Audiobook Review: Sin and Tonic (Sinners #6) by Rhys Ford

Sequel to Absinthe of Malice.

Miki St. John believed happy endings only existed in fairy tales until his life took a few unexpected turns...and now he's found his own.

His best friend, Damien, is back from the dead, and their new band, Crossroads Gin, is soaring up the charts. Miki's got a solid, loving partner named Kane Morgan - an inspector with the SFPD whose enormous Irish family has embraced him as one of their own - and his dog, Dude, at his side.

It's a pity someone's trying to kill him.

Old loyalties and even older grudges emerge from Chinatown's murky, mysterious past, and Miki struggles to deal with his dead mother's abandonment, her secrets, and her brutal murder while he's hunted by an enigmatic killer who may have ties to her.

The case lands in Kane's lap, and he and Miki are caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse. When Miki is forced to face his personal demons and the horrors of his childhood, only one thing is certain: The rock star and his cop are determined to fight for their future and survive the evils lurking in Miki's past.

Listening Length: 10 hours and 51 minutes
Narrator: Tristan James



I’ll be the first to admit that this series is not my favorite of Ford’s, but this last entry in my mind, was definitely all about saving the best for last. I’m also quite known for giving series finales a generous 5 stars especially if they wrap things up in an epic conclusion, and this did not fail me.


It would be impossible to rehash the plot of the last five books, so suffice it to say that if you haven’t read any of them, this is not a stand alone and you need to turn yourself around and get cracking.


I think overall, it probably would’ve been ok, minus the dangling plot point in Absinthe and Malice, if this book was never written. However it was, and it brings us full circle back to the first and foremost character Miki, turning his tragic beginnings into an opportunity to finally find some answers and heal some terribly awful wounds.


Why this was a hit for me is because this literally brought me to tears multiple times. Remember - make me cry - win bonus points. With all the emotions, I got ferklempt over and over as Miki grows and moves beyond his past to something so much more. This was not an easy road by any means, but forever by his side is the fabulous swoony Kane, made even more poignantly fabulous and swoony with his undying love and support as he navigates the 24/7 minefield, aka as his resilient but scarred and traumatized lover.


Narrated by Tristan James, he is this series and as always, it was a great listen as he juggles the many characters and accents with aplomb! He brings to life Ford‘s descriptiveness and beautiful words that are ever present, and where it might be too much for some standalones, it works so well for this established couple, further cementing their bond and love connection that really really tugged at my heartstrings.


This last entry was obviously an ode to Miki and Kane so they could finally move forward uninhibited, unafraid, adding so much more depth and breadth, bringing a fitting, well deserved and very very romantic start to their happily forever after!


Thank you to the author/publisher for the audio in exchange for an honest review.





Anniversary Shenanigans: Author Visit + Giveaway - Jay Northcote


Northcote is in the clubhouse once again! We repeat, Jay Northcote is here today! And Jay's not empty handed! See Jay's visit below and learn how you can win a bit of... Rainbow. ;)

Hi everyone, and happy 5th birthday to Boy Meets Boy Reviews!

Thank you for inviting me to be part of the birthday celebrations. I’m here with a giveaway for a ebook copy of Rainbow Place.

Rainbow Place is the first book in a new series that I started this year. It can be read as a standalone and I promise you there are no cliffhangers. The same goes for the second story, Safe Place (Rainbow Place #2).

http://mybook.to/rainbowplace_JayN



Can Jason find the courage he needs to be the man Seb deserves?

When Seb Radcliffe relocates to a seaside town in Cornwall, he feels like a fish out of water. He misses queer spaces and the sense of community he enjoyed when he was living in the city, and decides to open an LGBT-friendly cafe–bar.

Jason Dunn is the builder Seb hires to help renovate the rundown space where the cafe will be housed. Jason is also gay, but unlike Seb, he’s deep in the closet. He’s never had a relationship with another man—only allowing himself the occasional hook up with guys who are prepared to be discreet.

The attraction between the two men is instant and impossible to ignore. But while Seb is out and proud, Jason is terrified of being exposed. With the grand opening of Rainbow Place approaching, tension is growing among some locals who object to Seb’s plans. When things escalate, Jason is forced to choose whether to hide in the shadows and let Seb down, or to openly support the man he’s fallen so hard for.

Although this book is part of a series, it has a satisfying happy ending and can be read as a standalone.



Giveaway

To win a copy of Rainbow Place, please leave enter in rafflecopter below!

About Jay

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.

One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story—just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.

Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. He has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are now available as audiobooks.

Links

Website: https://jaynorthcote.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jay_Northcote
Facebook profile: https://www.facebook.com/jaynorthcotewriter
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/jaynorthcotefiction
Facebook author group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/jaysplayground
Newsletter: http://tinyurl.com/JN-readers
Jay’s books: http://author.to/JayNorthcote



Jay is giving away a Rainbow Place eBook to one lucky person!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The giveaway is open until 12:00AM (EST) on 11/10/18. Shortly thereafter, we will contact a winner!

Please respond to the winning notification within 48 hours or we will choose another winner. Good luck!

Don't miss entering in our month long unicorn giveaway HERE! It ends 12/1/18!

Review: The Reluctant Ghost Whisperer (Barrow and Sparrow #1) by Neptune Flowers

All you need is love, or so they say!

Owning a building company means long hours, lonely days and too much physical labour.

When Adam Barrow employs a fit capable guy, life begins to look up. His business thrives from the extra muscle, and so does Adam. Being around chatty Johnny really helps the time fly past. Adam is shy and inexperienced in ways of the heart but very soon his awkwardness eases and he finds himself flirting and having fun.

Johnny Sparrow has a mysterious past and seems to have a knack of stirring up inexplicable presences. From the day he arrives on a motorbike, weird things begin to happen, like strange noises and creepy mists. Even motorbike Angus has a personality!

All you need is love, but can Adam find the strength to confront the ghostly goings-on? Can Johnny find a use for the egg whisk, and can Angus really carry them both to safety?

A story of paranormal divas, supernatural aromas and head-over-heels romance.




Veeeeerrrrryyyyyyy British story this is. And cute.

I am veeerrryyyyyyyyy American so getting the hang of this author's writing style took a minute. I even had to start over because I realized at a certain point I really had no clue what was happening. I guess you could say I got a running start at it.

I'm glad I stuck with it though because it is cheeky and a bit peculiar if I'm being entirely honest. I would encourage anyone looking for a bit of fun to give this a try even if you're not a fan of ghost stories. This isn't spooky and that's coming from someone who spooks easily. The ghosts are actually mostly amusing, popping up at some very inopportune moments.

After Adam and Johnny meet through work they quickly fall into a relationship and are at the heart of this story. I feel like I was told more than shown their connection but that could be cultural differences since several other people have rating this higher than I.

I will say Adam's brain is a quirky place but the author does an excellent job of giving him a very distinct and unique voice. Johnny is less well defined aside from looking like Crocodile Dundee, that is.

This may sound silly as all get out but what consistently made me smile with this story was the damn egg whisk!

Every time.

Every single time!

If ever I run into a ghost (please god, no) I will scramble to find the egg whisk thanks to this story. I punned!

"The Reluctant Ghost Whisperer" is a bit eccentric but a fun diversion and one I would recommend.



A review copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.



Release Blitz + Giveaway: Green Death by Madeline Ribbon


Celebrate the release of Green Death with author Madeline Ribbon and IndiGo Marketing! Learn more about the dystopian romance and enter in the $10 Amazon gift card giveaway!




Title: Green Death
Author: Madeleine Ribbon
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: November 2nd
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 100,000 words
Genre: Romance, Science Fiction, Dystopian/post apocalyptic

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

As poisonmaster to the Oligarch, Tryg Sant knows a lot of things others shouldn’t. But when he discovers his family’s darkest secret, his brother tries to kill him.

When Tryg’s lover pushes him out of a helicopter and into the poison-filled Exclusion Zone, Tryg finds himself trapped in a dangerous new world, entirely different from the one he expects. Now, Tryg has to learn to survive nearly-feral humans and his own disintegrating mind. Luckily, he’s found an ally in Riot, one of the victims of the Green Death…

Excerpt

Everything felt muffled. My injuries, my emotions, my thoughts, the sounds from outside. The heavy, rhythmic, mechanical thumps from somewhere above me were so loud they radiated through my chest. My mind barely registered the noise, even if my sternum did—maybe because there was something strapped over my head, digging into the top of my skull and trapping warm, sweaty air over my ears.
All I cared about, in the moment, was that I wasn’t being hit.

The ground shifted under me, tilting just slightly, shooting my equilibrium all to hell. The only things that kept me from toppling over were a wall on my left, propping me upright, and straps across my shoulders and chest and hips. They dug into my bruises with a steady, fuzzy, ache.

I tried to tug at the straps, hoping to release the pressure, but my arm didn’t work right.
I should have hurt a lot more. I was pretty damned sure I ought to be screaming from just trying to move my arm, but all I felt was thick haze and a low heat over almost every inch of my skin.

“Tryg, wake up.” The headpiece I wore transmitted the words directly into my ears, but even with the amplification, I could barely hear it over the whump whump whump coming from overhead.
I opened my eyes. Well, my left eye, since the right lid didn’t seem to work.

I tried looking around, but my neck didn’t want to move either. So far, the only thing responding to me was a single eyelid.

Someone had given me something—a drug or a poison of some sort. That was the only reason I wasn’t writhing on the ground, screaming. I could feel my injuries, the places my brother had cracked bones or ripped into my skin with his obnoxiously large ring, but only a little. Like a wad of cloth had been shoved somewhere between the injuries and my brain, so the signals from my nerves couldn’t make it through at full strength.

I tried to focus, tried to direct my wandering mind to the list of substances Vodayn had requested from me over the last ten years I’d run the laboratory.

Nothing. Probably just strong painkillers, unless he had outside sources for a new poison.

Outside sources. My blood ran cold. Is that what Arris had been talking about, when I overheard them a few days ago? This pricked at my pride. For a moment, it didn’t matter that my brother had starved and kicked the shit out of me and was sending me to my death. I was angry at him for going elsewhere for poisons when I could make him almost anything he wanted, a hundred times better and far more discreetly than anyone else.

But I’m not his poison master anymore. The thought came crashing down around me, heavy on my shoulders. I slumped forward, though the straps kept me from folding in half.

And then realization struck me, harder than any of my brother’s blows had.

He’d always planned on getting rid of me. Even before I’d found the damning documents. If he was looking elsewhere for poisons, he’d been looking for a replacement. That’d been what Arris’s comment to him had been about.

“Come on, Tryg. I hate that I have to do this job, but it’s a damned good thing for you. Anyone else would have just pushed you out by now. I want you to be functional.”

Arris. My whole body started to shake. Arris was here. He’d save me. He’d make sure I was okay. He cared about me, as much as anyone ever had. More than anyone, since Dad died.

I finally managed to twist my neck a few inches. Arris’s scarred, tanned face slowly resolved before me, headset obscuring his short black hair.

He was frowning just a little. It was the most emotion I’d seen on him, outside of sex.

“There we go. Welcome back.” He leaned forward and brushed his thumb over my cheek. Searing fire ran though my face. I hissed and tried to jerk back, but most of my body still didn’t want to obey my directives.

“You… Why?”

My words slurred. Apparently my lips worked fine, though my tongue was taking its sweet time catching up. I hoped the drug didn’t wear off too soon. I wasn’t prepared to face the damage done to my body. Not until I knew what in the dark depths of hell Arris was planning.

Arris watched me with soft eyes. He never had soft eyes. Passionate while we were fucking? Yes. Inquisitive? Rarely. Ice cold when in his official capacity? Always. But never soft.

“This is occurring because Vodayn demanded that you die. Telling him what you found was a stupid move. The stupidest. He’s been increasingly paranoid over the last year. Surely you haven’t missed that, as smart as you are?”

“Paaa…noy?” My half-numb tongue fumbled over the word. I shook my head. I hadn’t had time to notice anything.

For the last year, Vodayn’s requests of me had gone down, yes, but when he did give me a project, he had been making obscure and incredibly difficult demands I’d worked hard to fulfill. A substance that, once ingested, made hair change color permanently, with no other effect. One that made the victim cry irrationally for days. One that mimicked a heart attack’s symptoms perfectly. I’d succeeded in crafting them all, though the crying draught lasted for only thirty-six hours.

I’d been proud of my success. I’d managed everything he asked.

Arris hummed a little. “Very paranoid. You always were a bit too focused when you were working.”

“How’djou know?”

The lines between his brows grew deeper. “Know what?”

“What I told him.” Words were slowly becoming easier to pronounce.

“Because I was there when he received your report. I only got a glimpse of it while he read it, but I know what it means. We suspected that the Sants had been behind the poisoning ever since it happened. There’s a reason I was stationed in the household, and my father before me. I was supposed to find proof. And you hand-delivered it to him.”

The words Arris spoke now did not match up with what I’d known of him over the last few years. My heart seemed to think that now was a great time to start thundering as fast as it would go. “Who’s we?”

“The resistance.” Here, Arris smiled, and the deepest scar, the one that ran over his cheek, pulled and wrinkled in a dozen places.

He’d been my brother’s right-hand man and main assassin for almost three years, and never once had I seen him smile. It scared me more than anything else. I wonder if all his victims got to see this horrible, wonderful expression.

Because that’s what I would be. His victim. He was letting me see another side to him, now, and that meant I was a dead man.

And then the meaning of his statement filtered into my mind. The resistance. That’d been wiped out with the bombing, hadn’t it? Or tainted with the poison, at least, and driven crazy?

“The resistance survives? Truly?”

He nodded. “We have been trying to find justice for almost a hundred years. The exclusion zone is still the center of it. Most of us had family there, when it was poisoned. My great-grandfather’s entire family got walled inside, except for him. He’d been at a friend’s for a sleepover during the bombing.”

“I’m sorry,” I said. “Did any of them… survive?”

“A few, for a while.” He looked away from me, and then his face tightened, the smile vanishing. “We’re almost there. You’re getting dropped in. I pushed for this, instead of using the Black Daydream on you until you were crazy enough to cut your own throat. Vodayn wanted you to die in agony, and I argued this would be the most effective and ironic way. He came around to my line of thinking eventually.”

“Where? Dropped in where?”

He reached past me and tapped on the surface to my right.

I turned my head, my neck still protesting the motion. I suspected that without the painkillers I’d been given, the movement would hurt a lot more.

A window. And beyond it, the sky. Clouds. We were high. I’d never been so high. I never had permission to leave the Sant compound, much less go somewhere that required air transport.

Then again, if all air transport was like this strange, rusted, rickety, noisy vehicle, I doubted I’d missed much.
Arris leaned forward. “You’re wearing a parachute. Do you think you can pull the ripcord yourself once you’re out?”

My heart clenched. I tried to flex my hand, and then lift it. All I managed was a finger-twitch. “I don’t think so.”
“The drug?”

“Yeah. What is it?”

“Just a mid-level painkiller from Professor Marita’s lab.”

“Oh.” Marita—there was that name again. Professional jealousy twisted through me. “Thanks.”

“I’ll pull your ripcord for you when you jump, if you’re not up to it now. We’ll be so low nobody will notice the parachute, thanks to the poison.”

“The—oh green-damned hell, the poison.” Arris’s statements finally sank into me. He’d asked my brother to dump me into the exclusion zone. And my brother had agreed, even before he’d started to beat me senseless.
“Here. Hang on to the handles if you can.” He lifted my arms up, his grip gentle, and hooked my hands over smooth, cool plastic. “This will steer you once you’re in the air, if you can find the strength. Pull which way you want to go. Try and land in a flat place, but close to the taller buildings. You won’t be able to get out of the exclusion zone and go back to regular life, but you’ll have a good chance to survive down there if the right people find you. I’ve already put out an alert. I can only hope you make it, Tryg. I don’t want you to die. You’ve been the closest thing to a friend I had in that mansion. Please believe that.”

Arris looked so damned serious, giving me my death sentence with such care. I knew I wouldn’t last. I wasn’t a fighter—not without my poisons, anyway.

“Don’t pull the chute,” I said, holding his gaze. “Let me fall. It’s kinder.”

Arris shook his head. “I can’t, even if I agreed with you. You have to live. You’re our best hope now. I didn’t want to do this to you, but it’s the only way for Vodayn to leave you in peace.”

A blast of static filled the compartment, and Arris scowled and leaned back. He tilted his head. Whatever he listened to, it didn’t repeat in my headset. I tried moving my neck again, and this time I was able to turn maybe an inch farther to the right. More glass and sky.

The transport vehicle had to be well over three hundred years old, if it still had glass windows and rotors that made this much noise. The Eastrend military forces had used these to monitor the huge political protests, way back before the Green Death happened. They’d been passed on to other government agencies, like the one that monitored the poison levels here. Nobody would think this air transport looked out of place. At least not until I got pushed out of it. And Arris seemed to have already thought of that.

I pressed against the window and looked down. The only thing below us was a foggy haze, the green color lurid against the gray of the surrounding city. It was the hue present on some of the creatures in the Menagerie, almost acid-bright.

We were over the exclusion zone. A dozen small drones in a variety of styles hung just over the fog, film crews focusing on the action down below. There had to be another riot, if so many drones were out here. I hated watching the news on the nights they focused on Greenies fighting, but the rest of Eastrend seemed to love eagerly watching the violence, treated like war footage from somewhere unreachable.

All around the green air, a tall wall—bleak and gray and three city blocks thick at its narrowest point—rose a hundred feet higher than the fog, trapping the Green Death into what had once been a hotbed of political resistance. The place where Arris’s family had once lived.

I looked away. Seeing the exclusion zone—really seeing it, not just on a documentary or the news—made me want to scream. My great-grandfather had singlehandedly caused it. All the pain and agony, all the rage, all the violence—he’d created the chemical that caused it. And I might have, in another life, been able to create a way to neutralize it.

Not anymore.

“I truly am sorry, Tryg. You’ve been the only reason I still have my sanity, working for Vodayn.” Arris tilted his head, gaze sharpening, and then turned to the window next to me. “The fighting has died down. The drones are moving out. Three minutes and we start moving too.”

“Won’t the drones catch me getting pushed in?” I stared up at Arris. My lower lip wobbled in an embarrassing fashion, and I dropped my gaze. I was twenty. I didn’t need to cry. Especially not in front of him.

“The drones will be over the wall by then. Any remaining behind will already have their cameras off or pointed away. The fight’s over. They have their news clips for the day. If Vodayn tells them not to talk about it, they won’t. But if an unregulated source does draw attention to your drop-in, the story is that you’re a researcher sacrificing yourself for data on the Green Death and what it’s doing to the environment. It wouldn’t be the first time an idiot has gone in willingly and can’t get permission to go through the wall. Researchers never get permission.”

“Oh.” I shuddered. Vodayn was probably the reason for the research block. The darkness of our family secrets bled into so many other people’s lives.

Arris frowned, and then he dug something out of his belt. He held up a small, black handgun, the kind that shot little bursts of plasma—the same weapon he’d dug into my back days ago, when arresting me in the lab.

“It’s fully charged, but the safety is on. Red’s dead.” He flicked the little lever back and forth, showing me a red dot beneath it. “Only use it if you absolutely have to. The sound will call all the wild ones to you if you don’t watch out.”

“Wild?”

“They’re the most violent Greenies. They have no tattoos on their faces,” he said. “I’m tucking the gun in your back pocket. I really do want you to survive. I know you haven’t fired one often, but you’re smart. You’ll figure it out. I’ll do my best to check in on you when the Oligarch isn’t watching my every move again, okay?”
He kissed me, bruising, no more than a clash of teeth and lips.

That, more than anything, broke me. We’d never been kissers. I didn’t mind the denial, despite desperately wanting to feel what a kiss was like, mostly because I’d never imagined him being the kissing type. And now, when my banishment and potential execution was so near? Now he gave me what I wanted for so damned long.

When he pulled away, his face was a blank slate, and the chill in his gaze reappeared.

I repressed the urge to scream, to grab at him, to beg to stay in the transport. He might have been my lover, but right now, he was my brother’s top assassin.

These well-wishes and the gun would be the best I’d get from him.

“It’s time” he said as he shoved the gun into the back pocket of the torn, filthy protective work pants I still wore. “There. Brace yourself.” Arris hunched over and fiddled with the metal panel below my window. He grabbed the straps across my chest, and then a great whooshing noise filled the cabin, and the thumping of the rotors above us increased to an alarming volume. Air buffeted my face, ice cold against my cheeks.
And there was no longer any glass between me and the Green Death.

Arris shifted my weight until I sat just on the edge of the seat, tilting out into the nothingness around the transport. The haze hung just below us, the cloudy surface broken in a few dozen places by narrow metal tubes.

“Live, Tryg. Fight for it.” His words rang loud in my ear. Then he yanked my headset off. The noise beat at my eardrums, nearly pounding me senseless.

He shoved, and I was flying.

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Meet the Author

Madeleine began writing professionally in 2012. She loves stories with hints of paranormal, fantasy, or sci-fi in them. When she isn’t writing or working the day job, she homebrews beer, attempts to cook, and plays video games. She loves going to Renaissance faires, anime conventions, or beer festivals on the weekends.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | eMail

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Review: Lone Wolf by Anna Martin

Jackson Lewis isn’t a typical werewolf. He isolates himself in a small town outside Spokane and dedicates himself to making his business—Lone Wolf Brewery—a success. If it leaves him little time for romance, he’s okay with that. His soul mate could be out there somewhere, but he isn’t actively looking.

So he’s in for quite the shock when he literally bumps into his soul mate—Leo Gallagher, an adorable, nerdy, vibrant music therapist who’s Jackson’s polar opposite.

But he’s human. And a man.

Jackson is straight—or at least he’s always assumed so. Though he can’t deny his attraction to Leo, it’s a lot for both of them to deal with.

While Jackson and Leo figure out what their future might hold, they face prejudice from both the human and werewolf communities—including a group of fanatics willing to kill to show humans and werewolves don’t belong together.



DNF

I tried... realllllllllly tried. I picked this book up many times over the span of a week and struggled page by page and couldn’t make a dent. This may be another it’s not you, it’s me but just know it was absolutely not my thing and here’s why…

It’s unlike any shifter book I’ve experienced which didn’t turn out to be a positive. I like unique reading experiences but this was so out of the typical realm of “soul mates” shifter style that I was scratching my head a lot. Right away STRAIGHT Jackson knows that Leo is his soul mate and Leo understands that there’s a connection between them. Does Jackson get all possessive? Growly? Protective? Ecstatic at finding his mate?

nope.gif

Their meeting is cut short and what happens from here are a bunch of meetings at random places so they can take it slow and get to know each other. Huh? I like the getting to know you part of a book and they don’t have to jump on the orgasm train right away (or at all). But their meetings read like job interviews and not shifter soul mates. Each time is very awkward and I didn’t understand why being mates was part of this story if they weren't going to act like it. *sigh*

Did you know Jackson is straight? Not Bi. Not Gay. Straighttttttttttt. He even states that he would be perfectly happy finding a woman to marry and “get on with his life” (EVEN KNOWING HE HAS A SOUL MATE). Because he’s straight. It’s worth mentioning because Jackson makes it clear repeatedly and in all the ways it can be stated. He probably used the Rosetta Stone to speak it in every language. #StraightAF

There’s a lot going on. It’s sort of like the kitchen sink was thrown in and the focus, chemistry, heat, and connection fell to the wayside. Maybe it picked up at the end? I wasn’t compelled to find out. Not recommended but as always, these thoughts are my own and YMMV.



Anniversary Shenanigans: Author Visit + Giveaway - Kaje Harper


Get ready to be blown away by this fic from Kaje Harper! We're starting off the 2018 shenanigans with a bang! Be sure to enter the giveaways at the bottom too!

Let's keep this party going!


Dance on the Edge

Jorin strokes gilded paint across my chest, and my skin wrinkles an inch of loose flesh folding, then smoothing out. I swear I didn't flinch, but as always, he knows my thoughts.

"You're still beautiful." A breath across my ear.

"I'm already five years older than the last King's Dancer." No one can overhear, in the brief privacy of the antechamber.

"You work harder; you're in great condition."

"He worked." The threat of death will do that to you.

Jorin hums quietly, calmly, as he runs a comb through my hair, coaxing it to curl.

I glance in the mirror. Is my hair thinning? It went silver in my twenties, and I'd turned that to a virtue. Quicksilver, the nobles call me. I stretch out a leg, flexing and curling my toes. The lamplight catches the honed shape of my muscles. Are my toes knobbier than a year ago? Surely more than five years ago

Jorin touches my shoulder. "I hear your music."

"Yes." I stand, straightening the loincloth that hides just enough for decency and support. The door's still shut, so I dare whisper, "A kiss for luck?"

"You don't need luck. You'll stun them." Still, his lips brush mine, a soft glide, gone too fast.

The dance floor's ringed with torches, their uneven light flickering off my skin. I wait for my cue, then glide across the smooth marble and kneel gracefully before the throne. The king lounges at his ease, eating a pastry. Flecks of cream dot his fleshy chin, but none would dare point them out to him. His personal slave-boy, a dead-eyed child, waves a long-handled fan in a rhythm he'll maintain till he's told to stop, or collapses.

The musicians play through my introductory measures, around and around, until finally the king glances my way and raises his hand. Into the silence, he says, "Oh, yes. The dancer. Entertain Us, Quicksilver. We're bored."

Bored is dangerous. Bored may need to be washed away with blood. I lower my forehead to the ground, without smearing my paint. "As Your Majesty commands."

Control breath. Control movement. Control thought. I rise, smooth as water flowing, pose as the music begins. And dance.

I don't remember the dance. I never do anymore. I go to a place outside myself and only return as the song dies, my arm reaching for the heavens, my foot an arrow's point, breath wanting to heave my chest but held, disciplined, so the shine of light off my painted ribs is still and doesn't betray the effort it takes. Hold. Hold.

This time, the silence at the end of the dance feels dangerous. There's a hum of anticipation in the crowd, a rustle of people shifting, turning my way, that sends shivers across my skin. I play statue, and wait for the next words of my bored king.

I'm black-visioned from holding my breath, when he finally says, "How many years have you danced for Us, Quicksilver?"

I dare a breath, but stay silent. That was not an invitation to speak.

He chuckles. "We recall more than five. More than ten?"

Fourteen. I hold the pose. The room echoes with a gasp of drawn breaths, and I flinch. Has his hand has gone to his sword? He likes to kill things himself, when it's safe. Can I attack him if he comes for me? Hurt him, at least, before I die? Or must I stay still and let the blow land, for fear that someone will tell him his anger should fall on Jorin after I'm gone? Ah, Jorin, love, I'm sorry. I pray to the fates he's not watching. I know in my soul he is.

My heart's racing, pulse thudding loud in my ears. Can the king hear it? Acid burns the back of my throat. My thigh muscles quiver and bunch against a lifetime of control.

Run!

I hold my pose.

"Amazing, to still please Us after all this time." I manage not to sway in relief. The dark satisfaction in the king's voice tells me he enjoyed the suspense and the taste of my fear. The sigh of released breaths in the crowd is no doubt music to him. "We'll look forward to your next dance."

A metallic rattle on the floor around me marks the nobles tossing me small coins. The floor slave will gather them, minus his cut. Perhaps it'll be a good haul, making escape safer bribes for guards, money for food and shelter and clothes, to hide us on our journey. Perhaps today's bounty will tip failure into success.

Or perhaps we'll die on some guard's sword. No bribe can guarantee against betrayal. But I've stayed too long, cut it too close. I was set to go four years ago, and then Jorin appeared and I knew it had to be both of us, or neither. Four more years of dancing on the edge of a blade, seeming to spend tips on dainties and mead and trinkets, while hoarding every copper. I never told Jorin the risk I took was for him. He knew, though. He told me to go alone, once. I shut the words in his mouth with a kiss.

When I finally stand, the king's gone. I was the last of the evening's entertainment, and now he's off to his women and his bed. A few nobles still wander out, heading to their own debauchery. The floor slave presses a small bag in my hand. It's not very heavy. Perhaps they weren't wasting much coin on an aging favorite fated to die soon. It'll have to do.

As I reach the hallway, Jorin's there, standing just inside the arch. The slave can see us, so I don't look at him, don't touch. But as I pass, on my way to the baths to transform Quicksilver into a common, frightened man, I whisper, "Tonight."


Be sure to let Kaje know what you thought of the fic in the comments below and we unicorns thank her for helping to make our 5th anniversary special!

About the author:

I live in Minnesota, where the two seasons are Snow-removal and Road-repair, the mosquito is the state bird, and where sometimes in winter it can be breathtakingly beautiful. Of course, the deepfreeze chill contributes to the breath-taking, but Minnesota's a kindly, quiet place and it's home to me now. I've been writing for far longer than I care to admit (*whispers - forty years*), mostly for my own entertainment, and currently am focused on M/M romance (with added mystery, fantasy, history, SciFi...) I also have a few Young Adult stories released under the pen name Kira Harp.

My first professionally published book, Life Lessons, came out from MLR Press in May 2011. My husband finally convinced me that after all that time writing, I really should submit something, somewhere. I was thrilled when it was accepted. I have a weakness for closeted cops with honest hearts, and teachers who speak their minds, and I had fun writing the four novels and three freebie short stories in the series. I've been just delighted by the reception Mac and Tony have received.

My first free book became the first story that I actually released - I put it up a month before Life Lessons just for the fun of getting it out there. Lies and Consequences began as a reaction to the November 2010 election. It looked like the repeal of DADT might be derailed by the political shift and I put the insanity of that law into the book. Then as I was finishing the first draft in mid-December the repeal passed. Which was great, but prompted a rewrite to a lighter and more action/romance book. This was a solo effort and I learned a lot from writing and releasing it and from the reviews. Check Smashwords for that one and many of my other freebies.

I now have a decent backlist in ebooks and print, both free and professionally published. A complete list with links can be found on my Books page. This writing thing is addictive. So read, comment, tell me what you like and what you don't, and help me make the upcoming books even better.

You can also email me : kajeharper ~at~ yahoo ~dot~ com

Website
Goodreads
Facebook








Enter to win any DSP ebook!


The giveaway is open until 12:00AM (EST) 11/7/18. Shortly thereafter, we will contact a winner!

Please respond to the winning notification within 48 hours or we will choose another winner. Good luck!

Don't miss entering in our month long unicorn giveaway HERE! It ends 12/1/18!

Anniversary Shenanigans: Author Visit + Giveaway - Kim Fielding


Welcome to the 2018 Anniversary Shenanigans! Our first flash fiction to get this month long celebration started is long time friend of the unicorns, Kim Fielding. She never fails to deliver the goods. Here's her first contribution to the fun. Enjoy!




Scales



By Kim Fielding


The people staring at Elijah saw a man returning from the bodega with a gallon of milk, a fluffy dog tucked under an arm, and his evening gown trailing on the pavement. Some of them yelled cruel words and thought they were heckling a man.

But Elijah’s lover, Liam, watched from their apartment window, and he knew better.

He knew that what appeared to be silver sequins were really shining scales—strong enough to protect Elijah from the fiercest attacks. Liam also knew that a fire roiled inside Elijah, ready to erupt from his mouth as scorching flames should anyone dare treat Elijah’s loved ones badly. And only Liam saw the enormous wings now furled tightly against Elijah’s back. Wings powerful enough to lift Elijah and Liam away from any dangers or misfortunes.

Elijah entered the building and disappeared from view. Liam went to wait by the apartment’s front door.

After Elijah came inside and set down the dog and the milk, Liam would waylay him with kisses and accost him with gentle caresses. Elijah would counter with masterful strokes. They would have at it until each slew the other—both collapsing into a sweet little death. And later they would wake up and have brunch.

Locks rattled and the door opened. Elijah smiled widely as Liam took the milk from him. “Hello, brave knight,” Elijah rumbled.

Liam pressed his lips to Elijah’s cheek. “Welcome back, my mighty dragon.”

Amazing writer lady is amazing and creative, huh? We unicorns thank Kim for helping us celebrate turning 5.

Be on the lookout for Kim's upcoming Christmas story, Summerfield's Angel, part of The Christmas Angel series! Cover reveal will be November 5th and the book releases December 2nd!

After the hard winter of 1888 ended Alby Boyle’s work as a Nebraska ranch hand, he returned to New York City in search of his long-lost family. His mother and brothers are nowhere to be found, however, and after Alby’s years of absence, Five Corners no longer feels like home. His prospects seem as dim as the nighttime alleys.

When Alby pauses to admire an angel ornament in a department store window’s Christmas display, he meets Xeno Varnham-Summerfield. Wealthy, handsome, and enthusiastic, Xeno brings Alby some temporary cheer. But for Alby to achieve his dreams of love and a real home, well, that may take a bit of holiday magic.


Kim Fielding is the bestselling author of numerous m/m romance novels, novellas, and short stories. Like Kim herself, her work is eclectic, spanning genres such as contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, and historical. Her stories are set in alternate worlds, in 15th century Bosnia, in modern-day Oregon. Her heroes are hipster architect werewolves, housekeepers, maimed giants, and conflicted graduate students. They’re usually flawed, they often encounter terrible obstacles, but they always find love.

After having migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States, Kim calls the boring part of California home. She lives there with her husband, her two daughters, and her day job as a university professor, but escapes as often as possible via car, train, plane, or boat. This may explain why her characters often seem to be in transit as well. She dreams of traveling and writing full-time.

Follow Kim:

Website
Facebook
Twitter: @KFieldingWrites
Email: Kim@KFieldingWrites.com




Enter in the giveaway for a chance to win a DSP audiobook of your choice! The giveaway is open until 12:00AM (EST) 11/8/18. Shortly thereafter, we will contact a winner!

Please respond to the winning notification within 48 hours or we will choose another winner. Good luck!

Don't miss entering in our month long unicorn giveaway HERE! It ends 12/1/18!

Review: Honeymoon for One by Keira Andrews

The wedding is off, but the love story is just beginning.

Betrayed the night before his wedding by the supposed boy of his dreams, Ethan Robinson escapes the devastating fallout by going on his honeymoon alone to the other side of the world. Hard of hearing and still struggling with the repercussions of being late-deafened, traveling by himself leaves him feeling painfully isolated with his raw, broken heart.

Clay Kelly never expected to be starting life over in his forties. He got hitched young, but now his wife has divorced him and remarried, his kids are grown, and he’s left his rural Outback town. In a new career driving a tour bus on Australia’s East Coast, Clay reckons he's happy enough. He enjoys his cricket, a few beers, and a quiet life. If he's a bit lonely, it's not the end of the world.

Clay befriends Ethan, hoping he can cheer up the sad-eyed young man, and a crush on an unattainable straight guy is exactly the safe distraction Ethan needs. Yet as the days pass and their connection grows, long-repressed desires surface in Clay, and they are shocked to discover romance sparking. Clay is the sexy, rugged man of Ethan’s dreams, and as the clock counts down on their time together, neither wants this honeymoon to end.

Honeymoon for One is a gay romance by Keira Andrews featuring a May-December age difference, a slow burn of newfound friends to lovers, first-time m/m sex, and of course a happy ending.


We've got Clay


Typical Aussie bloke, mid 40s.

We've got Ethan


Little bit neurotic, has needed to grow up well before his age. Late 20s.

I loooove me a good may-december romance and this one was swoooon worthy!!

Ethan gets the shock of his life the day before his wedding and I actually really loved all the intricacies of every conversation revolving around that incident. It was much more in-depth and well thought out than any other book I'd read with the same trope.

Anyway, after that Ethan decides to go on his honeymoon by himself and watching his emotional turmoil was heartbreaking, but sooo good because we knew Clay was coming.

Clay is your typical laid back Aussie bloke. He cares fiercely for those he loves and doesn't let much in life faze him. He's the perfect ying to Ethan's neurotic yang. Although he doesn't know that yet because he's denied being gay for so long, so doesn't recognise the signs until they slap him in the dick. There was a tinsy bit of drama around his denial but nothing as bad as you might expect and I thought it was necessary for Clay to be able to move on.

The connection between these two is slow and powerful. You could feel how much each man needed the other, they're friendship was beautiful and they're relationship was full of such happiness and love. Oh and sex. Lots of yum sex.

Highly recommend this to anyone who wants a contemporary romance that's actually romantic.


Boy Meets Boy Reviews is FIVE! Join the party with the Unicorns!


Boy Meets Boy Reviews is officially FIVE! Know what that means? PARTY TIME!!!


Let's get buzzed on uni punch and cake!


It's MAGICAL, didn't you know?


Don't get full just yet! We're bringing back the ever popular Giveaway-a-Day (or more)! We're not fixing what ain't broke!

And we're not hosting this shindig ourselves! We have a group of talented authors manning the ship from day to day - some brought flash fiction, others visits and chats about writerly life and other cool bits and bobs! Don't miss out!



We're starting off today with one of the 4 weekly giveaways, right NOW! We have a giant pile of prizes and party favors that we want to share with you!

Thanks to NineStar Press (it's their anniversary month too!) we'll be giving away 4 x $20 gift codes on a weekly basis! And don't fret if you missed out on claiming on of these credits...we have another one, a 5th $20 NSP gift certificate that we will pop in during the month to giveaway. *sneaky unicorns are sneaky* 

Stay tuned this month for surprise giveaways on top of our anniversary giveaways in our posts!




https://ninestarpress.com/

Week #1 - $20 NineStar Press Gift Certificate - Starts November 1st - Ends November 8th @ Midnight EST - GIVEAWAY OVER - PROCEED TO WEEK #2

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Week #2 - $20 NineStar Press Gift Certificate - Starts November 8th - Ends November 15th @ Midnight EST

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Week #3 - $20 NineStar Press Gift Certificate - Starts November 15th - Ends November 22nd @ Midnight EST

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Week #4 - $20 NineStar Press Gift Certificate - Starts November 22nd - Ends November 29th @ Midnight EST

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And wait for it...there's more! SO MUCH more!

We're hosting a SUPER de DUPER SLAM BAM WHIZ WANG BANGTASTIC UNICORN ANNIVERSARY SHENANIGANS MONTH LONG GIVEAWAY! Ends December 1st, Midnight EST

What's inside of the SUPER de DUPER SLAM BAM WHIZ WANG BANGTASTIC UNICORN ANNIVERSARY SHENANIGANS MONTH LONG GIVEAWAY, you ask?

Courtesy of Dreamspinner Press, we're giving away $55 Dreamspinner Press credit to one winner!

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
https://www.dsppublications.com/
https://www.harmonyinkpress.com/

a Rafflecopter giveaway


We're calling all unicorns and readers to join in, if you'd like, christen yourself with your new unicorn persona with the anointed Unicorn Name Generator (Or give yourself a new uni name)! Let us know below!



Missed a Day? We'll try to update after the authors' posts are live!

11/1 - Kim Fielding (1st visit)
11/2 - Kaje Harper
11/3 - Jay Northcote
11/4 - L.J. Hayward
11/4 - T.M. Smith
11/5 - Annabelle Jacobs
11/6 - Nell Iris
11/7 - Shira Anthony
11/7 - Skylar M. Cates
11/8 - Liv Olteano
11/9 - K.A. Merikan
11/10 - Kelly Jensen
11/10 - Kim Dare
11/11 - Charlie Cochet
11/12 - Kasia Bacon
11/13 - Tanya Chris
11/14 - C.S. Poe
11/14 - T.A. Moore
11/15 - Keira Andrews
11/15 - Jack L. Pyke
11/16
11/17
11/18
11/19
11/20
11/21
11/22
11/23
11/24
11/25
11/26
11/27
11/28
11/29
11/30

Review: Trex or Treat by Tara Lain

Josh Harris is all dad all the time. A busy college professor and devoted single father, Josh tries to be happy with only his son for company. But then Bradley “Trex” Trexler moves in across the street with his stepbrother, Bogo, and takes advantage of their empty home, making it into a haunted house for Halloween.

Josh's son, Ernie, can't wait to go, so Josh dresses up like a movie cowboy and saunters over. It’ll be the best Halloween of Ernie’s life, but there’s another sharpshooter roaming the dark corridors, and this one might have a special treat for Josh….

Second Edition
First Edition published by Etopia Press in Halloween Heat (IV anthology), October 2012.



3 Halloween Hearts!


I wanted a little spooky spirit to get me going for the fall, and this shorty was just the ticket!


Assuming this is typical Tara Lain, this was a little over the top, a lot enthusiastic, with fast simple easy progression to the good stuff. *wink*


Single dad and slightly older professor Josh, spies his new neighbor Trex, moving in across the street with his younger half brother. When Josh discovers Trex is a grad student/TA at the college he works at and not completely off limits, Josh dares to hope there might be something more between them. Thankfully, Trex does an annual haunted house so there’s no better way to feel things out other than to dress up and enthusiastically participate!


Don’t be surprised that things move very quickly between these two, but that can’t be helped seeing as this is only 34 pages. An enjoyable story that’s basically pwp, which was just what I needed to put me in the mood for more upcoming holiday reads!


Thank you to the author/publisher for a copy in exchange for an honest review