Archive | October 2018

Claiming Candy by Madison Faye

NOW LIVE & ONLY 99c!!! Claiming Candy by Madison Faye is available now + FREE in KU!!!

fast paced, edgy and sexier than you could imagine and I want more. This is one Halloween treat you will WANT…GUARANTEED!” – Marie’s Tempting Reads

a delightfully filthy ménage romance filled with tricks and treats, perfect for Halloween” – Goodreads reviewer

US: https://amzn.to/2Jpp8wj
UK: https://amzn.to/2CSarAZ
CA: https://amzn.to/2JusX3G
AU: https://amzn.to/2qhKXFB

Trick or Treat, Candy’s sweet.
We’ll give her something hard to eat.
We’ve waited long, behind jail bars.
But this Halloween, we’ll make her ours…

Rough, untamed, and recently escaped from the psych ward at Tucker Prison. They say we’re dangerous—that we’re a couple of animals. That we’re unhinged, deranged maniacs.

…They ain’t wrong.

Tonight, we’re on the run, and on the prowl. And when we tumble upon the “date” auction at the local college sorority and see her up on that auction stage? Well, we know we’ve found our prize.

She’s far too innocent for two big, hardened, beasts like us. But, that ain’t gonna stop us. Nothing will. There’ll be no shaking us once we’ve caught a scent of her, no holding us back once we’ve gotten a peek of those sweet curves and honeyed lips.

She’s never been touched. We’ve gone far too long without. And tonight, little red is about to meettwo big bad wolves out in the woods.

Two big mouths, the better to eat her with. Four big hands, the better to hold her tight between us with. Two big…well, let’s just say the better to claim her with.

Something wicked her way comes. Two somethings, actually. And tonight, sweet little Candy is about to find two things that go bump in the night…

Grab some candy, hunker down, and get ready to pull the blankets up to your eyes! If you’re looking for hot, wild, a little scary, and fun, with a big ‘ole helping of wrong, you’re in the right place! This book contains themes that may be triggering to some readers. But, if you’re brave enough to get through it, I promise there’ll be a treat for you at the end ;).

This mfm romance is all about her – no m/m. As with all my books, this standalone novella has no cheating, and a HEA guaranteed.

 

Papa’s Captive

His Castle. His Rules.

Papa’s Captive

Sue Lyndon & Celeste Jones

 

His castle. His rules.
His precious little captive.

Rosie isn’t your typical reluctant bride. She has secrets. Lots of them. If her betrothed, Lord Caldwell, learns the truth about her dark past, it could spell ruin and heartbreak.

Lord Caldwell is a man who takes what he wants. Despite Rosie’s hesitation, he whisks her away to Gretna Green and his castle on the Scottish border.

As his wife, she quickly discovers she’s subject to his rules and discipline. And Lord Caldwell can be very, very firm.

Publisher’s Note: This deliciously naughty historical romance novel is perfect for lovers of racy Regency romance, daddy dom romance, age play romance, domestic discipline romance, and bdsm and spanking romance. Like all the books in the Little Ladies of Talcott House series, it can be enjoyed as a standalone title.

BUY LINK ->-> https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JB979JJ/

She wiggled more in the water, unable to stop herself as the waves of pleasure tightened below her waist. Then she remembered what would happen if she splashed water on the floor again and froze. But the look she gave her papa must have revealed her urgency, because his hand next delved between her thighs and he traced the outer folds of her kitty, teasing and testing the part of her that was begging to be tended.

“I also think you like it when Papa touches you here, Rosie, right on your privates.”

She pressed herself against his fingers and gasped when he grazed over the extra sensitive bud she sometimes rubbed herself. “Oh, Papa.” She whimpered and clutched onto the sides of the tub while he continued his exploration of her kitty. “Papa, please.”

He bestowed soft strokes to her outer lips, followed by more insistent, deeper strokes to the insides of her womanhood. She spread her legs and invited him to keep touching her, to keep making her feel oh so good. Never during the times she’d reached between her own thighs and stroked herself had it felt so wondrous. Before she knew what was happening, she was soaring higher, propelled to unknown heights into the clouds. Heated sensations pulsed through her.

She shut her eyes and gyrated against Papa’s hand as she hovered on the precipice of the unknown bliss she’d tried to unsuccessfully reach on her own. She couldn’t be sure, but she felt something was supposed to happen next. Something euphoric and magical.

“Come for me, Rosie.” Papa’s familiar and comforting deep voice penetrated her conscious, sending a rush of pleasurable tingles to the top of her head, a strange but not unwelcome sensation she’d never experienced before. “Come for Papa.”

Using his thumb, he circled her nubbin faster and harder, while keeping another digit—or perhaps two—partially submerged inside her kitty. Yes yes yes. Almost there.

BUY LINK ->-> https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JB979JJ/

SUE LYNDON

USA TODAY bestselling author Sue Lyndon writes steamy D/s romance in a variety of genres, from contemporary to historical to fantasy. She’s a #1 Amazon bestseller in multiple categories, including BDSM Erotica and Sci-Fi Erotica. But no matter the genre, her heroes are always HOT dominant alpha males. She also writes non-bdsm sci-fi romance under the name Sue Mercury. When she’s not busy working on her next book, you’ll find her hanging out with her family, watching sci-fi movies, reading, or sneaking chocolate.

Website http://www.suelyndon.com

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSueLyndon/

Twitter https://twitter.com/SueLyndon

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/authorsuelyndon/

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Sue-Lyndon/e/B006A8J6KG/

**Get FREE reads when you sign up for Sue’s newsletterand never miss a freebie, sale, or new release: http://eepurl.com/bV2Ek5 **

CELESTE JONES

USA Today bestselling author Celeste Jones is known for writing highly entertaining erotic romance featuring headstrong heroines and stern yet loving heroes who aren’t afraid to take a naughty woman over their knees. When she’s not writing, she enjoys travel, reading and dancing like no one is watching.
Social Media Links

End Street Detective Agency ~ Series Recap Blitz

 

End Street Detective Agency – Now Available In Kindle Unlimited
 
Volume 1 – The Case Of The Cupid Curse / The Case Of The Wicked Wolf
 
Amazon US | Amazon UKFREE October 27 – October 31
 
Volume 2 – The Case Of The Dragons Dilema / The Case Of The Sinful Santa
 
 
Volume 3 – The Case Of The Purple Pearl / The Case Of The Guilty Ghost
 



Sam Enderson is a human detective who inherits a building from where his Uncle used to run a detective agency. He finds himself working for paranormal creatures despite his resolve to stick with humans only. To supplement his income as a new PI Sam rents out rooms in the large house.


Bob is a vampire and turns up on Sam’s doorstep to rent a room. Sparks fly and Sam is attracted to the vampire despite himself.


Six cases, and a box full of secrets, with dragons, vampires, witches, ghosts, werewolves, demons, angels, santas, and a talking gargoyle… to name but a few.

RJ’s goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.


RJ is the author of the over one hundred novels and discovered romance in books at a very young age. She realized that if there wasn’t romance on the page, she could create it in her head, and is a lifelong writer.


She lives and works out of her home in the beautiful English countryside, spends her spare time reading, watching films, and enjoying time with her family.


The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit and has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.


She’s always thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers. Please contact via the following links below:


Email RJ (rj@rjscott.co.uk)

Amber Kell has made a career out of daydreaming. It has been a lifelong habit she practices diligently as shown by her complete lack of focus on anything not related to her fantasy world building.


When she told her husband what she wanted to do with her life, he told her to go have fun.
During those seconds she isn’t writing, she remembers she has children who humor her with games of ‘what if’ and let her drag them to foreign lands to gather inspiration. Her youngest confided in her that he wants to write because he longs for a website and an author name—two things apparently necessary to be a proper writer.


Despite her husband’s insistence she doesn’t drink enough to be a true literary genius, she continues to spin stories of people falling happily in love and staying that way.


She is thwarted during the day by a traffic jam of cats on the stairway and a puppy who insists on walks, but she bravely perseveres.


Website: http://www.amberkell.com
E-mail: amberkellwrites@gmail.com

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Scary Daddy ~ Release Tour

Scary Daddy from Ava Sinclair.

Available Now
BUY LINK ->-> https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JL5P5ZZ/
or FREE on Kindle Unlimited

 

There are consequences for what you’ve done. What does that even mean? Whatever it means, Lindy and I aren’t in on the plan. In fact, now that we’re inside the men’s house, we’ve been taken upstairs and escorted to separate rooms. As I’m thrust inside the one I’m taken to, I look around in bewilderment. It’s a beautiful room, a feminine room, a room fit for a Victorian child. From the ornate canopy bed with rose damask canopy and matching curtains to the cream duvet trimmed in delicate eyelet to the old-fashioned wardrobe and bookshelf crammed with old-fashioned books and toys, everything is picture perfect.

“You have a child?” It’s not the first question I expected to ask, but it’s the first one that comes to mind.

“For now, yes. Two, in fact.” Clay is between me and the door. His stern expression hasn’t changed. “Two very naughty, very spoiled little girls. One in here, and the other in the bedroom down the hall.”

When it dawns that he’s referring to us, I feel indignant.

“Look, Clay. I understand that you’re upset. You have every right to be. You’ve made your point, so if you’d just…”

“No, Rowan. You’re wrong. We’ve yet to make our point. But we will.” He walks past me and as soon he does I bolt for the door. “It’s locked. You can’t get out.” I turn to see him opening the wardrobe. “Your clothes are wet and unbecoming of a young lady in this household. You’ll wear this now.” I stare in disbelief as he lays an outfit on the bed. There’s a Victorian style dress, stockings, and…drawers?

“I assume you can dress yourself.”

“I’m not wearing that.”

“Yes, you are.” He walks over and puts a finger under my chin. “You’re going to get dressed like a good girl, aren’t you, Rowan?” His eyes are locked onto mine. They’re dark but there’s a flicker in them and his gaze sends a flash of heat through my body. He’s so much larger than I am, so…powerful… more powerful than any person I’ve ever met. As far as I know, he’s the most powerful man in the world. I have to do as he says. I don’t know how I know this. I just do, just as I know he isn’t going to hurt me. He wants to protect me. He wants to take care of me. I have no reason to disobey. Clay steps back and I stand there, supported by the feeling running through my body.

“Yes. I’ll get dressed.” I hear the words coming out of my mouth. They sound like they’re coming from somewhere else.

Clay turns and walks out the door without another word, leaving me alone. I look down, and it’s the oddest things. I’m undressing, but it’s like watching a movie of myself. My reach for the hem of my shirt and pull it over my head. I lean down, pushing my sneakers off and remove my pants and socks. I’m standing in a stranger’s bedroom in just my bra and panties and even those are coming off now, discarded by my own helplessly obedient hand and added to the heap of clothing at my feet.

I pick up the drawers. I’ve never seen anything like them, and yet I know how to put them on. I pull them up, tying them at the back. I feel an odd little tingle as I realize that they are split in the back. Why? Why are they open? They feel both innocent and wicked. The stockings come next. They’re terribly old-fashioned, like something a girl would wear and yet the fit me perfectly. So does the dress, which is robin’s egg blue. There are shoes, too, cute little leather boots with a genuine boot hook. I shouldn’t know how to use it, but something beyond my own understanding guides my hand as I use the little tool to fasten the old-fashioned buttons. The feeling of blind obedience fades as soon as I’m dressed. I remember donning the clothes. I just can’t remember why. I walk to the door, testing it again. It’s still locked. I put my ear to it, listening for Lindy. Has she been told to change her clothes, too? Did she also blindly obey? I walk to the window and look outside. The wind is blowing harder, pushing clouds across the sky. They move past the moon. The moon…It’s still in the same position as it was when we were egging this house, even though that was well over an hour ago, maybe more. Below I can see strands of toilet paper, sodden and limp, coating the shrubs. I was right. The rain practically adhered the stuff to the shrubs. What a mess. Maybe I’m dreaming, I think. I close my eyes and pinch myself.

“Damn it,” I say when I open them again and find nothing has changed.

“Language, young lady.” I cry out in fright and spin around. I’m face to face with Clay. I hadn’t even heard him come in. He’s changed his clothes. He’s wearing a blue sweater and cream-colored pants. His black hair is no longer loose but piled into a bun on his head. I’ve always thought man buns were weird, but oh-my-god does he look sexy as fuck. He’s the prettiest man I’ve ever seen in my life, and I’m can’t stop my shameless staring. “Now this is a properly turned out little girl.” He’s talking about me. It takes a moment for me to realize this, and his next words do nothing to minimize my confusion. “Papa is very proud at how you dressed yourself, Rowan.”

“Papa?” I repeat the word back to him.

“Yes, poppet. Papa. He’s pleased to see you looking so pretty. He knew blue was your color.” He takes my hand. “Of course, he’s still very disappointed in your naughtiness. You know, of course, that you’ll have to pay for what you’ve done.” I have no idea what’s going on.

“Listen, Mr. Hilliard. Lindy and I will clean everything up. First thing in the morning.”

“Yes, you will. But that’s not enough. You have to be punished.” Clay has led me to the bed. He sits on the edge. “Do you know how I’m going to punish you, sweet little Rowan? Do I really need to tell you?”

BUY LINK ->-> https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JL5P5ZZ/

Roommates Lindy and Rowan can hardly wait to decorate their new home for Halloween, but no sooner do they begin than they run afoul the newly elected head of their homeowner association, Clay Hilliard.

When Clay tells them the inflatable Hello Kitty won’t be allowed on their lawn, the women plan revenge against the handsome homeowner association head and his assistant, Jon Ingram. An old-fashioned prank is in order, one involving eggs and toilet paper.

But Clay and Jon aren’t just ordinary neighbors. They are Daddy Doms who believe an old-fashioned prank calls for old-fashioned consequences.

And that’s not the only surprise in store on what will be the most memorable Halloween night. There’s a dark side to these Daddy Doms the women are yet to discover.

BUY LINK ->-> https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JL5P5ZZ/

While USA Today bestselling author Ava Sinclair has written across multiple genres including contemporary, fantasy, sci-fi, Western, and paranormal, she’s best known for writing hot Daddy Dom romances that offer engaging plots, steamy sex, and relatable characters.

Over the years, she’s grown to develop a deeper understanding of why her readers love Daddy Dom books. The idea of a dominant man who provides nurturing guidance while allowing for growth is very appealing, especially when that man also knows that his partner’s capacity for pleasure is tied to his unlocking the deep submission Littles experience in the care of their Daddy.

Each book she writes is a journey, both for the woman navigating her feelings, and the dominant alpha male desiring a chance to give a woman everything he has to offer, both in and out of the bedroom.

Her titles include Big Beautiful Little, Big Daddy, Daddy’s World, Daddy Treatment, and Camp Daddy.

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Author-Ava-Sinclair-490738981084361/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Ava-Sinclair/e/B00VAYIVCO

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7223083.Ava_Sinclair

Instagram: https://instagram.com/about_the_author/

Twitter: @authoringava

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/ava-sinclair

Join her mailing list: http://www.avasinclairauthor.com/mailing-list

Saying Goodbye

As some of you may have heard, my partner in crime, Tamara Hoffa passed away on Monday 10/22/2018 in a fatal automobile crash.

I’m sad, so sad. Grieving is an awful process. All the plans we had, the calls and messaging are done. I can’t imagine how hard this is for her beloved husband and children. Tamara was the best.

I won’t be posting until after her memorial is done and I get home. I’m heading from Wisconsin down to Tennessee. I will return on Monday with regular postings.

We made this blog, our facebook and twitter pages, and the SSLY Reading Room together. Posting anything will be bittersweet. It will bring her memory to me everyday.

From making snow angels in the snow in our PJ’s to making plans our husbands didn’t know about, we have been friends since high school. Even when we lost touch for a couple of years, we made our way back to each other. Life will be a little less full without her.

Tamara’s Memorial will be this Friday from noon to 3:00 pm at the Hurricane Chapel Freewill Baptist Church 500 N Hurricane Creek Rd. McEwen TN 37101-4401.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1940611169366982/

A Gofund me account has been set up to help pay Tamara’s Memorial Expenses.

Hug your family tight. Talk to those friends you’ve been putting off calling because you just didn’t have time. Tomorrow might just be too late.

https://www.gofundme.com/author-tamara-hoffa-memorial-fund?fbclid=IwAR08NgzTcMM5gjb4Q-frf18YZ6tjoQuZPORvMziqvhPnJmRwrBXnGQH5HNs

Don’t forget to check out her author page! Tamara was a very talented author and any book sales will still go to her account.

https://www.amazon.com/Tamara-Hoffa/e/B009FG9PCE/

 

Deadly Rising ~ Book Tour and Giveaway

Deadly Rising
A Booke of the Hidden Novel #2
by Jeri Westerson
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pub Date: 10/23/18
Things were quiet in Strange Herbs & Teas. For about a week.

Our crossbow slinging hero and her ragtag gang of Wiccans tuned in to the
paranormal have earned some rest. But when Kylie learns that the
Booke may have released not one, but two creatures of horror out into
the world, it’s up to her to save Moody Bog. Again.

Calling upon the devilishly handsome demon Erasmus once more for help,
Kylie’s determined to handle the mischief of the Booke and go back
to a normal life. But when digging through Moody Bog’s history
leads her to the ghost of her grandfather, the past she once knew is
turned upside down.

Can Kylie save the town and her grandfather, or will the horrors of the
Booke be too much to handle?
Booke of the Hidden
A Booke of the Hidden Novel #1
Westerson creates an utterly believable history of witches, demons, and magic
for her claustrophobic New England village including a heroine with
enough spark, smarts, and stubbornness to keep both the bad guys and
the deliciously dangerous love-interest on their toes.” —Kat
Richardson, author of the Greywalker series
To get a fresh start away from a bad relationship, Kylie Strange moves
across the country to open a shop in a seemingly quiet town in rural
Maine. During renovations on Strange Herbs & Teas, she discovers
a peculiar and ancient codex,
The Booke of the Hidden,
bricked into the wall. Every small town has its legends and unusual
histories, and this artifact sends Kylie right into the center of
Moody Bog’s biggest secret.
While puzzling over the tome’s oddly blank pages, Kylie gets an
unexpected visitor—Erasmus Dark, an inscrutable stranger who claims
to be a demon, knows she has the book, and warns her that she has
opened a portal to the netherworld. Kylie brushes off this nonsense,
until a series of bizarre murders put her, the newcomer, at the
center. With the help of the demon and a coven of witches she
befriends while dodging the handsome but sharp-eyed sheriff, Kylie
hunts for a killer—that might not be human.
Los Angeles native and award-winning author Jeri Westerson writes
the critically acclaimed Crispin Guest Medieval Mysteries, historical
novels, paranormal novels, and LGBT mysteries. To date, her medieval
mysteries have garnered twelve industry award nominations, from the
Agatha to the Shamus. Kirkus Review said of her latest Crispin Guest
Medieval Mystery A MAIDEN WEEPING, “Once again Guest’s past
misdeeds actually help him in the present in a case that includes
plenty of red herrings and an interesting look at medieval
jurisprudence.” Jeri is former president of the SoCal chapter of
Mystery Writers of America and frequently guest lectures on medieval
history at local colleges and museums. She lives in southern
California with her home-brewing husband, a complacent tortoise, and
40,000 bees.
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

Gateway to Love ~ Release Blitz

 

 
 
Length: 32,793 words
 
Cover Design: Brooke Albrecht
 
 
Blurb
 

Ten days to finally make the leap from friends to lovers….


Craig and Mitchell have been friends for years, but each of them reached a point where that camaraderie became… more. Mitchell’s kept his feelings close to his chest. So has Craig, but now that they’ve graduated from UMKC, he knows it’s his last chance to show Mitchell they’re meant to be before their careers take them to opposite sides of the country.


He insists they can’t leave Missouri behind without one last adventure. Mitchell agrees to a road trip to visit all the touristy spots and say goodbye to their home state.


As they spend their days and nights together, buried feelings rise to the surface and hope blossoms. When their journey ends with a dance beneath the Branson stars, will they find love and a future together at the end of the road?

 
Excerpt
 

THE SOUND of a horn jolted Mitch from a sound sleep, and he blinked his eyes for a moment, staring out the window at the busy highway.


“Sorry. Some idiot guy almost hit us. I had to lay on the horn,” Craig explained.


Mitch straightened himself in his seat and rubbed his eyes. “No worries. Sorry I fell asleep.”


Craig grinned at him. “You should be. I’ve had to listen to your snoring for almost two hours.”


“Hey, I don’t snore. You do, but I don’t,” Mitch said emphatically.


Craig snorted. “Whatever. I can hear you through the wall at night.”


“I don’t snore,” Mitch reiterated, and frowned when Craig chuckled. Then he started feeling bad about sleeping so long. “Want me to take a turn at the wheel?”


“Nah. Maybe when we stop for lunch? Although, we’ll probably be in Hannibal before then. We’ve only got about an hour and forty-five minutes left, give or take.”


Mitch nodded and checked his phone, but he couldn’t help watching his best friend out of the corner of his eye. Even after knowing him for four years, Mitch was still blown away by the reaction he felt whenever he looked at Craig. He’d certainly never forgotten the first day they met. It was imprinted on his brain forever.


That first day at Longview Community College had been brutal. He’d had to spend two hours in the admissions office because when he’d shown up for his first class, the professor didn’t have him listed. By the time his schedule was corrected, he’d missed two classes and was nearly late to his third.


He’d slid into an empty seat near the door just as the teacher turned around from the whiteboard. Someone next to him giggled and he glanced over to see the cutest boy he’d ever laid eyes on. Mitch had felt dumbstruck as his cheeks heated in reaction.


“Close call,” the kid had whispered with a nod toward the teacher. “I heard she doesn’t put up with latecomers.”


Mitch pulled himself together and smiled.


It wasn’t until class was over that they were able to talk.


“I’m Mitchell Moon,” he’d offered, as the guy rose from his desk. “Everyone calls me Mitch, though.”


Craig had beamed at him, his blue eyes sparkling a little as he leaned down until their faces were only inches apart. “Hi, Mitchell,” he said with a wink. “My name’s Craig Pruitt.”


And that was that—they became instant friends, bonding over video games, movies, and their love of Star Trek. It was the kind of friendship only found once in a lifetime. Mitch had come out to Craig within the first week of meeting him and his friend hadn’t even blinked.


There was only one problem with their friendship—Mitch had never been able to shake the attraction he felt for Craig. And over the years, as they earned their associate’s degrees from Longview and moved on to UMKC, their bond grew and his feelings for Craig only strengthened.


When Craig had confided in him that he thought he was bisexual their sophomore year, Mitch’s hopes had been raised, but by that time he was firmly planted in the friend zone. So he did what a best friend should—he supported Craig as he came to terms with things and accepted who he was. He’d admitted that he’d had a crush on a guy in high school, but it ran its course and he never acted on it. As far as Mitch knew, Craig had only dated two guys since then, nothing panning out toward a full-time relationship, though. But he’d had his share of casual hookups with men. Craig had gone a little wild when he’d first come out as bisexual, but had calmed down over the years. In fact, Mitch couldn’t remember him even going on a date during their senior year.


He’d seen the types of men Craig seemed to be attracted to, and they were nothing like Mitch, so he’d tucked his feelings away again and told himself not to go there anymore. It was an ongoing internal battle, but most of the time, he had a handle on it.


This last year of college, they’d found a cheap two-bedroom apartment near campus and moved in that summer. Sharing a small space with the man of his dreams had been hard. Especially when Craig often walked around their place wearing only a pair of boxers.


Mitch was honest enough to admit he’d fantasized about Craig too many times to count and would probably continue to do so long after he’d moved. Maybe that’s how it always was with a first love or major crush.


In his heart, he knew being apart would be good for them. Well, at least it would be for Mitch. Maybe he could finally go out with someone without constantly comparing him to Craig. But in the meantime, he continued to fight the attraction. The desire. The love. Because that’s what it had turned into. Love. Over the years, the longing, the emotional connection he felt with Craig, it had all turned to love. He wasn’t even sure when it had happened, but there was no denying Mitch was in love with his best friend.


And just when he was close to being free, there they were. One last hurrah before moving out of state. One last adventure with Craig.


What was he going to do without him? He turned to stare out the window, his eyes blind to the passing scenery. All he could see was a future without Craig, and it was shrouded in gray. Mitch was so tired of fighting his feelings. He chuckled to himself. He was the stereotypical guy in love with his best friend. He knew it was useless, but if Craig had asked him to go to California with him, Mitch would have dropped everything and followed him out west. He knew how pathetic that sounded, but when it came to Craig, Mitch didn’t care what others might think.


About an hour later, Craig pulled over to a gas station to fuel up and grab some snacks. Mitch used the disgusting bathroom, holding his breath as he did his business, quickly washed up, and made his way into the convenience store.


Craig was at the counter paying and held up a bag of items.


“I’m just going to get a drink,” Mitch told him as he walked past Craig. His friend grabbed his arm, wrapping his fingers around his wrist.


“I already got you your Dr Pepper,” he told Mitch with a smile. “And your Kit Kat.”


Mitch wanted to respond. Wanted to say thank you. But all he could do was revel in the sensation of Craig’s touch. Electricity prickled his skin, skittering through him.


“Mitchell?” Craig’s voice was low. He sounded worried.


“Sorry. Just… forgot what I was going to say,” he lied, knowing he sounded lame. He noticed Craig hadn’t let go of his wrist and raised his eyes to meet his friend’s gaze. Mitch was surprised at the intensity. The large black pupils. The flushed cheeks. “I-I’m… fine. Thanks for grabbing some things for me.”


Craig studied him, looking like he wanted to say something, but finally let Mitch go and they walked back out to the car and settled in.


“Less than an hour left,” Craig announced.


Mitch tried to tamp down his excitement, but it was difficult. He’d always wanted to visit Hannibal. He’d read all of Mark Twain’s stories, and knowing he was from Missouri had encouraged him when he’d dreamed about becoming a writer.


Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in English had put him closer to that dream. Being hired to work on a grassroots website devoted to getting people registered to vote had been exciting and he was looking forward to starting next month. He was less excited about the magazine internship. West Virginia tourism was definitely not something he remotely cared about. He’d only taken it because his sister, Samantha, lived in West Virginia, where the magazine was headquartered, and she had helped him get the interview. Plus he could stay with her until he got a feel for the area. Samantha was also providing him with apartment information, so he would have several to check out when he moved.


The magazine hadn’t been in his original plans. He’d wanted to stay in Kansas City after graduation and work on his writing. His dream was to become a published author. Mitch lived to write, creating fantasy worlds and bringing characters to life. Over the years, he’d managed to put some money away, through his work at the coffee shop. Add what he’d been given as graduation gifts from his mother, his sister, and various relatives, and he was confident he could afford to give the writing thing a try for a while—as long as he had a roommate and a part-time job.


When Craig announced he’d taken a job in California, working for a nonprofit that helped homeless teens, Mitch’s plans took a nosedive. While he’d been proud of Craig, the idea of staying in Kansas City without him was depressing. If he was going to start a new chapter in his life and really get over Craig, staying where he’d be constantly reminded of their times together was out of the question. Writing would have to take a back seat to making a living. Mitch was trying to be an adult and make responsible choices—decisions that would help him move forward.


Maybe a new start in a new city would help him finally find a man that he could be in a real relationship with.


He just had to survive this trip without telling his best friend the truth he’d hidden for years.

 

Author Bio


Sarah Hadley Brook lives smack-dab in the middle of the Heartland and is the mother of two wonderful young men, as well as two cats. During the day, she works in the nonprofit world, but reserves evenings for her hobby-turned-passion of writing, letting the characters she conjures in her mind take the lead and show her where the story will go. When not working or writing, she can be found reading, working on dollhouses, trying her hand at new recipes, or watching old movies and musicals. In her ideal world, Christmas would come at least twice a year, Rock Hudson and Doris Day would have costarred in more than three movies, and chocolate would be a daily necessity. She dreams of traveling to Scotland some day and visiting the places her ancestors lived. Sarah believes in “Happily Ever After” and strives to ensure her characters find their own happiness in love and life.


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