Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Genre: Historical Erotic Romance
Warning: This book has elements of: light bondage, and ménage.
Length: Novella


Bastian Wycliffe, the Earl of Wendelhem, has finally moved on…or so he thought. En-route to a hunting trip after over-indulging the night before, he endures a frightful and terribly embarrassing swoon. He’s seen a ghost and her name is Cordelia Waite, the Duchess of Downsbury.

Mrs. Weylen, formerly a duchess, has a secret. All it took was the chance meeting in the inn that fateful night for her memories to come back and haunt her. She makes haste returning to London incognito with the intent to clear up misconceptions and to deliver an ultimatum to her former lover.

Yet, when a new found obsession refuses to accept the truth, and her imprisoned husband discovers she’s still alive, their lives and relationship may be in danger. Second chances have never been more precarious.

Cordelia noticed that his hair was mussed from the back. Has he been entertaining a woman upstairs? Has he truly moved on and found another lover? Her heart sank at the prospect. How could he replace me so…so…so…soon? It has not even been a full year.

Her hands trembled beneath her cape, and she could barely stand on her own. How she wanted to throw her arms around him and tell him how much she missed him.

“Thompson! What is so important that it could not wait until morning? Has anything happened?”
“Be easy, man. I assure you, Isabel and Emily are fine. I simply came here to escort a woman who desperately wanted to see you.”

He scoffed. “If this has anything to do with Mary Elizabeth, I—”
The marquess nodded, and Cordelia stepped forward into the glowing light of the fireplace. Bastian turned toward her, and when she lifted the hood of the cape, his eyes widened and his mouth gaped before he crashed to the floor from swooning.

“Oof! I have to admit, I did not quite expect that response.”

Cordelia abandoned her cape where she stood and ran over to him, dropping to her knees. Good heavens! What have I started? The man probably thought he was staring at a ghost. “Wake up, my love!” she whispered as the butler walked in.

“What happened?”

“He just swooned. I have it under control. If he was entertaining upstairs, can you see to the lady and have her sent home immediately? He will need some rest, and I am certain he will want some privacy.”
“Certainly, sir. I shall have her removed immediately.”

So, he was entertaining another woman. How could he… Fury simmered beneath the surface of her calm facade. Why had he never come to confirm if the reports were true? She always knew Richard would never waste a minute on her, but Bastian… They were so close. Kindred spirits. He should have been able to feel, somehow, that she was alive.

Disappointment washed over her. Instead of fawning over his swoon, Cordelia jumped to her feet, walked over to sideboard, and grabbed a bottle of port. Then, she returned to him and began to unscrew the cork.

“Cordelia, what are you doing?”

“Getting him to come out of his swoon.”

“With that?”

“Yes. Do you take issue with my course of action, my lord?”

The marquess stepped away and waved for her to continue.

“If you would rather leave, I am quite capable of waking and caring for him.”

“I will leave the two alone once I am assured you can stay. Though we should not stay too late.”

“And I assure you, my lord, once I have said what I have to say, he will probably want me removed from the premises immediately.”

“In that case, I will wait in the hall for you.”

Once his lordship closed the door behind him, she dumped the bottle of port over Bastian’s face. He sputtered at first, and when his eyes opened wildly, followed by oaths being muttered, he stared at her and jumped to his feet.

“Damnation, woman! You are alive!”

He practically collided into her to embrace her, and all she could do was slap him. Her hand stung from the impact. She instantly regretted her action, but how else was she to express her displeasure at his courting another woman?

Bastian growled at her. “What in the world was that for?”

“That was for not looking for me! And if I were you, I would stay back. I am liable to slap you again for entertaining other female guests.”

“Cordelia…please! You have to understand. All of the ton thinks you are dead. Hell, everyone thought you dead. The carriage was decimated.”

“But you did not come, not until that night in the inn, and even then, you were not searching me out. Tell me, how many whores have you entertained since my supposed death? Has anyone come close to pleasuring you the way I did so faithfully.”

The earl shook his head at her with vehemence. “Sweetheart, had I suspected there was even the smallest chance of your survival, I would have sought you out.”

I doubt that. “When you decide to come to your senses, I am only in town for a few more days. I did have much to say to you, but I am so furious with you right now, ’tis best I wait.” She walked toward the door.

“Cordelia…wait…” Stay here, love. There is plenty of room.”

“I did not travel alone. And, unlike you, I have a responsibility to see to. Adieu.”

*For Kobo users: an epub version of this book can be purchased from Secret Cravings Publishing or All Romance eBooks, which is compatible with your ereader*

Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Layna discovered her love of reading at an early age. When she isn’t devouring salacious romance novels or writing, she enjoys losing herself in researching ancient history and mythology, weaponry, and hiking. She lives in Northern Ontario, with her husband and two daughters.
Layna is a member of the Romance Writers of America, and is a monthly contributor at 69 Shades of Smut. For updates on her upcoming releases, or to leave her a comment, you can find at:

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Monday, January 27, 2014


Release: January 26th
I’ll be having events and contests January 26th through February 9th
Ever Hopeful will be priced at 99 cents for the first two weeks!
Price increases to 2.99 on February 10th

Ever Hopeful Blurb:
Combining heart-soaring contemporary romance with heart-pounding suspense is a trademark of New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lori Ryan—and in her novel Ever Hopeful she delivers spectacularly on both counts.  

Two-months pregnant and trapped in a violent marriage, Laura Kensington realizes that her ruthless and powerful in-laws will never let her go, even after the strange sudden death of her abusive husband.  Fleeing far away to the Texas ranch of Cade Bishop, a strong yet tender man who believes in second chances, Laura finds herself irresistibly drawn to Cade’s gentle passion and giving heart. But there is no escaping the shadows of her past and soon danger re-enters her world, pulling Laura into a deadly web of lies, betrayals, and murder.  And only Cade Bishop’s quiet strength and unwavering love can set her free.

Excerpt –
Laura laid her hand in his, so big and strong and protective. She tried to ignore the way that hand made her feel, the way his warm strength caused her body to thrum with electricity. He tugged her out the back of the barn and around to one side where the Jeep she’d seen many times was parked.
“Shane was going to show you this later, but this is probably a better time,” he said, opening the door and reaching into the glove box. Cade pulled out a set of keys and turned to sit on the seat of the car, long legs hanging over the edge. He pulled Laura into him so that she stood with one of her legs brushing his. They’d never stood this close – this intimately. He’d always kept his distance. But, now there was a closeness she hadn’t dared to crave for more than three years.
Cade held out the keys to her and pointed out the key to the Jeep. He looked her dead in the eye when he spoke and she could see how much he meant the words he was saying. “This is always in here. If anything happens, if you even think someone is coming or you see anything suspicious, I want you to take the Jeep.”
Laura opened her mouth to object, but he cut her off. “Take it Laura. You need to have a way to get to safety if anything happens and I’m not here to protect you.”
Her heart flinched at the thought that he would want to protect her. And, at the thought that maybe he couldn’t. She nodded at him.
Cade took out another key, looped on a chain, and held it up to her. It was a smaller key, brass with a number on the side. He leaned back into the car and drew a piece of paper out of the glove box.
“This is the key to a bus station locker. Shane had some business in Johnson City a few days ago. He went to the bus station there and put ten thousand dollars in cash in a locker. This locker,” he said showing her the key and then the paper. “There are directions to the bus locker here. There are also times and meeting places.”
Laura looked at the paper.
Noon, two days after you run: Baird Diner in Searcy, Arkansas.
Noon, four days after you run: Casey’s Barbeque, Springfield, Tennessee.
The list went on specifying ten separate meeting locations. Laura looked up at Cade, unable to speak.
“If you have to run and I can’t go with you, this is where I’ll meet you when it’s safe. If I’m not there, it means it’s not safe for me to come and get you yet, so you keep moving and get to the next meeting spot. If you get to the end, go back and start over at the top of the list. I’ll be there for you as soon as it’s safe. I promise you that, Laura. This is your running plan. This is what you do if you have to run.”

Buy links -
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Author Bio –
Lori Ryan is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author who writes contemporary romance with a twist of suspense. She lives with an extremely understanding husband, two wonderful children, two mostly-behaved dogs, and a lone little cat in Austin, Texas. It’s a bit of a zoo, but she wouldn’t change a thing.

Lori published her first novel in April of 2013 and has written three more books since then. Each of Lori’s books have made their way to the Amazon bestseller list and she quickly climbed the Amazon bestselling author list, as well. In November, 2013, Lori and a group of romantic suspense authors landed on the USA Today and NY Times bestseller lists with an anthology only eight months after the release of Lori’s first book.
Lori loves to connect with her readers. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter or subscribe to her blog. Oh, and if you’ve read Lori’s books and loved them, please consider leaving a review on or with the retailer of your choice. Writers live and die by their reviews and Lori promises to do a happy dance around her office every time you write one!

Thursday, January 23, 2014


Choose one, two, or all three!

            Clay and Emma Thorpe have endured every fertility treatment known to medical science. Married a decade, all the time and money and effort gone toward having a child of their own has been futile.  Her biological clock ticking so loudly she can hear none of Clay’s pleas to stay and try again, Emma leaves him thinking she’ll attempt a one night stand or two with an anonymous male who might be able to father a child.
            Clay tries everything he can think of to get Emma to come back home where she belongs. Finally, after months of endeavoring to convince her and with a lot of empty time to think about it, he comes up with a plan. The first step is to go into her antiques store and buy the biggest, most expensive old diamond ring she has in stock.
            Shocked out of her self-centeredness by the evidence that her husband might have found someone else in her absence, Emma decides to go back home. Clay has promised that they’ll try again for a baby, and he’s promised to make it fun.
            An incubator, a turkey baster, and a schedule of three lovemaking sessions a day comprise Clay’s fertility treatment plans.
            But Emma only gets Clay’s attentions every other day. And when she finds a newspaper ad for a property they can’t afford carelessly tossed on the breakfast table, added to the purchase of the expensive diamond ring Clay steadfastly refuses to explain, and his apparent saving of his sexual energies on a rigid every-other-day-only schedule, she begins to seriously wonder exactly what it is that the husband she thought she knew so well has planned.

Sheriff Dalton stared at his ex-wife as he tried to recover from the churn of feelings engendered just by seeing her again. He let his law enforcement training take over automatically when he was under stress, and he was almost sure nothing on his face betrayed the fact that he wasn’t handling this encounter very well.
Noah had heard Perri was back in town. Most weekdays one or another of his deputies had some news to report about her run-ins with Benjamin Collins and his ragtag group of protesters. The Powell County Sheriff’s Office was a regular beehive of information anyway, sometimes useful and sometimes just plain gossip. He’d tried to keep the lid on the gossip part of Perri’s homecoming since it couldn’t help but include his name. But despite his efforts at damage control, the speculation had started up again, the questions about why she had left him in the first place. As far as he knew, she had never breathed a word about the reason he’d given her for running off.
He still wondered why she had never told.
She could have hurt him badly, ground his reputation into the dirt. She could...but he was pretty sure by now she wouldn’t. He still wasn’t exactly certain what she’d said in divorce court. Since it was uncontested his presence wasn’t required, and after seeing her at the top of the stairs so obstinately determined to go through with it he’d turned on his heel and left the building. But he was absolutely positive she’d kept silent about his failures during those few months before she finally gave up and left him. Because not one word of it had ever got back to him.
She had been as fragile as a china doll. So frail and delicate he’d been unable to continue treating her as a woman, his wife. All he could see was her delicate bones under her skin, and he couldn’t bring himself to subject her to the rigors of lovemaking. But Perri had negated his misguided pity by one simple act: She divorced him. 

Playing at love...
That’s what it feels like to Chancie de Leur and Micah Taylor as they hold each other off, waiting to see if what sparks between them when they first meet is real and lasting, or merely scorching infatuation.
Chancie: A woman with money, long gold curls, and touch-me clothes. Headstrong. Willful. A Western woman tempered to steel by past heartbreak. But a woman with a hidden sensitive side, just waiting for the right man to discover it. A woman who thinks she knows what she wants. One look, and what she wants is Micah Taylor.
Micah: Long, lean Wyoming lawman. Complex. Thoughtful. Tough. Burned by love, he battles Chancie’s allure. A woman like her could never be content with what a cop could afford to give her. All he has to do is look at her and his synapses start firing. Touch her, and he discovers her secret volcanic needs. He thinks he knows the price of playing with Chancie’s fire, and also thinks he’s willing to pay it. He has to have her.
Will the heat kindled between these two warm them—or burn them to cinders? Can Chancie and Micah make it work? Is there a possibility of a happy ending for them in this old-fashioned romantic tale laced with contemporary sizzle?
Only one thing stands in the way of finding out: Jamie, Chancie’s ten-year-old terror of a kid! 

Monday, January 20, 2014


Synopsis –

Dustin likes the closet. It’s warm, comfy, and dark. Who needs to be out when you can get all the anonymous sex you want via the internet? And, besides, coming out is messy and gets you nowhere--certainly not a relationship. Real gay love is fiction.

When Dustin meets CollegeJock22 for a quick blow-and-go in the university library men’s room, everything he thought he knew crumbles. He can’t get that man out of his head and will do almost anything to have him. The only problem? CollegeJock22 is even more in the closet than Dustin.

He’s in so deep he can’t even see the crack of light under the door.

Excerpt –

Hot blowjobs! Call Dave!

Dustin glanced over the phone number scrawled in faded ink, marring the grey paint. A half a dozen more “offers” decorated the wall—hookups made inherently sleazy when delivered in bathroom graffiti.

Not that he should judge, since he occupied the stall in the men’s room at the back of the library for an anonymous blowjob with some guy he met on the internet.

Dustin barely knew anything more about CollegeJock22 than he did about “Dave,” but it was still different…somehow. He’d at least seen CollegeJock22’s picture, if only a grainy crotch shot.

His thoughts crashed to a halt when the bathroom door next to him opened. Blood immediately pounded in his ears, so loud he struggled to hear the hesitant footsteps make their way to the urinal. Cold sweat spread across his forehead. He’d done his share of hookups, but never in a public place before. The danger of being caught both terrified and excited him.

Dustin stared at the sneakered foot, visible just below the stall wall, as the other man stopped at the urinal on the other side of the metal divider. He waited for the signal. Until he heard it, he didn’t know who had come in, CollegeJock22 or some random dude needing to take a piss.

He heard a zipper open, but not the telltale sound of urination. The foot shifted. The pant leg lifted, briefly flashing a white sock. The signal. Dustin flashed his own sock.

Nothing happened. Embarrassment swelled as he realized the awkward coincidence. This was not CollegeJock22.

Then the other man’s feet moved. Another wave of cold sweat peppered his skin. He’d been right. CollegeJock22. Now he just prayed the man wasn’t fat and ugly, his profile one big lie. Dustin’s breath grew shallow and his heart thudded as the man stood on the other side of the stall door.

Dustin left it unlocked, as planned.

It squeaked softly as CollegeJock22 nudged it open.

All doubts vanished. Quite simply, CollegeJock22 would be the hottest guy Dustin ever hooked up with, the rare man who actually lived up to his profile. He easily stood five foot eleven with tight golden curls peeking out from below his ball cap. His muscled chest pulled his shirt taut beneath his open jacket and his cock…a gorgeous piece of meat dangled from his open fly. The thick and semi-hard dick sprouted from a dusting of fine hair, probably at least seven inches when erect.

Buy Links –

Author Info – No Pic
Cameron D. James is a lover of books, coffee, chocolate, and cute Starbucks baristas.

Contact Links -

Link to tour schedule –

Giveaway Information –
$20 Amazon gift card, 5 copies of "Gaymer" (Cameron’s new short story)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014



Title: Clay's Quest
Genre: Sensual Contemporary Romance
Author: Christi Williams
Release date: January 15, 2014
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press LLC/Torrid


Rating: Sensual Romance - Controversial

She’ll do anything to get her way.

Tall, elegant and beautiful, Emma Thorpe has wanted a baby for years. The yearning for a child occupies all her thought, her time, her effort, and any money she and her husband can scrape up for medical intervention. After trying and failing to conceive, the solution that finally comes to her is to leave her husband and hope to find a man—any man—capable of fulfilling her deepest desire.

Big, handsome Clay Thorpe isn’t the kind of man to let his wife just wander away. It takes a few months of Emma’s absence from his bed to devise a plan, but he’s determined. Eventually, Clay lures Emma home with a convoluted strategy only he could concoct, involving an antique diamond ring, sex three times a day, and...a turkey baster?

Caution: This is a work of fiction. Please don’t attempt duplicating Clay’s methods!


The cowbell attached by a copper spiral to the front door chimed.

Emma’s hands stilled at the sound. She’d been standing at the glass display counter that faced the front door, hands busy untangling the delicate chains of a snarl of antique pendants that had arrived with the rest of what she’d bought at an estate sale the previous month. She hadn’t had time to thoroughly examine all the various items that she had acquired by the boxful. But now traffic in her store slowed with the arrival of cold weather and put a virtual stop to outdoor sales and auctions in southwest Wyoming for the year. She looked up, and when she saw who it was she forced her fingers to be still and not tremble.

She doubted if this visit was professional, even though he wore the full complement of official paraphernalia in Velcro pouches on his belt and clipped to his shirt beneath the faux sheepskin-lined winter jacket. He knew her well and would know she was asking, without asking, what he wanted. In the middle of a chilly workday. In her shop. Where if he wanted to start up again with the questions that she had no answer for, she couldn’t very well turn and run.

“Emma,” he said as he removed his tan ball cap with its seven-point gold sheriff’s department logo, which he held in one hand by its curled visor. He stretched out the opposite long forefinger with a clean, neatly clipped nail to give the chains she was working on a tiny bit of a swirl on the glass. Not enough to make the job of disentangling them harder. But enough to let her know he acknowledged he was interrupting her day. “Quite a mess,” he said of the situation with the pendants. Or of the situation between them, perhaps. She couldn’t be completely certain at this point what Clay meant.

She wasn’t sure what to say either. May I help you? or What can I do for you today? were both out of the question. He had made clear on several occasions since she moved out exactly how she could help him and what she could do for him. Some of his requests had to do with sex,  between old friends, if friendship was all that remained between them. Those she steadfastly refused. But most of his appeals had to do with her moving back home. Which she couldn’t do, so there was no point in talking about it anymore.

“Place looks nice.” He nodded at the various Christmas displays which she had put up early in an effort to make herself feel better: the tree in the middle of the worn plank floor with its antique glass ornaments and strings of popcorn and colorful paper chains, the gifts in foil and ribbons of gold and red and green under the tree and distributed here and there among the rest of the store’s merchandise.

“Thanks.” She had spent many hours decorating the shop, even though her heart had hardly cooperated with the effort. She felt more like Scrooge than Santa this year. But it was her own fault, and so she just got on with things whether she felt in the proper spirit or not.

“I need something,” he said, and she thought, Oh boy, here it comes. And, truly, she didn’t know at this instant what her answer would be. Sometimes she dreamed about Clay and what had been between them, specifically the fleshy ax handle he carried in his pants and that he wielded so well and that she missed so much, and more generally what a good life they’d had together. She had been determined to leave him, but lately she had been questioning whether her decision hadn’t been rash. Perhaps, as Clay had insisted more than once and which she had refused to consider, there was another way.

But instead of the plea she expected from him, his regular entreaty for either a quickie or for her to come back home, he continued, “I need something special. For a woman. A special woman.”


Whiskey Creek Press/Torrid PDF, HTML, or EPUB


My fiction is contemporary, so the settings and characters deal with the modern West. I write only happy endings and my strong heroines love cowboys, lawmen, and heroes of all stripes.

I love reviews, so once you’re read this story please leave me your thoughts in a review. For questions or comments, please contact me.

The Hawk Point series of contemporary Western romances began with the novel Take a Chance on Love, continued with the novel Perilous Promises, and now includes the novella Clay’s Quest, all published by Whiskey Creek Press/Torrid.

Twitter: @writerchristi 

Monday, January 13, 2014


During the cultural revolution of the 1960's and '70's, the war in Vietnam continued, daily casualties calmly reported on the evening news. Shaw, a brilliant ex-Navy Seal, has managed to come home alive after two tours in Vietnam and is now involved in black ops with Naval Intelligence, stationed in the exotic Hawaiian Islands.

The revolution had evolved into social and anti-war protests, rock 'n roll, drugs, feminism, burn-your-bras, and casual sex, arriving in Hawaii as tradewinds of change.

An unorthodox romance springs up between Shaw and Marie, his boss's daughter. From the moment they meet, sparks fly and the erotic heat between them runs as hot as the lava streaming from Hawaii's volcano, Kilauea.

Thus, the first installment of the Sliding into Black trilogy begins.

Out of the gloom, I saw a tall man coming toward me from behind the bar, at last – the bartender! I felt him stop in front of me and without glancing up from digging in my purse for some money, placed my order. The man cleared his throat, I looked up and caught my breath. My god what a gorgeous man! Tall, about six foot four, with a honed physique (every muscle defined under his thin white t-shirt), thick, blue-black hair pulled into a ponytail and blue eyes, the color of deep water – maybe royal blue or indigo, glittering mischievously at me. Wow, immediate sparks.

The bartender said, “Lady, I think you are in the wrong establishment. I would prefer that you leave before there is any trouble.” I looked at him, then scanned the room as well as I could in the twilight. I replied, “Look, mister. This is 1970 and ladies go where they choose. And this lady would like a double rum and coke, double-quick.”

He glared at me and said dangerously, “My name is Shaw, not mister. I own this bar, and I can damn well invite you to leave.” Sharply he yelled, “Ben – get your ass over here and escort this ‘lady’ out, please.” In the background, I could swear time stood still.

And I also heard, “Stupid haole moe ipo,” rough translation, stupid white slut. Ohhhh, that pissed me off!
To hide my embarrassment, I said nonchalantly, “Well, now, Shaw, I’m sorry if I somehow got off on the wrong foot with you, but I’ve been taking care of myself for a long time, and I normally don’t cause problems. So, how about that drink?”

Shaw stopped, looked at me sharply, waved Ben off and grim-faced, made my double rum and coke. He brought it around the counter and leaned next to me, a little closer than I care for, and replied, “This bar can be a dangerous place, a lot of merchant seamen on leave come in here, not to mention soldiers and sailors on R & R, along with some druggies and a smuggler or two – all really horny – and they’d love to have a taste of a babe like you.”

“Isn’t that so, Kam?”, he directed to the white haired Hawaiian at the other end of the bar, who nodded emphatically.

“I just don’t want to see you hurt. With that body and face of yours, you will undoubtedly attract attention, probably the kind you don’t want. And, I’m busy and don’t have time to worry about you.” 

Publication Date: October 30, 2013
· ISBN-10: 1493600559
· ISBN-13: 978-1493600557
· ISBN-13 Digital Kindle: 978-1-4675-9278-9
· ISBN-13 Digital Smashwords: 9781310617997

About the Author:

T.L. Kitae is a retired journalist and magazine publisher residing in Asheville, N.C. Unable to sit still for long, she writes and attends school full time to obtain her long awaited Registered Nursing degree and license.
She is married to her long time sweetheart, enjoys riding her two horses, has a silly cat, and loves spending time with her daughter and son-in-law.

Currently she is working on Book 2 of the Sliding into Black trilogy.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Clarity of Lines Blurb:
Book two in the Thomas Elkin series.
Sometimes it’s not the two people in a relationship who fight falling in love, sometimes it’s those who love us that fight against it the most.

Finally together, forty-four year old Tom, and twenty-two year old Cooper, are ready to show the world they’re together. They’ve established their relationship is worth it, and want to share it with their families.

Both men thought accepting the age difference was their adversity to overcome, and theirs alone.

Their loved ones, however, will prove them wrong.

For their families, lines are drawn and start blur.  Through a series of events, life shakes Tom’s foundations, the lines for him have never been clearer.

The Thomas Elkin Series Blurb:
When successful New York architect, forty-four year old Thomas Elkin meets twenty-two year old intern Cooper Jones, he had no idea how much his life would change.

The blueprints on love, life and careers are sent back to the drawing board as both men realize their plans are about to be re-drawn forever.

Generation versus generation, traditional versus contemporary, they’re about to prove to the world that the old and new can be the perfect design.

Buy Links – Totally Bound -


“You nervous?” I asked him.

He looked surprised by my question. “No. Should I be?”

I smiled at his confidence. “I just don’t think Sofia will be very understanding. No matter what she says, just remember, I’m on your side.”

“Ryan’s mom always liked me,” he said.

“She likes you as Ryan’s friend, yes,” I told him. “But as my boyfriend…”

He shrugged. “And all the guys who’ll be here this weekend?” he asked. “All Ryan’s friends, some of my friends, they’ll all be here too. We’re meeting them as a couple too.”

Shit. I hadn’t given that a thought.

Then Cooper took his hand off my thigh and looked out of the window as he spoke. “If you don’t want to…”

I pulled the car off to the side of the road, right near the driveway to the Casa. I think I startled him. He looked at me, wide-eyed. “Cooper, listen to me,” I said seriously. “I don’t care what anyone else thinks. I know some people will have a hard time with us being together, because we’re gay men, and because of the age difference. But I don’t care. I’m proud to call you my boyfriend. For the life of me I can’t figure out why you’d want to be with me, but you do, and I’m more than happy to walk in there, holding your hand. But I don’t want you to feel pressured.”

“I don’t feel pressured,” he said. “And I can’t figure out why you’d want to be with me either, but you do.”

I nodded. “Yes, I do.”

He smiled, and leaned over the console and kissed me. “Thank you.”

I sighed and looked out of the windshield. “Well, this is it.”

Cooper followed my gaze, to the stone gate posts, to the chiselled sandstone sign on the post that read Casa de Elkin.

“It’s named after you?”

I nodded. “I designed this house,” I told him. “We named it Casa de Elkin, but have called it the Casa for years.”

Cooper gave me a weak smile. “Well then,” he said, trying to sound upbeat. “Let’s do this.”

I slipped the car into first gear and pulled into the drive. I parked the car near the closed garage doors and by the time I’d popped the trunk, Ryan was walking out to meet us. He gave me a bit of a hug, then bumped fists with Cooper. “Hey,” he said. “Most of the guys will get here in the morning. Mom said it might be better if they all crash in the pool room, or wherever they pass out,” he said with a knowing smile. “But you guys have a guest room in the house.”

A guest room.

Ryan looked at me a little apologetically. “Sorry.”

“Don’t you apologise,” I told him. “It’s not my house anymore.”

We grabbed our bags and the gift box from the trunk and walked towards the front door. Cooper asked me quietly, “Have you been back here in the last five years?”

“I spent two weeks here right after we separated,” I told him. “But not since then.”

“Come on,” Ryan said, opening the door. He turned to us and whispered, “Mom’s in the kitchen.”

I took a deep breath and followed Ryan through the front living room and into the large open kitchen, where Sofia was dicing fruit.

She looked well. She was wearing a white dress and her trademark gold jewellery and her brown hair was pulled back in a ponytail. She looked at me, then at Ryan and finally at Cooper. She recognised him immediately. “Oh my, Cooper? Is that you?”

“Mrs Elkin,” he said politely.

She gave me a tight smile, but then leaned in and kissed Cooper’s cheek. “It’s so good to see you. Ryan never mentioned you were coming.” Then she looked at me. “Did you bring Cooper with you? I thought you were bringing your friend.”

There was a beat of absolute silence then I said, “I did.” Sofia looked at me then at Ryan and Cooper, then back to me. “I brought Cooper…my boyfriend.”

Sofia laughed, but when I took Cooper’s hand, her smile died a slow, painful death. She looked kind of horrified. “Is this some kind of joke?”

N.R. Walker Author Bio –
I am many things; a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer.
I have pretty, pretty boys who live in my head, who don’t let me sleep at night unless I give them life with words.

I like it when they do dirty, dirty things…but I like it even more when they fall in love.

I used to think having people in my head talking to me was weird, until one day I happened across other writers who told me it was normal.

I’ve been writing ever since…
Where can you find me?

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