Review: Stubborn as a Bull by D.L. King

Kat, a bartender at Artemis, is a free spirit. She likes hooking up with random hot girls whenever she wants. Getting serious is the last thing on her mind. But her best friend thinks it’s time for Kat to grow up and settle down, like her.

Lil, a local restaurateur, is new to the scene and becomes smitten. Lil’s stubborn, but Kat’s skittish. And, like a cat, the more she’s chased, the faster she runs away. Kat’s got too many plans to settle down now—like that hot butch or the stripper who comes in with her friends… But Lil’s stubborn: Stubborn as a bull.

This story was a little too brief for the content. It showed promise, but there wasn’t enough to develop it fully.

The main character development was good, and I liked Kat. I related to her, and liked the overall plot. The backstory, while brief, gave me enough to work with. I understood her flighty nature, and how inconvenient it was to have her path interrupted each night. I liked her personality, and where she was in life. It was clear she was at a stage where it was all about fun and adventure. I did find her slightly bitchy, and that annoyed me a little, but when she was being honest and friendly, I enjoyed her.

Unfortunately the plot development was weak, and there wasn’t enough to make the flow believable. I would have enjoyed more time invested in each character. I think they deserved at least another chapter to convince me that they would be good together. What I got was wrapped up too neatly, and almost an afterthought. An unsatisfying ending. I didn’t believe it.

I didn’t get enough of Lil to make up my mind about her. What I got I liked, but I needed more of her personality, and a longer encounter to truly feel connected with her. If as much time was spent with Lil as it was with Kat, I think this would have elevated the story.

The writing and editing was strong, and I had no problem with the outline. It just felt like it was still a work in progress, and not a complete story. I’d like to see more of this author’s work in a longer novella or novel.

Some may enjoy this as a short taste of a lesbian romance. If they’re not looking for something too complex and just want a cute read, this would be perfect. Unfortunately, I am on a quest for a more developed lesbian romance with completely fleshed out primary and secondary characters, with a high heat level. This was not that book for me.

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Author Bio

D. L. King has been writing and editing erotica for more than fifteen years. Her short stories appear in over 75 anthologies, including a half dozen Best Lesbian Erotica editions, most recently, Best Lesbian Erotica 2016, the twentieth anniversary edition of the series. She has edited thirteen anthologies, including The Harder She Comes: Butch Femme Erotica, winner of the Lambda Literary Award and the Independent Publisher Gold Medal. She lives in New York City, somewhere between the Coney Island Wonder Wheel and the Chrysler Building and is a fan of roasted chestnuts in the winter and cotton candy in the summer.

Twitter: d_l_king


“Strong, like Russian bull. Right. More like bullshit. Or more like ‘stubborn like a bull.’ Shit… I mean, really, what is it with her? I just don’t get it.” I lifted the hose out of the caddy and added more Diet Coke to Carla’s glass. It was the middle of the day—too late for lunch but too early for happy hour.
Carla took a drink and gave me a piercing look. “What are you talking about? Or should I say who are you talking about?”
“It’s that dyke, Lily, or Lil. Whatever. She’s always coming in here, bugging the crap out of me. Like just before you got here. She snuck up to the bar while I was changing out one of the kegs and said something like, ‘Hey little lady, want me to help you with that?’ I practically cracked my skull open on the top of the beer cooler. And then she grins and says that ‘Strong, like Russian bull’ thing and makes a muscle. She makes me crazy.”
“I don’t know who you’re talking about. What does she look like?”
“Yeah, you know her. She’s got short brown hair. Not boy-short, just short and kind of wavy. She’s maybe in her late thirties, but she looks like she’s in good shape—like she works out or maybe plays some kind of sport. She wears jeans and T-shirts, mostly. You know who I mean. Lil.”
“Kat, you just described half the women who come into this place. So, what else does she do to annoy you?”
I grabbed a glass of water and told Carla all about it. The way Lil always seemed to be there when I looked up, but how she never bought a drink. And the way she bullied customers at the bar when they started getting the least bit rowdy. She was costing me tips.
“And there was that time last week when this cute butch was hitting on me, and Lil shoved her way in front of the woman and asked something inane, like if I knew what time it was, or something. The girl just backed out of the way and decided to go hit on someone else, I guess…and she was cute, too. I don’t know, Carla, the bitch is out to get me, but I didn’t do anything to her. I swear. Hell, I don’t even know her.”
Carla started to grin.
“Geez Louise! Can’t you tell when someone’s flirting with you? Or has it really been that long?”
“Flirting? Well, she’s not my type,” I said. I gave Carla a wilting look and went back to doing the prep work for the evening. Flirting? Is that possible? If it was, it was like the way boys used to flirt with girls in third grade. I was seriously waiting for her to punch me in the arm—and then I’d have to smack the crap out of her.
I wiped down the bar after restocking, and then I began preparing the drink garnishes and gave Carla another refill.
“You know, Kat, I’ve known you for seven years now, and I still don’t know what your type is. Just who are you looking for?”
She put a ten on the bar, and I leaned over and gave her a kiss. “Maybe I’m not looking for anyone. Do I have to be?”
“I don’t know what I’m gonna do with you.” Carla shook her head on her way out. She opened the front door to bright, glaring sunlight and waved as she stepped outside. The door shut behind her, wrapping the place in twilight shadow again, the way a bar should be.

Review: Evan's Luck (Riding the Circuit #1) by Jennah Scott and H. Sterling

Spencer Quinn has an image to uphold. His family name means more than anything. It’s the reason the reason they've become the most successful stock contractor on the rodeo circuit. Fresh out of school, he’s ready to take over the family business. It’s no secret he’s attracted to men, and so far that hasn’t been a problem.

Until Evan.

The assertive friend who knows how to push every one of his buttons.

Evan Taylor is known for his love ‘em and leave ‘em style, yet the last few months have left him deflated and lonely. His father's shadow wasn't where he wanted to end up, but he's having trouble finding happiness. Maybe because women can't keep his attention. He’s losing hope of settling down until a blast from the past saunters by, his heart catches and tingles spread over his skin. Of all people, Spencer? The one person who would never give Evan a second glance. It’s just his luck.

The old saying, “Bad luck is better than none at all” fits Evan perfectly. Or does it? Is his bad luck about to change? Will Spencer Quinn be his good luck charm instead?

Meet Evan Taylor; Rodeo rider, ranch hand, and someone who has made jumping from bed to bed an art. It's his twenty-sixth birthday, and it's a day that he vows will be different than the rest. Terrified of turning into his father; a man known for collecting buckle bunnies, not trophies, he wants to separate himself from the stigma that is his last name once and for all. It's time to be known for his skills at riding and his achievements in the arena, not who's in his bed that night.

He decides on two things: One, flipping to the opposite sex is going to be the fix.

And two, his best friend's brother, Spencer, is going to be his good luck charm.

So he does what any reformed player does when he's serious about turning his life around - In front of everyone, and without permission, he kisses Spencer. For luck, of course.

Spencer wants nothing to do with the cowboy. He's despised Evan for years out of disgust for his playboy ways and maybe a bit out of jealousy as well, but there's no denying there was something with that kiss that has him reliving it again, and again.

Evan is determined to prove to Spencer that he's committed to being different, and eventually Spencer agrees to a date. But to the reader, this date feels an awful lot like something Spencer does to spite his brother. Because his brother knows Evan, and monogamy, commitment, and serious are not words used to describe him.

For the most part, there are some very sweet moments between these two cowboys. Do I buy their chemistry and feelings? Not really. Mainly, because it all seems so rushed. Love comes quickly for these two men, despite the stubbornness, their quick to anger attitudes, and their jumping to conclusions.

It feels like every moment is an obstacle for them. From refusing to give up independence over something as simple as one taking care of the other due to injury, to their worrying over the physical distance of their relationship (which was a mere 30 minutes away), these guys are all or nothing, and move fast.

Yet... there's something so earnest and likable about Evan - He's the main reason why I liked this story. He lays it all out there, wears his heart on his sleeve, and sees something special in Spencer that he's determined to cherish. (If Spencer lets him)

These two battle for control the entire way, and there's an undercurrent of Dominance that runs beneath their relationship; "When we're alone, you know who's in charge... right, Spence?" It felt out of place and unnecessary. I get that it was meant to reinforce that these two men are manly men, but they already had stubbornness and that whole rugged cowboy thing going for them, they didn't need more.

And I realize as I'm writing this, that there was no resolution to their need to eliminate that 30 minute distance that was weighing so heavily on them. So... there's that too.


I see what the authors were trying to do with this story - They tried to make a short read with some feel good love and a HEA. Do I believe that it was a little out of the realm of believability? Yeah. But it's fiction, and it kept me entertained enough. It's a little sweet, a little romantic, and a little sexy (even though some of the smexing was totally off page *grumbles*)

Recommended for those who don't mind the drama, and like their men with a stubborn and gruff outside and a teddy bear interior.

A copy provided for an honest review.

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Review: Happy Christmas, Sir by Elizabeth Coldwell

What do you get the Dom who has everything? Jason solves the problem by treating his master, Adrian, to a night in The Hideaway–a boutique guesthouse offering ‘bed, breakfast and bondage’. In The Hideaway’s en suite dungeon, they play out a fantasy in which ‘Santa’ Adrian decides whether Jason has been naughty or nice, and punishes him accordingly, making it a Christmas Eve neither of them will forget.

So I think I was expecting something like this….

And instead I got this…

Nah, just joking, it wasn't that bad, just nothing particularly special.

Adrian and Jason have been in a D/S relationship for 3 years. When Jason is stuck for a Christmas gift idea, he decides to book one night at a BDSM bed and breakfast for himself and Adrian.

Unfortunately the characters weren’t very fleshed out. I know that can be hard with novella’s, but since I have read novella’s with excellent character development, I’m starting to become less lenient with that as an excuse. Even their ‘pet names’ didn’t inspire any deeper feelings in me. Adrian calls Jason ‘slave boy’. I don’t know, I love slaves and I love it when a dom calls his sub ‘boy’, but ‘slave boy’ doesn’t feel like an endearment… more like a title.

This was all very pop culture BDSM. There's nipple clamps, plugs and a flogging, ‘sirs’ and kissing the whip, I felt it lacked uniqueness and passion. For a short story that felt like it was set up to revolve around a single scene, the scene in itself was quite short and nothing that I personally found particularly arousing. Also no fucking *insert sad face*, but it does make up for it by having a decent face-fucking scene.

Look, in the end my opinion is that there are NOT enough kinky christmas stories out there, and that's why this get 3 hearts and not 2. I will read this again at Christmas time, because it's short and kinky and that can make me overlook the issues I had with it.

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Interested in learning about the book and author? Check it out below!

Author Bio

Elizabeth Coldwell is a multi-published author and the former editor of the UK edition
of Forum magazine, where she was responsible for publishing a number of now very
well-known authors for the first time, as well as honing her own writing.

She lives in East London, is a season ticket holder at Rotherham United, and a keen cook.
Her recipe for peanut butter brownies is available if you ask nicely…



©Copyright Elizabeth Coldwell 2015
All rights reserved.
“So, where exactly are you taking me?” Adrian asked.
Jason kept his eyes on the oncoming traffic as he waited to make a right turn. The snow had begun to fall while they were still on the motorway, and he’d had visions of the quieter country roads becoming impassable, forcing them to turn back. But they’d chosen to take Adrian’s Jeep, designed for the roughest terrain, and had reached the outskirts of the little village where The Hideaway was located without incident.
“I’ve told you,” he replied. “It’s a surprise.” He knew Adrian hated not being in control of the situation, and part of him hoped that keeping his master in the dark about their destination would earn him a suitable punishment. “But we’re almost there now.”
Snowflakes pattered at the windscreen. Jason turned the Jeep into a quiet lane, lined with high hedgerows on both sides. “After two hundred yards, turn left,” the mechanical voice of the satnav instructed him. Peering into the blizzard ahead, he slowed almost to a halt, searching for the turning. At last, he saw a wooden signpost with the words “THE HIDEAWAY” carved into it.
“Here we go,” Jason said. Beside him, Adrian radiated impatience, obviously keen to leave the vehicle so he could stretch his long legs.
“You have reached your destination,” the satnav confirmed.
From the outside, The Hideaway appeared unremarkable. Two storeys high, with white-painted walls and a thatched roof already heavy with snow. A light burned over the front door, its yellow glow welcoming in the evening gloom.
They took a moment to slip into their coats, even though they were parked right by the house. While Adrian went to fetch their overnight bags from the back of the Jeep, Jason rang the doorbell.
The man who opened the door a couple of moments later looked like any number of guys who hung out on the fetish scene—sturdily built, with greying hair shaved very close to the scalp and a thick silver tube in his left ear. A tribal tattoo, just visible beneath the rolled-up sleeve of his shirt, decorated his right forearm.
Dom or sub? I’m guessing the latter.
“Hi, good evening.” The man smiled at him. “You found the place okay, then?”
“Yeah, no problems. I’m Jason.” He gestured to Adrian, who was walking towards the door with a holdall in each hand. Normally, Jason was expected to carry the luggage, and for a moment he revelled in this reversal of their usual roles. “And this is Adrian.”
“I’m Si. Nice to meet you both. But this isn’t a night for hanging around on the doorstep. Come inside.” He ushered them into the hallway.

As Si led them through to the kitchen, Jason picked up on a couple of clues that this wasn’t the average bed and breakfast establishment. They were subtle enough that they could be ignored by those not into the BDSM lifestyle, or written off as quirks of the owner’s taste, but they were there. A little teddy bear, dressed in an outfit of leather straps held together by silver rings, sat on a windowsill in the hallway. A charcoal drawing of a naked, kneeling woman with her hands tied behind her back hung on the wall. Jason recognised it as the work of a well-known London fetish artist, and he was pretty sure Adrian had, too.

Review: Enemies of the State (The Executive Office #1) by Tal Bauer

A rogue Black Ops unit with the president in their crosshairs.
A Secret Service agent who will break every rule.
A president falling for the one person he shouldn’t—a man.

Newly elected President Jack Spiers’s presidency is rocked from the very beginning, and he’s working furiously to keep the world from falling apart. Between terrorism attacks ripping apart Europe, Russia’s constant posturing and aggression, and the quagmire of the Middle East, Jack is struggling to keep his campaign promise—to work toward a better, safer world.

For Special Agent Ethan Reichenbach, Jack is just another president, the third in twelve years. With Jack’s election, he’s been promoted, and now he’s running the presidential detail, which puts him side by side with Jack daily. He’s expecting another stuffed suit and an arrogant DC politician, but Jack shocks him with his humor and humanity.

There are rules against a Secret Service agent and one of their protectees developing a friendship—big rules. Besides, Jack is straight as a ruler, and a widower, and Ethan has always avoided falling for straight men. Ethan keeps his distance, but Jack draws him in, like gas to a naked flame, and it’s a lure he isn’t strong enough to turn away from.

As the two men collide, rules are shattered and the world teeters on the verge of war, and a rogue Black Ops unit bent on destruction sets Jack in their deadly crosshairs. Ethan must put everything on the line in order to save the man he’s come to love, Jack’s presidency, and the world.

In order to read this book, you have to suspend disbelief.


And then more.

I had three major problems with this book (Whaaaaaat? Only three?).

Firstly, this is unrealistic. Not a little, or much. Just I-M-P-O-S-S-I-B-L-E. I spent the first 25% rolling my eyes six ways to Sunday (and the rest 75% I managed to combine the eye-rolling with some kind of grumpy acceptance). I was sinking in despair seeing how ridiculous it all was, seeing two grown-up men behaving like teens. Their infatuation lead them to make great mistakes and missteps because they can’t simply control themselves, even when the situation they are in requires a composure none of these guys happen to have a hint about.

How is it possible Jack Spiers became President of the USA? How is it possible Ethan Reichenbach is the detail lead of the POTUS, not only once but also three times before Jack?

Really, I appreciate fiction in my books, but this one goes too far. I was close to taking my eyes out with a spoon to see if they were working correctly. Because I was reading nonsense after nonsense. There was no bottom.

They both have important positions, important jobs, important tasks. Still, they seem to be a pair of totally irresponsible hotheads, drooling over each other when they are supposed to keep a professional distance, a distance they are both masters at, because they’ve spent years of their lives acting that way. Dealing with people. Having professional relationships. It’s not as if they don’t have any practice. However, they struck me as immature kids playing a game together, instead of fulfilling their duties, which are not few.

(Let’s play the President!)

Yes, I’m aware public personalities are not as perfect as they want to make us believe, but for some reason I couldn’t picture Jack nor Ethan, in the roles they were meant to fit into. I couldn’t picture Jack as the winner of the general elections, I couldn’t picture him as someone with connections, charisma, poise and that astuteness you would expect from a wannabe President of an important country. How did he survive all the sharks in the path towards the White House’s seat? He’s too candid and too trusting for this. He is simply not able to achieve it.

(Come on, you can do this, you are the President!)

And then Ethan… his job seems like a child’s play. I expected his job to be something of utter complexity, but he seemed decaffeinated in his duty, as if it wasn’t challenging at all. As if it required just a little effort, but not much beyond that. I tried to imagine him as a hardened Army guy with lots of experience in his field, but failed. He just doesn’t have that aura. He just seemed too vulnerable, too out of place. He falls for the President and he can’t avoid it nor keep a professional stance.

He’s a big boy. Supposedly.

I was beginning to tell a friend everything about the book (I do it very often, above all when I’m so WTF I need to give a way to out all my stupefaction) and the first thing he asked was “Do they masturbate themselves while crying?” (Damn, he’s good), and I said, “Almost”. Because, seriously, they both cry and sob multiple times in the story. For God’s sake, they are forty years old (or more) each! They have onion paper skin, everything hurts them and makes them cry!

I’m aware Presidents (and Secret Service people) can cry, too. They are human beings, after all. But please, they are public personalities, they have an image to maintain. They represent a country, after all. It was pathetic. The Russian President had more spine. Even the Chinese guy and the Saudi prince were made of tougher material.

It’s amazing they each got so far in their respective careers, that they could handle all the obstacles and difficulties they surely had to overcome. I don’t mean they can’t be good people or feel affected by the events but their roles are too big for them both. They don’t live up to their reputations.

(Pretend, you fool, pretend you are someone)

I was driven to despair for most of the book. I’m serious. I was pulling my hair, rolling my eyes, crying in disappointment. This is so unrealistic I couldn’t believe what I was reading. I pushed and pushed, making a great effort to finish this book, but with each passing page I was more and more traumatized.

I’ve not read many political books (but I do watch movies) because I’m not into thrillers but this was so perfect, so idealistic: the bad guy is very bad, the friends are all so good and supportive, the conclusion is so fairy-tale. Everything is so neat, so ideal, so black-and-white. When the big secret comes out, there is a scandal for a short while. They are so honest and morally strong and brave. Then everybody is happy with it all. Only a grumpy guy or two. Ugh? A pink ribbon or something similar would have been the icing on the cake in this madness.

This felt like a movie but not a serious one. I expected Q to appear all of a sudden to show off the new devices he has invented since the last mission and saying “Please, return the car in one piece”. With the difference that his movie doesn’t have the same charm Roger Moore’s films had.

Secondly, this major problem is only mine to blame for, but it didn’t help. My mind makes funny things sometimes. I plead guilty! I’m going to regret explaining it here and you are definitely going to hate me, but here it goes: I began comparing it with real life. For real. I began thinking about George W. Bush in this role. No kidding, I couldn’t erase that pic from my head. I began imagining Bush having a gay affair and now and then this thought came out in the most unexpected moments and I began giggling stupidly. Then I imagined Reagan. Or Donald Trump.

It’s not that a President can’t be gay, it’s just that the prospect of imagining the sexual life of certain people is bizarre at least. I prefer not thinking about their private lives at all. But I can only speak about myself, maybe some people do.

Then I did something worse, I imagined this situation in my own country. There are shipping stories with wannabe Presidents in my country (no joking here, and please, don’t ask how did that ever happen). What, you don’t believe it?

In this book, I find I’m ruined for future Presidential books. My bad.

(This is the only pic I’m going to post about this, I’m trying to control myself, dammit! And only a cartoon, reality is too creepy to tell)

I will draw a veil over this.

My third issue is this premise, or better said, the absence of this premise: you not only have to tell me you are good, you have to demonstrate you are good. Replace “good” with every word you can come up with: “clever”, “cool”, “strong”, “powerful”, etc.

Well, the characters and the narrator are talking all the time about how wonderful, awesome and effective USA is in every field you can think of.

If that’s true, then how is it possible they had so much shit in their politics and government and everything under the sun? How is it possible they ended up making a fool of themselves in front of everyone, with so many corrupted and powerful personalities manipulating so many people for so long… everything behind the President’s back, behind many important people’s backs! For years! And nobody suspects a thing! Only the Chinese guy and the Saudi prince and even the Russian President suspect something is off! Really! It’s worrisome!

The President is the best one in years, the Secret Service is infallible, the counselors are the most prepared people on Earth…

Yet they are deceived very easily. Yet they fail in their purpose. Yet they are ridiculous.

Is that the impression you want to give the readers about how awesome they all are? Because you are proving the opposite with these actions! Words are words, nothing. Actions are the ones that count. And here actions were crappy, at least.

However, the worst thing is that bad people are laughable. How did these idiots maintain the secret from everybody? It’s absurd. I knew for ages who the traitors were, who the moles were. And I suck at mysteries, everybody knows who the assassin is before I do. But here, I knew it before everybody else. They are supposed to be experts! I was never impressed. The nemesis is ridiculous.

I was thinking “This can't be happening” all the time.

I was in a constant state of facepalm.

This was a comedy, not a thriller.

This was a caricature of itself.

Now, about the love story. It was a gay-for-you. Jack Spiers is a widower, and he didn’t feel attraction to men. Until he meets Ethan. Well, that’s not true, after Ethan makes the move. Before that, Jack considers Ethan his best friend. That’s it.

I admit there were moments in which I smiled but still, the chemistry was off to me. I couldn’t believe the gay-for-you thing. Their relationship is more about “telling” than about “showing”. The sex scenes were cold and forced. I didn’t get the vibes I’d like to get.

Yes, I kept reading because of them, because they kept me interested, but I was never entirely captivated.

To sum it up, it was a total miss for me.

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Author Bio

Tal Bauer writes LGBT fiction and romance, bringing together a career in law enforcement, trauma medicine, and international humanitarian and disaster relief work to create dynamic, strong characters, intriguing plots, and unique, exotic locations. Tal's stories weave together pulse-pounding adventure, cunning intrigue, and sweeping romance. Tal is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the Mystery Writers of America.



Tal Bauer © 2016
All rights reserved

By the time Ethan made it back to the White House after the Inauguration Parade, all of the snow had melted from DC’s streets, and the temperature was a blustery seventy degrees.
“I still can’t believe you got taken out by a bunch of punks.” Agent Scott Collard, Ethan’s best friend, swiveled in his desk chair, grinning like a madman.
Ethan chucked a pen at his head as he leaned against Agent Levi Daniels’s desk. He flexed his leg, straightening his knee, and then kicked at Collard’s chair. Collard scooted away just in time.
“I didn’t see you brawling on Inauguration Day.” Ethan crossed his arms and raised his eyebrows. “Where was my backup?”
“Hey, you’re the one who wanted to walk around in the crowd with the intel dorks.” Collard held up his palms, shrugging. “Why you weren’t on the route with us is your business.”
“We had credible information that there was going to be an attempt to jump the perimeter and attack the Beast.” The Beast was the unofficial code name for the presidential limo.
“And by attack, they meant pelt it with tomatoes.”
“It’s still an attack.”
“You got your ass kicked by vegan vegetable throwers.”
“Hey, I kicked their asses!” Ethan stood, striding over to Collard’s chair and crossing his arms. He was trying to be intimidating, but his grin was ruining the effect.
“You had tomato dripping from your nose and hair.”
“What if they had hidden a bomb in one of those tomatoes? Huh? You wouldn’t be making fun of me then.”
“I’m giving you a new code name. Salad Reichenbach.” Collard spun in his chair, shouting out to the guys in all corners of their office. “You all hear? Quarterback is now Salad. Copy?”
Laughs and nods floated back to the two men. Ethan shook his head. He put his foot on the edge of Collard’s chair and pushed, sending his friend wheeling away, down the rows of desks and toward the lockers where the agents on duty at the White House kept their spare clothes, extra suits, and even their tuxes.
They were in the Secret Service White House command post, code-named Horsepower, directly beneath the Oval Office. Rectangular and the size of a soccer field, the agents used the command post as an all-around everything office. Bunk beds were pushed into a far corner near the lockers, and desks lined the front half of the room. Mirrors on the wall helped agents get into their suits and tuxes, if needed, and a projector at the front displayed intelligence on two screens, constantly updated and fed from the Secret Service Headquarters office on H Street. When the details didn’t need to be surrounding the president, or when they weren’t standing post, the agents spent their downtime in Horsepower.
“Hey, how’s Agent Welby doing?” Ethan headed back to Daniels’s desk and perched on the edge again, crossing his arms.
Daniels cast him a droll stare, barely looking up from the email he was typing. “Welby’s a’right,” he drawled. His eyebrows rose, nearly off his forehead, as he fixed his eyes on Ethan. “Stick up his ass, but he’s a’right.”
Ethan smothered a grin. Agent Welby had come in to replace him as presidential detail lead while he was out, recuperating from his sprained knee after the brawl during the Inauguration Parade. Collard had texted him almost daily, bemoaning Welby’s mulish, boorish behavior and his laugh-a-minute personality.
“You coming back in as lead?” Daniels eyes shone, hopeful.
“Hope so. Got to go through a few more stacks of paperwork first.” Ethan winked at Daniels and stood, stretching. He tried for casual, speaking as he rolled his shoulders. “How’s the president?”
He failed. Daniels’s eyebrows shot high again. “The president?” He stared at Ethan as if his former lead had just stated he was a prince from the planet Saturn.
“Yeah. How’s he doing?” No way to back out of it now. He might as well try to blunder his way through, as if asking after a protectee were the most natural thing in the world.
Daniels frowned. “I try to stay out of his way, and I make it a point to not listen whenever I’m in the Beast. I don’t want to know how his negotiations are going with Congress on the educational bill, or if he’s banging any aides in the West Wing.”
“Is he?” Frowning, Ethan folded his arms, not knowing he was doing it.
“Nah, man, the guy’s legit. Straight shooter.” Daniels’s wide smile broke his stern face for a moment. “But seriously, man, I stay out of it. Keep my distance, just like you taught us. Like you drilled us.” Daniels peered at him for a long moment. “This a test?”
Snorting, Ethan clapped Daniels on the shoulder. A way out, and he took it with both hands. “You passed. Good job, Daniels.”
The look in Daniels’s eyes said “fuck you,” and he buttoned his suit jacket as he stood from his desk. “I need a cup of coffee from the Press Corps Bullpen.”
“The White House Mess is six feet to the right.” Beneath the Oval Office on the basement level of the White House, the Secret Service command post shared space with the White House Mess, the Situation Room, and Homeland Security’s White House control center. It was an odd mixture of Top Secret Clearances and Navy stewards and chefs, but at least the coffee and chow was always close at hand. Agents went on fridge raids at all hours of the night, and the Situation Room hosted impromptu slumber parties at the drop of a Predator missile strike.
Smirking, Daniels gestured for Ethan to join him. “Yes, it is, but the Mess doesn’t have Annie Perkins working down there.”
“Annie Perkins?”
As they strolled up the stairs to the first floor of the West Wing, appearing in the hallway just outside the Oval Office and the Cabinet Room, Daniels filled Ethan in on the voluptuous beauty that was Annie Perkins, reporter from the Tribune and a current project of Daniels’s. Ethan chuckled, already well ahead of Daniels in the script. He’d seen this story play out time and time again. Daniels could woo the ladies in droves, and he stayed with them for a couple of months before cutting them loose and playing the field again. Mixed in were one-night stands and nights of debauchery, and several memorable nights where Daniels had chanced to go with Ethan out to Adams Morgan and the gayborhood. Ethan had told him the secret of picking up chicks in gay bars—nearly all of them were straight, and they would swoon for a straight man confident enough to chill at a gay bar with his gay friend. Daniels never left alone.
“Have you asked her out yet?”
“Patience, bro. Patience.” Daniels held up his hands, gesturing for Ethan to slow the hell down. “She needs to want it more.” One eyebrow cocked up, offsetting his smirk.
Ethan shook his head, retort on the tip of his tongue, when a voice down the hall called out his name.
“Agent Reichenbach!”
Daniels’s eyes grew comically huge, and he snapped to attention in a smart second, wiping the smirk from his face and hitting “professional” just as President Jack Spiers broke away from his chief of staff, and strode down the hallway to the two agents. President Spiers held out his hand to Ethan.
Ethan shook his hand, stunned. “Mr. President. How can I help you, sir?”
“They told me you were injured and recuperating. I didn’t know you were back on duty.” The president was beaming at him, a radiant smile that went all the way to his eyes. The press had endlessly dissected that smile on the campaign.
Ethan suddenly understood why President Spiers had locked up the Soccer Mom voting bloc.
“First day back, sir.” Ethan let go of the president’s hand and stepped back. “I’m working over at Headquarters for now.”
The president frowned. Behind him, Jeff Gottschalk cleared his throat, a polite reminder to the president to hurry it up.
“Listen, I’ve got a meeting I’ve got to go to. Can you swing by my office in an hour?” The president waited for Ethan’s single head nod before he flashed his smile again. “Great. We’ll talk then.”
And then he was off, striding down the hallway and into the cluster of his staff. He reached for file folders and a binder and pulled out his smartphone all at once. His glasses were sliding down his nose, and he absently pushed them back up with one finger as he scrolled through the emails on his phone.
When Ethan turned back to Daniels, the younger agent’s incredibly unimpressed face stared back at him, eyes narrowed. Ethan sighed and rolled his eyes. “That was nothing.”
“Should I ask you how the president is doing?”
“Shut up.”

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Resurrection by S. Davidson

New author, S. Davidson stopped by the clubhouse to promote her debut novel, Resurrection - which we reviewed earlier this month here! Not only is S. Davidson dropping off excerpt goodies, she's also hosting a Kindle Fire giveaway with the help of Infinity Promotions Designs! 

Maybe the winner could be you? Check it out!








Two men with painful, complicated pasts who have shut themselves down from ever loving again. Complete opposites of one another, one raised in a strict military household, who grew up with the sole purpose of becoming a soldier and defending his country, only to have that cut short by an IED; and the other raised in the rodeo, small town and ranch life his safe haven; and their chance meeting.
How the two of them end up in some small town diner can only be credited to divine intervention. But are both men too damaged? They say God works in mysterious ways. Well, he certainly had his hands full when he chose these two for saving.
Is it too late?



At first, Jamie couldn’t move. He didn’t realize at first he’d been knocked unconscious. Carefully, Jamie opened his eyes, everything seemingly to move in slow motion inside a long tunnel. He could barely hear over the ringing in his ears, but he tasted fuel on his lips and what he knew was blood. He could hear yelling, screaming. He tried to yell out, but his body wouldn’t follow his commands. Through the smoke, he could see daylight and he shouldn’t have been able to see daylight from inside the back of the truck. People were rushing toward them and that struck him as odd. He tried to look around, but the pain that shot through his skull was paralyzing. He could feel wetness and knew it was blood on his face, his arms, splattered all over the inside of the vehicle. With great effort, he looked back and noticed several of his men were also injured.

“Andy, call it in,” he directed as if the blast had just occurred. He hadn’t noticed that several moments had already passed as the others outside the vehicle secured the area. “We need medivac! I think we have two KIA,” he instructed seeing Tanner hanging from the turret, blood already soaking his torso. He tried to reach out as he leaned forward to see what Matt was doing as he reached for his medical bag. That’s when he saw – Matt had taken the brunt of the explosion. The entire back end of the Humvee was twisted metal with a huge gaping hole right where Matt’s torso had been. Matt’s body was in fragments, blown apart inside the cabin of the truck and all over Jamie. For the first time, Jamie looked down at his own body and that’s when he screamed –


“Hey handsome.” Gary bent down and kissed Chris. Normally, it would have been a quick peck, an acknowledgement that they cared and were more than just friends, but this time, Chris reached up and placed his hand around the back of Gary’s neck and with the other hand, he fisted the front of Gary’s shirt and hauled the man down. “Whoa, there. What’s wrong?” Gary pulled back and looked at Chris’s face.

Chris winked. “I need you to fuck me before I revert to using the produce,” Chris whispered, making Gary laugh. When Chris was horny, he had a one track mind.

“Well, now. I dunno, with your leg and all. Your momma told me...” Gary teased.

“My momma is gonna have a better time knowing I got caught without my knee brace than she would if she discovers a few cucumbers missing.” Chris grabbed his crutches and stood. “You coming?”

“Not yet, but I have a notion once we get up those stairs, it won’t be long.” Gary chuckled, following Chris.

Who is Shelly Davidson? Shelly is someone who has been writing literally her entire life (and that’s a LONG time) and has always written M/M. Her first story was back in high school and she hasn’t stopped since. Of course, Shelly never dreamed of getting published, so needless to say, she’s in heaven! Shelly loves her characters. Her writing focus is real people, flaws and all, who are hurting or damaged, but deserve a little joy in their lives. Shelly was born and raised in Arizona, but currently lives in California because that is where the money is! She is currently single, but has a grown daughter and an adorable grandson both of whom she loves dearly. While she usually stays pretty much to herself, she does have a Bachelor’s in Social Services and a diverse background that ranges from theater to health care and currently works in accounting, she swears it’s not as boring as it sounds. While this is her first publication, it is by far not the last! She plans on being around for quite some time! You’ve been warned!

If you want, you can write her at:

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