Audiobook Review: Inheritance of Shadows (Lost in Time #0.7) by A.L. Lester

It’s 1919. Matty returns home to the family farm from the trenches only to find his brother Arthur dying of an unknown illness. The local doctor thinks cancer, but Matty becomes convinced it's connected to the mysterious books his brother left strewn around the house.

Rob knows something other than just Arthur’s death is bothering Matty. He’s know him for years and been in love with him just as long. And when he finds something that looks like a gate, a glowing, terrifying doorway to the unknown, it all starts to fall in to place.

Matty’s looking sicker and sicker in the same way Arthur did. What is Rob prepared to sacrifice to save him?

The answer is in the esoteric books…and with the mysterious Lin of the Frem, who lives beyond the gate to nowhere. It’s taken Matty and Rob more than a decade to admit they have feelings for each other and they are determined that neither social expectations or magical illness will part them now.

Listening Length: 3 hours and 20 minutes
Narrator: Callum Hale

Reviewer: Annery

Audio bliss!

Happy New Year to me! I’ve been on audiobook roll and this one by Callum Hale will certainly be on the winning list.

This is billed as a prequel to A. L. Lester’s LOST IN TIME series and perhaps it is but it can certainly be read as a satisfying novella all on its own. I’d seen this floating around GR and even picked it up a while ago but hadn’t dived in because I’m not a huge paranormal reader. The AB was the push I needed and I’m happy I listened.

Matthew Webber has come back from what was then known as The Great War aka WWI. He’s hoping to return to some sense of normalcy after existing in the trenches of mud and death. It’s not to be. Not right away. Matty comes home to the reality that his older, bookish brother Arthur is wasting away in body and mind. The illness is mysterious and irrevocable. Luckily Rob, a longtime farmhand at the Webber farm, is also back from the war and willing to help shoulder the burden. Of course it helps that Matty and Rob were childhood friends, bosom buddies, and each had yearned for something more even if they hadn’t verbalized it even to themselves. The immediacy of war and death have changed all that.

This novella is 3:20:00 running time, under 100 pages, so I won’t make the review longer than the book. I’ll just list the things I liked (a lot) and the niggles (few).

If you missed it at the top I’ll repeat it: Callum Hale does an excellent job with the audio. He imbues each character with their own individual personalities and proper emotionality. What do I mean by this? The characters are distinctly English (of the time) in the sense that they’re not given to dramatics even in extremis, they keep a level head, sometimes a stiff upper lip, nothing is overly talked about, and a good cup of tea soothes almost anything. Can’t say I disagree. Matty & Rob acknowledge and accept their attraction with minimum fuss. The other things that are going on, the consequences of Arthur’s meddling with magic? They deal with them too, as best they can, with no one doing the equivalent of walking down into a darkened basement at night without a flashlight. They’re proper, sensible, Englishmen. The spirit of Leslie Howard was present. The physical relationship is portrayed in the same spirit without going overboard or the characters being replaced by XXIst century clones. It is nonetheless lovely and romantic.

The niggles or what didn’t work for me was the paranormal aspect. I know this is intended as a foundational or prequel to future installments set in this world but I didn’t see the purpose. IMO it didn’t really contribute anything to the characters or their lives save for the ‘knowledge’ of a coexisting world. I couldn’t grasp any practical purpose of possessing kias and the way the story ends it doesn’t seem like it matters. I would’ve also liked a deeper look at the generation who came back from this terrible war, one that was certainly a seachange in warfare, and ushered in a world that was light-years away from the one before.

Happily you can pretty much ignore the niggles and enjoy a very good AB novella about two people embracing joy, using it as a counterweight to the horrors revealed by war.

A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Blog Tour + Giveaway: Dark Flame (Flame-Born #1) by Kat Silver

Debut author Kat Silver and Gay Book Promotions host today's blog tour stop for urban fantasy romance, Dark Flame (Flame-Born #1)! Read more about the new world and enter in the $25 Amazon gift card giveaway!


Book Title: Dark Flame (Flame-Born 1)

Author: Kat Silver

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Bookfly

Release Date: February 6, 2021

Genre/s: MM paranormal/urban fantasy

Trope/s: Enemies to Lovers

Themes: Finding home and self. Self-discovery. Self-acceptance. Learning to trust.

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length:  82 000 words/310 pages

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Buy Links

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK


Hunted by a vampire prince. Caged by his rescuer. Can Michael escape the dark destiny written in his blood, or will his own heart be his undoing?



“I know who you are because you belong to me. You were born to be mine.” ~ Alexei Vasiliev, the vampire prince.

Haunted by the death of his parents, Michael Blakeley wants answers. The twenty-six-year-old martial artist seeks their killer, but he also wants to know why electronics short out at his touch, and why his libido is a raging fire.

When a group of soldiers calling themselves Guardians rescue him from a back alley ambush and claim to have the answers he needs, he agrees to go with them. Especially when they tell him the attackers were vampires. But nothing in this supernatural underworld is as it seems, and when the silver-eyed commander cages him instead, Michael's answers slip further away.

Can Michael find safety from the vampires who claim him? Can he escape the dark destiny he discovers is written into his blood? And will he break the chains of the commander who keeps him captive? The one man he has no desire to leave?

Dark Flame is the first pulse-pounding book in the Flame Born LGBT urban fantasy series. If you like enemies to lovers, shifters, sexy vampire princes, and scorching heat, you'll love this smoldering tale of bloodlust and magic.

Warning: Dark Flame is a gay erotic love story. It contains explicit language and sexual scenes between men, and is meant for adult readers only. There is content some readers may find distressing. See inside for potential triggers.


I kneel and hang my head and wait. I have to. I want to. There’s an elation in my chest, as though I’m about to meet a secret beloved I’m only now remembering. My attention draws upward, compelled to the stunning creature. I couldn’t look away if my life depended on it, but I avoid meeting his dark gaze.

With unearthly grace, the vampire saunters toward me, his eyes riveted to my face. The closer he comes, the more the battle slips into the background. It could be only the two of us here in the steelworks. Weapons fly around him—bolts and swords whistle through the air, heading for his chest, but stop midflight before they can meet their target and clatter to the concrete. He doesn’t spare them a glance.

The nearer he stalks, the harder my heart pounds. My breath comes in shallow puffs. Cold sweat soaks my T-shirt. My nails puncture the soft flesh of my palms. I feel defenseless.

The prince stands in front of me, close enough to touch, a towering demigod, his immense wings creating a shadowed cavern.

I force my eyes down, fixing them on a patch of crimson blood painted across the concrete. I resist a baffling urge to lean and rest my head against his hip.

Strong, elegant fingers cup my chin to lift my face. I tense, my stomach twisting with panic. I’m certain that once I meet those black eyes, it’s over. His fingers burn hot against my chin. The touch tingles my skin like champagne. I melt into his hand and look up, finding two pools of darkest night. My resistance vanishes.

Master. The word hangs in my mind.

I will never let it leave my lips.

About the Author 

I’m a simple northern English lass with an addiction to writing, as well as all things romance. Also addicted to cats, cat videos, and anything with, you know, cats in it. And there's chocolate, and tea, coffee too, and rainy Sundays. Okay, I have many addictions. But my first love has always been story in all its forms, from movies to books to anecdotes told over a beer at the local pub. If we're sharing a story, I'm all ears. And if it's fantasy with sexy heroes and vampires and lots of angsty luuurve, I'm probably drooling. Come in, pour yourself a tea, and kick your shoes off. Let me tell you a story.


Author Links

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a $25 Amazon gift card


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Release Blitz + Giveaway: Dark Valentine by J.P. Bowie & Blood Red Roses by S.J. Coles

Celebrate the releases from the My Bloody Valentine's Collection: Dark Valentine by J.P. Bowie & Blood Red Roses by S.J. Coles from Pride Publishing! Read more about the two romances and enter in the giveaway to win A FREE J.P. BOWIE ROMANCE BOOK!


Dark Valentine by J.P. Bowie Blood Red Roses by S.J. Coles

General Release Date: 2nd February 2021

Valentine’s Day isn’t all about chocolates and roses…this year, it’s deadly. These stories are set around the most romantic day of the year, with characters who might just have to fight for their lives as well as their loves.

Dark Valentine


Valentine’s Night, when the line between the real and unreal becomes blurred…

New boyfriends Brandon and Ryder are invited to an upscale Valentine’s party in Santa Monica. Brandon had heard how ‘fabulous’ the parties are, so he’s surprised by the creepy d├ęcor, and some even creepier ghouls who seem to have taken the place of the hosts. They can’t be real, can they?

An erotic cabaret that ends with one of the dancers seemingly either killed or seriously injured upsets Brandon. Ryder attempts to calm him down, but they’re both horrified when they discover a dead body upstairs with a knife embedded in its chest.

What the heck kind of a party is this?

And will Ryder and Brandon live to find out?



Blood Red Roses


Rick feels like he’s finally getting his life on track…until a dead body in his flat threatens to derail more than his new career.

Things are finally looking up for Rick Bennett. He’s landed a job with Swanson and Gerrard, one of the top finance firms in London and, with it, a chance to pay off his father’s debts and finally make something of his life.

When he’s put in charge of brokering the biggest deal in the company’s history, he knows he can’t lose, even though his boss, Cecily Swanson, clearly wants more than just a professional relationship.

When a rich, handsome stranger, Kim Bailey, introduces himself to Rick at the Swansons’ New Year’s Eve party, Rick is thinking he can definitely get used to rubbing elbows with the upper set. He feels everything is finally working out, despite Cecily’s increasing interest that only seems to strengthen as they approach her high-profile Valentine’s Day wedding.

When someone is murdered in his flat, Rick is shocked but still determined to hold on to his dream. Cecily believes he’s innocent and, more importantly, so does Kim. Though he’s beginning to suspect that there’s more to the guy than meets the eye, Kim’s belief in Rick keeps him strong.

As the investigation continues and Rick finds himself buried deeper in a mess of conspiracy, betrayal and intrigue, he will come to wonder whether the life he’s dreamed of could ever be real.

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of public sex, violence and murder.


Buy Links

Choose Your Store

Dark Valentine
Blood Red Roses

Get them on First For Romance

About the Authors

J.P. Bowie


J.P. Bowie was born in Scotland and toured British theatres in numerous musical shows including Stephen Sondheim’s Company.

He emigrated to the States and worked in Las Vegas, Nevada for the magicians Siegfried and Roy as their Head of Wardrobe at the Mirage Hotel. He is currently living with his husband in sunny San Diego, California.

FollowJ.P. Bowie on Facebook and Twitter

S.J. Coles

S. J. Coles is a Romance writer originally from Shropshire, UK. She has been writing stories for as long as she has been able to read them. Her biggest passion is exploring narratives through character relationships.

She finds writing LGBT/paranormal romance provides many unique and fulfilling opportunities to explore many (often neglected or under-represented) aspects of human experience, expectation, emotion and sexuality.

Among her biggest influences are LGBT Romance authors K J Charles and Josh Lanyon and Vampire Chronicles author Anne Rice.

Find S. J. Coles at her website and follow her on Instagram.


J.P. Bowie & S.J. Coles Giveaway

ENTER HERE FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A FREE J.P. BOWIE ROMANCE BOOK! Notice: This competition ends on 16th February 2021 at 5pm GMT. Competition hosted by Totally Entwined Group.

Release Blitz + Giveaway: The Beginning (Abnormal/Variant #3) by M. Rose Flores

Author M. Rose Flores and IndiGo Marketing celebrate the release of The Beginning (Abnormal/Variant #3)! Read more about the zombie filled tale and enter in the $10 NineStar Press credit giveaway!

Title: The Beginning

Series: Abnormal/Variant, Book Three

Author: M. Rose Flores

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 02/01/2021

Heat Level: 1 - No Sex

Pairing: No Romance

Length: 89100

Genre: Horror/Thriller, LGBTQIA+, YA, PNR, bisexual, dark, horror, zombies/undead, postapocalyptic, family drama, found family, children, San Francisco, Alcatraz, anger/aggression

Add to Goodreads


One of their own is stranded in San Francisco, a city long since claimed by the undead. When the rescue mission goes sideways and someone else is taken hostage by Abnormal zombies, Cate and the Alcatraz survivors find themselves pulled in two directions: Do they enlist the help of a doctor who claims to know the origin of the hyper-intelligent infected, or do they trust a mysterious group called the Organization, who have ties to one of Cate’s people from before?

In the Abnormal zombie camp, it’s clear to Melody that her people are missing some crucial information about her captors. Can she get back to the island in time to tell them before they do something irreversible?

With the island on the verge of chaos and the lives of their loved ones in the balance, the Alcatraz group clashes over who can be trusted, if anyone, and what to do about the Abnormals. To save her family, Cate must pick a side and confront the thing she fears most—before it’s too late.

In this twisting conclusion to the Abnormal/Variant trilogy, the survivors must reevaluate their ideas of family and humanity and finally answer the question that has been on everyone’s mind since The End:

What does Cate’s immunity really mean?


The Beginning
M. Rose Flores © 2021
All Rights Reserved


Everything will be okay.

I repeat the words in my head, over and over, though I don’t believe them. The rain bears down on the boats, an unrelenting torrent soaking every strand of hair and fiber of clothing. Not one person seems to notice. Everyone looks ahead, to San Francisco. We’re almost there.

My jacket hangs heavy and dripping on my body. Is that the reason my shoulders are rounded, as if I’m collapsing in on myself? Or is it the fear, inching toward desperation with every stroke of the oars? Their rhythmic splashing is nearly drowned out by the rain, the distant thunder, and my own heartbeat as we close in on the city. Toward Samantha.

Our boat bumps the end of Pier 33, followed by the other one. I grip my sister’s hand. Mel squeezes back and turns up the corner of her mouth for a fraction of a second before letting go to adjust her jacket, her hammer, her glasses. She’s fidgety; I get it. I can’t imagine how nervous she must be, and she has far more cause than the rest of us.

But it will all be over soon. Because somewhere close by, Sam is waiting for us. All we have to do is find her. Soon, we’ll be on our way back to Alcatraz. Safe. Together.

If she wants to come with us. If she has magically forgiven me for breaking up with her. Damn it. Ever since I saw the SOS a few hours ago, I have been so intent on bringing her back—so set on getting to her before something terrible happens—I let myself forget why she left in the first place. Or maybe I never let it sink in. Maybe the idea of Sam choosing to live and die alone in the city rather than spend another second on Alcatraz with me was too painful. Her face appears in my mind, the expression the same as when I told her we were done. Hurt, disappointed, angry. Maybe, the face I find will be that one.

Or worse, the face we come upon will be emotionless and vacant, not from shutting herself off, but from something far worse. Something irreversible. The image morphs, turning bloody, black-veined, and white-eyed. Sam, but not Sam. Something one of us will have to deal with. It doesn’t have to be me. Does it? Should it? I glance down at my axe. I’m dizzy for a minute even though I’m still sitting. My body sways on the little boat bench. Mel nudges my shoulder, I think.

“Cate?” Her mouth stretches a little more this time, an approximation of a reassuring smile. “Ready?”

I shrug.

“Hey, we’re going to be okay.” She wraps an arm around me. “No matter what.”

I know she means “whether Sam is alive or not, whether she comes back with us or not.” My insides harden and twist. When I lock eyes with her again and she’s still trying to smile, guilt seeps into me. It should be me reassuring her. Mel hasn’t left the island since we got there. She hasn’t seen a single ambulatory zombie since the day we escaped the city; she’s been safe with her babies and her garden for more than three months. She should never have come.

It will be fine. It will be okay.

I try like hell to believe it.

Murray gets out of our boat to tie it up. Though he hasn’t operated the ferry since we found the rowboats, he takes his inherited role as captain seriously. He moves to help Jax with the second boat. Behind them, silent shadows bustle around on the pier. They’re tough to distinguish in the gray morning light, but they look about the size and shape of adult humans.

“Did Sam find people?” asks Mel, taking hold of my hand again as I help her off the boat.

“When’s the last time you met anyone alive out here?” Joaquin’s hand automatically moves to his gun.

“Never.” Mel’s voice sounds small in this big space. She surveys the area. The last time she was here, it was the dead of night, and we were fighting our way off the mainland.

Debris litters the area. Shattered glass, garbage, pieces of rope and chains. It has always been this way, but it feels more dangerous now for some reason. One single black suitcase sits off to one side. Has it always been there? Surely, one of us would have checked it out. We use Pier 33 as our point of entry every time we go into the city for supplies, and Joaquin and I never miss anything of use. Surely, someone would have noticed such a thing sitting there, so out of place, so conspicuous.

Up ahead, the shadows continue to shift.

Who are these people? If they were with Sam, she would have told them we’d be coming. I can count at least ten of them, far outnumbering our seven. So why are they hiding?

“Hello,” says Marco as we all inch farther up the pier. He sounds nervous, too, which is disconcerting in itself. In the almost three years I’ve known him, I can only remember seeing him uneasy a handful of times.

“Sam?” calls Calvin. “We saw your signal.” He brushes Mel’s knuckles on his way past us, glancing at her, wordlessly checking on his partner. She dips her head.

“We came to bring you home, Sam.” Even as I’m saying the words, a blooming, viscous certainty spreads through me, coating my insides in cold dread: whoever this is, it isn’t Sam.

They emerge from all around and gather. One of them holds a flashlight, but their hands are otherwise empty. No bags, no weapons, nothing. Their bodies are varying shades of gray; their eyes are clear and unclouded. Black veins peek out from under their clean, untattered clothes.

Mel sucks in a breath and holds my hand tighter. It isn’t a reassuring sisterly squeeze; it’s fear. These are not people.

Thankfully, as I already guessed, Sam is not with them.

“Shit,” mutters Jax behind me. “I’ve never seen this many together at once.”

Why are they all together this way, just standing there? We know by now not all zombies are equal, but I don’t think any of us knew they could organize. This many can’t possibly be here by chance. It’s as if they were waiting for us.

“No,” I whisper. That can’t be right.

“What is this?” Mel asks, glancing at me, at Cal, at the squad of Abnormal zombies staring us down. “What’s happening?”

“It’s a goddamned trap,” Calvin says, pulling his bowie knives out of the sheaths on his legs and taking one giant step forward. “Melody, get behind me.”

They must have seen Murray bring Sam here yesterday. Maybe the Abnormals followed them and waited for the right moment to call us over, knowing we’d come for one of our own. Sam might have been dead this whole time. She might not have survived her first night alone.

Seagulls circle over our heads—at least fifty of them—all screaming, undaunted by the rain. What are they doing? Waiting for corpses to scavenge, probably. Not ours though. Let them feast on zombie flesh after we drop every last rotten one. I grind my teeth and take hold of my axe, fighting the urge to unleash a feral scream, ready to demolish these killers, these soulless monsters. They have taken nearly everything dear to me over the last two years. They are everything wrong with the world.

Mel has to let go of my hand to take up her hammer. She wipes her hands on her jeans, takes a deep, shaky breath, and pushes her glasses up her nose. I want to hold on to her, to protect her. She has never been a fighter. She shouldn’t be here.

Joaquin and Marco square off on either side of us and take up their weapons, making no secret of it. Why would they? These zombie assholes must know we won’t go down without a fight. And if they didn’t before, they will now.

The black-haired Abnormal zombie in the front extends one of its grayish-tan hands toward us and opens its mouth unearthly wide. I wouldn’t be surprised if a thousand black flies poured out. It’s hard to tell what the zombie is saying, but it sounds a lot like “Go!”

We rush at them before they have a chance to run us off the pier. To my right, Murray and Marco collide with a pair of them. Mel raises her hammer with a yell. To her left, Joaquin starts shooting, despite Marco and Calvin’s protests. Guns are almost never necessary, yet they are Joaquin’s default weapon. One body drops with a satisfying thud, but his gun is useless against the next one as the zombie shoves Joaquin to the pavement with a growl. He fumbles for his knife, but I don’t have the chance to see what happens next.

I swing my axe at the one sprinting toward me, but it ducks and comes back up fighting. What the hell kind of Abnormal is this? I dodge the punch and move into the formation Calvin taught me last year designed for efficient zombie fighting: Duck, Roll, Crouch, Swing. The zombie watches me. As soon as I start to roll, it shoves me to the ground, and my axe flies out of my hands. I scramble to my feet and reflexively continue the formation, swinging my leg out in a sweep-kick designed to take it out at the knees. The kick lands well enough; the zombie stumbles. As it recovers, I snatch up my axe. The Abnormal blocks my first blow with its forearm. I nick its head, but the blow draws enough blood to incapacitate it for a quick moment. As it frantically tries to clear the blood from its eyes, I drive my axe into its forehead. This time, my aim is true. The body drops.

I give myself three seconds to catch my breath. Many more surround us, and my people need me. To my left comes the sound of a gunshot and a body hitting the ground.

“Joaquin, no guns!” shouts Calvin. “Do you want to bring in more?”

Behind Joaquin, Marco is dealing with a six-foot-something Abnormal. When it claws at his face, he employs Calvin’s form as well. Marco manages to duck and roll successfully, somehow keeping hold of his axe. But before he can come into a crouch, the Abnormal trips him in a move I can only describe as calculated; in essence, it’s the swinging kick in Calvin’s formation. Marco goes down hard. I run toward them. The Abnormal reaches for Marco, but I cave in the back of its head with my axe. The zombie falls, and I hold out a hand and help Marco up. His face is red, his breathing rough. That was too close. He dips his chin in thanks and steps on the zombie’s head so I can wrench my axe free.

“You good?” he asks.

I nod. “Yeah.”

A sudden panic tightens my chest. Where’s Mel? I haven’t seen her since the fighting began. I search the melee for her, my heart hammering. I find her landing a solid whack with her hammer to the temple of an Abnormal about my size, half a head shorter than Mel. The blow doesn’t kill the thing, but she ducks as it tries to claw her, and as soon as she can, she swings again.

I sag with relief. She’s got this. She’s fine.

An Abnormal I don’t see until it’s too late sends me sprawling with a single, solid punch to my chest. I fall to the ground, coughing. The zombie, which used to be a pretty brunette human, advances the way a living person would, with sure steps and its stare locked onto me. It lunges.

I duck faster this time, dipping just as it’s about to get me and ramming my shoulder into its midsection, knocking it down. It keeps its wild, defiant eyes on me as I put my boot on its black-veined neck and get a good clean kill. But the weirdest thing happens as I pull my axe free: a voice I don’t know shouts a name I don’t recognize.


Another Abnormal charges at me, arms pumping, with what appears to be rage on its face. If zombies could feel rage. It drops to grab a piece of glass, hardly breaking stride, and throws itself toward me. I duck out of the way, but it clips my shoulder, sending me sprawling. It doesn’t hesitate, just starts slicing aimlessly, screaming and screaming. I curl into a ball.


My clothes can’t do much to protect me; my skin shreds as the glass drags through it. My arms, my hands, my face. The searing pain of so many shallow cuts mingles with fury and terror, the kind which, in general, might make someone stronger. But I’m frozen in place, pathetic and small. I cry out with each new wound, but I can’t make myself move.

This is it.

I am going to die.


NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

Rose Flores lives in the Pacific Northwest of the United States with her spouse Stephen and their three fluffy beasts, collectively known as Legion (the cats, not the spouse). She is currently working on a degree, two novels, and two collaborative graphic novels. When Rose isn’t writing or studying, she works as a professional dog trainer and loves every part of it, even the copious amounts of drool. The Island is her second novel, the sequel to The End.

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Guest Review: Born Daddy (Command & Care #2) by Morticia Knight

They both loved an evil man. In a wrenching journey to redemption, leaning on each other will change their lives forever.

Grief-stricken Tate Myers can’t believe his Daddy and Master is gone. Reeling from the discovery of his dead lover’s secret life as a serial killer, he seeks answers from the one person who could help heal his heart. But when coffee shop chats with his Daddy’s best friend turn into an intense attraction, Tate wonders if he’s found the man to complete his recovery.

Former undercover cop, Rogan Steele, is completely blindsided when he learns his long-time buddy was a sadistic murderer. And with his own judgment now in question, he strongly empathizes with the grieving young man left traumatized and helpless. However, as their meetings fan the growing flames between them, Rogan is terrified he can’t fill the unfamiliar dominant role that Tate so desperately needs.

As their passion overpowers their hesitation, Tate aches to fully succumb to the older man’s control. If only Rogan doesn’t run away from what he was born to be—then they might stand a chance at forever.

Will the shellshocked pair surrender to their destiny and accept love’s risk? Or will the scars from their shared tragedy destroy their future as Daddy and boy?

Possible Triggers: Graphic descriptions of off-page murder and sexual assault, mention of off-page self-harm of secondary character.

Reviewer: Shee Reader

This book was a real journey to redemption type, and not my usual scene, but I really enjoyed reading it.

Tate has lost his beloved daddy and everything that made him feel safe as the dead man turned out to be a sadistic serial killer. The police can’t believe Tate wasn’t aware of his Master’s crimes, or worse, helped him commit them. Tate has never been so alone and vulnerable.

Rogan can’t understand how his best friend growing up turns out to be such a sadistic serial killer. Had the signs always been there? As an experienced undercover cop (turned teacher at the police academy) what hadn’t he ever made the connections that could have saved so many young men from a horrific death? Then he meets Tate, and discovers a whole new side to himself that he had never acknowledged. Why can’t things be a straight forward as they seem?

The heat between Tate and Rogan is sizzling, but they must resist it, mustn’t they?

This book was much darker than my usual romance of choice, but it was beautifully written. The characters were strong and three dimensional, the threats from outside the relationship as strong if not stronger than the threats from within. Rogan hasn’t seen himself as someone’s daddy, but it calls to everything within him to be that for Tate. Tate has his own demons to battle and is the search for what he needs.

I was gripped from the outset, and so glad I read the detailed trigger warnings associated with this book. At times hard to read, but well executed and exciting, with a HEA that was a joy. Recommended.

I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Release Blitz + Giveaway: Hold Safe (Safe Biker Daddy Bodyguards #3) by Sue Brown

Author Sue Brown celebrate the release of Hold Safe (Safe Biker Daddy Bodyguards #3)! Read more about the latest in the Daddy kink series and enter in the giveaway to win a $20 Amazon gift card!


Price: $3.99


Universal link:

Amazon US:

Series link:


Mo is content with the quiet life. Once upon a time he had his happy ever after, but that ended. Now he’s being asked to guard an ego-driven businessman who has no idea how much danger he’s in. He should say no.

A successful CEO, Joseph is used to most people saying yes. He’s not convinced ‘yes’ is in this bodyguard’s vocabulary. Every decision he makes, Mo vetoes. Joseph is furious. He’s the one in charge. Isn’t he?

They are dealing with escalating danger and increasing tension between them. Joseph is convinced he’s a Daddy. Mo knows Joseph is a boy. Will Mo keep Joseph safe and show him his true place?


Bio: Cranky middle-aged author with an addiction for coffee, and a passion for romancing two guys. She loves her dog, she loves her kids, and she loves coffee; in which order very much depends on the time of day.

Come over and talk to Sue at:




Her website:

Author group – Facebook:



General Excerpt:

The room went silent.

“Remember you’re a Holden. Never let another man tell you what to do.”

His father’s words rang in Joseph’s ears as they had done since he had sat an eight-year-old Joseph down in his study and told him that one day he would be the head of a great empire.

Yet he’d sat like a kid, his cheeks flaming, because some yeti off the mountains had ordered him to. He knew he’d made a huge mistake. He’d lost face in front of a room full of alpha men. He could see that in the smug expressions in the room. Now he’d have to work twice as hard to regain the power.

He was the client, the top dog in the room. Correction. He should have been the top dog. He was the billionaire; they were merely muscle. So why did he feel like a kid playing dress up in his father’s shoes?


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Release Blitz + Giveaway: The Q by Rick R. Reed

Author Rick R. Reed and IndiGo Marketing host today's release blitz for The Q! Read more about the bar with tales and more. Enter in the $10 NineStar Press credit giveaway!

Title: The Q

Author: Rick R. Reed

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 02/01/2021

Heat Level: 2 - Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Male/Female, Male/Male, Female/Female

Length: 51500

Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, Contemporary, Ace, Bi, Gay, Lesbian, Family drama, bartenders, blue collar, coming-of-age, coming out, hurt/comfort, soulmates, open relationship, #ownvoices, over 40, reunited

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Step out for a Saturday night at The Q—the small town gay bar in Appalachia where the locals congregate. Whose secret love is revealed? What long-term relationship comes to a crossroad? What revelations come to light? The DJ mixes a soundtrack to inspire dancing, drinking, singing, and falling in (or out) of love.

This pivotal Saturday night at The Q is one its regulars will never forget. Lives irrevocably change. Laugh, shed a tear, and root for folks you’ll come to love and remember long after the last page.


The Q
Rick R. Reed © 2021
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One: Hey Bartender!

Mary Louise hated the term fag hag.

It was demoralizing, conjuring up an image of an older woman, heavyset, with too much makeup and hair that was too big. She would be sitting at home with her two cats, Will and Grace, drinking Cosmos alone and streaming Queer as Folk or Queer Eye while she waited for one of her gay male friends to call to shape and determine the extent of her social life. She’d maybe drink a little too much and laugh a little too loud. She’d play wingperson and watch wistfully from the sidelines as her cohorts paired off for an evening, a week, a month, or a lifetime. She’d tell her friends and family who’d never darkened the threshold of a gay bar that she liked going to them because she didn’t get hit on by predatory losers and she could let her hair down.

She knew the stereotype because for many years she’d been it—well, maybe not exactly, but close enough to make her cringe at the memory.

Sure, she still owned cats (or they her, far more likely), who were Siamese and not named Will and Grace, but Harry and Sally. Her hair had never been big and her idea of great TV was streaming the Golden Girls on Hulu. “Okay, so that’s a little gay,” she heard Sophia saying in the back of her mind. Her drinking taste leaned much more toward beer or a nice glass of whiskey, neat.

She’d broken free of being the wingwoman to the various gay men she befriended. She’d gotten rid of the idea that her happiness depended on a man, gay or otherwise.

She still laughed too loud and probably always would. One of her friends, Mort, delighted in acting out a scene with her from Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf when she let loose with one of her ear-splitting laughs. He’d accuse her of braying, and she’d respond, in her best Elizabeth Taylor, “I don’t bray,” and then command him to make her another gin and tonic. He always would comply and would sheepishly respond, “All right. You don’t bray.”

Mort had been gone since 1992, when AIDS took him at the tender age of twenty-eight. Mary Louise still missed him and kept a picture of the two of them, taken while on vacation in Provincetown, a year before Mort was diagnosed. She’d look at that photograph of the two of them, arms slung around each other on Commercial Street, and her eyes would well with tears, even though it had been close to thirty years since Mort had passed in an AIDS ward in a Pittsburgh hospital with only Mary Louise at his side. That loss still was tragic, not only because of Mort’s tender age, but because he was so alone. His partner, Nate, and his folks in Shippingport had abandoned him, the former claiming he couldn’t stand to see him this way and the latter voicing concerns that they might catch the virus. He was your son! She’d wanted to scream at the parents. He needed your arms around him. He needed you to see him. He was your lover! she’d say to Nate. His dying and death wasn’t about you and your fragile feelings.

Mary Louise hoped there was a special place in hell waiting for all three of them.

She’d watched many of her friends succumb to the virus before protease inhibitors came onto the scene, turning what was a death sentence into a somewhat manageable condition. She’d never stop mourning the loss of so many beautiful men.

When the fallout from all this was over, for all practical purposes, Mary Louise found herself bereft of friends. That’s when she decided to pack up and move back to her home town of Hopewell, where her mom and two sisters still lived. There was comfort in coming home to a place where her roots were deeply embedded, even if the area was blighted with poverty. It was still some of the most beautiful countryside Mary Louise could imagine.

Chicago had suddenly seemed too big and, at the same time, paradoxically empty. There were so many reminders—the Boystown strip along Halsted, the Baton Club on Clark, the Swedish restaurant Ann Sather next to the Belmont L stop—all of these places and so many more held more painful memories than she could count, even if they had the power to make her smile and laugh. She figured time and distance would transform the painful memories into joyous ones.

But each recollection of a night of drunken revelry out with her boys or a bleary-eyed brunch the morning after, were a hot touch to her grief, a pain that may have softened, but never went away. Mary Louise was grateful—she’d never willingly give up the hurt. She wanted to hold onto these memories of her boys forever. Despite the fact she was a bit of a stereotype and fit the fag hag profile pretty much to a T, the days and nights in Chicago with her circle of gay friends had been some of the happiest days of her life. And she didn’t even realize it at the time. Wasn’t that always the way?

Hopewell brought a sense of quiet, with its looming tree-covered hills—the foothills of the Appalachians and its position on a winding curve of the mud-brown Ohio River.

Moving back had simplified her life, even if it drained a lot of the bustle and color from it. In Chicago, she never walked alone; the streets, no matter the time of day or night, were always busy. In Hopewell, she could wander and never bump into anyone.

It was her mom, at eighty-six, who needed her help with things like shopping, cooking, running errands, and chauffeuring her to doctor’s appointments. Old Trudy, as she and her sisters referred to her behind her back, refused to move in with one of them, or God forbid, the assisted living facility up the road in Newell. Trudy always said, “I live alone because I like it. They say money is the root of all evil, but the truth is it’s people.”

Mom got by with her girls. And Mary Louise, even as she sometimes got nostalgic for the bright lights and hustle of the big city, knew she was doing the right thing. She’d experienced the Chicago skyline on a clear night, Lake Michigan’s blue/aqua/gray waves crashing against the shore, and the vast diversity of people living on its shore, and no one could ever take those memories away.

Even if she was feisty, clearheaded, and mobile, no one knew how much longer Mom would be with them.

At the Q, Mary Louise still could eye the boys, flirt with them, tease them, and play matchmaker in her role as bartender.

Right now, she stood behind the bar in a pair of unflattering black orthopedic shoes. Once upon a time, Mary Louise adored a pair of CFM (come-fuck-me) pumps with four-inch spikes. Oh, how great they made her legs look back in the day! Not that many noticed in hangouts like Sidetrack or Roscoe’s.

Now, midfifties, she needed to be comfortable when she was on her feet all night. Her smile depended on it, and thus her tips.

Currently, she waited for the doors to open, which would happen in about an hour. She was blissfully alone. Well, maybe blissful wasn’t the right word because all the lights were on as she prepped citrus and olives for drinks, washed glasses, polished the bar, and made sure the bottles behind it were stocked and ready to go.

The overhead lights cruelly stole most of the limited magic the Q possessed. And that was too bad. One of Mary Louise’s favorite characters was the tragic Blanche Dubois, from Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire and one of her favorite lines from the show was Blanche’s opinion that she didn’t want realism, she wanted magic. The shadows, soft lighting, and even the disco ball above the dance floor lent a kind of alchemy to the place, transforming it from run down to a setting where anything could happen, where hope lived.

Just before the doors opened, though, the joint looked tired and sad (as Mary Louise herself often felt). The cinder block walls, painted black, possessed a menacing air, like a dungeon—and not a fun one! The concrete floor, stained, showed its grit and the cracks that ran through it. Even the single long rectangle window at the front appeared dusty. Night pressed in on the tinted glass like a monster, hungry for admittance.

Stop it! Now you’re just getting crazy. Mary Louise finished her prep work and allowed herself a moment to sit on the stool she kept behind the bar. It might be her last chance for several hours to relax, if only for a few minutes. She dreaded the coming ache of her feet at evening’s end, orthopedic shoes or not.

But, oh, how she looked forward to seeing everyone! Every Saturday night was a party, and she was the hostess with the mostess.

Despite how some of the regulars could try her patience down to its last reserves, it brought her joy to watch the revelers, to serve them, to offer oblivion in a glass or a bottle. Even though her dancing days, mostly, were well behind her, she loved seeing everyone out there, bodies gyrating and spinning. Some were great, others awkward, others downright embarrassing, but to witness them cut loose after a long week was a thing of beauty, no matter their level of expertise or coordination. She especially loved some of the older patrons, who would bring their shakers of corn starch in to sprinkle on the floor, making it easier to slip and slide to the pulsing dance beat.

Gracie, Rose, and Liz were a lesbian trio that she particularly adored. Even though she’d never had much conversation with them, other than to take their drink orders, the three seemed so well-adjusted and happy, despite never once pairing off, as half the bar expected them to do. And Mary Louise, who considered herself a pretty astute observer of human nature, could tell from a mile away that Gracie was in love with Rose. So obvious! Why couldn’t Rose see it? Or did she simply not want to? Mary Louise had wondered if maybe they were a throuple, but everyone she talked to about that particular suspicion shot in down. “They’re best friends, that’s all.”

She turned as the door squeaked open. There stood Billy Breedlove, her barback and bouncer when needed (not often) in his usual garb—black combat boots, black cargo pants, and a black T-shirt that appeared to be painted on his beefy physique—looking worried.

Mary Louise was taken a little aback. For one, her breath always did a little catch in her throat when she saw him, accompanied by a skip of a heartbeat. He was a beautiful man with his muscles, his bleached-blond buzz cut, and the tattoo sleeves, wildly colorful butterflies and birds that ran down both arms. The fact that he was unattainable made him even more attractive.

And then she’d chide herself. That young man is a good twenty years younger than you, if not more. Cougar. Shame on you.

He’d once told her, when the doors were closed and the lights back on, as they concluded the evening’s business and everyone had headed home, that he was a volcel.

“What the hell’s that?” Mary Louise had asked, mystified.

“I’m an ace,” he’d said, only confusing her further.

“Voluntary celibate, asexual,” Billy told her. “I’m better off without the nasty, you know. I just don’t want it. It would be hard, no pun intended, if it didn’t work for me. But honestly, I never think about sex. Call me weird, but it works for me. And that’s all that matters.”

On hearing those words, she laughed, disbelieving. She fully expected him to laugh, too, maybe slug her in the arm for being gullible. When he didn’t join her in her laughter, her heart broke for him because she knew he wasn’t kidding. She’d pined with unrequited love for gay men most of her adult life and here was one who was most likely straight. And wouldn’t you know it? He’d sworn off sex.

The world was a hopeless place.

He’s too young for you anyway.

The second reason Mary Louise was taken aback was from the worry stamped on Billy’s face.

“There’s been an accident,” he called over. “It’s bad.”

“Oh no.” Mary Louise stood. “What happened?”


NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

Real Men. True Love. 

Rick R. Reed is an award-winning and bestselling author of more than fifty works of published fiction. He is a Lambda Literary Award finalist. Entertainment Weekly has described his work as “heartrending and sensitive.” Lambda Literary has called him: “A writer that doesn’t disappoint…” Find him at Rick lives in Palm Springs, CA, with his husband, Bruce, and their fierce Chihuahua/Shiba Inu mix, Kodi.

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Review: His Surrogate Omega (Omega Quadrant #1) by Kelex

Omega Gray Tomlinson is positive he’ll remain unmated for the rest of his life. By his mid-thirties, he remains unclaimed and without prospects, and lives confined to the Omega Quadrant, where he’s sure he’ll end up dying alone.

When his older brother, Silver, and Silver’s alpha die in a tragic accident, Gray’s nephews come to live in his little sequestered world. Without an alpha, he knows he has little means to help support the boys. The only choice he can stomach is to offer his services as a surrogate.

The minute Gray meets Jamie, the infertile omega who so desperately wants a child, he senses a bond like none he’s ever felt before. It’s brotherly love at first sight, and Gray decides Jamie is the one, agreeing to carry his and his alpha, Rohan’s, child.

But when circumstances change, Gray is faced with new challenges, a new love interest, and a battle for the very life that grew inside him. And maybe there’s an alpha out there for him after all…

The tight grip I've had on fan fiction over the past year has been deadly. I have read some of the best written works in years during my fan fiction tight hold, creative, plot driven, excellent world-building. And one genre that I prefer fan fic style is ABO. A lot of the published ABO I've found to be more lighter, fluffier and while it's not bad, I don't mind more substance and a good plot.

I've been on a ABO binge lately (if you're on GR you can check my latest read books to see). I've found a lot of well plotted published ABO and haven't been disappointed yet. And this one that I'm reviewing is from a personal read that I am highly recommending. Because it had plot, great characters, angst, and it made me tear fucking public as I read: His Surrogate Omega (Omega Quadrant #1) by Kelex.

Never read this author before but blurb read delicious to my angst loving heart. And I definitely don't mind trying new authors out.

Loved this. Loved it so much that I'll ignore the perfectness at certain parts just because on a whole, this story just works!

Triggers: cancer, death, infertility - lets get those out the way shall we. 

In the Omega Quadrant world, omegas are sectioned off in part of land where their rights are restricted. Unless they mate with an alpha, they can't leave. Alphas have their own quadrant (where it's better-go figure) and there's a Family Quadrant where mixed genders reside. Beta are basically neutral parties but aren't revered as they can't procreate. 

We start with nearly 35 year old artist omega Gray who hasn't been a prospect for a mate in many years. He's on the shelf and was happy until his omega brother and mate died. Now uncle Gray is guardian of his 3 omega nephews:19, 13 and 10 years old. (Yikes) Omegas can't work in any decent paying respectful jobs, so Gray comes up with one of the few jobs he could do: being a surrogate. 

His oldest omega nephew is actually more responsible than Gray, but Gray's getting a crash course raising his nephews and trying to earn money. Gray meets the fabulous Jaime, who is infertile due to illness. The two share a bond in a instant like brothers. And they lean on each other on their journey to surrogacy. 

Jaime's alpha, Rohan, however feels immediate attraction to Gray. But what does it mean for his bond? Between Gray and Rohan trying to deny their feelings, Gray's family issues, hell...Jaime's family issues- it kept me so engaged. This story isn't about knotting and omega slick. There's sexy and hormones but that secondary to the overall story. I was invested in their lives and found myself tearing up reading the grief and illness battle. 

Is this a love triangle? Is there cheating? I didn't consider it to be. 

The characters made an impression that stuck. Yes, there is pain. But the journey and battle made the happily ever after worth it. And I'll probably will reread this very soon. I want more of this world because there seems to be an omega revolution brewing. 

I am chomping at the bit for the next in the series. (no pressure to the author) Just know I'll be on book #2 (AVERY and WILDER!) and any more from this series like white on rice. 


P.S. Is Vaughn going to have a future book? He comes off as an ass and a half, but maybe he's redeemable? *shrug* He definitely has MUCH growing up to do.

Blog Tour: By the Numbers (Love Logic #3) by KM Neuhold

Author KM Neuhold and Vibrant Promotions host today's tour stop for By the Numbers (Love Logic #3)! Read more about the roommate to lovers romance today!

By the Numbers

Love Logic Series

KM Neuhold 

Release Date: 01.22.21

M/M Romance

Two hot roommates, minus clothes, plus a drawer full of debauchery, and a WHOLE lot of tension. You don’t have to be a math genius to figure out the sum of that equation.

They say I’m a super genius, but would a super genius make the outrageously stupid mistake of falling for his roommate? 

Out of all the men in the world, I had to go and develop a crush on the one who’s already in love with his best friend. 

But when Theo tells me he found my drawer of toys, the only logical thing to do is to offer some no-strings fun.  

I’ve read enough romance novels to know this can’t possibly end well, but I can’t seem to stop myself from falling for Theo. 

The only question is… 

Will he be there to catch me?

*By the Numbers is a low-angst roommates to lovers to HEA story with plenty of heat and lots of swoony moments. It’s the third book in the Love Logic series but can be read as a stand alone.

Universal Link:


“Oh my god, he’s coming over again. Go, go, go.” Alex giggles drunkenly, shoving me toward the makeshift dance floor where the crowd is thick enough that we can lose the guy. I laugh right along with him, tripping over my own feet before Alex grabs onto my shirt to keep me from toppling over.

“Maybe we should just do it. If he’s this motivated, he’ll probably be fantastic in bed,” I joke, and Alex snorts a laugh.

“Fine, but I call top,” he plays along, giving me a sloppy smile when I stop him from leaving the dance floor by grabbing the back of his shirt and pulling him to me. 

“Really?” Color me intrigued. I put my arms around him, and we start to sway to the fast, rhythmic beat of the music. 

“You assumed I strictly bottomed?” He tsks at me, shaking his head and draping his arms around my neck. His movements are fluid and entrancing as he grinds his body against mine. 

Since Alex was sneaking sips from my drinks, I just kept ordering, which may have been a bad move because I lost track of how much either of us have had to drink about an hour ago, and then ordered several more. His cheeks are pink from the alcohol, his hair no longer having a manufactured look, instead now truly messy after he’s run his fingers through it too many times. 

“You had a lot of dildos,” I reason, my body heating and my cock hardening at the memory of his drawer full of toys. 

“I also have a lot of jerk-off sleeves,” he points out. The music is loud, but the guy dancing next to us looks over with interest. I shoot him a fuck off look. I already have my hands full keeping Threesome Guy off of Alex. Not that it’s my business who he has sex with. 

My jaw clenches involuntarily, swamped by the same jealousy I felt when he stepped out of his bedroom earlier, clearly dressed to score some ass tonight. 

“You’re mad I’m not a strict bottom?” he asks, misinterpreting my expression. 

I’m not sure if it’s the booze or the fact that I’ve been replaying our kiss over and over for days, but I shamelessly slide my hands down and grab his ass. If Alex minds, he certainly isn’t showing it, grinding against me harder, the stiff ridge of his cock pressed against my thigh. 

“Nope, I can’t say I’m mad about that,” I answer honestly. 

“What about you?” He leans in, his lips brushing against my earlobe. “Do you only like to get dicked down by big, dragony knots, or do you give the dicking from time to time?”

I bite back a groan. Guys who look as cute as he does in little science pun t-shirts should not be allowed to have such filthy mouths. 

“It depends.”

“Oh? Well, if we throw caution to the wind and let Mr. Threesome take us back to his no doubt luxurious, leather appointed apartment tonight, what’s your preference?” 

The alcohol is definitely going to my head, that’s the only explanation for my behavior, kneading Alex’s ass cheeks in my hands and dragging my nose along the smooth curve of his jaw. 

My cock throbs desperately against him, and I can’t for the life of me remember why I’ve spent the past few days thinking that taking him up on his offer would be a bad idea. 

Before I can answer his question or do what I’m really contemplating and kiss him again, someone knocks into me from behind, sending me stumbling, the two of us nearly crashing down onto the hard floor before we catch ourselves, the moment shattered. 


Author K.M.Neuhold is a complete romance junkie, a total sap in every way. She started her journey as an author in new adult, MF romance, but after a chance reading of an MM book she was completely hooked on everything about lovely- and sometimes damaged- men finding their Happily Ever After together. She has a strong passion for writing characters with a lot of heart and soul, and a bit of humor as well. And she fully admits that her OCD tendencies of making sure every side character has a full backstory will likely always lead to every book having a spin-off or series. When she's not writing she's a lion tamer, an astronaut, and a superhero...just kidding, she's likely watching Netflix and snuggling with her husky while her amazing husband brings her coffee.


Cover Reveal: Afloat (Staying Afloat #3) by Isabelle Adler

Author Isabelle Adler and IndiGo Marketing reveal the new cover for upcoming sci-fi tale, Afloat (Staying Afloat #3)! Read more today!


Staying Afloat, Book Three

By Isabelle Adler

Cover Created by : Natasha Snow

Release Date: February 15th, 2021

Available to Pre-Order at NineStar Press

No place is safe anymore.

Matt and his crew know it all too well—and it’s especially true now as the war with the Alraki has reached the heart of Federation space and struck close to home. Suddenly, Matt is faced with a difficult choice. He has the opportunity to sway the tide of the war and rectify a past wrong by helping the Fleet obtain a groundbreaking Alraki technology. But to do so, he must risk his ship and the lives of his crewmates.

With Matt’s archenemy, the infamous Captain Rodgers, still on the loose and bent on revenge, the Alraki aren’t the only ones who pose a deadly threat to Matt and the people most dear to his heart. With danger and betrayal haunting their steps, Matt and Ryce must find a way to save their friends even as sinister secrets from the past threaten to tear them apart.

This time, the price of staying afloat might be higher than what Matt is willing to pay.

Books 1 & 2 Available on Amazon

Re-Release Blitz + Giveaway: Dragon Dreams and Fairy Wings (Fire & Flutter #1) by Bailey Bradford

Author Bailey Bradford and Pride Publishing visit to host re-release blitz for, Dragon Dreams and Fairy Wings (Fire & Flutter #1)! Read more about the first in the fantasy series and enter in the giveaway for a chance to win a fabulous gift package and a FREE Bailey Bradford romance book!

Dragon Dreams and Fairy Wings
Bailey Bradford

Book 1 in the Fire & Flutter series

Word Count: 58,252
Book Length: NOVEL
Pages: 252

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Book Description

When one fairy with a faulty memory meets a snarky dragon, the supernatural world will never be the same.

Griff was born a Love fairy, but he never quite fitted in. He didn’t want to be part of a harem…at least he didn’t think so. What with his wings gone and his memory damaged, he can’t be certain of what he felt in the past. All he does know is he wants his wings back. Without them, he’s grounded.

Blaze is a dragon shifter who tends to stick his foot in his mouth—and some other parts in other places—when he really shouldn’t. His brother’s the king, and his sister-in-law is scary. Blaze’s last screw-up got him grounded, unable to shift into his dragon form. His punishment seems harsh to him, but there's no escaping it.

When the Love fairies come to the castle to work on forming an alliance, Blaze has about had it with guarding the horny beings, and he's disappointed that they don’t stay small and cute. Swatting at something buzzing him, he almost starts an inter-species war when it turns out to be a fairy on a dragonfly.

And from that snarky first meeting between Griff and Blaze, something wonderful, and dangerous, will come…

Publisher's Note: This book was previously released elsewhere. It has been revised and reedited for re-release with Pride Publishing.


Blaze rubbed his shoulder where it still ached. He’d been lucky the whip had only caught him a glancing blow, otherwise he’d really be in pain.

Of course, even being whipped would be better than his punishment of not being allowed to fly. Or shift. Being stuck in the puny human form and dependent on two scrawny legs just sucked troll balls.

That imagery almost made Blaze gag. Trolls smelled really bad, worse than the dragon dumping grounds—and if anyone needed an explanation for what that area was, they didn’t have a nose.

Plus, trolls were ugly. It was part of them being trolls and all. They also tended to have large, pendulous balls that swung down close to their ankles.

Blaze did gag then, pressing a hand against his stomach. He had to get his mind out of the troll gutter.

“Hey, freak, heard you got your powers taken away, all for a piece of ass.”

Blaze glared at Bort. “Oh, yeah. Your dad wasn’t worth it.”

“My—” Bort’s eyes glowed red, and smoke gusted from his nostrils. “I’ll bake you, you fucking freak!”

Blaze kept his trembling inside. He’d learned not to show any fear to bullies. “Go ahead. King Fyre will be thrilled with you. You’ll look great on a spit.”

“You think just ’cause your brother’s the king means…”

Blaze arched an eyebrow at Bort—which he knew looked cool, because he’d practiced it until he had it perfected and he knew how awesome that one arched eyebrow thing was. “It pretty much means he’ll toast you if you lay a hand on me.”

The only reason the guy who’d hit Blaze with a whip wasn’t dead was because Blaze had kind of deserved it. Kind of, because he hadn’t known Valdez was married to another man. Otherwise, Blaze wouldn’t have fucked him. Probably. Blaze’s morals were questionable at times, but only because he was so desperate for someone to touch him.

“Right, whatever,” Bort drawled. “You’ll probably cook yourself anyway and save all the good dragons the trouble. Crazy Blazy.” He cackled and flipped Blaze off with both hands.

Probably with his toes, too, but Blaze didn’t think to check. Instead he watched enviously as Bort shifted into a gorgeous teal and gold dragon.

Bort blew a stream of fire right past Blaze’s head, then flapped his mighty wings and flew off. A rancid scent lingered in the air.

Blaze sighed and touched his hair that Bort had just singed. Everyone was going to think he’d done that to himself—again. Even though he was grounded, assumptions would be made that he’d done something stupid to burn his own hair, and rumors would fly. He’d have to worry about that later, if at all. Right now, he had to deal with a bully. Blaze really missed being able to shoot flames.

It was true that he couldn’t control his fire, and he could be dangerous. He hadn’t killed anyone on accident, yet, though. “Sheesh.” Blaze sniffed and fanned the air around him. It was no use. The smell was on his head. He could fan all day, and it wouldn’t make any difference.

Resigned to walking all the way back to his nest—which meant heading through the center of the dragon city, since he could no longer fly—Blaze prepared himself for the looks and murmurs. People would be talking about him more than usual today. He ought to be used to such stuff, but the truth was, it always hurt.

Even so, when he heard the buzz of conversations around him, Blaze held his head up high, despite the burnt hair. He hoped everyone gossiping about him got a snoot full of the noxious odor.

* * * *

“Where did I put my shoes?” Griff fluttered as much as a fairy without wings could as he looked for his soft purple shoes. Surprisingly, he could flutter a lot, although that translated into gestures with his hands and much twitching on his behalf.

“Did Egregio eat them?” Gia asked, hovering above him.

Griff glared at her. “Could you maybe not do that? I already feel like a complete loser without my wings.” Who knew they could be knocked off you? Griff hadn’t, and it’d come as a shock to the other fairies in his frolic. Of course, Love fairies weren’t exactly brainiacs. They were more into the sensual than the mental. For brains, people looked to the Genius fairies, though good luck to anyone wanting help from those snobs. They didn’t speak to anyone with an IQ under one-sixty—which left out most of the magic world.

“Sorry.” Gia floated down and grimaced. “Ick. How can you tolerate standing all the time? My legs don’t like it. It’s work. It’s so much easier to fly, or—” She smirked.

“Don’t go there.” Griff knew his own kind through and through. As a Love fairy, he shouldn’t be bothered by hearing about his sister’s sexual escapades. Maybe he was just jealous. “Keep your sordid stories to yourself.”

Gia crossed her eyes at him. “Please. How did a prude get hatched into our frolic?”

“I’ve asked myself that a thousand times,” Griff muttered. “Aha!”

“Aha what?”

Griff knelt and stuck his hand under his bed, then reached farther. “I swear to the gods, Egregio, if you bite me, I will feed you to the dragons.”

“Rawr!” It sounded more like a whine than not.

Griff ducked his head and looked at the catterwaul under his bed. Much like the human-world cat except with two legs and large, hairy toes, and fangs the size of Griff’s index fingers, the beast was rather fierce-looking.

“I’m not joking. Last time you bit me, it got infected. You’re lucky I didn’t toss you out then.”

Beady red eyes glowed at him. “Rawr rawr rawr.”

“Yeah, you’re sorry now.” Griff wiggled his fingers. “Give me my shoes.”

The purple shoes were tossed at him while Egregio continued to vocalize.

“I know, I know, they’re pretty. That’s why I like them, too. Now if you’re good, and you keep the dung beetles away for a whole week, I’ll see about getting you your own shoes.” Catterwauls were great to have as long as they were loyal. Sometimes they forgot that, though.

A few more rawrs and Griff was pretty sure he had his catterwaul vowing to fight off the shiny green beetles that migrated through the area on the way to the dragon dumping grounds. Griff hoped so. The buzz of beetle wings always left him with serious headaches as well as memories of the worst time in his life.

“Okay, got my shoes on, Gia. Now we can go…” Griff spun around, looking for his sister, but no. She had left the mushroom’s interior at some point. “Great. Great! Now how am I going to find my way to where my wings might be?”

Griff couldn’t remember things like he should have been able to. The hit he’d taken from a human’s fly swatter had cracked his skull, knocked off his wings and almost killed him. His memory hadn’t been right ever since, but he was lucky to even be alive.

Although the term lucky was relative. If he couldn’t find his wings, what point would there be to life?

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About the Author

Bailey Bradford

A native Texan, Bailey spends her days spinning stories around in her head, which has contributed to more than one incident of tripping over her own feet. Evenings are reserved for pounding away at the keyboard, as are early morning hours. Sleep? Doesn't happen much. Writing is too much fun, and there are too many characters bouncing about, tapping on Bailey's brain demanding to be let out.

Caffeine and chocolate are permanent fixtures in Bailey's office and are never far from hand at any given time. Removing either of those necessities from Bailey's presence can result in what is known as A Very, Very Scary Bailey and is not advised under any circumstances.

You can follow Bailey on Facebook here and Twitter here.


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Bailey Bradford's Dragon Dreams and Fairy Wings