Beginning January 1, 2013
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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.
“Why don’t I know you?” The deep timbre of his voice made heat pool at her core.
Studying his face, she thought there was something vaguely familiar about him, but she let it go. She’d been forced out of the Community too long ago for her to remember him even if she had known him back then. And if he knew who she was, he’d be running in the other direction. Her last name had a tendency to evoke that response.
Arching an eyebrow inquisitively, she gave him her most seductive smile. “My best guess? It’s because we’ve never met.”
“That’s unfortunate. I would’ve enjoyed meeting you.”
Her breath caught at the raw sensuality surrounding the man. She shouldn’t be standing so close to him—not if she wanted to keep the tenuous grasp of control she still had. But she couldn’t bear the idea of moving away. “I’m sure you would’ve.”
“Maybe we should meet.”
She wasn’t ignorant to their ways—this wasn’t an invitation to tea. This was exactly what she’d been hoping for as she’d made her way over to him. But, no matter how strongly he affected her, she couldn’t afford to be reckless.
But she wasn’t suicidal. Not exactly something one could articulate without raising suspicion, though. She took a small step toward him and immediately regretted it. Standing so close, the pull was stronger, so intense she found it was a struggle to remember why she’d taken the step in the first place. “I’d need to know who owns you first.”
He stared at her as if confused for a moment.
“Your family and alliances,” she clarified. “Will you let me see them?” It was a daringly bold question but, if she was going to do this—and she really wanted to do this—she needed to make sure it wasn’t some sort of trick.
“Are there any you’re looking for—specifically that is?” As he slowly unbuttoned the top two buttons of his shirt, she saw the beginning of the elaborate series of tattoos and mentally kicked herself. Only she would stumble upon someone so well-connected his entire torso would be inked. “Or should I strip down for you right here in the parking lot?”
Mysterious Ireland is famous for its magical lore. But Kelly Murphy is here to mend a broken heart; not chase pots of gold. She can’t help being enchanted, though, by the beauty and charm of the land. Not to mention being completely captivated by local hunk and tour guide Sean Ahearn!
But it’s more than Ireland that’s seducing Kelly. After wandering onto a fairy hill, Kelly experiences the most passionate night of her life. It’s who it’s with that has her stumped.
Is it sexy Sean or is fairy mischief afoot?
In a land where everyone believes, can Kelly find the courage to let go of the past and take a leap of faith?
A lucky first kiss in front of a Las Vegas slot machine pays off big for bull rider Boone Hancock and New York college student Gigi Colberg-Staub. During the day they spend together as VIP guests of the casino, an intense attraction develops. Throughout the night they share in the big bed of the comped suite, hot, sensual moves ignite wild climaxes.Cowboy Jackpot: Christmas is available in digital format at Smashwords and Amazon, and in paperback at Createspace and Amazon.
When Gigi receives a miscommunication, she believes Boone thinks of her as one-night buckle bunny. She confronts him, but Boone convinces himself it's best for both of them if she goes on believing that, and he lets her walk out of his life. When he realizes his mistake, and then sees the sacrifice Gigi made for him, is it too late to win her back?
Ryan Tomasi feels like a failure. His marriage is officially over; the ink dried on the divorce decree. His friend Jack introduces him to BDSM and he agrees to attend a Halloween party at a club. A submissive approaches him, offering herself, and how can he refuse the kneeling beauty? They do a whirlwind scene and Ryan is addicted—both to dominance and to her.
Lisette Rinaldo is returning to the BDSM club for the first time since ending a bad relationship with her former master. She spots Ryan and is taken by the combination of self-assurance and nervousness the man displays as he takes in his surroundings. And after he gives her an incredible re-introduction to the lifestyle, she knows she needs to see the man again.
Ryan and Lisette explore each other and the lifestyle, but what started out as playtime quickly evolves into something more. The problem? Ryan isn’t ready to get serious again and Lisette doesn’t want to fall in love with a guy who can’t give all of himself to her. Both of them are going to have to break out of the bonds holding them back from happiness.
In a blinding snowstorm on Christmas Eve, the jaded owner of a posh Las Vegas casino mistakes the stranded real estate agent at his door for the classy call girl he's expecting to heat up his holiday.About the Author:
Passions ignite. Eve has learned men believe bedding her the most direct route to her wealth. Nick's female companions always want the keys to his Ferrari and to his safe deposit box, never to his heart, so he distrusts the entire lot and expects to simply walk away unscathed when his brief time with Eve ends.
Neither expects to give marriage a try, but hearts have a way of going where cautious souls refuse, and after screwing their heads off for six days and nights Nick and Eve discover without love their former lives were little more than empty shells.
When her sister’s body washes up on the shore in Toronto, Noire Pelletier is devastated. She’ll do whatever it takes to find her sister’s killer. Not even the gorgeous Mountie assigned to the case will distract her—for long.Amazon |Barnes & Noble
Constable Cam Dawson comes to the city seeking a serial killer, but finds a lot more—a beguiling park ranger who tastes like the wild that runs through his blood. Has he finally met the woman strong enough to embrace his lupine side?
The hunt for a killer leads Noire and Cam on a dangerous and passion-fueled journey deep into the wilderness, where they discover an evil much greater than a simple man. To make it out alive, Noire will have to trust in something stronger than vengeance—love.
The key to her freedom is accepting his bonds.Available here: http://www.total-e-bound.com/product.asp?P_ID=1905 About the Author:
Rhiannon Dubois set out to find her own path in life—with her music, her career and what she wants in the bedroom. No more giving in to get what she wants. She’s making her own rules.
Except with the billionaire playboy she can’t get out of her mind.
Sebastian Chastain knows Rhiannon better than she knows herself. Despite her best efforts to hide her need for submission behind her independent streak, she blossoms when she relinquishes control. He’s got the tools to jumpstart her career and he’s not stopping until she regains her spot in the limelight.
She puts herself in his masterful hands, but can he also convince her to offer her heart?
Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of bondage and submission, spanking, anal sex, use of toys for maximum pleasure, as well as a leash, collar and nipple clamps.
When Santa strokes his beard wishes are granted - apparently. Joanna is not convinced, but when she wakes up on Christmas morning to find her cats have magically morphed into two naked and dominant men, she doesn't know what to think anymore. All she can do is ride the waves of sensation, as all her kinky desires come true. Can fantasy stand up in reality, or was it all just a dream?Vanilla Free Christmas is available now from Evernight Publishing and all good e-retailers