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CLIMBING THE LONGHORN BY ANN LISTER COVER REVEAL

Cover Reveal, Climbing The Longhorn by Author Ann Lister

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The brand new cover for Illicit Heat Series, Book 2

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COMING SOON

It was on the suggestion of Christian’s therapist that he spend more time outdoors to enjoy the fresh air and get a little exercise in the process. His family and friends were constantly harping on him to do the same.

“Live a little and don’t be afraid to take chances,” they said.

“Life’s a journey best enjoyed with a healthy dose of adrenaline,” others said.

But their droning words of advice was exactly why he found himself walking around in circles—lost in the middle of an unfamiliar hiking park—east of Nowhere and a little south of Wherethehellami.

The only human he’d managed to see in the last three hours, the one person who could possibly point him in the direction of his car, was a gorgeous man who preferred to do his hiking … naked.

Who hiked around naked in the woods like that?

Derek did, and he was about to show Christian exactly why hiking naked was the only way to experience the sport.

In “Climbing The Longhorn,” Christian sets off for the hike of his life with Derek as his personal trail guide. Turns out, hiking naked up the Longhorn is just one of many erotic adventures Derek exposes him to that weekend, and the fresh air and exercise never felt so good.

The Illicit Heat Series is a brand new collection of short, erotic stories by Bestselling Author, Ann Lister. Each story in this series will be under 10,000 words and can be read as a stand-alone.

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Each story in this series will be under 10,000 words and can be read as a stand-alone.

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Ann Lister is a native New Englander currently living on the island of Martha’s Vineyard with her husband. She has pulled details from her years living in the New England area and uses many local settings and landmarks in her novels.

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After graduating art school, marrying, and raising two daughters, she established her own video production company. Her nearly two decades working in video production included work within the music industry and won her a coveted Telly Award. Her ‘behind-the-scenes’ exposure to the music world and her love of rock music is the inspiration for her erotic rock star romances.

The Rock Gods series gave her Bestselling Author status on Amazon. Beyond The Music, Book 7 in the series, hit #1 in the Gay Erotica genre during the Pre-Order and held that spot for several weeks. This last book in The Rock Gods series launches the spin-off series, Guarding The Gods, which releases in early Summer of 2016.

Fall For Me, Book One in the series was a Finalist in the 2013 Rainbow Award. Each book in this series brings her two favorite elements together: musicians and the love between two men. These stories focus on what it truly means to love; love unconditionally, love without restrictions or labels, love without fear or judgment – to just simply love.

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DARE ME ONCE BY SHELLY ALEXANDER GOODREADS GIVEAWAY

Goodreads Giveaway, Dare Me Once by Author Shelly Alexander

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Love is a risk worth taking in this sizzling romance about secrets and second chances…

Scarlett Devereaux’s life on the Gulf Coast went from riches to rags so scandalously fast that she barely had time to kiss her Jimmy Choos goodbye. Now, with a new alias (Lily Barns), a new budget (tighter than a pair of Spanx), and a new job on the vacation island of Angel Fire Falls, she’s daring to reinvent herself.

Single dad Trace Remington is devoted first and foremost to raising his young son, who has Asperger’s. With flying his floatplane and salvaging his family’s island resort too, he has time for little else. His brothers think he needs a break from his all-work-no-play lifestyle, so they goad him into action. In response to their dare, Trace asks a sexy tourist for her number, only to discover afterward that she’s the resort’s brilliant new hospitality manager.

The sparks of flirtation soon ignite into a flame too hot to ignore. But Lily and Trace both have pasts that threaten to tear them apart. Now, they’ll need to admit their secrets to each other…or risk ending their relationship before it really begins.

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Shelly Alexander’s first published novel was a 2014 Golden Heart® finalist. She is an Amazon #1 bestselling author in numerous categories, including contemporary romance, contemporary women’s fiction, and romantic comedy. Shelly grew up traveling the world, earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing, and worked in business for twenty-five years. With four older brothers and three sons of her own, she decided to escape her male-dominated world by reading romance novels…and has been hooked ever since. Now, Shelly spends her days writing novels that are sometimes sweet, sometimes sizzling, and always sassy. She lives in the beautiful Southwest with her husband and toy poodle named Mozart. Visit her at www.shellyalexander.net

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Xander Winchester Brothers By Kathi S Barton Release Blitz & Giveaway

 

Addie’s mission had been sabotaged and she’d been shot multiple times. She wouldn’t die from her wounds because she was an immortal, but she did hurt, and she needed time to heal. The Winchesters had taken her into their home while she was passed out from her injuries. Now that she was awake, she needed to leave. She was being hunted and they would all be in danger if she stayed. Xander Winchester had just received the best news. The publisher loved his book so much that they were not only publishing his book, they were offering a movie deal to boot. He couldn’t wait to tell his family at dinner tonight. The scent from the woman hit Xander hard. Her beauty was something that he’d never seen before. Even as he took a step toward her, his mind was telling him to tread carefully, while his body and wolf were telling him to go forth and conquer. He had a feeling that listening to that part of him would get him killed quicker than stepping in front of a bus. Or an entire line of them. Xander should have known better. Should have taken to heart what his mind was telling him….

 

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Caleb Winchester didn’t care for his boss, in fact he despised him. He hadn’t meant to quit that day—the words ‘I quit’ spilled from his mouth without thinking—but once said he had no regrets. He was a good ad executive, he could find another job.

Quinn Dorsey and her father, Alexander, had seen Caleb’s work and that was the artist they needed for their dog food labels. When the agency couldn’t deliver the ad campaign they ordered, and then lied about Caleb working on the project, they went looking for the man himself.

Caleb hadn’t expected his customers to seek him out, but when Alexander shows up at Caleb’s house with his daughter, Quinn, Caleb is floored—she’s his mate and she’s been marked by another alpha.

Caleb’s not going to let an alpha beat him out of his mate. This lunatic has been marking females left and right, but if Caleb claims her, he risks not only his life, but the life of his mate and family as well….

 

 

Gabriel Winchester was finally opening his own practice. After finishing the final details, and meeting his first patient, he sat back in his unfinished office and closed his eyes, just to rest them, he told himself. When he opened them, a burly stranger was there, and he wasn’t that friendly. The man was looking for a Rayne McFarland and “I don’t know who she is” wasn’t an acceptable answer, so Gabriel called his brothers through their link for help.

Rayne was on the run from her father, and knew when he caught up with her she’d be dead. Rayne could speak to the deceased and they warned her every time her father’s henchmen were near. What she didn’t count on was falling in the woods and injuring herself.

When his brother, Owen, brought the unconscious woman into his office, Gabriel’s wolf knew immediately who she was to them. Ready or not, Gabriel had a mate, and while he knew he could handle the threat to her, he wasn’t sure he could live with her ability to talk to the dead.

 

 

Clare Macintosh didn’t know what was going on. Her brother, Conrad, had been called in for a meeting and they’d already been waiting over an hour. They were leaving, they had waited long enough.

Owen Winchester had called for the meeting with Conrad. He had no idea the young man was handicapped, but what he had to show him would make his life easier, or at least he hoped so. The trunks Owen had found in the barn of his new home belonged to him. Conrad was the only living relative he could find of the previous owner. Owen was a bit surprised to find Conrad had a sister and she was his mate to boot.

All Clare wanted to do was take her brother and hide. Her parents, Con and Ava Macintosh, weren’t nice people, and neither were the people they stole from. Even though Clare had distanced herself from them, it wouldn’t stop their associates from seeking revenge. She didn’t need the handsome stranger pushing his way into her life.

 

 

 

 

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Prologue
Tyler saw his big brother coming toward him. Xander hadn’t seen him yet, which was okay with him. Xander would probably just walk away and go someplace else where Tyler wasn’t. Not just with Tyler, but everybody. He’d been like that since Wendy had died. She’d been his mate. “You gonna talk to me?” Xander stopped and said that he didn’t want to talk to anyone. “No, I guess you made that kind of clear. I’m worried about you. Everybody is.” “I’m all right. It’s a big blow to my heart, even though I didn’t know her at all.” She’d been killed when someone raided the store she’d been in with her momma, killing them both as well as several other people there. “When we were at the funeral, Dad had to help me away, do you remember that? I sort of feel like that all the time now. Broken.” “Yes, we all do.

Dad said that she didn’t suffer any. I don’t understand people, Xander. To kill anyone, that’s so sad, but to do it for nothing more than because they didn’t have the right kind of honey for his cereal is just plain stupid.” Xander sat down next to him. “I could smell her, even with all those chemicals. But I knew right then what she was to me.” “I don’t know what I’d do if that happened to me. Dad said you wasn’t taking it hard then, but you seem to be now.” Xander nodded. “I guess you had time to think on it, huh?” “Yeah. Mom and Dad, they got it right, you know that? They tell each other all the time that they love each other. I was gonna do that too.” Tyler didn’t know why people would even like a girl, much less love one, but he did agree that his parents were mushy like that. “I’ll never get to have a kid of my own either. Not that I want one right now, but I thought that someday I’d want one. A whole bunch of them that I could play with, like Dad did us.” “I don’t ever want to have any sons, Xander. Boys are all I have right now in brothers.

” Xander ruffled up his hair, like he always did. “Someday I guess I might want sons, but you guys are always being bossy and stuff. I hate that.” “We’re just trying to make sure that you do things right, little brother.” Tyler nodded and thought of all the things that had been going on of late. “You know, Mr. Cartwright, he told me that someday, I was going to think back on him and wonder why he’d been wanting to be a part of our family. I told him that I knew why. My momma baked the best pies in the world.” “She does at that. But I don’t think he does it for that reason. He’s lonely and sad sometimes, have you noticed that? Anyway, I think that he comes over not for the food, but because we’re nice to him. And he’s nice to us.” Xander laid back on the ground. “I’m about done being mopey, as Mom called me. I just had it hit me what all I was going to miss. But, I guess that’s the way the fates wanted it. Come on, let’s go and get
us some dinner. Mom said we’re having the catfish that you and Mr. Cartwright caught yesterday.” Tyler didn’t care all that much for catfish, but he knew better than to turn down meat.

They didn’t have it often—sometimes they’d go a whole week without any. But when they did have it, they ate it like it was gold filled. Being wolves, they needed it. But there was usually plenty of other stuff to go with it, and Mom always had some hot bread to fill up the voids when there were any. There might not be tonight. He’d caught ten catfish yesterday and Mr. Cartwright had caught himself a dozen, then handed them over to Tyler to give to his momma to cook up. Xander walked alongside of him, shortening his steps so that he could keep up. Tyler had all these dreams of somedays. That’s what he called his list, Somedays. Someday he was going to have it all too. Someday he was going to have a nice car. Not new—they weren’t worth the payments, Dad said. Someday he was going to own him a house. Really close to his parents, he decided just then. Someday he was going to be rich too.

Just so he could make it easier on his mom and dad. Someday, he thought lastly, he was going to meet him a nice girl, even though he didn’t like them, and have him a bunch of kids. Someday. Not now, but someday. “Do you suppose that the fates—or whatever it is that sets us up like this—you suppose that they take in account that your mate might have something happen to him or her?” There were times, like at this moment, that Tyler thought his older brother was too young for his brain. “You know what I mean, don’t you?” “Yes, I understand you. But I honestly don’t know, Xander. I mean, they know everybody’s fate. You know, that’s their name, right? I would think that they’d know that from the minute they set you up.” He didn’t think that was nice, so Tyler tried to fix it. “But I’m only a kid and you’re almost a big adult. Well, you are big. Like bigheaded. Big footed. What sized shoe do you wear now?

Or do you just go on out to the field and kick two cows in the bottom and wear them?” Tyler wasn’t stupid nor was he very fast, but they took off running as soon as his brother growled. Laughing too hard to go far, he felt his brother’s big wolf take him down and lick him all over his face. They were having so much fun, he’d forgotten why Xander had come to find him in the first place. It was dinner time. It was always nice having Mr. Cartwright over. He always brought a treat, as he called it. Sometimes it was the stuff to make ice cream. Other times it was just a big cake that had been on sale or something. Tyler thought the man was just being nice. He’d been in the store a lot with his momma and hadn’t ever seen a sale on those sized cakes. But he ate whatever it was because it was always good. “Mr. Cartwright won’t be joining us tonight, sons.” He asked his dad why not. “Well, today was the date that his wife passed on, and he goes and sits with her for a spell.” Tyler glanced at Xander but said nothing. “Why don’t we gather up some of those flowers that are gonna die anyway and take them over to her grave for him?” Caleb always had the best ideas. Tyler wished he
had one or two like he did.

“We don’t have to stay, just show him that we care that he’s hurting.” “Wonderful idea, Caleb.” Tyler wanted to kick his brother under the table, but he’d not do that again. He would make him pay later. Almost as if he knew what he was thinking, Caleb stabbed him with his eyes. Caleb was the oldest, and sometimes when he was being big brother, he’d just beat him to a pulp for the fun of it. Not really. Tyler would sort of make him mad, just to see him running after him. Caleb was the best big brother there was. They took the flowers to Mrs. Cartwright’s grave and were invited to stay by Mr. Cartwright. But Mom said they had supper on and wouldn’t be bothering him. Mr. Cartwright kissed his fingers and laid them on top of the pretty headstone that Dad had helped carve, and said he’d join them. “The time for mourning is done. I have to…. It’ll be easier with you guys around, but I have to stop acting like I’m gonna come out here and she’s going to be waiting on me.” Dad told him that they’d be powerful sorry if he went with her. Tyler had no idea what that meant, but he wisely kept his mouth shut. Grownups were touchy about death, love, and such. That night when he and Dominic were in their room, he asked him what he thought about what Xander had said—about there being someone else out there for him. Then he told him what he’d told his brother. “I think that’s what Mom would call you being insensitive, moron.

” He asked him how. “Because that was the time when a little fib would have made him feel better. You know, like when Mom asks us if she looks tired and she does, but we all tell her that she’s right pretty.” “But that’s not the kind of question that Xander asked me. He wanted to know the truth.” Or he had thought he did. “I did try and tell him that I was only just a kid. And him being an almost adult.” “There. See? You did it twice. You called him almost an adult. He’s not an adult and saying almost only makes it sound like you don’t think he’s going to ever be. I swear, there are some times, Tyler, that I think you were born under a rock or something.” He pointed out to his brother he was being insensitive too. “Yeah? Well, think how that made you feel.” For the rest of the night he did think about how it made him feel. Nothing. They were always calling him a moron, or something like that. Instead of thinking of it as a bad thing, Tyler thought of it as a learning curve. Yeah, he did learn that he was a might on the insensitive side. But his brothers were older than him, except Dominic, and the two of them needed to grow some. Not that he was sure what they were supposed to grow, but he’d heard that at the high school a few weeks back and was glad now that he’d found a way to use it. But, like the rest of them, he’d never say something like that, or curse in front of their mom. She was scary when she was upset about something.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAOTIC CORGIS by Author Mildred Abbott RELEASE BLITZ

Release Blitz, Chaotic Corgis by Mildred Abbott

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At the height of the summer season, Estes Park explodes with people, wildlife, fireworks, and… murder.
The Cozy Corgi Bookshop and Bakery is buzzing with tourists, and Winifred Page and her quirky corgi, Watson, celebrate the Fourth of July picnicking with family and friends—of the human and four-legged variety. As summer blooms with romance for Fred and Sergeant Branson Wexler, murder lurks around the corner.
With a friend’s life in danger, Fred and Watson doggedly pursue the investigation, even as Fred finds herself once again at odds with the police department. But caring for two chaotic corgis while navigating emotions from the past in the midst of solving a mystery might be too much, and Fred hits a roadblock.
As relationships are tested and secrets exposed, Fred might lose more than one person she loves…

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Cruel Candy Cozy Corgi Mysteries #1

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Traitorous Toys Cozy Corgi Mysteries #2

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Bickering Birds Cozy Corgi Mysteries #3

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Reading the Cozy Corgi series is pretty much all you need to know about Mildred. In real life, she’s obsessed with everything she writes about: Corgis, Books, Cozy Mountain Towns, and Baked Goods. She’s not obsessed with murder, however. At least not at her own hands (nor paid for… no contract killing here). But since childhood, starting with Nancy Drew, trying to figure out who-dun-it has played a formative role in her personality. Having Fred and Watson stroll into her mind was a touch of kismet.

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For Justice” by Author Jeannette Winters RELEASE BLITZ

Release Blitz, For Justice by Jeannette Winters

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Renzo Turchetta left his SWAT unit and sided with his brothers battling evil in a more global role. The demand was constant and rapidly turned into his exclusive purpose in life.

Hydria Vose loved her profession as a patrolwoman for the LA law enforcement unit. Every day brought unique challenges. There was one she aimed for, obtaining the position of Detective.

Renzo knew Hydria’s reputation. She was out to prove herself in any manner she could to secure a promotion, even if it meant putting herself in grave danger. That’s why he’d denied her request when she applied for his SWAT team years ago. She accused him of being personally responsible for obstructing her career advancement. She wasn’t entirely mistaken.

When Hydria receives notification that her younger brother went AWOL from the Marine Corps, she takes it upon herself to find him. Hydria knows something happened to him, but the government won’t give her any answers. Her resources are limited, and she is forced to reach out for help.

Renzo could relate to the helplessness Hydria felt. When she refuses to sit on the sidelines and let him do his job he’s forced to compromise, something he’s not good at. Will stubbornness be their destruction, or will they after all these years, quit denying what truly had always stood between them? Love.

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Jeannette Winters is a romance author mixing heart, intrigue, and the steamy pleasure of a Billionaire romance.

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Jeannette grew up in a large family, number ten out of eleven children, eight of them being older brothers. She quickly developed a great sense of humor, mostly from necessity. One of her greatest joys is sitting on the porch where they were all raised and hearing the stories from years gone by. Quietly laughing to herself, she notices how they embellish the stories more and more each year.

Storytelling was passed down from her grandfather and mother. Jeannette caught the bug at a very young age. If she didn’t have her head in a book, then she was off somewhere with a notebook, jotting down stories of what she would write if one day she became an author. Although the notebook may have vanished, the stories are still vivid and waiting for the right time to be told.

Despite having an amazing family, there have also been some sorrows in her life, including the loss of loved ones. Over the years, Jeannette has spent countless hours volunteering for different organizations and acting as a caregiver to those most dear to her. As a result, supporting the elderly became of utmost importance.

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MODEL STUDENT BY ANN LISTER RELEASE BLITZ

Release Blitz, Model Student by Author Ann Lister

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The Illicit Heat Series is a brand new collection of short, erotic stories by Bestselling Author, Ann Lister. Each story in this series will be under 10,000 words and can be read as a stand-alone.

In Book One: “Model Student,” you will meet Stefan, the subject for a college figure drawing class who has a unique dilemma whenever the professor poses him in the direction of the classroom hottie, Ty. Out of the fear of losing his job as the class model, Stefan is faced with an intriguing solution from Ty that might just remedy his issue, but will it also quench his sudden thirst for Ty, or will it leave him with an entirely new problem?

Model Student is a fast-paced romp filled with humor and a healthy dose of erotic delights served up to you by Stefan and Ty.

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Ann Lister is a native New Englander currently living on the island of Martha’s Vineyard with her husband. She has pulled details from her years living in the New England area and uses many local settings and landmarks in her novels.

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After graduating art school, marrying, and raising two daughters, she established her own video production company. Her nearly two decades working in video production included work within the music industry and won her a coveted Telly Award. Her ‘behind-the-scenes’ exposure to the music world and her love of rock music is the inspiration for her erotic rock star romances.

The Rock Gods series gave her Bestselling Author status on Amazon. Beyond The Music, Book 7 in the series, hit #1 in the Gay Erotica genre during the Pre-Order and held that spot for several weeks. This last book in The Rock Gods series launches the spin-off series, Guarding The Gods, which releases in early Summer of 2016.

Fall For Me, Book One in the series was a Finalist in the 2013 Rainbow Award. Each book in this series brings her two favorite elements together: musicians and the love between two men. These stories focus on what it truly means to love; love unconditionally, love without restrictions or labels, love without fear or judgment – to just simply love.

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A TIME TO RISE by Tal Bauer RE-RELEASE BLITZ

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A TIME To RISE
by
TAL BAUER
Publication Date: June 13th, 2018
Cover Artist: DAMONZA
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History says the Knights Templar were destroyed in 1307.History is wrong.

Vampires haunt the sewers beneath Rome, revenants desecrate graveyards, ghouls devour helpless passersby, and incubi stalk dark alleys and seedy nightclubs in Italy’s capital. Deep in the Vatican, a brotherhood exists, sworn protectors of the earth, and they stand firm against monsters from the dark depths. Operating in secret and silence, they protect our world from the sinister, the etheric, and the evils that exist beyond the Veil.

But it’s a lonely life, and Alain Autenburg knows that more than most. His lover was ripped from him years ago, and he vowed never to get close to another soul again. Even when the loneliness presses down on him, and his empty heart cries out for something more.

Something more comes in Christoph Hasse, a new soldier arriving in Rome to serve in the Pontifical Swiss Guard. Young, brash, and fitting in at right angles everywhere he goes, Christoph struggles in the murky, deceptive labyrinth of the Vatican. Propelled forward by a past he can’t understand, Christoph collides with Alain, and both men crash headfirst into the darkest secret of the Vatican…and of the world.

 

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“I know what you saw, too, Alain. I was pretty out of it. But I did see my face on the incubus. It was wearing my face when it pulled you in for a kiss.” Cristoph’s chin lifted. “And Lotario confirmed it.”

 

Damn that man. Damn Lotario.

 

“‘Your deepest desire,’ Lotario said. The incubus shows you what you want most.”
Finally, Cristoph’s question. The one question Alain never wanted to hear, never wanted to answer. He didn’t want to confront this, didn’t want to answer for his feelings, for the way his heart had run away from his ironclad control. Because no matter what, no matter how he felt, no matter how Cristoph felt, and no matter how warm and wonderful and agonizingly beautiful it felt to have Cristoph look at him the way he did, just like in his dreams, nothing could happen.
The faucet dripped. In the courtyard below, a braying laugh burst out, one guard messing with another.
“Is it true?”
Nothing could ever happen between them.
Alain shook his head. “I’m flattered, Cristoph, I am. You don’t know what it means to me, that you would—”
He coughed. Hitched his shoulders as he gripped the counter. “It doesn’t matter if it is,” he grunted. “Nothing can happen, Cristoph.”
“What?” Cristoph’s voice was soft, a shocked breath escaping his lips.

“Alain—”

Cristoph froze, halfway around the kitchen counter. His eyes went wide as his lips parted. “Is this—” Cristoph shook his head once. “Is this about the guy you lost? You and he— You were lovers, weren’t you?”
Alain whirled, facing Cristoph as he braced himself back on the sink. “I can’t, Cristoph!” he hissed. “I can’t!”
Letting go, he collapsed forward, falling to his knees on the worn linoleum of his kitchen. He tried to breathe, tried to drag in a ragged breath, but couldn’t. “He’s more than gone,” he whispered. His body trembled, shivers that coiled up his spine. “He doesn’t exist. Not anymore.”
Alain’s eyes slid closed. His arms shook as he fought to remain standing. He was going to die. His heart couldn’t take this, not this constant longing mixed with despair.
The counter was going to crack beneath his grasp.
He pitched forward, burying his face in Cristoph’s neck. There were no sobs, no tears. Not after twelve years. “I can’t survive that again. I can’t let there be any risk of that happening to you.” Cristoph’s scent burrowed into his nose, warm and bright. “I can’t take that kind of loss again.”
Cristoph kneeled in front of him, hands grabbing his shoulders as his big eyes stared into Alain’s. “Jesus, Alain. He doesn’t exist anymore? What the hell does that mean?”
Cristoph tried to smile. It stabbed Alain in the center of his heart.
“You don’t want to start anything because you’re afraid you’ll lose me?”
Desperately, Alain tried to fight his body’s reaction to Cristoph, to his warmth and his strength and his damned determination. “It’s the only way to be sure.” His eyes blinked past Cristoph’s neck, studying his weapons hanging on the wall. Mental calculations flew through his mind, which classes of weapons worked best against each type of supernatural creature or etheric entity. Anything to keep his mind off Cristoph and his touch. Alain fought not to sigh into his arms. He stiffened. Tried to pull away.
Cristoph let him go. He sat back. “So, I want you, and you want me, but…”
Nodding, Alain grimaced. “But.”
Cristoph pulled himself up. He held out his hand for Alain. Alain clambered up, unsteady. Cristoph held him until he was balanced.
“Alain…” Cristoph’s dark eyes found his, burning with desire. Hunger. And sadness. “What do you really want?”
He wanted to fall to his knees and beg for forgiveness.
Time seemed to stop as Alain stared into Cristoph’s eyes. He struggled not to scream or rage at God and the universe, or to seize Cristoph with both hands.

He wanted to grab Cristoph, haul him close, bury his fingers in Cristoph’s hair, kiss him senseless.

Alain’s soul was screaming. His heart burned, thrashing and pleading and begging for what was right in front of him. For another chance.
Alain closed his eyes and stroked his hands down Cristoph’s arms. His fingers found Cristoph’s, tangled them together. He leaned close, pressing their foreheads together, nuzzling his skin. A sigh slipped past Cristoph’s lips.
There was no end to this hurt, no bottom to his desire. Unrestrained, unbridled yearning burst from him, laced with a bitterly resigned anguish. Why did it have to be this way? Why couldn’t he reach forward, close the single breath separating their lips? Why did he hold himself back?
One bloody night twelve years ago answered him in his memories. Alain shuddered. His hands rose, gripping Cristoph’s shirt, tangling in the white cotton. Cristoph’s breath hitched, a quiet gasp. Alain reached for the back of Cristoph’s head, stroking his neck. Silken blond strands slipped through his fingers.
Alain shoved Cristoph hard, driving him backward. Cristoph’s eyes went wide as he hit the kitchen wall, but Alain followed instantly, cupping his face. His thumbs rose, sweeping across Cristoph’s cheeks. Noses brushed, sliding together.
“What do I want…” Alain breathed. His lips brushed against Cristoph’s as he spoke, an almost-kiss that maddened his blood. They were too close. Shaking, he tried again as his fingers stroked through the hair on the back of Cristoph’s neck. “I haven’t let myself want. Not in twelve years. I thought I couldn’t want anything anymore.”
Cristoph blinked, but his burning gaze stayed locked to Alain’s.
Alain licked his lips. Cristoph’s eyes darted down, watching, and a soft moan escaped him.
He was flying apart. He’d leaped off a cliff, and he didn’t know if there was anything there at the bottom. His teeth clenched, and a bitten-off curse caught in the back of his throat.
“I want you,” Alain whispered. “God, I want you.” His voice shook, trembled. Nearly fractured apart as he tried to speak again. “I want you so badly. I want to kiss you. Have you. I want to make you mine.” His voice dropped, nearly growling. “I want—”

“Tell me,” Cristoph begged. “Tell me, Alain.”

“I want—” There was no going back, not after this. All of his fears blazed. All of his longing surged. “I want to love you,” he growled, his voice dropping an octave. “And I want you to love me.”
A tortured moan burst from his lips as one fist flew, punching the kitchen wall next to Cristoph’s head hard enough to dent the plaster.
Cristoph didn’t blink. “Tell me what you want.”

 

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Tal Bauer is an award-winning and best-selling author of LGBT romantic thrillers, bringing together a career in law enforcement and international humanitarian aid to create dynamic characters, intriguing plots, and exotic locations. He is happily married and lives with his husband and their Basset Hound in Texas. Tal is a member of the Romance Writers of America.

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