in every inch of his body and had the darkness writhing harder, violently attempting to wrench control from him and make him find the owner of it. He needed to see her. He couldn’t remember the last time he had smelled such a delicate scent. His world was ash and smoke and blood, and death.

Everything about this female seemed to be the opposite of what he knew.

Her song teased his ears as her scent teased his nose, and his breath caught in his throat as he was swept up in her—a female he hadn’t even seen yet. Not just the man in him either. The darker side of him burned with a desire to see her too. He needed to know if her beauty matched her voice and her scent. He loosed a low growl and took another step forwards, remaining just within the shadows of the cave, the powerful need to see her colliding with a wariness of disturbing her.

He inched further to his right and straightened to his full six-eight height, the hard black plates of his armour shifting as he strained to catch a glimpse of her. He felt as if he wasn’t master of his own body as he tried to spot her, but it wasn’t the darkness in control of his actions.

It was the pressing desire to see her.

She was moving closer, but no matter where he moved, the trees blocked his view. His claws itched with the need to attack them until they were nothing more than splinters of wood and his view was clear of the obstruction.

He moved the other way, tracking her with his senses, and discovering something intriguing.

She was strong.

Not mortal.

There were mortals near to her though. The other three females. Were they her servants?

What goddess had come to this place, so far from Olympus or Poseidon’s realm?

Her power caressed his, grazing it lightly in a way that urged him onwards and made him forget about the mortals as it cranked up the desperation to see her.

Because he had never felt anything like her power.

It was light. Warmth. Goodness.

It was everything he wasn’t.

Hades edged closer, a predator stalking his prey, his mind churning with dangerous thoughts that roused the darker side of his blood and brought it to the fore again. Perhaps the Moirai had brought him here after all, seeking to give him something he desired for once, an attempt to appease him. Poseidon had his new queen. Zeus had his. Hades hadn’t even seen this female, but already his blood burned for her. The brush of her power against his and the delicate beauty of her voice were enough to entrance him and rouse his desire to an unbearable degree.

He wanted this female.

The thought of her warming his bed had his blood quickening.

It had been too long since he had taken a female, his duties keeping him too busy to indulge in such things as his brothers did. But he had the feeling it wasn’t his ignored physical needs that had his body aching for this female.

It was something else.

He growled low, baring his fangs, and his breaths came faster still as he moved to his right. He glared at the trees that continued to deny him, blocking his view. There had to be a better vantage point, one that would allow him to see more than tree trunks and the leafy scrub that covered the ground in places.

He froze, his entire body locking up tight.

His breath gusted from him.

A striking scarlet-haired maiden stepped into view.

She was beauty and light wrapped in flawless pale skin and rosy cheeks and pink lips that beckoned him, awakening something fierce in him as her tongue poked out to wet them. His breath lodged in his throat as he gazed at her, his awareness of the world destroyed and something fundamental inside him changing from just the sight of her. She was perfection, and she roused not only the man in him, but the darkness. It growled at him, sharpening his fangs and his nails as it whispered a fierce demand that echoed the desire that thrummed in his blood and beat in his heart.

Take her.

Author Bio:

I'm a NEW YORK TIMES, USA TODAY and International Best-Selling Author writing passionate paranormal romance books and series for adults.

I love to create detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons! All of them alpha as you would expect in paranormal romance, and every book with a guaranteed HAPPILY FOREVER AFTER!

Sign up to my newsletter for exclusive sneak previews, freebies, special offers and more! (copy / paste link into your browser):

Fans of paranormal romance books by authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter, Larissa Ione, Kresley Cole and Christine Feehan will love my books too.

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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

New Release Spotlight/Giveaway: Unbounded

Unbounded by C. Tyler

Word Count: 69,991
Book Length: NOVEL
Pages: 287



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Book Description

Sometimes, a little pain can lead to the greatest pleasure.

Bay Hurst had given up on relationships, content to ‘play’ instead. So when she found the perfect partner at a BDSM club, she knew what to expect—here for a moment, gone the next.

Six years later, that philosophy doesn’t hold as true.

When handsome stranger Michele Sacchi boards the yacht she works on, Bay is suddenly thrust head first into an unexpected situation. They’ve met before and, more than that, he was her perfect playmate.

Now the two must struggle with their desires as well as maintain a professional appearance, but there’s much more bubbling beneath the surface than even she realizes—and once they reach land, her world may erupt into chaos.

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of violence and attempted murder.


Whenever I found myself in London, one place called to me, chanted my name over and over, enticing me to its belly.

Labyrinth was an establishment where membership was exclusive, and patrons had to fully trust one another. It catered to a specific clientele, to the people who enjoyed another side to eroticism, many of whom chose to remain anonymous.

Dress code consisted of whatever cocktail attire one owned and a mask. Whether made of lace, metal, cloth, or resin, a mask had remained mandatory since the beginning of Labyrinth’s reign.

I was not a member in the official sense. I couldn’t afford the fees, but the owner allowed me a free visit whenever I was in town, so long as I sang for my supper. And sing I would.

Music had been a passion of mine since childhood. The genre changed often, but my love for it never would. Music had the power to alter people’s moods, be it uplifting or heartbreaking. It could trigger memories or help create new ones. It meant the world to me, and singing in Labyrinth was the closest I’d ever get to being a part of that world.

When I’d finished my short set to a room filled with mysterious men and women, I left the small stage, met an instant later by a man in a suit with a black resin mask. Intense eyes stared at me, so dark that they blended effortlessly with the rest of his attire.

He offered me his hand, which I accepted and used to descend the rest of the stairs. My leather dress, fitted enough to have been painted on, creaked and groaned with each step. It clung so tightly to my legs that I welcomed his help.

The stranger brought me to him, our chests together. We each remained silent, even as he hooked his index finger beneath the lime-green bracelet I wore. Raising it high enough for us both to see, there’d been a hint of green peeking out from beneath the cuff of his suit jacket as well. We were a match, something that made my heart race.

Labyrinth had a system in which members could wear a paper bracelet, not unlike those at concerts, of varying colors. Different colors meant the wearer was into different things and cut out needless chit-chat.

“Interested?” he asked.

Hmm-mm, European, but not English. What is that?

His deep, alluring accent tickled something within me, a desire I hadn’t realized I’d had. I liked it and wanted more.

“Lead the way.”

He smiled at me, his full lips curling at the corner and begging to be nibbled on.

The stranger took my hand and together we retreated down a long hall of doors. Some were open, revealing their scintillating secrets to the world.

In one room stood a man with a hand braced against a piece of furniture, the other entwined in a woman’s hair while she bobbed up and down the length of his cock. The joy on his face told me all I needed to know.

In another room, a large, burly and hirsute gentleman donning a pair of impressive heels stood over a young man much thinner in frame, who placed multiple happy kisses to the toes of the stilettos.

Other doors had been shut, closing everyone out so that those inside could have the privacy they desired.

After a few moments, we came to an unoccupied room. He stood aside and motioned for me to enter before him, which I did.

Deep-colored walls surrounded me, lit by dim sconces. Each wall had been lined with racks of toys tastefully displayed and illuminated by beams of light as though they were modern pieces of art.

To the left rested a bed with cuffs in each corner to hold the player down, and not far from that sat a chaise lounge, a prime place for someone to sit while another individual groveled. But the suspension rack near the center of the room held my attention.

Cuffs and chains hung from each corner, but I had become more interested in the pair that dangled from the center beam, the wrist restraints that would bind one’s hands together above the head.

When I was situated far enough from the wall that nothing would impede whatever hung from it, I stood within the frame and turned to the stranger. He remained near the door, hands in his pockets while he sported a wicked grin. With my gaze locked to his, I gripped the restraints and lifted myself off the ground. They were very sturdy.

His smile broadened and, with the unspoken understanding that I’d found what I wanted, he closed the door to give us much-needed privacy. Hearing the latch engage caused my skin to prickle with excitement.

The stranger removed his jacket and laid it across the chaise. His cufflinks were next, which allowed him to roll the sleeves of his white button-up shirt, revealing thick, strong forearms beneath. Tattoos dotted his caramel-colored skin, though I didn’t bother identifying what they were.

As he prepared himself, I turned my attention to the walls of toys. One rack held whips, some with tips so thin they would break skin. Another held floggers like cat-o’-nine-tails. One held paddles, another slappers and from the last hung multiple riding crops.

Labyrinth catered to many preferences and, had I known the stranger better, I might have gone for something more adventurous. Seeing as I didn’t, I went with a selection that would be fun, but safer.

I returned to the stranger with a riding crop in one hand and a three-strip slapper in the other. One would offer a more concentrated snap while the second created a slightly duller thud. His eyes sparkled as he looked them over.


After a moment of consideration, he chose the slapper. My eagerness intensified. I quite liked slappers.

My stranger set the instrument aside and stepped behind me. Slowly but surely, he tugged the dress’s zipper down, loosening it around my body. When it reached the end, he slid his hands beneath the garment and proceeded to peel it away.

He dug his fingers into my body, along the curve of my waist and the slope of my hips while he pushed the dress down.

Within seconds, it rested in a pool of fabric at my feet, leaving me in nothing more than my lacy lingerie and four-inch heels.

He took my hand and guided me to the rack where he promptly secured my wrists, staring deep into my eyes as he did. My heart raced, lodging itself in my throat. The anticipation coursed through every inch of me, priming my nerves for what was to come.

In spite of how it appeared, I didn’t feel in danger. There was plenty of slack in the chains that would’ve allowed me to uncuff my wrists myself, and Labyrinth had a rigorous vetting process for their clientele. Regardless of how it may have appeared to someone on the outside, I was safe with the stranger.

Bellisima,” he said.

Oh. So this sexy bastard is Italian. Even better.

My core ached.

Smirking, he draped my dress over the chaise with his jacket, took hold of the slapper and stepped behind me.

The first moment it touched my skin, I flinched. The cool leather and shock of it caused me to gasp. He chuckled.

He teased me for a while, running the slapper over the curve of my ass, along my spine and even down the backs of my thighs. He’d been tender, delicate, allowing each passing second to heighten the tension, and just before I could speak, before I had the chance to urge the stranger along, it happened.

A loud crack echoed through the room, shortly followed by my lustful gasp. He left the slapper in place for a breath, as though allowing the welt beneath it to form on my ass. The pain radiated through the whole of my body, infecting the smallest atom and causing me to vibrate.

It was just the beginning.

For what had to be nearly an hour, the stranger played with me. He would lull me into a sense of calm before bringing the slapper hard against my ass or the backs of my thighs. He knew what to do, how to tease every iota of pleasure out of me.

At one point, he stepped in front of me, looming tall. His eyes had turned black, any hint of brown choked out of existence with growing lust. I dared a glance down. His erection strained against his slacks. Their dark color helped hide it, but I wasn’t blind, more than able to see the line of his cock struggle to break free of the fabric. He was impressively sized, and images of me on my knees taking him into my mouth or him bending me over something and thrusting coursed through my head on an endless loop.

Sweeping my tongue across my upper lip, I stared at him through my lashes. He arched a thick brow. I doubted my intent had been unclear.

By that time in our play, my nipples had become painfully hard, rubbing against my bra and more wanting than before, while my clit throbbed and ached. I had no doubt that, if he chose to remove my panties, my excitement would’ve been visible. I couldn’t remember the last time anyone had turned me on like that from nothing more than some paddling.

My stranger stared down at me. His jaw tightened, the muscles rolling beneath his olive skin. His chest heaved with each breath, and I knew I looked the same. Fire burned in my cheeks and between my legs. I wanted so badly for him to take me.

The image of him wrapping my legs around his waist and fucking me while I hung from the beam filled my mind. There was no hiding the shiver or the gasp that parted my lips. Sex wasn’t part of the deal with a green bracelet, but God save me, I wanted it.

He looked me over, and while I was desperate to come through my skin, he reached forward. My stranger ran the back of his curled index finger over my nipple. Pleasure tore through me, intensified when he pinched the sensitive bud. He groaned, running his full bottom lip through his teeth while he massaged my breast.

“If only we had more time.” He turned his attention to my other breast and gave it the same adoration. “I am certain we could have a lot of fun.”

I have no doubt.

He shifted his grip, running his hands up my arms and massaging my biceps. He met my gaze, his eyes burning black.

“This would be perfect for it, yes?” His hands trailed back down, over my breasts, along the curve of my waist and my hips.

“Yes.” The word had been little more than a whisper.

He bent forward, encompassing my ass with his hands. The softness of them did nothing to soothe the pain of his whipping.

My stranger lifted me with ease, guiding my legs around his hips and holding me close. I’d gasped at the suddenness of it, gripping my cuffs as best I could for better support.

He ground against my clit, keeping me at the perfect angle to feel the bulge of his cock millimeters from where I wanted it most. I chewed on my bottom lip, struggling to steady my breathing while my heart raced. He was giving me my fantasy, giving me what I’d begun to long for without me having to ask.

Jesus, was he made just for me?

“If given the chance,” he said, breath gliding across my lips while the spicy scent of his cologne filled my nose, “I could spend the night inside you.”

My pussy clenched on reflex, seemingly desperate to be given the opportunity, but I kept my exterior as calm as possible.

“You shouldn’t tease. It’s not very nice.”

A dark, wicked smirk curled his lips. In it, I sensed he’d made a promise, not an empty offer. Delightful thought, to be sure.

Digging his fingers into my ass harder than before, he began the slow, deliberate action of guiding me up the length of his shaft. I held my chains, desperate for the aid of them while he continued.

“I could spend the night making you shake.” His voice had grown as dark as the color of his eyes, a fathomless void that caressed me, called to me.

What’d begun slow and deliberate, as a teasing gesture meant to heighten the sex-filled atmosphere of our private room, had quickly devolved into something more. Within seconds, he worked harder, faster, eliciting sparks of joy each time my clit scraped along his shaft. It pushed me toward an end I hadn’t expected that night, an end that I had become desperate for.

“Yes,” I said on a breath.

My stranger leaned in, our bodies tight. The muscles in my arms burned. I’d been struggling to reach out for him, to wrap them around his thick shoulders, but the cuffs kept me in place. It remained my favorite part of being bound, the inability to touch my partner when I wanted to most.

He continued to bounce me in place, relentlessly rolling my hips into his unyielding cock. Dipping into the crook of my neck allowed his sweltering growls to glide across my exposed flesh, adding yet another layer to the moment.

The coil in my gut twisted more and more with each passing second. It wouldn’t be long.

“I would worship you,” he rasped, “just to hear your screams.”

His words were fading, drowned out by the thundering pulse in my ears.

“Don’t stop.” The mewling words had somehow managed to escape me.

My stranger drew back. I struggled to keep his gaze, to stare into his beautiful face, but he’d become determined in his action, fucking me like a wild man without penetration, and it was more than enough.

A string of Italian words left his lips, their encouraging tone the only thing that I could discern.

His gaze never left mine, tempting me further into the abyss. In spite of the mask that concealed so much of his face, he was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.

“Come for me, bella,” he said in a deep, rough voice. “I want to hear it.”

I nodded and his efforts increased. I was swallowed up a second later.

When the coil sprang, I didn’t hold back. I cried out, filling our chamber with the sounds of my elation, allowing it to wash over me and release all the glorious tension he’d spent an hour building.

From somewhere in the back of my mind, I might have heard a similar sound leave him, though I was too lost to notice.

My stranger held my ass in one hand while his free arm encircled me. I quivered and shook against him, struggling to draw air into my lungs. He kept me secured to him, engulfing me with little effort and helping to pull my shattered body back together.

I had finally given out, my muscles jellied from the orgasm.

Letting out a stiff breath, my stranger loosened his grip and allowed my legs to slide from his hips until I could stand on my own once more. It’d been difficult to manage, but the cuffs weren’t suspended so high that they took me off my feet. Instead, they allowed me a bit of support.

His eyelids were heavy while a flash of pink swathed his cheeks. His full lips, perfect for biting, were parted with each huffing breath.

“I’m afraid this is the end of our play, my dear.” Genuine disappointment saturated his voice. He reached up to unlatch my wrists, standing so close that the heat of him infected me further. “Truly regrettable.”

I found his accent delicious, the way it affected each syllable and curled the consonants. He had the sort of rich voice that I could listen to for hours.

“Pity,” I said. Regardless of what’d transpired, how exhausted I’d become, I wanted more.

He smiled.

When my wrists had been freed, he retrieved my dress and offered it to me. I put it on while he righted himself, and soon it appeared as though nothing had happened.

My welts brought me back to reality, however. Each scrape of my dress across the raw skin helped remind me that it’d been real, which only served to breathe new life into those smoldering embers.

Out of curiosity, I peered at his groin. A slick sheen had overtaken the dark fabric and I knew not all the dampness had been mine.

“Will there be another performance tomorrow?” he asked.

“I’m afraid not,” I replied, stomach fluttering at the prospect of spending more time with him. “I actually have to leave Lon—”

My gaze drifted to the clock hanging near the door and my heart dropped. I’d been so invested in our play that I hadn’t been paying attention to the time. At nearly one in the morning, I’d stayed much longer than I’d intended.

“Oh, shit,” I said in shock. “I-I have to go.” I raced for the door and threw it open. “I had fun!” I shouted over my shoulder while I ran down the hall as best as my tight dress and shoes would allow.

Buy Links

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First For Romance

About the Author

C. Tyler

A fan of any genre, C. Tyler enjoys writing a wide array of stories, from fantasy and paranormal, to contemporary. Whether it’s a bad boy biker, or a burly shifter, there’s a little something for almost everyone.


Enter for the chance to win a $50.00 First for Romance Gift Card! Competition hosted by Totally Entwined Group. 

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Book Review: Marie Force's Five Years Gone


Ava thought she had it all with her hot romance with Jon until her lover goes out on a mission and disappears. Picking u p the pieces was hard but she does it until her past comes back to throw her life into a spin.

My Rating for Five Years Gone: 5 Stars and a Recommended Read

My Review of Five Years Gone:

When Ava met John in San Diego, she found a man who consumed her, fell in love with and was just happy as can be in the two years they were together. Then John was called to duty in the military and that is where her life she lived with John went to hell in a handbasket because he went away and never returned. Five years has passed, and Ava decides to leave San Diego and move back to New York City, to her family and try to put her life, her heart, back together again. But not knowing where John is, what happened to him or even if he is still a live or dead, has colored everything even as she tries to move past the past and embrace a possible new romance with a new man but John lingers in her mind and heart. Can Ava finally put to rest the past in order to have the present and future she longs for? Can she ever find peace with someone new while the man who left her behind haunts her every moment of every day?

FIVE YEARS GONE is a story that will leave you emotionally gutted. It’s a story that literally ripped me asunder and I was left shaking with emotions that I just could not process. Ms. Force delivers a powerful story that will leave you breathless as you follow Ava’s journey from the moment she met John to the present where she tries to figure out how to live with no answers to so many questions and a heart that is shattered beyond belief. With each page you flip, the reader is drawn more and more into Ava’s story and we get to see how she copes, her relationships with family, new friends and more as she tries to live once again. What go to me the most was how real the characters were. Ava, John, Eric and all the rest as they helped move the story along even as I was eager to see what Ava’s would find out in the end. The author does an amazing job in capturing each character’s vibrant and at times annoying personality quirks. Though yes, I have to say sometimes I really wanted to shake Ava at times and say to her to get help or to talk about what happened.  Several twists had me on the edge of my seat and I swear I was just about ready to bawl when the last few chapters came about and I really don’t want to give away to many things because, man, this book just guts you to a level I haven’t experienced in a long time while reading a book.

FIVE YEARS GONE is a story about moving on even when you can’t think of doing so, of forgiveness, of love, duty and so much more. Ms. Force delivers a stunning story that will keep you on the edge of your seat and flipping the pages till the very end of the book is closed. With characters like Ava, Eric and more to keep the pace moving we get to see how one woman chose to move on with her life even though the answers she seeks may never materialize. FIVE YEARS GONE is a departure over this author’s past books and yes, she is still one of my favorite authors that I will auto-buy when ever she has a release coming up. FIVE YEARS GONE is a different kind of story than what her readers may be used to. The only draw back I got was the constant character back and forth chapter wise. One minute we are in Ava’s head, next chapter maybe Eric’s or a friend or back to Ava. It got confusing at first and yes, a bit annoying, until the story started to smooth out and we got to see how Ava was and the path she was trying to forge by herself. I recommend not coming into this book expecting a classic Marie Force story. What we get with FIVE YEARS GONE is something different, emotional and downright perfect in this world we live in today. Yes, its intense and keeps you running the gauntlet of emotions but the ending though not one I might of thought would happen in the beginning but where Ava finally ends in the final chapter is the perfect ending for her in my opinion. But get the tissues and keep them handy because you WILL cry with this story. You will go and hug your partner/lover/husband/family/pets tight for a few minutes and just feel because I can say with all honesty, Ms. Force, you deliver a story that left me gutted emotion wise and I can’t wait to see where the sequel will go next.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement

Find out more in One Year Home, Sequel to Five Years Gone

Behind the Scenes with author Kelli Wilkins


Behind the Scenes… Cupid’s Schemes Volumes 1 & 2
Two Collections of Sweet Romances

By Kelli A. Wilkins   

Hi everyone!

I know we’re in the middle of winter, but Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. (In fact, I saw Valentine’s Day candy and cards for sale the day after Christmas!) Valentine’s Day is all about celebrating love and romance, so why not get in the mood now?

If you love sweet “first meet” romances, you don’t want to miss my romance anthology, Cupid’s Schemes. Cupid’s Schemes is a two-volume collection of contemporary mini-romances. Both volumes contain a dozen or more sweet romances where the characters meet under unusual circumstances and develop an intense connection.

Most of the stories originally appeared in print in the supermarket newspaper the Sun. In fact, my first professional sale was with the Sun, and I credit them for getting me started in writing romances.

I submitted my first story (Catch of the Day – a fisherman-meets-mermaid tale) to the Sun on a whim, just to see what would happen. I was thrilled when they accepted it and asked for more stories. (I also began writing sci-fi stories for the Sun and eventually combined them into an anthology called Extraterrestrial Encounters. Read more about it here:

The stories in Cupid’s Schemes are very diverse and have unique characters, including reporters, cowboys, a Medieval knight, and even a vampire. I grouped the stories by season (starting with winter), so as you read through each book, you’ll be following the calendar year. Several stories are holiday-themed tales (Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving).

I enjoyed creating the different characters and unusual settings, and welcomed the challenge of telling a new story each week. And believe it or not, some of these settings and “first meets” were inspired by true stories people have told me over the years.

When I wrote the stories, I deliberately left them open-ended so readers can use their imaginations about where the story and the characters go from here. I wanted to show how two people meet, feel a spark of romance, and then leave the rest of the story up to the reader. What happens next is up to you. I end each story with the characters in good places, with the potential to have a happy-ever-after ending with their new love interest.

These feel-good stories are perfect for a boost of romance whenever or wherever you need it. And they’re ideal for reading on electronic devices.

Here are the book summaries and links:

Cupid’s Schemes: Volume 1 - A Collection of Sweet Romances

In these 16 flash fiction vignettes, Cupid’s arrow hits the mark and ignites a spark between two strangers—whether or not they’re looking for romance. Their unusual meetings lead to new beginnings and new chances at love.

Sweet stories of couples falling under Cupid’s spell include:

* a Medieval knight courting a pretty lady
* two neighbors discover that romance can happen when you least expect it
* a mermaid rescued by a handsome stranger

Order Cupid’s Schemes: Volume 1 here:

Order your copy here:


All other platforms:


And don’t miss Cupid’s Schemes: Volume 2 - Another Collection of Sweet Romances

In these 12 mini-romances…

* a photographer falls for a sexy cowboy in an abandoned ghost town
* two friends discover romance in a spooky setting
* a long-lost love returns from out of the blue

Order Cupid’s Schemes: Volume 2 here:


All other platforms:


These lighthearted mini-romances are perfect reads for a quick lunchtime escape or an after-work indulgence.

I hope you enjoy these collections of sweet romances. I welcome comments and questions from readers and other authors. Contact me via my site, blog, or social media pages.

Happy Reading!

Kelli A. Wilkins



Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 20+ romance novels, 7 non-fiction books, and 5 horror ebooks. Her romances span many genres and settings, and she likes to scare readers with her horror stories.

Her latest novel, In Another World, was published in early 2022. This contemporary mystery/romance is set in the world of the paranormal.

She released two horror shorts, More Than I Bargained For and Silent Sentinel in 2021.

Like to write? Check out Journaling Every Week: 52 Topics to Get You Writing. This fun and innovative guide to journaling is filled with hundreds of thought-provoking prompts designed to get you writing about your feelings and emotions.

Follow Kelli on her Facebook author page: and visit her website/blog for a full title list and social media links.




Friday, January 27, 2023

Discover J. Hali Steele's Perishable/Enter the Giveaway

Title:  Perishable

Series: Sanguine Blood Seekers 4

Author: J Hali Steele

Publisher: Changeling Press LLC

Release Date: January 27

Heat Level: 5 - Erotica

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 79 pages

Genre: Erotica, Action Adventure, BDSM, Dark Fantasy, Paranormal, Age Gap (Older Man), Dark Desire, Gay, Vampires, Voyeurism and Exhibitionism


Snatched from his single mother by the wealthy family of the man he’s forced to call father, Rafe Gorman soon learns the greedy bastard has no desire to raise a child, which leaves Rafe bearing the brunt of his scorn. As soon as he comes of age to receive his trust, Rafe flaunts his disdain for his father’s regard by opening New Leaf, a gay club. It’s in New Leaf Rafe meets a being who haunts him day and night.

A vampire from the 17th century, Christopher Wren’s seen enough evil perpetrated by human men to last many lifetimes. Born a bastard below stairs, he’s witnessing nobility take what they fancied without a care -- that made him a monster, not being turned. Now Wren makes sure those who flaunt such character pay for their misdeeds. Their day of reckoning is never without pain. Then he meets Rafe, and Wren swears no one will ever hurt his lover again.

Rafe vows to give Wren nothing of himself. Instead he finds he must give the vampire everything -- including his life!

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2023 J. Hali Steele

Nodding was the best way to handle this conversation. Christopher Wren had learned enough to know when Sten Majkovic, the vampire king, had a bug up his ass you waited until he quit speaking. Pretending composure he didn’t feel, he listened. When Sten finished, Christopher spoke. “Maybe he’s antsy being in one place too long.”

“Who knows what fantastical information he laps from the minds of those he invades. After killing a dealer he disliked for selling close to a school, the crazy ass sat in my office and lit a joint. Can you believe that?” Sitting at the counter in Christopher’s kitchen, Sten used his finger to draw circles in the condensation puddled beneath his beer bottle. “Liam needs to be more responsible, Wren.”

They’d all taken to calling him Wren. Christopher often thought of himself that way now. “Good luck. He’ll require a babysitter.”

“And I have the perfect person in mind.” Sten eyeballed him.

“No. Fucking. Way.”

“Joshua is the only other vampire who can keep Liam from going off the deep end, but he and Mace are tied up on the west coast, and Kam’s away on some island with Matthias. There is no one else.”

“Come on, Sten. I’ve got enough on my plate. Let Drew do something aside from decorate.” He had done a nice job inside Christopher’s house. Looked like a showplace now, but still homey enough to enjoy and relax in. “Goddamn it, Drew’s always stuck up under your ass.”

Sten’s gaze narrowed. “Your barkeep has made you blasphemous.”

Time skidded to a halt and Christopher found himself propelled across the room along with the chair he occupied. “What the fuck was that for?” Picking himself up, Wren sent the broken chair up in flames and scattered the ashes, glaring at his king. “This isn’t about Rafe. It’s about…” Shit. He’d best not say the real issue was that Drew was becoming way too powerful. The king’s lover skirted being out of control.

“Because he’s befriended your mate?” Sten stood. “What is it with you guys not wanting your lovers to associate with each other? Afraid they’ll want to do more than watch you get it on or something?”

The or something had Christopher’s lips curving. He imagined smacking Drew or Mace’s ass. Could get deadly, as neither man showed predilection for sexual behavior involving spanking or restraints. Christopher got off on that idea. A handprint on his lover’s buttocks excited the hell out of him. A man struggling against ties because he wished to use his hands on a partner made Wren’s cock hard every time. His mind went off on a tangent as he pictured Rafe tied to his headboard, his cute little ass spread eagle, face down and begging for penetration, his butt cheeks pumping up and down on the mattress.

“For fuck’s sake. Now I must find Drew.”

Laughing, Christopher said, “You’re thinking about it.”

“Liam’s yours. Just keep an eye on him, Christopher, until I can find something to occupy his rowdy ass.” The vampire king was the only one who could dematerialize without leaving a visible trail of light or frost. Hell, the bastard could creep up on any vamp. He never radiated cold unless he chose to.

“Bollocks.” Sitting on a bar stool, Wren manufactured a beer. He had a growing affection for the local lager.

Sten’s voice leached into Christopher’s psyche. Keep calm and carry on.

“Bastard.” Christopher had been born and raised in England. The statement evoked memories of World War II, a time of great human suffering and death for European nations. Christopher had decided to try soldiering. Lieutenant colonel of a large battalion, he was idolized by his men for fair-mindedness, peacekeeping and, when all else failed, ferocity on the battlefield. The aftermath of his cruelty went unreported due to his capability to control hundreds of minds at once -- a skill which had placed him on a collision course with the vampire king. That and Christopher exhibiting the adoration of too many troops with his dick. His charges tended to trail him around the country mindlessly causing disturbances with blatant and uncontrolled orgies, which Wren sometimes failed to extinguish before moving on.

He truly wanted to lavish Rafe Gorman, proprietor of New Leaf, with his cock. The man had been stand-offish on each of Christopher’s visits since the incident months ago with his maker’s relative, Soris -- an ancient pharaoh and vampire who, along with his followers, attempted to harm Matthias. That incident had sent Kam, who carried some of the wayward pharaoh’s familial blood, into an uncontrollable rage. During the fallout, Rafe had been incarcerated with Drew and Mace for his own safety. That’s when Rafe had become aware vampires existed, and that he had spent the evening in a nest of undead monsters.

Liam, for the most part, managed to control the newly turned creatures Soris had left behind to care for his homeland but Christopher wasn’t happy having a handful migrate to the area. Philadelphia was large but the young vamps moved to western suburbia where Christopher resided in a house near others Sten favored. The king maintained an enclave in Exton, Pennsylvania, where the deadliest immortals roaming earth had set up homes for themselves.

Kam had hit the nail on the head when he said Wren didn’t like vamps of Soris’ ilk hanging out at New Leaf.  He’d caught one or two eyeing Rafe. That behavior was going to get someone’s heart ripped out. Christopher had helped himself to their youthful lifeforce to make sure they stayed away from what belonged to him. Getting new undead to understand about mates and boundaries was no easy task. To them, anything on two legs showing one iota of interest was fair game. Didn’t surprise Wren, really, considering Soris’ repugnant lifeforce continued to run through their veins.

Then there was Liam. The biggest manwhore strolling the face of the earth. “You guys are jealous I don’t have a mate to contend with.”

Talk about the devil…

Changeling Press LLC | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

Meet the Author

J. Hali Steele wishes she could grow fur, wings, or fangs, so she can stay warm, fly, or just plain bite the crap out of… Well, she can’t do those things but she wishes she could!

J. Hali's a multi-published and Amazon bestselling author of Romance in Paranormal, Fantasy, and Contemporary worlds which include ReligErotica and LGBTQ stories where humans, vampyres, shapeshifters and angels collide -- they collide a lot! When J. Hali’s not writing or reading, she can be found snuggled in front of the TV with a cat in her lap and a cup of coffee.

Growl and roar -- it's okay to let the beast out. -- J. Hali Steele

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


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Thursday, January 26, 2023

Discover The Montgomery Arrangement by Lori Fayre and Enter the Giveaway!

The Montgomery Arrangement by Lori Fayre

Book 3 in the Unexpected Mergers series

Word Count: 50,086
Book Length: NOVEL
Pages: 190



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Book Description


Summer fling or something more?

Paige Montgomery had never given the future much thought until the opportunity of a lifetime falls into her lap. Confronted with a life-changing path, she decides that a vacation to Miami with her best friends, the Alexanders, will clear her head. However, Bryce Alexander has other ideas.

Bryce proposes an arrangement, something casual and mutually beneficial to help them both relax while they’re away from it all. There are only two conditions—no one can know and absolutely no emotions can be involved. Though he’s seven years younger, Paige thinks there could be merit in his suggestion.

Paige can’t escape the reality of where her life is headed or her long-time friend, Levi, who has his sights set on her. But what do they really mean to each other? And does Bryce mean more? While Bryce tries his hardest to escape the spotlight and his new reputation, Paige has to wrestle with the idea that she could just be a distraction to him. With a years-long friendship on the line, will they take a chance on love?


July 9

When Paige was working on a painting, time didn’t exist. By the time a piece of art was done, she could hardly remember doing it. The feeling was there, and it was easy to look at one stroke of color and say, “Oh, yeah, I was feeling very sad when I laid that down.” But she couldn’t tell you exactly when it had happened or why. So, when Bryce Alexander assured her that the pieces she’d donated to him were a big hit, she’d had a hard time believing him. Honestly, she couldn’t remember which ones she’d picked from storage to send him.

“I’m not kidding,” Bryce said through the speaker against her ear. “You outsold everyone else here.”

“You know me,” she said, trying her best to play it off. She fiddled with a strand of long blonde hair that had fallen out of her updo. “I’m always happy to help. I’m just glad they went to a good cause.”

“You could say that,” he said. “I’ve been invited to an afterparty—and I don’t mean to brag, but I think some of those girls are really into me.”

Paige rolled her eyes. “Not exactly how I wanted my art to change lives.” Leave it to Bryce to turn a charity event into a prime opportunity to pick up women.

From what he’d told her, Bryce hadn’t wanted to go to the event in the first place. Carlton Alexander, wielding his fatherly authority all the way from Greece, had ordered it. Bryce had been getting into trouble lately—and not the kind that was easy to ignore. Over the past couple of years, the Alexanders had become celebrities. Maybe it was because the behind-the-scenes story of Jade and Spencer’s dramatic engagement period had gotten out, but it had skyrocketed business and put the family under a new kind of spotlight.

“Aren’t you supposed to be cutting back on the partying?” Paige asked, attempting to keep her tone neutral. It wasn’t her place to meddle in Bryce’s affairs, even if he was her friend.

“Daddy dearest isn’t here to enforce that rule,” Bryce argued. “Besides, these are art people. Charity art people, to be exact. How wild could the afterparty get?”

As one of those ‘art people’, Paige knew how wild they could be. Not that he’d listen to her if she warned him… It would only encourage him more. Releasing a sigh, Paige simply said, “Just promise me you’ll behave, okay? And don’t drink too much.”

“Yeah, yeah, of course.” His voice became quiet as he moved the phone away from his face, and she knew that some girl in a flashy dress had probably distracted him. “You know, you could always come with me. I can drop by and pick you up.”

“That sounds amazing, actually.” She leaned against the wall, wishing she could tell him yes. “Maybe some other time, though. I have my showing tonight, and I’ll have to be here at least another two hours.”

“All right,” Bryce said, and she almost thought she could hear disappointment in his voice. “Don’t have too much fun without me.”

“Talk to you later, Bryce.”

“I’ll talk to you later, Paige,” he echoed her words softly.

There was silence before he hung up the phone. Paige sighed again. A night out with Bryce was always a good time, but she had responsibilities. He’d graduated from college only a couple of months earlier, and ever since he’d been free, he’d been an entirely new person. Paige could pick out the signs, the small changes over time, but it was a stark contrast to the Bryce she’d met nearly four years ago. She didn’t mind, but he could get carried away very easily.

Paige slipped her phone into the small handbag around her wrist. The night was not about Bryce. It was about her obligations. She’d tucked herself into a corner of the gallery, near an emergency exit, to take his phone call. Behind her, the sounds of the showing could still be heard—the laughter, the clinking of glasses, the music and the critical whispers as people judged the art they had paid a high price to view. It was the kind of thing she dreamed of, but something wasn’t right.

Paige didn’t feel like herself. Her sleeveless evening gown was expensive, its flowing marbled skirts and cinched waist very stylish without being too eye-catching and flattered her slim figure. Unlike the other artists being featured at Gould’s Gallery, she didn’t want to stand out. They were all either dressed down for the night or wearing the strangest outfits that had to be impossibly uncomfortable. Normally, Paige would have done the same. Something had changed.

Paige turned her attention to the piece hanging on the gallery’s white wall in front of her. It didn’t feel like hers. It didn’t look like hers from afar. But, when she squinted, she recognized every brushstroke. It was one of her abstract paintings—a large canvas covered with varying strokes of paint, all a myriad of colors blocked off by bold black lines. Each day she would approach the canvas with a new mood, new thoughts and ideas, and paint. As she worked, she would take in the previous day’s progress and try to fix it. In the end, it hadn’t turned out the way she’d wanted, but she had been well over her deadline, and it would have to do.

“It’s beautiful work.” Levi Gould materialized beside her. “Though, I don’t think you were entirely happy making it.”

“I’m not entirely happy standing in front of it,” Paige shot back. She smiled, playing it off as humor, but there was mostly truth to it. She had to search hard to find pieces of herself in the paint, and it was a skewed image, blurry like a fogged mirror.

“Are you saying you’d be willing to part with it?”

Paige turned to look at him. Levi was classically handsome with his dark brown skin, neatly trimmed beard and long, thin braids. Like some of the other artists, he was dressed informally, in a T-shirt and blazer, a layered scarf, and white cargo pants with combat boots. His hair was covered with a black fedora, completing his monochromatic ensemble.

They had been friends since college, where they’d taken many of the same classes, but when the time came to choose a career, Paige had stuck with painting while Levi had opened his own gallery. It hadn’t taken long for Gould’s to become the exclusive art hub in New York City, one that all the up-and-coming artists had to be a part of.

Levi quirked an eyebrow at her, his dark brown eyes expectant. Paige realized that she hadn’t spoken for several moments, only stared at Levi.

“I’m sorry. What did you say?” she asked.

“Do you want to keep your painting or not?” Levi asked with a smile.

“I’m clearly not married to it,” she said with a shrug. “You can keep it.”

“I’m flattered that you’d offer, but that’s not what I had in mind. You might not be happy with your stunning work, but a patron is.” He slipped an arm around her shoulders. “Mr. Talles has made a substantial offer, and I would like to graciously accept on your behalf.”

“Hold on. I thought this was just a showing,” Paige said, butterflies fluttering in her stomach.

“It is, darling, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to turn down an influential collector when he offers my friend five figures. Of course, I would get a ten percent commission since it’s my gallery.” He laughed. “You’re doing pretty well for yourself, aren’t you? I think this is the second work of yours that he’s bought.”

Paige could only nod, still struggling to wrap her head around the five figures part. Between this sale and the success of the charity auction, Paige felt a bit of her old confidence creeping back in.

“Is that a yes?” Levi asked. “Because he would like to take it home tonight.”

“He can have it,” Paige said, finally shaking herself from her fog. Levi turned away to speak to an assistant, ushering him away once he was done. Paige watched all of it from the corner of her eye, dividing her concentration between the two men and the painting and wondering why anyone would offer so much for it.

“For someone leaving with a considerable check tonight,” Levi whispered conspiratorially upon his return to her side, “you don’t seem overly thrilled. What is it that has you in such a glum mood?”

Paige smiled at him. “I’m over the moon. I am,” she added. “I’m slow at getting used to all this. I mean, I’m used to showings and people buying my stuff, but this is your gallery. This is Gould’s. And it’s my first time being here during a showing, so forgive me if I seem a little distant.”

“I’m nothing special, Paige Montgomery.” He nudged her shoulder with his. “You know me better than that.”

“You’re special to me.” Paige nodded to one of the women holding a glass of champagne and narrowing her eyes at a neighboring piece. “And you’re special to the critics.”

“I want to show you something,” he said, taking her hand. Paige didn’t argue, but she glanced around to see if anyone would notice them leaving together. The only person who spared them a look was the assistant placing a ‘Sold’ placard underneath her painting.

The upstairs of the gallery was roped off for the night. Not even the artists were allowed up until the next morning. Levi had converted the old loft of the building into an art studio where, for a hefty fee, artists could claim a five-by-five or ten-by-ten-foot square to work on their craft. Along with the space, they were also guaranteed exposure on the walls of the gallery once a month. It was a daring business venture, but it seemed to be doing well. A spot at Gould’s studio had a waiting list a mile long.

Levi lifted the black velvet rope that led to the stairwell, allowing them to duck underneath. The stairs were narrow, and there was no door at the landing. When Levi flipped on the fluorescent lights, Paige let out a gasp. She had toured the place, but that had been when it’d been staged for visitors. She knew how chaotic artists’ spaces could be, since she had to set one up wherever she was staying.

The loft seemed smaller than it had before, what with all the clutter scattered around. Half-painted canvases were propped on easels and along the wall. Wheeled carts jutted into the aisle marked off with duct tape, signifying whose space belonged to whom. The wood floors were stained with paint and streaks of charcoal. The open space was broken up with the occasional industrial column, but those were splattered with paint as well. It was a lived-in space with a view that most renters would kill for. Despite the chaos around her, Paige had never felt more at home in a new place before.

“We keep our kiln and sculpting equipment in the basement,” Levi told her as he led her farther in. “It’s been a while since we’ve had a sculptor rent a spot in here, though.” He took her to the tall windows in the back of the room, where the building opened up to the city. Since they were on the Lower East Side, Paige could see straight to the ocean and the Statue of Liberty.

“This is so different from what I remember,” Paige finally said. “And it’s not at all how it looks in the magazines.”

“Are you overwhelmed or disappointed?” Levi stepped up to the window, his tall silhouette set against the lights of the city.

“Neither,” she told him. “But I can certainly see why people are fighting for a spot here. I can feel the creative energy.”

“You should see it when we’re full,” Levi said. “It’s loud and messy, but it’s the best place to get work done. Though, we do argue about the music from time to time.” He motioned for her to join him, and she took slow steps to his side. There was something about him that night, something about the look in his eyes and the way that he spoke. If Paige didn’t know any better, she might think he was coming on to her.

“I’d like to see it one day,” she said. “I’ve thought about putting my name on the list, but I don’t know if I’ll be here when a spot opens up. I don’t know where I’ll go next, but I’ve been in New York too long. I’m starting to feel restless.”

“What if you could skip the wait?” he asked. “What if someone were to jump you to the front of the line? Do you think that would be worth sticking around for?”

Paige crossed her arms, focusing on the torch in Lady Liberty’s hand. “What did you have in mind?”

“One of my artists is going overseas.” He said it so casually, as though he weren’t trying to offer her a coveted spot at Gould’s that could skyrocket her career even farther. “There will be an open easel here if you want it.”

Paige turned to him with wide eyes. “I don’t think that would be fair to everyone else.”

“Being the owner comes with perks, love,” he told her. “And I know a good investment when I see one.”

Heat rushed to Paige’s face as she got the distinct impression that he wasn’t talking about her art anymore. “It’s a tempting offer,” she started, “but, I’ve been in a creative slump lately, and I don’t know if I could make anything worth being on display.” She chewed on her thumbnail as she thought. “The one down there must have been a fluke. I don’t want to take the spot and not produce anything,”

“It doesn’t matter if anyone thinks that it’s good enough,” Levi said, taking her free hand. Paige could do nothing but watch him as he pulled her closer. “It’s the curator’s discretion to show what he thinks is worth it. And you’re talking to a curator who sees beauty in all that you do, Paige.” He surprised her then by raising her hand to his lips and kissing it softly.

So, she wasn’t imagining things. Over the past couple of years, what with Jade and Clint in their own separate honeymoon phases, Paige had been spending more time with Levi. And, sure, there had been flirtations, but they were always playful, silly and when they were around other people. It was never something she had taken seriously, but the look in his dark brown eyes warned her that it was time to start.

“Can I have some time to think about it?” she asked, her voice coming out breathless.

Levi smiled kindly at her. “Of course, you can,” he told her. “I wouldn’t expect you to have an answer for me as early as tonight. How about you get back to me within ten days?”

“Ten days?” Paige balked. “Is that all you can give me?”

He laughed, a low rumbling sound that came from deep in his chest. “I want this for you, Paige, but it’s the best I can do. Like you said, there are a lot of people vying for this spot, and it wouldn’t be fair to make them wait for long.”

Off the top of her head, Paige could think of several reasons to say no. If she worked for Levi Gould, there would always be interviews to attend, photo ops and PR to deal with. And while all of it was good for business, it wasn’t her style. Paige liked to travel and see new things. While she would revisit places, she rarely stayed for long.

“New York is beautiful, but I’m not sure if it’s the place for me.” Having to rent an apartment in the city and take a taxi to work every day… Paige was unsure about a lot, but she knew that anything resembling a nine-to-five wasn’t in her future. She smiled at Levi to reassure him. “I’ll think about it and let you know, okay?”

“Works for me.” He gave her hand a small squeeze and turned back to the window.

Paige took a deep breath. She had ten days to decide if she was going to take a dream job and relocate her entire life to New York. The thing was, she wasn’t sure if it was her dream—or if it was just what she thought she wanted. 

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About the Author

Lori Fayre


Lori Fayre was born and raised in a small South Georgia town. An obsessive consumer of romance throughout all media, she knew that it was the only genre she could ever write. Love should always be full of passion and adventure, and Lori proves as much in her novels that span multiple genres and pairings. When she’s not writing love stories, she enjoys reading, sketching, and spending time with her husband and Yorkie.

You can find Lori at her website here, follow her on InstagramYouTube and TikTok.


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Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Discover The 9: Zone Today and Enter the Giveaway!

The Nine: Zane
Elle Arroyo
Published by: The Wild Rose Press
Publication date: January 25th 2023
Genres: Adult, LGBTQ+, Paranormal, Romance

Zane is Anunnaki, one of the nine immortals subjugated to walk the earth for eternity while tasked with protecting humankind from the malice. He must bind himself to an heir before the demons secured within his vessel burst free. Except that Zane is not interested in the female chosen for him. Instead, his desire lies in the man he met five years ago and shared an innocent, heartfelt night with. Eric Diaz had left Zane wanting.

Before they force Zane to bind himself with the female, he seeks Eric and shares one night of passion, hoping to satisfy his hunger for the man. But it doesn’t work, and Zane does everything in his power to keep Eric by his side, even risking the human realm and unleashing hell on earth.


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Sneak Peek Excerpt:



“I’m okay. I’ll be okay,” he said into her neck, but Eric didn’t sound convincing, and I realized what a jerk I’d been. Spewing shit about sex while his dog was dying. I should’ve offered an emotional connection. Empathy. Something. Instead, I made it about me.

 She broke the connection and gave Boomer some attention. “What did the doctor say?”

“A few days. We can only make her comfortable now.”

She kissed the dog and eased her back down. “I’m sorry, baby,” she whispered. Then she got up to face Eric. “You did really good with her. You know that, right?”

He shrugged and shoved his hands into his pockets. No, I didn’t think Eric realized any good thing he’d ever done.

Rosa opened her mouth, then shut it when she saw me. “And why is he still here? And wearing your clothes. Did you two have sex?”

“Rosa!” Eric admonished.

I liked the shade of pink lifting to his face. “That’s none of your business.”

He didn’t quickly say no. That was something to file for later inspection.

“Ohmygod, you’re blushing. You did have sex. Finally. Though, I didn’t know you were into men, but hey, I do not judge.”

Eric rolled his eyes as he dropped onto the sofa. “Oh, God, you’re giving me a headache.”

“So who is your new lover?” she asked, walking toward me.

“Thomas Raine,” I answered.

She turned to Eric who remained on the sofa. “Are you bringing him to the dance?”

“No,” Eric said dryly.

“The sheriff will be there.”

“Hell no,” he said.

She chuckled.

The mention of the sheriff got my attention. “What’s this dance?” I asked. Not that I’d ever expected to be interested in going to a small-town dance. I couldn’t say I’d ever been to one to judge.

“Oh, it’s a fundraiser for our local library,” Rosa said. “You should come.”

I suddenly wanted to go.

“Rosa, he’s a stranger,” Eric said.

Rosa snorted. “Honey, he’s wearing your clothes. I think the stranger danger of whatever this is”—she waved her hand between us— “already left the building.”



Author Bio:

Elle is the author of Dark Fantasy MM Romance. She writes about alpha males fighting their demons, saving the world, and falling in love. And not necessarily in that order.

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New Release Spotlight/Giveaway: Felicity Heaton's Queen of the Underworld

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