Matebond Dance (D’Vaire, Book 36) by Jessamyn Kingley


Book Title: Matebond Dance (D’Vaire, Book 36)

Author and Publisher: Jessamyn Kingley

Cover Artist: LJ Anderson of Mayhem Cover Creations

Release Date: April 27, 2023

Genres: MM Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

Tropes: Fated mates

Themes: Enemies to lovers

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length:  95 600 words

It is not a standalone story, but does not end on a cliffhanger.

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Buy Links - Available in Kindle Unlimited

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The only thing these two mates have left in common is dance and scorn.


Shane is a talented dancer, adores his family, and cannot imagine the world without his best friend. Fate made him a shifter, and at seventeen, Shane discovers the boy he has been crushing on for years is his mate. Sadly, Shane’s best friend is not interested in a romantic relationship—especially not with a man.

Gryphon cannot handle learning that Shane is his mate. For most of their childhood, they dreamed of sharing a stage and confided their innocent secrets. But Gryphon never thought of Shane as a potential love interest. Shane is a man, and Gryphon is not gay. Confused and terrified, Gryphon asks Shane to end their matebond forever.

Destroyed by Gryphon’s rejection and refusing to defy the goddess who put them together, Shane leaves everything behind and starts fresh thousands of miles away. Nine years later, both men are accomplished dancers and have barely spoken in years, despite the connection they hide from nearly everyone. Shane is called home to help his father, and he must confront his past—and the other half of his soul. 

With time and space, Gryphon has cast aside the lies he once told himself, and he no longer pretends he is not attracted to Shane. However, Shane has zero interest in reconciliation, and there may be no salvaging their matebond. The choreography of two devoted lovers sets sparks flying, but these two mates have little left between them but spite.


Shane was used to having to catch on to routines swiftly, and it was expected of a dancer to learn without needing to be told repeatedly. But Shane wanted to invite no comment on his abilities or performance, so he concentrated harder than ever as they wound through the first hour of rehearsal. When Shane figured out that he’d be within inches of Gryphon for the entire thing, he wished he’d asked more questions. 

The last thing he wanted was the rich scent of pine trees distracting him or the curiosity of his pony about their mate. His first shift had been weeks before Shane left Nevada, so his beast wasn’t that familiar with Gryphon or his griffin. Or the way Gryphon stirred up every one of Shane’s senses just by existing. It was annoying, and he was already feeling worn out by midday. Ian called out for a five-minute break, and Shane wanted to run from the room without ever returning.

“You picked up the steps quickly,” Gryphon said as Shane sat on the floor and stretched.

“Don’t sound so surprised, and stop towering over me. The room is big enough for you to pick another spot to stretch.” Normally Shane took no issue with anyone’s height, but it was annoying that Gryphon topped him by about six or seven inches.

“I guess you aren’t going to try to be friendly.”

Shane didn’t bother glancing up at Gryphon. “No, I’m not. Now go away.”

“You’re going to have to talk to me at some point.”

Bracing his elbows on the floor since his legs were in a full split, he glared at Gryphon. “Why would I have to do that?”

“Seriously? You’re going to pretend—”

“Do not start this shit at work,” Shane snapped. “In this room, you act professional. Whatever else exists between us has nothing to do with this show or what is expected of us as dancers, so you leave that crap at the door. Do you understand?”

Without a word, Gryphon pivoted on his heel and stalked off. If Shane didn’t immediately look away and enjoyed the taut muscles of Gryphon’s ass as he angrily crossed the room, then it was his business. Once Gryphon was occupied elsewhere, Shane focused on himself and ensuring his brain had held on to the choreography by playing it through his head.

His personal life was not allowed to follow him into a rehearsal or show, and he’d be damned if he’d discuss his matebond at work. Shane had no desire to debate it afterward either, and his plan was to leave Nevada exactly how he’d done so nine years ago. Gryphon had made his choice. They were not going to honor Fate, but Shane’s stance hadn’t changed. 

But maybe it should. Lightning hadn’t charged from the sky to smite Shane, and he’d been denying his mate for nearly a decade. His beast would never be happy if he and Gryphon continued this way, and the last thing Shane wanted was an angry or melancholy pony adding to his woes. Thankfully there were plenty of public spaces in Vegas to shift in because Shane foresaw many miles being run as he prepared for the show. He shook his head. Severing Fate’s decision would never sit right with him, but he’d give it some more thought.

The strange thing was that Shane could not picture a second matebond replacing his current one. Maybe it was because his feelings about the situation were too strong, and the sting of Gryphon’s rejection gutted him constantly. Or perhaps Shane had accepted that genuine happiness like his parents shared—and what he hoped his siblings had found with their other halves—was too far-fetched for him.

Shane didn’t think himself undeserving of love despite his selfishness and misery. It took keeping himself isolated to navigate a world that rarely made sense to him, and yes, it still dearly hurt that Gryphon was so eager to be rid of him. The first day of rehearsals, and Gryphon was in his face demanding they discuss the demonic severing he so desperately desired. The petty part of Shane that wanted to prevent Gryphon from fully enjoying his future with Mallory flatly refused to consider even formal separation papers.

It was difficult to admit that he was a shitty person, but he’d accepted that about himself years ago. Without Shane, Gryphon wouldn’t have a family or be performing as part of the Ó Dubhghailes’ dance company. Shane had offered that boy his heart, and everything else he had to give. In return, Gryphon had spent only minutes deciding that their matebond didn’t suit him. Shane closed his eyes, and both man and beast relived that moment of absolute agony.

His pony groaned, and Shane echoed the sound as he stood and took a moment to tug on his unkempt hair. He had to get his brain focused on the present. There was no way he’d survive the upcoming months if he kept delving into the events of nine years ago. It was imperative that he stay far from those memories and keep up a façade of pure professionalism.

Shane wasn’t in Nevada for a family reunion or to rekindle his lost friendship with Gryphon. That little boy who’d loved Gryphon was long dead, and Shane was a man in no mood to resurrect him.

About the Author 

Jessamyn Kingley has published over thirty titles and refuses to pick a favorite among them. With an extraordinary passion for her characters, she enthusiastically adds tales to her D’Vaire series and avidly re-reads them whenever her schedule allows. After decades living in the Washington, DC area, she now resides in Nevada with her husband and their three spoiled cats. When she is not writing or adding new ideas to her beloved notebooks, she is gaming with family and friends. 

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Love Beneath the Stars: A Matchmaker Wedding Novella by Claerie Kavanaugh 


Book Title: Love Beneath the Stars: A Matchmaker Wedding Novella 

Author: Claerie Kavanaugh 

Publisher: Half Caff Press 

Cover Artist: Lauren Dombrowski

Release Date: April 26, 2023 

Genres: Contemporary F/F Romance

Tropes: Age gap, celebrity, matchmaker, wedding 

Themes: Coming out, forgiveness

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 30 000 words

It is a standalone story in the Entertaining Love series.


Buy Links - Available in Kindle Unlimited

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They say love conquers all, but what if getting it means losing your family?


After years of searching, a job gone wrong finally led Hollywood's most famous matchmaker Eve to her soulmate in up-and-coming starlet Jemma Mason. For a year, they had pictured their perfect destination Valentine's Day wedding. But when Jemma's family arrives from Montana, they quickly learn perfection is hard to come by.

Jemma's conservative brother has always been distant, but when he meets his sister's fiancée, who is seven years her senior, he worries she’s moving way too fast and refuses to come to the wedding, let alone keep his promise to walk her down the aisle. Can love really conquer all, or are there some wounds that simply run too deep to be buried?

Eve and Jemma's Wedding Novella. Sequel to LOVE AMONG THE STARS in the standalone sapphic celebrity romance series ENTERTAINING LOVE. 


When I turn to face Eve, she's sitting more fully upright, concern etched across her beautiful features. "What's wrong?"

"Apparently, a storm is coming," Despondence drips from my words as I sink, onto the edge of the bed. "They want us to stay inside."

Eve climbs out of the covers and wraps her arms around me. "We'll be alright, Jemma. We're together, and that's all that matters."

Her confidence is contagious, and I can't help but smile. "You always know how to make me feel better, don't you?"

"Of course." She grins, kissing my cheek. "Now, let's make the most of this unexpected day indoors."

We spend the morning lounging in bed, sipping coffee and flipping through the cable channels on the TV. But as the wind outside picks up, so does our restlessness.

"Let's play a game," Eve suggests, sitting up and stretching her toned arms above her head.

"What kind of game?" I ask, intrigued.

She smirks devilishly. "Strip poker."

My stomach flips at the thought of being naked in front of her, but I can't deny the thrill that pulses through me. "You're on."

We grab a deck of cards from the nightstand and settle in on the plush carpet, the sound of the wind howling outside echoing in my ears. As the game progresses, clothing is discarded, and as Eve tosses her shirt onto the pile, I can't help but let my eyes roam over her gorgeous curves and her smooth golden skin. A flush spreads across my cheeks as I drink her in

Eve smirks, arching an eyebrow. "Enjoying the view?"

I swallow hard, my mouth suddenly dry. "Very much so," I reply, a slightly wanton rasp dancing at the edges of my words.

She crawls over to me on all fours, her eyes locked onto mine. "Why don't you come a little closer?" I oblige, leaning in towards her, my heart pounding. She presses her body against mine, her skin hot against my own. My breath hitches as she trails her fingers down my spine, sending shivers through my body. I tangle my fingers in her hair, pulling her lips to mine. The kiss is electric, fire burning through my veins. I break away, gasping for air.

About the Author 

Claerie Kavanaugh has spent most of her life telling stories, but she never imagined herself writing romance. In fact, she used to think it should only be reserved for Hallmark movies. It wasn't until college, when she discovered fanfiction, that she learned what romance was truly about: not just fluffy relationships and happily-ever-afters, but human connection, the desire to push one another to be better, and create hope that somewhere, somehow, everyone has someone.

When she's not writing, she loves to travel and explore new cultures, helping other authors polish their works as a freelance editor, and singing while doing so. Broadway musicals are her soul-food, something her mother and sister know well. She constantly blasts the newest soundtrack through the halls of their Missouri home, much to the chagrin of her very sassy and spoiled cat.

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A Case of Madness (Or the Curious Appearance of Holmes in the Nighttime) by Yvonne Knop


Author: Yvonne Knop

Publisher: Improbable Press

Cover Artist: Ksenia Spizhevaya

Release Date: March 20, 2023

Genres: Adult Contemporary M/M Rom-Com

Tropes:  Opposites attract, Emotional scars, Grumpy/sunshine

Themes: Coming out, friendship, mental illness, love

Heat Rating: 2 flames  

Length: 82 000 words/272 pages

It is a standalone book and does not end on a cliffhanger.


Buy Links

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Andrew Thomas just got sacked. He's permanently drunk. He's got cancer. Is inescapably gay. Was hit by a bus. And he's fallen in love with a stranger whose life he saved.

As a newly-unemployed Sherlock Holmes scholar, Andrew knows only Holmes can help him untangle the madness his life has become, but Holmes isn't real. Except he absolutely appeared in Andrew's house, told him he's in love with a man he just met…and then in a fit of pique Andrew sent him away.

Sure Holmes is probably a hallucination or a specter or a ghost, but now Andrew desperately needs his help. So to find the answer to his case and the man of his dreams, Andrew takes to chasing a fictional character through London with his very own Watson.


While strolling amid the students and scholars rushing into the University of London, I ignored the urge to check my pocket watch.

If there was ever a day to dawdle, it was today. The first day of summer that actually felt like the season it claimed to be. And the day of my personal disaster.

It wasn’t a ‘this train will split at the next station and you just sat down with your meal deal’ disaster, but it was equally inconvenient. After decades of laboring in academia, I was about to become involuntarily unemployed. Apart from that – and this might be even more important – I was also going to die.

To delay the confrontation a bit longer, I looked for a shaded place to smoke and then took long, luxurious drags on my cigarette. A cough struggled to tear itself free from my chest, but I suppressed it. Not now. Focus.

Few people knew my name or my publications. But some such people existed – people who were as fascinated by a very specific man as I was, and who seemed to value my works more than I did. The man I wrote about lived in Baker Street, and he was partly to blame for my situation. Though I liked to think of myself as a charmingly anachronistic gentleman, I increasingly felt I was just a dafter in a fine suit who lurked around public buildings. Instead of engaging in modern life, I was immersed in the world of Sherlock Holmes and all things Victorian, with the natural effect of many acquaintances leaving or going extinct. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the company of others; it was that I struggled in the company of others. And they struggled in the company of me.

You see, the fact that I knew my dearest detective had appeared on-screen in over two hundred and twenty adaptations did not give me much hope I would find out what people did for fun. But what of fun? What about achievement? Holmes is the most filmed novel character of all time – among humans, at least; Dracula has been filmed even more often. This connection filled me with joy, and I believed it could be combined in a curious way. Dracula Holmes: he investigates at night because he’s not just a detective, no – he’s also a vampire. Greedy for blood and knowledge.

I finished my cigarette and stepped from the shadows only to immediately collide with a young man in the most colorful trainers I’d ever seen. In a split-second knockout victory, he fell to the ground covered in the flyers he had been holding in his hand just seconds before.

I bent down immediately to help him. “I’m so sorry,” I said, quickly picking up his flyers from the pavement. At least those which hadn’t fallen into the grey puddle right next to us.

“It’s okay,” he said, and he looked at me. His blue eyes seemed friendly though his gaze was intense.

I quickly looked down again. To my surprise, the flyers weren’t gig announcements or takeaway adverts. In fact, they were promoting something very dear to my heart. “I like theater,” I said, handing him back a few of the flyers. “I thought theater was dead for young people.”

He smiled. “Most young people get run over by perfect strangers.

That’s why so few make it to the stage. Anyway…I’m still alive.”

That he was. Alive, handsome, and holding a slim stack of remaining flyers. Slightly crumpled.

“I’m far from perfect,” I remarked, thinking of the trouble I had caused him.

About the Author  

Yvonne is a bi and nonbinary writer who dedicates their free time to extending the secret Gay Agenda – in part through their debut novel A Case of Madness.

Although born and raised in the north of Germany, Yvonne’s passion for Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Who, their sassy humor, and aversion to talking on public transport made them suspiciously British from early on.

As a natural matter of cause and effect, Yvonne moved to London in 2014 and started to write (a novel for the drawer). No word was written until 2017 when the sudden question of ‘What if I could talk to Sherlock Holmes?’ came up to them.

Conducting PhD research in the world’s most extensive Sherlock Holmes collection, located in Minneapolis, USA, was a great help for answering that question. The result was not a PhD, but their debut novel A Case of Madness, originally written in German and in a bold move translated by the author themselves when nobody in Germany understood a word they were saying.

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Reason 111 Why I’m Gay by Jai Scott #kindleunlimited #giveaway


Book Title: Reason 111 Why I’m Gay

Author and Publisher: Jai Scott

Cover Artist: Jai Scott

Release Date: March 8, 2023

Genres: Contemporary F/F Romance

Themes: Coming out

Heat Rating:  5 flames

Length:  6 464 words/127 pages

It is a standalone book.


Buy Links - Available in Kindle Unlimited 

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Reason 111 Why I’m Gay 


This book is based on true events and I am sure it will help others who may be contemplating being gay, bi-sexual or any other feeling that you are out of place and don't seem to fit your sexual description by the definition of others. This is a compilation of my feelings over the years of thinking I was straight and then questioning it. It gives a real and humorous understanding of my feelings as I went through life wondering, am I gay? You too may identify with questions that people often ask about how you know you're gay or if you are sure about it. This book answers many questions to ourselves and helps us answer questions to others who ask the same thing over and over about not only being gay but your sexuality in general, and makes light of it with a comedic art for each of the 111 questions.

Keeping on the lighter side of life, and to make us feel better about the ups and downs and hardships of being gay, we’ve had a running joke where one of us will say, randomly, “reason 111 why we’re gay ...” then describe some random experience or thought we had recently that confirms that we are, in fact, gay. It could be something like, “I just saw the prettiest lady with the most amazing boobs,” and then it gets added to the list. It is serious and funny at the same time. If you know my personality at all, you'll get it.


Why was I gay, and how could I change this inconvenient truth that made my life so much more difficult. Unfortunately, it took dating men, and several toxic closeted lesbian relationships to realize that it’s easier to just be me, to be gay. Although my sexuality doesn’t define who I am, it silently influences situations and feeds misconceptions and ignorant ideations. Even now, currently of outward acceptance, #ME2 movement, Black-Lives-Matter, and Gay Pride celebrations being celebrated around the world, being gay is still not fully embraced and, in some scenarios, is still discriminated against. This book creates a light-hearted coming out story in an almost graphic novel style with a back story and readable reasons as to why today I know for sure that I am gay. All 111 Reasons why I am gay are illustrated in a funny and very comedic, light hearted and sometimes even graphic adult style that will make you laugh and maybe even cry a little from the laugh. This is a real book, about a real-life situation using words and 111 illustrations to connect with the reader. 

About the Author  

Jai Scott was born in July 25, 1979, yes, she is a Leo, in Los Angeles, CA. She has a degree in Graphic Design as well as completed the Art Instruction School program where she received lots of artistic growth and a certificate of completion in the Art Program which boosted her confidence to continue drawing even when others had negative feedback and negative feedback about me and my artistic style. This was a young and tender age and it helped me to grow thick skin and keep on pursuing my dreams, so thank you to all of my haters and people who didn’t want me to succeed. 

She has won numerous awards for her pencil, mixed media and cartoon art in her younger age which led her to begin tattooing at the very young age of 18 years old. She fell in love with the art and immediately started getting tattooed from day 1 of getting tattooed and then apprenticing to then start tattooing for herself. She continued to tattoo while attending college and working her way up the, so to speak, company ladder. Jai Scott is now the Managing Director (COO) of a Mechanical Engineering company in Silicon Valley for the last 15 years. She is also a wife and mother of two amazing kids. 

Jai specializes in creativity in all forms and is always looking out for new ventures to join and or lead. She understands that being creative is not only about art, but about how people relate to others and create long-term networks, friendships and relationships. She believes channeling energy is an art and hopes to master it. 

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Fauxmance in the Falls by J.E. Birk #kindleunlimited #giveaway


Book Title: Fauxmance in the Falls 

Author: J.E. Birk 

Publisher: Maple Mountains Press

Cover Artist: Cate Ashwood 

Release Date: April 20, 2023 

Genres: Contemporary M/M Romance, small town romance 

Tropes: Fake relationship, small town, age gap, alpha doctor, grumpy/sunshine

Themes: Redemption, coming out, found families 

Heat Rating:  4 flames 

Length:  Approx. 92 000 words and 331 pages

It’s the first book in the series and does not end on a cliffhanger.


Buy Links - Available in Kindle Unlimited

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Never date your dream doctor


I'm here to destroy this town. How did I end up in a fake relationship with its hero?

I've spent my life proving to my grandpa and dad that I'm more than just the Lewis family mistake. So when Grandpa sends me to Devon Falls, VT to take some ridiculous leaf festival to court, I head straight there and get to work. 

But Dr. Jack Lancer keeps getting in my way.

 He's everywhere. Helping me out with my migraines, making me dinner, insisting people be nice to me even though I’m the enemy. Who is this guy? The next thing I know I'm pretending to be Jack's boyfriend to get him out of a bind. I swear he's putting kindness pills in my food or something.

Jack thinks he can fix me the same way he fixes everyone else. But I'm not broken. This podunk town will be when I'm done with it, though. And Jack? Well, he's about to learn the meaning of the term "collateral damage." Because I'll do anything to win this case and end this festival. 

Even if it means losing something that feels an awful lot like love.

Fauxmance in the Falls is an age-gap romance featuring a small town full of quirks, a grumpy lawyer and a charming physician, a fake relationship gone wild, some inappropriate use of a doctor’s office, and a healthy mix of humor and angst. It stars Benson Lewis, who first appeared in the book Counterpoint 


Benson stands before us, looking as wrecked as I could ever imagine seeing him. He’s barely standing upright, and there are dark circles surrounding his sagging eyes. He’s wearing a wrinkled pair of jogging pants and a shirt that looks like he’s sweated through it, and his facial expression screams of absolute misery. I simultaneously feel extremely guilty for knocking on his door and extremely glad that I did. “Benson,” I say softly. “Migraine?”

He nods, immediately wincing at the head motion. And that tiny little movement is all the cue I need to start taking charge.

“Elijah, I need you to run to the drug store,” I tell him quietly. I list off a series of items that Benson likely needs.

“Be right back,” Elijah whispers, though I never warned him about being quiet. He’s far more astute than his grandparents give him credit for. He runs off down the hall and I step into Benson’s space, examining him with my eyes. “How long?” I ask.

“Since the Thai restaurant.”

Shit. Almost twenty-four hours, then. “Have you taken anything?”

“Just aspirin.” He winces at the ray of light peeking around the door from the hallway. “Don’t have anything else,” he mumbles. I’m going to make sure we correct that the second he’s well enough for conversation. But right now, all I want to do is make him feel better.

“Okay,” I tell him gently. “We’ll fix it, Benson. I’ve got you. You’re not on your own anymore.”

He stares at me, squinting, and I notice his eyes are wet. “I’m really glad you’re here,” he says hoarsely.

I startle slightly. I know Benson well enough by now to know those probably aren’t words he says often.

I guide him gently into the apartment, which is a small studio with a double bed in one corner and a combination kitchen/living room taking up most of the space. The curtains are closed tightly. They’re mostly light-blocking, at least. I surprise him, I think, when I guide him over to the sofa and help him lay down there. “I’m going to get you some water and change your sheets,” I whisper. “Have you been able to keep food down?”

He shakes his head slightly.

“Well, I sent Elijah for applesauce and electrolytes. We’ll see if we can fix that.” I can feel his eyes track me as I make use of what his small space has to offer. I find a glass of water and help him sit up long enough to take a few sips. When he shakes his head at me, I don’t push for him to drink more. I find clean sheets and quickly make his bed, then grab some sweatpants and a Burlington U Law shirt from his dresser. “C’mon,” I urge him. “Let’s get you into some more comfortable clothes.”

He holds onto my shoulders as I help him step out of his pants. I look away to give him as much privacy as possible, but Benson draws my attention back to him when he says, “this isn’t really how I envisioned you getting in my pants for the first time.”

The corners of his lips are turned up in a hint of a wry grin, and my heart speeds up. Has he really had those thoughts too? Now is not the time for that conversation, unfortunately. “Me either,” I tell him, keeping things light as I help him into the fresh pants and shirt.

I change the sheets on the bed and get him settled into it before I dampen a washcloth with cool water. Some migraine patients are sensitive to any kind of touch when they have episodes like this, but Benson sighs with happiness when I lay the cloth across his forehead.

I sit down gently on the side of his bed. “When Elijah gets back we’ll try food and more water,” I tell him. “Get excited for that applesauce.”

Benson grimaces. “I’ll try it,” he promises. “I already feel better than I did. Thank you, Jack.”

I gently take one of his hands, and when he doesn’t object, I hold it while I rub my thumb against his palm. “Thank you for what?” I ask. I’m not sure what I’m being thanked for. Changing someone’s sheets and getting them some water when they’re ill are about the most basic things you can do for another human.

“No one’s ever really done this before. You know. For me,” he mutters. “Not lately, anyway.”

“Do you get migraines often?”  I ask him.

He sighs. “I used to get them a lot more when I was younger. I thought they were going away. But lately they’ve been getting worse.”

“Who used to take care of you when you got them?” I ask.

He shrugs into the sheets around him. “I think my nannies did. Well, some of them anyway. Until they… couldn’t anymore.”  Benson grimaces again, and I decide this isn’t the best time to have this conversation.

“You’re going to be okay,” I tell him. It’s a universal line I’ve used a million times in my career. Some patients believe it. Some don’t. From Benson’s expression, I can’t tell where he stands.

“It was worse last night,” he replies. “In the middle of the night. It was so bad. They’ve gotten worse lately, like I said. I was here, in this bed, and the pain was so awful I started to wonder if I was going to live through it. And I kept thinking… kept thinking that I didn’t want to die by myself in a studio apartment. Alone. All by myself.” He closes his eyes against pain I can’t see, and suddenly I need to be holding more than just his hand.

“You’re not alone,” I tell him. I lean over farther and graze his cheek with the fingers of my other hand. It’s a test to see if my touch hurts, but all he does is lean farther into it. And just like that, I know I’m doing the right thing. “You’re not alone right now,” I repeat. “And you never have to be alone again. Not if you don’t want to be. You have me now. Me and Elijah.”

Benson has settled his cheek deep into my hand at this point. He’s almost nuzzling it. “Not forever,” he mumbles. “Just for now. Just for pretend.”

About the Author 

J.E. Birk was raised in Vermont and is now adulting in Colorado with intermittent success. She is a long-time lover of stories, and she writes and reads in worlds where imperfect characters find their happily ever after. Snag free bonus content and stay up-to-date on J.E. Birk's news and releases by signing up for her newsletter

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Sweet as Pie by Beth Bolden #kindleunlimited #giveaway


Book Title: Sweet as Pie

Author and Publisher: Beth Bolden

Cover Artist: Morningstar Ashley Designs

Release Date: April 13, 2023

Genre: Contemporary MM romance

Tropes: Grumpy/sunshine, opposites attract, small town

Themes: Family responsibilities, necessary change, unexpected love

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 80 000 words

It is a standalone story.


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Luca Moretti is grumpy—and he wouldn't have it any other way.

Wrangling six—Italian—siblings and the family's restaurants would make anyone cranky. But when his mother requests that he save his aunt’s struggling Italian deli in charming, picturesque Indigo Bay, he has no idea that he's about to overdose on sweetness.

Luca expected his aunt’s stubbornness—she’s a Moretti, isn’t she?—and his cousin’s resistance to actual work, but the last thing he expected is the absolute ball of sunshine known as Oliver Billings.

Oliver loves Indigo Bay. Loves owning his small artisan bakery, Sweetie Pie’s. Helps nice old ladies cross the street. Even volunteers for the local Sweethearts Festival.

Sweet isn't really Luca's style, or so he thinks. But when he discovers Oliver can be a little spicy too, his prickly exterior begins to crumble like a well-baked crust.

If Luca isn't careful, he's going to develop a taste for sweets—and a particular baker’s pie.

And one or two servings will never be enough.


“Ah, they sent the fixer out.” Oliver sounded amused again. “I can see it. You’re definitely more of a fixer than a baker.”

Luca shrugged. “I run my family’s four restaurants. They do not typically need fixing.” Don’t be arrogant, don’t be arrogant. “But Nonna’s Deli here, it is . . .an investment of ours. Not directly under my control. So I’m not here to order changes but to . . .suggest them. Nicely.”

“Which is how they’ve managed to underperform all these years,” Oliver said with another of those smirks. They shouldn’t have been so frustratingly attractive. But Luca felt them deep down, stirring him up in a way he hadn’t expected.

Oliver was definitely a very attractive package, one he’d love to unwrap.

Would he be as sweet as promised? Or a little salty too? Maybe even a bit spicy?

“You could say that,” Luca said. “Part of the proposed changes are aligning the menu more directly with our other restaurants. And that includes fresh bread, daily. Nonna’s here doesn’t have the staff, the resources, or the equipment to do this, but you do.”

“I do,” Oliver conceded. “My schedule’s already pretty packed, but I suppose I could fit you in. French bread? Sourdough bread? Focaccia? Rolls? Loaves? How many dozen per day?”

Luca liked every part of Oliver he’d seen so far. He was charming and sweet and undeniably adorable. Then there was how goddamned sexy he was when he got down to business.

“I’m not sure yet,” Luca said. “In fact, they may not need any at all. Giana and Enzo have my proposed changes, but they are not required to accept all of them—or any of them, actually.”

“You must hate that, not being able to actually impose your control over them.” Oliver said it casually, like a true control-freak business owner, like he understood.

How did Oliver know how much he hated it? Was it that obvious? Was it written all over his face that he’d love nothing more than to march down the street and tell Giana and Enzo exactly what to do?

“Yes,” Luca admitted.

“Nonna’s isn’t just an Italian affectation, is it? Was there actually a Nonna?” Oliver asked.

“My grandmother.”

“Ah, well, there you go.” Oliver leaned back, grinning. Luca wanted to chase him, but he stayed on his side of the table, with what he thought was pretty admirable restraint.

“So why does Enzo dislike you so much?” Luca asked.

“That’s a long story. And I’ve got to tend to these rolls. If they overproof . . .” Oliver shrugged. “I’m a perfectionist, what can I say?”

“If he supposedly turns against you every chance he gets, what’s he going to say,” Luca said, deploying the most persuasive smile in his arsenal, “when he finds out I want to hire you to bake our bread? I need the insider info. Need to be able to convince him it’s a good idea.”

“It’s not going to help you, and you’re not going to like it,” Oliver said. “Though, you sorta look like there’s plenty of things you don’t like.”

But I like you. “You’re not wrong.” It was hard to admit it, but there it was. He was particular, okay? Particular and more than a little arrogant about his particularity.

Maybe it was good Oliver knew that now, even if all they ever had was a date and a night—though even that was still up in the air.

“We dated,” Oliver said. His watch beeped, and he stood, just as he’d left Luca speechless for another long moment. “Well,” he amended, with a cute little shrug. “It was one date. But still. He wanted to continue. I did not. And that’s the story.”

“That wasn’t a very long story,” Luca managed, and was he trailing after Oliver in his own bakery like a lost puppy looking for his owner? Yes, he was, a little.

About the Author 

A lifelong Pacific Northwester, Beth Bolden has just recently moved to North Carolina with her supportive husband. Beth still believes in Keeping Portland Weird, and intends to be just as weird in Raleigh.

Beth has been writing practically since she learned the alphabet. Unfortunately, her first foray into novel writing, titled Big Bear with Sparkly Earrings, wasn’t a bestseller, but hope springs eternal. She has published over forty novels and novellas.

Author Links

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New Release - From the Universe to Me by Scott E. Garrison


Book Title: From the Universe to Me

Author: Scott E. Garrison

Publisher: NineStar Press 

Cover Artist: Jaycee DeLorenzo

Release Date: April 11, 2023

Genres: Contemporary M/M Romance

Tropes: friends to lovers, coming of age

Themes: age gap, college, family drama, in the closet, mental illness, new adult, teaching

Length: 59 500 words/220 pages

It is a standalone book and does not end on a cliffhanger.

Heat Rating: 3 flames


Buy Links

Publisher  |   Amazon US   |  Amazon UK

Learning to accept himself is not the only lesson the universe has planned for him.


Eighteen-year-old Tobias Gavin is struggling to come to terms with his sexuality. For many years, the what-ifs of coming out have swirled around his head, so he has chosen to live a lie to keep from disrupting the “normal” life he has created with his family and friends.

That is until he meets Gareth David the day he enrolls for his first semester as a college student. He feels an immediate connection with Gareth...a connection that pushes Tobias to question the way he has been living his life. When Gareth coincidentally becomes Tobias’s History professor, Tobias is forced to confront his feelings and confront the universe.

Tobias must come to terms with his depression, anxiety, heartbreak, and his sexuality before he can even begin to heal his wounds. He believes that everything happens for a reason, but he learns that some experiences are meant to teach even if they cause heartbreak. Once he comes to terms with himself, he might find his knight in shining armor.

Tobias must learn to trust himself and those around him if he wants to find happiness.


I’m startled out of my thoughts when I hear doors open, but to avoid any more agonizing contact with Anna, I don’t glance over until I hear the deep voice of a man talking to Anna.

I glimpse Anna out of the corner of my eye and notice her entire personality has changed. She appears more alive and filled with energy. She twirls her hair between her pointer and middle fingers, flirting with the man, which goes unnoticed by him. He is standing there exchanging pleasantries with her. When he turns to look in my direction, my heart literally skips a beat.

He is beautiful.

Wow. Drop-dead gorgeous isn’t even the best phrase to describe the man standing before me. The stylish brown hair rising in waves from the top of his head looks natural and void of any hair products, like he rolls out of bed looking like McDreamy from Grey’s Anatomy on a daily basis. His light brown skin and dark brown eyes shimmer, reminding me of silky, smooth milk chocolate. Everything with me always goes back to chocolate, which is why I can’t stop looking at him as he stands next to the receptionist’s desk talking to Anna.

He isn’t ridiculously muscular, but his biceps look statuesque underneath his tight plaid button-down shirt. Dark Levi’s accentuate every muscle and curve his lower body has to offer. My mind immediately drifts to what his legs would look like if he set them free with short shorts or even his underwear. What is wrong with me?

Without even moving, he exudes confidence I only wish I could have. My mediocre body isn’t nearly as memorable as the physique standing before me. Anyone would want to talk to him, to be near his gorgeous face...touch his toned body. This man hit the gene-pool lottery when whatever higher being or the masters of the universe made him.

“Hello... Hey.... Is somebody in there?” he asks, waving his hand near my face.

My eyes adjust to his waving hand, and I realize I have been staring at him with an open mouth, looking like a brainless buffoon.

“Uuhhhh...what?!” I say like a blubbering fool.

“I asked if you are here to meet with me,” he responds with the sweetest expression, ignoring my inability to carry a conversation, which makes my cheeks burn red.

“Hahaha... I wish.” I freeze... What the fuck did I say? Oh my god, I could die. I should run out the door and lay down in the street, praying someone will take pity on me and end my suffering. I’m positive I have turned as red as the couches I’m sitting on.

He chuckles and gives me a bright and warm grin, revealing his perfectly whitened teeth. He towers over me, holding out his hand. “My name is Gareth David. I’m Dr. Richard’s teaching assistant. Who are you?”

Suddenly, an overwhelming urge to jump into his arms and put my hand through his radiantly manicured hair skips jauntily through my mind. That is perfectly acceptable for people to do, right?

I grab his hand, applying enough pressure to give an adequate handshake, so I look less like a dope.

When our hands meet, a rush of warmth spreads throughout my entire body. He glances at our hands and back into my eyes, giving me that perfect grin again. I can’t help but wonder if he observed the same jolt of energy when our hands met. The way he is looking at me makes me feel something I can’t put my finger on, but I don’t want the erotic energy to end.

After gaining my composure, I respond, “My name is Tobias Gavin. I’m here to meet with Dr. Richards about setting up my schedule for the fall semester.”

An Adonis-like smile spreads across his face, and I melt again. “Are you a freshman? I haven’t seen you around or in any of my classes.”

I look at him confused. “Didn’t you say you’re her assistant?”

He chuckles. “Teaching assistant. However, I teach my own classes and cover her classes when she is away. I know it seems weird, but Dr. Richards has taught me well. Besides, I’m almost finished with my graduate degree. I turned in my thesis a few weeks ago.”

His voice exhibits pure kindness that sends warmth through by body, helping me relax.

“May I have my hand back?” He laughs.


My body going tense again, I realize I’m still holding his hand. I hesitate for a millisecond—my body wanting our embrace to continue—before letting go of his hand.

“I’m so sorry. I was listening to you talk and forgot to let go.” Kill me. Someone, please hire a ninja assassin to come kill me now.

About the Author

Scott E. Garrison is a debut author, who wants to share new, queer stories with the world. He currently lives in the Oklahoma City, OK area.

Alongside writing, he has a Masters in Library and Information Studies and works as a Librarian for an Oklahoma-based library system. He spends his free time reading, baking, watching movies and TV shows with his husband, and cuddling with his dogs, Jarvis and F.R.I.D.A.Y.

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New Release - Amplified: Sean and Alex by Sunny Day


Book Title: Amplified: Sean and Alex

Author: Sunny Day

Publisher: Siren Publishing

Cover Artist: Harris Channing

Release Date: April 12, 2023

Genre: M/M Romance, urban fantasy, sci-fi

Tropes: Special abilities, futuristic

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 40 000 words

It is a standalone story and does not end on a cliffhanger


Buy Links

Publisher   |  Amazon Author Page


Having money and influence is not enough to save Sean if the fact that he is an Empath is made public. Amplified, people with enhanced senses, are vilified as a whole and Empaths are the most detested among them. He needs to change that, and for that he will need help. But he is not sure Alex, a powerful Amplified, is the best choice for the task. Alex is not ashamed of his abilities and is vocal in his fight for Amplified's rights.

Sean has too many secrets and at first Alex vehemently disagrees with his methods. But as they work together, Alex starts to realize there might be more to Sean than he guessed. As he gets to know Sean better, Alex finds himself at unexpected risk: he might be falling for Sean.

But with the Amplified situation as it is, do they even have a chance to be together?


If he was honest with himself, Sean would have to admit that he absolutely hated the idea of an interview on the national television, having to talk publicly about his abilities, answer questions, and listen politely to the truly ridiculous ideas some baseline humans had about Amplified. Some of it was pure reflex, because only a part of his life was public. The other one, where he could sense what other people were feeling and change it at will, he was used to hiding. Besides, there was still a risk associated with openly admitting he was Amplified, an Empath at that. But there were two reasons why he 'd made this decision, personal feelings notwithstanding.

One, he needed to improve public image of Amplified. A lot of his plans depended on that, and the campaign had been underway for years at this point, even if it ramped up now with Amplified demanding that persecution based on their powers stop and fair treatment be given from baseline humans, be it government agencies or private people.

Two, too many people already knew he was an Empath and not being public about it was sooner or later going to bite him on the ass, and Sean hated being unprepared.

Hence why he was now in a studio of popular talk show, ready to answer questions about his deepest secrets and fears. The interviewer, a dark-haired lady who’d hosted the popular show for more than five years, was excited. The audience present in studio...was mixed, he concluded after a perfunctory scan. His safety was not in question. The show producer was thrilled with this opportunity. Amplified were a hot topic and Foundation, a covert agency which protected and advocated for them, even more. This was going to drive their ratings through the roof. The producer wasn’t going to let anything happen to Sean. Sean, who also wasn't a naive fool, hadn't come alone, but no one blinked an eye at the young billionaire coming with a set of bodyguards.

And of course, Sean was also dangerous without anyone's help. But he was here to convince everyone it was the opposite.

He sat on the couch and waited patiently while the stylist made minute adjustments to his makeup. The stylist gave the host a thumbs-up and retreated. Then the cameras were on and Sean faced millions watching him on their screens at home.

He listened while the host greeted everyone, knowing that, even now, he was being recognized and rumors were already beginning to fly. They didn't publicize his name when they were advertising this episode of the show, just that the guest was someone from Foundation. Foundation had confirmed it but also kept mum on the identity of their leader. It led to a frenzy on the internet as guesses piled up. 

Bianca, the hostess, ran through her opening spiel and greeted the audience, some of whom, he noted with amusement, definitely recognized him. Bianca gave a quick summary of Foundation, basically their role and their decision to finally go public about what they had been doing for Amplified in recent years. Finally, she turned to him.

"I reached out to Foundation hoping for an interview. With the Amplified rights recently in public focus, Foundation is the entity that we are getting most of our information from."

"We are not the only organization for Amplified, but we are one of bigger ones and pride ourselves on being a resource for all Amplified," Sean agreed.

"Foundation is not a clandestine scary organization that some are imagining it to be," Bianca continued. "You are registered as a charitable organization and do operate legally."

"Mostly, yes. The existing charity was the basic frame that we used to develop Foundation. Sorry, I'll use this name instead of the official one, since that's how most Amplified know about us and how the public has learned about us. We help everyone," he stressed, and he wasn't lying, "but most of our efforts are focused on Amplified."

Some of those efforts were not so legal, but up until now both Foundation and government were pretending they didn't know that. 

"Foundation was founded by you personally."


"And you are..." She trailed off delicately. She was good, he had to admit, building expectation from the audience both here and those watching them at home. She was going to let him say it.

"My name is Sean, and my family owns Pharma L. Most of Foundation money comes from there," he answered readily. He took a deep breath as the camera zoomed in on him, and he could see his reflection in one of the screens hanging on the side.

No way back now.

"I wasn’t expecting you here today," she admitted with a smile. "You are, after all, a celebrity in your own right."

"I wouldn’t put it that way…" Sean demurred. 

"You are heir to Pharma L, and besides being filthy rich"—she paused to allow their audience to savor the phrase—"you are also known to be heavily involved in company R&D and already own several patents."


Pharma L did market that fact. It was not a secret. Sean had never been ashamed of his intelligence. He was not ashamed of his other abilities either, but up until now, they weren’t public.

"So you created Foundation. When they were talking to me, they let me know there was a personal aspect to your decision. You are also Amplified."


His company's shares were likely going to sink after this revelation, but the Amplified now had enough backing that they would recover, maybe even increase their value. He wasn’t worried about that.

"An Empath, precisely," she clarified.

About the Author 

Sunny loves romantic stories with a dash of danger and happily ever after. Yes, both reading and writing them. It's what takes up most of her time. The rest of it is spent on thinking about new books she wants to read and characters who want their story to be told.

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