Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Leap of Faith: Part Five #blogstory #MM #gay #contemporary

Welcome back to Leap of Faith!

If you remember when I decided to post Leap of Faith, I said this short story had problems? This is where it needs work. Part Four had the chapter break and the story skips forward almost a year, if I remember correctly. The Ben in the first couple of chapters grew a lot in that time and is not the same as the Ben in this chapter.

The story was written for an anthology call with a restriction of 10k. Since I did not think it appropriate for Ben to fall for anyone after that first chapter, I put in the time jump and summarized the changes Ben went through from Dawson's perspective. It's still a cute story but it needs a middle, which I never got around to writing.

Copyright Lexi Ander

Part Five: Leap of Faith

Chuckling, Dawson wrapped a towel around his waist and sauntered out of the bathroom. The smell of food was stronger out in the hall and his eyes damn near rolled up in the back of his head. Ben had made cinnamon rolls. The man was a god in the kitchen. Since Ben cooked most of the meals, Dawson had to put in extra time at the gym and Ben had taken to joining him.
Hurrying, Dawson tugged on a pair of jeans and threw on a shirt. He donned four large silver rings, his two inch wide leather wristbands, and his brown coconut shell necklace with the blue bone beads before he made a beeline to the kitchen. Ben stood at the stove with his back to Dawson. He nearly didn't catch the groan that tried to escape. Ben was shirtless. The tattoo of a rising phoenix rippled over his strong, muscular back. The last several months, Ben had bulked up and his once slender frame had become a work of art.
Dawson noticed all of the changes, not only the physical ones, Ben had made. The vulnerable, heartbroken man he'd met a year ago had been replaced by a confident, happy Ben. The combination made for one hell of a package. Not that Dawson hadn't found Ben attractive before, because Ben had been smoking hot in those ridiculous shoes and tiny pants. But Ben had needed a friend, so Dawson had shelved his lust and given a helping hand.
The last couple of months, Ben had been different and, lately, Dawson imagined licking the hollow between those shoulder blades. It was too easy to imagine Ben with his hands tied behind his back, ass rising up to meet the firm swat of Dawson's hand. Maybe one day Ben would be interested. Discreetly he readjusted himself before he walked into the kitchen.
"You made cinnamon rolls." He brushed against Ben as he reached around for a warm roll and shoved the whole thing in his mouth.
Ben smirked. His gaze followed the pastry, his hazel eyes expertly outlined with dark eyeliner. Dawson loved the touch of color because Ben had amazing eyes. When they were highlighted like that, Dawson wanted to drag the man into his bedroom and find wonderful ways to convince his friend that his bed was the best place—the only place Ben wanted to be. Ben's blond hair was cut short on the sides, the top long enough to brush the man's earlobes. His friend had become very good at manipulating the layered lengths. This close he could smell Ben's aftershave. Dawson had pierced both of Ben's ears, four hoops on each side and a bar through the top of the left ear.
"Today I had something a little extra to celebrate." Ben poured Dawson a cup of black coffee after he tore his gaze away from Dawson's mouth.
Dawson chewed slowly, aware that Ben was staring. He knew what today was and how important it was to Ben. "The sale goes through today?"
Ben nodded, blinked a couple of times as Dawson experimented with licking his lips. "Um, yeah." Ben glanced down and cleared his throat. He seemed a little flustered. "I'll sign the documents of sale for my share of the firm this afternoon. David said he'd bring everything by the shop so I wouldn't have to go downtown."
Dawson took a couple of long swallows from his cup of joe. The bitter mixed with the sweetness in his mouth and balanced out his taste buds. "Are you sure this is what you want to do? You could hire someone to see to your interest in the business. You built that company from the ground up." He grabbed another roll and tried to swallow it whole. Damn, he loved those things!
Ben shook his head. "I'm not that guy anymore. He was the guy who went with the flow, played everything safe. I'm not sure I was happy being him. I can't remember ever being actually content."
"And you're happy now?" Dawson asked around the food in his mouth.
Ben's lips quirked up, his eyes flicked up to Dawson's. "Yeah," he admitted almost shyly. "I wasn't sure I'd ever feel right again. My parents didn't help. They made me wonder if I'd been wrong refusing to work things out with Javier."
Dawson vividly remembered that visit from Ben's father. Two weeks after Ben had come to stay with him, a limo had stopped in front of the cabin, and an older man in a three thousand dollar suit stepped out. Ben had cussed softly under his breath before he went out to meet his parent. Dawson had leaned against the porch railing, giving the two some privacy, but not leaving Ben alone. In the brief time they had spent together, Dawson had not only started to like Ben, but had come to care for him as well. The scowl on Mr Hamilton's face was a warning of things to come.
"You know your dad's sorry about what he said when he came by that day." Dawson knew Ben had shared a good relationship with his father until the fiasco with his fiancé. Mr Hamilton had been harsh and demanding with Ben, lecturing his son about loyalty and responsibility.
            Ben gave a weak smile. "That's what I get for avoiding my parents because I didn't want to talk about what Javier had done. I had to get tested because I was afraid my partner had unsafe sex with multiple people. That's not something I wanted to discuss with my family. My parents loved Javier from the moment they met him and they didn't think to question him when he went to them the day before the wedding. When dad found out Annie had made the calls to cancel everything—that was a small fortune down the drain. He had every right to be angry, at least about that."

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Saturday, May 18, 2019

What's on the Reading Radar #reading #TBR

What have I been up to? Writing and some more writing. Reading some different things this time around so an odd mix of stuff intermingled with re-reads. 

Book shopping! Yay!!

Love this one

Title: Of Kindred and Stardust
Author: Archer Kay Leah
Length: 119 pages
Publisher: LT3 Press

Genre: Romance / Sci-Fi / Home for the Holidays / Poly / Asexual / Bisexual /   Demisexual / Genderqueer / Non-binary / Pansexual / Trans

Notes: There was content notes on the publisher's website. Of Kindred and Stardust contains some explicit content, mentions of past transphobia, and references to depression.

Blurb: After four years in the Alpha Centauri solar system, astrobiologist Dath Bellin is relieved to be back at ECHO-Crosspoint Space Station. His next mission: return to Earth and take a vacation. There's family to see, R&R to catch up on, and Imbolc to celebrate with his Druid grove—everything he could hope for from a Canadian winter. Unfortunately, everything goes wrong before he can even leave the station. There's also the matter of his exes, whom he can't have back no matter how much he wants them, not after his horrible mistake.

For the past four years, Mack Ainsley Tsallis and Kytzia Polović have wanted to know why Dath left them the way he did. They're determined to win him back together, especially since Mack is convinced Dath wasn't completely honest with xem and Kytzia before he ran off to Alpha Centauri. Being ignored isn't cutting it anymore: it's time to start fresh and prove the three of them are perfect for each other.

Title: The Collarborator
Author: Kayci Morgan
Length: 179 pages

Genre: Romance / Enemies to Lovers / Alien Invasion / Sci-Fi / Gay /


Blurb: My only love sprung from my only hate.

They came without warning.
Earth was theirs virtually overnight.
The human population lives under their thumb.
Fighting is useless, but my father tried anyway.
Now he's gone.
I've join their defense force in hopes of finding my father.
People believe I'm a traitor to my species, a collaborator.
Given the feelings I'm developing for one of the aliens, they might be right.

Title: The 5th Gender
Series: A Tinkered Stars Mystery
Author: GL Carriger
Length: 251 pages
Publisher: GAIL CARRIGER LLC (May 18, 2019)

Genre: Romance / Sci-Fi / Gay


Blurb: A species that has no word for murder, has a murderer aboard their spaceship. 


Tristol lives in exile. But he’s built a life for himself aboard a human space station. He’s even begun to understand the complex nuances of human courting rituals.

Detective Hastion is finally flirting back!


Except that Tristol’s beloved space station is unexpectedly contacted by the galoi – a xenophobic species with five genders, purple skin, and serious attitude. They need the help of a human detective because there’s a murderer aboard their spaceship. Murder is so rare, the galoi don’t even have a word for it.

Tristol knows this because he is galoi.


Which means that he and Detective Hastion are on the case… together.

Delicate Sensibilities?

Contains men who love other men in graphic detail, regardless of gender, biology, or skin color... and lots of emotively sexy tentacle hair.

New York Times best selling author Gail Carriger (writing as G.L. Carriger) brings you a light-hearted romantic cozy mystery featuring an adorable lavender alien and his human crush.

Title: The Replacement Husband
Author: Eliot Grayson
Length: 16 pages
Publisher: Smoking Teacup Books (January 4, 2019)

Genre: Romance / Marriage of Convenience / Regency / Gay /


Blurb: Goddess-blessed Owen Honeyfield is destined to enjoy perfect good fortune. The arrival of handsome and eligible Tom Drake in his country town appears to be the latest manifestation, and Tom’s whirlwind proposal is the fulfillment of Owen’s desires. When his betrothal takes a disastrous turn, Owen is left heartbroken and at the mercy of Arthur, Tom’s disapproving elder brother. His reputation ruined and his bright future shattered, Owen must choose between loneliness and a marriage of convenience, with love no longer in reach.

Arthur Drake has always taken responsibility for Tom’s scandalous behavior, but this time is worse — it isn’t just the family name at stake, but his own happiness. When Tom’s impulsive selfishness threatens to ruin the lives of everyone involved, Arthur has only one honorable choice. He'll need to repair the damage Tom has done and fight for his chance at love, knowing all the while he may never be able to take Tom’s place in Owen’s heart.

Title: Mama and the Alien Warrior
Series: Treasured by an Alien
Author: Honey Phillips, Bex McLynn
Length: 188 pages

Genre: Romance / Sci-Fi / 

Notes: I'm sorta of burnt out on MF alien romances because the women are always slaves or have to submit. Blah! I want them to be on equal ground. I want the women to be competent. The title of this one caught my eye and I I looked at the blurb. I'm going to give this a chance. They had me at 'sweet'.

Blurb: Can a weary warrior and an abducted mother save each other?

Abby Wentworth never regretted abandoning her corporate career to adopt her orphaned niece and run a maternity home. But she certainly never expected to find herself and her girls abducted by aliens who intend to sell them as breeders.

When they are rescued by a massive alien and his crew, desires she has long suppressed start to surface. She finds herself unexpectedly drawn to the captain who treats both her and her daughter with unwavering devotion.

Until his ship intercepts an illegal Vedeckian trader, Captain Hrebec is resigned to spending his life alone. The Cires lost their females to a plague many years ago. Now for the first time, this luscious human female has him longing for a mate and a family.

But Abby has to get her girls back to Earth, and Hrebec may have one last chance to save his race. Will their duties force them apart? Or will they finally find a family of their own?

Mama and the Alien Warrior is a standalone science fiction romance. This sweet and steamy HEA is intended for adults only.

Title: The Diction of Mythology
Series: An A-Z of Themes, Legends, and Heroes
Author: J A Coleman
Length: 384 pages
Publisher: Arcturus Publishing Limited (August 15, 2015)

Genre: Dictionary / Mythology


Blurb: This is a very entertaining and wide-ranging selection of myths and their origins. The book includes references, heroes, places, and legends from all five continents and from the different cultures and people found there. It will appeal to all general knowledge and crossword enthusiasts and those who enjoy complete reference libraries. Everyone is attracted to myths, from the fairy tales of our childhood to the Greek and Roman gods. This is a fabulous, well-written, and exhaustively researched book that really expands the topic. It features a wonderful cover and an easy-to-use, attractive design in a new, much handier size, abridged by George Davidson.

Title: Mythology: The Complete Guide to Our Imagined Worlds
Author: Christopher Dell
Length: 352 pages
Publisher: Thames & Hudson; 1 edition (September 30, 2012)



Blurb: An exploration of myths from around the world with an authoritative text and an inspired selection of images

In every culture of the world myths help explain our origins, the world’s creation, gods and monsters, demons, the afterlife, and the underworld. This compelling account gathers together themes and stories from every part of the globe to show how myths share many common patterns, and how through them the human imagination is expressed in all its diversity. A treasury of images drawn from all cultures―both iconic and littleknown― helps explain what is important about these myths, their symbols, and the stories they tell. A directory at the end of the book summarizes the principal types of myth from around the world (Native American, Judeo- Christian, Greek, Nordic, Aboriginal, and so forth) and includes family trees that show exactly how various supernatural beings are related. 420 illustrations in color and black and white

Title: An Astounding Atlas of Altered States: The Real Stories of States That Never Came to Be
Author: Michael Trinklein
Length: 160 pages
Publisher: Chartwell Books (March 1, 2017)



Blurb: Everyone knows the fifty United States--but what about the hundreds of other statehood proposals that never came to pass? An Astounding Atlas of Altered States is a tribute to such great unrealized dreams as West Florida, Hazard , Montezuma, Rough and Ready, and Yazoo. Some of these states came remarkably close to joining the union while others never had a chance. Are you living in an area that fancied itself a completely different state?

Consider some of the following states that just didn't make the cut. Frontier legend Daniel Boone once proposed a state of Transylvania in the Appalachian wilderness (his plan was resurrected a few years later with the new name of Kentucky). Residents of Bucolic South Jersey wanted to secede from their urban north Jersey neighbors and form the fifty-first state. The Gold Rush Territory of Nataqua could have made a fine state-but since no women were willing to live there, settlers gave up and joined California.

Each story offers a fascinating glimpse at the nation The United States might have become--along with plenty of absurd characters, bureaucratic red tape, and political gamesmanship. Accompanying these tales are beautifully rendered maps detailing the proposed state boundaries, plus images of real life artifacts and ephemera. Enjoy exploring this astounding atlas of lost, abandoned, and altered states.

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Leap of Faith: Part Four #blogstory #MM #gay #contemporary

Welcome back to Leap of Faith!

Copyright Lexi Ander

Part Four: Leap of Faith

Dawson pulled a bundle out of his side bag and tossed it to Ben. "See if that fits. The wind is cold when you ride at night."
Ben eyed the beat-up leather jacket but it fit with room to spare. He pocketed his wallet and cell from the duffle before Dawson stowed it in the saddle bag. Ben stared at the screen of the phone. If he told his family what happened, that he and Javier were done, then there wouldn't be a way to take the news back. If he said nothing and kept tonight to himself, then what? Would he and Javier be able to work their relationship out privately, away from the prying eyes of public scrutiny? What would happen to his company? There were people who worked hard to make it successful. What would happen to them? He was supposed to get married in two days. The guest list was close to a thousand for the event. What would he tell them? What would they think?
Did he care?
With shaky hands he dialed Annie.
"Did it work?" she asked excitedly.
Ben froze. He didn't know what to say. He wasn't sure how long he'd stood there mute when someone took the phone from his hand.
"I'm sorry. Ben's a bit upset." Dawson watched him intently. "No. My name is Dawson Green. I'm an acquaintance of Ben's. It appears Javier has seriously fucked up and Ben needs some time away. I'm going to give you the address but I'd appreciate it if you didn't give it out." Ben felt like an idiot. A stranger was handling his affairs. "No, Annie, he's not okay," Dawson said.
Ben held out a hand, silently asking for the phone back. Dawson smiled. "Yes, Annie. You'll hunt me down and rip off my balls if Ben isn't safe. Got it. Here, Ben's ready to talk."
Ben took a breath and put the phone to his ear. "Hey, Annie."
"What did he do, Ben? Never mind, my imagination is supplying enough scenarios. Does Sam know?"
Ben swallowed and blinked back the tears. His silence was obviously enough of an explanation because Annie swore fluently on the other end of the line.
"What do you want me to do?"
Ben wiped at his eyes and sighed. "Nothing. I'm going to help Dawson for a couple of days. I'll call you back and let you know. Annie—I love you."
Dawson held out a half shell helmet to Ben as he sat straddling the fat boy. Ben climbed on behind the biker. He had never been on a motorcycle before. What was the appropriate protocol? Where did he put his hands? He didn't see any handle bars for him.
Dawson seemed to sense his dilemma and reached back for Ben's hands and placed them on his hips. "I don't bite, Ben. Riding a motorcycle is both freeing and intimate."
Ben nodded and jumped when Dawson started up the beast. He grasped Dawson's waistband tightly when they gradually accelerated. Once outside the garage and on the street, Dawson kicked up the speed, causing Ben to plaster himself onto Dawson's back, arms wrapped fully around the biker's waist.
The rumbling vibration, the wind, and the speed weren't like anything he'd experienced before. It pushed back his sorrow somewhat and he decided he'd never drive a car again. Rain or shine, this was how he'd go.

Chapter Two

Dawson scowled at the crinkles at the corner of his blue eyes. Crow's feet. Laugh lines. Whatever they were called, they made him appear old. He grunted at his reflection, snatched up a towel, and started drying his dark hair. He could smell the breakfast Ben made. He didn't know that offering a hand to a stranger not quite a year ago would gain him a friend and business partner. He thought Ben would be with him two days—tops—until he could pull himself together. The man had seemed pretty pitiful when Dawson had first seen Ben in that hot sequined outfit. With glassy eyes, shaking hands, silent tears tracking black eyeliner down his face, the man hadn't appeared injured but when Ben had stared at him with those large hazel-colored eyes, so lost and hurt, Dawson couldn't simply leave the guy alone.
It was the best thing he'd ever done. Ben spent a week helping him clear the property the cabin was on. For the first couple of days they didn't talk much. Dawson watched Ben and made sure the guy wouldn't accidentally hurt himself with the power tools.
By day three, Dawson didn't care if he had to talk to himself because the silence was killing him. So he'd started chattering about his business as a tattoo artist. The conversation helped to bring Ben out of his funk somewhat.
Ben never discussed what had happened, but over the next couple of weeks, Dawson had picked up on certain things. When he spoke to Annie, she told him enough to know Ben was better off. He suggested Ben stay and they had become roommates. Ben offered his talents as an artist to Dawson, which led to an apprenticeship. Ben had been working for Dawson ever since and the arrangement had worked out well for both of them.
Dawson vigorously dried off, his body a map of his life. An Aries tribal tattoo spanned his shoulders on this back, he had a blue water tribal armband, and a full color jaguar that was wrapped around his left side from the middle of his back to the center of his chest. His legs were covered with tribal designs, not that anyone had seen them lately.
           A fist banged on the door. "Come on, primping time is over, breakfast is ready."

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Saturday, May 11, 2019

What's on the Reading Radar? #TBR #WishList #amreading

What have I been doing? Writing writing, and writing. 

Title: The Stone in the Skull
Series: The Lotus Kingdoms, Book One
Author: Elizabeth Bear
Length: 35 pages
Publisher: Tor Books (October 10, 2017)

Genre; Fantasy / LGBTIAQ Characters


Blurb: The Stone in the Skull, the first volume in her new trilogy, takes readers over the dangerous mountain passes of the Steles of the Sky and south into the Lotus Kingdoms.

The Gage is a brass automaton created by a wizard of Messaline around the core of a human being. His wizard is long dead, and he works as a mercenary. He is carrying a message from the most powerful sorcerer of Messaline to the Rajni of the Lotus Kingdom. With him is The Dead Man, a bitter survivor of the body guard of the deposed Uthman Caliphate, protecting the message and the Gage. They are friends, of a peculiar sort.

They are walking into a dynastic war between the rulers of the shattered bits of a once great Empire.

Title: The Art of Fire
Author: Kirby Crow
Length: 80 pages

Genre: Romance / Fantasy / Gay


Blurb: Following a profound military disgrace, Marik was exiled to the watchtower of the Dagger, a solitary mountain outpost far away from the capital city of Ankar. Marik remained at the barren outpost for years, never permitted to forget the tales of dishonor, mystery, and dark magic that surround his name. Then, just when he had begun to hope that his long banishment was ending, along came Gray; an educated yet clueless recruit ordered to spend the winter alone with Marik at the tower. 

Gray's haughty manners, lack of soldiering, and infuriating attitude compel Marik to treat him with contempt, but Gray has mysteries of his own hiding behind his noble facade. As Marik's attraction grows, he vows to keep Gray at a distance, because no one must know the truth of his exile, nor of the perilous secret he has kept all his life.

A secret of fire.

*This story is an HEA (happily-ever-after) m/m standalone, set in the world of Nemerl, the same universe as the "Scarlet and the White Wolf" novels.

Title: The Future Falls
Series: (The Enchantment Emporium Book 3)
Author: Tanya Huff
Length: 337 pagesPublisher: DAW (November 4, 2014)


Notes: I really want to wait for the audiobook but....

Blurb: When Auntie Catherine warns the family of an approaching asteroid, the Gales scramble to keep humans from going the way of the dinosaurs. Fortunately for the world, they're wielding a guitar and a dragon.

The Gale family can change the world with the charms they cast, which has caused some supernaturally complicated family shenanigans in the past. So when NASA and Doomsday Dan confirm Auntie Catherine's dire prediction, Charlotte "Charlie" Gale turns to the family for help.

But Allie is unavailable because the universe seems determined to have her produce the seventh son of a seventh son of a seventh son of a Gale. And the Aunties can't help because they're tied to the earth – although they are happy to provide their delicious, trademark pies. And in the end, all Charlie has is a guitar...

...and Jack. The Dragon Prince, and a Sorcerer.

But Charlie might like Jack just a little too much, and Jack might like Charlie a little too much in return. Actually, between Allie's hormones, the Aunties trying to force her and Jack into ritual, the Courts having way too much fun at the end of days, and Jack's sudden desire to sacrifice himself for the good of the many, Charlie's fairly certain that the asteroid is the least of her problems.

The Gales are going to need more than pie to save the world from an incoming asteroid. But together there isn't anything they can't deal with – except possibly each other.

Title: The Three Warlocks
Series: (A Tragedy of Dust Book 1)
Author: J. Flowers-Olnowich
Length: 434 pages

Genre: Fantasy / LGBTIAQ Characters / 


Blurb: The Three Warlocks is a trilogy of tales, focused around the rise of magic in the continent of Rhydallia.The story is split into three separate but connected Acts: Renstone, Hylstone, and Vaelstone. Act I is an adventure that follows Ruxel, a young half-elf on the precipice of adulthood who is faced with the challenge of finding his purpose in life. However, before he can embark on his journey to find his purpose, terror strikes his hometown and he finds himself on a desperate quest to save those he loves. Act II is a character-driven tale that follows Elise, an aging human mercenary whose life is saved by an unlikely duo. Together with the only survivors of her company, a pair of elven twins, she must face a grim reality: life without her arm and leg. As she recovers both physically and emotionally, she finds a new purpose for life in an unlikely place. Act III is a war story that follows Aethelius, an elven commando caught in the midst of a civil war that's tearing his country apart. Stranded behind enemy lines with no allies except for the ones under his command, his is a tale of survival in a war like no other.

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Leap of Faith: Part Three #blogstory #MM #gay #contemporary

Welcome back to Leap of Faith! Hello, Dawson!

Copyright Lexi Ander

Part Three

"Look, I know what you… it's not what you think. If you give me a chance to explain, it's not all that bad. Really. We were going to… we needed time to… you were so… this can be worked out. Don't walk away right now. Come back and let's talk." Sam shoved his sandy-colored hair out of his face in frustration. Worry was stamped on his features as his lips trembled and his eyes turned liquid with unshed tears.
A bitter laugh escaped Ben and his vision clouded for a second with a watery haze. Sam stared at Ben with regret and hurt. It was an expression that always called to the protectiveness in Ben. Sam was like a brother to him, and in the past, he would've come to Sam's defense. Now it was the countenance of a man who'd taken something precious from him. He stepped forward and pushed Sam out of the elevator car, calmly stepped back and flipped off his stunned best—former best friend.
"I believe," the biker said, "that was a big fuck you." He leaned forward and pressed the 'close door' button before Sam responded.
"The name's Dawson Green." The biker took back his helmet, giving the attached glitter a raised eyebrow.
"Ben Hamilton." He crossed his arms over his chest, feeling completely naked again.
"Nice to meet you, Ben. Where you off to?" Dawson's voice was deep and calm.
What a good question because he didn't have a clue. He couldn't go to the house or his parents'. His sister's place was out of the question because he didn't have the energy to keep her from killing someone. Annie would have questions he didn't have answers to. Up until ten minutes ago, he thought he knew the course of his life, and that delusion had been shattered.
"I'm not sure," he replied.
"Well, I know you don't know me from Adam, but if you wanted to get away for a couple of days, I could drop you off at my cabin. It's about forty miles outside the city limits. Your call."
Ben knew he should decline. Dawson could be an axe murderer for all he knew. With how he currently felt, he wouldn't fight back if someone tried to kill him. Ben regarded the man next to him. Dawson had chin-length, slightly wavy, dark brown hair and stunning blue eyes, a bold, straight nose, and full, plump lips. He'd noticed the biker had a couple of tattoos before they were covered up with the jacket. But Dawson's eyes—they were nice. He kept returning to and gazing into them. Dawson's stare didn't make him feel uncomfortable or awkward. There wasn't any judgment or pity, but warmth and the hint of possibly a new friendship. He had a feeling he'd need some new friends in the very near future.
Socially, Dawson was the exact opposite of Ben. Someone he wouldn't normally spend time with, and Ben wondered if that had been the problem. He came from money, went to expensive and prestigious schools. His friends were from families who associated with his parents. He had a preset social circle from birth and he'd never thought to venture outside of it. He had no reason to, until now. Maybe it was time to make a few changes, redefine a couple of things about himself and reset the course of his life. He'd do something unexpected and break out of the mold that up until now had defined him.
Contemplating on accepting help from a complete stranger was not a sane action. But the numbing ache in his chest and the burn in the back of his eyes reminded him that, at that moment, strangers were safer than the people he knew.
"I'd like to take you up on that offer, Dawson. I can pay for the…"
"No man, not necessary." Dawson waved off the offer.
"You can't mean to let me stay for free." Ben eyed Dawson with a little bit of suspicion.
"No, I had hoped you'd be willing to help me clear some of the property. It's a heavy duty job and I need an extra hand. I'd thought to handle the work myself, even though it would take longer, but you seem like you'd enjoy the distraction."
Ben agreed he needed a diversion. He wasn't out of shape and occasionally did some of his own landscaping. He didn't believe Dawson meant him harm, but then again he hadn't thought Javier was a lying-cheating-rat-bastard either. New pain bloomed in his chest as he remembered the fuck-fest. He needed to get away and he didn't care where. He'd call Annie and let her know where he would be and leave it at that. He'd trade a bed for manual labor for a couple of days and decide what he wanted to do next.
Ben pulled in a couple of calming breaths and glanced at Dawson. "I appreciate your offer and I'd love to help you out."
Ben watched Dawson hesitantly reach up and gently brush at an escaped tear on Ben's cheek. The elevator dinged, announcing their arrival on the ground floor and the biker withdrew his hand.
Clearing his throat, Ben asked, "Can you wait a second? I need to get my bag from the concierge's desk."
Ben ignored the stares and derisive sniggers as he approached the front desk. He pulled his ID out of this boy shorts and waited for his small duffle. Inside were his wallet, phone, and a change of clothes. As soon as he could get out of the silver-sequined outfit, he would burn it.
           He followed Dawson out to the parking garage, and they walked to the far corner, to the largest motorcycle Ben had ever seen. The bike was massive with a red, fire-breathing dragon painted on the gas tank. Ben pulled his clothing out of the bag then quickly drew on his blue jeans over the ridiculous boy shorts, and added a long sleeved T-shirt. He barely kept from chucking the go-go boots across the garage, opting instead to shove them rather forcefully into the public trash can.

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Saturday, May 4, 2019

What's on the Reading Radar? #WishList #TBR #amreading

What have I been doing? I've been re-reading some of my all-time favorites such as Anne Bishop's Other series, Tanya Huff, Joely Sue Burkhart's Vampire Queen series, because I'm in a bit of a book slump. Nothing is holding my attention. 

So for today, I'm listing the books that I'm anticipating the release of in early May and a couple that I picked up earlier this week when I was book hunting. 

Title: Give Him Hell
Series: Hellhound Champions, 3
Author(s): Macy Blake

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Gay

Notes: Release date May 7th

BlurbNick Smith is a man with a mission: find the place where he’d been held captive as a child and discover what happened to the kids he left behind. His memories are in flux, returned to him after being blocked for the past fourteen years, along with his ability to shift into his lion form. Nick is ready for answers. Instead, he finds a huge Viking of a man with flaming eyes and more power than Nick knew existed.

As a hellhound, Jedrek is often sent on missions that lead to nothing. It’s part of the gig. He’s a champion of the fire goddess, tasked with keeping the secret of the supernatural world safe. When he gets called to a house of horrors he’d not visited in years, the last thing Jedrek expects to find is an out of control alpha lion who brings to life feelings he’s never felt before.

The mysteries of Nick’s past collide with a powerful, evil force causing havoc in the supernatural world. Nick is convinced he can determine who is behind the current rash of dark magic--especially if he has the strength of a hellhound at his side. And if that hellhound is one he can’t keep his mind or hands off? Well, that suits the lion instincts roaring back to life just fine.

Title: The Mage On The Hill
Series: The Web of Arcana, 1
Author(s): Angel Martinez
Length: 17 pages
PublisherDreamspinner Press (May 7, 2019)

Genre: Romance / Fantasy / Gay


BlurbA young magic user who wants desperately to live. A jaded recluse who has forgotten what living means. They’re each other’s only chance.

Toby’s wild magic is killing him. The mage guilds have given up on him, and it’s only a matter of time before he dies in a spectacular, catastrophic bang. His only hope is an exiled wizard who lives in seclusion—and is rumored to have lost his mind.

The years alone on his hilltop estate have not been good for Darius Valstad. After the magical accident that disfigured him and nearly drowned Pittsburgh, he drifts through his days, a wraith trapped in memories and depression. Until a stricken young man collapses on his driveway, one who claims Darius is his last chance. For the first time in fifteen years, Darius must make a choice—leave this wild mage to his fate or take him in and try to teach him, which may kill them both. The old Darius, brash and commanding, wouldn’t have hesitated. Darius the exile isn’t sure he can find the energy to try.

Title: Storm Cursed
Series: mercy Thompson
Author(s): Patricia Briggs
Length: 368 pages
PublisherAce (May 7, 2019)

Genre: Urban Fantasy / Paranormal / Romantic Elements


BlurbMy name is Mercedes Athena Thompson Hauptman, and I am a car mechanic. 

And a coyote shapeshifter.

And the mate of the Alpha of the Columbia Basin werewolf pack.

Even so, none of that would have gotten me into trouble if, a few months ago, I hadn’t stood upon a bridge and taken responsibility for the safety of the citizens who lived in our territory. It seemed like the thing to do at the time. It should have only involved hunting down killer goblins, zombie goats, and an occasional troll. Instead, our home was viewed as neutral ground, a place where humans would feel safe to come and treat with the fae.

The reality is that nothing and no one is safe. As generals and politicians face off with the Gray Lords of the fae, a storm is coming and her name is Death.

But we are pack, and we have given our word.

We will die to keep it.

Title: The Smell of Good Decisions
Author(s): Jake O'Kelly

Genre: Sci-Fi / LGBT Characters / 

Notes: the release of this one is a little further out, June 10th

BlurbFour San Franciscans who take part in a mysterious new drug trial are intrigued by the maker’s claim that they will learn to smell a better way. Soon they find their sense of smell is super powered in ways they can’t control. Each is forced to use their natural and enhanced skills in a race across the city to find out who has upended their lives. Along the way they are challenged by the plight of a man that will force each one to find the hero inside them.

Title: The Sentinel's Prophesy
Series(The Oracle Book 4)
Author(s): Mell Eight
Length: 20k
PublisherLess Than Three Press, LLC (April 3, 2019)

Genre: Fantasy / Gay / Romance /


BlurbIn ancient times, five dragons fought against an immense and powerful evil. Unable to defeat it, they imprisoned it in ice. The Oracle vowed to watch over the land and protect it from further threat. Her brother, the Sentinel, promised to oversee the ice prison and ensure the creature never escaped. Thousands of years have passed since that time, and still the Sentinel sits in his lonely tower, watching and waiting.

A simple farmhand, Corey doesn't know what to make of the way his aunt and uncle abruptly drag him into a journey across the frozen tundra, or why he's had to abandon his life to live in the tower. The only consolation from his new, strange, and confusing life is the mysterious man who lives alone in the highest room of the tower...

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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Leap of Faith: Part Two NSFW #blogstory #MM #gay #contemporary

Welcome back to Leap of Faith! A quick apology. When I created the blog posts, I split the story paying attention to where it stopped for suspense, not noticing where the sections started. Which means this drops you right into the nudity/sex scene in the first paragraph. Sorry, not sorry. :D

Copyright Lexi Ander

Part Two

Dropping a kiss on the small of John's back, Javier stepped away. His erection pointed at Sam's face. Sam brushed sandy hair out of his eyes before he placed a condom in his mouth, and then expertly rolled the latex down Javier's shaft.
"Oh, yeah, babe, just like that," Javier started pumping in and out of Sam's mouth. "Yeah, you like taking my dick, suck me, suck me hard." Javier grabbed Sam's hair and actually started choking Sam on his cock.
Ben cringed but Sam seemed to eat up the rough handling.
"Javier, don't forget about me," John whined, wiggling his ass at Javier, which garnered him a stinging slap on the butt.
After pulling out of Sam's mouth, Javier added lube to his sheathed cock and John moaned aloud as Javier pushed inside him and started a slow steady rhythm. Sam hopped to his feet, rolling on his own condom. Javier paused as Sam gradually slid into him.
"God, babe, you're so fucking tight on my cock. I'll never get tired of the way you feel," Sam groaned loud and clear.
"Need you, Sam, need you to pound me with your fat cock. Don't stop, don't ever stop," Javier gasped as Sam set a hard, fast rhythm that shoved Javier into John.
Ben stood there frozen, watching as his life tumbled down around him. How long had Sam and Javier been lovers? How many employees had Javier fucked at the office? How many people who worked for him knew and either pitied his naiveté or laughed at his blind stupidity? How had he not noticed something had been going on? How could he not have picked up on the nuances between Javier and Sam? Was he that oblivious? His stomach rolled as he watched the two most important men in his life betray him.
Sam had been his best friend since childhood. They'd come out to their parents together. They'd shared everything, and it appeared, he'd been sharing Javier with Sam too. He felt inexplicably lost, set adrift, and he didn't know what he'd do. He trapped a ragged sob behind clenched teeth but it didn't stop the tears from falling.
"The stripper's here." Someone called from behind him, pulling him out of his thoughts.
"Good, have him come over here and put his cock in Javier's mouth," Sam called.
Ben's legs were rooted to the spot and refused to cooperate. He mind screamed for him to move, to hurry before anyone recognized him. He wanted to hide, to be invisible. All his dreams were gone, stolen, taken away by secrets and lies. Shouldn't he be mad? His mind said he should be but all he felt was a body-numbing chill that made his heart feel too large for his chest. He didn't want to be seen or talk to Javier right then. But at that moment, Sam glanced over his shoulder and the happy bliss drained from his face as he recognized Ben staring back at him.
Coolly, Ben turned and walked out the door. He strode on wooden legs down the hall to the elevator. Pressing the call button with more restraint than he felt, he watched the progress of the elevator in the numbers overhead. He wondered if it would be quicker if he used the stairs. Forty floors were too many to attempt at any other time, but now the need to leave nearly made him throw away caution.
A tall, dark-headed man who carried a heavy leather jacket and motorcycle helmet approached from the opposite direction. The guy's visual perusal reminded Ben of the ridiculous costume he wore. How did he ever think these sequined boy shorts would turn Javier on? Now he had nowhere to go with a muscular hunk walking toward him. The biceps on the guy would crack Ben's paper-pushing ass in half just by flexing. He watched the man from the corner of his eye. He never knew how people were going to react. A straight man wouldn't be caught dead in the outfit he wore. The last thing Ben needed was to get his ass handed to him if the guy was offended.
"Some party." The stranger placed the helmet under his arm.
He wasn't as tall as Ben had thought. They were about the same height, though the guy was wide, very wide, with much more shoulder width than Ben… and the most amazing crystal blue eyes.
"I guess you could say that. My fiancé appears to be fucking his way through our employees and my best friend is fucking my fiancé." Ben stopped breathing. Had he just blurted—yes he had.
The man held his helmet out to Ben and he automatically accepted it. He didn't know why. Maybe it was the way the stranger didn't blink when Ben said his fiancé was a man. The guy pulled on his heavy motorcycle jacket.
"I guess the upside is you found out before you got hitched."
He rested the helmet against his stomach, attempting to hide his body while swallowing back his anguish. The elevator dinged and the doors silently slid open. The stranger motioned for Ben to enter first before following.
Ben heard his name being called and he couldn't help the way he flinched. Sam slammed his hand on the elevator door to keep it from closing. His chest was bare and sweaty, Sam's jeans hung loose on his lean hips.
"Ben, wait, let me explain."
He could only stare at his best friend. What did Sam think there was to discuss? There was no way he could misconstrue what had been going on.

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Saturday, April 27, 2019

What's On The Reading Radar? #WishList #TBR #amreading

What's going on? I'm in a reading slump. Nothing is really holding my attention. I cann't say how many books I have started, put down to do something like make dinner and then just moved on to another story. I have already re-read some of my favorites (this week has been Anne Bishop) and still looking for something new to ignite my imagination. I hate this when it happens. Nothing really grabbed me from the list so it's short today. Just wish list and to-be-read offerings today. 

Title: Sometimes Demons Whisper
Series: WCPC Paranormal Consultants Book 1
Author(s): Lynn Michaels
Length: 13 pages
Publisher: eXtasy Books Inc (March 1, 2019)
Genre: Romance / Urban Fantasy / Gay /


Blurb: Kayden and Bryan find a way to deal with the demons that the consultants at WCPC can’t handle.

WCPC handles all your paranormal needs. Poltergeists, ghosts, or mystical apparitions, we can help. We employ the most talented wranglers who can control even the toughest demons around. Call the consultants of Watercrest Cannon Paranormal Consultants to help.

Broody wrangler and tactile psychic take on the mystery at Brown-Blythe Manor - Sometimes Demons Whisper.

Title: Omega for Rent
Author(s): Liam Kingsley
Length: 153 pages

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Accidental Pregnancy / Billionaire Romance / Gay / Mpreg /

Notes: Not sure if I have read this author before

Blurb: It’s better to fake a relationship than be forced into one… But what happens when the fake relationship starts feeling like everything you never knew you wanted?

Chase Cartwright has a problem—his dad needs him to date the omega son of an important businessman in order to close a deal. But omegas often form intense emotional attachments with alphas and Chase, commitment-phobe, isn’t willing to take that risk. He just needs to figure a way out of it…

Riley Lewis is an omega for hire, and he offers a specialist service—he can take an alpha knot without any of the emotional baggage. And now he’s got a client, a rich alpha who needs him to be a fake boyfriend. But Chase is adamant it’s just business. A fake relationship for show, to keep his father off his back. No sex. Definitely no knotting.

But what’s Chase supposed to do when the immediate connection he feels for the omega turns into a soul-deep craving to be close, too overwhelming to ignore? It’s all-consuming and beyond any kind of human bond, and the alpha will tear apart the world to keep it safe—both Riley, and the new life they’ve created within him.

Because there’s a new danger lurking on the edges of their happiness, another alpha who’s obsessed with Riley, and he forces Chase into an impossible decision: How much is Chase willing to sacrifice to protect the man he loves and the baby he carries?</i?

Title: Protector Dragon
Author(s): Liv Rider
Length: 228 pages

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Gay /


Blurb: Shifters ruined his life. How can he be falling in love with one?

Growing up the only human in a shifter town, Joel has been an outcast his entire life - not even his own family let him forget how weak humans are. Running away was his only chance at a normal life, and he's been avoiding shifters ever since. But when his job working in a coffee shop puts him in a room full of shifters, he has to confront his worst fears. He's just not sure if he should be alarmed or happy that the hottest guy he's ever met is determined to talk to him. After all, everyone knows shifters aren't attracted to humans.

Dragon shifter Thomas Rollins thought nothing could be more difficult than resolving arguments between the shifters in his district. But when he meets his fated mate Joel, he has no clue how to get the suspicious human to talk to him for more than five minutes, never mind go out on a date. When he learns about Joel's past, he's determined to prove shifters and humans can get along very well.

Just as Joel is starting to let his guard down, his family finds him and forces him to come back to a place he refuses to call home. Can the trust Joel and Thomas have started to build survive the ultimate test?

Protector Dragon is a m/m paranormal dragon shifter/human romance with a HEA and no cliffhangers

Title: Luka the Thief
Author(s): Darina Smith
Length: 145 pages

Genre: Romance / Fantasy / Gay / 


Blurb: Luka, a young thief, steals from anyone he can to support his family. When he decides to make it a habit by stealing from a jeweler in a faraway village, things get out of hand when the man catches him. Trying to escape, he runs into the sword-maker of that village. 

Stild, on his way back from the town, meets a young boy named Luka. Luka asks for his assistance, and Stild, being the kind-hearted man that he is, decides to help him. Stild has no idea of the consequences that he will have to face in helping a thief. When strangers come to the village, having their eyes set on Luka, Stild can’t help but wonder what it is they want. But soon, he realizes that if he has to protect a thief, instead of going to the authorities, he will have to take matters into his own hands.

Title: The Sapphire Scythe
Series: The Order of the The Red Shadow, 1
Author(s): JB Trepagnier 
Length: 218 pages

Genre: Romance / Urban Fantasy / Gothic Vampire / Bisexual / Poly / 


Blurb: Born in battle, my birth brought peace. But peace is boring and so is the warlock I’m betrothed to.

Real Name: Aria Emanuele

Code Name: The Sapphire Scythe

Supe Status: First vampire/Succubus hybrid. Heir to the Aeternae clan.

Military status: Top spy and assassin for the Universal Army.

I’ve been running from my duties as the heir to the supe kingdom to marry Cade, my intended, and create more hybrid children for centuries. I’ve been playing soldier, spy, assassin, or whatever takes me close to the action instead. My parents and my people think I just need time to sow my royal oats, but I love this too much to give it up.

Humans have brought themselves to World War Three. My mission in the Universal Army is to get close to the dictator who caused it. I already suspect he’s got a supe close to him, but I’m keeping it to myself for now. I want to do this myself. I had a mark close to Zimin, the dictator. My mission was simple. Extract information, then kill him. Something went horribly wrong that night. I wake up in a hotel room with a Lycan, a vamp, and a warlock. All trained assassins like me. Seems my dear parents sent them here.

There’s also a little catch in there. According to the men in my hotel, nature has given me three mates instead of one. Nature and my parents expect me to pick. Nature has sick sense of humor and seems to know my horrible taste in men. There’s Ronric, the huge Irish Lycan, Rainer, the dark Egyptian Warlock, and Kalon, the swarthy Bulgarian vampire. I had a lot of fun in all three countries before swearing off men from any of those places and refusing to go back.

Now, I’ve got 3 beautiful men in front of me with all the qualities I want in a man and I have no idea how I’m supposed to pick.

Title: Pendulum
Series: (Kingdom of Night Book 1)
Author(s): Joel Abernathy
Length: 463 pages

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Fantasy / Shifters / Vampires / Poly / Gay /

Notes: cliffhanger warning with notes about the rest of the series being released by the end of April 219

BlurbTorn between brothers, torn between worlds.

All I wanted was a fresh start when I left my abusive ex-boyfriend behind in Austin. What I got? A den of wolves.

No, I mean literal wolves—moon worship, fangs and all.

Sebastian and Victor? One’s troubled and dangerous, the other’s as overprotective as he is overpowered, and they’re both alpha males. Speaking of alphas, each of them thinks I’m his “fleur.” Which I’m guessing is another term for “omega.”

If I wanted anything to do with the wolf pack or its super-exclusive “gentleman’s club,” I’d be flattered that the twins are fighting over me like a scrap of meat, but I’m not that kind of guy no matter what they insist I am and there’s nothing gentlemanly about the wolves who run the Lodge.

Problem is, they’re not the only ones who are after me. Keeping the wolves at bay is hard enough, but when a vampire from my past comes calling, I’ll have to choose sides—and a mate—just to survive.

Pendulum is a 140k romantic fantasy and the first in a series of three books. This book has been re-edited and republished, V. 2.0. The first two books end in cliffhangers and the third (final) book ends in an HEA for Remus and the brothers. The entire series will be released by the end of April 2019. Please see inside cover for content warnings, audiences 18+ only.

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