Sunday, December 18, 2016

Random Tales of Christmas 2016 Part 8

Holly & Hockey Boots by VL Locey 
Minor league goalie Adam Seiger is a nice guy. He’s kind, cute, and a little quirky (but show me a goalie who isn’t) and he loves to interact with fans. During a meet and greet after a game Adam meets Cason Reyes, a hard-working young man with stunning amber eyes and a smile as sweet as a candy cane. Desperate to see Cason again, Adam does something more than a little naughty.

To add insult to the egg nog, it appears that one little white lie may end Adam’s chance of having a merry Christmas with a new boyfriend. Will he end up with nothing but a lump of coal in his stocking, instead of the man who owns his heart? 

Silver Bells by Hunter Raines
Jud Hess has loved Derek Gentry since they were children. When they became lovers in college, he thought they were destined to be together forever. All that changed with Derek's tragic death only four years later, on Christmas Day.

Now, more than a decade after that horrible event, Jud clings to a promise he made the night before Derek died. He vowed that he would never, ever, be with another man. And he's clung to that vow with every bit of what's left of his heart.

But Derek's death brought an unlikely gift. After his lover died, Jud began to see spirits. And although ghosts have become his constant companions, the one spirit he longs to see only appears to him at Christmas. Or at least, he used to.

This year, Derek doesn't come. But someone else does; a man who brings with him the kind of erotic temptation and a need of his own that Jud is helpless to resist.

To end a decade of loneliness, Jud will have to give in to the sultry seduction of a stranger...and betray the spirit of the man who should have been the love of his life.

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Anal play/intercourse, male/male sexual practices.

A Christmas story at Halloween? Yes, Silver Bells may be a Christmas romance but it's paranormal and Halloweeny all the way.  Just when Jud thought his life with Derek was getting started, life throws him the biggest and baddest curve ball he never saw coming.  For ten years, Jud has lived the life that curve ball redirected his journey to and he thought that journey would last the rest of his days.  Once again, a curve ball shakes him up again, this time instead of tragedy it's in the form of a very handsome man with dark and intense eyes named Ty Sullivan.  If you want to know where Jud's story turns, you'll have to read Silver Bells yourself and trust me, you won't regret it. The sexiness of the story may stand out more than the romance but the romance is clearly there and the heartwarming feels had me from beginning to end.


Winton's Strays by Hollis Shiloh
Two young men meet on a train in 1917.

Miles is out of the hospital in time for Christmas, traveling to relatives he doesn't want to see. He was lucky to survive the Great War. But he doesn't feel very lucky right now. Until blue-eyed Winton trips on a scarf and into his life. Winton, with his quirky smile, gentle nature, and rescued pets.

Miles could love this man, he really could. But how the hell can he burden this kind, bright young man with his wounded, limping self?

A great blend of historical, romance, a bit of drama, a couple of cute little creatures, a lost kitten and it's all wrapped up in a lovely petite Christmas package.  You can't help but love both Miles and Winton, their adorable as their connection is immediate.  I will admit that I would have liked to have seen more of their story but as a holiday novella it's a beautiful and heartwarming read.  Definitely one for more holiday shelf that I will be re-reading for many Christmases to come.


Tow Trucks & New Year's Kisses by Lila Leigh Hunter
A Jag with out-of-state plates is the last car Scott DeLaney expected to find when answering a tow call as a favor to his drunken godson. But, the tall man in the fedora seems like a nice reward until Scott finds out the stranger's destination. Yes, he'd take care of the brooding man, but he has a selfish reason for it.

Finding himself in a ditch after dodging a deer is the least of Patrick Samuels's problems when his rescuer arrives, wearing a tuxedo and driving a hot pink flatbed. Perhaps his older brother’s scheme will benefit Patrick after all.

Who knew that a New Year’s kiss is far more efficient than any boardroom strategy to seal a deal?

Another first time author for me that I'll be keeping an eye on in the future.  I really enjoyed this fun and sexy holiday read.  A nice change of pace this holiday to have a story centered around New Year's.  I'll admit that Patrick isn't exactly immediately likable but then neither is Scrooge and we all know how that turns out.  Tow Trucks & New Year's Kisses is a great little addition to my holiday shelf.


Gingerbread by Avery Ford
"I've been hurt too many times...I'm not giving my heart away again." 

Alex MacElhaney doesn't know what to do with children. He's more than satisfied with his two English Setters, Molly and Duke, and his fledgling bakery business. But when an emergency with his sister in law's family leaves him in charge of his two nephews in the weeks leading up to Christmas, Alex buckles in for a crash course in parenting.

"A second chance with the one man who unintentionally broke my heart?"

Police officer Kellen Walker's deepest wish is to have a husband and children. The happy families he sees all around him at Christmastime leave him feeling cold and alone. He'll never have that - coming out as gay would break his ailing father's heart. The only thing he can do to combat his loneliness is to throw himself even further into his work, burying his needs in service to others. 

"Is their love strong enough to risk everything?" 

When Kellen investigates a break in at Alex’s bakery, he comes face to face with the one man who almost tempted him into defying his father and coming out – but that’s in the past. Kellen resolves to do his job and be the friend that Alex wanted all along. But when Alex suggests a Christmas fling, can they both love the other without their hearts getting attached? 

Gingerbread is a steamy, standalone gay romance novel, with a happily ever after ending and no cliffhangers. It is set in the same world as Protector - Reed and Logan's story.     

Random Tales of Christmas 2016 Parts

Part 1  /  Part 2  /  Part 3  /  Part 4
Part 5  /  Part 6  /  Part 7

Silver Bells by Hunter Raines
Jud lay on his back and stared at the faded figures on the painted ceiling. In the flickering candlelight, their eyes glistened with a mixture of judgment and pity. The first time he'd walked into the sacristy of the Holy Outpost church a decade ago, he hadn't even noticed the intricate artwork. Much later, when he'd learned that the place of his deepest agony also summoned his greatest desire, he'd seen the saints for the messengers they were.

Though their once vivid colors had grown dull and discolored over the decades since their creation, the painted saints' enigmatic frowns sprinkled comfort down from their lofty perch. As Jud's wait stretched from mere minutes to long, unbearable hours, they kept silent vigil alongside the spirits who served as his constant companions.

"He'll be here."

Anxiety hit Jud like a fist to the gut. The pastel-colored saints swirled and blurred in his field of vision. He blinked back the sting of panicked tears and glanced in the direction of a familiar Texas twang.

A nearly transparent cowboy perched on the wide, shallow edge of the sacristycredens cabinet where Father Chuck Keenan kept his vestments. A ten-gallon hat drooped over the ghost's right eyebrow, casting most of his ethereal features in shadow. He'd been handsome at one time. The slant of a chiseled jaw was unmistakable even through the filmy fog that now made up his form.

Despite his appearance, Neil Woods was no cowherd or ranch hand. Before his passing, he'd been a lieutenant with the Las Vegas Police Department. He'd also been Jud's first ghostly encounter, all those years ago. And his toughest case. A case Jud had yet to crack, despite working on getting to the bottom of the mystery surrounding Neil's death for nearly a decade.

"I know, Neil. But today feels different. I'm just not sure--" Jud bit off the rest of that sentence. Voicing his doubts would make them real, and he wasn't ready to accept that his lover wasn't coming.

"He always comes," Neil insisted.

Ten years. In all that time, Derek had never missed a Christmas encounter. He showed up at midnight, as though summoned to Jud's side by love itself.

Jud's body ached inside, hurt in places his agonized emotions had scraped raw. "What time is it?"

"Four in the morning," another ghost answered. This one sported an antique soldier's uniform. The gray frock coat hanging to the spirit's midthigh looked like something that might have been worn by the Confederate soldiers in the Civil War, but Jud was no expert on American history. He'd have to ask the man for his story someday.

Not today, though. He was off duty.

Despite the half dozen spirits who flittered around the sacristy, today Jud didn't belong to them. They had him the other three hundred and sixty-four days of the year. On Christmas, he was Derek's.

Jud gritted his teeth and forced his breathing to slow to something resembling normal respiration. But the mounting panic wouldn't ease.

What if Derek didn't come? What if he never came again?

He sucked in oxygen through his nose and forced himself to let it out slowly through his mouth. Father Chuck had taught him that technique ten years earlier, after Jud had stumbled from the church in a sickened daze, the image of Derek's broken body flashing like something out of a horror movie against his eyelids each time he blinked.

He breathed in the cloying scents of hot wax, burning wicks, and incense. Somewhere else in the church, someone slammed a door. Father Chuck usually locked up around midnight, except during the month of December, when he left the main entrance unlatched around the clock. People who'd have otherwise spent the holidays with Jack Daniels, or gambling their last dime at some low-rate casino, turned to Father Chuck and the Holy Outpost instead. Some came to find peace. Others, to find acceptance.

Then there were those like him, who came to find someone.

Jud's eyes drifted closed. He wouldn't sleep; he couldn't sleep, not with the icy dread trickling through his veins, but he could rest a while and imagine all the things he'd do when Derek finally came to him.

Fantasizing about how they'd spend what little time they had together eased some of the apprehension coiling in his chest. His muscles relaxed a fraction, though his cock stirred as desire pooled low in his groin. He clung to the memories of Derek's strong, sinewy body, of his magical mouth, his wicked hands.

We'll be together again, soon. Very, very soon.

He still didn't know how Derek did it. In the last decade, Jud had been visited by thousands of ghosts. Tens of thousands. All of them came to him in their ethereal forms, as insubstantial and otherworldly as any supernatural being.

But not Derek. Death hadn't turned him translucent. He didn't float, or drift through walls. He also didn't shadow Jud at all hours of the day and night.

He came once a year: on Christmas Day. He arrived as fully corporeal as he'd been in life, and he never wanted to talk about anything but Jud. For twenty-four hours, it was like being reunited with a lover who'd been gone somewhere far away--like in outer space, maybe.

Sometimes he even told people his lover was an astronaut. It was sure as shit a lot easier than explaining he fucked a dead man every three hundred sixty-fifth day and remained celibate the rest of the time.

Hell, when he put it that way, the whole thing sounded preposterous, even to him. He might have believed he hallucinated the encounters, perhaps overwrought by grief on the anniversary of his lover's death, except that the ghosts saw Derek too. All right, so a bunch of spirits weren't exactly reliable authorities on the state of his mental health, but Father Chuck was. And he'd seen Derek too.

"What time is it now?" Jud asked no one in particular.

"Four fifteen. Still well before dawn. He'll be here."

Even Neil's low Texas drawl held a hint of doubt now. Funny, how ghosts could still lie to the living even once they had nothing to gain from the deception.

"You know men," a husky female voice said. "They like to keep you waiting so they can make a grand entrance. They want to be sure you're properly motivated to be grateful they showed up in the first place."

Jud didn't have to open his eyes. He remembered that voice, and he could picture the four-inch heels, the black tights, the deep V of her low-cut sweater. The ghost had a beehive of blonde hair that did more for her height than the shoes, completing the Jersey Girl look. Her eyes were rimmed with dark eyeliner and her eyelashes reached impossible lengths. In life, she must not have been one of those women content to strut what God gave her. Judging by the size of her ethereal tits, he'd bet his life savings that the word "natural" had never touched her lips.

A knock on the door saved him from having to answer. His heart leaped into his throat and he went from lying on the floor to standing upright in less than half a second. Even the spirits stopped their aimless drifting long enough to cast curious glances toward the door.

His world shrank, blanking out everything but that knock. Derek never knocked. He simply appeared, like something out of a fairy tale. One moment he wasn't there, then the next he was. Poof. Just like that. Prince Charming come from the beyond to fuck him senseless.


The door handle angled downward. Someone was clearly manipulating it from the other side, but damn, he was taking his sweet time about it. Maybe Jersey Girl had been right. Making an entrance, indeed.

Jud's pulse raced like accelerated thunder. He'd ached for this moment for so long. Each year seemed to grow lengthier, extending the time between Christmases, making the insufferable wait even more unbearable. And after the endless lonely months he'd been forced to endure, it was no wonder he was frazzled and antsy.

And horny. God, so very, very horny.

The door finally swung open. Jud took a step forward, then another. His knees wobbled, and he could barely think through the rush of euphoria cascading through his veins. Somehow, he managed to keep from staggering forward and throwing himself into the powerful arms awaiting him.

The candlelight flared brighter, casting a golden glow over the gap in the door. A shadow loomed there, dark and menacing and...tall.

Too tall. And too broad across the shoulders.

Jud squinted into the blackness. "Derek?" he asked, though every cell in his body told him otherwise.

The newcomer stepped inside the sacristy, and suddenly the room felt smaller. Jud backed up a step. The scent of ginger soap and coffee hit him first. Then, as the stranger stepped closer, the full impact of the man slammed into him, stealing his breath.

His first impression had been spot on. This guy was big, in a powerful, dangerous way. He wore a black T-shirt that molded over his firm chest. Strong, muscular arms stretched the sleeves to bursting. He had a rough-looking face, nothing like Derek's smooth, handsome features. His nose was slightly crooked, like it had been broken once--or maybe more than once. Full lips flattened into a serious line.

Despite the many other obvious differences, his eyes reminded Jud of Derek's. Dark and intense, they pinned him into place and seemed to look right through him.

A sharp jolt of awareness wrung an instant reaction from his neglected cock. His erection raged painfully against the seam of his zipper. Damn, but he needed Derek.

And he needed this man gone.

"You Jud Hess?" Even his voice was gruff, with a hint of something dark and elemental lingering beneath the ordinary words.

"Yeah. And you are?"

"Tyson..." He hesitated for a moment, then extended a large hand. "Ty Sullivan."

Instinctively, Jud slid his palm out and folded his fingers around Ty's hand. He realized his mistake as soon as their skin made contact and the hairs on his arm lifted as though tugged by waves of static electricity.

A sudden rush of heat pummeled Jud's groin. He set his jaw against it, but it was no use. Air slipped through his teeth in a hiss of raw need. He saw Ty's bottomless dark eyes grow round, while his lips parted in an "oh" of surprise.

Jud's entire body trembled. Lust hit with a force that shocked him, but he couldn't stop the potent rush of heat from blasting straight into his balls. Waves of pleasure took him sharply to the edge of control, so close he suddenly understood that if he didn't do something right this very moment, he'd lose the battle over his own body and shake this man's hand right into a wicked orgasm.

He jerked his hand out of Ty's grasp and wrenched himself away, stumbling backward. He would have kept moving if he didn't hit the wall at his back.

Ty made no attempt to follow. He, too, looked dazed, and his breath came in sharp, uneven pants.

They stared at each other from a safe distance, neither one willing to speak first.

"I hadn't realized..." Ty murmured after what seemed to Jud like the longest two minutes in human history. "You're...I can't believe...I mean, that was..."

Jud's emotions sizzled. A lightning storm of longing and confusion raged inside him. "What are you talking about?"

Ty lifted his head as though coming out of a trance. "You're a real person."

"Last I checked." He took a deep breath and fought to stay calm. "Look, I think you've got me confused with someone else. And this isn't a good time, anyway. Maybe we can talk about this...whatever it is, next week. Or next month. Make an appointment with my secretary. Come see me during office hours."

The man didn't need to know Jud hadn't had a secretary for over a decade. Or an office. Or anything resembling a real job.

Ty's voice lowered to a growl. "You don't understand. I need you."

Jud's gaze pinned him in place, and Ty was struck by the color of those enthralling eyes. Neither blue nor gray but a shade in between, as enigmatic and peculiar as the rest of the man. What was he doing here at this hour, anyway? Father Chuck had said that Jud always spent Christmas sealed inside the sacristy. Alone.

Ty gave himself a mental shake. It wasn't any of his business if this guy chose to spend his holiday atoning for a year's worth of sins, sleeping off a hangover, or praying to each saint, one by one, in Latin. The only thing that mattered was that he'd finally--finally--found someone who could free him from the curse he'd been living under for the past year.

"No. No way. You have no right to ask me for anything after barging in here like an inconsiderate prick!"

Jud's fury only served to fuel Ty's own barrage of emotions. "I knocked," he gritted out between clenched teeth. "And I didn't see a 'do not disturb' sign on the door."

"It's a church, not a hotel room."

"Right." Ty glanced at the candles splashing soft golden light against the religious artwork on the walls. A blanket and two pillows lay on the floor. A bottle of champagne sat in an ice bucket at the edge of the sacristycredens cabinet. "Maybe you're the one who needs to remember that."

A red stain crept up the column of Jud's throat and flooded his cheeks. He averted his gaze, and Ty took the opportunity to step forward.

Jud shifted his weight from one foot to another and darted a glance toward the door. Ty snorted. Damn if the guy wasn't gauging if he could make a run for it. God, but he looked like a startled deer. And Ty had never been a big, bad wolf.

Nor had he ever wanted to be one. Not until now. Yet standing just inches away from this man, his feelings raged out of control. The closer he got, the more muddled his thoughts became. He wanted to grab a fistful of Jud's shirt and shake the man until he promised to help him. He wanted to lean in and capture Jud's mouth, to ravish those full lips until he begged for mercy.

Most of all, he just wanted to touch.

His fingertips itched. On impulse alone, he reached out and splayed his palm against Jud's chest.

The shock that careened through him this time was nothing like the first intense jolt of lust. He'd experienced the raw scrape of bone-numbing need enough over the past twelve months to recognize a supernatural reaction when he felt one.

But this...this was different. The emotion that surged through his veins wasn't as much aimless lust as deep, desperate desire. The kind of fathomless longing that built and built when hopeless, intense worship turned into denied yearning.

If Ty had been caught off guard by the sensation, Jud looked utterly stunned. He paled and his pupils dilated, black seeping into the blue-gray of his eyes until Ty stared into a darkness as deep as night.

Jud's lips parted. A flash of tongue drew Ty's attention, and he found himself leaning in, desperate for a taste of that sultry mouth. Jud snarled a warning, his breath caressing Ty's lips. The warm, cinnamon-scented heat sent sizzles of unnatural erotic ferocity straight to the ever-growing hardness between Ty's legs.

"What are you doing?" Longing that sounded every bit as potent as the ache burning through Ty tinged Jud's hoarse voice.

"Proving a point." It took all of Ty's resolve to yank his hand away. When he did, he took two deliberate paces backward, putting some much needed distance between them.

Jud shook his head. "I don't understand. What just happened?"

"You, my new friend, just experienced what I've been living with for a year."

A moment of silence stretched into two. Jud ran a hand through his disheveled brown hair, tugging some of the stray strands low over his forehead. "You feel that every time you touch someone?"

The laugh that escaped Ty's lips held nothing but resentment. "No. Actually, tonight's the first time it happened when I touched a real person."

Jud gave him a once-over, clearly skeptical. "So why me?"

"Hell if I know. But until five minutes ago, I'd only gotten that jolt from touching things. A chair, some old curtains, a Christmas tree ornament, the damn window in my apartment...random stuff."

Jud cast a suspicious frown at him, but finally abandoned the sanctuary of the wall at his back, stepped around the blanket, and emerged into the center of the sacristy. Candles cast golden highlights across the dark blue T-shirt molded to his lean, willowy frame. Worn jeans hung low on his hips, held up by a frayed leather belt that had seen better days. A silver belt buckle with a bell embossed on it drew Ty's attention down.

Down to where it had no business going.

His gaze locked on to the bulge at the apex of Jud's thighs. The man was hard as a lead pipe and just as thick. His own cock gave an answering throb and lengthened, pressing against the seam of his jeans.

"I still don't get what this has to do with me."

Ty jerked his head up. Heat rushed into his cheeks, but Jud didn't seem to notice his momentary loss of concentration.

"Yeah, well, that's what you and I are going to find out."

Jud's long lashes shaded his eyes for a fraction of a second before he turned away to stare at a tall bookshelf that held a series of leather-bound journals. Church records, most likely. "I think you should leave."

Shit. Jud couldn't turn him away. Not after all the effort Ty had put into tracking him down. He'd have to lay all his cards on the table. Even the ones that would make him sound insane.

"I have a ghost," Ty blurted out.

"Congratulations." Jud lifted a hand and waved it aimlessly in the air. "Join the club."

Relief sucked the breath out of Ty like a vacuum. At least Jud believed him. He'd thought convincing the man he wasn't a nutcase would be the hard part in all of this, but Jud didn't seem to need any persuading at all.

Ty cleared his throat. "Yeah, well, whether you're aware of it or not, most folks don't have this problem."

Jud lifted a shoulder, but didn't turn around. His raised arm dropped back to his side. "You get used to it."

"Not a chance in hell. That's the reason I'm here. I don't want to get used to it. I want it gone."

"Then hire an exorcist. Father Chuck can give you some excellent recommendations."

"I tried that. Didn't work. In fact, it made things worse. Look, the damn thing's made my life a living nightmare. Either I find a way to get it away from me, or I lose my mind. Three guesses which one I'd rather have happen and you won't need two."

"Even if I could help," Jud said, tracing a fingertip along the spine of a journal, "this isn't a good time. I'm in the middle of something."

Ty glanced around him at the empty sacristy. Annoyance swelled in his gut. Over the past twelve months, he'd tried everything he could think of: Wiccan house cleansings, exorcisms, new age rituals that used rat blood, rabbit fur, pigeon claws, and other ingredients he'd rather never think about again.

And after all that...nothing. His houseguest remained. As did Ty's unbearable reaction to random inanimate objects. Since he'd never as much as gotten a stiffie from a Christmas ornament before the ghost showed up--much less ride out an orgasm that left him shaking and in need of clean underwear--he could put two and two together well enough to determine that if he could just rid himself of the evil spirit, he could go back to having a normal life.

And Jud Hess was the answer to doing both.

Until a few days ago, Ty had just about given up on finding someone who could rid him of his maddening problems. And then he'd found a copy of the Vegas Times on his doorstep. Which was strange, because he didn't subscribe. That day's lead story focused on the corporate attorney-turned-medium who'd solved his fifteenth cold case this year by doing nothing more scientific than communicating with spirits.

Unwilling to ignore anyone who could potentially help him, Ty had set to tracking him down. Finding the man hadn't been easy, but he'd managed. And now here he was, so close to peace he could almost taste the normalcy of an ordinary life.

"I hate to break it to you, pal, but your bizarre Christmas ritual ain't that important. I don't care if you're sacrificing virgins in here. It can wait."

Jud whirled around and pounced on him with a speed Ty hadn't expected. The man stopped himself just short of grabbing Ty by the collar of his shirt; no doubt remembering what happened the last time they touched. His fingers hovered in the air, an inch away from Ty's chest. Even at that distance, Ty's skin practically hummed a proximity warning.

"I'm waiting for someone." Jud's mouth twisted into a menacing sneer, and he dropped his hand. "You wouldn't understand."

"Oh, I understand just fine." Ty forced a casualness he didn't feel into his words. "I understand loverboy ain't coming."

Jud made a noise in the back of his throat. Mournful and grief-stricken, that low keening sound communicated more than words could have said. And it made Ty's gut wrench.

He'd kicked a puppy once, by mistake, when he was six. He still remembered the animal's startled wail, the way the tiny creature curled around itself in agony. And he remembered how rotten he'd felt, how malicious, even unintentionally.

This felt worse.

Jud didn't have to ask him to leave a second time. With a mumbled apology that sounded idiotic even as the words slipped past his lips, Ty turned and headed for the sacristy door.

It slammed behind him with a thud that echoed through his bloodstream. He sucked in a breath, shook his head, and waited for the swelling in his groin to ease. Now that he was outside Jud's immediate proximity, the raw, desperate hunger had to lessen.

When it became clear that the sizzling in his veins had no intention of diminishing on its own, Ty cursed, loud and vehement. Then he crossed himself, murmured a second apology in just as many minutes, and staggered down the church steps.

Winton's Strays by Hollis Shiloh
“Isn't it the most beautiful snow?” asked Win. “I could just eat it.”

“You’d get cold.”

“Yes, but--” He cast Miles a startled look. “Cold. You are cold, aren't you? And you just got out of the hospital.” He made an annoyed sound in his throat and halted. “I’m sorry. Here.” He put down his suitcase and retrieved the gigantic blue scarf from his bulging coat pocket.

“You’ll choke me,” warned Miles, grinning.

“I won't.” Winton wound the long, thick scarf around Miles’s neck, his fingers gentle, his slender face close.

Close enough to kiss, if things were just a bit different: if this place were less exposed, if they’d known each other longer, if he was sure. Miles's mouth tingled, but he kept his hands firmly by his side, his mouth to himself.

Win's fingers were careful and light as he fixed the scarf. At length, he drew away with almost a caress, and smiled, his gaze warm and full. “It looks better on you.”

He took Miles's arm again, and they fell into step.

Tow Trucks & New Year's Kisses by Lila Leigh Hunter
The rumble of an engine brought him back to his cold predicament. He adjusted his fedora and covered his mouth with his scarf as he moved closer to his brother’s Jag to signal the newcomer. It had been thirty-nine minutes. At least they had arrived before he froze his balls off. The truck lights illuminated the area, making Patrick cover his eyes. It took him a moment to readjust to the dark night after moving out of its reach. The flatbed was better than he had expected in a small town in the Valley. He did a double take when he realized it was hot pink, not exactly your everyday color. Well, that’s what he could see without being blinded again, anyway. The driver’s door opened, and Patrick moved closer. Before he could acknowledge the driver, Patrick ran out of words. A tall man in a well-tailored tuxedo stepped out of the truck, the lights reflecting on the shiny tips of his dress shoes. Patrick continued to gawk since the man was putting on some type of dirty work coat. He moved even closer, wanting to examine his savior’s features. They seemed to be about the same height, but the trucker had broader shoulders. Patrick was mesmerized by the geeky glasses and the long beard that concealed a hint of a smile. He wanted to run his tongue over the man’s thin upper lip and feel the coarse hairs partially hiding it.

The thwack of the closing door startled him back to reality, and the knowing smirk on the other man’s face made his body warm up for the first time that night. “About time,” he said, trying to cover his discomfort. He followed the trucker’s movements as he checked the time.

“I quoted you forty-five minutes, Mr. Samuels. I arrived with three minutes to spare.”

“Yeah, whatever,” Patrick said over his shoulder as he made his way back to the car. “You know you’re a little overdressed to respond to a tow call, right?”

“You’re correct, Mr. Samuels, but my superhero cape is at the dry cleaners. The tux will have to do for now.”

Patrick turned to berate the smartass but collided with him instead. The trucker held Patrick’s biceps, preventing him from falling, and once again, Patrick stared at the man’s lips. He shook his head to break the connection and winced at the pain instead. The cold and the bruises were getting to his brain

“You need to be careful, Mr. Samuels. You don’t want to hurt yourself any further.” The tow driver released one of Patrick’s biceps and traced Patrick’s bruised cheek with a long, cold finger.

Patrick shivered and immediately pulled away from the wanted but unnerving touch. “If you’re done manhandling me, Mr…”

“You forgot my name already? It’s Scott, baby face,” Scott said before tapping Patrick’s fedora.

The vibration traveled all the way to Patrick’s cock and back up to his nipples. The cold had been forgotten too. Even so, Patrick couldn’t believe his traitorous body’s response to the man’s forwardness. Yeah, if they were anywhere else, he’d be the one propositioning Mr. Scott, but they were in the middle of the boonies, for God’s sake. He couldn’t be that desperate. After looking into those hazel eyes again, he might have to change his opinion.

“No matter how much I’m enjoying this, we need to get moving before we have to ring in the New Year inside the truck.”

Author Bios:
VL Locey
V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, two dogs, two cats, a flock of assorted domestic fowl, and three Jersey steers.

When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand. She can also be found online on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and GoodReads.

Hunter Raines
Hunter Raines leads a double life. By day, she works in a male-dominated environment as a professional proposal writer responsible for securing multi-million-dollar accounts. By night, she pens naughty tales of hunky men doing wonderfully sexy things to each other. Her coworkers think they're the source of her inspiration, and she doesn't have the heart to tell them otherwise.

Hunter is the author of numerous short stories and novellas, and she holds an Honors B.A. in English Literature. When she's not working or writing, she can be found curled up in her library of more than four thousand books, or playing video games with her husband.

Hollis Shiloh
Hollis Shiloh writes love stories about men, also called gay romance or m/m romance, with the preferred genres of contemporary, historical, and fantasy. Hollis's stories tend towards the sweet rather than the spicy. When not writing, the author enjoys reading, retro music, and being around animals.

Lila Leigh Hunter
Lila Leigh Hunter is the pen name of a Puerto Rican author with a hyphenated surname. Born and raised on the island, Lila grew up making up stories her siblings pretended to like. But no matter what they say, as the youngest of six, she’s still their mom’s favorite. According to the dusty diplomas on her wall, she’s an architectural designer living in Southern Texas with her husband and four military brats.

She spends most of her free time writing homoerotic romances about middle-aged men finding happiness and the rest hiding from pesky house chores. When outside of her cave, she likes to observe people and try to guess their stories. Sometimes she wishes the voices in her head were real; going out with the boys in her books sounds like a plan made in heaven.

Lila writes romances with female protagonists as Leigh Hunter, works as a freelance designer for Hunter Hues, and review books for Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words & Someone Else's Stories.

Avery Ford
Avery Ford spends way too much time daydreaming so finally decided to put some of her stories into print. An avid reader, she loves writing contemporary M/M romance.

VL Locey

Hunter Raines
ARe  /  AUBILBE  /  KOBO  /  B&N

Hollis Shiloh

Lila Leigh Hunter

Avery Ford

Holly and Hockey Boots

Silver Bells

Winton's Strays

Tow Trucks & New Year's Kisses


Sunday's Safe Word Shelf: Winter Spice by Vanessa Liebe

Title: Winter Spice
Author: Vanessa Liebe
Genre: Holiday Romance
Release Date: December 11, 2016

***Content Warning: Spankings & light BDSM***
Santa’s Grotto
After a wild party, twenty-one year old Jenna wright has to try and regain her parents' trust by working two nights in Santa's grotto. Unfortunately her colleague, Santa himself provokes her into being rude and she ends up over his knee - after she discovers it’s a family friend, Trey. He has other surprises in store for her, such as it was him who suggested the job and the fact that he’s going to stay with her while her parents are away. Jenna is furious enough about this turn of events, but when Trey warns her to behave or she’ll be disciplined, she reacts badly. Will the pair resolve their differences or not?

Madison is a kiss-o-gram working on Christmas Eve. The man waiting for her on the top floor of an office building is expecting her, but he’s expecting to spank her. She is horrified when she ends up over his knee. She urges him to stop, finally saying the name of her client and the man stops spanking her immediately.

Tyler Roberts is horrified to find he’s spanked the wrong girl and desperately wishes to make amends. Attracted to Madison he convinces her to be his kiss-o-gram instead and things heat from there, culminating in a hot Christmas encounter.

Office Party
Ava manages to gain the attention of the CEO, Mr Ethan Jackson, by putting a photocopy of her breasts and bottom on his desk at the office Christmas party. Instead of firing her, or initiating disciplinary proceedings against her, he has other things in mind. It starts by taking her out to dinner and discussing something special. Will she be willing to submit to him and can she cure his grief, enabling him to find joy in Christmas again?

Clean and Shine
Alexis Slater is a twenty-one year old student at university, who cleans part-time to fund her studies. The week before Christmas she is asked to clean a new client’s house. The owner isn’t supposed to be home and he’s certainly not supposed to spank her, thinking she’s some sort of birthday surprise for him sent by his friends.

Logan Miller feels very guilty when he discovers he has spanked the cleaner, not someone arranged for him after all. He tries to find her so that he can make amends, without luck. Then she comes to him, returning his keys and he convinces her to stay for dinner. He believes that Alexis would like what he can offer her and in return she can help him heal from past pain.

A Christmas Bride
Lord Lucas is pursuing a career in politics. However, it has been made clear to him that he should take a bride if he truly wishes to progress. Incensed by being dictated to, he tasks a friend with finding a bride for him.

Grace Fitton is horrified to discover she is to marry Lord Lucas. Then she becomes furious when he can't even propose himself, or indeed recognise her at a dinner party they attend. Unfortunately being rude to him captures his interest. While out on a ride together Grace attempts to deflect his interest by acting vacuous. But this arouses his temper and Grace ends up being disciplined and kissed by him. Will she be seduced into submission, or will she deny her husband his wedding night?

Office Party
Brown eyes regarded her intently for a moment, making Ava's body prickle in awareness. Then he looked her in the eye. "I would like to see more of you, Ava. Much more."

Her heart skipped a beat. "You would? I mean… I'd like that," she said, her voice sounding breathless and husky even to her own ears. Oh god, don't make a cake of yourself. Don't ruin it.

"Good." He smiled, then paused as if not sure how to broach something. He broke eye contact, fiddled with his tie around his neck and sighed, before finally looking up. "I'm looking for someone to share my life with, Ava."

She felt excitement build. Was he suggesting…

"But I have certain needs and I would like to discuss them with you."

Oh. She knew it was too good to be true that a man wanted her for herself. He was probably about to suggest an open relationship, or worse that she wore something over her head while they had sex. Old insecurities about her looks coming to the fore were hard to ignore. But she put on a brave face. "What needs are those, Ethan?"

He took a quick glance around them to ensure they couldn't be overheard, then he leaned forward over the table. "I would need to spank you, Ava—regularly."

Her eyes widened at his admission. She was shocked. But surprisingly, not offended. She was more relieved that he didn't want other women. However, she needed to know what exactly he meant by spanking. Did he mean a few smacks on her backside, or did he mean a proper over his knee bare-assed spanking session? "Please explain fully, Ethan. Then I can make my decision as to whether I agree to it or not."

Ethan nodded. "I'm talking about a relationship with domestic discipline in it. If you did anything, or said anything I didn't like, I would put you over my knee and spank you."

There was something about the way Ethan said 'spank' that had moisture pooling between her thighs. She pressed them tightly together. "How hard and how many smacks?"

"It depends on the misdemeanor. Sometimes I would give you a few light smacks as a warning. For others I would give you a full spanking. Then it would be painful, Ava. And I may use paddles."

She gulped as he said that. Yet, she was intrigued. "Naked or clothed?" she couldn't help asking.

"Most of the time you would be naked."

She felt a thrill at his words. The thought of lying naked and vulnerable over this powerful man's lap had her head in a spin. "One final question." She looked at him. "What do you get out of it?"

Author Bio:
Vanessa Liebe is the author of fun, sexy erotic romance and erotica, both contemporary and historical. She mostly writes in the Fantasy and Paranormal categories as she likes a man with bite.

Vanessa is married with three children and resides in Hampshire, South East England. When not house training her children, reading or writing, she likes to sit in the garden with a glass of rose wine.


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