Beginning January 1, 2013
Stop by and let us know what you think of the new look! Happy New Year!
In this forty page holiday story, author Isabelle Rowan continues the well-written narrative, creative story, and interesting, well-realized characters that she introduced in A Note in the Margin. She takes them through the holidays, which, just as in "real life", present both joys and pitfalls for the men. Mostly, they're in for some surprises from people they had relegated to their past. This is well worth a read. Even though Rowan didn't leave me with a feeling that the story was incomplete, I was sorry that it ended.That brief review doesn’t really do justice, I realize now, for a story that takes Christmas head on, even though it occurs where December is summer. Decorations, homelessness, loss, love, and new chances are all in there. Some lighter seasonal reads I’d recommend in the M/M genre: The Christmas Wager by Jamie Fessenden (historical), A Walk in the Dark by Kate McMurray, and Winter Rescue, by Dawn Kimberly Johnson.
The tree stood seven feet tall, stopping just below the ceiling. An angel—clearly male—topped it. Every year, Luki argued that it was no angel at all, but St. Christopher. This year had to be the same; that was important to Luki. “St. Christopher,” he wheezed.
“Gabriel,” Sonny responded, his light-hearted smile catching. “Archangel extraordinaire.”
Sonny had cut and packed the tree from the forest surrounding the house, his own land. Sometimes he looked for a rare spruce, but this time he chose a Douglas fir because it didn’t have the pungent smell that might irritate Luki’s airways. Its branches hung heavy with needles and ornaments and light, and though it didn’t quell Luki’s sadness, it did give him peace. Maybe I don’t mind dying, he thought, knowing how horrified Sonny would be if he said it aloud. Maybe it’s just time… when Christmas is over. We’ll see. He knew, somehow, that if he chose to die he wouldn’t have to take his own life; all he would have to do is let go, and it would happen. Easy.
Josh and Ruthie would be late. They’d gone to pick up Jackie, Luki’s younger nephew, from the airport. Jackie had flown home from New York, where he was studying psychology in order to put his own horrifying experiences—which Luki had rescued him from—to good use. Since they didn’t know how late it would be when they arrived, and they didn’t know how long Luki’d be able to stay up, they went ahead with Christmas, just the three of them.
“Like the three wise men,” Kaholo said, swigging rum punch, and laughing.
“Where?” Luki asked, making the other two laugh. He smiled too. Sonny came over to his chair, stepping around Luki’s ever-present canine companion. He bent low by Luki’s ear, his breath tickling in a way that made Luki very sorry he was sick.
“Luki, that smile made my whole Christmas.” Carefully, he lifted the oxygen tube away and kissed him, very gentle, very sweet. A little more than a friendly peck, a little less than passion.
Luki met his eyes, wondering if the unlikely mixture of emotion he felt—gratitude and longing—could be seen in his own eyes through the glaze of drugs and fatigue. When Sonny took his hand, Luki gave it a squeeze, stronger than either of them expected. “Thank you,” he said, talking about everything.
Kaholo had a smile on his face, handing him a small package sloppily wrapped in paper printed with words in tiny writing, Peace, Love, Joy, over and over again. Luki started to pull the paper loose, but his uncle interrupted.
“Mili, you have to shake the package, see if you can guess! That’s a rule—you know that.”
Luki smiled again and made a show of shaking the package, which didn’t make any noise. “Wild guess: a DVD.” Because of course it was exactly the size and shape for that.
Kaholo said, “Darn!” slapping his thigh and swigging rum, again.
Paper stripped away, Luki found a copy of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. He smiled his appreciation. He and Kaholo had long since decided it qualified as the funniest movie of all time.
Sonny became suddenly shy, or worried, or reluctant, when it came time for him to give Luki his present. “I’m afraid you won’t like it, Luki.”
“It’s a tapestry, right? It’s what you’ve been weaving, these past weeks.”
“Have you ever woven something I didn’t like?”
“This is different.” But, having said that, he stood up and went to get the hung and weighted weaving. “I just don’t want you to misunderstand.” He turned it around, held it up, and let it unfurl.
As soon as he saw it, Luki knew what it was that worried his husband. Sonny was afraid that Luki would see the way the weaving depicted him and feel angry, think that Sonny had been insensitive. Because Luki hardly looked like that anymore, fit and strong and all but invincible. But he didn’t dwell on that, because both Sonny’s work and the memory it provoked held such perfect grace. “I remember,” he said, and the words brought home the feel of sea breeze, warm, damp sand beneath his feet, and waves rolling in over miles of beach deserted but for birds and Sonny, approaching as if conjured by the sun.
“You were teaching me Tai Chi,” Sonny said.
“Your hair got in my mouth.”
“The wind came up!”
“You kissed me,” Luki said.
Luki looked into Sonny’s deep, dark eyes, looked so intently that once again he saw that aura, that brilliance that surrounded him, or maybe radiated from inside him. “It’s perfect,” he said. “Thank you.”
He fell asleep with his memories.
Tired of mediocre sex, Zoie Qwin is hot for adventure. When she can't find the excitement she craves in the men around town, she reaches across the world to the one man who's ready and capable if not willing to take her hormones on a fanciful journey to Multiple Orgasmville. Zoie Qwin never managed to snag Lieutenant Commander Nash Beagan's sexually daring heart, but Lady Zest in all her erotically written letters has.
Living out her escapades in a pen and paper relationship with her fantasy man proves to be enough, until Nash, home on a short leave, takes the stage at a male Christmas auction. Lady Zest is ready to break the bank for the Christmas present of the millennium, but Zoie wants the wicked desire in Nash's bedroom-blues all for herself. A snack in the parking lot, a drink at the theatre, and a window feast next to the Christmas tree delivers exactly that, until Zoie realizes her cover's been blown and Nash is out to make her and Lady Zest stupendously his forever.
The Vampire, The Witch & The Werewolf 4: The Wolfe Pack
Silver Ashe can’t let go of the desire to find her birth father and the urge to join a pack. Against the wishes of her brother, Trevor, and her vampire-lover, Nick, Silver leaves New Orleans for the woods of Louisiana.
As the guard and a dominant member of the Wolfe Pack, Viktor isn’t too sure of the city-dwelling stranger who comes trespassing. With the lack of female werewolves, Viktor soon sees Silver as a potential mate. Too bad she’s already spoken for by a bloodsucker.
Trapped between worlds, Silver’s faced with choosing between the lover she’s known most of her life, and the budding relationship with Viktor, where her future may lay. It’ll take some sweet talking and a whole lot of loving for Silver to find her place within the pack.
Available now via Ravenous Romance, Amazon, Barnes&Noble and other eRetailers.