This scene takes place during the ancient Roman fesitval of the Saturnalia - the Roman 'Christmas'.
He released her hands, standing looking down at her, nervously scratching the blue-black stubble on his chin. ‘My mother is like you,’ he said finally. ‘A Celt. She was my father’s slave-housekeeper. He bought her to care for his sons, my half-brothers, when his first wife died. When she became pregnant with me, he married her.
‘So you see,’ he said harshly, ‘I am not a pure Roman. Nor a pure Celt. I am neither.’
‘You are both.’ Flavia took hold of his clenched fingers and rubbed and kissed them. She could feel the pain and tension in him, see the dark sense of shame staining his tanned, hawkish face. Marcus, whom she had once thought so Roman! She had already guessed as much about his heritage but now that Marcus had admitted it, this was another bond between them. Please let him see it, Flavia prayed.
‘No one who truly knows you will ever be anything less than proud and impressed,’ she said softly. ‘And we may be kin, your mother and I.’
Marcus straightened, staring over her head at some distant point, his blue eyes unseeing. ‘My father freed my mother by the terms of his marriage to her. But he was possessive. I always thought him so. He never gave her the choice. He didn't free her first, before he married her.’
He sighed, his tense strong body stiffening further. ‘I know my mother would have liked the choice. She told me so. I think she deserved to be given the choice, except my father was too afraid that he would lose her if he freed her first. I know my mother has always regretted that.’
He closed his eyes briefly, reopening them as Flavia said, ‘Go on, Marcus. Tell me the rest.’
‘That is all there it is.’ Marcus shook his head. ‘I am the half-breed son of a slave. A half-Roman who has never fitted in and who does not want to climb the Imperial ladder any more. I would like to stay here, in Aquae Sulis. Be a father to Hadrian, who reminds me so much of myself at the same age. Learn to farm Lady Valeria’s country estate and trade and continue to help the people here who look to me as their patron and protector.’
‘Then why not stay?’ Flavia whispered.
Her heart seemed to turn right over in her breast at the look of longing he gave her then.
‘Because I want more.’ He stared at her hands, holding one of his. ‘I want my free-woman scribe as my love and true companion. I love you, Flavia. I love you as I loved Drusilla and little Aurelia, with all my heart.’
He touched her face with his free hand. ‘I grew to love my wife and child, but you, little water-goddess, you enchanted me at once. Did you not see this? Each time we made love, I thought you would know.’
‘You never said,’ Flavia stammered, caught somewhere between wonder and jubilation.
‘I wanted you to be free first, to be used to being free. I didn't want my love to be a burden, an obligation. I was not sure if you felt the same way as I do—people say “I love you,” in the heat of passion. I hoped and trusted that it was more than the newness of love-making on your part, but I was not sure. Only a man like Lucius Maximus would be sure! And I wanted you to know who I was, and I wanted you to have the choice. I still do.’
Marcus knelt in the snow so that their faces were almost level and he had to look up to her. He moved his hand in hers so that her fingers rested on his palm, so that they touched but he was not grasping.
‘Will you do me the honor, the great honor of becoming my wife? Will you make me the happiest man of this Saturnalia and for all festivals to come? Will you marry me, Flavia? A half-Roman youngest son with a tiny estate in provincial Britannia and a young adopted son to care for and raise?’
‘Yes.’ Flavia cast her arms about him, hugging his head on her breast. ‘Yes to everything! Yes!’
Snow had begun falling again but Flavia and Marcus, locked in each other’s embrace, were aware of nothing outside of themselves.
‘I love you, Flavia, my little scribe who taught me that not all desk-people are to be mistrusted.’
‘I am so happy.’
‘So am I, Marcus. I love you.’
‘I love you,’ Marcus said again, kissing her and drawing her up with him as he rose to his feet, lifting her high in his arms. ‘I love you so much. When can we marry?’
‘My choice?’ Flavia asked, light-headed with delight.
‘What about your family?’
‘My parents and half-brothers can visit us here. As for their approval of you—’ Marcus looked grim for a moment. ‘They had better.’ His face cleared. ‘But they will adore you, as I do. I know they will.’
‘Then soon, please.’ Flavia felt herself blushing as she wondered if she sounded too eager. ‘I would like Julia Sura to be at our wedding, and Pompey. Hadrian, of course, and the others. It can be a double celebration!’
‘Your freedom and your marriage?’ Marcus asked quizzically, but Flavia was too happy to care about his teasing.
‘Our marriage and Hadrian’s adoption as our son,’ she answered promptly. She loved the boy and knew Marcus felt the same.
‘The first of our many children, eh?’
Flavia nodded, thinking of dark-haired sons and daughters with blue eyes exactly like their father. ‘I hope that is soon, too,’ she said.
Marcus chuckled and set her back lightly on the horse, grasping the reins to lead the stallion through the streets. He glanced up at her, sitting eagerly forward, her blonde hair threatening to escape its plaits as ever and her lips and cheeks glowing against the whiteness of the snow. He thought of a daughter with her coloring, as fair as little Aurelia had been, and felt no pain, only a flood of happy memories that he would share, and a rising excitement.
‘I think our lad Hadrian will have more sisters and brothers to play with,’ he said, giving Flavia’s left foot a playful tug. ‘And as you say, soon.’
‘You are sure?’
‘Very sure, little Briton! Trust me.’
I do, Flavia thought. Free, proud and happy, she and her husband-to-be turned into another street and joined a throng of merry-makers celebrating the Saturnalia in the snowy, lively city of Aquae Sulis. Their home.
You can read more about Flavia's Secret here:
Best wishes, Lindsay
Lindsay Townsend, historical romance, http://www.lindsaytownsend.net/
A hot new excerpt from my October release with The Wild Rose Press!
“I shouldn’t be here,” she said, catching him off guard. “This is your home, Marshall. You shouldn’t have to worry about the bad guys invading your house. My being here could be very dangerous for you.”
Marshall couldn’t argue with that. Having Annie here was definitely dangerous for him, but for reasons that had nothing to do with the threat of any bad guys. Now that the situation was over and he’d come down off the adrenaline high, another kind of rush was surging through his taut body. He was aroused. He couldn’t remember a time when a woman could simply walk into a room and leave him feeling like he knew exactly what he wanted from her, yet more confused than ever. He wanted to reach out and touch her but knew it wouldn’t stop there. Maybe in another time, another place, when he had time to explore whatever it was that drew her to him. He realized Annie was waiting for him to respond.
“Don’t sweat it, doc. I’ve been a detective for a long time. It’s not every day I get to protect a beautiful woman. Let me enjoy it while it lasts.”
She was watching his lips as he spoke. The seductive look in her lazy eyes caused an instant reaction in Marshall which he doubted she’d appreciate. Lust settled low in his gut and he wanted to grab her to him, yet he couldn’t bring himself to move, thoroughly enjoying her boldness. However, when her eyes dropped down his near naked body in a slow and sensual sweep, sweat broke out on his brow. He began to get an edgy feeling. What does she think she’s doing, looking me over like this?
Her wistful sigh heightened the intimate situation building between them. Her slightly glazed eyes were half closed and a strange smile turned the corners of her mouth upward.
“You’re magnificent, Detective, not an ounce of fat anywhere, all hard and rippled with muscles, the kind that make a woman’s hands eager to discover if you feel as good and as hard as you look.”
Her words inflamed Marshall, turning him as hard as a rock. He tried to swallow but his tongue got in the way. He was powerless to do or say anything. He’d never had a woman put her thoughts about his physique into words before. All he knew was that if Annie touched him, anywhere, it would be all over. The way he felt right then, he’d drag her to the floor and show her quick enough what the effect her words were having on him. He should at least warn her about what she was doing to him. The way he figured it, if she continued, it would be at her own peril. “Annie—”
“Yes, Detective?” The soft, smoky quality of her voice made Marshall forget what he’d been about to say. Her gaze continued to move over his upper torso, as if committing him to memory.
“Your shoulders are as broad as a small mountain…” her words trailed off. Marshall’s gut clenched when she reached forward. “A washboard stomach, too…nice.”
The tip of her nail ran down the center of his hair covered chest to his navel. Then she stepped back, her eyes skipping over the towel covering him to his exposed thighs and legs. A small frown burrowed between her eyes.
She swayed slightly. “Something’s happening to me. I think I shouldn’t have finished that wine.”
His gaze shot to the bottle on the counter. He was surprised to find it empty. So that explained it. The little witch! She’d finished the contents while he was in the shower. Her bravado was no doubt contributed to the wine she’d consumed. He chuckled inwardly, his gaze returning to hers. She was definitely in an alcohol-induced state. While he was in a highly aroused state. If she didn’t stop looking at him like she wanted to devour him, he wouldn’t be responsible for the consequences.
Marshall clenched his jaw at the sensual quality of her tone. “Do you know what you’re doing? I’m not made of stone.” Contrary to what a certain part of his body had become.
“I’m just looking,” she whispered defensively. “Is that against the law, Detective?”
“You’re turning me on with your eyes,” he said huskily, still leaning against the door. It should be outlawed. “And if you don’t stop, I’m going to throw you to the floor and show you how much.” He groaned loudly when her lazy-eyed gaze dropped down to his towel, seeming to zero right in on his erection.
“Interesting.” As though knowing exactly what she was doing to him and enjoying every minute of it, Annie licked her lips slowly, seductively.
Marshall sucked in his breath, his erection pushing wildly beneath the towel as if searching for a way out. An explosion of heat rolled through his body so intense that an ice cold shower wouldn’t put it out.
All at once she swayed and began to crumble. Marshall stepped forward just in time to catch her in his arms. She was out cold. “You little witch! I hope you remember this, Annie. Because turnabout is fair play,” he growled under his breath as he swept her up and carried her down to his bedroom.
Jim Tate embodies sex and power. He lusts after everything with tits, and nobody turns him down—not even Helena, and she’s been married to him for more years than she cares to remember! She’s always told herself she doesn’t mind him screwing the maid right there in their living room—Hell, she’s been at it with the cook. Who is she to judge?—but the constant comparisons to other women’s pert young bodies becomes more than she can handle.
When Helena follows her best friend Deb to a top-secret cougar club, she figures it’s just one more underground hook-up joint for older women and the hot young guys they crave. No surprise to find the place populated with golden chests and gorgeous faces. No surprise to meet a sweet and sympathetic virgin called Sandy. The surprise comes when he exposes his huge pair…of stunning white wings! The posh club is called Only Angels, and this is where Helena’s adventure begins.
Warnings: This title includes graphic language, explicit sex, and multiple partners.
Word Count: 21,900
Very hot ADULT excerpt:
Power and sex.
That’s what everybody saw in Jim Tate. They didn’t even have to look at him to feel it. His magnetism was so profound, it shaped the air around him. If he were standing behind you in an elevator, you’d sense him there even before you picked up the refined spice of his unfathomably expensive cologne.
When he checked out your black nylon legs in high-heeled shoes, every molecule around you would get hot. So hot, you’d think it was the devil himself taking you from behind. When you turned to make sure the fires of hell weren’t burning in back you, your impression would be confirmed with one glance of the distinguished Mr Tate.
He wouldn’t smile at you. Juicy smirks were for sleazeballs. You’d be nonetheless drawn in by what you might read as an expression of contempt. He looked like he was above nature. He looked like he was better than you. He was quality, better than any man you’d ever seen, let alone been to bed with.
You would stare at him without meaning to. You’d try to look away, but you’d find him so impossibly alluring you’d go right on imagining the prick of his black goatee against your chin. He wouldn’t lower himself to kiss you. He wouldn’t have to. When his striking gaze penetrated you, almost by accident, you would lose all control.
The man had purple eyes. There they were: mauve flecked with green and gold. They were stunning. You couldn’t keep from launching yourself at him. You would feel like a stupid schoolgirl throwing herself into the arms of a sexy teacher as you planted a kiss on his lips, but even your embarrassment wouldn’t stop you.
His tongue would be at once sharp and warm as he returned the embrace. He would hold your head in his hands with such force you’d worry he might crush your skull. He wouldn’t harm you. This was a controlled burn. Nevertheless, and though he knew precisely what he was doing, you’d be scared out of your wits.
* * *
I'm so pleased this book is finally available. What You Don't Confess closes the story arc about Dylan Donoghy, a character introduced in A Hard Habit to Break, and continued in Open Roads. Dylan is a friend and confidant to both Travis and Tyler, so it's only fitting he have the rest of his story told. All three stories stand alone, but I think the reader will enjoy the Marionville setting more if all three are read. I hope you enjoy Dylan's journey to coming out. - KC Kendricks
What You Don't Confess
Contemporary gay romance
available at http://amberquill.com/
Bright and beautiful, Cassidy Barlow is one of Marionville’s new breed of movers and shakers. Outspoken on political and social issues, Cass draws a lot of media attention, and knows how to us it. Out and proud, Cass makes no apologies for who he is, or who he wants – and he wants Dylan Donoghy. The only thing is, from where Cass stands, Dylan seems to be involved with two different men.
Coming out. The most difficult phrase in Dylan Donoghy’s vocabulary. Handsome, successful, wealthy, he’s made it this far in life with only his closest friends knowing he’s gay. Dylan has a good reason for that to change – his deepening attraction to Cassidy Barlow. It doesn’t come easy, but Dylan takes a few first steps out of the closet. It’s his only choice if he wants to be with Cass, even though he knows Cass has some secrets of his own.
Every man has a private past, and an unwritten future. What he won’t confess stands between the two.
“You do know those four watchdogs of yours were there the entire evening, don’t you?”
I nodded. “They like to keep an eye on me. Obviously, it didn’t discourage you at all.”
His hand gripped my shoulders again. His amber gaze drilled into mine. “Just so I don’t step in it, Dylan, how many of them have you slept with? And don’t lie to me.”
I fought back against of wave of anger. How dare he imply I’d not tell him the truth? Being astute, he knew he’d pissed me off. I saw the apology in his eyes as he touched his fingertips to my lips.
“That didn’t come out right, Dylan.”
“ Apology accepted. Before today, I might have told you it was none of your business, but now I think you should know. We’re no longer intimate, but I have a very close, special relationship with both Travis and Tyler. I’m very happy for them that they both found a partner.”
“That’s what I figured out Friday night when they spent all that time running in and out of an area marked ‘private’. Especially Templeton.”
“Don’t test me too often, Cass. I don’t like it.” I spoke sharper than intended, but he needed to know my boundaries. “There’s a lot of space between your age and mine. Be careful not to judge until you get to where I am.”
Those restless hands of his skimmed along my sides. “I’m not being judgmental, I swear. I just needed to know what the dynamics are between you and them so I don’t put both feet in my mouth.”
“Okay. I get it. And for what it’s worth, all four of them, especially Travis, is rooting for you.”
“Really? He’s in my corner, is he?” Cass tucked his fingers under my belt and tugged. I levered my weight off the door and stepped past him, capturing his hand to pull him into the casual space I used for informal gatherings.
“He’s using tough love on me when it comes to you, so don’t be shocked, or surprised, at his little quips. Have a seat.”
Cass eased down on the love seat and patted the spot beside him. I ignored him, and went to the bar. “What would you like to drink?”
I nodded and poured two, handing his to him with an apology it didn’t come in a brandy snifter as I settled in beside him. I stopped him when he moved to put his arm around me.
“You’re killing me here, Dylan.”
“No, I’m not.” I sipped my drink. “Cass, I don’t want to make a misstep with you. I know what you want tonight, but what do you want next week? Or next month? Christ, what do I want next week?”
He leaned back and watched me with those amber eyes. His cool, even regard gave little indication of his thoughts. Cass downed his drink in three fast swallows, then swirled the ice around in the bottom of the empty glass.
“Do you always think everything to death, Dylan?”
“It’s a hazard one encounters in middle age.”
“I’m not some mistake you’ll regret when you’re ninety.”
I laid my hand on his thigh. The heat of his skin penetrated his jeans, and snaked up my arm. “You’re right, you know. I won’t regret meeting you, whether dinner is all we share, or we become friends, or if we become lovers.”
“Or? If? I don’t appreciate being jerked around.”
“Well, poor little you that I haven’t figured this out yet.”
Cass’s mouth dropped open, then snapped closed. He stared at me, blinked, and stared again. I reveled in private glee that I’d seen him speechless twice in one day, but that amusement was strongly tempered by the knowledge I had him too far off balance. I squeezed his knee.
“Look, Cass. I’m not jerking you around. Getting involved with someone isn’t easy for me. I’ve never been someone who gets a hard-on for a guy and loses my mind until I fuck him. I have to think things through, and consider the impact it may have on my life.”
He shook his head. “Babe, you’ve got to start living in the moment, and stop living in fear.” Cass set his empty glass down on the end table and stood. With angry, disappointed eyes, he met my gaze. A muscle moved in his clenched jaw.
My heart beat painfully. I knew what he was going to say...
WHAT YOU DON'T CONFESS
Contemporary gay romance
available at http://amberquill.com/AmberAllure/WhatYouDontConfess.html
This title is also available as part of the Stepping Out PAX available at
Visit my website at: http://www.kckendricks.com
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I have a new release as of November 8th from Phaze Books. You can find the erotic Male/Male wereleopard interracial paranormal romance novella, Dark Leopard Magic, at
It is the second novella in the Beast Magic trilogy.
Dev Tollen is a man with a dark past and an even darker soul. More than that, he's a gay wereleopard. He has never had the Dreaming and never met his true mate. But one night the Dreaming does come and reveals his lover, an African man named Montsho, also an alpha black wereleopard. Montsho will fight their love and their destiny. Dev will do all he can to win his beloved's heart and keep him by his side always.
Then a ghost begs Dev to solve his wereleopard lover's murder. Both men will find that their new-found love tested and their lives in danger. Their idyllic time in paradise is about to be torn asunder when they discover who the murderer is.
Read an excerpt (must be 18 and older to do so) at My Website
Reader Advisory: This book contains hot MM sexual action.
If on FaceBook, become my fan there at SAPPHIRE PHELAN'S FACEBOOK
Go beyond the usual, instead take the unusual that stretches the boundaries and find romance with Sapphire Phelan's aliens, werewolves, vampires, fairies, and other supernatural/otherworldly heroes and heroines.
Book four in the Kindred Spirits Series
Jack Donner arrives at Whiskers' just in time for a wedding, but so has someone else, whose motives aren’t quite so pure.
There’s a cook’s position open at Whiskers' Seaside Inn and Jack Donner thinks he’s just the man for the job. Resumé and references in hand, he applies to fill the spot and lands himself a gig that will pay his bills, not to mention give him a room with a killer view. He’s doesn’t expect to meet the sexiest hunk imaginable, but that turns out to be another perk of the job.
Quinn Stevens is the handsome minister preparing to unite the inn owners, Ethan Roberts and Cade Wyatt, in marriage. When he arrives to discuss the ceremony, he’s bowled over by the new cook and sexual sparks fly between them.
Jack’s intrigued by the bride ghost who visits him in the night, until her actions take a sinister turn. It seems the view’s not the only thing ‘killer’ at the inn. With his great new job in jeopardy, Jack struggles to save it, and the fragile relationship he’s forged with the reverend. He and Quinn soon discover if there’s going to be a wedding, they have work to do. Can they solve the mystery of Catherine’s 1898 nuptials so Ethan and Cade—and everyone else at Whiskers’—can live happily ever after?Reader Advisory: This book contains hot MM sexual action.
~ Read excerpt or purchase here
Can I tempt you with a lesbian Sip?
by Giselle Renarde
Devra remembers the exact moment she realized she was a lesbian. When she talks to her girlfriend Priti about growing up as a child of the eighties, she's flooded by memories of pretending to be just like all the other girls. Devra's known she was different nearly forever, but what about Priti? Even now, sleeping with Devra every night, she refuses to identify as a lesbian. Will a war of words ruin their cozy winter evening together?
There were certain conversations that never took place in the summertime. The sun might pride herself as the great elucidator, but winter was the season of humble introspection. When outside it was bitterly cold, what else was there to do but curl up in bed together, to kiss and touch and writhe in unison, then bask in the warmth of each other's bodies?
When snowflakes like cotton balls fell from the sky, Devra wrapped her arms and a fleecy blanket around Priti's shoulders and kissed her hair. Sighing, Priti rolled onto her back and gazed out the window. The streetlights made the falling snow glow bright white against a backdrop of blue.
"How did you know you liked girls?" Priti asked.
Devra was somewhat amazed the topic had never come up before. "You mean when did I first know?" she clarified.
"Yeah. Did you have a Eureka moment where you were like, 'Aha! I'm a lesbian?'"
She recognized it was meant to be a joke, but Devra ruminated nonetheless. "Not exactly. I mean, yes, sort of, but I wouldn't have used those words at that time."
"Why not?" Priti asked, then continued without waiting for an answer. "Because you didn't want to be pigeonholed or grouped into somebody else's narrow definition of sexual identity?"
Devra propped up her head with the palm of her hand. "No. Because I was five."
Buy Now from Torquere Press!
Oh, I almost forgot: Torquere Press asks us authors if we'd like to provide "author extras" to help promote our books. An author extra can be anything from a story behind the story to an additional scene that didn't make it into the book. For "Defining Moments" I decided to write up an extra scene to share with you. Here it is!
As Priti cuddled her cheek against Devra’s shoulder, Devra reflected on
childhood hours spent in front of the TV. Every Friday night, Dad would
fire up the VCR. They’d eat pizza and pop and chips -- all special treats
-- and the whole family would watch the same set of animated classics.
“I never knew why,” she told Priti, “but something always bugged me about
those movies: the brave prince, the useless princess, the heteromance… it
all made me feel a bit nauseous.”
“Nauseous?” Priti giggled and nuzzled Devra’s neck. “That’s silly. I
learned English from those movies. I still like them.”
How could someone Devra loved so deeply have such lousy taste? She drew a
long breath to figure out exactly what she was trying to say. “Even when I
was a little kid, I watched those happily-ever-after prince-and-princess
movies and I knew that wasn’t everybody’s story. I remember turning to my
parents one time and saying, ‘Not everybody is like that.’ They didn’t know
what the hell I was talking about, of course, so they asked, ‘Not
everybody’s like what?’ But at that age, I didn’t know what I meant either.
I didn’t know what a lesbian was yet, I just knew I didn’t want to be that
princess or grow up to marry that prince.”
“I wanted to be a princess,” Priti said. “I wanted to be rich and wear long
silk gowns, and get presents and dance all night.”
Even if Priti’s words were true, Devra didn’t want to hear them. She
especially didn’t want to hear the answer to her next question, but she
asked it anyway: “What about the prince? Was there a prince in your little
Priti looked away quickly, and shrugged her shoulders just as fast. “I
wanted to be the princess. Every princess marries a prince.”
That is, until he meets handsome and openly gay Travis Barrington III. The attraction between the two men is strong and instantaneous, and suddenly Luke is scrambling to invent even more excuses to keep his secret.
Travis, however, knows all about secrets and the harm they can do, but can he convince Luke to accept that and step out into the light?
Luke Fiorelli watched Travis Barrington III across the makeshift desk in the construction site office, fascinated by the movement of the man’s nicely manicured hands as they sifted through the contents of a file. He swallowed hard, desperate to deny the shiver of awareness that heated his blood and sent his thoughts skittering in directions they had no business going.
He’d first met Travis a couple of months ago, at Barrington Properties’ corporate headquarters in downtown Rock Bay. Travis had personally taken delivery of Luke’s last-minute bid to landscape the grounds at what was to be the jewel in the Barrington crown, a new hotel on the coast a few miles north of town. Luke had hoped his bid would be successful, but he’d long ago learned not to expect miracles. Competition was stiff for plum commercial jobs like this and there were dozens of landscaping companies more experienced and better known than Fiorelli Exteriors.
However, in the split second it had taken for that envelope to change hands, something had passed between himself and Travis, and Luke had known for an absolute fact that the job would be his. He couldn’t explain how he’d known; he just had. Maybe it was what the experts labeled a moment, a flash of precognition that sometimes happened, or good old-fashioned e.s.p. Whatever it was, less than a week later, Travis had called to confirm Luke had indeed submitted the winning bid.
It had happened, it was over, but the incident still continued to bother Luke. He didn’t have moments or suffer from ESP. Even so, something must have triggered the sudden feeling of knowing the future, and he didn’t have much to choose from. There had been the initial, brief but all-encompassing eye contact with Travis that made Luke feel as if he’d been swallowed whole. Then the zap of electricity traveling up his arm as their fingers touched when Travis took possession of the package. Then again, maybe it had just been one of those weird, inexplicable things that happen but defy all rational explanation.
Whatever it was, from then on, any time Luke ran into Travis, he started feeling wary and off balance, like he was walking on eggs, or balancing on the edge of a cliff. And it didn’t help in between those times he couldn’t quit thinking about the man or having ridiculous dreams where the two of them were locked together in a passionate embrace.
Travis was handsome, rich, a real player by all accounts, and totally out of Luke’s league. The last person on earth Luke would want to hook up with, yet his fingers itched to touch his skin, to get naked with him. He wanted to run his fingers through the man’s long black hair and kiss his wide mouth. He wanted to taste him and—
Just then, Travis looked up, a faintly troubled look on his handsome face, giving Luke the craziest urge to just walk around the desk and solve whatever was bothering him with a reassuring hug. However, while Travis made no secret of the fact he was gay and proud of it, Luke was not. Hell, there were times when Luke wasn’t even sure what he was. Although that wasn’t exactly true. He’d done enough messing around, first in high school and later in college, to be very sure.
However, he’d grown up in a family with strong conservative values and strait-laced views on just about everything. He didn’t need to hear his dad’s views on homosexuality to know the way he and his friends thought. It was something decent people didn’t talk about, so telling his parents had been totally out of the question. As a result, Luke’s almost non-existent sex life was, of necessity, restricted to DIY and weekend trips out of town to somewhere like L.A., Vegas, or San Francisco.
If his secret ever got out… Luke shuddered inwardly at the very thought. His dad would kill him. Guaranteed.
Here are details about it, including a blurb and excerpt:
BLURB. It is Rome AD80. Corinna is a bath-girl, a slave compelled to please men. Decimus is a gladiator, a slave forced to kill men. When they come together in a union of silk and steel, they discover new passion, desire and the possibility of love.
Decimus buys beautiful, red-headed Corinna from Silvinus Cato, a nominal Christian and her cold Roman master. Corinna, also a Christian, is terrified to be sold to a hired killer but finds Decimus to be an honorable, caring man - and overwhelmingly sexy.
Their lovemaking introduces her to passion she has never known before, and love-spanking that she finds deeply erotic. Happy for the first time in her life, she is horrified when her former master, Silvinus Cato, comes to Decimus' house with devastating information. Decimus, whom she is beginning to care for deeply, has killed Joseph, the holy man who converted her to Christianity. Silvinus Cato says she must be like Judith in the bible and kill Decimus in his sleep. Corinna is appalled and suspicious. Why does Silvinus Cato want Decimus dead? And what should she do?
After I wrote 'Flavia's Secret', I found myself fascinated by the story of a Roman girl who served as a toga girl in the public baths. Could there be a happy ever after for her and a man equally reviled and desired in Roman society - a gladiator? 'Silk and Steel' is my story of two people redeemed by love. ~ Lindsay ~
A Siren Erotic Romance
Silk and Steel
Available in: Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Reader, HTML, MobipocketPrice: $2.50
Dazed, Corinna stumbled back to the kitchen, too shocked to speak to the other slaves. Later, unable to sleep, she wandered out into the garden and knelt by the old well, dropping pebbles into the water, trying to pray but failing. As the long hours of the night dragged on, she felt abandoned and ill, her stomach burning, her mouth dry. She had felt safe in the house of Silvinus Cato, but he was going to sell her—and to a gladiator!
Decimus. The name meant 'Tenth'. Had he killed ten men? Ten women? Ten children? Decimus, the hired killer. Only bath slaves were more reviled than gladiators. And she would have to touch him, submit to him. She wanted to love and be loved. She had always longed for love, but not with a murderer. I can't, she thought wildly, her head throbbing as she squinted into the darkness, mentally clawing for an impossible escape.
And then she heard a soft snapping of twigs, and then the gentle thud as a strong, toned body dropped into the garden after scaling the surrounding high wall.
It's him. She knew at once and was transfixed, unable to stir as a tall, black shadow detached itself from the wall and prowled towards her. In the bright, cold light of the full moon she saw him emerge clearly: a strapping, powerful figure, towering yet agile, dressed in gray homespun yet carrying himself like a king. Weaponless, he strode forward with absolute confidence, almost a swagger.
His face, as he drew close, surprised her. She had expected scars, battle-weary eyes, and a harsh calculating look. This stranger was young. His face, lit by the moonlight, was as flawless as an angel's and his eyes were as brown and warm as the good earth beneath her clenched bare toes.
He hunkered down before her and looked deeply into her eyes. 'I could not wait to see you again,' he said softly. 'Ever since I spotted you at Piso's bath-house, I have been haunted by you. I came here early, in the hope of catching another glimpse of you. Will you tell me your name?'
'Corinna.' Astonished that any man should go to such trouble to seek her out, and to seek her out early, Corinna realized in wonder that he had also asked her a question, not demanded. 'I am Corinna,' she said again, 'and you are Decimus. Do the crowds in the arena chant your name?'
'Sometimes.' His full mouth tweaked into a half-smile. 'Mostly they bawl, "Get him, Thracian! Stick him with your sword!"' He nodded at the garden. 'What are you doing out here? Are you hot? Shall I draw you water from the well?'
Again, Corinna was amazed that he should offer to serve her. And his hair, now that she could see its color this close-up, was gray! Utterly gray. Old hair, a young face and a muscular, youthful body: the contrast was piquant and it intrigued her, made her aware as she had not been this last month of her own young body.
'Ah, my hair.' His expression turned rueful as he tugged his forelock. 'This thatch turned from straw-yellow to ash in almost a night, soon after I'd killed. And for your knowledge, Corinna, I do not gut women or children.'
'Are you a mind-reader?' she gasped.
'Only a reader of faces.' He brushed her cheek with his fingers, flicking one of her red curls away from her forehead. 'Yours is wonderfully expressive. I marked that when I saw you first, when you helped the lame old man at the baths. Your face then was wrought with pity.' He touched a small bruise on her chin, a final lingering legacy of the baths. 'I would see you racked with bliss, all gold and rose and open for my pleasure.'
Corinna jerked back, hitting the well, her face burning with a rush of heat. She had lain with many men, but none had spoken to her like this, in such a searching, intimate way. 'You can say what you want,' she said, deliberately tearing her eyes away from his.
She heard him chuckle. 'Because you will be mine? There is that. And I think, my Corinna, that you are a natural: tender and loveable, eager to give service.'
'A good toy to find in your bed after a long day's killing,' she replied tartly. Instantly she clapped her hands over her mouth, horrified by what she had just said, but her soon-to-be master only laughed.
'You do not know what you want yet,' he said, smiling. 'But I know.' Suddenly he moved, bringing an arm on either side of her, trapping her against the well as his mouth found hers. He kissed her, very quickly and sweetly, his tongue teasing against her open lips.
Please—Still kneeling, Corinna stared up at him, marveling afresh at how handsome he was. She could still taste him on her lips; a fresh, astringent scent, both musky and clean, nothing as she'd expected a killer to smell. She found herself leaning forward, to kiss him in return and stopped in time, mortified by her own response. She wanted to run indoors, away from this disturbing man.
Special Agent Reid Masters, temporarily going by the name Mike Dunstin, came to a halt in front of Alexis, standing for a moment and just staring at her. She gave no sign that she knew anyone was there. But instinct told him that she did. Reid gave her credit. She had to be terrified, yet she remained quiet. No screaming out or pleading for release, no twisting at the rope binding her wrists in an effort to break the restraint. The only signs of her turmoil were the tear tracks lining her cheeks.
Resisting the urge to look at the two-way mirror again, his gaze dropped down her body slowly, feeding the need uncurling and growing in his belly. He’d never had to perform with an audience before. Could he do it? He reached forward, needing to see more of Alexis. He answered his own question when he pushed her hair back to expose her luscious breasts, swelling over the top of her push-up bra. The shape of her full, sensuous body was hot enough to bring him to full arousal.
She let out a whimper when he touched her face, her body stiffening. It didn’t stop Reid from removing the tape over her mouth, exposing pouty lips that were meant to bring a man to his knees. She parted them immediately and sucked in air. Then her tongue came out to wet them. His gaze roamed slowly over her features, drinking in her flushed beauty. Fuck! The bastards had hurt her. A bruise discolored her cheek. He was careful not to let his expression give him away.
Tony, the brown-nose rat, had to be the reason Alexis was here. They’d gone barhopping a couple nights before. Tony had a big mouth. Reid should have remembered that. While making idle conversation with the man to gain his confidence, the topic had turned to women and Reid had casually mentioned there was a hot babe living next to him that he’d like to get his hands on.
Alexis opened her mouth and Reid knew she was going to speak. He moved his mouth to her ear and made a sound for her to be quiet. “Alexis.” He’d made it his mission to learn who all his neighbors were when he moved into the building, but he’d have wanted to learn the beauty’s name regardless. “Don’t say anything.”
She caught her breath in obvious surprise. Reid sensed it was because she recognized his voice, not because he’d spoken her name. “Mike?” The voice that passed through her trembling lips was soft and frightened. “Why are you doing this?”
“That’s not important right now.” Reid said against her ear. “Do you want to live?” Ever aware they had an audience, he ran his hand along her collarbone and around the back of her neck, burying his fingers into the fall of her hair. Damn! Just like I imagined, thick and silky. He rained kisses along her soft cheek to her mouth. But he only toyed with her lips, teasing them with the barest touch of his. Letting their breaths mingle.
“Yes,” she whispered against his mouth. “I—”
“No talking.” His hand was still buried in the luxurious mane of her hair. He pulled her head back, exposing her throat to his hungry mouth. The light scent of her flesh was intoxicating and he had to fight the urge to devour her.
“Please…” she pleaded softly, trembling wildly. “Let me go. I won’t say anything.”
She didn’t listen very well, but then he couldn’t blame her. And Reid didn’t have time to explain what was going on. He had his orders, and his gut told him to get on with it and get her out of there as soon as possible. He had to wonder whether once he removed the blindfold, she would fight him tooth and nail. Or would survival instincts kick in, allowing her to succumb unwillingly to a situation out of her control? And mine.
He felt her slight resistance when his mouth covered hers but he steeled himself to ignore it. Her lips were soft and the taste of mint caught Reid off guard. His moved his hands over her, from her hair down to her waist, taking hold of her hips and bringing her close to him. He kissed his way to her bellybutton, wrapped his arms around her knees and lifted her to give her arms some relief.
Tory Richards Website
When rodeo king Leslie Goosemoon is caught wearing lacy red panties, he becomes more than a laughing stock. In fact, Dorothy's Tavern is turned upside down by the ensuing brawl! Does Dorothy know just what Leslie needs? Or does her boyfriend Ricky know better?
Leslie Goosemoon is a rodeo star with legions of ladies fawning over him. Things are getting hot and heavy with Sheryl, the one-night-stand he picked up at Dorothy's Tavern, when she zips open his jeans and finds Leslie Goosemoon wearing ladies' panties--silky and red with lace around the top. By the time he returns to Dorothy's, the whole bar's heard about his predilection. Some laugh. Some call him faggot. Nobody understands him, but that doesn't mean Leslie's going to roll over and play dead. Hell, he doesn't fully understand himself! The best he can do is duck the punches and repel the spit.
Ricky, Dorothy's living-in-sin boyfriend, has a theory about the undies: Leslie dresses like a lady because he secretly wants to get with another man. That doesn't sound right to Leslie, but he has no counter. He doesn't know why he likes the silky feel against his skin. When Ricky gets hit in the head with a boot, Dorothy becomes mother bear. She kicks out the offenders and sends Leslie to take care of Ricky upstairs in their apartment. hey all know what's going to happen next.
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-60054-548-1
lyd Category: Bi Line
Length: 9000 words
Formats Available: pdf, prc, lit, zipped html,lrf, epub, RB
Ebook Cover Price: $2.50
Ricky swung his head in so close Leslie felt the stubble prick his cheek. Ricky’s tone was not unsympathetic when he said, “I heard you were a faggot.”
Leslie knew how other men would react to the accusation—they’d smash a glass, toss a chair, or throw a punch. He wasn’t about to do anything like that. First off, he felt a hole inside his chest that seemed to be sucking in everything around him. With all that happening inside, he had no energy to expend. Second, Leslie knew he was no faggot, so what difference did it make who said what? He liked pussy.
“Are you?” Ricky asked. His voice seemed strained with despair, or with hope—the two sounded much alike to Leslie.
“No,” Leslie said. “That’s what Sheryl went around telling all these people? I’m a faggot?” He would have laughed if he weren’t so on edge.
Ricky turned his gaze to Dorothy as she flirted with the boys at the bar. That woman got everybody’s hopes on the rise. Strange that Ricky never seemed the least bit jealous. Most of the men around here would fight a bull if he caught it looking his girl up and down. Of course, that was likely the reason Dorothy was stepping out with Ricky and not those of the bitterly possessive lot. Dorothy was slender, but she was a powerhouse in disguise. If Leslie could be a woman, he’d want to be every bit like Dorothy.
“Sheryl said you were prancing around in ladies’ underpants,” Ricky said, shattering Leslie’s focus. “She said you didn’t show her a very good time because you were…you know…” He paused to rephrase, tracing his fingernail across the bar’s natural wood grain. Gazing down at the patina, he leaned in so close Leslie felt the heat of Ricky’s cheek against his own. He spoke very softly. “She said you liked dick.”
Thank the good lord Dorothy was looking away and Ricky’s face was nestled in beside his ear—that way, nobody noticed his eyes growing too big for their sockets. He’d never considered the possibility. Not that he didn’t know other guys liked to relieve their tensions together, just that he’d never imagined doing it himself. He’d always craved pussy. From the time he was a young snip, he’d chased the girls and kissed their cheeks. Could Sheryl be right about him? Maybe she saw something he couldn’t. Maybe he’d always been secretly drawn to ladies’ clothing because he wanted to be fucked like one of them.
In his confusion, Leslie chuckled and furled his brow. Backing away from the pool of Ricky’s musky aroma, he shook his head side to side. “Well, that ain’t how it happened,” he said. Aw shit! Now Dorothy was waltzing on over! Why was everybody so interested in his private life? Sometimes the scrutiny he faced as a rodeo star was downright deplorable. Sure, everybody expected him to be a ladies’ man, but get caught wearing ladies’ underwear and suddenly your name is mud!
Canada just got hotter!
THE BACK STAIRS
available now at
Gay romance with a paranormal twist
Fallon Roxbury has a nose for trouble, and the uncanny ability for landing in the middle of it the moment he finds it. While investigating the gruesome murder of a young male prostitute in the red-light district, Fallon gets a whiff of something very strange. Forensics has unidentified hairs. Very unidentified hairs, like nothing in any of the textbooks. Following a tip from a person of interest, Fallon meets Sundown, an apparent hustler who knows a lot more than he will admit.
Getting personally involved with Sundown breaks every rule in the police manual, and in Fallon’s own personal code. Sundown is like a drug, and Fallon can’t stop at just one hit. When Sundown is forced to reveal the truth, Fallon’s world is turned upside down, and he’s left with only two options: check himself in for psychiatric evaluation, or accept a new reality with a strange shift.
Shapeshifters, that is...
I took a breath to tell him I was leaving, and caught the aroma of fresh-brewed java beneath the scents of sandalwood and patchouli. I was tired of getting jerked around, even by a man so incredibly sexy. Put it on to brew, my ass.
“You’re awfully sure of yourself, aren’t you? I don’t need pseudo intimate conversation any more than I need to flirt.”
He shook his head. “You didn’t listen very well, Fallon.”
“Listen to what? I’ve a mind to haul your scrawny carcass down to the precinct house, and let someone else pick your brain for answers, but I don’t have a legitimate reason to have you interrogated. Yet.”
“Tough talk, but you don’t mean any of it. Please, Fallon. Come. Sit at my table, and think of nothing but my very good coffee.”
Would it be so bad to spend half an hour talking with this attractive young man? Heaven help me, he drew me, a tired moth to his steady flame. And he had my favorite coffee, already hot.
Words echoed in my memory. I tried to pull them in so I could hear them again. What had Muffin said? More importantly, it was what she hadn’t said. She didn’t actually say anyone here knew Michael Carlton.
“I’ll sit at your table on one condition.”
He tilted his head, a smile teasing his full lips. “Oh? What is that?”
“You tell me your name.”
Was it victory I saw in his green eyes, or desire? I needed to know if they were the same. His chin lifted as his gaze locked to mine.
“You can call me Sundown.”
I trembled as the girl’s words resonated within me.
Take the back stairs. You’ll find what you need there.
I was two steps beyond the third landing when a male voice called to me from below. My heart slammed against my ribs.
“Lieutenant Roxbury, wait up.”
I paused and looked over my shoulder as Sundown took the steps, two at a time, to catch up. He stopped on the landing below me and met my gaze, his green eyes alight with amusement.
“I did not expect you to return so soon, Fallon.”
I wasn’t in the mood to waste time in small talk. He’d deliberately sidetracked me the other night and, as wonderful as the diversion had been, he needed to know I was aware of his tactics.
“The girl I spoke with at the crime scene is your sister, and you didn’t tell me. Why?”
“Because she is not my sister. I wouldn’t lie to you.”
I hopped down the two steps to the landing. “Listen, Sundown, or whatever your name really is, I have photos of her, part of the formal record of the crime scene. She looks enough like you to be your twin. If I hadn’t let my dick control me, I’d have put it together last night.”
He glanced away, a quick darting of his gorgeous eyes, then he looked back.
“She is not my sister, but we share a bloodline. She is gone, Fallon.”
“You’re hindering my investigation by hiding her.”
Sundown shook his head. “She didn’t see Michael Carlton, dead or alive, or anyone else go in or out of the alley until your people showed up.”
I clamped down on my anger. “That’s good to know, but I need to hear it from her.”
“Do you?” He cocked his head to the side. “You’re out of luck, Fallon. She is gone from here, and it is beyond my ability to bring her back.”
“Why’d she send me here, then?”
His green eyes flashed with his inner fire, anchoring me where I stood. “So I could give you want you needed, Fallon. What you need me to give you again.”
“Don’t be so damn sure of yourself. I don’t need you.” I lied, and he knew it, the knowledge reflected back at me in his level gaze.
“Come inside and tell me you do not need what I offer you.”
I didn’t think I could. My resolve to bully him into giving up Muffin’s whereabouts waned with every pheromone-laden breath I took. I stood inside the ring of warmth and scent that surrounded him. My erection relentlessly swelled toward completion, and I couldn’t stop it.
“I can’t compromise my investigation further, Sundown. Carlton’s parents are flying in to claim the body. I need to have answers for them.”
His fingers grazed mine, the gentle touch heating my blood.
"I knew you were a good man. I trust you, Fallon. Will you trust me?”
“I trust you to be nothing but trouble.”
THE BACK STAIRS
Gay romance with a paranormal twist
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"What price a man's soul, Hugh de Manhill?" Bishop Thomas answered, pointing at him with a gloved, ring-studded hand. "There are many who speak against the Knights Templar. Word has reached me that your brother has committed many deadly sins of witchcraft and blasphemy."
Hugh laughed. "My brother is the most holy man I have ever known."
"Then your knowledge is sadly lacking," snapped the bishop, "and you are either a fool or a blasphemer yourself. Who else would dare to lay hands upon my own people in my own city?"
You would not have granted me an audience without such persuasion, Hugh thought, but this was too obvious to speak. "How may I make amends for David?"
"Bring me the relics he has stolen! The treasure he has kept from me!"
Hugh had no idea what the bishop was talking about. Keeping his face very still, he tried a second time. "I have gold in abundance."
"And have you also the blood of Saint George? The swaddling cloths of our lord Jesus Christ?" Thomas looked directly at the girl Joanna: a hot and at the same time reptilian glance. "Have you the secret book of the Jews?"
Hugh narrowed his eyes. "On what specific charge do you hold my brother?"
Bishop Thomas flicked a long sleeve at one of the milling dogs, catching the beast across its nose. "Such things as an honest Christian would dread to whisper. He knows."
"Hugh, enough," said David, but Hugh ignored him. David was his elder by scarce two years and they were equal in arms.
"Why do you claim he has such relics?" he persisted, just as Mercury bounced to his feet with another beaming smile and another mellifluous, incomprehensible inquiry.
“The relics. How?” Hugh asked again.
At his brusque demand, the bishop hissed like a disturbed adder and drew back in a swirl of brilliant silk. “It is not for you to interrogate me!” In his sudden fury, his pallid face became even more corpse-like. “Take him!”
But he spoke to air. Hugh had already anticipated the order and reacted. In an explosive series of movements he barged through the guards, hurtled to the eastern wall and grabbed the girl. Whistling to the barking dogs, he slid a dagger from his boot with the speed of a snake's tongue and flicked it to and fro before the bishop’s seething face.
“God’s blood, he has a killing knife!" shouted one man.
"‘Gainst all courtesy and honor!” wailed a priest, crossing himself over and over.
“The hounds blocked us, my lord -”
“ Can no one silence those blessed dogs?” roared Thomas, glowering at Hugh as if he wanted to cast him into the lowest reaches of hell.
Hugh whistled and at once the yammering dogs fell silent, turning trusting faces to him. Other faces, blank with shock, also stared.
“I am leaving now,” he said, ignoring David's murmured disapproval and hauling Joanna off with him as if she were a squirming puppy. “ I shall return tomorrow, with my brother’s weight in gold and, possibly, this girl. Then we negotiate.”
Still brandishing the killing knife and with his back always to the wall, Hugh moved to the door. No one spoke as he motioned the two guards outside the chamber to step within it - although they were two against one, neither was keen to tackle him, even with an armful of girl. No one seemed to breathe as he motioned to the dogs and set them at point in the doorway.
He had hauled Joanna, panting and furiously protesting, halfway down the stairs before a new tumult erupted above their heads, shouts and bodies colliding and pounding feet while Thomas’ voice was raised in loud complaint.
“Get those dogs away! Get after him! Away!”
Carried off under Hugh Manhill's brawny arm like a parcel of clothes, Joanna struggled fiercely and silently. There was no point in appealing to the donjon guards, who rightly feared this brigand, but who also distrusted herself, her father and their alchemy.
But it was humiliating to be so trapped and helpless! Wasting no breath or energy on pleas, she kicked back at her kidnapper, blow after blow on his shins that made her heels ache. Speeding down the staircase at a dizzying clip that was turning her sick, she coiled about in his brazen, hairy arm, trying to break free of his rib-smashing embrace.
Sensing his head lowering toward her, she tossed back her own, seeking to crush his nose. He avoided her attack easily and blew a squelching kiss against the back of her neck.
"No grief to me, Joanna, if I drop you on these steps, but your backside will smart."
His husky voice close to her ear vibrated up and down her spine, making her even more aware of his greater power and strength. Skimming above the stones, flailing out uselessly with her arms as she scrabbled against the tight spiral stair for any purchase, Joanna was tempted for an instant to give in, to twist and rest her aching, bouncing head against his shoulder.
Appalled at her own useless girlishness, Joanna kicked out harder. Manhill merely grunted, stopped on top of the trapdoor on the ground floor, dropped her, and then tossed her over his shoulder. He was striding even faster now, and the half-light of the donjon gave way to sudden, brilliant sunlight.
'You shall not take me!' Joanna bawled, pummeling his back with her fists as her stomach hurt from being squashed against his shoulder-blade and her chin smacked painfully against his spine. There were surely other men in the yard, men whose wives and children she knew, whom she had helped in the past. Surely they would not leave her lolling over this man's back!
'Help mmmm -'
Her cry was stifled as Manhill swept her off his shoulder into his arms, bearing her into a shadowed corner beneath some scaffolding that had not yet been taken down from the base of the donjon. There, amidst benches, and planks of wood, workmen's tools and a ripped and dusty old cloak, he set her down, tipped back her head, and engulfed her mouth with a massive hand.
"You will listen!" he said urgently.
She tried to knee him in the groin. He shifted too quickly and took the blow on his thigh, without any obvious discomfort.
"Now you will listen," he growled, giving her a teeth-rattling shake. "I have no interest in harming you."
"As say all kidnappers!" Joanna rasped out behind his hand.
He smiled at that, a brief softening of his lean, tanned face. "If I take my hand away, will you scream? Yes, I think you will," he went on, answering his own question. "A bucking little mare like you will always rattle the rafters with your complaint. So I will leave you here, Joanna, to cry for your loathsome lord, who even now has sent his men to the main gate when I am leaving by the postern. His guards are slack: too much wine and food and easy duty."
Speaking, he manacled her wrists in his other hand, released his numbing grip on her jaw and thrust a woolen glove past her gasping lips. She gagged afresh and he pushed her down onto her knees.
He left her amidst the scaffolding, sprinting for the postern gate while she clawed the glove from her mouth. She tried to yell but her coughing, muted alarm was lost in the greater whirl of rushing bodies as Bishop Thomas' men pounded futilely after their quarry and Hugh Manhill escaped.
Best wishes, Lindsay Townsend.
To see all my knight books, see my website: http://www.lindsaytownsend.net/