William Drake has lived among thieves, bastards and beggars all his life, doing what’s necessary to survive. As a young orphan, that included looking after his best friend, Jack Morgan. But as they grew older, Jack took the honest path, leaving Will behind to fend for himself the only ways he knows how.
When an unsavory errand for his employer brings Jack back to London’s underbelly, he needs Will’s help. It’s there, among the alleys they ran through as children, that the love he’s always felt for Will returns. As their nights together grow hotter, Will discovers something new about his old friend—Jack’s need to serve extends into the bedchamber.
Will has never fully abandoned his dream of escaping London with Jack. But what could the Duke’s driver want with a dishonest cheat like him, beyond a bit of rough sex? It takes the gamble of Will’s life to find out if he can win Jack’s heart…
The sky opened up, the intermittent raindrops shifting to a full-fledged deluge in the blink of an eye.
A quick glance confirmed what he already knew—closed shops and darkened buildings, not a single tavern or hell within easy distance. Cold rain pelted Jack’s head, soaking his hair. And Will wasn’t wearing an overcoat.
Grabbing Will’s upper arm, Jack pulled him down a narrow alley. Pushed Will onto a small stone stoop, the short overhang above the door enough to provide a bit of protection for Will from the full force of the rain. Standing before Will, Jack used his body to shield Will from the gusts of windblown rain.
Lightning cracked across the sky, briefly illuminating Will’s face, his wet hair stuck to his forehead, pale cheeks glistening with raindrops. A self-deprecating smile tugged the edge of his lips. “Guess you were correct.”
“About what?” Jack asked, raising his voice to be heard above the din of the storm.
Said rain smacked against Jack’s back. His greatcoat would keep him relatively dry, but he could feel the rain whipping around him. He unbuttoned his greatcoat, let the sides hang open, and bracing his arms on the old wooden door, he moved closer to Will. So close he could feel Will’s breaths against his jaw. Warm and moist, the rhythm deep yet slightly quick.
Arousal curled in the pit of his belly, ignited in his blood. Jack shifted his weight. “Shouldn’t last long. The rain, I mean.” Rain in London was a common enough occurrence, but storms of this magnitude didn’t last endless hours. The clouds would wear themselves out soon enough, and the rain would taper down to a steady, soaking drone. As soon as it showed the first signs of slowing, Jack would be dragging Will back to the hotel. And he didn’t much care if it meant running down the street. Anything to give him an excuse to step away from Will’s body, from those hot breaths bathing his jaw, tempting him to dip his head and press his lips to Will’s.
“You’re likely correct. Yet again.” There wasn’t a trace of sarcasm or jest. Will’s voice was just loud enough to reach Jack’s ears, and the low, intimate quality went straight to Jack’s cock.
There was a quick snap of lightning, followed by a clap of thunder. Will shifted even closer, moving full into the protection of Jack’s greatcoat, pressing up against Jack. A hard arch brushed Jack’s upper thigh.
Jack’s breaths caught. There was no mistake about it. Will was aroused.
A hand settled on Jack’s hip. Jack swore he could feel the heat of Will’s palm through his trousers and his smallclothes, warming his skin.
He held himself perfectly still. Locked his muscles and dared not make a move.
Ava March is an author of sexy, emotionally intense M/M historical erotic romances. She loves writing in the Regency time period, where proper decorum is of the utmost importance, but where anything can happen behind closed doors. With over fifteen works to her credit, her books have been finalists in the Rainbow Awards and More Than Magic contest, and deemed ‘must-haves’ for Historical M/M romance by RT Book Reviews readers. Visit her website at www.AvaMarch.com to find out more about her books or to sign-up for her newsletter.
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The Lost Year by Libby Drew
Devon McCade is no stranger to adversity. As a photojournalist, he’s seen all manner of human struggle. And as a kid, it’s what brought him to Neverwood, to his foster mother Audrey. It’s what he’s facing now, as he and his foster brothers work to restore the once-stately mansion amidst surprising signs from Audrey herself.
But when another anguished soul arrives at Neverwood, Devon can’t hide behind his camera. Nicholas Hardy is certain he saw his runaway son, Robbie, in a photo Devon took of homeless children. Devon knows all too well that a young teenager on the streets doesn’t have many options—and Robbie has been missing for a full year.
Searching for Robbie with Nicholas stirs memories and passions Devon had thought long lost, yet knowing that Nicholas will leave as soon as Robbie is found keeps him from opening himself up to something permanent. Devon must learn to fight for what he wants to keep—his love, and his home.
Libby glimpsed her true calling when her first story, an A.A. Milne /Shakespeare crossover, won the grand prize in her elementary school's fiction contest. Her parents explained that writers were quirky, poor, and often talked to themselves in supermarket checkout lines. They implored her to be practical, a request she took to heart for twenty years, earning two degrees, a white-collar job, and an ulcer, before realizing that practical was absolutely no fun.
Today she lives with her husband and four children in an old, impractical house and writes stories about redemption, the supernatural, and love at first sight, all of which do exist. She happens to know from experience.
Libby’s State of Mind received rave reviews for being fast, clever, and relentless and was nominated for a Bookie Award for Best M/M Novel of 2011. 40 Souls to Keep, Libby’s third novel, has been described as intense and heart-poundingly good and was praised by Publishers Weekly for maintaining a high level of suspense.
An avid supporter of gay rights, Libby donates her time to the Trevor Project and organizations that work to support marriage equality.
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Maybe This Time by AM Arthur
As a regular at gay hotspot Pot O Gold, Ezra Kelley avoids his tangled emotions with the simplicity of one-night stands and attachment-free hookups. Until the night bartender Donner Davis picks him up off the floor after a misunderstanding and too much tequila. Ezra can’t remember the last time someone was…nice. It’s more than he deserves.
Witnessing his lover’s death two years ago has Donner trapped in a holding pattern: living in his sister’s basement, working at the Pot and flirting with the customers. He’s not above spending a night with the gorgeous Ezra, but love is not in the cards. That’s more than he’s ready for.
A passionate night leads to a connection neither man expects, and they take the first steps to something that looks like a real relationship. But Ezra’s been running from himself so long he doesn’t know how to live any other way. And Donner can’t risk his heart just to lose everything again. They’ll both need the strength to let go of the past if they want to get it right this time.
A.M. Arthur was born and raised in the same kind of small town that she likes to write about, a stone's throw from both beach resorts and generational farmland. She's been creating stories in her head since she was a child and scribbling them down nearly as long, in a losing battle to make the fictional voices stop. She credits an early fascination with male friendships (bromance hadn't been coined yet back then) and "The Young Riders" with her later discovery of and subsequent love affair with m/m romance stories.
When not exorcising the voices in her head, she toils away in a retail job that tests her patience and gives her lots of story fodder. She can also be found in her kitchen, pretending she's an amateur chef and trying to not poison herself or others with her cuisine experiments.
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Stranger on the Shore
Twenty years ago young Brian Arlington, heir to Arlington fortune, was kidnapped. Though the ransom was paid, the boy was never seen again and is presumed dead. Pierce Mather, the family lawyer, now administers and controls the Arlington billions. He’s none too happy, and more than a little suspicious, when investigative journalist Griffin Hadley shows up to write about the decades-old mystery. Griff shrugs off the coldly handsome Pierce’s objections, but it might not be so easy to shrug off the objections of someone willing to do anything to keep the past buried.
Bestselling, multi-award-winning JOSH LANYON is the author of over fifty titles of mystery, adventure, fantasy and romance. Josh is the author of the critically acclaimed Adrien English Mysteries series, including The Hell You Say, winner of the 2006 USABookNews awards for GLBT Fiction. Josh is an Eppie Award winner and a three-time Lambda Literary Award finalist. When not writing Josh enjoys gardening, film noir, fine wine, vintage mysteries, and night swimming.
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